From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Friday November 25, 2016

Tena Koutou Katoa,

Our thoughts go out to all those who have been affected by the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in the North Canterbury, Marlborough and Wellington regions. It has had effects in schools particularly with NCEA external exams. We have sent cards to these schools offering our support in any way we can including food which we have contributed to the Geraldine Resource Centre as our wider community has sent resources to the Kaikoura area.

To those families in our community who have friends and relatives in these areas, we are also here to support in any way through the resources we have available at school, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Businesses visit our School

This week we hosted the ‘Go Geraldine Business at 6’ a group made up of many of the local businesses who get together regularly to hear what is happening in the host business. It also provides an opportunity to work together as we look to both support local businesses as well as grow the visitors opportunities in Geraldine. We had a good turnout given the hot conditions on Tuesday evening and used this opportunity to have a tour of the facilities we have.  We heard from students in Year 10 and our Head Students for next year, and discussed how we can connect more with each other.

We have had some feedback already from this evening that will strengthen our contacts with local businesses in a range of ways in the future. This can only be a huge benefit for the students at Geraldine High School. My thanks to Ms Adele Quinn for organising our Year 10 students to do the tour, to the Year 10 students - Leah Webb, Koan Brown, Karma Gyeltshen, Rosie Shaw, Ethan Hornsby, Amelia Houston, Bella Kircher, Brenna Coster, Angel Danford, Connor Leov, Julia Burnett, Cameron Prattley and Jemma Hayes.  Thanks also to Mrs Gaynor Patterson, Mrs Barb Gregan and Mrs Bev Gregan who put on amazing food for our guests, and to the support of a number of both our staff and Board of Trustees who made the evening a success.

Finding Voices

On Wednesday I attended an amazing show from the communities Finding Voices group which includes our students Rory Abraham, Henry King, Kayla Kruishoop and Nicole Taroy. It was held at the Geraldine Academy and under the guidance and direction of Ms Jill Roberts, who is our languages teacher at school. Our students were amazing with their lines, singing and dancing, particularly Rory, who had a lead role. Further details on this are in an article later in this newsletter.

Year 10 Challenge Presentation

Last Friday was the Year 10 Challenge Presentation evening and yet another fantastic opportunity to see the successes of our students in the challenges that they have had throughout the year. It was wonderful to see so many parents and families present as well as the students leading much of the evening. The Guest Speaker was our Year 12 student Kate Brown who spoke about the challenges, efforts and commitments that she has faced in her Motocross career so far. See her speech later in this newsletter.

My thanks to the staff involved in this programme, Mrs Shirley Lindroos, Mr Drew Brown, Mr Hayden Titchener, Mrs Yvonne Smith, Mr Tony Doy and Mr Haden Powell who put a great deal of time and effort to make this programme so successful.

Mrs Jo Nicolson Memorial

Last Thursday after school, we had a gathering of family, staff and close friends of Mrs Jo Nicolson, our Deputy Principal who passed away at the end of last year. It was a special time to reflect on the amazing person she was and we now have a place to remember her by with a beautiful seat made by Bob Metcalf and Gavin Prentice and a garden full of Rhododendrons that have been donated by Jo’s family, Geraldine Lions, GHS Student Council, GHS PTA, Geraldine Primary School and Woodbury Rhododendrons. This seat is situated at the front of the school by the path that many of our students enter our school through each day and I am sure that this will be well used in our summer months. My thanks to Mr Grant Rogers who worked with the Nicolson family to ensure we have this special place in remembrance of Jo and to acknowledge the amazing person that she was for both our school and the wider community.

CEM testing and Year 8 to 9 transition day

This week has been a busy one for our Year 8 students and for those who will be joining us next year in Year 9 as we had both a transition day on Tuesday and CEM testing  on the Wednesday. This is an important part of the transition from a homeroom structure to the High School environment where students have  many different teachers. It is also important that our students feel comfortable with this and understand the expectations of the senior school. My thanks to all the staff involved in this and to Mr Mark McKenzie in particular for his coordination of this day.

The CEM testing is important for us to gauge the curriculum levels that the new students join us  at in Maths, English and Logic/Reasoning as well as to compare these results for our current students to the same tests when they were in Year 6. This is another benchmark check on the academic progress that has been made over the 2 years in our Homeroom environment.

Remaining weeks

We have only 2 weeks remaining for the school year and one more newsletter. I would like to encourage our parents to ensure that these last few weeks for your son and/or daughter is a positive one with continued focus on their learning and involvement in school life. This includes the school Activities days which are wonderful opportunities to experience something new, challenge themselves, and interact and collaborate with students they may not know from other year groups.

I extend an invitation to our Junior Prize Giving on Friday 9th December as a finish to our school year.

Nga mihi nui