He mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa ma, nga hau e wha!
The role of school headmaster or principal has changed greatly in 100 years, and I am positive the many stories we will hear over the next two days, will attest to that. How we teach, what we teach and why we teach is also starkly different, but the common thread has always been that the experiences every child has at primary school, stays with them throughout their lives. These early years shape our journey. It is evident that Thames South School has done just this. A winning recipe for growing successful, confident, adaptive citizens of Aotearoa, New Zealand for over a century.
In today’s time, we are a world where new knowledge is created every day. The pace of change continues to quicken and the sustainability of our planet is coming into focus. The anticipation of living a happy and fulfilling life is a strong driving force for the youth of today. Our schools are no longer viewed as preparation rooms for the economic future alone. Instead we have shifted our thinking to consider school as life and learning as an integral part of that life. School is a place where children can step up to the challenges that are presented to them in their everyday lives with passion and innovation. School is a place where they are connected to their cultural identity and the treasures of the past are honoured. The graduate or end result of this new way are self-authoring, adaptive learners with the necessary skills and dispositions needed to succeed in what every path they choose.
Of course, great teachers are at the heart of this approach and so, at this point, I acknowledge all who have dedicate their lives to this demanding and rewarding profession. More especially, I would like to acknowledge those passionate teachers and staff, past and present, who have connected with Thames South School and shared their strengths and gifts with our students.
You are the grout in the ever-expanding mosaic that is our place.
And finally, I am proud to be the educational leader of this wonderful learning establishment and the place in which it stands. There is a very positive feeling from the moment you step into the school grounds. It is a vibrant school with strong links to the community. It is a school of strengths and passions. It is a school will heart and I look forward to the future will great anticipation.
Thank you to all who have made this event possible, we appreciate the work that has gone on in the back ground to make this possible. I wish you all a wonderful time of reflection, laughter and reconnections.
Kia tupu ai enei Kakano, hei rakau nui. May these tender seedlings, grow into mighty trees.
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