Principal’s Address 3rd February 20173rd Feb 2017
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 95% of the Year 11, 12 and 13 students attend a 20 minute course confirmation interview. The majority of those students attended with a parent/ caregiver. It was wonderful to meet so many senior students and parents and to discuss the options available and introduce the mentoring programme we will be running this year for all students.
On Wednesday the Year 9 and Year 13 students started school by meeting tutor teachers and starting their Peer Support training.
Thursday saw the whole school start with a Powhiri to welcome new staff and students to the school. This was a change in practice from previous years in that the whole school participated in the event. 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.
Staff changes and new students
This year we have once again welcomed students from Rosebank, Balclutha, Stirling, Clinton, Waiwera South, 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:
- Marty Schaaf Teacher of Te Reo Māori
- Margaret Preece Teacher of English
- Rebecca Haderbache Teacher of English
- Lisa Bathgate Teacher of PE
- Joshua Thompson Teacher of PE
- Christine Carroll Teacher of Social Studies
- Nigel Scarth Deputy Principal
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.
We also welcomed the return of:
- Elliot Carroll
- Jeff Elliotte
- Keren Wright
- Helen Williams
Mrs Jory, who has just retruned from a study tour in Israel, will be a new Assistant Principal. The Head of English has moved to Mrs Amanda Smith.
During the holiday Miss Smeaton got married and is now Mrs Gold. On behalf of the school community we wish her and her husband, Sam, a long and happy life together. Mrs Gold has also taken on the role of Head of PE.
Preparations for the start of year
For the last two weeks of the school holiday a significant number of the teaching and support staff were in school preparing for the start of the school year. The dedication of the staff to work during their holidays is a credit to the school and shows the value that is placed on providing a high quality education for the students in our community.
The values of South Otago High School
In my introduction to the start of the school year I talked to the students about the school values of:
This year we are starting to develop our plan for Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) This is a Ministry of Education funded initiative which helps develop a positive culture within schools and so assist with student learning. As part of our plan we will be reviewing our values and we will be consulting with the community to ensure that our values reflect what is important to us.
NCEA Results 2016
At the start of the year we also have the opportunity to reflect upon the successes of 2016 in NCEA. Our provisional NCEA results for last year show that we have some very good rates of success for all students. Once again we have exceeded the government target of 85% of all students achieving NCEA L2 by age 18 for 2017. We will be sharing the confirmed 2016 NCEA results in future newsletters.
During the next few weeks we will be recognising the achievements of our students in assemblies. Details of specific awards will be published in future newsletters.
I look forward to a successful school year at South Otago High School and for the school to build upon the achievements which we have established and the new developments we are undertaking this year. I expect all students to be involved in the wider school life by participating in either sporting or cultural activities or both during the year.
I expect to meet many parents, caregivers and whanau during the school year either at school events or during conferencing events. In week 4 we will be hosting our first ‘Meet the Mentor’ event to introduce the mentoring programme.
I encourage you to stay involved with your child’s education and to support their progress during the coming year.
Ka kite ano
Mr Mike Wright