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Linda Miller, Principal
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Principal's Report

Ms L. Miller, Principal —

It has been a joy to see winter sports and cultural practices finally getting underway this week.

With the country moving to Alert Level 1 from Tuesday, a number of restrictions have been able to be lifted. Our “One Direction” system has been relaxed now but we have chosen to retain our earlier finish time and a number of the room changes that have better catered for larger classes.

We have been gathering feedback from staff, students and parents to identify the lessons we can learn from our lockdown experience. If you haven’t yet answered the parent survey we would appreciate you completing this now.

Normally at this stage of the year we would be in the process of selecting the recipients of the annual OGHS Board of Trustees Year 9 Scholarships. These are awarded for achievement in academic, sporting, cultural and leadership arenas. Nominations are made by teachers, coaches, and tutors, with a subcommittee made up of Board and teaching staff making the final decision about who the recipients will be. Due to Covid-19 students have not had sufficient time or opportunity to demonstrate their talents meaning that the Board of Trustees has made the decision to hold off awarding these scholarships until Term 3.

A number of exciting projects are currently underway at school. We were recently granted $25,000 by the Community Trust of Otago $ for $ fund for the development of an Innovation Hub. This will provide a learning space and equipment that will promote the use of technology and the delivery of the Digital Technologies Curriculum. Among the equipment we will be purchasing and installing will be a laser cutter, a 3D printer, a CNC router, two gaming computers and e-Textiles materials. One of the aims of the hub will be to encourage curriculum integration, while another is to encourage more of our girls to get involved in coding.

Other projects in the planning phase at present have been made possible through the Ministry of Education’s School Investment Package. Projects to be funded at Otago Girls’ will include the recovering of wall surfaces in K block, the commissioning of a whakairo - carved gateway - at the entrance of the school foyer, bilingual signage throughout the school, landscaping and an Outdoor Education garage to be constructed in the upper Tennyson Street carpark.

Meanwhile planning is continuing on the next major upgrade of the school which involves Dalrymple (the old part of the building) and Siedeberg Blocks. A major component of these developments will be improving accessibility throughout the school.

All of these projects are aimed at improving learning opportunities for our students and it is exciting to see our wish lists coming to fruition.