Annual Report


This is a link to the PDF of the Newlands College Financial Statements 2020.



The Board is pleased to report the progress that Newlands College made in 2020.

During 2020 the Board remained stable with all existing members completing the year.  The student elected board member was Holly Ells and Josh Taufu succeeded her. He will begin his full term in 2021.

The year was the COVID-19 year and this certainly changed the nature of what a school year looked like.  Many traditional activities such a s the school production, which would have been Shrek, were cancelled and the sporting programme was either truncated or did not start.  The opportunity for students to gain representative honours was also drastically reduced.

One of the greatest impacts was on the way that we delivered our teaching and learning to our students.  With schools closed, Zoom lessons became a regular feature for the students.  Some subjects, notably those with a practical component such as, technology, the arts, and health and physical education found it particularly challenging. However, the staff were innovative and the students did not suffer too much in the long run.  Interestingly, we found that some students enjoyed the flexibility of lockdown learning as they found they could allocate longer periods of time to pursue a particular subject e.g. paint all day for art. Others missed the social contact of having their friends around. The results below give a good indication of how the students coped.


The students did manage to enjoy success in a variety of forums.  These are listed below.

Academic Success

Dux Litterarum:

Brandon Ru

Proximae Accessit:

Ray Wu

Wesley Broughton Award (Top year 12 Academic Achiever):

Kimberly Zhu

Year 12 Runner-Up:

Laura Stone


Top Academic Achiever Year 11:

Stella Blomfield and Anush Goel

 Year 11 Runner-Up:          

Molly Zhou

Top Academic Achiever Year 10:

Thomas Ru

Year 10 Runner Up: 

Ella Pan, Amy Piper

Top Academic Achiever Year 9:

Sophia Wong, Lisa Tu

Year 9  Runner Up: 

Kaitlyn Far

Celebration of Sports Awards

Male Sports Person of the Year:

Dillian Thiagarajah and Aaron Fawkes

Female Sports Person of the Year:

Ella Betty

Team of the Year:

1st XI Girls Football, winner of Premier 2.

AWD Sports Person of the Year

Tiffany Natta

Junior Sports Person of the Year:

Grace Fruean and Bayley Puha-Harris


Performing Arts Awards

Arts Captain                                     

Ben Clarke

Creative Writer of the Year            

Avni Lahbsetwar

Kapa Haka Junior Boy of the Year

Bailey Puha-Harris

Kapa Haka Senior Girl of the Year

Emma Chang

Kapa Haka Person of the Year    

Zion Godwin

Polyclub Person of the Year        

Taupou Tauāfiafi-Muagututi’a

Musician of the Year                      

Rose Aldridge and Laura Stone

Actor of the Year                             

Russell Gill

Contribution to Visual Arts            

Vishek Kumar

NCEA and Scholarship.

The way the results are determined by the Ministry of Education is as follows. Any student who has been in the school for 70 days is counted in the data.  Also students, if they identify with more than one ethnicity, are counted in each of their chosen identities - with up to three choices. The data includes students who have not yet engaged with Level 1 on the curriculum (NCEA Level 1 is Level 6 on the curriculum) and students who left during the year.

NCEA Results (%)


Newlands College Mean

National Mean

Decile 9

Co-Ed. Mean

Level 1




Level 2




Level 3




University Entrance




Also of note is that our Pasifika and Māori students did extremely well, although in some cases using percentages can be misleading, as some      groups of students are small in numbers. For this reason, we have not included all the data. National means are in brackets:

Māori Level 1 85% (58%) Level 2 88% (70%) Level 3 77% (59%)

Pacific People, Level 1 92% (66%) Level 2% 67% (75%) Level 3 89% (67%)

Other academic results include Scholarship.  This year we gained 13 Scholarships, with Brandon Ru, our Dux, gaining two Outstanding Scholarships and 4 Scholarships. This earned Brandon an Outstanding Scholar Award, which will provide him with $5000 per year for 3 years for his University studies.  An incredible effort!


Due to roll growth and promotions, the college needed to employ 11 new staff.  We were extremely pleased to welcome the following for the start of the 2020 school year. Those staff marked with a * are beginning teachers.

James Taylor                        Health and Physical Education*

Katrina de Graff                    Art

Stephanie Hopkirk               English

Sandy Deng                         English

Jessica Knipping                 English/Media*

Lana Page                            Health and Physical Education

Nathan Jip                            Social Sciences*

Brendon Reddy                    Technology*

Rosaleen Sawaya                Learning Support Co-ordinator

Karen Forsyth                       Social Sciences

Emma Hoey                          Learning Support Teacher

Annual Highlights

In any normal school year, it is usually quite easy to identify specific highlights, for example the school production.  However, 2020 was far from normal and singling out specific events is not so easy.  We think the overall highlight was how well everyone, staff and students, coped with the adversity that COVID-19 created.  Everyone got on with the year as best we could and the end result was that we could still celebrate the arts, sports, and academic achievements of the students, even though the rules of physical distancing applied.

One positive was how we were able to continue to work on and build on partnerships under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  The changes may be small and subtle but they are significant and the evidence can be seen throughout the school.  An example was the promotion and organisation of our school flying the Tino Rangitiratanga flag for the first time at Matariki and every day since. This may not sound like much, but it is hugely significant as we work on strengthening our partnership commitment.  This work will continue for the years to come.


At the time of writing the 2020 Financial Report shows an unaudited surplus of $131,000.    


Property development was put on hold in 2020 for several reasons.  While plans to rebuild part of the school because of weather tightness issues were implemented, the final drawings did not meet the needs of the school.  As a result, it was decided to re-start the design process. This was coupled with the MOE recognising, but not yet funding, buildings to also cope with roll growth.  the Ministry of Education predict that by 2026 our roll could be up around the 1500 mark - it is already approaching 1,100.  It makes sense to include designs that cater for this growth.  Hopefully 2021 will see this work begin and the Ministry will confirm the full funding required for roll growth buildings. Like many things, COVID-19 also prevented building work being undertaken as the country was in lockdown.


2020 was yet another successful year for the College. This is an enduring result of the ongoing vibrant and supportive teaching and learning environment that exists at

Newlands College.

It is great to see the high levels of achievement gained by students at all levels across both academic and co-curricular domains. We particularly note and celebrate that NCEA results continue to exceed national averages and that scholarship results were again the best ever for the College.

The Board particularly acknowledges the great performance of the school over the last year in the context of unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19 and thanks Mr Jones as Principal, the Deputy Principals and all staff for their part in making this happen.    

The Board would like to thank the staff whose commitment, ability and professionalism is a key factor in making the College the success it is today.

The Board would also like to acknowledge the leadership provided by our Principal, Grant Jones, who with the support and commitment of the senior management team, continue to raise the achievement benchmark for our staff and our students.

A key theme of almost every Board discussion is "how can we enable better educational outcomes for our students?" and it is deeply rewarding to see the results flowing from this focus.

Gavin Knight (Chairperson)

Michelle Mako (Deputy Chairperson)

Tom Logan

Sapphire Aitcheson

Brian Norris

Ben Lau (Staff Representative)

Glenn McStay

James Malden

Holly Ells (Student Representative)

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