Spotswood College

October 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

Nga mihi nui ki a koe Whanau,

It is hard to fathom that this time one year ago, we were back in lockdown, had cancelled our school production for the second year running and were discussing how to manage online learning and the uncertainty around how the external NZQA exams would be managed.

A year on, we are back in school. NZQA have given clear guidelines about the number of credits needed to attain NCEA levels, level and subject endorsements, and University Entrance. Google Classroom continues to be important as a means for those students who are away sick or isolating to be able to undertake some learning, our first school production in over 14 years was a huge success and we are back having whanau on site for key events and sending students out for sports and other activities.

Students have also taken part in a number of sporting competitions over the last term.

My message to the students before departing was to do their best, so that they can look back in pride at their effort, work well as a team, support one another, represent the college with pride and enjoy themselves. A huge thank you must go to those parents, members of the community and staff who are managing, coaching, or supporting the teams. Without your involvement, the teams would not be able to participate.

Thank you also to parents and students who participated in the Student Led IDPs which took place on Wednesday. The meetings are helpful to provide advice and guidance on what students need to prioritise for the forthcoming school work including NCEA exams, and to select courses for 2023.


At the beginning of the month, we farewelled our Guidance Counsellor, Dr Kiri Fortune, who has gone on to lead research for improved health and educational outcomes for Māori in our region. This week we also wish Anne Rogers all the very best as she takes leave for the year to be with family overseas, rejoining us again in term 4 of next year.

We wish Kiri and Anne the very best in their ventures.



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:


Senior School Examinations

Senior School Examinations and Derived Grades Examinations for Years 11, 12 and 13 students run from Wednesday 21 September to Wednesday 28 September 2022. These examinations give staff, students and parents/caregivers an indication of the level of attainment and understanding students have achieved at this particular stage of the year.

It is also an opportunity for senior students to develop and practice the skills necessary to succeed in the NCEA levels 1, 2 and 3 external examinations. The grades that students achieve in these examinations could be used for ‘Derived Grades’ if their NCEA exams are disrupted. This is especially important this year as the ‘Unexpected Event Grades (UEGs)’, which allowed staff to collate a range of evidence from the year to generate a grade, will not be available this year.

If at the end of the year, students are unable to sit an NCEA examination due to illness or injury, they can apply for a ‘Derived Grade’. This grade can only be generated by an assessment that mirrors the NCEA examination, which for most subjects is the school examination. Please support your child(ren) to prioritise the upcoming examinations.

2022 School Production

If you were one of the attendees of the Bugsy Malone production, you would have enjoyed an evening of great entertainment. This was held from Wednesday 6 September to Saturday 10 September in the Spotswood College hall. A huge thanks to those staff and students who either performed or worked behind the scenes to make the production possible and especially Marie Hunneyball and Debbie Gallagher for their relentless drive and passion to make this happen.

The following is a write-up that was featured in the NZ Herald about this great production.

As part of the I Am Hannah commemorations that took place during Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori, kapa haka students were once again centre, front stage as they performed to our wider community as part of the event.


Te Waka Manaaki is finishing off the end of another busy term. Welcoming in spring as well as a new member of staff. We are lucky to have Michael Montgomerie (Monty) join our team and bring a different set of skills to our department.

Our wonderful Leonie Sole is changing roles within the school to become the school’s new guidance counsellor. Leonie remains connected to our department part-time. We then congratulate Georgina Thorpe into the new role as our TWM team leader.

These last few weeks we have blasted off water rockets, investigated into magnets, created recycled musical instruments, baked most of the brownies for our wonderful Spotswood College Musical 'Bugsy Malone' as well as watched the show during school time. We visited the new mural being painted of Hana in New Plymouth, continued our Te Reo journey and simply had lots of fun as a kind loving department.

Celebrating Te Wiki o te Reo Māori:

Te Waka Manaaki 1 students went to see the amazing mural of Hana Te Hemara by

artist Mr G.

I am Hana, is a series of activities to mark 50 years since Ngā Tamatoa, of which Hana was a founding member, presented petition the Māori language petition to Parliament.

Welcome to the Te Waka Manaaki whanau.

My name is Michael Montgomerie, commonly known as Monty. I did my teacher training here in 1996 in the areas of PE (with Anthony Joe as my mentor), Design Technology and Art. The following year, I was then fortunate enough to be offered my first teaching position at Spotswood College. However, like most kiwis, I ventured overseas and for the past 20 years, I have been teaching in London, Dubai and Gold Coast, where more recently I taught in the High & Complex Needs area.

I am honoured to be given the opportunity to work in Te Waka Manaaki at Spotswood College.


Big picture


MoneyHub has 10+ NCEA resources to help everyone attain merits and excellences - check it out and prepare for upcoming internals and externals with confidence.

Please make sure your teens are checking, opening and reading their emails. Opportunities are being missed.


Sports/ Culture

The Boys and Girls' Basketball teams competed in the regional championships. It was an exciting day for everyone. We put all our effort into the games coming away with a regional win for both the Girls' and Boys' basketball teams. A huge thanks to coaches Daryn Shaw and Link Abrams.

A school football team also entered into NZ Schools Football Tournament, where they placed 11th overall. It was an amazing experience for us as we had the opportunity to play against some strong teams. A big thank you to Cameron Hopkinson and Carlin Kumeroa, the Coaches, who put in so much time and effort to help our team prepare for this event.

Spotswood College Student Counsellors

Introducing the new Spotswood College Student Counsellors, who are excited to be part of the school community.

Suzy – I have been working at Spotswood since the start of the year, and am really excited to now be here five days a week. I am a mum to 3 beautiful children and grew up in Taranaki. My background is very different from what I do now. I trained as an Air Traffic Controller, and after having my children moved on to teaching new controllers at the international college that once was in Palmerston North. It was working with young men and women from around the world that allowed me to see how vital it is to have someone trusted walking alongside you in life, and this led me to train in counselling. It is so nice to be back in my roots with the Maunga calling me home.

Paulette - I grew up in Taranaki but have lived in 5 different countries, Canada being my favourite. I am a mum to a teenage daughter, an outdoor enthusiast, avid gym-goer, and partial to the occasional weekend binge-watch session on Netflix! I trained as a primary school teacher, but felt I could help people in other ways, so I decided to become a counsellor. The idea of counselling can be scary, so it is my hope to ease that worry.

Counselling is an opportunity to talk freely and openly about ANYTHING that might be concerning you, including the challenges you might be facing. People come to counselling for different reasons. Some might be dealing with major changes in their life while others might feel like something isn’t quite right and want to find out more. Or it could be that you just need a ‘listening ear’. We will provide a safe and confidential space and listen without judgement, while acknowledging and respecting your values and beliefs. Working together to bring about positive change, accept and support you, no matter what you are going through.

Ngā mihi

Paulette and Suzy

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

To make an appointment

Careers Officer Chell Lusk -

Guidance Counsellors -

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

Spotswood College Events Calendar


30th - End of Term 3


17th - Start of Term 4

21st - Sports Prizegiving

24th Labour Day

26th - Junior Inquiry Show Case


2nd - Senior Prizegiving and Leavers Dinner

7th - NCEA Exams begin

28th - 29th Teacher Only Days


2nd - NCEA Exams end

9th - Junior Prizegiving

9th - Last day of term

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

Based on our attendance data system we will send an automated text to parents of any students that are absent, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

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.

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


Monday 17th October – 9th December

Labour Day Monday 24th October

Big picture