Rector's message - 29 September 2017

By Nick McIvor | Posted: Saturday September 30, 2017

We have turned into the home straight. The race is on and the finish line is in sight for seniors. 

There are just 3 school weeks to go before exam leave. Most boys have paced themselves admirably; accruing NCEA grades along the way steadily and successfully. Others are squaring up for a last sprint; counting on a final dash in and out of the exam room to achieve their best – something they did or didn’t plan, depending on whom you ask. We need all boys to run their race well from here to complete 2017 with their rightful academic results. There is a pool of Merits and Excellences waiting for the plunge as well.

I have read the senior reports that have gone out. They are, overall, pretty good. They show that most seniors are getting on with it entering the last surge but some still appear to be suffering a strange sort of casual complacency, malaise of mediocrity, a type of torpor, that could prevent them from finishing as they should - if not careful from here. To avoid this, teachers are giving sound, valuable advice, support, and expectations. Common in the advice reported in teacher comments, has been encouragement of boys to:

  • manage their time well. When staff indicate the real time that something will take to be done properly it is because they have the experience to know what time it will take for a task to be done properly, and effectively; including revision scheduling for exams at home
  • ask for help when needed. It can be a concern when some boys seem reluctant to ask questions, to seek help during their learning, when it is central to their progress and often involving questions crossing the minds of other students in their company too
  • finish the job. Occasionally there are instances when very good NCEA work is started but left incomplete due to a lack of perseverance or proper follow up outside the lesson. Like the working world, the boys need to get the job done in NCEA and to take pride in their work
  • understand that not all learning will be entertaining. While we value active, varied, and progressive learning, with an enriching, interactive, creative mix, there are some things that are just necessary rudiments needing to be learned. Not all learning has immediate and obvious excitement or entertainment to it. There are fundamentals that must be mastered before we can truly cut loose into new and riveting learning tangents. We sometimes have to do the ‘dull but necessary stuff’ so we can get to the ‘exciting stuff’
  • take and make new opportunities. This goes back to the notion of ‘looking for learning not waiting for learning’. Boys who wait to be spoon fed in NCEA may eventually go hungry or find they are much less nourished in their achievement than if they had prepared ‘a fine feed’ on their own initiative, and teacher guidance (perhaps literally in the case of our Food Technology courses!)

While we are looking pretty good overall there is still much work to be done. The boys’ teachers have been urging them to take increasing ownership of their NCEA outcomes and to get alongside teachers to do what is advised, what is necessary, to see it all through for personal excellence.  Juniors have important moments coming up too in Term 4, and should stay on target for a fine finish as they attempt crossing their own line.

Nick McIvor
Scientia Potestas Est
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