Week Ahead: Week 7, Term 3
Monday 06 – Sunday, 12 September
Kia ora te whānau,
There is a possibility that next week most of the country will shift to Alert Level 2. If this is the case, the school and hostel will be open and operational. During this time of uncertainty, it is important we provide as much stability as possible in our planning. In this way our boys feel safe, assured and confident, especially our senior students. The seniors will need the time and space to prepare for assessments.
This week our Senior Management Team and lead teachers have been meeting. Calendar changes have been necessitated by changes to the NCEA external examinations, announced by NZQA. Significant updates for our senior students include a change to Senior Prizegiving and the introduction of an organised study programme. Senior Prizegiving will now be held on Monday, 15 November. Senior students will move into an organised study programme from Monday, 8 November. At this point we will run tutorials and assessment catch-ups as part of the preparation process for the external examinations. We will provide more details closer to the time. There are minor changes to other dates. This includes a slight shift of the Year 9 and 10 exams. We will be able to confirm more about important calendar changes in our COVID-19 update after the next government announcement.
As highlight below, at this stage, our Senior Benchmark Examinations scheduled for later this term will go ahead as planned. However, we will continue to be flexible in terms of providing onsite classes during this exam period. The timetable for the senior exams will look different. We will share the timetable next week.
I will be in contact in the days ahead. In the meantime, take a moment to read our Week Ahead. In the midst of all of the uncertainty and challenges during this time we still have lots to do and to look forward to.
Ngā mihi nui
Year 9 Enrolment, 2022
Under Alert Level 3 we are prioritising online enrolment. Families that are unable to enrol online can still submit the paper enrolment to their intermediate / contributing school.
We will be offering prospective students and families personalised tours. These can be booked here: firstname.lastname@example.org Personalised tours will start when we are at Alert Level 2.
We appreciate you sharing this information in the community.
Remember that we are here to help through this difficult time. As mentioned in earlier communication, our support team can be accessed if the need arises. Rob Silver or Tracy Courtney can be contacted on 021 1094820 or by emailing email@example.com Also, this is a reminder that the 1737 call-line is available if anyone in our wider community needs to talk to a trained counsellor.
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on how we interact with others, go about our lives, study and many other aspects of our lives. We know that a combination of stress and uncertainty can have significant and wide-reaching impacts on mental wellbeing. If you or those around you are concerned about how you’re feeling or your wellbeing, there is information and tools available to help you. For example:
Mr Rob Silver, Guidance Counsellor, has included a message – below – to the community:
Cows ruminate!!! They stand in a field, biting their food, swallowing, bringing it back up, swallowing, bringing it back up and from time to time, bite some more – and on the process goes. People ruminate – not usually from the middle of a field and not with food (hopefully!). People bring up this or that, let it go, talk to someone, let it go, talk to another someone, talk more to themselves or someone else – you get what I mean.
When people’s rumination is on the good things, it’s positive. Those great family stories that become folklore, that great holiday memory which wasn’t planned but lives on in memory, a good tv programme, a positive on a school report, …. . When we are “in a rut” and keep going over negative things it’s not positive.
Ryan Crotty, when being interviewed as the 2019 Rugby World Cup was starting, was asked about life after the tournament. His answer: “I want to be where my feet are”. In other words, let me experience this event, let me play my part in NOW before I start thinking LATER.
A proud grandma sent me a clip of her grandson. Listen to the 18-month old’s commentary on what he’s doing, “listen” to the excitement in his whole body as he prepares for the end and notice the encouragement from Dad! There’s no worries about a fall, there’s no sense of worry about possible injury – there’s huge please from Dad and son! A little risk taking, a lot of parental “pre work” and heaps of pleasure from “being where their feet are”.
As you go through this lock down, and beyond, check your feet, look for the good things, the small, good things and make the most of them. In his book, “All Blacks Don’t Cry”, John Kirwan speaks of savouring (boys that means noticing the pleasure in a situation and really enjoying it) his morning coffee – not just drinking it. He speaks of diving into a swimming pool and savouring the feel of the water and the “thing” of swimming.
Savour small things as they occur; be where your feet are so you can!
The Term 3 mid-term break was planned for Monday, 06 September. As per last week’s correspondence, this will now be a ‘normal’ school day. Learning will take place online, as per the Digital Learning Timetable The school will open on this day to the Y9 & Y10 students who were onsite in Week Six for supervised distance learning, only. The School Office remains closed.
New School Videos
We have added all of the new school videos to our updated YouTube channel. There are three new videos: school, hostel and international. Enjoy the videos, they include students from across the year levels and footage captured through 2021. Please subscribe to our channel.
University: Course Planning
The Career’s Department would appreciate your support to ensure that all Y13s check their school email account. The Department has been contacting Y13 students with updates related to tertiary applications and course planning.
The following universities have booked for onsite course planning sessions, as per:
- Massey University, 10 September at 1:10pm
- Otago University, 10 September at 1:10pm
- Canterbury University (UC), 27 September at 12:30pm
- Victoria University – TBC
These sessions will proceed only if the Alert Level permits.
Otago University would like all of students intending to study with them in 2022 to register for a zoom meeting with their University Liaison Co-ordinator, Cheryl Caldwell. The zoom meeting is to assist students to plan their course. The meetings will take place online Friday, 10 September. To find out more register with firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.
For other links and news, Y13s should refer to their school email.
Upcoming Events – Stay Informed
As outlined by the Headmaster, we will continue to review upcoming local events. It is too early to determine how some local events may be impacted. We will continue to update the calendar and push out updates via the School App and by email, where applicable. We appreciate your adoption and use of the School App. The School App does enable us to send out information and updates in a timely manner. As we have collectively experienced through the past weeks COVID-19 Alert Level updates are not necessarily Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.
Senior NCEA Internal Assessments
We are conscious that senior students, alongside the Accelerates, maybe having concerns about NCEA. Please remember that our school and staff, following the impact of Covid-19 last year, are experienced in emergency derived grades and crisis planning. We have plans in place that prioritise internal assessment and derived grade completion when we return to school. NZQA are also working on measures. These may be put in place to assist students.
The due date for any NCEA internal assessment that is due at Alert Level 3 may be renegotiated as necessary on a case-by-case basis. We will make every effort to ensure no student is disadvantaged. The NCEA’s flexibility is its strength. Schools can adapt how they deliver NCEA to reflect their environment – including distance learning where necessary. The resources and information NZQA have previously provided to support assessment and the gathering of valid, standard-specific evidence can be found here: https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/about-us/publications/newsletters-and-circulars/covid-19-updates/teacher-resources-for-assessing-during-covid-19/ and on the related subject pages: https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/ncea/subjects/
Our key message to our senior students and Accelerates is, ‘It will be okay, just focus on your learning at the moment.’
School Benchmark Senior Examinations
We are still planning on running benchmark examinations at the end of Term 3, although the schedule will be different. The benchmarks will become even more important for derived grade purposes. We anticipate that a benchmark examination schedule will be released Wednesday 08 September. At this point we expect to have a better pipeline regarding the Alert Level for our region.
As we have asserted, and outlined below, NZQA has announced that the NCEA external examinations will be pushed back by two weeks. This is only nine school weeks away and will come on rapidly. We are confident that through the benchmark assessments we will generate sufficient data to ensure every student has a valid derived grade for each assessment in case of disruption to the November external exams.
NCEA External Examinations – Date Change
As per above, NZQA has announced that the NCEA and NZ Scholarship examinations have been moved back two weeks. The examinations will now commence on Monday, 22 November and finish Tuesday, 14 December. The changes to assessment dates apply to all students. The changes give students and schools more time to prepare for the end of the year assessments.
The NCEA Level 1 Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT) will be delayed for two weeks.
NCEA subjects, like Design and Visual Communication, where students prepare a portfolio instead of undertaking a final examination will have the due date for their portfolio pushed back by two weeks.
The updated 2021 National Secondary Examination Timetable can be found here: https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/ncea/ncea-exams-and-portfolios/external/national-secondary-examinations-timetable/
Course Selection 2022
Course selection packs were distributed earlier this term for students going into Y10 – Y13 in 2022. The packs include details related to completing course selection through the KAMAR Parent Portal.
Thank you to the students and families that have made their selections. This does help us to plan for 2022. We would appreciate any students / families that have not made their selection doing this via the KAMAR Parent Portal. If you are unable to do this online, please contact your son’s dean.
KAMAR Parent Portal
A reminder that parents / caregivers can access results and school reports through the KAMAR Parent Portal. Log-in details were posted by mail at the start of the school year. If you have difficulty accessing the portal, please contact Mrs J Gourdie email@example.com
You can access the KAMAR parent portal here: https://kamar.nbhs.school.nz/