Principal’s Address 5th April 20195th Apr 2019
Kia Ora Tatou
Autumn has definitely visited this week and with it has been the cooler weather. Next term will see more students grabbing warmer clothing as we head towards winter. I encourage parents/ caregivers to look out for the appropriate school jackets (Plain black and beanies so that students are ready for cold weather that will be with us for the next few months.
Being the penultimate week of the term I have been really impressed with the positive and calm nature about the school. Despite both staff and students being tired there is a really good feeling in school. To me this was epitomised on Tuesday’s assembly.
Following the senior PE and Outdoor education trip to Wanaka I wanted to acknowledge the perseverance shown by students who got up at 4am to ascend Roy’s Peak and then make sure that they attended school the following day. I highlighted our Deputy Head Boy Cody Haitana as one of those students. I quoted him as saying ‘I am not getting back in the van until I have been to the top!’ A great attitude and achievement especially as Cody finds walking long distances challenging. In preparation for the assembly I sought Cody’s permission to share his story but I also noticed he had a birthday the following day. I then took the liberty of asking the whole school to sing happy birthday to him before giving him a chocolate fish as his present!
The school sang with enthusiasm and joy! I see this as a mark of respect for one of our student leaders but also a reflection of the culture of the school. It was a great way to start the day and I hope you had a good birthday Cody!
Next week we will be holding our annual school ANZAC assembly on Thursday 11 April starting at 8.50am. I would like to extend an invitation to parents and members of our community to attend this event.
On Thursday we hosted the annual Gore Interchange and students participated in a range of activities. It is always good to be able to participate in these interchange activities and the competition is always well contested. We appreciate the effort taken to get teams together to participate in this event. Happily we won this year and we look forward to the next round of competition.
Rotary Speech Competition
On Monday James Hewitt attended the Rotary Speech Competition held at Logan Park High School in Dunedin. Following the competition, in which James was placed third I received an e-mail from a member of the public commending James for his delivery. Below is a quote from the e-mail:
‘I have to write and say how impressed I am by young Mr Hewitt. He spoke about having OCD and it was just such a profound, articulate and moving speech. James’ delivery was exceptional and his speech was so engaging and honest and funny. Plus – he did the entire speech without any notes – the only participant to do so.’
Well done James!
I always try to make my comments in these newsletters positive and so it is disappointing to report to our community that last Friday we had a theft from the school site. During the last class of the day a person entered into the boys changing room and removed three cell phones from bags. The culprit was caught on our CCTV system. However, we believe that the individual is not a student of South Otago High School. The matter has been referred to the police by the school and the video evidence is assisting with their investigation.
As a school we are reviewing our security practices and will also be reviewing our use and installation of CCTV equipment. I would like to thank parents and students who have cooperated with the school and police in this matter.
Following the attacks in Christchurch the school is working with local police to review our lock down procedures. In light of the recent attacks there is new advice being developed to support schools with their procedure. At some time in the future, as we have done in the past we will have a practice with students.
With just one week to go until the end of the term I am sure that everyone is looking forward to a well-earned break. At the end of each term I do encourage students to pick up a book and read for pleasure and also to make sure that they get out and participate in some exercise or activity. Being physically active is a great way for young people to look after their own well-being. It is worthwhile developing this as a habit at a younger age as it will become more difficult as they get older.
Ka kite ano
Mr Mike Wright