Thursday 7th February 2019
Welcome to our new platform for deans at John McGlashan College.
Year 7 and 8 - with Mr Duncan
My name is Andrew Duncan and I am the Dean of Years 7 and 8 this year. I am very much looking forward to the challenge of promoting the continued well-being and success of our youngest pupils here at the College. I have some big shoes to fill following on from Mr Hore who filled this role so well over the last few years. He is now turning his talents to increasing and enhancing the opportunities available to our Year 7 and 8s to be active, involved and healthy.
My primary focus for these first few weeks has been to make sure that all the boys have been able to settle into their new classes as seamlessly as possible. This has meant ensuring all staff are up to speed with any contributing information available from last year as well as plenty of check ins with all teachers to make sure the boys are coping with the demands of a new school year.
Moving on from here, I will be running a curriculum of sorts of how the boys can make the most of their opportunities here at John McGlashan. This will be delivered at form level assemblies every Tuesday morning at form time, in the Chapel. We have started with a focus on positive first impressions, their importance and how to create them.
As far as overall philosophies go I am aiming to acknowledge the successes of our students when they come, guide students who are stuck and mirror the work being done in Year 9 around "How can we fix it?" if things have not gone to plan.
Already I have been in contact with a number of boys and their parents for various reasons and I have thoroughly enjoyed the chance to touch base. I very much hope this becomes the norm so do please feel free to contact me if you need to. I can be found in Room 16, by the gym, or I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Year 9 - with Mrs Mullenger
The year has got off to a very busy start for the Year 9 group. This year their form teacher is also their Integrated Studies teacher so they see them nine times a week for a Social Studies/English combination course. On the first Tuesday of the year, they had an afternoon of getting to know the school through doing an Amazing Race. This involved them collecting clues around the school and then returning to their homeroom to solve a final puzzle. The Year 13 prefects that helped out with this activity mentioned how friendly and polite all the boys were - a great start! The second week has been all about preparation for the rail trail. Bike matchups and tent practice have been the two key activities. We also had our first year level assembly - Mondays with Mullenger - in the Chapel, where I reiterated my ‘motto’, “Get it right. If you don’t, make it right”. We also talked about how the rail trail is designed to be a physical and mental challenge and it is up to them all to help each other meet their goals for the trip - “No man left behind!”. I am delighted with the start the boys have made and the bonds they already have with each other and their form teacher. It is lovely to hear the fun and laughter around Gilray during break times.
Years 10 and 11 - with Mr Casey
My name is Tom Casey and I am the dean of Years 10 and 11 this year. I take over from Mr Bruce James who worked tirelessly in this role for a number of years. I have taught at John McGlashan College for 11 years as HOD of Health and Physical Education, and really look forward to helping guide boys through the ‘middle years’ of high school. These are years where young men are starting to find real interest areas in the school, they realise they are about halfway through secondary school and things are starting to make sense. For some boys this may be a subject that has opened their eyes, or a team or group they are part of, or they may have a focus or goal they are working towards.
My focus for 2019 for Year 10s is for them to be fully involved in what school has to offer and ensuring they get it right in the classroom all the time. Year 10 boys have one more year until they are seniors and so Year 10 is their chance to see what it takes to be a senior in the college and work towards this.
For Year 11s this is their first true crack at NCEA and I believe that our boys are ready for this step and rise to the challenge. Boys should be focusing on their personal organisation with internal assessments, homework, sporting, social and cultural commitments to be organised. For some boys this will mean they need to prioritise their time carefully.
I will be meeting both year groups on a regular basis throughout the year. Already I have met with Year 11s where the dean, form teacher, guidance counsellor support structure has been outlined to the boys.
If boys or parents are looking for me I can be found in the music room office in the ‘tech block’. It is easiest to contact me with an email in the first instance:
Years 12 and 13 - with Mr Clark
Getting off to a great start. Making the right impressions. Leadership. Higher Expectations.
With the new school year, the senior lads are expected to 'step up' and hit the new year as a fresh start and a chance to make their mark as role models.
The Year 13 class, to set the scene for the year, were taken away to Tirohanga Camp for a day of defining the expectations and what it means to be a senior, well-being, leadership and goal setting. The most was gained from the various team building, leadership and problem-solving activities that, even in the near 30-degree heat, the boys brought their enthusiasm and energy, which I hope can last long into the year.
Year 12s have been asked to 'step up' into the higher expectations of being a more senior student and to consider leadership, well-being, reputation and role modelling. Things which we will discuss further as the year progresses.
I will meet regularly with the lads over the year to cover various topics relevant to some of the challenges that arise as a maturing young man and challenge them to meet them, be resilient and make good, informed decisions.
Most of all the overall message to seniors is to firstly get the basics right: correct uniform, punctuality, manners a positive attitude and, if they ever need it, who their support people are.
International Students - with Mr Mountain
Kia Ora, I’m Richard Mountain, international dean and ESOL teacher. This year we have 31 international students. 2019 is my sixth year at McGlashan, looking after and mentoring our international students. I have spent a fair amount of time overseas experiencing and working in different cultures, so I understand the challenges of coming to a new country with its different culture.
My goal is to integrate international students as quickly as possible into school life and Kiwi culture, whilst monitoring their academic achievement and supporting them in a number of different ways, including their social lives.
In order to achieve this, I have tutors outside of school to help support their other subjects.
To enhance their social lives, we have set up a group called DISC (Dunedin International Social Committee) which involves schools around Dunedin. We organise international socials, where the students can meet other international students from other schools.
We have a constant dialogue with subject teachers, homestays, parents and agents so that we can work together to give our international students the best opportunities and experiences at McGlashan.