Tēnā koutou katoua ngā whānau,

Each Monday morning at 8 am, I have the privilege of meeting with our Leaders of Sport, Art, Academic, Ngā Amorangi and Christian Service. We share in prayer, reflect on our responsibility as servant leaders within Garin and prepare for the week ahead. Arriving at our meeting this week, I sat down and listened to the conversation underway. I learnt quickly that war in the Ukraine was being discussed with a focus on injustice, loss, dignity, fear and the anger  they sensed the people of the Ukraine were experiencing. I was humbled and uplifted to hear each leader openly express their thoughts and how each was heard, they spoke of prayer and that this is something they can offer to those suffering, one shared their approach, which was, to focus on the face of one person seen in an image of many from the Ukraine, to focus their prayer on that individual, their whānau and community seeking hope that God may bring peace to that person at this time; this made their prayer meaningful as it drew them close to that person and the reality in their life at this time.   

I am pleased to introduce our newly appointed leaders who received their leadership ties and badges at assembly this week; Pasifika Leader – Jasmine Wopereis, Hostel Leaders, Sireen Newcome, James Theobold, Jacob Pointon, Cameron Price, Health & Wellbeing Captains Peony Yang and Harriet Coulson, Ball Committee Emily Mason and Ava Turner, Performing Arts Captain Theo Parker, Footprints Editor Katie Herd, Leading Library Assistants Ella Fidler, Megan Woodbridge & Jasmine Clarkson. I also congratulate our House Captains announced last year who also received their leadership ties this week, Aubert House: Rosa Babington and Billy Powick, Barbier House: Ethan Speers and Sophia O’Brien, MacKillop House: Rebecca Loach and Sean Wallace McAuley House: Nathan King and Courtney Suckling. We look forward to experiencing the energy each of you will bring to your leadership portfolios this year. Thank you for the gift you are to Garin, have a wonderful year.

This week I confirm that we have experienced an increase in students self isolating due to Covid positive cases in their household. Early this week we received confirmation of Garin students having tested positive for Covid, these students are self isolating at home; throughout the week the number of students confirmed Covid positive has increased to approximately five. At Phase 3 of the Omicron response, only cases and household contacts are legally required to isolate.The health and wellbeing of our students, staff and community is a top priority so we are closely following the Ministry of Health guidance for schools. Please continue to follow good practices when it comes to your own health and the health of your whānau. Garin is staying open,  we are using public health measures to reduce the risk, including masks, physical distancing and ventilation with appropriate cleaning procedures in place. Please refer to our latest Whānau Update for further information (see our website homepage).

In two weeks from today we will be holding our Teacher Only Day on Friday 18 March, the College will be closed on this day. Aligned to our Garin Graduate Profile, and our Model for Wellbeing where our commitment to lived Garin Values and restorative practice form the basis of our relationship with our learners. Building capacity in restorative practice is key to our learning on this day. We are privileged to have Greg Jansen from The Leadership Lab facilitating this day for us. 

Our school has been working with SchoolDocs to create a website for our policies and procedures. We are excited to announce that the site is now live and available to our school community. Please refer to our SchoolDocs news article this week (Website Homepage, Upcoming Events) for further information.

Ash Wednesday Liturgy takes place on Wednesday with each of the house groups gathering to pray in various locations across the college to celebrate in spirit and faith as we begin our Lenten Journey to Easter. 

“Let us pray for one another so that, by sharing in the victory of Christ, we may open our doors to the weak and poor. Then we will be able to experience and share to the full the joy of Easter.” Pope Francis

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

Ngā manaakitanga,

John Maguire

Take a moment…

“The ashes remind us that worldliness is like the dust that is carried away by a slight gust of wind.  Sisters and brothers, we are not in this world to chase the wind; our hearts thirst for eternity.”  Pope Francis – Twitter