From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman, Principal | Posted: Friday June 24, 2016

Tena Koutou Katoa,

We have had a large number of events occurring over the last couple of weeks since our last newsletter and it highlights the diverse range of opportunities available to our students. Education at our High School involves more than just what occurs in the classroom. It also covers the holistic development in a wide range of activities whether it be cultural such as our school production or Kapa Haka, sports competition such as our Quad Exchanges, or learning how to socialise with others at our School Social. This is what makes Geraldine High School such a wonderful place to be part of, and promotes the family atmosphere that exists across the school.

Open Day - this coming Tuesday 10.30am

There has been a great deal of planning happening this week for the upcoming Open Day for any families and students looking at coming to our school next year. This is an opportunity to see the wonderful facilities and teachers we have but also to have time speaking to both senior and junior students to get their view of our school. You may have heard our students advertising the Open Day on Port FM radio over this week (you can listen to these elsewhere in this newsletter). Not only was it good advertising but a wonderful opportunity for our Head Students and 6 of our Year 7 and 8 students to visit the recording studios and work with Radio Announcer Mr James Valentine in mixing these ads. I look forward to seeing many new and current families and having the chance to speak with you through the morning.

School Social

Last week was the school social for all our Year groups. My thanks to the school student social committee and Ms Adele Quinn for all the organising of this event. There was a large number of staff who gave up their time to support this whether it be taking and looking after students jackets etc, meeting and greeting those coming in, or wandering around the grounds and inside the Hall too. It was a wonderful night and there are not that many schools where students from Year 7 to 13 can be part of a social and get on so well in that environment. 

Quad Tournaments

The last few weeks has seen a number of our students involved in Quad Sports Exchanges with Darfield High School, Mt Hutt College and Ellesmere College. These are wonderful opportunities for our students to be part of this annual association with these schools and for the older students meeting up with acquaintances from the other schools, to show the sportsmanship and pride we have in our school and of course, to be as competitive as we can on the sports ground. Unfortunately, we have not won the exchanges this year but we have a strong and talented group of younger students who will be very competitive in the coming years. One such group is our U13 Rugby team who won against all the schools in the Year 7 & 8 Quad this week in Darfield. These students are fortunate to have Mr Kieran Blogg as their coach as he is one of the highest qualified coaches in Canterbury and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this group. 

Science Labs Upgrade

Over the last few weeks there has been architects and engineers on site looking at our two Science Labs by the Staffroom in preparation for the redevelopment and modernisation of these teaching spaces which will take place in Term 4. We are aiming for these to be finished at the beginning of next year as part of the building upgrades we have in place for the next 3 years. My thanks to Mr Mike Stephens, Mr Grant Rogers and Mrs Doreen Callow for their efforts in keeping this project on target for 2017 start.

Kapa Haka and Matariki

When the Matariki star cluster rises into the skies of New Zealand, it signals a month-long celebration across the country of the Māori New Year. The Māori New Year signals a time for connecting with, and giving thanks to, the land, sea and sky. It’s also a time for the community to farewell those departed and acknowledge the year gone by, and to turn to the future and celebrate new beginnings. In the week of the 4-10 July we have Maori Language week and there are a range of activities planned to acknowledge the bi-cultural community we live in. Our Maori students make up 12% of our school community and we are fortunate to have staff, Ms Jordyn Te Rahui Hobbs and Ms Eliza Williams and our Head Girl Shania Dudson-Cooney who have given opportunities for all our students and staff to learn more about Te Reo and be involved in Kapa Haka.

Geraldine Ski Academy

We had a very good turnout at a meeting last week for an opportunity to be involved in skiing and snowboarding at Mt Dobson this coming winter. I have attached the costings below and for anyone interested to contact the main office at school by phone (03) 693 0017 or email [email protected]

A few students and parents have asked about the ski ability needed and the simple answer is none. Any student from 10 to 18 years old can be involved regardless of ability and they do not have to attend every Sunday but for the greatest progression, it would help if they did. This is a great opportunity which we hope will grow over the coming years.

Recent Burglary

As you may have seen in the Timaru Herald, we have had a large amount of climbing gear taken from our Outdoor Education facilities which has been disappointing for our school. I am pleased to inform our community that most of this gear was left on our school grounds the next day and this is due to the amazing community we live in who have come forward with information for the Police which was then  followed up. Needless to say Mr Hayden Titchener, Mr Drew Brown and our Year 12 and 13 Outdoor Education students are very pleased to have the gear back.

Geraldine High School - a place to learn in a safe environment

It is with some disappointment that I write about the behaviour of a small number of our students in recent weeks and one which I will speak about at our assembly next week. We have had a few incidences of other students showing both a lack of respect for their peers and staff which as a school we will not tolerate. Every student who attends Geraldine High School as well as both teaching and administration staff are entitled to be in a safe and supportive environment. The actions of a few has not made this the case.

I would ask that you speak to your son or daughter about our value of ‘respect for each other’ and more importantly about not allowing the behaviour of these few to continue. It takes courage and the support of others to stand up to these unacceptable behaviours; but it is the ‘right’ thing to do and rest assured, we will take action with those who don’t follow the expectations and values of our school.

I look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming ‘Oliver!’ production or Open Day in the coming weeks.

Nga mihi