Tēnā koutou katoua ngā whānau,

Despite the very changeable weather this week, life at Garin has been extremely positive as our learners and teachers settle into learning and the routines. I have been super impressed by the calmness of our learners and their positive participation and engagement each day. Whilst we are experiencing the constraints of the Covid Protection Framework, it is great to witness the positive connection and friendships our learners share with each other throughout the day, it is the strength of their relationships and the positive connection our learners also have with their teachers and staff that is making this challenging time so much easier to manage.

As we operate the College under RED of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF), I thank our learners for their effort and vigilance in the wearing of face masks; as we adjust to this new norm, our priority is to continue educating our learners and promoting healthy practises to mitigate the risk of contracting Covid and related illnesses. Developing shared responsibility is essential; all learners (unless having an exemption) are to be wearing face masks on school transport and at school, we continue to encourage good hygiene practises for all learners including: regular hand washing/sanitising, cough and sneeze etiquette, regular cleaning of high touch surfaces, opening doors and windows. I thank you as parents and caregivers for promoting these messages to your students.

Our Year 13 Learners enjoyed the “Summit” Journey held at lake Rotoiti this week. Whilst on the Journey, students have enriched their spiritual lives, made connections and established enduring friendships within their peer group. I look forward to working alongside our senior students to support them as our leaders in the college. I recognise within each student a desire to serve and be positive role models to our younger students. To maintain our Journey programme in present times is an outstanding accomplishment, I thank Justine Butler, Paul Bucknell, Markelle Ward and Whenua iti Outdoors for the support, guidance and care they have provided to our learners throughout the week.

Next week we look forward to our Opening Garin Liturgy to be celebrated next Friday 18 February. This year we will gather in the outdoors, representatives from each Whānau class along with our student leaders and house captains to be physically present in the liturgy led by our College Chaplin Fr Seph Pijfers. The Liturgy will be live streamed to each whānau class for them to share in the liturgy prayer and reflection as a class.

Our Student Leaders and House Captains will participate in the Young Catholic Leaders (YCL Leadership Day) led by the Archdiocese of Wellington Youth Leadership team. This is an exciting opportunity for our student leaders to pray, reflect and prepare for their role as servant leaders in our Garin Community. We are blessed to have outstanding leaders and role models in the college. We wish our Students Leaders every success for this event and their leadership waka for the year ahead.

Please check the item on our website homepage Upcoming Events for specific details re the PPTA Teacher Union meeting on Tuesday, 22 February where students will be released from class at 12.50pm for the day. The item has information on what to do if your student needs to remain at school that afternoon, also bus details for that day.

Mā te Atua koe e tiaki – May God be with you

Ngā manaakitanga,

John Maguire

Take a moment: He moana Pukepuke e ekengia e te waka – A choppy sea can be navigated by waka