Principal’s Address 31st October 201431st Oct 2014
Tena Koutou Katoa
Senior Study Leave
This is the last newsletter before many of the seniors leave for examination study leave. The academic year of teaching is nearly at a close for 2014.
Mr McDowall has repeatedly gone over the academic data of Year 11-13 students to check their exact requirements for achieving their respective NCEA level qualifications. Should your son or daughter be asked to continue to come to school, it will be exclusively because this is required to actually pass the NCEA level they are entered into. We are doing our very best to ensure that every individual student has been carefully monitored and has a plan for success. In doing this, we are following the Ministry of Education’s direction of knowing each student’s name and need.
Please support us by ensuring your young person continues to attend school during this period. As individuals, they will complete their work requirements on various days, so there will be no final leaving day advertised. I would like them to continue to wear uniform – this helps us keep them safe and accountable to us here at school and in the wider community.
The format of their study will differ from the hour-by-hour class structure we have throughout the year. Some may do a two hour block in a particular subject; some may move from learning space to learning space throughout the day and some may stay in the library. All students will be taught and supervised every period they are in the school.
All students will understand exactly where they are with credit attainment and therefore, see the relevance of their work. As they continue with this programme they will complete all possible credits outstanding to ensure their academic success. They may not need to stay all day; clearly bus students will need to stay for the entire day.
The last day for seniors is Thursday, 6th November. Year 11, 12 and 13 students will be released at 1.00pm. I would very much appreciate if all Year 11 and 12 students, including bus students at this level, could be transported home at this time. I am sure these students will be happy to have the afternoon off classes and the freedom to choose to study or relax.
Year 13 students will stay on at school after the 1.00pm release. This is the last day for these students after five years of school. We want to spend some special time with this group of young people, with whom the large majority of staff have spent these years watching them grow into the outstanding young people they are today.
Throughout the country the last day of formal lessons for seniors have been made very difficult by younger school students acting badly on this day, or Year 13 students themselves, making poor choices in terms of behaviour. In order to keep this day a positive experience for all, we intend to have a longer lunchtime, with games for the juniors and a shared Barbecue lunch withYear 13 students.
All senior students will have Friday, 7th November off school to study before examinations begin on Monday, 10th November. This will also give staff the time to organise tutorials and standards ready for the returning students.
Junior examinations begin on Tuesday, 11th November. All Year 9 and Year 10 students should now have books at home and be reading over notes, making charts and diagrams, rewriting notes and doing examples of problems. It is called study – it is work. We need your help to make sure that this is happening at home regularly. These exams are a part of the picture that helps staff determine which courses students will be best suited for in the next year, but they are not the only piece of data that we work from.
It is a busy term; examinations for all, outdoor education and production for juniors, house-group sports day for juniors and prize giving for junior and seniors as well as the South Otago Schools’ Digital Expo. As always, attendance is key – there is never a day of education that students can say “Oh I only have this subject and we are not doing anything, so I can have the morning/afternoon off.” Please contact us if this is a difficulty for you. We have dedicated staff and agencies to help schools help both parents and students.
Ka Kite Ano
Mrs Joanne Hutt