News / Notices Weekly Wrap Up

Weekly Wrap-Up (Term 1 – Week 5)

This week’s newsletter includes the Principal’s message for the first half of Term 1 and a message from the Board of Trustees about forthcoming Board elections. Find out about the Kahui Ako super hui and much, much more.

Important Dates

NOTE: You can access the school calendar on our website: WHS School Calendar

  • 4-6 March: 9Royal Noho Marae
  • 6-8 March:  9Howell Noho Marae
  • 26 March: FRIDAY timetable runs today
  • 29 March: Learning Conversations all day (with rōpū teachers)
  • 12 April: End of Term 1

Message from the Principal

I hope your young person is settled into their classes and school routine and that they are setting themselves up for success this year. Our Year 9 cohort is the largest in many years with the roll nearing 1300 for the first time since I joined WHS. It is fantastic to see the community embracing coeducation at secondary level. Your increased support is an endorsement that a school should be a reflection of the society we live in. The increased roll places some pressures on us all, not least with some larger junior classes, and it is satisfying to see students settled well into the new academic year.

At the start of the year, we acquaint/reacquaint ourselves with WHS’s cornerstone priorities based around the māori word WERO. WERO means ‘challenge’. Its letters represent our core strategic priorities. W is for Whānau. Education is a partnership between the school and family. We have the greatest success when we are all working together. When we speak of whānau we mean this in the broadest community sense: we are looking after all of our students to ensure everyone is given a fair, even chance of success and that no one is left behind. E represents Excellence. Excellence is not confined to academic achievement but represents everyone giving their best and achieving to their own personal level of excellence. Excellence is not confined to academic areas and includes sporting, cultural, social and personal excellence. R is for Respect. Respectful relationships should be at the core of everything we do and want our young people to acquire. R can also represent relational teaching practice and how this shows the importance of good relationships. And R can represent restorative practice because when things go wrong it is important to try and repair 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. When I think of Ora I think of the airline safety videos that talk about looking after ourselves first before helping others when the oxygen mask drops down from overhead. It is the same with Ora. We need to look after our own wellbeing to be in a position to look after others.

On 14 February our WERO leaders and DP Megan Southwell, ran ‘Aroha Day’: an opportunity for students to find out about sporting and cultural activities and sign up to something that interested them. It was great to see students signing up for so many opportunities enthusiastically. I hope that these initial commitments turn into enjoyable and rewarding experiences throughout the year.

As you read this, our students will have just be finishing competing in our annual Athletics Day. I hope this provides a positive fun day for all of those who compete and helps to engender a stronger sense of pride in our great school. You will be able to read about the event in next week’s Wrap Up.

On Friday 29 March we will run our first learning conversations for the year. The emphasis will be on how students can gain the requisite learning competencies to build success. These key competencies are an important part of our NZ curriculum and are: thinking; using language, symbols and text; managing self; relating to others; and participating and contributing. They all contribute to how a student prepares for and engages in learning.

Through the media you may have heard that a student strike in support of a worldwide day of action over global warming is planned for Friday 15 March. Some of our students have expressed an interest in attending and publicity material has been circulating at school and online. The action is a global initiative expected to bring thousands of students onto the streets worldwide.

In Wellington students will be meeting in Civic Square at 10am and marching to Parliament. We anticipate that students who participate will be out of school for the day. If your young person wants to support this action please notify us as soon as possible. Although the school supports students who wish to use this day to take this action, we do not support those that may use this issue as an excuse for a day off with no intention of being involved in the positive action being planned.

Ngā mihi nui

Dominic Killalea

Important Information

Thank you to the WF Anderson Educational Foundation

Wellington High School has received a grant of $5000 from the WF Anderson Educational Foundation. This money will be used to assist students in financial need. We are deeply appreciative of the Foundation’s support.

Board Elections  | A message from the Wellington High School Board of Trustees

2019 is an election year for school trustees.  We understand that asking people to put their hand up and stand for election is difficult, especially if parents aren’t really clear on what the role entails!

Find out about becoming a trustee

New Zealand School Trustees Association are offering a new programme, Kōrari, which is designed to recognise the experience of existing trustees and help to encourage potential new trustees to come and find out what it really means to serve on a school board.

People who want to understand what school governance looks like can come along and find out more. A hui will be facilitated by a regional adviser from NZSTA who will talk about the reality of being a trustee, the support and training that is available and encourage existing trustees to tell their story.

The Hui will be held at Wellington High School on Monday 1st April at 6pm. NZSTA will provided refreshments.

If you are interested in becoming a school trustee we encourage you to come along. Please RSVP using this link if you ARE attending:

What’s happening?

The first Capital City Kāhui Ako Super Hui!

On Monday this week, teachers from our Kāhui Ako/Community of Learning schools gathered together for the first time. Wellington High is part of a Ministry-funded collective with seven of its feeder schools (SWIS, Brooklyn School, Owhiro Bay, Island Bay, Newtown Primary, Houghton Valley, and Ridgway School). We are committed to working closely together around challenges related to wellbeing, cultural identity and capabilities for lifelong learning. The staff met, talked and shared their first thoughts about the direction and potential outcomes of our collective. It was great for staff to begin to ‘reach across’ to connect with colleagues in other local schools. The next step is to complete and submit our action plan to the Ministry of Education for approval.


John Minto visits WHS

As part of the Thursday Library lunchtime lecture series for 2019, John Minto spoke to a group of WHS staff and students on Thursday. For the past 72 days the veteran activist has been walking the length of the North Island, partly to fulfil a personal ambition but also to advocate for Human Rights equality for Palestinians in Israel. John spoke thoughtfully, starting with the aims of his Te Araroa walk and gave the floor to students and staff to ask questions and extend their own understanding about activism, issues in the Middle East and his own actions during the SpringBok Tour. In a session that looked at both sides of the debate, John responded to the audience’s desire to better understand the complex and politically divisive struggles between Israel and Palestine.


Earth and Space Science students visit Island Bay

Earth and Space Science NCEA level 2 students enjoyed a beautiful afternoon carrying out field work at Island Bay and Princess Bay. They practised sketching, photographing and observing the rock formations.

Students learned how the rocks were formed as layers of sand 200 million years ago which became buried under an ocean that was maybe 2 km deep. Within the sedimentary rock a volcano left a layer of basalt that is now visible just east of the Bait shed as purple/red rock.  At Princess Bay there are traces of the sea creatures that lived on the ocean floor.


Overseas exchange scholarship information evening

Is your student interested in spending a semester overseas? Student Exchange will be running an information session at Victoria University to provide further details. 


Hear from returned students, find out more about discounts and scholarships available and ask questions.

Thursday, 7th March – 7.00pm

Victoria University of Wellington, Pipitea Campus

Room GBG04, Old Government Buildings

23 Lambton Quay


Visit or call 0800 440 077  for more information.


WHS students Eli Martin (Year 11) and John Shea (Year 12) took place in the first round of NZOI (New Zealand Olympiad in Informatics) last weekend. 70 students, of all ages, and from across the country took part. Congratulations to Eli, who placed 18th, and John, who placed 11th.