I’m really happy with how this term has gone for GHS and keen for further improvements next term.

Tēnā koutou katoa

The photo above shows part of our Māwhera Services Academy parent evening, where the students demonstrated drills and staff provide an update. MSA parents/whānau managed 100% attendance again, so my thanks to them as their commitment to supporting their child makes a huge difference.

It’s the last week of term and I’m feeling very happy about how this term has gone. Student learning, engagement and behaviour in classes is generally very good; teachers and all staff supported each other through lockdown and have done ever since. Relationships around school are generally good. NCEA progress is behind where we were last year, with average credits at Level 1 and 3 down but at Level 2 the same. However, assessments always get more frequent in the second semester and our teachers believe they are on track to catch up (especially given the NCEA adjustments for Covid).

We have seen a rise in some students arriving to class late, wearing non-reg clothes, bringing energy drinks or wandering, plus a small but core group smoking. Several of these aspects are being attributed to the effects of lockdown but in reality everything is a choice – we have provisions in place to support financially affected families with uniform and we have very busy counsellors dealing with mental health support. If you’re a parent, please ensure your child knows the importance of meeting all of our school’s systems so we can narrow it down to just a few students before this becomes a bigger issue.

This week, we welcomed Emily Westacott to her new role as Executive Assistant in our admin team. Emily comes from the tourism sector and will support our senior leadership team functions as well as some aspects of HR. After 34 years as the principal’s PA, Elaine Bruce starts work as our senior administrative assistant. Elaine has been PA for six principals and it is impossible to describe the invaluable support she has provided these six people and the school.

We had a scheduled staff only day in August which we are going to reschedule, as it was an awkward day we were initially given no choice with. I’ll get some parent views this week on the least problematic time to take this, but we do need to take a day in term 3 so that our teachers can continue to redevelop our year 9 curriculum and plan for year 10 developments for next year. 

I hope you have a great couple of weeks connecting as a family again and I look forward to seeing everyone in term 3.

Ngā mihi

Andy England

Principal