We have changed bell times this term to accommodate the Sustained Silent Reading programme at the start of each day. This gives every boy the opportunity to read every day for ten minutes during extended form time.
David Schaumann, HOD English, has led this initiative with the objective of further enhancing the reading culture already established in the college. We aim to lift the boys' attitude towards reading, increase their reading mileage and in turn, improve vocabulary, reading speed, spelling and comprehension. We believe that proficiencies in reading and writing are absolutely fundamental to achievement at all year levels across the curriculum.
While we are on the theme of literacy, I am pleased report that Go McGlashan Read has been hugely successful this year under the leadership of Angela Thomsen. As you will read in her report, reading mileage has increased significantly school-wide raising $7,171 in joint support of the Rare Diseases Foundation and the library. Thank you for your generosity in supporting this programme, I believe its success is a direct reflection of the value McGlashan families place on reading.
Very high numbers of parents took the opportunity to attend junior parent/teacher interviews and the atmosphere appeared productive and positive. Senior interviews will be held this week with all Year 11 -13 students expected to attend even if their parents cannot.
Year 11 individual mentoring meetings are currently being facilitated by senior staff. These discussions are based on themes of academic progress, goal setting, cultural and sporting commitments, future courses and career pathways and are invaluable for getting to know the boys better, in particular what inspires and motivates them personally.
Michele Rodger (Year 7 teacher and Junior Dean) will be on maternity leave from the end of the term. Applications for this position closed this week. Michele intends to return at the start of 2016 and we wish her and Andy well for the safe arrival of Ruby’s little brother or sister.
Due to two resignations late last term a number of interim appointments have been made. The position of HOD Technology has been advertised attracting a strong field of applicants and should be filled by the start of next term.
Mr. Don Campbell has been appointed as Acting Head of Department Technology and Graphics. He is also teaching senior technology.
Ms. Anna Noble has been appointed as Acting Head of Department Languages.
Mrs. Kate Lucas has been appointed to a long term relieving position in junior English and French, full-time fixed term for the remainder of the year.
Mr. David Schaumann has also taken up the teaching of a Year 11 English class.
Mrs. Deirdre Cooper has been appointed to long term relieving Year 9 social studies. This covers three out of the four of the Year 9 social studies classes.
Mr. Randal Scott and the experienced and skilled Mr. Brian Pickard are teaching junior technology.
I am confident these appointments will maintain and progress the opportunities for our boys in the short term and into the future.
I am actually writing this on the plane as I head home from attending, along with Henry Sullivan, the NZ Boys' School Association Principals' and Head Boys' conference in Wellington. We made some good connections with many of the 37 other schools and Henry did us proud with his contribution to the head boys' programme. Wellington certainly turned on the weather for us which was timely for Prince Harry’s visit to the Pukeahu War Memorial Park featured in the recent ANZAC Day commemorations. If you are visiting Wellington, I highly recommend you see Sir Peter Jackson’s The Great War exhibition at the memorial, or equally moving, The Scale of Our War at Te Papa.