I have just returned home after watching the Years 11 and 12 Drama class perform “The Birthday Party” by Harold Pinter. What an energetic and brilliantly delivered performance it was. I sat there in awe of the cast as they took us to another time, another place – for 100 minutes we were in 1950s England. The Arts, done well, has the power to lift the spirits and challenge the mind.
It makes me reflect on the great array of experiences I have witnessed in a short (only three terms long) stay at Naenae College and therefore the experiences available to our students. Rock Quest bands, the Multi Cultural concert showcasing so many talented groups and individuals, Kapa haka group, Poly Club, choirs, sports of all descriptions, public speakers including Nga Manu Korero contestants, art displays – the list goes on.
All of these activities – where students have shown their diverse and very real talents – have been the culmination of lots of hard work behind the scenes. Hard work done in partnership between the students up the front or on the stage, and staff members and families encouraging and coaching behind the scenes or in the wings. To me this is the essence of “Te Whanau Tahi” – the one family concept that is now so important at Naenae College. All these activities are tangible examples of members of the school community working well together for the betterment of the students.
Just as important as any of these cultural or sporting successes is the partnership in the classroom to promote learning. It does not attract the same public attention or adulation – inviting an audience to a Maths class on percentages would struggle to capture the imagination!
But lesson by lesson, day by day, term by term, the classroom learning helps build knowledge and skills in the students for their successful use in daily life and in gaining the qualifications that open the doors for their next exciting adventure when the time comes to leave Naenae College. Again, it is a partnership between students, staff and home – again, it is “Te Whanau Tahi” in action.
The pages of this magazine will capture the excitement and the endeavour that has been Naenae College in 2011. I hope you gain as much enjoyment from reading about it as the Naenae College community has in living it.
Kia ihi, Kia maru – be strong and steadfast.