Kia ora Students and Parents/Caregivers,

I hope this letter finds you well as we enter the final term of the year. It’s heartening to see our students back and fully focused, especially our Seniors, who are diligently preparing for their upcoming examinations. Our Year 13 students will soon embark on their study break. That means for them, this is the last issue ever of Te Reo o Te Roto!

I want to acknowledge one of our exceptional students, Maddie Gerbes. We are thrilled to announce that she will join Westlake Girls High School for her teacher training as part of Waikato University’s Teaching Programme. This achievement is a testament to her dedication and hard work; she truly deserves this opportunity. As well as her many other interests, Maddie has always been deeply involved with kapa haka at Westlake. You’ll read about Te Rerenga Wāna’s recent success in this newsletter.

The end of the year is always busy. I love the prizegiving period. It’s always a rich celebration of our students’ successes and a time of great pride for everyone.

However, amidst our celebrations and achievements, I am saddened to address an issue that has come to our attention. A small percentage of students have been creating anonymous social media pages and using them for sharing potentially harmful content. It’s crucial to remind our children that even if they are not responsible for putting these pages online, engaging with the posts, sharing them, or discussing such content only perpetuates its existence.

Mana wāhine underpins everything we do and are at Westlake Girls. I can’t overstate the importance of fostering a positive and supportive school community online and offline. I urge parents to have conversations with their young people about responsible online behaviour and its impact on our school’s reputation and the well-being of our students.

Let’s continue to work together to ensure that Westlake Girls remains a place of excellence, respect, kindness, and integrity. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to a productive and positive final term of the year.

I hope you have a lovely long weekend.

Ka kite,

Jane Stanley