23 September 2022 Newsletter

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Dear Parents/Caregivers

Kia Ora Tatou

This week we have held a talent show during the lunch time on Wednesday. A number of students (and staff) took to the stage to show off their talents in playing musical instruments and dance. The staff opened the performances and were very well received!! All the performances were excellent and I know the student and staff audience thoroughly enjoyed seeing their friends up on stage.

Also this week we hosted Book Day on Thursday. It was great to see so many students dressed up as their favourite character from a book. This was a fun day and it was great to see so many students get into the spirit of the event.

Heading to Wellington in the school holidays?
If anyone is heading to Wellington in the first week of the school holiday, you are recommended to view an exhibition of some of the best examples of students submissions for NCEA being hosted by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority at an exhibition at Te Papa. This year the exhibition will feature works by two of our students, Flynn McDonnell and Ryan Williams. This is a great achievement and a reflection of their perseverance and striving for excellence.

Student Absences from School
Please do not email the school with student absences as emails are not monitored for student absence. Please do telephone the school (4180517) and you are given an option to record the absence on a dedicated extension line. We will send text messages for students where we have no explanation for absence and do expect to receive an explanation.

Phone free day 
On the 6 October is the National Phone Free Day which South Otago High School supports. Unfortunately, this is in the school holidays so whilst we will be promoting this in school we are looking for parents to support this with their children. We encourage you to ask your child to put down their phone for just 24 hours from the time they go to bed on 5 October until they get up on 7 October. 

Social media
In the last few weeks the school has had to manage situations where students have used social media and online gaming inappropriately. Whilst this has been happening outside of school the effects have come into school. This has resulted in accusations and harassment in school. Whilst the school will treat matters that come into school and act within the limits of our powers, the out of school use of social media is beyond the schools jurisdiction. 

At school we have the value of respect. In this instance this translates to treating or speaking to others as you would like to be treated. Parents are asked to monitor student use of social media and reinforce the value of respect.

If parents do have concerns about online activity of their child outside of school be it sending or receiving messages or content you are encouraged to use the resouirces and advice available from Net Safe: https://netsafe.org.nz/

School ski trip
Last weekend I managed to get out for a day of skiing with students in Queenstown. The students had great weather and made the most of their two days. I must admit it is hard to recognise students when they have helmets and goggles!!! Despite that it was good to chat with a number of them on the slopes.

Attracting domestic teachers into the profession
As you will be aware, nationally there is a shortage of teachers in New Zealand currently. Whilst South Otago High School is very fortunate to have a fully staffed school we are always aware that vacancies may arise as teachers move on to re-locate or for career progression. The Ministry of Education is looking to support people who would like to go into teaching and have provided the following information: 

Career changer scholarships: To encourage people to change career and become a teacher, we offer two different types of career changer scholarships. Both pay course fees plus $30k per year of study and are open from 15 September to 13 October. These scholarships are very popular and we know career changers go on to enjoy fulfilling teaching careers.

  • The number of Te Huawhiti career changer scholarships available for all sectors and subjects is increasing by 100 additional places to 185 places.
  • In addition, 115 Te Waka Whakarei career changer scholarships are available for Māori-medium and te reo Māori teachers.

For more information please go to the TeachNZ website pages.
Take your place alongside our young people – TeachNZ
Te Waka Whakarei Career Changer Scholarship – TeachNZ


This weekend is a long weekend with Monday being a public holiday to acknowledge the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. I hope you will be able to join the nation in a minute of silence at 2pm on Monday 26 September to mark the Queen’s service to the Commonwealth.

Ka kite ano

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