Message from the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Friday October 14, 2016

Tena Koutou Katoa,

I hope that everyone has had a good break and that all of our students are back for the last term of 2016 ready to ensure that the year's hard work and effort rewards each student with success whether it be in representative honours in a sports team, reaching the reading age for their year group, being able to contribute to our community with the Year 10 Challenge Service Day or gain an award in our Assemblies.

The theme for the year is ‘Aspire’ and for this term it is the value ‘Achievement’ and both of these are linked when setting the challenges that you have set yourself for 2016. When you aspire for something and in doing that, give your best to it through hard work and diligence, then the outcome will always be an achievement - no matter how big or small - you have been able to work to a plan and achieve those goals that you set at the start of this year.

Please look at the article later in the newsletter about the fantastic sporting achievements of the students in representative teams over the holiday break.

In our Assembly next week, we will recognise the academic and cultural achievements of students which has been considerable over the last few months.

Staff Achievements

Over the break we have had a number of staff who have also committed to a range of events.

Our PE staff of Mr Kieran Blogg, Ms Eve Meyer and Mr Haden Powell have been involved in coaching and managing three of our South Canterbury Rugby Teams. Mr Powell was one of the Coaches for the South Canterbury U14 Rugby Team, Ms Meyer was Manager of the Girls Hanan Shield team and Mr Blogg was Head Coach of the South Canterbury U16 Rugby Team. In my time in education, I have not seen this number of staff involved to this level of coaching in a sport, which says a great deal about the commitment and expertise our staff have.

Miss Bronwyn Clarke and Mrs Andy Morrison were part of 2 Geraldine teams who were part of the Women’s Spring Challenge held in Golden Bay in the first weekend of the holidays. This involved rafting, mountain-biking and running while navigating to checkpoints along a course for 3, 6 or 9 hours.

It is wonderful to see our staff involved in these things as it is great role modelling for our students to see the involvement that our staff have that also is part of the aspiring and achievement that we talk about so often with our students. Well done to all these staff in meeting these challenges.

Academic Success at NCEA Level

I want to acknowledge the hard working attitude of a number of our senior students who have gained either Merit or Excellence Endorsements at the end of Term 3. These students have aspired to have success in their learning and the reality is that the effort applied is what gains these awards.

Congratulations to the following students who have gained NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3 Excellence Endorsement already and we look forward to seeing many more Excellence Endorsement both overall and for specific subjects.

Level 1 NCEA Excellence Endorsement - Maisie Fisher, Monique Gilbert-Keen and Felix Finlayson-Hood

Level 2 NCEA Excellence Endorsement - Emma Horn, James Burnett and Daeniel Quiambao

Level 3 NCEA Excellence Endorsement - Olivia Hall

To these students - the next challenge is to ensure that their external exams reflect the hard work done throughout the year and that they maintain this Excellence level in these standards also.

ERO visit

Next week we have ERO [Education Review Office] with us for the week as they look at what we are doing and how we are meeting the needs of all our students, especially in regards to teaching and learning.

Some of our students will be spoken to for their views on how Geraldine High School is going for them and whether they feel that they are getting the best learning and support.

We will start the week with a Powhiri on Monday afternoon for ERO with the whole school welcoming them to Geraldine High School. This is an opportunity to show the hard work that has been invested by our Te Reo teacher, Ms Jordyn Te Rahui Hobbs, Ms Eliza Williams and Mrs Rachael Linklater.  They have offered Te Reo and Kapa Haka opportunities for our students this year and they will be an important part of this welcome.

Property Upgrades

We continue to make improvements to our school environment and facilities over each holiday break and I would like to acknowledge the commitment and hard work of our Caretaker and Assistant Caretaker, Mr Mike and Mrs Cynthia Stephens to ensure that these improvements happen smoothly as well as ensuring our classrooms and grounds are in the top condition for the start of each term.

We have had a new roof put on the Gym as well as a new solar heat system installed to heat our swimming pool. The pool will be painted in the early part of Term 4 and new heat and cooling systems have been installed into our Year 7 Homeroom classes.

At the end of last term, we received pleasing news that the Southern Trust has approved an application made to have a larger Outdoor Education building to house the growing resources we have for these courses. We are also looking to start the Science Lab upgrades in the coming weeks.

You may have noticed at the end of last term, 2 new shade sails were installed outside the Year 7 and 8 classrooms. Thank you to the PTA who have paid for this. They will be welcome assets this term as we start to have those hot summer days.

New Staff for 2017

We are pleased to welcome four new teachers who will join our staff at the start of next year. These following people have won positions after a number of interviews were held in the last week of Term 3.

We welcome Mr Daniel Waldie who will join the English Department from Westland High School.  Daniel also has a passion for the Outdoors. Mr Waldie will take Mr Kesh Sabey’s position.

Mrs Sangeeta Chaudhari, currently teaching at Sacred Heart Girls’ College in New Plymouth has been hired for the Science/Maths position. She has been working as a Dean for International Students at Sacred Heart College and enjoys working with ESOL students as well. Mrs Chaudhari will take Mr Tony Doy’s position.

Due to roll growth and Year 7 Teacher, Mrs Desiree McCaskill leaving, we have appointed two Homeroom teachers. We have Mr Stuart Wilcox joining us from Waihi School.  He will bring a wealth of experience from working in the UK as well as a passion for many sports. And a teacher familiar to us already, Ms Amy Ross, will continue with us for the year, as we have a 4th Homeroom class in 2017.

Later this term we will do profiles of these staff so that students and parents are informed of their backgrounds and experiences in teaching.

Nga mihi nui