From the Principal’s Desk

Nga mihi nui kia koutou katoa. Welcome to the first Westland High School newsletter for 2021.

Tēnā koutou katoa,

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

On Monday the 1st February, 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, we also saw a large number of students from outside the Westland area enroll and too, were welcomed to Westland High School.

The school from last year has seen an increase in Merit and Excellent endorsement across NCEA level 1, 2 and 3. Given the disruption from Covid 19 last year, these results are pleasing and a credit to the hard work both staff and students put in to remain successful. Today we celebrated and awarded these students with their certificates, Merit and Excellence badges. Well done to our students who worked so hard to achieve so well.

It is fantastic to see students, around the school and in the community, wearing the uniform with pride.. Thank you to the members of the community who have rung in and commended the school and students on their smart presentation.

A reminder that students should not be using cellular phones in class, the majority of students use their phone responsibly and are to be commended. The school will however confiscate phones from students if used in a manner that distracts other students from their learning. Non-use of phones in class has a lasting and positive effect on student focus, progress and achievement. Where students may need access to video, voice and photographic capabilities in class, a pod of Ipads are available.

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

Commencing next week the school will be conducting a range of testing for students in the year 7 to 10 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 teachers 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.

The School has again this year seen an increase in students numbers, this has necessitated the employment of additional staff. We welcome to our team;

  • Mr Matt Harrison - Digital Technologies Teacher

  • Miss Shuangqiu Liu - Mathematics

  • Miss Kiana Gallon, Sports Hub Administration

Student attendance is directly linked to achievement, the Ministry of Education has set a minimum attendance rate of 93%. At WHS we believe and expect students to attend 100% of the time, with the exception, for example illness and other genuine reason for not being able to attend school.

The school take a dim view when students choose to not attend school, in this instance, there are consequences for actions.

Students who choose to truant classes are choosing to remove themselves from representing the school in non-curricular events such a sports teams, away trips, koru games etc. If students and caregivers/parents/whanau have a concern regarding their child(s) attendance, contact the school and we will assistant in any way we can to help improve a students attendance. The same applies for leaving the school grounds at any time without permission i.e an approved lunch pass to a nominated residential address. The school has a responsibility to ensure all students are safe and accounted for during the school day.

Overall the majority of our students have returned to school this year, positive, motivated and keen to achieve. Well done to the students and their families for the support. 

Ngā mihi nui
Iain Murray