Principal’s Address 27th February 202027th Feb 2020
Kia Ora Tatou
This week we celebrated the success of students in NCEA in our full school assembly. It was a pleasure to present badges to those students who had gained a Merit or Excellence endorsement in NCEA L1 and L2 and certificates to those that had gained a subject endorsement. A full list is provided in this newsletter.
In addition special commendations went to the students who were the top achieving in NCEA L1 and L2. Those students are listed below.
- Hania Coll
- James Briones
- Hannah Laugesen
- Stephanie Gray
- Hamish Mills
- Beckham Wilson
- Alliyah Minoza
Worthy of special mention is Luka Wilson who not only taught himself Chemistry and gained an excellence endorsement but has also competed in the Chemistry Olympiad and been awarded a Bronze medal which is a significant achievement. Luka this year is continuing his studies in Chemistry on a Friday by attending Otago University. We look forward to supporting Luka with his studies in 2020 and seeing his success in the future.
In preparation for the awarding of the certificates I completed some research into the achievement and attendance rates for students. The review of data showed that:
Students in Y9 to 11, those that had 90% or more, 54% of them gained an endorsement either in SOAP or NCEA.
For Y12 and Y13 48% of those with 90% attendance or more gained either a Merit or excellence endorsement or a vocational pathway or both.
For Y11 and 12 students, all of those with an attendance rate of 90% or more gained their NCEA certificate at the end of the year
The conclusion is: students who attend school regularly are going to be more successful.
90% attendance is not hard to achieve. In reality it means that each term a student cannot be away from school for more than 5 days. In 2019, students who had 100% attendance by the fourth term were acknowledged and we are looking to do the same again this year.
I mention this at a time when nationally there is a decline in regular attendance at school. The Ministry of Education defines ‘Regular’ attendance as 90% attendance or higher.
However, Ministry analysis shows there is no ‘safe’ level of non attendance; every day matters.
On Tuesday I reminded students of the benefit of attending the conference meetings on either the 3 or 4 March. In 2019 students told us that it helped with setting goals, keeping on track with their achievement and remaining focussed on their studies. Please contact the school office to book an appointment if you are having difficulty using the on line system. Students who attend their 20 minute interview will have a full day of attendance at school recorded. We place a high value on these meetings as they are important and do make a difference to student achievement.
Year 10 camp
The annual year 10 camp is coming up in the week starting 9 March. This is a valuable learning opportunity and a great way for students to build positive relationships with peers and adults. Students who attend have a good time and thoroughly enjoy the experience, for some they make life long friends and reflect upon this camp as the highlight of their time at South Otago High School. Parents, please encourage your son, daughter to attend this camp.
Year 9 Survey
As in previous years we have a survey for all Year 9’s to complete and we do offer one person a voucher for completing the survey. This will be e-mailed to students this week and does require some feedback from parents. Please talk to your son/ daughter and complete the survey as we do value your feedback.
After a great start to the year with students wearing the correct uniform we have started to notice that some students are avoiding wearing the correct shoes. I would like to remind parents that as part of the enrolment agreement there was a commitment by parents to provide the correct uniform. Students should be wearing plain black, polishable shoes. We are seeing canvas shoes, fabric trainers and shoes with other coloured logo’s which are not acceptable.
Next week there will be a paid union meeting on Friday 6 March which means that school will finish at 12:30. Supervision will be available for students who are not able to go home providing that the school office has been informed prior to Friday.
Have a great weekend
Ka kite ano
Mr Mike Wright