Category Archives: Weekly Wrap Up

Important Dates

  • Fri 23 Aug – Tertiary Open Day – Victoria University, Massey University and other local providers – students will get info today
  • Friday 23—Thursday 29 August: Senior Derived Grade Exams (Y11-13) and altered timetable for Years 9-10 
  • 26 August: Board of Trustees meeting
  • 28 August: No late start for Juniors
  • 30 August: Mid-term break; school closed.

Important Information

Senior Derived Grade Exams 2019 — Years 11-13

All students in Year 11—13 will be sitting derived grade practice examinations between Friday 23 August — Thursday 29 August 2019. Full information has been sent home, and can also be accessed via our website:

Wellbeing tips for families

We like this wellbeing website – Sparklers – and we will share a resource each week that you might find useful. This week:

What’s happening?

Kapa Haka performance in Assembly


Students in Years 9-11 had the opportunity to watch our Kapa Haka team’s performance – live in assembly this morning. The team, who performed at TSB on the final day of Term 2 as part of Whakataetae Kapa Haka Kura Tuarua, Te Whanganui-a-Tara ki Otaki, were almost more nervous than they had been in the lead up to their competition performance. The group brought ihi, wehi and wana to the stage and the audience watched spellbound. Congratulations go to our Kapa Haka team, Whaea Char, Whaea Suz and Kapa Haka tutors Rangi, Baden and Shane for their dedication and achievement.


Feminist Club Flea Market


The Wellington High Feminist Club’s annual Flea Market was held last week with epic success! Raising over $500 for Wellington Rape Crisis, a range of second-hand clothes, books, baking, drinks, zines, hand-made earrings, scarves, and other miscellaneous items were sold in the foyer, complimented by live music and coffee sponsored by our neighbour down the road Coffee Supreme.   


Seminar on selective breeding & artificial evolution

Dr Peter Ritchie from Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Biological Sciences joined WHS students and staff  on Tuesday lunchtime for an in depth discussion on “Selective breeding and artificial evolution: How humans have become an Evolutionary Force that is changing nature”.  

The audience discovered what we understand about evolution, and how humans have altered species through selective breeding and become  the world’s most powerful evolutionary force because of industrial-scale harvesting of the natural environment. 

Thanks to Dr Ritchie and Thom Adams for organizing this challenging and thought provoking event for our staff and students.


Fashion project products on show


Students studying Fashion in Years 9 and 10 have recently been finishing off projects. Students have been focusing making and printing re-usable Kete bags, stitching, and making hoodies. Below  and above are photos of their completed work which we will continue to feature in coming weeks.



From the Garden

Splashes of late-winter colour have been appearing in the garden over the past few weeks. If these are anything to go by it is great to think that Spring is nearly here!


Stories from the Wild: NZ Book Council Lecture 

The NZ Book Council annual lecture will take place at WHS on August 28th. Samoan author Lani Wendt Young will  deliver the lecture which will take place in the Riley Centre at 6pm. Described as a a brave and personal talk on the growth of Pasifika literature and how digital technologies are disrupting traditional publishing and offering new opportunities for both readers and writers Lani’s talk is sure to be a thought provoking and insightful.

For further details and tickets (student tickets are free) visit:



National Chinese Bridge Speech Competition

Congratulations to Year 13, Theo van Toor who won 5th prize in the national competition held in Christchurch last week. This is a phenomenal and well-deserved achievement recognising Theo’s hard work plus the support he has received from teacher Angel Lin in preparation for the competition.

WHS student work featured in Suffrage in Stitches

Following our feature in last week’s Wrap Up, we have discovered that Year 10 Jeb Dudfield has also created a panel for this national exhibition in collaboration with his brother. Jeb’s panel features family member Eliza Blakie who signed sheet 363 of the petition.

Suffrage in Stitches is open at the Wellington Museum until 31 August, after which it will be touring the country.



CONGRATULATIONS to Josh James for his 1st place at the Central U20 Epee held in Upper Hutt on Saturday 10 August.  Well Done Josh another awesome Fencing result.


Good Luck to all our Netball teams this Saturday.  The weekend is finals weekend for all teams. We have our Senior A playing for 1st and 2nd, Senior B and Junior A both playing for 3rd & 4th. 

Sport and Cultural Photos

If you wish to order Sports and Cultural Photos, these can now be purchased at Student Services for a price of $7.00 per photo. Payment must be made when placing your order, the last day for ordering your photos will be on Thursday 29 August. 

From the Careers Desk

Term 3 is very busy for students and staff alike in terms of thinking about next steps. In the next few weeks, students in Years 10-12 will have opportunities to do activities in Rōpū and are encouraged to engage with you at home. These activities are to encourage conversations about Subject Choice for 2020. These students will also receive a “CHOOSING SCHOOL SUBJECTS ACTION PLAN” where they can record their thoughts about their interests, skills and favourite subjects. They can then look up information about required and recommended subjects for pathways/jobs that they are interested in. Later this term, students will need to submit their subject choices for 2020.

To further support students and families, for Years 11-13 there is an opportunity to visit local tertiary providers on Fri 23 Aug. WHS is running a Careers Expo on Mon 2 Sept (Future Focus event) where students will have the chance to meet and chat with a wide variety of University, Polytech, Industry Training Organisations (details in the next Weekly Wrap Up). We would encourage parents to come to the Expo at the end of the school day (3.30 – 430pm),  or during the day  before they go to the Future Focus sessions.

For Year 13 students over the next few weeks, there will also be the Expo opportunity as well as access to resources such as …

  • Where to from school? (E Book)
  • CV/cover letter templates for those intending on seeking work.
  • ALL NZ universities will visit WHS between now and late Sept
  • Apprenticeship contacts information
  • Polytech course information 
  • Gap Year ideas

Any students/families that want to have a Careers focused conversation with the Careers Adviser can set this up by contacting: CHUNI BHIKHA

Important Dates

  • Friday 23—Thursday 29 August: Senior Derived Grade Exams (Y11-13) and altered timetable for Years 9-10 
  • 26 August: Board of Trustees meeting
  • 28 August: No late start for Juniors
  • 30 August: Mid-term break; school closed.

Important Information

Senior Derived Grade Exams 2019 — Years 11-13

All students in Year 11—13 will be sitting derived grade practice examinations between Friday 23 August — Thursday 29 August 2019. Full information has been sent home, and can also be accessed via our website:

Wellbeing tips for families

We like this wellbeing website – Sparklers – and will share a resource each week that you might find useful. 

This week:

  • How to help tweens & teens navigate social media: They say: “Internet use can be a real concern for us parents. Here we tackle how to teach your kids to stay safe and make good choices without having to ‘go into battle’! May the force be with you!”

What’s happening?

Capital City Kāhui Ako update

On Tuesday, trustees and whānau from across the seven schools in our Kāhui Ako gathered at Newtown School. It was a great opportunity to hear more about the areas that our schools want to work on, and how we would like to connect regularly with our community through a Kaitiaki Group.

Our Community of Learning has also appointed four Across School Lead teachers, and three stepped into their roles at the start of Term 3 – You can ‘meet’ them all here – with Andrew to come on board Term 4.

Drama in Year 12

If you would like to watch monologue and duologue performances by year 12 drama students we have the event for you: Hall stage, Wednesday 14th August 4pm and 6pm, free entry. The show run time is 60 minutes. 

He Kākano students meet the NZSO

The Base One/He Kākano students attended an NZSO Relaxed Concert at Shed 6 on Wednesday. The orchestra played short pieces by Bach/Webern, Mozart and The Bizzola. The students were invited to meet some of the musicians and have a go some instruments including viola, percussion and trumpet.


A group of English Language students also walked down to the afternoon concert and enjoyed listening to and playing music.

Pop-up Globe’s Hamlet trip

Last Thursday, 30 students from across year levels attended a matinee performance of Hamlet, by the Auckland-based theatre company behind the Pop-Up Globe. This was an excellent and  surprisingly funny version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, with the actors breaking from the script at points to make fun of the audience and reference current events – e.g Hamlet is sent to England because no-one will notice his madness, as everyone there is as mad as he is: #Brexit!). Good on these students for taking up this opportunity.


TEngineering careers workshop with GHD engineers 

Wellington High School senior physics students had a chance to find out about engineering careers from on Wednesday. Two young graduates working in Wellington for international firm GHD ran a 90 minute workshop for 25 keen students. Alanna and Zoe are in their second and third years in the workforce after completing their studies at the University of Canterbury. Their presentation covered all aspects of their experiences at University and they were able to offer a wealth of practical advice. There was also a practical challenge demonstrating the type of challenges engineers face.







The International Young Naturalists’ Tournament, Minsk, 2019

WHS students Ryan Bright and Lydia Acton are off to Minsk, Belarus for the 7th IYNT from the 18th – 24th August, with the NZ National Team. The IYNT bridges gaps between natural sciences and inspires young students. It promotes the creative potential of teenagers aged under 17 who are eager to explore the world, experiment, work in teams, and gain new skills in an international setting.

The IYNT tournament problems require students to conduct interdisciplinary research across the sciences. The NZ team comprises students from WHS, Hutt Valley High School, Auckland Grammar School and Kristin School (pictured right). They will face 20 other international teams as they progress through the tournament. We wish Ryan, Lydia and the NZ Team all the best for the Tournament.



Suffrage in Stitches

Over the past year 546 makers across New Zealand have researched, designed and stitched 546 panels recognising the 546 pages and 27000 signatures on the 1893 suffrage petition. These panels, the result of an incredible project by Wellington-based St Vincent de Paul’s Vinnies Re Sew are on display in the Wellington Museum until 31 August. The link to WHS? Three staff members, veteran stitcher Ruth Jeffery and novices embroiderers Alison Jeffery and Nicola Dow, spent time over the summer creating three of the panels that form part of this exhibit of national significance.



CONGRATULATIONS to our Boys Hockey team who won their preliminary final on Wednesday night, with a 2 – 0 victory over Rongotai College. We now progress to the final in two weeks’ time. 


CONGRATULATIONS also goes out to our Senior A Netball team who have made it into the Final for their Division.  Their 1st -2nd playoff will be played next Saturday 

Junior Netball Tournament 

On Thursday 8 August our Junior A Netball team competed in the CSW Junior Netball Tournament held at the ASB Sports Centre.  The team had some very close and nail biting matches, but they all did a fantastic job and thoroughly enjoyed the tournamnet.  Thanks go to Miss Wood (Coach), Mr Thirkell (Manager) and Joe Sione for your wonderful coaching and support on the day.


Sports and Cultural Photos 

If you wish to order Sports and Cultural Photos, these can now be purchased at Student Services for a price of $7.00 per photo.  Payment must be made when placing your order, the last day for ordering your photos will be Thursday 29 August.

Winter Sports 

With Winter Sport coming to an end, Coaches and Managers will be collecting all the players’ playing uniforms at the end of their last game.  Players will need to remember to bring a change of clothes to their last game!

Important Dates

  • 5 August: Whānau Hui, 6pm (see below)
  • 6 August: Capital City Kāhui Ako information evenings for trustees and whānau (5.30pm, Newtown School)
  • Friday 23—Thursday 29 August: Senior Derived Grade Exams (Y11-13) and altered timetable for Years 9-10 
  • 26 August: Board of Trustees meeting
  • 28 August: No late start for Juniors
  • 30 August: Mid-term break; school closed.

Important Information

Senior Derived Grade Exams 2019 — Years 11-13

All students in Year 11—13 will be sitting derived grade practice examinations between Friday 23 August — Thursday 29 August 2019. Full information has been sent home, and can also be accessed via our website:

Altered timetable for Juniors during Senior exams

From Friday 23 August – Thursday 29 August, we will be running an altered timetable for Years 9 and 10, due to the senior practice exams.

Please note the following:

  • There will be no 20 minute rōpū slots, and
  • No late start on Wednesday. School will start at 8.45 every day.

Classes will run as follows:

  • Period 1: 8.45 – 9.40
  • Period 2: 9.40 – 10.40
  • Interval: 10.40 – 11.00
  • Period 3: 11.00 – 12.00
  • Lunch: 12.00 – 1.00 (earlier than usual)
  • Period 4: 1.00 – 2.00
  • Period 5: 2.00 – 3.00 (note the slightly earlier finish)

The canteen will open at the adjusted times.

Note that Friday 30 August is a mid-term break and the school will be closed that day.

What’s happening?

Te Whānau a Taraika hui – Monday 5 August

We would like to invite everyone to our term 3 meeting for Te Whānau a Taraika.
Monday 5 August, 6pm, at Hineakau, Wellington High School.
If you would like to, please feel free to bring a plate to share.
Everyone welcome!

Election of Te Whānau representative for Board of Trustees
Graduate profile for Wellington High School
Kapa Haka 2019 update
Kapa Haka future/long term plan
Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2019
Whānau class Year 9 2020 – proposal
Renaming ‘Tukutahi’ to ‘Herengatahi’
Any other business

For more information about Te Whānau a Taraika visit our page on the WHS website:

WHS Branding — Workshop #3

On Tuesday, Chrometoaster joined us for our third design session to start to refine possible avenues for developing our brand story. Eight options, that drew on the ideas we had previously shared, were presented and led to a lively discussion between staff, students and whānau as we weighed up graphic fonts and bright colours! The next step involves going out to our wider community for feedback. Watch this space!


Innovative Young Minds 

What do plastic flakes, ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, painted walls that turn on the lights when touched, an anechoic chamber and early morning exercise all have in common? These were all part of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) experiences that 40 young women enjoyed in the July Holidays in 2019 as apart of the Innovative Young Minds (IYM) Programme. Hayley Bulmer and Emma Grainger  were chosen as Wellington High Schools Representatives.

 ​IYM 2019 was a fun-filled week packed with a broad range of science and technology activities showcasing the extensive range of STEM careers and opportunities in the Hutt Valley and Wellington region. IYM is a residential programme and all students stay together at Silverstream Retreat, Upper Hutt. Each day student traveled to a variety of science and technology businesses, research institutes and tertiary education providers in the Wellington region. Hayley and Emma experienced hands-on science and tech activities and heard from a range of women mentors who have built careers and businesses in the sector. In the evenings, they listened to inspiring speakers, reflected together on the day’s experiences and got to know the other amazing young women in the group!

Festival for the Future

A dozen students from Wellington High School joined the 1200 strong Festival for the Future held last weekend at the TSB Arena. Thank you to our sponsors, parents and  organizers who donated complimentary and reduced price tickets for our students and staff. 

FFtF was an incredible platform to help our students start innovating for a sustainable, inclusive and collective future. With influential speakers and panelists from within government, councils, and the business world it was a fantastic development opportunity and the only event targeted towards our nation’s future leaders. 


WHS student Nikita Dyer was the subject of an article in this week’s Dominion Post. As reported in last term’s Weekly Wrap-Up, Nikita, working with fellow student Euliz Samson, has secured a place in the National Secondary Schools Culinary Competition grand final. You can read the full article here.



Our Girls 1st XI Football team are hosting a Futsalathon fundraiser on Saturday August 10th at the Tindill Gym from 2.00pm to 8.00pm.  If you are interested in entering a team please contact our Sports Co-ordinator on .  Come and help support our Girls 1st XI and have some fun at the same time.

Sports and Cultural Photos

If you wish to purchase a Sports and Cultural photo, these can be ordered at Student Services for $7.  You must pay at the same time you are ordering, closing date is Friday 30 August.

Summer Sports Term 4

Sign up sheets are now on the sports noticeboard.  If you are interested in playing any of the following sport in Term 4 please come and enter your name.

  • Futsal – Junior Boys and Girls Only 
  • Volleyball – Senior Boys and Girls
  • Volleyball – Junior Boys and Girls 
  • Tennis – Junior Boys and Girls only 
  • Tennis Lessons – Senior Boys and Girls 
  • Tennis Lessons – Junior Boys and Girls 
  • Yoga – all Year Levels 
  • Floorball – all Year Levels 

Winter Sports

Winter Sports are coming to an end shortly.  Your child will be asked to return their playing uniform to their coach or manager at the end of their last game, please make sure that they bring a change of clothes to change into.  Can all outstanding Winter Sport fees please be paid by the end of August and finally thank you for encouraging your son/daughter to be the best they can be and transporting them to and from their games and practices. We cannot do this without your amazing help

From the Careers Desk

Driver Licence update

Having your driver’s licence (especially your Restricted/Full) is a hugely valuable “qualification” to have. If your son/daughter already has a licence of some sort, they can get NCEA credits for having your driver’s licence. NZQA will award Unit Standard credits (retrospectively) for students who have gained one of their licences. To get these awarded, students need to see the Careers Adviser (Mr Chuni Bhikha in Room M410), with the following: a photocopy of BOTH sides of their licence and their actual licence to check against the photocopies.

FULL: US 29363 L1/2C, US29364 L2/4C, Unit Standard 29365 L2/2C

RESTRICTED: US 29363 L1/2C, US29364 L2/4C


Career Planning and Decision Making Conversations with the Careers Adviser

Students or whānau can book this by checking in at or (04) 3858 911 Ext 827

WHS connections

Following last week’s item featuring former Wellington Technical College student Guy Ngan, we were delighted to hear from his daughter, Liz, and learn that Guy’s grandson is a current student. The item resulted in a flurry of correspondence detailing other WHS / Wellington Technical College alumni who are featuring in local / national events:

Film Festival alumni links

Two films in this year’s NZ Film Festival have strong links to Wellington High:

Births, Deaths & Marriages, described in the Festival programme as “a spirited debut feature (which) adds a tangy Kiwi slant to classic domestic farce”. Its cast and crew list read like an alumnae list for WHS circa 2009-2011: writer/ director Bea Joblin, producer Sophie Lloyd and actor Fran Olds are among a raft of ex-students. Here’s a link to a review: Births, Deaths & Marriages

Helen Kelly – Together, directed by Tony Sutorius. This doco follows the last year of “brilliant,funny and indefatigable” Kelly’s life. Helen is on the WHS Wall of Fame, and Tony Sutorius is a parent of Theo in Yr13. Here’s a link to a NZListener article about the film: Helen Kelly – Together

Rea Burton at Auckland’s Ivan Anthony gallery

Alumna Rea Burton’s (WHS class of 2011) exhibition ‘Personality Crisis’ is now on at Auckland’s Ivan Anthony gallery. The exhibition runs from 31 July to 24 August.

Guy Ngan

Guy has a second exhibition running until 17 Aug at Auckland’s Artspace Aotearoa concentrating more on his public artworks. A book about Guy’s work will be jointly published by the Dowse and Artspace in August.

Len Mitchell

Another former Wellington Technical College alumnus is Len Mitchell, whose family run Mitchell Studios in Khandallah and regularly show Len’s work and that of other NZ artists. They recently published Mitchell & Mitchell (Alsop, Reed & Wolfe, 2018) about the artistic legacies of both father and son.

Important Dates

  • 29 July: Board of Trustees meeting, 6pm
  • 5 August: Whānau Hui, 6pm
  • 6 August: Capital City Kāhui Ako information evenings for Trustees and Whānau (5.30pm, Newtown School)
  • Friday 23—Thursday 29 August: Senior Derived Grade Exams
  • 26 August: Board of Trustees meeting
  • 30 August: Mid-term break; school closed.

Important Information

Online Safety Parent Toolkit

Netsafe has created the Online Safety Parent Toolkit to get parents and whānau talking about online safety.  As young people spend more time online, it’s important that parents and whānau can teach their child to have a safe online experience.

The Parent Toolkit offers practical tips and tools that will help you talk to your child about online safety. It includes:

  • Quickstarter tips for parents, whānau and young people
  • Information to enhance your digital parenting knowledge
  • Details about the online risks and challenges your child may face
  • Advice about how you can help your child

University Scholarships for Year 13 students

MoneyHub, a consumer finance website, has published a guide to hundreds of scholarships for any student planning to start university in 2020. The comprehensive list includes scholarships offered by every university as well as those specifically available to local students. A list of privately-funded, Maori, Pacific and International university scholarships completes the list. Applications close throughout the year, with tens of millions of dollars available. MoneyHub has also published a list of tips for scholarship success. For more details and to find suitable scholarships, visit the MoneyHub Scholarship page.

Free home fire safety visits from Fire and Emergency NZ

Annually Fire and Emergency NZ attend an average of 5226 residential property fires, resulting in 262 injuries and 19 fatalities. The average house can become totally involved in fire within 5 minutes, un-survivable in as little as 3 min and reach temperatures in excess of 1200 degrees Celsius (4 times hotter than the average oven).

Wellington’s Fire Service is offering Free Home Fire Safety visits with families of school age. Officers are aiming to educate families on home fire safety, smoke alarms and safe meeting places. If you are interested, contact your local fire station or email




What’s happening?

Welcome to our new International Students

Wellington High has welcomed a wonderful new group of 33 international students. The students have come to us from 11 countries, will be studying in years 9 to 13. While some will just be here for a term, others may be here for their whole high school education! 


It is always a very exciting time to finally meet students who we have been communicating with for sometimes up to two years prior to arrival.  For these new students, meeting their homestay family and arrival at school are big moments. They have now set off on their life changing journeys.



The first week for these students began with a two day orientation programme including subject selection.    This is an amazing group of young people and we know that they are going to bring new colour and outlooks to Wellington High.  We will all enjoy the similarities and embrace the differences as we learn about each other together.






Blank Canvas – now open

Stop Press: Blank Canvas is open! Over 90 exhibitors have contributed work to this year’s exhibition, hosted in the Gallery. Thanks to all who have contributed.


It’s not too late to visit: Blank Canvas will be open tomorrow Saturday 27 July from 12-4pm.

Spanish Exchange

In 2018, a group of WHS students, went to Argentina as part of a the sister school agreement with Escuela Parque de España in Rosario. Hosted by the Argentinian school for ten days they then travelled to the Iguazu Falls and Buenos Aires. It was an amazing experience which, not only enabled students to improve their Spanish language skills, but also gave them a taste of a different culture, helping prepare them to be better citizens of the world.

In June, the Argentinian group visited us! Sixteen students visited WHS for two weeks. They were introduced to our culture with a pōwhiri in Taraika, participated in classes, visited Te Papa and took part in a wealth of activities. Thanks to the following students and their families for hosting our visitors and making the exchange possible: Thomas Woodward, Ash Dearnley, Flynn Cunningham-Beentjes , Georgia Savage, Charlotte Hofmann-Body, Aquila Gibbs, Stanley Thomas, Sophia Stephens, Ruby Arahanga, Seb Boyes, Jonah Broughton,  Alice Markwell, Cherian Baxter, Arlo Haig and Carlos Gamble.

We are now preparing to visit Argentina again next year. If you would like to know more about the 2020 Exchange please contact 

Notes from the Music Department

The WHS Vocal Ensemble is looking for new members! If you like to sing, this could be the opportunity for you! Practices take place every Thursday lunchtime and this term we are beginning rehearsals for the Music Evening in September.

Pukeahu Game Dev Girls – make games & learn code!

Pukeahu Game Dev Girls is an after school programme starting Monday 29 July for those aged 11-15 who are curious about coding and making video games. WHS students have been awarded scholarships to learn how to create multi-level video games, inspired by the wāhine of Pukeahu and Aotearoa. 

With the help of expert game developers from Gamefroot and the Pukeahu education team, our students will create their own game to launch and share with the world by the end of this eight week programme. A few fee paying spaces are still available for girls to join contact to register. For more details see:

WHS alumni exhibitions at Te Papa and The Dowse Art Museum

Two former WHS students currently have exhibitions in local galleries. Gordon Walters: New Vision exhibition is hosted in Te Papa’s Toi Art gallery until 13 October. Meanwhile, at the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, Guy Ngan’s Habitation exhibition is open until 15 September.


NZ Physics team success in Poland

Congratulations to the NZ Physics Team, captained by WHS year 13 student Sophie Mance (in the centre of the photo with team mascot Kahoot). NZ competed among 36 countries at the International Young Physicists’ Tournament in Warsaw, Poland, taking 8th place and thereby returning with silver medals.

Year 9 poetry published

Congratulations to Frances Till in Year 9. Frances’ poetry has been published in the latest edition of ToiToi, a journal for Young Writers and Artists.



Chess team takes bronze

The WHS chess team participated in the regional chess qualifier at Tawa College at the end of june. Lea Rosenbaumova, William Ackroyd, Sarah Bennett and Sky Gobi took on teams from six schools, completing six rounds of Chess in one day!

At lunchtime, following victories over Samuel Marsden, Rongotai and Scots, WHS were in third place. After a 5th round loss to St Pat’s, our team was in contention for third place. In a nail-biting final round, WHS beat Tawa College by the narrowest of margins (half a point) to secure the bronze medal. Special mention to Lea Rosenbaumova who, on the number one ranked table, did not lose a game.


48 Hour Film Regional Winners

Congratulations to Finn Culver, Grace Medlicott, Tristan Harris, Roman Barlow, Emily Rosemergy, Alex Buyck, William Pride, Ian Blackburn, Zoe Crane, Liv Calder, aka “Bus Stop Productions’, who topped the bill, winning the regional round of the 48 Hour Film competition. Their film, kept a closely guarded secret, will now be entered into the grand finals in Auckland next month.


Tuia 250

Congratulations to Year 11, James McKay who has been accepted for the Tuia 250 T6 Spirit of Adventure trip and will be sailing from Tauranga to Picton leg of the voyage in November.



Congratulations to Josh James who was selected to represent NZ in Sydney during the holidays. Josh won the individual bronze medal for epee and was the highest placed New Zealander in his event. He is pictured below with the other medal winners. 


Congratulations to Seth Mitchell-Webster, Futsal goalkeeper representing Wellington at the recent Futsal National Championships.  Wellington won the tournament and Seth took the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper.


Congratulations to Sam Power who won a bronze medal in the open boys category at the National Secondary Schools’ Judo competition in the recent holidays.

Important Dates

  • 5 July: End of Term 2
  • 22 July: Term 3 begins; Years 9 and 10 move to new options on their timetables
  • 23 July: Parents’ Evening for Seniors (and Juniors as requested). School closes at 1.20pm. Information has been emailed to parents and caregivers.
  • 29 July: Board of Trustees meeting
  • 5 August: Whānau Hui, 6pm
  • 26-29 August: Senior Derived Grade Exams
  • 26 August: Board of Trustees meeting
  • 30 August: Mid-term break; school closed.

Principal’s Message

Recently we ran our annual International Students dinner and I was thinking about the effect these students have on the rest of the students in the school. One of the leaving students from Germany, Nelina Neumann, spoke very eloquently about her time here, about the life long friendships she had made with people from all over the world, and the experiences that for her were life-changing. 

At the time of writing, there are 65 international students in the school: 16 hail from European countries – Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary and Russia; 45 are from Asian countries – China, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Taiwan; and 2 are from South America – Chile and Argentina. In terms of year groups, 20 of are in year 13, 25 in year 12, 16 in year 11 and 4 in year 10.

In addition to this, there are 41 students who could be described as refugee students in the school coming from the following countries: Syria, Colombia, Somalia, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, and China. These students are also well spread amongst the year groups with 9 in year 13, 11 in year 12, 8 in year 11, 8 in year 10 and 5 in year 9. In total there are over 100 students, almost 10% of our school population, from at least 28 different countries. And this doesn’t include the rest of our students in the school many more of whom may have been born overseas or whose parents were.

We all grow up with our own cultural framework, our lens through which we view and make sense of the world. We use that lens to navigate our rules within our culture, defining what is right and wrong, fair and unfair, what is appropriate and what is not. And we know that what seems okay in one culture doesn’t make much sense in another setting. As we live alongside people from other cultures, this provides the opportunity for all of us to examine our own cultural framework and learn to understand and appreciate each other. Having the groups of students that I have mentioned in the school above provides us all with the opportunity to open our minds, enjoy the similarities and embrace the differences. We all learn about each other together.

The end of term 2 has brought the end of an era in our Community Education programme with the retirement of Robyn Hambleton. Robyn first came to Wellington High School as an ESOL tutor in 1989. In the late 90s she became our Deputy Director of our community education programme and has remained in this role ever since, working with a number of different directors. Robyn has been the constant in the programme and is largely responsible for why Wellington High School is the largest provider of adult education in the country. When the National government slashed funding for adult education in 2010, there were around 240 providers of courses for adults. There are now only 12 providers! Somehow we survived and this is in no small measure due to Robyn’s continued passion and advocacy for this sector. For me, Robyn has been my go to in terms of anything to do with community education. I know I’m not the only one and she will be greatly missed!

It has been a busy term for staff and students. Students have been engaged in a range of winter sports and seniors are well into NCEA assessment. Trips have returned from Nepal, Japan and China, feeder school visits and open evening have come and gone and students have been involved in film competitions, bullying free week, visits to Te Papa, striking for climate change, undertaking future cities projects, science competitions, music evening and of course our wonderful kapahaka rōpū who are performing on Friday 5 July. 

I hope you get to spend some good time with your young person(s) in the holidays and I hope they can enjoy some time out from the sometimes hectic pace of school life. I look forward to seeing all the students recharged and invigorated for the challenges that await them over the rest of the year.

Ngā mihi nui

Dominic Killalea

Introducing the new Board of Trustees Chairperson

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

Last month there were elections for the board of trustees, thank you to those of you who put your hands up and voted. 

There was a great level of interest in standing, with nine candidates for five positions. All of us who were elected reflected at the first meeting that the school would have been well served by any combination of the people who put themselves forward. Many schools don’t have to hold elections at all, so this is a real sign of the commitment of the community to this school. It also says a lot about the type of community that High serves. 

Two existing members of the board were re-elected, which is great for continuity. Annette Atkins has been on the board since 2016, has one child at High and another who has recently finished, is involved in the whānau group and has a background in project management and market research. Belinda Rynhart was co-opted onto the board in 2018. She has two sons at High, and has a legal background – a skill set that’s very useful for any board.

There are three newly elected parent representatives this time. Ezven Novak has been a WHS parent for four years and has a few more ahead, and has a professional background running an architecture firm. Jo MacDonald has one child at High and another at primary school, and works in education research. Tom Haig (that’s me) has two children at High and also comes from a background of working in education. 

We’re also joined by a new staff representative, Catherine Hill, who’s an English teacher and has been at High for 14 years. Two student representatives, Reza Zareian-Jahromi and Gala Baumfield mean that the student voice is well represented, and the board is rounded out by the principal, Dom.

At the next meeting we’ll be discussing whether the board should co-opt any extra members, which is something school boards often do to get the right mix of skills required or ensure better representation.

Please feel free to get in touch with any of us if you would like to raise something about High, and of course, board meetings are public and parents and community are welcome along. 

Ngā mihi


Important Information

Parents’ Evening for Seniors — and Juniors as requested: Tuesday 23 July 2019

We will hold a parents’ evening for Senior students, and Juniors as requested on the reports at the start of next term. Emails have been sent to all whānau. Note that interviews run from 2.00—5.30pm. School will finish at 1.20pm on that day for all students.

Parents’ Evenings are an opportunity to check in on your student’s progress with their subject teachers. Students should attend with you if possible.


  • Note that each interview is five minutes.
  • Check you know which subjects and teachers your student(s) has. You can ask them, or use the Parent Portal ( > Timetable. Teachers’ codes are by surname (e.g. BLN is Bell, N)


  1. Go to:
  2. Enter this code: 9jhzb
  3. Choose the SUBJECT then the TEACHER.
  4. Please leave a five minute gap between bookings.
  5. Note that we are only able to run one conversation with each teacher per student

We look forward to seeing you there to support your student.

What’s happening?

International Family Dinner

 On Friday 28 June the International Department hosted the annual International Family Dinner.  This event is a highlight of the International calendar.

The event was held in the Riley Centre with approximately 140 attending.  The Riley Centre was transformed into a café and was dressed up with fairy lights, candles and table settings. It was a beautiful setting for the dinner.

The evening was an opportunity to express thanks to our invaluable homestay families and to celebrate the enriching experiences of cultural exchange. It was also the formal farewell and presentations to our 14 departing students.

The dinner was a shared buffet with students bringing a sumptuous range of dishes from their home countries.  There were speeches from leavers Nelina Neumann and Maxi Kern and an address by Dominic Killalea, Principal.  The evening ended with a half hour programme of entertainment provided by International students.  This was a highlight and a perfect finish to a great night. Thank you to Kevin Mao for the photos accompanying this article.

If you have any interest in hosting an international student in the future please contact the Homestay Manager for information.


Kapa Haka – te ihi, te wana, te wehi

Kapa Haka dress rehearsal took place on Thursday night. The bracket was 30 minutes and amazing, awesome and powerful. The students were nervous and excited. They had been working very hard for this moment to shine in front of their whānau and teachers. They are scheduled to perform on Friday 5 July at 4.20pm which makes them last group on. We estimate around 2000 spectators will welcome them to the stage.


A huge thank you to Charlene James-Meijer, Suz Meijer, Shane Aramoana, Rangi Tangaere and Baden Ewart for all the hard mahi they have put in to this.


Chemistry Scholarship Day

On Tuesday seven Year 13 Chemistry students enjoyed a day at Victoria University carrying out two experiments commonly examined in Scholarship exams. The students relished the opportunity to individually do experiments that are difficult to do in a classroom setting. Congratulations to Amelia Mance for producing the best benzoic acid crystals of the day!


Wāhi Kai for Tapu Te Ranga

This week we held our wāhi kai lunch as a fundraiser for the rebuild of Tapu Te Ranga, raising $250, thanks to our generous staff. A big thanks also to our IFP students who cooked and served, some of whom are leaving today. We will miss their hard work and enthusiasm.


Thank you from the WHS PPTA members

The PPTA membership has ratified the Government’s most recent offer for the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement. The WHS branch extends warm thanks to our WHS whānau who supported us during the negotiations and industrial action that brought us to this agreement. We hope that the agreement is a positive step towards improving our teaching conditions so that we can bring out the best in your children.

Year 9 Future Cities

Congratulations to all Year 9 students for their work towards the Future Cities exhibition, held on Wednesday 3 July 2019 in the Riley Centre. This was the culmination of lots of hard work and creative collaboration, and the results were impressive. 

Jill Day (Deputy Mayor of Wellington) and the judging panel were suitably impressed, and really engaged by the exhibits. They particularly enjoyed talking to the students and hearing their explanations about the decisions they had made.


The overall ‘winning proposal’ was Howell 2’s ‘Taraika City’. This is now exhibited in the library, to the left of the entrance.


Music Evening


The first Music Evening of 2019 took place on Tuesday 2 July. A wonderful host of musicians from Year 9 through to Year 13 music students performed in the  choir, jazz bands, string ensembles and much more, making it a very entertaining evening . Congratulations to Fritz, the music students and the fantastic team of techies who supported the performance.


See more photos from the evening in the Gallery

Blank Canvas exhibition

Blank Canvas exhibition opening 25 July 4pm, Drama Gallery.

Student and staff annual exhibition.

Bring friends and family and your wallet as works will be on sale. 

Exhibition times: 

  • Thursday 25 July 4pm-6:30pm opening night. 
  • Friday 26 July 1.20pm – 2-20pm: closed after school 
  • Saturday 27 July 12-4pm
  • Monday 28 July 1.20 – 2-20  and afterschool 3.30 until 4:30 pm
  • Tuesday 30 July 1.20 – 2-20  and afterschool until 4pm

High Art Trip – Wet but Wonder filled

WHS Year 10 Art Class visited Te Papa for the Gordon Walters: New Vision Exhibition and City Gallery Wellington for a guided tour of Eva Rothschild: Kosmos and Semiconductor: The Technological Sublime on Wednesday 3 July 2019. The students loved the pounding beats and crazy cracked cast of Earthworks commissioned by SónarPLANTA and produced by Advanced Music.

Horticulture students visit the Botanic Gardens

The Horticulture NCEA Level 1 class visited the glasshouse work spaces at the Botanic Gardens. They were shown the plant propagation technologies used including automated heat beds, capillary watering, fogging, ventilation, lighting and shading systems. Students were fascinated to be able to  look at the wide variety of stock plants used for propagation and the various environmental habitats they were kept in. The integrated pest management system using biological pest control methods was also discussed.



International Young Physicists’ Tournament

Sophie Mance (pictured left, hard at work on one of her problems) is on her way to Warsaw Poland where she will be captaining the New Zealand Physics Team, taking part in the International Young Physicists’ tournament from 6th -13th July. This is the 7th year in succession that Wellington High has been represented in the NZ physics team of just 5 students. Stay updated on the Sophie and the NZ team’s progress at the tournament website.  Teacher, Kerry Parker, will be joining Sophie in Warsaw where she has the role of  international invited juror.


Important Dates

  • Reports available online from 28 June 2019
  • 2 July – Music Evening, 7pm in the Riley Centre
  • 5 July – End of Term 2
  • 22 July – Term 3 begins
  • 23 July – Parents Evening for Seniors (and Juniors as requested). 


Matariki begins

Ka puta Matariki ka rere Whānui, Ko te tohu tēnā o te tau e!

Matariki reappears, Whānui starts its flight, Being the sign of the (new) year.

We welcome the start of Matariki this week. Matariki is the Māori name for a group of stars known as the Pleiades star cluster. The Māori New Year is marked by the rise of this star cluster and the sighting of the next new moon. In 2019, the Matariki period is 25 June-3 July.


Important Information

Welcome to our new Deputy Principal, Shaun Tavernor

It was with great pleasure that we have welcomed Shaun Tavernor to the Deputy Principal position. Shaun writes: “I am really excited to have started at Wellington High School and looking forward to making a contribution to a school with such a special character.  I have come to High after spending eight happy years as Deputy Principal at Rongotai College, but I felt ready to move on and take on a new challenge. I arrived in New Zealand from the UK and taught at Kuranui College in Greytown, where I had a number of roles including Head of Science faculty and Dean of Senior School. At both schools, I have had a senior role and interest in pastoral care to ensure that all students have every opportunity to succeed – something I will continue at WHS.  In my spare time, I really enjoy watching and playing football. During my short time at the school, I have been blown away by the warm welcome and I would like to extend my thanks to the school community.”



Parents’ Evening for Seniors: Tuesday 23 July 2019

On Tuesday 23 July, we will hold a Parents’ Evening for Senior students —and Juniors as requested on their reports. Emails have been sent to Year 11-13 this week. Note that interviews will run from 2.00-5.30pm. Booking letters will be sent to Juniors in the last week of term once reports are live on the portal.

School will finish at 1.20pm on that day for all students.


Homestays urgently needed

Have you thought about hosting an international student?  Now is the time!
Due to changed circumstances we have two students who are without a homestay.  These students arrive in mid July to start at Wellington High in term 3. Both students are boys.
  • Male student 1 – aged 16.5 from Italy, here for terms 3 & 4 i.e. until December. This boy is allergic to animal hair.
  • Male student 2 – aged 15 from Germany, here for a full year i.e. July to July
We are looking for inclusive, caring and supportive homes.  The students require a room of their own, three meals a day and to be welcomed into family life. A homestay fee of $281.00 per week is paid fortnightly (increasing to $305 p/w in 2020).  There is close support and communication provided from the WHS International Dept.
If you are interested please contact: Di Jordan, Homestay Manager — / 021 02063860



All welcome to Music Evening – Tuesday 2 July, 7pm

Everyone is welcome to attend the Music Evening in the final week of term on Tuesday 2 July, in the Riley Centre.

We start at 7pm and entry is $5. It will be a wonderful evening as always.


Tournament of the Minds Teams Thriving

Johnny Dransfield and Alex Buyck represented the school on Saturday 22nd June 2019 at the Tournament of Minds Team Development Workshop.

After training with teams from throughout the region they will bring their ideas, insights and experiences back to High to lead our teams in the ToM Regional and National Finals in term 3.


Tim Li – our fisher artist

“Can’t eat your ghost fish?” Tim Li hauls up goblins, chimaera and stargazers and our Bio students get to hold up the catch of the day before Tim draws them from life. Tim – WHS Art Teacher –  is a skilled artist and teacher – renowned for his detailed portraits of sea life. 

Tim contacted Sanfords about sourcing some species that he wanted to put onto his drawing list. He asked them if they had any of the specific species he was after, and anything interesting in their bycatch. They sent him a spiky oreo dory, a ghost shark, a long nosed chimaera, and spotted stargazer. The drawings take anywhere between 40-150 hours and they seem to be getting bigger and bigger  – see more here on Tim’s website







Predator Pest Control at High

The A team at High (A for Awesome) continues to learn about protecting our threatened natural Taonga (treasure) through predator control on the East Bank of the WHS Site. This team of WHS Student Conservationists have discovered the positive impact trapping pest predators has had on increasing bird, lizard and plant numbers around WHS with the appearance of Kaka, Kereru and Tui in our Canopy and the Kowhai in bloom. 

Through trapping and recording the rats, stoats and other mustelids in this mast year when our trees experience extremely heavy flowering, fruiting and seeding our students have become even more aware of the risks to endangered species animals when the seed or fruit is gone and the plague of predators turn to our native birds, bats, lizards and insects. Preventive trapping of Predator Pests will help control this plague in coming years.



Sophie Mance leads NZ Team to Worlds IYPT

Friday Morning (28th June 2019) saw the presentation of  ‘Go Mighty Warrior’ pounamu to Sophie Mance (on LHS). Today was her last day in school before she sets off to captain the NZ team at the Physics tournament in Warsaw. We wish her all the best for her team, country and tournament. IYPT (The International Young Physicists’ Tournament), sometimes referred to as “Physics World Cup”, is a team-oriented scientific competition between secondary school students. The participants present their solutions to scientific problems they have prepared over several months and then discuss their solutions with other teams. The roles of Reporter (Presentation), Opponent and Reviewers are graded by a jury consisting of international experts. To Follow the tournament click Here.


Nikita Dyer and Euliz Samson Medal Winners at NSSCC

They competed in the Regional National Secondary Schools Culinary Competition on the 28th of June. Marking is based on NZ Chefs association competition rules- competitors start with 100 points and lose points based on a range of criteria. (90-99- Gold Medal, 80-89 Silver medal, Bronze 70-79.) Euliz placed second equal with a Bronze medal. Nikita placed first with a Gold Medal. This means that he has gained entry to the Nationals in September where he will compete in a team with Euliz. They’ve both worked really hard!




2019 Central Zone Secondary Schools Underwater Hockey Championships

Wellington High School had four teams entered in the tournament last weekend. This is the largest UWH tournament of the year in NZ, with a total of 42 teams competing. The main objective of each team is to finish in the top 5 of their grade and qualify for nationals in August.

Our Junior Open (under 15) team had the hardest job due to there being 12 teams in their grade. They were the most successful WHS team, managing to finish 5th and narrowly losing out to Scots for 4th. The team, coached by Year 13 student Michael Edmeades, has qualified for nationals for the first time ever. Captain (and team MVP) was Henry Murdoch of 10 Howell 1. MVPs of the other teams were Renee Acton (Junior Girls), Sofi Dickinson Smith (Senior Girls) and Michael Edmeades (Senior Open).

All the players had an exhausting and enjoyable weekend. The Senior Girls finished 6th and are waiting to find out if they will be offered a wildcard entry into nationals.

Image: Wellington High School’s Junior Open Team preparing for their big game against Scots College

Important Dates

  • 24 June – Board of Trustees meeting, 6.00pm
  • 26 June – School closes 12.00 for PPTA meeting (see below)
  • 28 June – Reports available online
  • 1 July – Year 9 Options begin (third rotation)
  • 2 July – Music Evening, Riley Centre 7pm
  • 5 July – End of Term 2
  • 22 July – Term 3 begins
  • 23 July – Parents Evening for Seniors (and Juniors as requested). Information to follow.

Important Information

Notification of Wellington PPTA meeting 26 June

Please note that the proposed strike action for 25 June and 2 July has been cancelled.

As you may be aware, PPTA has received an amended offer from the Ministry with respect to the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, and will be bringing this to members at meetings between 24th and 28th June. The Secretary for Education has approved special meetings for this under her authority in order to facilitate voting on the settlement before the end of this term. The Wellington meeting will be on Wednesday 26 June at 1pm. In order for PPTA members to attend this meeting, school will finish at 12pm on this day. The timing for the day is as follows:
8.45am – normal period 2 class
9.40am – normal period 3 class
10.40am – interval
11.00am – normal period 4 class

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

Bidwill Street closure – 25 June

We have been advised that access to WHS via Bidwill Street will be restricted next Tuesday, 25 June. From 9.00-4.00 Bidwill Street will be closed between numbers 29-35 while Northpower carry out power pole replacement work. This may affect your / your student’s journey to and from school. Please allow extra time if Bidwill Street is on your route to WHS.

What’s happening?

WHS helps MoE to review design concepts for School Leavers Toolkit

Over a dozen WHS senior students attended 2 user-testing workshop on Monday 17th June run by the MOE (Ministry of Education) to review the forthcoming ‘School Leavers’ Toolkit’ design concepts. They heard from a diverse group of our students with a wide range of perspectives, different aspirations and varied learning needs.




High Teams training for Tournament of Minds (ToM)

The Tournament of Minds (ToM) is a school competition program available throughout Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Cambodia, Indonesia and Singapore. ToM runs through the third school term, commonly commencing in the first week back at school and concluding with the regional Finals at Victoria University of Wellington on Saturday, August 31st, 2019.

Contact the WHS Tournament of Minds Coordinator if your Year 9 student would like to participate. More details below and an annual entry fee of $25 – $50 per student is anticipated depending on the number of teams we can field  (we need 3 more year 9 students per team )









WHS students test WELLTOWN

There is nothing like Welltown anywhere in the world and WHS staff & students who tried it out on Wednesday 19th June were amazed by it. This is the most ambitious project Wrestler has ever embarked on. Turning a city into the world’s first gamified virtual reality experience…  Using a variety of technologies, including photogrammetry, CG, 360 video, motion capture, green screen and animation, they put together an experience that captures the essence of Wellington. View the WELLTOWN TRAILER here and find out more at:



Wellington Japanese Trivia Champs

Two teams of Year 9 & 10 students put their knowledge of all things Japanese to the test in the Wellington Regional Japanese Trivia Champs last Friday night. Although neither team came away with ‘the cup’, they had a fun night with other students from around the region quizzing, playing Jan-ken Conga & trying to master the Kendama.


48HR Film Challenge

Over the last weekend more than 60 Wellington High students competed in the annual 48HR Film Challenge. Teams gathered at Massey University before 7pm on Friday night and were given a genre and a list of camera shots and props to include in their short film, which they had to build from scratch over the weekend! There was a range of interesting scenes being filmed around school and a few teams came nail-bitingly close to the hand in deadline of 7pm on Sunday night. The majority of Wellington High teams’ films will be premiered at the 48HR Heats on Tuesday 25th of June,  Penthouse Cinema from 5.30pm.


Doc Edge 2019 Presents: Ngā Taonga for WHS Students and Staff

WHS Year 10 Students and Staff are amongst the first in Aotearoa NZ to view two recently-preserved and digitally-restored documentaries of national historical importance. Te Matakite o Aotearoa / The Māori Land March (1975 Dir. Geoff Steven) and Bastion Point: Day 507 (1980 Dir. Merata Mita, Leon Narbey, Gerd Pohlmann).

Fifty marchers left Te Hāpua on 14 September for the 1000-km walk to Wellington. Led by 79-year-old Whina Cooper, the hīkoi quickly grew in strength. As it approached towns and cities, local people joined to offer moral support. The marchers stopped overnight at different marae, on which Cooper led discussions about the purpose of the march. About 5000 marchers arrived at Parliament and presented a petition signed by 60,000 people to Prime Minister Bill Rowling.

Bastion Point: Day 507 is a landmark depiction of the eviction of protestors from Takaparawhau (Bastion Point). From 5 January 1977 until 25 May 1978, Ngāti Whātua reclaimed the land, building living areas and planting crops. On the 507th day, 222 protestors, who were engaged in non-violent resistance, were arrested by 600 police and army officers. For more about the occupation of Bastion Point / Takaparawhau, watch the 1999 TV documentary: Bastion Point – The Untold Story, available at NZ On Screen.

Blank Canvas

You are  all invited to exhibit  work for our Blank Canvas 2019 exhibition. Blank Canvas is open to all students and staff of WHS. You can enter any art work under any medium: PAINTING, DRAWING, PHOTOGRAPHY, PRINTMAKING, DIGITAL ART, SCULPTURE OR TEXTILES BASED WORK . One entry per person. You  can also sell your work through this exhibition.

Enter through Google forms . Entries close 23 July (the first Tuesday of Term 3).
Exhibition date: 25 – 30 July 2019


Wellington Regional Japanese Speech Contest

This year we had two students join the annual Japanese Speech Contest, Sophia Barclay in the Year 10 category and Anna Liu in Year 13. Both students spoke beautifully and with confidence.

Congratulations to Anna for placing first in the Year 13 category with her thought provoking speech on Bullying.



Manawatu Jazz Festival winners

Our top Jazz band collecting awards at the Manawatu Jazz Festival (the unofficial regional finals) on Queens Birthday weekend

Best drummer:   Sebastian Macaulay
Best woodwind player: Keeson Perkins- Treacher
Best pianist: Hunter Davidson
Best combo: Wellington High School
Wellington Jazz Festival (the unofficial national final) Wednesday the 5th of June
Adjudicators Commendation: Keeson-Perkins-Treacher
Special thanks to all our itinerant music teachers.

NZ Cyber Security Challenge 

Will Hayman, Eli Martin, and John Shea have all qualified for the next round of the NZ Cyber Security Challenge. They have been invited to participate in the  Cyber Security Researchers of Waikato NZ Cyber Security Challenge. The competition will be in Hamilton 12,13 July. They will take part in cyber security challenges over 2 days learning and competing with other students and professionals.



The Central Secondary Schools Individual Fencing Championships were held in Brooklyn on 15 & 16 June.  Congratulations goes to Josh James who won 1st place and Ollie Markwell who came 2nd. Well Done boys they are outstanding results.




Rowing Camp 

Last weekend, six students attended Rowing Camp. They were were up at 6am each morning and completed two rows on Saturday and a 3 hour row on Sunday. They rowed 30km over the weekend, which is quite difficult in this strongly tidal river.
Students who attended were: Joshua Ryan, Indiana Ford, Stella Maiden, Lola Crocker, Jessie Davidson, Isabel Mathiasen.
We look forward to the next training camp in August.

Important Dates

  • 24 June – Board of Trustees meeting, 6.15pm
  • 1 July – Year 9 Options begin (third rotation)
  • 2 July – Music Evening, 7pm in the Riley Centre
  • 5 July – End of Term 2
  • 22 July – Term 3 begins
  • 23 July – Parents Evening for Seniors (and Juniors as requested). Information to come.

Note from the PPTA:  The rolling regional strikes planned for week beginning Monday 17 June are no longer happening. There will not be a strike in Wellington on Friday 21 June.


Important Information

Sports and Cultural Photos

On Tuesday 18 June we have our Sports and Cultural photos.  These will be held in the Riley Centre. All sports players are to bring their playing uniform (except boots/shoes) for their team photo.  A timetable of when the sports photos will be taken will be shared in each rōpū.


What’s happening?

The WHS brand refresh – Part 2

Our design team of staff, students and whānau met again with Chrometoaster this week to refine the way we describe our school and explore moodboards. Lively discussion ensured about fonts, colour palettes and whether we liked curves or lines! Next step will be to share the next phase



Year 9 Future Cities Conference

For three hours this Wednesday, all year 9 students were involved in the ‘Future Cities’ conference, kicking off a four-week integrated project in which students create conceptual sustainable cities (which will be exhibited in Week 10). Students were able to attend two workshops from the ten on offer, with presenters from the Wellington City Council, G.W.R.C, Infometrics, Enviroschools, First Retail, Wellington Water and Papa Taiao, and listened to a ‘keynote address’ from Deputy Mayor Jill Day.

We are very grateful to all of these presenters for giving up their time, and to the students for their engagement and energy!



Lunch for Kaibosh

Our Year 12 and 13 Hospitality students collaborated on our first Wāhi kai lunch to raise funds for Kaibosh this week.

They prepared and served kai to 30 staff and can be proud of the mahi that they put in. Tino pai!


Papa Taiao Young Enterprise Pitch

On Thursday last week students from the Papa Taiao business, Mātaki Whenua, presented their enterprise, selling tracking tunnels out of recycled plastic to a panel of Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) judges. This puts them in the running for the regional YES awards. Today they secured an agreement with Onslow College to get all their laser cutting done for free. Soon they will start selling their product that takes landfill and uses it for conservation! Ka rawe!



WHS Migrant & Refugee Background Family Dinner                                                  

A shared dinner for refugee background students and migrants doing English Language, as well as their families was held on Wednesday evening. There was a good attendance by mostly students and staff members. Students had worked hard to make colourful decorations and bring tasty food. The band ‘Two and a half Asians’ played and were fantastic. It was a great evening.  

The English Language Department is lucky to have two interns from the United States, Edward and Natalie, helping out in classes over the next few weeks.








Congratulations to Liberty McIntyre-Reet, so has won Bronze in the 1 and 3 metre Springboard and silver in the Synchro at the Singapore National Diving Championships from 7-9 June



Important Dates

  • 7 June: Board of Trustees Election Day
  • 10 June: Open Evening, 6pm – 8pm – School closes 3pm
  • 24 June: Board of Trustees meeting, 6.15pm
  • 5 July: End of Term 2

Please note: we have been notified that further action will take place over the last five weeks of term. The action is a mix of rostering home and rolling strikes (different regions striking on different days of the week).

  • Tuesday 4 June: Year 9 rostered home
  • Tuesday 11 June: Year 10 rostered home
  • Friday 21 June: Wellington region strike day
  • Tuesday 25 June: Year 11 rostered home
  • Tuesday 2 July: Year 12 rostered home


 Message from the Principal

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way …”

I’m sure many of you will recognise these beautiful words from “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens and you will probably know why I am starting my message with this quote. We are in uncertain times, there is hope and there is despair and the despair seems to be outweighing the hope at the moment. Unfortunately, negotiations with the government are not going well and disruption is occurring in our schools. This is not what any of us want but these are the times we are living in. The current government has inherited 9 years of neglect and they obviously cannot rectify this immediately but their intransigence on various aspects of the negotiations is reprehensible.

Education is a fundamental right and governments should be nurturing and cultivating the best teaching workforce so that we can have the best education system. The government should be leading the conversations about the best ways to do this but they are not. The key ingredient here, as I’m sure you know, are the teachers who are in front of our young people every day. We, as a society, have to decide whether we value those people or not. We have to decide whether we want the best people caring, supporting and inspiring our young people or not.

Thank you for your support during these times and we will need it in the weeks ahead.

I am sad to announce that Eric Tan has left us today to return to his home country of Singapore. Eric worked with us for 3 years in the Science department and made quite an impression with his calm, relational manner, his thorough planning and the cleanest Science labs you will ever see! We have already welcomed Dylan Weatherley-Libeau into the Science department this week as Eric’s replacement and we will also be welcoming Shaun Tavernor next week as a new Deputy Principal, and a Science teacher. Staffing changes inevitably cause more disruption and I thank the students for their patience in these times.

You should have received information and brief biographies of persons standing for election in the upcoming Board of Trustees elections. Please read these carefully and make sure your voice is a part of this process by voting by 12.00pm on 7 June. It is also important to recognise the service of outgoing members, particularly Deanne Daysh who has served on our board for over 6 years with the last three spent as board chair. Deanne has donated a huge amount of her time to the school and I am forever in debt for her inspirational leadership and support in this forum.

The He Kākano tree created by our He Kākano students

We have recently renamed our special needs unit from base 1 to He Kākano. He Kākano means ‘seed’ and conveys growth, development and expansion. Even before a seed is planted or nourished, it has inherent promise – the capability to take root, develop, grow and blossom. He Kākano reminds us of the opportunity we have in schools to make new beginnings, to plant, to nurture, to cherish, to realise potential, to grow and enhance that which is. He Kākano is a symbol of productivity and the promise of success through learning and achievement.

Finally, this is the time of year when we market ourselves to our community. We have had feeder school visits and we are about to run our annual Open evening on Monday 10 June. We always look forward to this opportunity to showcase the work that we do at our great school. My speech to the feeder school students was about opportunity and the words above which He Kākano embodies, explain this perfectly: opportunity “to make new beginnings, to plant, to nurture, to cherish, to realise potential, to grow and enhance that which is”.

Ngā mihi nui

Dominic Killalea

Important Information

Monday 10 June: Open Evening

  • Normal day with no rōpū, finish at 3pm.
  • 8.45am – Period 1
  • 9.40am – Period 2
  • 10.40am – interval
  • 11.00am – Period 3
  • 12.00pm – Period 4
  • 1.00pm – Lunch
  • 2.00pm – Period 5



Board of Trustees elections – important information for postal voters

We have been advised by the NZSTA that NZ Post cannot guarantee that envelopes are postmarked. To ensure your vote is counted please return it to reception by noon on 7 June, or ensure that it is posted at least five days beforehand so that it reaches us by the close of voting.


What’s happening?

Papa Taiao predator control camp

Students taking the Papa Taiao sustainability and enterprise course camped deep in the stunning Orongorongo valley to learn about protecting our threatened natural taonga (treasures) through predator control. They learnt about the positive impact trapping pest predators has had on increasing bird, lizard and plant numbers in Aotearoa. The students completed unit standards that covered the theory and practical knowledge of trapping over the two day camp. The two hour hike to the DOC hut showed off the abundance of wildlife due to predator control, but also the significant damage pests, namely possums, can have on an old growth forest.

Students finished their write up on the day’s learnings at night by candlelight, and after being asked if they want to have a well deserved break from an hour of focused work, most wanted to carry on and finish the work – to quote a student: “I feel really focused and keen to work after the hike today”. 

Tramping Club Jumbo Hut tramp

The Tararua Tramping Club is helping the school tramping club by hosting a few tramps this year. This trip was to Jumbo Hut, taking fourteen year 9-14 students from Wellington High School and a couple of students from other schools.  On Sunday, we returned via Pinnacle ridge.

From the garden

We know what they look like when we pick them up at markets and from the supermarket, but have you ever seen kumara flower? They’re flowering in the garden at the moment.

This week the horticulture students also dug up the kumara harvest, including this outsize whopper and enjoyed their produce for afternoon tea.


NZ Schools Debating

Congratulations to Amelia Mance (Y13) for representing Wellington, alongside students from St Oran’s and Wellington College, in last weekend’s National NZ Schools Debating competition, hosted in our wonderful library. Although their team, Wellington Gold, did not take home the silverware, it is wonderful to see WHS students debating at such a high level.

Roxy5 film finalists

WHS has three teams in the final of the Roxy5 film competition this year, including one team from Year 9! Congratulations to all for their achievements so far. The final screening will take place at the Roxy Cinema on Wednesday 5 June and we wait with baited breath to see if any of our teams will take the crown.




CSW Cross Country Championships

Well done to the following athletes who competed at the College Sports Wellington Cross Country Championships held on Wednesday 29 May at Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt.

  • Junior Girls: Niamh Fyfe
  • Junior Boys: Sky Gobbi
  • Intermediate Boys: Henry Murdoch
  • Intermediate Boys: Carlos Relph
  • Senior Boys: Oskar Ehrhardt

Queen’s Birthday Weekend

The following sports have no games this weekend

  • Senior Basketball
  • Senior Badminton
  • Netball

Sports Photos

I would welcome any sports photos that you take when at any Wellington High School games.  If you want to share please send them to  These are always good to have for our School Open Evening and End of Year Sports Prizegiving.

Important Dates

  • 29 May – PPTA National Strike — please see article below
  • 31 May – Wellington Loop Day Teacher only day – School closed
  • 3 June – Queen’s Birthday holiday. School closed
  • 7 June – Board of Trustees Election Day
  • 10 June – Open Evening, 6pm – 8pm – School closes 3pm
  • 24 June – Board of Trustees meeting, 6.15pm
  • 5 July – End of Term 2

Important Information

PPTA Strike: update from the Chair of the Board of Trustees

Dear Parents and Caregivers

The Board of Trustees cannot provide teaching for students during the upcoming strike

The PPTA has advised the Wellington High School Board of Trustees that teachers at our school will be taking strike action from 12.00am on Wednesday 29 May to 11.59pm on Wednesday 29 May 2019.

The Board has carefully considered the availability of teaching staff, and unfortunately decided that we can’t provide the normal teaching services during the strike so the school will officially be closed for instruction during the above times.

If this is difficult we can still supervise a small number of students if required. Please contact Jude at Reception (04 385 8911 or email if your child/children will need this.

School transport will be operating to normal timetables.

I know that this is inconvenient for parents and students alike, but please be assured that student safety is our main concern.

Thank you for your understanding. Please contact Dominic Killalea if you have any queries relating to this decision.

Yours sincerely

Deanne Daysh

Chair Board of Trustees


Thanks for your support! Letter from the WHS PPTA branch chair

Dear parents, guardians and families of Wellington High School

As we prepare for our first major industrial action next Wednesday, we want to acknowledge the disruption that this may cause for you. We also want to thank you for supporting us in this campaign to improve our teaching conditions and your children’s learning conditions.

Strike action is not something we decide to do lightly, but you will be aware that the pressures of our workload and the declining rate of our relative pay is negatively impacting our ability to do the job that we love. Too many excellent teachers are being lost from the profession because our difficult conditions are turning them away into less stressful work that they are more fairly remunerated for. This is a huge loss for all of us, and especially our rangatahi.

We love teaching your children and we are committed to bringing out the best in them, but to do this we need the Government to take our claim seriously and value the work that we do.

We really appreciate your support, and will welcome you with open arms if you are able to join us and our primary and area school colleagues on Wednesday. We will gather in Civic Square from 11:30am and begin our hikoi to Parliament at noon. Please visit and share the website for more information.

In gratitude and solidarity

Miriam Pierard

Open evening: Monday 10 June – adjusted timetable

  • Normal day with no rōpū, finish at 3pm
  • 8.45am – Period 1
  • 9.40am – Period 2
  • 10.40am – Interval
  • 11.00am – Period 3
  • 12.00pm – Period 4
  • 1.00pm – Lunch
  • 2.00pm – Period 5

Board of Trustees Elections

Nominations for the Board of Trustees elections have now closed. Voting papers are being prepared and will be posted out to the electoral roll at the start of next week.

Please note that the vote is a postal vote.

If posting your voting paper, you must use the addressed envelope that you will receive with your voting paper. Your vote will not be counted unless the envelope is postmarked before the day of the election (07 June, 2019) and received by the returning officer not later than 5 days after the date of the election.

Alternatively, you may return your voting paper to Reception. If your voting paper is delivered to the school, please ensure that it is delivered before noon on 07 June, 2019 in the addressed envelope that you will receive with your voting paper.

Registering students’ motorbikes and motorised scooters with WHS

As in 2018, we require all students who drive motorbikes and motorised scooters to register them with the school.

From Tuesday 4 June, Carepark will be fining those who have not registered their scooters.

Students need to come and see Alison (Level 5), bring their driving license and their license plate number.


What’s happening?

School Visits Best Yet

A record number of 353 students from our cluster and contributing schools visited WHS on the afternoon of Wednesday 22nd May. We were delighted with the 15 classes of students from Brooklyn, SWIS, Te Aro and Mt Cook. They loved their dry ice experiments in the science labs, explored with glee many taster topics in Food Tech, Music, Art, Drama, PE, Fashion, Sonic Arts, Media and Maori Studies. 

Many WHS Year 9 students stayed behind as guides and helpers and had fun renewing acquaintances with students from their former schools. These students are now keen in their turn to come to High for the comprehensive curriculum, diversity and inclusive nature of our teaching programmes. Thank you to all the teachers, students and staff who made this fantastic afternoon possible.





Feminist Club and friends

In the wake of recent events, including the changing Alabama abortion laws, students and friends from the Feminist Club demonstrated their support for pro-choice outside the hospital on Tuesday afternoon. The public supported this rally with lots of toots and encouragement and it was a positive experience for all!  






Our climate challenge conference

This week WHS students including Rilke, Sophie and Molly, and recent  alumni Gwen and Anya, organized a major national conference for High School students to discuss how to save the planet from overheating. The conference took place on 18 and 19 May 2019 at Victoria University’s Kelburn Campus. Over 260 students from all over Wellington region attended including 40 from WHS as well as those organizing it. The weekend included a range of nationally acclaimed speakers, workshops, panels and opportunities to connect with other high school students along with local and national leaders. 

For more information, see the conference website:

Roots and Shoots workshop with founder Dr Jane Goodall

Hayley Bulmer, Alexa Lee,and Ursula Palmer Steeds from WHS Roots and Shoots along with students from  other schools were able to share their achievements to Dr Jane Goodall, education leaders from the Jane Goodall Institute, the Zoo and Zealandia  at Samuel Marsden Collegiate. Students were further inspired by Dr Jane Goodall and by each other.


“Every individual matters.

 Every individual has a role to play.

 Every individual makes a difference.”

Dr Jane Goodall





Students Strike for Climate Change Action

Tens of thousands of students took to the street today to strike for climate change action. Wellington High Students organised, marshalled and spoke at the Wellington event. 

After the first strike on March 15, a second strike was planned because New Zealand’s youth “still don’t feel that our planet and future is secure,” according to Tony Huang from School Strike 4 Climate NZ.

The strike aims to encourage all parties in Parliament to support passing the Zero Carbon Bill into law.

For more information and to see how you too can help save our future climate from change click here


Māori Philosophy day in Taraika

On Monday, our senior te reo students and the year 13 English with Philosophy students gathered in our whare for wānanga and to listen to two amazing guest speakers: Serahn Kahukura, an expert in te reo Māori and te ao Māori, and Anahera Gildea, a WHS parent and author extraordinaire. We are very grateful to Serahn and Anahera for sharing their ideas and energy! This day has enriched our understanding of te ao Māori and the mana of language. Ngā mihi nui to all involved!


Poetry Mentorship: Reza Zareian Jahromi (Yr 13)

Following the publication of his poetry in the ‘More of Us’ anthology (read more about it here), Reza was recently selected as a recipient for the New Zealand Society of Author’s Youth Mentor Programme. He has been paired with poet Ivy Alvarez, who will work with Reza to help him further develop his craft.

Only a handful of young poets and writers are selected from the many who reply. In selecting Reza, the N.Z.S.A. commented: Several applications stood out instantly. These were confident in voice and tone; understood structure and form; knew how to evoke characters / setting / mood; knew how to focus.

Congratulations, Reza. This is a great opportunity, and we are confident you will make the most of it!






Ultimate Frisbee

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected into the NZ National Junior (U20) Ultimate Frisbee Training Squad: 

Girls: Amelia Mance, Sophie Mance

Boys: Morgan O’Hara, Khalid Adam

From this squad, 20 athletes will be selected to each of the NZ U20 Boys and NZ U20 Girls teams to compete at the inaugural Asia-Oceanic Junior Ultimate Championships to be held 13-15 December in Manila, Philippines.

After the January camp, the teams for the World Junior Ultimate Championships will be selected and this group will continue their preparations for the tournament in Malmo, Sweden in July 2020.

Sports Draws

If you are searching for next week’s sports draw, this can be located on our school website please click on the Sports Tab, then select Sports Draws and from the drop down arrow you can then select your chosen sport.

The only sports that cannot be found on here at Netball and Hockey

Wellington Hockey draws can be found by clicking here:

Netball Wellington draws can be found by clicking on the link below

Upcoming Sports

There will be NO Senior Basketball or Senior Badminton on Friday 31 May