A very warm welcome back to you all. It’s been a very long break, and I’m very happy to be back. And I know you are too! I’d like to extend a welcome to those new students joining us today, and extend the offer from all of us here that we are all here to help you settle into the Newlands way as quickly as possible.
This is my third opportunity to welcome you to a school year. And Y11 marks the biggest change in your schooling since you first came to this school. This is a transition year and a lot has changed. Some of those changes are:
- you are no longer juniors. The biggest change this year is that your work will go towards a formal qualification, your NCEA Level One. You have worked to lay a foundation in Year 9 and 10 and will now build that skyscraper of success.
- you will no longer do rubbish duty. However, we will all continue to be tidy kiwis.
- my jokes are becoming funnier. I promised you in Y9 that in a few years time you would find me hilarious. I sense that now as you are getting more worldly, more intelligent, more mature, that you are laughing more at my cutting wit. Or perhaps you are getting better at pulling off convincing sympathy laughs.
- The school is changing. There is obvious things like the demolition of the admin block, but also you will find some new teachers, some new subjects, and some new approaches and focuses as we progress through 2015. And of course new B block toilets.
- We are changing. We are getting older. Some of you I barely recognise today. We change as we get older, and my example I’ll share with you is that over the holidays my hairdresser discovered my first grey hair. I blame the two years I’ve spent Deaning.
However, while a lot has changed, there is a lot that has stayed the same and it’s appropriate to acknowledge some of those things now.
- just as I will continue to be your Dean, your Form Teachers and the guidance team around Y10 will remain the same. I believe this continuity is extremely important for you as you work your way through the school. Having an advocate, someone that has your back, that has worked with you and formed a relationship that has lasted years is extremely important and will help as you progress.
- we will continue to strive for success and celebrate this success. One way is through our Year Level blog. You have all been featured on the blog many times and nearly half of you now have contributed writing or content. I’ll continue to get as much of your success and experiences on there and all the information that relates to our year group. Once again the invitation extends to you to approach me with news or content that we can post there.
- and finally, what hasn’t changed is I will still continue to be extremely proud of this year level. Every day I hear at least one story of success and I know this will continue.
In a few minutes you will get your timetable, and some important information from your Form Teachers. Listen to the information they give you – there are some important changes this year that you need to be aware of. But most of all, enjoy being back at school. We are very excited to have you back with us – so join us in looking forward to a brilliant 2015.