27 August 2021
Tēnā koutou katoa
It can be surreal at times working from home and being in lockdown once again. It can be a time for everything, and a season for everything under Covid Alert Level 4.
It can be a time full of happiness and joy and a time of sadness.
A time of uncertainty and a time for certainty.
A time for resilience and a time for how we cope with life’s challenges.
A time when the internet is slow as everyone in your household is in a virtual meeting and/or virtual classes and a time to gather at the table alongside your whānau.
A time to be considerate towards others and a time to focus on yourself with God.
Having restrictions placed on the whole country and belonging to the ‘team of five million’ all playing their part is heartening and creates a sense of collegiality for our loved ones, our neighbours, our college community, our wider community and the thousands of people across this beautiful country of ours, Aotearoa New Zealand.
I will admit that lockdown does have its challenges. However, that depends on our perception and how we adapt to these challenges, which have varied from our usual normal routines in life. What are some things we can do to overcome these challenges?
Spend time with your whānau and loved ones while in your bubble.
Pray and reflect.
Do activities together.
Connect with people outside your bubble through calling or via social media.
Be considerate to those around you.
Remember those less fortunate than yourself.
Make those small tweaks in your life that will improve your overall wellness.
Online Learning at Home
We will continue with the current online learning at home programme that is already up and running. We want to continue keeping a routine for your son working alongside his current timetable. Subject teachers will invite all students to virtual online classes at the beginning of each lesson for check-in, outlining the lesson followed by questions. There is no expectation for virtual classes to run for the whole hour.
If your son is finding online learning challenging please inform your son’s tutor teacher. If your son needs time out from being online this is ok. I only ask that you communicate this with your son’s tutor teacher. I have also communicated this with my staff and given them this flexibility. We have a structure in place and when your son is ready to re-engage with his online learning he can pick up from where he left off with the support of his subject teacher.
Support for Families
To those students and/or whānau who may be going through some form of hardship, whether that be with financial, mental or emotional challenges, I strongly encourage you to reach out. We are here to support you. Whether that be through your son’s tutor teacher, House Leader or senior leader. Our College Guidance Counsellor, Chris Fouhy (email@example.com); our College Priest, Fr. Pat Brophy (firstname.lastname@example.org); or the HoD of Learning Support, Michelle Duffy (email@example.com) are also available if you need.
Changes to NZQA External Exams
NZQA notified schools on August 25 that they have made some changes to assessment dates for students studying NCEA courses in order to alleviate some of the stress caused by the lockdown.
Here are the main changes:
– NCEA external exams (including Scholarship exams) will be delayed by two weeks. Exams will now be held from 22 November to 14 December.
– NCEA subjects requiring a portfolio will have their due dates extended by two weeks.
– The NCEA Level 1 Math Common Assessment Task (MCAT) which was scheduled for 14 September, has been delayed by two weeks.
NZQA are monitoring the situation closely and will consider making further adjustments to the NCEA requirements if needed.
St Patrick’s College were due to run their Senior Assessment Week in the last week of Term Three. These exams offer a practice of external exams. The grades from these exams are used as replacement evidence for how students would have done in their externals if they are unable to sit them. We are currently assessing whether it is in the students best interest to change the date of these exams. A decision will be made about this next week and communicated to students and whānau.
For more information about the NZQA updates can be found here:
The College newsletter will be available on Monday 30 August and uploaded to the College website.
Please continue to pray for one another, for all health workers, all essential workers, our Government, our community and our country. Stay safe.
Kia ū ki te Ariki, whakatinanahia. Thank you for keeping the faith and doing the MAHI.
Ngā mihi nui
TUMUAKI | RECTOR