Mr Andy Soper: Board of trustees’ chairman
The Board of Trustees represents the wider community, so this is a good opportunity for us to report back to you. We set the direction of the school and keep an eye on its progress.
It is our responsibility to ensure that Naenae students receive the best education possible. Board members bring a range of skills and experience to the table and I’m happy to say our team works extremely well together.
It’s also very pleasing to be able to say that a culture of unity in diversity is a living reality in our school. The Te Whanau Tahi model and restorative processes are giving us not only a calmer school, with a strong roll and improved academic results, but a happy, supportive community. There is a genuine sense of whanau, or family, where students encourage and help each other to succeed.
At Naenae College we love to celebrate the diversity of our community. A personal highlight was the multi-cultural day, with exciting foods and a high-octane evening concert that raised the roof and left me absolutely buzzing.
This year we had the first of what will be annual celebrations of Maori achievement at Naenae College. The breadth and extent of accomplishment would astound many of the more sceptical in our society. We expect a flow-on effect of improved confidence in our Maori students to lift both their aspirations and results.
We focus on every student having a clear learning pathway that is tailored to their needs and future plans. For instance, the Service Academy offers an alternative that helps to meet the needs of students who find mainstream classes challenging. A comprehensive new system has been created to help our NCEA students track their progress. Our staff have also made a tremendous effort towards the end of this year, running extra tutorials and workshops to ensure that as many students as possible gain the credits they need to complete their courses.
ERO visited Naenae College in Term 3 to assess whether the board and staff are contributing to student progress and achievement. Their draft report is extremely positive. By the time you read this the final report should be available to read on the college website.
Nearly 500 ex-pupils attended the college’s 60th anniversary reunion at Labour Weekend. They had a great time reminiscing and there were many positive comments about the state of the school today. Some of them are keen to provide on-going support and we will work to bring their ideas to fruition.
This Board believes in the value of a Naenae College education and the importance of a strong college to the local community. I am proud to be associated with such a vibrant, inspiring school and its outstanding principal and staff.