Mahurangi College Newsletter Issue 5 2022

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Here at Mahurangi College, our approach to student wellbeing centres on connections, service and participation. For students (and for that matter for adults too) wellbeing is often more of a somebody than a something. More now than ever students need to be connecting with one another friends, whānau and family. Over the last few years we’ve seen more people disengaging from connections, which we all know is unhealthy. Getting involved in things and being around other people is just so important. It has been awesome to see then, of late, all manner of students outside in their environment connecting and participating; kayaking around the Mahurangi, playing sport, planting trees, taking part in the Tough Guy and Gal Challenge, climbing high ropes at Woodhill and raising funds by washing cars - all involving fresh air, mud and plenty of laughs with friends. In addition, over 70 students volunteered to help at the Warkworth Festival of Lights evenings, a great example of our growing service culture. One of the things we work hard on with staff and students is the importance of greetings: saying good morning, making eye contact, smiling and asking ‘how are you?’. It creates such a warm and inclusive culture. It was encouraging to hear visitors to our recent Open Day comment on how engaging our students were and how pleasant it was to meet such friendly and confident young adults.

There is a very strong correlation between the introduction of social media apps (particularly Instagram, and of late TikTok) with declining teenage mental health, particularly among girls. It doesn’t require rocket science to understand the damage to self-esteem and healthy body image caused by unrealistic (and augmented) depictions. If we’re serious as a community about teenage mental health, we need to be talking with our young people about these things. We need to be both educating our youngsters on how social media apps work (the algorithms, the filters, and the click-bait that manipulate how we think and feel) and we need to be doing everything we can to keep our teens active in their community. Other highlights over the past few weeks: Our senior students enjoyed their Ball, hosted at the Hilton Hotel, dancing the night away to a mixture of modern and classic songs. Winter sports teams are coming to the end of their seasons, with many in contention for finals. Our junior athletes are excitedly preparing for AIMS - we wish them well. The Art in August exhibition ran over the weekend of 5-7 August at the Warkworth Hotel. Art students were able to exhibit their work alongside local artists. After two years, our Dance Showcase will be held, as I write, this weekend. It’s a great feeling to have events running and see our students so busy and engaged. Tony Giles - PRINCIPAL

Kayaking Motuora and Moturekareka Islands Our Year 13 Outdoor Education classes recently embarked on a 3-day sea kayak trip in our local Mahurangi region, starting at the Puhoi River and heading to Motuora and Moturekareka Islands. Preparations in class began with learning about the foundation of sea kayaking, exploring equipment, weather, navigation, environmental impacts, risk management and trip planning, and then practising paddling and rescue skills at the Warkworth Cement Works prior to departing. Their first day paddling was a nice introduction to multi day kayaking with a short paddle to Schischka’s Campground, located in the Wenderholm Regional Park. The next morning, they launched on a crystal calm Puhoi River, and as they meandered out they were greeted with a 20 knot SW wind. Preparations paid off, and the wind they had anticipated blew them swiftly towards Motuora Island where they camped for the night.

As well as planning and preparation skills, the trip provided students with an opportunity to explore some incredible local environments that aren’t easily accessible yet, just on our back doorstep. If you haven’t been to Motuora Island, it is a must do in our local region. The Department of Conservation manages a brilliant conservation program on the island. We were even lucky enough to see Kiwi during our evening walk. Students did a beach clean up at each of their campsites as part of the Sustainable Coastlines Love your Coast initiative and as Kaitiakitanga of their local environment. The knowledge and skills gained, complemented with the stunning scenery, helped ignite a sense of adventure that will hopefully remain in the years to come. Our thanks to Auckland Sea Kayaks who provided expertise, guidance, quality equipment and safety management to support our trip. Mike Burton - Outdoor Education Teacher



Madeline Martin NCEA Level 1 Excellence NCEA Leve 2 Merit Performing Arts Prefect Assists with Junior Choir Member of Harmony Group Member of Netball Premier Reserves Volunteer for Festival of Lights

In just two days, students moved, positioned and planted 2,500 plants in the wetlands area opposite the river. This, and the planting at Scandretts (above), are part of our ongoing Living Classroom initiative.

Pictured with Russ Vernon Store Manager

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