From the Principal’s Desk

Nga mihi nui kia koutou katoa. Welcome to our second, new format, newsletter.

We are now mid way into to Term 2 and winter is firmly upon us. Reflecting back on some of the recent events we have had at the school, I am filled with immense pride for our students who are participating and striving for success; some of whom feature in this newsletter. Keep up the hard work; the staff and community notice your efforts.

Open Evening
We held our annual Open Evening this term, with students volunteering to assist in classes and guide new parents around the school. They showcased our school values and how effortlessly students embody these in their everyday interactions. Parents were very impressed by their courtesy and manners. Thank you to the staff and students who helped ensure this evening's success.

Students from Mrs Ikiua's drama class recently participated in the Showquest held in Christchurch. The students tackled a very personal message and gave a powerful performance in doing so. We have received many accolades from the Christchurch public, Ministry of Education and other schools' Principals, for the students performance. Congratulations to everyone involved with this. You can  view a video of their performance within this newsletter.

Teacher Strikes
Last week I went down to stand in support with the Primary and Secondary teachers who went on strike. Even though it was terrible weather it was heartening to see students and community members out in the morning with teachers to show their support. Due to the constructive discussions that have taken place, since these strikes were scheduled, a decision has been made to cancel the year 10 rostering home on Tuesday 11th. This means all year 10's are expected to be at school in full school uniform for normal timetabled classes. There is more information within this newsletter about the 'rolling strikes' or you can visit the PPTA website.

International programme
During this term I visited the city of Huanggang in China, where I had the opportunity to further establish relationships between the schools there and Westland High School. This trip was very successful and has seen us secure a number of short term group stays and one day, hopefully, long term individual stays. It also highlighted for me how lucky we are to live in a town with such a beautiful landscape and with so many opportunities for our young people. If you are interested in hosting an international student please contact Jane Brownie, our International Director.

Board of Trustees
We have a new Board of Trustees in place following the recent Board of Trustee nominations and election process. We welcome them to their new roles and look forward to their future contribution. We also say goodbye to three of our past board members; Carol Martin, Kim Judd and Michael Waller. We thank you for your guidance of the school and the many hours of time you have given to your roles. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours. You can read more about the new Board of Trustees in this newsletter and future newsletter will feature board profiles.

NCEA changes
Over the past year, there has been consultation and review of New Zealand's NCEA. This process is nearing its conclusion with the Minister of Education announcing an NCEA Change Package with the intention of strengthening NCEA for all our young people. Please take the time to look over the information and familiarise yourself with the proposed changes. Further information can be found within the newsletter.

Nga mihi nui
Iain Murray