South Otago High School

South Otago High School

Quality Education in a Supportive Community

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  • Principal’s Address 27th September 2019

    27th Sep 2019

    Dear Parents/Caregivers

    Kia Ora Tatou

    What a great week to finish the term with! We have had a talent quest where students have performed on stage to a very appreciative audience. The acts that I saw were high quality, full of energy and fun. I am no dancer and certainly no singer but I was so impressed by the incredible talent of the students that took to the stage. Well done!

    Interhouse Sports Competition

    On Tuesday afternoon most of our students took up the sporting challenge to represent their house group in netball, rugby, soccer, badminton, board games, computer sport and bowls as well as other sports and activities. There was something for everyone. As I walked about the school the atmosphere was great with huge support for students. It was great that all but a handful of students were actively participating making the afternoon a great success. A special thanks from me to all the staff who put on the events and to Mrs Hannah for her organisation.

    Head student speeches

    On Tuesday the whole school assembly was handed over for the 13 head student candidates to address the students and staff on their vision for the role as head student in 2020. In the last few years we have seen the standard of presentation by students improve. However, this year I was surprised by the extremely high level of preparation and delivery. It was not just me that was impressed, throughout the day the conversation in the staff room and the comments to me were about the high calibre of the applicants and what they had to say.

    The selection panel has certainly been presented with a challenge in terms of how we are going to shortlist for interviews which will be in early term 4. It will certainly be difficult and we recognise that some students are going to be disappointed but we now know that all the candidates are seeking leadership opportunities in the future.

    Measles vaccination

    During the last few weeks I have sent out a series of letters regarding measles, the risks and how the school is working to prepare for the possibility of this coming into our community. Fortunately, at this time we have been spared any cases in our community as far as I am aware. However, in our efforts to prepare for this eventuality on Thursday every senior student was issued with a letter with a quote of communication from NZQA and preparing for external NCEA exams which start in six weeks time. They have advised:

    In the event of a measles outbreak, the medical officer of health from the local district health board public health unit may, in exceptional circumstances, close your school so no examinations can take place, or your students may be able to attend only if they have proof of immunity.’

    I urge parents of senior students who have not provided the school with evidence of immunisation to get this information to school early next term.

    Senior practice exams

    These exams are important. I have explained to senior students that they need to treat these exams  seriously. In a previous role as NZQA Principal nominee I have had to rely upon student practice exam results when students have fallen ill, broken bones or otherwise been incapable of sitting their final exams. When students say that they did not try in their practice exams it is heart breaking to respond that this is evidence that we rely upon to provide to NZQA. I urge all senior students to prepare as thoroughly for these exams as they would the real event. This year, through no fault of their own, their ability to sit the NCEA exams could be at risk.

    Finally

    The next two weeks are a good opportunity to rest and relax. If students are like me, they will have some work to catch up on. For me I will be in school and also working from home. However, for students and staff alike, these two weeks are an opportunity to take a break, to rest and engage in some of those activities which promote well being. For me it will be some time to ski and go for a bike ride or run as well as read a book that was given to me last month! I urge all students and staff to do the same. Do something that will keep you active, catch up on work and take some time to read a book.

    Have a good holiday and see you all next term.

    Ka kite ano

    Mr Mike Wright

    Principal