May 2024 Edition
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Newsletter Week 3 Term 2

Hastings Christian School

15 May 2024

PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE

The Benefits of Boredom

Each week at the Secondary school assembly, either Gerald or myself share a challenge with the students. This is an addition to the excellent devotions that our seniors student leaders present. Last week Gerald talked about the importance of convictional leadership. This week I focused on the importance of boredom! In particular I challenged the students to find time to unplug from their phones in general and social media in particular!

In a thought-provoking article entitled, ‘What Happens When You Stop Getting Bored?’ Justin Pythress asked and answered this question with another question and a provocative answer. ‘What do you think is the biggest challenge for teenagers today?’ One word: “Smartphones.” The expanded version would be: “loss of boredom.” He went on to quote A Microsoft study that discovered that the average human attention span fell 25% between 2000-2015. That’s shorter than a goldfish. Coincidence? Another study by Common Sense Media found that teenagers on average are consuming around eight hours of media per day.

According to a post by ‘We Are Teachers,’ there are at least five benefits that come from having the space to be bored, including:
1. Boredom enhances problem-solving skills
2. Boredom leads to self discovery
3. Boredom allows students to become present
4. Boredom fosters independence
5. Boredom teaches conversational skills

Blaise Pascal, the 17th Century mathematician, physicist and theologian, once said, ‘All of humanity's problems stem from a man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.’
In another helpful article entitled, ‘You Are What You Pay Attention To,’ Justin Pythress made the following observation: ‘Awareness of time’s limitation should lead us to better use of it.
In a very real sense, what we choose to pay attention to defines our lives. You may even say, “We are what we pay attention to.” It’s really just another way of saying something else that the Bible affirms again and again: we are what we worship, or we are what we love. We will devote our lives to whatever it is we value the most, and taking inventory of what we pay attention to is one measurable way to calculate it. At the end of our lives, what has most shaped us into who we are will be what we chose to give our attention to. What we pay attention to becomes our lives.

Attention is a finite resource, which simply means that if I give it to one thing, I’m taking it away from something else. And if I’m giving my attention to things I don’t consider important, I need to recalibrate the habits of my life toward the things I most value.
While I believe social media can be a helpful tool, it’s designed by its creators to infiltrate our lives—to master us. Social media’s algorithms are designed to steal as much of our attention as possible to sell it to the highest bidder—the merchants who invest money in advertising. Social media, by design, wants all your attention. In one sense, then, we might even say that social media wants our lives. It wants our souls.

What I discovered probably won’t surprise anyone. I’m happier when I’m not on social media because I’m not daily encountering content designed to rile me up. I’m also more engaged in the things I want to devote my life to—things like Christ, family, church, prayer, deep study, and ministry.

I finished by challenging the students with the Psalm that has become a life verse for me. In Psalm 90:12, Moses’ heartcry was that the Lord would, ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’

Gavin Clark
Principal

New Families Afternoon Tea

Families new to HCS are welcome to join us for afternoon tea on Wednesday 22nd of May at 2:30pm in the staffroom. If you missed being able to come last term, please do feel free to come along and meet with Mr Clark.

Teacher Only Days/early finishes this term

Please take note of two teacher only days this term.

Friday 31 May - Special Character Training day for staff (whole school closed)
Tuesday 4th June - Professional development for staff (whole school closed)

Smart Watches

At HCS we have a cell phone policy in place.

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.

If students are using smart watches inappropriately, they will be treated as a cellphone and removed from students for safe-keeping during the day. Note, too, that our policy is that if parents want to contact their child, this should happen via the office or teacher, not through direct messaging.

Hardship Fund

With the current cost of living, families can sometimes struggle with expenses. HCS has a limited hardship fund that we can use to assist families with immediate need relating to school expenses when we can. If you are in a position where you would like to donate to this fund to help out other families, please feel free to make a donation to the school account
12-3439-0013004-01 Reference: hardship

Found a "lost" HCS library book? Please return!

If you found a HCS library book in the school holidays, we would love to get it back! This includes books that have been out for a long time and have been made lost/missing - all books are valuable to the library collection. Mrs Gardiner even gives chocolate rewards if a missing book is returned. The record is a book missing for 2 years and found.

BOOT CAMP - House Event

Have you got what it takes to tough it out and have a blast?
Are you ready....
  • To get active
  • To get dirty
  • To work as a team
  • To have fun
Thursday 23rd May 12.45pm
Wear your uniform to school and get changed into house colours at lunchtime. Bring clothes you don't mind getting dirty and that will keep you warm.

Note from the HBCSA Treasurer

Attendance Dues invoices for Term 2 will be sent out this week and are due to be paid in full by the end of the term. Donation receipts for payments made in the 1 April 2023 - 31 March 2024 period will be sent out prior to the end of this month (May). If you have not received yours by the end of this month and think that you require one for donations made during this period, please let me know via email - hbay.csa@gmail.com . Lastly, a reminder that if you are withdrawing your child from school, you are required to give one terms notice to the school office. Failure to do so will incur a late withdrawal penalty fee of one term's attendance dues ($275) per child.

Exam Centre Manager Vacancy

HCS is looking for a new Exam Centre Manager. The position involves managing the administration of running all our NZQA examinations, which are from 5-29 November 2024. This is a paid position, contracted and paid for by NZQA. You will also need to recruit and train examination supervisors for sessions with multiple rooms.

The ECM must have a high level of organisational skills with great attention to detail,
strength in following processes precisely and confidence leading people of all ages.

The position requires you to complete an online training programme and attend a one-day
training session with NZQA in August. The position requires you to complete a number of
administrative tasks to plan and prepare for the exams. You must be available to work for
the entire exam period (Tuesday 5 November to Friday 29 November). In late October, the successful applicant will need to receive examination booklets and process them

The qualities we are looking for in an ECM are:
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and within deadlines
  • Well organised and methodical
  • Integrity beyond question
  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Ability to lead a team
  • Firm but fair management of teenagers
If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you. If you know of someone who would be ideal for this position, please pass this information on to them. A full job description is available on request.

Applications need to be in writing addressed to Anita Nieuwland, Principal’s Secretary a.nieuwland@hcs.school.nz. Please include details of relevant work experience, or skills relating to the qualities listed above. Closing date for applications is 31 May 2024.

Music Trip

The Year 12+13 students got to record and produce 2 songs they had been practising and experienced what it is like to put a song together as a final product.
Studio: Newsong
Studio Producer: Aaron Cash

Mother's Day

B3 loved preparing some special things for their mum's over the last 2 weeks for Mother’s Day. There were several items inside these student made envelopes. We hope you mums had a wonderful day and felt blessed. Our motivation was "Honour your mother…” Ex 20:12

Vietnam Cultural Trip 2024

Sharing our journey: Part 3

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.

Upcoming Events

  • Monday 20th May - HCS Board Meeting
  • Tuesday 21st May - Strike Percussion performance for primary school
  • Thursday 23rd May - Afternoon house event
  • Tuesday 28th May - Y12's Career Expo
  • Friday 31st May - Teacher Only Day (whole school closed)
  • Tuesday 4th of June - Teacher Only Day (whole school closed)
  • Thursday/Friday 13/14th - Secondary Sports Exchange at HCS