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From the Principal

Principal's Comment

posted 10 Jun 2019, 14:50 by Karyn Dykes   [ updated 10 Jun 2019, 14:51 ]

Kia ora koutou katoa

It has been a really busy and positive few weeks at the College.  Our production was an outstanding success and I was so proud to receive all of the really positive feedback about the talents that our students displayed in their performances. I want to congratulate the students on stage, performing music in the band, involved with lighting sound and stage crew for their outstanding work.  I would also like to thank the staff involved for all of their hard work in assisting our students to deliver these performances.

Our College Ball was a wonderful event and again it is so pleasing to see our students enjoying this event and the togetherness and fun that they experience as they dance the night away.  It is so pleasing to see the efforts that students go to prior to the Ball, learning at  the ballroom dancing lessons.  These dance moves play such a feature of the evening before the students break into their freestyle later in the night. Again a big thank you to the Ball committee, staff and parents that make this night such a success.

 We had a wonderful Junior Quadrangular Tournament in Dunedin again this year with Verdon College winning the overall competition trophy this year. Our teams represented themselves extremely well both on and off the court. It is really pleasing to hear the positive feedback from the staff and community members as to how well our students conduct themselves and their friendly nature on this tournament.  Thank you to all the staff, senior coaches and referees that contributed to this event.

 Please keep in your prayer all those families in our community that are struggling with illness and difficult circumstances at this time.  

 

God Bless

 

Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 23 May 2019, 19:50 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

 It has been great to be out and about over the past few weekends watching the College sporting teams. It is always really noticeable the camaraderie and spirit with which our teams play and treat each other.  I am also really thankful for the high level of positive support of whanau that are always there to support our students’ endeavours.  We continue to have an impressive involvement in school sports which I believe is so important to the development of students of the College in so many ways.  The lessons learned about being a good teammate and dealing with the ups and downs of sporting success help teach and prepare our students for challenges that they may come across. 

 I continue to be really impressed with the hard work and preparation going into the Production “All Shook Up” and the work that went into the Stage Quest performance recently.  Again the students rise to the challenge of putting themselves out there and working as a team to deliver outstanding performances.  The bonds and friendship that are forged through these activities are really important for students and will underpin some great memories long after they leave school.

A big thank you to the staff and parents that supported the year 7 camps we really appreciate the time people put into supporting this event. I have had so much positive feedback about the students and the camps despite the challenging weather.

Please continue to keep in your prayers those in our community that are ill at the moment or have family challenged with illness. We pray for their recovery and that they feel the Grace of God at this time

 

God Bless

Jarlath Kelly

 

Principal's Comment

posted 5 May 2019, 22:48 by Karyn Dykes

Kia ora koutou katoa

 

We have had a really positive start to the term and I am really pleased with the focus and positive mood of students as they begin another busy term at the College. 

 I spoke at Assembly this week about taking the time to recognise the success that we are achieving individually and as a community in our academic endeavours, NCEA examinations and so many extra-curricular areas. At times, we take that success for granted and often fail to take the time to acknowledge the positive progress we are making individually or as a community. It is important that all students understand that our success occurs, because at every level of the College students continue to work hard, believe they can achieve, work through those time when it is not easy and support and encourage each other to succeed

 I have been very pleased to see the positive number of students signing up to play winter sport and the effort going into trainings. Sport plays an important part of students’ well-being, both in terms of physical well-being but also in terms of their social connection and in building resilience.  I wish all those sports teams all the best for their season and continue to encourage students to get involved, if they haven’t to date.

 There has been a lot of success in the cultural side of the College and that is continuing as preparations for production and showquest continue.  Again, I have been really impressed with the work that both students and staff are putting into the planning and preparation for these events.  We are very much looking forward to seeing these performances and the fruits of their labour later this term.

 This will be another busy but exciting term for students at all levels of the College and I look forward to sharing that success with the community as it occurs throughout the term.

 Please keep in your prayers all those in our community dealing with illness of family members. We ask God to assist in the full recovery of those that are ill and to provide solace and strength for family members at this time.

 

God Bless

 Jarlath Kelly

 

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

 

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