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Friday, 28th September 2018
Kia ora tātou.
Thank you to our fantastic Parents’ Association and many volunteers for the Fun Run on Sunday morning. Approximately 350-400 people registered to walk or run our local streets and raise funds for the college. It was especially great to see so many entries from our local contributing schools. The Run was supported by local businesses, including Barfoot and Thompson, New Balance, Uniform Group, Pak n’Save and Fenchurch Dairy. Thanks to these and other sponsors who supported this initiative.
Thanks to the ongoing support of the Parents’ Association and parents generally through the parents’ donations, we have just signed off the next stages of our campus vision. Between now and the end of term 1 next year, we are progressing the following property projects:
1. Multi Turf Netball Courts
Next term TigerTurf will lay a new artificial turf on the old Netball courts behind the Moore Gym. With the help of Parents’ Association funding, we have ordered the ‘Evo Pro’ product, which is better suited to hockey, as well as other sports such as netball etc. This will give our hockey programme their own space for training, rather than depending on other schools or travelling to Lloyd Elsmore in Pakuranga.
(exterior view of proposed weights room)
2. Weights Room
We are finalising the design of our new weights room, with construction hopefully starting over the summer break and into term 1 next year. This will create a new weights room on the north side of the Moore Gym. It will be used by our Health and PE classes, as well as our many other sports teams who will be able to train in it.
(interior view of proposed weights room)
3. New Tennis and Netball Courts
Over the summer holidays and early term 1 next year, we will construct new tennis and netball courts on the north side of the Moore Gym. These will replace the old tennis courts by Gate 3, which will eventually become car parking. Thanks again to the Parents’ Association funding and parents’ donations, we have also contracted TigerTurf to lay the Acrylic surface over the ashphalt courts, similar to the surface used at Morrin Road netball courts. This will be applied after the courts are built in term 1 (weather dependent).
(location of new tennis & netball courts (netball courts now shown))
4. New Garages
In term 1 next year, we will convert the old weights room into a new garage and secure storage compound, with trade access through Gate 1. We will then decommission and remove the old garages around Gate 3 and convert that area into a pedestrian courtyard after the new Science Block is built.
In addition, over the summer holidays, the Student Services building and two relocatables (prefabs) beside Gate 3 will be shifted to enable the construction of our new Science and Somerville block. Full funding for the block has been approved by the Ministry of Education’s Investment Board, and we are now working on the ‘developed’ design, ahead of going to tender. We hope that construction will start halfway through next year.
Given the timespan these property projects take to get from vision to construction, we have already started to think of the next projects after the new Science Block. This will include renovating parts of Hammer Block after the Science faculty exit that space.
It is exciting to see our planned campus vision coming to fruition. Again, thank you to our generous community for your support in making this possible. In all of these projects, we have contributed significantly more than the Ministry funding, if not paid for them entirely out of locally raised funds. This reflects the value and commitment of our parents and community to our students’ education.
Te Reo Māori
You may have seen me in the New Zealand Herald talking of the challenge of finding a Te Reo Māori teacher. Following that article and with the help of the Ministry of Education staff, we have now employed a Te Reo Māori teacher for 2019. It is a huge relief to resolve this and ensure the continuity of Te Reo Māori at Glendowie College.
We are still looking to fill a couple of teaching positions for 2019, but we are now assured of starting 2019 fully staffed.
2019 Year 9 Enrolments
Next year’s year 9 cohort is looking to be our largest enrolment ever as in-zone enrolments continue to climb. We have taken some out-of-zone enrolments to balance the numbers and will endeavour to keep year 9 classes below 30. This means we will have nine year 9 classes in 2019.
Overall, our roll will be around 1,280 – our largest ever. This will put pressure on classroom space until the new Science block is completed. Thanks to our timetabling staff (Mr West and Mr Chand) who are working to make the most efficient use of our space.
After seven years’ service, our Caretaker/Property Manager, Mike Spanring, has chosen to take a break from the job and its challenges of late night call-outs etc. I thank Mike for his contribution to the college over the last seven years. We are now looking for someone to cover Mike temporarily while we work through our long term plans for the roles of Caretaker and Property Manager.
We would love to hear from anyone who may be interested in temporarily covering this role. This role would be regular hours during the week, and would not involve out-of-hours work. Please contact Lisa Davis-Miller, Business Manager (email@example.com), if you or someone you know would be interested in this role.
I want to thank the many people who have supported the school and our students this term. This term got off to a tragic and difficult start with the death of Gabriel Steadman in year 12; the effects of this will continue to be felt for a long time. Our guidance staff, Senior Leadership Team, Deans and Assistant Deans, and many others have done an amazing job with supporting our student community through this … as well as carrying on with the normal running of the college.
The area of mental health, and suicide, are very important topics that can be difficult to address with our children. A resource that may be of use is “Connecting through Korero: Talking about suicide with taiohi/young people” by the Mental Health Organisation. The resource is available at www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/connecting-through-korero. As the resource suggests, you may find yourself in a car journey with your child(ren) and this can be an excellent opportunity to talk. This article provides some valuable tips about how to approach these conversations. Thanks to the parents who highlighted this to the school.
Yesterday the students competed in the annual Haka Competition. This is a very special tradition at Glendowie College and a fantastic celebration of Tikanga Māori. Students in each house perform a waiata and haka to win house points. The standard of performance continues to improve and the judges were impressed by the creativity and improvement in performance, including pronunciation of Te Reo Māori by our students. Many thanks to the student leaders, Deans and Assistant Deans for organising this. Congratulations to Tāwhirimātea and Tangaroa who were joint winners this year.
End of Term and Holidays
I hope that you and your family get a chance to relax over the next two weeks. I encourage our senior students to find some time over the holidays to ‘forget’ about school and unwind. With the NCEA exams starting in week 5 of term 4, students will want to spend some of the holidays revising their subjects. I also hope that they make some time to be with friends, read, watch movies, play some sport, and other activities to relax before the final sprint to NCEA.
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