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Principal Term 1 Welcome

posted 11 Feb 2017, 16:42 by vanessawatson@westlandhigh.school.nz   [ updated 11 Feb 2017, 16:47 ]

Kia ora koutou,


2017 is already upon us and I would like to welcome everyone to our school.  Firstly, I would like to extend a special welcome to the students, whanau and teachers who are starting at the school for the first time.  Our school has a strong community and you will find everyone is willing to help newcomers to our school.  Of course, I also extend my warmest wishes to those people who are returning again.


We have had a very successful start to the year with two very busy but productive teacher only days, sorting out timetables and schedules and the first full days of teaching.  This year we had to have our pōwhiri outside because we no longer have a school hall.  It proved to be a great start to the year and there was lots of positive feedback about how nice the event was.  So thank you and well done to everyone involved, including our students who always behave with pride and dignity at such events.


During the holiday there has been a lot of work in the school related to the rebuild and we are also painting most of the school this year.  Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been too kind this summer and that has slowed the painting down considerably.


I am very pleased to be able to say, “well done,” to our students for some very good NCEA results this year, with all of our year 13 students who wanted to go to university achieving their goal, with our highest number of level 3 excellences achieved by our students for at least five years and our level 2 results improved on previous years, however, our level 1 results are a cause for concern.   


In the junior school our year 8 students continued to improve their overall performance at national standards but our year seven students did not achieve as well as expected.  This may have been attributed to the disruption at the start of the year which will have been more critical for the year 7 students.  However, we will be keeping a close eye on the progress of our year junior students this year.


One of our goals this year will be to ensure that parents and whanau are better informed about the progress of our students and we will be issuing regular reports about attendance, attitude and achievement.  We believe that this will make whanau better able to support the students and identify if they are starting to struggle with their learning.


We have also created three academic and pastoral leaders who will be responsible for tracking and monitoring student progress:


Junior school (7&8): Miss Harrison

Middle School (9&10): Miss Bateup

Senior School (11-13): Miss Reeves.


This is an important role in the school’s drive to raise student achievement and each academic and pastoral leader will be tracking student achievement, attendance, behaviour and uniform to ensure that they are on task and committed to the school’s values.


We will be focusing on school uniform at the start of this year and we are asking for your support in this area please.  If students are not wearing the correct school uniform and are unresponsive to their whanau teacher’s requests, we will be contacting parents and caregivers.  Students wearing the correct uniform make a very positive statement about the school to the wider community.  We want all students to be proud to be part of the school community and wearing the correct uniform tells us that a student is committed to our rules, values and protocols.


If you want to find out about our school uniform please visit our website: (http://www.westlandhigh.school.nz/).  


School uniform has been pretty good on the whole so far except for a few individuals and students wearing incorrect shoes and socks.  I would be grateful if parents and caregivers could please check these items and ensure that students have the correct socks and plain black shoes as soon as possible.


Some of you will be aware that the school has recently joined Toki Pounamu and this will provide new learning opportunities for students in years 7 & 8 this year.  It does include the use of a chromebook but it is not purely about digital learning.  Some important points in relation to this:


  • Chromebooks should be arriving shortly

  • If you have not sorted out payments for your daughter’s / son’s chromebook please go to reception so that you can make the arrangements.

  • Remember an adult whanau member must attend the Kawa of care meeting before chromebooks can be taken home. This will be in the evening of Wednesday 22nd, February 2017.

  • This programme will be rolled out to different years in the future, so if you are thinking of getting a new device for your son or daughter it will be well worth considering buying one of the chromebooks from the school because it is a very good deal which includes low cost payments, a good insurance scheme, a protective case and support with the device through the school.  If you buy a chromebook separately you will lose those benefits.


Westland High School has an extensive co-curricular programme and a lot of highly successful teams and clubs.  If you are new to the school please take advantage of those opportunities and even students who have been here a while, why not try something new this year.


So, we have an exciting year ahead of us , full of exciting opportunities and I hope that you have a thoroughly successful year ahead of you.  If you have any questions, queries or concerns please do not hesitate to come and see us.  We want this to be a great year for every single student at the school.



Nga mihi nui,


Trevor Jones.

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