Issue 16 - 1 December 2022



E ngā reo, e ngā mana, rau rangatira mā, ngā matā waka, tēnei te mihi nui atu ki ā koutou katoa. Ko te wawata me te tumanako ka noho ora mai koutou katoa.

Dear parents, whānau and community,

This is the last newsletter of the year and wow, hasn’t this year flown by! It has of course been exceptional for many reasons, on one hand we have had to navigate the reality of Covid, we had an incredibly disruptive Term 1 and 2. However, despite this we were able to show our strength as a school in putting the students at the centre of all that we do. We were able to get back to a normal timetable and school experience quickly and create multiple opportunities for students to get co-curricular and sport experiences that make the WHS experience so fantastic for all our young people.


It has been so impressive to see the students come in for exams and take them so seriously. Exams are an important part of assessment as part of the NCEA qualifications and they are recognised by employers and Universities. In addition we have had a huge success with our achievement support programme, which has enabled students to complete outstanding assessments. Thanks to those whānau that have supported the school and their children to be at exams and available for additional support.

NCEA Teacher Only Days

Thank you for your support and understanding as our staff take the necessary time to prepare for the upcoming changes to NCEA. Staff have been working on site to discuss the 'things on top' regarding the changes and work towards their planning for the seven pilot programs we are involved in next year. As we make changes moving forward we will continue to ensure that our school has a relevant curriculum that meets the needs of our diverse learners. The Ministry of Education has announced two additional Teacher Only days for 2023 and more details about the NCEA changes can be found here. We will continue to communicate more throughout 2023.


Juniors have been completing their e-asTTle reading, writing and maths testing as well as completing a variety of assessments across their subjects. These results will be available on Kamar Portal and in addition to this, the teachers are currently completing student reports which will be available in the last week of term, again, published on the Portal.


A range of camps, trips, diving trips, surfing, hiking, tramping, go Karting, gaming and lot’s more has been organised by our staff for Wider Living Week. The Week has been superbly put together by staff and has been overseen by the Heads of House, a huge mihi to these people. Thanks to all the parents that have enabled their children to take part in these activities, many of these will create long lasting friendships and memories.


Prizegiving is on Friday the 9th of December from 10.10am. We will be live streaming the event on Facebook for any families who are unable to attend, and will post details of this on social media early next week.


We will be sending out information to new and existing families, more information and details about the start of 2023 so that families can plan ahead. There are a number of strategic focusses for 2023 that we will present at the start of Term 1 in 2023, one key focus for us is Literacy. The BOT have approved the resourcing of five additional Teacher Aides that will be able to support students in their literacy progression in the school. We will introduce these people in 2023.

We have welcomed a number of parents on site over the last term for enrolments for 2023. It has been such a pleasure meeting a number of new families. We look forward to welcoming them all here in 2023. And as one group prepares for life at secondary school, we say farewell to our Year 13 students, we hope you all the best for your future endeavours.

Finally, to all of our community a huge mihi for your support of our school this year, making sure your young person comes to school as the best example of themselves each day, we cannot thank you enough.

We wish you a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. Look after each other.

Aroha nui kia koutou

(much love to you all)

Martyn Knapton


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Gateway - Whakatane High School

A big THANK YOU to all the businesses/organisations and the wonderful people of this community who gave up their time and knowledge to help our students have a realistic work placement. It has been extremely rewarding to see students gain new skills, confidence and plan their career pathways.

Year 9 Bake Sale

On Tuesday, the Year 9 Business Studies class completed the final of six bake sales for the business studies junior programme this year. The students did really well despite the misfortune of timing that occurs because these students are doing theirs near the end of Term 4 where without the seniors, the number of students present at school is very low. Having no seniors means that we had access to fewer customers. However, the creativity and preparation of truly wonderful baked goods went somewhat toward making up for this.

The students put on a range of baked goods including; ice cream sandwiches, jellies, drinks, cookies, cupcakes with toppings, and brownies. The stalls were busy for the majority of lunchtime and sales figures were very reasonable, all things considered. The students enjoyed themselves as they were able to experience tangible reward for their effort which put many smiles on many faces. It is also my belief that the students managed to get some great learnings from the day ranging from; cash handling and change giving experience to person-to-person selling and the art of advertising and recognition of a target market.

All in all it was a great day had by all, with the students at the forefront. They created a positive experience for themselves, their teachers, and the school. A big thanks to them for implementing another successful bake sale for the junior business studies programme here at Whakatane High School.

Hands-on at Otago

Jordyn Rhodes and Callum Giles have been selected as two of 400 students to attend the Hands-On at Otago programme in 2023. It’s a week-long experience of Otago student life while studying from a range of 33 topics - from humanities, business, health sciences and sciences.

We can’t wait to hear about their experience in the new year!

Year 9 Swimming Sports

The Year 9 House swimming competition was held today at the Whakatane Aquatic Centre. This event was postponed from Term 1 due to Covid.

The four houses took on each other in a variety of fun novelty events such as noodle relays, nuclear alert, golf ball recovery, and the biggest splash.

The event was well supported and run by staff and 2023 prefects.

House Points

  • 1st Totara - 102
  • 2nd Rimu - 85
  • 3rd Matai - 58
  • 4th Kauri - 53

Jasper House - making waves in parliament

Year 10 student Jasper House, has put his efforts into something bigger than himself. He's calling for a Wellington street name to be changed in honour of the Ukraine war efforts. Read all about it here:

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Six WHS Junior Volleyball teams have all been in action this week attending tournaments in Wellington and Tauranga. The Junior A & B girls and boys teams attended the North Island Championships in Tauranga with the Year 10 and Year 9 Girls teams travelling to Wellington to play in a satellite tournament.

It was a busy week with teams playing up to three games each day. Final results from the week were -

North Island Championships

  • Junior A Girls - 9th in Division 1
  • Junior B Girls - 4th in Division 2

  • Junior A Boys - 3rd in Division 3
  • Junior B Boys - 15th in Division 3

Wellington Tournament

  • Year 10 Girls - 12th
  • Year 9 Girls - 15th

Well done to all players who performed well throughout the week.

A huge thank you to Te Aorere Walker, Talei Bryant, Hemi & Sandie Barsdell, Oliver Forsyth, Renske Forsyth, Tracey Grammer, Grant Muru, Nic Christie, Tayla Jones, Helen McKane, Kendall McKane, Clare Knapton and Karen Hanlen for coaching, managing and supporting our Junior teams through the Junior Volleyball season.

Beach Volleyball

BOP Junior Beach Volleyball Champs

Whakatane HIgh School entered 15 Year 10 Beach Volleyball teams to compete in the BOP Junior Beach Volleyball Championships on Wednesday held on Mount Maunganui Main beach. There were two divisions with WHS represented well in both.

In the Girl's side of the draw, Zoe Giles and Jessie Jones played well in a tight quarter final in Division 1, going down to a Trident side that eventually made the final. Sophie Growden and Monique Prasad had one loss during pool play, however qualified for the quarter finals which they won. The girls then faced a strong hitting Bethlehem team in their semi. Again the WHS girls played well, but were unlucky to go down in the 3rd set. The girls then faced Te Puke in the 3rd/4th playoff with Sophie and Monique winning the game to clinch the bronze medal.

In the girls division 2, it was a Whakatane High School blackout with Cassie Bennett and Kaylee Lawlor taking on Milan Laurent and Rhiane Byers. In a close three-set game, Milan and Rhiane came out on top with Cassie and Kaylee taking the silver.

On the Boys side, in division 1 Kaio Moses and TeTokatumoana McGarvey along with Kyan Edwards and Finn Jones both secured quarter final spots. Unfortunately the boys couldn't quite secure the win.

In Division 2, Whakatane High School had five teams make the quarter finals. Noah Tailby and Kaden Naidoo did well to make the finals, taking out Kaedyn Thrupp and Sam Littlejohn in the semi final. The boys took on Te Puke and ended their day going down to take the silver medal with Kaedyn and Sam winning their 3rd/4th playoff to take the bronze medal.

A huge congratulations to all students who played. It was a long, super hot day and you all played really well. A massive thank to Mr Muru, Mrs Forsyth and Ms McLeod for driving our team for the day.


Whakatane High School had a large contingent of rowers at last weekend's Club Regatta at Lake Karapiro. Racing in the black and white of the Whakatane Rowing Club the squads put in a strong performance as they progress through the season toward next year’s secondary school regattas. All rowers were entered in several heats on the Saturday, with most making it through to the finals on Sunday.

Results from Heats on Saturday:

  • Women's Intermediate double sculls (Grace Iremonger with her partner) 1st in Heat
  • Women's Intermediate double sculls (Sophie Peat and Sophie Sisson) 3rd in Heat
  • Men's Novice double sculls (Ash Schutz & Jonathon Hyde - Nathaniel) 2nd in Heat
  • Boys U16 double sculls (Travis Talpos and Alex Iremonger), 1st in Heat
  • Boys U16 double sculls (Ryan Pryde and Micah-Harrison Walker), 1st in Heat
  • Women's Intermediate Coxed Quadruple sculls (Grace Iremonger, Sophie Sisson, Sophie Peat,) 1st in Heat
  • Boys U16 Coxed Quadruple sculls (Travis Talpos, Alex Iremonger, Leon Mahy, Micah-Harrison Walker and Hamish McPherson (cox)), 1st in Heat
  • Boys U18 Single Sculls (Shaun Snow) 2nd in Heat
  • Boys U18 Single Sculls (Luke Berquist) 2nd in Heat
  • Boys U18 double sculls (Luke Berquist and Shaun Snow) 1st in Heat
  • Women's Intermediate Single Scull (Grace Iremonger) 3rd in Heat
  • Boys U16 single Scull (Alex Iremonger) 2nd in Heat

On Sunday the weather proved challenging with early races being held in fine conditions, deteriorating to squally rain showers in the afternoon.

Notable results and performance on finals day where, the three crews rowing in the Women's Intermediate double sculls, Sophie and Sophie won the B final convincingly with a 10 second lead over a crew from Rotorua. In the A final, Grace Iremonger and her partner finished a competitive second.

It was another strong showing by Travis and Alex winning the double sculls event by 11 seconds over a crew from Cambridge, the race for 3rd was a close fought affair with the other Whakatāne crew of Ryan and Micah battling with a crews from Saint Georges and Saint John to pip them by 0.02 seconds in a photo finish.

It was then a combination of the women's double sculls crews of Grace, Sophie and Sophie plus partners to finish first in another close race with Saint Pauls and Tauranga crews to win the event by 4 seconds.

Experienced U18 boys, Luke and Shaun, both had placed second in separate heats on Saturday and were now racing side by side in the final, Shaun took out 3rd place with Luke in 4th only 0.4 seconds behind, they then combined later in the day in the double sculls to come second behind a crew from Auckland.

The boys U16 quadruple sculls of Travis, Alex, Leon and Micah consolidated on their heat the day before, finishing 1st in the final, with a 9 second improvement in race time.

It was a determined effort by Alex Iremonger, who in the some of the worst conditions of the day, chased down a strong starting Sacred Heart sculler to miss out on first place by just 0.1 second in a photo finish result in the Under 16 single Scull.

With the last boys race of the day being the Men's Novice quad of Leon, Ash and Jonathon and Hamish, who finished a competitive 3rd in only their second regatta.

Hamish had his coxing debut and with only having limited time to practice due to recent high Whakatāne river flows, showed he is going to be an asset to the squad at future regattas.

Ultimate Frisbee

BOP Junior Ultimate Frisbee Champs

Whakatane High took four junior teams across to Tauranga to compete in this event. It was a very warm and slightly windy day, which made it a bit of a challenge at times to get the frisbee to go where it was supposed to go.

The WHS Gold Boys team went through pool play unbeaten and then played Mt Maunganui in the final, the team dominated from start to finish to win 11-3 and be crowned champions of this newly formed event.

The WHS Boys Black team had a close loss to Mt Maunganui in pool play before taking on Te Puke for 3rd/4th, unfortunately, the boys went down 8-6 to finish a very credible 4th of the ten teams.

The WHS Girls Gold team had a close pool game with Papamoa (7-5 win) and then went on to win the remaining pool games easily to finish top of the pool. They played Mt Maunganui in the final but were outplayed by a team that had superior knowledge of the game and played mistake free disc.

The WHS Girls Black team were on a steep learning curve after having training canceled due to weather. It took a while for them to find their groove but they pulled off two wins to finish 7th of the 10 teams.

Ultimate Frisbee is built around spirit, after every game the teams huddle up and thank each other and nominate a player from the other team who played in good spirit. Kaio, Kaden, Cassie and Trista were awarded the spirit award for each team and all received a new frisbee.

Big thanks to Mrs Grammer, Mrs Forsyth, Mr Hagger and Mr Sexton for driving the students across.

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Below is a small list of events coming up.

For the full calendar of events, check out this link:

  • NCEA Teacher Only Day - 2 December
  • Wider Living Week - 5-7 December
  • Junior Prizegiving and last day of school - 9 December


  • First day of school for NEW students and Prefects - 1 February
  • Whole school - 2 February


Student Health Notice

Health services provided FREE in school:

  • School Nurse: daily except Wednesday morning
  • School Doctor: Tuesdays P2
Visit the Student Office to make an appointment.

School bus information

If you require information about your student/s bus route or timetable for any in-zone routes, please contact Go Bus directly on: 07 846 8796. If you're wanting information for out-of-zone bus routes, please contact Uzabus on 07 308 6169. Masks are mandatory on all school buses.

Rangiatea Whakatane School For Young Parents

Check out the Rangiatea Facebook page and see what our fantastic teachers have been up with with our young parents:
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