Hero photograph
Linda Miller, Principal
Photo by Photolife

Principals' Report

Ms L. Miller, Principal —

Junior reports went out yesterday and should provide students and parents with an overview of the learning and development that has occurred in the first half of the year.

If your daughter is in the junior school I encourage you to sit down with her and discuss the comments and grades with her as well as talk about what she thinks her next learning steps are. The act of reflecting is an important tool for self improvement and is what helps us identify mind traps and habits that do not serve us well. It also allows us to identify and appreciate what we do well and to be grateful for the things (people, opportunities, facilities, resources) that support us. If you have any concerns about your daughter’s progress please contact the school office and we can follow this up at the beginning of next term.

In looking through the reports I was disturbed by the number of students who appear not to be involved in any co-curricular activities. This may be because their participation has not been reported, in which case I encourage you or your daughter to email the school office or your daughter’s Whanau Teacher to have this included in her report. The skills and friendships that are gained from taking part in group activities like sports and productions are immeasurable. Interpersonal skills like negotiation and collaboration along with resilience, perseverance and self management are all developed when we work in teams. Taking part in musical, artistic and dramatic activities grows our creativity and appreciation of beauty, growing our neural pathways and intelligence as a result. Being physically active is crucial for healthy growth and development and is an important resilience factor for mental health as well. In an age where we all spend increased amounts of time on devices and in sedentary activities, playing sport provides a fun and supportive environment in which to be physically active. Not only does participation in these activities support our healthy growth and development, the skills learned enable us to have better relationships with others, to be happier and to be more likely to secure employment and other opportunities. The evidence is also very clear that busy students are successful students and it is unusual to see students who have good co-curricular involvement get involved in disciplinary issues or be underachieving academically. In fact, involvement in co-curricular activities support academic achievement.

Otago Girls’ offers so many different co-curricular activities to students of all abilities or experience. Students consistently tell us that is why they choose to come here. While it is too late for students to sign up for teams for the Winter sports season, we will be publicising summer sports opportunities next term. Please encourage your daughter to get involved in them. Their future selves will thank you!

Yesterday we presented 14 Year 9 students with Otago Girls’ High School Board of Trustees Scholarships. This was a lovely event with the recipients reflecting a group of lovely young women who are achieving both inside and outside the classroom. You can read more about them in this newsletter.

Last night our Year 12 students and partners tripped the light fantastic at our annual Year 12 Formal, held at the Savoy. It was a lovely night and all present looked amazing. Thanks to all involved in organising and supervising this event.

As I write this report students are practising in preparation for our House Haka Competition, which will be the final event for the term. It has been an extremely busy term, filled with some amazing achievements and some real highlights. I wish students, staff and families a restful holiday and look forward to seeing you all next term.