HVHS Term 2 Week 9

Newsletter 2 July 2021


Kia ora

One week of the term to go. Thanks to Year 12 and Year 13 students for bearing with us while we battled through the many challenges thrown at us. It has not been easy, fair, or okay, and we appreciate your support during this time. We are all looking forward to 'face to face' teaching and learning next term. A big thank you to Lauren Fox, Alana Charlton and Karen Balshaw, who made the Hub a warm and welcoming space. Their roles have now finished, but we hope to see them back at school again soon.

Next term brings winter sports week where we have up to 200 students travelling all over New Zealand to compete, the Year 13 Graduation Ball, and our annual Te Awakairangi march for mental health. There is never a quiet time in a school but these are all important events that bring our school values to life.

We received two big baskets of goodies from our Mayor Campbell Barrie today as a well done for surviving the term. They were a lovely gesture. Kai is always greeted with enthusiasm!

We have numerous students preparing for two significant festivals. Te Rōpū Kapa Haka o Te Awawkairangi perform at the regional kapa haka festival on 7 July, and our Poly Club performs at HuttFest on the 9 July. Additional to this we have several groups of students competing at the Rockquest regional finals this Saturday. Performing will be Theo Thompson as part of Crumbly Jack, Sharna Banks, Kyena Chhabra, Dharshini Ganesan, Eve Houghton, Grace Hulse-Phear, Vanje Vaafusuaga as the band Roadside Drive. We wish them all the very best.

The school will enjoy their performances at our school Celebration Day on 10 August at the Town Hall. This is the first year that we have had a Celebration Day - it replaces the full-school assembly, but the focus is on performance and sharing the incredible talent in the school. Students from three houses will enjoy the first session, and then students from the remaining three houses will enjoy the second session. While it would be fantastic to have one show, we are just too big to fit in one hall space.

Construction has started on the road for the Portacoms, and we have had quite a few meetings to discuss the buildings that will replace C-Block. A few of us visited new school builds in Christchurch to gather ideas. Some of the new builds are impressive. I noticed that Christchurch Boys' High School has a large new hall that seats 1400. Wouldn't it be super if we, too, could build something of that magnitude soon? Imagine being able to meet as a large school group on our site and not walk to the Town Hall to do it. Do let me know if you are interested in forming a group to explore our options on this.

Ngā mihi nui

Denise Johnson

Spotlight on a Learning Area

Social Sciences Department

The Social Science Department has had a busy, but successful half year. In Junior Social Studies staff kicked off the year finalising some new topics for use from this year, opening up new learning opportunities such as Coffee Production, Fair Trade, Boom and Bust and The History of Sport. Other established topics have also been covered in classes such as Architecture Beliefs and Culture, Pandemics Through Time, Globalisation, Having a Say (Govt) and Te Tiriti o Waitangi amongst others!

You will no doubt have heard about Aotearoa/NZ Histories compulsory content in the news. We are excited about the opportunity to build on existing content already covered in our programme. A staff working group has been formed to integrate further NZ history into existing topics and create new ones that will engage all students in New Zealand history and their own identity. The Ministry of Education has only produced a draft curriculum document at this stage, but we believe planning for this significant change should begin in earnest sooner than later.

Our senior students across Accounting, Business Studies, Classics, Economics, Geography, History and Tourism have handled the challenges of remote learning showing adaptability and resilience. We have also been lucky to participate in a number of field trips including, Martinborough, Central North Island, The Pet Centre and Wellington Zoo opening opportunities for learning outside of the classroom. In Term 3 Geography looks forward to experiencing Rotorua and defending our title at the regional Maatangi Whenua competition. Business Studies have also had speakers from Michael Gray owner of Buzz Cafe, and Economics RBNZ and Treasury. Students will also participate in Kickstart day for the YES programme and a CEO's leadership day.

Junior Social Studies spotlight

10FL Social Studies who have been studying the First World War with Mr Overton, recently completed trench dioramas based on their learning. This was a group activity in which students needed to manage their time and resources in a cooperative manner. A lot of ice cream sticks, twigs, plasticine, wire, paint and glue later, the students produced very authentic looking trench systems to be proud of! They will finish the topic with a look at the significance of WWI to New Zealanders and the ways in which we remember sacrifice.

Mr Webster's Year 9 Social Studies completed the "World Geography" Unit, exploring the World’s five continents, their varying climate zones, their animal and plant habitats and their people and cultures located in each. Students learned the names of countries, mountain ranges, and seas, found out where major cities were located, were introduced to the geographic coordinates of longitude and latitude and completed a research project on a country of their choice.

Mr Williams played Chocolate-chip mining in Amazonia ‘Simulation Game’ with his classes. Using chocolate chip biscuits to represent mining in an open-cast mine in Amazonia. The two skewers represent the mining equipment available to you to excavate your chocolate chips. Students used both skewers to remove each chocolate chip, one-by-one.

Spotlight on open evening

After a cancellation of open evening due to COVID last year we were excited to be able to finally showcase students' Social Inquiry Displays on Global Issues at this year's event.

Senior Social Sciences spotlight - Geography

In early March Team Geo took on New Zealand’s best one day walk the Tongariro Crossing. They conquered the 19.4 kilometre challenge over the unique landscape of Tongariro as well as taking in the stunning views of Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. In a post COVID New Zealand they had the advantage of having this environment to themselves, stopping at every opportunity to learn about the cultural significance and geomorphology of the landscape.

It wasn’t all hard trekking; they also completed a number of tasks to generate data for their Geographic Research Internal which was completed on their return to HVHS.

News from the HUB

Students in Year 12 and 13 have embarked on Remote Learning in Term 2. Staff have been using the Flipped Learning model to facilitate teaching and learning. Many of us have booked space down at the Market Grove Hub so that we can still teach students face to face.

It is great to see students learning in groups with a coffee and their devices - giving them a taste of university life.

Road Safety

We have recently had reports from the public about dangerous behaviour of students crossing on the roads near to school and almost being hit by cars. The recent near misses are warnings and students need to only cross the road at the crossing outside school.

Please note that car-parking in the school is not available for students and parents are not permitted to collect or drop-off students within the school grounds due to Health and Safety concerns.


Congratulations to Jasmine Beech 12GF, who was awarded Gold at the Wellington Culinary Competition. Jasmine will now compete at the Grand Final on 8 September in Auckland.

Diana Galloway 12NS played in the Wellington Senior Open and came 3rd overall, and was the Top placed Squash Wellington woman, making her the top senior woman in the Wellington district for 2021.

Access to free period products

The access to period products initiative aims to provide free period products to children and young people in all state and state-integrated schools and kura across New Zealand during 2021.

Access to period products is a necessity, not a luxury. The need to access period products exists for every young person who experiences menstruation including young women, girls, transgender, and gender diverse youth, in ways that meet diverse needs and cultural perspectives.

This nationwide government funded initiative allows HVHS to provide each menstruating student with up to two packs of period products (pads and/or tampons) each month free of charge.

Please encourage your student to collect their product from the cupboard outside the First Aid Office (sick bay) once a month (before and after school, interval and lunchtime only).

We want to stress that this service is available to all menstruating students at HVHS and hope that they all take advantage of this wonderful initiative.

Unwell Students

When a student feels unwell at school:

• They must let their mentor teacher or subject teacher know and then go to the First Aid Officer. We ask that students do not contact parents directly

• If a student needs to go home the First Aid Officer will contact a parent/caregiver to make arrangements for you to collect them from school, or to get your permission for them to go home independently

• If you cannot be contacted, the secondary caregiver or emergency contact will be contacted, if still no contact the student will be cared for at school

• If you know in advance of an appointment and your student needs to leave school early, please use the HVHS App to let us know.

To download the app for free on iPhone or Android go to the play store and search for SchoolApps NZ.

Uniform Reminders

A reminder for a uniform check over the holidays as winter arrives. Warmer layers that students may wear are the following:

  • Plain black tailored straight-legged trousers
  • Long-sleeved white blouse or shirt
  • HVHS beanie
  • HVHS black and white scarf
  • White or black thermal undershirts
  • HVHS Hoodie
  • HVHS blazer or plain black jacket.

Black jeans, black ankle boots, black chinos, plain black hoodies, coloured hoodies and coloured jackets are not part of our daily school uniform and we ask that you ensure your child does not wear these items to school.

We encourage students to wear a school blazer or plain black jacket as their warm outer layer.

We have a large amount of lost property at the moment. Please name uniform items and we can then return lost items to students.

Upcoming Events

  • Non-uniform Day - Wednesday 7 July
  • Last Day of Term 2 - Friday 9 July
  • First Day of Term 3 - Monday 26 July
  • Year 9 Out of Zone Applications Close - Monday 26 July
  • Board of Trustees Meeting - Wednesday 28 July at 5.30 pm