By Jane Johnson | Posted: Saturday February 15, 2014
Kia-ora parents and whanau
The 2014 school year started with beautiful blue skies for our outdoor Mihi Whakatau on January 31st. All new students in years 9, 12 and 13 and new staff, Amber Fraser-Smith (HOD International) and James Govan (PE/Health and Maths teacher), were welcomed by Tipene Winiata( Tangata Whenua) and ex-student Kane Holmes (Manuhiri) with inspirational whaikorero. Everyone has settled in to their new timetables and senior students have spent time helping year 9 students understand our inclusive school culture with a Peer Leadership programme.
Our preliminary analysis of our NCEA and Scholarship results have been presented to the staff and Board of Trustees with level 1 and 2 pass rates at or close to 80% and level 3 and University Entrance close to or at 70%. Most encouraging is the number of students in year 13 not taking a full level 3 NCEA course but who have passed their level 2 qualification. That is what NCEA is designed for – to personalise our curriculum and assessment. Additionally, our extra support programme for level 2 students “getting across the line” resulted in 18 (so far) of the 25 students selected achieving their level 2 qualification. Hence teachers are delighted with our students’ efforts to commit to their completed qualifications. This year we have set up a special senior student “tracking” programme, starting with a Long Group time in week 4 to set up each students’ academic calendar.
Scholarship results have just come in, with 16 scholarships achieved, one at Outstanding level. Four scholarships were awarded in English, one at Outstanding level, three in Media Studies and Chemistry, two in Physics and one in each of History, Maths with Statistics, Drama and Biology. Two Year 12 students gained scholarships and our 2013 Dux and runners-up to Dux won 6 scholarships between them. We will be organising a Scholarships morning tea with staff in the next couple of weeks to congratulate our top scholars.
Congratulations to all students who passed their Junior Diploma at the end of 2013 and to our prize-winners, junior Dux ( Katherine Woolrych) and other special prize-winners.
Roger Tobin’s farewell on January 31st went well with around 80 people attending. Roger has made a wonderful contribution to school life as a teacher of Maths, HOD of the Maths Department and Deputy Principal for the last 14 years. His 29 years at LPHS are also remembered for his extra-curricular contribution in Chess, Badminton and Manu Korero trips in the early years. As an inspirational speaker, we have all benefitted from his whaikorero at Mihi Whakatau, memorable addresses in assemblies and his professional development leadership in staff meetings. I wish him well with his new position as Otago/Southland PPTA Field Officer.