Friday, June 29, 2012

Principal's Message

Dear Parents and Friends of St Kevin's College

As Term Two ends with the echo of haka and chant reverberating from the red stone buildings of St Kevin’s College, I am very proud of our student’s achievements. Our last weeks have been a showcase of talent, from the student directed Dramas and  Speech Competitions to the full day of sports in the Waitaki Interschool.

More importantly, I have been pleased to see the fortnightly indicator system sending results directly to parents via email. Over the last month I have been teaching two Year 10 mathematics classes and I have experienced the positive power of parental feedback first hand. As both a principal and a parent I see the importance of early communication so that parents are able to be proactive and there are no educational surprises.

Closely linked to the fortnightly indicators are the Hillary and Sheppard Certificates. Consistent improvement in progress and engagement indicators generates a nomination for these awards. Whānau Group mentors and Deans look at the candidates work at Whānau Time and select the recipients of these ten dollar awards. The aim is to make the tangible link for students between academic progress and these rewards. As these awards are generated by improvement, all students have a realistic chance to shine. These compliment the Excellence Awards which aim to reward our top achievers. Our next Excellence Assembly will be held during week three next term.

One of the initiatives the Senior Management Team is considering for 2013 is to offer an opportunity for Year 10 students to challenge themselves by sitting the Cambridge IGCSE Examination. This is still at the exploratory stage and I would like to take the opportunity to foster robust community debate as we move into the consultation process. On the positive side this examination would provide a challenge for Year 10 student’s that goes beyond our traditional offerings. On the negative side is the $85 entry fee per subject. The subjects that we are considering for inclusion in 2013 are English, Mathematics, Science and Global Perspective (a social studies equivalent paper). As with any development of this type, I welcome feedback from our parent community, especially our current Year 9 caregivers.

I hope that both staff and students have a chance to recover from coughs and cold over the holidays and return refreshed for the winter term. Please keep those in our College community who are recovering from illness in your prayers, especially Year 12 student Andrew Easton and Mr Ryan who is completing his treatment in Christchurch. 

God Bless You All
Paul Olsen, Principal

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