From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Friday December 9, 2016

Tena Koutou Katoa,

The last few weeks have been hectic, particularly this week as our students are involved in and are experiencing a vast array of activities from paintball to the big treasure hunt. Our staff have been incredible in the commitment towards activities as these are often long days with lots of organising and managing of both the logistics and the health and safety/education outside the classroom forms.

As we get to this time of the year, I reflect on the staff who are leaving and the contributions that they have made to enhance the value and reputation of Geraldine High School. On that note, we farewell the following teachers who have given significant service to our school over many years and wish them best wishes for the future that lies ahead:

Mr Tony Doy - who has been in the Science and Mathematics departments and contributed to the school with many outdoor activities such as mountain biking and tramping, along with his passion on the environment and the Duke of Edinburgh programme.

Mrs Penny Burrows - who has been part of the Technology department and taught mainly ICT but also foods and ESOL. Mrs Burrows has been integral to the teaching of these students as they start at Geraldine High School, enhancing their knowledge and developing the skills to use our IT systems.

Mr Kesh Sabey - who has been in the English and Drama departments and been involved in many of our cultural events with his lighting expertise ,not just at school but in wider community events.

Mrs Desiree McCaskill - who has been a long serving member of the Year 7 & 8 area where she has given much to the various camps and flying days. Mrs McCaskill has been a strong advocate in the ongoing careers development and library areas of our school.

ERO Report

We have received the draft ERO report and this should be confirmed early in the new year. It is a very positive report considering the changes with a new strategic plan, staff, roles and foci over the last 3 years. As mentioned in other newsletters, we are on a journey of adapting and changing in the best interests of our student learners. This will take time so we look forward to the next ERO review where these practices will be fully embedded.

Meeting of Student Exec

Last week Ms Adele Quinn and I met with the new Student Exec along with this year's group to have the opportunity to share ideas, experiences, plan and get advice so that we continue the strong student leadership we have at school. It was a very positive day and we have a great group of leaders to lead our school for 2017. My thanks to Ms Adele Quinn for the work involved in growing the capacities and skills of our student leaders this year.

Leaver's Dinner

Last Wednesday evening was the Leaver's dinner held at the Landing Function room in Timaru for all the Yr 13 students, their parents and many staff. It is a great opportunity to say goodbye and give them our best wishes for their future beyond school. It is wonderful to see so many attend this and to hear about the special things that they will remember about Geraldine High School, as well what the next step for each of them will be. My thanks to Mr Michael Meadowcroft and Mrs Shirley Lindroos and the leavers committee who put on this great event.


On Thursday last week, it was a privilege to attend Miss Amy Ross, one of our Yr 7 Homeroom teachers, graduation at Sopheze on the Bay along with 12 others graduates. This is the recognition of 3 or more years of tertiary study alongside 2 years as a beginning teacher, to now becoming fully registered. From the school’s perspective, Ms Ross has brought both a range of new ideas as well as being receptive to advice and guidance. We are pleased to be able to offer her a fixed term position for next year as she continues in the Homeroom and Foods area. Congratulations Miss Ross!

Sports Coaches

Last Tuesday, we had the Sports Coaches for all our teams attend a ‘thank you evening’ for the time and effort they had put into coaching and managing a sports team over this year. It was very well attended and great to see so many of our older students involved in looking after a team. My thanks to Miss Kim Heron, our Sports Co-ordinator who has overseen and coordinated so many events and teams over the year. She is totally committed to this and is an active sportsperson herself to a high level in Netball and Basketball. We look forward to this aspect of our school continuing to grow as Miss Heron takes on this position in a full time capacity in 2017.

Developments over the Christmas Break

This upcoming holiday break we will be working on a number of building and infrastructure projects so that we continue to give the greatest facilities and ultimately learning opportunities to our students. These projects are:

  • Science Labs upgrade to a modern and adaptable learning environment which will continue through to the end of Term 1.

  • An Outdoor Education purpose built shed that will allow all equipment to be stored.

  • ICT infrastructure upgrades to continue the progress made in wifi, student log-ins and general speed of the internet, and

  • The shift of staff in Homeroom classrooms in Yr 7 and 8 to cater for the 4th Yr 7 class that we have for 2017.

Junior Prize Giving

We finished the year with our Year 7 - 10 Junior Prize Giving which highlights and acknowledges the hard work and efforts of these students. Congratulations to all those who received awards.

It is not an event where every student gets an award but all our students can still take satisfaction in the efforts and progress they have made, no matter how big or small, over the course of this year. Part of that growth is to set goals for themselves next year so that they can achieve to their full potential and then recognition will come. See article later in the newsletter.

To our Geraldine High School Community - have a restful holiday break with family and friends.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Nga mihi nui