13 August

13 August 2021

Tohaina ō painga ki te ao

(Share your gifts with the world)

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

I have chosen this whakatauki as it resonates with me.  Our school motto is “Me Whakamatau, we work hard to achieve together” and in many ways, this whakatauki is an extension of this. We have many talented people in our school, both students and staff and it gives me great pleasure to see them helping, supporting, teaching and encouraging others so that they too, can enjoy success.

We have been reviewing our roll and now that the ballot has been held, we think that we will have about 250 Year 9s next year.  This will bring our total roll to about 1140 students compared to 1075 this year.  Given our growing roll and the significant property developments, that the college is undertaking, our Board has decided to expand the Senior Leadership Team for 2022.  We are pleased to announce the appointment of two Assistant Principals.

They are:

Amélie Kelder.

Amélie joins us from St Mary’s where she is Head of Languages and has had Deaning experience across several year levels. Recently she coordinated the Kapa Haka group, Ngā Maioha o te Rangikauia a collaborationof three kuras, St Mary’s, St Catherine’s and St Patrick’s. The group was placed third at the recent Kapa Haka Regionals. Amélie is passionate about the Arts and cultural activites.

Craig Milmine

Craig has been on our staff for 18 years and currently is the Head of Faculty for Social Sciences.  In addition, Craig has the oversight and management of the school’s network and all things related to ICT.  He is also extremely well known for taking significant roles in the production and direction of our show shows, this year’s being Shrek.

Now that we are at end of week 3 our winter sports programme is beginning to finish up.  Tournament week, 30 August – 30 October, usually signifies that the season is over with only 1-2 sports carrying on for another week.  There is a very quick turn around and a month after that we will be preparing our fields for the cricket season. To see what remains, check out our website at https://sports.newlands.school.nz/

Last Friday, 6 August,our students performed at the Northern Suburbs Polyfest held at the Te Rauparaha Centre.  While our group was smaller than many of the others, I thought that all their hard work was evident and they performed extremely well.  They and their families can be immensely proud of their efforts.  I would like to thank Lucia Waiker (Year 9 Dean), and Sophia Aitcheson (Parent and Board Representative) for all the hard work that they did with the group.

The College has had three teacher-only-days so far this year which have been mandated by the Ministry of Education.  These days have allowed schools to discuss, debate, and organise the changes that are coming up for NCEA L1-3.  These changes are the most significant the qualification has faced since its inception some 20 years ago.  Public consultation and feedback is still welcomed.  To learn more about these changes the following link will be helpful:

https://ncea.education.govt.nz/what-ncea-change-programme

At our recent assembly I talked about derived assessments with our seniors.  In the past we have held derived assessments during an examination week. Derived assessments are used for students to practice for their external assessments in Novemebr.  The grades are also important if a student misses their external assessment for a legitimate reason.  The derived assessment can be used to replace the missed assessment result. However, what we found was that many students were sitting mainly internal assessments and ended up not having any derived assessments, and they sat at home for the week.  This was a waste of productive time, especial if they were working on projects such as Media films, DVC, Hard Technology projects, or any of the Art Portfolios. As a result we have decided that the derived grade assessments will be held during classtime and the students will stay on timetable.

At the same assembly I also asked our academic captain, Laura Stone to share some ideas around what makes for good study skills.  She offered a variety of techniques and also noted that we all learn in different ways and made suggestions how these could be accomodated.  I would like to suggest that you discuss with your son/daughter/child how their preparation for these assessments, which will occur in about 3-4 weeks is going.

I hope that you found the Parent/Teacher interviews useful.

Ngā mihi nui

Grant Jones


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