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From the Principal

Principal's Comment

posted 10 Apr 2019, 20:18 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

 We are at the end of a wonderfully busy and successful term at the College.  It has been very special to finish the term with a couple of big occasions the Senior Catholic Schools’ Tournament and the Colours  Assembly.                     

The Catholic Schools’ Tournament is a really special event and is a great opportunity for the students of Catholic schools in the Diocese to catch up and spend some time together in the context of sporting competition and friendly rivalry.  Our teams acquitted themselves really well in all of their games but I would like to make a special mention of the boys’ hockey team who won their  competition at the tournament. The very special thing about this tournament was the way our students conducted themselves and the positive time that our students spent with each other building relationships over the two days of the tournament.

Our Colours Assembly was a great celebration of the academic success of our students in last year’s NCEA Qualifications, as well as sporting and cultural success that has occurred over the past six months.  Again, we can be so proud of our students for their achievements in so many academic, sporting and cultural areas. We can rightly feel proud as a community, in our roles as teachers, coaches, managers and parents, of our efforts in supporting these successes. Without the ongoing support of our community this outstanding achievements would not be possible.

 As you will all be aware Easter is occurring within the holiday break this year. I would encourage all students and families to support the liturgical activities in your local parishes. Easter is an extremely important part of our year as Catholics and a very special opportunity for us to express our faith and belief in the resurrection.

 Please take time to have a good break over the holiday’s period and have a happy and Holy Easter.

 

God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 28 Mar 2019, 18:37 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

 

It has been a tragic couple of weeks for our community in New Zealand and there are not enough, or the right words to express the sorrow that such an action has occurred for the victims of the tragedy in Christchurch, their families and wider community.  This matter has highlighted, as we are taught in our Catholic tradition that we should work towards understanding everyone and attempt to show love and support towards all.  This is an important part of the message of being Catholic and following the teaching of Jesus.  

It is important that we are taking time every day to understand others and their whakapapa and kappa as well as to share about ourselves and our Catholic perspectives of caring and understanding for everyone.  We need to look forward to each playing our part in a more polite caring and understanding society.  That does not always means going with the flow but standing up for what we believe and striving to lead others in upholding the rights and dignity of every member of our school and wider community.

 I would like to acknowledge the passing of some significant personalities and leaders in our wider community.  While it is a time of sadness for us it is also a time to celebrate their lives and the legacy that they leave us.  In reflecting on the legacy that has been left to us by significant people in our lives and communities I believe it is also important that we consider how we can pick up their work to provide positive leadership and support to others as they contributed to our community and  have provided support for us.

 Our term is continuing in a very busy fashion. I have been really proud of the achievement and work that our students are doing in the cultural and sporting space.  Again, I would encourage all students to attempt to find a sport to be involved in over the   winter season as it will provide a greater opportunity to connect with teammates as well as having a positive impact on               well-being.  I would like to acknowledge the success and work of all students involved in all of our cultural activities. It is great to see such a wide and varied number of activities occurring for our students. We are always keen to have parent involved in supporting cultural and sporting endeavours and if you are keen to support your child’s activities do let the office or sport                department know.

God Bless

Jarlath Kelly

 

Untitled Post

posted 27 Feb 2019, 15:55 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

I was really pleased, as always, with the spirit of the school at our Opening Mass at St Theresa's. This again was a really positive occasion and a really special way to begin the year and to induct our new school leaders. The House picnics in the afternoon were also a really positive event particularly for students new to the College. I am always really appreciative of the fact that we can begin the year in such a community focussed manner that bring us all together and sets our whole community up for another successful year.   

 It was also great to see so many students involved in the Athletics sports events and the positive spirit of the students despite the less than ideal weather.  I really appreciated the efforts of  staff in planning and managing this event particularly in light of the weather.

 At the moment there are some big changes to the education system on the horizon and there is an opportunity for all  stakeholders to have their say on proposed changes.  As part of the executive for New Zealand Catholic Secondary Schools Principals’ Association I have been part of the discussion in relation to the potential the impact on Catholic secondary education of these changes.  Whilst there are some potentially positive ideas suggested in these changes there are some emerging concerns in the discussion that may indicate some negative impact of the current autonomy and character of state integrated school and whanau access to Catholic education.   It is important that you as stakeholders read the proposed changes and consider how that might impact on our special community and take your opportunity to have your say at meetings or online. I have included the link below to assist.

 https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/tomorrows-schools-review/

 Again keep in your prayer all those in our community that are struggling with illness and the loss of a family member.  We ask God’s grace and blessings on them at this time.

 

God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly

 

 

Untitled Post

posted 12 Feb 2019, 15:08 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora Koutou Katoa

 We have had a wonderful start to the school year.  Once again it was very special to welcome our new cohort of year 7 students to the Verdon College whanau at our Powhiri to begin the school year.  The time the year 7 students spent on their first day with the year 13 students who shared with them our Verdon traditions is really special. 

 It has been great to see how our returning students have begun the year so well and that their focus is already on academic studies.  As outlined our students achieved some outstanding results in NCEA last year as shown against the national averages below. We can be very proud of how well our community is doing and the combined efforts of family and staff of the College are supporting student’s achievement.

Our sports staff are looking to encourage students to sign up to summer sports this week.  We pride ourselves on our students’ involvement in sports as part of their holistic education at Verdon.  Students will be getting notices about sports and if you have any questions feel free to contact staff at the sports office.  If you are interested in getting involved as a coach or manager of a team it would be great to hear from you.

As always we are expecting students to be positively working towards meeting the expectation of our SOUL model.  To that end we are expecting students to be on time and engaged in all classes to their fullest ability as well as wearing the correct uniform with pride.  

 Finally, please keep in your prayer those members of our College community that have recently losta loved ones or are struggling with illness or illness of a family member at this time.  We ask God’s grace and blessing on them at this time and all members of our community.

 

God Bless

Jarlath Kelly

 

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

 

 

 

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