Principal Speech 2018

Jill Pears —

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e rau rangatira mā Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa

Greetings to all families, students, staff and members of our extended school community gathered here for our end of year celebration. Welcome to you all.

My name is Jill Pears and I have the honour and privilege to be the principal of Diamond Harbour School. We are coming to the end of what has been, as always, a busy year. Thanks to the dedication of our staff, and the support of the community, our students have had a wide range of opportunities and achieved high levels of success. From classroom academic and curriculum programmes, to sporting and artistic achievements, robotics and digital technologies, gardening, school camps and trips to Wellington, running a restaurant and solving future problems the world may face, Diamond Harbour School students achieve success at both local and national level.

This level of success can not be achieved by any one person alone. Rather it is a team effort, weaving together commitment from teaching staff, support staff, administrative staff, parents, wider community and of course the students themselves.

To our teachers: Fiona Rice, Alex Foster, Catherine Mackenzie, Muriel Haines, Nat Halliday, Tracey Janes, Louise Dennis, Jim Petersen, Karen Steedman, Sarah Nicholl, Helen Hiller and Belinda Currie. Thank you for your dedication, your time, and most importantly the genuine care and attention you provide for each and every one of our students. To our support staff who work directly with students: Lou Heath, Gabrielle Buis, Annabelle Weir, Melanie Gliddon and Bethany Pearson thank you for going above and beyond, helping to level the playing field for our students and ensuring they are able to access all the opportunities our school offers.

To the property support staff: Rob Stent and Brian Scobie thank you for ensuring our school is a safe and pleasant environment for students. This is sincerely appreciated.

To Kaye Jones, Executive Officer, thank you for your amazing ability to cover a wide range of jobs. You provide essential support for our staff and students from managing the vagaries of Novopay to cleaning up a variety of bumps and bruises. And you do all this with a smile.

To the Board of Trustees: Dennissa Hora, Hamish Laird, Sara Coop, Davinia Hitchings, Sarah Grimes and Alan Boyd thank you for your wisdom and your foresight that you provide for the school in your governance role. I would also like to acknowledge Chris Baldwin and Jo Hedland who left the board this year. You give selflessly of your time, and drive a focus on continual school improvement for the benefit of all our tamariki.

As you will all know over the past 4 years the Board, with both the previous principal and myself, has been working with the community and planning the redevelopment of Diamond Harbour School. This is part of the Greater Christchurch Education Renewal Programme. When I came to Diamond Harbour School, The Education Brief, which sets out the future direction and goals for the school, had been completed. This is the blueprint document which has guided the wider school community and architects for the past two years as they work through master planning and detailed design. Early next year, the physical manifestation of all this planning will begin. This will lead us into what will both we an exciting and challenging year. We are fortunate to be able to stage the redevelopment process, and use our additional spaces so that disruption to students will be minimal. We recognise that change can be a difficult process, however we are confident our redeveloped classrooms will enable us to continue our success and build on these for the future. Remember our doors are always open, so if you want, please come and have a chat.

To our parent and caregiver community. Thank you for allowing myself, and the rest of the staff, to be part of your tamariki’s development. We acknowledge the trust you place in us, and we treat that with the greatest care. Thank you for everything you do to support your tamariki and the school. Without your support and involvement we would be unable to run many of the programmes and activities that we do. Many of you put your hand up to help us and we are extremely grateful for the generous donation of your time.

To the students, thank you all for being who you are. You are all unique and bring your own strengths and personality to our school. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me, for making me laugh, frustrating me at times, but mostly for making me feel proud as you develop as learners and as people. You all have your own personality and I enjoy spending time with you. To our Year 8 students who leave us at the end of this week, thank you for being such a wonderful and varied group of students. You are entering the second stage of your education and you are all well are truly ready for this. I believe Diamond Harbour School has given you a great foundation on which you will build your own place in the world. Hold onto your school values, remember these will guide you well as you continue your journey into adulthood. Stay true to who you are. You are all positive and unique individuals. Remember to be the best you that you can be.

A strength of Diamond Harbour School is the school values. Not long ago I was chatting with a teacher from Wellington. Their school was reviewing their values programme and as part of this they had researched the values from other schools. She mentioned how they were using Diamond Harbour School values to help guide the development of their own values system. Shortly I will be awarding a certificate to one student from each class, chosen by the class as being the student who best exemplifies the school values. Congratulations to these students, these values will serve you well throughout your life.

Last but not least, there are two special thank yous I would like to make. Tracey Janes and Catherine Mackenzie. Tracey leaves us at the end of the year to take up a position at Broadfields school and Catherine left earlier in the year to take up a position in Knights Stream school - a new school in Halswell that will open the beginning of 2019. Thank you Tracey and Catherine for all you have contributed to the school. We wish you both the best of luck in your new position. Best of luck and we know your new schools will treasure you as much as we do.

I would also like to welcome two new staff members: Sally Craw and Karen Coom.

So, at the end of a very busy and rewarding year, I hope you all enjoy a well earned break over the summer. On behalf of all staff, I wish all our Diamond Harbour families a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā kotou katoa