Nau mai, hoki mai, e te whānau ki Te Kāreti o te Oneroa o Kahu – Welcome back to Long Bay College for 2024! And a very special welcome to the whānau of all of our new students who are starting with us this year across all year levels, nau mai, haere mai.
Our roll for this year is incredibly healthy with the school perhaps being as large, if not larger than in any previous year in our history, with in excess of 1800 students. Whilst this is an indication of a thriving school, this is a number we would not wish to far exceed in terms of ensuring that we safeguard and maintain everything that makes us Long Bay College.
Early indications are of strong success in our academic results for 2023, and we wait with excitement for our students’ results in what is the pinnacle of New Zealand schooling, NZ Scholarships. When you combine and average all three levels of NCEA, our students have outperformed much of the country again, with results 21% better than national averages and 8% superior to that of schools with a similar Equity Index rating (the system that replaced the Decile rating). Of this, our akonga (students), kaiako (teachers), support staff, board of trustees and wider community can be rightly proud. Our University Entrance rates are 23% higher than the national average and 5% stronger than similar schools.
We are excited to get stuck into 2024 and welcome your support in ensuring that our learners are ready to achieve their own levels of personal excellence for global success. We will be focusing on high standards and expectations of our students in terms of their effort in all arms of the school, their behaviours, their uniform, and their attendance. When we work harmoniously, as a school, students and whānau and have a settled environment, then we are really able to throw our energies and focus on maximising our students’ educational outcomes.
We recognise that life in the 2020s is not always easy for our young people as they navigate academic, social, and emotional challenges in this ever-changing and technological world. If ever needed, our students have access to a caring and effective pastoral care team who are there at any time to support them. This includes their Atawhai leader, deans, school nurse, learning support, physiotherapist, youth worker, and guidance and careers counsellors. Parents should also feel able to make contact with any staff member, senior leader or myself if additional support or discussions are required. Schools across the country are also very aware of the long-term effects that covid has had on our young people and, as such, will be closely monitoring student progress and engagement. We are keen to put in place strategies and solutions at the earliest opportunity rather than waiting for issues to escalate. Research shows us that when the school, students, and whānau all work collaboratively together, our young people are happier and achieve the best results.
I would also like to thank Long Bay College’s capable, experienced, and enthusiastic staff for all the planning they have put into making the 2024 school year a success. A very big thank you also to all our student leaders for taking time out of their summer holidays to learn more about their roles and work with us to provide a warm and fun transition to Long Bay College for our new Year 9s.
Again, to all our students, welcome back to your school and here’s to a magnificent 2024.
Ngā mihi nui