From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman, Principal | Posted: Friday November 8, 2019

Tena koutou

Last week was a fantastic week to be the Principal of Geraldine High School. I was privileged to be invited to the PIA Prize Giving, we celebrated the academic success of our senior students with our Senior Prize Giving and we announced the premiere awards of Dux and Board of Governors Trophy. We also announced the Head students and Student Exec for 2020 which is always an exciting occasion as we see who will lead the school for that year from our student body.

So huge congratulations to:

  • Taylor Gallagher - 2019 Dux  the top academic student at Geraldine High School. Taylor also gained an Otago University Leaders of Tomorrow Entrance Scholarship and heads to Otago University next year to do a Bachelor of Science Degree majoring in Genetics.

  • Liam Wilson - 2019 Proxime Accessit the second top academic student at Geraldine High School. Liam also gained an Otago University Vice Chancellor's Scholarship and heads to Otago University next year to do a Bachelor of Science Degree majoring in Computer Science.

  • Amelia Houston - 2019 Board of Governors prize winner for all round Excellence. Amelia also gained an Otago University Leaders of Tomorrow Entrance Scholarship and will attend Otago University to study Health Science.

Student Leaders 2020

My thanks to our 2019 Student Leaders. This year has been full of new experiences and opportunities for them.  Having held these positions will be invaluable for their futures as much of what they have done is relevant to the world they are entering.

Their leadership qualities will set them apart from so many others  and it is to their benefit that they developed these at such a young age. So thank you for your commitment to Geraldine High School, for your  huge sense of pride in the school, and for the unwavering commitment to high standards, values and culture of the school that you have helped set.

And so we move on to the Leadership group for next year which is:

Head GirlCharlotte Stack

Head BoyJamie Roberts

Deputy Head GirlTessa Orange

Deputy Head BoyCameron Smith

MacDonald House LeaderJana Candish-Kelliher

Tripp House LeaderEllarose Bennett

Acland House LeaderBen Williams

Cox House LeaderSam Guerin

Rangitahi LeaderLydia Burnett

Cultural LeaderBrooke Dwyer

Sports LeaderLydia Gordon

BoT Student Representative Courtney Howell

This group has seen a strong development of leadership over the last few years and we have been able to see the drive and initiative shown by  members of this group. We hope that they will  come in with fresh ideas which will continue to foster the strong reputation that the school has in the community.

Student NCEA Exams

We are now into week 4 and our senior students focus should be on the exams that are currently being held. As staff we are at times disappointed by the number of students who choose not to do their exams and this also has applied to those who didn’t attend our practice exams.

As parents, we would appreciate your support in ensuring that your son or daughter does attend exams for a number of reasons.

  • It is part of their subject programme to not only do Internals but also Externals.

  • It is an opportunity to experience and become competent at doing exams as your son or daughter will not be able to avoid doing an exam like this in their future, particularly if they undertake tertiary study at some point.

  • It builds on their focus, thinking and organisational skills and puts them in the best position to sit these exams.

We wish all our senior students the very best for the coming weeks of exams and hope that they use the time between exams wisely so they achieve well.

New Staff

We are very close to completing our staffing for next year. We have recently appointed one staff member with Jordyn Te Rahui Hobbs taking up the Te Reo position along with English; and are in the process of advertising for two part time Homeroom roles.

All our new staff will be in school in the last week of November to familiarise themselves  with the school systems along with having time with their HOD’s. This has always been much appreciated by those who do come in and it assists greatly in their start the following year.

Upcoming events for Term 4

We often talk in our various channels of communication and about the range of opportunities that we provide our students. Generally these are well received but we also have a number of students who refuse to be involved in aspects of learning particularly beyond the classroom. I am always disappointed to hear of students who decide to stay away from school and not take up the opportunities such as camps, activities or field trips. This is as much a part of our student's learning as being in the classroom as it does two things.

Firstly, it develops each student’s holistic capabilities such as working in an unfamiliar environment or working as a team to overcome an obstacle or challenges where understanding each others strengths and weaknesses is part of the growth as a human being.

Secondly, learning occurs in all places so having exposure to this beyond the school gate has huge benefits for each student.

We do hear that it is often the cost that prevents attendance, however in the 5 years I have been here, we have had the ability to assist greatly with this so in reality, if we are informed, then we can make it happen.

Recently, as I mentioned earlier, we had our Senior Prize Giving, and what was very disappointing was the large number of Year 10, 11 & 12 students who did not attend school that day or went off the school site before the Prize Giving. The Prize Giving is the celebration and acknowledgement of those who have excelled across a wide range of areas and should be recognised by all our students and parents. It is our premiere event and the culmination in the learning over the entire year. As parents, we would appreciate you discussing with your son or daughter about the importance of attending such events as not only is it a show of support and recognition for the prize winners, but it is also in school time and therefore an expectation that they are at school and therefore unless they have a genuine reason for not attending school or leaving school they are officially marked down as truant.

We have an exciting few weeks ahead in the junior school with Year 8 Camp, Year 10 Challenge events and whole school activities. These are always great fun but also great learning opportunities and memorable experiences. Please take note of these in the events section of this newsletter.

Noho ora Mai