Newsletter Term 3, Week 9

Tawa College 20 September 2021

Big picture

Update from the Principal/Tumuaki

Tēnā koutou katoa

For the second year in a row Tawa College like all schools in New Zealand has had to deal with a nationwide lockdown. In 2020 we were given 24 hours warning, but in 2021, students and staff were not informed until after school hours that we would not be returning to college the next day or indeed for some weeks. Whilst the duration of this lockdown has been shorter, it's close proximity to the end of the school year will prove challenging. That being said, I do want to acknowledge and thank each and every member of the Tawa College community for the outstanding way that you immediately adapted to the online learning environment. I was very pleased with the way that our staff and students quickly adjusted to the sudden change in circumstances and used their previous experience of lockdown 2020 to stay engaged with their learning and look after themselves and their whānau throughout this second Level 4 lockdown. I want to particularly acknowledge those staff who had two jobs - looking after their own families educational needs as well as the Tawa College students they teach. It demonstrated to me that we had very good systems in place which we had developed and fine tuned as a result of our experience before, during and after the 2020 lockdown. There has been a lot of communication going on throughout the lockdown and since our return to school as we continue to get updates from the Ministry of Education and NZQA.

The good news is that we are back on site and the students have been enthusiastic and excited to return to classroom learning and the routine of the school day. In the limited time that the students have been back at school, I have been impressed with their attitude and resilience. It will be a challenge for all of us to balance the needs of the health and wellbeing of all students with the need of reaching their academic goals and aspirations, particularly at Years 11, 12 and 13.

We know that this second lockdown would have caused additional stress and anxiety to many students, both junior and senior and we remind you that we have a full pastoral network, including form teachers, deans and guidance counsellors available if needed.

I am pleased that the Ministry of Education and the NZ Qualifications Authority have acknowledged this and have introduced for the second time, Learning Recognition Credits. This means that students in Years 11 to 13 can gain one Learning Recognition Credit (LRC) for every five credits they have achieved. At Year 11 they can achieve a maximum of eight LRCs and at Years 12 and 13 a maximum of six LRCs can be achieved.

Senior students should be aiming for quality (merit and excellence credits) rather than quantity in the number of credits they attain. This is a key reason in reducing the number of subjects from six to five that Year 12 students will study from 2022.

As a result of the recent lockdown a number of significant events have been cancelled for 2021 including the Big Sing Finale, the NZ Secondary Schools Winter Tournament week and the National Barbershop Competition. I know students, staff and coaches have spent many hours preparing for these events. It is a huge disappointment particularly those Year 13 students who have missed out for two consecutive years. I do admire everyone involved for their strength of character to endure these disappointments.

Let's move away from Covid19 now and focus on some positive events that we can look forward to as we approach the end of the school year. Students are in the process of selecting their subjects for 2022 and senior members of staff are currently conducting transition interviews for all of our incoming Year 9 cohort for 2022. In Term 4 we will host an orientation morning for these students, as well as our usual end of year special prizegivings.

Finally I would like to acknowledge the work of our Board who have been through the crucial and demanding process of appointing a new Tumuaki for Tawa College from the start of the 2022 school year. I congratulate Andrew Savage on his appointment and the Board appointment committee for their diligence and dedication to the college throughout this process.

Mahia i runga i te rangimārie

Me te ngakau māhaki

With a peaceful mind and respectful heart, we will always get the best results.

Ngā mihi nui

Murray Lucas

Tawa College Board Student Representative Elections

As only one nomination was received, Cedar Porteous will continue to represent the students of the college for a further year on the Tawa College Board. Cedar has made a positive contribution to the Board thus far. Thank you to everyone who participated in the election process this year.

Farewell to Tamara Ruaporo Ngatuakana who has completed one years service to the Board after being co-opted in 2020. Thank you for your contributions to the Board while representing the students of the school community.

Mrs Abraham, Presiding Member

Choir Audition

Auditions for the Tawa College nationally recognised award-winning choir Blue Notes will be happening during Week 1 of Term 4 after school. The sign-up sheet and all other information is outside the Music Department office, and you can talk to Mr Stone about it as well. Anyone returning to Tawa College in 2022 can audition, but students should know that they also have to be in Dawn Chorus and a barbershop chorus next year if they are successful - so it’s a big commitment.

Careers and Transition

Upcoming events:

  • Canterbury University Course Planning - Monday 20th September, 1.20pm, Library Annex

  • Tupu Aotearoa and Partners Porirua - support for Pasifika school leavers - Monday 20th September, Period 4, T3.

  • Victoria University Year 10 Day for Māori and Pasifika students -Term 4. See school notices shortly for more information.

University Course Planning Students needing support with university course planning should now contact their university of choice directly to make an appointment.

Careers Appointments: can be made by emailing

Moneyhub has a page dedicated to students including: money management, student loans, scholarships and jobs - CV writing, job guide and interview tips.

Moneyhub for students

Careers information for school leavers can be found here

MOJO Holiday Barista Course

MOJO Holiday Barista Course - book and pay directly with MOJO, please see link attached for all details. (Note: this is not a Tawa College Barista Course).
Big picture


The Rotary Club of Wellington North Inc is seeking applicants for Scholarships.

Applications will be received from individuals to assist with cost of tertiary education, vocational training or development of life-skills. About 12-15 grants are available to students of any age who come from the Greater Wellington area and who can demonstrate financial need.

The amount awarded varies but is typically about $5,000. Further information and application forms can be obtained from our website after 17 September 2021:

Applications open on 15 October 2021 and close 31 October 2021.

Enquiries to:

Terry Pinfold

Chair of the Candidate Selection Committee

021 306 297

Year 9 Form Time - Lockdown Competition

Lockdown Challenge

The Y9 team and the students were well connected during the holiday and took part in a number of quizzes and competitions. One of the competitions was to recreate a famous artist's painting. A number of students chose ‘The Girl with the Pearl Earing’ by the famous Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. Below are the students recreations - think you will agree we have a talented and creative bunch in Year 9. On the left is the work of Arjun Dharani and on the right the work of Estella Ritchie.

Big picture

Student Success

Congratulations to Year 13 student Ceridwyn Otton who submitted an entry to the Earth Guardian competition, run by Massey University in conjunction with Wētā workshops.

Ceridwyn received an email during the recent lockdown advising that she is one of 10 people to win the New Zealand Rising Stars Highly Commended Award from over 350 entries.

You can see the winning entries and further information here:

The photo below shows Ceridwyn outside Tawa Books and Post. Ceridwyn designed the new decal for their front window.

Big picture

Year 12 Product Design and Manufacturing

Year 12 Product Design and Manufacturing students created decorative copper bowls last term, using traditional metal working techniques. The photographs below show their beautifully hand formed bowls with an annealed patina on the inside and a highly polished finish on the outside.

Year 9 French Lockdown Activity

Year 9 French students were set a task to discover and enjoy French cuisine at home!

Understand a French recipe and create a video recording the actions. Some of the student work is shown in the gallery pictures below.

Big picture

French Year 10 - Lockdown Activity

Students were asked to select a French song and to make a mixed media collage to represent it. They were asked to include a photo of the artist, key French vocabulary words, and images that represent the song themes and vocab. Some of the student work is pictured in the photos below.

Big picture

Y10 French - Ella Simpson

Big picture

Calla Rix

Big picture

Madison Cooper Tock

Big picture

Charlotte Clark

Tawa College Library

We hope everyone had the opportunity to spend a bit of time relaxing and reading during lockdown. When our school library is unavailable here are some reminders of what students have access to online:

eBooks and Audio books

Our ePlatform is available to all students 24/7 with a great selection of eBooks and Audio books to choose from. Details on how to download the ePlatform app can be found on our library page on either E2learn or School Bridge. Our online library page allows anyone to search the library catalogue, and students can reserve items, renew overdue books and write reviews.

Students: select the Library tab from the menu on either E2learn or School Bridge and sign in using your school username and password. Your library account will detail all the books you currently have on loan from our school library and you can also have a look at your borrowing history.

How to renew

To renew an item, sign in as above to see your account. Click on renew and the item selected will be issued to you for a further three weeks.

How to reserve

To reserve an item, search the catalogue by title, author or subject. Click on the item to open the catalogue record and select reserve. We will send you an email to advise when the book is available for pick up from the library.

Write a review

We love to hear student opinion on the book(s) they have read. Share your opinions with us by logging into your library account, search the book you want to review from the catalogue and click review. Once it has been submitted and checked, your review will be able to be seen by our whole school community.

Now that you know how to login to your library account online – you will be able to see what you have out on loan. Please return any item(s) you don’t want so that other students can borrow them.

If you are not sure where the items on your account are, the upcoming holiday is a great time for having a hunt around home. Give your bedroom a spring clean, re-arrange your floor-drobe and check the scary places like under your bed! Who knows what you’ll find, hopefully those missing library books! We hope you enjoy the library humour below.

Ngā mihi nui

Elaine Smith

Big picture

(Photo sourced from FaceBook)

School Bridge

For seeing information about your child/ren

Proudly Sponsored by

Big picture
Online Enrolments

Complete your online enrolment form for 2022

Year 9 2022

Online enrolments are still open for all in zone applicants for Year 9 in 2022 and for out of zone applicants for Years 10 to 13 in 2022.

For Year 9 parents, If you haven't already done so, please complete the online enrolment form as soon as possible. We are currently in the process of interviewing all incoming Year 9 students for 2022 and there will be more communication to parents and students in the following weeks as we work with you on the transition to secondary school next year. Please follow the attached link for the enrolment form:

Knowledge Shop NCEA Level 1 and 2 Holiday Programmes

Knowledge Shop will be holding its highly successful NCEA Exam Preparation Programme for Tawa College students from Monday 4th October to Friday 8th October at the Johnsonville Community Centre.

Subjects include English, Science, Mathematics, Physics and study skills. This is an excellent opportunity to revise the most important areas of the curriculum to ensure you are prepared for the upcoming NCEA exams.

Students can book single or multiple sessions. Classes are taught by highly regarded NCEA teachers. Classes are limited to only 15 students per group.

Please visit our website at for the full programme & cost. All bookings can be made online. Limited spaces so please book early.

Tawa College Community Education Term 4 Programme

The Term 4 programme is now out and on the website. Enrolments are now being accepted. Some classes are being held during the October holidays to finish courses that were started before the last lockdown. Other courses had zoom meetings or are doing extended hours.

There will be two Defensive Driving courses. The first, on a Tuesday and Thursday night for two weeks and the later one, on a Monday and Wednesday night for two weeks. Two Advanced Defensive Driving Courses are also available on Saturdays for those who want a refresher or for those who are looking for extra qualifications.

For anyone wanting to make handmade sewn Christmas gifts there will be a special course on Wednesday nights for six weeks.

The cooking courses for Term 4 will include a Japanese, Indian Vegetarian, Asian and Vietnamese classes. The Vietnamese cooking teacher will also teach fruit and vegetable carving. Great for decorating barbecue platters for Christmas events and the holidays.

If you are into gardening, then there are two one night seminars held at the Tawa Community Garden in Oxford Street. These will be on Composting and Soil Building (Fertilisers and Pest Control).

Anyone wanting to learn NZ Sign Language, there will be a beginner taster course running for eight weeks. The opportunity to continue the course will be offered in 2022 for anyone who, after taking this course, wishes to continue.

New tutors will be needed for 2022. If anyone is interested in sharing their expertise with others please contact the Community Education Coordinator Judith Havill

Tawa College School Communication

Tawa College uses many forms of communication to notify you of school events and student achievements. In terms of day to day operational information please use School Bridge to access information on student attendance, school reports and academic results.

The School App continues to be an accessible source of information about the school and is used by many caregivers to notify school of absence. It will also be used to push out information throughout the year and in emergencies - please subscribe via your app store.

The Tawa College website is for parents and caregivers to find information about the school.

E2Learn is the site for students to find information about the day to day running of the school.

Reporting Student Absences

Please report a student absence using one of the following three options:

1. Use the School App

2. Ring our absence line 232 8184 extension 1

3. Email

Please state your child’s name, form class and the reason for the absence. Please also ring the college office if your child plans to sign out at any time during the school day for an appointment.

An automated text message is sent by the Absence Manager each day after Period 1. Planned or extended absences of three days or longer require the written approval of the Principal.

All Year 9 to 12 students must sign out at the college office before leaving school for any reason.

Lost Property

We have a number of lost property items that we would like to return to owners before the end of the term. If your child has misplaced any items, please ask them to call at the college office to check to see if we are holding it. At the end of each term, any unclaimed items will be disposed of or donated to charity.

Thank Yous

A huge thank you to Lesley Lorenzen (Y12 Dean) from the College and Tawa Community for the large number of plants that you have donated to our school which the Property team intend to plant around the grounds.

Also another huge thankyou to the JAY street gardens and nursery centre for the supply of native plants and trees which were also donated to the College and Tawa community.

And a final thank you Gary Beecroft the woodwork technician for the contact regarding the JAY street donation.

Many thanks to all from the Property Team at Tawa College

Tawa Tennis Club

Registrations are open from Monday 20 September online. Coaching inclusive of membership for Term 4 and Term 1.

Department of Conservation Information to the Public

As part of pest control operations to protect native forest, possum and rat control is planned within Rangituhi / Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve throughout September and October this year. Weather dependent, bait will be placed in bait stations during late September 2021. Prefeeding with non-toxic bait will begin within the next two weeks. Due to restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19, this work has been delayed, so we are keen to get this started now fieldwork under Level 2 lockdown has been approved, which will still allow for timely protection of nesting birds.

The toxin used will be cholecalciferol – vitamin D3 at a concentration toxic to possums. DECAL (cholecalciferol 8 g/kg) cereal pellets will be placed inside bait stations that are secured to trees at chest height. The work will involve 4 rounds of servicing. All uneaten bait will be removed at the end of the operation. Work in all sites is estimated to be completed by early November 2021.

Cholecalciferol (8 g/kg) is poisonous to humans and domestic animals, especially dogs. Warning signs will be placed at the entrance to the covenant. Please assume that pesticides are always present in the bait stations and do not eat animals from within this area while these warning signs are present.

For more information on this control programme please refer to the enclosed fact sheet. Updates can also be found via the ‘Pesticide summaries interactive map’ at and navigating to the reserve. If you have any enquiries or you require further information, please contact via the details below.

Ngā mihi,

Miles Davitt (he/him)
Ranger, Biodiversity | Kaitiaki, Kanorau Koiora
Kāpiti Wellington Office
M: +64 27 242 5741

Big picture