Wairoa College

Newsletter 16 September 2021


Tēnā Koutou Katoa

Firstly I would like to thank staff, students and whanau for their manaakitanga of each other over the last few weeks. Unfortunately Covid has interrupted our learning programmes again, however staff and students have risen to this challenge. During lockdown we issued over 250 devices for students and 200 hard packs of work for students. Some of these hard packs were workbooks to support senior students with the work they were also doing online. This was a mammoth effort by a team of staff. I would like to thank whanau for being respectful of our health and safety procedures during this time.

Thank you to those students who have returned their devices so we can continue our learning programmes in school. We would appreciate that if your child has not returned their device they do so as soon as possible. As we have the signed forms for user agreements already, if we did go into lockdown we would be able to issue devices swiftly to those students that had one in this last lockdown.

Some senior students have School Derived Examinations coming up. These are very important because if we were to be in Lockdown Level 3 or 4 the Ministry of Education has said examinations will not go ahead. Therefore what students achieve in their School Derived Examinations will contribute as evidence towards a final grade. To support students studying Mrs Broomfield our Learning Support Coordinator is running study technique sessions on Tuesday lunchtimes for any interested students.

I have appointed some staff for next year. We are looking forward to having them join our team. They are:

Imogen Mickleson - teacher of English and Social Sciences

Hamish Hay - teacher of Mathematics and Economics

Joe McGregor has been made permanent and will be the Year 9 Dean in 2022

Morgana Nathan - teacher of Physical Education

Tom Rowley-Westwood - teacher of Physical Education and Employment Skills

Penny Gibson - Finance Officer

I am currently advertising for a Year 7&8 teacher and a Te Reo Maori teacher.

Due to the Health and Safety restrictions regarding Alert Levels we unfortunately had to postpone the Kapa Haka Festival until 2022. Instead schools have the opportunity to film what they have done and this will be made into one film of all schools and played at the inter-school Digital Film Festival next term. I would like to thank the staff and students for all the work they did in preparing for this event.

Ngā mihi nui

Mrs Jo-Anne Vennell


The following students were awarded this week for displaying one of our core values of:

Caring for each student (Manaakitanga),

Working together (Kotahitanga),

Respect (Whakamana),

and Resilience (Aumangea).

Orion Howard, Ngamanu Tai, Kyara Kaaho, Ahhaan Shah,

Zion Morrison, Lockie Morrell,

Kaya Keefe-Taeoalii, Kashya Ruwhiu & Tukaha Edwards

Year 7 to 10 PAT Testing


The Progressive Achievement Tests (PATs) assess students' Mathematics, Listening Comprehension, Punctuation and Grammar, Reading Comprehension, and Reading Vocabulary.

New Zealand teachers use a variety of tests to determine what level students are at, what progress they are making, and where they may need extra help. Progressive Achievement Tests, commonly known as PATs, are one of the main sets of tests schools use.

PATs are multiple-choice tests designed to help teachers determine achievement levels of students in Mathematics, Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary, and Listening Comprehension. The test results help teachers decide what kinds of teaching materials are needed and which methods or programmes are most suitable for their students. PATs are also important because they identify the progress a student is making from year to year.



Derived grade examinations will take place in Week 9 for students sitting external assessments. If a student is not able to sit the real exam in November it is the results from the Derived Grade Exam week that we use to determine what grade a student is awarded. This is either via the derived or emergency grade process, visit the NZQA website for more information about this: https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/

We also use the results from the derived grade exams, as well as other internal achievements, to help us award major prizes for senior prize-giving. We therefore ask whanau to support us in supporting our students to be in the best position possible when they sit their exams.

If you have any questions regarding exams please contact Miss Kimberley Mahy for more information.

Online link to Wairoa College Derived Grade Exam Timetable:


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This booklet is designed to assist Year 10 - 12 students, along with their whanau, to choose subjects for 2022. Please see link to Course Booklet: https://www.wairoacollege.school.nz/uploads/1/0/9/9/109938575/course_booklet_2022_with_links_1.pdf


The Technology Faculty is very excited about our new Coding and Robotics learning packs we received from The Genesis School-gen Trust. The Trust invited schools all over NZ to apply for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and solar equipment and received applications from schools as far-a-field as Northland and all the way down to Bluff. Wairoa College’s submission was selected from almost 300 applications from schools throughout New Zealand.

Schools were able to select equipment packages to match their learning needs. We selected LEGO Education equipment. The first learning pack, LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 Curriculum Pack will help to engage and motivate our junior students’ interest in programming and robotics. This is done through the use of motorised LEGO models and simple programming. This material does not tell students everything they need to know. Instead it makes them question what they know and explore what they do not yet understand.

The second learning pack, The LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Set is combining colorful LEGO building elements, easy-to-use hardware, and an intuitive drag-and-drop coding language based on Scratch to engages students through playful learning activities to think critically and solve complex problems, regardless of their learning level. SPIKE Prime has easy-entry projects with limitless creative design possibilities, including the option to explore text-based coding with Python.

The new equipment will certainly help our Digital Technology students to learn the essential STEAM and 21st century skills needed to become the innovative minds of tomorrow... while having fun!

Getting Exam Fit

As we head towards the end of the year, preparing students for exams is a big focus. We are providing Study Skills Training for students during Tuesday lunchtimes and these will be repeated at the start of next term. If your child is unable to attend those sessions, ask them to email me and I will share the presentations with them to watch at home.

Whanau can support their child, particularly in getting organised and setting up routines. We encourage students to organise a study space with all the resources and materials they will need. Choosing a quiet place free from distractions and disruptions is critical. Students also need to work out a study routine, preferably the same time periods each day. Talk to your child about their routine and discuss ways in which whanau can support them, such as having the study routine shared with all household members and agreeing to avoid distractions during those times.

Breaking up study sessions into periods of 25 minutes of focussed attention followed by a five minute break to get up, have a drink and move about is far better than one large extended session. The TomatoTimer (tomato-timer.com) is a great tool that can be used on a device or phone to automatically time sessions without needing to watch the clock.

There are some great Study Skills lessons on My Mahi and lots of YouTube videos available; some better than others. I highly recommend How to Study Effectively: The Top Six Science-Based Study Skills https://youtu.be/CPxSzxylRCI for the latest researched strategies that ensure studying is effective and gets results.

Two great websites that students should explore are Fast and simple NCEA study - LearnCoach and StudyIt www.studyit.govt.nz. The websites are user friendly and provide useful information about NCEA standards; achievement criteria, advice and tips, samples, exemplars and past papers, and much more!

Keep an eye on your child’s wellbeing during this stressful time. Ensure they are exercising regularly, eating well, have a good sleep routine and are having some fun time too. Skipping healthy meals, sitting all day in front of a device, giving up the things they enjoy, and staying up late, especially cramming, all make studying very ineffective. Support your child in maintaining a healthy balance and making good choices.

If you have a concern about your child’s preparation for exams or have any concern about your child’s learning and would like to contact me, you can:

I welcome the opportunity to meet, collaborate and work with whānau and caregivers.

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini

My strength is not that of a single warrior but that of many.

Ngā mihi

Diane Broomfield

Learning Support Coordinator

Upcoming Events

  • Trades academy Y12/13 Gisborne - Friday 17 September
  • Wairoa College Young Aspiring Leaders - Friday 17 September
  • Service Academy Adventure Challenge Trip - Monday 20 to 24 September
  • Senior Derived Grade Exams - 20 September to 24 September
  • Board of Trustees Meeting - Tuesday 21 September
  • Aurora Digital Film Making - Wednesday 22 September
  • Trades Academy Y12/13 Gisborne - Friday 24 September
  • Year 7 to 10 PAT Testing - September 27 to 1 October
  • LAST DAY OF TERM 3 - Friday 1 October

  • TERM 4 STARTS - Monday 18 October
  • Year 13 Leavers Dinner - Thursday 28 October
  • Trades Academy Y12/13 Gisborne - Friday 29 October
  • Wairoa College Young Aspiring Leaders - Friday 29 October
  • Central North Island Adventure Trip - 1 November to 5 November
  • Trades academy Y12/13 Gisborne - Friday 5 November
  • City Adrenaline Rush Trip - Monday 8 November to 12 November
  • Senior Minor Prizegiving - Tuesday 9 November
  • Senior Major Prizegiving - Wednesday 10 November
  • Senior Study Leave - Friday 12 November
  • Going Bush & Where Home Is Trips - 15 November to 19 November
  • Board of Trustees Meeting - Tuesday 16 November
  • Year 9 & 10 Exams - 17, 18 and 22 November
  • Junior Minor Prizegiving - 9 December
  • Junior Major Prizegiving - Friday 10 December
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