The highlight of the past week was certainly our annual school Athletic Sports Day.
The house system was first introduced in 2014, making this the first House event where all students at the school have been part of the house system since their arrival at OGs. This, I believe, was part of the reason that this was the most successful Sports Day I have experienced in my time at the school. Participation rates were high, the house spirit was alive and well, events were competitive, the atmosphere was festive, and we were privileged to see some very talented athletes break school records. The highlight of the day was the house relays, with the cheering and support shown for the competitors and the sense of belonging demonstrated by members of each house exemplifying two of the many reasons we introduced the House system five years ago.
On Monday the Otago Girls’ Enviroschools Hui was held at the Dunedin City Council building and a large number of our students and staff were welcomed by City Councillor Aaron Hawkins. He spoke on the importance of young people having a voice and how the Council could be a conduit for them to take action. The students, led by Enviroschools Prefect Brynn McBurney, then had a group discussion on possible projects they could undertake this year. I commend all the girls involved on being part of such a crucial extra-curricular group. You will find Brynn’s report on this event in this newsletter.
On Wednesday we held our PTSA AGM and were delighted to welcome a number of new parents to this group. We also welcomed our two Year 13 student representatives Samantha Ward and Holli Kennedy and we look forward to hearing them report on school activities from the student perspective throughout the year. I would like to congratulate our PTSA executive on being re-elected to their roles and thank them for their willingness to support the school in this way: President Sue Filsell, Secretary Keri Ballantyne and Treasurer Rachel Saunders.
This week we also held our Maori whanau evening and were delighted that so many parents and students we able to join us to celebrate the successes of our Maori students. I am sure that the NCEA results for our Maori students would place them near or at the top of their group nationwide. Thanks to the large contingent of boys from Otago Boys' for joining us for this occasion.
This week I attended a meeting for educators and parents, run by the Tomorrow’s Schools Task Force, to find out about the implications of the Government’s proposed review of the school administration system. The proposed changes are far reaching and I would encourage any of you with an interest in the future of education to look at the information on the website https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/tomorrows-schools-review/ and contribute your ideas to the submissions being sought.
One of the foundation blocks of Tomorrow’s Schools is the Board of Trustees and I would like to remind parents that Board elections will be held this year. Nominations will be opening soon so please think about putting yourself forward for this rewarding role or encouraging others to do so.
Next week our Year 9 students will be taking part in camps at Tirohanga. These camps are always enjoyable and sometimes challenging for individuals. I look forward to seeing and hearing about the girls' adventures.