From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman, Principal | Posted: Monday May 28, 2018

Tena koutou,

We have certainly noticed a change in the weather over the last few weeks and with that it is important that you ensure that your child has the right clothing for the cold weeks ahead. Please visit our link here around the requirements for winter uniform.

https://geraldinehs.school.nz/enrolment/school-uniform/

In line with that, we are currently putting Heat Pumps into our classrooms over the coming months so that we can provide consistent heating and cooling over the school year.

Government Budget

The recent Government Budget in relation to Schools has been an interesting one. Our Operations Grant which is effectively the money needed to run our school such as support staff, heating and lighting and curriculum resources, has increased by only 1.3%.

One aspect that is significant is $456m over the next four years to go towards school property. Unfortunately with the growth in Auckland, many other regions will not see much of this money. However, we are focused on our building upgrades and using the available resources we have to ensure the best learning facilities for our students. We met with the South Island MOE Property Manager last week around the future upgrades of our Gym, Maths/Social Science/Computer Suites block and hope to see these come to fruition in the next few years.

Staff achievements

We talk often about the achievements of our students across the fields of academic, social, sports and community and I would like to acknowledge the achievements of six of our staff.

Three of our new staff this year - Mr Steven McNulty [Music], Miss Paige Richmond [Chemistry] and Mr Jarrod Wallace [Languages] graduated from Otago University last weekend with Masters in Education which is a wonderful achievement as it is a very intensive Masters programme.

Mrs Kerri Doy, Ms Maria Heitkonig and Ms Amy Ross [a previous teacher and currently a reliever]  have graduated from a post grad course last year in Applied teaching Practice. This is highly relevant and useful in our continued development in classroom practice around digital collaboration.

Congratulations to all these staff for their dedication to these studies.

Open Day

On Tuesday this week we had our first of two Open Days where we do a tour of the school and classes along with sharing information and answering any questions. We had a large turnout of parents and students across a range of levels, and our Year 13 students did a great job of showing the groups around the school and answering questions. My thanks to Mr Hayward for organising this. A reminder that we have our 2nd Open Day on 17th August.

Should you be interested in looking around the school at another time then please contact the Office on 6930017 and they can arrange a time. Please read our Deputy Head Girl, Maisie Fisher's talk given to the parents and students at Open Day on her perspective on her time at Geraldine High School in this newsletter.

We have had a number of student events over the last 2 weeks that highlights the range of opportunities along with the varied events that occur at our school.

Cross Country - this was a wonderful day and it was pleasing to see the competitiveness from many as well as those enjoying the colour run at the finish. My thanks to Mr Haden Powell and the PE staff alongside the Sports Leaders for the organising of this event. We look forward to seeing how our students go in the upcoming Aoraki Cross Country on 7th June.

School Social - on Thursday we had the first school social which went superbly and very well organised from our students. We had our school band Psuedo Sane play as well and great to see the musical talents we have in the school and we wish them all the best for the upcoming Smokefree Rockquest which they won the regional section last year.

Pink Shirt Day - last Friday we had the school full of pink - both clothing, balloons and quotes around the school to highlight the nationwide anti bullying focus. All schools have, to some degree, aspects of bullying whether it be in person or through the internet and we as a school put as many resources, processes and support in place as much as we can. The Pink Shirt day certainly highlights this issue and many of our students and staff embraced it for the day.

Student successes in our Academic Blues, Primary Industries and Athletics - at assembly this week it was a celebration and acknowledgement of the successes of our students. We acknowledged the academic success at Level 1 last year of Connie McFarlane and Jasmin Duncan who gained excellence endorsement. We presented certificates to Jakob Stachurski and Ben Chambers who placed 1st in the Aorangi Regional TeenAg competition, Patrick Foley-Smith and Jacob Price who placed 3rd, and Mikayla Binney and Quinn Foley-Smith who were the Aorangi Region Competitors of the Year for TeenAg and Agrikids.  We also acknowledged Jacob Price and Patrick Foley-Smith who were chosen for the South Island Young Farmers Leadership Camp.

The athletics from Term 1 both school and Aorangi Championships were acknowledged in presenting the winners across the range of events including the Age Group Overall winners which are listed later in the newsletter. 

Devices

We are doing a survey with all our school families on devices and you will have received an email for this. We have done this so that we can be aware of which students have devices and if they do not bring them into school, then the reasons why.  We ask if you would please complete the survey by Friday. This will give us valuable information on our next steps around devices and the curriculum we are teaching.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa