From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman, Principal | Posted: Friday March 24, 2017

Tena Koutou

By the time that you read this you should have received through your Parent Portal your son or daughter’s attitude report. We are moving to an electronic reporting system and this is our first trial at this. The portal that you are receiving this through is a very important connection to our school as it has a great deal of information about your child and their progress from attendance to timetable to achievement and reports. This is becoming more and more common throughout the country as we link closer to the real world and the connectivity through IT becoming the norm. I encourage you to spend time looking at this portal and use it in conversations with your child as it assists greatly in the parent-student-school connections. This will be followed up with a Parent Teacher Student meeting in the last week of this term.

Country High Schools and Aoraki Secondary Schools Athletics

We have had our top athletes participate in the Country High Schools athletics held at MacKenzie College in Fairlie on Thursday 9th March. I was speaking to the Principal of MacKenzie College a few days later and he shared with me that our students were fantastic ambassadors for Geraldine High School. His words were respectful, positive and supportive of all the athletes competing.

Last week we had our athletes attend the Aoraki Secondary Schools Athletics in Timaru and we had all our students achieve well with some stand out performances from the following.

Stephen Harding U19 1st in 3000m and broke the school record and broke C Roberts’ 1993 record. Jaffar Nuru U16 1st in 100m, 200m and 400m. Some of our Learning Support students gained first placings: Kayla Kruishoop - 1st Discus, Shot and 100m. Jesse Johnston-Pinn 1st in Shot. Tyson Cunningham 1st in 100m.

My congratulations to all these students who dedicate time and effort in training for these events.

Netball Trials

The last few weeks has seen the trials for our Netball teams. It has been wonderful to see the large numbers of students wanting to play this sport and the trials showed lots of passion and drive from all the girls to give their very best to these. The other aspect of these days was the number of parents involved both as coaches, supporters and assisting in a variety of ways. We appreciate the staff who commit to helping in all our sports but also the parents who give up so much of their own time to support these opportunities our students have.

Year 9 Camps

This week we have had a 9G away at Peel Forest as part of the students EOTC programme. Mrs Doy says:

“9R camp was a great 3 days away with a class committed to working as a team. Their first day at the ropes course was fun with many of the students challenging themselves on the high ropes course. That night Mr Lovelock got the pizza oven going and we had some great pizzas before enjoying the dark night with a display of fire pois and a game of spotlight in the long damp grass.

The second day was hot and it seemed to take a long time to walk to Jump Rock but it was worth it as nearly everyone jumped off the rocks. In the afternoon we joined our rafts and rafted through the rapids down the river. Our last morning we split into 2 groups and went for a walk to the Acland Falls or competed with the orienteering course. Thanks to the parents and Year 13s who came out to help this camp, everyone had fun and enjoyed themselves.”

These opportunities give our students an appreciation of the values of teamwork and to challenge themselves often in very unfamiliar settings. The two camps that have been held already were very enjoyable and the students were very positive and helpful, according to the teacher’s feedback. My thanks to Mr Titchener and the Year 13 Outdoor Education students, and our teachers Ms Mel Pile, Mr Dan Waldie, Mrs Kerri Doy and Ms Eliza Williams who made these experiences possible for our students.

Student Led Assemblies

You will see this mentioned later in this newsletter but I want to publicly thank all our Year 13’s for the leadership they have shown in running our full school assemblies every Wednesday morning by themselves. They organise, present and run these assemblies extremely well and it is an opportunity to show leadership in a range of different ways. These are important traits that are required once they leave school. My thanks to Ms Adele Quinn who has developed these assemblies and guided the students with the initial assemblies.

Teacher Only Day

At our Teacher Only day last Friday we had workshops with Auckland company Interlead who specialise in staff appraisal and professional development in the context of an online programme. This gives our staff an opportunity to have clear focus on areas that they wish to develop as well as having reflective practice in relation to what their goals are for the year. All our staff found this very informative and it gave them opportunities to put what they have learnt into practice. My thanks to Miss Cate Knowles who has been developing this aspect in our school.

Staff Meeting

As educators we are always trying to reflect and act on our teaching practice and this week we asked 7 students to speak to all of us about what the teaching and learning is like from their perspective. We had students from Yr 8 to 13 who spoke to all our staff about what their day and week looks like, how they like to learn, advice for teachers and what they find difficult at school. These students presented very well and their feedback generated a great deal of discussion with staff and will have impact on our teaching practice. My thanks to Ms Adele Quinn for the structure and organisation of this and to our students involved - Tom Leov, Ben O’Kane, Phaedra Cunningham-Lucas, James Rowley, Karma Gyeltshen, Kasie Jopp and Shiloh Mould.

Acting Principal - Mr Grant Rogers

I will be away from school for the last 2 weeks of this term as I will be attending the Principals Conference in Wellington as well as meeting the Secretary of Education and a few other Ministry Staff; and part of a gathering of Australian and New Zealand Principals in Auckland working with Dr Jan Robertson, who is a Senior Educational Researcher at the University of Waikato, looking and ‘coaching leadership’.

In my absence, Mr Grant Rogers will be the Acting Principal, and we will also have a middle leader take on some of Mr Roger’s current roles.

Nga mihi nui