Kia ora Koutou.
Welcome to our last newsletter for the year. As I look back on 2018, there is much cause for celebration.
Two key highlights for me (from a long list!) would have to be having the privilege of hosting over 1,000 people during the Regional Ngā Manu Korero Speech Contest in June; an event which proved to be an invaluable professional learning opportunity for our staff and one which saw our own Thomas Chin qualify for the national competition in September.
Secondly, was to receive a very pleasing report from the Education Review Office after their visit in August (you can find the full report on our website). Although there are always things for us to be working on, to receive a 4-5 year review from ERO with specific comments around our recent initiatives, focus on student and staff well being and multiple opportunities for students to learn, achieve and serve are all things that we can be proud of.
I also think that Riccarton High School can be proud of the way it goes looking for opportunities which will create a better learning experience for our students and staff.
Recently we were chosen as one of only five schools in New Zealand to join a week-long trip to Hangzhou, China with an initiative funded by the Ministry of Business and Innovation. Science Teacher Emma Trott accompanied me on the trip, visiting schools, presenting to Education Bureau officials, engaging in various cultural experiences as well as creating a new sister school relationship with Hangzhou Binhe Middle School. We came away from the trip with some exciting new opportunities particularly around Science, Maths, Technology and the Arts. A signed formal agreement with our new sister school will not only mean regular communication over pedagogical practice and a focus on what the two schools can learn from each other, but also, opportunities for our students to study and our staff to teach in Hangzhou for short periods of time in the near future.
It has also been wonderful to see our junior students embracing the opportunity to exhibit some of those key Riccarton Way values associated with our Workday. This day also provides the opportunity to raise funds for something purposeful which can benefit large numbers of students. At last count they have raised over $10,000 which will go towards outdoor play/games equipment and I look forward to working with the School Council as we decide specifically what the money will be spent on.
Finally, can I thank you all for your support in 2018. Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable Christmas. To those parents who have students leaving us - thank you for your contribution and interest in your child’s education while they have been with us. To the rest, I look forward to seeing you in 2019.