From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman, Principal | Posted: Friday May 13, 2016

Welcome back to the start of term 2

Tena Koutou Katoa,

Welcome back to everyone to the start of term 2. Our value for this term is respect. This is such an important aspect to how we relate to each other at school; whether it be respect for our school environment; respect for the culture and pride of the school; or respect for  teachers, staff and fellow students. A wonderful example of our school values in action were the actions of Anita Sanders, Bailey Booth and Luke Hancox who were featured in The Geraldine News this week for assisting Mr Les Patrick in getting home after his mobility scooter stopped working. These students  recognised that someone needed  help and their manners and the respect shown are wonderful traits to have. These young students showed that they are growing into responsible, caring citizens in our community. Well done Bailey, Anita and Luke.

Public Speaking

Attached are the recent Radio Slots on Port FM and the Edge radio where our Student Leaders continue to talk about some of the exciting events that are occurring at Geraldine High School. I have been impressed with the confidence and clarity that these students speak with, and these skills are a necessary part of life. Currently our students are doing class speeches and the skills and confidence from these opportunities will set them up well to do things such as speak on the radio or present to a group in their future.

Cultural Extravaganza

In the next few weeks many of our students will be involved in a wide range of cultural opportunities and events. It is wonderful to see the talents that our students have, many of which have been developed over a number of years of practice.

We currently have a number of our students in the local Geraldine production ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ and I have heard wonderful comments from those who have seen this. See the details about the show later in the newsletter.

Next week we have the biannual ‘Wearable Arts’ event and many are looking forward to seeing the creative and artistic talents of those students entering garments in a variety of categories. Tickets have been in high demand and today is the last day to purchase for next Wednesday's show.

This week we were fortunate to have the travelling show ‘Mana The Spirit of Polynesia’ which our Year 7-10 students were able to see. This was a great show and thoroughly enjoyed by all the students. Read more about this later in the newsletter.

Over the holidays and for the last 2 weeks we have had a number of our students and staff putting a number of hours into the upcoming school production ‘Oliver’.

Building Projects

We have had another busy holiday period with further building upgrades. These have been painting the outside of the Library Block, putting a new roof for the Rangitata Block where our modernised Year 7 Homeroom classes are, new lino for the Food Technology room and Ortex in a number of rooms around the school. We have also moved and replaced some of our drinking fountains as this has been an issue for students for some time. My thanks to Mr Mike Stephens for the supervision that he has done to ensure all of these upgrades were done before the start of this term.

We have started the initial sketches and plans for the redevelopment of the Science Labs beside the staff room with Timaru Architects Newlove Browning. We are looking to starting this upgrade at the end of Term 3 with completion ready for the start of 2017.

Board of Trustees

Nomination forms have gone home last week for the Board of Trustees election and this is an opportunity to be part of the future of Geraldine High School. This closes on Friday 20th May. Please speak to our Board Chair, Mrs Sally Prattley if you would like to know more about the role of the Board.

John Parsons - Internet Safety

He is back! Last year we had Cyber Expert Mr John Parson’s attend Geraldine to work with staff, parents and students in making us more aware of the safety needed in working in the Cyber/Internet world and we were fortunate to have him in Geraldine for the first 2 days of this week. Once again it was great to have the reminders on protecting ourselves and hearing how we can ensure that all of our students along with staff are using safe practices with our ICT. I hope that your son or daughter have had the opportunity to talk with you about what they heard from John and what they have learnt about keeping themselves safe. My thanks to the Benevolent Trust for supporting this opportunity.

Thai Group

We have been the hosts to 12 Thai students who have been in Geraldine for the last 2 weeks. As a rural school it is wonderful to be more globally connected when we have groups who visit our region from other parts of the world. The Thai Agent, Chonnanit Na Songkhla, who brought the students out here, spoke very highly of the wonderful homestay families that they were with, the welcome and acceptance they received from teachers and students and the amazing hospitality and friendliness that all the students received. My thanks to Mrs Kerri Doy and Mrs Gislinde Folkerts along with all the host families for making the visit such a success.

Teacher Only Day - Friday 3rd June

Please note that we have a Teachers Only day in 3 weeks time that aligns with the Primary Schools in our district. This day will be spent by our teachers focusing on teacher training around appraisal and working towards our Annual Plan and strategic Goals for this year.

Staff Changes

We have had a number of staff changes at the start of this term.

Mr Mark Hayward is away for this term on sabbatical where he will look at careers and pathways in other schools and how we can use this information in our school. Mrs Jan Hellyer will be the Guidance Counsellor for term 2.

Our new HOD of Outdoor Education, Mr Hayden Titchener, started this term and will be an asset for this area of our school with the skills and experiences he brings from more than 20 years in the Outdoor Industry both in New Zealand and overseas.

Mrs Steph White, who has been a committed staff member of our school for the last 8 years, will be leaving us this term as she pursues other interests and we wish her all the very best.

We have appointed Ms Cate Knowles, as Deputy Principal of Geraldine High School. Ms Knowles is currently the Acting Deputy Principal and HOD of English at Takapuna Grammar School, a co-educational, 1,800 student school on the North Shore in Auckland. She originates from Ashburton and has previously taught at Marlborough Girls College, Avondale College and Mt Aspiring College and we look forward to her joining us in term 3.

As the cold weather starts to descend on us, please ensure that your son or daughter is in our correct winter uniform and that they are eating, doing some exercise and getting enough sleep so that they are at their best for learning over the coming term.

Nga mihi