Category Archives: News / Notices

Important Dates

  • Monday 24 – Wednesday 26 February: Year 9 Noho Marae (2)
  • Tuesday 25 February: School closes at 12.20 for PPTA PUM.
  • Wednesday 26 – Friday 28 February: Year 9 Noho Marae (3)
  • Monday 2 – Wednesday 4 March: Year 9 Noho Marae (4)
  • Wednesday 4 – Friday 6 March: Year 9 Noho Marae (5)
  • Friday 27 March: Learning Conversations
  • Wednesday 9 April: Term ends

Important Information 

Notice of timetable change for Tuesday 25 February

As reported in last week’s Wrap Up, on Tuesday 25 February, school will close at 12.20pm as all teaching staff who are members of the PPTA will attend a branch based union meeting held under the provisions of Section 26 of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

The timetable for the day will see periods 4 and 5 cut with the timetable running as follows:

  • 08.45: Period 1
  • 09.40: Rōpū
  • 10.00: Period 2
  • 11.00: Interval
  • 11.20: Period 3
  • 12.20: School closes

If your student requires supervision during this time, there will be supervision available. Please contact Jude ( at Reception if this is the case.

What’s happening?

Athletics Carnival

Last Friday’s Athletics Carnival was a riot of colour, a day filled with great competitive spirit and a day with some top athletic performances. This snapshot below gives a flavour of the day.



Aroha Day

Aroha Day is a special day of engagement and opportunity for all students at WHS. On Tuesday, for our second annual Aroha Day, the hall filled with stalls from over 40 different activities and sports. Students from all year groups took the opportunity to discover what is on offer and sign up.  

For new students it was an inviting opportunity to find out about the life of the school. For older students it was the chance to showcase their passion for the activities they are already engaged in. Groups put together inviting displays to tell others about their activities. Students enjoyed the outreach and opportunity to talk with and encourage their peers to sign up and get involved.


As a result many activities and sports are experiencing record levels of interest. 70 students have signed up for Dungeons and Dragons and more than 80 attended Ultraviolet’s first meeting.

Overall, Aroha Day was a day of collaboration, outreach and engagement and is a day that is definitely a highlight in the WHS calendar.


News from He Kākano


The He Kakāno students have had a great week in art and cooking classes, as well as club promotion at our Te Aroha day. In addition, to complete our team this term, we have welcomed two new teacher aides to work alongside our He Kākano students.


DANCEwithME Ministry of Education Creatives in Schools

DANCEwithME is a new Ministry of Education-funded project to make dance accessible to everyone and promote recognition through participation. An application for this exciting project was submitted by WHS in late 2019 and approved at the end of term 4. WHS is the lead school in what is certain to be an exciting and creative opportunity.

The WHS project was one of 33 selected from a pool of 157 applications. It involves residencies in three Wellington schools – Wellington High School, St Anne’s Newtown and Evans Bay Intermediate.

The focus of this 20-week residency programme is to develop students’ knowledge and skills in collaboration and creative thinking and encourage expression, communication and a deeper appreciation of dance. Students of all ages and abilities will have the opportunity to embrace the joy of dance and access a wide range of dance experiences with the RNZB.

RNZB dance educators Chloe Bishop and Lauren Byrne have started delivery of phase one: 

  •       to offer dance workshops to every student at St. Anne’s School (189 students) 
  •       Evans Bay Intermediate School (436 students)
  •       and in He Kākāno at Wellington High School (23 students)

The plan is to stage a dance production at the end of Term 2. Watch this space.

Outdoor Education: making a splash

Year 11 students have been practising self-rescue skills in kayaking this week.


Notes from the Music Department

Keep an eye on this link for changes to music lesson timetables:

If you have any questions, please contact Fritz Wollner.

A Glance at Year 10 Social Studies

Ever wondered what Year 10 are focusing on in Social Studies? Wonder no more, this helpful infographic shows the breadth of their year’s curriculum.


NCEA Level 3 Fashion success

Congratulations to Naomi Melville whose Fashion Design 2019 end of year portfolio was the highest in the country in Fashion. Her work was ranked 8th overall in the country alongside Architecture – Spatial Design and Industrial Design Product portfolios. This is a huge achievement: no Fashion Design portfolio has ever been ranked this high. Naomi is going to have a bright future ahead of her in Design and Fashion.



Toitoi journal publication

Congratulations to Year 9, Jasper Barkett Greenberg. Jasper’s essay‘ Why Hyperloop is the future of transportation.’ has been published in Toitoi issue 18. 


Waka Ama and Dragonboating

It’s not every day that the skies are blue, the waters still and the waka ama and dragon boat crews are able to race. This was the scene out on the water last night, incredible!


  • This term WHS has 11 Futsal teams underway and competing at the ASB every Monday and Friday.
  • Cricket is making a comeback. The Junior team is undefeated and the seniors have a win and a loss.
  • Interested in finding out what’s going on? Check out the Sports Draw for more information:

Island Bay Squash club looking for members

Entertainment book 2020 now available

Get your new entertainment membership today to support WHS. Click on the image below to benefit from up to 4 months’ extra membership – and more!

Important Dates

  • Wednesday 19 – Friday 21 February: Year 9 Noho Marae (1)
  • Monday 24 – Wednesday 26 February: Year 9 Noho Marae (2)
  • Tuesday 25 February: School closes at 12.20 for PPTA PUM.
  • Wednesday 26 – Friday 28 February: Year 9 Noho Marae (3)
  • Monday 2 – Wednesday 4 March: Year 9 Noho Marae (4)
  • Wednesday 4 – Friday 6 March: Year 9 Noho Marae (5)
  • Friday 27 March: Learning Conversations

Important Information

Introducing our new Board Chair

Kia ora te whānau o Te Kura Tuarua o Taraika ki Pukeahu.

 Welcome back to school everyone, and welcome to all of our students, whānau and staff whether you are returning to WHS or new to our school.

 My name is Annette Atkins and I am the new Board of Trustees Chair.

 This year, in addition to school as usual, the school will be part of a pilot for the international PISA study: a research project to understand how well the world’s education systems prepare young people for success and citizenship in today’s world. There will also be a number of additional prefab classrooms moved onto the school site to accommodate our increased roll, as long term classroom and facilities planning gets under way.

 Our hope is that these activities are not disruptive to normal business.  We remain committed to a great school experience for all students, staff and whānau.  However if you have any concerns please get in touch with your normal first point of contact at school: rōpū teacher, dean or other relevant staff member.

 A reminder that Board of Trustee meetings are open to you, our community, which means that you are most welcome to attend all but the confidential portion of our meetings.  The dates of Board meetings are on the Board page of the school website. All families/whānau are also welcome to Te Whānau hui, held once each term. This term’s hui is next Monday 17 February.  Details are below. Please do come along!

 Thank you all for the various ways that you support the work of the school and our young people.  We look forward to a great year ahead.

Invitation to join Te Whānau a Taraika Term 1 hui

Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui; Te Whānau a Taraika.

Welcome to all Wellington High School whānau! All parents, caregivers and whānau included. Our Term 1 whānau hui is next Monday evening, 17 February, 6.00-7.00pm. Venue is Hineakau, the dining room attached to Taraika. Bring kai to share if you would like. All welcome.

At hui we discuss a range of topics. This hui we would like to cover:

1. Work to do on Taraika, the vision for Taraika as a house for all WHS whanau, and maintenance work for 2020
2. Kapa Haka calendar for 2020
3. Nominees for Te Whānau chair
4. Nominees for whānau representative on the school Board of Trustees

And any other issues that whānau would like to raise are most welcome.

You do not need to have come to any hui before. All are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there.

Ngā mihi nui
Tim Poi
Chair, Te Whānau a Taraika

Notice of timetable change for Tuesday 25 February

As reported in last week’s Wrap Up, on Tuesday 25 February, school will close at 12.20pm as all teaching staff who are members of the PPTA will attend a branch based union meeting held under the provisions of Section 26 of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

The timetable for the day will see periods 4 and 5 cut with the timetable running as follows:

  • 08.45: Period 1
  • 09.40: Rōpū
  • 10.00: Period 2
  • 11.00: Interval
  • 11.20: Period 3
  • 12.20: School closes

If your student requires supervision during this time, there will be supervision available. Please contact Jude ( at Reception if this is the case.

Calling potential host families for Japanese students

Japanese teacher, Jo Hawes writes: “I am looking for families to host a group of ten students from Japan from March 19 to March 31, for 12 nights. The students, aged 14-17, are all survivors of the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and have been selected from different schools from around the Tohoku region.  They are very excited to visit New Zealand and to share their experience with us. If you think your family can help and would like to find out more please contact me.  Ngā mihi.”

Paddleboarding perfect waters

Following last week’s amazing surf conditions, the calmer weather this week has given Year 12 Outdoor Education students the opportunity to paddleboard at Worser Bay. Conditions could not have been better!


Year 9 at home in the laboratory

As these few pictures show, Year 9 students have rapidly becoming acquainted with the Science labs at WHS and are becoming confident in carrying out experiments.


Top Art exhibition achievement for former student

Congratulations to Sofi Dickinson-Smith (Year 13, 2019), who has been nominated for inclusion in this year’s Top Art touring exhibition of NCEA Level 3 Art. To be invited to exhibit is a real privilege and confirms that Sofi as a top NCEA Level 3 artist last year. Sofi is off to the Elam School of Fine Arts at Auckland University this year and we wish her all the best as she starts her studies there.

The Top Art exhibition is in Wellington from 24-27 February at Massey University’s Level C Galleries, Te Ara Hihiko.

What’s happening?

Safer Internet Day 2020

This week marked the annual Safer Internet Day which was marked by Hon. Jacinda Ardren. Here at WHS, we support students and whāau to have conversations about the way they are suing digital technologies. You might find the following conversation starters from Netsafe useful:

Notes from the Music Department

To find out what the Music Department is offering this term, please click on the image below.

From the Garden


Horticulture teacher Claire Neiman shared evidence of the garden’s booming harvest this week. With seven types of Māori potato harvested, plus garlic, onions and a wealth of herbs, Food Tech teacher Bob Naylor has enjoyed beginning to transform them into some delicious kai!





Important Dates

  • Monday 10 February: Year 9 meet the teacher (6.00pm)
  • Monday 10 February: Board of Trustees meeting (6.00pm)
  • Wednesday 12 February: School photos
  • Thursday 13 February: School photos
  • Friday 14 February: Athletics Carnival (Newtown Park)
  • Wednesday 19 February: Year 9 Noho Marae begin

Important Information 

School Photos: Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 February

All students will have a rōpū class photo and an individual portrait/ID photo taken.

There is no need to order in advance. Later in the term, students will receive an individualised envelope with their portrait displayed and instructions on how to order class and/or portrait photos.

You can see the prices for different packages on the school website here

Sibling and group photos will be done during the lunch break, and between 3.20 – 4.00pm on Wednesday. These do not need to be booked: students should simply arrive at the Riley Centre at this time.

Wednesday 12 February
9.30am: Year 10
11.30am: He Kākano
12.20pm: Year 13
1.20pm: (Lunch) International students and peer support. Siblings and groups.
2.20pm: Catch ups as needed
3.20pm: Siblings and groups

Thursday 13 February
8.45am: Year 11
10.00am: Year 12
12.20pm: Year 9
1.50pm: Staff
2.20pm: Catch ups as needed

If you have any queries, please contact your student’s rōpū teacher.

Athletics Carnival: Friday 14 February

On Friday 14 February we will hold our annual WHS Athletics Carnival Day at Newtown Park.

We expect all Year 9 and 10 students to attend and compete. In Years 11 to 13 the event will only be for competitors, peer supporters and those running stalls. As it is not possible to run a normal school day and the athletics day, all other students in Years 11 to 13 who do not wish to attend the athletics day will have a Home Learning Day. Teachers will talk to students about their expectations for the day, and I encourage students to make good use of their time if they are not going to attend.

Students need to make their way to Newtown Park and have their name marked on the roll by 8.45am. The athletics programme will start at 8.45am with the 1500m. Those competing in the 1500m need to be at the track at 8.30am to get ready. The day should conclude by 3.30pm. Entries for all events are taken on the day and students are encouraged to participate actively and to support their whānau group by wearing their colours: Riley – red; Kelly – yellow; Howell – green; Royal – blue; McKelvey – purple.

Notice of a Paid Union Meeting : 25 February

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association has directed members to attend a round of branch based union meetings held under the provisions of Section 26 of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

The meeting for PPTA members at Wellington High School will be held on Tuesday 25 February. To facilitate the meeting, school will finish at 12.20pm. A revised timetable for the day will be circulated closer to the meeting.

If your student requires supervision during this time, there will be supervision available. Please contact Jude ( at Reception if this is the case.

Music Department

To find out what the Music Department is offering this term, please click on the image below.

What’s happening

New students welcomed to WHS

At a series of pōwhiri on January 29 and January 30 we welcomed our new students. Over the past week it has been wonderful to see them settling into WHS life and quickly becoming part of this community.

Outdoor Education on the crest of a wave

Year 13 Outdoor Education has got off to a fantastic start with students taking advantage of great surf conditions at Lyall Bay during their first lesson of the year.

New Community Education courses supporting parenting

Another two CEC courses are aimed at helping with complex issues parents face:

  • Raising Great Kids in An Age of Over Indulgence – Thursday 20 February – 7.30pm-9.30pm – only $20. Parenting today delivers unprecedented challenges – are you wondering what went wrong and somehow 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 to raise likeable and respectful children in an age of over-indulgence.
  • Creating Confident Eaters – Wednesday 4 March 5.30-pm – 7.30pm – Only $20. If you have a picky eater aged 2 – 12 this workshop is a must. Take home practical strategies that you can easily implement at home. Simple for parents, acceptable for even the most selective of children.

If you are interested in these or any of the courses offered by the Community Education Centre, their new term begins on Tuesday 11 February. Visit their website for further details.


Prime Minister’s Vocational Award winner Whitireia success

Congratulations to Martine Tauwhare-McGowan of 2019’s Year 13 cohort. We were delighted to hear this week that Martine has been accepted onto the Māori nursing course at Whitireia’s Porirua campus. We wish her every success as she begins her studies there.

Martine was the inaugural recipient of the Prime Minister’s vocational award at November’s Senior prizegiving. The award, worth $2,000, is aimed at raising the status of vocational study and, in this instance, recognised Martine’s achievements in Hospitality and Trades Academy. Martine worked during her Year 13 year, securing employment with Caterplus and working in the kitchens of a retirement home while also completing her NCEA Level 3 successfully.

Scholarship successes 

WHS received the Scholarship results from the 2019 NCEA exam session this week. 26 scholarships were awarded across 13 different subjects to 13 of last year’s Year 13 students. Students receive $500 per scholarship awarded and, if successful in achieving three or more Scholarships, receive $2,000 a year for three years.

Congratulations to all students who sat and achieved scholarship success. Of particular note are the achievements of Sophie Mance who was awarded six scholarships to go alongside the Geography scholarship she was awarded in Year 12. Elijah Neilson and Ollie Markwell each achieved three scholarships, with Ollie achieving a rare Outstanding in his Physics scholarship. Congratulations also go to Rilke Comer, Anna Liu and Sofi Dickinson-Smith who all attained two scholarships each.


Reminder: Gateway Work Experience 2020 – applications now open for Year 12 and Year 13 Students 

Expression of Interest forms are available from Student Services or COM 5. Once the form is signed by a parent and returned to Student Services, the student will be contacted by email and/or a note in class to meet for a standard in-school meet and greet interview to assess potential work interests/options, student suitability and that criteria for the programme is met. Spaces are limited. Please note that students who are enrolled in Trades Academy are not eligible for Gateway as well.

Students are given opportunities to try out their career choices, while gaining realistic workplace experience. Gateway gives the students confidence to make a smooth transition from school to future employment.

Cabinet Maker
Chorus – Phone and Internet cabling
(with a possibility of apprenticeship if successful after their Gateway placement is completed)
Retail/Customer Service:
Moore Wilsons
The Warehouse
Warehouse Stationery
Z Petrol Station
Hospitality/Customer Service:
Restaurant Chef
Airline Customer Service
Hotel Reception
Café/Barista work
Youth Development Programme
Event Management Programme
Live Sound Engineering
Barista work experience
Computer Hardware/Laptop Repairs
Corporate Sector:
Corporate Investment Company – Exploring the different departments within the organisation.
New Zealand Institute of Sport:
Certificate in Sports Coaching Skills
Botanical Gardens
Animal Care:
Various employers
Various employers

Please Note: Some work placements will start in the next few weeks so applications should be handed in ASAP. 

For more information and any questions, please contact: Terry Hawkings, Gateway Coordinator or Paula Willis, Gateway Administrator 

Parents & Community: if you or your organisation would like to host a student for work experience in your industry, please contact Paula for a Gateway Employer information pack.

As we receive information about the Coronavirus we will provide updates by email and through our website and social media channels.

Update received 02.02.2020

You will have seen that the Prime Minister has made an announcement this afternoon.  It includes the following information concerning all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through mainland China:

“The Government is placing temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand on all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through mainland China to assist with the containment of the novel coronavirus and to protect New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from the disease.

This will take effect from 03.02.2020 and will be in place for up to 14 days. This position will be reviewed every 48 hours.

Any foreign travellers who leave or transit through mainland China after 2 February 2020 (NZ time) will be refused entry to New Zealand.

Any foreign travellers in transit to New Zealand on 2 February 2020 will be subject to enhanced screening on arrival but, pending clearance, will be granted entry to New Zealand.

New Zealand citizens and permanent residents returning to New Zealand will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members, but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival back in the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also raised its travel advice to New Zealanders for all of mainland China to “Do not travel”, the highest level.”

The Ministry of Education, TEC, and NZQA are working together and we will provide you with information over the next couple of days regarding the Government’s announcement.  In the meantime please contact TEC, NZQA or the Ministry of Education with any questions or concerns.  We will keep our websites updated.

Please continue to refer to the Ministry of Health website for health advice and the latest information:

Email sent to all whānau and caregivers on 28.01.2020.

Dear parents and caregivers,

Over the past week the emergence of Coronavirus has been widely covered in the media. As this is a new virus, the Ministry of Education has asked us to share the information below with our school community.

As always, any student who is unwell should remain at home. If your student is unwell, please keep us informed: email or call the absence line on 043858911 ext 873.

If you are concerned about your student’s health, Healthline (0800 611 116) or their GP will provide medical advice.

If students become unwell whilst at school, they must report to Student Services on Level 5. Student Services will contact parents and caregivers of students in Years 9-10 who need to be collected from school. Senior students who are unwell must report to Student Services before going home. Regardless of the illness, students should not return to school until after all symptoms have cleared.

If your student is considered at high risk of exposure to Coronavirus (they have recently been to China or have been in close contact with someone who is confirmed to have Coronavirus), they should voluntarily stay away from school for 14 days. This is the incubation period for the Coronavirus. As with other viruses, a person may be infectious during the incubation period and this is the best way of limiting infection.

As a school, we will keep you informed of any developments with the Coronavirus. Further information can also be obtained from Regional Public Health ( and from the Ministry of Education (

Dominic Killalea

Kia ora whānau and caregivers,

We hope you have all had a relaxing holiday and have begun the new year feeling recharged. We are looking forward to seeing students return to school later this week.

Please note the dates and times below for the first few days. Students should also make sure they have all their stationery by the first day. Lists can be found on our site at

The Cafeteria is not open until Monday 3 February. Students should bring a packed lunch with them.

Wednesday 29 January – Year 9 and Internationals

N.B. There are two start times for Year 9. All whānau have been emailed with the start time for their child. If you have not received this information, please email or call 043858911.

  • 8.40 – Year 9 Pōwhiri 1
  • 9.00 – International students arrive
  • 9.40 – Year 9 Pōwhiri 2
  • 3.20 – All students dismissed

Thursday 30 January – Year 9, Internationals and New Students in Years 10 – 13

  • 8.45am – New Year 10-13 and international students Pōwhiri and orientation; Year 9 and Orientation Day 2 programme
  • 1.00pm – New Year 10-13 students dismissed
  • 3.20pm – Year 9 dismissed

Friday 31 January – all students

  • 8:45am – Year 9 normal timetable
  • 9.00am  – Year 10 assembly in hall then to rōpū classes (dismissed 10:30am)
  • 10.00am   – Year 11 assembly then to rōpū classes (dismissed 11:20am)
  • 11.20am –  Year 13 assembly then to rōpū classes (dismissed 12:20pm)
  • 12.20pm – Year 12 assembly then to rōpū classes (dismissed 1:20pm)
  • 3.20pm   – Year 9 dismissed

Monday 3 February 

  • Normal timetable for all year groups


On Friday 6 December in our final event for 2019, we celebrated our Junior Prizegiving.

To see the full list of Award Winners, click here.

To see a gallery of photographs from the occasion, click here.

In addition to recognising our prizewinners, former student Eva McGauley was inducted into our Wall of Fame. The citation for Eva is included below:

Eva McGauley started as a Year 9 student at Wellington High in 2014. She always wanted to make a difference and was just 13 when she joined Wellington Rape Crisis. Two years later, she was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer, a rare form of cancer that affects the upper part of the throat. After discovering her illness was terminal, Eva’s wish was to help survivors of sexual violence. So she launched her own charity, EvasWish in 2016, with the aim of raising $50,000 for HELP: Auckland, Support for Sexual Abuse Survivors – she ended up raising more than $70,000. But she didn’t stop there, coming up with an idea for an online messaging service for young people affected by sexual violence in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

That service, Safe to Talk, Kōrero mai, ka ora, was launched by Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development, nationwide in June 2018. Eva’s determination to see the helpline launched will ensure that women across New Zealand have access to confidential, free support 24/7.

Eva and her work received wide recognition, including a KiwiBank New Zealander of the Year Local Hero Award 2016, Changemaker at the New Zealand Youth Awards 2017, the Youth Spirit Award at the Attitude Awards 2017, and as a finalist in the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards for 2018. She was also profiled in 200 Women (alongside Jane Goodall and Margaret Atwood), a book about inspiring women from around the world.”


Important Dates

Today we are celebrating our Junior Prizegiving and the end of the school year. Please see our Term Dates for 2020 for start of year timings in January. In the meantime we wish all our families and whānau a relaxing summer and a peaceful holiday. 

For our Principal’s message for the end of 2019 please click here. 


Junior Prizegiving

Check back on Monday for the Junior prizegiving award-winner’s list and photos of today’s event.

CEC wins international marketing excellence award

The Community Education Centre was thrilled to receive an Excellence in marketing award at the Learning Resource Network Conference (LERN) in San Diego. CEC entered the “community good” and “marketing” categories and successfully won the marketing award. LERN is the largest and most respected adult lifelong learning organisation in the world, with over 1000 members. Pictured is CEC Director, Nigel Sutton holding the “Excellence in Marketing” award.

The Community Education Centre’s new 2020 course brochure is out now. You can enrol online at or call CEC on 04 385 8919. Many of our most popular courses sell out early – enrol now to avoid disappointment.

Click on the image below to read the 2020 course brochure and find out more.


What’s happening

He Kākano visit Zealandia


The He Kākano students had a walking tour at Zealandia and were lucky to spend time amongst the beautiful native bush on such a lovely day. They saw pied shags, kaka, hihi, a friendly north island robin and some amazing tuatara basking in the sun. Some weren’t so keen on the box of weta and gherkin slugs!








Year 10 Camp

Over two hundred students and 23 staff headed to El Rancho, Waikanae, for three days of fun activities. Despite the torrential rain that started on the first day and didn’t finish until the evening of the second (!), everyone made the best of what was on offer — tubing, kayaking, swimming, climbing, horse-riding and team activities, to name a few. There was a film, and a talent show, on each night, and a hearty beach walk on the final day. Huge thanks to all the students for their willingness to work together, clean the camp  at the end and make the most of it all — and thanks also to the staff for all their support. Everyone will have slept well on Wednesday night!

Year 9 Short Courses


While Year 10 were at camp, Year 9 participated in a wide range of short courses. Options include Spanish cookery, Japanese culture, Jigsaws, mural painting, outdoor activities, joining the Awesome Squad and much, much more. Students had the chance to follow their passions over the three day programme.

The Library in numbers 2019

Between the 30th of January and the 1st of December we issued 7,834 items, including:

  • 4,378 Fiction
  • 1,233 Graphic novels/Manga
  • 1,671 Non-Fiction

63% of our students used the library his year. Our top library user took out 100 books.

  • Year 9 classes issued 2,103 books
  • Year 10: 1,824
  • Year 11: 1,031
  • Year 12: 860
  • Year 13: 534

The most popular novel this year was Wonder by R, J, Palacio

Most popular Graphic novel was Rage you damned nerd (My hero academia) by Kohei Horikoshi

Happy reading over the summer and see you in 2020!

Skate update!

The Year 10 Industrial Arts roller skate is nearly complete and is incredibly impressive! It will adorn our campus in early 2020.


Underwater Hockey – regional and national success

Those of you who follow the Wrap Up regularly will know that WHS has had an exceptional year in Underwater Hockey. This week we learned of success for two key players: Sofi Dickinson-Smith and Milly Woodbury. Both students were selected for trials to represent Wellington for the U18s tournament with Milly subsequently selected as goalie for the A team and Sofi as centre for the B team. Having competed for Wellington, Milly has been selected for the New Zealand squad and will be competing in the Trans-Tasman tournament in 2020. These are two phenomenal successes and we congratulate both Sofi and Milly on their achievements.

At the start of the year assemblies I spoke about a number of things. One of these was our core priorities based on the māori word WERO. WERO means ‘challenge’ and it is about Whānau, Excellence, Respect and Ora and I want to focus on one of these aspects in particular, whānau.

In thinking about whānau it is hard to think past the headlines of the Guardian International edition late on Friday 15 March 2019. This was the day of the tragic events in Christchurch. The paper that day simultaneously carried the following headlines:

  • Dozens of people killed in New Zealand mosque terror attack
  • School children in 100 countries strike to protest inaction against climate change
  • MPs vote to delay Brexit with EU figures appearing supportive
  • Senate rejects Trump national emergency ploy to fund US-Mexico wall

Those four headlines and the reactions and events that followed them simultaneously carried messages of love and hate, unity and division.

Friday March 15 for us began as a celebration of action – the first climate strike. As a school we made a statement that we supported our students to take part in the strike. Many of our students gathered on the field at the beginning of the day excited by what was ahead of them, many of them preparing a variety of signs to carry. This was a wonderful assembly of our students, our whānau, around the common theme of climate change inaction, all borne in a sense by the actions of one young girl on the other side of the world. Our students banded together and headed off to Civic square, supporting each other, unaware of the events that would happen later that day.

Meanwhile, we were reading the news in the US with continuing disbelief at the prevailing rhetoric that divides communities by demonising immigrants, and portraying asylum seekers variously as rapists, pedophiles and murderers as an excuse to build a wall.

In the same way, on that day we perhaps were not as inured as we are now to the news of a Brexit delay.

As parents, as teachers, we feel a responsibility to try and help our young people interpret what they are seeing around us and the events in the US and Britain are extremely challenging to interpret. When we talk about bringing people together, about creating a better society by creating better communities who are empathetic to one another, it’s hard to explain Brexit or the US-Mexico wall.

And then the events of Christchurch occurred. And we all watched in horror as we learned more and more.

Sean Kelly, an Australian journalist, wrote an interesting piece a few days after the event entitled: ‘Jacinda Ardern does something radical while Scott Morrison tells fairytales’. He was obviously comparing the reactions of both leaders and the ‘radical’ action of Jacinda Ardern was not to use the situation for political gain by, as I’ve mentioned previously, demonising sections of the community, but to remind us that ‘the community around the mosques was part of the country, was “us”’ – they are us.

And instead of preying on the differences between people she went on to say: “Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home.” In saying those words, Ardern quite simply did what good leaders should do, as Sean Kelly described: “She painted for her citizens a vision of a new and better world – and in doing so, made that world a little more likely to come about.”

A fortnight after the attack in a memorial service held in Christchurch Ardern uttered the following words:

“We each hold the power, in our words and in our actions, in our daily acts of kindness. We are not immune to the viruses of hate, of fear, of other. We never have been. But we can be the nation that discovers the cure.”

And we all shared the pride of her statements during this period. And we all realised it is possible to bring people together in spite of the hatred. 

So I’d like to think that the cure lies within the bonds we have with each other. And that means growing our understanding and empathy for one another. And this is what I mean when I talk about whānau. It’s that realisation that we are all in this together and that we improve things for ourselves when we work at improving them for others.

In reacting to Christchurch in our school, our WERO leaders organised a lunchtime ‘they are us’ picnic on the field on a wonderful sunny autumn day and a chalk wall for expressions of support for the victims and their families. And out of one of the most horrific events, we bonded just a little bit.

And we carried this bond through other important events in the year. The national day of silence in term 3 which is a reaction against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying is celebrated as ‘pride’ week at our school. Te wiki o te reo Māori is a chance for all of us to embrace the strong heritage, culture and language of our idigenous peoples of Aotearoa and we do.

I spoke about both of these events in my end of term 3 message when I mentioned the often-repeated proverb that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and I highlighted these events and a few others. Any of you that have attended one of our music evenings would know the huge amount of cooperation needed to run an event of this magnitude with 150+ students involved. And it works, and this is because of cooperation, tolerance, and understanding – bringing people together, not driving them apart.

Against a background of division in Britain and the US, my wish is that we continue to work towards the cure in, as our Prime Minister says, “our daily acts of kindness”.

Finally, a whakatauki that I voiced at the senior prizegiving about a month ago is an appropriate insertion here:

‘Tangata ako ana i te kāenga, te tūranga ki te marae, tau ana’

A person nurtured in the community contributes strongly to society.

I hope all the students have a great summer break away from school. I hope they are able to take time out with friends and family, and read, watch TV, play games, play some sport – but most of all enjoy the people in their life and yours and appreciate the enrichment gained by the strength of those relationships.

Ngā mihi nui, Dominic Killalea

With a dismal weather forecast for tomorrow including strongly gusting winds and rain for most of the day, we have taken the decision to cancel the Year 9 Beach Picnic.

Below is the new plan for the day.

As it would have done for the Beach Day, the school day will run from 10am – 3pm.

Students should report to their rōpū rooms at 10am and they will be instructed by their teachers where to go from there.
10am – Students arrive at school.
10-12noon – Session 1 with rōpū teachers
12-1pm – Lunch
1-3pm – Session 2 with rōpū teachers
3pm – Students dismissed for the day.