From the Principal

By Mr Ryan Wilson | Posted: Tuesday February 9, 2021

Kia ora koutou,

Welcome back to another academic year. We are excited about the opportunities 2021 holds for us at GHS. This year we are taking on the theme of ‘Kotahitanga’, which represents the concept of unity, togetherness, solidarity and collective action. In essence, we are a TEAM. This theme was created by our student leaders who believe this is an important part of growing our school and making it a better place to be.

We are working towards creating a school culture at GHS where we have a connection to each other through shared experiences and learning activities that give us a sense of who we are individually and how we are an important part of our wider Geraldine High School whanau.

At the heart of Kotahitanga is relationships or Whanaungatanga, and this is one of our school values that we will be focussing on during term 1. This means that we will be looking at a range of different ways and contexts for our students to build positive relationships through real experiential learning. Another way that we can show Kotahitanga this year is by being committed to showing and improving our other GHS values of respect, responsibility and achievement.

What else is happening this year at GHS?

We are looking to the future and designing curriculum change that prepares our students for a rapidly changing world. A team of people are working hard to weave Foundational Learning skills and knowledge through every department in our school. Foundational Learning will improve our student’s ability to; be critical thinkers, have a growth mindset, receive and give effective feedback and be effective communicators. These are all qualities that research has shown employers are looking for when recruiting new employees.

Another area of curriculum change that we are designing to improve our students experiences at GHS is Personal and Social Education. In this area we are designing programmes that develop relationships and life skills that will help our students successfully contribute to our GHS culture, participate in a wide variety of experiences and be able to positively interact with a diverse range of people.

Project Based Learning is the final area of our future focussed curriculum change. In this area students are able to follow their interests and passions to delve into learning a range of skills and knowledge through topics and problems that engage and motivate them. The aim of Problem Based Learning is to create students who are; more engaged in their learning, more empathetic, better collaborators, active problem solvers, greater risk takers and better prepared for the creative economy.

What are some of the changes that have taken place leading into 2021?

This year we have taken on a number of new staff with a broad set of skills. They have been welcomed into a number of different departments and we are looking forward to them adding new ideas and perspectives into their areas of expertise. Our new staff include:

  • Mr Nigel McKay - Health and Physical Education
  • Miss Caitlin Miles - English
  • Miss Rebecca Mountford - Health and Physical Education
  • Miss Imogen Youngs - Technology
  • Mrs Amanda Webber - Social Worker
  • Mrs Kim Humphries - Attendance officer
New staff pictured with our Acting Principal — Image by: Helen England

Our Year 7&8 playground has been upgraded and now boasts a brand new section. This will provide our students with hours of fun and physical challenges throughout the year.

The new playground in the year 7&8 area — Image by: Helen England

We were also successful in our application for some Ministry of Education funding to install LED lighting throughout the majority of our school. This lighting will help reduce the cost of electricity for the school and continues our efforts towards sustainability.

Unfortunately the pool has sprung a leak. We have experts working on fixing this but presently it is out of action. Our HPE and Sports department is working on an alternative plan for our upcoming swimming sports.

Finally, during Term 1 this year, Simon Coleman will be taking a sabbatical to undertake educational research in the field of vocational pathways. We are fortunate enough to have Bronwyn Clarke join the senior leadership team while Simon is away and she will combine with Suzanne Pidduck, Rae Coburn, Richard Harvey and myself.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa