From The Principal

As we come to the end of week 4, this week has seen the need for our community to come together.  The challenges we are facing with speculation, with some individuals in our community being singled out, is not what our school and community is based on.  As written in the earlier communication to parents and caregivers, it is during challenges that we must all take a moment to reflect on what our Mercy values mean.  To show respect toward one another and for a family as they begin a journey of recovery and healing; to be courageous in avoiding speculation and to be compassionate and caring of each other at this time.

I would also like to remind all, that if you ever have any concerns related to your daughter’s health and well-being, please do not hesitate to contact her dean, one of our guidance counsellors, or myself directly.

On Wednesday we had the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate students’ 2023 academic successes in NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3, and NZQA scholarship examination results.  Parents and whanau attended the Scholars Assembly, and it was fantastic to see and be able to celebrate the success with some of our 2023 Year 13 leavers.

In my address I discussed how each year we all set ourselves goals in one way or another.  Some are written down and specific, while others are almost like a dream where we hope good things will happen.  Our goals may come from a new year’s resolution, they may be set during the Lenten season, some may be given to us as a challenge set by family and friends, and some may be formed when we are back at school and looking at the school year ahead with teachers, deans or with friends. 

Regardless of where our goals come from, they are important to set.  We all need to set ourselves goals.  They should challenge us but also be achievable.  A plan is needed to achieve success which will include checkpoints to track our progress and a reliable support network to keep us on track, inspire and encourage when the going gets tough.

I also discussed how there were many students at the assembly who were not receiving an award as a top scholar but who did achieve their academic goal in 2023.  To those students who were not recognised, but who showed up every day and did their best and strived to be better than before and achieved their own goals, their own personal best, I congratulate them. 

On this note, it is important to remember what our 2023 academic leaders, Kate Sluyter and Jules Torres said:

It’s very easy to compare our successes to each other but it’s important to remember that we are all on our own journey because each and every one of us is shaped by our unique experiences and circumstances.  Not getting an award at prize giving doesn’t mean you’re not smart, and a grade doesn’t determine your worth.  Success is subjective and is influenced by your personal goals so we shouldn’t let other people control what we deem successful.

As the week draws to a close, today we also farewell Mrs Siobhan Harrod, Deputy Principal, who will be taking up a position at the Northern Health Schools as a Deputy Principal.  Siobhan has been instrumental at developing and implementing many pastoral supports in her role, and much much more.  We thank her, and wish her all the very best in her new role, and know all too well that ‘once a Carmel girl, always a Carmel girl’.

Finally, we wish all of our Year 8 students attending camp next week, a safe and enjoyable time.  The experience and learning outside the classroom that they have the opportunity to experience will assist them in developing confidence, leadership, resilience, self awareness, empathy and self esteem.