From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Saturday April 13, 2019

Tena koutou,

This is our last newsletter for the term. It has been a busy term that has seen many changes alongside fantastic achievements by many of our students in many domains from the classroom, to the sports field, to the community connections we make each day.

There are a few areas that I would like to highlight from this term for us to be both proud of as a school community but also active in response to issues that we face currently.

  • Draft Enrolment Zone - The Ministry of Education has instructed the BOT to implement this proposed zone in 2020. We urge you all to submit any queries or concerns to us in writing via email [email protected] or in hard copy at the School Office by April 26th 2019. Attached to the Community Notices section of this newsletter is a letter from Geraldine Combined Sports outlining issues that some of you may not be aware of the wider impacts this zone will have on our community.

  • Our School Charter for the next 3 years has been developed and we have shared these with you for feedback. Please check this link should you wish to respond to the 4 draft goals we have set: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LZ7YFVY

  • The introduction of BYOD and the uptake from both our students and staff in using these as effective learning tools in the classroom.

  • There has been a strong sense of purpose and innovation in all our classrooms which has been exciting to see through the projects, units and inquiries that are occurring. This is reflected in the 2 strategic goals that we are looking at on innovative pedagogy (teaching) and a review of our curriculum structure.

  • Highly engaging and supportive Athletics and Swimming Sports events where the culture was very positive and encouraging to all.

  • And numerous student successes, some of which are mentioned in this newsletter or have been in previous newsletters this term. These include: PIA students Jacob Price, Patrick Foley-Smith, Ben Chambers and Taylor Bird winning entry into the FMG National Young Farmers Finals in Napier; Emma Becroft breaking the South Island record in 80m Hurdles at the SISS Athletics in Nelson: Our Junior A Girls Volleyball team who won the Aoraki Grade A Championship; Alex Hayes, Connor Foley-Smith and Michael Livingstone who have been selected for the Aoraki/ Roncalli Combined Rugby team to play in the Crusaders competition; Our Drama team of Bella Kircher, Taylor Scott, Kaylem Herbert and Lelia Mowat-Gainsford (Director) who won the regional Shakespeare Festival competition (5 minute section) and now travel to the finals in Wellington: The Year 12 and 13 Outdoor Education classes who have been on multi day expedition journeys in Wanaka and Murchison; And the Easter Basket deliveries to the senior members of our community from several of our students.

These are the many things we see regularly which makes us the wonderful school that we are as it provides many platforms for all of our student to shine.

Staff Changes

  • There have been a number of changes this term with staffing as we welcome Mr Fraser Goodin who is teaching 8Hm while Ms Sarah Hamilton is on maternity leave. Mr Goodin has come from teaching in both Auckland and Christchurch.

  • Mr Stuart Wilcox has gained the position of Principal at Highfield Primary School which is a wonderful opportunity and we thank him for all his work and contributions to a wide range of activities over the last 2 years. We wish him all the very best in this next educational step as he takes up this role at the start of Term 3.

  • We have employed Ms Lamea Brittendon to take Mr Wilcox’s Homeroom class for the remainder of the year as well as some Social Studies classes. Ms Brittendon has previously been the DP at Carew Peel Forest and is coming back into education after some time away.

  • We also are excited about the appointment of Mr Richard Harvey to our Assistant Principal position that we have starting at the beginning of Term 3. Mr Harvey is currently working at the Bangkok International School having previously taught in Wellington.

  • We are currently advertising for an Assistant HOD of Social Sciences as Mrs Sarah Harrison takes maternity leave next term, and for a Guidance Counsellor as Mr Mark Hayward retires in term 2.

Mr Mark Hayward

Where do we start in speaking about a person who has given for nearly 40 years to Geraldine High School? Mr Hayward has been a major contributor to the culture, systems, and supportive relationships across staff, students, parents and community over this time. His contributions and influence has made Geraldine High School the very well regarded and sought after school it is today.

Mr Hayward’s role with enrolments has certainly allowed new students and parents to feel at ease as they enter our school and his follow up helps with any concerns that arise. He has been the driving force on our Bus transport system that has created many benefits for our school community and his work in our pastoral area has been invaluable. This is not to mention the numerous camps, sports teams and assisting in any extracurricular events that are part of our school that Mr Hayward has been involved with.

Mr Hayward has been a wonderful colleague to have worked with over the last 4 years in our SLT team while I have been here. He has always brought a calmness and different perspective to many aspects of our work and I thank him for this. Mr Hayward will be missed by all our staff as he transitions to other adventures beyond school but he will continue to work part time in counselling for part of next term.

Finally, I wish all our students a well deserved break and time to prepare for the term ahead and hope that there is also some family time over the two weeks ahead. I wish you all a happy Easter and hope to see many of you at our local ANZAC memorial service.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa