Welcome to 2023

Teenaa koutou e te whaanaun o tatou kura,
Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Good afternoon everyone. Welcome back to school and the start of 2023! It has been great to see all of the students in today, sorting out their timetables, catching up with friends and getting their heads around being back at school. It seems to have taken a big effort from the students and the ones I caught up with are glad of the 3-day weekend to catch their breath.

Over the past week we have enjoyed starting the school year in a more normal way with our poowhiri and student leadership training. It is noticeable just how much impact the restrictions of the past few years have had on how we operate. We are excited to have great events back in the calendar as they really do make a difference for how we welcome our students and establish expectations and connections across the school. Today, we had our first formal assembly where I highlighted the incredible opportunities on offer for all our students at CHS. Our vision at CHS is to provide an inspiring, holistic learning experience so students leave school with choices, confidence, and a sense of purpose. We can see this throughout the year with opportunities for students like the house events, a range of apprenticeships, tertiary pathways and scholarships, employment opportunities, national and international success in sports and the arts and incredible school trips. There really is something for everyone at Cambridge High School and my challenge to our students is to make the most of these opportunities. We have incredible facilities, expert staff and coaches and enjoy great support from our community. However, success doesn’t just happen by just turning up. How our students approach school is important and what they do with the opportunities that we open up to them will dictate their level of success at Cambridge High School. Specifically, this means we prioritise learning through arriving to class on time, avoiding distractions such as phones and being ready to take feedback and learn from mistakes and successes. It also means approaching school positively, being prepared to perform at your best, wearing our school uniform correctly and completing all assessments on time. The incredible achievements of our students over the years have had these factors in common. Those students who succeed at CHS have followed our REACH values that are: 

  • Realise Your Potential

  • Engaging with Purpose

  • Act with Integrity

  • Care for People and Places

  • Have the Courage to Succeed

Looking ahead to the coming couple of weeks there are some great events that I would like to promote.

  • House Day – Thursday 9th February. This is an important start to the year for us as it enables us to reinforce the connection and sense of belonging. We will have a range of activities and competitions designed to be form relationships between staff and students of the same house. Please note school will close at 12:30pm

  • Year 9 Cultural and BYOD days – 13th and 14th February. These days are used for sharing the stories of our area and beginning to build an understanding of Maaori culture for our area.

  • Year 13 camp – 15th to 17th February. We welcome our students back to Year 13 with a range of challenging activities. It is highly recommended, but optional for students. Year 13 that do not attend this camp are expected to attend school.

  • Swimming sports (21st Feb) and Athletics day (28th Feb) – These are both compulsory events as they are important for promoting our house spirit and the importance of being active. Student can either participate or compete in a range of events, including a manu comp, and house points are up for grabs.

Finally, from me today I wanted to share with you an image of some exciting development at CHS. The first of our concrete tilt slab walls was put in place in the much anticipated S block construction. If you recall, this has been in the planning and design phase since its announcement in 2015 – it is finally underway! This block will be ready for use in 2024 and provides us with 15 new learning spaces including specialist spaces for our Music, Art, Whare Tautoko and Careers and Gateways departments.  

Have great long weekend everyone and welcome back.

Ngaa mihi ki a koutou
Greg Thornton