Parent Update – 13 September

13 Sep 2021

As the Prime Minister has just announced, the Auckland region will remain in Alert Level 4 lockdown for another week.  We must all continue to stick to our bubble and stay home as much as possible to reduce risk. Remember to get tested if you have any symptoms, please don’t just put it down to niggly cold and flu.

If you are worried about your child’s learning due to COVID-19 disruptions or for any other reason, please contact your child’s Tutor Teacher or Whānau Leader.  There is a staff directory available on our website to assist with locating their email address https://www.bdsc.school.nz/contact-us/staff-directory/.

Today’s update includes information about the following:
  • Wellbeing Wednesday
  • Student Vaccinations
  • Face Masks
  • A word from our Counsellors

Wellbeing Wednesday

For the wellbeing of our students and our staff, this Wednesday (15 September) will be a day to take a break, catch-up on things that were starting to pile up or get on top of us, and also hopefully take time out for ourselves during the day.  This means that on Wednesday there will be no online learning or set work by teachers. Teachers will be offline but will connect back with students as per usual on Thursday.


Student Vaccinations

Everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand aged 12 years and over can now book their free COVID-19 vaccination. The Ministry of Health advises that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are necessary to protect each other, our whānau, and our community against the Delta variant of the virus.

 Reservations can be made through https://bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz/. When booking appointments remember to stay local and book as close to home as possible. If you have questions or need help booking, call the COVID Vaccination Healthline 0800 28 29 26.  You may be able to book directly at your local general practice, community pharmacy or hauora provider. 


Face Masks

The Director General of Health, Dr Ashely Bloomfield strongly encourages staff and students aged 12 and above to wear face coverings in secondary school settings to align with the requirements when out and about and when in indoor public places.  When we return to school under Alert Level 2, we too highly recommend that masks be worn. There are two actions promoted by Government that we can all take to protect ourselves and the wider community; get vaccinated and wear a mask. However, these remain as options so whatever decisions students and teachers make, they need to be respected.

Term 4 Key dates:

The following are the key dates for next term.  Please keep in mind that these dates are subject to change depending on when we move to Alert Level 2 and a full return to school:

  • Senior School Exams – Tuesday 19 to Friday 29 October
  • Labour Day Public Holiday – Monday 25 October
  • Y13 Graduation Dinner – Friday 5 November
  • NCEA Exams – Monday 22 November to Tuesday 14 December
  • Y11-13 Award Ceremonies – Friday 3 December
  • Y10 Award Ceremony – Thursday 9 December
  • Y9 Award Ceremony – Friday 10 December

A word from the Counsellors

Have you managed to get into the great outdoors to support your emotional wellbeing?

Read below to find out how evidence-based research has shown specific benefits of spending time outside with nature. Bottom line: get outside!!!

Nature’s Effect on Mental Health:

Recently an article from the Mental Health Academy Australia identified some of the positive effects being in the natural environment has on our mental health. Studies have found that spending even short amounts of time in nature can have a positive effect on our overall mental health. The article explained that the psyche of humans is linked to nature in various significant ways.

Our brains are always processing and digesting information as well as relying on external stimuli for guidance in our ways of thinking and behaving. By spending time in natural environments (an always changing world of colours and shapes!) we increase our minds capacity and potential. Having some time with nature has been shown to improve: our visual-spatial perception, memory, focus, creativity, capacity for abstract thought as well as reduce stress levels and positively affect our emotional mindset. It can also provide us with moments of pleasure and awe. Being outside can also help us to feel more grounded and connected to the moment.

‘How to fit some nature time into my life’, you ask? Here are some suggestions:
  • Incorporate a new habit or grow a habit into your existing habit! For example: having your mealtime outside in your garden, have your kids play with their toys on the grass while you sip that cuppa coffee beside them, do your exercise routine in your lawn, etc.
  • Schedule some time (especially within lockdown environment) to go on walks with your family or alone.
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