Newsletter - Term 2 Week 7
Thursday 16 June 2022
From the Principal
Kia ora koutou katoa
I've spent most of the last two weeks experiencing first hand the challenges of Covid isolation and having Covid. Supporting sick family members, recovering yourself and transitioning back to school all present their own challenges. As well as myself, we have had several staff off either isolating or with Covid in the last few weeks. This obviously has an impact on the staff and their families, but it also has an impact on the students they teach. We endeavour to leave the best and most suitable relief work possible and have been fortunate that we have not had to close the school this year due to teacher shortages. However, I must acknowledge that there is still a disruption to your child and their learning. If you have concerns about your child's progress, please get in touch with your child's form teacher. To support us, please continue to keep your child home if they are sick. It's not just Covid that is having an impact in NZ right now; the flu and colds are contributing as well. Further to that, I would ask you to have a conversation with your child about wearing a mask when they are indoors at school. About half of our school community has now had Covid, but there is a risk or reinfection and the potential of further disruption to the school.
Last week, Associate Minister for Education Jan Tinetti, announced that the Government has developed an attendance and engagement strategy for tackling the long decline in regular attendance and engagement in schools throughout NZ.
The strategy aims to
- Empower ākonga (students) and their whānau (family) to engage in education
- Strengthen school and kura engagement practice
- Strengthen system enablers and supports for engagement
- Strengthen cross-government collaboration to address barriers to engagement
At an individual level, the strategy aims to ensure that all students are at school whenever they are well. Most schools already set an attendance target of 90% for students. Even at that percentage a student will have missed 4 weeks of schooling across a school year. 80% attendance will see your child miss 8 weeks of learning (that's almost all of term 4). You are likely to see communication from us in the coming weeks alerting you to your child's attendance rate. You can already do this by logging into the school's Kamar web portal. If you would like to know how to do this, please get in touch with the school office.
Ngā mihi nui
Year 9 Social Studies Class with Dr Jane Kitson
On Wednesday 15 June, some Year 9 students were lucky to meet with Dr Jane Kitson in the Social Studies class where we are focusing on sustainability. Jane is an ecologist and environmental scientist with research interests in freshwater, mahinga kai and cultural monitoring. She talked about her work with Kanakana (pouched lamprey) in Murihiku Southland, and we learned a lot about this amazing ("the ultimate") living dinosaur.
Some cool facts about this crazy cartilaginous fish:
- Kanakana can be traced back through fossil records for 450 million years!
- They have a crazy life-cycle spending time in freshwater and at sea
- They are in the same 'threat category' (their conservation status) as Takahē
- Southland is a stronghold for Kanakana, but they need our help
- They are a taonga species for Ngāi Tahu
- Whānau are working together with freshwater scientists like Jane to learn more about Kanakana and help populations in Southland thrive
- The closest place to Fiordland College where Kanakana have been found is the Whitestone River
Jane’s visit to Fiordland College was supported by Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust via a COGS (Community Organisation Grants Scheme) grant.
Fiordland College would like to thank TWCT member Kerri-Anne Edge Hill who introduced us to Jane Kitson and provided these images.
Fiordland College Students Named in Southland Gymnastics Team
We are pleased to announce our Southland Gymnastics team for 2022.
The Team has over 30 athletes affiliated to Southland Gymnastics Clubs, and will compete in four codes (Aerobics, Men’s Artistic Gymnastics, Women’s Artistic Gymnastics and Trampoline & Tumbling) at the NZ National Championships at ILT Stradium in Invercargill 13-16 July.
This is the main event these athletes will compete in this year. They train up to 20 hours a week in order to prepare and have passed national qualification criteria to be eligible for selection.
The following athletes from your school have been selected in this year’s team:
Trampoline and Tumbling:
Many of you will be familiar with Scholastic Book Club and the LOOP app or online ordering process. Fiordland College is now set up on the book club for Years 7-9. We invite you to view brochures online as we will not be sending them home. There are two catalogues each term with some great savings to be had!
Winter Social Hockey Starting Soon
Suitable for all abilities and ages from 13 years (Year 9) and upwards. All welcome.
Loans sticks are available if needed. Get your mates, business or school teams together and come along for a run under lights. Want to play but don’t have a team? Contact us and we’ll help you find one. Tuesday evenings from 7pm - starting 21 June until August 9th. (30 minutes per games) Fee: $1.00 per person per night or $6.00 per team. Where: Artificial Turf, Fiordland College. To register a team or your interest: email@example.com or, phone Colin @ 027 240 7688.
Note: In line with Hockey Southland policy all participants must have a valid My Vaccine Pass to participate.
Fiordland Art Society and Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust
Multimedia Art Exhibition for Matariki at the Fiordland Arts Hub
Entries close 15 June | Exhibition runs 23 June - 4 July
Open to all ages. Visit: teanauwaitangiday.co.nz/matariki-art-exhibition/