South Otago High School

South Otago High School

Quality Education in a Supportive Community

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  • Principal’s Address 2nd February 2018

    2nd Feb 2018

    Dear Parents/Caregivers

    Kia Ora Tatou

    Welcome back to the start of a new school year and also the first newsletter of the year. During this week we have had the majority of the Year 11, 12 and 13 students attend a 20 minute course confirmation interview, many were accompanied by a parent/ caregiver. It was wonderful to meet so many senior students and parents back in school being enthusiastic about their year ahead.

    As of the end of school on Wednesday we had over 25% of our senior students enroled to attend off site training at organisations such as Otago Polytechnic and Telford. In addition other students have also arranged suitable work placements which we anticipate for some will lead to future employment and training. We anticipate that the number of students taking advantage of these options to grow as the final few students confirm courses and options. This year we also have a student studying their first university paper as part of their Friday school options. This is being supported by the school and Otago University.

    On Wednesday the Year 9 and Year 13 students started school by meeting tutor teachers and starting their Peer Support training. At the end of the day we hosted a meet the teacher barbeque. This is in response to feedback from our community last year where parents wanted the opportunity to meet teachers who would be working with their children during the coming year. This is a new initiative and one which we hope to grow and develop in the future.

    Thursday saw the whole school start with a Powhiri to welcome new staff and students to the school. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of all the Year 10-13 students who adapted and participated in the event which was a new experience for many of them.

    This year has seen the school roll continue to maintain a strong retention in the senior school which can be attributed to students in the senior school taking up some of the new and varied learning opportunities that are available. Please take the time to talk to senior students about their options, if you have not done so already. I would like to remind parents and our wider community that our Friday school options for senior students provide great new opportunities to:

    • Pick up a sixth option
    • Gain additional support in subjects where they are struggling
    • Be supported to be extended and encouraged to work towards Merit and Excellence grades in their option subjects.

    This is valuable time for all of our students and we expect all students to attend and engage in these options

    Staff changes and new students

    This year we have once again welcomed students from Rosebank, Balclutha, Stirling, Clinton, Waiwera, Warepa, St Josephs, Romahapa, Clutha Valley and Kaitangata primary schools as well as further afield. As well as our new students we have also welcomed new staff to South Otago High School. These are:

    Glenn Todd  Teacher of digital Technology

    Belinda Penn Teacher of English

    In addition we have appointed Mrs Cathy Haar as our new canteen manager. Cathy is supporting the school as we introduce a new and varied menu. It is the school’s aim to transition towards healthy choices for the canteen mixed with some of the ‘treat’ food which we all enjoy!

    I know that they will bring to the school new energy and ideas and I am sure that they will be welcomed to our community.

    Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L)

    We have started our roll out of PB4L and have been talking to students as they arrive about our expectations for them. The school has three values which we will use to guide students and their behaviour. They are:

    • Respect
    • Excellence
    • Perseverance

    Scholarships

    The closing date for 2018 Maori Education Trust secondary scholarships is fast approaching.  Applications for the 2018 Secondary Scholarship round must reach the trust no later than 4.30 pm, Friday, 2 Poutū-te-rangi (March) 2018.

    Secondary scholarships comprise the following:

    Year 9

    • Rose Hellaby Scholarship
    • Tī Maru Māori Trust Secondary Boarding Scholarship

    Year 9 – 13

    • Sister Anne Henry Scholarship

    Year 12 – 13

    • RJ Graham Scholarship

    Year 13

    • VW & LM Rosier Scholarship.

    Secondary application forms can be obtained from our website www.maorieducation.org.nz.  Alternatively, application forms can be posted.

    If parents or students have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the trust office on (04) 586 7971

    Finally

    We are gathering data on our student results from NCEA in 2017. We will in the coming weeks as results are finalised be celebrating the success of our students and will be sharing this with our community.

    I look forward to another successful year for all students and sharing our success stories in the future.

    Ka kite ano

    Mike Wright

    Principal