From the Principal
Student Leadership and School Events
Over recent months I have been privileged to observe the manner in which the Ōtaki College Heads of School have worked collectively to run a series of events in the college that have been extremely successful. They have planned, gone and out and sourced funding and successfully undertaken the events management.
The skills and commitment shown by these students has to be applauded given that they were also having to keep up with schoolwork as well as meeting deadlines for University hostel accommodation and scholarship applications.
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Heads of School team (Head Boy – Hamish McMillan, Head Girl – Alana Fraser, Associate Heads of School – Alyssa Kata, Phoebe McInerney-Heather, Lisa Marie Turner and Alice Yung) for the impressive manner in which they have undertaken their duties. They have been fine role models to the student body and I wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.
Next year we are continuing to look at growing leadership opportunities in the college by broadening the roles students can undertake and be recognised in. It was incredibly exciting to see 23 students give up their Saturday to attend the “Heads of School Leadership Day” held recently. Well done to all those students for giving up your time to offer service to the college, the students and the wider college community – awesome!
The bus accident on Te Horo Beach Road on the first day of term was a real reminder that in any school environment you must be prepared for a serious incident. Everyone was so thankful that no student received any major physical injury but this was treated as a traumatic incident given that the students had undergone a frightening experience.
Since this incident we have undertaken a full review of the incident and how this was handled by ourselves and other organisations involved in responding to the accident. As a result of this review some important follow up has or will be undertaken;
• Students have been reminded that in any incident they must first call emergency services and then wait at or near the accident scene in a safe area and not disperse until told to by emergency services.
• Students must report to the office if they come back into college so that we know their whereabouts and can assess them for required support
• Police, Fire, College and Bus Company staff will be meeting to design and deliver a safety course for students so that they know what to do in an emergency situation when travelling on a school bus. This will be delivered to all bus students and teachers by qualified staff.
It is hoped that this will never be repeated but always best to err on the side of caution.
A reminder to all parents/whanau that the college has made a commitment following the success of the initial chromebook trial to go fully digital in the junior school in 2015. This will mean all year 7 to 10 classes will be using chromebooks which will need to be purchased through the College via the Te Raenga Ipurangi Trust set up between all the schools in Ōtaki.
An evening is being planned for all parents to hear about the advantages of going digital in our teaching and learning programmes and to go through purchasing options for chromebooks. Date to be confirmed.
A reminder to all students and parents that next year we will only allow Ōtaki College uniform items to be worn in the college. This will mean that parents/whanau will need to be thinking about the purchase of uniform items such as college jackets that students may not have necessarily had in the past.
Junior school students moving up into senior school will need to also think about the purchase of uniform items such as College blazer, black dress trousers, white shirts/blouses, ties and Year 13 girls’ black skirt (knee length).
Prize Giving Reminder
We are at that exciting time of year when we celebrate the great achievements of our students and there are many.
Please support our young people and come along to the prize givings, we would love to see you there.
Sports Prize Giving 30th October 7.00 pm
Senior Prize Giving 6th November 7.00 pm
Year 9 & 10 Prize Giving 4th December 1.00 pm
Year 7 & 8 Prize Giving 5th December 1.00 pm
Tribute to Whaea Betty Raureti
Sadly we mourn the recent passing of Betty who has dedicated her life to education and gaining the best outcomes for young people in Ōtaki. She will be sadly missed by whanau and all her knew her.
Haere atu rā e te mātanga mātauranga, e te kurupounamu, e te manu huia i runga i te rangimarie. Takoto mai i tō takotoranga ki runga o Tainui. Tuia atu ki tau tamahine a Harina me ō mātua tūpuna. Kauria atu te moana o Raukawa e takoto nā, me te ara tāpokopoko a Tawhaki kia uru atu ki te rangi tawhiti roa.
Anei mātou i te Kāreti o Ōtaki e noho mokemoke ana. E tangi mōteatea ana mou mō te nui o au mahi poipoi i tō tātou kāreti, i tō tātou hāpori katoa o Ōtaki. E kui Retitia, haere, haere, haere atu rā.
Senior Leadership Day
On the first Saturday of Term 4 the ŌC Heads of School ran a Leadership Day for Year 11s and 12s wishing to take up leadership roles within the school and the community in years to come. We wanted to pass on the skills that we have gained in this last year and throughout our time at College.
We applied for funding from the KCDC ‘Think Big Project’ Fund and from the ŌC Home & School Association to make the day happen. The funds we received enabled us to fly Marcus Akuhata Brown down from Gisborne as our key speaker. Marcus is a well-known and highly regarded youth worker who has developed programmes run throughout New Zealand and has represented NZ on a wide range of international committees. Marcus’s story was the highlight of the day for many students.
We developed and ran workshops focussing on qualities such as trust, listening, communication and problem solving. After lunch there were team activities which incorporated the skills we had explored earlier in the day.
Overall, this was a highly successful day and we thoroughly enjoyed sharing our knowledge with other students. It was also apparent how much we have grown as individuals and as a team during the course of 2014.
Student Meets Local Entrepreneur/Adventurer
Blane Watson, a Year 7 student from Ōtaki College, recently completed an author study on Davey Hughes, owner of Swazi. Blane sent him an email with questions and after answering these Mr Hughes invited Blane to his shop to meet him. They talked about hunting and fishing while Blane explored the shop.
Culture Week 22-26 September 2014
The student led PB4L and Cultural Committee headed by Bailey Strawbridge, Alyssa Kata and Alice Yung successfully ran a week of cultural activities to celebrate the different cultures within the college.
These activities included: Sumo wrestling, an Indian and Chinese day – with free Indian and Asian food, performances from the Japanese Taiko Drum Team from IPC in Palmerston North and the Taitoko School Polynesian Dance Group. Also a Kiwi Sausage sizzle and visit from Mr. Whippy, followed by a Mufti Day – where students and staff were encouraged to dress up in a culture they either identified with or were interested in. The prize for the best dressed student was a $300 Fujifilm Camera. There were also spot prizes given out.
We would like to acknowledge the support of KCDC through the ‘Think Big Project’ fund that enabled the students to implement this event.
A good week was had by all, it was a great way to end the term.