Newsletter - Term 3, Week 5
Thursday 25 August 2022
Dates for the Diary
Monday 29 August - Friday 2 September: Winter Tournament
Wednesday 31 August: School Board Meeting (School Library 7.00 pm)
Friday 09 & Sunday 11 September: NZ Mountain Film Festival
Wednesday 28 September: Level 1 English Derived Grade Exam
From the Principal
Tēnā koutou katoa
When I first arrived at Fiordland College, I had awesome conversations with all of the Year 7s and their parents. During those conversations, I asked the students what was the thing they liked most about school and the answers ranged from, a list of subjects or sports, to just one subject, sometimes there was just a long silence, but for many the answer was lunch. I think that’s great. Loving lunch suggests that students love the opportunity to socialise, talk, eat, and learn stuff … I just wish that more of them felt the same way about their formal class-based learning.
One of things that I’ve found in my own life is that some things are really easy to learn for me. I tend to find that, when I’m doing something that I’m already pretty good at or is quite similar to something that I already know, I can work out what I need to do to learn the new skill or information. I don’t mind getting involved and putting the effort into learning these things.
On the other-side, there are lots of things that I feel I’m just never going to be good at. My mindset is that I already know that I can’t do this thing. Either I’d tried before and I wasn’t immediately perfect at it, or I just have a feeling that I’m not born with that set of skills, or sometimes it’s just as simple as knowing that a friend or relative I have is so good at that, that I’ll look worse than they do. I suspect many of our students feel the same way at times when they are faced with learning new things.
All of this thinking ignores the fact that learning and growth are possible in all areas and that with the right support you can tackle tasks with confidence. If you can shift your focus from thinking that you have to be born good at something or that some things are just impossible for you to learn, to instead wanting to explore new subjects and interests, and to relishing challenge, struggle and hard work then you’ll find that learning happens even with things that you have found hard to do or engage with in the past. At Teachers' College, we were taught about zones of proximal development which is just a fancy way of saying that new learning happens when you’re working at a level just above what you can already do. Working inside the area you’re already at might make you feel comfortable or smart but it can also make you feel bored and unchallenged. If you really want to develop, then you need to be open to making errors and mistakes, knowing that doing so with the right support, will lead to those “aha or lightbulb” moments. Fiordland College provides opportunities and a place where you can develop. My challenge to our students has been to work on being open to challenge in their classes, to be willing to focus on the practice and the process of learning, but mostly to be open to the idea that they have the ability to learn anything with the right mindset and support.
Ngā mihi nui
The Gateway programme is designed to strengthen the pathway for Senior students to progress from school to the workplace or Tertiary study. It provides students with structured workplace learning, across a range of industries and businesses, while they continue to study at school.
Students are given the opportunity to "test drive" their career choices, while gaining real-world experience. Gateway gives the students confidence to make the smooth transition from school to work. The Gateway programme requires that students complete a minimum of 20 industry based credits. Students attend their Gateway placement generally one day per week for 10 -30 weeks.
Photo of Debra Blackburn at Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary
On Tuesday 16th of August Fiordland College took part in the Winter 7 Aside Tournament hosted by Northern Southland College.
It was a fantastic day of sport and, as a school, we had 70 students involved across 8 teams of Netball, Rugby and Volleyball.
All our students represented our school well and showed a positive attitude throughout the event.
The overall result was our school finished in 4th place, with a special mention to our Senior Rugby and Netball teams which had very successful days.
Distance Education Year 13 Geography Trip
Tom McMurtrie undertakes his 13 Geography course "online" (or by Distance Education). This week Tom had a three-day field trip in the Makarora area to complete practical aspects of the course.
Fundraising by the Students
We are very proud of our Year 12 & 13 students (in particular Sophie Houghton) who took the initiative to help a family in our community. They organised a mufti day and bake sale to raise funds for Meike Fountain who has been diagnosed with leukaemia and has 2½ years of treatment ahead of her. The family is currently in Christchurch while Meike adjusts to her new regime of three chemo treatments per week.
The students raised $329.00 from the mufti-day and $485.00 from the bake sale!
Website & School App
You'll see that we have a new newsletter and a new website. More importantly however is that we have a new app that will support our communication with you. To download the app click here. We still have a bit of work to do in the background but you should immediately be able to use the app to submit absences, read the daily notices, view newsletters and get important updates on your phone.
Book Club Issue 6 is now out!