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 Information


Tell us how well we communicate with you — take our survey!

We are starting a review of our website and other tools we use to communicate with you. We would like to know a little more about how you prefer the school to share information.
We would be grateful if you would complete this short survey to tell us what you think:


Changes to Metlink buses

From Sunday 15 July 2018, we’ve got some changes for school students using Metlink buses and trains in Wellington city and surrounding suburbs.

If your students use public transport to travel to and from school, they need to know about changes to fares and tickets for Metlink trains, buses and harbour ferries from Sunday 15 July 2018, ahead of the start of Term 3.

The new Metlink lemon and lime buses, including electric double-deckers, are on their way to Wellington city, but not all at once. If you’re catching a bus, please check the number and destination – rather than the colour of the bus. For more information:

What’s happening?

Matariki – Te Whetū Tapu o te Tau

This is a special week, marking the start of the 2018 Matariki celebrations for Aotearoa.  You may notice many activities to celebrate Matariki and to recognise, learn and understand its importance.  Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades(Plee-ay-dees). It rises in mid-winter and for Māori, it’s the start of a new year. Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ – mata – ariki. Some iwi, like Taranaki, observe Puanga, rather than Matariki – but all iwi see it as the beginning of a new year.



Year 13 Drama Production of Joseph K

Based on The Trial by Franz Kafka, Joseph K is arrested. He doesn’t know what he has done. Neither does his lawyer. His brother thinks he’s a loser. His secretary might not be real. Conspiracy? Fake News? A biting dark satire presented by students of Year 13 Drama, supported by a Year 12 crew, with props and staging completed by TOI students in Years 11 and 12.

       Cast members from Year 13’s Joseph K                          Year 12 Production Team


Two Dozen from High meet Climate Change Minister

Thanks to recent alumni Anya Bukholt-Payne, Generation Zero 23 students, and a teacher from WHS met privately with James Shaw (Leader of The Green Party and Minister for Climate Change) on 5th July. This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to discuss the future of climate change and have their voices heard by the Minister and Green Party Leader in a small personal meeting. If you or your students would like to make a submission on Climate Change Click here.







(Above) Photos from Victor Komarovsky, Thanks to James Shaw, Minister of Climate Change & WHS Alumni



Weta Hotels and Boomerang Bags – perfect partners

About wētā hotels

Wētā live in holes but there really aren’t that many holes in trees. That’s why wētā dig under stones or chew through rotten logs to make their homes. Wētā hotels are no-fuss homes for wētā. They find one, crawl in and relax. You can place a wētā hotel in a tree, under a tree and even on a fence post. Big heavy animals can squash wētā. Female wētā lay 100-300 eggs so if you build a home they like and wētā live there, their numbers will grow! Roots and Shoots have a perfect present for people in your life. The latest in 3 star Weta accommodation comes with an informative pamphlet and a hand-drawn reusable bags – the WHS wētā hotel – $25 including GST – Handmade by the WHS roots and shoots group.

Order from





Spoken Word Poetry at Lunchtime

On Thursday lunchtime, Wellington High was lucky to host Sara Hirsch in the Library for a poetry performance. Sara is a former UK Slam Champion, third ranked in the World Slam Championships 2014, winner of the European Poetry Slam in Madrid 2016 and a 2017 BBC Slam Finalist. She has performed at Glastonbury, is a TEDx speaker, has featured on the BBC and has toured extensively both in the UK & Internationally.





Music Evening

Music evening on Tuesday night was a celebration of diverse and competent musicianship. Well done to those performing and to the crew who ran a flawless show and for Fritz Wollner for putting it all together.



World Scholars’ Cup Success for Junior Teams

For the first time WHS sent 3 teams of Year 9 students to the World Scholar’s Cup (WSC) Wellington Regional Round – at Scots College on the 26th and 27th of June. The World Scholar’s Cup is modeled on American style Academic Decathlons. It’s a celebration of learning. It challenges teams to work together and deals with serious global issues as well as being a great team building exercise, allowing students to find the fun in learning. Congratulations to Jeanne Dransfield, Atom Gush, Rata Petherick, Kipp Parker, Arlo Rea, Alex Buyck, Jack Graham, Sophia Barclay and Tama Martelletti, who competed in two days of debating, Competitive writing, the Scholar’s challenge and Scholar’s Bowl ( mega quizzes). Special mention goes out to Alex Buyck, who was selected to appear in the debate showcase, one of 8 students selected out of 135. Well done Alex!





Winter Sports

What a fantastic term we have had with Winter Sports.  Our Basketball teams, from our Junior A & B Boys through to Senior Boys and Senior Girls, are all doing well and sitting in the top half of their divisions. The Junior Boys Football team are working together really well, having some good wins and some very closely fought games. Boys’ Hockey is having a great season, Ultimate Frisbee teams are doing very well and our Netball girls are winning their fair share of games too.  Keep up the good work everybody, and keep training over the holidays: Put in the hard work to get the results.

Term 3 Winter Sports practices and games will start in Week 1 Term 3, so please remember to bring your sporting gear.

Here are some photos of our Junior B Boys Basketball games this week against Onslow College – we won 90-12

At the end of the Winter Sport season (approximately the week 27-31 August), your coach or manager will be collecting the playing uniforms on the last playing day of their sport.  Your child will need to remember to bring a change of clothes to change into. This will also be in the school notices and an email will be sent home to parents as well – so please keep an eye out for this.  The playing uniforms are NOT for the students to keep.

Around Week 5, Term 3 we will start asking for signups for Summer Sports, so please keep an eye on the school notices for when this is happening. Sports that will be involved in Term 4 will be Junior Futsal, Tennis Lessons (new), Junior Volleyball, Cricket and Junior Touch Rugby.

From the Careers' Desk

Plant & Food Research – Summer Studentship presentation 

In addition to gaining valuable hands-on work experience, a Summer Studentship offers the opportunity to become involved in science ‘at the coal face’ on a wide range of projects – often alongside scientists who are world recognised in their field.

This Summer Studentship Programme is one component of “The Excellence Programme” which aims to promote high quality science within Plant & Food Research. The Summer Studentship Programme which runs from November – February each year, creates a special “career experience” for the students working with us, encourages high calibre candidates, builds closer links with Universities and identifies potential career paths for the participants. As part of the programme, all students will participate in an induction training day, a career planning session and a final farewell and awards function. Please book in to attend
Wednesday 8 August, 12pm in SSLB3 Massey University |Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa


Community Notices

Festival for the Future, 27-29 July 2018, TSB Arena

Festival for the Future coming up soon is an incredible platform to help our students start innovating for a sustainable, inclusive and collective future. The Festival has fantastic and influential speakers and panelists from within Government, Councils, and the Business world. It is a development opportunity and is the only such event run by and targeted toward our nation’s future leaders.

Student tickets are $195+GST (Early-Bird tickets), and WHS has sponsored several students to attend. Many students are coming, from across the country, including many that are sponsored through the Future Leaders programme, and self-directed fundraisers. If your student is interested in attending please contact or book online at



You are invited to shape the future of NCEA

The government’s review of NCEA is now underway, and people all over the country have started talking about, and sharing their ideas and experiences of NCEA – the challenges, the successes and what we can do better in the future.

If you would like the opportunity to get involved, find out more about the 6 Big Opportunities, and have your say, come along to one of 20 public workshops across New Zealand.

Workshops start on the 25 June and finish on the 26 July.

Book now: or TXT 5811

The interactive workshop is open to everyone. We want you to share with us your ideas and thoughts about NCEA and how we can strengthen the qualification – we are listening!

We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to participate in this conversation and invite everyone to get involved – online or on paper, at workshops or hui, or through social media – you choose.

The NCEA Review is part of our national conversation on the future of education in New Zealand. It’s about building not just a better education system, but the world’s best, for all our children and young people.

More information about the NCEA review, the Big Opportunities and ways to participate can be found at


New enrolment-based measure of NCEA attainment

NZQA and the Ministry of Education have announced some changes to the way NCEA and University Entrance attainment is reported.

The changes provide a more precise picture of how attainment is reported. It will count all domestic students in years 11 to 13 aged less than 19 on 1 January, rather than taking a snapshot of students as of 1 July. It will also count up to three ethnicities students identify with, rather than limiting to just one.

As a result, NZQA is expecting most schools will see a change in their attainment rates. It is a statistical adjustment that doesn’t reflect school performance, teaching practice or an individual student’s results.

“The key thing to remember is that whilst percentages may change, the amount of improvement in student attainment is similar and positive.”

NZQA is consulting with schools in June and July on the way attainment is reported at a school level and will report back in September. The new measure will be used for reporting2018 NCEA and University Entrance attainment statistics in January 2019.

A summary Fact Sheet can be found at


PPTA news: Secondary teachers united in their expectations for negotiations

PPTA members have voted overwhelmingly to approve the main claims they’ll be taking into negotiations with the government later in the year.

PPTA president, Jack Boyle says, “At each meeting robust and thoughtful discussion informed the debate. The result of the vote shows that teachers have identified the solutions to the issues the profession is facing, and understand what can best be implemented through collective negotiations. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us as a country to get things right for every New Zealand child and the people who teach them. The solutions are known, there is political support and budget surpluses are available. We hope the government will choose to use the money for the good of all New Zealanders.”

The PPTA executive will meet in August to finalise the claim and its negotiation team will begin meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Education after that.





  Academy Conference for GATE Students

Inspire Ambition – Junior Students (Year 9) Stretch and Challenge Day

  • Where: Wellington: Scots College,
  • When: Monday 6th August.
  • Costs: Students: A fixed fee of $45 if paid prior to conference. We have access to sponsorship for students wishing to attend but for whom the cost is a significant challenge for their families. Please contact us for further details.
  • Staff: A fixed fee of $45. One free staff place with every 12 students booked so please contact to coordinate if you or your students are attending. Bookings: Please contact the office with your numbers as early as possible to secure your places.  or Book online