Parent Update – 20 September

20 Sep 2021

We hope that learning from home has been going well for everyone in your household bubble. We know this has been a challenging time for many of us and thank you for your ongoing support. This afternoon the Prime Minister announced that we will move into Alert Level 3 on Tuesday 21 September at 11:59pm.  While schools are broadly speaking closed, from Wednesday 22 September Years 9-10 students of parents who are essential workers and unable to arrange supervision for their children will be able to come to school.

Today’s update includes information about the following:
  • Moving to Alert Level 3
  • Senior School Exams – cancelled
  • NZQA: Literacy, Numeracy Pilot exams and Senior DCAT exams
  • Year 9 Subject Rotations
  • Reminder: student Vaccinations and Face Masks
  • Poem by Georgia Sole 9J11
  • A word from our Counsellors

Moving to Alert Level 3

In Alert Level 3 most children and young people will continue to learn from home, however we will be open for young people in Years 9-10 whose parents or carers need to go to work and there is no alternative person who can supervise them, e.g. children of essential workers.  If you intend to send your Year 9 or Year 10 child to school, please email Deputy Principal Chris Williams to register your child’s name by midday on Tuesday 21 September.

Once we have a register of those students who will be coming to school under Alert Level 3, we will email the family to specify the particular Whānau block and classroom the students are to report to, maintaining social distancing at all times.

Please note that as an added precaution, Cabinet made it mandatory today that in Alert Level 3, students must wear masks in high schools and indoor settings like classrooms.

Senior School Examinations – Cancelled

Due to the extended time in Alert Level 4 Lockdown and the uncertainty of getting to Level 2 before the school holidays, we have made the difficult decision to cancel senior school exams for 2021.  This is so we can maximise the face-to-face time for students with teachers leading up to the NZQA external NCEA exams, which are due to start on Monday 22 November.

Term 4 teaching time will be used to thoroughly prepare our senior students for the external examinations. Part of this preparation will include Year 11-13 students attempting one or two of the practice exams under examination conditions, as well as collaboratively working through NCEA assessment schedules to gain a comprehensive understanding of how each standard is assessed. Any evidence gathered through these assessment processes will be used to supply an emergency event grade if required.

NZQA Examinations for Literacy and Numeracy Pilot and Senior DCAT

These are external examinations managed by NZQA and they will go ahead as scheduled in Week 2 of next term:

  • Level 2 (DIP, DIT) DCAT – Tuesday 26 October AM
  • Level 3 (DIP, DIT) DCAT – Tuesday 26 October PM
  • Level 1 (DIT) DCAT – Friday 29 October AM
  • Year 10 Literacy Pilot Exam – Friday 29 October AM
  • Year 10 Numeracy Pilot Exam – Friday 29 October PM

Year 9 Subject Rotations

A reminder that Year 9 students would have started their final Technology and Visual Performing Arts (VPA) subject rotation today. The only exception to this is 9D9 as they would have changed Technology subjects but remained in their current VPA subject.

The student’s new subject teacher would have sent out an introductory email and invited them to a Microsoft Teams class. If you have any problems with the rotation, please contact Deputy Principal Kerrie Holmes

Reminder: Student Vaccinations and Face Masks

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 When booking appointments remember to stay local and book as close to home as possible. There are a number of general practices and chemists now accepting walk ins.

As I wrote last week, 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.

Poem by Georgia Sole


At thousands of meters apart,
we gaze through a screen,
and wonder why this all had to start
How much we would give,
just to be standing across from each other.
without the risk to live, but to forgive.

At hundreds of meters apart,
we laugh, we cry, we live.
But why can’t we take it to heart.
It is hard for us to be,
all happy with this ‘normal’,
when we just wish to be free.

At ten meters apart,
we see a team of 5 million,
she was SMART
together New Zealand is better than ever,
we take charge,
we do whatever.

At five meters apart,
they are princesses with stethoscopes,
saving lives,
they are princesses with stethoscopes,
more than one of us, they thrive.

At two meters apart,
we are safe.
Armed with masks,
unlimited faith.
Back to the normal we want,
but with lives changed,
armed with masks,
with little faith.

At one meter apart,
anxious, phobic, we restart.

At our future,
we hug.
At our future,
it’s unknown.
At our future,
we know we can,
do what we must,
and always scan!

A word from the Counsellors

Kia ora! Have you noticed you might have been feeling a bit more easily irritated lately? If so, you are not alone!

When we are stressed, it is harder to be patient and to take other’s feelings into account.

How to address this?
  • Firstly, notice how you are feeling (eg stressed, angry, sad, afraid). Allow yourself to actually experience and acknowledge this emotion in a non-judgmental way without the need to solve it, as opposed to pulling away from it.
  • Secondly, have some compassion for yourself. You are likely to be juggling many balls and pressures at the moment. You are doing the best you can in the given situation.
  • Thirdly, if you feel you have been impatient with someone or said something you really didn’t mean, you can apologise.

The great thing is that if you follow these steps, it can help you feel less stressed and able to be more responsive to your own needs and the needs of others. As adults, if we can model this behaviour, we are teaching our sons and daughters how to cope with stress and uncomfortable emotions. We also let them know that no one is expected to be perfect, we all make mistakes and that the ability to apologise goes a long way to right a situation.

Wondering about where to start on practicing self-compassion?

Have a look at this YouTube video Loving-kindness meditation – cultivating compassion


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