March 24 2020

24 March 2020

Kia mau ki te tokanga

Nui a noho

(There is no place like home)

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

Our end of term principal’s newsletter has come around quicker than I had imagined at the start of the year. With schools beginning their holidays earlier because of COVID-19 we have entered a new normal.  Several communications have gone out explaining how the school will manage this situation.

Since I last wrote we have been able to achieve some successes in different forums.  The students did extremely well at dragon boating picking up a gold medal in their division, a fine reward for all their training.

The senior boys cricket team where having a great season, with the last game of the season deciding the winners of the grade.  Sadly, this game was not able to be played but despite this the boys had a commendable season.

Our kapa haka group were practising for the non-competitive Wellington kapa haka festival.  While the festival did not take place, the students had a two day noho marae at the college.  Sixty students attended, they worked really hard and they were ready for a great performance.

Our head students, Dillian and Emma went to the Cullen Breakfast.  Peter Cullen a prominent Wellington employment lawyer hosts a breakfast without a notable guest speaker.  At the recent breakfast Prime Minister Jacinda Adhern spoke to the students about her personal journey that she had taken that led to her current position.  Our students found her inspirational.

We also had an appreciation day where we went out of our way to tell other people how much we appreciate the efforts that they made on our behalf.  Given the cloud that is hanging over us, this was a nice gesture.

The new school term will resume on Wednesday April 15th.  I would like to wish you all the very best over the weeks.

Ngā mihi nui

Grant Jones

Feb 28 2020

28 February 2020

Kia kaha,

Kia maia,

Kia manawanui

(Be strong, be brave, be steadfast)

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

Another few busy weeks have passed us by.  Unfortunately, we were unable to have our tabloid sports last Friday as the weather was looking somewhat suspect, and we felt that the students and staff being out in the drizzly rain could have caused us some problems later on.  As it turned out, the weather improved, even enough for the New Zealand cricket team to take an advantage over India  that eventual led to their victory. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.  However, we will try again on Friday 28th February.

We were delighted to announce our Student Executive for 2020.  The students received their badges at a recent assembly and it was a pleasure to have many of the students’ parents and whānau available for the occasion. The leadership team for 2020 is:

SCHOOL COUNCIL EXECUTIVE 2020

Head Girl

Emma Chang

Head Boy

Dillan Thiagarajah

Academic Captain

Victoria Bain (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa, Ngai Tahu)

Arts Captain

Benjamin Clark

Sports & Active Recreation Captain

Hannah Malden

Wellbeing Captain

Tiana Edmonds (Ngāti Porou, Ngā Puhi)

Kowhai House Captain

Jada Lambert (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahununu, Ngā Ruahine)

Matai House Captain

William Kirby

Rimu House Captain

Connor Wilson

Totara House Captain

Esha Gandhi

Komiti Māori

Zion Godwin (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Hamoa)

Komiti Pasifika

Lino Kelekolio

International Student Representative

Waolee Tanaka

BOT Representative

Holly Ells

At our assembly this week we awarded Excellence badges to the students who gained their NCEA Level 1 or 2 certificate endorsed with Excellence.  Promoting higher achievement is one of the goals of the College so we were pleased that 70% of candidates who achieved Level 1 did so at the Merit or Excellence level and 52% of students who achieved Level 2 were at the Merit or Excellence level.  Both results were ahead of national and decile 9 averages.

Of particular note were the results for the 2019 students who were in Year 12.  Logan Mass achieved Level 3 endorsed with Merit and University Entrance.  Brandon Ru achieved Level 3 endorsed with Excellence and University Entrance as well as gaining three Scholarships – one was in the outstanding category.  Ray Wu achieved Level 3 endorsed with Excellence and University Entrance as well as gaining two Scholarships.

We were also very pleased to share the presentation with many parents and whānau.

NCEA

You will be aware that there are significant changes coming up to the NCEA qualification.  These will be phased in over several years with the new qualification fully in place by the end of 2025.  NZQA has asked for feedback and you would have seen this in the e-mail that was sent to you, alerting you of this Principal’s Message.  I would encourage you to provide feedback through the questionnaire.

At the College we are also undertaking a curriculum review alongside the Board of Trustees reviewing their strategic plan.  In the case of NCEA it is hard to plan for something when you don’t entirely know what it will look like, but we have thoughts about how we can proceed.  We will keep you informed of our progress and our planned consultation.

Student Activity

The students are already actively involved in activities outside the classroom.  The school production Shrek has begun its rehearsals, a Noho Marae is planned in the next couple of weeks, cricket and volleyball are well into their seasons and we have now started to get ready for winter sport.  Over 120 girls turned out for the netball trials last night!

A reminder that the parent conferences are coming up on the 10th and 18th March, more information will follow.

Ngā mihi nui

Grant Jones

Feb 5 2020

5 February 2020

Kia Ora Tatou

"Mā te huruhuru ka rere te manu"

Adorn the bird with feathers so it may soar.

I would like to welcome you all back to the 2020 school year.  A special welcome to those of you who are new to Newlands College.  With our largest ever Year 9 intake of over 260 students, and new students to other levels that is quite a few of you who are new.

For families that are new to our school the ways that we communicate with you are very important. Communications, such as the Principal’s newsletter are provided on the website every two to three weeks, and we advise parents of them by e-mail. In addition, Parents and Caregivers can find important information specific to their own student(s) through the Parent Portal. This information will include: attendance, timetable, invoicing, and personal details. The students' progress is also reported through the portal, subject by subject as significant pieces of work are completed. In this way you will receive regular feedback. All students will also receive a Me Whakamatau Report. This will replace the engagement report that we have used in the past.  It will be posted on a regular basis and more details will be provided shortly. The portal is password protected and you should have received your password by now. If you have any difficulties with your password, please contact my P.A. Fei Gao at [email protected]

Last year’s students have now received their NCEA results, and while there is still an opportunity for students to gain additional credits, the college has a picture of how well the students achieved this year. Last year the way that the school’s success is calculated has changed.  Now, 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 National Mean Decile 9 schools
Level 1 84 68 75
Level 2 87 76 80
Level 3 72 65 71
University 63 46 56

Also of note is that our Pasifika and Māori students did extremely well, although in some cases using percentages can be misleading as the groups of students are small in numbers. For this reason, I have not included Level 3 and University as percentage reporting is meaningless.

Māori Level 1 63 (51%) Level 2 65 (63%) and for Pasifika, Level 1 76% (54%) Level 2 80%(65%)

(National Results)

Female students who stayed until the end of Year 13, 93% achieved Level 2 and 93% of males gained the qualification.

The students also did well in the Scholarship examinations.  These are the most difficult examinations on offer and usually only 0.5-1% of candidates are successful. These examinations are usually taken by year 13 students, but this year we had two who were successful in year 12.

Successful candidates were:

Gaby Conway                     Biology, Chemistry

Amber Zhu                         Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Kayla Latham                     Geography

Brandon Ru (Year 12)         Biology, Chemistry (Outstanding), Physics

Ray Wu (Year 12)               Biology, Chemistry

Issac Butt                            Drama

Senuka Sudusinghe            Drama

Avni Labhsetwar                  English

Sylvia Chia                           Chemistry

I would like to welcome the following new staff to our College:

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

Student involvement in the wider life of the school is already well underway.  Our cricket teams have begun their competition, the Dragon boat teams are training hard, auditions for the school production Shrek have begun and the elections of our student executive are underway

As in past years, we took our Year 9 students and their Year 13 Peer Support Leaders away to Camp at the start of the year. It was the biggest camp ever with over 300 students involved.  While the weather was not typical of a Kapiti Coast summer, it did not deter our students as they got involved in all manner of activities, swimming, a beach hikoi, the water slide and initiative activities. Everyone had a great time and the students made many new friends before their classes started

The new students and staff were formally welcomed to the school on the following Monday with a Powhiri.  This year we tried as much as possible to have the whole school involved and it was held outside in front of our wharekura, Te Ao Marama.  The result was much more powerful singing and the haka made a significant statement as the new staff and students were welcomed.

I will keep you informed of what is happening in the college as the year progresses and please regularly check the website and the Parent Portal as there is a lot happening this term.

Ngā mihi nui

Grant Jones


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