August 2018 Principal's Message

Kia Ora Tatou

Term 3 is now well underway and this will be my last “Message” for several months as I begin my sabbatical on Monday. I will return to the College on November 12th and while I am away Deb King will be the Acting Principal.  Ms Susan MacDiarmid will be Acting Deputy Principal.

Term 3 is an interesting term as the end of the year starts to loom large. For our senior students, excluding the week of the internal examinations there is only nine and half weeks of school left for them.  This will equate to 36 periods per subject!  If they are participating in things such as tournament week, or the risk management trip then this number will reduce further. Looking into our calendar there is still a lot of activity going on.  Tonight is the Polyfest, there is the Active Learning Showcase, end of the winter sports season, Derived Grades Assessments, sports tournament week, Year 11 semi-formal and the NOSCARS. So there is still plenty to be done.

Also coming up this term is subject choice for all students.  As the term progresses you will receive more information about course selections for next year.  It is important that students make good decisions around their selections as in many cases they are starting on their future pathways to tertiary education and employment.  Year 13 students will need to be particularly active in applying for scholarships and halls of residence as closing dates are very soon. In all instances it is appropriate for students to work with their Form Teachers, Deans and the Career Advisor, Ms Featherstone.

During the holidays we had several groups head off overseas.  Our Board of Trustees student representative, Shani McMullan, was one of New Zealand’s Youth Ambassadors that went to France as part of the World War 1 centenary celebrations.  Our basketballers went to the USA and their teacher Mr Broadbent described the trip as:

Senior Boys basketballers visited the USA to play, practice, and learn more about basketball from the best in the world. The group visited San Francisco, New Jersey, New York, and Hawaii over the course of the trip. Students were able to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience and had plenty of fun along the way!”

“Senior Art, Drama and Music students had the opportunity to enjoy the sites of New York. Fully immersing themselves in the culture and arts of the city that never sleeps!”

There were a number of students involved in representative teams over the July holidays. Matthew Nel (Y10) was part of the U15 Indoor Cricket team that played in the provincial championship in Christchurch. In Basketball, Kiefer Salisban (Y9) was part of the U15 Gold team and Ryan Stokes (Y9) part of the Black team at the U15 Nationals. In Netball, Ashley Barr (Y10) was in the U15 Gold team at the North Island Championships whilst Lauren Smith (Y12) was part of the U17 team that won Nationals for the 3rd consecutive year (Lauren was also part of this winning team last year).  Aidan Churches (Y10) has been selected for the Wellington U15 Hockey team that will be playing in the National Premier Tournament in Christchurch in the first week of the next holidays.

Congratulations to Emma Downey. Emma now holds the New Zealand Under 15 National title. She competed in the National Brass Band championships as a soloist and part of the Hutt City Brass band in the under 15 and solo competition.

Congratulations to Finn Lewis who was top in his, Star Yoobee, Game Art & Developed course during the holiday period.

I do need to pass comment about the school buses.  Metlink has the contract to provide the bus service, but its actual delivery of the service has been sub-contracted to Tranzurban.  I have been in daily contact with both companies over the provision of the buses and the timing of them.  It is still not right, but please be assured, from our end that we are doing our best.  If you have concerns please contact Metlink in the first instance.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the remainder of the year.

Nga Mihi Nui

Grant Jones

September 2018 Principal's Message

E ngā raukura o te kōrowai o te kuratuarua o Horokiwi āku mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa. Ko tēnei wiki he wiki kia whakamana tātou katoa o tō tatou nei reo. Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui!!


Me Whakamatau

For most of the year our students and teachers work hard to learn and reach their potential together. In contrast, examinations are the first time for many students that they have to demonstrate their learning on their own - silently -  in a large hall with hundreds of other students.

Recently our seniors took part in their ‘derived grade examinations’. These are designed to mimic the final external assessments in November. They provide valuable feedback ensuring students have every opportunity to reach the standard required. Over the next few weeks many students will be studying hard to ensure they take on board all of the feedback and reach a high level of attainment in their final examinations.


Our active learning days last term meant that many students were out and about in our community. This has continued into Term 3 as students presented their learning at our Active Learning Showcase. Highlights from the evening included the ongoing trapping of pests in the gully to allow native birds to thrive in our local area, fundraising thousands of dollars for a variety of charities and learning new skills - instruments, cooking, baking, building, mechanics, film-making. Science inquiries like eliminating salt from water was a focus for some students and large number of students were at our various primary schools promoting learning. Many thanks to those of you in our community who supported our students.


A number of our students have demonstrated their knowledge in the Wellington region over the last month. In particular, we had 23 students competing in the Goethe Society Oral Competition. Students had to complete a prepared reading and conduct a short conversation before a judging panel. Our students did the school very proud and showed great courage in practising their German skills outside of the classroom. I am pleased to say 20 of our students gained Excellence certificates, 3 gained Merit. Adam Gordon placed 3rd= in the Year 10 group of 24 competitors. In Year 12, Kavinda Dharmawardana placed 2nd and Zeyu Zang placed 3rd.

In addition, we have had a number of successes in Mathematics. The Year 11 Mathswell team came first in Wellington and this is a huge credit to the students and teachers. The team included: Ria Hermans, Angus Kirtlan, Logan Maass, Ethan Pan, Brandon Ru and Ray Wu. They were coached by Shine Wu and Lilly Zhang. Shine also competed in the Casio Victoria Senior Maths Competition and came third - finalists flew from all around New Zealand to compete so this is an impressive result.

In the New Zealand Poetry Competition several students did well: Ria Hermans was national runner-up in the Junior section of the National Poetry Competition for her poem  'Where the birds kept singing'. Avni Labhsetwar was commended in the Junior section of the National Poetry Competition for her poem 'To Be Soft Is To Grow'.

We also had some good results in ICAS Competitions:. Ria Hermans, Chinmay Madhusudhan and Sean Ong all earned Distinction in ICAS Science. Jayden Kah also earned High Distinction in ICAS Science and Digital Technology and is an ICAS Digital Technologies Medal Winner. Chinmay Madhusudhan earned Distinction in ICAS Digital Technologies.


A number of our sports teams have had success this season. In particular, I would like to congratulate our student coaches and officials who give back to the school by promoting sport and working with their peers to ensure everyone has a positive experience. There were 60 plus teams involved in Winter Sports this past season. Highlights include:


3 of our 10 Junior Badminton teams won their zone divisions - Newlands 1 and Newlands 3 Boys and Newlands 1 Girls. At the Senior level, our Senior Girls 4 team made the zone final.


Our Junior Girls 1 team won the Division 1 title for only the 2nd time ever.


The 15th grade side made the Division 1 final, agonisingly losing in the last 30 seconds of the final against Otaki.


Our Boys teams containing no less than 6 players new to the sport won the Reserve 1 grade.


5 out of the 13 netball teams made the finals of their grade (Newlands 3,7,10,11,13) with 4 of them winning their grades:  Newlands 3, 7, 11 and 13.


Our Newlands U15 team lost narrowly to unbeaten Aotea in the Division 3 final.

Table Tennis

Our top Table Tennis team won the Lower Valley Division 1 title and the team playing in the Porirua league won that league.

Congratulations to all the players that took part in the season.


Two weeks ago at assembly I spoke about the importance of wellbeing and looking after yourself - both online and in person. Here is the link to the presentation Wellbeing and why it matters Have a chat with the young people in your house about how much time they spend online and why more than 90 minutes per day is too much.

3 Day Discovery

3 Day Discovery takes place on Wednesday 28 November - Friday 30 November. All junior students will be invited to choose their options this week - ranging from a trip to Rotorua, tramping the Queen Charlotte walkway, exploring Wellington to soap-making. Do you have any old soaps lying around the house that you will never use? For example old hotel soaps or that gift that you just don't like. Our Soap making activity for 3 day discovery can re-purpose these soaps. Drop them off at student reception or the school office.


All the best to our Premier debators - Lilly Zhang, Shine Wu, Ryan Maass as they take on Wellington College at Parliament in the final with the moot - This house would make CEOs liable for human rights abuses that occur anywhere in their products' supply chain.  Our team is affirming. We know you can do it!

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