Principal’s Address 7th July 20177th Jul 2017
Kia Ora Tatou
The end of term is now upon us and it is a good time to reflect upon the successes of the last ten weeks. Students have had the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities including the Gore and Taieri Interchanges, field trips to Tautuku, Geography trips to Mount Cook and Stewart Island, the Speech Competitions as well numerous outdoor education trips around the region.
In addition, a large number of our students participate in a wide range of winter sports and make the most of the opportunity to represent the school. For all students at South Otago High School, there are a wide range of sporting, cultural and academic opportunities to enjoy and participate in throughout the year.
This term has also seen our first round of academic mentoring. During the mentoring period our teachers met with 80% of our student and their family/ whanau. This is a significant increase from the 27% who attended the traditional parent teacher evenings. The support and feedback from staff, students and parents/ whanau has been overwhelmingly positive.
Pathways to Jobs
This week, we had our first ‘Meet the Employers’ evening and welcomed local employers to the school and met with about 100 students and parents. They heard tips on how to land that first job and also hear of some of the opportunities available in our region. Once again there has been considerable positive feedback from students, parents/ whanau and the employers. We are already making plans to host this event next year and will be looking to do this either in Term 1 or early in Term 2 of 2018.
We appreciate the support of the local employers and the Clutha Development Board in putting on this event. I look forward to hosting this event again in 2018.
Some of the key messages that employers stated they were looking for in a new employee included:
- Right attitude both in school and out in the community
- Punctuality and smart appearance
- Motivated to work and to continue to learn
- Reliable and honest
- A person who is involved in the community and has a profile.
Term dates for 2018
This year we have had more parents choosing to take students out of school to go on holiday. In order to provide as much notice as possible of the term dates for 2018 I have been working on this during the last week. I expect to be able to confirm the 2018 term dates early next term. The school year will be staring on Monday 29 January 2018. Senior students will be expected to be available at this time to confirm their courses.
As Easter does not fall in the school holidays in 2018 it will mean that the school year will not finish until later in December than has been the case in recent years. Families should expect students to be in school until at least mid December 2018.
Model United Nations
This week I have been informed that Gassan Otari has been selected as a representative at the Model United Nations assembly to be held in Wellington from 11 to 14 July. This is a wonderful opportunity and we wish Gassan well in this exciting event.
Teacher Only Day
A final reminder that we have a teacher only day on Friday 28 July. The school will be closed for instruction for the day. Senior students who attend tertiary programmes or work experience on this day will still be expected to attend their off-site programmes.
Next term is just ten weeks and for the senior students there are only a few lessons before many will be granted study leave. At best for seniors there will be only 50 lessons to complete assignments. For juniors there is slightly more time before they will be preparing for their end of year assessments. These holidays are a good time to review the progress that has been made and the feedback given during the conferencing sessions. Time between now and the end of the year will be very precious. All students are encouraged to spend at least some time catching up on missed work or reading and preparing for the next topics that they will be studying.
Do have a good break and enjoy the time away from school for the next two weeks.
Ka kite ano