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22nd May 2020 (Friday)
Tēnā koutou kātoa,
This is my last newsletter as Principal at Glendowie College. Next week I fly to Nelson with my family to take up the role of Headmaster at Nelson College.
It was great to welcome staff and students back to school this week. On the first day, we had 97% of students turn up, with lots of energy. Our focus this week is to reconnect with students, check on their wellbeing and academic progress, and return to ‘normal’ teaching and learning as fast as possible.
Thank you for your support over the last nine weeks. It has been an extraordinary time. Lockdown, online learning, virtual house assemblies … and everything else that has happened in New Zealand and globally. I hope that the exceptional unity displayed by New Zealanders will continue for a long time to come as we work to meet the needs of all.
I also want to acknowledge the work of our staff. They have displayed outstanding energy and creativity to serve our students. I’m very proud of their efforts to support our students’ learning and wellbeing over the last 8 weeks.
The wider life of the school, e.g. sports and arts, will gradually return at the college. For example, we hope trials and training will resume from next week on. We will provide more information to you and the students in due course.
It has been a privilege to lead Glendowie College over the last five years. It is an amazing school in an amazing community, and it’s sad to leave.
The school has achieved so much in the last few years, and is increasingly recognised on the national stage – academically and in reference to the wider life of the school. Our academic results have improved year on year. Last year over 96% of our year 12 students gained L2 NCEA and our students gained 41 NZ Scholarships. Some of the best results in New Zealand.
We have one of the highest sports participation rates in Auckland, and our students are equally involved in the arts, service and student leadership. We have nearly finished implementation of the IB MYP junior curriculum, which is driving innovation, rigour and a global perspective in the junior school.
We are well into our ‘Campus Vision’ development, with a new Quad, fitness centre, garages, sports facilities, science block and special needs unit. We have new dedicated full-time learning support coordinators and a full-time kaiarahi. We have developed and implemented a unique wellbeing framework, introduced year 9 camps, and new houses that reflect our heritage.
All of that has only been possible with the hard work of staff, the leadership of our Senior Leadership team, successive Boards of Trustees, and the ongoing support of you – our parents and whānau. Glendowie College enjoys a highly engaged, professional and supportive parent and whānau community.
Glendowie College has a clear vision and momentum. On the one hand, I would love to stay and further that vision. On the other hand, it’s time to pass the torch to the next person and I do so with pride.
I wish you and your whānau the very best for the rest of the year and beyond.
Ngā mihi nui,
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