HVHS Term 1 Week 7

Newsletter 19 March 2021


Kia ora koutou katoa

The inaugural Sporting Excellence Programme workshop was held on Tuesday 16 March. 30 aspiring athletes attended. Mark Oates and Aimee Francois led the workshop. Students completed modules on "Knowing myself as an athlete and as a person," mentoring and goal setting, teamwork challenges, and were inspired by listening to Silver Fern netballer - Shannon Saunders and Firebird’s cricketer - Troy Johnson. The second workshop in the series is in May. This is part of our Gifted and Talented programme.

Emma Littlefair, Charlotte Leach and Sukura Gregory from Year 13 and I were hosted at the Australian High Commission for an International Women's Day event. On International Women's Day, we celebrate the achievements of women. And by women, we mean all who identify with that term.

The global theme of International Women's day was - ChooseToChallenge. We are all asked to challenge behaviours, words, and sayings unhelpful to women. We think of NZ as a progressive country - we have women prime ministers, women leaders of the opposition, women rugby players, women bus drivers, women surgeons, women heads of major companies...but sadly, true gender equality does not yet exist here or around the globe. The issue of consent predominantly affects women, one in three women will experience gender-based violence in their lifetimes, and women are still paid less than men for the same work. They do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work.

So here are some ideas of the ways that we can all ChooseToChallenge and help to make our world a more equitable place for everyone who identifies as a woman:

1. Share the care and chores in your household. Women are not born knowing how to clean, cook, babysit, or organise households. I have 2 sons and a husband - but I have had to remind them numerous times that being a woman doesn't give me super toilet cleaning powers

2. Call out sexism and harassment. Sexism affects mostly women. However, it can also affect men and boys when they don't conform to stereotyped gender roles

3. Reject the binary - It's humankind. Not mankind

4. Demand an equal work culture - same pay for equal work

5. Praise women for their intelligence, strength, leadership, and athleticism - they are more than their appearance

6. Challenge beauty standards - call out body-shaming when you see it

7. Encourage girls to speak out and assert themselves. It is bold, not bossy

8. Challenge what it means to "be a man". Stop using sayings like - “Man up”. “Boys don't cry”. “Boys will be boys”. “Tough it out”. We ask the men at HVHS to be good men, kind men, hard-working men, and men who share

9. Respect the choices of others - It's often hard to understand a choice that you've never had to make. Take it upon yourself to learn and think critically about others' situations.

This list is not exhaustive but interestingly all the statements align with our school values of being welcoming and kind.

The Spotlight this week is our Guidance Department. For more information about the Guidance team and pastoral care at the school go to this page on our website.


Ngā mihi

Denise Johnson


Ideas for whānau who are experiencing stress

Stress and anxiety are there to protect us, for example we should all feel anxious about petting a snarling dog. However unhelpful anxiety is when your mind says it’s dangerous even when it’s not. This can become problematic when the same emotional response that is there to protect you is not working in the way it should in certain situations.

Help your child to feel more power and control over the situation. Focus on the times when they have been courageous and brave, and reflect back to them whenever you notice a situation where they handle themselves well. Have confidence in them. Perhaps discuss options for how to have more control in situations where things feel out of control, i.e. if they feel trapped and anxious at school it may help to identify a particular adult at school they can talk to, or they could do some breathing exercises or some of the ideas in this link from Nathan Wallis: Tips for Dealing with Stress and Anxiety

Go slowly: Encourage your child to face whatever is making them anxious, but in a gradual way. Explain that it’s okay to feel scared and nervous, and that the way we handle situations is by facing them. Encourage them not to avoid scary situations because your child needs to learn that things are not as scary as they may seem.

Offer a ‘carrot’: Perhaps attempt to override the anxiety by focusing on something positive that the child will get out of the situation. Discuss with your child what that might look like.

Physical symptoms: It is common to feel physical symptoms from stress. Our emotional brain is in our stomachs, and we may feel butterflies or a sore stomach. Perhaps try a distraction like a funny TV show, or go for a walk together.

School refusal: If your child feels anxious about going to school the first step is getting them through the school door. It will be much harder in the long term if your child sees school as a ‘choice’ - reinforce that school is not an option and they must go. If they feel worried about exams or tests encourage them not to use up their energy with anxiety, but to save their energy for the test; it is better to feel good and just do your best.

Calming strategy ideas to choose from:

  • Encourage your child that feeling anxious is very normal, it’s okay to feel this way, and the feeling will soon pass

  • Positive talk Design a mantra (brief phrase or key-words) with your child that they can repeat when they feel anxious, i.e. I’m right here right now and I’m okay. This is going to pass. I’m safe. I'm proud of myself for even trying

  • Breathing Practice deep abdominal breathing for 10 minutes a day. Take a breath in through your nose as you count slowly to 3, then hold for the count of 3, then release out through your mouth to the count of 3. Remember to take breaks and breathe normally every few breaths

  • Visualisation Picture your favourite place in your mind i.e. I am at the beach. Consider each of your senses one at a time: what can I see at the beach...what can I smell...etc. This slows your mind down and calms your body

  • Stop Sign When your child is having an anxious thought encourage them to picture a bright red Stop Sign in their mind. Or they might like to say ‘Stop!’ out loud or in their mind

  • Peaceful Thoughts Replace the anxious thought with a peaceful thought such as: “I am laughing with friends” OR “I am filled with peace” OR watching floating white clouds OR stroking my cat…

As parents, we set the climate. It’s important to look after your own well being as parents. Nigel Latta highlights in the link below how important it is as parents to always try to be calming: Nigel Latta- Feeling Stressed?

Some great sites to visit are on our school webpage. One is a new Web Series released this month called Fight or Flight highlighting the stories of 12 young people talking about their experiences of anxiety and the way it trickled into how they saw themselves and their relationships: Fight or Flight

The Mental Health Foundation is also a valuable resource for any information you may want: Self-help tools and apps

Remember kia tau, he waka eke noa. Keep calm, we are all in this waka together.

Te Korowai

Feel free to contact us via the school webpage if you are concerned at any time about the well being of your young person.

Ngā mihi koutou

The Team at Te Korowai

Vaping - Information for Parents, Caregivers and Students

It is illegal to Vape or Smoke on school premises.

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 prohibits vaping in indoor workplaces, and the entire grounds and buildings of schools.

It is also an offence to sell nicotine vaping products to young people aged under 18.

Despite this law and our own school rules we are experiencing a few students who sneakily vape on our school premises, and appear to have easy access to the products. We have alerted the police that under-18s have access to these products at some Lower Hutt outlets.

Our process in dealing with vaping or smoking cigarettes at school is as follows:

  • Warning - work with the student to help them understand the need to comply with our school rules and NZ laws

  • If the behaviour continues - we will have a formal meeting with the student and their parents and caregivers

  • If the behaviour continues after this restorative approach we will use formal disciplinary action for defiance of our school rules. This may involve a stand-down.

We also acknowledge that many parents and whānau, and some students may be vaping to quit smoking, and that is to be supported/encouraged. However, breathing any product into your lungs unnecessarily is not ideal, and that’s why non-smokers should not vape. Despite all this - the law is very clear that vaping is illegal on school grounds. We ask that you support us with this so that there are no mixed messages and no confusion for students about what is acceptable behaviour.

Athletic Successes - apologies for missing this last week

Another record was broken at the Hutt Zones Athletics Day - Jessie McKenzie broke the Junior Girls 800m record - 2.28.57

Resource Centre Survey

Our bi-annual survey of the Resource Centre was sent to parents and caregivers last week. If you missed the link here it is:

Resource Centre Survey

Lost Property

We already have a large amount of lost property that is unnamed.

Please name all clothing and write your student ID or surname on your Snapper Card. Then we can return items to you if they are handed in.

Upcoming Events

  • Summer Sports Week - 22-26 March
  • Board of Trustees Meeting - Wednesday 24 March, 5.30 pm
  • Year 11 Engineering Classes - 25-26 March
  • Non Uniform Day - Friday 26 March

Are you prepared for an emergency?

Do you have a family plan?

A reminder to ensure you have a family plan to respond to a school-wide evacuation following a long and strong earthquake that presents a tsunami risk to the school site.

Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) has more information on their website: https://wremo.nz/ or follow this link to check how prepared you are: https://getprepared.nz/

If you would like to read the school’s procedures please go to the SchoolDocs website: http://


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