Rector's Address - Assembly, Friday 12 April 2013
Nau mai, haere mai. The end of Term 1 has arrived – it has been a long 11-week term, packed full of learning, activity, competition and school events. I want to say a sincere thank you to all of you who have contributed much, supported each other, participated enthusiastically – to finish Term 1 with so much to celebrate and feel good about is just great.
Last week, at our Open Day, we had an opportunity to demonstrate why St Andrew’s continues as a successful place of learning and opportunity. We all have our part to play and have to work hard to ensure that it remains this way. Thank you to all of you: the comments from our guests last Thursday have been outstanding.
I also want to commend Year 9 students – all of you new to the Secondary School at the start of this term – for the way you have settled into new routines and surroundings, enjoyed your camps at Castle Hill, joined in activities and embraced the culture of St Andrew’s. And thank you also to the Peer Support Leaders who have made such a contribution to helping you all during Term 1.
Today, we have many achievements to celebrate – welcome to parents and guests who have joined our assembly this morning. It is four weeks since our last assembly – on Founders’ Day and since then there has been Summer Tournament Week and a number of other competitions.
Particularly impressive was the gold medal for our mixed tennis team at the Secondary School Nationals; a silver medal for the U16 squad at Maadi; two golds and a bronze in New Zealand Secondary Schools triathlon; a silver medal in the South Island touch, 10 titles at the South Island Secondary Schools athletics, and the winning success of the StAC polo team at the South Islands.
Also of particular note have been the two outstanding performances from our two Shakespeare groups, both of whom have been selected to perform at the National finals in Wellington at the end of May.
Well done to all students involved with these achievements, but remember that all of you – whether your achievements have been at this level or not – are making a valuable contribution to our programmes and St Andrew’s culture of giving things your best shot.
Other highlights for Term 1 have included the Governor-General’s Dinner at Strowan, the opening of the new boarding houses, Founders’ Day, the creation of the Lip Dub video, our athletics and swimming sports – it has indeed been a busy term.
One more thing I want to mention is the wonderful fundraiser concert organised by Siobhan Russel last Friday for the Vanuatu trip – what a special event that was, and what amazing talent from the performers. Well done to Siobhan, Lucy, Conor, Ben, Brooke and Olivia – those of you who attended I know will be very pleased that you did.
With the coming holiday break, a number of you will be beginning winter sports – a small group are heading to Auckland to represent St Andrew’s at the National finals of the Young Farmers Competition and there is a week of production rehearsals during the third week.
Over 60 of you have something very exciting to look forward to these holidays as you head off on overseas adventures with school trips to Vanuatu, Cambodia, France or South America.
Teachers have put a huge amount of effort into organising these opportunities for you and I know you will show your appreciation by making the most of the trip and making sensible choices at all times.
I, too, am very fortunate that I have an exciting few weeks ahead as I head away to England, Scotland, Germany, France and Italy as part of a sabbatical for next term. I will be visiting several of the schools in Scotland we have connections with and meeting up with Old Collegians in London.
I will miss you all and the College during Term 2, but I know that you will continue to enjoy your learning, embrace your opportunities and look after each other. Stay well and safe, and enjoy your holiday break.