In response to Fridays horrific and sad events the MOE has issued the following SUPPORT INFORMATION.
Follow up – Support Information from Auckland Director of Education
Kia ora koutou,
Recent events in Christchurch have increased parents’ concerns for the safety of their children and whanau, and Police are working directly with a number of schools. Please contact Police directly on 0800 115 019 if you have security-related questions.
Netsafe has received a number of reports of online content relating to the attacks in Christchurch. Footage of the attacks has been deemed objectionable under New Zealand law which means that possessing or distributing the footage is an offence. Anyone who finds footage of the attacks online should report it to Netsafe at netsafe.org.nz/report but they should not keep copies or share it. Netsafe encourages schools to speak with students about what to do if they come across the footage and about the fact that sharing the footage with this classification is against the law.
The footage of the Christchurch attacks is disturbing and will be harmful for people to see. If students have viewed the video and are struggling with what they have seen it’s likely they will require additional support. Agencies which can provide free support include Youthline, Need to Talk and Kidsline
While the content is online there is some risk that children or young people may come across it. Netsafe encourages schools and parents to proactively discuss with young people what they should do if they come across distressing content online. Further information is available at netsafe.org.nz/upsetting-content
If parents or schools have questions relating to this incident or other distressing online content they can contact Netsafe for free and confidential advice at netsafe.org.nz or call 0508 NETSAFE.
We would like to remind you to please contact our Traumatic Incident team at any time if you need advice or guidance around supporting your school community, remembering that as well as those directly impacted by this event, those who have experienced trauma in the past can experience increased distress after an event like this.
The contact number for the Traumatic Incidents service is 0800 848 326.
Higher levels of stress and anxiety may have led to some children thinking that school is not a safe place at the moment.
If there are children not attending school or early learning this week, we recommend that you contact the parents and provide reassurance that schools and early learning services are safe places. Contact us on 0800 848 326 if you need further support with this.
The Ministry of Health have created advice specific to this incident which is being translated into a number of languages. This can be accessed at
I have copied below some advice that we have been provided regarding cultural awareness for working with Muslim communities that you may find helpful.
Cultural Awareness for working with Muslim communities
Islam is the name of the religion and Muslims are the followers of this religion.
The body is buried as soon as possible after death, usually within 24 hours, to free the soul from the body. Death is considered as one of the most important stages in a person’s journey to God therefore the process of burial is hastened for this important meeting.
Preparing the body before Burial
The body is bathed and covered in white cotton. Women are prepared women for funeral and men prepared by men. Muslim funerals generally do not have a viewing but after the body is prepared, close family members say their good byes and recite the Quran before it is taken for burial. The body is turned to face towards Mecca, the holy centre of Islam.
What happens during funeral Service
A Muslim funeral generally takes place in a mosque or a family member’s home, People sitting next to the body read from the Qu’ran. An Imam (an Islamic leader) presides over the service. The body only stays in the house after the prep for a few minutes for families to say their good byes and it is done by close family members only. The body is then carried to the graveyard by men. A procession of friends and relatives follow. In the Islamic tradition, only men are allowed to attend the burial, although some Muslim communities also allow women to be present.
What happens at the graveyard
Following the completion of the funeral prayers, the congregation will line up in rows and pass the coffin from shoulder to shoulder towards the gravesite for burial. Non-Muslim mourners should keep at a respectful distance to allow the coffin to be carried. No discussion takes place at the time of burial, but all guests pray for the soul of the departed. (Please note: how the body is carried to the burial ground is different in different cultures, not everyone uses a coffin)
What happens after a Muslim funeral?
After the body is buried, all guests go to the house of the family of the deceased. During this time, the family members congregate to pray for the deceased and console family members. Usually the community provides food for the bereaved for the first three days after the funeral. Under Islamic funeral customs, the mourning period for a relative is typically 3 days. In some cultures the mourning occurs for 40 days but can often vary depending on the family.
Muslim funeral etiquette for non-Muslims
Both men and women are expected to dress modestly. Also be aware that shoes must be removed to enter the prayer hall of a mosque. Therefore you may want to wear presentable socks, tights or stockings. If arriving late, guests should simply join in. Guests should not take photos or use recording devices unless permission is given by family members. White is the Islamic colour of mourning but this is not a strict requirement. Guests of the same sex should greet each other with a handshake and hug.
Dealing with Muslim Community affected during a crisis
Welcoming back a child or young person into the school community
Try and use the greeting in the language of the person where possible. As-salāmu ʿalaykum is a greeting in Arabic that means “Peace be upon you” or use Salaam which is commonly used by all. You will treat the child or young person like any other child affected by this kind of trauma. Give them space and time to talk about it at their own time. They might feel more comfortable talking about it with someone from their own community where possible. It is also important that families are consulted before any discussion takes place.
Congratulations to the following students who were appointed 2019 Prefects.
Senior Prefect: D’Cody Mortensen
Head Boy: Keenan Rush
Head Girl: Gabrielle Togiatama
Tevita Ofa, Thor Manase, Nathanael Tu’uta, Fotu Fisi’i’ahi, Seruwaia Matairavula, Wharekauri Ormsby, Unaloto Puamau, Soana Aholelei, Jone Seniceva
Gabrielle Togiatama, Keenan Rush and D’Cody Mortensen.
ARTICLE FROM THE DISTRICTS POST – TUESDAY, 5TH MARCH 2019
Wesley College looking ahead
By Yana O’Gorman firstname.lastname@example.org
Wesley College is renowned for their efforts on the sportsfield, but now, they’re also coming up the ranks in education achievement and it is something this year’s head students are extremely proud of.
Senior prefect D’Cody Mortensen, head boy Keenan Rush and head girl Gabrielle Togiatama, all aged 17, are enjoying their roles, just five weeks in.
“We didn’t find out our roles until they announced it at school. It was a big surprise,” said Keenan.
Keenan who loves his sports and leads in those areas said, “We get to do big things with this school.”
D’Cody added that Wesley College has great heritage and history.
“Our school is the oldest in New Zealand. It’s a cool record to hold, no-one beats us at that. The school has changed over time. We are known for our rugby success, but our NCEA achievement is going up too,” he said.
Keenan said, “We’ve all played a part academically. Last year, we had the highest level 2 pass rate which is quite an achievement.”
Head girl Gabrielle said she would love to see more than the academics. “We want to strive for excellence, but also see more bonding between the year groups.”
The school has around 380 students, many of whom are boarders.
As well as having goals for the school, the head leaders have goals for their futures. Keenan hopes to pursue rugby, but also has university on the cards. “The main reason I came here was for rugby, but if it’s going good, then I’ll pursue it. Uni is my second option, but I’d like to get into physiotherapy. It’s my back up plan in tune with sports.”
D’Cody said he is also interested in pursuing sport, but will have a fall back plan with university, or start an apprenticeship.
For Gabrielle, she is passionate about music and would follow that pathway, or study Communications.
The three students are passionate about their school and the highlights it has brought them.
Gabrielle said a highlight has been the love she has learnt. “Without it sounding cliche,” she said, “I’ve learnt to be more patient and loving to others and myself.”
Keenan said rugby has been a highlight. From travelling 12 hours to Wellington, to winning the Chiefs Cup against Rotorua Boys High School for the first time, and being the curtain raiser for the Chiefs.
D’Cody said, “There’s something about this school where we just have great camaraderie. The brotherhood and sisterhood is strong. We’re family.” He said the faith aspect is another thing he values about the school. “We’re one of the few schools that is still centred around God. We have chapel. It gives us great faith and great school pride, which means even though we’re small, we’re capable of competing on a higher level.”
All three leaders are excited to work together in 2019, alongside the wider student leadership, and look forward to seeing Wesley College students excel in all areas of their education.
“I’d like people to remember us as head leaders. That we would be a change for the good,” D’Cody said.
School profile number: 0104
Nominations are invited for the election of five (5) parent representatives to the board of trustees.
NOMINATION FORM – http://wesley.school.nz/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Standard-Election-Nomination-Form-1.pdf
The nomination form is to enable you to put your name forward as a candidate in the forthcoming board of trustees election, or to nominate someone else as a candidate.
Complete the nomination form, including the necessary signatures. Complete the candidate’s contact details including address and telephone/s (home and mobile), post or hand deliver to the returning officer at the
address shown below.
Nominations close at 12 noon Friday, 24 May 2019.
As a candidate you are invited to submit a brief (up to 400 words) statement.
NOTE: The returning officer may omit or abridge any part of the candidate’s statement where it exceeds 400 words, or is offensive or defamatory.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure the signed candidate’s statement is received by the returning
officer. If the statement is not received by 12 noon Friday, 24 May 2019 your statement can not be sent to voters with the voting papers.
A copy of the voting roll is available for inspection at the school office during normal school hours.
Anyone, other than those ineligible under S103 and 103A of the Education Act 1989, may stand for election for the board of trustees; however, if you are not on the voting roll, you must be nominated by a person who is.
A candidate may appoint a scrutineer to observe the vote count. Pease advise the returning officer of the
Scrutineer’s name and contact details in writing before the Election Day.
VOTING AND RESULTS OF THE ELECTION
If there are more nominations than vacancies for parent representatives, eligible voters will be posted a
voting paper and candidates’ statements (where provided) on or before Wednesday, 29 May 2019.
The poll closes at 12 noon Friday, 7 June 2019. The highest polling candidates will be elected to the board of trustees. The results will be made available at the school and also published in a local newspaper.
Nomination forms are available in Te Reo Māori. Please contact the returning officer if these are required.
Post or hand deliver to Mrs Janet Wheatley, Returning Officer: Postal: Wesley College, PO Box 58,
Pukekohe 2340 or Delivery: Wesley College, State Highway 22, Paerata.
Mrs Janet Wheatley
(09) 2327855 or (027) 2808833
Congratulations goes to:
Sia Raikoti, Year 11 for making it into the U19’s NZ National Fijian Netball Team
Camryn Gabriel, Year 10 for making it into the U16’s Niuean Tag National Team
Well done!! 😀