Term 1 – 9 February 2024 Principal Comment

Feb 9, 2024

Tēnā koutou katoa ngā whānau, 

This week I have visited every classroom and many classes, I have enjoyed all interactions with teachers and students. While each class is unique, there certainly is a common theme of manaakitanga evident in all classes. Positive, caring and happy relationships are building between students and between teachers and students. It is a joy to recognise the focus and energy our students have on re-establishing friendships and making new friendships after the long summer break. Our opening Powhiri and Liturgy were the highlight of our start of year celebrations as we welcomed our new learners and staff along with all returning students to the college. Thank you to all parents, caregivers, whānau for your support, preparation and encouragement of our learners as they begin their 2024 school year. 

Year 9 Learners Day 1, 2024

We welcome our new teachers to the College, Amelia Bright – HOF and teacher of Social Sciences,  Sam Currie – Teacher of Science, Jessica Stock – Teacher of English, Matua Richy Tau’alupe Vaipulu– Teacher of Religious Education, Merin Baillie – Teacher of Food Technology, Wandi Le Roux – Teacher of Social Sciences. We also welcome our new support staff Jacinda Halford – Teacher Aide, Kerri Haggart –  Teacher Aide, Nicky VandeGeest – NMIT Student Counsellor, Ben Bonoma – Business Manager and Kane Andrew – Lab Technician and Manager. We look forward to the knowledge, experience and expertise each will bring to the classroom and college. 

Congratulations to our 2023 NCEA level 1,2&3 students on their success and achievement in NCEA. We are pleased by the NZQA provisional NCEA results for 2023. Overall Garin NCEA results remain comparatively well above the National Equity Index Band data. I look forward to sharing the confirmed results when these become available.

Next week we will gather as Garin community to celebrate our Ash Wednesday Liturgy here at school. Central within our liturgy will be the opening of our hearts and our minds toward our connection with God and of drawing closer to God throughout the 6 week Lenten season. Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving in preparation for the resurrection of the Lord at Easter. For 2024 our Lenten theme is Time is Now! Ko Tēnei tonu te Wā! Lent is our time for preparation, for encounter, time for justice, time for love, time for sacrifice, and time for hope.

Year 13 Learners have been away on their “Summit” Journey at lake Rotoiti this week. Journey is an opportunity for our learners to enrich their spiritual lives, make connections and establish enduring friendships within their peer group. I look forward to working alongside our year 13 students this year and supporting them as leaders in the college. Throughout this term year 9, 10 and 11 will each participate in their specific year level Journey programme in the great outdoors led by Whenua Iti Outdoors. I thank our staff for their time and commitment in attending these camps and supporting our learners and particularly Markelle Ward for her leadership of the Garin Journey Programme. Year 9 Learners are the next students to head out for Journey in week four, excitement is building! 

Attendance – Every single day counts towards your child’s learning at school and gives your child the best chance to gain qualifications and do well in life. As a parent or caregiver, you, alongside our school, play a key role in building strong habits of regular school attendance. If a student misses one day of school every two weeks, they miss a whole year of school by 16 years of age. Our Garin attendance goal in 2024 is to increase student regular attendance to 70% – to achieve this result, we look forward to receiving the energy and commitment of all students, parents, caregivers, teachers and staff, to share in promoting and affirming positive attendance initiatives throughout the year. We understand that at this time, parents also need support in improving their child’s attendance; please do not hesitate to contact our school office who will direct you to your child’s Whānau Teacher, year level Dean, Health and Counselling team or Senior Leader who will connect with you. For further information on attendance, please view the following Student Attendance Guide for Parents and Whānau

Student School Drop off / Pick up, I draw your attention to our key message regards – Student School Drop off / Pick up, and the Garin College Safe Routes to School Plan – please read information below.

Due to the summer temperatures and the need to keep cool, students are wearing their correct light-weight summer uniform throughout term 1. To ensure the safety and wellbeing of all, we advise students to wear their sunhats, stay within the shade, and wear sunblock. Students are reminded to keep hydrated, we have free cooled and filtered water stations where students can refill their drink bottles. 

To our students, staff and whānau, I share this whakatauki that speaks to us as a community of collaboration and our strength based approach. It acknowledges that everybody has something to offer, a piece of the puzzle, and by working together we can all flourish. 

 Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi 

With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive. 

God Bless

Ngā mihi nui

John Maguire

TDC Safe Routes to Garin information

Student School Drop off / Pick up, Cycling and Walking Protocols

Dear Parent, Caregiver and Whānau,

We wish to ensure the safety of all students and pedestrians within our college car park and ‘Drop off & Pick up zones’. The vehicle entrance way to Garin College for student drop off and pick up has been designed to ensure student safety.

We have a special bay for buses to pick up and drop off students that has clearly defined and marked speed bumps throughout our car park areas. Within the bus bay there is a special zone marked ‘Drop off Zone’; this has been created especially for parents and caregivers to pick up and drop off their children. The speed limit in the drop off zone and school car park is 5 km p/h.

To access the ‘Drop off Zone’, you must enter the college main entrance, immediately turn left into the bus bay area, keep left and stop in the marked ‘Drop off Zone’. Using the ‘Drop off Zone’ will alleviate the need for your vehicle to enter the college main car park area. Entry to the ‘Drop off Zone’ must only be gained by turning into the bus bay from the college main entrance. Exit from the ‘Drop off Zone’ must only be accessed at the western side of the bus bay. Note, the traffic flow for cars in the bus bay area will be anti-clockwise.If you need to drop off/pick up your child from school, please use the designated  ‘Drop off Zone’.

Our ‘Disabled Drop off Zone’ is located immediately outside the college office and may continue to be accessed as required by entering the college main car park area.

Walking and Cycling 

When crossing Champion Road, students must use the designated pedestrian crossing outside the college. 

Cycling to and from school; students must wear a cycle helmet, ensure visibility and follow NZ Road Code practice. Please be aware of the upgraded cycleways on Salisbury Road.

Bicycle Park, Students are to park their bike in the bicycle cage onsite and ensure their bikes are locked securely.  


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