The message to prospective students attending St. John’s College’s open day at the weekend was that the school is a special character and focuses on producing good men.
More than 200 intermediate age students and their whanau gathered at the school on Sunday for a tour and introduction by principal Rob Ferreira.
Mr Ferreira said St. John’s College is a “hidden jewel” that has evolved through the vision of the Marist Fathers and provides a first-class education with a point of difference as the only Catholic Boys’ school in Hawke’s Bay.
“We provide a holistic educational programme with an emphasis on excellence, a wide range of sporting opportunities, activities to celebrate our cultural heritage and a great house system which fosters spirit and competition.”
He said they hope to produce a “St. John’s man” who is guided by gospel values.
“Academic results are important, and we punch well above our weight, but the world is changing so it’s our aim to produce a well-rounded person with a simple goal to produce loyal and loving husbands and caring and loving children who respect their parents, and we unashamedly strive for that.”
He said the schools’ teachers understand the psyche of young adolescent males and cater to their changing needs. The small class sizes also mean each student has one on one contact and ample support.
“I get to know every year 9 by the end of the year and as each cohort comes through, I know the students by name and the teachers know them by name.”
He encouraged those who would be attending the school next year to become involved. “Become involved because there’s so much to learn if you’re willing.”
Students were taken on a tour of the school and shown the different opportunities available for them, including in the various subjects, sporting codes and institutes.
They were also able to ask questions and speak to students about their experience at the school.
Deputy Head Boy James Bar, and Year 9 student Mikko Cappio spoke of their experiences at the school – one in their final term, and the other at the very beginning of his five-year journey.
James Barr said attending SJC made him feel part of a “brotherhood”.
“What makes me want to come to school every day is how I am treated as I walk in the gates, how I feel coming to school, how I am respected and how I am given all the opportunities to succeed. Everything else is just a bonus.”
While he particularly enjoys how the Catholic faith is integrated into their everyday actions, he says the school welcomes anyone regardless of what they believe.
“To follow the footsteps of Jesus simply means to be a good person, a good man, a good son and a good father and husband – something I hope to be when the time comes.
“Belief is not forced upon you and opposing thoughts are in fact encouraged.”
Parent Dion Ale, who has one son enrolled at the school, said everything from the facilities to the teachers went above and beyond his expectations.
He said Covid-19 highlighted the high level of support the school provides.
“The staff here as well as Mr Ferreira are very approachable. They are down to earth people, and I can assure you the environment here at St. John’s is very safe and this is the reason why I am bringing my other son here next year.”
Anyone who wishes to find out more, and enrol their son is encouraged to contact St John’s College on 06 878 6853.