March 2024 Edition
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Newsletter Week 8 Term 1

Hastings Christian School

20 March 2024


What would you do if I told you that at HCS one of our goals is to teach your children to have a healthy skepticism? Hopefully before you ring to say you are pulling your children out of the school you would ask me what I meant by that! Obviously, I don’t mean that we want your children to doubt that truth can be known, that you shouldn’t be listened to as parents, and ultimately that the word of God is not to be trusted. Instead, I mean that what we want your children to develop is a healthy ability to weigh up competing truth claims in order that they can ‘learn to discern.’

The importance of doing this was brought home to me again yesterday as I met with the science curriculum team. Under the guidance of Jonathan Marinus, our head of primary and our curriculum director, we met to give feedback on the biblical principles for planning and practice that he had drafted for our consideration. During the lively and stimulating conversation, the point was made that science is not about discovering ‘absolute truth;’ rather it is always interested in developing a more robust and secure understanding of reality. In that regard, science welcomes criticism, and therefore is always open to new ideas and to be challenged. Sadly, this is no longer the way that science is viewed today. Time and again we hear in the media or in movies that science is infallible and anyone that would not bow their knee in submission to the current ‘scientific views’ is unenlightened, ill-informed, and ultimately ignorant.

The draft aim that speaks to this is as follows, ‘Students will recognise science as one of several important, reliable methods for discovering truth, and ‘ thinking, God thought after Him.’

As you will see in the accompanying graphic, there is a hierarchy of scientific knowledge. The fact is that even when we get to the level of ‘laws,’ which would seem to be beyond question, these too may, through future discovery, be found to require amending.

In the document, ‘What is an HCS Education?,’ this is further clarified when we state, We note, too, that each learning area has its own context and history. We explore these with students. In this way, they learn that knowledge, skills and methods themselves, are human inheritances that deserve to be gratefully and critically received. After all, while we do stand on the shoulders of giants, those very giants were, and our flawed and open to thoughtful criticism…’

Please pray for us as a staff as we help your children to ‘think God’s thoughts after Him’ - even as we pray the same for you!

Gavin Clark


The girls volleyball team are currently in Palmerston North at the Nationals along with teams from all over NZ. So far the girls have had 2 wins and 2 losses & are enjoying the competition so far.

Phones Away for the Day

The government has recently implemented a 'phones away for the day' policy for all schools. At HCS we have always had a cell phone policy in place. Here is a reminder of that policy.

For primary students, cellphones must be kept at home. If students require their cellphone for use either before or after school it must be handed in to the school office for safe keeping prior to the start of the day bell, where it can be collected at the end of the school day.

Secondary students are asked to regulate their own cellphone by keeping phones off and away all day. Below is the policy as it relates to secondary students:

Senior Students may use a phone:
• Only for tasks directed by the teacher in class for tasks that cannot be done on a laptop or
iPad such as taking a photo of the board or textbook

Students may not use a phone:
• Outside of class time, lunch and interval
• For listening to music unless they are a senior student with permission from their class
• For gaming
• For answering calls or responding to texts/social media
• Junior students should not be using a phone at all

Communication with home:
• This should be done by calling the school office 06-8786696 for emergencies or any other
• Parents are asked not to call, email or message their children at school or during school hours
as this can be very disruptive during a class
• Students should not contact their parents or anyone else during school hours using their

• Students may not publish on-line, or elsewhere, photos, videos or similar material of other
students or staff members or of any school event or activity unless approval has been given by
the deputy principal
• This applies whether uploaded at school or elsewhere
• Remember that anything posted online of yourself is available for all to see for years into the
future and available to potential employers, landlords, lenders, and the like and may affect
possible employment, housing, loans etc.

School Trips:
• While at school students are protected by internet and email filtering as soon as we are off site
this no longer applies where students may use data or free Wi-Fi locations.
• Where possible students should not bring cell phones on a trip particularly day trips.
• Where staff determine it beneficial for students to have phones every care must be taken to
ensure students are not using them inappropriately.
o By collecting and keeping phones and only handing them out when needed
o By ensuring any one students in not left on their own with a phone

Concluding Comment
We are not requiring nor encouraging students to have phones at school, and we will not take any responsibility for their loss or damage. We would prefer students not to bring phones to school unless they have a very good reason for doing so. Students may carry phones on them, but they must not be out on desks or visible to others. The permission to have a phone at school is a privilege which will be removed if it is abused.

World Down Syndrome Day - tomorrow

Hi, my name is Janelle and I have Down's Syndrome.

This Thursday is World Down Syndrome Day. It would be awesome if you could wear funky socks on Thursday to show support for people living with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities. This year's theme is ending the stereotypes.

People are all different. Each person with Down syndrome is different. Each person with an intellectual disability is different. We don’t all act the same way or like the same things. We each have our individual identity, interests, likes and dislikes, gifts and talents, just like everyone else.

Having Down syndrome or an intellectual disability is just one part of who we are! We are people. Treat us like people.

Wear your favourite socks on Thursday to show your support.

Concerns Procedure

It is important for the harmonious operation of the school that people are aware of and adhere to appropriate procedures for dealing with difficulties. This is a Christian school and it is therefore expected that biblical principles will be applied in dealing with such matters. Matthew 5:12–14 and Matthew 18:15–20 are relevant.

1. If there is a problem relating to something that has occurred in the class:
  • The first person to talk to about it is the classroom teacher. Do not prejudge the situation and make an accusation. Explain what you think has happened and give an opportunity for the teacher to explain. (Proverbs 18:13–17)
  • If, after talking with the teacher, you are not satisfied that the issue has been resolved you can either let love cover it (1 Peter 4:8), or you can refer the matter to the senior teacher responsible for that class.
  • If after talking to a senior teacher you still think the issue has not been resolved you may bring the matter to the principal.
  • If you still do not think the matter is resolved you may then ask the principal to arrange a meeting with the Board of Trustees’ chairman, or approach him directly.
2. If there is a problem relating to something that has occurred outside the class situation:
  • Follow the same procedures as above except begin by going to the teacher concerned.
3. If you have a problem with a school procedure or policy:
  • Go to the person most closely associated with operating the procedure. Do not prejudge the situation and make an accusation. Explain what you think has happened and give an opportunity for the person to explain. Do not challenge the policy or procedure to them. This is particularly important when dealing with administration staff. They do not set the policy or procedure, they implement the procedure or policy set by others.
  • If after listening you are dissatisfied with the explanation, arrange to speak to the principal.
  • If you are still unhappy with the procedure or policy and the explanation, you may then ask the principal to arrange to meet with the BOT chairman or you may approach him yourself.
4. Manner of Approach – Let your speech always be with grace…
  • Timing. Please check with the person concerned that it is convenient to talk. If it is not, make an appointment for a suitable time.
  • Attitude. Do not prejudge the situation and make an accusation. Explain what you think has happened and give an opportunity for the person to explain. Do not challenge the policy or procedure to them.
5. If a particularly serious situation arises you may go directly to the principal or the BOT chairman, especially if physical danger to anyone or property is involved.

Lift Off

The wings for the lift off parade are coming together! We would still appreciate:
  • More flowers (both dried and plastic)
  • Empty energy drink cans

Bake Sale

Thank you for your support of the bake sale today! The students going to Vietnam raised $702.00 to help with their trip costs.

Leaders in their Schools

Here is a link to the Leaders in their Schools publication by Hawke's Bay Today. It features our student leaders and those from around Hastings/Napier.

Leaders in their School

Literary Quiz

These year six and seven students have been busy little bookworms to prepare for the lit quiz. The quiz will take place on the 12th of April in Napier and involves students across Hawke's Bay. If any team wins their heat, they will progress to the national competition in Wellington. Keep up the reading, team!


House event Thursday 28th March
Staff and students are invited to come to school dressed up as one of their favourite book, TV or movie characters! In the afternoon the house leaders will host "Fame Factor" a book/movie-themed quiz with extra fear factor challenges! Houses will work together to answer questions and compete in physical challenges to earn points for their house! Whānau are invited to come and support their children's house in what promises to be an entertaining afternoon. 1.30pm in the gym.

Student Driven Vehicles

  • Year 12 & 13 students who want to drive a vehicle to school need to have completed the school’s Vehicle Permission Form which is available from the office. Students should not be driving to school until they have completed the permission process.
  • Students may not drive or park in the school grounds.
  • Please note that permission to drive to school is granted at the school’s discretion and this permission may be revoked for instances of inappropriate or illegal driving.
  • We remind parents and our students that this permission does not extend to carrying passengers, unless both the school and parents have approved it in writing. This permission process includes school-related extracurricular activities.

Kids Camp Leaders Needed

Riverbend is running another Kids Camp in April School Holidays (21-26 April) and they are on the lookout for some volunteer leaders.

Here are some details:
"Leading at our Kids Camp is a fun and fulfilling opportunity. Not only will you be provided with the opportunity to learn and grow in a bunch of areas, put your faith into action, spend time with like-minded friends, but you'll also be helping to make a great camp for a bunch of kids! As a leader, you'll arrive at Riverbend before the kids do so that you have time for some training (what to do, what not to do) as well as a chance to get to know the other leaders.

Once the campers arrive you and another leader will be given a cabin of 6-10 kids to look after. Your job is to get to know them, hang out with them, be their friend, ensure they have a great time, share God's Word with them, look after them and know where they are at all times! We’ll take care of the programme, the food and everything else, all you need to do is take care of your kids in your cabin and help give them the best week of their lives! Leaders are required to be professing Christians who are regular church/youth group attendees."

Feel free to contact Toby at

Riverbend Leaders Application

Holiday Programmes

Hockey Coaching

2024 is proving to be very exciting as we are now running ALL holiday programs in Hastings AND Napier. We are hoping to get more and more kids involved with hockey and this is a great start. Please register at the link below and forward this far and wide.

Poster attached and here in the link to registration:

We are really looing forward to seeing all the kids who are our regulars and all the new kids who pick up on this amazing opportunity. As always there will be multiple prizes to hand out no the last day at prize giving! YAY!

Ice Blocks for Sale

Lemonade iceblocks will be on sale for $1 on THURSDAYS this term. Order before school outside the staffroom (juniors) or bring your dollar at lunchtime (seniors).Term 1 only!

Pizza Lunches

Order before school outside the staff room on Friday mornings. $1.50 per piece, cheesy garlic, pepperoni or ham and cheese. Gluten Free $2.00 per slice.

Easter Dates

The Easter break for all schools will be Friday 29th March, Monday 1st of April and Tuesday 2nd of April. Easter falls outside the school holidays this year and term 1 will end on Friday 12th of April.

Upcoming Events

  • Friday 22nd Mar - Teacher Only Day
  • Monday 25th Mar -Thursday28th - E1 Optimist Yachting
  • Wednesday 27th Mar - Whole school Easter assembly
  • Wednesday 27th Mar - Y12 Biology Trip
  • Thursday 28th Mar - House Event
  • Friday 29th Mar-Tuesday 2nd -Easter Break
  • Wednesday 3 April - Y7/8 Immunisations
  • Thurs 4/5 April - Duke of Ed trip
  • Monday 8th Apr - HCS Board Meeting
  • Thursday 11th Apr - Students leave for Vietnam Cultural Trip
  • Friday 12th April - End of Term