Acting as a ‘big sister’ to younger students and providing a shoulder to lean on in times of need has garnered recognition for a student at Sacred Heart College, Napier.
Lydia Healey, Year 13, won the college’s ‘Upstander’ competition, which asked students to write the name of someone they thought was an upstander and post their votes in the guidance counsellor’s office.
Lydia says she was shocked to find out she had won and believes it was the Year 9 students in her tutor class who nominated her.
‘We always tell them they can come to us if they need but they usually get too scared, so I think it’s quite cool they see me that way,’ Lydia said. ‘It’s good to know that I can make a positive difference in some way.’
The Upstander competition was part of Wellness Week in June, which had a focus of anti-bullying and being someone who stands up for those bullied, stops bullying or gets help for victims of bullying.
The initiative has been driven by Guidance Counsellor Tracey Pinfold and Deputy Principal, Pastoral, Rachel Read.
Ms Read says they received more than 100 entries from students for their peers who had been supportive and caring to others and who demonstrated the college’s HEART values – Hope, Equity, Aroha, Respect and Tenacity.
The school has adopted Sir Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā model, and each term focuses on one of the key tenants of that philosophy: taha tinana (physical wellbeing); taha hinengaro (mental wellbeing); taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing); taha whānau (family wellbeing).
Ms Read says the students’ wellness is closely connected to how well they succeed at school. ‘It is absolutely vital and at the centre of everything we do.’
Principal Maria Neville-Foster said, ‘At Sacred Heart College we teach our girls the importance of caring for the vulnerable and those around us being marginalised.
‘Our Wellness Week allows us to focus on what this looks like every day and gives students a chance to thank those who make a difference in their lives.’