From the Principal’s Desk

Nga mihi nui kia koutou katoa. Welcome to the 2020 School year and the Westland High School February newsletter.

Tēnā koutou katoa, ngā mihi o te tau hau;

A warm welcome back to Westland High School. The School year has gotten off to a flying start.

On Friday the 31st January, we welcomed a large group of new students and whānau with the start of year Powhiri. The response was overwhelmingly positive. The new year 7 students have joined the years 8’s in their new classes with new furniture and positive learning outlooks.

The school roll has had a significant increase this year with many students attending from outside the region and a larger number of students from our contributing schools starting in year 7 and year 9.

A highlight for the school is the strong level 1 and 2 NCEA results from 2019, in particular, Westland High School results show our students on average are achieving at or above the national norm for decile 4 to 7 schools across New Zealand, this is pleasing to see and the hard work of the staff and students with parental support is paying dividends.

School Uniform

It is fantastic to see students wearing the uniform with pride and this has given the students and school a tremendous boost. Thank you to the members of the community who have rung in and commended the school and students on their smart presentation.

Student Cell phones

The new policy of no cell phone usage in class has started well with students clearly running with the changes, the removal of distractions such as phones in class will have lasting and positive effects on student focus, progress and achievement in class. Where students may need access to video, voice and photographic capabilities in class, a pod of Ipads have been purchased, these devices will be in circulation from next week.

Reminder about devices at Westland High School

There is an expectation that all students have a chromebook which has been purchased preferably through Westland High School via the Toki Pounamu trust (or their primary school when transferring to WHS). The advantage of the purchasing scheme via the Toki pounamu trust is the device comes with three-year insurance, payment options are available, devices are maintained by the school with on-site technical support, a carry bag is included and it seamlessly connects to the school network. If a Chromebook is damaged a loan chromebook can also immediately be issued by the school while the chromebook is repaired.

If you need to purchase a chromebook please contact Any other queries to Adrienne Reeves (assistant Principal) and Lead Teacher Toki Pounamu

Year 7-10 Testing

Commencing 24th February to 6th March, the school will be conducting a range of testing for students in the above year bracket, the type of testing includes for example “PAT’s” Progressive Achievement Tests (Mathematics, Vocabulary, Reading comprehension) and an AsTTle Writing test. The information gathered from this testing assists the teacher to tailor the teaching and learning programmes for classes, groups and individual students. Students who are away due to illness etc will be given a catch-up opportunity once they return to school.

Staff Changes

Due to the school roll increase, staff retirement, and internal reshuffle the following staff have been employed or have picked up some additional responsibilities.

  • (New) Dr M Thapaliya, Special Needs Coordinator working out of Te Whare Atawhai
  • (New) Mrs A Waldie, Year7 and 8 teacher.
  • Mr M Talbot Head of Outdoor education returns to WHS 9th March
  • Mr I Kelderman Acting Head of Learning - Mathematics
  • (New) Mr D Waldie, Head of Learning - English
  • Mrs C Weepu, Careers advisor
  • Mrs A Reeves, Trades academy and STAR
  • Miss P Mallinson, NZQA and Principal’s nominee

DWC Westland Sports Hub

The facility is nearing completion, the shade canopies should be completed before the end of February including the attached pavilion with a commercial kitchen. The opening of the DWC Sports Hub will take place on the same weekend as the Wildfoods festival in early March. This is a fantastic facility where sporting codes, school and community can utilise a long overdue and wonderful asset.

Removal of Surplus Classrooms

Gone, gone, gone, the water ridden and derelict classes were removed over the school holidays, the cleared area is now being turned into a green area, along with the ‘QUAD’ which is in the beginning stages of an upgrade.


The Gymnasium upgrade is basically completed with only a few minor details to be finished. The Gym is in full use along with renovated changing rooms, new floor and courts markings, laundry area, offices, storage and carpeted seating area. The Basketball club has also installed new high-quality retractable backboards and hoops.

Ngā mihi nui
Iain Murray