Time to check back in with our deans before the end of term.
Year 7 and 8 with Mr Duncan
The Year 7 and 8 boys have enjoyed a good number of presentations during form assemblies of late. Various sporting groups gave us an update of their season, with particularly noteworthy successes being the cricketers who have made the Otago/Southland area final and the water polo team who are unbeaten this year.
Furthermore, New Zealand Choir member Aidan Hung told us about the Big Sing competition that is coming up and how to join in, while Shay Veitch let us in on all the hard work behind his recent record-breaking athletic achievements. Olympic ambassador Suzie Bates even managed to drop in and address the boys on how grit and self-discipline played a key part in her becoming a dual international.
Despite this busy schedule of inspirational speakers sharing their secrets, there was still time to acknowledge those boys exhibiting excellent effort and conduct in class. Nick George, Leo Jones, Jarn Hollows, Serge Meeuws, Luke Pullar, Oliver Colling, Luke Miller and Glenn Ericsson have all been singled out by various teachers as boys finishing the term strongly.
For the remaining few weeks of term, the boys have been asked to take responsibility for their learning, take pride in their efforts, to see obstacles as ‘not yet conquered’ and to ‘fall forward’ when things do not go to plan. These qualities will be key to the boys moving forward from here and building upon their top efforts.
Year 9 with Mrs Mullenger
The boys continue to be really settled and we are very impressed with how they are conducting themselves and supporting each other. The form teachers have done an impressive job of helping the boys make sense of recent events in Christchurch. This week a group of boys delivered individual messages of support, gathered from the whole year group in the form of a heart with a message inside, to the Al Huda Mosque.
We are starting a new challenge for the boys each week around the idea of a secret mission. During each Mondays with Mullenger assembly, the class rep for each group receives an envelope with the class’s secret mission for the week. The key is that their form teacher is not to know and the only way they can help them find out is by doing such a good job on their ‘mission’ that it gets back to them. The mission will be things like; opening the door for staff and letting them through first, leaving the class neat and tidy at the end of each lesson without being asked, thanking the teacher for something specific about the lesson. The hope is that other teachers will feel so impressed they let the form teacher know! Perhaps have a chat to your son about what their mission is and how they are going to go about it?
Years 10 & 11 with Mr Casey
Alright, boys, you’ve been at school now for six weeks – a month and a half. You should have it sorted now, you should be organised with homework, sports and music practices. You should also know your timetable and know what you need and when you need it. I shouldn’t see boys late or wandering around because they’re not sure of what they have. I tell my PE class all the time - PE is no excuse for being late - my class proved that they can get changed in 3 minutes!
We encourage you all to get involved with as much as possible and make the most of what is on offer. BUT we also encourage you to do this properly and be organised with it. You need to own it and be responsible for what you are involved with. There are winter sports sign-ups happening now, so a great chance to get involved or try something new. Once you are in a team make sure you communicate with your coach if you cannot make a practice or game. They are giving up their time to coach you, the least you can do is to ensure that you communicate clearly.
I look forward to seeing all boys finishing the term well. You will enjoy the holiday break more if you know that you have given your best and have finished strong. It is too easy to take the foot off, but the real challenge is keeping your motivation up and striving to work steadily towards your goals.
Year 12 and 13 with Mr Clark
One of the first things I made clear to Year 12 lads this year was to ‘Step up’, to stand out for the right reasons and make their marks, as, whether they like it or not, I consider all Seniors as leaders in some way or another. So we have been discussing over the last few weeks what leadership may look like with the first session on what THEY think leadership is and the qualities of what makes a good one. Stand out qualities, as stipulated by Year 12s, were ‘responsibility’, ‘empathy’, ‘loyalty’, and ‘respect’.
The first prestigious ‘Mana Awards’ that recognise hard work, grit, industriousness, community contribution and spiritual tikanga were given out for 2019 to Harry Tourelle and Zack Stalker for the commitment, organisation and reliability they put into successfully running the Junior Socials a few weeks ago. The boys receive a pounamu coloured badge to proudly wear on their blazer to signify their contributions.
One of the topics lately I discussed with Year 13 was driving responsibly and safely as many have vehicles at school, travel to and from Columba for classes or can sign out during study periods in their cars.
My message was not so much just to the drivers but to the mates of drivers… ‘no innocent bystanders’ and to help your mates make the right calls. To not put pressure on friends to take passengers without full licenses, to encourage mates to take it easy on the road and watch their speed and distraction. Basically, that vehicles are lethal weapons and to take care of themselves and each other and make good decisions.
The term has ticked by so quickly and I am proud of how the Senior boys have taken on opportunities so far this year. Many have volunteered for Service opportunities, gotten involved with school activities, signed up for upcoming buddy opportunities and want to ‘leave their mark’. Many universities and tertiary providers have visited already and it will not be long before applications and decisions for next year start to be made, so I encourage chats about ‘what do you want to do when you leave school?’ as any goal, concrete or not, is a great motivator and this includes Year 12 lads too.
International Students with Mr Mountain
This term we have been organising the international social which is this Friday, and the trip to Doubtful Sound in May. In addition to this, the senior boys have been provided with external tutors and advised of any recommendations regarding support for their academics.
This Friday we have about 50 students coming to McGlashan to participate in the first international social of the year. Patrick Zheng has been organising the event and is sorting out games and food for the students from five schools in Dunedin who will be attending.
We would also like to introduce Alpha Komin from Thailand who joined us this term. Alpha is staying in the boarding house and is making a great effort at school. He is in Year 9 and at his previous school he achieved excellence in Computer Science, Science, Social Studies, PE and Maths.