From the Principal’s Desk

Nga mihi nui kia koutou katoa. Welcome to the the Westland High School August newsletter.

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa. Warm greetings to you all.

We've had a very busy past couple of weeks and we're heading into an even busier remainder of the term. We have many events scheduled, a number of these are centered around student achievement and planning for next year. You can read more about those events in the newsletter. Term 3 is always a busy term but Lockdown has in no small part added to this sense of busyness.

With so much on students could almost be forgiven for being distracted. However this is a good time for students to reflect on what they have achieved this year so far. Are you on track with your Internal assessments? If you need further assistance meet with your APL (Academic and Pastoral Care Leader) to work out an action plan to ensure you meet your goals and succeed. There is also the Homework Club every Monday after school with specialist teacher assistance. Remember a key component of success is attendance!

We've had some brilliant examples of our students succeeding lately and sometimes that might not necessarily result in a win, but through perseverance and determination you continue to learn and improve. I congratulate all students involved in the Arts evening, recently held. It was a splendid evening of Westland High School talent and you were a joy to watch. The Badminton teams competed at a very high level and came away with some wins, you can read of their West Coast Secondary School tournament further in the newsletter. The West-a-maths teams competed in Westport and were a credit to their teachers, families and our school. With the Year 8 girls finishing almost 5 minutes early and were 2nd against a very well drilled Grey Main group. The Year 7 and 8 rugby team had a win against Paparoa range school recently and displayed our school values to such a high degree that the school received an email from the Rugby Union commending them all - well done team! A small group of students competed at the West Coast Cross country champs and ran exceptionally well. A number of those students qualified to compete in the Canterbury cross country champs later this month.The boys Basketball team while didn't win, showed strength of character and good sportsmanship, they remained positive and looked for the small successes. Congratulations to you all for your ability to remain focused under pressure.

The Matariki festival recently held was another example of our students embodying the school values. This event was organised and run by students with the support of Whaea C (Christine Weepu) and parents. It was an excellent night and everyone appeared to have a great time. Thank you to all the parents, staff and community organisations who supported the event. It was a great way to usher in the Māori New Year. I especially thank the students involved who organised it, the skills, organisation and communication you displayed will serve you well in your future pathways. 

Good luck to the students who have events coming up over the next month. These include; WCSS Girls Basketball tournament, WCSS Netball tournament, Canterbury cross country champs, WCSS Football tournament, Rugby, The Lion King Jr and more. I wish you all the best for your games and performances, remember to persevere, keep aiming high and refer back to our school values, Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga, Rangatiratanga and Kaitiakitanga. 

Some key dates to keep in mind:

19 - 20 August - Middle School Conferences (More information in the newsletter)

24 - 28 August - Assessment week (More information in the newsletter)

2 - 3 September - Junior School Conferences (More information in the newsletter)

3 September - NCEA and Trades Information evening (More information in the newsletter)

7 September - Course and subject selections 2021 (More information in the newsletter)

16 November - NCEA Exams start

We parents who will have students in year 11 next year, you are invited to attend the NCEA information evening (listed above), to be held in the school library, this is an informative evening with opportunities to ask questions and to gain a sound understanding of how NCEA works. Next year’s Year 11 students (currently year 10’s) are strongly advised to attend. In addition to the NCEA presentation, an introduction to the West Coast Trade academy will be presented and information on Gateway, Outdoor Education and the Sports Academy.

The School Ball is taking place at the end of this term, next Monday the Senior leadership team and I will be talking with a small group of senior students who have not met the attendance expectations for ball attendance, whilst this is unfortunate for the students concerned we take attendance seriously, and students who have chosen not to attend school at 90% minimum will not be attending, this includes other sporting and extra curricular events.

On a positive note the vast majority of students who have regular attendance reap the benefits of not only being eligible to attend the ball, but the positive effects of improved progress and achievement with their learning.

The Ball committee have been working hard behind the scenes to organise, produce, plan, and prepare for the Ball. A venue will be confirmed soon. Once the venue has been finalised tickets cost will be advised and go on sale from the school office. All parents will be notified.

A reminder to students who intend to bring a partner who does not attend Westland High School, you will need to collect a partners form, complete it and then have it returned to the school for vetting.

As previously advertised we welcome Dr Chris Collins who commences at Westland High School on Monday 10th August. Dr Collins returns to us after a brief stint at Buller High School and takes over the role of Mathematics Head of Learning. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Justin Cook for his valuable contribution and supporting the mathematics department this term and during COVID lock down, Mr Cook will continue to relieve at Westland High School into the foreseeable future.

We also say good bye to Amelie our International student from Germany. It has been a pleasure to have you join Westland High School Amelie. We hope you take away some fond memories of your West Coast experiences. 

A reminder, Fiona Lauder our School guidance counsellor is available to talk with students during normal school hours. To make an appointment to talk with Fiona, email her on, Fiona will get back to you with a time to talk. All conversations with Fiona are held in the strictest confidence.

Ngā mihi nui
Iain Murray