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From the Principal

Principal's Comment

posted 12 Nov 2018, 20:26 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutotu katoa

 Classes have concluded for our senior classes with our senior prize giving held last Thursday evening. I am always really proud to be part of the celebration of our student’s and our community successes. We wish all of our seniors all the best for their final examinations and a fond farewell to our year 13 students. We wish them all the best for their endeavours for the years to come. Each year group leaves a special legacy and this year is no exception. They have left a great legacy with the College not least their care and involvement of younger students of the College but also with their example in academic achievements

 Our senior students should continue to work on their study during study leave to maximise their success this year and where appropriate work towards course and certificate endorsement. At this stage of the year our students have done really well to build a base of achievement through internal assessment with some hard work and students it is looking like we may achieve the best set of result in recent years.

 It was great to be able to host the convent cup at Verdon College and I was so proud of the students that refereed and assisted in the running of this event. It is a great opportunity for our Verdon students to support the younger members of our Catholic community.

 Our juniors are working through examinations this week and I spoke with them about how these are designed to assess their progress but also to prepare them for what the examination process looks like in coming years. The exam process for students is to assist them with the experience so they become aware of the challenges of study and examination preparation so our expectation is only that students do the best they can and learn from the experience. Our year 8 students have been having a great experience at Deep Cove. A massive thank you to staff and parents that have assisted on these camps.  Our year 10 will be heading out to Borland Lodge shortly and I would encourage all students to embrace this experience. It is a great experience to challenge themselves and to form bonds heading into their senior years at the College.

 I am looking forward to an exciting end to the year for all year levels.

 

God Bless

 

Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 27 Sep 2018, 21:46 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

 

It is great to be able to look back over another outstanding term at the College.  The newsletters as well as our social media updates have been full of the achievements of so many students in so many areas. Putting an exclamation mark on that, it was wonderful to finish our term with our key events such as our Blues assembly and Inter-house Kapa haka competition. Both of these events are a wonderful demonstration of the spirit and mana of the College.

 As a community we were all so very proud of our Blues recipients and the students that were recognised for colours awards in so many areas. The Blues award is a very special award presented to Year 13 students of the College recognising three years of outstanding achievement and, or contribution to the College in a particular area. It is great to be able to share the recipients achievement with the community and hopefully inspire other students to achieve to the same highs in the future.  What was particularly positive this year was the number of students achieving both Academic Blues and a Blues award for sporting or cultural endeavour, demonstrating so well the importance and rewards of a well-rounded education. I congratulate all those recognised for their efforts and persistence in achieving to the best of their ability.

The efforts of our students in learning haka and waiata for their performances in the Inter-house Kapahaka Competition are a really important part of our school activities.  We as a College recognise the importance of our students being able to be confident in representing themselves in the cultural space as well as to develop and use te reo, which is developed through this competition as a context for that learning. I have been very proud of the efforts of the students in this endeavour and of those students that have stepped forward to share their knowledge and skills to lead their houses.

 Senior students will receive their end of year reports and these will have feedback in relation to the next steps in learning for their very soon upcoming examinations next term.  We have also published information on study skills and how to approach examinations that students should take time to review and implement in the next few weeks.  I would encourage senior students to take time over the holidays to have a rest but also to begin preparations for those examinations by using the tools provided to assist their planning and approach in the last few weeks of the year.

I wish all families a restful holiday break.

 

God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly

 

 

Principal's Comment

posted 5 Aug 2018, 21:32 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora Koutou Katoa

It has been a fantastic start to the term. I have been very proud of all of the recent achievements of our students in so many sporting and cultural endeavours.  A very special part of this success is the effort that staff, parents, students and community have put into supporting these students and teams. This has really shown our community spirit. I look forward to continuing success with upcoming events Bishop’s Shield, House Drama, Polyfest performances and all of those sporting activities that are continuing this term.  It is really great to see the hard work that students are putting in leading to their and others success.

Our parents teacher interviews were a really positive evening. The staff of the College really appreciate the opportunity to meet with parents and students so we can work collaboratively constructing the next step in students learning for the second half of the year to come.  This positive three way collaboration is a powerful support for students’ success.

 Our senior students have senior assessment week coming up and we would advise the key to success is to use the time prior (in the midst of a very busy term) to be studying and revising topics in preparation for these practice assessments. Looking at the results that students are achieving today the picture for so many is very positive, however, it is really important that students also focus on the work during the year and a focus on external assessment and end of year examinations as they are not that far away.

We are in the midst of enrolment season and our number of places are limited.  There is a priority for preference enrolment at the College as a Catholic school.  I would also encourage students to be looking to live their Catholic values and to work towards attending Mass on Sunday and supporting our parishes in their work as they support us in our work at the College.

 God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 5 Jul 2018, 21:27 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora Koutou Katoa

 It has been a fantastic term at the College, concluding with our usual house festivities - Swimming Sports and Music Festival.  I am so proud of how our senior students lead these events alongside the effort that our students go to get involved and support each other to success.  Swimming Sports was a really fun and vibrant event with some good changes to help get every student involved no matter what their ability. Thanks to the sports staff that support the delivery of this event.

 Our Music Festival (or festivals as junior and senior sections have to be run at two separate times because of the number of students entered) was again an outstanding display of musical talent. The take away message for me was how outstanding the talent of the College is and how brave some of our students are for putting themselves out there in their high level format to share their talents.  The support of other students for those competing is also a really special feature of the event and a great example of our family values. I would particularly like to thank Mrs Jarman and her team for once again doing such an amazing job at this event.

 Students will be receiving their reports and have been provided with feedback about learning progress and what they might do to improve their achievement outcomes.  It is important for students and parents to take the time to sit down and discuss this feedback in planning their approach to learning next term.

 Enrolment for students to the College for 2019 begins next term.  Due to the ever increasing demand for spaces at the College we will be implementing our new enrolment scheme and limiting enrolment to 100 places for year 7 in 2019.  We hope that this process will provide a framework to ensure appropriate access for families to the College.

 It has been a busy and long term and I hope everyone has a well-earned rest over the holiday period ready to come back fresh for term three.

 

God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly

 

Untitled Post

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

 

 

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