By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Friday February 10, 2017
It is always wonderful to start a new academic year – being greeted by refreshed, eager students who have returned to school with renewed aspirations and new resolutions about what might be achieved in this new school year. As a staff, we will be encouraging all students to look forward to what is possible for them in the academic, cultural, sporting and social areas and then, with your help as parents, encouraging them to aim as high as possible and to take full advantage of the opportunities that are available at Geraldine High School.
Our school ‘Powhiri’ last Friday was a wonderful occasion as our 7 new staff and more than 100 new students were welcomed into the school. A Powhiri is a welcome on to a place, in our case, our High School, where the hosts (tangata whenua) wish to formally greet a group of visitors (manuhiri) which were our Year 7 students, 3 new International students and new staff. To have a number of the Principals from the Primary Schools in our community present, along with our Board of Trustees shows what a committed community we have.
We continue to work on the relationship and collaboration with parents and caregivers so that the school’s core business is teaching and learning. We all appreciate the things that our parents can do such as ensuring that your son or daughter is getting to school on time, that absences are explained, that they have food and water for the day, and that their uniform is clean and correct. Thank you for your efforts in these areas.
Safe Learning Environment
All students who attend Geraldine High School have the right to learn in a safe environment and this has been spoken about in a number of forums at school from vertical form classes through to assemblies. From the time our students get on a school bus or walk through our school gates, they have a right to be treated respectfully and be safe which will continue to be the bottom line from the staff at school. We have had a few incidents of this not being the case and ask that you let your son or daughter know that should they feel that they are being treated in a way that is not acceptable by others, that they contact the appropriate Dean for their level.
We have had a large number of new enrolments for the start of this year. In Year 7 we have 93 new students who come from 14 schools. We have created 4 Year 7 classes which will assist in giving these students the best possible start at Geraldine High School.
In the Year 8 to 13 year groups we have had 31 new enrolments which is a big increase on what we have had in the past and is a positive indicator of the great work that occurs in our school.
School Theme for the Year - Resilience
The theme for this year is ‘Resilience’.
Resiliency is something we all need and is something that we develop over time. School and learning is threaded with resiliency as we won’t learn and gain knowledge without struggles, self doubt and both success and failure. School is a replication of life in many ways and as our students finish school and go on to work, travel or further study, these events will still occur and resiliency will be so important.
Over the holidays we have had a large shed built specifically for Outdoor Education equipment. This department is continuing to grow, going from from strength to strength. This has meant more students are selecting the course and therefore there was a need to upgrade and further resource the gear required in this area.
The completely renovation of the 2 Science labs has been underway since early December last year and we expect to have these completed by the end of Term 2. It has meant that we have a large area in the centre of the school fenced off and our students have adapted very quickly to the changes to accommodate this.
We have also had a change in our Canteen service with our previous operator deciding to finish and so we currently have the canteen running with a healthy but small menu for the next few weeks before a new operator can start. My thanks to Mrs Gaynor Patterson and Mrs Cathy Patterson for filling this gap in the interim.
We were very pleased with the NCEA results from last year and we continue to focus on the students gaining the best possible achievement levels in courses that are meaningful and valuable for the future direction and pathways they are looking at beyond school. My thanks to the committed efforts of all our teachers for the work that was done last year.
As a school we need to keep the students academic progress and achievement as a high priority and we will continue to have high expectations that all students are focussed, well prepared and positively engaged in their learning pathways for 2017. Your support in enabling this to happen at home will always be appreciated as well as your involvement in your son or daughter’s education.
We hope that your son or daughter has had a positive start to this year and look forward to your support throughout this year.