E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā hau e wha, nau mai, haere mai.
Warm greetings to the Linwood College community. Kia ora koutou. Talofa lava. Kia orana. Malo e lelei. Bula. Fakaalofa atu. Namaste. Kumusta.
"If only these walls could talk…." I am borrowing this wording from Mr Ken Bye, a former (and legendary) LHS-LC history teacher and Head of Social Sciences. Ken spoke on this topic at the Farewell Celebration Weekend in term 2 to the hundreds of past LHS-LC students who attended this wonderful weekend to celebrate and farewell the buildings of LHS-LC's first 65 years.
Ken is absolutely right. A lot of life occurs in a school and as a community resource and focal point, schools experience all the joys and tragedies that occur in a community. Our leaving our original school buildings is a significant event in our school's history, and, fortunately is one which helps springboard us into a new era for LC. We leave in order to return, but we leave aware of and thankful to all the people who have gone before, and all that they have done for us.
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takitini - My strength is not mine alone; my strength is from many.
Our shift to the former Avonside Girls’ High School, which we call Linwood College at Ōtākaro, occurred mid-year. With our move this site enters its second century of education. Schooling first began here in 1919 and I mihi to Avonside Girls’ High School and all who have gone before us on this magnificent site.
I wish to acknowledge and thank the entire school community - students, staff and whānau - for everyone's patience and resilience over the challenging final term at Aldwins Rd as ordering packing boxes and filling them became a regular part of our school life. Kia ora koutou, fa’afetai tele lava, thank you very much everyone for everything that was done. Ka mate kāinga tahi, ka ora kāinga rua - When one house falls, another is there.
If we have to be away from our home-school, and the advantages of not being in the middle of a building-site far outweigh the disadvantages of shifting, then we can think of no better temporary place to be than Linwood College at Ōtākaro. Our warm, dry classrooms are at the top of the list. As Mrs Ngauamo, mother of our Head Boy, Moahengi, said to me, “We are getting an upgrade before our upgrade.”
Our community consultation about the new Linwood College gave us clear direction about our new school and its buildings and this continues to inform us at every stage of the process. We received the welcome news that Southbase is the contractor for both the demolition and construction. Southbase and Architectus, our architects, were the architects and building contractor for Tūranga, the central library, one of Christchurch’s stunning, landmark buildings, so it simply does not come any better than that for us. We are very fortunate to have this partnership: LC, the Ministry of Education, Architectus and Southbase.
The guidance from our community consultation also means we stay focussed on what matters and are not distracted by fads or the superficially-attractive. We all agree that buildings alone do not necessarily improve education – the student-teacher relationship and the personalisation of learning are the two key factors for this – but there is also no doubt that new, purpose-built buildings and spaces that arise from community values and priorities can contribute hugely to these two factors. From 1954, the school’s opening, to 2019, is a fair number of years, but now, categorically, it is Linwood College’s turn.
Through all this, student success has remained at the centre of our school’s moral compass, underpinning everything that we do. We know that our community sees student success as more than only formal academic achievement. Our community views education as the wellbeing of the whole person, with students able to learn as themselves. Our community knows how all developmentally positive experiences – classroom, sport, community involvement, leadership, culture – enrich our students’ understanding of whom they are and broaden their outlook. It creates Mauri Ora - flourishing wellbeing.
2019, therefore, has been a year of significant busyness reflecting the growth and positive nature of the wider environment for our school.
We thank our Board of Trustees, chaired by Mr Finlay Laird, for their wise stewardship. We particularly thank our out-going trustees for their deep service over the past years of change and welcome new trustees for their commitment to the kaupapa. Our Board sets our direction by keeping us grounded on what really matters, and steering us away from what does not.
I would like to thank the staff for their sustained commitment to the mauri ora-wellbeing of their students. This year of change has inevitably brought its own demands and I thank staff too for their resilient professionalism. Education is a noble profession and Linwood staff care about the personal success of each and every student. Amidst all the activity, our kaupapa-purpose has remained the daily bedrock practices of positive, learning-focused relationships. At Linwood College at Ōtākaro the individual matters.
Our links and working relationships with our two Kāhui Ako-Communities of Learning grow stronger each term. We are in two Kāhui Ako for the educational pathways from these schools and their communities into our school. Tamai is the schools in the wider Linwood-Woolston area: Bamford, Bromley, Linwood Ave, Linwood College, Linwood North, Tamariki, and Te Waka Unua. Our Aupaki Kāhui Ako is the schools of Heathcote Valley, Linwood College, Lyttelton, Mt Pleasant, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Redcliffs, and Sumner.
Many businesses and organisations are active and valued supporters of our school, assisting various individuals and initiatives. We are very grateful to Ara Institute of Canterbury, Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury for their active commitment to our school.
Also actively supporting the school this year were: Coast to Coast Rangers, Christchurch City Mission, Emerge Aotearoa, Family Works, He Waka Tapu, Home and Family, Joshua Foundation, Mana Ake, Methodist Mission, Ngā Maata Waka, Ōranga Tamariki Partnership Community Workers, Phillipstown Community Policing Team, Police Youth Aide, Purapura Whetu, Presbyterian Support, Right Service Right Time, Social Worker in Schools, Southern Health School, Stepping Stone Trust, STAND, Taiwan Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation NZ, Te Ora Hou, Variety the Children’s Charity, Waipuna St John of God, Youth Cultural Development, Youthtown, 180 Degrees Trust, 24/7 Youth Workers, and 699@Worcester.
During the year we gratefully received financial support from All Souls Parish of Merivale, Argyle Schoolwear, ASB, Beacham Foundation, Canterbury District Health Board, Charitable Company Ltd, Entertainment Publications of Australia Pty Ltd, Fisher Funds Management, Golden Bay High School, Hillview Christian School, Rata Foundation, Pak n Save, Port Hills Uniting Parish, Rotary Club Woolston, Star Media, Strengthening Linwood Youth Trust, The Royal Commonwealth Society, Wayne Francis Trust, Woolston Club, and a number of private individuals who have asked not to be named. We thank these individuals and organisations.
To our leaving staff, and those who left during the year, we are deeply grateful for all that you have done for our students. We thank you for your service. Our very best wishes for 2020 and beyond.
To our leaving students: go well in your next steps. If you are Yr 13 you have survived 52 school terms. We all outgrow school – that is the point of it – and now you move into the big wide world which is ready for you and you are ready for it. Go well. Farewell. Haere rā.
At this year’s senior prize-giving I made a comment about a change in how I view learning-success. I walk around the school a lot during the school day and even that is not as much as I would like to. I endeavour to have positive learning conversations with every student I meet. This year I have had a personal re-set about expectations and now instead of asking about progress and credit-success generally, I am usually opening these conversations by asking about merits and excellences. At Linwood College at Ōtākaro personalising learning means that for most learners to simply pass is not enough. We are a school where passing well, success with integrity, matters.
Linwood College at Ōtākaro is a vibrant community. Our students are wonderful people: open, thoughtful and questioning. They are diamond; they are pounamu. We the Linwood whānau – school, family, community – are intensely proud of them.
Ngā mihi nui-best wishes for the festive season and summer holiday.
From the Board of
Finlay Laird's Prizegiving Speech
Kia ora koutou and welcome to Linwood College at Ōtākaro.
It is a pleasure to be at our new home for the next couple of years. Apart from the obvious thing of not having a hall, this site is in many ways an improvement on the Aldwins Road site. You can feel the lift in mood around the school as a result of our new surroundings.
Having a whole school change sites is a challenge. There is the shift itself on top of the expectation that classes will continue as normal. We are grateful to all our staff for the time and effort they put in to ensure disruption was minimised and school life could continue as best as possible. We would like to thank students and families for your patience and understanding.
Demolition has started on the Aldwins Road site. When we left the old buildings, much work went into the investigation of the old site and preparations were made for the removal of asbestos and other contaminants. This has ensured the demolition will be carried out in a way that doesn’t affect the health of our community and leaves a clean and healthy site for the rebuild.
The new school buildings look great on paper and it is going to be an exciting couple of years as we watch them take physical form. In the design phase a lot of time was spent getting staff input into how the new spaces will work. There is much debate over what the inside of a school should look like and how they should function. The board is confident that we have listened to our staff and we will provide the learning spaces that will work best for our community.
As a school we are always looking for ways we can do things better and as a result it may seem that we are regularly changing things. One of our goals is to implement curriculum policies and practises that are developed to promote equity, excellence and belonging for all
students. Change is welcome when it makes Linwood College more responsive to the needs every student.
The Board thanks all staff for their devotion to Linwood College and our community. To any student leaving this year –
go well. Thank you all for coming this evening to celebrate with us the achievement of our senior students. Haere rā.
Linwood College at Ōtākaro
Leaving Comments From
Our Head Students
Part of Piper's Prizegiving Speech
I have been thinking a lot about this year and how it is coming to a close. I think about how I am not ready to leave such an amazing place just yet. I keep telling those around me and even myself that I'm not ready, but the truth is I'm scared, my mum and my dad remind me every day that the real world isn’t easy but when you are doing something you love it makes this big bad world not seem so scary and that change is such a beautiful thing. I think back to when I first moved here and the night before my first day of school, my mum came into my room to talk to me. I told her how worried I was that I wouldn't fit in, and what if people don't like me? She simply replied to me with, and I quote, ̈ Don't be so dramatic Piper, you will be just fine". After this she handed me my first of many notebooks and told me before she left ̈to write everything down and to enjoy the ride because eventually every book comes to a close".
In high school I have learned some of the most important lessons in life so far and I have done that with the help of my family, my friends, and my teachers. I never knew before I moved to Christchurch that I was going to be head girl of a school or that I was gonna grow the confidence to be able to sing and act on stage. I never knew that I would make friends and these people be most of my support system, I didn’t know that my heart would hurt so much leaving behind my life and family. I didn’t know that when times got tough, I could pick up the phone and call any one of my friends and they would be there and help and guide me in any way they could. But what I did know was that I was taking a leap of faith, I did know that my parents did this so that my brothers and I could have a better life, filled with more opportunities and adventures that they could never offer me down home. I did know that it was a new beginning. I did know that it was scary and unfamiliar, but that was okay. I think about the fact that I have pretty much grown up in the walls of Linwood College and that I really do believe that this place feels a lot like home.
This place, has helped me grow and become who I am today. There is this amazing quote from Winnie the Pooh that I have really connected with, it goes, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” and that is how I feel about my school. To the future leaders of Linwood College, I say to you, live for every moment, take hold of every opportunity, study outside of class, work hard, go to class, allow time for yourself, your friends, your family, ask many questions, and listen carefully to the answers, be kind, smile everyday, cry from time to time, because school and even life isn’t always easy. Some of you will be standing up here, in my position in the years to come and I hope you have enjoyed the ride because I definitely have. The last thing I ask of you, is that you are brave, be brave and ask the questions you need to ask. Be brave and voice your opinion, but don’t judge someone else's, be brave enough to make a change, be brave enough to ask for help. So this right here is my letter to you Linwood, I am walking out of this school ready to take on the world, I will miss you, please remember spread peace love and positivity, and be brave.
Moahengi's Prizegiving Speech
2017, my first encounter with Mr Dick Edmundson. He approaches me with a warm welcome and we start talking. The subject about leadership arose. As we continue talking, Mr Edmundson tells me that I have the potential to be a strong leader or even maybe Head Boy one day. Being young at the time, I didn’t think much of it.
But as I stand here, delivering my final speech as Head Boy of 2019, here in the heart of Linwood College, I have to say that this is rather a surreal moment.
It has been an honour to be your Head Boy and I believe that I have grown a lot through this experience.
Linwood College is unique in its own sense, the diversity and the acceptance of all students who bring a part of their culture from around the globe, is incredible.
Congratulations to all recipients. Your diligence, work ethic and dedication to your own education has been rewarded and is impressive.
The achievements of the young adults sitting before me is nothing short of outstanding. The merit in each individual here today will not go unrecognised but will be celebrated with our Linwood College community: teachers, family and friends.
Tonight we celebrate our academic achievements, tomorrow we, the Year 13s of 2019, are ready to move on as young adults. We have worked hard to get to this point but we haven’t done it by ourselves. Becoming a young adult is not an over night process, but the result of our decisions, the consequences of our choices and those who surround us with encouragement and the appropriate support; these are people who we need to thank.
To our teachers, thank you for your knowledge, wisdom and banter. You all go above and beyond your role of a teacher. The consideration shown in your teaching methods to benefit us as learners and the support and encouragement you give us to strive and try new experiences have made our school a safe haven for us students to learn from mistakes and grow.
To our parents thank you for being our back bone for the last 13 years. Although, at times, we tried to fake sleep or act sick, you never let us slip from our schooling. You only ever had the best intentions for our education. Thank you for having patience and providing a space for us to develop into young adults
Personally, I want to thank the leadership team who I have had the privilege to stand beside through out the year. On behalf of the prefect team we thank Ms. Bugler and Mrs Martin-Bowen for looking after us with their guidance.
Fakafetae kihe aeki ene tauhi’ofa, o tau au’sia ai aho mahu’enga koeni.
Fakamalo kihe kau faiako he ngaahi poupou ko toa pe, o’atu ae fakamalo kihe fanau ako kae pehe kihe tau’hi fanau. Tau au’sia ai aho mahu’enga koeni. Malo ofa lahi atu.