February 2024 Edition
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Newsletter Week 3 Term 1

Hastings Christian School

14 February 2024


Happy Valentine’s Day! On such a beautiful Hawke’s Bay summer's day, it’s hard to reconcile the fact that this time last year we went through the trauma of cyclone Gabrielle! While much good came out of this tragedy - like the way the community rallied around to help those impacted - it’s still natural to ask where was God on February 14 2023?

While Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us that, “The deep things belong to our God, but the things revealed belong to us, and to our children,” the prophet, Jeremiah (a.k.a. “The weeping prophet”) doesn’t leave any doubt about God‘s sovereign control of all things, when he says in Lamentations 3:38 “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?”

Even though Jeremiah’s lament is deep and dark, it is also sprinkled with flashes of light, hope and perspective. In chapter 3 Jeremiah looks up and finds relief from the perplexing problem of where God could be found when life doesn’t make sense. In verse 38 of chapter 3 he encourages himself, and us, with these words:

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

The irony of commemorating the impact of a cyclone on a day that is normally focused on celebrating relationships, won’t be lost on many of you. It's good to remind ourselves that, because of God’s sovereign control and His steadfast love, we have hope - even in the darkest of times.

Gavin Clark

Student Leaders

At last Thursday's Founder's Day assembly we introduced our student leaders for 2024. We look forward to supporting them and pray that they will grow in wisdom and lead with conviction.

Head Boy: Xander Fourie
Deputy: Bono Veenstra
Head Girl: Lucy Smith
Deputy: India Coates

Sports Prefects: Adriaan van der Spuy, Alice Pechey
Cultural Prefects: Stella Bull, Ella Aitken

House Leaders:
Riley Ward & Sara Joji (Mako)
Olivia Dunnett & Pearl Nicoll (Kahu)
Faith Thompson & Larissa Gardiner (Maunga)
Isaiah Speeden & Jazmine Hohneck (Toki)
Rose Bigwood & Amity Kruger (Harakeke)

New Teacher Profiles

Angela Gibbs HOD English
What a privilege it is to be teaching English at HCS! My name is Angela Gibbs and I am a Hawke's Bay girl, born and bred in Napier. I have been teaching for 20 years at a range of schools, the most exotic at an international school in Prague, Czech Republic. I am married to Marty and we have four children. Coming to HCS has been like entering a personal time portal, as I have reacquainted with friends, youth and camp leaders from my precious teenage years. It's like instant family. Thank-you for making me feel so welcome. I look forward to a great year ahead!

Karen Hamilton-Irvine A2
Dear HCS school students and families, Thank you for your warm welcome as I join in as A2's teacher in the junior primary area of our school. Having experienced the blessing of growing up in a Christian home and Christian school setting, it is with gratitude to the LORD that I keenly engage in this role. Having taught 2 - 14 year old's, I am in my favourite dwelling of a school: junior primary.

Considering myself to be mainly a North Islander Kiwi at heart, I am a tad bit Kwaussie (Kiwi Aussie) having enjoyed the past 3 years of teaching over in spectacular Sydney! Prior to this I taught for about 7 years in NZ. God takes us on many journeys however it is always is a great one returning to NZ where my folks reside. Having lived many places in NZ, including 8 years in Otago, I am surprised how hot Hastings gets, considering how southern it is! Am enjoying the friendly people here as well as the how lush and green scenery.

I look forward to meeting you and continuing to empower our students in their learning. “For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10. Thank you A2 for being such neat students as you begin your school year. I look forward to walking with you through your 2024 year of learning.
Blessings in Christ, from Miss Hamilton.

Y8 Camp

The year 8 students left for camp today. Please pray for safety and a great time for all the students, teachers and parent helpers.

Itinerant Music Lessons

Itinerant music lessons have started. All lesson days/times/locations are posted on the window of C1. Please encourage your child to practice and to bring their instrument on the day of their lesson.

Sickness and Absences

As you are no doubt aware, there are viruses, including Covid-19, presently circulating in the community. The latest Ministry of Education advice is for children to "stay at home if they appear unwell or if they develop any of these symptoms: new runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, they are off their food and drink or show signs of feeling miserable." That said, we would encourage children who don't appear to be unwell or develop any of these symptoms to continue attending school.

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!

Art Deco Dress Up & Picnic

On Friday we will have Art Deco Dress Up Day. Students are encouraged to wear Art Deco inspired clothing. We will be having house picnics at lunch time. Each house has been allocated an area to have lunch together outside - teachers will instruct students where to go. Students should bring their own lunch or they can purchase some pizza before school.

Pizza Lunches

Friday Pizza lunches have started up again. Order before school outside the staff room on Friday morning. $1.50 per piece, cheesy garlic, pepperoni or ham and cheese. Gluten Free $2.00 per slice.

The money raised from this weeks pizza orders will be donated by the Home and School Committee to the Vietnam team. This money will be used for a 'love offering' to purchase supplies and games for young children they will visit at a primary school in Hue, in the North Central Coast region of Vietnam.

Uniform Expectations

At the start of the year, we would like to remind you of some of our expectations regarding the school uniform. All students should be in regulation uniform each school day. Parents should provide a note if a student is wearing non-regulation items. Full details of the uniform for primary and secondary students can be found on the school app under the 'uniform' button. All items can be worn summer or winter.

Jewellery must not be worn at school except for the following.
  • Wristwatches
  • Medic alert bracelets
  • Plain small round ear studs, one stud per ear (size must fit through a holepunch). No sleepers or shapes.
  • Cultural or religious necklaces can be worn but must not be visible.
  • Hair ties should be black, brown or navy
  • Hair clips black/brown or gold/silver
  • No unnatural hair colours (eg blue,green) or excess products are acceptable
  • Hair should be clean and tidy at all times and kept out of the eyes
  • Hair should be tied back if longer than shoulder length
  • Year 9-13 girls may wear their hair down unless required to tie it up for class (technology, science etc)
  • Senior boys should be clean-shaven
If the teachers have a concern with a hairstyle, they will make contact with the parents and there is an expectation that the problem will be resolved.

Nail Polish
No nail polish is allowed either on the fingers or the toes. Students will be asked to remove this at the office.

Makeup & Tattoos
No makeup is to be worn to school. If a student is wearing makeup, they will be asked to remove this at the office. Tattoos must be covered up at all times.

Only badges given to students by the school or school endorsed outside providers may be worn appropriately on the school uniform by the award recipient.

Skirt Length
Y9-13 student's skirt length must be at or below the knee.

Year 1-8 Black lace up shoes, black sandals or black sneakers (no white or coloured soles/logos)
Year 9-13 Black lace ups, T-Bar/Mary Janes, Roman sandals
  • Black lace up shoes are required for all students who use the technology rooms.
  • No form of coloured sport shoes are permitted unless participating in PE.
  • If your child needs to wear orthopaedic sandals/shoes, this is allowable provided you have communicated the reasons for this with the school.
Socks & Stockings
Boys: Year 1-13 Navy school socks
Girls: Year 1- 8 Navy knee length socks or navy tights/opaques
Girls: Year 9-13 White ankle socks (purchased from uniform shop – no sports socks) or navy opaque stockings

School Hats
Year 1-8 The school uniform sunhat/cap is to be worn when outside during the two summer terms.

Dealing with 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 policy can be found in the 'links' section of the school app. Should you have a concern, please pick an appropriate time to talk to staff. Mornings are very busy, so if you are needing to speak with a teacher regarding a concern, please email them or make a time to see them afterschool.

Library Notices

Library Parent Help needed
Every week over 200 books are issued and returned in the HCS primary library - That is a lot of books that need to go back on the shelves! Mrs Gardiner, the school librarian is looking for parents to help shelve these books and to help process new books. If you are free 11-12 Wed/Thurs and keen to help, please email Claire (c.gardiner@hcs.school.nz) Thanks!

Scholastic Book Club
The Scholastic Bookclub Issue 1 catalogue is now available for purchase. Copies of the catalogue can be picked up from the school office or E-block foyer.If you want quality Christian literature instead, consider purchasing from Gracebooks - www.gracebooks.co.nz as an alternative - both Gracebooks and Scholastic give HCS a book credit based on percentage of sales from us.

HCS Library open for Business
Primary classes visit the HCS library weekly on Tuesday (E2, B2, B3, A3), Wednesday (A2, E1, B4) or Thursday (B1). Students can take up to 5 books out at a time, for up to 3 weeks. Please help your child return their library books by ensuring the books are in their bag on library day. If you have any HCS library books at home left over from last year, please send them to school.Let Mrs Gardiner (library@hcs.school.nz) know if you want particular books brought home.

Y13 Camp

The year 13 students had a fantastic time away recently visiting Taupo and Waitomo. More will be shared in the secondary newsletter which will be published later in the term.

School Counsellor

Our school counsellor Alice Robinson will continue her great work at HCS this year on a Tuesday and/or Wednesday afternoon. If you would like to contact her regarding any pastoral concerns for your child her email is a.robinson@hcs.school.nz


Remember to advise us by 9am if your child is going to be away for the day. You can do this via the school app or by leaving a message on the answering machine. We do need to account for all absent children so please let us know promptly to save the office having to follow these up. Students who are late should report to the office before going to class.


We love to see our students demonstrating the HCS Way...(photo below)

Caring for Others - Manaakitanga ki Nga Tangata

At HCS we endeavour to serve God by caring for others by:
• Looking to serve others, learning to put their needs before our own, and consider their thoughts and feelings
• Showing compassion and empathy

Teacher Only Day & Easter Dates

Advance notice: Friday 22nd of March will be a teacher only day. All staff will be travelling to Palmerston North for professional development. HCS will be closed this day.

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 16th Feb - Art Deco picnic & dress up
  • Friday 16th - E2 Navy Band trip
  • Monday 26th Feb - Secondary Athletics Day
  • Monday 26th Feb - HCS Board meeting
  • Tuesday 27th Feb - Road patrol training
  • Tuesday 5th Mar - Y9-13 Swimming
  • Friday 8th Mar - Y12/13 Tongariro Trip
  • Friday 15th Mar - Duke of Ed tramp
  • Wednesday 20th Mar - Secondary Interschool Athletics
  • Friday 22nd Mar - Teacher Only Day