From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Friday July 5, 2019

Tena koutou,

Thank you to all of our parents and our wider community for your support throughout this term. In our School Charter, which I have attached, it states that many of our goals and the ability to achieve our vision is through your ongoing support, whether it be as a reader writer for our students who need help in this area, or business people coming and working with classes or sharing their work journey at Assemblies. All these aspects make a difference to our students as they see relevant connections to their classroom learning.

I have recently joined the Go Geraldine Business group which will enable our school to build further connections in this area. Long term, we can forge closer relationships where businesses can share their knowledge and skills with our students, who in turn, can be that business’s future workforce. What a great opportunity these can present for our Geraldine Community’s future longevity and business growth!

School Charter

Attached is our School Charter, Strategic Goals for the next three years and Annual Goals for 2019. These are the guiding documents that our Schools Board of Trustees, Principal and Staff must meet in both our everyday actions and longer term focus.

Our Vision Statement is to:

Provide learning that is relevant for all students, through a focus on relationships and the development of life skills, to develop lifelong learners who successfully contribute, participate and interact with others.

As an example, one of our Strategic Goals for the next 3 years is our Curriculum Structure which is:

Looking at the best teaching in our school and a timetable where the focus in all decisions in this area are that they are purposeful and relevant. We can achieve this by investigating contemporary school structures and practices and then designing a specific Geraldine High School version that is the best fit for our students. We would be looking at areas from compulsory subjects, to the length of periods, to curriculum areas working together which will optimise student agency (student choice).

Our Annual Goal for this year as a staff are to:

  • By 2019 end - staff inquiries are finished which look at the components of a successful curriculum that will meet all our student needs. The areas that our staff have been focusing on in groups this year are below.

  • Electives
  • Personal and Social Education
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Local and Overseas Systems
  • Innovative Pedagogy
  • Sport

This is an exciting time for us as a school with the NCEA changes and MOE initiatives which is an ideal time to be looking at whether our curriculum and structures delivery is the best it can be for all of our students.

New Geraldine High School/Carew Peel Forest Board of Trustees

The new BOT had their first meeting 2 weeks ago and I would like to welcome both new and current members who join Carew Peel Forest Principal, Sharon Ketter and myself.

Our new members are Parent Rep, Mr Joe Voigt; Carew Peel Forest Rep, Mrs Sharon Wallace; and Staff Rep, Ms Michelle Cramond.

We welcome back Mrs Sally Prattley as our BOT Chair, Mr Glen Smith as our Deputy Chair, and Mrs Chelley Leov. We continue to have our Student Rep, Olivia Paton, who has been a great student advocate until the elections in September.

I look forward to working with this passionate group who all bring a wide range of skills and experiences that will enable the vision and goals we have set to be achieved over the following three years.

Student Progress

You will receive an email link to your son or daughter's report at the end of week 1 of next term and this is a key to the School Vision mentioned earlier where many of our goals for this year focus on the learning and outcomes for every student at Geraldine High School. Many of our strategic goals are about how we can improve our practice as teachers and also the content, structure and relevance for every student in class. The report you receive give a snapshot of where you son or daughter is at that particular time. Ensure you talk through this report with your child so that you have an understanding of both the successes and areas that you can help them with.

Staff Changes

There have been a number of changes with staff recently and I wanted to acknowledge a number of staff who are leaving us over the coming term.

Ms Rae Coburn, our Business Manager, takes maternity leave for term 3. Ms Coburn has been instrumental in a number of critical changes from Health and Safety process, to HR, through to more efficient financial practices that have enabled a strong business approach to many aspects of our school operations.

Mr Stuart Wilcox, our Year 7 Homeroom Teacher, leaves us for his next challenge in the role of Principal of Highfield School at the start of next term. I would like to thank Mr Wilcox for his efforts over the last 2 and a half years. He has brought new perspectives along with his passion for sports particularly the establishment of a successful Triathlon and Mountain Bike Club.

Mrs Roxanne Rooney, our HOD Maths, takes maternity leave from the end of week 2 next term until the end of 2020. Mrs Rooney has been invaluable for the focus and perspective she has brought to our Maths department and a few Health and PE classes also.

Mrs Kim Andrews, our Sports Coordinator, will leave in Week 7 of next term for maternity leave and she has been a great asset to our school with the passion she has for all sports but also her excellent organisational and management skills required in this complex position.

Miss Paige Richmond, our Chemistry teacher, has been with us for over 1 and a half years but has gained a position at Dunstan High School in Alexandra which is her home town. Miss Richmond will leave in Week 6 of next term and has fully immersed herself in our school being involved in the Schools Formal Ball, Mountain Biking, Netball to name a few.

To all these staff, my thanks to each of you for the passion, drive and energy to work closely with our students so that they can reach the potential that you see in them daily.

Finally, I wish our students and their families a holiday break where you have the time to spend with family and friends.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa