Spotswood College

August 2022 Newsletter


Principals Piece

Staffing News

Students at the Centre of Learning

Community at the heart of who we are

Cultural and Sporting Success

Message from the Principal

Ka nui te mihi aroha ki a koutou,

Term 3 has started, and we are straight back into school.

Open Night

Thursday, August 11

5.30-7.30 pm

We encourage anyone contemplating Spotswood College for their child to attend and gain some insight into the world of learning at our kura.

You will be aware we have a regional staff only day on Monday 22 August. Alongside our weekly Professional Learning time, this is an incredibly important learning time for staff who are preparing for the significant changes to NCEA that will be rolled out across the country. Students benefit from the college having high-quality teaching and learning programmes and teachers who are able to continually reflect on and improve their teaching practice. I thank you all in advance for your continued support in this space.

We are never short of having great things to celebrate and I would like to make a special congratulations to our Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) teams who continue to make great gains in their business plans and our Vex Robotics teams who look set to have another great season.

Jessie Brodie with YES and Jana Robertson with Vex Robotics both do an amazing job ensuring our students are fully supported and able to present their personal best at these events. I know you will all join me in thanking them.

On another very positive note, our production team have been waiting a long time to present Bugsy Malone to our community. I encourage you all to come along to support our talented students. A huge mihi to Marie Hunneyball and the rest of the amazing staff.

Tickets are on sale now!

Other upcoming events include:

16 Aug - Sport/Team Photos

20 Aug - VEX Scrimmage 3

22 Aug - Teacher Only Day

14 Sep - Student-Led IDPs

21 Sep - Parent Teacher Interviews

A reminder to please keep your child at home if they are unwell. Once again, we understand when some fatigue sets in around this. From time to time we have noticed students coming to school with cold/flu symptoms and we have had to arrange for them to be picked up to go home. Staying home when unwell is a key protection element for us all.

Communication is essential and we strive to connect to our students, whanau, and community each and every day. We will continue reaching out to you with weekly emails, texts or through our app. We also encourage you to visit our website and follow our social pages including Facebook, Instagram, and our student-run official Spotswood College TikTok for announcements, information, and celebrations.

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Parent Representatives for the School Board of Trustees.

Mike Cole

Michelle Evans

Fiona Ellliott

Katja Eager

We are very pleased to write to you to give you an update on the changes that will be forthcoming to the school. The redevelopment project at Spotswood College will include new blocks for both general and specialist teaching spaces, as well as upgrades to existing blocks. The new buildings will support the STEAM curriculum as well as cater for future growth and changes to delivery through functional and flexible design.

There has been a lot going on behind the scenes at your school, with the project team from the MOE in collaboration with your Board, Principal Nicola Ngarewa and staff representatives looking to create and evolve plans for the redevelopment of the school site.

Whether we like it or not Covid has impacted the speed at which we have been able to move forward but again, largely in the background, your Board and your Principal have been challenging both the MOE representatives and the Master Planners to move things along so that we can ensure that we can get to a start date sooner rather than later. We will no longer allow the spectre of Covid to slow things down; it will be challenging but we believe we have the right people in the right places to deliver.

We are currently reaching the end of master planning and heading into the design phase, with an expectancy to go to the market to secure the main contractor in mid-2023. This is an exciting time for the college, and as a group, we have been mindful to consult with Ngāti Te Whiti to ensure the cultural narrative is accurately captured and interweaved into the final design concept.

Over the next few months, you will notice some changes around the college, as we kick start work on remediation and weather tightness failings on the McPhail building at the front of the school. This will consist of replacement cladding and roofing with contract works predicted to commence towards the end of 2022 and take approximately 6 months to complete. At the same time, your Board and SLT are currently undertaking a project to manage a separate interior upgrade for this building which is currently in the design phase after which they will look to secure a contractor to undertake the works.

These are exciting times at the college as the MOE, Board, SLT look to bring the school into the 2020s and bring our teaching spaces up to scratch for our current learning needs. We will continue to share updates and milestones and the Ministry, Board and School want to thank you for your ongoing support and understanding during this time.



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

Ms Ann Rodgers email:

Year 9 Dean

Mr Airana Ngarewa email:

International Director

Mrs Nicola Healy email:



Throughout Term 2 and Term 3, our Young Enterprise Students (YES) students have been finalising their business plans and putting these into action. This course requires students to promote and sell their products outside of our school community. The course also focuses on actively pursuing a social objective to connect with and improve our society – either through donating parts of their profits or products, or other corporate socially responsible initiatives. Some teams have opted, where it fits with their target market and plans, to sell at markets and businesses around Taranaki, Ahi Tote now have their product sold out of HauKai, The Vetro and JetCharm.

Our students have worked hard and enjoyed the process and rewards from creating their businesses. Thank you to everyone involved, and especially to staff member Jess Brodie, for consistent support in providing opportunities for our student community.


Well done to our Vex Robotics teams who competed in Fielding earlier this month, with both senior teams making it into the finals (in the same alliance). We are super proud of the effort these two teams have put in and look forward to a successful season.

Our juniors also had a great start with Team Motor Heads coming in third and Team Broken Axels placing 6th. It’s a tough competition this year but they are well positioned to learn and advance in this event.

Spotswood will be hosting the next scrimmage in August and we can’t wait to see what we can achieve on our home turf.

We have had a very successful Gateway year so far with over 80 students with work experience in various jobs, ranging from hospitality and building to electrical, IT, health, retail and education. Some Gateway placements have led to full-time work and possible apprenticeship opportunities.

Gateway offers senior students the opportunity of real-world work experience in an area of interest during their time at school, it enables them to blend school study with workplace and skill-based learning.

The Vocational department also works closely with Taranaki Futures and is part of their Accelerator Program.

It's great seeing our students in action at the different workplaces they are spending time in as part of this experience. Regan Brown is a part of this program, spending time with three physios and their clients at Bounceback Physio, enabling him to experience what the day-to-day mahi of a physio is like.

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Cups and Trophies

Please return any cups and trophies to the school office, we are in the process of organising the end-of-year prizegivings. Thank you
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For the first time in over two years, we are able to host international students. We have recently had three students join our whanau

A warm welcome to our new International Students for July 2022

Name: Lionel Hozel

Origin: Dresden Germany

Age: 17

Duration: 4 Terms


Hobbies: The outdoors, cycling, mountaineering, hiking, skiing, painting and sketching, playing the guitar, politics

Important to him: Kind and active family, into outdoor activities

Subjects he would like to do: Maths, Art, Social Studies (or similar), Leadership, OE, maybe Spanish

Sports he would like to do: Outdoorsy stuff, table tennis, cycling, swimming, windsurfing, skiing, snowboarding

Dietary needs: Vegetarian

Name: Smilla Ravn

Origin: Denmark

Age: 16

Duration: 4 Terms


Subjects: Favourites include English and Mathematics but she also really likes the arts, in particular photography.

She really enjoys an active lifestyle and passions are sailing and surfing and skiing.

Her goal for the Exchange:

to learn as much as she can, from her hosts, new friends and her teachers. She is really looking forward to meeting other students from different backgrounds and learning about their culture and experiences. She wants to learn as much as she can about the ways cultures communicate and how they impact daily life.

Name: Maja Briese

Origin: Berlin Germany

Age: 18

Duration: 2 Terms


While she was initially enrolled for January 2021 and had to cancel, she is still committed to come to New Zealand and to Spotswood College. Maja will finish school in Germany in Mid-2022 and has now enrolled for our Gap-Year Programme. The GAP-Year Programme is for students, who would like to experience the NZ school system and its varied curriculum even after they have successfully completed school in Germany.

Gap year students don’t have any restrictions for their subject choice and are keen to try subjects that don’t exist in the German curriculum. This is a great way to improve their English, learn about a new culture, school system and study in an area they might be interested to pursue at university.

Sports: Only for fun (Volleyball, going for walks, etc.)

Music/Arts: Arts and crafts for fun and sometimes with friends (I ́m not very good, but I still enjoy doing it.)

Social club:


Which activities would you like to continue doing while you are in New Zealand?

Since I do nothing on a competitive level, there is nothing I would particularly want/need to continue.

Are there any new activities you would like to try in New Zealand?

I suppose I ́m pretty open for anything

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Congratulations to Kurtis Gilmour

I am Kurtis Gilmour, I attended Spotswood College from 2013-2017 and have gone on to further my studies at IPU New Zealand, a tertiary institute in Palmerston North.

After completing a major in TESOL (English teaching) Language studies and gaining a Trinity London Cert.TESOL, I decided to stick around another year and get a second major in International Relations to complete my Batchelor of Contemporary International studies.

Now that I have graduated from university I have recently applied and been accepted into the JET programme as a teacher who will be heading over to Japan in August to teach English in Tokushima City.

I honestly don’t think that I would be in the position I am now without the support and opportunities provided to me at Spotswood College! I was able to meet a lot of people that I am still in contact with today through the exchange programs in both the language and international Departments.

I really don’t think that I would have ever considered the option of teaching English in Japan without some of the amazing opportunities Spotswood had for students studying Japanese. These opportunities included visits from our sister school Hatsukaichi and the two-week Japan Trip that I was able to go on while studying at Spotswood! Both of these things really grew my interest in the world as a whole and really opened the door for me to want to pursue a career in teaching abroad!

I am so excited to take this next step and use some of the hands-on skills and knowledge that I gained at Spotswood College out in the world.

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Careers Expo

After a couple of years of disruption, we are happy to tell you that the Careers Expo is all go this year. Feel free to go along on Sunday 14th with the family. Year 12 and 13 students will have the opportunity to go with the school on Monday 15th. This is a fantastic way to explore your career options
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Its that time of year. Our production team have been waiting a long time to present Bugsy Malone to our Community. Please come along and support our kids and amazing staff.

Tickets on sale now!


Ashleigh Hill, Sarah Mangu and Eunice Mangu played for Taranaki U18s in a tri series with Whanganui and King Country. They won both games taking out the mini-tournament!

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Taranaki teen scaling his way to America for the Climbing Youth World Championships

Exam Assistant Volunteers Needed

Are you interested in helping students with Special Assessment Conditions?

Are you available during the last three weeks of Term 3 (13 – 30 September 2022) and the second half of November?

We are looking for volunteers to help during practice exams in Term 3 and the NCEA exams at the end of the year.

This position could include the following: • Supervision of a group of students • Reading exams aloud to students • Writing / typing out students’ answers • Both reading and writing for a student.

To be an Exam Assistant, patience, empathy, and a good grasp of the English language are needed. There will be a training session held at the college before the exams start. If you think you could help out please contact

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

To make an appointment

Careers Officer Chell Lusk -

Guidance Counsellor Suzy Adair

Guidance Counsellor Paulette O'Neil

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

Spotswood College Events Calendar

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 absence. Record your child’s name, parents name, contact details and reason for absence.

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.

School Uniform

Our expectation as a school whanau is that our young people are in the correct uniform at all times. As we are now in the cooler weather, it is important that students have the correct winter school uniform. Items can be purchased from our Uniform Shop. Students will be required to hand over non-uniform items which can be collected back at the end of the week.

We also have a large accumulation of uniforms that are a part of lost property that is kept in this space. If your child has a missing school item, please encourage them to check the lost property racks.

Uniform shop hours

Uniform shop hours each week are as follows:

8.00 am to 9.00 am & Interval - Monday to Friday.

Phone 751 2416 Ext 721 or 022 676 2750.

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 2nd May – Friday 8th July - (10 weeks)

Queens Birthday Monday 6th June

Matariki Friday 24th June


Monday 25th July – Friday 30th September - (10 weeks)


Monday 17th October – 9th December

Labour Day Monday 24th October

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