Weekly College Update

2 September 2021

Tēnā koutou katoa

On behalf of all the staff I would like to express our gratitude to the College community for your prayers, kind words and support for our staff. You are an amazing community full of love and kindness. We are grateful for your messages. Thank you for strengthening and upholding a culture of care that we will continue to express. We are blessed to have our community stand alongside us in our time of need. Fa’afetai tele lava.

Online Learning at Home
I hope the online learning is going well for your son and that he is engaging with his subject teacher and peers in the virtual class. It is an opportunity to check-in, outline the lesson followed by questions. We will continue with the current online learning at home structure for next week enabling a routine for your son working alongside his current timetable.

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 ask that you communicate this with your son’s tutor teacher. 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. I have also communicated this with my staff and given them this flexibility if they need to.

A reminder that there is no online learning at home tomorrow.
In light of these challenges, the focus for Friday is a health and wellbeing day for all of us to refill and rejuvenate ourselves.

Reading and Reflection
I hope you have enjoyed the readings and reflections that have been shared in the last fortnight. They have been written by members of the College Ministry team and Year 13 students.

Curriculum Updates – September
Senior Assessment Week
All students who are doing NCEA exams at the end of the year would have been doing their senior derived grade exams for those externals in the last week of Term Three (27 September – 1 October). Due to the lockdown and the time away from the College, the decision has been made to postpone the exams until the first week of Term Four (18 – 22 October). These exams will be run during the normal school day, within timetabled classes. This will mean that students are not released for study leave that week but are expected in all classes as per their usual timetable. This decision has not been taken lightly, however it was felt that giving all senior students a week off from school, when not all are doing external exams, was not a good use of the remaining learning time.

The results from these examinations are really important. They are a timed practice for students to help prepare them for the actual NCEA external examinations. The grades are used as evidence when a student is unable to sit an external examination. Students are encouraged to prepare well and take them seriously. They will receive their papers back from their teachers with suggestions of next steps which will help them to prepare for their actual external papers.

Updated Exam Timetable for NCEA External Exams
NZQA have made changes to the external examination timetable due to the lockdown and the fact that students have been missing face to face classes. They have made the exams start two weeks later than they would have previously.

Here is a link for the updated external examination timetable for 2021.

NCEA Information
This website has lots of useful information about NCEA.

End of Year College Dates
Due to the NZQA external exams starting later than previously planned, we have also decided to keep our senior students in classes for longer.

Year 12 and 13 students will continue classes until the end of Monday 8 November. Year 11 students will continue to have classes until the end of Friday 12 November. Both groups of students will be welcome to come in for tutorials with their teachers during their usual scheduled double periods once they have finished.

Support for Families
To those students and/or whānau who may be going through some form of hardship, whether that be with 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 (chris.fouhy@stpats.school.nz); our College Priest, Fr. Pat Brophy (pat.brophy@stpats.school.nz); or the HoD of Learning Support, Michelle Duffy (michelle.duffy@stpats.school.nz) are also available if you need.

Financial Assistance
The College is very mindful that a number of our families are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and we want to offer support during this challenging time. If you wish to seek financial assistance to help rebate the cost of Attendance Dues, please email Gerardine Parkinson – admin@stpats.school.nz and she will make an appointment for you to meet with me.

Updated Calendar Events for September
Monday 6 September – the Second Hand Uniform Shop will NOT BE open at lunchtime due to Alert Level 3.
Tuesday 7 September – the Course Selection Evening in the College hall is cancelled.
Thursday 9 September – the planned Home-School Partnership meeting is postponed until Thursday 30 September.
Saturday 11 September – the Year 13 Ball is postponed until Saturday 13 November.
Sunday 12 September – the Family Mass is postponed until Sunday 31 October.

Please continue to pray for one another, for all health workers, all essential workers, our Government, our community and our country.
Kia haumaru, stay safe.

Ngā mihi nui

Mike Savali