December 2018 Principal's Message

6th December 2018

Kia Ora Tatou

The school year has now come to an end. NCEA and scholarship examinations finished last week and they went extremely smoothly except, perhaps for the discussion around whether Year 13 history students should know the word “trivial” or not. We celebrated the academic successes of our senior students earlier in the term and we were delighted to acknowledge:

Dux Litterarum: Shine Wu

Proximae Accessit:Emily Hollis and Chelsea Jane Kah

Wesley Broughton Award (Top year 12 Academic Achiever): Amber Zhu

Year 12 Runner-Up: Gabbi Conway

Top Academic Achiever Year 11: Brandon Ru

 Year 11 Runner-Up: Ray Wu

After the seniors left the junior students participated in a comprehensive programme which included their own examinations, and three day discovery. This year, the examinations included some of the Year 9 and Year 10 examinations being successfully completed on-line. This will be good practice for the students as all NCEA examinations will be on-line by 2020.

The three day discovery provided some excellent opportunities to try out a whole range of different activities.  Some students headed up to Rotorua and were tourists for three days, some got involved in robotics, others made a variety of soaps, interesting international food was cooked and there was an extremely large participation in golf and geocaching.  Those who went tramping in Queen Charlotte Sounds had a wonderful experience, especially with the challenges of the rain. Overall it was an excellent experience for the students.

We also celebrated our students' success at the Junior Prizegiving. This year the top awards went to:

Top Academic Achiever Year 9: Rosie Meyer

Year 9  Runner Up: Jasmine Devery

Top Academic Achiever Year 10: Laura Stone

Year 10 Runner Up: Kimberley Zhu

I would like to take this opportunity to farewell the following staff who are leaving for a number of reasons, including promotion, retirement and leaving the area. My thanks to: David Staite, Catherine Symonds, Maria Swanson, Morag Featherstone, and Julie McKay.  I would also like to welcome back our former staff member Cornelios Floratos who is our new Deputy Principal.

Start of Year Programme 2019

Our start dates for next year can be found here.

2018: A Retrospective

Reminisce on the year that was by browsing through term by term highlights including video, photos and write-ups, all in one handy location.

2018: A Retrospective

I hope that you all have a good break, we look forward to welcoming our new Year 9s, and all of you who are returning in the New Year.

Nga mihi nui

Grant Jones

For any other information please visit our website

October 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.


Last term our students made an impact across the community and notably, we have received a number of emails about students who have been very active helping others - either as volunteers in retirement villages (thanks Keira, Georgia and others) or as students out in primary schools across the Wellington. I would also like to acknowledge the impact that our Peer Mentors, Peer Tutors and Peer Support Leaders have had this year. Our Year 13 students have been very involved in promoting learning across our school and this has become an important part of our school culture.



The learning displayed at the Level 1 and Level 2 Art Exhibition was outstanding. This event allows our school community to gather and celebrate the creations of our young people and it seemed this year that every board of images had a message and demonstrated the techniques taught during the year. In a similar way, we gathered again as a school community to enjoy music from a variety of different groups at the Spring Serenade - individual singing, choir, piano, jazz to name but a few. A real highlight was the Pasifika drumming demonstrated for the first time at this event.

The students in Drama have been performing in a variety of venues and they have shown that acting is an art form for all students. The performance at the Museum of City and Sea was compelling from the Level 2 class and we followed many different journeys alongside the actors. Congratulations to all of those involved in these performances as the quality of entertainment was extremely high.

We enjoyed a night out celebrating film at the Embassy with our Noscars awards at the end of last term. This evening enables us all (over 700 people) to share the learning of the Media studies students as they work hard to create films that entertain, shock, provoke fear or anger, sadness or happiness and we had it all this year. My congratulations to the winning film Waste by Sarah Meyer and Chelsea Laing. There were a number of tears shed watching their film.


Senior students are encouraged to attend tutorials over the next week once formal classroom lessons have ceased. This week of tutorials is designed for those who have questions or queries to come in and learn alongside the teacher. My advice is to attend these if you have specific questions and/or the topic covered by the teacher is of interest to you. In many classes bringing in an essay or topic you have studied and prepared for  in advance may help you gain the most from this week.

For those in Years 9 and 10, classes will begin to focus on the end of year examinations. These are designed so that you can take the opportunity to show what you know and to prepare you for your NCEA Level 1 year. Where possible, we sit these examinations in the school hall to mimic that experience.


Our awards evenings this term have shown that many of our young people have taken the responsibility of their own learning very seriously. What has been particularly pleasing from my perspective is the way in which the students support each other. Our sports awards were held with a new format to allow more students and parents to attend the evening. It was enlightening to hear from Ged Robinson who spoke passionately about the importance of having a growth mindset and seeing yourself as a person who can grow, adapt and change. This reinforced many of the messages we give our students in the classroom and beyond. In particular, he recommended the ‘big life journal’ which has a facebook group and in that group, there are many tools and strategies designed to promote learning. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has used this tool successfully.


The Arts awards night allowed us to celebrate the learning and incredible creativity that has occurred across the school in this area. Many of our young people have contributed to the Arts for 5 years and we thank them for their involvement - whether we enjoyed them on stage, debating, acting, playing or singing - this night reminded us how much has happened in 2018. It also allows those who are not involved on the stage (like our stage crew/technical crew/artists) to be recognised for their efforts.

I was privileged to attend the Johnsonville Youth Grants Award evening where a number of our students attained grants to help them achieve their goals. Judge Andrew Becroft, the Commissioner for Children presented the awards and it was humbling to hear him encourage our young people to think about not who they are now but who they want to be in the future.

To those of you in Years 11, 12 and 13, we wish you well for your external examinations.

Nga Mihi Nui
Deb King (Acting Principal)

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