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From the Principal

We have come to the end of another great year at the College. There have been so many great occasions  and successes in the school year and we are really grateful for everyone's involvement and support of the students and Verdon community. It is the positive support of our school that make Verdon such a great community delivering special outcomes for every student of the College. It is a real pleasure to lead a team of staff that know the importance of positively working for every student and that know our hard work for every student make us successful as educators. 

 Year 10 camps have been really successful again and despite the weather students have had an awesome experience.  A big thank you to all of the staff, parents and student volunteers that have supported the delivery of camp as they are so important in building those bonds in the year ahead.

 Our NCEA examinations have concluded and early results have indicated that our students have done very well at all levels of NCEA and we are expecting that next year's results will be the best set on NCEA results that our students have achieved yet. I would like to congratulate all those seniors students on their effort to contribute to this success.

 There are a number of staff moving onto new opportunities and we wish them all the best for their endeavours. We would also like to thank those staff that have filled short term roles at the College as well as relieving staff and wish them all the best also.

 I am pleased to share that we are fully staffed in all areas for 2020 and are really excited to welcome new staff for next year, a number who have been in the College already including some past pupils who are re-joining the Verdon family in a new

capacity. We are really looking forward to their involvement and contribution to the Verdon Community.

 Please keep Father Hook in your prayers and all those in our community that are faced with Illness and challenge at this time.

 Finally I would like to wish everyone a well-earned holiday break and a happy and holy Christmas.


God Bless

Jarlath Kelly


Principal's Comment

posted 8 Sept 2020, 14:37 by

 Kia ora koutou katoa

 It has been great to see all of our recent successes in sporting and cultural activities around the College. 

 The term is rapidly progressing and we are working hard as a community to ensure that we are delivering as many opportunities as possible for our students so we have as normal a situation as possible. Level 2 and the wider Covid situation has created some anxiety. Our students and community are progressing very well in the circumstances and it has been great to see our students getting out there and enjoying themselves in sporting and cultural activities. These activities are even more important for our young people as this is where our connections and happy places are. Our strategy to support students has been to work really hard to ensure all those events where our students find joy and express their passions are still held, where possible. I would encourage those students that have not yet signed up to sport to look at some of those options for term 4.

 Once again we have received significantly more applications for places in 2021 than we can accept. We are limited by our maximum roll and the Ministry of Education requirements of our enrolment scheme. We understand this may cause some concern for members of our community that miss out on places but hope to have matters finalised by next week. Make the point of those already enrolled at the College making the most of opportunities at the College and valuing their places as others are unable to attend.

 Students at year 8 to 12 will have received their option booklet for 2021. It is important that parents take the time to sit down with students to discuss options for 2021. This process is an important part of organising school and allows us to effectively timetable and staff the College in 2021. It is important that we are receiving accurate, timely information from students in order to do the best job possible for them in terms of time tabling and options.

God Bless


Jarlath Kelly


Principal's Comment

posted 16 Aug 2020, 18:08 by

Kia ora koutou katoa

 The students are really getting back into the swing of things at the College this term.  There are so many activities that students are involved in at the moment from winter sports to House Drama and Choir.  It was great to be part of the Dunedin Diocese Catholic Schools’ Quadrangular tournament and it was really pleasing to see so many of our senior students involved as coaches, managers and referees for the various sports. The Junior Quadrangular Tournament is a great bonding experience for the school and for the relationship between our Catholic schools.  Once again Verdon College came away with the trophy but sport and friendship were definitely the winners on the day. A very big thank you to all those involved in the organisation and running this special event.

Our senior students continue to do well in their progress towards NCEA.  Our upcoming assessment week this year, will be a little different than it has been in the past given the reshuffling of our programs during lockdown. Some subjects will be running assessment sessions rather than exams as we have moved internal assessment towards the start of the year and our external examination to the second half of the year.

 Acknowledging the recent move to Alert Level 2 I would outline that the College will be operating as per normal albeit with some adjustment to tracking processes and increased focus on hygiene practices. It is important to understand that Level 2 is a precautionary level and is focused on tracking and tracing readiness. We understand that students may have some anxiety with this situation but would remind students and parents that we will be acting on the latest accurate information from the Ministry of Health and Education and we will have processes in place to support every student as we continue our year.

Our enrollments for 2020 close on the 28th August and we would ask you to remind any friends or family to get applications in as soon as possible prior to the closing date to avoid disappointment.

 God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly


Principal's Comment

posted 7 Jun 2020, 19:40 by

Kia ora koutou katoa


It has been a great start back to the term after our extended break and students are really focused in class with a really positive buzz around the College.  Students have done a really great job getting back into their studies at school and also supporting each other with their return to school and getting on with their learning.

 The majority of senior students are at, or beyond, where we would like them to be at this stage of the year. We are still working to support those students that had a more difficult time accessing learning during the lockdown and will continue to do this through some flexibility around deadlines and extension of work through to the beginning of next term.

 It has been fantastic to see sports underway in so many codes. A big thank you to all those coaches and managers that have put themselves forward this year to assist our students in their sporting endeavors. We also had our Verdon College Netball Fun Day this past Saturday which great success and it was really nice to see everyone enjoying sport once again.

 Many students may yet to sign up for a winter sport or missed a registration date but if you want to get involved in a sports check the sports page it's never too late to get involved.  Being involved in sport at Verdon is a really important part of students' success for building  relationships and for their overall wellbeing.  More than ever I would encourage students to get involved in sport and connect with their peers.

 We had a great day on Friday celebrating St Marcellin’s feast day with having a feast of our own. Thank you to the senior students who run the BBQ and other activities. We will be having a mufti day with students dressing up with a book day theme to raise money for our Marist partnership school in Fiji and Caritas. We will be updating our calendar with events as these are

rescheduled and as the planning for these events firms up.


God Bless


Jarlath Kelly


Principals Comment

posted 13 Feb 2020, 12:29 by   [ updated 2 Mar 2020, 15:58 ]

Kia ora koutou katoa

 We are well underway with our year and students are making good progress with their learning with a very positive vibe around the College. It was great to see students work so well together during sports day and we had a really positive Ash Wednesday Liturgy. A big thank you to Maria Lucero our new Director of Catholic character for inspiring us with a change to our liturgy and getting students involved in the Ash Wednesday message.

We have had some really neat project’s coming out of our new programme at year 11 to 13 where our students are doing positive Socials Actions as students of a Catholic school.   Students are expected to choose the social action that they want to undertake that matches their skills. This might take the form of working with younger students in the around the College in various ways to being active in our community. Some really neat things are occurring, including some of our young men going to spend time with elderly gents at Calvary home and organizing bingo for them, Students assisting younger students with their reading or music and our students getting involved in community and charity events to mention a few. We are excited that so many of our senior students are finding something to do and developing and understanding that community means giving to others without expectation of  return.  We are also excited that so many of our students once involved in these activities are finding these activities personally rewarding.

 From time to time we will have teachers away with illness,  family matters or supporting our students with sporting and cultural events camp etc.  As a community we like to support those teachers at those times and students through providing staff to supervise trips. When time away is a little prolonged we will do our best to make arrangements to cover classes We  appreciate our community's support of our staff when they are required to be away in such circumstances.  I am always happy to answer any questions directly if you want to clarify any situation in this area.

 I would ask everyone to keep those members of our community that have family members that are struggling with the loss and illness of loved ones in your prayers. We pray for their recovery and strength and faith for the family members through difficult times. It is important that we are all there to support those families and others in the wider community at such times.

God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly



Principal's Comment

posted 13 Nov 2019, 16:14 by

Kia ora Koutou  katoa

 It was again a real privilege to be able to celebrate the successes of our students at Prize giving. Even though we  participate in the work with our students during the year I am always proud of and encouraged by the level and breadth of success of our students. Our Leavers’ Mass was a very special occasion and it was great to see so many parents and family members there to join in the celebration. The shift to the new format of the combined Leavers Mass and end of year Thanksgiving Mass was a real success. It has been great to be able to celebrate the school year 13 leavers as they set out on their journey.  As always they are a talented set of young people that we can be really proud of. It is apparent that in reading through their future destination that we have as a community raised some pretty terrific young people with bright futures.

 The Board have made the decision to opt into the government’s new donations scheme.  There are some fishhooks in the scheme which make it more difficult for schools to manage some current normal processes that support a rich and diverse curriculum. Our decision to opt in still comes with the concern as to whether we will be able to run camps as we have in the past and we will work through that discussion. The positive of the scheme is that from next year parents will not be asked for any donation or recoveries for curriculum expenses by the College. Again camps, sports and some optional extras will continue to be the exception. I will communicate more on this in the near future.

 I appreciate all the support that staff and parents have provided for the delivery of Deep Cove camps which have been again a really great success and thank parents and staff preparing for the year 10 Borland camp in the near future. I would encourage parents if you are interested in attending this camp as a support person to contact the College.

 I would ask that you keep Fr Hook in your prayers.  He has not been so well of late. As we all know he always puts others before himself and is a great example in that respect, but it makes his work load quite taxing.  It would be great if we could send him our best wishes and prayers as he works through recovery from illness and we will hopefully have him fighting fit and back on deck soon.


God bless


Principal's Comment

posted 20 Oct 2019, 18:29 by

Kio ora Koutou Katoa

We have had a great start to the term at the College. Term 4 is an extremely busy term with a significant number of function’s occurring for our seniors particularly Year 13.  There are only a few weeks until senior NCEA examinations begin and it has been pleasing to see so many of our seniors focused on completing their work on internals and attending tutorials that are offered to support the students with externals standards.  We encourage all students to continue to focus on their revision and work hard towards externals and continue to take advantage of tutorial and study session’s that the staff are generously providing throughout the next month or so.

This year, due to the ongoing changes to the length of our NCEA examinations and the number of students with obligations to work and travel towards the end of the school year we have made some adjustment to the end of year process.  We will be having our   seniors end of year Mass at the Basilica on the 1st November. This occasion will be part of our graduation process prior to prize giving and parents are invited to this occasion and we hope this will be part of a positive tradition going forwards for all students. Students will receive their graduation testimonials at this mass rather than later in the year and parents are welcome to attend this occasion.

 A reminder that there is an expectation to all students to attend senior prize giving , not only if they are receiving an award but also to support the success of their peers and to farewell the Year 13 cohort and other leavers in their final occasion at the College.  Senior prize giving is one of our special occasions that provide a sense of pride for our whole community and it is important that all of our senior students are there for this occasion and the farewell Mass. A number of awards are not announced until the evening so this also provides an important reason for all students to attend in case they have received an award.


Students in year 8 and year 10 are preparing for their camps.  The camps are a wonderful experience for all of our students and we are very keen to ensure that all of our students have that opportunity.  The camps are run in a model that provides supported challenges for students and the development of skills they gain while undertaking activities at camp that they otherwise may not have been able to experience.    Students are able to share their skills and knowledge with each other and learn about each other and to help build positive relationships that assist our students developing their peers’ groups and friendships going forward. We have assistance to support students’ attendance with providing correct gear and costs if you would like to discuss this contact Mr Mackay - .

God Bless

Jarlath Kelly



Principal's Comment

posted 26 Sept 2019, 15:34 by

Kia ora Koutou katoa

 We have reached the end of a really positive and productive term at the College.  We have had a great finish to the term with two key celebrations Blues Assembly and House Kapa haka competition.

 It is always astounding to see the level and range of achievements celebrated at the Blues Assembly.  Our Blues awards are pinnacle awards recognising students achievements.  Students that receive these have demonstrated outstanding acing achievement over a 3-year period. Similarly, we can as a community be proud of the range of achievements recognised through Colours awards at this assembly. I would like to thank all those teacher coaches, community members and parents that have supported these successes.

 Our kapa haka competition was again a special occasion and I am really proud of the way that all of our students support this kaupapa so positively. Speaking with the adjudicators of the competition they were amazed at the talent of our students and the way they supported each other and got involved as a whole school in this event.  A special feature of this year was the students who stood up to lead their house so well, something they can be very proud of.

 We have completed our enrolment for the College for 2020 and unfortunately have not been able to offer a significant number of students and families positions.  It is positive to have such interest but again it has been a difficult situation to have to turn students away that are keen to be part of the Verdon Community.  We are looking forward to meeting these new students later in the term.

 It has been a long and busy term and I would encourage all students to take time to recharge over the holiday period particularly senior students.  Having a break is important but remembering to keep an eye on requirement of externals as there is only 3 weeks of school for senior students prior to the end of the year and the beginning of external exams.

 I wish all students a restful and enjoyable holiday break ready for the final term of the year.


God Bless


Jarlath Kelly

Principal's Comment

posted 2 Sept 2019, 19:50 by

Kia ora koutotu kaota

 We continue to have a very busy and successful term at the college. Our Patronal Day - Feast of the Assumption Mass was a really special occasion. Mass was, as people described it, full of joy and not only a celebration of the Mass but also of Verdon College. It was also really great to see students contributing to the celebrations back at school providing BBQ and activities as part of the day.  It has also been special to have about on ongoing lunch time Mass on Friday’s. It is great to see the Eucharist celebrated with Father Hook and our students. It is really positive to see the leadership of a number of students at these Masses ensuring that they run smoothly. 

 Our hosting of the Bishop’s Shield was a great success and although our students did not take home the overall win they represented the college in a very close competition. A big thank you to all the staff, parents and students that were involved in working to make this event such a success.  I was really proud to have so many people from all areas of the community working together to demonstrate to the other schools what is means to experience the hospitality and aroha of Verdon College.

 We have closed our enrolments to the College for 2020. It is a difficult job working through applications for we have again received many more applications than spaces available. It is a really positive situation to have such interest however that is mixed with our disappointment for those that are unable to attend due to our limited places for enrolment. 

 Progress for NCEA in year 11 to 13 is working well towards reaching our targets again this year.  Students have concluded practice examinations and will have received feedback which they should work on so they achieve their final examination goals. Senior subject selection booklets have been published this week.  We ask parents to sit down with your son or daughter and talk though their future and option choices to ensure this process works in finding the correct course for next year and to develop a foundation of future study. Deans and senior pastoral staff are always available to assist in this process.

 We continue to pray for all of those in our community that are dealing with illness and loss of family members and loved one. We ask goods grace and blessing on them at this time.

 God Bless


Jarlath Kelly


Principal's Comment

posted 11 Aug 2019, 16:07 by

Kia ora koutou katoa


We have had a great start to the term with good enthusiasm from students about their studies and sporting and cultural involvement.   I have been really pleased with the success and  the way our students have represented them self in so many areas alongside the academic success that they are achieving.


 I would highlight two successes that have epitomized our Verdon values one being our U14 rugby team win the other weekend. It was a great game which the whole

community came out to support our boys.  There was such a great feel at the game and the U14 rugby team have worked so hard for each other this year and have built a great friendship and foundation for future success. The other success was the double header success of our year 7 and year 8 netball girls winning the INC tournament recently.  It’s not just that they won it was the determined united way they played for each other and the way they represented themselves on and of court that makes me very proud.  There are so many other individual and team success happening at the moment each of them special in their own way and each a great tribute to the effort and support of our students, staff and community.


Our open day was a great success and we had a large turnout as usual despite the extra challenge, or treat, of a snow fall. It was great to see all of the prospective new families and new members of current families turn out to look around the school. Again there is a lot of interest in enrolment at the College and we will again be limiting the roll at year 7 to around 104 students for the four year 7 classes that we are planning to have in 2020. There is some limited space at year 9 and some other levels but all applications will need to be completed correctly and

submitted by the due date of Friday 30 August as late applications will not be processed.  It is therefore important for family members of prospective students ensure that they get their application in as soon as possible to avoid disappointment


We pray for all those in our community dealing with illness or loss of family members at this time we pray for God’s Grace to be with them and their extended families.


God Bless


Jarlath Kelly




Principal Comment

posted 4 Jul 2019, 18:12 by   [ updated 4 Jul 2019, 18:13 ]

Kia ora koutou

 It has been another extremely successful term at the College with so many successes for our students and community. It was wonderful to see the talent celebrated in our Music Festival again. We have so many students involved that we have had to split the competition into junior and senior sections. It was also wonderful to get so much positive feedback about the talent and I would encourage parents and community members to come along to see the talents of our students at this event. A big thank you to Mrs Jarman, staff and students for their work in organising this event.

 All students will have received mid-year reports and having read these I can see some really positive progress being made. As always, our staff have provided students with advice about next steps in learning for students and I encourage parents to sit with students and read through those reports with a view to seeing where they can build on areas of learning for the second half of the year.

 Our enrolment season for students begin next term with our prospectus being sent to primary school in the first week of term.  Once again there will be limited entry to the College due to our roll being at a maximum.  I would really encourage all those families seeking enrolment of students in year 7 and year 9 in particular, to ensure enrolment processes are completed and applications submitted by the 30th August 2019.  Places will be allocated based on applications reviewed at the closing date and late applications are not able to be considered. We look forward to meeting new members of the Verdon family as we move through this process.

 Finally I would wish you all a restful holiday break and time with family ready to be energised to start term 3.

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