Learning support students visit Orana Park by Mr Mike Deavoll

From the Principal

Tena koutou,

Geraldine High School Open Days

On Tuesday next week we have our first of two Open Days for this year. Next Tuesday is for both our current Year 8 students and their parents along with any new families wanting to see what our school offers from Year 9 and above. I warmly invite parents and students to this day on Tuesday 23rd May and the chance to see how our school works from Year 9 above. Later in the year will be an Open Day for any Year 6 students and their families to see our school and speak to our staff and Year 7 students.

Winter Sports and Events

We have had a busy few weeks with Cross Country yesterday as well as our Year 10 Challenge Bush Rescue Days out at Peel Forest. We also have our winter sports teams underway and it’s pleasing to see so many winter sports teams. We have 10 Netball, 6 Basketball, 4 Rugby, 1 Girls’ Football, 2 Senior Boys’ Hockey, 1 Senior Girls’ Hockey and 4 Primary Grade Hockey teams playing in competitions around SC. We have more Hockey teams entered than any other school in the region! Congratulations to Connie McFarlane who has recently been selected into the SC U18 Hockey team.

In recent years there has been an increase in students playing in our sports team which bodes well as we strive to be a school of choice for sport as well as the many other opportunities we offer. One example of this is the relationship we have formed with the Geraldine Rugby Club where we have the High School Rugby teams supported by the club whether it be coaching or management so that we can offer the best for our students.

This year we have an U12, U13 and U14 1/2 Boys’ teams and a Girls’ Rugby team as we build through the school, but also had students Hamish Prattley and Cody Clarke-Wills make the Roncalli/Aoraki UC team which plays in the UC championship. We also have a number of players in the Aoraki U18 and Southern U18 combined team which are great achievements.

Farewell to Mrs Bev Gregan and Mrs Gaynor Patterson

This Friday we have a farewell for Mrs Bev Gregan who has been our school Librarian for 34 years and has been involved in many other aspects of our school such as BOT elections and the school magazine to name a few. She has been incredibly loyal to the school and the wider regional Librarians to ensure that she can provide the best opportunities for our students. We wish her the very best in the next chapter beyond Geraldine High School which will involve overseas travel later this year.

We are pleased to welcome Mrs Belinda Roberts as our new Librarian and also a return to the school she attended. Mrs Roberts has been based in the United States for a number of years and has been involved in a range of different Libraries and educational programmes.  Read more about Belinda in the next newsletter as she introduces herself and talks about her aspirations for the Library.

Mrs Gaynor Patterson has also been heavily involved in our school for over 30 years and has been responsible for a number of areas of our school such as photo days, uniform and food technician to name just a few. We wish her all the very best for her time beyond school which we are sure will be full of activity.

Merit Assembly

This week we followed on from the Academic Blues assembly held last week with an assembly to recognise and acknowledge the students from last year who gained a Merit Endorsement. This is again a wonderful achievement for these Year 11-13 students who have achieved a high level across their subjects in 2016. We also acknowledged 5 of our junior students from last year who gained a Junior Blue for Sport. (Please see article elsewhere in this newsletter for full details.)

John Parsons - Cyber Safety

As we have done for the last few years, we have Cyber Safety expert John Parsons in school on Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th May with an evening for the community to be held in the School Hall on Monday at 7pm. I encourage all families to attend this as in our ever changing and fast paced world of IT we need to be aware of the safety net required for our young people as well as things that as parents you can do around this.

Learning Support

I had the pleasure of attending the first parent evening for our Learning Support students in our fantastic environment that we have for them. It was lovely to see most parents attend and hear and see what they have been doing particularly as they had finished a Masterchef unit and made the food for this evening.

Mr Mike Deavoll also spoke about his Art programme that he runs for our Learning Support students and this involved a recent trip to Orana Park as part of this programme. What I enjoyed about this evening was the enthusiasm of the students wanting to share what they do with their parents and the staff that attended. My thanks to Mrs Yvonne Smith, Mrs Tracey Howard, Mr Mike Deavoll and the Teachers Aides who were involved in this informative evening.

Melbourne Schools Visit

Last week, I was fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to travel to Melbourne with other Canterbury Principals to visit High Schools that are working with the Melbourne University Education Department which is ranked #2 in the world for its work in this area. We had the opportunity to speak with Professor John Hattie who has undertaken the largest ever synthesis of meta-analyses of quantitative measures of the effect of different factors on educational outcomes. In simpler terms - it is looking at what has the greatest impact of student learning and achievement whether it be class sizes, student teacher relationships or a number of other factors. His book, Visible Learning, is the result of this study and well worth a read if you are interested in knowing more about this.

I look forward to seeing many of you this coming Tuesday for Open Day and the following Monday evening for our John Parsons presentation.

Tena koutou, Tena koutou, tena tartoe katoa.