Spotswood College

November 2022 Newsletter


Principals Piece

Staffing News

Students at the Centre of Learning

Community at the heart of who we are

Cultural and Sporting Success


At our recent Senior Prizegiving, I had the opportunity to deliver the following acknowledgement to our students, staff, whanau and community members.

Ka nui te mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa,

We all now know the world our students are stepping into is very different to the world we as adults experienced when we left school.

We know it is very important that we provide an education which prepares our young people for their future, which enables them to embrace diversity and play a role in meeting and solving the problems they will face as global citizens.

This will require multiple talents, thinking and aptitudes.

While producing NCEA results is very important, we have to deliver so much more.

I find the use of the word “academic” often problematic, as it implies scholarship and learning has a finite point in qualifications. A truly academic education is not just about scholarships and qualifications but it is also about exploring the critical questions in life and growing minds which search for answers, which seek new solutions, which are restless beyond the status quo of knowledge and accepted frontiers. The deeper prize is life.

The last two and half years have been challenging. I reflect on our Senior Prizegiving last year where parents had to watch the event online.

I want to thank whanau for your support during the year and our students for their ongoing energy and work in very strange circumstances. Our Head students Aisha Campbell and Justin Goundar, our prefects and Year 13s, leading has required different thinking and they have done a good job in supporting the rest of the school through this year. A huge thank you for your perseverance and resilience.

To our Board, thank you for supporting the education we are developing and being an open and visionary Board. You provide sound and strong governance to the school. In particular, Mike Cole, thank you for your support as Board Chair to me in my role as Principal and your generous offering of time to the school.

To our staff, you have risen to the multiple challenges again this year and I know you did it because you care about our students.. You are leaders of hearts and minds.

To our senior leadership team, thank you for your professionalism, hard work, loyalty and vision. Your unity as a team, courage and humor has guided us well this year.

I would especially like to acknowledge staff who have left us this year

Tracey Boschat, Todd Cucek, Zarea Davis, Khan Devine, Kiri Fortune, Wes James, Stephanie Julian, Melissa Keith, Sarah-Lee Pheloung, Koula Benton and Paula Cast

Finally, to our students who leave us at the end of this year to step out into the adult world, I hope you feel warmth for your school and teachers, that you have learned to be good and kind human beings, that we and you have worked well to prepare you for a future that enables you to step confidently into that future world.

May you travel safely on your journey.

Fa’afetai lava. ‘ia manuia le afiafi. Soifua.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui

No reira, ka nui te mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa.

Final Words From Our Head Prefects 2022

Tēnā koutou katoa,

He tina ki runga, he tāmore ki raro.

In order to flourish above, one must be firmly rooted below.

I entered high school at 12 years old, with no idea of the incredible experiences, challenges and people I was to encounter. I also didn’t consider until much later that high school was eventually going to end. But here I am finally encountering the conclusion of my schooling and entering the next chapter of my life. I am looking back fondly on the last 5 years and am grateful that my positive high school experience makes me feel more than ready for what is to come next.

Metaphorically, you could say the seed that was planted in the whenua of Te Kura Tuarua o Ngamotu in 2018, has transcended its germination .A shoot is finally erupting through the soil, with a well equipped foundation ; roots that are made of the knowledge and support Spotswood College has provided. What does this mean? Well I hope I'm going to flourish into a flower and not a weed ;)

Some of my highlights at Spotswood include going on a school trip to Spain when the extent to our Spanish abilities was reciting our name and saying “a cheese and ham sandwich”. Year 9 health class, where poor Mrs Lawrence had to endure teaching some interesting topics to immature preteens. Or getting Second place in Javelin and Shot Put at 2020 Athletics for my age group!! (There were only 2 of us competing).

However there have also been some significant educational highlights. I was lucky enough to be challenged by our principal; Whaea Nicola, to compete in the Manu Korero Speech Competition in 2021. Through this experience I learnt plenty about both writing and public speaking, which is sure to help me with my goal of entering the broadcasting field.

2022 specifically has gone by quite fast. We have finally seen the settling of COVID-19, and the reconstruction of what feels more like “normality”. Along with this, I hope that all of Spotswood College and Whanau have had a year that includes success and joy whether that be accomplishing a notable goal, finally seeing family or remembering to hang up the washing before mum comes home. I want to thank everyone who has made being head girl for 2022 a pleasant experience. I wish everyone a relaxing holiday season and a positive end to the year.

Thank you

Aisha Campbell

Head Prefect 2022

Head boy end of year speech

Where do I start… Sadly my time at Spotswood has come to an end. The five years I’ve spent at this kura have been special . From the first day of high school being intimidated by the seniors to now being the intimidating one… well that's what I thought at least.This year has been a blast , starting off the year with being head prefect with my partner in crime Aisha and also having an amazing group of prefects not forgetting everyone in the year 13 cohort as well.

With still having covid around , I have managed to still be at school and get my work done. It is a happy / sad time to say that I'm finally leaving high school and putting my big boy undies on and heading into the big world. The years I’ve spent at Spotswood have been ones to remember , from participating in TSSSA events to getting to travel away for sports . Getting a week off school just to play volleyball was the best . I got to spend time with my mates and make memories , but couldn’t be too loud as we would’ve woken up Mr Joe next door!

Okay hopefully I don’t shed a tear coming up … To everyone who has been part of my journey here at spotswood I’d just like to thank you for always pushing me to be the best I can. Always getting behind me but most importantly telling me when I'm right or wrong so I learn from my mistakes.

Matua K , you truly have been a teacher who I could talk to and you would give me the most straightforward answer I could get . Thank you for always being there for not just me but for everyone in our LA and to all the students at the kura, I will definitely miss you.

Mr Joe , a great teacher and also I’d like to say the best volleyball coach in New Zealand by far . Thank you for being such an awesome teacher apart from giving me push ups but I think from the past years of doing push ups I think I’ve gotten a bit swole I must say . Thank you for introducing me to volleyball. I thought it wouldn’t be a sport I wouldn’t like, but now I think I'm better at volleyball than football, aye Mr Hopkinson . All the praise goes to you sir Thank you for helping me develop as an athlete not just through volleyball but from your P.E classes , I loved going for those runs back in the day.

To the lovely gateway staff, Ra , Nikki and the one and only Scotty Manson. Just like to thank you guys for the past two years as well as this year. I'm very glad that I decided to do gateway , It showed me what’s it like out there in the real world and with the help of you guys I know what I want to do for my future career and without you guys I myself wouldn’t have any experience of the outside world , and through school even better! I'm very thankful for you guys and I will definitely miss your smiley faces whenever I come into your office.

And Whaea Nicola , an amazing person overall . A person who has always been supportive for not just me but our whole school in general . Thank you for always giving us a push and being the best role model for the Kura. I will definitely miss you.

Almost done , just hang on a little bit . To my partner in crime Aisha . Thank you for putting up with me this year and my funny jokes , I don't know why , but like everyone says they’re dad jokes but I don’t get it , I'm not a dad , pretty weird right.

To Mum and Dad . Thank you for always being there for me. You guys know I don’t show my emotions that much but when I do it definitely means something. The amount of times you guys pushed me to be the best I can I appreciate it so much. You are the guys that showed me the right paths throughout my school years and have always been there whenever I don’t know what to do or to just sign my permission slips , big thank you to mum who would do it half asleep coming from her night shifts. Thank you for everything ,this is gonna sound bad but I don’t think I’ve said I love you to both of you so… I love you guys .

Okay now we’re on the last stretch so are you guys ready? Lastly, I'd like to congratulate all of us today. Class of 2022 you guys were an amazing bunch of people. To whatever journey lies in front of you , all the best and I'm sure you guys are gonna smash it out the park. It has been an honour to be your head boy for this year and I'm glad to say it has been a year to remember because I can’t remember the past years .

As Dr Seuss said - You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose

Justin Goundar

Head Prefect 2022

Congratulations to our Prefects for 2023

Head Students

Ethan Clough and Olive Denton Wooley

Deputy Head Students

Alistair Abdulin

Maaia Waiwiri

Zara Erol-Watt

Regan James Brown


Cleopatra Burwell

Ella Green

Melissa Berridge

Hannah Carpenter

Thomas McCabe

Isis Kennard

Bella Hopkinson

Jacinta Pattison

Kyran Fawkner

Ellie Dennis

Lucas Heggie

Anna Clough

Catherine Reilly Ledbetter

Megan Botha

Jack Skinner

Joe Cocker

Phoenix Shaw

Leo Lea’ana


The beginning of this term saw us introduce a number of new staff.

Kara Macfarlane who has joined our administration team.

Michael Ham who has joined the SENCO team.

Rachel Smith who continues teaching with us this term.

Vanessa Abrams who will be our new International Homestay coordinator and

Warren Bowers who will also be assisting the International student team.

Mokoia Capper who has joined the security team alongside Dave Fox.

It is wonderful to have such a well qualified and dedicated team of staff join us at Spotswood College

Congratulations to staff member and Year 9 Dean, Airana Ngarewa for his recent wins at the Ronald Hugh Morrieson Literary Awards.



Whaea Nicola email:

Deputy Principal

Mr Daryn Shaw email:

Senior Leadership

Mrs Paula Cast email:

Senior Leadership

Mrs Hilary Takarangi email:

Senior Leadership

Mr Darren Scott email:

Year 12 and 13 Dean

Mr Wayne Cribb email:

Year 11 Dean

Mrs Tulah Katene email:

Year 10 Dean

Mr Cameron Hopkinson email:

Year 9 Dean

Mr Airana Ngarewa email:

International Director

Mrs Nicola Healy email:



Junior Inquiry is an important part of our junior curriculum which gives students the chance to have a cross curricular approach to apply the Stanford University Design Thinking model to innovate and solve complex problems. Within Junior Inquiry, students can select a field of expertise - Creative Industries, Performing Arts, Primary Industries or Sports or Enterprise to bring their projects to life. At the end of year a showcase of their work is held which is always a fascinating array of amazing work. And this year, was another impressive line up of inquiry projects, from solving environmental dilemmas, to social issues, to designing and creating products.

A huge mihi to all staff and students involved this year!

Congratulations to the YES team, Ahi Tote who took our four awards at the YES Evening.


It had been a long time coming but we finally made it. 2022 Evolocity Taranaki Regionals saw two Spotswood College teams enter. Ackermans Army - Ethan Clough, Eben Mullin and Brayden Ford entered into the 3 wheel competition. Spotty Gorillas - Ethan Sansom and Clinton Tylee entered into the 2 wheel Competition. It was an amazing day down at the Waitara Kart Sport Track. The teams competed in three events, a drag race, Gymkana and an Efficiency race. The drag race saw teams get up to the fastest speed on a 50m track. Both teams reached 20+km in their respective events. The gymkana required teams to weave in and out of cones (slalom) before driving a circuit around the slalom to collect and deliver the 1L water beaker. During this time they can choose to gain extra points by driving along the length of a board with varying widths. The Spotty Gorillas took out their division but unfortunately Ackermans Army was not so lucky and flipped the kart during the last leg of the race. With multiple issues at the start of the day this team would not let anything stop them.

Below is the Spotswood College teams and their awards:

  1. Engineering Excellence and Innovation - Ackermans Army

  2. Best in Show - Ackermans Army

  3. 3rd Overall performance winner - Ackermans Army

  4. Fastest Kart - Drag Race - Ackermans Army

  5. Fastest Bike - Drag race - Spotty Gorillas

  6. 1st Overall performance willner - Spotty Gorillas

We look forward to having more teams in next year's race and seeing what our students are capable of. We would also like to thank the families of our teams for all their support and hard work leading up to and on the day of the event.


WITT Te Pukenga held their Trades Academy graduations at the end of term 3, with over 50 Spotswood College students successfully completing their courses and being recognised for their dedication and hard work throughout terms 1-3.

We were lucky enough to have 8 students pick up special awards during these presentations.

We had 4 students presented with 'Most Improved Student' awards for their respective courses.

They were:

Briar Harrison (yr 13) Level 3 Health and Wellbeing

Blake Lusk (yr 12) Level 2 Engineering

Jake Berridge (yr 11) Level 2 Joinery (pictured)

Regan Brown (yr 12) Level 2 Sport and Fitness (pictured)

We also had another 4 students named as 'Top Student' in their classes, a great achievement in these Taranaki wide and very popular courses.

They were:

Seb Loveridge (yr 11) Level 2 Automotive class 1 (pictured)

Ben Nield (yr 11) Level 2 Automotive class 2 (pictured)

Isabelle Oakes- Hill (yr 11) Level 2 Beauty/Makeup (pictured)

Michael Baker (yr 11) Build a Bach

We thank all students for their excellent representation of Spotswood College Careers & Vocational Pathways during their time at WITT and also their whanau for the support they have given these students throughout another challenging year.


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MoneyHub has 10+ NCEA resources to help everyone attain merits and excellences - check it out and prepare for upcoming internals and externals with confidence.

Please make sure your teens are checking, opening and reading their emails. Opportunities are being missed.


Sports/ Culture

It was wonderful to see our Year 13 student, Chai Ruakere - Forbes feature in the local newspaper sharing his passion and talent for film.

Congratulations to Huriwaka Dean, Cordell Campbell and the rest of the team, who took out some amazing national boxing titles.

Zoom with Hatsukaichi High School Students

During my years studying Japanese I kept thinking that I was ok at Japanese and could maybe even one day go to Japan myself. When I was first told about the zoom meetings with Hatsukaichi school I was very excited and also very nervous as it was a chance to see how good I actually was. I have done a few zoom meetings with Hatsukaichi now and I still get nervous. Hatsukaichi’s English learning students are really kind though and let you take your time figuring out how to say things. It also helps that they are really good at speaking English. During the conversations with them it is always interesting to learn about differences between our countries. For example, did you know that in Japan they don’t often have pets at home! I was really surprised by this. I couldn't go without a cat nearby myself. Overall these zoom meetings showed me that I still have a lot to learn but I am making progress and that people really appreciate it when you try to speak at least a little.

Austen McDonald

We all had a blast with the zoom meetings with Hatsukaichi High School. Communicating in both Japanese and English was fun, and I got to know the person/people I was talking to, learning about what they like, what the weather was like over there, and so on. They were all super kind and friendly, and it’s a shame that us Year 13s this year have just had the last one we will have with Hatsukaichi High School, but I look forward to going back to Japan to experience and learn more. I might even have to pay Hatsukaichi a visit! I think I will remember these zoom meetings for a long long time, as they were lots of fun, and I learned heaps from them!

Ryan Tompkins

“I was very worried about the zoom meetings at first, as my ability to speak in Japanese is sorely limited. However the Hatsukaichi students were all very very friendly and supportive, and very talented at speaking English. I found myself enjoying the meetings a lot more than I expected, as I quickly found myself bonding with newfound friends. It was clear to see that everyone had put lots of effort into learning a new language, which is not easy. To everyone who took part in those meetings, I want to say thank you and wish you all the best in your future endeavours.”

ありがとう ございます!

  • Arman Francis


Please see the following link for our student start up information for 2023. Please note timetable information will be sent out before the start of Term 1 2023. For more information please email


Friday 25th November. The inaugural Spotswood College MAHI DAY takes place on this day to raise funds for school furniture. Our Yr 9 & 10 students will be out for the day getting stuck into some mahi! Students will be encouraged to source work from home or from businesses. We are looking for a donation of $10 per hour. Jobs can range from; mowing lawns, cleaning cars, employment, landscaping, chopping wood, babysitting, administrative work, etc.

For payment, students will be given an account number to hand to employers on the day. Alternatively employers can use internet banking;

BANK ACC 15-3949-0007720-85 PARTICULARS - MAHI DAY, REF - FIRST LETTER OF FIRST NAME AND SURNAME OF STUDENT. If cash does need to be handed in, can it please be handed in to the finance office. We are encouraging students NOT to handle any money.


December 5th - 9th. This is an opportunity for our junior school to have some fun! There will be further information to come out with what will be happening on each day. There will be a cost for the tenpin bowling, mini putt and a bus which will be $20. This will be available to pay at the finance office or online: BANK ACC 15-3949-0007720-85 PARTICULARS - ACTIVITY WEEK, REF - FIRST LETTER OF FIRST NAME AND SURNAME OF STUDENT
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Applications for Pool Hire access will open from Monday 7th November and are available from the Finance Office only during school hours of 8am to 15.30pm the cost is $150.00 please ensure you bring a form of ID when applying and sign the terms of use agreement. The Pool hire period will cease from Saturday 1st April 2023 at 8.00pm. All enquiries can be made by contacting Wendy in the Finance office.

Spotswood College Student Counsellors

Introducing the new Spotswood College Student Counsellors, who are excited to be part of the school community.

Suzy – I have been working at Spotswood since the start of the year, and am really excited to now be here five days a week. I am a mum to 3 beautiful children and grew up in Taranaki. My background is very different from what I do now. I trained as an Air Traffic Controller, and after having my children moved on to teaching new controllers at the international college that once was in Palmerston North. It was working with young men and women from around the world that allowed me to see how vital it is to have someone trusted walking alongside you in life, and this led me to train in counselling. It is so nice to be back in my roots with the Maunga calling me home.

Paulette - I grew up in Taranaki but have lived in 5 different countries, Canada being my favourite. I am a mum to a teenage daughter, an outdoor enthusiast, avid gym-goer, and partial to the occasional weekend binge-watch session on Netflix! I trained as a primary school teacher, but felt I could help people in other ways, so I decided to become a counsellor. The idea of counselling can be scary, so it is my hope to ease that worry.

Counselling is an opportunity to talk freely and openly about ANYTHING that might be concerning you, including the challenges you might be facing. People come to counselling for different reasons. Some might be dealing with major changes in their life while others might feel like something isn’t quite right and want to find out more. Or it could be that you just need a ‘listening ear’. We will provide a safe and confidential space and listen without judgement, while acknowledging and respecting your values and beliefs. Working together to bring about positive change, accept and support you, no matter what you are going through.

Ngā mihi

Paulette and Suzy

School Counselling Services are available to discuss academic, career, or personal/social support.

To make an appointment

Careers Officer Chell Lusk -

Guidance Counsellors -

Drop in Public Health Nurse hours - Monday 9.00 am - 2.00 pm.

Spotswood College Events Calendar


7th - NCEA Exams begin

28th - 29th Teacher Only Days


2nd - NCEA Exams end and PPTA PUM

9th - Junior Prizegiving

9th - Last day of term

Keeping Yourself And Your Whanau Safe In Our Digital World: Bullying And Harassment

Digital platforms can be useful tools, but in this time and age, there is a significant risk that social media platforms can be used by students to bully each other or spread rumours about others. We are asking for the support of this community to come together in addressing this.

The Spotswood College’s Responsible Use of Technology Policy is below.

As part of the enrollment process, an agreement is signed by both the student and the caregiver regarding the appropriate use of the school's ICT systems. The school offers a monitored internet connection and a safe environment for the students.

Unfortunately, students’ personal cell phones are not covered by the protections that the system offers. These devices can easily be used to cause harm including the form of unconsented recording or photography.

To prevent this, it is important that as a community we understand the Harmful Digital Communication Act and the impact that this form of bullying and harassment can have on the victims. In this digital age rumours and jokes can have lingering consequences.

The Netsafe organization is the best place to get help either by starting a conversation with your child, seeking advice to help create a safer home internet connection or getting support if you are already suffering from online abuse.

School app

Spotswood College will be using SchoolAppsNZ to send out notices and information to our whānau. This is a free app available on Apple and Android devices. You can also access newsletters, contact the school about absences and find helpful links as well as quick access to Kamar. (Link below).


Kamar Portal


We have a school attendance target of above 90% for every student. To ensure that together we reach this, it is important that if you know your child is going to be absent from school, that you please contact the school by using one of the following options.

Option 1: Telephone the school on 06 751 2416 and speak to the receptionist (Tracey) or Attendance Officer (Jenine).

Option 2: Send a text to the Attendance Officer (Jenine) on 021 023 93060

Option 3: send an email to the Attendance Officer (Jenine) -

Option 4: Use the school app to log attendance.

Option 5: Leave a message on the Attendance hotline by calling the school on 06 751 2416 and press (1) to report a student's absence. Record your child’s name, parents' name, contact details and reason for absence.

Based on our attendance data system we will send an automated text to parents of any students that are absent, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

If for any reason you are concerned about your child’s attendance, you can speak with the Attendance Officer (see contact details above) or she will pass you on to the DEAN or your child’s Learning Advisor.

Student Wellbeing Services

Sick or injured at school

The sickbay is closed for any sick-related issues. If your child is sick, we will contact home and ask for them to be picked up immediately. Students should not arrange this themselves as we need to know where they are at all times.

The sick bay is open to help with injuries.

A public health nurse is available for you and your caregivers if you have any concerns. This could be a rash, not sleeping well, regular headaches, ongoing health issues etc.

Please ask to talk to her privately. Consultations are confidential, offering information and advice. Health resources are available, with a choice of providers for referrals to agencies.



Monday 17th October – 9th December

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