I hope you are all well - welcome to term 4!
The most consistent conversation I have had this week has been about the resounding success of the College musical. Even on Wednesday morning at the School-Based Apprenticeship celebration breakfast, the Deputy Mayor and another Principal remarked to me that they had heard it was a real success. Deputy Mayor McDonald said it was 'blowing up all over social media' and really lamented the fact he had not seen it.
The production is a real credit to Mrs Duncan, who has committed so much to ensuring this was a professional event. She set a high benchmark, and with the help of Ms Lauverjon and Ms Chalmers, ensured that the students really did our College proud. Like me, I am sure you were astounded by the costumes (designed and produced by Ms Cridland), the makeup (thanks to Ms Bailey and Mrs Puhakka) and the sets (with thanks to Mr Varley). Thank you so much also to the parents who volunteered their time to either support the preparation or by assisting at practices.
Thank you so much to the students who were either cast OR backstage crew (not forgetting Mrs Hand who directed the young men in the crew). The musical you delivered was such a complete giving of yourself! I was so humbled watching you.
A Catholic school has to take the classroom seriously - but also has to acknowledge that deep, experiential learning often happens outside of the classroom. Madagascar was an example of that resonant, visceral learning that can make such a difference to our young people. We celebrate the same experience in events like Arts in the Park, All School's Touch and Wakakirri. These are experiences where our young people develop resilience, confidence and emotional fortitude. They are essential to the education of the whole child.
When I talk to staff about the special role of the Catholic school, I often refer to John 10:10; "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full".
To me, this speaks to educators as a commitment to fulfil potential. Jesus was stressing a contrast - in a world where violence was ever-present he positioned himself as not only life-affirming but insisting that we leave nothing on the pitch! When we support our young people in striving for excellence, we call them to have life to the full. Parents, next time you insist on high standards at home, or with homework, or just in general, remember that you are calling for fullness of life.
What a noble and beautiful thing.
Mr Chris Gabbett