Kia ora, parents and caregivers,

Lately, it seems that there’s been a barrage of negative headlines about today’s youth. The narrative often paints a picture of a selfish generation lost to their phones and disconnected from the real world. We hear stories of addiction to screens, vaping, and a lack of respect for authority or responsibility – even violence.

I want to offer a different, more accurate perspective. At Westlake Girls, we witness our students’ incredible potential, dedication, and compassion daily. Our students are not the selfish stereotypes you might read about! They are remarkable young women who defy these negative portrayals through their actions and attitudes.

Contrary to sensationalised stories, our students engage with the world around them. They use technology as a tool for learning, connecting, and organising. Our girls frequently participate in service events, dedicating their time and energy to raise money for various charities and causes. Whether it’s organising bake sales, charity runs, or community clean-ups, they are making a difference.

Our school’s peer support network is a fantastic example of their solidarity and empathy. Tuakana (older) students mentor and support their peers, providing academic, emotional, and social guidance.

We see students eager to learn, complete projects, and challenge themselves. They are motivated, ambitious, and resilient, striving to excel and improve. Our girls are thoughtful and respectful. They balance their opinions with respect for others, engaging in meaningful dialogue rather than simply ‘cancelling’ those they disagree with. They understand the importance of empathy and listening—crucial skills in our increasingly complex world.

The future is bright. Let’s focus on the positive, the countless stories of success, kindness, and dedication. This newsletter, as always, is full of such stories.

Thank you for your trust and support. Together, we are nurturing a generation that will make us proud.

Have a lovely weekend.

Jane Stanley