Kia ora students, whanau and community

By Belinda Hirst | Posted: Friday November 3, 2023

During lunchtime today our students were fortunate to have the New Zealand Heartland XV spend some time on our sports field. What really impressed me was how kind and respectful these guys were with our students. The time they gave, the conversations they had, and as for the haka… very moving.

In the formative years of early adolescence, children are navigating a myriad of emotions, challenges, and social interactions. Teaching them to be kind and respectful is not just an ideal but a practical life skill. It's essential to remind them that they don't always know the hidden struggles that others may be facing. This simple lesson can foster a more inclusive and compassionate society.

The image of a duck swimming with its feet going wild to stay afloat can be a powerful metaphor for how individuals sometimes work hard to keep their composure despite facing challenges. Have you ever watched how a duck seems to just glide across a pond, so gracefully and effortlessly? It really is a beautiful sight, for sure. But if you were able to look below the surface of the water, you’d see a different story. You would see that his little feet are going so crazy, so fast.

The message here is that what most people see when they look at an example of success is only the surface, the end results of what can be a long and arduous struggle for the individual involved. Success can come to anybody, but it won’t come to you until you’ve done your work.

These concepts can be shared with your children to encourage empathy and understanding. Adolescents, like the duck, often exert great effort to maintain composure in the face of various pressures. By understanding this, they can relate better to their peers and approach their own difficulties with more empathy.

Empathy not only improves social interactions but also contributes to emotional intelligence and mental well-being. These life skills are as important as academic knowledge, if not more so. As a parent/caregiver, your role in imparting these values is crucial. In the long run, students who learn to be kind and empathetic will not only be better individuals but will also contribute positively to their communities and society at large.

It is with very mixed feelings of both excitement and sadness that we will farewell Whaea Jamaya Fisilau, our Assistant Principal, at the end of this year. We wholeheartedly congratulate her on her well-deserved appointment as Deputy Principal of Te Pākihi o Maru. Jamaya has had a positive impact on Oamaru Intermediate in the many facets that she has contributed to the culture of our school, all things that allow us to offer opportunities to students, and to be highly-functioning. I am confident she will continue to have a significant impact on education and we wish her the very best.

We are also saying farewell to Mr Paul Cartlidge, Miss Ebony James and Miss India McLay. India is adventuring overseas and we wish her well in her travels. Paul is taking the Principal’s role at St Patrick’s in Waimate, Ebony is moving to Auckland to teach at an Intermediate in South Auckland. We thank Paul and Ebony so much for their contributions to the Tech department over the past year. India has had an impact on many students through her classroom and we wish them all the very best in their next ventures.

With these farewells, we must welcome in some new staff. We look forward to having on our team Miss Erika Bishop, Miss Natalie Preston, Mr Taylor Baughan and Mr Cliff Heustice. A wide range of skills will be joining us and adding so much value for the students.

Wishing you a happy and safe weekend

Hei konā rā

Belinda Hirst

Deputy Principal, Oamaru Intermediate School