Principal’s Address 11th May 201811th May 2018
Kia Ora Tatou
The new term has started well with students being kept busy and some great work being done.
As part of our commitment to PB4L we have been asking the students what their views are on one of our values, Respect. The result has been great to see students reinforcing how they believe respect can be demonstrated about the school. The big items they have listed include:
- Using manners
- Positive attitude
- Helping others
- Looking after the environment.
- Wearing uniform correctly.
Collectively, as a staff, we are making sure that we acknowledge students when they demonstrate these attributes.
Education Review Office visit
Next week we have a visit from three staff from the Education Review Office. They will be spending time talking to staff and students about the learning that happens at South Otago High School. On Monday we welcome our visitors with a whole school powhiri. I am looking forward to sharing our stories with the ERO staff and hearing their feedback.
Loves me not
On Wednesday the Y12 students attended the ‘Loves me Not’ presentation which is supported by the police. This educational programme supports students understanding around healthy relationships and how students can look after each other. We appreciate the support of the police in providing this programme which is well received by students each year. Thank you also to Mrs Bloxham for organising this for our students.
Languages at South Otago High School
I have been listening to discussions in the media recently regarding the place of learning a language at school. One part of the discussion is that Te Reo Māori should be compulsory. I believe that it is important that all of our students have the opportunity to learn Te Reo. As we embark on our careers, regardless of where we go, the opportunity to greet one another and understand some of the language and customs is vital. All junior students have this opportunity at South Otago High School and we provide other opportunities to encourage further development and understanding as students move through the school.
In addition to Te Reo we are also offering Mandarin language courses for our students. At school we have some very talented students who attended ‘The 2018 Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition’ in Dunedin. Caleb Luke (Y9) was placed third and will go on to compete in the South Island competition. Catlin Scherp (Y9) was also awarded a Distinction award for her speech. Congratulations to both of these students for their hard work.
This week I have spoken to the senior students about attendance and fees. To be clear, students who have received a letter concerning their attendance must show that they are improving their attendance rate prior to the purchase of SNOB tickets. Those students with outstanding fees owing for co-curricular trips etc will need to have paid these in full prior to the purchase of SNOB tickets. This information was publicised at the start of the year and a letter was sent home to all parents and printed in the school newsletter. At this time no student has been denied entry to the SNOB. I would hope that students will heed the warnings that have been given and make the arrangements to improve attendance and or pay their fees which are owing.
Paid Union Meeting, Friday 8 June
The teachers union, the PPTA, have called for a paid union meeting (PUM) on Friday 8 June. As a result the school will close at 12 mid day on this day. The school will adapt the timetable for the day and a letter to parents will go home early next week. We will not be having the late start so school will start at 8:40 on this Friday in order to provide as much instructional time as possible for students who are in school. Students who are on work experience or polytechnic courses will not be affected by the short day and their courses will run as normal for the full day. However, if they would usually travel by bus home at the end of the day they will need to make alternative arrangements for this one day.
Next week is the school cross country event on Thursday afternoon, weather permitting. There are two categories for the event, a fun run or walk and competitive event. There is a mufti day and spot prizes to be awarded to participants. Please do encourage students to come along and participate. Do not condone absence on this day! It is lots of fun and great to have students participating in the event. I plan to run and if this ‘old man’ can get round the course I am sure students can at least walk it!
Ka kite ano