Saturday, 26 September 2009

Celebration of a Valued Staff Member's Career.

Friday September 25 2009, marked the retirement of valued staff member, Leah Boniface. The College staff gathered in the staff room to acknowledge and celebrate Leah's significant contribution to the Verdon Family. Joined by husband Bob, son Rueben and grandchildren, colourful stories from of a career spanning 25 years at Verdon College were recounted. We wish Leah and Bob every blessing as the next chapter of their lives unfolds.

SIT Maori Studies STAR Course

On Friday at the SIT Maori Studies Department, students attending the STAR course gave a performance which displayed the knowledge and skills gained over the nine weeks of study. Mr Olsen and Mr Miles were among the audience of staff and parents from Verdon College and St Peter's College in Gore. They were challenged by a haka , inspired by a himene (hymn) and entertained by poi and chant. We look forward to the group performing at the first assembly for term four at 10.30 am on Tuesday 13 October. Parents and supporters are welcome to attend.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Speech and Poetry Excellence

Year 9 Prepared Speech and Poetry

Prepared Speech
  1. Ella Prendergast
  2. Megan Middlemiss
Highly Commended: Melissa Web and Eleanor Morrison

  1. Mason Leigh
  2. David Destura
  3. Sarah Hughes
Highly Commended: Brydan Harrington and David Churchman

Southland Interschools' Speech Contest

The Southland wide speech contest was held at Aurora College on Thursday evening. Verdon's finalist, Henry More, received the MC's Choice Award last evening. This award is given to the person who the MC believes has special potential.

Images from Year 12 Retreat

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Netball Best Wishes

All the very best wishes to the Senior A Netball team as they travel to Timaru for nationals in the school holidays. This competition brings together the best school teams from the regions. It is a great opportunity for the girls to build on their tournament week achievements. We look forward to reporting your achievements.
Congratulations also go to Kendall McMinn, Gemma Roberts and Whitney Areaiiti, who have been selected for the Southland Under 19 Team.

BOT Student Representative

The votes in the student election for the 2010 student representative on the Board of Trustees have been counted and Patrick Stone has been elected. Our congratulations and best wishes go to Patrick as he takes over the role from Ben Ward next term.

Year 12 Retreat

Year 12 students have spent the last two days working together, enjoying a range of challenges and focusing on leadership issues. Their retreat was coordinated by Mrs Miles and was held at the Working Men's Club. Thank you to the many staff who helped facilitate the group activities, Fr. Martin our chaplain and Vaughn Hook the diocesan youth worker.

Grounds Development Continues

Mr Sims and Mr Kid have been making the most of the fine periods this week to complete the third stage of the grounds plan.
Over the next few weeks we hope to complete the quad gardens, incidental concrete work for seating outside the Verdon Block and have the base for the cricket nets poured.
The mound at the front entrance has been prepared for a planting working bee on Sunday October 11. If you are able to help with this project please contact Leonie Grace by email.

Year 13 Chemistry Field Trip

On Tuesday after school Mr Justin Yu challenged Year 13 Chemistry students to view aqueous chemistry in action at the Clifden Caves. Justin is a student teacher from the University of Canterbury College of Education. The party lead by Mr Olsen, who is a caving enthusiast, explored the limestone formations in the system. Stalactites, stalagmites, crystal pools and sinkholes were all on the viewing agenda. Exploring the chemical processes that have formed the cave linked directly to the topic Mr Yu has been developing with the class over the last seven weeks. We would like to thank him for his contribution to the College while he was on teaching practicum at Verdon.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

A warm welcome to Fr Cathal Deery

At Assembly this week, Fr Martin introduced Fr Cathal Deery. Fr Cathal is from County Monaghan in Ireland and is based at St Theresa’s Parish, Windsor, Invercargill for 4 months until early January in a swap with Father Brendan Ward who has gone to work in his Parish in Ireland.

Fr Cathal has been a Priest for the last 15 years, all of which have been spent in various Parishes in his local diocese of Clogher. His hometown of Monaghan is in the Irish Republic but just a few minutes drive from the border with Northern Ireland. His diocese covers an area in both the North and the Republic.

Father Brendan and I have arranged this swap so that we can both gain some experience of working in the church in a different country. My experience so far at St Theresa has been very positive – people have made me very welcome and I have enjoyed meeting so many people of Irish descent. I am chaplain to St Theresa’s primary school and my experience so far indicates that the New Zealand and Irish school systems are very similar. Likewise the secondary school systems have many things in common also. I know that my four months here is relatively short but it will give me a great insight into the New Zealand life and culture.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sing Out Performance

On the previous Wednesday, 35 of our year 7 & 8 students took part in the annual Sing Out Music Festival at the Civic Theatre. The theme was 70s–A Blast from the Past.

The hosts for the evening were Ashlyn Gallagher and Jack King. For our individual item we sang ‘Let it Be’ by The Beatles with soloists Valu Maka and Kameron Corbin. Our second song was the disco hit ‘Blame it on the Boogie’. Our dancers were Alannah Webster-Blair, Grace Donnelly and Jacinta Farrelly. Thanks to Meg Prendergast and Emily Lough for their superb choreography.

The evening was a great success. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Congratulations to all who took part – splendid performances from everyone.

Friday, 18 September 2009

LipSync 2009 Images

On Thursday evening a LipSync competition was held as a fund raiser to help with Miss Boulton's mission to Tanzania next year. Student of all ages performed to an appreciative audience raising over $350 for the cause. One of the highlights of this fun evening was the staff rendition of ABBA's Waterloo. With such good support from students and staff, we hope to make this a regular event.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Sports Photographs 2009

Mr Miles and Mr Hartley have been hard at work organising and taking the sports photographs for 2009. The Performing Arts Centre has been a hive of activity with students being groomed, arranged in height order and photographed team by team. It is a testament to the popularity of sport in the school that it required most of the morning to get through all the teams.

New Common Room Opened

On Wednesday morning Mrs Kiddey, our Year 13 Dean, welcomed student's into the newly refurbished senior common room. The seniors thanked Mr Sims for the hard work that he has dedicated to this project. The room has had a complete refit from top to bottom. This completes the renovation of the three storied block.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Year 7 Camps

This week, year 7 students have been on camp based in Dunedin.
Day one of the camp involves visiting Cadbury World and running up Baldwin Street.
Baldwin Street, at Dunedin's Northern end is reputed by the Guinness Book of Records as being the steepest street in the world. 35% gradient = 1:2.86 For most it was a very invigorating walk. It only takes about a ten minute to walk up but student's said "you can sure feel it". At its maximum, the slope of Baldwin Street is approximately (19° or 35%) - that is, for every 2.86 metres travelled horizontally, the altitude rises by 1 metre! The night was spent at the Otago Museum. The sleep over was exciting in an amazing setting.

Day two was spent at the Waiora Scout camp. Adventure Masters ran a challenging day programme. Abseiling, raft building, an assault course and archery were the activities provided.

Thank you to the many staff, parent and senior student helpers who made these camps such a success.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

NetBall 2009 Summary

Seventeen teams were entered in the local Saturday competition over the winter.

The Senior B team won the Creative Curbs Trophy for winning the Reserve Grade.
Runner-up status went to 10A (10th Grade Trophy for Secondary School Grade 2) and 8A (Ottrey Trophy for Years 7 & 8 Grade 1).
Senior B team also won the Sargood Cup for having the highest number of goal scored at their grade and below – 240 goals.

Lucy Heenan won the Pierce Trophy for having the highest individual goal average (82%).

Several students attained representative honours:
  • Gracey Farquharson (Years 7 & 8A)
  • Grace Dowling and Kloe Milne (Years 7 & 8B)
  • Lucy Heenan (under 15A)
  • Jessica Wright (under 15B)
  • Blaze Craigie, Joanna Telfer and Laura Corbin (under 16)
  • Jessica van Rossum and Katie Telfer (under 17A)
  • Jessica Greenwood (under 17B)
In the Southland Lois Muir Challenge team which won its competition were Kendall McMinn, Gemma Roberts and Whitney Areaiiti.

In the Southland League Competition, Verdon Senior A came 6th.

At the South Island Secondary Schools’ Tournament last week in Timaru, the Verdon Senior A team was unbeaten till its final game.

  • Beat Geraldine High 30 – 18
  • Beat Taieri College 21 – 10
  • Beat Mount Hutt College 31 – 16
  • Beat Motueka High School 34 – 14
  • Beat Waimea College 31 – 14
  • Beat Central Southland College 36 – 9
  • In the semifinal, beat Craighead Diocesan School 34 – 20
  • The final against St Peter’s, lost 31 – 20.
The team will get the opportunity to participate in the national tournament in Timaru from 6 – 9 October, where the top four from the three regions take part.

Talented players identified from the South Island Tournament were Whitney Areaiiti, Kendall McMinn and Katie Telfer.

Allanah Cunningham was identified as a talented umpire. This is the third year that Allanah has won this award.

2009 Science - International Competitions and Assessments for School

Thirteen students from Verdon College participated in the recent 2009 Science ICAS examinations. Congratulations to the following students:

Nathaniel O'Neill - Year 8 - Distinction
Sarah McManus - Year 7 - Credit
Hannah Lieshout - Year 7 - Credit
Conor O'Neill - Year 7 - Credit
Patrick Stone - Year 12 - Credit

Monday, 7 September 2009


Matt Lough and Joseph Williams are proud to present BookQuest. This is a competition open to any students who enjoy reading. To enter, simply visit the website link, compete in the game, and you can be in to win a monthly prize of $40. Enter BookQuest

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Ski Trip to Coronet Peak

On Saturday a minivan load of students accompanied by Mr Olsen, Mr Yu and Mrs Balladares, enjoyed a superb days skiing at Coronet Peak. The conditions were ideal and both students and helpers made the most of the day. Pictured are Myles and Shannon getting on the Greengates express lift. This was the last trip for the season. Our thanks go to the very professional team at Coronet and the Remarkables for their help this season.

Friday, 4 September 2009

PTA Fundraiser

The PTA will be sending order forms home for Christmas Hams with your child (eldest or only) on Monday 14 September. These hams are Hellers Brand and very good quality and price. It is a great time to pay for the Christmas ham and they will be delivered to the College in the last week of November. Orders with monies to be in by 15th October. You can also order online through the Verdon College website.

Support your school with this good value fundraiser.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Common Room Renovation

Pictured is Mr Sims putting the finishing touches to the renovations in the senior common room. As part of the work, a new sink unit and zip have been installed. The new carpet will be laid next week. Our year 13 students will have a set of new chairs for the room, compliments of the Parent Teacher Association.

Mathematical Perfection

Nat O'Neill and Gracey Farquharson, members of the year 8 mathematical enrichment group, have been working on presentations investigating magic squares. Gracey had a focus on historical development of the concepts and Nat placed more emphasis on the variation within this area of mathematical interest. They are pictured with year 7 students sharing their work and offering inspiration to other young mathematicians.

Year 9 Drama Production

The year 9 drama class have been having fun preparing their end of course production of The Emperor's Carpet. They will be performing their work in class next Tuesday to a selected audience. The year 8 students have also been working on their production, which is the classic Bad Jelly the Witch.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Hockey Update

Day Three: Congratulations to the team for their 6-0 win against St Peter's College!

Day Two: The game against James Hargest College resulted in a nil all draw.

Day One: The Hockey boy's have had two challenging games in the pool round of their competition at Ashburton. They played Lincoln College with a 3 -1 loss and Long Bay College with a 9 -0 loss.

Netball Update

Day Five: Verdon won their semi-final game and played St Peter's in the final. Unfortunately they lost by 11 goals after a very close and competitive game.

Day Four: Today the team take on arch-rivals Craighead at 9.30am - we wish them all the best! In the afternoon they played Motueka and won 34 - 14. This qualified them for the nationals and they are now in the top four and will play a semi-final tomorrow morning.

Day Three: The morning game was against Central Southland College - the Verdon girls won 36 - 8. The girls played Moteuaka at 3pm and won by 21 points. This places them in the top four.

Day Two: Verdon girls played Geraldine High School in the morning game and won 30 to 18. In the afternoon they played Waimea College, winning 33 - 16. This puts the team in an excellent position in the pool round.

Day One:Verdon's netball girls in Timaru have had a successful first day at the winter tournament. They won by 16 points to Mt Hutt College and 11 points to Taieri College.