From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Friday July 28, 2017

Tena koutou,

Welcome back to our 3rd Term after some severe weather patterns over the holiday break, particularly the heavy wind and rain of last weekend. I do hope that all of you have got through this without too much damage and particularly those involved in the farming industry and looking after livestock. As a school, if we can assist in any way, please contact the School Office particularly if it is around your son or daughter at school who may need some help.

Holidays have come and gone and now we move onto Term 3 - the business end of the year. Senior exams are rapidly approaching and it is time to consolidate work, ask questions about things you don't understand and develop some good study patterns.

National Champions in AgriKids 

What a fantastic achievement from Jessica Furrer, William Wilson and Angus Wallace to take out the National AgriKids title in Rotorua in the holidays against 21 teams. I know that they have trained hard for this over a number of weeks leading up to this and been well supported by Mrs Sarah Foley-Smith, Mrs Helen Davidson and parents. Members of our PIA class also attended this event as they were invited to assist with the setting up and running of the national event. Congratulations to Jessica, William and Angus!  Read more about their trip later in this newsletter.

Regional Rockquest Champions - Pseudo Sane

Congratulations to Pseudo Sane on successfully defending their title at the regional finals of Smokefree Rockquest at the end of Term two. As well as being named the ‘top band’, they received The Lowdown Best Song Award (for a song written by William Holland and Felix Finlayson-Hood). We wish William Holland, Aria Cressy, Felix Finlayson- Hood and Flynn Coskerie the best as they await a decision on getting into the National Finals.  The band has been named in the top 20 bands in NZ and will know next week if they are selected to go to Auckland.  Well done so far!

Term Theme - Respect

We focus this Term on the school value of Respect and what that may look like in the various settings within the school whether it be a Library, Gymnasium, classroom or an activity in the community. Respect is viewed by people in different ways but as a school it is very simple. It is as simple as these points below:

  • Treat others how you would wish to be treated

  • Using appropriate manners and language

  • Wearing our uniform with Pride

  • Allowing others the right to learn

  • Encourage others

And always being respectful in whatever situation or learning environment that you are in.

As a school, the majority of our students do this extremely well and our aim is always to support and provide opportunities for everyone to do this. One aspect that helps us hugely is that the same expectations of respect that we focus on can be replicated at home so that every student gets a consistent approach. Should you find this difficult and need some help, please contact the Dean for your child so that they can follow this through.

Reports and conferencing

Over the holidays our teachers have been writing reports which will be sent out in the coming weeks. These are important times and parents need to take full advantage of this as it is specifically about the progress and achievement of your son or daughter. It is not only about the subject being taught but also the approach and attitudes that they have towards work.

As I have mentioned in the past, our students and yourselves need to be aware and interested in the competencies that your child is showing and developing so that they have a rich future ahead of them. These are things like Respect, Work Ethic, Initiative, and Able to work in Groups. These are as crucial a part that as educators that we do as subject content, as without these skills and attributes then they will not be employed. Please attend the conference day on Monday 21st August as this is such an important aspect of your child’s learning. We will also have NCEA and Career talks occurring as well so please ensure that you see these also.

Open Day

We have an important day on the 16th August. This is our Open Day where any parents and students in the community get the opportunity to have a tour of the school while classes are on. There will also be the opportunity to hear from the key staff and students that will be involved with your children as they begin their journey at GHS. This is open to students of all ages who would like to see what the school has to offer.

Staff Retirements

When I arrived at Geraldine High School, two and half years ago, I was told by the BOT at the time, that one of the areas of change that would occur was the retirement of staff. We have farewelled a number of teaching and support staff since then, and over the last few weeks, the BOT and I have received the resignations of three staff who have contributed to Geraldine High School in so many ways over a number of years. Mr Richard Ramsay, our HOD Mathematics; Mr Mark Romans, our HOD of Sport & Careers Dean; and Mrs Shirley Lindroos, our HOD of Music are all finishing their teaching careers at the end of this year. There is so much to thank these three staff members for which we will certainly do towards the latter part of this year.

We have also said farewell to our Executive Officer/Business Manager, Mrs Janine Watkins, who left during the recent school holidays to take up a new position in Timaru. Mrs Watkins had come to us from the Ministry of Education in Wellington over 2 years ago and has been invaluable for our school. She has developed outstanding financial and HR processes as well as taking on many difficult projects that have arisen in her time with us. We wish her the very best in her shift to Timaru.

Science Lab Opening

This week has seen our students being able to learn in the upgraded and renovated Science Labs near our central courtyard. By all accounts from students and staff, they are wonderful facilities and everyone has enjoyed teaching and learning in these modern Labs. We are looking to have an opening for these later in August where parents and guests will be able to have a look through. We are also arranging to have at the same time the chance to see the renovated Year 7 & 8 classrooms and Library. We will advertise this to our community in the coming weeks.

Netball Success

In the first week of the holidays our Junior Combined Netball team competed in the Junior SISS Netball Tournament in Christchurch. This team which included students from Year 9 and 10 went through pool play undefeated. They did extremely well in miserable conditions of hail and snow to win their quarter-final and semi-final. The final got moved inside and our team lost in the last minute to Verdon by one goal. Another fantastic achievement in getting 2nd at the South Island Secondary Schools Championships.


It has been a good first week to the Term and I encourage all our parents to keep involved in your son or daughter’s learning over this term whether it be in class work, assignments, sports and cultural events and opportunities and support them as much as you can.

Tēnā koutou, Tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.