Term 1 Week 9 2020
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End of Term Message
from the Principal
Kia ora koutou
As I have just begun to type, the heavens have opened and it is pouring down here at Rathkeale.  Finally some good news for the school and the rural community who have stoically carried on through the dry period that has impacted on most parts of New Zealand. 
While COVID-19 has quite rightly dominated our thinking and the media, let’s not forget that our rural community has also had to contend with drought conditions for many months.  As you can see from the photo above, taken from my house, rainwater is running down the road past our place which I have not seen for a long time.  I suspect the campus will turn green overnight and I hope the farms in the region do the same.  With primary industry processing facilities either shut down or on reduced capacity, primary producers need to be able to feed their livestock for a bit longer yet.
Day two of remote learning is almost over and I trust that you have observed your sons and daughters working away on tasks.  Certainly the feedback from staff is that our students have done much better than expected, especially when you factor in the short notice the whole country had in regards to shifting to Level 4.
I have to say that this has been the most unusual finish to a term that I have ever experienced.  We are now in the situation where your sons and daughters have a two-week break from teaching and learning.  Whereas I would normally be wishing you safe travels etc for the holidays, I can confidently tell you that none of you will be going anywhere!  That was largely incomprehensible two months ago.  The next two weeks will be a change for most families at holiday time.  To this end, we may still communicate information to you if we receive any updated information of significance.  I know many students are wondering not only about their academic studies, but what will happen to key events in sport and the performing arts.  I can assure you principals from all around New Zealand are working on this issue at the moment to see what can be rescheduled in the time we have left this year.  We will know a lot more when the country moves back to Level 3.
We must remember that for the most part, the term was enjoyable and successful, and I am determined that the last two weeks does not take anything away from the achievements of our students for the better part of the term.  Please go back and look at the newsletters for February and the first part of March.
Having grown up on a farm in an isolated part of rural Hawke’s Bay, things feel a little bit familiar at Rathkeale today to be honest.  I also suspect that our garden, like many of yours, is going to be weed free and well-manicured by the time New Zealand returns to Level 3.
For the next two weeks, our students need to take a breather and focus on their family and friends.  Our young people understand that we need to take good care of the most vulnerable people in our communities.  Amongst many things, the COVID-19 pandemic will make us realise what is really important and knowing that your family and friends are safe is right at the top of the list for me.  This is what really matters when we take away all the stuff that keeps us busy.
There will be other key messages below, including one from our Head Boy Isaac Noble.  Remote teaching and learning will begin again on Wednesday 15 April.  This will continue for at least another two weeks.  There is no word yet how the rest of the year will look in regard to term dates but obviously this will be communicated to you just as soon as we know.  I know many families are having to cope with businesses being forced to close or operate at a much diminished capacity.  We trust that the various government support packages will alleviate some of the impact of these extraordinary times.
Mauri ora

Martin O'Grady JP
Important Information
Key dates reminder
26 March            Alert Level 4 commenced
28 March            School holidays begin
10 – 14 April       Easter including the Tuesday after Easter
15 April               Term 2 begins (through distance learning)
22 April               Current date for ending of lockdown period
27 April               ANZAC Day observed

Please click on the links below to read important information which we should all be aware of:

Key lockdown messages from the Prime Minister (Select Committee Media Briefing 25 March)

Self-Isolating Groups - Circles of Care

What essential workers need to know when making their own arrangements

Information and resources to support wellbeing and support learning at home


The Ministry of Health recommends the following guidelines to protect yourself and others from the virus spreading:
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues
• Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately
• Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds)
• Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
• Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or food with sick people
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs and handles
• Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19.
For further information, please view the below links:
International Students in Lockdown at Rathkeale
Learning separately but lunching together!
From the Head Boy...
During this period of isolation, it is a great time to look back on how Term One of 2020 at Rathkeale unfolded.  The new decade saw a fresh group of young, enthusiastic Year 9s arrive through the school gate, alongside determined returning students, eager for the year to begin after a long, hot summer holiday.  Summer sport kicked off the term’s first inter-house event in Week One, and it was great to see all boys supporting their houses and getting stuck in to the Rathkeale culture.  Viva Camerata’s three-day camp followed this, as well as the Year 9 boarders first weekend-in.  This brought a lot of support and encouragement to the 1st XI cricket team as they beat Whanganui Collegiate in a resounding 7 wicket win.  The first big event for the Senior College was the Dessert Dance held at Rathkeale College.  I would like to issue another big thank you to our prefect team and the teachers involved to make possible what was a great night.

Athletics champs and swimming sports took place in Weeks Four and Six respectively, with Halberg taking out both competitions.  The end of Week Seven saw the 1st XI cricket team travel to Cambridge to take on St Peter’s College, Cambridge in their annual two-day fixture.  This turned out to be the team’s last game of the season, so it was great to win convincingly, with Hunter Wyeth and Gus Borren both scoring hundreds in Rathkeale’s dominant performance.  This was also the end of Rathkeale’s summer of sport, as concern over COVID-19 grew throughout New Zealand.  As we are a BYOD school, the transition into remote teaching and learning was very quick and efficient, which is a credit to our teachers and ICT staff.  With the first week of remote teaching and learning finished and holidays brought forward, Term One is officially over.  It is important for us all to enjoy the time off and recover from what was a busy term for all.

But the good news is it is only going to get busier!  The Year 13’s are determined to squeeze in all the postponed events, including House Haka Competition and the start of the winter sport season, into whatever Term Two looks like.  This brings very fast-paced and exciting times to our horizon!  Over these holidays, I urge us to take care of each other in this time of uncertainty.  Always be there for your friends and remember that your prefect team is here for you too.  Be sure to contact any of us with anything on your mind, or even just for a chat. Enjoy the break and be excited and prepared for an eventful Term Two.

Kia Kaha

Isaac Noble
Head Boy
From the Chaplain...
Wellbeing Video March 25: Routines
Wellbeing Video March 26: Using your mind
Wellbeing Video March 27: Awareness to de-stress
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