Category Archives: News / Notices

Under Alert Level 2, Wellington High School remains OPEN with good hygiene and distancing practices in place, as we have done before. The information below has been sent to all families and whānau this morning.

Students with cold/flu symptoms should stay at home and call the Absence line [Wednesday 12 – Friday 14 August].

Kia ora koutou

I know that none of you would have welcomed the news overnight of a return to alert level 3 in Greater Auckland and alert level 2 in the rest of the country. At this stage the government has told us that these alert levels will be in place for at least 3 days. The key considerations for alert level 2 in an educational context are the following:

  • It is safe for all students, children and staff to attend school. We have been at this level before and we will be taking the same precautions that we have previously taken under alert level 2.
  • Children and staff who are at higher-risk of severe illness are encouraged to take additional precautions when leaving home. Anyone displaying flu or COVID-like symptoms should not be attending school and should seek further advice from their doctor or Healthline.
  • If students present to school as unwell, we will be asking parents and caregivers to come and pick their student up. 
  • We all need to continue to send strong messaging about good hand hygiene and appropriate cough and sneeze etiquette.
  • While at school, students and staff should be far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other. There does not need to be a specific measurement but where practicable and reasonable 1 metre can be used as a guide, particularly between adults.
  • Physical distancing of 2 metres is recommended for parents and caregivers, from people they don’t know (to align with public health measures outside the school grounds).
  • If there was a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in our school, our school would close immediately for 72 hours, to allow contact tracing, and then potentially for a further 14 days.

There is uncertainty about how long we may be at alert level 2 and so it is difficult to make decisions on some areas of school life that may only be for a few days. Below I have outlined additional practices that we have undertaken at alert level 2 previously and that we will continue to follow in the near future. I apologise in advance for the amount of information contained below. It is very similar to information we have previously published.

Extra hygiene practices

  • All classrooms have good stocks of hand sanitiser and cleaning products. We will continue to encourage students to make use of these to ensure everyone’s health and wellbeing.
  • At alert level 2 the only specific requirement is to clean and disinfect surfaces once each day but we will do this on multiple occasions during the day and our cleaning contract will take into account treatment of high touch surfaces.
  • Our toilets have warm water and soap, hand dryers and paper towels. We will encourage our students to keep an eye on stocks and notify student services if they are diminishing.
  • Students should bring a water bottle from home and this should not be shared with anyone else. Water bottles can be refilled at the water stations around the school. The fountains at these stations have not yet been disabled but they will be if we are to continue at alert level 2 for a prolonged period of time.
  • Students should not be sharing class equipment eg books, pens, pencils, devices etc, at this time.

Contact tracing

  • Attendance in class is sufficient for lesson times for contact tracing purposes.
  • Senior students who leave the premises at lunch will be encouraged to use the NZ COVID Tracer App.
  • We will open additional spaces at lunchtime to allow students to observe physical distancing at these times.
  • Lunchtime activities can occur but we will keep contact registers for these and an adult will be in a supervisory capacity at all times. 
  • Visitors to the school should be using the QR code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App and they will be required to provide contact details for contact tracing purposes.

Remote learning plans

  • We will not institute remote learning plans yet but we will be ready to do so from Monday next week if we are to continue at alert level 2. 

School assemblies

  • We will not be running school assemblies under alert level 2.


  • The cafeteria will operate as a takeaway outlet as it did previously under level 2.
  • Students enter the cafeteria by the carpark entrance and leave by the foyer door.
  • Cashless payments will be the only method of payment.

Reception & Student services

  • Reception will remain where it is as we await further information.
  • Visitor sign in procedures will remain the same until further notice.
  • All payments to student services will need to be cashless.

Enrolment interviews 

Currently we are enrolling large numbers of students for our incoming year 9 cohort for 2021. We will be postponing all of these interviews until we have further information. 


I expect there will be announcements about sport very soon but previously under level 2 guidelines, the gatherings of over 10 persons applied and most sports were not possible. I will update you as soon as I know more.

Community Education

Our community education is a vital part of our school community and at this stage, classes will continue where possible, taking into account the same considerations that we make in our day classes. Our staff will be carefully monitoring this situation and more information will be provided depending on the length of the alert level 2 status.

Breakfast club 

Recently we have instituted a breakfast club – this will be cancelled under level 2.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

At this stage, face masks are not required at schools at alert levels 2 and 3. The Prime Minister has advised today that the use of masks is encouraged for areas where social distancing may be difficult but they are not mandatory. If students wish to wear masks to school, we support them to do so.

Careers expo and Future Focus evening – Monday 17 August

We will await further information before we make a call on these two events. We will let you know by Friday this week.

We all have a role to play in providing reassurance to our young people that if we look after ourselves and each other, then we will eliminate the virus, which at this stage is the best strategy. This means ensuring we have good hygiene practices in place at home and at school. It is worth remembering that we have been here before and we made it work. You may not realise that our best attended day of the year so far was the first day back at school under alert level 2 on Monday 18 May. I am confident that if we continue to work together and follow the excellent practices we have previously put into place, we will be able to continue to provide a safe place for our young people.

Mauri Ora!

Dominic Killalea, Principal

Important Dates

    • Monday 17 August: Careers Expo and Future Focus evening
    • Thursday 20 August: the Friday timetable will run today
    • Friday 21 August: mid-term break – school closed (Tertiary Open Days)
    • Monday 24 August:  Board of Trustees meeting, 6pm
    • Friday 4 September: Learning Conversations. School will only be open for Learning Conversations. 
    • Monday 7 – Friday 11 September: School derived grade exams. The Junior timetable will run as normal this week.
    • Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori. September 14th – 20th

Important Information

Te Whānau a Taraika farewell Matua Tim Poi

Te Whānau a Taraika thank Matua Tim Poi who has stood down as chairperson after eighteen months in this role. Te Whānau a Taraika acknowledge Matua Tim Poi for his support and guidance throughout his time as Chairperson at our hui.

E mihi ana hoki te whānau a Taraika ki a Tim Poi mōna i noho mai hei heamana mō te rōpū whānau o te kura. Nā te mea kua mutu kē ana tamariki i te kura me te nui o ana mahi ka tukuna e ia tēnei tūranga. Nā reira e te matua e Tame e mihi ana rā ki a koutou ko tō whānau i kaha nei ki te tautoko i te whānau a Taraika – tēnā rawa atu koe. He kokonga whare e kitea, he kokonga ngākau e kore e kitea.

Noho ora mai

Te Whānau a Taraika

Te Tumatakuru O’Connell

We welcome Te Tumatakuru O’Connell who will be taking on the role of Te Whānau a Taraika chairperson.

Tell us how you feel about your child’s experiences at Wellington High

Thank you to the 200+ whānau who have responded already. This year, our school, along with the others in our Kāhui Ako, is working with with a team from the University of Waikato, Poutama Pounamu.  They are helping us understand and respond to our learners’ experiences, and particularly our Māori learners.

We would like to know how you feel about your child’s experiences at Wellington High. Please complete this anonymous short survey: Wellington HS Whānau Survey 2020.

We will discuss this further with our community and feedback broad findings later this term. Ngā mihi nui.

Rail Safety Week: 10-16 August

Rail safety week 10-16 August – Cross with Care | Kia tūpato te whakawhiti

Rail Safety Week aims to reduce near miss collisions on level crossings. Every near miss is a traumatic event and has a very real impact on the locomotive engineers, the witnesses involved and on those who nearly lost their lives.  Never cross when bells or lights are activated and always look carefully in both directions before crossing.  Be especially careful to look for a second train.  If one train has stopped at a station another one could be coming.  For those families interested, have a look at this Rail Safety Virtual Field trip information that was shared with participating schools in 2019.   Visit the Tracksafe website for more information.

What’s Happening?

Blank Canvas – open now!

Thanks to Tony Cairns for these photos from Blank Canvas’s opening night.


Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori fundraiser

To celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo students are selling T-shirts and Hoodies to our community. Molly Henry from year 13 has designed a beautiful design to reflect the year that has been and the many struggles that are overcome by staying connected and looking after your Mauri and that of your friends and whanau.

If you would like to purchase a Hoodie and/or a T-shirt click here to order. Payment is to be made at Student Services. Apparel will be available for pick up at school from week 8. No orders will be accepted from 24 August.  To find out more click here or email with any questions.

Shakespeare Society 2020

Last week the Shakespeare Society put on their 29th performance, showing William Shakespeare’s 36th play, “The Tempest”. After much disruption caused by COVID-19, the cast and crew pulled together to put on a fantastic and completely unforgettable show. Thank you to all who helped and thank you to the cast for their incredible dedication to the play.
– Emily Rosemergy and Zoe Crane


Community Food Waste Project

What started as a class Food Waste project, developing a product utilising Kaibosh’s waste stream produce, has turned into a multi stakeholder community project for our Year 12 and 13 Food Technology class.

We’ve learnt a lot hearing Matt from Kaibosh generously talk about Kaibosh’s philosophy, mahi and allowing us free reign to sort through excess fruits and vegetables. As a result of our Kaibosh visit, Ali from the Hopper shop is partnering with a group of students to develop a zero waste product. Finally Emma and Millie from St Vincent de Paul came in this week to discuss a Make-a Meal collaboration with our students with a focus on waste minimisation.


Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club is now open! Students are now able to have a great start to their day with breakfast and a hot cuppa. A huge thanks go to the student leaders who give up their time and show their WERO values in action as they make sure that students are fed and set up to learn.

Year 10 & 11 Business Trade Fair

The Riley Centre was turned into a bustling market hall for the Year 11 Business Trade Fair last week. With a wide range of goods for sale including bags, plants and food of many types, staff and students took the opportunity to support Business students who have been preparing for this event over many weeks.

Horticulture trip to Palmerston North

Senior horticulture students made a trip up to the Massey University Palmerston North Campus. Students had the opportunity to see the facilities available to Horticulture students and to hear about some of the research taking place. This included tours and demonstrations of; the post harvest physiology research labs, a hydroponic teaching and student experimental automated glasshouse and the apple orchard where students practice plant management skills. Various innovative technologies in the process of development were also seen.

Outdoor Education jumbo circuit tramp

Completed over the course of three days last week, these pictures capture the spectacular winter conditions that the Year 12 Outdoor Education students tramped through as they completed the jumbo circuit.

He Kākano

The He Kākano students have been engaged in a range of projects and learning opportunities this week. We have a group of art students displaying their sculptures in the school library, as well as submitting work for the Blank Canvas exhibition held this week. Hamdiya Yusef is learning how to make and serve plunger coffee for unit standards in her Barista class. And there is always time to be outside climbing trees!

International News

Wellington High farewelled 4 students at the end of term 2.  Under current COVID regulations we are unable to receive new international students however the level of enquiry and enrolment is very high for the future.  We currently have 57 international students attending Wellington High from 15 countries.

Breakfast Hui

A Breakfast Hui was held for international students with the sharing of food and coffee along with sharing school news and information about opportunities. Two students who are soon to depart were farewelled. They are Manuela Castenada from Colombia and Keita Koyama from Japan.

International Week

Week 4 is International Week! Join the International Department and celebrate!

Monday 10
  • Lunchtime International movie – M102
  • Lunchtime speaker in the library – Bharat Pancha will talk about Nepal and the orphanage that Wellington High School sponsors
Tuesday 11
  • Lunchtime International movie – M102
Wednesday 12
  • Bring some change and enjoy the variety of foods from the home country of many of our students.
  • Note:  All proceeds will be contributed to the Nepal Orphanage fund.
Thursday 13
  • International sports, open to all – in the Tindall Centre at lunchtime
  • Lunchtime International movie – M102
Friday 14
  • Lunchtime International movie – M102


Celebration of Reading at the National Library

Jean Cleaver-Parris (year 11) presented at a Celebration of Reading event alongside Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Internal Affairs and for Children, Tracey Martin. The event announced the establishment of a new role of New Zealand Reading Ambassador for children and young people to promote the importance of reading in the lives of young New Zealanders, their whānau and communities, helping create a ‘nation of readers’.

“We know from research that reading for pleasure makes a huge difference to a child’s wellbeing and their potential for life-long success – in personal relationships, education, health and employment,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Jean was one of four students speaking. She too connected reading to wellbeing, referring to the Chinese-American writer Yiyun Li who reads so she can be with people who don’t notice her existence. Jean finished her speech saying, “When I really think about it, that’s what I like too. Reading, so I can forget myself. To not be the main character for once.” Jean’s full speech can be read here.

A4 piece of paper with typed forward slashes wins $25,000 Art prize

Congratulations to a former WHS teacher Poppy Lekner awarded on the 3 August. Poppy Lekner is the winner of the 2020 Parkin Drawing Prize with her piece Forward Slash, an A4 piece of paper with type-written forward slashes over and over on it. Lekner, born in England, is a Wellingtonian, having previously been the head of photography at Wellington High School. She now works at Inverlochy Art School. (Photo courtesy of Stuff News)


NZIFF success 

If you have been watching the New Zealand International Film Festival online, you may have come across Kiwi Shorts. If so, shout out to former WHS Library Assistant, Finnius Teppett for his film Democracy which is a 15 minute feature in this collection. If you haven’t seen it yet, Finnius’ film is available online at until Monday.



Junior Badminton

Even though all of Term 2 games were abandoned due to the lockdown, Term 3 has seen a large number of juniors playing at lunchtime on Tuesdays. Matches are played after school on Thursdays and students have had good success against local schools. The boys’ first team are sitting mid-table in division 2 and the girls are currently at the top of their division 2, with 4 wins and a draw so far.

Junior Netball Tournament

The Junior Girls competed in the CSW junior netball tournament. They played hard after a few unlucky injuries. Great job team and coach Phillipa Wood.

CSW Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships 2020

Theo Wilkinson competed in the CSW Cross country champs and came in 8th place competing against the best runners in Wellington. Great job Theo!

Team of the week: Junior Boys’ Football coached by Ben Roth Shank. They are playing at 10:45am on the WHS field against Otaki. They have played two games in their pool so far recording a win and a loss. Sitting in the middle of the pool a win this week would put them near the top of the table. Thanks to Year 9 Mour Mongkol for this poster to promote the forthcoming match.

Careers & courses

From the Careers Team

Careers Expo – Mon 17 Aug (12.30 – 3.45pm)

This event is an opportunity for Senior students to meet and chat with Education and Training providers – Universities, Polytechs, Private training providers, Industry Training organisations. Parents and caregivers are welcome at any time or you can come in the 3.00 – 3.45pm slot before you go to the Future Focus event.

Before the event, students will see information about the providers and will be asked to identify which providers they are interested in and what information they want and what questions they wish to ask. All of this will hopefully give Yr 11 and Yr 12 students great information to help them make good subject choices for next year and beyond.

At the moment, ALL senior students are being encouraged to engage in adding information about themselves (with the support of their Ropu teachers) into a Careers Information Programme that the school has invested in (Careers Central). It will help them to think about themselves, do some Quizzes which will give them some ideas to think about, to develop some clear pathway/job/course ideas.

University Visits to WHS – have been scheduled for this term and a calendar of dates is available to students who have signed up for the Yr 13 Deans Classroom. This is where a lot of important Careers info is being placed. If students are not a member of this page, they will miss important info, dates and contact info.

Universities New Zealand has launched a new website: Thinking about university? A guide for New Zealand students, parents and whānau. The website can be accessed via this link:

Polytechs, Trades and Apprenticeships – The Government has recognised that many people lost jobs during this crazy year and have made a significant amount of money available to encourage people to retrain – Polytech is one option. They are also encouraging employers with subsidies to take on Apprentices. Students looking to enrol at Polytech, need to be aware that there will be greater “competition” for places and should regularly check training websites for when course applications open and to apply in a timely manner.

Looking for work? – There is a lot of competition for jobs at the moment from older, work ready people who are looking for new lobs and perhaps a new direction. This poses some obvious challenges for young people who are looking to enter the workforce next year. An option being promoted is for students to upskill and develop work ready practical skills through Polytech type courses. When they complete the programme, it is hoped that the employment opportunities may have settled and that employers will be a bit more receptive to taking on work ready and trained young people.

Appointments and Conversations – I am more than happy to meet and chat with students and families.

CHUNI BHIKHA (Careers Adviser)          E:

Reminder: NCEA and UE changes for 2020

A reminder of the changes made for 2020 can be found at:

AA Defensive Driving Course

The AA is considering running a Defensive Driving course at Wellington High School.

There will be four classroom sessions of two hours, and a one hour drive session. The classroom sessions are going to be either on a Monday and Wednesday, or a Tuesday and Thursday, on a date yet to be confirmed. The sessions will be between  4-6pm or 6.30-8.30pm.

Because they are NZTA approved, attendance enables the driver to receive their full licence after 12 months, rather than waiting for 18 months.  Because of the one hour driving component, there is also an advantage of having a test run with a driving instructor, who will provide a list of items that require improvement before the actual test.

The cost per participant is $229, including the 1 on 1 drive in your own car. If you are interested please email Please state your preference for the time slot.

Important Dates

Please note that we have made some changes to our calendar this term.

  • Monday 3 August: Te Whānau a Taraika hui 6pm, Hineakau
  • Monday 17 August: Future Focus evening
  • Thursday 20 August: the Friday timetable will run today
  • Friday 21 August: mid-term break – school closed
  • CHANGE  Friday 4 September: Learning Conversations. School will only be open for Learning Conversations. 
  •  CHANGE  Monday 7 – Friday 11 September: School derived grade exams. The Junior timetable will run as normal through week 8.


  • Junior learning behaviour reports will be circulated to parents at the end of Term 3.
  • CHANGE  Senior subject reports will be circulated to parents Week 2 of Term 4. 

Event weeks:

  • Week 4: Monday 10 – Friday 14 August: International week
  • Week 6: Monday 24 – Friday 28 August: OutLoud – Pride week
  • Week 7: Monday 31 – Friday 4 September: Winter Tournament week
  • Week 9: Monday 14 – Friday 18 September: Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
  • Week 10: Monday 21 – Friday 25 September: WERO week

Important Information

Tell us how you feel about your child’s experiences at Wellington High 

This year, our school, along with the others in our Kāhui Ako, is working with with a team from the University of Waikato, Poutama Pounamu.  They are helping us understand and respond to our learners’ experiences, and particularly our Māori learners.

We would like to know how you feel about your child’s experiences at Wellington High. Please complete this anonymous short survey: Wellington HS Whānau Survey 2020.

We will discuss this further with our community and feedback broad findings later this term

Preserving and protecting Pukeahu war memorial

With our proximity to Pukeahu and the park surrounding it, as a school we have a role to play in preserving and protecting this wonderful space.

Recently, the war memorial has had to be closed for restructuring work. The work has not yet started and is not due for completion until 2022. Sadly, this has led to a rise in damage being done to our national monument through inconsiderate use of the space. If your students use this space at any time, please talk to them about the importance of helping preserve and protect spaces such as these.

What’s happening?

Shakespeare Society sell out

“In the 1930’s, a group of noblemen are shipwrecked on an island. Twelve years prior, sorcerer and former duke Prospero was banished to this very island, along with his young daughter. With the help of the spirits who serve him, he formulates a plan to punish his enemies and regain his power. This play is full of magic and comedy and explores love, betrayal and forgiveness.”

All four performances of the Shakespeare Society’s production of the Tempest sold out this week. The performance has been described as polished, professional and one of the strongest in recent years and we hope to share photos with you in a future wrap up. Congratulations to all involved.

Year 12 English with Religion students visit Kilbirnie Mosque

On the second day of term, our class visited the beautiful Kilbirnie mosque. They were greeted by Tahir Nawaz, the President of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand.

Students asked excellent questions, and kept Tahir talking on a wide range of topics. He was impressed by their confidence, just as our students were struck by his warmth, wisdom and knowledge. 

Art students filmed for Clark Gayford’s Fishing show

Tim Li, a keen fisherman and artist, was recently chosen to film a segment of Clarke Gayford’s Fishing Show. The show filmed Tim and his senior students at work in the classroom with Tim taking students through a printmaking exercise.


CEC upcoming talk: 5 August – Raising Great Kids in an  Overindulgent World

Parenting today delivers unprecedented challenges. Are you wondering what went wrong and somehow you’ve ended up living with a child you don’t recognise as should be belonging to you? Get a new perspective, an easy to understand model to follow and tools to help you raise likeable and respectful children in an age of over-indulgence. Call 04 385 8919 or enrol online

Roots and Shoots

Students in the Roots and Shoots group have been busy over the past few weeks. Last Saturday they spent the early part of the morning at Owhiro Bay where they ran a beach clean up.

Students have also been involved with the lizard rehabilitation project at the top of the Prince of Wales Park. In this project, Roots and Shoots have worked with Wellington City Council and the local group Mobilizing Mount Cook to build three lizard hotels. These are needed to provide a new habitat and shelter for any lizards that have been found while excavation works for the reservoir take place. The hotels are not exclusively for lizards, of course, but can provide shelter for any invertebrates in the area.

Cannabis Reform – Library lunchtime lecture

Dr Fiona Hutton from Victoria University’s Institute of Criminology spoke on the cannabis referendum. She talked about the impact of drugs and drug policy and laid out the facts as they currently stand. The event was attended by 40 students who interacted well, asking lots of questions. The event was organised to help students be better informed ahead of the referendum at the upcoming election.

In the next few weeks the Library lunchtime lectures will continue to be election themed with candidates from different political parties speaking to students through this forum.



Junior Premier debating success

Congratulations to our Junior Premier debating team. The talented quartet of Sky Gobbi, Fergus Martin-Edgar, Liv Calder and Tom Bonert have just heard that they are in the quarter finals! Their next debate will be against Wellington East Girls on 11 August.


News from He Kākano

The He Kākano students have been engaged in a range of activities. A group walked to Pukeahu to observe the cherry trees in their first stages of blossom. We also practiced preparing a pumpkin for a winter soup served with school-made bread. Our art class crafted plasticine cloaked figures and worked on their Blank Canvas Exhibition art submissions.



Outdoor Education 

From skateboarding at the recreation centre and rock climbing at Fergs Kayak to planting out the penguin habitat and the area around Worser Bay sailing club, our Outdoor Education students have been as busy as ever this term.


Poetry successes

Congratulations to Nadya Macey, year 13, who has been placed runner up in the Open Junior section of the NZ Poetry International Poetry Competition for her poem, ‘Clean Smoke’. This is a prestigious prize as they received entries from all over the world. Nadya will receive a cash prize and her poem is now published on the NZPS society website and will be included in an anthology in November. 


Cadence Chung, year 12, has also had a success in the poetry world this week. Cadence’s poem ‘To Adolescence’ has been published in the 10th edition of Starling magazine. This is Cadence’s second time being published in Starling. Read her poem here or come along to hear her read it at the Starling launch at Book Hound in Newtown on Sunday at 4pm.



With a range of sports played each week at WHS it is impossible to feature them all each week. This edition, our Sports Coordinator Liam Good takes the opportunity this week to single out three teams: Netball, Hockey and, for his Team of the Week, Junior Girls Football


If there was ever truth in the expression ‘when you get knocked down, don’t stay down; get back up again’, then our Netball players proved this over the weekend! They experienced the good, the bad, and a little bit of the ugly – everything you expect from the game and without fail they got back up and kept playing. Ultimately they were rewarded with four wins and a draw! 

Shout outs to Joe Sione who received the July Cadbury Dairy Milk volunteer award; Sue Geale from Netball Wellington Centre for stepping in to help our developing umpires squad this week; to Hannah B who ended up at A&E and is now resting her injured knee, and to all our wonderful volunteers who make WHS Netball happen! You can follow the team at: 


The boys’ Hockey team have had a great start to the season, after our first game we were put up a division and have had several dominant displays since then. We are well on track to making the top 4 of this division, which will give us a chance of winning the Premier 3 division.       

We have started off the season with a strong team of 12 girls, we have come a long way since our first game and have really started to work well as a team. We had our first win of the season on Wednesday. This was against Raphael House where we won 3-0. Willow WIlliamson is our top goal scorer at the moment with a tally of seven goals. With a few more games in the season to go, we are working towards getting some more wins under our belt.

Team of the week: Junior Girls’ Football

Want to follow our Junior Girls’ Football team? This fantastic, enthusiastic team is coached by our stellar staff Bea Gladding and Jenny Argyle. The team plays every Tuesday around the Wellington region and continue to improve week by week.

Important Dates

  • Monday 20 July: Start of Term 3
  • Wednesday 22 July: Parents’ Evening (Senior Students)
  • Monday 27 July: Parents’ Evening (Junior Students)
  • Monday 27 July: Board of Trustees meeting 6pm

Important Information

Principal’s message

In his end of term Principal’s message, Dominic reflects on the events of the past month including our recent open evening and music evening, events which, not so long ago we felt would be unable to take place.

To read Dominic’s full report, click here.

What’s happening?

Open Evening and 2021 enrolment

We welcomed over 400 families and whānau to our open evening last Monday on what was possibly the coldest night of the year. Our team of student and staff guides took tours around the campus, students were actively involved in promoting different areas of school life, and everywhere was alive and buzzing with activity.

Enrolments are now open for 2021. Our enrolment process starts online at: If you have any questions, please email Jude Aspinall, our enrolment officer on


Music Evening

Our Music Evening on Wednesday 1 July gave students the opportunity to showcase their talents. With a range of big band, groups and solo items, pieces in a range of styles and genres, it was a fabulous evening compered, as always by music teacher Fritz Wollner.

To view the photo gallery, click here.

Instrumental and vocal lessons update

If your Junior student is interested in taking instrumental / vocal lessons but has not yet enrolled, please download the form from the Student Hub and hand in or email the completed form to Fritz Wollner

Lessons will be reorganised for Terms 3 and 4. If students have not been attending regularly, they need to see Mr Wollner as soon as possible to ensure they do not lose their spot.

Tamatha Paul – lunchtime lecture

The Feminist Club was delighted to welcome Wellington Councillor Tamatha Paul to deliver this Thursday’s lunchtime lecture. Tamatha (Ngāti Awa / Waikato Tainui) was first elected to Council in 2019 and is one of three Pukehīnau / Lambton Ward counsellors for 2019-2022. As an independent candidate, Tamatha campaigned on issues including zero waste, connecting communities and the importance of prioritising future facing leadership.

As can be seen from these pictures, Tamatha’s visit attracted a large audience, keen to welcome and listen to her.



Year 10 Computing – Photoshop and political discourse

Students in Gus Donaldson’s Year 10 computing course have been developing skills in Photoshop through working on a project on the theme of political discourse. Their work is currently on display in the foyer outside the library. The posters, with the narrative from their creators alongside them, are powerful pieces of work that clearly exemplify the students’ views and response to current issues in the world around them. The display will remain in place at the start of Term 3 and you are invited to come and view it.



WHS Ink – Junior Art club zine

30 Year 9 and 10 students have been working on their own artwork during each week’s WHS Ink sessions. Coordinated by Teacher Aide, Connor Morrison-Mills, this group of talented students’ work is now included in their very own zine. Click on the image below to see more.

Outdoor Education’s snowy tramp

It has been cold enough for many this week, with the storms and freezing winds around Wellington. The Outdoor Education students showed their mettle by heading out on a tramp in the Tararua range earlier this week. They made it as far as the Powell Hut before the weather conditions made it too risky to continue and they turned back.




He Kākano – AWD Tenpin Bowling

On Thursday 2 July, He Kākano students competed in the annual AWD Tenpin Bowling competition against students from other Wellington colleges. All students and staff had a fantastic time and there were some really strong bowlers in the group. The top three WHS students were Talib Prime, Darius Ngature and Joshua Nathan.



Roxy5 finalists

‘En Passant Films’ and ‘Look Away’ are both WHS finalists in the Roxy5 film competition this year. Screenings will take place on Friday 31 July at the Mclaurin Theatre, Victoria University. The winner will be announced at the Red Carpet awards evening at the Roxy Cinema on Wednesday 5 August. We are waiting eagerly to to see whether The Work of An Artist (En Passant Films) or Hey Cassie (Look Away) will scoop a place.

Pictured below are En Passant Films: Sam Quinn, Rory Maher, Nym Jones, Liv Calder, Sky Gobbi, Jack Whitehead, Namu Dahlberg and Ashton Gordon.


Open Evening: Business Studies Logo quiz winners

Many thanks to all those students and whānau who entered the Logo quiz competition that ran at our recent open evening.  The answers were: Air NZ, Disney, The Warehouse, Starbucks, Wellington HS, Te Papa, The Heart Foundation, Wellington City Council and Netflix.  The winners were Toby, Tama, and Oscar.


Boys 1st XI Football

On 27 June, our boys 1st XI football team beat Newlands College 4-0, taking them to the top of their pool. This Saturday the team will play St Patrick’s second team. If the team win or draw they will go into play-offs on 18 July against either Onslow College or Wellington College for a place in the Youth Premier Reserve. Good luck team!


We had our open evening last Monday night and our first music evening on Wednesday night. Only a few weeks ago we felt resigned to the fact that these sorts of events wouldn’t happen this year. It’s been lovely to see the re-activation of our cultural and sporting programmes. We are very lucky that we can go about living our lives quite normally in the face of this world wide pandemic.

If you are a regular reader of the weekly wrap up, you will know that we were recently visited by the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and our finance minister and member for Wellington, Grant Robertson. They were here to announce more funding for the Creatives at Schools initiative. In attendance were a number of students involved in Creative Arts programmes and our He Kākano students. We weren’t able to tell anyone that the Prime Minister was visiting, including the students who turned up believing it was a ministry launch. You can imagine their reaction when they found out who the special guests were.  In addition, the event was media free and the Prime Minister expressed to me how much they both enjoy getting away from the cameras, to just see what’s going on. Our He Kākano students have been receiving tutelage from dancers at the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and although this relationship has been greatly affected by COVID-19, our students’ muscle memory kicked in and they were able to put on a wonderful demonstration for our leading ministers. The initiative is aimed at getting creatives into schools to provide pathway opportunities for students but also to provide support for people in the industry. After the performance, Jacinda (or ‘Jac’ she told me she was called at school) and Grant, if I may refer to them this way, spent time talking to our students about a wide range of issues including COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter, and everyone managed to get photos with them, including my own shameless request for a selfie with the PM. In short, it was a wonderful experience for everyone there and the fact that it was media free made it even better.

At this time of year I am normally speaking about our annual international students dinner. We haven’t been able to run this event this year and we had to say goodbye to many of our international students early in the lockdown phase of COVID-19. Our international students play a wonderful part in our school adding greatly to the cultural mix and having life-changing experiences in a country which for them is a long way from their homes. Last year 111 students from 4 continents spent time here and at this stage for next year we are only expecting to have 27 international students, all of whom are already here and wishing to continue their experience of New Zealand life. I have previously written about the benefits of living beside people from other cultures, and the opportunities it provides our students to examine their own cultural framework and learn to understand and appreciate others. We hope this situation will change for the better and we are able to welcome more students next year, but as we have all found, it is very hard to predict what might happen in this pandemic situation.

I mentioned the open evening in my opening statement and we estimated over 1000 people came to take a closer look at our High School on Monday night. The evening is a wonderful celebration of everything that High has to offer and with 400 enrolment packs taken away, we expect we will be welcoming another large intake at year 9 next year. I have mentioned our struggles with space and you may have noticed we have welcome relief in 4 very nice pre-fabs that have been strategically placed on the southern end of our field. The finishing touches are being put on these to be ready for use at the start of term 3.

I know students and staff will be welcoming a break at last. It feels like it has been one very long term from late January to now. I hope you are able to spend some time with your young person over the break and we look forward to welcoming them back for the start of term 3 on Monday 20 July.

Mauri ora!

Dominic Killalea


Important Dates

  • Monday 29 June: Open Evening 6pm
  • Wednesday 1 July: Music Evening 7pm
  • Friday 3 July: End of Term 2
  • Monday 20 July: Start of Term 3
  • Wednesday 22 July: Parents’ Evening (Senior Students)
  • Monday 27 July: Parents’ Evening (Junior Students)

Important Information

Board of Trustees by-election results

As a result of the recent Board of Trustees by-election, Dr Wyatt Page has been elected to the Board. Wyatt will join the Board with effect from the next meeting on Monday 27 July.

Reports and parent-teacher meetings

Learning Profile reports for Term 2 are now available for download from the Parent Portal (see Results > Reports).

Parent Teacher meetings will take place on Wednesday 22 July (Senior students) and Monday 27 July (Junior students).

To make appointments go to:

  • Go to:
  • Enter the code: vdm7q (Juniors) or 5yjhn (Seniors)
  • Choose the SUBJECT then the TEACHER.
  • Please leave a five minute gap between bookings.
  • Note that we are only able to run one conversation with each teacher per student.

If you are hearing impaired the Riley Centre can be a challenging environment: please email and we will aim to accommodate your bookings separately.


Revised guidance on testing for COVID-19

The Ministry of Education has circulated the following information to all schools:

At a time where there are increasing numbers of colds and other winter illnesses, the Ministry of Health has revised its guidance on who might need testing for COVID-19. It is important to note that there is currently no known community transmission of COVID-19 in New Zealand. The vast majority of adults, children and young people with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will not have COVID-19.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include new onset or worsening of one or more of the following:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Temporary loss of smell

Health’s information on who should get tested notes that people with any of the COVID-19 symptoms who are close contacts of confirmed cases, have recently travelled overseas, or been in contact with recent travellers, should get assessed.

If anyone has symptoms but is unsure if they have been exposed to COVID-19, they should ring Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or their GP for advice. Over winter there are many other viruses about that can cause people to feel unwell and have symptoms similar to those of COVID-19.

Some people with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 may be tested as part of Health’s ongoing surveillance to ensure that there is no community transmission in New Zealand. If they are not close contacts of confirmed cases, have not recently travelled overseas, or have not been in contact with recent travellers, then there is no need for them to self-isolate while awaiting the test result, and they can return to school once they are feeling well.

If not recommended for testing, they will be able to return to school or their early learning service when they are feeling well and no longer displaying symptoms.

Wallace Street roadworks update

The current phase of the Wallace Street roadworks is due for completion by the end of the month. As long as the rain holds off, Wallace Street should be re-opened to through traffic on 1 July.

Following this, however, works will need to get underway along Wallace Street, near Massey University’s entrance, to upgrade wastewater pipes. This will take place in off peak hours (9.00am-4.00pm) on weekdays and traffic will often be reduced to a single lane with Stop / Go control. This is likely to take two months to complete.

What’s happening?

Economists breakfast with Dr Allan Bollard

On Thursday, Year 13 Economics students Sarah Bennett and Rachel Woolcott, attended a Cullen Breakfast at the Wellington Club. Speaking at this week’s breakfast was Dr Alan Bollard, who has held numerous senior positions in Government and interGovernmental agencies. Dr Bollard discussed the economic impact of the covid epidemic and then participated in a question and answer session.  Sarah said  “the range of angles in the topic discussed was thought provoking”. Rachel commented “it was a very interesting discussion and I enjoyed listening to his jokes and insight.”


Year 13 performance of ‘Girls like that’


Evan Placey’s Girls Like That is an ensemble play that explores the pressures young people face today in the face of advancing technologies. Year 13 Drama students produced and performed this play this week. The students are to be congratulated for their sophisticated performance which was an enduring piece of theatre, an achievement all the more impressive when considering that much of this production was conceived and developed during lockdown. Congratulations to all, and to Drama teacher Roger Mantel.


He Kākano 

The He Kākano students have been engaged in a range of creative activities, cognitive thinking skills and maths throughout the week. 



Winter in the garden

The weather over the past few weeks has seen our horticulture students spend time on maintenance, cleaning and repairing tools including secateurs. They will be well prepared for winter pruning and work outside once the weather improves.


Instrumental & vocal lessons update

If your Junior student is interested in taking instrumental / vocal lessons but has not yet enrolled, please download the form from the Student Hub and hand in or email the completed form to Fritz Wollner

Lessons will be reorganised for Terms 3 and 4. If students have not been attending regularly, they need to see Mr Wollner as soon as possible to ensure they do not lose their spot.


National Bridge Speech competition place secured

Year 13 Amelia Smith qualified for a place in the National Bridge Speech competition following her success in the regional Chinese speech competition last week. Amelia will represent the North Island outside Auckland region in the competition, to be held at Victoria University on Sunday 2 August. At that event, each qualified candidate will need to present a speech, perform to demonstrate a skill and answer questions in Chinese. Finalists will represent New Zealand and compete with candidates from all over the world in October. We wish Amelia luck as she progresses through the competition.


Junior girls football

For the first time in many years WHS has a junior girls football team out in competition. Their most recent game resulted in a very close 2-1 loss but the girls had fun and were very impressive despite some players not having very much experience. This team could not have gone ahead without the support of parents who helped with both transport and officiating.  Special thanks to Bea Gladding and Jennifer Argyle who are the coach/manager dream team who make this team possible. Below are some photos of the action and sideline support.


Basketball is underway with all teams at WHS having played at least one game so far. Big thanks to Jason Reddish who is taking on the entire boys programme at school which includes four teams and doing a great job. Another big thanks to Nick Andrews who along with a parent is coaching the Senior girls team. Junior Boys play on a Tuesday and another junior team plays on a Thursday. All Senior teams play on Fridays, with the top boys and girls team playing at the ASB Centre. Below are some photos from the first junior basketball game.

Boys 1st XI football

The 1st XI played their first game of the season, bringing home a 5-1 victory against St Patrick’s Silverstream. Their next fixture is against Newlands College this coming weekend.

Important Dates

  • Monday 29 June: Open Evening
  • Wednesday 1 July: Music Evening please note change of date
  • Friday 3 July: End of Term 2
  • Monday 20 July: Start of Term 3
  • Wednesday 22 July: Parents Evening (Senior Students)
  • Monday 27 July: Parents Evening (Junior Students)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visits WHS

Last Friday, as part of the Creatives in Schools initiative, which is enabling our He Kākano students to work with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern visited WHS. This visit presented the opportunity for the Prime Minister to announce an additional $4 million for the project which will ultimately enable students from 500 NZ schools to work with professonal artists and creative practitioners, benefiting from their specialist artistic knowledge and creative practices. Thirteen of our He Kākano students are involved in the programme which is aimed at enhancing student wellbeing and improving their ‘core competencies in communication, collaboration and creative thinking’, as well as inspiring awareness of careers in the arts and creative sectors. As part of the visit He Kākano shared what they had learned prior to lockdown, demonstrating fantastic memory of their routines and great coordination too. The Prime Minister also met students passionate about the creative arts, taking time to talk to them about their interests and talents.


Important information

Breakfast club

We are pleased to announce that we are opening up a Breakfast Club at the school from the start of Term 3.  This will run in the canteen each day and will be free to any student who wishes to start the a nutritious bowl of Weetbix.

Resources for your mental health

Melon Manual is a kete of resources specifically for teenagers’ emotional wellbeing. Supported by the Ministry of Health, the website provides videos and worksheets and advice to support the young people of Aotearoa.

You can access the resources here

Dyslexia – How you can help

WHS Community Education Centre has a 2.5 hour talk with  expert Mike Styles, on Dyslexia – How You Can Help. This is an interactive and participatory session to assist parents and loved ones understand and support a family member or friend who has dyslexia or a similar learning difference. Wednesday 24 June – 5.30pm-8pm $20 

Call 04 385 8919 to enrol or go here:

Now that we are at alert Level 1, CEC courses are back up and running with a wide variety of courses on offer. To find out more, and enrol, click on the image below of visit

What’s happening?

He Kākano hard at work

This week the He Kākano students have been busy in science, art, fashion and design classes.



DocEdge documentary success

Contratulations to Year 10 Sky Gobbi who has secured 3rd place in the DocEdge Student Short Documentary Competition last week. Now that it has had its premiere, Sky’s documentary can be shared. To view, click on the image below or visit

Important Dates

  • Monday 15 June: Normal timetable resumes
  • Monday 29 June: Open Evening
  • Tuesday 30 June: Music Evening
  • Friday 3 July: End of Term 2
  • Monday 20 July: Start of Term 3
  • Wednesday 22 July: Parents Evening (Senior Students)
  • Monday 27 July: Parents Evening (Junior Students)

Important Information

Open Evening: Monday 29 June

Know someone who is interested in 2021 enrolment at Wellington High School? Share this post with them and invited them to our Open Evening on Monday 29 June.

To help with our planning, please register interest here:

Emergency contact update

Thank you to the families and whanau who have responded to our request for additional emergency contact information. If you have not done so yet, please complete the form at:

Board of Trustees by-election

Papers have been sent by mail to all those on our electoral roll. If you have not received papers yet, then from Wednesday 17 June you will be able to collect a ballot paper from Reception.

‘Keep it real online’ campaign

The Department of Internal Affairs with Netsafe and the Office of Film and Literature Classification has launched a ‘Keep it real online’ campaign. The campaign will support parents and caregivers to reduce the risks of online harm such as cyber-bullying, inappropriate content, pornography and grooming. 

 Parents and caregivers can find information including tips on how to have conversations with their kids at

What’s happening?

The prefabs are here!

In a much anticipated event, four prefab classrooms were lowered in to place on the school field last weekend. These four classrooms will provide more space on campus and will be important as the school moves through the master planning process. There is still some work to do onsite and we anticipate that they will be in use from the first day of Term 3.

Outdoor Education

This week Year 11 students have been out on the water to Makaro (Ward Island). Students participated in a beach clean up and spent time looking at the habitats of Little Blue Penguins. The fact that students were able to observe seals and penguins on the rocks and in the water was a real bonus.




This week we share stunning landscapes painted by Ms Peters’ Year 10 Art class.


Year 13 took advantage of the winter sun and fine colours to work outdoors.


Āwhina is our Thursday homework club which takes place in the Library every week. This popular, supportive environment is one where students can come for support with assignments and homework, thanks to the dedicated teachers who regularly give up their time after school each week.


As recently reported, the cafeteria has adopted the mykindo app to facilitate easy pre-order and contactless payment for food.

To support those using the mykindo app, the attached guide provides information on the different methods you can use to top up your account.



NZ Online Mathematical Olympiad

Well done to Ruby Nicolson and Lias Morris who achieved marks which placed them in the top 10 in the NZ Online Mathematical Olympiad. Ruby and Lias are both in year 9.

From the careers desk

Virtual Careers Expo — 18-19 June

Even in unusual times like these, our students still have important decisions to make about their futures.

Next week, a number of NZ’s top providers come together to give you a Careers’ Expo experience, virtually! Attendees will have full access to the Virtual Expo Hall, where you can interact with exhibitors, ask questions, and access useful resources that will help you choose the right path.

Students only need to register once to be able to access the expo across the 2 days (and with you during the evening on Thursday night). They can access the expo at any time. There will be representatives from each institution during expo hours to chat to attendees. Outside of these hours they can still log in an access information.


Webcast Timetable:

Interested in 2021 enrolment at Wellington High School? Come to our Open Evening on Monday 29 June.

To help with our planning, please register interest here:

Important Dates

  • Wednesday 3 June: School resumes 9.30 am
  • Wednesday 3 June, Thursday 4 June: Drama Production: Every Brilliant thing: 4pm & 6pm
  • Monday 15 June: Board of Trustees meeting

Important Information

Cafeteria using myKindo app

Since lockdown the WHS cafeteria has been using the myKindo app to take orders and work contactlessly with our students. If your student uses the cafeteria, we recommend downloading and taking advantage of the service offered by the app.

Instructions for registering for the service are available here.

What’s happening?

Year 13 Production – EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan MacMillan

Year 13 Drama students perform this heart-wrenching and very funny play about … depression.

Riley Hall, Wednesday 3 June and Thursday 4 June, 4pm and 6pm shows, duration is 1hour

Bookings can be made through email, please note that as seating  must be allocated, places are limited.

Email:, listing your name, day and time of the performance you want tickets for. Entry is F R E E.



eDNA in Year 10 Science Enrichment

Prof. Michael Bunce, Chief Scientist at the EPA, and Dr. Shaun Wilkinson, Principal Scientist at Wilderlab held a workshop for Year 10 Science enrichment this week. Students have been learning the fundamentals of genetics in class and in Monday’s session they learned about ways that ancient DNA can be used to investigate ecosystems of the past. They now have an insight into the possibilities offered by modern technologies in investigating ecosystems using the DNA that can be found there. The students are taking samples from around the region, to add to Wilderlab’s Wai tūwhera o te Taiao wildlife database.

Update from He Kākano

He Kākano students have been involved in a wide range of activities since returning to campus. They have enjoyed time in Food Tech and time spent creatively on Art work.






Felix Barber (yr13 2008) finished his PhD at Harvard University MCB (Department of Molecular Biology) this month. Before going to Cambridge, Massachusetts, Felix completed a Masters in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics as a Gates Scholar to Cambridge University, England. He is now a postdoctoral Associate in Quantitative Microbiology at NYU Biology Department | Centre for Genomics + Systems research.



Isabelle Stewart (yr13 2010) finished her Dphil in March at the University of Oxford, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. She had previously completed an honours degree in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Otago. Her Oxford studies were funded by the NDM prize studentship. Isabelle is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago’s Wilson Lab, researching how the immune system diversifies its antibody response against influenza in germinal centers.


From the Careers Desk

New course options available for Yr 12/13 students

Please contact Chuni Bhikha (Careers Adviser) for more information at   or  3858911 Extn: 827

  1. A second Papa Taiao course – Biodiversity Restoration Course (we already have one that runs on Friday afternoons with 11 WHS students) … (for Fri mornings starting ASAP 9.00 – 12.00)  5 places available. 19 Credits for Level 2 and 17 Credits for Level 3 on offer.
  2. Regenerative Urban Farming//Agriculture – Community Gardens (All day Wednesday starting ASAP. (10 places available). 25 Credits at Level 2 or 3 are available.
  3. Social Enterprise course – this course is about students creating their own Social Enterprise/business based around the idea of Urban Farming/Agriculture/Community Gardens (see Course 2 above). NOTE: Some of this can be done at home if you cannot attend all day on a Wednesday.

Level 2 or Level 3 Unit Standard credits available for both courses. Some Achievement Standards are also available.

Mid Year Polytech courses, starting soon…

This is something for students/families to think about NOW if they are not sure if school is still the best place to be. These courses mostly start in early July (always check with the organisation) and offer half year/full year courses at Levels 2-4 for students in a wide range of vocational areas. If you want to chat about what may be out there and look at the pro’s and cons of courses vs school, then, I would be very happy to meet and chat.

Chuni Bhikha (Careers Adviser)     3858911  Extn: 827