From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Friday September 8, 2017

Tena koutou,

The recent world events of the devastating earthquake in Mexico and Hurricane Irma, which is leaving a trail of destruction in Cuba and America, has impacted on millions and our thoughts are with all those who have been affected. We may even have people in our Geraldine community who have friends and family in these places and if this is the case, we are here to help in whatever way we can.

Winter Sports Tournaments

I had the opportunity to see some of our tournament week teams that were playing in Christchurch last week. The students involved in the Netball, Hockey and Football competitions all appeared to be enjoying the camaraderie of their team and the chance to experience a number of days away in this environment. As I visited each team at night they were all well cared for by our staff and having a lot of fun together, particularly given that these teams had a wide range of ages.

I spent a day watching the 3 teams in their games and was impressed with the support they gave each other and their commitment in giving their very best to the game. My thanks to our staff Mr Mark Hayward and Mr Richard Ramsay [Football], Ms Bronwyn Clarke [Hockey] and Mrs Kim Andrews [Netball] along with a number of parents who made these opportunities possible.

We also had the following teams in other parts of the South Island: Boys Hockey in Oamaru with Mrs Sarah Foley-Smith; Boys U14 1/2 Rugby in Greymouth with Mr Kieran Blogg; Boys Basketball in Blenheim with Miss Amy Ross; and a Pool 4 Schools Team in Christchurch.

Based on what I have seen and heard from the other sports over this week, we are certainly enabling our students the best sporting opportunities and a culture that is the envy of many schools.

See article later in newsletter for results. 

Pathway Assembly

Last Tuesday, we had Mr John Wilson and Mr Mark Baird from Thompson’s Refrigeration speak to our Year 10-13 students about the Construction and Infrastructure Pathway. It is important that our students take advantage of these opportunities by listening to the career journeys of these people as well as speak to them at the end if they are interested in the pathways they have spoken about.

The message that Mr Wilson and Mr Baird shared was a very simple but important one for all our students to focus on both at school and into their careers. This message was ‘no matter what task, job or assignment you are given, you aim to be the very best at it whether you enjoy it or not’. Mr Wilson spoke of finding school difficult but he succeeded using this message and has found that it has enabled him to get many different roles and the opportunities to be successful.

I encourage all of our students and parents to attend the first of our career expos. The first one is focused on the Construction and Infrastructure Pathway where we will have 10 different companies talk about what they do, what is available for our students in this industry and how they need to prepare themselves for these. My thanks to Mrs Anita Body for organising this event.

Academic Focus

As we head towards the last few weeks of term it is vital that your son or daughter is supported by you to ensure that they focus on their subjects and doing their very best particularly in Year 11-13 when many internal standards will be due. It is also a time to start developing good study skills in readiness for the school exams in the first week of Term 4. Should they be unsure of how to do this then they need to ask their Vertical Form teacher or subject teachers for help.

Emerging Leaders and Teachers Studying

As I write about the focus on learning for our students, I want to acknowledge and congratulate the large number of staff at our school who are as we say ‘life-long learners’ as they to are doing extra study this year. 

  • Mr Billy Cosgriff and Ms Eliza Williams have just completed an 18 month leadership course with many other HOD’s from other South Canterbury schools.

  • Ms Sarah Prescott has been doing extra mural study out of Auckland University in Gifted and Talented Education.

  • Ms Maria Heitkonig, Mrs Kerri Doy and Miss Amy Ross have been doing a year long course for a Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning).

  • Ms Adele Quinn and Ms Cate Knowles have been doing study out of Melbourne University on Leadership.

  • Ms Jordyn Te Rahui-Hobbs has recently graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Arts (Māori Studies).

Maori Language Week - ‘Te wiki o te reo Māori’

This week is Maori language week and it is a wonderful time to celebrate the indigenous culture of our Maori people and the importance it has in New Zealand. We as staff and students will have a focus on a range of Maori activities each day as well as using Te Reo often.

The theme ‘Kia ora te reo Māori’ was chosen to celebrate New Zealand’s indigenous greeting, and also as the words ‘Kia Ora’ are an exact description of the intent of the new partnerships for te reo Māori revitalisation between the Crown and Māori under the new Māori Language Act of 2016. The Government and Ministry of Education recognise the value of our Maori language and have a commitment to offer it in all schools throughout New Zealand.

Enjoy the week ahead.

"Whāia te iti kahurangi,

ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei"