Newsletter Term 4 week 1

Wairarapa College 20 October 2021


It’s not how you start but how you finish! Our message to students this term is to finish strong by aiming high and making the most of all the opportunities that come your way. All the best to our students sitting school exams this week.

I acknowledge that Covid-19 will be on our minds and many events we have planned this term will be impacted. I am expecting further information about mandatory vaccinations for teachers and will provide regular updates as appropriate.

Property Update

Our property development continues with the supported learning centre due for completion in early 2022. It will host two teaching spaces, break out spaces and an outdoor learning environment. The new Food Technology Hub framing has been installed and is due for completion around the middle of next year. It will provide us with two Food Technology rooms, a commercial kitchen and a cafe. The refitted multi-purpose turf is finally underway and will include five netball/tennis courts, a basketball court, a futsal field, a hockey D, 4-square areas and several 100m running lanes. The final phase of our stage one development includes heating and cooling for our classroom spaces and this is currently in the design phase.

Curriculum Refresh

An exciting innovation for 2022 is our refreshed junior curriculum. Students will still study from a diverse range of subjects but will have choice within these areas. For example, a student’s Year 9 English course will be selected from contextualised topics such as “Heroes and Villains”, “I will survive”, Stand up, speak up” and “Tell us a story”.

Our curriculum will also include the opportunity for students to engage in Hāpori community time. They will be able to take up a service, such as volunteering at a local school or organisation, undertaking work experience, or participating in a cultural or learning group, such as Kapa Haka, theatre sport, chess, project-based learning for one period per week.

Let’s have a great Term 4.

Message from the Board of Trustees

Our Ministry of Education "Statutory Intervention" ended in September. The intervention began in 2015 when the school’s accumulated debt was found to be unmanageable and the Ministry appointed a “Commissioner” — one person to replace the Board & Principal.

In 2017, a new Board was elected by the Wairarapa College community. This Board co-opted local iwi representation to endure irrespective of elections.

Alongside us was Helena Barwick, appointed by the Ministry as "Statutory Manager”. Helena held ultimate responsibility for the college’s finances and employment, but wound up being invaluable across all aspects of our journey. We have now farewelled Helena. We cannot thank her enough for her hard mahi, her smarts, her resources, and her confidence in us.

In the letter we recently received—revoking the intervention—the Ministry of Education Director of Education for Wellington stated “The College is poised to implement major changes identified in your strategic planning, including property and curriculum design and delivery.”

This is an exciting time for the College.

We are currently:

Maria McKenzie (Chair)

Kirsten Browne

Waireka Collings

Gretchen Dean

Meredith Gilles

Jason Kerehi

Lisa McDonald

Tracey Shepherd

Fleur Hardman (Staff Rep)

Matt White (Principal)

and haere mai Caleb Rogers, our new Student Rep

Thank you and shout out to past members Hamish, Brett, Rosa, Grace & April!

Newsletter proudly sponsored by

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Poto College House 2022 enrolments OPEN NOW

Each student at Poto College House is considered part of an extended Whānau. We are a co-educational boarding establishment providing a structured environment which supports each child to be successful both in and out of school while developing life skills, pride and individuality.

We can provide flexible care for your Child. Poto College House provides the most affordable boarding option in the Wairarapa for 5 and a half days per week, Monday to Saturday. We also offer casual boarding (a minimum of three days per week).

You don’t need to live a long way from Masterton to come to Poto College House - You may simply commute for work and have a child who is heavily involved in cultural or sport activity after school! Poto College House offers support a few days a week to ensure your child completes their study, gets to and from their activities, is well fed, in bed at a good hour and at school on time!

2022 Enrolments are open now!

If you are considering boarding for your child, Poto College House Manager, Stacey Grant, would love to talk to you. Call 027 391 6311 or

Our Library

It is great to see that students are making use of this valuable resource. We try to cater for all our students, especially in supporting their learning.

So we can keep track of the resources that are on loan and make them available to as many students who may need to use them, please help us to get any library books or other resources back as quickly as possible. The end of year is going to be upon us quickly and we would appreciate getting our books back.

Next year we are looking forward to providing the same level of support with a few enhancements along the way. It is an exciting time for us all as we try to make the library reach as many of our students as possible.

Outward Bound Anakiwa

Congratulations to Cooper Griffin, Ryan Davidson and William Horsburgh who completed 21 days at Outward Bound Anakiwa.

Staff vs Student touch

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Raising Body Confident Kids

It is with pleasure that St Matthews Collegiate is hosting an event for parents of toddlers to teens about Raising Body Confident Kids on Thursday, 11 November 2021 at 7.30 pm.

Emma Wright is an internationally recognised expert on raising children who feel confident in their bodies and have a good relationship with food. Having worked with hundreds of parents in her coaching practice and online programs, Emma has proven that conventional methods to prevent body image issues are flawed and offer a powerful new approach to those who are worried and frustrated.

In a world where many of our young people are bombarded with distorted images of perfection, Emma’s toolkit of proactive strategies is particularly relevant. This event is open to all, so please share with friends and families within our Wairarapa community.

At this event, you'll learn how to:

  • nurture a positive relationship with food
  • deal with sugar so they don't sneak it, or eat without being able to stop
  • promote body diversity, body positive social media use & screen contracts
  • respond if your child says they're fat so they engage with you
  • support a child who has been 'body-bullied’
  • prevent eating disorders

When: Thursday 11 Nov,

7.30–9.00 pm

Where: St Matthews School Auditorium, 33 Pownall Street, Masterton

Tickets: Gold coin donation

Please register at


Australian Maths Competition

Kasey Cox Year 13 gained a High Distinction (Top 5% for Y13 in the region). James Moore Year 13 and Noah Andersen Year 10 gained Distinction awards. Christopher Shaw, David Rees, Rhett Dornan Year 9 and Charlotte Cusack and Bianca Black Year 10 gained Credit awards.

Wellington Squash Competition

Rookie Boys Grade - Dylan Tovio – 1st

Rookie Girls Grade - Lexi MacPherson – 2nd

Championship Girls - Mackenzie Tait – 2nd

Championship Boys - Ben Jones – 4th, Ben Newman – 5th, Makaia Sutton – 6th

Dylan Turner Year 11 for placing 2nd in the National Secondary School Clay Target Shooting Championship.

Lily Irwin Year 12 and Samantha Marriott Year 13 for representing Wairarapa Bush Women’s Rugby team.

Jacob Walsh Year 13 - NABBA Body Building Mr Body Board Shorts Lower North Island Champion. Maia MacKenzie Year 12 placed 4th in her category.

Ryan Davidson Year 12 highly commended in the University of Waikato short story Sargeson Prize for secondary Students.

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