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GHS Speeches
Photo by Mrs Andrea Hornsby

Oral Language, Vocational Pathways and School Speeches

Mr Jason Shaw —

The senior school recently had the opportunity to listen to past pupil, Dan Cummings, share with them his own experience of being unsure of what vocational pathway to look to once Year 13 finished and what he really wanted to do next. The school found an opportunity for him to get work with a local bank and from there, Dan built his way through a pathway of Agribusiness Banking. Dan was able to share a little bit about his journey, easily relating to our senior students as well as inspire our students to what skills really count and are worth pursuing. A skill that he emphasised was to be able to “effectively communicate with others.” This is not just crucial in the workforce or at school, but also crucial to our own wellbeing:  we are created with a need to communicate.

Cognition Consultant and Oral Language Facilitator, Del Costello continues to work with the schools and Early Childhood Centres in our Community of Learning, creating an avenue for staff to consider how we might develop our own understanding of the importance of Oral Language in assisting in the learning of literacy, numeracy and all the other avenues of our curriculum. The importance of Oral Language is not just for our teachers and students to understand, but it is important for parents and whanau to comprehend the significant part they play in this facet of learning.

Del is working with our schools and teachers during the last week of May and will be sharing and answering parents’ questions on ‘Why is Oral Language important for our children and how can we support its development?’ This evening session is open to all parents and members of the community and will be held atthe Geraldine Primary School Hall at 7pm on Thursday 30th May. You are all welcome to come along for the hour, to listen, share ideas and ask questions.


The focus on Oral Language not only assists with the development of expressing oneself and therefore focusing on literacy and numeracy through conversations, problem solving and collaborative learning, but also builds a student’s wellbeing and confidence in the various conversations they will find themselves in throughout their life. While these may well be informal conversations, there are times when the skills of Formal Oral Language are vital. One opportunity to practice this is through school speeches.

The GHS Speech Finals will be held in our School Library at 7pm on Tuesday the 11th of June. We are also appreciative, this year, of the Lions Club sponsoring this competition and joining with us to celebrate the successes of our students in this area. We welcome our school family and community to join us on that evening to see these youth excel in a vital skill of lifelong learning.