Te Karere

Edgecumbe College Newsletter, 14 Feb 2022

From the Principal

Tena Koutou Tena Koutou Tena tatou Katoa.

Well, yet another year begins for us all, I hope that you had a great Christmas break, and had a chance to unwind and relax. With all that is happening in New Zealand at the moment we certainly need a break.

It has been a very settled start to the year so far, and a huge welcome to all our new students. The uniform is being worn in the most part really well, thank you to parents and Whanau for your support with this, please contact us if you are having any issues around uniform and we will be more than happy to help.

A reminder that cell phones are not permitted at school, if a student needs to be contacted during the day, they can leave their phone at the office, and come and receive a call when needed. Not having phones in the school, giving students a break from social media, has meant a huge improvement in behaviour and learning in the classroom. It means students are more settled in class, and when out and about in the grounds they are interacting with each other in positive way.

Covid is obviously foremost in many of our minds, and we are committed as always to ensure the very best delivery of education to our students. It is very hard to predict what will happen at our school in terms of outbreaks, but we have plans for all contingencies and staff are working to ensure where possible teaching resources are available on-line for when they are needed.

A reminder that students must bring their own masks to school to wear in class and on the buses to and from school. Students do not have to wear masks when out of the classroom at lunchtime, Interval, P.E., Hort Area.

Please though Whanau visiting the school must be wearing masks.

NCEA Results

We are absolutely delighted with our NCEA results, with a huge improvement in our level 1 literacy, with 97% of our year 11 students gaining their level 1 literacy. This is well above the National average of 80% for all schools. This a fantastic achievement for our students. Also our year 11 overall results are above the National average for all schools. This is hugely positive result for our decile 3 school. While results across the country are slowly declining ours are improving and in some areas substantially so.


We now offer ‘Volcanics’ which is an online learning experience for students mainly at NCEA level, allowing our students to take courses they wouldn’t normally be able to access, for example Korean, psychology as well as other more mainstream courses. They receive online tuition via zoom and support throughout the week from their tutors. This is a much better option than correspondence school and our students have had good results from it in last year.

Lion Foundation Grant

Following on from our substantial grant last year from the Lion Foundation for Chromebooks, we were very fortunate in also securing at the end of last year $23,000 from the Lion Foundation for the purchase of Science learning resources, including a number of Science models – Plants, Cells, Human Skeleton and the like. This will be such a great resource for our students and teachers and fills a much needed gap in the Faculty. A huge thank you to Lion for your ongoing support of our school, it means so much to us and makes such a huge difference to our students.

Minor works

The roughly 2 million dollar ‘minor works’ programme has been underway since the holidays and is making its way through the school. Currently they are working on E Block, and will continue on to all the other blocks. This will be a significant revamp, leading into the major capital works due to start near the end of the year.

Our classrooms are getting a much overdue complete make over, with new carpet, wall coverings, ceilings and blinds. This will make a huge difference to the learning environment of our school, and the classrooms will look ‘a million dollars’. It is great to have the support of the Ministry of Education on this project, and Williamsons the builders are doing an amazing job and are very keen to give our students the very best of learning spaces.

We are in the process of working with the architects on the ‘Major’ Capital works and this is moving along now at pace ready to start later this year. I will keep you updated on this as it progresses.


We're just about finished a massive refurbishment on our school pool. It was disappointing that the pool wasn’t able to be finished over the summer break, but all going well it is only a couple of weeks away from completion. It is looking amazing and will be, we believe, one of the best school pools in the country. Again we will keep you posted and I know our community is very keen to be using this amazing facility. All credit to Ashlee Sturme and Matt McBeth for driving this project. The council supports our pool being open to the community so thank you to them too. We are so lucky.


Bullying can be found in all organisations in New Zealand, and as much as I hate it, and continue to work on it, yes it occurs in our school too. Whenever we hear about it, we work hard and generally successfully to stamp it out. Please, though let us know as soon as possible if your child is experiencing any form of bullying at all. It is not acceptable, and we need to know so that we can stop it. It is very important that our students feel safe, happy and supported at school so that they can learn.

Contacting the school.

If for some reason you have contacted the school and haven’t had a reply or no-one has been back to you, please feel free to follow up with me. It is also quite possible that I have missed emails or messages. My email is principal@edgecumbecollege.school.nz please email me and I will follow up on any contact that hasn’t been made. Of course if you do have an issue contact us as soon as possible so that we can deal with it in the earliest stages.

So, as you can see it has been a very busy time for us but a hugely positive one as well.

Nga mihi nui


Nga mihi nui


Property - refurb on E block and the pool nearly ready!

Big picture
Big picture

A Covid reminder...

Face Masks

The Government is also now requiring that a face covering be an actual mask. That means no more scarves, bandannas, or t-shirts pulled up over the face, for example. This is to ensure that it is a mask designed to cover your nose and mouth properly.

It is also now recommended that masks be a medical-grade mask (for example a Type IIR/Level2 masks or above). These include the widely available ‘blue’ medical-grade masks that many New Zealanders are already wearing.

A reminder that there are a number of exemptions to wearing a mask including if you have to communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, or the person has a physical or mental health illness or condition or disability that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable.

We will not as a matter of course be providing masks for students. Availability will be an issue and the ongoing cost. Students may wear cloth masks (can also consider cutting a surgical mask and using it as a filter inside the cloth mask) but staff cannot. We will do what we can to keep students at school.

Students need to be wearing their masks on the buses to and from school.

Some students may have mask exemptions.

Generally we all need to be wearing masks indoors as do all visitors. Outdoors (for example P.E.) masks do not need to be worn. Lunchtimes etc masks should be worn. We are working towards minimising infections.

Good hygiene and cleaning

Please talk to your students about using and encouraging good hygiene practices including:

  • regular hand washing/sanitising
  • cough and sneeze etiquette
  • regular cleaning of high touch surfaces
  • open doors and windows.

Stay home if sick and get tested

Students and staff members with COVID-19 symptoms must get a COVID-19 test and remain at home until a negative result is received and they are symptom free for 24 hours.

Please do not come to school if you are unwell. Use the app or website to lodge your absentee and only return when you have no symptoms of being unwell.

We will send home students who exhibit any signs of being unwell.

Unvaccinated children, students, parents and caregivers

All registered schools (including private schools), all school hostels (including private hostels), and all school transport services (for all students) are prohibited from requiring proof of vaccination (either via My Vaccine Pass or other tool) as a condition of using or accessing education. This prohibition applies to all children, students and their parents or caregivers. This means that a person’s vaccination status should not restrict learning for children and young people. Neither should it restrict parents and caregivers from supporting their children in their learning.

The Edgecumbe College Board will not be hosting any vaccination events on our school site. If you would like to pursue this option, please arrange this with a vaccination clinic off-site or through your GP. Riverslea Medical Centre and Riverslea Pharmacy both administer covid-19 vaccinations during their usual opening hours.

We will be doing everything we can to ensure our students have a positive, engaging and stable year, and to ensure learning goes ahead and our students are safe and supported.

Big picture


Timetables are now finalised for almost all students so please grab stationery if you havent already. Using the stationery sales in Whakatane is the cheapest option.

Having the right stationery ensures our students are prepared for learning!

Every student should have: pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, rulers, a scientific calculator, protractor, compass, coloured pencils, highlighters and a glue stick every day.

This is required throughout the whole year so grab a multi-pack of these things and tuck away for each term!

Specific stationery for each subject and year group is available here:

My School - which allows you to order directly what you need and have it delivered.

Junior Stationery List - for years 9 & 10, if you would like to purchase from your preferred supplier.

Senior Stationery List - for years 11, 12 and 13.

We're so grateful for the continued support of the Lion Foundation - actively changing outcomes for our students!

Big picture

Literacy Corner - The Power of Story

Ben Brown, New Zealand's first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador, poet and writer reflects on the importance of reading to children and sharing stories: 'You are showing them who they are, where they belong and how to communicate effectively with the world.'

I love reading, have done since sometime in 1972 when my father stood in my bedroom doorway one Sunday afternoon and ‘threw the book at me’.


The power of story — reflections from our Reading Ambassador | National Library of New Zealand

Ben Brown, New Zealand's first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador, poet and writer reflects on the importance of reading to children and sharing stories: 'You are showing them who they are, where they belong and how to communicate effectively with the world.'


Big picture

Gateway News

We're really excited to offer Gateway at Edgecumbe College - it is a great opportunity for our students setting out on their chosen career paths.

Gateway is structured work experience and is a partnership between school, student and business/community. We've got businesses in the Whakatane district but always love to hear from other locals!

Gateway is designed to support rangatahi from Kura to Mahi through on the job learning. There is potential for a student to earn 20+ credits through courses such as first Aid, safety in the workplace, forklift licenses etc. This is a great opportunity for students to test the waters of their chosen career path under the guidance of a working relationship with school and employer.

There are limited gateway spaces, so early interest is recommended! Whanau can discuss with our Gateway coordinator via nan@edgecumbecollege.school.nz or call 073048211 ext 722, and students can find Mrs. Nancy Anderson in her office (A Block) on Tues, Wed & Thurs.

Big picture

Edgecumbe College 60th Centenary Celebrations

We've postponed the celebrations but if you know any Edgecumbe College alumni - previous students, staff and board - tell them to come and join us on Facebook! We're reconnecting, sharing memories and photos and making travel plans for next years celebrations!


Our new APP

Edgecumbe College has gone digital! Our new app can be downloaded from the app store (School Apps NZ). Once you have downloaded this, enter in 'Edgecumbe College'.

Once we're all set up, you'll need to register so that you get parent-only communications.

Its very easy to use and free. You can fill in an absentee form, see previous notices and newsletters, go straight to Kamar to access your student's records, see our school calendar, and receive emergency notifications if necessary.

You can find our school policies here:

Big picture

Edgecumbe College Careers

Did you know we have a specialised FB page dedicated to Career Pathways? Go find and like our page! It’s called Edgecumbe College Careers. This page is regularly updated with a host of information about where to seek job vacancies, apprenticeships, preparing for jobs, careers events, Open Days, scholarship and grant applications, and heaps of photos celebrating our wonderful students. Nau mai, Haere mai.

Check out our calendar:

25 February - Y9 Big Day Out
9 March - Swimming Sports

11 March - Teacher Only Day