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Principal's Message

Picture of Alistair Simpson
Principal's Message
by Alistair Simpson - Friday, 7 August 2015, 1:09 PM

Kia Ora Parents and Friends of the College,
I have really enjoyed my first week of Term Three since returning from my Sabbatical during Term Two. I would like to acknowledge the excellent leadership shown by Shelley Power in her role as Acting Principal during that time and also the support and leadership shown by the Senior Leadership Team and the staff at the College. It is very heartening to see upon my return that our school is in great shape and is making progress as the year continues. It has been excellent to catch-up with the students to see how they have progressed, what they have been up to during Term Two and the pride with which they are wearing their uniform. I look forward to catching up with students and also a number of parents in the coming weeks.

Last Saturday night we held our annual school ball. This was once again a fantastic occasion and highlighted what fine students we have here at Katikati College. All of the students who attended looked spectacular in their finest attire and the Ball Committee did an amazing job of turning a typical school hall into an outstanding Egyptian formal event. I am very grateful to the staff that attended and special thanks must go to Mrs Melissa Nelson who worked with the Ball Committee and oversaw the organisation of the event. All of the students who attended the ball appeared to have a fabulous time and behaved perfectly during the evening.

My Sabbatical was a wonderful experience. The conference I attended in Singapore about ‘leading and redefining future schools’ was extremely thought provoking. So far I have been able to present to staff some of the ideas that I have developed from my thinking around the topics covered at conference and also the direction that education is heading globally - it is going to be very interesting in the next few years. One of my aims is to be able to present this information to the wider community and to look at the best way of doing this. There are certainly a number of issues that need community input and this is something that I am very keen to see happen. I am also very grateful to the generous time given to me by the Principals at the schools that I visited within New Zealand. I managed to spend some time in Taupo, closer to home around the Tauranga region and also three schools in Auckland, which were extremely interesting. There is no doubt that the nature of secondary schooling in New Zealand is changing and there is far greater diversity between schools now than there has been at any other time in our education history.

One of the things that has also struck me is that it is only approximately 13 weeks until our senior students head away for their NCEA examinations. A number of students were quite shocked when I mentioned this to them recently. I would like to make sure that students are aiming for their highest possible level of achievement and not to be content with ‘just passing with an Achieved’. During my time away I have seen many students who have really excelled to the highest levels and have a deep motivation. Our students are well placed to be part of the future world, however they need to ensure that they give themselves the best opportunities for success. Striving to achieve academically is an important motivator that our students need to focus on.

This week and early next week we have our ARC Assemblies where students will be recognised for displaying Aspiration, Responsibility and Citizenship throughout the school. You are welcome to attend – see over for dates and times. Finally, I encourage you to ask your children what they have been learning in class this term. Ask questions, be involved in what they are doing in class, support the students and be interested!

Nāku noa

Neil Harray