• Monday 19 March: Summer Tournament Week starts
  • Thursday 29 March: Learning Conversations
  • Friday 30 March – Tuesday 3 April (includes Tuesday): Easter break
  • Term Dates 2018

Principal’s message — March 2018

It is hard to believe that we are already in the latter part of term 1 2018. There has been a lot going on and a lot of student success over a wide range of areas. If you are a regular reader of the weekly updates you will already know this.
In a couple of weekly updates in the latter part of last year I asked for your feedback on our new strategic plan which we were putting in place for 2018 onwards. Thank you to those who were able to respond. The Board, the Senior Leadership team, staff and groups of students spent time putting the strategic plan together during terms 2, 3 and 4 last year. Essentially it was a chance for us to align our plan with our practice. WERO has gained strong traction in the school since it was introduced by Nigel Hanton a few years ago. It is a Māori word meaning ‘challenge’ and we have appropriated the initials of this word to represent our core values and priorities.

W is for Whānau and represents that education is a partnership between the school and families. We have the greatest success when we are all working together. When we speak about whānau we also mean this in the wider community sense in that we are trying to look after all of our students and make sure everyone is given a fair, even chance of success and that no one is left behind.

E represents Excellence. Excellence is not confined to achievement at the very highest level but represents everyone giving their best and achieving to their highest level or finding their own personal level of excellence. Excellence is also not confined to academic areas but includes sporting, cultural, social and personal excellence.

R is for Respect because respectful relationships should be at the core of what we do and what we want our young people to acquire. R could also represent relational practice – the importance of good relationships reflecting good teaching practice. And R could also represent Restorative because things will go wrong and it’s important that we try and repair the harm that may have been caused.

O stands for Ora representing physical and emotional wellbeing. We all need quality of life and we need to actively take steps to look after ourselves and others.

From our strategic plan we have created an annual plan for 2018 and I am happy to share this with you. You can view both of these documents as well as our charter here – they are also on our school website under the ‘About Us’ tab.

The Education Review Office (ERO) spent about one and a half weeks in the school from Monday 26 February to Wednesday 7 March. This visit was a scheduled cyclical review that all schools and early childhood centres in New Zealand undergo. The visit was based around the over-arching question: ‘How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?’ ERO spent time in our school collecting evidence in classrooms, in interviews with students and staff and through our documentation and self review. On the last day, ERO gave us a verbal report back which we feel was very positive about what we are doing at High. The draft report will be published around Easter and I will be able to make the final report available to you either at the end of this term or early next term.

Finally, we are fast approaching our first learning conversations meeting on Thursday 29 March. This should be a good opportunity for you to get some encouraging feedback on your student and make some goals for the year. Try and take some time before the day to discuss what your young person would like to achieve this year and base your conversation roughly around three goals. In my statements above about the strategic plan, I emphasised the more holistic view of achievement. As a starting point you might ask them about what they want to achieve academically, what contribution or service they could make to the community and what they might be starting to think in relation to pathways.

After learning conversations, we have a short break for Easter (including Easter Tuesday which is a school holiday) and then one and a half weeks before the end of term 1.

Ngā mihi nui

Dominic Killalea

Important Information

Learning Conversations — 29 March

An email was sent to all whānau and caregivers last week to invite you to book a session for a Learning Conversation with your student’s rōpū teacher.
You can book your learning conversation session(s) now by going to https://www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and using the correct code(s) for your student(s):

  • Juniors Year 9-10: Code f7ajr
  • Seniors Years 11-13: Code q63q

Please note:

  • The Learning Conversation is a conversation between the student, the student’s rōpū teacher and parent(s) / caregiver(s).
  • Students will only be at school on Thursday 29 March for their learning conversation.
  • Each learning conversation takes 20 minutes
  • During the conversation, we invite students to think, and make judgements about, their learning. The teacher will help the student to lead the discussion and reflect on progress so far. Students will develop up to three goals that they would like to achieve through this year.


2017 Year Books

The 2017 Yearbooks have now arrived in school and are in the process of being distributed next week in rōpū time to all students, staff and families who have already ordered copies. Apologies for the delay with the publication — but we think they look great so we hope you’ll feel it was worth the wait!


Entertainment Books

You can order online www.entertainmentbook.co.nz/orderbooks/104r121 or you can hand your order form to student services with either cash or credit card details.  Membership costs $65 and $13 goes towards our general fundraising efforts.






The Foods Department: Recycling your plastic containers since ages ago

Our students use plastic containers to take their kai home. In the interests of the environment we’d really like to re-use your ice cream, butter, margarine, yoghurt, takeaway containers etc.

Drop them to reception, or get your student to drop them into our food rooms.


Surplus fruit and vegetables?    

Our Level 3 hospitality students are currently making preserves and chutneys. So if you have a surplus of fruits or vegetables that will otherwise go to waste, please send them along to us.

What's Happening?

Dragon Boat success for staff and students

Congratulations to the staff and students for winning gold medals at Dragon Boating on the 11th March 2018. The student team included:

Ivy Austin, Molly Doyle, Seyi Durojaiye, Taupiri Gray, Henry Gregg, Simon Gude, Max Helbick, Zach Le Quesne, Bena Lentell, Kintaka Lim, Max Mathieson, Meredith Metcalfe, Lolo Owen, Drea Parai-Tupene, Adam Roberts, Francisco Vitalis, Molly Web-Lidall, Amelia White, Charlie Zonnevylle.

Our students won the B final. They were second fastest qualifiers and were just behind Tawa’s top team most of the race then passed them in the last 50m to take the Gold. The students were all really excited but didn’t know the result, it was that close. Great work, Charlene, Joe and William and all the supporters.


Above: The staff competed in the annual Dragonboating regatta last Saturday and won GOLD in their final.  The team comprised of Miss C Henderson, Miss M Reid, Ms S Tobin, Miss A Kirby, Mrs D Jordan, Ms K Jean-Louis, Mrs C James-Meijer, Mrs S Meijer, Mr M Neville, Mr B Pancha, Mr D Killalea, Mr J Sione, Mr R Mantel, Mr R Janaszkiewicz, Mrs A Reeve, Mr M Johnson, Mr B Roth Shank, Mrs T Murphy, Ms A Ortego, Mr W Pinckney, Ms L Cross, Mr M Pope and Mrs J Nicholas.Scoreboard

Mayor speaks to Te Reo Māori students

Over 300 of Wellington High School’s Te Reo Māori students were visited by Justin Lester on Wednesday. Drawing from his own experience as a second language learner, the Mayor emphasised the importance of engaging in Te Ao Māori and spoke about the Wellington City Council’s new Te Tauihu policy which will see Te Reo Māori prioritised in our city. Students had spent time over the last couple of weeks working on submissions for Te Tauihu and were able to ask Justin further questions about the Council’s ongoing commitment to this kaupapa.


Physics triumph

We are proud to report that Wellington High School is officially the best school in the south of the North Island for Physics. We won the regional tournament of the New Zealand Physics Tournament, with Sai August, Zuni Preece and Luke Roeven showing a clean pair of heels to Onslow (our big rivals). The B team, Joseph Basham, Sophie Mance and Quang Ngo Minh, also performed very well and took the bronze medals.​

​It was an exciting day with the draw leaving the two favourites (Onslow and High) to meet in the final session. The fight was epic, with two gifted mathematicians (Luke and Finnegan from Onslow) debating the workings of a weird type of pendulum which Luke analysed using Lagrangian Mechanics – a topic normally reserved for third year Uni students and which Luke taught himself from Youtube videos.

The team continue to the Nationals in Christchurch on 24th March.

Murray and Kerry are hoping to run a series of ‘fights’ on Tuesday after school, with the A and B team practising their skills and helping to train the IYNT team.  Watch this space!


Students assist Royal Society at Gene Editing Workshop

Catherine Edmeades, Aidan Lynch and Gemma Guiney, WHS Senior Biology students, were invited by the Royal Society to assist their panel in answering these key questions for the future: –  Should gene editing form part of our healthcare options? and Should gene editing be part of New Zealand’s tool box for pest control? The panel including top NZ molecular biologists, scientists, epidemiologists and legal experts were impressed with the quality and depth of their knowledge. WHS have been studying CRISPR – Cas9 gene editing (CCGE) – in their Biology classes over recent weeks and prepared a  range of essays on the potential and problems of CCGE for New Zealand.



EPro8 needs STEM Students for September

The 2018 schedule for the EPro8 Challenge, the inter school science and engineering competition has just been confirmed and WHS has been chosen to host the Heats and Regional Finals .  EPro8 have over 260 events planned throughout New Zealand with 800 schools taking part.

Wellington Regional EPro8 is in the Riley Centre WHS on Thursday 13th Sep 2018 5:00 – 8.00pm for the  Year 10 teams. We have 2 teams entered for this event and 2 more teams for the Year 9 event the day  Friday 14 September 2018 9:30am – 12.30pm.

The full schedule of events and further details of what each event involves is at www.epro8challenge.co.nz.

Registration is available to all interested Year 9 and Year 10 students, cost is $30 per student per event. There are 4 students per team. Last year our teams had great success in the Junior Heats and Regional Finals and we look forward to this year’s competition in our own school hall.

Please let Tony Cairns know by email or in person if you are keen to try out for inclusion in the WHS EPro8 2018 teams – spaces are limited to 16 students with 4 backups in case of illness on the day.



Art Trip

Year 11ART and Level 2 PWD previewed the brand new galleries at Toi Te Papa on Friday morning before it officially opens to the public on Saturday. The students were very taken by the use of colour in the work of Tiffany Singh.




Last weekend Wellington hosted the NZ Bowlzilla Championships at Waitangi Park.  Congratulations to our very talented Soul Kropelnicki who won the NZ U16 Division.




Futsal Regionals

On Thursday College Sport Wellington held the Futsal Regionals at the ASB Sports Centre.  WHS entered 1 Senior Boys, 1 Senior Girls and 1 Junior Boys team into the competition. All teams competed well and played with great enthusiasm.  It’s great to see some awesome talent coming through and Futsal looks to be strong here at WHS in the following years.




Lawn Bowls

On Tuesday we had students take part in the College Sport Wellington Lawn Bowls Championships.
Thank you to Ms S Henry (teacher) for looking after our Bowls programme.  See left for a shot of Kolja Lange in the Bowls Double Championship.





It has been a very busy summer for a couple of our athletes.  On Thursday they had the Regional Athletics meet held at Newtown Park.  Congratulations goes to Ari Koed-Chang for winning the Junior Boys’ Long Jump with the jump of 5.96, and 3rd in the Junior Boys’ 200m with a time 25.58sec. Ella Blakely won the Intermediate Girls’ 400m with a time of 1.01.03sec and came 4th in the Intermediate 200m with a time of 27.05sec.

Ari also competed in the Athletics Wellington Junior Championships held on the 10th and 11th March at Newton Park.  At this event he came away with a Gold in the Junior Boys Long Jump and a Silver in the 4x100m relay. Well done and congratulations to both students.




Senior Boys’ Basketball have their trials starting on Monday after school 3.30-5.00pm in the Lower Gym  and Thursday lunchtime in the Tindall Gym.




Upcoming Sporting Events

Good luck to the Ultimate Frisbee, Waka Ama, Futsal and Floorball teams who are competing in the Summer Tournament week, next week.