Hero photograph
New Staff (L to R):  Annabel Duffield, Teena Vincent, Rose Cullen, Saskia Tremmel, Mel O'Connor, Borom Blakie and Daniel Clare 
Photo by Mrs Andrea Hornsby

From the Principal

Mr Simon Coleman, Principal —

Tena koutou,

Welcome to our first Newsletter for 2019. I do hope that you have had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break and that your son or daughter has had a positive start to their academic year. There are many things that we have in this fortnightly newsletter so that you are informed of upcoming events; students, staff and school successes; and information for you as parents or caregivers.

Welcome to our new students

A special welcome to all our new students and families for this year including our Year 7 students to Geraldine High School. Our school role currently sits at 610 and has meant some changes in teaching spaces over the holiday break to accommodate this.

We have a very strong support team for our students with our Deans, Guidance Counsellor, Social Worker along with our Senior Leadership Team so should there be any questions or concerns for your son or daughter as they start the year, please make contact as soon as you can so that we can put support in place.

New Staff

This year we have 7 new teaching staff starting with us and we are excited about the skills, knowledge and experiences that they add to our talented and motivated staff for 2019.

  • Miss Annabel Duffield is teaching in Yr 7 Homeroom and Drama having previously taught at Highfield Primary School.

  • Mr Borom Blackie who has been working as a University Tutor at Otago University and is joining us as a Yr 7 Homeroom and Science teacher.

  • Mr Daniel Clare joins us from Great Britain and is teaching Yr 8 Homeroom and Digital Technologies.

  • Mr Fraser Goodin will be joining us next week for Ms Sarah Hamilton who has taken maternity leave, and will be teaching Yr 8 Homeroom and Social Studies.

  • In the English Department, we have Mrs Karen Strijbes who has taught in a range of schools in Christchurch.

  • In the Languages area, we have Miss Saskia Tremmell from Germany, who is teaching languages and ESOL [English as a second language].

  • Mrs Teena Vincent has come from the West Coast as an RTLB teacher, and is teaching in the Learning Support area along with Te Reo and Science.

A warm welcome to them all and we are sure that they will enjoy both the school culture and friendliness along with the community setting we live in.


As you may have seen in the paper, our Gym Upgrade project is well underway with our Architects currently doing the working drawings so that we can tender the build project. This is a very large project and our aim is that it will be not only fully used by the school but also by the community so that it is used to its fullest.

We expect to be under construction by late Term 2 with a 10-12 month term to complete. This will create a range of aspects to work through as the gym becomes unavailable, such as classes, sports practices etc but we will need to adapt for this short period.

School Theme - Pride

Our theme for the year is Pride which our Head Students along with the SLT decided on. It has been a fantastic start this year seeing the pride our students have in the way they present themselves, how organised they are, and the enthusiasm we have seen in the first few weeks in class for learning, along with getting to know new students and staff.

Coast to Coast Success

Seeing our students past and present succeeding to a high level in a sport, culturally, or in a academic competition certainly makes the school and wider community very proud.

One of these occasions is the well known Coast to Coast multi sport race from the West Coast to Christchurch where competitors run, cycle and kayak over challenging terrain. Last weekend, our Head Girl, Amelia Houston, and past student, Kate Brown [finished at GHS in 2017], were racing in the 2 day event. It was fascinating following their progress and they both had incredible results.

Kate in her 3rd year doing this race was 6th female and 59th overall and Amelia in her first time in this event was 1st School Girl, 32nd female and 157th overall which is an amazing achievement. Congratulations to them both for the effort and determination in doing this event which has required many hours of training.


We started our school year with our School Powhiri and the school [tangata whenua] welcoming our new staff and students [Manuhiri]. It was a wonderful start to our year and exciting to see students heavily involved in this event. A special thanks to our Head Students - Amelia Houston, Karma Glychen, our Head Girl and Boy, along with Aleisha Martin, Cultural Leader; and Yr 10 student, Thomas Stone, and Dayton Charlie [a Yr 7 student who was at Carew Peel Forest School last year] who led the reply to our welcome for the new students and staff. It was wonderful to have all our feeder Primary School Principals attending along with our Board of Trustees for this important event.

Swimming and Athletics Events

I would like to invite all parents and caregivers to come and watch your son or daughter in the upcoming Swimming and Athletic sports which are in the next 2 weeks. These events are on on these days:

Swimming - Tuesday 19th and Thursday 21st at our school pool.

Athletics - Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th at the back of our school.

Please check the times on our facebook and calendar on this newsletter for details of start times.

I do hope that your son or daughter has enjoyed the start to the school year in a safe and supportive learning environment.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa