By Mr Simon Coleman, Principal | Posted: Saturday February 20, 2016
Tena Koutou Katoa,
It has been a very positive start to the year and as I have walked around the school and classrooms I have been impressed by the positive engagement from all our students.
Many of the students I have talked to have been saying they are really enjoying school which is a good sign that what we are teaching is engaging and connecting with our students.
The core purpose of the school as educators is to ensure that every student is given all possible opportunities to learn, and as a consequence of that, to extend themselves in all possible school avenues. We want to set them up and transition them to be successful, contributing citizens in our society and live fulfilling lives.
How can we do that? What are the core things we need to do that will bring about these outcomes?
I have had many conversations about this with colleagues around New Zealand and in our Geraldine Community and below is a response to these challenging questions.
It comes back to offering relevant, contextualised learning that students can engage in with passion. We all know if you are passionate about an area you will want to learn more, read more, research more to grow the knowledge and learning in this area. This leads students to be able to follow pathways later in school and on to careers that will utilise this learning.
As with any learning, there are also parts that are not so exciting but no less important, and part of the role of teachers and parents is to support and guide students in persevering with the more challenging parts of their learning.
As an example, Beth is in Year 11 and has a passion for building and architecture and is enjoying spending many hours in DVC [Design and Visual communication or Graphics] and Hard Materials Technology [or workshop] designing and building for her NCEA projects. As she explores more about these career pathways she realises that English, Physics and Mathematics are critical factors in her being able to do these in the future. This is where the determination ‘never-give-up’ attitude and perseverance must be a big part of her year as she needs to grow her understanding in these subjects even though she would prefer doing DVC and Hard Technology. You as parents can support this with our teachers to value the importance of these areas as well as personal qualities [called the Key Competencies or Soft Skills] that we integrate into learning at school.
Many parents who talk to me are unsure how they can help their son or daughter, as they didn’t go through NCEA and what this encompasses for their son or daughter.
You can begin this understanding by attending our NCEA/Careers information evening on Tuesday 23rd February if you are parents of children from Year 10 to 13. It is a very informative evening and will give you the tools and school contacts to start this journey with your children to investigating career pathways.
In the next newsletter I will show the outstanding academic results and progress that all our students are making in the senior school. This has been significant the last few years. We continue to have high expectations for this year also, as we have a more focussed and tailored approach to student learning.
Finally, I offer a warm invitation to all parents to attend the upcoming school Swimming and Athletics Sports events over the coming weeks to celebrate the student competitions and participation as well as the strong House Spirit of Acland, Cox, MacDonald and Tripp, that we have at Geraldine High School.