Tēnā koutou katoa
As you are aware our theme for this year is pride and it has been wonderful of late to see many ex students returning to the school and speaking with such fondness about their time at Geraldine High School. Over the past two weeks we have had Dan Cummings return to address the senior students in our Pathways Assembly about his role as an Agribusiness Partner with the BNZ in Timaru. You can read some of the key messages from Dan’s speech later in the newsletter. We also have had Ms Amy Ross one of our current Deans and Year 7 and 8 teachers, speak to the full school assembly about her journey through her time as a student here and then her tertiary education, work experiences and her eventual return to the school. Nadia van der Sanden is another ex student and she is currently back at the school on a teaching placement as part of her education journey.
It is always a pleasure to see these ex students return to their school and see the pride that they have in the school itself but also to hear them talk about the positive relationships they formed with staff and students whilst they were here. These positive relationships are integral to our Term 2 value which is Respect. In Dan’s speech he talked about the importance of “just being nice to people.” Amy also spoke about the importance of being “friendly and smiling”. Taylor Gallagher and a group of dedicated students did a fantastic job last Friday of very actively promoting these messages through the very well-organised Pink Shirt Day at school. It was wonderful to see so many students supporting this powerful initiative by wearing pink to school. All of us play a role in making this a safe environment for our students to learn in and we encourage our students to “Speak Up, Stand Together” if they see something that makes them uncomfortable. This could mean seeking help from a trusted staff member, emailing the Dean of the year level or filling out one of our yellow pastoral help forms. We also appreciate the emails and phone calls from parents which help us all to work together towards a bully-free environment.
Last week also saw the announcement from the Ministry of Education regarding the changes to the current NCEA system. Various groups in the school have been spending time looking over this information and having robust discussions about these changes and how they could impact the teaching and learning at our school. The only immediate change that will affect families is that the fees for NCEA have now been removed for all domestic students. Our office staff are currently working on crediting those who have already paid their fees.
Should you want to read more about the changes, I have included the link to the relevant information below.
Last night was our Wearable Arts Awards and I want to commend the committee of Bella Kircher, Julia Burnett, Georgina Sullivan, Ethan Hornsby, Gem Stevens, Jantzen Quiambao, Andrea Hornsby, Sally Houston and Bronwyn Clark for the exceptional job they did of putting together such a polished event. Thank you also to the many members of the community who supported this event either through their attendance or sponsorship. In the next newsletter there will be more information and pictures of the fabulous creations the students both made and modeled so professionally.