Rector's Message - May 2020

By Dave Thorp | Posted: Monday May 4, 2020

Kia Ora everyone,

A lot has changed since the last Newsletter in early March! I read the Rector’s message again and there was no mention of Covid-19. There was a list of all the things that had been taking place, such as Year 9 Camps, TBHS Swimming and Athletic days, the ‘Calling’ from the Rite Journey, mufti days, an assembly to remember the victims of last year’s mosque shootings, the local Special Olympics and our Open Day. All of those things happened in the space of a few weeks. Then, of course, Covid-19 knocked us for a six.

The school has been silent and empty for 6 weeks. However, teaching and learning has continued. I’m really proud of the way both teachers and students have risen to the challenges of on-line learning. Yes - there have been problems with connectivity and not enough devices, but we are doing our best to work around these issues. Of course, I’m still convinced that boys are far better off learning together in a classroom where they can get on-the-spot feedback from their teachers. But, at the moment, we can’t do that, so we are striving to make online learning as effective as possible.

Sadly, sport and other extra-curricular activities have been suspended since the Lockdown, and that will probably continue for some time yet. There are, however, lots of students who are continuing to train hard on their own, in the hope that there will be competitive sport later in the year. Our Prefects have also done a wonderful job lifting our morale by producing a series of videos, and they are now working on a fundraising venture to support children with cancer. All in all, I would say our school spirit is strong.

The whole TBHS community was deeply saddened by the passing of Fred Windsor on Friday, April 24. Fred was a long serving teacher and football coach, who retired in 2010 after 41 years at Timaru Boys’. He will have taught the fathers and uncles of many of the boys at school now. To the staff, he was a dear friend and colleague, and to the boys, he was an absolute legend. He will be sadly missed. Read more about Fred below.

We are still waiting for information about what can happen when we move into Level 2, and how social distancing rules might affect us. I sincerely hope that the school and the hostel are back to normal by the time we send out the next newsletter. Kia kaha.