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From the Principal

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posted 10 Jun 2018, 16:19 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora Koutou Katoa

The year seems to be flying by as this really positive and busy term unfolds.  Our production was an outstanding event and I was really impressed by the efforts of students and staff. Even though I know how special our students are I am always amazed at the outstanding level of delivery and talent on show at our production. It was great to see so many students involved onstage, playing in the band, behind the scenes and operating sound and lighting. This was an amazing team effort and I am really proud that so many students with such a range of talents were involved in the show. The outstanding efforts of the production alongside other achievements at the Gold Guitars, Sheilah Winn and the Chamber Music competition successes it has been an amazing few months for our students in the cultural space.  A massive thank you to all those staff that put so much time and effort into supporting these  students in their endeavours. 

 As a school community we are about ensuring that while we are working hard to support our students we also take time to have a bit of a laugh and some fun.  To that end the PTA have organised a parents fun night out social - Back to 80s.  This is a great opportunity to support the PTA by getting along to a fun night out with other parents and friends of the College.  There will be some auctions and fundraising on the night but the major focus is having a parent’s get together and a fun night out.  It would be great if parents could support this event. Live updates will be on Back to 80s Facebook page leading up to the event.

I would like to draw your attention to the upcoming John Parson's presentation for parents and students. John has taken a lead in educating parents and students on being safe on social media.  More than ever this is an important topic and while social media is now a fact of our everyday lives there is more and more research about the impact of social media on students’ lives and the increasingly unsafe space that this represents for our young people at times.  I would encourage all parents to check in with your children to have a chat and find out about their use of social media and how you can work with them to ensure they are always in the most positive space while using social media.

As outlined in this newsletter Sports Hoodies are now available for purchase.  No hoodies including the sports hoodie are part of the day to day uniform of the college.  These Verdon hoodies are available for teams to purchase or parents and supporters so we can all stay warm while participating or watching our favourite sport while maintaining a consistent look for our teams.

 

God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 20 May 2018, 21:31 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

 We continue our very busy term with the winter sports season well underway along with many cultural events. We are in the final few rehearsal weeks for our production "Saturday Night Fever" and would encourage everyone to get in early to get tickets so you don't miss out. I have been really impressed by the work of the students leading up to the show and the way they are working so well to deliver another great experience for the community. It was our pleasure to host a wananga for students as we are preparing to host the Manu Korero competition this year.  It was wonderful to see students from the Colleges get together as one to share their skills and the tikanga of welcoming the Otago schools at the upcoming Manu Korero competition.

I would like to thank all those staff and parents that went on Year 7 camp to support our students in this adventure.  I have had so much positive, excited feedback from both students and parents that went on the camp.  Our camps are such positive experiences for students particularly in forming bonds with peers and challenging themselves in areas they may have not experienced before. It is these challenges and the risk taking which are an important part of Verdon College education and I am always really proud of students stepping up to these challenges despite reservations and the support they received from their peers for doing so.

 I would like to share my proud Principal moment of the week" I received the following feedback about our students in the “Arts in Motion” from the organisers:

"Just wanted to send a quick note of thanks and praise for your AIM team on Friday. The performance was amazing but for me what I was really impressed with was the team work, the encouragement, the support for each other and the way they brought energy to the event.  Interviewing your student leaders was so encouraging, I have no doubt that our communities are in good hands when I see young people like those who represented your school stepping up.  I was really impressed with the leaders from your school and was delighted to be able to award them the student leadership prize."

We can be doing many things at school to develop young people in our community but think we should recognise that such  feedback really is an example of what we want for our students.  I would like to thank all those students particularly those leaders for supporting each other so well to have such a positive experience as part of the Verdon Family.

 

God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly

 

 

 

Principal's Comment

posted 15 Apr 2018, 17:26 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

Reflecting on the term that has just passed we can be really proud of all that we have achieved as a community. Our colours assembly this week was a great example of how well our students are doing not only in the academic setting but also in the ever increasing variety of extra-curricular activities. We can be very proud of the achievement of all of the students recognised and thank those that have supported their success in so many ways. 

Our recent southern Senior Catholic School Tournament was a great success. It is so nice to see how well the students from the competing Catholic schools get on, both off the field and on it, despite the fierce but fair competition.  The bonds that are forming through this event and the Bishop’s Shield as well as the Junior Catholic Schools Tournament are becoming more and more evident. Coming together at these events as a community of Catholic schools to celebrate our shared values and faith is a fantastic experience.

We have had a very busy term and I would encourage students to have a well-earned break.  Seniors will still have some work to do over the holidays and I would suggest it would be wise for them to plan their approach. Spreading it over the holidays in manageable chunks so that they are not rushing at the end of the break to complete tasks that they have left till the last minute.

Please keep in your prayers all those that are struggling with the loss and illness of loved ones and pray for the full recovery of those in our community that are currently dealing with illness and injury.

Have the most restful and relaxing holiday.

 

God Bless 

 Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 27 Mar 2018, 17:42 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou 

 

The term marches on and there continues to be a really positive, busy vibe around the College.  Students continue to be involved in a number of events and achieving success in many extra-curricular areas. It has been great to see our students representing at the highest level in Triathlon, Rowing and Cycling in particular. The hard work of these sports people are a great example for all our students. 

 We are moving into our winter sports sign up and team trials. Part of our approach is to ensure that students are involved in sports as part of their holistic education at Verdon College.  You don't have to be the best sports person as there are teams and sports for all players looking to get involved.

 Production is underway and students are preparing once again.  There are a large number of students involved and interest was at such a high level that we were unable to include all those who auditioned. I would encourage those that have not made the cast or support crew this year not to be discouraged as there will be a number of other opportunities for involvement in cultural activities throughout the year and in following years.

 We were really appreciative of staff and parents that took time to support our recent  year 9 camp.  Feedback has been excellent and there have been abundant stories from students in relation to this time. Camp continues to be a really valuable time for students to get to know each other in a challenging unfamiliar context.  

Senior students will be well underway with their assessment towards NCEA.  Caregivers should have received progress reports (Year 9-13).  Students should take the time to talk to staff about what they need to do to ensure they are achieving success in their future assessments. Once again we are very focused on ensuring that students achieve a minimum of 14 credits in each subject whether that is at an achieved, merit or excellence level.

 I would ask that you keep all those in our community dealing with illness in your prayers.

 I wish you all a Happy and Holy Easter, 

 

God Bless

Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 4 Mar 2018, 20:00 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

 Our great start to the year continues.  We have had some very positive celebrations and events such as our Opening Mass which was fantastic with St Theresa’s church full to the brim, followed by our great house picnics and Athletics sports. These event are a really important part of our school programme and assist our students to connect with each other in a fun context.  I was particularly proud of the high level of involvement and engagement of students at the athletics sports despite the less than ideal weather.

 Peer support and our school leaders are doing a great job welcoming the new year 7 student’s into the College. Our new Nga Roopu Awhi programmes having a positive effect on the relationships and confidence of our new students and the seniors as leaders of the College.  It will be great to see how this evolves over the year.

 The finalised 2017 NCEA results have been released and we have been able to compare our results on a national basis. Once again it was a very positive year with 91% pass rate of NCEA level 1, 91 % pass rate of NCEA level 2 and 72.7% pass rate of NCEA level 3.  These are very good results particularly at level 1 and 2 with Verdon College again having the highest results in Invercargill and overall the results are some of the best in the Otago-Southland region.  Particularly pleasing ,once again, has been the number of students achieving Merit and Excellence endorsement at all levels of the College.

 Comparison with other schools nationally show these results  are up to 16% better than similar schools nationally and up to 17% better than the national average dependent on the year level. One of the things not shown in these statistic’s is the successful transition of our students to further training/study or work which remains at almost 100% of level successfully transitioning to options after their education at the College.

 Year 7 and Year 9 camps will begin soon.  These are important opportunities for students to attend. Huge amounts of planning and preparation goes into making these a formative experience for students and they are really important for students in building confidence through challenges and building relationship with their peers. If there is any difficulty for students attending camp then we are able to assist in a number of ways by contacting Mr MacKay and Mr Hansen to discuss how we can help.

 God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 4 Mar 2018, 19:55 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

 It has been a really positive start to the year and we have great energy around the College after having an excellent holiday break.  I have been really pleased with how students have been making our new students welcome to the College and being made to feel part of the Verdon whanau.

 We are in a very positive situation of the College with being full to capacity; however, this has meant that we have had to turn down a significant number of applications from students and families wishing to attend Verdon College. I have spoken to

students about respecting the position they have at the College, given that others have been unable to gain a place and to ensure that they are working hard to making the most of their opportunities and meeting College expectations for learning, conduct and uniform.

 We will be working throughout the year assisting students to meet the expectation of the Verdon College has got SOUL concept and also those simple expectations of students. About being an engaged and fully involved member of our community. This will include expectations to attend and be positively engaged in school events such as house picnics, school masses, athletics day and school retreats.

 We are expecting that having enrolled at Verdon, students and families see the importance of students attending these events, supporting all aspects of our school community and that we are all working to ensure the full engagement of the whole community in everything we do.

 We have made some adjustments to the College structures and pastoral time this year.  The purpose of these changes is to improve our pastoral support for students and give more

focussed opportunities for student such as leadership and study relevant to each age group. Year 7 and 12 students will work together as will year 8 and 13 students in Tuakana Teina groups.  Year 9 and 10 students will work together in groups focusing on such things as peer relationships, resilience and internet safety. Year 11 will be in Ako groups focused on study skills and NCEA. 

 I have included the Verdon College has Got SOUL expectations so parents can be aware of how we are articulating our community expectations to students on a day to day basis.

 We are looking forward to another excellent year at the College

 God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly

 

 

Principal's Comment

posted 3 Dec 2017, 19:14 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

 Our year 9 and 10 examinations have gone very well. It is a great opportunity for student's to develop skills that they will need in Year 11- 13 for NCEA as well as an opportunity to evaluate the ongoing learning over the year.  The results have been very positive and all students have been given some feedback on what they might do different to continue to improve their results in next years examinations.

Year 10 camp was a great success and I would like to thank all those staff and parents that assisted in delivering this great experience for our students and the students of the satellite class.  Camp provides an opportunity for students to test themselves in different settings and learn new skills. It also assists students in forming knowledge of themselves and their peers developing positive relationships that the students will rely on in future years.

 We will be making a number of changes to our school administration system at the beginning of next year and will be communicating with students and parents with regards to these changes. As part of this we will be changing how we process our billable items and school accounts. We will not be able to carry all of the details of current accounts into the new system so we would ask that parents look closely at their accounts to address any queries before the end of the year.

Our junior prize-giving will be on Tuesday 12 December. A reminder to all students and parents that this is a compulsory school event and that end of year reports will be provided to students after prize giving. Part of what makes our community so successful is the engagement in the celebration and acknowledgement of success. Junior prize-giving is a great celebration of the success that students have experienced and a wonderful way to conclude our school year.

 

God Bless

 

Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 12 Nov 2017, 10:51 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

 What a great night our senior prizegiving was – once again a fabulous celebration of our student achievements and a wonderful acknowledgement of our Year 13 as they come to the end of their final year of College.  I am very proud of our senior students’ success and wish them well for their examinations.

 We were so pleased to welcome our new students to the College for Year 7 next year and a number at other levels.  We are at capacity and I understand there has been disappointment for families seeking enrolment where we have been unable to take their application.  We are seeking support of the Ministry of Education for a modest extension to our roll and we are still waiting to hear back from them.  We are committed to the small family feel of the College and the Board of Trustees has committed to extra staffing for more classes at Year 7 and Year 8 to ensure smaller class sizes that support our students learning.

 The reports back from the year 8 Deep Cove camps have been especially positive and the students have been very excited about their amazing experiences at camp.  Thank you to all those staff and parents that assisted in delivery of these.  The year 10 camp begins shortly and it is important that all students access this opportunity.  We are always there to assist to remove any barrier to student attendance.

 We have published our junior examinations timetable and would encourage all students to use this time to learn how to study and prepare for examinations as this will assist them in NCEA in the future.

 

 

God Bless

Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 30 Oct 2017, 21:02 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

We are very quickly approaching the end of another great year.  Our seniors will be finishing this Thursday to begin their    examination leave.  We will be holding our senior prize-giving at the College on Thursday evening.  It is an expectation that all senior students attend prize-giving to  support their fellow students in the final occasion of the year and to farewell our outgoing year 13. 

 As previously conveyed the students have built a promising foundation upon which to build success in NCEA examinations. I would continue to encourage students to make the most of tutorials offered by staff and to continue study programmes so they can achieve to the best of their ability in all external examinations as this is key to their ongoing success at school and tertiary education.

I was very proud of the performance of our junior Kapahaka group at Nga Putangitangi last week.  I could not have been more pleased of the quality of the performance and the way our students held themselves. A big thank you to our student leader Destiny Naunau, Whaea Renee and all the parents and senior students that have  supported this group.  It has been a wonderful    demonstration of our Verdon whanau in action.

Our year 8 camps are underway and I would like to thank all those staff and students that have offered to support this experience.  These camps are a great experience and it is fantastic to have such a positive level of support from the community to deliver this experience for our students.

 

God Bless

Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 30 Oct 2017, 20:57 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

 It has been another fantastic term at the College with many high points. It was a definite highlight to conclude the term with our Blues Assembly and Inter-house Kapahaka Competition.  It is with a great sense of pride that we celebrate the     outstanding success of our students and

congratulate them on their special achievement in so many areas. The Blues Award recognises achievement in academic, sporting or cultural endeavours across three years at the College, with the colours award recognising special  achievement within the year.  In highlighting the achievement of our students I would also like to acknowledge all those parents, coaches and managers that have supported these outstanding successes.

 Senior students will be receiving reports. Students’         progress at all levels of the senior school is tracking well toward another very successful year for the College in NCEA examinations. Within reports will be advice for students about how to improve their current academic   progress. I encourage all students’ to make use of this and the information on study and prepare well towards external examination’s next term. I have previously highlighted the significant correlation between the success at external examinations at school and success in tertiary education.

 Staff will be supporting success in these examinations and will be offering tutorial and extra assistance in a number of areas. It is important that senior students prioritise the attendance of these to support their success.  It is the     College’s expectation that students attend and make the best effort  in every subject they are entered into.

 

It has been a long and busy term and I wish all students a relaxing and restful break ready to take an exciting last term of the year.

 

God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly

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