Mid Term 4 2017

We are very quickly heading towards the end of the year and this term is only 8 weeks. We have just waved goodbye to our seniors and we have run a number of really enjoyable prizegiving events honouring the contributions made by so many of our students. NCEA exams have commenced and the majority of our senior students are currently preparing themselves for these. The change of government has raised the relentless cycle of NCEA assessment that seems to be occurring for our young people mostly in years 11, 12 and 13 and the relationship between assessment and wellbeing. As a staff, we have been talking about this for quite some time. Schools are places of learning and growing and although assessment is important, it does take time away from learning! We have already embarked on a senior curriculum review and I anticipate we will be consulting widely with students, parents and our community about changes we might want to make to what senior school may look like in 2019 at WHS.

We are also currently undertaking a review of our strategic plan and we would like to invite you to comment on our progress to date. I anticipate I will have a link in next week’s weekly update where you can view our draft plan and make comments.

I mentioned at senior prizegiving the retirements of several long standing staff members. Joan Hinton (Science 1981-2017), Marietjie van Schalkwyk (Technology 1998-2017), Denis Wright (English 2001-2017) and Jane Shallcrass (Library 2002-2017) will all be leaving us at the end of this year. They have all been wonderful, inspiring members of staff who will be greatly missed. We wish them well in their retirement.

We have recently approved building remediation work to be undertaken on the eastern side of the hall. This should greatly rejuvenate this space and this work is likely to occur over the first two terms of next year.

Summer sports have commenced (and in the case of senior volleyball has already finished for the term) so students are actively involved in floorball, futsal, touch rugby, cricket and ultimate Frisbee. I encourage you to encourage your young person to get involved with sport next year if they are not already. We have an excellent sports programme that offers a wide range of sports for all ability levels. You can find out more details from Wendy McIntyre, our sports coordinator (wendy.mcintyre@whs.school.nz).

Ngā mihi nui

Dominic Killalea