From the Principal
Kiaora Koutou Katoa
We have had a great but extraordinarily busy start to the year. Students have begun the year in the most settled and focused fashion We have been really pleased with the positive way students have supported our major events such as House Picnics and Athletics. We were particularly pleased to have standing room only at our opening mass. This is certainly a special way to start the year.
Once again students achieved outstanding success in NCEA qualifications. We had the highest results in Invercargill at NCEA level 1 and 2 and achieved pleasing results at NCEA level 3 as well. It is great to see the success becoming a year on year habit. We are very proud this past week to be able to share our successes with the ERO team visiting school. There were some really positive feedback on the work that we have been doing as a community over the past 3 years.
It’s no secret that we have an extraordinarily high participation rate in sports and cultural activities and this year is no exception. We are always happy to hear from parents and community members who are keen to help, please let Lee Greig know email@example.com.
We have introduced a new concept “Verdon College has SOUL” to articulate, describe and enact our values in the way we interact with each other. We will be developing this concept throughout this year but are very pleased with the positive impact it is having already this year.
Kia ora koutou katoa
We are coming very rapidly to the end of the year although the positive vibe of students is continuing unabated.
We had an excellent new entrant day and once again it was a real pleasure to welcome all those new students to the College. It is also a great opportunity for our year 12 leaders to spend some time with the students that they will be assisting through peer support next year.
Our Year 8 camps have concluded and have been another series of successful missions into the outdoors. I would like to thank all those parents that went on these camps to support our students. These are very special camps and students can be very proud of what they have achieved at Deep Cove.
Year 10 camps go out this week these camps are an extremely important part of our programmes that benefit our students greatly the challenges and bonding they experience on these camps learning about themselves and others in their peer group is invaluable as they enter their first year of NCEA next year. Again we appreciate the support of parents and wider community in helping us with these camps. Unfortunately we are unable to have everyone that enquires about coming to camp attend and we do always appreciate offers of support even if we cannot always manage to get everyone on camps. Due to the level of interest in camps we will be looking to develop a system to manage this high level of offers of support in an equitable way.
Junior student’s examinations have gone very well and students are continuing to work in a focused and positive manner at this time of the year. It is fantastic to be able to say each year that it feels like the students are even more engaged and positive than last year.
I ask that you continue to keep in your prayers all those that are struggling with illness and injury of loved ones. We know that prayer is a powerful healer and provides those in these situations with support.
Kia ora koutou katoa
It is always amazing that this time of year comes around so fast and we are planning our end of year celebrations while farewelling our senior students as they go on study leave prior to another challenging exam season. .
I would like to thank the year 13 students for their contribution to the College community over their time at the College. It has been amazing to see them grow into extremely capable young men and women during this time. We are really excited to see where their journeys take them in the future.
We have provided senior students some material with the last set of reports to assist with their study. The external examinations are extremely important and particularity success at University is very closely linked to success in external examination. We encourage students to do their best to attempt all papers in examinations to ensure their success. As advised - “Best topics first to ensure best grade; least confident topics last as if you run out of time it does not matter to the same extent".
While it is a little sad to be farewelling our year 13’s it is always exciting to be welcoming our new year 7 students this year at our new entrants day. It is always an exciting time and this year we are full up with 114 students in the year level.
Our College roll for 2017 is expected to be 715 with our maximum roll at 700 we will be talking to the Ministry about how we manage this for next year and in the future. Once again the Board and management are committed to ensuring we maintain our smaller family feel and smaller classes. We will continue to ensure places for Catholic students particularly those at Catholics primaries to attend Verdon College in the future but this is increasingly becoming a balancing act due to the popularity of the College.
All the best to senior student for their examinations.
Rely on God
Kia ora koutotu katoa
We have come to the end of another very successful term. Our Blues assembly and inter-house kapahaka competition were great ways to celebrate the end of a very successful term.. Blues Awards, one of our premier occasions, acknowledges outstanding achievement over the last three years of the students time at the College. My congratulations to those students receiving Blues awards. It was great to see so many of these students receive awards in more than one area. My congratulations also to all those that received colours awards.
Our students performances in our Interhouse Kapahaka competition was outstanding and once again it was really exciting to see how this event has developed over the years. One special aspect has been the student’s leadership, teaching and encouragement of each other. We can feel really proud that all of our students have the opportunity confidence and ability to participate in haka and waiata providing them with confidence and ability wherever they go in their further education and employment.
Staff will have provided senior students and parents with some feedback in senior reports. Senior students should review this feedback to assist them in their revision programme. Additionally we have published information to assist in the planning and preparation of students for external examinations.
Once again we have had a very successful enrolment season and are again in the unfortunate situation of having to turn applications away as we have met or slight exceed our the quota at almost every level of the College. We will be managing this very positive situation with our ongoing preference for students that attend our Catholic primaries and preference students from other schools particularly those with family connections. We will begin next year at around 710 students.
I wish you all a very restful holiday.
Kia ora koutou katoa
It has been an exceptionally busy first half of the term, but once again, very successful for the students and staff of the College. There have been many very positive events happening in the College; the performance of our winter sports teams which is continuing to go from strength to strength, our extra curricula activities and the academic environment throughout the College is really positive and focused.
Special Character and traditions have been at the centre of recent events and our combined schools mass was a wonderful Celebration of 800 years of Dominican Charism. This along with our Assumption Mass celebration in the past two weeks has been a real celebration of our Catholic character. I continue to encourage students to get involved in activities of their parishes as part of our wider community.
Our senior students have received feedback in their reports, along with the recent parent teacher interviews, and it is important that they are working on that feedback. Seniors will be beginning their senior examinations this week. These examinations are important for students in regard to practising for the end of year exams and providing focus for their revision. It is important for senior students to analyse their feedback from these examinations and put in place strategies to build on their achievement to date and maximize their success in examinations at the end of the year.
I would like to congratulate our Bishop’s Shield team on their representation of the College at the recent competition. While we may not have had the success that we have achieved over the past several years our students did an amazing job. I am always proud of the way our students represent their values so well, both on and off the stage, at this event and this year was no exception.
Our Open Day was very successful and we remind parents to get their applications in as soon as possible so that we can get an accurate picture of student numbers for 2017. We are likely to be again at our maximum roll for 2017 which is exciting for the College. It has been a great pleasure to meet so many new families looking to enrol students at the College as well as new members of current families.
Kia ora Koutou katoa
It has been a very positive if not exceptionally busy start to the term. Our students are involved in so many activities; Stage Challenge and Showcase preparation for Kapahaka nationals as well as all their sporting endeavours. It is wonderful to see the growth in students undertaking these activities. Student’s involvement in these activities plays such an important part of their holistic development at Verdon College. The lessons learned by students through these activities as well as developing their understandings of themselves and others in the team environment is a really important part to their education.
I would like to acknowledge the work of the student leaders of so many of these activities from the group that led showcase, to student coaches of so many sports teams. These coaches and leaders are doing a fantastic job of developing the tuakana-teina relationship throughout the College and providing such good examples that our younger students are aspiring towards. This leadership caring and support of younger students in our community is one of the most powerful examples of living our Catholic values.
As we have completed our Board of Trustee elections I would like, on behalf of our whole community, to thank those parents and community members that have been on the Board for the last few years for their service to the community and support of the College. We have greatly appreciated your contribution in so many areas. I would also extend a warm welcome to new members of the Board and I am looking forward to your insight and input into the future directions of the College.
Kia ora koutou katoa
We have come to an end of another exciting and very busy term.
I was very proud of the way our students represented themselves and the College at the recent senior Catholic schools tournament. It was very special to witness the comradery and friendships between students from all schools at the tournament. This event has gone from strength to strength and while it is very much a competitive environment it is clear that all students enjoy and appreciate being at a tournament with like-minded people. It was very special to be able to celebrate our Catholic character at the Mass on the Sunday night of the tournament. The Mass and the tournament overall was a great reminder to students that we are part of something much bigger than just our own community.
I was also very proud to be able to congratulate so many of our students on their achievements at our recent Colours Assembly. Again, the number of students achieving Colours Awards has increased in both number and variety. As outlined at the Assembly this continued success is very much about our students being aspirational for themselves. I also spoke about the support positive thinking provides in enabling students to take risk towards achieving success.
We have taken some time to work with a number of students over their safety on the internet and have had a speaker from “Attitude” come into school to talk with our students about how to interact safely in this environment. I cannot stress enough, particularly if you have students in year 7-10, that you as parents/caregivers take the time to talk with your sons and daughter about staying safe online. This applies both to receiving information but also to what they are posting on line. As parents please take some time to sit down with your children and review their online profiles and openly discuss their interaction on online platforms as part of the modern parenting discussion.
It has been a very busy and successful term at the College and I wish all staff, students and families a restful and relaxing holiday breaks.
Kia ora koutou katoa
It is hard to believe that the term is going by so fast with so many events underway and the high level of involvement of the students and staff in so many activities.
A very pleasing aspect has been the involvement of students in extra curricular activities. We have focussed on having 85% of our student involvement in playing sport for the College with National and Southland average around 60%. We did very well last year with an 80% involvement in sport. If you are interested in being involved and supporting sport at the College do let us know.
Another very special thing happening this year is the growth in the number of students involved in itinerant music lessons with over one hundred students undertaking music lessons. Students are able to access many instruments through itinerant music and I would like to thank them for giving our students this opportunity.
We will be undertaking work as a staff and a community to look at how we can further improve our learning environment and live our values. This progress will involve College participation in the school wide Positive Behaviour for Learning initiative which will build on much of the good work that is currently being achieved This work will involve further developing expectations and understanding of behaviour in the College and how we all interact with each other toward better outcomes for everyone.
Please keep in your prayers all those in our community that are dealing with the recent loss of family members and loved ones along with those in our community that have family members with serious illness. May Gods good grace be with them and their families at this time.
Tena Koutou Katoa
A warm welcome back to all students and families for the 2016 year. We have had an outstanding start to the year and all students have settled well into their classes. We started the year at our maximum roll welcoming 96 year 7 students and another 25 students at other levels of the College.
Our College mass was a great occasion. We managed to squeeze into St Theresa's with standing room only left. Our Catholic faith is central to what we do at the College and I was very pleased see the biggest ever Verdon College mass and the positive contribution of the students to the celebration. Once again our students had outstanding success in NCEA last year. 92% achievement of NCEA Level 1, 94% achievement of NCEA Level 2 and 70% achievement of NCEA level 3. These results were very positive and with more students than ever achieving Excellence and Merit endorsement at all three levels of NCEA.
The house picnics held after the mass were a huge success with all students enjoying a fun day out. Thank you to the house leaders and the staff for their contribution in making this a great day.
This very positive start to 2016 has set us up for all the wonderful successes that 2016 will bring.
We pray for members of our community dealing with illness and loss of loved ones at this time.
Kia ora koutou katoa
It has been a very exciting couple of weeks at the College with end of year celebrations along with our New Entrants Day. We had a wonderful celebration of the success of our seniors it is wonderful to see the spirit and comradery that the years 13’s have developed with each other during their time at the College. Year on year it is very special to see the connections that our leavers have with each other.
It has also been wonderful to welcome our new year 7 students for their New Entrants Day. There was a great feel to the day and it was wonderful to see all those students from different contributing schools come together as Verdon students, many finding new friends and sharing their excitement about coming to Verdon College next year.
Our senior examinations are well underway and it has been great to see the focus of the senior students towards achieving success. This year we have focused on students striving to achieve subject endorsements in examinations and it is clear that many students are focused on achieving this goal. Next week year 9 and 10 are undertaking examinations these are an important part of the schools programmes for preparing students for NCEA and assisting them to develop the skills that they will require to undertake examination in the senior school.
Our year 8 students are enjoying camps at Deep Cove and I have received some enthusiastic reports about adventures at these camps both in relation to students and the parent helpers. I look forward to sharing the experience of the year 10 camp that is currently at Borland Lodge upon their return.
Our College roll is looking extremely healthy and likely to be very close to our maximum roll of 700 for 2016. We are actively managing our roll at a number of levels, however, due to the level of inquiry, we have had to create a waiting list for preference students at three levels at the College for 2016 - Year 8, Year 10, and Year 11.
Our priorities for enrolment at these year levels is now limited to family members of students at Verdon College or family members at contributing Catholic Primaries. We still have limited space for enrolment at other year levels of the College. It is important that if you know of family members or friends wishing to attend Verdon College in 2016 that they contact the school to ensure that we can plan for their enrolment for next year.
Finally, we ask that you keep in your prayers all those within our community that are struggling with serious illness at this time. We ask for God's blessing on them and their families.