HVHS Term 4 Week 1

Newsletter 22 October 2021


Kia ora koutou

Welcome back to yet another strange and unusual term.

The Portacom Village is ready to go and is now being used as a classroom space. Our new furniture arrived on Tuesday.

This term is going to be very different from the previous term fours. While there is discretion in what a school may do at Alert Level 2, we have decided to take a precautionary approach and cancel all large gatherings that are not absolutely necessary. This is unless we have a sudden lowering of alert levels. In lieu of holding prize givings and other celebrations we plan to hold small student-only events and share videos of the event or performance with families and whānau. We will make a decision on whether the Y13 graduation ball will go ahead this weekend. Our Y9 camp is being changed to a day event with no overnight stay. It is disappointing that we need to make these changes but compared to most of the world and especially Auckland recently we have been extremely lucky that the impact of Covid has been relatively minimal.

Congratulations to Seren Lewis who is our new student representative on the board of trustees. Thank you to Tinorawe Hawkins who is the outgoing student representative.

On Thursday I watched the debut of our new Y13 drama show, It’s the story of a student flat during a snap lockdown, and what happens when they discover the chap sleeping on the couch is an anti-vaxxer. It is a theatrical look at the conversations that take place and the difference between winning an argument and changing someone’s mind. The play is incredibly topical and at the time of writing it was not known that we would be in a place where mandatory vaccination would be required to work in a school, some workplaces, and to attend functions and events. Well done to Libby Hanaray, Ella McNeillage, Josh Whitehead, Violet Halford and Cameron Mills for taking on such a challenging and important role.

Mandatory Vaccination

The school is currently collating information on the vaccination status of all staff, including contractors and volunteers. It appears that there is a very high vaccination uptake in our community - which is reassuring.

We will soon be asking you for the vaccination status of our students. We will contact you as soon as we have clear guidance on the evidence and information required. In the meantime, I encourage students to get vaccinated. A higher rate of vaccination will mean less drastic steps need to be taken should we have a positive case in our community.

I would encourage anyone who needs support to understand the Covid vaccine to contact your GP, or Healthline. You will also find the nurses at the vaccination centres only too happy to spend time with you answering any questions and reassuring you of the safety of the vaccine.

Here are some sites that you may find useful.


Let’s support each other, and get vaccinated to protect our community, ourselves, and whānau.

Ngā mihi nui

Denise Johnson


Spotlight on a Learning Area

Gateway / Pathways

This year Gateway students have participated in a variety of work placements including such fields as Logistics, Firefighting, Photography, Art Museums, Steam Engine Restoration, Local Government, Electrical, Floristry, Manufacturing, Faith Ministry, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Real Estate, Building, Dog Grooming, Law, Mechanics, Early Childhood and Primary Education including Māori Immersion Education, Hairdressing, Architecture, Plumbing, Music, Retail, Hospitality (both front of house and in the kitchen), Journalism and Joinery.

So far we have had a total of 75 Gateway students out on placement- our target was 70 so we have exceeded our goal. A few students have even managed more than one work experience placement or course. A few had their placements suspended after the covid alert level change and we are still waiting for it to drop back to level 1 so they can resume placements...fingers crossed!

In some cases it has not been possible for a student to do work experience in their chosen field due to privacy or other constraints.These students have been given the opportunity to participate in relevant courses such as Aviation, Mental Health and Digital Design and where possible to meet with people working in relevant careers including Psychology, Game Design, Financial Advice, Graphic Design and Film Production.

We have regularly touched base with all our employers and course providers and have received some excellent feedback. Students have had very good attendance and have learnt many new skills in their workplaces and/or on courses. Some work placements have led to part time employment (eg; auto mechanics, sports retail, fashion retail) and apprenticeships (eg; construction, manufacturing). We are grateful to all our providers which we will name and thank in our next newsletter, along with a personally delivered thank-you gift at the end of the year.

As well as attending work experience and/or relevant courses and seminars our students also participated in community projects for 2 terms.These projects focused on team and communication skills, so important for success in the real world workplace. Student run activities ranged from making things for the community such as picnic tables, planter boxes, bird houses, cat scratchers etc, to service activities like track building, concerts for the elderly, fundraiser activities for vulnerable citizens and sports coaching in local schools. Great learning experiences and great feedback from the recipients.

Epro8 Challenge

The EPro8 Challenge is organised by a small team passionate about science and engineering. Each event consists of 12 teams, who will compete to earn the most points in the 2 ½ hour time limit. Teams are made up of four students and are allocated a workstation, which contains an impressive assortment of easy to use equipment, including gears, wheels, pulleys, joiners, nuts and bolts, tools, aluminium framing, motors and electronics.

At the start of the event, teams will be given a booklet containing four challenges. Each challenge will be split into parts that range from easy to challenging. Teams choose which challenges they wish to complete. Typically the more difficult challenges will be worth more points. They won't have enough time to finish all the challenges. There is strategy involved in deciding which challenges best suit their skills and abilities.

We had an incredibly successful first round, with four HVHS teams taking part and two ranking in first and second place - making it to the finals next week.

First Place - Dhruv Lal, Fuard Abdullahi, Ben Harris and Jack Maddigan

Second Place - Morgan Grummitt, Rio Salisbury-Metcalfe, Jessica Meyer and Emma McLaughlin

Other teams included: Lukas Ingham, Josh Darr, Byron Thistoll, Bradley Townsend, Ben Coubrough, Harris Coubrough, Alfie Cross and Luca Mitchell

Congratulations Melissa Coetser (13LG)

After almost a year of training, Melissa Coetser (13LG) has qualified as the youngest firefighter volunteer for the Silverstream Brigade.
Big picture

Congratulations Nadia Prasetyo (13HA)

Last term Nadia competed in the international chemistry quiz against thousands of students across the world including 253 students from New Zealand. Nadia came away with a high distinction getting 24/30 questions correct (NZ's average was 13.5). This puts her into the top 10% in the country for those that competed.

Tino pai Nadia!

Congratulations Izzy Bloodworth (12DB)

Congratulations to Izzy Bloodworth for being part of the Big Air Elite competitive cheerleading squad. They recently won the International All Star Federation Worlds competition. Due to Covid-19, the competition was held virtually instead of in Florida, USA.

Resource Centre

The 2021 yearbook is getting ready for the printers - don't miss out, it's your last chance!

If you would like a memento from a year like no other, please get the $30 payment into the Resource Centre by Friday 5th of November.

There will be no additional copies available to purchase at a later date.

You can pay by using the KAMAR Portal, calling the Resource Centre, or depositing the fee in the school account.

Reference: Student ID number
Particulars: 2021 Yearbook

2021 yearbook: written by students, for students.

Upcoming Events

  • Labour Day Holiday - Monday 25 October
  • Sports Awards Ceremony - Wednesday 27 October
  • Board of Trustees Meeting - Wednesday 27 October
  • MMR Clinic - Thursday 28 October
  • Senior Derived Grade Examinations - Monday 1 November till Tuesday 9 November