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Rector's Assembly Address

Prefects' Assembly // Friday 5 July 2019

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Ngā mihi nui kia koutou katoa, nau mai haere mai.
Ko te tūmanako, ka noho tatou i runga i te rangimarie, me te manaakitanga.
No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa.

Welcome to this final assembly for Term 2 and to parents and guests who have joined us for this morning’s awards. It is actually five weeks since our last full school assembly and of course a great deal has happened during that time.

Welcome also to Old Collegian Oliver Barron, Head Boy from 2013, who is our guest speaker later in the assembly. Welcome also to his brothers Jordan (OC 2011) and Gareth (OC 2018), his Mother Anne and of course our own Science teacher Mr Barron who is Ollie’s Dad.

I do want to congratulate you all on the positive attitude you have brought to this term both in your classroom learning and co-curricular activities.

Most of you are focussed, showing commitment to your learning, organised and displaying positive attributes which support our StAC values.

If you know you have not quite lived up to expectations this term, I urge you to come back after a holiday break with determination to make the very most of the second half of the year.

This morning we are celebrating a number of achievements, but I want to begin with a group of students who returned recently from an amazing trip to the United States to compete in the World Future Problem Solving finals. Thirteen students, nine from Year 8 and four from Year 9, plus Mrs Pettit and Mrs McBride travelled to New York to compete against over 2,500 other students from teams all over the world. After two intensive days of competition it was very exciting for all three StAC teams to be placed in the Top 20 with the Year 9’s in 14th place (Middle Division) and one of the Year 8 teams coming 11th (Junior Division).

And then came the absolute thrill of the other Year 8 team being announced as runners up of the whole competition – winning a most impressive trophy for second place. It is now my pleasure to invite this team onto the stage to receive the trophy and our congratulations (Megan Simpson (Captain), Isobel Forsey, Tama Connelly, Olivia Burdon).

A big thank you to Mrs Julie Rogers who put so much work into coaching the teams.

A second significant achievement is that of Lewis Edmond completing his gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. Lewis is one of our very busy students playing First XI hockey, he is a member of the Senior Jazz Band as well as having his responsibilities as Deputy Head Boy. To complete your gold Duke of Edinburgh Award in Year 13 takes a huge commitment and organisation. Congratulations Lewis.

In the last two weeks a number of you have taken part in two significant speech competitions. Public speaking is such an important skill for everyone to master, and yet for some it is an experience they would rather avoid. Congratulations to all of you who have put aside your reluctance or fear and taken part in your English class public speaking competitions. You will never regret mastering the skill of public speaking.

The culmination of the class speech competitions is the selection of the best speeches from each year level to participate in the Festival of the Spoken Word.

Congratulations to all finalists. The winners at each level were: 

Year 9 – Lily Champion-Smith
Year 10 – Harry Withers
Year 11 – Harry Waddington
Year 12 – Senior – Jaymee Chen (Mark Ellerm Memorial Cup)
Year 11 – Slam Poetry – Alice Burnett

Another event was the entry of three StAC students in Ngā Manu Kōrero Māori speech competition held last Friday. Congratulations to;

Year 9 – Lily Champion-Smith (speaking in English)
Year 9 – Oscar Trafford (speaking in Te Reo)
Year 12 – Imogen McNeil (speaking in English)

StAC was strongly represented and the speakers well supported by a large group of Māori and Pasifika students.

Tino pai rawa atu nga akonga,
I tu mo te kura o hato anaru.

Our musicians and cultural groups have also been particularly busy this term. Congratulations to our chamber group of four violins Quartetto Maduro who have won their way to the Top 12 in New Zealand in the chamber music competitions to be held in Auckland in August. Well done too to the Middle School jazz combo for their gold medal at the recent Christchurch JazzQuest, the Senior Jazz Combo who won silver, and Serge Beaton (Year 13) who won best trombone.

StAC was also well represented at Rockquest with the all-girls band Lovely and the Late Notes who won Tangata Beats at the Christchurch regionals and have been invited to submit a video performance for consideration for the national finals. The boy’s band Loose Edge won best song at the regional finals. The Preparatory School Band Black Wired also qualified and played in the regional finals.

Congratulations to all Year 7 and 8 students who last week staged the Preparatory School Production Stories from the Stage and to the 42 students from the Years 9–13 Ballet Academy programme who performed a guest “showcase” item in the “Dancing Like the Stars” event held at the Isaac Theatre Royal two evenings this week.

Thank you and congratulations to our jazz band students and performers of Encore who provided such magnificent entertainment at the PTA fundraiser for parents and friends a couple of weeks ago. 

Congratulations also to two Year 10 groups who have recently participated in the Spirit of Adventure Challenge. Both StAC teams were successful in winning the team trophy for their voyage.

These are but some of the many activities you are all involved with, but they all represent the incredible variety of opportunities here at StAC. It is great seeing you make the very most of them.

Finally, farewell Ida and Janik from Hamburg, Germany. Emma left on Tuesday.

Best wishes to you all for a safe and restful holiday break.


Christine Leighton

Prefects' Assembly // Friday 5 July 2019

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