South Otago High School

South Otago High School

Quality Education in a Supportive Community

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  • Principal’s Address 9th November 2018

    9th Nov 2018

    Dear Parents/Caregivers

    Kia Ora Tatou

    On Monday evening the senior students gathered with family and whanau for the annual Prize Giving event. As Principal, I was so proud of the achievements of the students as they came across the stage. Prior to the announcement of the head students, I was able to commend those students who performed on the night. We had two faultless musical performances by students and a spirited and rousing Kapa Haka performance.

    Following the formalities, it was a pleasure to receive positive feedback from parents about the student performances. I have relayed these to the students and I believe that this is a true reflection of the growth of these students during the last three years.

    Head Students

    The head students for 2019 are Steven Te Moananui-Currie and Ella-Rose Lawrence. Their deputies are Cody Haitana and Amy Sellwood. I look forward to working with these students and seeing them grow in their leadership roles.

    The day after the prize giving I was asked what the cloaks presented to the head students’ represented. It is worth publicising the response to this question as it is significant.

    They are a ceremonial garment to signify the importance of the leadership position the students take on within the school. To add to that, the wearing of these particular korowai include the mana and life histories of past students. The weaving at the top signifies the strength of the foundation of the school through its community, the men who lost their lives in the Wars, the families who continue to grieve for them and yet grow.

    The colour of the female korowai is to represent the notion of ‘home’ and all that encompasses, or fortitude, along with justice and fairness. The colour for the male korowai represents steadfastness and adventure, friendship and camaraderie.

    Last day for seniors

    The annual opportunity for high spirits by our departing Year 13 students did not go un-noticed! On the whole there was well intentioned fun. It is always sad to say farewell to the seniors and I look forward to seeing the majority of them at the Graduation Dinner later this month.

    Junior prefects

    With the departure of the senior students we are looking to recruit leaders from Y10 to take on some of the responsibilities and leadership that was carried out by the Student Council. Students have been asked to prepare a letter outlining their skills and aspirations for the role. I hope to announce the successful candidates next week.

    Uniform

    I would draw the attention of parents of Year 10 boys to the amendment to the uniform code which has been changed with effect to the start of 2019. Year 11 boys will continue to wear the blue shirts worn in Year 9 and 10. The Year 12 boys will continue to wear the white shirt and there is no intention to change this at the present time.

     Pathways to employment

    I have spoken to some parents and encouraged them to go with their son/ daughter to the Pathways to Employment expo at the Cross Recreation Centre tomorrow. This is a worthwhile opportunity to hear about employment opportunities locally and to gain advice about the skills necessary to get the available jobs. For anyone uncertain about their future this is a great opportunity.

    Property

    For those who attended the Senior Prizegiving you would have heard the school is in a sound financial position. Visitors to the school will have noticed we are currently redeveloping the Music/Drama area and will have a refurbished suite for students with a lot of new equipment and state of the art resources. This week the Board have also approved the purchase of new furniture for the school library. I expect both of these projects will be completed for the start of the new school year.

    Plans have also been drawn up for the redevelopment of the Pomahaka Block and I anticipate that this work will commence in 2019. Also in 2019 we will begin consultation for the redevelopment of D Block. The aim for the Board is to provide the best facilities possible for our students.

    The Board is fortunate to be in such a sound financial position and this is due to the prudent financial management over a number of years, as well as the support from our community.

    Senior study leave and call backs

    Students on senior study leave should be planning to use their time wisely to ensure they are thoroughly prepared for any external assessments they may have. Teachers are available to support students and I encourage parents to check in with their son/daughter to see what support they need and to ensure that they are keeping in contact with the teacher. This year we have fewer students on call back and this is a reflection upon the improvement in student performance in gaining the necessary credits during the year.

    Finally

    With the departure of the senior students the school is much quieter! I have spoken to the Y9+10 students to remind them it is business as usual and they still have assessments and work to complete before their departure in December. Parents and whanau support to encourage students to achieve their full potential is critical.

    Ka kite ano

    Mike Wright

    Principal