Category Archives: Weekly Wrap Up

Important Dates

  • Friday 6 July – End of Term 2

Term 3 

  • Monday 23 JulyTerm 3 starts
  • Monday 23 July – BoT meeting, 6pm
  • Wednesday 25 July – Senior Parent Interviews — emails have been sent to families
  • Monday 30 July –  Junior Parent Interviews —  emails have been sent to families
  • Monday 6 August – Inspire Ambition for Junior Students (Year 9)

 

Principal’s Message

Kia ora koutou,

Term 2 is such an exciting time at High. Winter sports come to the fore and we have an increasing number of students involved in a wide range of sporting activities including badminton, basketball, football, hockey, netball, rugby, and underwater hockey. You may have read previously in these updates that one of our junior boys’ badminton players, Anthony Cater, recently won the Wellington junior singles’ badminton tournament. Well done, Anthony, a fine achievement!

The term started with a couple of overseas trips returning from Nepal and Europe. The Nepal trip is our annual trek led my Bharat Pancha to the challenging Himalayan environment and our Europe trip is a biennial Senior Classics and Painted Word trip to England, France and Italy. Students returned from both with new stories of inspiring journeys.

Our annual Shakespeare Society production followed soon after. This year it was Much Ado About Nothing (I mean the play, not the performance!). Directors Niamh Vaughan and Arie Faber did a great job at extracting some excellent and funny performances from a very willing cast who continue this great tradition in our school.

Feeder school visits and our open evening became our next focus as we opened ourselves to our community to have a look at a sample of the wonderful activities at High. It was invigorating and exciting to see the very happy faces of our intermediate and primary school visitors as they emerged from their ‘taster’ classes. I particularly want to thank all the students who showed prospective parents and whānau around the school on our open evening. It is often remarked upon that these students are our best advertisements for our school on these evenings, which of course they are.

Throughout the term, numbers of different students entered and had success in film competitions, visited the Transmission Gully bridge construction site, wore pink shirts in support for a bullying-free environment, co-constructed an art exhibition at Te Papa, participated in a climate challenge conference, volunteered at Ronald McDonald house, met with the mayor on behalf of Amnesty International, spoke at Ngā Manu Kōrero, and entered Robocup. Meanwhile, other students tramped, acted, debated, played, cooked, swam, studied, and fundraised. And hopefully all of them found some time to relax and smile and enjoy being with each other in the many, varied opportunities on offer.

Our Young Naturalists’ team have recently left to travel to Tbilisi, Georgia to defend our world title and I wish them the best. I also want to give a special mention to our International Young Physicists, Zuni Preece, Sai August and Luke Roeven and their wonderful mentor, High Physics teacher Kerry Parker, who are all travelling to Beijing in the latter part of the holidays with the New Zealand Physics team to compete on the world stage.

This last week has seen two wonderful events: our annual International students’ leaving dinner, a veritable cultural fest; and the first of our biannual music evenings. Both of these were held in our great hall, the Riley Centre, and both continued their rich traditions. The music evening is always a highlight with an exhilarating, sometimes moving, somewhat eclectic range of acts on show. If you haven’t experienced one of these evenings you really must see and hear the sheer talent of our large group of musicians.

Finally, I want to mention our Deputy Principal, Andrew Savage, who will be on sabbatical in term 3. Andrew is a tireless, calming, inspirational figure in the school and he will be missed. I wish him well and look forward to welcoming him back in term four.

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 of the rest of the year.

Ngā mihi nui

Dominic Killalea

  Important Dates  

  • Tuesday 3 July – Music Evening, 7pm
  • Friday 6 July – End of Term 2

Term 3

  • Monday 23 July – Term 3 starts
  • Monday 23 July – BoT meeting, 6pm
  • Wednesday 25 July – Senior Parent Interviews
  • Monday 30 July –  Junior Parent Interviews

Important Dates   

  • Monday 18 June – BoT meeting
  • Tuesday 3 July – Music Evening, 7pm
  • Friday 6 July – End of Term 2

Term 3

  • Monday 23 July – Term 3 starts
  • Monday 23 July – BoT meeting, 6pm
  • Wednesday 25 July – Senior Parent Interviews
  • Monday 30 July –  Junior Parent Interviews

 Important Dates

  • Monday 11 JuneOpen Evening, 6pm
  • Tuesday 12  – Thursday 14 June – School Production
  • Monday 18 June – BoT meeting
  • Tuesday 3 July – Music Evening, 7pm
  • Friday 6 July – Last day of Term 2

  Important Dates

  • Monday 11 June — Open Evening, 6pm
  • Monday 18 June — BoT meeting
  • Tuesday 3 July — Music Evening, 7pm
  • Friday 6 July — Last day of Term 2

 

Principal’s Message – Mid Term 2 2018

We are currently spending time marketing ourselves to our community. We have had two feeder school visits and we are about to run our annual Open Evening on Monday 11 June. It is interesting to be running these events at a time when a lot in education is under review.

Tomorrow’s Schools was a reform to the education system in 1989 that essentially established schools to act autonomously with broad goals of improving educational opportunity across the system and reducing disparity between various socio-economic sectors. One way of doing this was to give students the option to attend their school of choice. Schools became managers of their own finances and funding became increasingly based upon student numbers. Equity was seen as being created by choice and schools would survive if they attracted students and were perceived to be doing a good job. However, this model meant that some schools continued to receive more and more funding as student numbers grew while other schools lost funding and therefore did not have the resourcing to enable them to address their declining student numbers.

It is quite obvious that a school can only cater for a certain number of students before it becomes overcrowded so some schools implemented enrolment zones, and because they were self managing, boards determined their enrolment zone with reference to ministry guidelines. This meant that students could not necessarily attend the school of their choice anymore and the ideal of improving educational opportunity actually led to schools in low socio-economic areas and with high Māori populations losing funding and losing their ability to be able to supply a good educational ‘product’.

I arrived at Wellington High School at the end of 2005 as a new Deputy Principal. I remember that when Prue Kelly, who was the Principal of Wellington High School from 1995 to 2011, retired she told me that the one thing she wouldn’t miss was the ongoing job of trying to get people to see the great work that was occurring in the school and convincing the community to look at us as an educational option. In Prue’s time the school roll varied between 900 students and 1200 students. Wellington High School had to implement an enrolment zone in Prue’s time because 1200 was becoming seriously overcrowded. We are faced with the same reality at present. Our school roll is sitting at around 1250 students and almost every space is being used at all times. We have spoken to the ministry who project that ‘in zone’ enrolments will continue to increase in coming years. Since 2012, numbers across Wellington city schools have increased by about 500 students. At Wellington High, our population has increased by about 250 students in this time. In other words, we have taken on about half of the extra ‘in zone’ enrolments in this time. This is a good position for the school to be in. It means our marketing has shifted from focusing on why students should come here to why students do come here. It has also allowed us to strengthen our links with our city feeder schools and tighten our community which is becoming increasingly Wellington city based.

I spoke to our feeder school students about opportunity, and educational opportunity should be the same for everyone regardless of where they live. Our success should not be at the expense of other schools. If we want a more equitable society, we need to invest in equal educational opportunities for all. This has been one of the great challenges of Tomorrow’s Schools and where it has fallen short. The competitive model that was created ended up creating greater disparity in many of the areas it was trying to address.

Equitable outcomes for all has always been the strongest characteristic of Wellington High School. We are frequently consulted by the Ministry and the Education Review Office in areas such as bullying, gender diversity, restorative practices, and sex education. This is not the sum total but a part of who we are. Despite the challenges of a changing demographic, we will continue to lead our community in such areas because it is the right thing to do, particularly in a competitive environment.

Ngā mihi nui

Dominic Killalea

Important Dates

  • Tuesday 29 May – Feeder schools visit (School closes at 12.00pm)
  • Thursday 31 May – Paid Union Meeting (School closes at 12.20pm)
  • Friday 1 June – Teacher-Only Day  (School is closed)
  • Monday 4 June – Queen’s Birthday (School is closed)
  • Monday 11 June – Open Evening, 6pm
  • Monday 18 June – BoT meeting
  • Tuesday 3 July – Music Evening, 7pm

 

Message from the Board of Trustees

Welcome to Term Two

The Board of Trustees is very proud of our recent ERO review. If you have not done so already please take time to have a read of this. The visit was a positive one and has given us good information to use and plan for the next three years. Congratulations to all the staff and students who work so hard to make WHS such a great place to learn and teach. The wellbeing of our students continues to be a strength and focus for us. The link to the review is on the school website.

Thank you to the whānau/parents who have responded to the Senior Learning and Assessment review survey that was given out at recent Parent-Teacher evenings. If you have not yet responded then please click on this link – https://goo.gl/forms/xl295F5WtSqgMiMq2. We value your responses and use these to inform our planning for your students.

At the May Board of Trustees meeting it was agreed that we will pay a living wage to all members of staff not currently receiving a living wage. This is one way we can show how much we value our employees and the work they do.

There is much happening around the school this term to upgrade the property. Over one million dollars will be spent to repairs to the boiler, new keys, upgrading of fire protection, replace lifts, warm water to toilets, gym floor repairs, ceiling repairs, painting, seismic repairs and more.

We are happy to welcome new cleaners into our school. The cleaning company AMC started at the beginning of term.

We encourage you to come along to the huis for Te Whānau a Taraika. Please look out for notice of the next hui.

Congratulations to all the students and staff who are involved in sporting and cultural activities across the school this term. There are many events and successes we are able to celebrate each week.

Deanne Daysh
Chairperson
Wellington High School Board of Trustees

  Important Dates

  • Monday 21 May – Whānau Group Hui, 6pm in the Library
  • Tuesday 22 May – Feeder school visits (School closes at 12pm)
  • Tuesday 29 May – Feeder school visits (School closes at 12pm)
  • Thursday 31 May – Paid Union Meeting (School closes at 12.20pm)
  • Friday 1 June – Teacher-Only day  (School is closed)
  • Monday 4 June – Queen’s Birthday (School is closed)
  • Monday 11 June – Open Evening, 6pm
  • Monday 18 June – BoT meeting, 6pm
  • Tuesday 3 July – Music evening, 7pm

Important Dates

  • Monday 14 May – BoT meeting
  • Thursday 31 May – Paid Union Meeting (School closes at 12.20pm)
  • Friday 1 June – Teacher-Only day  (School is closed)
  • Monday 4 June – Queen’s Birthday (School is closed)
  • Monday 11 June – Open Evening, 6pm
  • Monday 18 June – BoT meeting
  • Tuesday 3 July – Music evening, 7pm

Welcome back for Term 2

Important Dates

  • Monday 7 May – Senior Parent-Teacher Interviews (Years 11-13), 3.30pm to 7pm
  • Monday 14 May – BoT meeting
  • Tuesday 22 May – Feeder school visits (School start at 8.45am and ends at 12pm)
  • Tuesday 29 May – Feeder school visits (School start at 8.45am and ends at 12pm)
  • Thursday 31 May – Paid Union Meeting (School closes at 12.20pm)
  • Friday 1 June – Teacher-Only Day  (School is closed)
  • Monday 4 June – Queen’s Birthday (School is closed)
  • Monday 11 June – Open Evening, 6pm
  • Monday 18 June – BoT meeting
  • Friday 29 June – International dinner, 6pm
  • Tuesday 3 July – Music evening, 7pm

 

Changes to timing on school dates this term

This term we have a few events which will mean that school hours change on the day.
  • Tuesday 22 May – Feeder school visits 1 – School will start at 8.45am and finish at 12pm on this day. Intermediate and primary feeder schools will be visiting us in the afternoon.
  • Tuesday 29 May – Feeder school visits 2 – School will start at 8.45am and finish at 12pm on this day.
  • Thursday 31 May – PPTA Paid Union Meeting – school finishes at 12.20pm on this day although supervision will be available until 3.20pm if required. You will receive separate notice of this event.
  • Friday 1 June – Teacher Only Day – the school will be closed on this day.
  • Monday 11 June – Open Evening: School will finish at 3pm on this day.

Important Dates

Term 1

  • Friday 13 April – Last day of Term 1

School Holidays 14 April – 29 April
ANZAC Day Wednesday 25 April.

Term 2

  • Monday 30 April – First day back for Term 2
  • Wednesday 2 May – Junior Parent-Teacher Interviews
  • Monday 7 May – Senior Parent-Teacher Interviews
  • Monday 14 May – BoT meeting
  • Monday 11 June – Open Evening
  • Monday 18 June – BoT meeting

Click here for Term Dates 2018

 

Principal’s Message

The term has drawn to a close. The first term is a difficult one for a lot of students as they settle into new classes and, for those students attempting NCEA for the first time, things seem more daunting.

The Education Review Office visited us during the term and they have reported very favourably about the direction and priorities of the school. The report is currently in draft form and I hope to be able to share that with you early next term. One of the talking points of the review was defining success. When we interview students before enrolment at Wellington High School we always ask you, the parents, what success looks like for your young person. I am always heartened to hear when the response is “I would like my son / daughter to be happy” and this is in most cases. If our primary focus is that our children are happy, we have started them on the pathway to success. And we know that success is multi-faceted and quite personal.

Thank you for your understanding in relation to the lockdown drill that we ran last week. I think it is very important that we rehearse our behaviour in situations such as evacuation and lockdown procedures so that everyone is clear on what they need to do. I see that the media created a story out of our situation (see https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/354637/hundreds-of-schools-getting-private-lockdown-training) questioning the relevance of such a procedure whilst carrying headlines on the banner at the right of four lockdown situations that had already occurred this year in NZ schools. Somewhat ironic and not really a story. I spoke to the reporter but wasn’t quoted in the article. I had suggested that a better story would be to report on our Young Physicists who recently became the national champions in the International Young Physicists’ Tournament. This has been reported elsewhere in our weekly updates but Luke Roeven, Sai August and Zuni Preece not only won the national competition but all three have been selected to represent New Zealand in an international competition in China in July. The team that New Zealand will send is only five students so it is quite remarkable that all three have been chosen for this. I must also extend my congratulations to our two outstanding Physics teachers, Kerry Parker and Murray Chisholm, who have been spending long hours coaching and preparing the students.

Finally, some of our sporting teams were recently involved in a sporting exchange with Newlands College. It was a relatively small affair with only seven sporting teams competing but we hope for this to become a regular feature of our sporting calendar in coming years. As winter approaches, try to encourage your young person to get involved with one of the many and varied sporting or cultural opportunities. School is a wonderful time to be involved, experience something new and possibly find one’s passion.

I hope you are able to spend some good family time with your young person over the break.

Ngā mihi

Dominic Killalea