ANZAC services and tributes at St Matthew’s

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St Matthew’s Collegiate School commemorated ANZAC day with a service of remembrance. This is a particularly poignant occasion as 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli.

In this service three Y10 girls – Neve Horne, Liadan Jaquiery, and Lilian Jones – told the stories of their family members who served in World War I.

Following this there was the presentation and blessing of the Poppy hanging and crosses. The Poppies have been hand crafted by members of the St Matthew’s school community, many specifically dedicated to the remembrance of particular soldiers who fought in World War I.  You will notice that there are also a number of white poppies. These remember those who were conscientious objectors and are known as Peace Poppies. This hanging remains on display in the school.

Then at lunchtime, the 30 crosses, each representing one soldier who gave his life during the war, were assembled into a Field of Commemoration beneath the New Zealand flag in the St Matthew’s school grounds.

Both the Field of Remembrance and the Poppy hanging will be on public display, so please feel free to visit and spend a few moments of quiet when you next come into school.

Our gratitude and respect for the ANZAC spirit was also demonstrated in displays around school, and we were very proud that Isabella Biggs from Y11 was chosen to lay a wreath at the service at the Wellington War Memorial.

International Girls say “Thank You”

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With the end of Term 1 approaching rapidly, the junior international girls have been reflecting on the challenges and adventures they have experienced so far this year at St Matthew’s. On Thursday 26 March, they invited a group of 20 staff members and students to morning tea in the ESOL Room. Having compiled a guest list and a menu, they wrote and delivered invitations. They wanted to express their sincere appreciation to all those who attended for supporting them in all sorts of ways.

For new ESOL students, information about the routines of Main House and the school day is filtered through a language that they have learned to read and write, but have seldom heard spoken in everyday life, so the understanding and support they receive from staff and students alike is really valued.

As the girls move from the sheltered environment of the ESOL Room into mainstream classrooms, being welcomed into a group can give such a boost to their confidence and help their learning. The great news for the generous students who offer their help is that, not only are they demonstrating the caring values on which we pride ourselves at St Matthew’s, but also reinforcing their own learning. The more you give, the more you get!

When they are able, the international girls give back. Indian-born Eliza Jani grew up in New Caledonia and describes herself as a fluent speaker of ‘Frindi’, (French and Hindi). Having picked up English amazingly quickly last year, she shared her expertise in French with girls in Mr Menard’s classes. This year she is a ‘texpert’, helping teachers solve IT problems. She is the senior ESOL student on the St Matthew’s site and a great role model.

Other challenges faced by the international girls include very unfamiliar experiences, like going on camp or participating in the Year 9 Orientation Day at Rathkeale. Sporting ability and physical fitness are more highly valued in New Zealand than in many other countries and this sometimes puzzles international girls. All three of our girls on the St Matthew’s site this year have worked to overcome issues with swimming. We wish to acknowledge the wonderful work put in by Ms Jane Tiley, HOD of P.E. and Demi McCauley, our lovely tutor from Northern Ireland. They were aided by students Manawanui Stevens, Neve Hancock and Gracie Donaldson. Thanks to a great team effort, the girls can look back on their swimming achievements with pride.

Next term, we are set welcome two more international girls, one from India and one from Thailand. We know we can count on our generous and inclusive staff and students to give them a very warm welcome!

Year 11 Social

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On Wednesday 18th March, well over 60 Year 11 boys from Rathkeale, accompanied by their Dean, Adam Gordon, poured into St Matthew’s and headed for the gym for a social with our 58 Year 11 girls. They were put into mixed teams and a selection of games which had been devised by the prefects were played, culminating in a water fight outside with water bombs. This was great fun except for the rather cold wind which was making a few of them shiver , especially those who had been doused liberally with water!. Never mind, there was pizza to be had to end the afternoon and quickly vanished with both Deans dishing out slices rapidly. I would like thank Monika Lombard and her team of helpers who organised this. We hope to have another social during the year but perhaps not involving water fights as it will be winter!

Rosemary Taylor, Year 11 Dean

World Read Aloud Day at St Matthew’s

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For the last few years St Matthew’s has joined a global initiative and celebrated World Read Aloud Day on the first Wednesday in March.

This year the day was launched by Councillor Pip Hannon at morning assembly when she read aloud to the school community from Half the sky : how to change the world by Nicholas D. Kristof and  Sheryl WuDunn. Her thoughtful selection tuned in perfectly with the motivation for World Read Aloud Day, which seeks to draw attention to the 793 million illiterate adults in the world – two thirds of them women – and to “advocate for literacy as a human right that belongs to all people”.

World Read Aloud Day is also about the power of words, about story and especially about sharing and making a connection.

Staff and students embraced the message and took the opportunity to share and talk about stories during the day.

Athletics Day 2015

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2015 Athletics Day was a great success last Friday with beautiful weather, great sportsmanship, lots of fun and some excellent results. Well done to everyone who participated and a big thank you to Ms Knottenbolt for her organisation of the day and to all staff, students and parents who assisted and supported. Congratulations to all girls and especially to Wakefield House who were the overall winners on the day!

What is ‘special character’?

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It is not unusual for people to wonder what makes St Matthew’s Collegiate School a very special place. What is it about our school that makes us different from the vast majority of other secondary schools in New Zealand?  The most obvious answer to that question is, St Matthew’s Collegiate is a school of ‘Special Anglican Character’. But what does that mean, and why is that important?This booklet, ‘Understanding the ‘Special Character’ of an Anglican School’, answers those questions. It gives a clear idea of the benefits to your daughter of being encouraged to engage with Biblical text, Anglican tradition, and her own spirituality. I hope it will allow you, as parents, to support and encourage your daughter to engage deeply with all that is offered at St Matthew’s Collegiate School.
Blessings, Lesley Mouat, Chaplain

2015 New School Year!

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Information for the new school year:

Term 1 2015 Commences: Sunday 1 February (boarders) or Monday 2 February (day students)

Stationery Lists for 2015 will be available on the website soon

Contacts during the holiday period:
The school office is closed from Monday 22 December 2014 until Monday 26 January 2015 but contact during the holiday period can be directed to Alison Penn – Assistant Principal on alisonp@stmatts.school.nz or Karen Lapslie – Dean of Boarding on karenl@stmatts.school.nz (for Boarding House queries)

New Starters 2015 – you will have received forms in the post. These need to be completed and returned to the school prior to the commencement of Term 1 please.

Tennis Cancelled Today

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The weather is not very nice at school this morning and is not set to improve so we have made an early call to cancel all tennis at St Matt’s today due to the weather today. Let’s hope summer returns soon….

Senior Development Netball Squad to the Gold Coast

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Exciting News!

St Matthew’s will be sending a Senior Development Netball Squad to the Gold Coast Netball Carnival in Queensland next July 4-13 2015.
This is open to students who will be in Y12/13 next year and who intend to play netball for SMS next season. A trial will be held in the Gym THIS SUNDAY 2 November, 7-9pm. A willingness to participate in fundraising is essential. Please see Mrs Schaefer or Mrs Penn to sign up.

Netball v Nga Tawa 216