Tēnā koutou katoa e te whānau o Craighead.

Topics covered in this communication

  • Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Successful Duets Fundraiser.
  • Staffing Changes.

Ka āpiti ope a Mōkau.

Broken pieces are joined together and groups are reunited.

Queen Elizabeth II: New Zealand woke to the news that Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral, Scotland, on Thursday 8 September (Friday morning New Zealand time). While not unexpected given her advanced age and failing health, for many, this did create a sense of loss as the Queen was our Head of State and Head of the Church of England for 70 years. We held a full school Chapel Service in our Auditorium on the Friday morning to honour her life of service to the UK and the Commonwealth countries. We wish King Charles III all the best as he steps into the role as Sovereign and Head of State.

‘Duets’ Fundraiser: Starbound Studios, Sheryl and Alister Bradley, offered Craighead the opportunity of using their ‘Duets!’ show to raise funds for the school, in particular to go towards purchasing items required by our Music Department and Performing Arts groups. Craighead Connect got in behind this opportunity to organise this event which was finally able to take place last Friday evening. It was a very enjoyable social occasion, with lots of fun and laughter. The Duets concept is the brainchild of dynamic duo, Sheryl and Alister Bradley, where they team up an accomplished singer with an unlikely partner! On the night, in addition to the singing were raffle hampers, the beautiful ‘diamond in a glass’ competition, and a range of interesting auction items thanks to our very generous sponsors. We are hugely grateful to all involved, with special thanks to Sarah Pierce, Michelle Agnew, Frances Coles and Rebecca Bell (Craighead Connect), Sheryl and Alistair Bradley (Starbound Studios), Madison Taylor (Hazlett’s Auctioneers) and to Jane and Nigel Bowen (Street Food Kitchen and Landing Services Building) for their meticulous organisation and efforts on the night. Thanks also to our younger performers who provided the pre-dinner entertainment.


Staffing Changes: Year 7 and 8 Curriculum Leader, Ms Emma Hall is going on maternity leave until mid-2023. We wish her all the very best as she looks forward to the arrival of ‘number two’. We are very fortunate to have capable and experienced relieving teachers willing to assist the school. Mrs Kathryn Ford will take over the teaching of this Year 7 class. Mrs Susan Tregenza is taking over the curriculum leadership role in the interim.


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa






Newsletter 8 September 2022 – Term 3 Week 7

Topics covered in this communication

  • New Craighead Mini-van.
  • Student-led Assembly.
  • Practice Examinations/Derived Grades begin Wednesday 14 September


New Mini-van: This week, we received the keys to a new mini-van – the same model as the one we bought at the beginning of the school year, except that it is a manual. It was purchased by a school family, to primarily support reducing transport costs for our rowing and netball families. It is also available for hire by other sports or for curriculum use (such as field trips) when not required by rowing or netball. This is an incredibly generous gift, for which we are very grateful. A huge thank you to our anonymous donor!










Student-led Assembly: Our Year 13 Student Leaders took the opportunity to run a student-led Assembly yesterday, supported by the Junior Leaders. The two prospective BOT Student Representative candidates were invited to address the student audience prior to students making their choices through the voting process next week. We wish both Elodie Gordon and Charlotte McArthur all the very best with experiencing the democratic process. Other topics covered were: Tongan Language Week, The ‘Rent a Year 13’ process, and a friendly reminder about holding doors open, using manners and maintaining basic hygiene when using the bathrooms. The Assembly concluded with a waiata (Te Tuakaea Aroha). Well done to all students involved in the organisation of this.

cialis brand name online

Alysha Bradley, Rosie Winter & Zara Coleman (AKA Ms Graham, Rev Lucy & Mr Jones)


Practice Examinations/Derived Grades begin Wednesday 14 September: A reminder that these begin for students in Years 11-13 on Wednesday 14 September and go through until the following Wednesday. Practice examinations are important for determining Derived Grades for NZQA (if they are required for reasons of illness, injury or bereavement) and therefore must be a reflection of a students’ best efforts! Thank you to those parents and caregivers who have given their permission, via the Google Form, for their daughters to study at home. The library may be used for a study space. Students who are ill or unable to sit these examinations for any reason are to contact Deputy Principal, Ms Lara Hearn in the first instance.








Newsletter 1 September 2022 – Term 3 Week 6

Topics covered in this communication

  • Winter Tournament week
  • Practice examinations/Derived grades
  • Chaplain vacancy 
He pōkeke Uenuku i tū ai.
Against a dark cloud the rainbow stands out brightly.

Winter Tournament Week: What a great week for Winter Sports Tournament, weather-wise! Our Football, Basketball. Equestrian, Hockey and Netball teams have been based in Dunedin, Invercargill, Christchurch, Napier and Timaru. Craighead Director of Sport Mrs Kayla Cunningham has been involved in the organisation and management of the South Island Secondary Schools Netball Tournament in Timaru. This has allowed her to gain invaluable experience and insights into the running of a significant sporting event. Tournament Secretary is a huge job – thank you, Kayla. Our teams have all played and competed well, experiencing both the joy and pain of secondary school sport. Here is a selection of photographs from the action to date.

Practice Examinations/Derived Grades and End of Year Awards system :These begin for students in Years 11-13 on Wednesday 14 September and go through until the following Wednesday. Practice examinations will be important for determining Derived Grades for NZQA (if they are required for reasons of illness, injury or bereavement) and therefore must be a reflection of a students’ best efforts! Students will now have received their practice examination timetable, which includes Te Kura practice examination times. Students will be on study leave when not required for practice examinations, provided parents and caregivers give their permission via the Google Form for their daughters to study at home. The library may be used for a study space. For those students who are aiming for the top awards in Year 13, they are reminded that ALL Standards (including DNS or Not Achieved) are used for these calculations to determine the Grade Point Average for each individual. This means that ALL Standards in courses of study must be attempted.

Chaplain position at Craighead: Sadly, we are losing the services of Craighead Chaplain Rev Lucy Flatt as our School Chaplain, as of the beginning of Term One 2023.  After 6 years as our Chaplain, Rev Lucy has just been appointed to the position of Vicar of St John’s for Highfield, Kensington and Otipua. Lucy has kindly agreed to assist with our Chapel and beginning of year services in 2023 until a suitable replacement is found. We congratulate Lucy on this appointment and will begin the process of sourcing a suitably qualified replacement. As a school of Special Character in the Anglican tradition, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch, the Rt Rev’d Dr Peter Carrell will be involved in the appointment process.






Newsletter 25 August 2022 – Term 3 Week 5

Topics covered in this communication

  • Manaaki House Choir Competition
  • Mayoral Reception for International Students
  • Winter Tournament Week

Tirohia te ahua o tana mahi – he kaihautu i roto i nga mahi.

See how she does – a leader in deed.

Manaaki House Choirs: This student-led competition was very exciting to watch last Friday afternoon. The test piece was “Te Taukaea o Te Aroha” and the choice tracks were chosen from music of the 1970’s – coming from Queen, ABBA, Eddison Lighthouse and Fleetwood Mac. All four Manaaki Houses achieved a very high standard within a short time – with lovely harmonies, great choreography, and some well-disciplined performances. Congratulations to Te Uru for taking out the top honours with “Don’t Stop me now” (by Queen), with Te Rawhiti a close second:

Thanks go to the Performing Arts Leaders (Phoebe Evans-Hoeffgen and Lucy-Mae Taylor) and House Captains for their leadership and expertise, and to Ms Liu who organised the event. Our adjudicator was Mrs Catherine Anderson, who works at St Mary Church directing both the Children’s choir and the St Mary’s Church choir. Mrs Anderson was also a member of the South Island Cadenza Committee 2021-2022.


Mayoral Reception for International Students: An informal Mayoral Reception for International Students was held on Friday 19th Aug at the Council Chambers, hosted by Mayor Nigel Bowen. It was lovely to be able to welcome recent arrivals. The Mayor also acknowledged the resilience of the international students who remained in New Zealand for the duration of our response to the COVID pandemic, being unable to return home for over two years. International student numbers are slowly increasing with the borders reopening, which is wonderful for all our schools and the South Canterbury region.


Winter Tournament Week: Best wishes to all our teams who are competing in the Secondary Schools Winter Tournament next week – we have the A Netball team playing here in Timaru, First XI Football in Dunedin, Equestrian in Christchurch, A Basketball in Invercargill and First XI Hockey travelling all the way up to Napier. It is wonderful to be able to compete in Tournaments again and for our Year 13’s this may be their last games for Craighead. Thanks to all our coaches, managers, Whānau and loyal supporters who have assisted Craighead students to participate at this high level.






Newsletter 18 August 2022 – Term 3 Week 4

Topics covered in this communication

  • Teacher Only Day Monday 22 August
  • Manaaki House Choir Competition
  • South Island Cadenza Choral Music competition

Whaowhia te kete mātauranga

Fill the basket of knowledge

 Teacher-Only Day Monday 22 August:

Monday 22 August is the next Accord Teacher-Only Day for most local secondary schools as we work towards planning for the implementation of the multiple Ministry of Education and New Zealand Qualifications Authority change packages currently in the pipeline (for example – NZ Curriculum refresh, NCEA review, Achievement Standards review, the introduction of the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum, new Literacy and Numeracy Co-Requisites for achieving NCEA, and the emphasis on local Curriculum).  Our teaching staff are working together in their Learning Area clusters – with some staff joining the Professional Learning opportunities hosted by a range of Christchurch schools. The final two Accord Days will be held on Monday and Tuesday 21/22 November. Our students are therefore not required at school on Monday 22 August, so they can use this time to refresh or catch up with their studies.

Manaaki House Choirs:

Our Manaaki House Choir Competition is taking place this Friday afternoon after a short period of intense preparation by the House Leaders. The compulsory song is Te Taukaea o te Aroha with the song of choice coming from the music of the 70’s.  Thanks to everyone for putting so much effort into perfecting their performances. 

The Big Sing Cadenza (South Island):

Once again, Craighead hosted the South Island Big Sing Cadenza competition, where 12 top South Island Secondary School Choirs came together for two days of competition and workshops. Our Kapa haka performed as part of the opening ceremony, as did music student Ellie Muirhead on her flute. Current parent Mayor Nigel Bowen welcomed everyone to Timaru and spoke of the importance of music to his family. The Big Sing National Director, John Rosser, then officially opened the festival.  Award winning conductor and internationally respected educator and clinician, Dr Elise Bradley ran workshops for the students on choral techniques. She was also the event adjudicator, judging each Choirs’ performances. The Gala Concert at the Sacred Heart Basilica concluded the event on Saturday evening. Here the Choirs came together for the Mass Choir items, where they performed to an excellent choral standard. Congratulations to the Craighead Choir, one of two Choirs to receive the top award (called “The Tui” – formerly the Gold Award) which was a wonderful acknowledgement of the high standard reached under the teaching of HOD Music Ms Celia Liu. Special thanks go to former Craighead Deputy Principal, SI Cadenza Coordinator Mr Wayne Pahl and his committee who spent months preparing for this festival of music. Thanks also to current staff members – Emma Hall, Martin Kane, Celia Liu and Sonia Ottley for their involvement with various aspects of the formal programme. The New Zealand Choral Federation were very grateful to us for hosting the event.









Newsletter 12 August 2022 – Term 3 Week 3

Topics covered in this communication

  • ‘Be Supportive’
  • Boarding Parents dinner
  • Winter Quadrangular Tournament

He manga wai koia kia kore e whitikia.

It is a big river indeed that cannot be crossed.

Our theme for this term is ‘Be Supportive’. The Commonwealth Games team has been outstanding in their efforts and support of each other while competing in Birmingham, England. Apart from their incredible performances, particularly in athletics, cycling, swimming and squash, what has been even more obvious is the appreciation of all the support these athletes have had over many years – from their friends and family, their coaches, managers, mentors and teammates. Each athlete will have faced adversity, will have experienced both successes and failures along the way, but they have all shown the resilience and grit that it takes to keep going. I hope that the wonderful attitude of our Commonwealth Games team members inspires each of us to persevere with what we are passionate about. Best wishes to our Choir for their Cadenza competition this Friday and Saturday. It has been a lot of hard work to get to this high standard.

It has been a very busy week, with lots of co and extra-curricular activities taking place – Epro8 trip, Year 7-9 Ski trip, Drama trip, Geography trip, Mathematics competition, to name a few. If it wasn’t for the lingering effects of COVID or flu and the wearing of masks, it would seem almost ‘back to school as we knew it’ pre-pandemic!

Boarding Parents dinner – thanks to those Boarding families who attended the function on Friday evening. It was a good chance to get together informally and to reconnect. We hope to hold this earlier in the year in 2023, as it is important for Boarding families to get to know each other, to get to know us, and to welcome new families to the school community.  Thanks to our Boarding House staff for their organisation and to CaterPlus personnel who served up a beautiful meal.

St Hilda’s Collegiate School hosted the Winter Quadrangular Tournament this year. Along with the St Margaret’s teams, we stayed together at the Holy Cross Lodge in Mosgiel instead of the usual billeting, which worked out very well. Our teams can be proud of their performances against the larger city schools, once the initial nerves were overcome. Thanks to the staff, coaches, managers and parents who turned up to support us. St Margaret’s College won overall.









Newsletter 4 August 2022 – Term 3 Week 2

Topics covered in this communication

  • School Formal
  • Winter Quadrangular Tournament


Whaowhia te kete mātauranga

Fill the basket of knowledge

The Craighead Formal was held on Friday 29 July at the Landing Services Building. The Ball Committee, led by Alex Black, Ashleigh Cavanagh and Laura Apperley, supported by teachers Kelly Dawe and Kate Morgan, did a great job from start to finish. The theme was Mamma Mia. The behaviour on the night was impeccable and everyone who attended looked stunning. What was different this year was the number of students who expressed their gratitude for the efforts of those involved to ensure the event happened and that it all went smoothly. Thank you to all those who turned up to watch the walk-in. This is a very special event on our school calendar.

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Winter Quad is being hosted by St Hilda’s Collegiate in Dunedin from Sunday 7Aug  through to Tuesday 9 Aug. The presence of COVID has necessitated some extra precautions around minimising the risk of catching and spreading the virus. Thanks to Sports Director, Kayla Cunningham and our Sports Department who have spent considerable time putting together good health and safety procedures, so that sports exchanges can go ahead as safely as possible.  We are looking forward to facing strong competition against St Hilda’s Collegiate, Columba College, and St Margaret’s College in Badminton, Debating, Hockey, and Netball. Thanks to the coaches and managers who are giving up their time to support our teams.




Newsletter 28 July 2022 – Term 3 Week 1

Topics covered in this communication:

  • Beginning of Term Three.
  • School Formal – Friday 29 July.
  • Holiday achievements.

Te tāepaepatanga o te rangi.

The place where the sky hangs down to the horizon.

Welcome back to Term Three – the ‘business’ end of the school year. For students in Years 11-13, this means that they are well over halfway through their academic year, with effectively only twelve teaching weeks left. Term Three is quite assessment heavy, so good self-discipline and time management skills are crucial for achieving desired academic outcomes. In addition, there are lots of other activities or events on the school calendar, such as Winter Quad hosted by St Hilda’s Collegiate, Cadenza, Manaaki House choirs, Winter Tournament Week and of course, practice external examinations scheduled for the end of this term.

The School Formal is being held this Friday, and we look forward to a special evening together at the Landing Services Building. We acknowledge the huge amount of work which has gone on behind the scenes by the Ball Committee, led by Alexandra Black, Ashleigh Cavanagh and Laura Apperley and their committee, supported by teachers Ms Kate Morgan and Ms Kelly Dawe. The theme is Mamma Mia, and the walk-in begins from 7pm.

A lot of Craighead students were very busy over the holiday break, participating in their sporting or cultural pursuits – such as Netball and Basketball Tournaments, SISS Cycling and Cyclocross, National Gymnastics, or practicing in the local theatre production. Thanks to our coaches, managers, parents, and caregivers for their ongoing support. These opportunities would not happen without you. Several students have achieved to a very high level in their chosen pursuit. We congratulate:

  • Natalie Whiteley (Basketball) – Natalie was selected to referee in the U15 Basketball Nationals held in Auckland, and ended up refereeing the quarter, semi and grand finals.
  • Meg Johnston (Equestrian) – the National Dressage Squads were announced last week. Meg and her horse Harry were selected for the 2022-2023 Dressage NZ Youth Squad. Meg is currently training at Level 8 and at Grand Prix level.
  • Emmily MacLean has been selected to represent the South Island in the upcoming ’North vs South’ Shooting competition to be held in Palmerston North over the weekend of 20/21 August in the junior and woman’s teams and is ‘on call’ for the open team. If successful Emmily may make the NZ Shooting team to compete against England.



Newsletter 30 June, 2022 Term 2, Week 9


Topics covered in this communication

  • Board of Proprietors June Meeting
  • End of Term Two

Ko te kai a te rangatira he kōrero.
The food of chiefs is dialogue.

Board of Proprietors June Meeting:

The Board of Proprietors (BOP) held their June meeting last week. The AGM was held first, and we are delighted that Mrs Nicky Hyslop and Mrs Caroline Ovenstone have agreed to continue in their roles as Chair and Deputy. In a State-Integrated school such as Craighead, the Board of Proprietors is responsible for Special Character, Buildings and Property, whereas the Board of Trustees (made up of elected members) is responsible for all aspects of Teaching and Learning. Our two Boards have a very strong and close working relationship, which ensures the smooth running of the school for the benefit of all staff, students and their whānau, and the wider school community.

There are some large building development projects underway. The BOP has approved proceeding with the Oakeley House renovations (Art teaching spaces). This work will essentially remove all interior walls, and create two large teaching spaces, with flexibility to further divide into three classrooms. This will be partially funded by a one-off allocation of monies to Craighead from the Essential Property Maintenance Package (EPMP), via a formal agreement signed between the Association of Proprietors of Integrated Schools (APIS) and the Ministry of Education. Plans for the strengthening and restoration of our historic Shand House are also making good progress, with initial plans currently being revised by the Building Committee. The final plans are expected to be ready for presentation to the BOP by August. The Building Committee is working hard to ensure the design is in keeping with the historic aesthetics of the building while creating functional spaces within.

Long serving BOP member Mrs Margaret Turley has now resigned fully from the BOP after an incredible 22 years of service at governance level. Mrs Turley has been a member of both Boards, serving as Chair of the BOP from 2001-2007. She was a prime mover and fundraiser for the design and construction of the auditorium, subsequently named the Turley Auditorium, which opened in 2008. Margaret and Murray’s four daughters all attended Craighead between 1996 and 2006, and they now have a granddaughter in Year 7! During her time on the BOP, the school campus has changed dramatically – most notably with the addition of the new Senior Boarding wing, the new gymnasium and the remodelling of the old Unwin gymnasium into a new library and study complex. Margaret is a strong advocate of women in leadership roles, and she always encourages Craighead students to be the “Leaders of Tomorrow”. Thank you, Margaret!

Margaret & Murray Turley at the Auditorium Naming ceremony.

End of Term Two:

Friday’s Learning Conferences signal the end of Term Two for us, with Term Three beginning on Monday 25 July. There will be some adjustments to student timetables, with the return from maternity leave of Mrs Tamzin Reeve to our Mathematics Department. We warmly welcome Mrs Reeve back to Craighead. I hope that the mid-year holiday break provides a chance to rest, recover from illness, review personal goals and regroup, ready for the busy winter term!

Ka Kite!




Newsletter 24 June, 2022 Term 2, Week 8

Topics covered in this communication

    • Mānawatia a Matariki
    • End of Term Two


“E mātai nei I ngā whetū – I gaze up at the stars”

Celebrating Matariki: Mid-winter is a time to celebrate the shortest day and to anticipate the warmer months to come. In Māori culture, Matariki is both the name of the Pleiades star cluster and of the celebration of its first rising in late June or early July. This marks the beginning of the new year in the Māori lunar calendar. Matariki, our new public holiday, gives us a chance to tell the story of Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother who were separated by their children. It is a tale of renewal, opportunity and reflection on who we are and our connection to our whānau. Traditionally Matariki was celebrated by gathering with whānau and reflecting on the past. The festival’s connection to the stars provided an opportunity for families to remember their whakapapa (genealogy) and those ancestors who had passed away to the heavens.

At this weeks’ Assembly, we celebrated Matariki together. Opening with waiata and karakia led by our Kapa haka, some of our Māori students then explained the importance of each star. Year 7 & 8 students shared their stories of kite-making – made with flax and other natural products. Then Student Cultural Leader Heather Miller and Cultural Advisor Karl Te Raki both explained how important Matariki is to them personally. Thanks to Sonia Ottley (and the Kapa haka), Wendy Johnston (HOD Social Sciences), Cultural Leaders: Heather Miller and Emily-Jane Clucas, and parent Karl Te Raki for making this such a special assembly. We are also grateful to our kitchen staff who provided a delicious, shared lunch for all. It is very exciting to finally have a public holiday dedicated to the sharing of traditional indigenous knowledge in Aotearoa.

End of Term Two: Despite on ongoing presence of COVID in the community, and with the beginning of the winter cold and flu season, we have endeavoured to keep operating the school as close to normal as possible. Thank you all for your support and for assisting us in maintaining the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. Term Two saw the resumption of many cultural opportunities – with the exciting Manaaki House debates, our Choir successfully competing in regional The Big Sing competition, students competing at the Showquest competition in Christchurch, and our Junior contemporary band aiming for the Smokefree Rockquest competition. It is good to, once again, be able to have visitors on site, such as the Sydney-based Poetry in Action performers and to be able to host the Rangi Ruru Junior Sports exchange.

We conclude the term with Learning Conferences for families with students in Years 9 to 13. Reports will be uploaded to Kamar today. Year 7 & 8 families have already completed their Learning Conferences, and these reports will be ‘posted’ on the Parent Portal next week.

Have a lovely long weekend with friends and whānau. Don’t forget that Monday is a Teacher-Only Day for Craighead staff, meaning that our students have a four-day weekend. We are having a Professional Learning and Development Day with Mrs Margaret Ross, a Behaviour Consultant of Ross Communication Consultants Ltd


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa



Newsletter 16 June, 2022 Term 2, Week 7

Topics covered in this communication

      • Languages Week
      • Upcoming events

He peka titoki e kore e whati.
A branch of the titoki tree will not break. (It will endure because it is tough)

Konichiwa, Bonjour, Guten Tag, An Nyeong Ha Sayo, and Kia Ora koutou katoa!

Welcome to Languages Week. Each day this week, we have had a focus on a particular language – Japanese, French, German, Thai and Māori. Whānau groups started their whānau time each day by listening to a short video introducing each language – with greetings such as hello, goodbye, please and thank you. The kitchen staff have done a wonderful job providing daily food associated with each culture, and the Languages Department have provided some interactive and enjoyable activities to help promote languages week.


Best wishes to the Showquest group for their performance in Christchurch on Friday – this is a student-led activity, supported by teacher Ms Hall. The student directors are Laura Apperley and Emily Shrimpton. Their theme is based around the concept: Drunk driving is a serious issue within our society that needs to be addressed. This performance follows 3 young adults as they head out to a party and a night of fun. However, after the designated sober driver is pressed into having a drink or two, their night of fun takes a dangerous turn. Our performance highlights the importance of speaking up and looking out for others. Make the right choice, it only takes one to speak up. 

Best wishes also to our Cross-Country team who fly up to Nelson to compete in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country event at the weekend. We have eight students competing, and for the first time ever, we can contest the Senior six-person teams’ category. The team will be accompanied by parents Craig Motley and Gaela Kilgour.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

Newsletter 9 June, 2022 Term 2, Week 6

Topics covered in this communication
 “Be You” theme
 Upcoming performances

He peka titoki e kore e whati.
A branch of the titoki tree will not break. (It will endure because it is tough)

“Embrace Me, Build You, Love Us” is the overarching school theme chosen by our Year 13 students for 2022. They have further unpacked this into four sub themes which tie in with the four school terms. Be Connected was chosen for Term One, with its focus on establishing connections across all year levels through the Whānau system and in welcoming and connecting with students new to the school community. “Be You” is the sub-theme for Term Two, which focuses on supporting each individual to strive for personal excellence. We are seeing plenty of evidence of this, not just in sporting achievements, but also in cultural or artistic pursuits. Head Student, Alysha Bradley is leading by example. Alysha entered the local ‘Streets Got Talent’ competition, held at the Street Food Kitchen over the past couple of weeks. Alysha sang “Bennie and the Jets” and “My Future”, which saw her make the final. Competing against 7 other acts in the final, Alysha not only won the overall prize, but she also won the Audience Vote. Congratulations Alysha!

Our Year 9 Contemporary Rock Band “ACE” performed an original track for us in yesterday’s assembly. Band members, Charlotte Munro, Natalie Holland, Neve Gaffaney and Ruby Jackson performed “Myself” to an appreciative school audience. They are preparing to enter the Smokefree Rockquest, which involves devising and performing three (and possibly five, if they make the final) original compositions. The Choir are in the final stages of their preparation for The Big Sing, being held in Dunedin on Monday 10 June, and our student-led Showquest team are also in the final stages of their preparation for Showquest which is being held in Christchurch next Friday, June 17. We wish these performance groups all the best with their preparation for these exciting upcoming events.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa


Newsletter 2 June, 2022 Term 2, Week 5

Topics covered in this communication:

      • Changes to teaching staff
      • SPANZ Conference

He peka titoki e kore e whati.
A branch of the titoki tree will not break. (It will endure because it is tough)

Teaching staff changes beginning next week: There will be some upcoming changes to our teaching staff, with the first of these happening as of next week. Ms Natasha Johns (HOD Physical Education) is going on medical leave for the remainder of the 2022 school year. We warmly welcome back Mr Allan Faith (former HOD PE), who has kindly agreed to come out of retirement to help us out until the end of the school year. Mrs Spiers and Ms Fairbrother will share the senior NCEA Physical Education classes.

At the beginning of Term Three, we will welcome back Ms Taz Reeve to the Mathematics Department following her return from maternity leave. She will resume teaching Year 13 Statistics and Mathematics classes. There may be some other timetable changes which could affect Mathematics and Science classes. Also in Term Three, Year 7 teacher and Head of Junior Curriculum, Ms Emma Hall will go on maternity leave until mid-2023. Mrs Kathryn Ford, a very experienced teacher, has agreed to relieve for Ms Hall. We are very fortunate to have qualified and capable relieving teachers who are familiar with the school, ready to step in and assist us.


SPANZ conference: The Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand conference was held in Queenstown from Sunday through to Wednesday morning this week. This was a good opportunity to find out what is happening in secondary education around the country, to attend workshops, to re-establish networks, and to get to know new colleagues better. Schools are dealing with a huge number of changes at present – such as the NCEA Review, changes to NZQA Assessment, new Literacy and Numeracy requirements, the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum implementation, what the Equity Index means, Information Management and Requests (Human Rights, Privacy Act and OIA requests), while still coping with the long tail of a global pandemic. Keynote speakers were Dr Damon Salesa, new Vice-Chancellor of Auckland AUT and historian, talking about New Zealand Pacific Futures; Laurayne Tafa (who works alongside Emeritus Professor Dr Russell Bishop – Te Kotahitanga), on addressing inequity; and Professor Mere Berryman of Waikato University on promoting Māori students’ success as Māori. Unfortunately, the Minister of Education Hon Chris Hipkins was unavailable to address the group.


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa



Newsletter 26 May, 2022 Term 2, Week 4

Topics covered in this communication

      • Trust Aoraki South Canterbury Sports Awards
      • Open Day thanks


Trust Aoraki South Canterbury Sports awards: Craighead Old Girl and newly retired Olympic silver medallist Emma Dyke capped her rowing career with a second South Canterbury Sportsperson of the Year award announced last Friday night. The 26-year-old, who won silver with the New Zealand women’s rowing eight at the Tokyo Olympics, had previously won South Canterbury sport’s top award in 2020 as a member of the NZ Eight to win at the world championships in 2019. Emma accepted the award via a video recording from her home in London in which she thanked her family, school, club, and all those that have helped her along the journey. Craighead Rowers Georgia Harrison and Nadia van den Bosch were nominated for the Team of the Year category following their gold medal performance in the Women’s Intermediate Double Sculls at the 2022 New Zealand Rowing Championships in February. Craighead Rowing Head Coach of 22 years Mr Dean Milne can be very proud of their efforts.

 South Canterbury’s up-and-coming young athletes were also acknowledged for their wide range of achievements that highlights the depth and breadth of sporting talent in the community. Congratulations to Isobel Sharp (cricket), Elsie Talbot (rowing), and Olivia Ewing (cycling), along with former Craighead student Jessica Vogel (athletics and netball).

Open Day: The weather remained fine on Sunday, and we had a good turnout of potential students, and their families attend our Open Day.  Students in Years 7-10 were involved in Curriculum-related activities, whereas our Seniors were our tour guides. Members of both Boards came along to support us and talk to prospective students and their families about what it means to be part of the Craighead school community. Feedback indicates that our student guides were fabulous ambassadors for the school.  Thanks to all those who came to visit us, and to the staff, students and CaterPlus staff who helped make this a very successful afternoon.


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa



Newsletter 19 May, 2022 Term 2, Week 3

Topics covered in this communication:

      • BOT June Meeting.
      • Open Day and Chapel Service May 22.

He peka titoki e kore e whati.
A branch of the titoki tree will not break. (It will endure because it is tough)

Board of Trustees June Meeting: The focus of this meeting was on the review of our 2021 NZQA data following the official confirmation of NCEA results in May. Curriculum Leader Ms Hearn highlighted our consistently strong overall results (achievement rates and endorsements), which were comparable to similar Decile schools from both Christchurch and Dunedin. For those who are interested in comparing our results Nationally with other Decile 9 schools, 94.5% of Craighead students achieved at Level One (compared to 71.9), 95.2% at Level Two (the same percentage as Decile 9 schools at 95.2%) and 95.1% at Level Three (compared to 93.9%). 90.2% of Craighead students achieved University Entrance, compared to Decile 9 schools on 85.6%, while the National Average for University Entrance was 51.9% (indicating a significant drop over previous years). We are especially pleased with our 2021 student achievement, given the constant COVID-related interruptions to teaching and learning throughout 2021. In addition, the two-week extension of the NCEA examination period made it difficult for students to maintain focus and momentum right up to mid-December.

We are also able to track our Leaver Data, which allows us to closely follow where our students go beyond secondary school. 97% of all Craighead students enter some form of Tertiary education. The Universities of Otago and Canterbury have proved the most popular Tertiary providers over the past 5 years, although we are now seeing an increase in the numbers of our Year 13 students going on to attend Lincoln University, Victoria University and the Ara Institute of Canterbury.

Open Day Sunday May 22 – 2-4pm: Craighead Open Day and the Chapel service are considered compulsory school days. Open Day is our most important opportunity to showcase the school to prospective families. We appreciate the support of the students in Years 11-13 who will be our tour guides, and of the students in Years 7 to 10 who will be working in curriculum areas between 2 and 4pm. Afternoon tea will be provided for all students prior to the Chapel Service, which will conclude by 5pm. Thank you for ensuring that your daughters are in attendance. We are hoping for the recent spell of fine weather to continue!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa




Newsletter 12 May, 2022 Term 2, Week 2

Topics covered in this communication:

      • Cross Country.
      • Ground Maintenance.

He peka titoki e kore e whati.
A branch of the titoki tree will not break. (It will endure because it is tough)

Craighead Cross Country: Now that we are in the Orange setting of the COVID protection Framework, we are able to reconnect with our families face to face. The first event that parents/caregivers could attend in person in a long time, was the annual Cross Country held last Friday at West End Park. The weather was perfect and the ground conditions conducive to some superb running and fast times. What impressed the most was the positive and enthusiastic attitude of all those students who took part. The water slide again proved very popular, providing a chance for our students to get thoroughly wet and dirty, which they loved! Thanks to those parents who turned up to support their daughters and to chat to staff. It was lovely to see so many of you there. Huge thanks go to our Sports Department and Sports Committee, supported by Mick Geary, Jarrod Boud and Andrew Jones, for setting up the course and running the event.

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Ground maintenance: The lingering fine autumn weather has meant that our lawns and grounds continue to flourish. We have been finding it a challenge to secure staff to cover all our Property and Grounds maintenance requirements, following the retirement in February of long-serving Gardener Shirley Worthington. Fortunately, Karen Ellis and her team from Ellis-lea Farms Gardening Division stepped in to help begin to get our grounds back under control. What a dynamic team! They have made a great start tidying up the street frontages and will return next week to finish these areas off.

Photo of Karen and her team – Karen is second left.















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Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa


Newsletter 5 May, 2022 Term 2, Week 1

Topics covered in this communication:

      • Beginning of Term Two.
      • Open Day Sunday 22 May.
      • Dates for Term Two.

He peka titoki e kore e whati.
A branch of the titoki tree will not break.
(It will endure because it is tough)

 Welcome back / COVID-19 update: It is lovely to hear the excited chatter back on the school campus this week, and to be able to hold our first full Assembly together. We hope that everyone managed to have some ‘down time’ during the holiday break, with a chance to rest and refresh. Unfortunately, Omicron is still present in the community, with several of our staff and students still slowly recovering from the lingering effects of the virus. While masks are no longer mandatory, we strongly encourage their use by both staff and students. Research indicates that maintaining good hygiene standards, the wearing of masks indoors, having good ventilation, and being vaccinated are the best forms of defence.

Open Day Sunday 22 May 2.00 – 4.00pm: Open Day is coming up rapidly – on Sunday 22 May. Being in the Orange setting of the COVID Protection Framework means we can go ahead in our usual format, beginning with an address in the Auditorium at 2.00pm. Families will then be guided around the school by student guides (Year 11-13 students) until approximately 3.30pm. There will be an afternoon tea provided for those prospective families who wish to stay on and talk to current parents/caregivers, Craighead Connect personnel and members of both Boards. A full Chapel Service will follow at 4.30pm. As this is considered a ‘school day’, all staff and students are expected to be present to support us. All staff and students are asked to be on site from approximately 1.30pm until 5.30pm (afternoon tea will be supplied). Applications for an exemption for Open Day attendance are to be made in writing (email) to the Principal. Thank you for your support of the school.

 Working Bee: Thanks to the staff and families who turned up for the Working Bee on Sunday to assist with some gardening. While there is still much to do, your efforts were very much appreciated. Thanks to Sarah Pierce, Chair of Craighead Connect, who organised our team of helpers.

Important dates to note: The Ministry of Education has approved four Teacher Only Days this year (called Accord Days) to support the design and implementation of the new curriculum (including the recently released Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum) and following the review of NCEA (particularly changes to Literacy and Numeracy requirements). We have been allowed to determine our own days, so we have chosen either Mondays or Fridays to reduce travelling for Boarding families. There are a number of public holidays this term also. For students, this will mean the following long weekends in Term Two (note that the Boarding House remains open):

      • Monday 16 May – TOD Accord Day
      • Monday 6 June – Queen’s Birthday weekend
      • Friday 24 June – Matariki public holiday with Monday 27 June – TOD.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa


Newsletter 14 April, 2022 Term 1, Week 11

Topics covered in this communication

      • End of Term One
      • Easter Break

He peka titoki e kore e whati.

A branch of the titoki tree will not break. (It will endure because it is tough)

Term One ended with the announcement by the government that New Zealand is to move to the Orange setting of the COVID Protection Framework. This is good news, especially for the sectors heavily reliant on serving people, such as the hospitality industry. For schools, the wearing of masks is no longer mandatory, and we can resume our regular activities, such as Assemblies and having visitors on site. I would like to thank all members of our community who have supported our collective efforts to keep everyone safe – by wearing masks indoors, respecting the physical distancing requirements and by adhering to good hygiene practices. We still have some incidences of staff and students becoming COVID positive, but these numbers are on the decline. The Easter holiday break should help as a circuit breaker.

Easter ‘Service’: Our school Easter Service was a less traditional one this year because of limits on indoor gathering sizes. It took the form of an Easter Escape Room 2022 involving all whānau groups. The aim was to be the first whānau group to solve all the mysteries using a decoder. There were four mysteries in total and a final challenge which revealed the code to the Easter Egg Goodies. It was definitely a challenge but a lot of fun. Congratulations to the winning Whānau team – Te Uru 2 and Ms Vuleta.

Easter break – 15 April to 1 May: Don’t forget our Working Bee on Sunday 1 May – if you are keen to be involved in mainly gardening activities (no experience required and all equipment supplied!) from 1pm to 3pm, please contact Sarah Pierce at sarahp@spillane.nz. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday 2 May. Let’s hope for a more settled start to the term, with less disruption to teaching and learning, and resumption of our usual school activities. Have a lovely Easter break.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa



Newsletter 7 April, 2022 Term 1, Week 10


Topics covered in this communication

      • Board of Trustees April Meeting
      • Gymnasium car parking
      • Return of our Senior Students

 Board of Trustees April: English Department staff presented their triennial report to the Board of Trustees at the April meeting.  Acting HOD English Mrs Holly Scott talked about past successes, current programmes, and their goals for 2022 and beyond. The English Department has been focussing on the basics (writing skills and reading comprehension) in their junior programmes and they are taking part in a Literacy pilot at Year 10. Public speaking remains an important part of the English programme, with students achieving outstanding results both in school and in local or regional speech competitions. The emphasis on reading portfolios and writing skills is now reaping benefits, with a significant increase in Senior students now achieving Merit or Excellence results in NCEA. The Year 13 Scholarship programme is also proving successful in that two English scholarships were attained in 2021. Their goals for this year are to encourage reading for pleasure, and to move towards a digital marking and tracking system, to complement their use of the Google Suite tools. Media Studies was introduced as a subject this year and is proving very popular.

The Board also received an annual report from our SENCo, Mrs Susan Dominikovich. Her role is to support the pastoral, social and academic needs of students with identified special education needs. Mrs Dominikovich works very closely with the teaching staff of students in Years 7, 8 and 9, using a variety of testing methods to identify, track and monitor those students requiring extra learning support. The Learning Support team do an excellent job in providing our students with extra assistance, particularly in English, Science and Mathematics. This support is gradually reduced from Year 10 and up, as the curriculum becomes more accessible, and the students begin to advocate for themselves.

I invite you to read the summary of recent Board of Trustees activities by Chairperson, Mrs René Crawford. Please note that the Triennial Board Elections are being held in September this year – you might like to consider putting your name forward to serve on the Board of Trustees and help shape the future direction of Craighead.

Gymnasium Car parking: The gymnasium car park can be quite busy at times, especially when students are being picked up following sports trials or practices. There have been several near misses reported recently. Can drivers please use the designated parking areas, marked out using white lines, and keep their speed down to 5km. Please do not park in the three parks which are reserved for school vehicles. These are clearly signposted. Thank you.

 Return of our Senior Students: It was lovely to have all our Seniors back this week and for the school campus to feel full again. We are still impacted by COVID related illness (teaching and support staff, and students) and expect this to continue through to the Easter break. Attention to maintaining good hygiene practices is essential. We are doing our best to support those who have returned from illness. Our deans, teaching staff and curriculum leader Ms Hearn have been trying to keep track of each students’ wellbeing and progress with their learning. Most students have done their best to keep the momentum going. We do not expect students who have been ill to catch up on all work missed, especially those in Years 7-9. Seniors are asked to talk with each subject teacher or the Head of Department if they have concerns about their class work or assessments. We encourage all Seniors to read the NCEA handbook, especially the section on procedures relating to COVID. Thanks to all our parents/caregivers for continuing to keep us well informed about illnesses or absences in a timely manner. We appreciate your ongoing support

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa


Newsletter 31 March, 2022 Term 1, Week 9

Topics covered in this communication

      • Board of Proprietors update
      • Omicron update

Board of Proprietors update: While our current focus may appear to be on managing the day-to-day operations of the school under the Red Setting of the COVID Protection Framework, both Boards have been working hard behind the scenes. They operate strategically, are future-focussed and endeavour to be ready to meet the teaching and learning needs of current and future staff and students of Craighead. Board of Proprietors Chairperson, Mrs Nicky Hyslop, has provided a brief summary of what is or has been achieved during Term One in terms of governance. I invite you to read her summary which is included in this newsletter. BOT Chairperson Mrs René Crawford will provide a summary from the BOT’s perspective in next week’s newsletter.

Omicron update: It has certainly been a roller-coaster keeping the school operating under the COVID Protection Framework, particularly with the increase in cases in South Canterbury this past week. It is very pleasing to have most of our teaching and support staff who were affected by COVID now returning to work. We are intending to resume face to face teaching and learning with our Seniors next week, even if some students or staff still have to remain working from home if they are in a household affected by COVID. Thank you all for your ongoing support of our efforts to not only keep everyone safe, but to keep the momentum going in terms of teaching and learning. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday morning.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

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Newsletter 24 March, 2022 Term 1, Week 8

Topics covered in this communication

      • Omicron update
      • Summer Tournament Week

Omicron update – please note: We are currently experiencing staffing pressures – not only are our teaching staff impacted, but also our Boarding and Kitchen staff. Our Senior students have been learning from home this week, but we may have to extend this into next week. We will let the school community know first thing on Friday morning via KAMAR email. Thank you for your support. These remain challenging times. For students in Years 7-10, it is ‘business as usual’, unless your daughter is unwell! As a school, we are mindful that South Canterbury cases numbers are still on the increase.

 On Wednesday morning the Prime Minister announced changes to the COVID-19 Protection Framework which will take effect from 11.59pm this Friday 25 March, and to vaccine mandates and My Vaccine Pass, which will take effect from 11.59pm Monday 4 April. These changes reflect the science and public health advice, and where New Zealand has moved to in our Omicron response.

Overall, we are now a highly vaccinated country. While cases remain high, the timing for change reflects that New Zealand is moving into a post-peak phase and our hospitalisations are anticipated to be in a similar position very soon. New Zealand remains at Red, however Cabinet will review the framework colour level on Monday 4 April.  At Red of the COIVD Protection Framework, this means:

      • There is no change to masks in education settings from the existing Red setting. Medical-grade masks remain a requirement for staff working indoors with children and young people in Years 4-13.
      • For all New Zealanders, including school settings, masks will not be required outdoors.
      • Capacity limits will be removed for outdoor events and activities.
      • Indoor capacity limits for extra-curricular activities increase to 200 people, or a maximum capacity based on the maximum number of people who could occupy the space if each person was one metre apart (whichever is lower).

We are still unpacking what this means for day-to-day operations at school (such as Assemblies, Physical Education classes and singing), but we are hopeful that school activities will begin to look more like ‘normal’ as soon as possible.

Summer Tournament Week: We have two sporting events happening next week – the Volleyball Tournament, being held in Christchurch (see related Volleyball article) and the Aon Maadi Cup regatta. Best wishes to both groups.

The Aon Maadi Cup event is the premier regatta of the season for secondary students. Huge thanks to our Coaches and the Management team, and the parents/caregivers, who have worked tirelessly to ensure our rowers have had every opportunity to achieve to their potential. South Island Rowing have done a superb job managing the events safely and will continue with the same protocols around managing the event safely for all involved.

You can follow our crews using the Rowit Website: www.rowit.co.nz or the Maadi Cup website: www.maadicup.co.nz


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

Newsletter 17 March, 2022 Term 1, Week 7

Topics covered in this communication

      • Omicron update
      • New school van 


Omicron update – please note

We now seem to be in the midst of the Omicron outbreak at school, with our COVID-related numbers (positive cases and those in home isolation) creeping up towards 100, many of whom are Boarders.  At present, we are considering all options regarding continuity of teaching and learning programmes, keeping in mind the wellbeing of our staff and students. It may be more equitable to consider having Year 11-13 students attend all classes on-line and to work from home, rather than the current hybrid situation. Our decision will be made tomorrow and depend upon the rate of increase of positive COVID cases and the associated absences through self-isolation. We will keep you fully informed.

Thank you for being vigilant regarding keeping the school informed about illness, and for immediately collecting students who are required to go home. Special thanks to School Medical Officer, Mrs Nicky Merritt, who is incredibly busy dealing with all the associated administrative requirements, in addition to her usual medical duties. Please communicate any student absences through contacting the School Office – admin@craighead.school.nz or use the Skool Loop App.

New school van:

The much-anticipated school van has finally arrived and is available for school use. This van is much larger than previous ones, in that it has a substantial luggage compartment. It is no longer possible to purchase a green van, so we have opted for a white one. Because this is much larger than our previous vans, we ask that drivers are mindful of the extra size and depth when driving it!


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa





Newsletter 10 March, 2022 Term 1, Week 6

Topics covered in this communication:

      • Omicron update.
      • Notification of student absences during term time.
      • Tonga appeal.

Omicron update: We are now seeing a slight increase in numbers of positive COVID cases in the school, in addition to those who are having to self-isolate through being in affected households. Please be extra vigilant in terms of looking out for COVID related symptoms (see previous newsletter communications about what to look out for). If unsure, please keep your daughter(s) at home and/or seek a test for reassurance. Thank you to those families who have been prompt in their communications with the school. Those students who are at home and who are well enough to continue with their learning can access their lessons through Google Classroom. 

Known absences during term time: Just a reminder about the procedure for notifying student absences during term time. The Ministry of Education requires schools to code absences according to whether they are justified, unjustified and /or explained. We keep a very close eye on student absences (especially in the current climate) but also do our best to support students to pursue their passions, especially those who participate at a high level in sporting or cultural activities. If an absence is planned and the dates are known, we ask that you please make contact in writing, well in advance, so that we can continue to support your daughters’ learning (where practicable). Thank you.

Appeal for Tonga: Our red and white mufti day appeal to support the Kingdom of Tonga following the devastating volcanic eruption raised $685. The Global Citizens group also held a collection of food items, which will be shipped over to Tonga. Again, this was well supported. We appreciate the generosity of everyone who contributed. Thanks to our Cultural Leaders, Sacristans and Global Citizens Committee, supported by Mrs Wendy Johnston and Rev Lucy Flatt for coordinating this appeal.


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa



Newsletter 3 March, 2022 Term 1, Week 5

Topics covered in this communication

      • Sporting successes at New Zealand Representative level – Cricket and Equestrian
      • Changes to our Property Management Team
      • Omicron update


Sporting Successes:

NZ U19 Cricket – congratulations to Isobel Sharp (Year 13) who has been selected in the New Zealand U19 Cricket Squad. The final squad will go to Bangladesh to compete in the U19 World Cup in late 2023. Isobel, pictured here in her Magicians kit, has been playing for the Canterbury Magicians this season and now has 4 caps. She is a specialist batter who can also cover wicketkeeping. This is a tremendous achievement and a real credit to Isobel and her family, who commit to travelling three times a week to Christchurch for practices and games.


Team NZ FEI Dressage – Equestrian Meg Johnston (Year 12) was in the Livamol NZL team who achieved third place behind Chinese Taipei and Guatemala, of the twenty-two teams in the Intermediate I Challenge held recently. Meg was less than 1% off the winning score, which is a tremendous achievement. Dressage NZ have announced they will be holding a Dressage 4 Denmark CDI 3* in late March at the Taupo National Equestrian Centre which will give New Zealand riders the opportunity to gain a qualifying FEI score for the World Championships in Denmark. This is a national competition for the higher dressage levels at which Meg competes. This will also give her the opportunity to be in a smaller competition environment with the country’s top dressage riders.

 Property Management Team

Following the retirement of long-serving gardener Shirley Worthington, and with the resignation of caretaker Lance Puhirere, we have now employed a new Property Manager, Mr Jarrod Boud and an Assistant Property Manager, Mrs Lyn Sanders. We warmly welcome them both to our staff team and look forward to getting to know them well. Outgoing caretaker Lance Puhirere joined the Craighead staff in January 2015, following the retirement of former caretaker, Mr John Oliver. Lance has given wonderful service to the school during his time with us. He had invaluable skills, exemplified loyalty and conscientiousness, and impressed us with his work ethic. We wish Lance all the best as he embarks on a new venture. (Pictured below: Jarrod, Lance and Martin)


Omicron update

Omicron is beginning to spread very slowly within our school community, although our absences are mainly through students being household contacts rather than testing positive for Omicron itself. No teaching staff have been impacted yet. We will not be reporting on individual cases from now on for reasons of respecting privacy. We thank our families for their vigilance in keeping a close eye on the health of their daughter(s) and for following our procedures – such as testing if there are signs of Omicron, and then notifying the school of the results. The Ministry of Education requires daily updates of new cases and keeps records so that they can support schools and watch for any spikes in case numbers over the region. That has not happened yet. Please refer to the extra information provided by DP Ms Lara Hearn (Curriculum) about how we are supporting our students to continue with their studies provided they are well enough to do so.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa




Newsletter 24 February, 2022 Term 1, Week 4

Topics covered in this communication

      • Academic Colours 2021
      • Year 13 Scholarship recipients
      • Omicron update and possible supply chain shortages


Academic Colours Awards

Congratulations to all students who sat NCEA in 2021. Despite having a mix of face-to-face and online learning for the past two years, our rates of achievement have remained consistently high. 94.5% of students achieved Level One, 95% achieved Level Two, 95% achieved Level Three and 90% achieved University Entrance (compared to the National Average of 50%). Well done to our students, our teaching staff and our families – these results reflect a great team effort!  Craighead Top Scholars for 2021 are (credits achieved at Excellence level are in brackets): Louisa Stuart (114), Amalia Cabrera-Martin (97) and Kate Harrison (97) at Level One, Xinyu Lai (107) and Madeline Dominikovich at Level Two (104) (Top Scholars pictured below not in this order). In addition to an Academic Colours award, these students receive an Elite Colours badge.


Year 13 Scholarship 2022

The Year 13 Scholarship is to reward a student who has already made a contribution to the life of the school and shown a commitment to taking responsibility for her own academic learning.  Previous contribution to the life of the school in sport, culture and leadership are taken into account, together with academic achievement in NCEA, academic potential and qualities of character. This year we have awarded two Year 13 Scholarships. Congratulations to Lucy Crawford and Rosie Winter (Pictured below)


Omicron update

NZ moves to Phase 3 of the COVID Protection Framework Red Setting tonight. We will update our communications tomorrow following the release of the Ministry of Education bulletin overnight.

Several of our students are now being tested for Omicron as they are either feeling unwell or have been deemed close contacts. Our thoughts are with those students and their families as this is a challenging time. Thank you to our parents/caregivers for your prompt responses to any health or wellbeing concerns and for keeping us informed in a timely manner.

We are closely following the government guidelines to minimise the risk of any spread, such as wearing our masks indoors and keeping rooms ventilated.

The health and welfare of our students and staff is our top priority. We will continue to do everything we can to keep Omicron out of the school environment.


Possible supply chain shortages

Like most other businesses in the food industry, our catering company Cater Plus is already finding that sourcing food supplies is becoming slightly more challenging. You will have noticed that in our local supermarkets, some shelves are quite empty because suppliers have cut back on production through labour shortages and COVID-related interruptions. Please be assured that Cater Plus will continue to provide healthy and nutritious meals for our Boarders, adapting their menus as supplies dictate.


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa



Newsletter 17 February, 2022 Term 1, Week 3


Topics covered in this communication

      • Leaders’ Commissioning Service
      • Omicron Update
      • What to do if your daughter shows signs of illness!

Leaders’ Commissioning Service: Under the Red setting of the COVID Protection Framework, we held our Leaders’ Commissioning Service in the gymnasium, where Year 13 and Junior Leader badges were presented. We made this ceremony a formal celebration in front of the whole school community (masked and spaced) to acknowledge their roles as our leaders of the school for 2022. All Year 13 students also received badges as we consider all that Year group to be leaders in that they contribute to the wider life of the school throughout the year.

During the Commissioning Service, a Kākahu (a Māori cloak without tassles) was presented by Mrs Ottley to our Cultural Leader for 2022, Heather Miller. This cloak was made specifically for Craighead Diocesan School by current parent, Ms Keely Kroening. Made using Craighead colours – forest green, navy blue and white, it will now be blessed by Te Aitarakihi Marae, meaning it can be used in ceremonies by the school. (Photo of Cultural Leaders, Head students and Junior leaders)

First Photo: Mrs Ottley, Cultural Leaders: Heather Miller and Emily-Jane Clucas with Ms Graham;
Middle Photo: Ms Graham with Head Student – Alysha Bradley and Deputy Head Student – Zara Coleman
Third Photo: Junior Leader – Alice Claridge, Mrs Ottley and Junior Leader – Natalie Koster

Omicron update: New Zealand has moved to Phase Two of the COVID Protection Framework, where the emphasis is on minimising the spread of the virus. Apart from wearing masks indoors, we maintain business as usual, until we are affected by staff and student absences through illness or having to self-isolate. We are mindful of giving staff and students frequent mask breaks during lessons, in keeping teaching spaces well ventilated, and in maintaining good personal hygiene standards. All students, whether vaccinated or not,  are encouraged to continue to look to participate in spiritual, sporting and cultural opportunities, knowing that eventually, this situation will ease.

What to do if your daughter is showing signs of illness: We have emailed all parents about the procedures surrounding illness this afternoon. However, it is pertinent to repeat this message here:

If your daughter is ill, then please follow Public Health advice and keep her at home. If she is showing signs or symptoms of a cold or flu, then we ask that Public Health / Healthline advice is followed, a medical opinion sought and if advised a Covid 19 test undertaken. The symptoms to watch for include a new or worsening cough, sneezing and runny nose, fever, temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste, a sore throat and/or shortness of breath.

Covid testing for Craighead students: should your daughter have a Covid-19 test we ask that you advise the school immediately. Please inform us via email, SkoolLoops (Absentee Form) or phone (03 688 6074) of the results of this test regardless of the outcome.

If a negative test is returned your daughter will be able to return to school, but we do ask that if she is still showing symptoms – coughing, sneezing, runny nose – that she please remain at home until these resolve.

If a positive test: if a positive test is returned, your daughter will not be able to return to school for the period of time as advised by Public Health officials. Please advise the school immediately as there are processes that we need to enact.

Should your daughter present as unwell in school, a staff member may ask her to be assessed by our School Medical Officer, Mrs Nicky Merritt. If, in Mrs Merritt’s medical opinion your daughter needs to be sent home, she will contact you after admitting your daughter to our isolation area/sickbay.

We ask that parents/caregivers please contact the school office if a student needs to be contacted during school time.  We have systems in place to ensure that should you need to pass on distressing news that this can be done discreetly and appropriately. Please do not text or call students in class to inform them of news that might be upsetting or triggering for them or other students in the class. Our school cell phone policy does not allow students to check their messages or answer calls during the school day. Phoning the School Office is the fastest method of communication with your daughter during the day. Thank you for your consideration and help with this.


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa




Newsletter 10 February, 2022 Term 1, Week 2


Topics covered in this communication

      • Mihi Whakatau
      • Leaders’ Commissioning Service
      • Omicron Preparedness

Mihi Whakatau – The official welcome to all new members of our school community took place on Monday 8 February, in the form of a mihi whakatau. The erratic weather of late meant that we could not hold this right at the beginning of the new school year. As the manuhiri (guests/visitors) moved onto the dining room lawn together, our Kapahaka welcomed them onto the campus with the very moving waiata, Pokarekare Ana. Cultural Leader for 2022 Heather Miller then led the Karakia, with the singing of Nga Whakamoemiti as the response by the Tangata Whenua. New teaching staff were then introduced – Mr Lamb, Ms Vuleta, Mrs McNaught and Whaea Sharon. Introductions of staff led to a badge Manaaki (House) presentation to the staff Kaiarahi (Ms Morgan, Mr Gibbs, Ms Gilbert and Ms Shaw). Then, on behalf of all new staff and students, Mr Jones led the Whaikōrero response.  The ceremony concluded with a closing karakia and then with us all singing the school song ‘Brother Sister’ together, as a school community. It was lovely to be able to celebrate this occasion outside together, using the dining room lawn space. Huge thanks to Mrs Ottley, Mr Karl Te Raki, Mr Andrew Jones and the Kapahaka for assisting with various aspects of the welcome.

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Leaders’ Commissioning Service – Under the Red setting of the COVID Protection Framework, we cannot hold our beginning of year celebrations in our usual format. The Leaders Commissioning Service, where badges will be presented, will now be held during the school day on Wednesday 16 February. Conscious of the ongoing impact of the restrictions, we hope to make this a real celebration for all Year 13 students, as our leaders of the school community for 2022.

Omicron preparedness – Following the example of the Ministries of Health and Education, we are taking a phased approach to how we, as a school community, manage any possible outbreaks of Omicron in our community. Right now (at Phase One – Stamp it Out), to protect ourselves and our families, we are encouraging good hygiene practices (hand washing, cough and sneeze etiquette), physical distancing (where feasible) and staying home if unwell. We are endeavouring to keep occupied spaces well ventilated. As mandated by the Government, our staff will be wearing masks. At Red, students aged 12 and over are also mandated to wear masks when indoors but encouraged to take ‘mask breaks’ when outside. Vaccination and Booster shots are also encouraged, but this is a choice for individual families to make together. Students do not have to be vaccinated to attend school and to engage in any learning activities. The requirements for participating in sports have been clearly documented – essentially, to take part in any organised sport, students must be vaccinated. Further information has yet to be provided regarding how to safely conduct cultural activities. Students will now be set up in their classes for online learning using Google Classroom as our platform and Google Meet as the method of face-to-face communication with their teachers. They are now used to blended learning opportunities, and able to adapt easily.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa



Newsletter 3 February, 2022 Term 1, Week 1

Topics covered in this communication

      • Beginning the 2022 school year
      • Wearing of masks
      • ‘Non-essential’ visitors on site
      • New teaching staff for 2022

The school year is now officially underway. We warmly welcomed our Year 7 and Year 9 students on Wednesday with a focus on developing connections and a sense of belonging to our school community. For some students, there will be a lot of changes to cope with and it is natural to feel anxious when beginning the new school year. We have lots of pastoral support systems in place, including utilising our Year 13’s as Big Sisters. They are all doing an excellent job in their role as our leaders of the school community for 2022.  On Thursday, all students came back onto the school campus. We welcome those students who are new in the other year levels – two in Year 10, two in Year 11 and two in Year 12. The changeable weather has meant our Mihi Whakatau will now be held on Tuesday 8 February.

Here are a few images of our Year 7 and 9 introductory days and the first day: (other images can be seen on a separate posted article)

Thanks to all students who wear their masks when indoors. Mask wearing can be challenging in different settings for specific learning areas – such as the teaching of Music and Physical Education. Please bear with us as we refine our systems to ensure the safety of all. Any students who need a mask exemption are to talk in the first instance with Assistant Principal Mr Jones, our Health, Safety and Welfare Officer.

Please note that all visitors to the school, including Boarding parents, must come to the Craighead main office on Wrights Ave. Unfortunately, under the COVID Protection Framework Red setting, schools are not allowed ‘non-essential’ visitors on site. While this is not how we usually, or prefer to operate, we are required to follow the Ministry of Education guidelines.

New teaching staff for 2022 : Haley (left), Hamish and Jayne pictured below…

Mr Hamish Lamb has joined the Science Department, replacing Ms Peta Poletti who is on leave. Originally from South Canterbury, Mr Lamb is a graduate of Canterbury University (Biology and Geography). He will be teaching Junior Science and Senior Biology.

Ms Haley Vuleta is a graduate of English and Drama from the University of Otago. She is a published poet and the 2020 winner of the Otago University Writing Competition. Ms Vuleta will be teaching Drama and English.

Mrs Jayne McNaught comes to us from Mountainview High School, having taught Science and Agribusiness. Before that Mrs McNaught worked in manufacturing, sales and marketing. Mrs McNaught will be part time, teaching Commerce.

Whaea Sharon Melrose has recently taught Te Reo at Timaru Boys High School. She has a real passion for the teaching of Te Reo and is delighted to join our staff part time, teaching Te Reo.

Ms Emma Harrison is our new part time Science technician, coming to Craighead after 8 years of laboratory experience as a Lab Technician for Fonterra.

Best wishes for a relaxing Waitangi weekend.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

Newsletter 27 January, 2022 Term 1, Week 0

Topics covered in this communication

      • Beginning the 2022 school year and NCEA results
      • CaterPlus – kitchen, cleaning and laundry operations
      • Operating under Covid Protection Framework Red – please read the information provided.

Welcome to the 2022 school year. I hope you had a lovely time with whānau and friends over the Christmas holiday period. I especially welcome those students and their families who are new to our school community. We are looking forward to having everyone back on-site next week.

There are a number of teaching and support staff new to Craighead, whom we will introduce in next week’s newsletter. They will be teaching Commerce, Science/Biology, Te Reo, Drama and English. We are very fortunate to be fully staffed as we begin the new school year.

Congratulations to the students who sat NCEA in 2021. We are delighted with the high levels of achievement. Our interim Year 11-13 results indicate that 96% passed Level Three, 95% passed Level Two, and 94% passed Level One. These pass rates reflect the consistent efforts of our students, their families and our teaching staff.

Our new catering company – CaterPlus – took over the kitchen, cleaning and laundry contract from Spotless as of the beginning of January 2022. We warmly welcome our new Kitchen Manager, Mrs Leanne Wilson from Clandeboye, who will be well supported by Caterplus Management as she transitions into this role over the next few months. The major upgrade of the kitchen is almost completed, which is very exciting!

Profile: Leanne Wilson:

Mrs Leanne Wilson has joined the CaterPlus staff team following an extensive career in the food industry. Educated at St Margaret’s College, Leanne was then involved with Inflight Catering for Ansett Airlines, before moving on to being the Catering Manager and Operations Coordinator for the Sydney Opera House. She has since been a hostel Supervisor for St Hilda’s Collegiate in Dunedin, then spent 15 years as Director and Owner of Posh Nosh, a successful catering and events company in Marlborough. Leanne takes pride in ascertaining her client’s vision for their functions, then she designs bespoke menus and services to meet or exceed their expectations. Leanne lives near Temuka with her husband, with whom she has two sons, who are now attending University. We look forward to getting to know Leanne as she settles into her new role. Leanne can be contacted at craighead@caterplus.co.nz.

(Pictured in photo from left to right: Stacey, Carolyn, Brent (CaterPlus) and Cheryl. Leanne stands in the front)

Clearly the announcement from the Prime Minister last Sunday that New Zealand has moved to Red of the COVID Protection Framework has meant considerable adjustments to our beginning of year events and activities schedule. As per the previous two years in the global pandemic, the way the school operates is guided by the Ministry of Education (MOE) who take their direction from the Ministry of Health (MOH). The MOE has stated that it is mainly ‘business as usual’ but that we will need to adapt as the situation evolves, particularly over the next 16 weeks. As the Omicron virus is highly contagious and of a respiratory nature, it is important that we follow the guidelines closely to ensure the safety of all members of our school community. For now, all students are expected to be at school (and in the Boarding House), to be wearing masks when indoors and to keep up good personal hygiene practices. Please read the attached communication from Mr Andrew Jones, Assistant Principal and Health, Safety and Welfare Officer, regarding vaccination information and requirements.

Under the Red setting, there will be changes to the way we run some significant beginning of year events – such as our Mihi Whakatau, the Leaders’ Commissioning Service and the Academic Colours Awards. We have been advised by the MOE that those larger gatherings should be avoided, such as Assemblies, and that there will be no singing indoors.  Only authorised personnel can be on school property during the school day, so we ask that parents and caregivers respect this requirement. Through our various media platforms, we will keep you informed about any changes, postponements or cancellations in a timely manner.


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

Newsletter 15 December, 2021 Term 4, Week 9 – Final of 2021

Topic covered in this communication

      • End of 2021 school year
      • Beginning of the 2022 School year

Leaver’s ‘Event’ – All credit goes to our Leavers’ Ball Committee, under the leadership of Marcia Scott, Lisa Dobson, Karen Rolleston and their team of helpers, for persevering with their efforts to find some way for our Year 13 students to celebrate the end of their secondary schooling at Craighead. Not only contending with planning around moving from the Alert Level System to the Covid Protection Framework in December, the Committee also had to resort to Plan B on the night because of the inclement weather. Instead of the usual traditional Ball, it became a controlled access ticketed event, with a delicious sit-down meal hosted by Sopheze on the Bay. And what a great night it was!  A huge thank you to all those who assisted in making this event happen. We are very appreciative.

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Start up dates for the 2022 school year have already been indicated, but in case you missed these, all Year 7 and 9 students will be required to attend their first day for 2022 on Wednesday 2 February (along with Year 13 as their Big Sisters). All other students will be required to attend from 9am on Thursday 3 February. We will begin the new school year with a mihi whakatau to welcome all our new students and staff. The first weekend will be a long one – Waitangi Weekend – with the Boarding House remaining open.

We wish you all a safe, healthy and peaceful Christmas holiday break. Meri kirihimete!

A few more photos of our lovely Year 13 Leavers with their parents…

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Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

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Newsletter 9 December, 2021 Term 4, Week 8

Topic covered in this communication

      • House competitions and “Have a Go’ day
      • 2021 Junior Prizegiving

With our Senior Students still in the midst of their NCEA examinations, we changed our final week of activities to cater for students in Years 7-10 rather than keep to our traditional whole school approach. Formal classes finished for the year on Monday, which allowed us to focus on House-based competitions on the Tuesday (Amazaaki Race, House Tug O War and the giant Manaaki Quiz) and to introduce a “Have a Go Day” on the Wednesday, whereby staff offered a range of exciting options based on their passion or area of expertise. Options included pasta making, cup painting, EPRO8, mini-golf, golf lessons at Gleniti Golf Course, Christmas baking, Paddleboarding, Beach Volleyball, Frisbee, Sailing and more. This turned out to be a superb way to finish the school year – with lots of healthy competition amongst the Houses, leading to Te Tonga toppling Te Uru for the honour of Champion House for 2021!

The Junior Prizegiving followed the same format as the Senior Prizegiving. Once again, it was a combination of two school events – Colours/Sports Awards and a celebration of academic achievement for students in Years 7-10 for 2021. This years (recorded) guest speaker was Ms Estelle Arundell, originally from Fairlie, but currently studying medicine at the University of Otago. Estelle was a Boarder, who involved herself in everything, always at a very fast pace! She became Head Boarder in her final year, always showing genuine care and concern for others, as well as possessing a strong sense of social justice, which fits with our schools’ Special Character. Upon leaving school, Estelle took a Gap year, choosing to spend 6 months in a village in Malawi, Africa, where she volunteered as a secondary school teacher. While there, surrounded by poverty, she initiated “the porridge project” – involving raising funds to ensure that every child in that village was able to have at the very least one cup of porridge to eat, every day. This project continued for several years after her return home, supported by us here at Craighead. Ever humble, Estelle is a person who has the courage to literally choose “the road less travelled”, having also complete the Te Araroa Trail, walking the length of New Zealand solo. Estelle is now over halfway through her medical degree at the University of Otago. Going into her 5th year, she has a placement in the rural immersion programme in Ashburton and Methven for 2022. We wish her all the best upon completing her Medical Degree and hope that she fulfils her dream of eventually working for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

Libby Brown received the McCaskill Trophy & Prize for Diligence in Year 8

Winning Inter-Manaaki House – Te Tonga

Congratulations to all those who received awards today. Those students who didn’t walk across the stage could make this a goal for next year! Thanks to Audio Dynamite Ltd (Stix) and teacher Mr Martin Kane for managing the live streaming process.

We wish you all a safe, healthy and peaceful Christmas holiday break. Meri kirihimete!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa


Newsletter 3 December, 2021 Term 4, Week 7

Topic covered in this communication:

      • 2021 Junior Prizegiving details.
      • Year 10 Outdoor Education.

The Junior Prizegiving will follow the same format as the Senior Prizegiving. It will be live-streamed, beginning at 10.30am on Thursday 9 December. Once again, it will be a combination of two school events – Colours/Sports/Arts Awards and a celebration of academic achievement for students in Years 7-10 for 2021. Audio Dynamite Ltd (Stix) and teacher, Mr Martin Kane will again manage the live-streaming, which worked very efficiently for the Senior Prizegiving service. Even though New Zealand is moving to the traffic light system as of Friday 3 December, we will be keeping to our own school bubble for the remainder of the 2021 school year. This means that only staff and students will be physically on site for the Junior Prizegiving. We hope that you are able to ‘join us’ from where ever you are on the Thursday from 10.30am to enjoy and celebrate the 2021 achievements of our Junior Students. Students are then free to go home for the Christmas holiday period. A link will be sent next week to families via email.

The Boarding House will remain open that afternoon so that Boarders can collect their things. Please note that the dining room will shut for good from lunchtime on the Thursday, as the builders will need to begin work on the kitchen renovations, a process which will take about 5-6 weeks. Any Senior boarding students who remain on site until they finish their NCEA examinations will be cared and catered for.

The Year 10 camp was totally revamped this year, under the direction of AP Mr Andrew Jones. It was a very physical, locally based genuine outdoor education experience, where the students were encouraged to take a power perspective and face the unknown by being prepared to give anything a try. They certainly rose to the challenge – whether it be hanging from the high ropes at Geraldine, righting a tipped raft in the Rangitata River, abseiling into a 20m ravine at Orari Gorge, cooking on a camp stove, sleeping overnight in a bivvy or chasing possums at night in the Peel Forest Domain. The weather provided an extra dimension for the first campers to contend with, but it was perfect for the second half. Well done to all students for relishing the challenges, looking out for each other and for being very positive about the whole experience. Special thanks go to Mr Jones for his superb organisation, to the eight staff who attended, and to the outstanding Peel Forest Outdoor Education staff.  


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa


Newsletter 25 November, 2021 Term 4, Week 6

Message this week from our Deputy Principal:

As I write this all Year 10s are up at Peel Forest, so with only Years 7 – 9 on site, the school campus seems quieter than normal. In saying that though, there remains the wonderful sound of laughter and obvious enjoyment coming from the swimming pool which is making up somewhat for the lack of other noise around the campus. Our first group of campers returned to school today and have been regaling people with their adventures. Despite a heavy drizzle on Monday, the activities such as rafting went ahead and with the sun coming out spirits lifted for the Tuesday and Wednesday. Alongside the practical component of the camp we have also run an onsite development programme, which was a real success! The work that Sofia, Warrior Princess does in encouraging the students to be creative and resilient as well as developing an understanding of their whakapapa and who they are is outstanding, and we would like to thank her for coming in and working with our students.

On Monday the NCEA external examinations started and Mr Godsiff, our Exam Centre Manager, and his team of invigilators, are ensuring that all exam sessions run as smoothly as possible for our students. The next two and half weeks will be busy for all seniors as they ensure that they are fully prepared for their exams. It has been pleasing to see that to date everyone has been on time to line-up and the clearing of calculators has gone smoothly, thanks to our Maths and Science teachers. It is important to note however, that uniform expectations around the wearing of jewellery remain the same over the exam period as when students are in school. Senior students are welcome to use the library for study if they are unable to study at home, and there are tutorials being run in some learning areas during school time, your daughter will have been advised of these if they are happening in her subjects.

Please remember that Derived Grades for external exams can be applied for in certain circumstances. Illness, traumatic events, self-isolation or isolation, broken limbs and medical conditions are situations in which students might be able to access a Derived Grade. If you think your daughter might be eligible to apply for a Derived Grade, or she is sick on the night before an exam, or the day of an exam, then please contact me immediately on hearnla@craighead.school.nz there is additional information on Derived Grades on the NZQA website.

Year 10 examinations in English, Social Studies, Maths and Science were held last week. These exams are used to not only give teachers an indication of where a students may need help in Year 11 but to also allow students to experience sitting an examination prior to NCEA the following year. Thank you to Ms Fairbrother for organising these exams and to all those staff who have been busy marking them, inputting the data and then writing reports. It has been an incredibly busy week for those teaching in the Junior School.

Friday 26 November is a Teacher Accord Day and school will be closed for instruction. The Accord Days were allocated by the Ministry of Education, NZEI and PPTA to support the implementation of changes to NCEA, and help with wider strengthening of the curriculum, progress and achievement practice. There will be no classes for Junior students on Friday however, the Boarding House will remain open for those parents unable to collect their daughters until Friday. Please liaise with the Boarding House staff around when your daughter will be collected from the Boarding House, if you have not already done so. NCEA examinations continue to run, so there will be some students on site.



Newsletter 18 November, 2021 Term 4, Week 5

Topic covered in this communication

      • 2021 Senior Prize-giving

One unexpected upside of running a school during a global pandemic is in being forced to ‘do things differently’. Our traditional prizegiving format is usually a hectic final week of fun House-based activities and end of year celebration events with the whole school community on site together. This year, as our response to the NCEA external examinations now running right through to 14 December, we split the annual prize-giving into two separate ceremonies, with the Senior Prizegiving being held this week. Unfortunately, because of restrictions on indoor gathering sizes, we were not able to invite our families, whānau and special guests. This was disappointing for students in Year 13 and those families who are in their last year as Craighead parents.

This Senior Prize-giving was essentially a combination of two premier school events – the Colours and Sports/Arts Awards, and outstanding Academic Achievement for 2021. Live-streamed for the first time, thanks to Audio Dynamite Ltd (Stix) and Mr Martin Kane, and with just our school community present, we were able to celebrate personal excellence and high achievement in Sports, The Arts, Culture and Academic endeavours. While our preference is always to be physically together to share in the excitement with our families and whānau, we hope that the viewing experience was a pleasant one under the circumstances.

Sports Awards – we have a high number of outstanding sportswomen in our midst. Not only do our students involve themselves in a range of sports, competing at a high level, but many also involve themselves in sports coaching, umpiring or administration. Congratulations to the recipients of our highest sporting honours for 2021 – Jessica Vogel and Isobel Sharp.


Jessica Vogel: has won gold in NZ U18 Women’s Heptathlon. Attended South Island Secondary Schools Athletics winning Gold in 400 & 200m and Silver in the 300m hurdles. Jessica receives the Mrs J H Cook’s Cup for Champion Sportswoman.







Isobel Sharp: Is an “all round” sportswoman who excels in several sports, Athletics, Cricket, Hockey, Swimming, Touch & Volleyball. Isobel has competed at several meets, breaking 12 records, and winning a total of 14 Golds, 6 Silvers & 2 Bronze. Isobel has a strong representation in Canterbury Cricket, ranked 4th top batswoman for the season. Isobel was Captain of the Craighead first XI Hockey placing 3rd in the South Canterbury Premier 1st Division. A member of South Canterbury U18 who attended Nationals. Isobel also attended Aoraki Athletics, a member of Senior Touch and Senior A Volleyball.




Academic Awards – it is unusual to have a situation where the top academic honours in Year 13 are awarded to two students, both taking completely different subjects.  We were thrilled to announce that the Co-Duxes for 2021 were our Head Students for 2021, Charlotte Mulder and Rosie Paul. We warmly congratulate them.



Charlotte Mulder: (pictured on the right) came to Craighead in Year 7 from Longbeach as a Boarder. Not only Head Girl, Charlotte was also a member of the Tutoring, Performing Arts, Media Production, Chapel and Social Committees. She has been a key member of the Kapahaka for many years and she organises the Student Volunteer Army. Charlotte has been accepted into the Broadcasting School through the Ara Institute of Canterbury next year.

Rosie Paul: (pictured on the left) came to Craighead from Waimate in Year 9 as a Boarder. In addition to being Deputy Head Girl this year, Rosie was involved in the Tutoring, Social, Health, Media Production Committees and she also organises the Student Volunteer Army. Rosie intends to study Health Sciences at the University of Otago next year, assisted by her Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship and the Otago University Dux Scholarship.






I would like to thank all staff and students involved in making this special event so successful and to congratulate all those who received awards. Best wishes to all our Senior students who will begin their external examinations next week.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa





Newsletter 11 November, 2021 Term 4, Week 4

Topics covered in this communication

      • Senior Prizegiving – details about live streaming
      • November Board of Trustees Report


The Senior Prizegiving is fast approaching, and we are excited to be able to honour outstanding student achievement as a school community. As we cannot have guests this year, local company Audio Dynamite Ltd (Stix) will be live-streaming this event via a Facebook Private Group so that our families and whānau can share in the occasion at the same time. It begins at 2pm on Tuesday 16 November. Mr Jones has emailed details to students and families of how to join the group to access the livestream link this afternoon. Please have a look at these instructions to ensure you will be able to join us virtually at this special event.

November Board of Trustees Meeting: Three separate departments delivered their triennial reports to the Board of Trustees – these were: Christian Education, Careers/STAR and the International Departments. We are very fortunate to have highly skilled and passionate teaching staff who provide outstanding service, opportunities, and a wide range of quality learning experiences for all our students.

The Christian Education Department – under the leadership of Chaplain Reverend Lucy Flatt, the school’s Special Character is delivered through the lens of the Anglican Churches’ Five Marks of Mission: Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform and Treasure. These five Marks of Mission now form the basis of our RISE Values – Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence. Students are growing in their comprehension of how these link together under our Christian Character. Membership on the Chapel committee is growing in popularity, with the Sacristan and the Year 12 Chapel Committee members attending Synod. The Bishop of Christchurch, the Rev Dr Peter Carrell, supports Craighead Diocesan School by attending as many school functions as practicable (although not this year, unfortunately). We continue to connect with our local Churches, to be seen publicly engaging with the Diocese, and connecting with the wider Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Careers/STAR – Mrs Claire Spiers was appointed as Careers Advisor in Term 2 and works closely alongside STAR coordinator Mrs Vanessa Mulvihill. Careers education is delivered to Senior students in blocks of time, whereas younger students have lessons designed to start them thinking about their futures. Our Careers Central web-based programme tracks student achievement, results, and career planning over their time at Craighead. It contains extensive resources linking student interests with possible career pathways. We have developed good connections within the local and wider community, and with Polytechnics and Universities. STAR funding (Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource) is used to access a wide range of courses and careers-related opportunities for Senior Students, such as First Aid Training through Pro Med. Goals for 2022 include engaging with local sectors, providing students with up-to-date careers information and the tracking of students’ subjects and career interests.

International Department – Craighead has a wonderful reputation of providing a quality education experience under the guidance of International Student Director Mrs Julie McLean.  Most of our students come from Asian countries (such as Japan and Thailand) to experience a New Zealand lifestyle, based here in Timaru while learning English well enough to gain entrance to universities all over the world. With lockdown and border closures in 2020-21, our international students have been unable to go ‘home’ for almost two years. During this time, they have been well cared for and supported by Mrs McLean and our Boarding House/kitchen staff, for which we are very grateful. With International student numbers dwindling, the Board recognises the need to retain the International Department infrastructure in order to remain agile enough to benefit from New Zealand borders reopening to foreign fee-paying students in 2023 or beyond.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa



Newsletter 4 November, 2021 Term 4, Week 3

Topics covered in this communication

      • Student Representative on the Board of Trustees 
      • Student Leadership 2022  
      • Farewell to Chef Anna Cook 
      • Senior Prizegiving 
      • Starting dates 2022

At this stage of the year, we are well into our planning for 2022. It takes courage to be considered for formal leadership positions in the school. I thank all those who are prepared to step up, take a risk, and be considered for school leadership. I wish to thank the three students who had the courage to put their names forward for the position of Student Representative on the Board of Trustees. As with any democratic process, there can only be one winner. Congratulations to Lucy Murphy who is our Student Representative from now until September 2022. Lucy received her badge at our virtual Assembly. She will officially begin her duties next Wednesday evening at the November Board of Trustees meeting.

We have begun the process of considering the Head Student roles and other formal leadership positions for 2022. In the Assembly, eight prospective candidates spoke about what they would bring to the role of Head Student for 2022. The speeches were of consistently high quality – well crafted and well delivered! The school is most fortunate to be spoilt for choice. All students are now asked to consider the qualities they are looking for in their student leaders before voting takes place next week.


Sadly, we said farewell to our Chef Anna Cook on 22nd October. Although employed by Spotless as our Kitchen Manager and Chef for the past four and a half years, Anna felt like one of our own staff –  loyal and hardworking, taking huge pride in her work. She relished the opportunity to showcase her culinary talents at our various catering functions. Anna was especially caring of our International students during the two lockdowns. We wish her all the best for her future endeavours.




Thanks to the students who pooled their financial resources on Monday to support the Rent a Year 13 Auction – this is becoming a very popular event. All credit to the Year 13’s for their slick organisation and high level of preparation, under the watchful eye of Master of Ceremonies Eve Scott and her shoe. On behalf of Craighead, Head Students Charlotte Mulder and Rosie Paul will present the funds to Ocean View Heights Principal Mrs Sandi Abel next week, to be put towards resources for their Discovery Room.

Year 13 Auction photos:


The Senior Prizegiving is fast approaching, and we are excited to be able to honour outstanding student achievement as a school community, even if we cannot have guests this year. Local company Audio Dynamite Ltd (Stix) will be live-streaming this event so that our families and whānau can share in the occasion at the same time, beginning 2pm on Tuesday 16 November. Details will be provided closer to the time.

Advance notice of start-up dates for 2022. The school office will be open from Monday 24 January 2022. Thursday and Friday 27 and 28 January are for firming up courses of study and for teacher preparation. Year 13 students will begin their school year with a Leadership Camp on Monday 31 January and Tuesday 1 February. Year 7 and 9 students will have their orientation day on Wednesday 2 February. All students will be expected to be on site on Wednesday 3 February.

Please note that the final Whānau hui (hangi) for 2021, originally scheduled for 11 November has had to be cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions.


Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa


Newsletter 28 October, 2021 Term 4, Week 2

Tēnā koutoa katoa e te whānau o Craighead

 Topics covered in this communication

      • Cancellations of sporting events
      • Learning Conferences 5 November
      • Senior Prizegiving 16 November – no guests!
      • COVID-19 update

School Sport NZ
Yesterday School Sport NZ, in consultation with its sport partners, announced the cancellation of the Term 4, 2021 School Sport NZ Calendar of Events. While this is extremely disappointing for those students who have been looking forward to competing, it is not unexpected given the current climate of uncertainty. We, too, appreciate and empathise with all students and families who will be affected by this decision. To come to this decision, the Board of School Sport NZ had to consider:

      • The timeline toward a nationwide move to the ‘traffic light system’ begin uncertain, with a review date set for 29 November. Planning with any certainty is almost impossible at present.
      • The compulsory vaccination mandate for staff and volunteers that come into contact with schools is yet to be fully interpreted by the Education sector, and how this pertains to school sport.
      • The recent spike in confirmed COVID 19 cases and it’s spread to regions outside of Auckland.

School Sport NZ does not support any un-sanctioned event at this time which brings together schools from multiple regions to participate. We hope that our students are still able to engage and participate in school sport at a local and regional level, under the relevant alert level guidelines.

Year 11 – 13 Learning Conferences:  5 November 1-4pm
Further to the email communication sent on Monday morning, this is a reminder that schools must adhere to public health measures when visitors are on site. This means scanning upon arrival, wearing a mask, and sanitising of hands. There will also be QR codes available in the classrooms. We do ask that you attend only if you have concerns about your daughter’s progress and achievement as we will be limiting visitor numbers on site. Conferences will be able to be booked via School Interviews and this facility will open early next week. Please note that there will be no Conferences for those subjects with portfolios (Design, DigiTech, Graphics, Art) as these will be nearly completed, if they haven’t already been sent away. Therefore Mrs Gray, Mrs Mulvihill, Mrs Kirke, Mr Raynor and Mr Hullen will not be available for Learning Conferences. Senior students are expected to attend these Conferences with only one parent/caregiver.

Senior Prizegiving Tuesday November 16 beginning at 2pm.
Because of the rules around gathering sizes, unfortunately we cannot have any ‘visitors’ (parents/whānau) in our school bubble. Therefore, for this year the Senior Prizegiving will be attended by only those students in Years 11-13, with a small number of teaching staff present.  It will be held in the Auditorium and will be live-streamed for those who wish to share in our 2021 celebration of academic, sporting and cultural achievements. Please be aware that we are working around considerable constraints to the way we usually operate. Thank you for your support.

COVID-19 update
The announcement that there are two active COVID-19 cases in Christchurch this morning is obviously a concern, so it is with relief to learn that we will remain at Level 2. Schools are following advice which is regularly updated from the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

Tēnā koutoa katoa e te whānau o Craighead.

Topics covered in this communication:

      • Resilience
      • Term 4 theme
      • RISE Value – Excellence
      • BOT Student Representative Candidates

It was my pleasure to welcome everyone back to school this week via a virtual Assembly using the Google Meet platform. While it was a little disconcerting talking into an iPad in an empty Auditorium, we made the most of the opportunity to ‘come together’ as a school community.

British Journalist and writer for The Times, Alice Thomson thinks that these challenging times could make us better able to deal with some the other hardships we will face in our lives. We can become tougher, more optimistic, more emotionally aware and more responsible – in other words resilient. Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity. Life is about having to change, seizing the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what is going to happen next!  Alice Thomson believes we may actually end up with Generation GRIT, a generation of high achievers! Back here at home in South Canterbury, we must remind ourselves to be incredibly grateful that we have been able to be present, at school, supporting each other, and to continue mostly with “business as usual”.

Term 4 Theme – Head Students for 2021 Charlotte and Rosie introduced the theme for this term, Gratitude, which fits nicely under our overarching theme of ‘Better Together’. They also spoke about the very popular upcoming “Rent a Year 13” event, whereby funds are raised to support a need in the local area. Students are invited to pool their funds to ‘rent’ a Year 13 student for the day.

RISE Values – Curriculum Leader, Ms Hearn then unpacked the final one of our four school RISE values – Excellence. Using a quote from actor Michael J Fox, she noted that while personal excellence can be reached, perfection is God’s business! Please read the presentation which is available in a post on this newsletter.

BOT Student Representative Candidates – outgoing Student Representative on the Board of Trustees, Nikita Bent introduced our three candidates – Ashleigh Cavanagh (Yr 12), Lucy Murphy (Yr 11) and Elodie Gordon (Yr 10), who all spoke so well about how they would approach the role. We thank them all for having the courage to step up to this important role to represent the perspective of all Craighead students. Voting forms will be available from whānau teachers today , with a closing date of 27 October.

Term 4 is the business end of the year when we focus mainly on completing the academic year. Best wishes to our Senior students as they prepare for their practice externals next week! I wish to acknowledge all the hard work involved, by students and teachers!

There are still considerable changes currently going on at Government level, which filter down through the Health and Education sectors. We continue to monitor how this might this impact on how the school operates during Term 4, such as for Prize-givings. As soon as we determine exactly how and when ours will occur, we will update you.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa




Newsletter 30 September 2021 Term 3 week 10

Topics covered:

      • End of Term 3.
      • What’s coming up in Term 4.

End of Term Three: Friday 1 October marks the end of this interrupted third term. While many school events may not have been able to run in their usual format, we were fortunate in that we have been able to hold some of our big functions such as the School Formal, and most winter sports, before the lockdown period. Cultural activities have not fared so well, unfortunately. Our students and staff have shown resilience and the ability to adapt seamlessly to blended learning opportunities. We are very pleased with our students’ academic progress to date, especially given the lockdown interruption. The holidays will be a good chance for our staff and students to take a brief break before the busy Term 4. It is especially important for our NCEA students to use this time to devise a study plan for the upcoming practice examinations. There is plenty of help available for those who need assistance with time management, keeping to a focussed study routine, while still retaining a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Year 10 and 11 Deans, Mrs Scott and Ms Fairbrother have been running dedicated Study Skills sessions with Year 11 students who are facing how to prepare for external examinations for the first time.

What’s coming up in Term 4? Year 8 staff and students will be looking forward to being away all week on their annual camp to Queenstown. In anticipation of moving to Alert Level One, whole school Assemblies will resume on Wednesdays. There is considerable interest in the Board of Trustees Student Representative election, which is exciting. The three candidates will address the school community at Assembly on Wednesday 20 October.

Practice NCEA examinations begin on Tuesday 26 October. These will be run under NZQA examination conditions and may be used for derived grades if required. It is important that Senior students give these their very best efforts, as these will gauge how well-prepared students are for their Externals. Learning Conferences will be held immediately after the practice examinations to provide feedback and feedforward. Please put the date in your calendars – Friday 5 November.

With events compacted in Term 4, the Music Cup will now be a combined Junior and Senior event, which will take place on Tuesday 2 November. Inauguration Day (for students new to the school in 2022) will still be held on its original date of Saturday 6 November.

With NCEA examinations now beginning two weeks later than usual (22 November), we have had to rearrange our usual end of year functions. There are now two prizegiving’s, with the Senior Prizegiving set for the evening of 16 November in the new gymnasium. Prior to this, there will be a final Chapel Service and morning tea for Year 13 students and their families on Tuesday morning 16 November, beginning at 9am.

The two Carol Services will be held in December – Wednesday 8 December – the Junior Service in the afternoon, and a Senior Service for all school families that same evening. While this is still in the midst of NCEA examinations, senior students and members of the wider school community are warmly invited to attend.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa



Newsletter 23 September 2021 Term 3 week 9

Topics covered in this communication

      • Board of Trustees September Meeting
      • Winter Sports Season – thank you!

Board of Trustees September Meeting
Chairperson Mrs René Crawford warmly welcomed newly co-opted member Mrs Cath Booth to the Board of Trustees. Cath is an accountant whose skills will be invaluable both on the Board and as a member of the Board of Trustees Finance Committee.

HOD Technology Mrs Katy Gray presented the triennial report for the Technology Department. She began by acknowledging the years of service to the school by recently retired teacher, Mrs Barbara Morris. Mrs Morris saw the Technology Department through huge technological changes in her time, evolving from being the “typing teacher” to becoming an expert in the teaching of Digital Technologies in a rapidly changing world. We currently offer Graphics, Design (Soft Materials) and Digital Technology. All technology courses have consistently high rates of achievement. The Technology Department continues to be dynamic and flexible, accommodating students’ individuals learning needs. Programmes are folio and project-based, centred around each student’s personalisation of the brief, which builds the necessary skills, work ethic and independence. The ultimate aim is to become the school of choice for Digital education in South Canterbury.

The Board spent some time discussing our response to the short notice lockdown on 17 August. This was viewed very favourably by the board members, who represent our parent’s perspective. As with any situation, we always seek to improve our systems, which were a little different from the last lockdown.

Mrs Crawford thanked outgoing Student Representative Ms Nikita Bent for her commitment over the past year. Having grown in the role and learned much about school governance, Nikita has represented the student voice in a mature and considered manner. We hope that Nikita will be able to utilise the skills she has gained in the future. Nikita will be replaced by a new Student Representative following the upcoming elections. Please encourage your daughter to consider putting her name forward for this wonderful governance opportunity.

Finally, Ms Hearn shared plans for a refresh of our school uniform. This was based on a comprehensive review, feedback and in consultation with parents and students through 2019. We are always conscious of the cost to families when purchasing uniform items, which must be smart, fit for purpose and durable. New options will include a tunic for Year 7 & 8 students, a long pants option in addition to our shorts, and a weatherproof jacket.

Conclusion to Winter Sports season
Moving to Alert Level 2 allowed a number of finals games to be played to bring to conclusion the COVID-interrupted winter sports season. Congratulations to all our teams who were competitive right to the end, with several teams finishing in the top tier of their respective competitions. Involvement in sports takes a huge amount of time and commitment. We are so appreciative of those who volunteer to coach, manage and/or administer our teams, under the leadership of Craighead Sports Director Kayla Cunningham, and the Craighead Sports Advisory Council. Thank you to everyone involved – we are very grateful for the sporting opportunities provided for our students, and for the support of our families, whānau and staff.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Newsletter 16 September 2021 Term 3 Week 8

Topics covered in this communication

      • NZQA Learning Recognition Credits
      • Te wiki o Te Reo Māori
      • Year 7-9 Ski Trip

It is lovely for us all to be back on site for a full week of teaching and learning as we look toward completing Term 3. We are very pleased that NZQA made a change to its policy and announced that schools which have been affected by closures for 16 school days or more are now eligible for Learning Recognition Credits. While we sit at 16 COVID-disrupted days, this is especially important for schools/kura who have been impacted by recent natural disasters – such flooding or damage from high winds in the Canterbury region, in addition to the Alert Level 4 lockdown period.

Te wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week): The theme for this year is Kia Kaha Te Reo Māori – Let’s make the Māori language strong. As part of our new Strategic Plan, improving Cultural Capabilities has been one of our key goals for 2021 and beyond. Our teaching staff has engaged in regular Professional Learning sessions facilitated by Kia Tika te Ara personnel during Terms 2 and 3. The focus is on developing understanding of Te Ao Māori with the aim of creating better experiences for our rangatahi (young people). Some teachers have joined the sessions being held at Mountainview High School on Tuesday evenings, while several others have completed online Te Reo courses. This week, students have been testing their skills using crosswords and word searches in their Whānau groups. We hope they are trying new Te Reo words and phrases with you at home. It was exciting to see the support for the initiative from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) which encouraged all New Zealanders to stop and take a moment for Te Reo Māori. Apparently over 1,133,000 people took part at midday on Tuesday.

With all the recent disruption to school activities, it was an absolute pleasure to join the Year 7, 8 and 9 students and staff on their combined ski trip to Round Hill on Wednesday. The weather was perfect, and we had a great day. Trips such as these are huge undertakings in terms of organisation, and even more problematic in these uncertain times. Huge thanks go to organisers Mrs Sonia Ottley and Mrs Susan Tregenza, and to all the staff who assisted. The Round Hill staff are to be commended for the lovely way they coped with our long queue at the Ski Hire Shed, and for providing very enjoyable ski lessons. Our students had a lot of fun enjoying being outdoors together and relishing the opportunity to learn or improve their snow skills.

getting prescribed cialis

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

Newsletter 9 September 2021 Term 3 Week 7

Topics covered in this communication

      • Welcome back
      • Rescheduling of school events and functions
      • NZQA, subject selection and learning conferences

Return to school – Delta Alert Level 2: It was lovely to walk around the school today, listening to the sound of excited chatter again. We have certainly missed having our young women around. Delta Alert Level 2 Health and Safety protocols are in place and all visitors to the school must use the main office entrance, sign in, sanitise, and wear a mask or face covering. Bubbles no longer exist in a school setting. Although masks are not mandatory for staff and students in schools, we encourage students to use them when and where appropriate. We have plenty of hygiene products readily available. The school dining room operates separately under the regulations of our catering service provider, Spotless.

Our focus is on regathering as a school community, reconnecting with each other and looking to achieve as much as possible in the remaining time, especially for our Seniors as they look towards preparing for their NCEA examinations. There will be some sporting activities resuming, which will allow the 2021 winter sports season to conclude, held under strict conditions to ensure the safety of all involved. Please note that we follow the direction and guidance of our Regional Sports Manager Mr Shaun Campbell, who is also the Aoraki Secondary Schools Sport Director.

Rescheduling of school events and functions Term Three:  Please note that we have made the following changes to scheduled school events for Term Three

      • Sunday 12 September – Confirmation Service cancelled (restrictions on gathering size of indoor events which usually have an ‘outside’ audience)
      • Thursday 30 – September Lip Synch cancelled (same reason as above)
      • Friday 1 October – Learning conferences have been rescheduled for immediately after NCEA practice examinations – now to be held on Friday 5 November to give ‘feedforward’ for upcoming external examinations.
      • The Inter-Whānau Jump Jam competition has been cancelled.

Please read the latest information provided by Ms Hearn on NZQA examinations, subject selection for 2022 and the rescheduling of learning conferences. Thank you for assisting us with a smooth return to school. A number of our families have to travel some considerable distance.

Ka kite ono


Newsletter 2 September 2021 – Term 3 Week 6

Topics covered in this communication

      • Return to school when the Alert level changes
      • NZQA and NCEA information
      • Rescheduling of school events and functions    

Return to school – Alert Level 2: Spring is now here, and we eagerly anticipate the announcement of a move to Alert Level 2, when on-site schooling may resume. At this stage, we do not know of any changes the Ministry of Health may make to existing specifications for ensuring personal health and safety at Level 2, but we will respond by adapting our procedures accordingly. We are required to have a Health and Safety Plan for each change in Alert Level – Assistant Principal Mr Andrew Jones has provided a summary here for Level 2 (see below) if you wish to see what ours involves.

NZQA and NCEA examinations: NZQA is working very hard behind the scenes to make sure that students are treated fairly throughout the 2021 assessment process for NCEA Levels 1 -3. This is particularly crucial for those students in Years 12 and 13, where the stakes may be higher in terms of entry to desired University courses in the future. Curriculum Leader Ms Lara Hearn is keeping track of all the updates/changes to NCEA dates, moderation procedures and requirements, and overall assessment. She will keep us fully informed about what we (students, staff and families/whānau) need to know. Please read the section below for more information.

Rescheduling of school events and functions: Assuming we go to Level 2 shortly, we will try and run as many school events as possible, keeping within Ministry of Health guidelines for schools.  It is likely that we may only have 3 weeks left of teaching in Term 3, so we are endeavouring to use this for maximising teaching and learning time, rather than squeeze in all our usual in-school activities. So, some events will be cancelled, whereas others will be moved to Term 4 – such as the Music Cup, which is now rescheduled for Week One (Wednesday and Thursday 20/21 October). In my letter to families this week, I have already signalled changes to other key school events – such as the Senior Prizegiving now set for Tuesday 16 November, which is the last school day for students in Years 11-13, prior to NCEA examinations beginning on Monday 22 November. In addition, the School Colours/Sports Assembly, originally planned for Wednesday 27 October, will be incorporated into the two Prizegivings (Senior and Junior), which will allow more of our families/whānau to watch and celebrate these fine achievements with us, in front of a larger appreciative audience. Please amend these dates on your calendars.

He waka eke noa – a canoe which we are all in, no exception: I am going to repeat myself here, but I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past two weeks. These are certainly challenging times as we juggle work and learning from home. Overall, engagement in learning has been very encouraging, for which we thank our students, their families/whānau and staff. We know that each student will be at a different place with her learning, depending upon her home situation and level of motivation. Some of our students may be in the workforce or working at home on farms, so will be doing their best to keep up with their schooling. Our thoughts and prayers are with Northern communities, as they face more time in Level 4. Roll on Monday’s announcement.

God Bless – E te atua manaaki – Lindy Graham


Newsletter 26 August 2021 – Term 3 Week 5

Tēnā koutou katoa e te whānau o Craighead –

Topics covered in this communication

      • Return to school if the Alert levels change
      • Attendance register
      • Cancelation of Cadenza and The Big Sing

Return to school – Alert Levels 3 or 2
Kia ora tatou – we hope that the online learning is going well, and that our students have settled into good routines. We have tried to be realistic about our expectations of work completion and know that many students are very busy helping out at home. Senior students will be able to use the skills they developed last year in terms of managing their online learning and for meeting those important assessment requirements. Please check on progress at home and provide reassurance if there is any anxiety. We have provided online learning opportunities for all year levels and there should be regular contact with core teaching staff. Our Wellbeing Website is an amazing resource for students and parents/caregivers, and our Instagram page provides some daily entertainment. If you have any concerns, please contact the Head of Department or the Dean.

The Ministry of Education now has additional learning materials available, if you wish to access, which include online teaching and learning resources (with guidance for parents). You can find these on the Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Marama websites.

What happens next? While we await the announcement on Friday afternoon, it is looking possible that the South Island will move to Alert Level 3. At Alert Level 3 (Restrict), young people should remain learning from home. Any young person (in Years 1-10 only) who has parents considered to be ‘Essential Service’ workers and who is not able to supervise at home by an appropriate person can attend school. This applies to Day students only as our Boarding House remains a bubble for our Internationals and Gap students.  All students will be expected back on the physical school site at Alert Levels Two (Reduce) and One (Prepare). If your daughter requires onsite supervision during the school day, please contact Assistant Principal Mr Andrew Jones.

Changes to NZQA and the school end of year – last evening NZQA announced an extension to the external NCEA examination period, which now finishes on December 14th. Clearly this will impact on existing end of year scheduled school events, which we will need to work our way through. Please read the information provided by Ms Lara Hearn our Curriculum Leader, detailing the changes signalled by NZQA.

 Just a reminder about the attendance codes being used in Level 4 that you will see in the KAMAR Portal. Under this Alert Level, students are learning from home and will be marked as F (this includes students who are self-isolating) If students are sick, they should be marked as M. This is important for the school to know about, even if students are at home, in case of the need for derived grades. Please let the school office know if your daughter has been sick, and would have been unable to attend school, since we went into Alert Level 4 lockdown. Longer illnesses will need a doctor’s certificate for verification. If in doubt, please contact Ms Hearn.

Official cancellation of Cadenza and The Big Sing
The NZCF governance board and The Big Sing committee have spent the past week carefully considering the feasibility of The Big Sing Finale and South Island Cadenza being postponed to another date within this academic year. they have considered numerous factors, including:

      • uncertainty around the length of the Level 4 lockdown and how long it might take each region in the country to return to Level 1
      • the academic pressure on students as they eventually return to in-person classes after the lockdown, considering the short amount of time left in the academic year
      • lost rehearsal time for choirs
      • availability of venues
      • difficulties and costs involved in choirs rebooking accommodation and flights

Taking the many factors into consideration, they have come to the disappointing conclusion that we must fully cancel the Finale and South Island Cadenza in 2021. We know that this will be very disappointing for our Craighead Choir, but understandable in the current climate.




Newsletter 19 August 2021 – Term 3 Week 4:

Tēnā koutou katoa e te whānau o Craighead –

Topics covered in this communication

      • Lockdown response and support
      • Cancellation of Cadenza
      • Winter Tournament Week

Lockdown – Alert Level 4: Learning of the announcement of the New Zealand-wide lockdown at 6.20pm on Tuesday evening certainly proved a challenge as we sought to ensure that all members of our school community could return home before the 11.59pm deadline. Huge thanks to our Boarding families for their swift response in picking up their daughters, and to those who assisted with their transportation home. Fortunately, we had an inkling of this possibility in the days leading up to the announcement, but it was certainly more rapid than anticipated. There was a flurry of activity around the school as students and staff ran around collecting their devices and classroom materials to be able to continue working from home! We are very grateful to the Boarding House and Kitchen staff who are now rostered to provide support for those remaining on site. They are following all Alert Level 4 health and safety guidelines within our Boarding House bubble.

As with the lockdown in 2020, we have moved to on-line learning. All classes are well set up to manage this through Google Classroom. We are mindful that everyone’s situation is different – especially those families who have young children in the home, limited access to devices or wifi, or who have family members classified as essential workers. For this week, we have kept our communications with students to a minimum, to reduce the feeling of ‘overwhelm’, while we adjust to learning from home again. If the lockdown continues, there will be more information provided, such as the Parent Guide (link). In the meantime, it is good to balance home learning with taking breaks to do exercise and/or activities around the home. The Craighead Student Wellbeing website can be accessed via: a link (look for the waterlily) on this newsletter main page under the calendar, a link (look for the waterlily) is also on the home page of our school website.

What happens next? Advice from the Ministry of Education states that the extremely contagious nature of the Delta variant and the intention to stamp it out does mean that Health advice is very cautious. Having noted that the Delta variant is more contagious between people, it does not behave any differently on hard surfaces and therefore going into classrooms and back to school is fine. At Alert Level 3 (Restrict), children and young people should learn from home. Any young person (in Years 1-10 only) who does not have supervision at home by an appropriate person can attend their service or school. All students will be expected back on the physical school site at Alert Levels Two (Reduce) and One (Prepare).

Cancellation of Cadenza 22-23 August : The NZ Choral Federation have announced that the South Island Cadenza cannot go ahead as planned. This was being hosted by Craighead, with the Monday evening concert scheduled to be held at the Sacred Heart Basilica. Cadenza can only take place if we are at Alert Level 1 and with the growth in cases and places of interest, including the possibility of transmission in the South Island, it means that even if the rest of NZ moved out of Level 4 on Saturday, we will certainly be at least in Level 2 and therefore Cadenza cannot go ahead. The Choral Federation acknowledge that this will be hugely disappointing for all schools involved. They are still hoping to explore alternative options by ascertaining how many schools would be able to consider another date, and what dates might work best. We sincerely thank Ms Liu, Mr Kane and Mr Pahl for all the work they have put into organising the Cadenza to date.

Winter Tournament Week beginning 28 August: Schools have received the following notification from School Sport New Zealand regarding the possibility of Winter Tournament Week being in doubt. We will keep you updated on any developments as soon as possible.

With the country in Alert level 4 until Saturday 21st August, and Auckland/Coromandel until Wednesday 25th August, our timelines for making decisions are short with Winter Tournament Week starting on Saturday 28th August across the country. For clarity, no school sport is permissible at Level 3 or higher. We will provide updates to all schools, school sport offices, and event providers as soon as we possibly can, and we are working with key stakeholders as further information comes to hand. Unfortunately, we face the real possibility of having to postpone Winter Tournament Week in its traditional format for a second year. This will be particularly tough on those senior students who missed out last year and I am mindful that our decisions over the next few days will impact on them greatly. However, with around 30,000 students set to move around the country from next Saturday, participating in events with more than 1000 people present in some cases, ensuring our decision making is in line with the intent of the MOH and Government during a pandemic is fundamental. We have adopted a ‘play it safe’ mentality through our previous decision-making process with the mantra that school sport cannot be the vehicle for community transmission.


Newsletter 12 August 2021 – Term 3 Week 3

This past week has been a challenging one for South Canterbury Secondary schools, given the tragic car accident which caused the loss of five lives last Saturday night. Timaru is a relatively small community, so we all know people impacted by this tragedy. No matter the circumstances, we must support those families, whānau and friends who are directly or indirectly affected. The schools most closely involved have been humbled by the amount of support and aroha they have received. Healing and recovery will be different for everyone, and it will take time. We held a minute’s silence to reflect upon the loss of these five young men and to also reflect on the sad loss of several of our own school community members this week. Our thoughts and prayers are with those families. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

Winter Quadrangular Tournament 8-10 August
The annual Winter Quadrangular Tournament took place on Monday and Tuesday of this week, featuring Netball, Badminton, Hockey and Debating. This was hosted by St Margaret’s College, who also kindly billeted many of our students. The weather on Sunday and Monday was atrocious. All students displayed such a positive attitude, especially the Hockey teams who played outdoors at the new Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub Wigram – in rain, hail, and snow. Being a much smaller school, we can struggle to compete against the larger city schools, but all our teams improved markedly over the two days – which is good preparation for upcoming tournaments. Thanks to our Sports department for their organisation and to our coaches, managers, and parents for taking time away from work to support our teams.

Mr Ross Wells, retiring BOP Member and Mrs Nicky Hyslop, BOP Chair


Board of Proprietors August Meeting

Mr Ross Wells finished his time with the Board of Proprietors after 15 years of incredible service to the school, most recently as the Chair of the BOP Finance Committee. Ross has seen considerable changes during his tenure on the Board and he will be missed for his institutional knowledge, wisdom, sense of humour and expertise in assisting the Board make good decisions on school financial matters. As Synod Representative, Ross will be replaced by Rev. Ben Randall of St Mary’s Church, Timaru. We wish Ross and Virginia all the best with their retirement to Wanaka.

After a long association with catering company Spotless, the Board of Proprietors has signed a new contract with Cater Plus. We are looking forward to working with the new personnel, under the leadership of Mr Mike Sellwood and his team. All existing kitchen and cleaning staff are protected by law, and we expect a smooth transition between companies before 2 January 2022. After researching into what qualities we are looking for in our catering company, we noted that compared to similar schools, our kitchen facilities are very tired and almost no longer fit for purpose. We are excited to announce that the Board of Proprietors has now approved a total refurbishment of the kitchen and replacement of the dining room furniture, with the addition of a uni-sex toilet facility located off the dining room. Craighead Connect (formerly Parents and Friends) has donated $20,000 towards the cost of replacing our dining room furniture, which is fantastic.

Ms Fi McQuade

Development Manager, Ms Fi McQuade has now left us to take up a full-time position with the Mackenzie District Council. We wish her all the best in this new role as Manager: Commercial and Property. Uniform Shop Manager and BOP member Mrs Tracy McLeod will take over all email communications pertaining to the Development Manager role while we source a replacement, including all communications about the Old Girls Reunion in October.







Newsletter 5 August 2021 – Term 3 Week 2

School Formal 30 July: The weather was perfect for the Craighead Formal on Friday evening. As always, our guests arrived in style, and were welcomed to the venue by an appreciative crowd at the walk-in. The venue looked superb, the food was in theme (“Gatsby”), and the behaviour of attendees was exemplary. We had an excellent evening, which made it a real pleasure for staff to attend in support. Thanks to the Social Committee, under the leadership of Chairperson Annabelle Scott, supported by Ms Dawe, Ms Morgan and parents, for their organisation of this very important event. It was lovely to have some of our ‘regulars’ return even after their daughters have left Craighead, to support the handover of responsibilities to our next set of parents.


Whānau Hui – 3 August: Thanks to the families and staff who attended our second Whānau hui on Tuesday evening. While numbers were low, we enjoyed hearing the Kapa haka perform, talking about the Te Reo journey our teaching staff are undertaking this year with the support of Kia Hika te Ara (Naresha Waa and Haami Rahui), and taking the opportunity to gather student voice.  In small groups we discussed; what we are doing well in terms of supporting Māori learners, what could be improved, how could our physical environment be enhanced and our next steps regarding the schools’ relationship with Whānau. These ideas and suggestions will be collated and used to inform our future directions. The evening concluded with an opportunity to mix, mingle, and enjoy superb finger food provided by Chef Anna. We warmly invite all our Māori families and Whānau (students and their parents) to join us at the third Whānau Hui, to be held on Thursday 11 November at 6pm at Craighead. This will involve a traditional hangi.

Co and extra-curricular activities: A large number of our students are involved in a wide range of co and extra-curricular activities, both during the week and in the weekends. We very much enjoy following their progress – thanks to families who keep us up to date – we love to profile efforts and successes, and always appreciate when photos are sent in. Thank you!

Winter Quadrangular Tournament Sunday to Tuesday 8-10 August : Best wishes to our teams competing in the annual Winter Quadrangular Tournament which begins this Sunday evening. This is being hosted by St Margaret’s College this year, with Craighead, Columba College and St Hilda’s Collegiate School taking part. Thanks to our Coaches, Managers and parents for supporting our teams, and to our Sports department for their organisation.

Accord Teacher-Only Day Friday 13 August: The third Accord Teacher Only Day (negotiated with the Ministry of Education by the teacher unions, NZEI and PPTA), is being held in this region on Friday 13 August. The focus for the day is on the changes proposed to NCEA Level One. This gives teaching staff the opportunity to meet in regional curriculum clusters to discuss the proposed changes in their respective learning areas, with view to planning for 2022 and beyond. The five Timaru secondary schools are each hosting one or more specific learning areas for the morning, with teachers from all the Aoraki Secondary schools attending. In the afternoon, teachers will return to their own schools to plan how to implement these changes into their teaching and learning programmes. This means that our students will have an extra-long weekend – a good chance to rest or catch up on schoolwork!

God Bless – E te atua manaaki – Lindy Graham


Term 3 Week 1

Welcome back to Term Three – our winter term! With July almost behind us, we can look forward to longer days and the prospect of warmer temperatures to come. Again, this term will be busy with numerous sporting, cultural and social activities planned. It is exciting to follow the progress of our three Craighead Old Girls who are currently competing at the Tokyo Olympics. Natalie Rooney is up first with her Shooting, then Emma Dyke in the Women’s Rowing Eight, with Lauren Bruce competing in the Athletics Hammer Throw next week. We wish them all the very best in their various endeavours!

Staffing changes from Term 3
Further to the teaching staff changes from last term, we warmly welcome Miss Lucy Barrett, a UK trained Drama teacher, who will take over most of Mrs Towle’s Drama classes, with the support of Mrs Whittington (Acting HOD Drama). Mr Jarrod Rayner, a New Zealand trained teacher of Art who has been teaching in International Schools for the past 10 years, has joined our Art Department as a specialist teacher of Art and Photography. Development Manager Ms Fi McQuade has accepted a full-time position as Manager: Property and Commercial, with the Mackenzie District Council. We congratulate Fi and wish her all the best in her new role, beginning mid-August.

School Formal – 30 July
The School Formal is taking place this Friday at the Landing Services Building. Thanks to the Social Committee, under the leadership of Annabelle Scott, Ms Dawe and Ms Morgan and the parents involved. We appreciate the huge amount of effort that has gone into ensuring a fabulous, stylish evening – with its “Gatsby” theme! This begins with the walk-in at 7.30pm.

Whānau Hui – 3 August
Our second Whānau Hui is scheduled for Tuesday 3 August. This will begin at 5.30pm in the Unwin library with a welcome by our full Kapa haka group. While our first Whānau Hui focussed on connecting with our Māori families (meeting with and sharing our vision) this hui is for gathering information on how best support our Māori learners. We will then break into small groups to seek feedback from students and their families/whanau, which will inform our future planning. We warmly invite all our Māori whānau (students and their parents) to join us, and also extend an invitation to those staff and parents who are interested in attending and supporting increasing our cultural responsiveness. This will conclude by 7pm with a prior opportunity to mix, mingle, and enjoy some finger food and a beverage.


Term 2 Week 10

Manaaki House Choirs:

Last Friday, the full House Choirs competed for honours, having put a lot of effort in to perfecting their set piece – Nga Whakamoemiti – and a song of choice from the 80’s. The final performances were tūmeke (awesome) and of very high quality. Well done to those who led, conducted, played and sang. Arts Leaders: Payge Ovenstone and Zoe Walker did a great job as Masters of Ceremonies, and we are grateful to the judge, Ms Lee Parcell, Head of Music at Timaru Boys High school. Congratulations to Te Raki for taking out first place, with Te Tonga a close second. Thanks to all students who made this event such a pleasure to watch!

Staffing changes from Term 3:
Further to the teaching staff changes we announced last week, we are pleased to inform our students and families/whānau that Mrs Glenys Whittington will be Acting HOD Drama for the remainder of the 2021 school year. Ms Lucy Barrett, a UK trained Drama teacher, has accepted a long-term relieving position teaching the other Drama classes along with Mrs Whittington. Mr Jarrod Rayner, a New Zealand trained teacher of Art who has been teaching in International Schools for the past 10 years, will join our Art Department from the beginning of Term 3.
There may be some other minor modifications to students timetables to make these changes work, and with the second semester subjects beginning in Term 3.

Tokyo Olympics, 23 July–8 August:
Two Craighead Old Girls are competing in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, which begin on 23 July. Emma Dyke will competing in the Women’s Rowing Eight and Lauren Bruce in the Hammer Throw. Both have done incredibly well to be named in the New Zealand Olympic squad – Emma had the resilience and determination to train a full year longer than anticipated with the Games pushed out by one year because of the pandemic, while the extra year gave Lauren the chance to qualify. We wish them all the very best!

School Formal – 30 July:
One of the most anticipated events on the school social calendar is the School Formal. This will take place at the Landing Services Building on Friday 30 July. We appreciate the effort that is going on behind the scenes by staff, parents and the Formal Committee, to ensure a fabulous, stylish evening – with its “Gatsby” theme! Annabelle Scott, Year 13, is Chair of the Formal Committee.

Whānau Hui – 3 August:
Our second Whānau hui is scheduled for Tuesday 3 August. This will begin at 5.30pm in the Unwin library with a welcome by our full Kapahaka group. While our first Whānau Hui focussed on connecting with our Māori families (meeting with, and sharing our vision) this hui is for gathering information on how best to support our Māori learners. We will then break into small groups to seek feedback from students and their families/whānau, which will inform our future planning. We warmly invite all our Māori whānau (students and their parents/caregivers) to join us, and also extend an invitation to those staff and families who are interested in attending and supporting increasing our cultural responsiveness.

Cadenza (South Island) – 22/23 August:
The Craighead Choir has just been announced as one of the twelve choirs from the South Island area to be invited to attend The Big Sing Cadenza concert, being held here in Timaru on 22/23 August. The Choir will be required to present four songs – one each from the three categories as outlined in The Big Sing Categories of Musical Styles and one of their own choice from any of the categories. This event will take place at both the Craighead Auditorium and Sacred Heart Basilica. This is very exciting news – congratulations to Ms Liu and Mr Kane

Mid-Year Break:
The three week break allows time to rest up after such a busy term. We wish everyone a good holiday, hopefully able to spend quality time with friends, family and Whānau.

God Bless – E te atua manaaki – Lindy Graham