From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman, Principal | Posted: Friday August 12, 2016

The last few weeks has been full of ‘collaborative experiences’ in a variety of activities that play an important part of our school life. We have had ski trips for Year 7 and 8 students which gave them the opportunity to experience a new challenge together and it was great to see them helping each other and teaching each other new skills. This week has been ‘Spirit Week’ and there has been a number of events where each House is collaborating and working together to be the ‘Best House’ at Geraldine High School and with the Olympics underway there have been a number of shared activities and topics in class based on the Rio Olympics. This includes the opportunity to view live events at interval and lunchtime in our Library, so we can all share the excitement and passion we have for our New Zealanders competing in Rio.

Conference Day

Our upcoming Year 10 to 12 Conference Day on Monday 22nd August is another example of collaboration between the teacher, student and parents. This is a must for all parents and their child to attend as it gives an opportunity to discuss progress, future careers and courses for next year, as well as gaining more understanding of NCEA [vital for Year 10 parents] and Careers/Pathways information so that informed decisions can be made around your son or daughter’s future. Please ensure that you have booked an appointment with your child’s Vertical Form Teacher through this link  Please make your booking on-line using the School Interviews web site. You will need to ensure you know your child's Vertical Form Teacher.

Mark Osborne - Modern Learning Environment/Practice and Leadership

This week we have been fortunate to have Mr Mark Osborne down from Auckland to work with Woodbury Primary School, Carew Peel Forest School and ourselves to discuss a number of areas that our schools are putting a focus on to ensure our students are getting the best possible ‘teaching and learning’ possible. It was an insightful two days where some of our staff worked with Mr Osborne on leadership, our buildings and how these can be modernised, school structures and modern learning practices and student agency. Mr Osborne’s knowledge and experience in working with staff in a number of NZ schools gave us a number of insights for our future years.

Here is a link to Mr Osborne and his work -

School Value - ‘Responsibility’ for Term 3

Our Value for this term is Responsibility and at our assembly last week Annabel Mulligan, our Deputy Head Girl, spoke to the school about this. Each year one of our Head Boy and Girl, and Deputy Head Girl and Boy speak on the value for each term. Later in this newsletter is Annabel’s speech on Responsibility.

Sporting Finals

At this stage of the year, all our winter sports teams are getting to the end of their competitions. We have had a successful winter season in all of our codes with many of the teams reaching the semi-final stages. We wish all these teams the very best in the last few weeks of their competitions and it is wonderful to see the increase in the numbers of teams making semi-finals in these South Canterbury competitions. Look on our school Facebook page to see when and where these matches are over the coming weeks,

Chris Hipkins

Last week I invited Mr Chris Hipkins to visit our school and talk about the areas of education that are important to us particularly around property, staff recruitment and what is happening in our classrooms around the teaching and learning. Mr Hipkins is the Labour Spokesperson on Education and it was interesting to hear his view on what the main foci in Education currently are and where he sees the future of school going. It is always a pleasure to be able to show visitors the wonderful school that we have and our students are fantastic in their interactions with these people.

Meeting Teacher Graduates in Christchurch

We have a few staff who are intending to retire in the next few years which is an aspect that occurs in every school at various times. It is always challenging as we need to retain the knowledge, experiences and culture that long serving staff have as they leave and ensure that as much as possible can be transferred to our new staff as they join our staff community. The day that I had in Christchurch to meet upcoming graduates of the secondary teaching programme was valuable to talk to many of these students and we have had a number of visits from graduates since to our school. In speaking with a number of these graduates it became quickly apparent that Geraldine High School has a very good reputation and is sought after as a wonderful school to begin their teaching careers.

This weekend we have a special event for our senior students with the 2016 School Ball which is being held in our School Hall. My thanks to Ms Mel Pile, Ms Eliza Williams, Ms Quinn and the Ball Committee for the work that has been done to ensure a memorable School Ball on Saturday night. Everyone is welcome to come and see the arrivals and announcement of our students as they walk into the Hall.

Nga mihi nui