Principal Nigel Hanton with international student, Pimlada, who also leaves Wellington High School today.

Kia ora whanau

This edition of the Weekly Wrap Up is being sent out on my last school day before I move into retirement. I want to take this opportunity to thank our school community for the support they give their young people and the support the give the school.  Wellington High School is a wonderfully unique school, and it has been both an honour and a privilege to occupy the Principal’s Office for the last five years.

The last few years has seen significant changes in the school and in its place in Wellington’s educational landscape. The Board, staff students, and families have all contributed to this and again I thank you for your input.

 Let us celebrate together some of the things that have developed:

  • We have continued to innovate and be creative, and as subtle changes have been made, we have over time assumed a different place in people’s perceptions which has led to the exceptional roll growth we are experiencing.
  • Recent work to profile Te Ao Maori in the school has had an amazing effect on student achievement and on the culture of the school. The wonderful decoration of Taraika, the development of Te Whanau a Taraika and the adoption of the Maori name for the school tells everyone that we value our Maori community and are working effectively in a bi-cultural context.
  • The introduction of the WERO framework has also had an important impact on the culture of the school. Having WERO has allowed us to focus on key values and develop a common language about the school culture. Being able to model these values from the Principal’s office and talk about family values, respectful relationships and wellbeing, all contributing to overall excellence, has made the school a responsive and very inclusive place.

Thank you again for enriching our community and contributing to our on-going success.

Nga mihi nui,  Nigel Hanton

Important Dates

13 April Last Day of Term 1
1 May First day of Term 2
3 May Junior Parent Teacher Interviews
8 May Senior Parent Teacher Interviews
15 – 19 May Shakespeare Society Production
15 May Board of Trustees Meeting
2 June Teacher Only Day
12 June Open Evening

Parent/Teacher Report Evening

The first reports for students for 2017 are now live on the parent portal. You can find it on the Reports Tab on the main menu. This report links to the parent/teacher evening that is coming up.

We are running two evenings.  Please note these dates.

Juniors (Year 9 & 10) are on Wednesday 3 May

Seniors (Year 11 – 13) are on Monday 8 May 2017.

Go to www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and use the code a4pjr to select times to meet teachers.

Frequently asked questions (and answers!) can be found at http://www.whs.school.nz/temp/faq-report-evening/

LANGUAGES

YEAR 9 OPTIONS

Year 9 Language options for Term 2 onwards have now been confirmed and new timetables went to students today (Thursday 13 April). If your student was away or if you need to check their timetable before the start of next term, please check their timetable on the parent portal. https://portal.whs.school.nz/student/index.php

We endeavored to give everyone their first language choice, although this will not have been possible for every single student.

JAPAN TRIP

Excerpt from the Japan Trip Blog writing by Dominic Killalea:
Our final stop was a ramen ‘theme park’ where we had the opportunity to have said dish in an authentic mid 19th century setting that felt like a movie set. The ramen was really good and much talked about as was the sweet shop. The ramen was also the source of the odd joke such as: if any of you need me I’ll just be ramen around.

I had what I will now describe as an odd experience at the sweet shop. I wanted to buy something and I settled on a small box of sweets with a picture of a lemon on the box and otherwise Kanji script. I opened the box to discover 10 individually plastic wrapped sweets – all good so far but as I tried to undo the plastic wrapping the sweets seemed to have completely bonded with it rendering a sticky, inedible, plastic mess. This was not the highlight of my day so I decided to abandon them for later. When we had our evening meeting and students were recounting their highlights I felt I needed to mention my experience with the sweets whereupon I distributed the remaining sweets to the students. It was then that Sharon Henry (who is a bit more familiar with Kanji) revealed to me and all that the plastic ‘wrapping’ was edible. And they weren’t too bad after all – wish I could’ve had more!

I do need to say something at this point about plastic. Every piece of food you buy seems to come in the most impenetrable plastic wrapping that by the time you actually get it open you’ve lost your appetite or you’ve shaken and disturbed the food so much it doesn’t look nearly as appetising.

Today I found myself saying arigatou gozaimasu a few times which I think is a nicer version of thank you. Maybe thank you very much? I don’t really know when to say it so I may have overdone it but if there’s one thing we can learn from Japanese society, you can never be too polite. And there’s more than one thing we can learn. However, plastic packaging is not one of them.

If you would like to read more, go to JAPAN TRIP BLOG

YEAR 9 EXTENSION

Thirty-three plucky Year 9 students braved the elements on Tuesday 11th April to take the ultimate Year Nine Extension Experience.
Lead by a slightly mad science teacher (Tony Cairns) and ably supported by two student teachers from the VUW Post Grad Programmes (thanks Graeme and Rob) the intrepid virtual realitynauts donned glasses, headsets and mixed reality scanners to explore the uncanny valley of Te Papa’s new learning Labs. Their challenge was to make new forms of Mixed Reality, fusing the mixed, virtual and augmented reality worlds. Ewan MacLeod from Hinatore commented that our Wellington High School students are “a flexible, talented and adaptable bunch. We were impressed that they found new pathways in order to create images/ artwork in virtual spaces.” 
Extension students also met the leaders of Mahuki – Te Papa’s new innovation Labs and discovered new connections and shared learning between the students and staff of Mahuki and Wellington High School. They were invited back for workshops with Te Papa and Mahuki staff exploring new ways to envision and critique gallery and museums spaces. Art Educator Laura Jones took these ideas further and was very impressed with the range, depth and high quality of the student’s museum art and gallery experiences.
The Te Papa Experience for our year 9 enrichments students was rounded out by a visit to the Bug Lab where cutting-edge science meets the latest in Weta workshop display techniques. A final treat on the way back to school was a hands-on deep vault tour of the bugs, bones, and beetles of the  Natural History Collection Store. Bug Lab Scientist Phil Servid showed our students the hidden treasure
s of the National Museums Open Storage where sharks, skeletons and stick insects jostle for space in subterranean suburbia.
Big Thanks to Te Papa, Rick Ellis, Matt Richards, Phil Servid and Laura Jones who helped the Hinatore, Mahuli and Tory Street Staff give our Extension Students a once in a lifetime immersion experience in virtual, augmented and mixed reality in one of the greatest museums on earth