HVHS Newsletter

Week 4, Term 1 - Friday 24 February 2023

Principal's Message

Kia ora koutou,

A massive thank you to our whole community for supporting the non-uniform day on Monday. The school raised over $3,200 for the Hawke's Bay - Ahuriri and Tairāwhiti Gisborne areas. We will give the money to the Mayoral Fund to be directed to where it is needed most. Many of us have been worried about our whānau up north.

It is a strange and concerning experience to lose contact with your loved ones when you know they are in a crisis. We rely so much on technology to connect us. My whānau found the old-style battery-powered transistor radio their most treasured item. I’m about to go out and ensure I have one in my emergency box. Our hearts and kind thoughts go out to those who have lost family members or whose lives have been turned upside down by severe flooding.

We held our Athletics Day for the first time in several years. It was a positive, fun day full of colour, physical activity and camaraderie - be it the staff who dressed up spectacularly or the students who entered the limbo event and achieved crazy low heights.

There was some serious competition, with long-standing athletic records broken. Congratulations to Mikayla Sola (12SP), who smashed the Senior Girls' shot put and discus records. She added over 8m to the discus record, and 2.5m to the shot put record. She now holds the school's shot put and discus records for every age group.

Last night we held our first Whānau Hui in a few years. It was a super night with many new connections made. We will be forming a steering group. Please email Grace Wright (grace.wright@hvhs.school.nz) if you could not attend last night but would like to be involved.

I hope that by now, you are aware of who your student's Mentor Teacher is and the names of some of their teachers. We run a fine line between insufficient information sharing and too much information that clutters your email inbox. I hope you are keeping connected via this newsletter and our Facebook and Instagram pages. Many of you attended the Year 9 Meet n Greet evening, which I hope was useful. Attitude to Learning information will be coming out soon, and this will be the first of our formal reporting to you. If you have any concerns or need to know more about your child's progress, please email the specific subject teacher or contact a Mentor Teacher or Dean.

The Board has completed their three-year strategic plan and my team's annual implementation plan. Copies can be found on the school website.

Ngā mihi nui

Denise Johnson (Principal)

Below: photos from Athletics Day.

Afio Mai/Welcome for Pasifika Families

To welcome new and existing Pacific Island aiga back to HVHS in 2023, we are holding a shared supper in the school pavilion on Wednesday 1 March from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.

Please bring a small plate to share. The Poly Club have kindly offered to run the BBQs for everyone to enjoy. Please RSVP Rob Everett (rob.everett@hvhs.school.nz) if you can join us.

Donations of Kai Needed - A Message from our Wellbeing Team

Every year we see a number of students who are coming to school who haven't had breakfast and are without kai for the day. This year is no exception. Some of the charities that have provided support for students in the past are no longer able to provide this service and we are reaching out to our school community to see if this is something you as a whānau would like to help with.

Donations of grab-and-go foods such as muesli bars, spreads for sandwiches or anything that fills a hungry tummy would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Claire Ross (claire.ross@hvhs.school.nz ) from our Wellbeing Team if you would like to help.

Priority Learners at HVHS

The Hutt Valley High School Priority Learners’ Team supports the learning needs of our students. The Ministry of Education defines ‘Priority Learners’ as 'any students who have been identified as historically not experiencing success in the NZ schooling system.'

Our role is to boost the learning and academic achievement of such students, where possible removing barriers and assisting these ākonga to thrive academically, socially and culturally at Hutt Valley High School.

The Priority Learners’ Team includes our Special Education Need Coordinator (SENCO) and Assistant SENCO, our Literacy and Numeracy coordinators, members of our Pathways and Boost departments, a member of the Pūwaha team who support Māori students, a member of our Pacific Team, the Head of Tautoko our Supported Learning Centre and one of the Deputy Principals. We meet every three weeks and work together to form a tight net to ‘catch’ and support any students who need assistance to learn.

There are many kinds of interventions or assistance we provide for students, for example: small group reading; small group numeracy; Literacy and Numeracy classes; flexible timetables which allow students to move between Tautoko and mainstream classes; one-on-one support with an expert teacher focused on a particular subject or NCEA assessment; or help planning pathways beyond school.

Some of our priority learners have struggled with school in the past and have come to us with significant gaps in their learning. We work with such students to close the gaps and enable them to work at a comparable academic level as the rest of their year level. We also cater for students with recognised or diagnosed learning differences, and those students who may not be diagnosed, but who have traits of a particular learning difference.

For these students we take the time to ascertain what learning and teaching strategies work best for them. These strategies are then shared with their classroom teachers to help their learning across the curriculum. Much of the work done with these students focuses on building their confidence and helping them find their voice so that they can ask for what they need in class and during assessments.

For more information, please contact Fiona Pearson, Deputy Principal at fiona.pearson@hvhs.school.nz.

Athletics Day - Records Smashed & House Results

Our full school Athletics Day was held on Tuesday at Hutt Recreation. The ground was in pristine condition and the weather played its part on the day. With a mix of competitive and fun activities, there were plenty of events for students to participate in.

Remutaka House were the champions of the day followed by Ōrongorongo House. Thank you to everyone who turned out to enjoy the day and helped to build our house and school spirit.

Well done again to Mikayla Sola (12SP) who smashed both the Senior Girls' shot put (12.07m) and discus (38.05m) records. She added over 8m to the discus record and 2.5m to the shot put record. Mikayla now holds the shot put and discus record for the school in every age group!

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Sports update

Student Results

Congratulations to Oxie Taylor (9PDST) who competed in the Secondary School Open Water (Ocean) Swimming Champs in Wellington on the 28 January representing Hutt Valley High School with a great 4th placing in 1km race in the 10-13 year old female age group.

Daniel Williams (12TH) travelled to Melbourne last week to compete in the Victorian State Open Swimming Championships. The competition was an Open Championship (no age group categories), so he was up against some of the best male swimmers from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and several other countries. A number of the swimmers at the event had won Olympic, Worlds and Commonwealth Games medals so whilst it was awesome to be racing against them it was also very hard not to overawed at the same time. Despite the tough competition, Dan achieved great results achieving the following placing: 50m Backstroke - 15th, 100m Backstroke - 25th, 200m Backstroke - 26th, 200m Individual Medley - 24th, 50m Breaststroke - 50th and 79th in the 50m Freestyle.

Keeping in Touch

Please help us celebrate our students' sporting successes by emailing sport@hvhs.school.nz with any information or results. If you can also include a photo as well, we will share it on our social media pages.

For reminders, news and results follow HVHS Sports on Facebook and Instagram.

Resource Centre/ Uniforms - Updated Opening Hours

Our newly relocated Resource Centre is based in the Library. All uniforms, along with some stationery and other subject resources, can be purchased here.

The Resource Centre's opening hours are now 11:00am to 2.30pm Monday to Thursday.

Payments for trips, school donations and sports can also be made at the Resource Centre. Other online payment options are available via the Kamar portal on the school's website. For parents and caregivers visiting the Resource Centre please enter via the school's main reception area. Students are welcome to access the Resource Centre through the Library. For any queries, please email resource.centre@hvhs.school.nz.

Art Exhibition celebrating Last Year's NCEA level 1 and 2 Folios

The Visual Art Department will be exhibiting NCEA level 1 and 2 folios from last year (2022) in S1 on Monday 13 March 2023, 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Parents, caregivers and other whānau are invited to this special evening to celebrate the work of our young artists.

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NCEA Literacy and Numeracy Pilot Tests

HVHS will continue supporting the introduction of the new NCEA Literacy and Numeracy co-requisites by running tests in Terms 2 and 4.

Most Year 10 students will complete the three tests in week 8 of Term 2. All students requiring literacy or numeracy credits will be given an opportunity to take the tests in Term 4.

Students will be required to sit these tests digitally, requiring students to have access to their own Chromebook-style learning device (iPads and mobile phones are not appropriate). If your student might need support regarding accessing a Chromebook-style learning device or with Special Assessment Conditions, please contact Rob Everett (rob.everett@hvhs.school.nz).

For new families, Special Assessment Conditions can provide extra help for otherwise capable students in addressing various barriers to achievement in NCEA or New Zealand Scholarship assessments. Some examples of SAC include special papers for vision-impaired students, writers or readers for students with learning disorders such as dyslexia and rest breaks for students with diabetes.

New students who may require Special Assessment Conditions are currently being screened. Families will be contacted as required.

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Esports Teams at HVHS - Players Needed

Students can join an esports team and represent HVHS in their favourite game! To register for a team or to learn more email Tyler Benson at tyler.benson@hvhs.school.nz or come to P1 where he teaches. Upcoming competitions include Rocket League (1 March), Fortnite (3 May), and League of Legends and Valorant early in Term 2.
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This position will be predominantly based in HVHS's Resource Centre helping ākonga (students) with uniform fittings and purchases, collecting and processing payments and assisting with issuing sports uniforms. This role will also provide administrative support to various departments.

We are looking for someone with a positive attitude and passion for customer service, who possesses great organisational and administration skills and is able to work effectively solo and within a team. Enjoying working with ākonga, providing a warm and welcoming environment, and the ability to work with a wide range of people is important.

This role is currently 20 hours per week (it may increase to 25), term time only (with additional hours in January) and during school hours. To read the full job description and for information on how to apply please go to https://www.hvhs.school.nz/future/staff-vacancies. Applications close this Monday (27 February) at 4pm.

Update on the HVHS School Board

In November 2022, a casual vacancy occurred on the HVHS School Board for a Parent Representative. No by-election was required to fill the vacancy as less than 10% of eligible voters requested an election by the deadline of Saturday 31 December. The Board resolved to select Susan Dunne to fill the vacancy.

Planned PPTA Strike Day on Thursday 16 March

The PPTA (Secondary Teachers’ Union) has given advance notice of strike action to be taken by its members on Thursday 16 March. The one-day strike will go ahead if negotiations have not resulted in a satisfactory settlement beforehand.

If the strike goes ahead Hutt Valley High School will be closed for normal instruction on Thursday 16 March.

Upcoming Dates & Events


Monday 27 February

Canterbury University - Introduction Presentation, 1:30-2:15pm

Wednesday 1 March

Afio Mai - Welcome for Pasifika Families, 6:00-7:30pm

Monday 13 March

Exhibition of Level 1 & 2 Folios from 2022 in S1, 5:30-7:30pm

Tuesday 14 March

Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington - Introduction Presentation, 1:30-2:15pm

Wednesday 15 March

HVHS NCEA Evening, 6:30-7:30pm

Thursday 16 March

Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA), Planned Strike Day (School Closed)

Wednesday 22 March

HVHS Board Meeting, 5:30-7:30pm

Friday 24 March

Non-Uniform Day

Thursday 6 April

Last day of Term 1


Wednesday 26 April

First day of Term 2