Tuesday 17th March 2020

Let’s keep calm, keep checking advice and keep talking to each other.

Athletic Sports 2020
Athletic Sports 2020

The Covid-19 coronavirus situation continues to evolve and the government has responded quickly to set in place stringent measures to stop the virus spreading. The Ministry of Education has done an excellent job of keeping us informed and I commend them. Let’s keep calm, keep checking advice and keep talking to each other. If you have any concerns don’t hesitate to contact me.

We are receiving regular updates from the Ministry of Education but at this stage, there are no plans for schools to close. We are, however, planning how we would function should schools across New Zealand be required to close at some point in the future. The College is well placed to maintain some of our classroom programmes by distance and the staff are currently pre-empting this possibility by adjusting their current schemes of work to suit.

If a case of Covid-19 appears at John McGlashan College, then the Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, will track, trace and manage the contacts of the individual with the help of the school community. The school may be closed for several days while this happens. Such cases will be dealt with on a school-by-school basis. This approach is designed to quickly manage the virus but if it moves to widespread person-to-person transmission then this approach would most likely change. Please note that any announcement of the closure of the school will be communicated to you directly via email and will be posted on our website as soon as possible.

The College has cancelled assemblies and group gatherings until further notice and has postponed camps, and travel for sporting and cultural events. We have been informed by the New Zealand Secondary School Sports Council that most secondary school sporting events have been cancelled. This includes events such as the Maadi Cup and Summer Tournament Week. Sports practices and competitions have also been postponed in a number of codes.

It is crucial that individuals and families show collective responsibility for the health of the wider McGlashan community by using common sense i.e. remaining vigilant, maintaining hygiene standards and staying home if unwell. We are constantly reinforcing these messages at school and would appreciate you doing the same at home.

Safe hygiene practices are as follows:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry thoroughly

  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

  • avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments

  • stay home when you are sick and seek medical attention

  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the rubbish

I am confident that our school community will meet their obligations and heed the guidance provided by the Ministry of Health. Should the situation change, then schools will be informed and will act quickly in the interests of our students, staff and community.

In every other respect, we have had a strong start to the year. The energy and focus of the students are impressive, and once again, I acknowledge the staff for their continuous dedication to the wellbeing of our students. A team of senior staff has undertaken several marketing trips to the Central Otago A & P Show, Waimumu Field Days and the Wanaka Show. These occasions help to maintain strong connections with current and past parents and students and forge new links with prospective students and their families.

Our collaboration with Columba College continues to thrive. Fifty girls attend McGlashan for some part of their programme while 50 McGlashan boys attend classes at Columba. Each school maintains its unique culture but the collaboration expands course options and enables us to resolve some timetable clashes.

I am very pleased to welcome several new staff to the College. Each has made an impressive start to the year and has quickly stepped into the culture of John McGlashan College. We warmly welcome them to the McGlashan family.

Steven McNulty - HOD Music

Ella Murdoch - English

Troy Shoebridge - HOD Digital Technologies & Ed Tech Specialist

Duncan McLean - HOD Food Technology

Helen Jennings - Assistant Teacher English/Integrated Studies

Sue Chilton - Learning Support

Julie Tolson - Learning Support

Claire Gregory - Learning Support

Rebecca Simpson - Food Services Manager

Outstanding results were achieved in the 2019 International Baccalaureate and NCEA examinations. Congratulations to those boys who attained a Scholars’ Tie and also to those gaining Excellence and Merit endorsements for NCEA. Patrick Zhang and Harrison Biggs were both acknowledged at the IB Top Scholars’ National Awards in Wellington in February. 

NZ Top Scholars 2019 — Image by: Unknown

Take care. 

Kia kaha

Neil Garry

Ned Hancox receiving his Prefects' Tie
Prefects' Celebration 2020