Cambodia service tripA group of 11 students and two teachers had an amazing and eye-opening experience as they travelled to Cambodia for a 10-day service trip during the April holidays. The poverty, climate, pollution, and the horrors of recent history were quite confronting, but these were contrasted against the beauty and warmth of the people, the ancient temples, and sense of hope that there is in this country. Highlights of the trip included interacting with the children, celebrating Khmer New Year with a local village community, exploring the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, boat trips, the food, tuk tuk rides, and travelling around in a Disco bus with an onboard karaoke machine. As part of their community service, students spent time with children from the slums of Phnom Penh and the village of Kampong Speu. They also got to learn about the extent of child slavery in this country and others. “Our students were amazing in the way in which they cared for others, got involved, and allowed themselves to grow from these life changing experiences,” says Mathematics teacher, Mitch Howard, who accompanied the students.
Head of the Sustainability Council, Thomas Pope-Kerr (Year 13), participated in ECAN’s Regional Voice Hui. Over three days, Thomas took part in an immense amount of learning from the concept of mahinga kai, to the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, and everything in between. He learnt more about how our government system works, and also the importance of fostering a symbiotic relationship with our natural environment.
A group of 15 Year 12 students joined hundreds of students from other schools around Canterbury at the Emerging Leaders’ Conference, where they heard from a range of outstanding speakers – Paralympic blade runner, Liam Malone, Associate Professor Marketing at UC, Ekant Veer, the Ronald McDonald House South Island CEO, Mandy Kennedy, nutritionist, Marco Mollo, therapist, Jessie Kendall, and Atlantic Ocean rower, Isaac Giesen (OC 2010).
A new sustainability blog has been launched. Written by Teacher in Charge of Academic Extension and Enrichment, Ellen Hampson, the aim of the blog is to track the College's progress towards more sustainable practice, highlight how our students and staff are contributing to a more sustainable future, and provide useful facts, updates and inspirational stories around topical issues specifically related to aspects of sustainability. These include everything from governance, environment, society and culture, to the economy. Ellen has a long-standing interest in the state of the environment and protecting the planet. Through the Sustainability Council and other initiatives, she provides a platform for student action, both at individual level and as a collective, to drive positive social and environmental change.
On Sunday 30 June, Chaplain Paul Morrow held a special Year 8 Communion Service. It was the first of its kind and planned so that Communion becomes more familiar within the College, rather than the one time it occurs in Year 11. The students were prepared in their Religious Education classes about what Communion means and its significance within the Presbyterian Church and Christianity. The service was well attended by students and parents and many received Communion.
Year 13 students, Meg Longley and Zachary Venning, took part in the Young Enterprise in Action (EIA) 2019 in Wellington. The students completed two back-to-back team business challenges in 48 hours – a Business Plan in 12 hours and a Market Entry Strategy in 24 hours. The students gained an understanding of ‘real world’ teamwork while improving their business knowledge, problem-solving and innovative thinking skills.
Charlie Kinney and Jack Stokes (both Year 13) finished a highly creditable fifth at the New Zealand Young Farmer event in Napier in July. It poured with rain during the practical day, but they showed grit and perseverance and made it through to the top five, competing in a rapid fire question round on stage in front of a live audience. Highlights of the competition were a third placing in the examination round and second place (by 0.3 points) in the speech.