Weekly Wrap Up

Weekly Wrap Up (Week 7, Term 1)

It is Neurodiversity Week and we follow the events around the school and in He Kākano including news of a student’s selection for the Special Olympics National Summer Games. With success in Dragon Boating, Waka Ama and at the Western Zone Athletics, it has also been a fantastic sporting week.

Important Dates


  • Wednesday 31 March – Learning Conversations Y9-13. 
  • Thursday 1 April – Teacher-Only Day: Capital City Kāhui Ako. School closed.
  • Friday 2 April – Tuesday 6 April: Easter Break.
  • Monday 12 April – Board meeting (6pm)
  • Friday 16 April – End of Term 1

Important Information 

Learning Conversations – 31 March


The Learning Conversation takes place between your student, the student’s rōpū teacher and parent(s) / caregiver(s).  Each learning conversation will take 20 minutes at the most. Students will only be at school on Wednesday 31 March for their learning conversation. Please make the effort to support this event. Students should make an appointment to attend even if you are unavailable.

This learning conversation is an opportunity for students, with the help of you and their rōpū teacher, to reflect on learning and engagement so far this year, and look ahead to plans for 2021.

  • Bookings for learning conversations can be made at using code xx2zs
  • Bookings are made by choosing the year level then the rōpū teacher. Please note that we can only make one booking per student.
  • Please note that Gavin Hockly (11HYG) and Ainhoa Ortego (13OOA) are not available for Learning Conversations. Whakamarurangi Chadwick (11CKW) and Natalie Bell (11BLN) are running conversations jointly.

What’s happening?

Neurodiversity week

This week we celebrated Neurodiversity Celebration Week! The aim of the week is to acknowledge and celebrate the strengths of Neurodivergent students. The week included many highlights. Dr Shannon Hennig’s talk to students about the gifts of Neurodiversity was well attended and inspiring. Posters around the school have prompted positive conversation. Teacher’s dogs were part of our quiet sensory room and students enjoyed this interaction. Student-led fundraising efforts to raise money for sensory resources for the school have thus far been very successful. We enjoyed traditional Italian pizza which raised $104. At the time of writing we are in the middle of our Bake Sale with some delicious looking treats on offer. Thank you Hannah and Lucia.

He Kākano

It is Neurodiversity Celebration Week and the students did a fantastic job creating a large banner to display in the school foyer. This promotes an inclusive educational environment at school, embracing learning differences. In other news, we now have an active aquarium with 6 White Cloud Mountain Minnows! The students will learn tank maintenance and cleaning, as well as correct feeding. As usual, students are busy in classes around school in their chosen classes.

Seatoun Arts Society

Tara Stockwell Williams, was invited to the Seatoun Arts Society meeting on Wednesday. Tara gave a talk about her art practice and the challenges she met in her art last year. Tara, who was awarded the Seatoun Arts Society prize at the 2020 Senior Prizegiving was warmly received by the audience.

48Hour Film Festival

Over the weekend of 5-7 March four WHS teams took part in the 48Hour Film Festival. It was a great weekend of furious filmmaking with each team given a genre, something invisible, a heartbeat, a reaction shot and an anti-hero to include in their story. We entered three Year 13 and a very courageous Year 10 team.

Painted Word 335

Students in PWD335 had a great time this week learning about Jackson Pollock’s artistic processes.


We have a team for the Readers’ Cup! The Readers’ Cup Challenge is a nationwide event  for Year 9 students.  We have some fine readers who have committed to reading set texts for our internal WHS challenge. From there we will take on Wellington secondary schools to represent the region in the national competition later in the year.

Our librarian training is going well. We have lots of volunteers this year and we are making sure we will get the best out of them and that they will enjoy this role. 


NZ National Lead Climbing championship success

Congratulations to Fynn Marno-Simpson (Year 10) who came first in the Youth B grade (under 16s) in the Climbing New Zealand, National Lead Climbing championships. Congratulations also go to Jasmine Arnold-Clark (Year 9) who was first in the Youth C Female. Fynn and Jasmine are both members of Dynomites Wellington.


WHS Dragon Boating 2021

Our staff and student teams had two great days on the water last weekend. The staff team won bronze in the Corporate B finals while our wonderful students’ team took silver in the mixed-A secondary schools final. Both are fantastic results testament to the teams’ commitment to training for the competition. Bring on 2022!

Ngā mihi, Whaea Char and Joe

Western Zone Athletics success

Congratulations to all our athletes who competed in this week’s Western Zone Athletics competition. Our teams placed 7 in their respective competitions, with the following stand out performances:


Student Event Distance Place
Terina Tipene Shot Put – girls junior 9.12m 2nd
Aalia Ali Javelin – girls junior 25.38m 1st
Iris Boswell Javelin – girls junior 21.43m 2nd
Frankie Coup Javelin – girls intermediate 28.93m 1st
Ari Koed Chang Long jump – boys senior 6.03m 1st
Henry Chapman Javelin – boys senior 49.54m 1st
Harry Alexander High Jump – boys junior 1.5m 3=


Student Event Time Place
Dung Le 100m – boys junior 13.23s 3rd
Ivan Purdy 300m – boys junior 46.45s 2nd
Ivan Purdy 1500m – boys junior 5:22.44m 3rd
Theo Wilkinson 800m – boys intermediate 2:23.45m 3rd
Lee Stanton-Barnett 1500m – boys senior 4:31.23m 3rd

Waka Ama 

Our paddlers were out in force last weekend with Waka Ama regionals on the water at Titahi Bay on Saturday. Their next stop is the nationals in Rotorua next week.

Special Olympics qualification success

On the weekend of 6-7 March, neurodiverse student Dominique Gilling qualified for this year’s quadrennial Special Olympics National Summer Games in the top category, Division A. Out of three events, he placed second in the dressage and equitation (missing out on first by just one point) and first in the working trail. As his competition was a 29 year old rider from Canterbury who is a current member of the New Zealand SO Equestrian squad, this is quite an achievement. The overall competition featured 21 riders from the lower North Island and Canterbury. Congratulations Dominique!