From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman, Principal | Posted: Friday June 2, 2017

Tena koutou and Talofa as this week has been Samoan Language week and also the last week of NZ Music Month. We are fortunate to have so many talented musicians in our school and they have played in our assemblies over this month. My thanks to all these students, Mrs Shirley Lindroos and Logan Keggenhoff, our Cultural Leader, for their work towards this.

It is fabulous that we can showcase our talents through as many avenues as we do as it links also to our vision that students with talents in a variety of areas are extended so that they achieve to the highest level in that field.

Why? Because the aim is to have all students who have talents [some discovered and some yet to be] nurtured so that they will achieve greatness with these and find career pathways that are in some way connected to this passion.

High Expectations

I have mentioned a number of times over the last few years that there are two points that are non-negotiable for our students being part of our Geraldine High School family. These are that all students can come to school and be safe and be able to learn.

In recent weeks we have had a few students who have not made this possible for staff and other students. This has meant disciplinary action and the need for them to realise that we have high expectations as a school on how all our students conduct themselves. Why? Because part of our role is to educate our students for life beyond school. Lately the behaviours a few have exhibited would not be accepted in any workplace and will not be at school.

23 May – Senior Open Day

This year we have initiated 2 Open Days to cater for 2 different groups of families who are looking at attending Geraldine High School. We have the Year 6 students and families from our contributing schools invited to attend our Open Day on August 16th . The first Open Day which we had last Tuesday was for those currently in Year 8 at our school as well as any other families from other schools. This was an opportunity to gain an insight into how different it is at Year 9 and above when  subjects become more specialised and students move around the school more, a change after coming from a homeroom environment.

The Open Day last week was welcomed by those that attended and was an opportunity to ask specific questions before seeing Year 9 and 10 classes in action. If you were unable to attend, please contact the School Office on 693 0017 or email office@geraldinehs.school.nz to arrange a time to meet Mr Mark Hayward or myself to look around the school.

Spirit Week

Last week we had Spirit week which gives students the chance to celebrate house pride by participating in a range of activities. It is an opportunity to promote school spirit, unify the student body and create fun memories with events such as Tug of War or Student Leaders Auction. Well done to the team involved in this particularly the School House Leaders for their amazing organising for this week.

School Cross Country

After evening showers and a cold, grey start to the day the sun came out just in time for our annual Cross Country. This year the race finished with a new look which was a colour run through a variety of obstacles for those interested and certainly was a great deal of fun. My thanks to Mr Haden Powell who organised this event and to Mrs Kim Andrews who assisted our Sports Captains Stephen Harding and Tianna Curtis with the Colour Run.

School Social

The theme of this term’s Social was “Jungle Bash” which we had recently and yet again was well run by the Student Social Committee. School Socials are a great chance for all students to get creative and dress to theme. It is also an opportunity for students from across different year levels to mingle together in a non-academic social environment. My thanks to Ms Adele Quinn for the time and effort she puts into organising this event and to all the many staff who help out on the night by being there to assist Adele and support the students. Thanks also to Mike and Cynthia Stephens who helped with the setting up and taking down the lighting. My thanks to all involved for their time and effort to give our students this opportunity. And a big thank you to Pseudosane for playing!

Cyber Safety - Mr John Parsons

For the 3rd year we have had Mr John Parsons speak to our students and community around the issues and dangers associated with the inappropriate use of computers, mobile phones, digital cameras and the internet. This technology is marvellous, as it allows us to communicate, connect and explore the world – we just need effective education to help reduce the potential risks associated with it.

Mr Parsons always brings new aspects in this area as well as time to reflect ourselves on what we do as a school in this area and what can be done better. Take the time to discuss with your son or daughter what messages they got from these talks and become more aware and knowledgeable on what it occurring for them in this space. For more information on John, visit www.s2e.co.nz.

BYOD - Bring your own device

The BOT has committed funds over the last 18 months to get our Internet and Wifi capacity to a level that we can bring in BYOD for all our students. We have got the school infrastructure to this position now and I have had discussions with other schools and New Era, our IT provider, around the steps to be taken for BYOD to be put in place for 2018 for all our students.

There will be evenings coming up early in Term 3 to show the type of devices that as a school we will recommend as well as an opportunity to see a range of options and prices. We will be sending out more information about the introduction of personal devices in the coming weeks so that you are aware of the process towards this.

Geraldine Ski Academy

For the second year, we have the Geraldine Ski Academy starting up for this coming winter based at Mt Dobson every Sunday. Being in our location so close to the mountains we want to give this opportunity for any student who is 10 years or older in our district to be able to learn to ski or race, look to get experience of the ski industry, or gain qualifications that could lead to pathways in this area. Mt Dobson and the Ski Shack in Fairlie have been very supportive of the academy and we thank them for this. If you are interested in this opportunity - please email me on s.coleman@geraldinehs.school.nz

Fundraising

A large number of student groups have been fundraising within the school and community during the course of this year. Without the money from these, many of our events or trips wouldn’t eventuate.

Recently we have had the Year 7 & 8 students selling entertainment books to off-set camp costs and our Netball students selling potatoes and cheese rolls. This huge effort must make Geraldine “the cheese roll capital of NZ!”

You may have also been approached by senior students raising money for the 2018 Social Sciences trip to Cambodia and Singapore which I am sure will be another wonderful learning experience. An aspect of fundraising is that it makes it achievable for any student to go on a trip such as this, as their efforts contribute to their financial costs to go.

We are so grateful for the on-going support from parents and community towards these.

Have an enjoyable long weekend.

Tena koutou, Tena koutou, tena tartoe katoa.