South Otago High School

South Otago High School

Quality Education in a Supportive Community

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  • Principal’s Address 25th August 2017

    25th Aug 2017

    Dear Parents/Caregivers

    Kia Ora Tatou

    This week Spring seems to have arrived and with it some warmer weather. It has been great to see students outside and enjoying the warmth and playing games during lunchtime and interval.

    Cross Country

    The good weather certainly contributed to the great atmosphere on Monday afternoon’s cross country event. The mufti money collected on the day went towards the cost of spot prizes awarded to students as they crossed the finish line. It was great to see students putting in great effort as they ran competitively. They certainly demonstrated the school value of perseverance as they tackled the wet and muddy conditions. Congratulations to the winners of the various events who are detailed elsewhere in this newsletter. Well done to the remaining students who completed the fun walk/ run.

    Social media

    It is disappointing to report that students have not heeded warning that have been given with regard to their use of social media. This week I have spoken to two students who took video of staff and posted to social media without permission. This is not acceptable and has been dealt with using the school systems.

    Earlier this week I also received a warning from a professional organisation which I believe is worth sharing with parents. If parents attend school events, take photo’s or video of their children which include other children then they should have the permission of the other parents prior to posting on line to social media sites.

    The school does have an agreement in our enrolment procedure where we have asked parents/ caregivers to agree to the school using images of students as part of our publicity material. This does not extend to parents or other organisations unless they seek permission.

    Developing student literacy and tutor time

    The school is aware that student literacy skills need to be developed, particularly for students as they work towards and through NCEA. In order to develop these literacy skills this term there has been an emphasis in getting students to read. During tutor time each day, once the administration has been completed there is an expectation that students will read silently. This is an ideal opportunity for students to practice their reading and comprehension skills which are vital for success in senior study. Some students are spoken to as part of their mentoring programme. This can be to ensure that students are on track to achieve their goals, seeking support from teachers finding out about careers or tertiary study or reviewing option choices.

    Lunch times

    Recently we have had a number of students going off site to purchase food rather than use the school canteen. Whilst students are at school they are expected to remain on site as the school has a duty of care to ensure that they are safe. The only exceptions where students are off site is when they have an appointment and have signed out at the office. Or they have a lunch pass, which the parent has requested.

    In addition with students not supporting the school canteen this means that the school will not be able to financially support the activities that it currently does such as sports, including rugby, netball, hockey, soccer etc. I encourage parents to ensure that if they wish to enable students to have a bought lunch then please be loyal, support the school and use the school canteen.

    Finally

    Very soon the senior students will be starting their ‘practice’ exams. As has been explained to students, these should be treated as seriously as the final exams in November. The grades awarded in these assessments may be required as evidence should a student be unable to sit the end of year exam. I have known students who have not taken these exams seriously then been injured, ill or had an impaired performance for the final exams. Despite being capable of gaining a very good result they have not achieved the result that they deserved as the opportunity to provide the required evidence was not taken seriously.

    Parents please support your children and encourage them to prepare thoroughly for these exams.

    Ka kite ano

    Mike Wright 

    Principal