From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Thursday June 29, 2017

Tena koutou,

This is the last newsletter for the term and as we come to the final week we also come to the end of the building of the long awaited Science block which has been remodelled. We are proud to have been able to achieve these 'state of the art' laboratories with one lab being a general purpose lab and the other a specialist Physics Lab. We will officially open the two rooms early next term and interested parents and caregivers will have the opportunity to look through these. A project as large as this is reliant on the hard work and dedication of staff involved and I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our Property Manager, Mr Mike Stephens and Deputy Principal, Mr Grant Rogers in ensuring we get the outcome wanted.

Speech Finals

AMAZING! That is the one word that expresses what occurred on Wednesday evening in our school Library as we had the finals of our school speeches. This involved six students from Year 7 & 8, Year 9 & 10 and Year 11-13 who spoke on a variety of topics to a full audience.

I was impressed with the confidence, intelligent and well researched topics and the emotion in the speeches heard. For all our students, speaking is the one of the best competencies to have and a skill that will be a huge advantage when they leave school and embark on careers. My thanks to all involved in making this such a positive event in particular Ms Maria Heitkonig and Mr Dan Waldie.  Please see results elsewhere in this newsletter.

Finding Voices

On Wednesday afternoon, a number of staff and I went to the Arts Academy for the show 'The Zoo Animals Fly Home', which was performed by some of our students from Learning Support as well as members of our community. The props which had been made by this group under the guidance of our Art teacher, Mr Mike Deavoll were fantastic and the show was full of dancing and singing. My thanks to Ms Jill Roberts who takes these classes and to our students Rory Abraham, Kayla Kruishoop, Nicole Taroy, Jack Leov and Henry King for inviting me to this show.  See photos attached taken during the show.

Sports Success

We have had a number of sporting events recently and it is pleasing to hear of the growing sporting culture we are developing. In the games I visited last week from Girls Rugby last Wednesday at the Geraldine Rugby club played under lights, to the Geraldine Rugby Football Club Day last Saturday, to the Netball Courts in Timaru - there is a strong sense of pride in being a team from Geraldine High School and with that comes the culture of supporting each other to bring out the best skills in all. My thanks to the many coaches and managers who give up their time to provide these opportunities for our students.

Over last weekend we had 3 Netball teams from Yr 7 & 8 attend the Canterbury Netball Jelly Bean competition. They performed extremely well with the Red team coming 3rd out of 18 in the Year 8 Grade and the Black team winning the Year 7 Grade. Well done to all these students and thanks to the many parents and senior students who made this happen.

And to add to this, many of you may have seen in the Timaru Herald yesterday, that our Senior A Girls Netball nearly pulled off the upset of the premier league by going down to competition leaders Old Boys by 2 goals. This team is going from strength to strength under the guidance of Mrs Kim Andrews, our Sports Coordinator, and is again showing that Geraldine High School Netball can compete against the best of them in Timaru.

Tackle Timaru

Last week we had another aspect of our Year 10 Challenge Programme with our Tackle Timaru day. While in Timaru, the students have a series of challenges set around the urban environment. It is the opportunity for our students to show what great ambassadors they can be for the school which the majority do. Many thanks to Mrs Yvonne Smith, Mrs Shirley Lindroos, Mrs Andy Morrison, Mr Richard Ramsay and Mr Jason Shaw who were involved with the planning and accompanying our groups into town.

Matariki - the Maori New Year 

Since the 25th June we have celebrate Matariki which signals the start of the Maori New Year. It is a time when we celebrate the earth and show respect for the land. Part of our school's Strategic Plan is to acknowledge our commitment to bi-culturalism and this is one opportunity to do this.

At our Student led Assembly this week, our Rangatahi Leaders, Caitlyn Good and Isayah Snow, along with the rest of our Student Exec (and a few staff!) did a performance on Matariki. 

Following on from this we have a Maori Student Hui on Monday which I am looking forward to attending as we have over 75 students who identify as Maori on our role. I am interested to hear how we can best support them in their education at Geraldine High School.

Staff Leaving

Mr Dan Waldie, who joined us as an English teacher from Westland High School this year, will be leaving us at the end of next term. He has been successful in gaining the Head of English position at Fiordland College which is a wonderful opportunity to run a department and for many teachers a natural progression as a full-time classroom teacher to go into middle management. More on Mr Waldie later next term.


Holidays will be upon us very soon. They are a chance to recharge and refresh - a good time to have a balance between some organised activities and quiet time.

Enjoy the holidays at the end of next week and make the most of the down time.

Tena koutou, Tena koutou, tena tartoe katoa.