By Mr Ryan Wilson | Posted: Wednesday May 27, 2020
Tēnā koutou katoa,
Our return to school during level 2 lockdown took a great deal of planning to make sure we have a campus that our students feel safe, positive, confident and happy to come to. We spent time creating a health and safety plan and procedures that exceeded the guidelines from the Ministry of Education so our students were in the best position to return to learning in our ‘new normal’.
New Zealand has been one of the world leaders in managing the spread of Covid19, largely due to our ability to pull together as a team of 5 million and all follow some simple expectations. We are now creating a GHS team of nearly 700 with the aim of keeping each other safe, looking out for and supporting each other by following our simple rules.
We have been impressed with the way our students have reintegrated back into classes in a positive way. They have taken on the challenge of meeting level 2 expectations in a responsible way. Our attendance has been well above average when compared to the rest of the country, as the students are enjoying the chance to build relationships with their teachers and peers in person rather than through a screen. I have been impressed with the calm and caring nature of the majority of our students over the last two weeks.
It has been interesting listening to a number of our students talk about the new skills they learned while in ‘virtual school’. Many have described how they have improved their ability to manage their time, be independent, seek out advice where needed, prioritise their work and learn how to use new technologies. It has also been encouraging to hear how some of these skills are now being used back at school to support and improve their learning. My challenge to our students is; turn these new skills into habits that you use everyday.
As I mentioned earlier, there has been a massive amount of mahi go into getting our school ready for quality teaching and learning to happen. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Heads of Department for their dedication, motivation and innovation during this time. They have led their teams to design programmes in virtual school that have kept progressing our students in their learning. They have experimented with and developed a wide range of new skills and technology that has enhanced the way we teach. Since we have been back at school, they have also led the way in bringing the most valuable things they have learned from virtual school back into the classroom.
He waka eke noa, we are all in this together.
Mr Ryan Wilson (Acting Principal)