Issue 9 - 24 June 2021


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E ngā reo, e ngā mana, rau rangatira mā, ngā matā waka, tēnei te mihi nui atu ki ā koutou katoa. Ko te wawata me te tumanako ka noho ora mai koutou katoa.

To all parents, caregivers and the community,

As we wind up towards the end of Term 2, it's important to reflect on some of the things that are going on at the school at the moment. We really encourage you to attend the school production of Back to the 80s. This is a student-led production. We had the honour of inviting some of our contributing Intermediate and Primary School students to the matinee on Monday. This was really well received, and gave the students the opportunity to test themselves to their first audience, and this was reflected in the first show on Tuesday night which was a huge success. There are tickets available for the production on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, with Saturday being the last show. What's really encouraging is the number of students who have been engaged, either backstage or onstage. Their commitment to this production and to each other proves how wonderful our students are. I would like to acknowledge our staff team of Cherise Stone, Gail Zonneveld, Adam Warner, Teresa Hoskins, Shae McLean, Jared Cochrane and Anne Nillesen, who have all supported this in a variety of ways to ensure a wonderful experience for our students and community.

The recent sporting results have been a highlight that prove that sport at WHS is growing and our students are being exposed to a whole range of opportunities across the region in a variety of sports. In particular, our 1st XV being promoted into the 1st division in WaiBOP. They've been able to prove to themselves that they are able to compete to the highest level with a recent win over Rotorua Colts. Our football teams continue to perform well and our Boys A and Boys 1st XI look to be promoted into Division 1 in due course. So too our hockey A team, had a recent 7-0 victory over Rotorua Girls High School and they are being promoted into the top division in WaiBOP.

In the region, our basketball team triumphed over Trident recently to prove that basketball is a thriving and growing sport in our school. You can see this by the number of students practising at interval, lunchtimes, before school and after school, on our new courts.

Positive behaviours for learning

As we wind up toward the end of Term 2, it's important to reflect on some of our learnings over the course of the last few weeks. Two positive behaviours for learning we want our young people to work on are lateness and being ready for learning.


Importantly, one of the things that our student support network is noticing is the number of students that are arriving at school late. Unfortunately we've had some poor weather of late, and it is a bit difficult for students to come to school in the rain, however, what we've also noticed is that some young people need to really develop their self-management skills, in particular, making sure they have a restful night's sleep and that they have time to unwind at home. This will help them come to school refreshed and on time.

Lateness is an issue, especially when it comes to learning. In particular, it does put students on the back foot, as when they arrive to class late, they have often missed important bits of learning, and those little bits of the jigsaw puzzle of learning all add up. If you think about being late to school, or late to classes, five minutes for each class during a day equates to 25 minutes of learning time lost. Over the course of a Term, that's a significant amount of time. Over the course of a year, that's days of learning time lost that could support students to achieve success. Please encourage your young person to come to school on time.

Being ready for learning

Another important element of learning that supports students in their self-management is to remind them to be prepared for learning by bringing their chromebooks charged and/or bringing chromebook charging cables. This is important so that students are able to access their online learning that is available in class and that enables the opportunity for students to engage in course materials quicker. We do have a limited number of chromebooks available in the Library, but as we've noticed, the number of students arriving without chromebooks has impacted on the availability of daily loans of chromebooks. Also, I would encourage you too, if your child has had a loan chromebook, and not returned it to the Library, please ensure that they do so. Our Deans and Senior Leadership Team will be in contact with families if that is the case.


Again, achievement is a key focus of Student Mentoring. Currently, our Student Mentors of Year 11, 12 and 13 are working hard to ensure that students understand where they are in terms of their credits, what learning is coming up and what support students need. These will be added to their Student Mentoring Interviews under their Student Profile which will be available on Kamar Portal as and when those goal-setting meetings take place. We build up to Term 3 with important work with NCEA Assessments. In Week 9 of Term 3 we have our Senior Exam Week, and all students should use Term 3 as a real key stepping stone to ensure they are ready for their external assessments, but also to make sure they complete their required work and assessments to work toward achieving their goals. Whether that is passing Level 1, 2 or 3, or working towards Merit or Excellence Endorsement.

Our current analysis shows us that the position where our young people are, relative to years before, is much better, in terms of where they are within their NCEA qualification. We believe this is a bi-product of improved conversations, tracking and monitoring during Student Mentoring time.

New staff

We welcome Kiri Rua (pictured) to our school. Kiri joins us as the Head of Learning Support and SENCO. She comes with a wide range of experiences that are going to help build that area of our school, to support learners across our school. Kiri has had experience working with Universities and the Ministry of Education, and we look forward to the vision for her department, and the changes she wishes to bring.

Support Staff

We've recently celebrated Support Staff Week with a Friday lunch, to show our support of our Support Staff. Our Support Staff are key members of our team who provide us with invaluable skills and complete important jobs at our school to help with the smooth running of our school. If it wasn't for our Support Staff, we wouldn't have such a wonderful school. We do, though, want to invite all of our students to understand that we are to treat all staff with respect, not just within the classroom setting, and that Support Staff are important members of our team and should be treated the same as all teachers within our school site.

Martyn Knapton


Top Honours in Chess Regionals

Last week Whakatane High School hosted the Chess Power Eastern Regional Tournament.

The school had 20 students enter in teams of six or seven. We competed against Trident High School, as they were the only other high school attending. Whakatane High School came out on top winning both the individual and team sections.

In the individual section Te Akau Hudson was placed 1st with Ivor Malcolm placed 2nd, and our WHS team won the team section. The school has now gained entry to the National Final being hosted in October in Rotorua where they will take on teams from all over the country.

2021 CHC Model Economic Union

On the 10th and 11th of June 2021 myself and Grace Iremonger attended the 2021 CHC Model Economic Union event held at the University of Canterbury. Model EU is a mock competition around the EU. The EU or European Union is an politico-economic union comprised 27 countries from around Europe. It was created following the aftermath of WW2 with the hope of securing peace, economic, political and social freedom around the EU.

In this event, we represented specific countries and parties. I, myself, was part of Italy and the Socialists and Democrats. You work in a specific committees to improve a directive that best suits your party and country. This generally involves debating, negotiating and policy planning. The directive for this year was Human Rights and the Challenge of Climate Change. We were also fortunate enough to have some really interesting speakers attend the event. One of them was Her Excellency Nina Obermeirer who is the European Union Ambassador to New Zealand. She spoke about her life, and her vast role in the diplomatic service around the world for the past few decades. She also spoke on Covid 19 and how that affected her role, and the European Union working to repatriate thousands of Europeans stuck in New Zealand.

We also had Kevin O'Connell, a lawyer and political counsellor of the delegation of the European Union to New Zealand. He spoke on Human Rights, its role in the European Union processes and EU and NZ connections regarding Human Rights.

I feel very lucky to be able to attend an event like this and learn from some interesting characters as well as working and competing alongside like minded students. I was also humbled to receive Best Delegate at the event and win a scholarship to study a long distance European studies course by the University of Canterbury next Year.

Written by Thomas Turner

Don't forget!

Make sure you follow our Sports at Whakatane High Facebook page to keep up to date with our sporting achievements, draws and results.

Adventure Racing

We took 22 students plus two staff to Kawerau for what was a wet and gruelling 6 hr race.

The rain started half an hour into the race and got worse and worse over the remaining time. The students had a great day though, but were very cold at the end of the day. We all managed to warm up in the Kawerau pools after the event.

The race required everyone to bike 11kms on the first leg picking up clues along the way. The run/walk trek was in the awesome bush and was muddy, wet and a real adventure. This distance was between 10km and 18km, depending on your ability. The last leg was a long bike ride, again through some fantastic scenery but the rain made it hard to see by this time.

The team of Finn Jones (pictured), Jesse Byford-Pothan, Monique Prasad and Zoe Giles were winners in the Yr 9 and 10 section.

Next adventure will be the Whangamata Adventure Race.

Girls' Football

Girls 1st XI had a great game in the freezing conditions of Saturday morning. It was a very slippery surface but the girls found their groove and we managed to play to our strengths with a great goal coming from a nice through ball from Nicole Petersen and finished by Eva Sexton early in the 2nd half. In the 83rd minute, year 9 Sophie Growden (pictured) finished a great solo effort to put us 2-0 up. Unfortunately a bit of a communication error 2 minutes later meant the visiting Otumoetai side got a goal of their own. We held on for the win though and now sit third on the table with a catch up game vs Tauranga Girls also on hand.


Teachers and facilitators came together for a Loves-Me-Not training day on Wednesday 16, June. The Loves-Me-Not programme is a whole school approach which involves a one day workshop for Year 12 students. It has been designed to engage young people in the qualities of positive relationships inside and outside of school and the sometimes difficult subject of relationship abuse. This programme has been running in our school for four years which we hope set our students up to take away the knowledge and skills to be in healthy relationships.

Thank you to the Whakatane Police & community organisations who help us run this programme in our school.

National School Pride Week

Lots of students and teachers came out to show their support of National School Pride Week. This is a national event organized by Insideout, an organisation dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ Young people in New Zealand.

Last week was full of fun lunchtime activities. The students had the option of joining the Rainbow Diversity Group in a range activities including games, watching short films and more.

REMINDER - PE Uniform is compulsory

PE Uniform is compulsory for both Junior and Senior students. See this link for the uniform code if you are unsure.

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Senior Ball 2021

The 2021 Whakatane High School Senior Ball will be held on Friday 30 July.

Tickets can be purchased from the student office (during interval and lunchtimes) from Monday 2 July - $50 for a single ticket and $90 for a double.

Students must have at least 80% attendance to attend the ball. Any queries, please see Mrs McKane.


Below is a small list of events coming up.

For the full calendar of events, check out this link:

  • Back to the 80's (School Production) - Thursday 24 - Saturday 26 June
  • Loves-Me-Not - Wednesday, 30 June
  • Kapa Haka Regionals - Friday, 9 and Saturday, 10 July
  • Last Day of Term 2 - Friday, 9 July
  • First Day of Term 3 - Monday, 26 July
  • Teacher Only Day and Senior Ball - Friday, 30 July


Student Health Notice

Health services provided FREE in school:

  • School Nurse: daily except Wednesday morning
  • School Doctor: Tuesdays P2
  • Nutritionist/Dietitian: Weekly on Wednesday morning

Visit the Student Office to make an appointment.

Icecream Containers, Newspaper and Test Pots

The Science Department are always in need of ice cream containers, newspaper and paint test pots (even if they have a little bit left in them). Any time you have some spare, please drop them in to the front office.

School bus information

If you require information about your student/s bus route or timetable, please contact Uzabus directly on: 07 308 6169.

Iti Pounamu - homework club

3:15pm-4:30pm in the library every Wednesday.