From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Wednesday May 19, 2021

Tena koutou,

We have just finished our third week of this term and both our students and staff have settled into the routines and various activities that have been planned. Term 2 is a crucial time of the year particularly for our Yr 11 to 13 students as there are now consistent weeks of learning without the Camps, Activities, Athletics and Swimming events which are a large part of any schools’ first term. This is a time where regular routines along with greater attention and time needs to be given to the range of internal assessments that are often due over this term for our seniors.

Parent Teacher Interviews

Last Wednesday was a very important day in our school calendar. The term 2 parent teacher interviews are the first checkpoint for parents and their child on what progress they have made, how things could improve and to answer any questions on the work being done. Research shows that the best situation for a student to develop their learning capabilities is through a team approach that involves the student, the parent and the teacher so that both expectations and outcomes are consistent.

The number of parents who attended this day was high and shows the importance that parents place on this time. The feedback I have had from parents and teachers was overwhelmingly positive. My thanks to our staff who put in a lot of effort to make this day a success.

As a follow on from this day, if you have reflected on the feedback and have follow up questions or would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact the school and teacher to arrange another meeting.

Wearable Arts

This event last week was absolutely superb and a credit to our students who showed their talents on the stage. It is a drawcard for our community each year and this year was no exception.

The designs that we saw were nothing short of outstanding. It is a credit to all the singers, dancers and drama students who made this night such a success. My thanks to the large number of staff and students involved in the setting up of this event.

Curriculum Change Update

Over recent months our Senior Leadership Team have been collaborating with teachers in staff meetings to look at a range of different timetable structures that would better allow the development of our three pillars of learning in 2022; Foundation Learning, Personal and Social Education and Project Based Learning.

The aim of Foundation Learning is for every department to add value to every students’ academic progress by developing their skills and capabilities through critical thinking, growth mindset, effective feedback and communication. Mr Billy Cosgriff has been leading this area with our Assistant Principal, Ms Suzanne Pidduck.

In Personal and Social Education, our students are working on creating Learner Profiles during Whanaungatanga time. Learner profiles help students understand themselves better as learners, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their learning styles. Learner profiles also help teachers understand their students better and help differentiation in the classroom. Ms Amy Ross has been leading this with our Assistant Principal, Mr Richard Harvey.

The aim of the Project Based Learning pillar of learning is to allow students the opportunity to learn through interests and passions. Mr Cameron Love has been leading this area with Mr Ryan Wilson.

We will be sharing this in more detail later this term and into Term 3 when we will present this at an evening.

Gym update

Over the last few months, the Board of Trustees has gone through the tendering process for the Gym plans that we shared last year. All the tenders came to us significantly higher than we have the funds for and there has been a great number of hours as a BoT looking at ways to gain the gym by taking away a number of aspects we had in our plans. This still has not got us close enough to go with a preferred contractor, and we need to do more around community fundraising.

We are now working with the Ministry on alternative ways to get a functional gym for our students. All of this time has seen further delays in a start time to begin the build. I wanted to let all our community know that we are working hard to get this project underway but it will mean we still have to continue using our Gym for the time being.

Staff Changes

As many of you will be aware from the last newsletter, we have had some changes in staff recently. Mr Len Hawkins resigned at the start of the term and Ms Bronwyn Clark went on parental leave last week. Ms Amy Ross will also be taking parental leave and finishing early in Term 3. Mrs Anita Body has decided to resign at the end of this term. We wish each of these valued staff members well.

Pink Shirt Day

Our Yr 13 Student Leaders held a very informative student led assembly around the goal of being a bully free school. We saw many of our students and staff wear something Pink on Pink Shirt Day to recognise the importance of not accepting or tolerating bullying of any form. It was wonderful to see the passion so many of our students have for this societal issue.

Uniform

We need your support now around the uniform! Over the last few weeks, there have been a large number of students who are knowingly choosing to not wear the correct school uniform. We need you as parents and caregivers to not only talk to your son or daughter on the importance of pride in their school and that the uniform reflects this, but also to check what they are wearing each morning. We are seeing students coming to school wearing different coloured sweatshirts or jackets, incorrect school socks, tie not being done up correctly as a senior, wearing jewellery outside the school regulations, through to wearing nail polish and eyeliner. The uniform expectations are very clear and on our website here should you want clarity these areas.

We will now start to see who is doing this on a regular basis and give them the opportunity to take charge of their actions. Should this continue then we will be taking a more disciplined approach around how they wear the uniform with in school actions. We appreciate your support in checking your son or daughter's uniform before they leave for school as this is about having pride in our school and the values of respect and responsibility while they are part of the Geraldine High School community.


School Strategic Direction Community Consultation

As part of our 3 year review cycle we will be revisiting our school vision, values and goals. These are integral to ensuring the direction the school is taking is the very best for our students.

Later this term and into Term 3 we will be surveying our school community and students on what they believe are the most important areas for us to focus on as we look to planning for the next 3 years. We do hope that you will all contribute to this part to ensure we are all working together for our students' academic progress and future goals.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa