HVHS Term 3 Week 6

Newsletter 3 September 2021


Kia ora

This week our thoughts are with friends and family in Auckland still in Alert Level 4 while we have the privilege of being in Alert Level 3. Coffee and takeaways are back on the menu and work has started again on our new Technology block and portacom village.

Thank you to all our students for the cooperative manner in which you work with your teachers and peers online. No one ever said this would be easy, fair or acceptable, but it looks like you are all doing okay during these very uncertain times.

Year 9 & 10 - I know it is challenging keeping up a virtual timetable with up to eight different teachers. Please know that we only expect you to do your best in whatever home bubble and circumstance you are in. You will catch up when we all get back to school because we will throw every support we have at you to make sure you do.

For week 7 (whether we are at Level 3 or 2) we are asking staff to put a pause on new work for junior students so they can catch up on work to date. For those students that are up to date, we are asking staff to put out optional work that may be completed for the subject. Weekly subject Google Meets will continue to take place so students can still touch base with staff for feedback.

Sadly, to our seniors - especially Year 12 & 13 - you are experts at this style of schooling. Two years in a row with mould-learning thrown in the mix. Thank goodness NCEA exams moved back so that you have additional time to complete portfolios and prepare for externals. Please keep showing up to your Google Meets and Classrooms with your teachers; they can't know how you are doing if you don't communicate frequently and share your work. If a derived grade scenario occurs later in the year, teachers gather evidence from your classwork, assessment and online work. Please be present. We ask that students are in constant contact with their teachers about assessment deadlines so they can ask for extensions if need be.

Mr Larkin, our Deputy Principal, is working very hard in the background to try and convince NZQA to cut you a break - to date, our requests for 'mould' associated learning credits have fallen on deaf ears.

Please know that as a school we are really well set to continue to teach and assess students working towards NCEA under Alert Levels 3 and 4. Teachers can gather naturally occurring evidence, and be flexible with assessments and work, in order to gather evidence if a derived grade is needed.

However - there may be some compensation coming in the way of learning credits if we end up in lockdown for much longer. Mr Larkin explains the possible changes to assessment below in the NCEA section of the newsletter.

We have delivered many devices to students since we went into lockdown. Remember to contact Mr Tim Fox, our Deputy Principal if you have any concerns about accessing your learning from home. (tim.fox@hvhs.school.nz). (Mr Fox is pictured here delivering devices)

I would like to congratulate Fiona Pearson and Grace Wright on their recent appointments as Deputy Principals. I am delighted that they are joining the Senior Leadership Team on a permanent basis.

It is great that during lockdown some co-curricular activities were able to continue. Over the last week and a half, Cella Connell, Ashwini Sukumaran and Adam Whiskin competed in the PDWC Online debating competition. It was an international competition and we were one of only two schools from NZ. The competition is normally run in person in Japan and focuses on cultural connectivity as well as debate skills. Our team (Ms Koroniadis included) were up till midnight on many occasions as a result of the time difference. The team won 1 out of their 3 debates but more importantly they represented HVHS really well in the way they engaged with the cultural tasks and students from around the world. Thanks Ioanna Koroniadis for coordinating this event.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge the work you as students, families and staff are doing to help each other in these trying times. Just a reminder that Support is available if you need it.

Mentor Teachers, Deans, Heads of Learning Area (HOLA) and our Guidance Counselling team continue to be available to support students and families. Please don’t hesitate to contact any of us if you have any concerns or we can help you in any way.

Stay home, stay safe, trust the science, and keep washing your hands!

Ngā mihi nui

Denise Johnson


COVID-19’s Delta variant have caused disruption to thousands of secondary school students around New Zealand and as a result NZQA have changed dates and processes around some NCEA assessments.

  • Dates for end of year NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams will now run from Monday 22 November until Tuesday 14 December (Updated Timetable for NZQA Exams)

  • Due Dates for portfolio submissions will also be pushed back by 2 weeks

    • Students to see teachers for revised portfolio dates

    • Schools will also not have to provide Level 1 or Level 2 Visual Arts portfolios for NZQA Verification. This also means there will be more time for students to finish their work, and for teachers to mark it.

  • MCAT - Mathematics Common Assessment task will now happen on Thursday 30 September.

  • DigiCAT - 2 week extension to these exams

  • Level 3 Visual Art Portfolios - 1 week extension to the Level 3 Visual Arts submission date.

We also have our School Derived Grade exams scheduled for Term Four which allows more time for internal assessments in Term 3. Our Derived Grade exams have also been pushed back by two weeks and start on Monday 1st November (week 3 of Term 4). Again this allows for more in class face to face time pre exams.

NCEA Qualification Changes 2021 - IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Because being in COVID-19 lockdown has affected learning and assessment, changes have been made to NCEA, NZ Scholarship and University Entrance. These changes help give students a fair opportunity to gain the qualification they are aiming for.

These changes will take effect if HVHS is in Alert Level 3 or 4 for a total of 20 or more school days this year.

What does this mean for students?

The more credits you achieve the more you are entitled to.

  • For every 5 credits you achieve through internal or external assessment, you are entitled to 1 extra credit. These extra credits are called Learning Recognition Credits (LRCs)

    • Up to 10 of your LRC’s earned this year can be used towards the 80 you need for NCEA Level 1.

    • Up to 8 LRC’s earned this year can be used towards the 60 you need at Level 2 and Level 3.

For HVHS, this would mean Level 3 having to go through to Tuesday 14 September for the Learning Recognition Credits (LRCs) to kick in for our Level 1, 2 and 3 students completing NCEA credits. Auckland schools are likely to go well beyond the 20 school day minimum and will only get the same LRCs as a school that hits 20 days in total.

Please note that behind the scenes we have been pushing the Ministry and NZQA for an equivalent of LRCs for HVHS due to mould issues that resulted in Year 12 and 13 students being rostered home in Term 2 for 25 days. If we are back at school next week (under the 20 school day minimum), and therefore miss out on the National LRCs, we will continue to push for HVHS’s unique situation.

Endorsements are still achievable.

  • To get a certificate endorsement you will need 46 credits at Merit or Excellence level, instead of the usual 50.

  • To get a course endorsement you will need 12 credits at Achieved or Merit or Excellence level in a course, rather than 14. You still need to achieve at least 3 credits in externals and 3 in internals.

  • Your LRCs don’t come with Merit or Excellence, so they can’t count towards an endorsement.

University Entrance has been adjusted.

You’ve got more time to study.

  • Most portfolio due dates and exams for NCEA and Scholarship have been moved later, to give more time for students to learn and prepare.

What do I need to do?

Keep working to make sure that you achieve as many standards as you can. Your teachers will help you to track your progress. You don’t need to do anything else to get your LRCs. NZQA will do the calculations before you get your results. Make sure that you know when your portfolios are due, and double check the new exam timetable.

If you need any more information, talk to Mr Larkin, your Dean, or teacher, or ring NZQA on 0800 697 296.

2021 NCEA Changes if under Level 3 or 4 Lockdown for 20 or more school days. FAQs - LINK

Because being in COVID-19 lockdown has affected learning and assessment, changes have been made to NCEA, NZ Scholarship and University Entrance. These changes help give students a fair opportunity to gain the qualification they are aiming for.

These changes will take effect if HVHS is in Alert Level 3 or 4 for a total of 20 or more school days this year.

Nick Larkin

Deputy Principal

Spotlight on a Learning Area

Languages Department


"Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift. Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club – the community of speakers of that language."

Frank Smith

Yes! Learning languages is an exciting way to explore the world and expand our knowledge of other cultures, the more clubs you join the merrier! And, in the process, our language teachers encourage critical thinking (comparing and contrasting) along with understanding of differences and appreciation of the things we have in common in our HVHS multicultural community and world.

During the year, in our Junior classes, we are learning to converse in the target language using basic vocabulary and language structures. At Senior Level, students develop their thinking and language skills to be able to express their opinions not just about familiar topics but also about current issues of their interest.

Open evening: big thank you! to all the students that last term were in the stands sharing their passion for language learning to the community.

International Languages Week took place in June and we celebrated the languages taught and also represented at HVHS. Games, quizzes, karaoke, dance performances and all sorts of fun activities were enjoyed each day of the week.The pavilion was packed with students participating and “sampling” each language. It was a lot of fun.


Learning Spanish opens up your mind to explore over 20 countries, their geography and different cultures and traditions. Junior and senior classes, they all enjoy the occasional shared churros, traditional baking recipes and tapas to name some and also piñata making, music, dance and Spanish films to mix things up and learn by tasting and experiencing different art forms. We encourage our students to participate, contribute and collaborate in class. And above all to be proactive when it comes to taking responsibility for their own learning progress. On the cards is a Piñata Breaking and a student trip to Te Papa to have a close encounter with some of the most important paintings and sculptures of the Spanish artist Salvador Dalí.


The French classes have had a busy start of the year. Junior students who are at the start of their journey in discovering French culture enjoyed the opportunity to play petanque on the field and make French crêpes in class. Senior students had the inspiring visit of lecturers and students from the French department of Victoria University and were later treated to a special screening at the Lighthouse Petone as part of the French Film Festival taking place across New Zealand. This term, a group of Year 10 to Year 13 students who have been attending extra tutorials at lunchtime, will sit the DELF examination (an official diploma awarded by the French Ministry of Education). We wish them the best!


Students studying Japanese continue to develop their language skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening through a variety of classroom activities. At the same time they are learning about the culture of Japan and broadening their understanding of how it compares with their own culture and background. This year we have also started an Online Exchange with Aoyama High School, where our senior students have met up with students from Japan and made new friends and connections while communicating via Zoom. Students in Year 10 Japanese also participated in the annual NZ Schools Trivia Quiz, with our HVHS team coming 3rd place. We also have 5 students participate in the Wellington Regional Japanese Speech Competition, with some excellent results. Bobby Ma 11MI 3rd Place in Year 11, Tai Van der Bar 12MO Special Award in Year 12, Nadia Prasetyo 13RS 3rd Place Year 13.

English Language

Senior English Language students are currently working hard to finish assessments. Our year 12's are writing oral presentations about people they admire. Students often choose a prominent person from their cultural background so we all learn so much about influential people in the world we might not have known about before. Year 13 students are completing their reading assessment for UE literacy entrance credits. Their topic is 'The Teenage Brain'. We learnt a lot about what is happening in the brains of teens and the impacts of the changes that occur as teens mature. Early in our unit we learnt about synapses and created some dot pictures to represent the strength of knowledge and memories in our brains. Year 11 English Language students studied the film 'Rabbit Proof Fence' working towards sitting an English Achievement Standard in the externals. As part of this we spent time learning about Aboriginal culture and did some dot painting of goannas, a symbol of strength and courage in Aboriginal culture.

Te Reo Māori

Congratulations to Tinorawe Hawkins on a fantastic performance at the Ngā Manu Kōrero Regional Speech Competition. Gaining high scores from the judges in the Korimako, English Senior category. They said he was inspiring to watch in both the prepared and impromptu speech. He was persuasive, informative and entertaining with a unique point of view on inequality for Māori and what it is like being Māori for him at his age. The school community is extremely proud of his achievement.

Students taking Te Reo Māori in NCEA have been getting creative with the use of language they learn and building confidence with expressing their perspective in Te Reo Māori and exploring topics that matter most to them and sharing their passion and experience.

Year 9 students have been learning Te Reo Māori and explore key Māori values to learn how to be a language learner. The language and activities are focussed on exploring a key value over a term. And so far we have looked at: Whakawhānaungatanga- The value of making connections and stronger relationships with each other with the use of the language. Also Manaakitanga- The value of being kind, being welcoming and showing generosity towards others with the use of the language.

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori will start on 13 of September -19 of September. There will be activities and challenges throughout the week to encourage, promote and celebrate this national language. Encourage our students to get involved.

Year 9 Tikanga

Year 9 Tikanga is a newly established course in its second year at Hutt Valley High School that all tauira in that age group have the opportunity to be a part of. The objective of this course is to educate and integrate Tikanga Māori into the lives of our tauira, so they can stand proud and confident on occasions that may be different from their own culture. The outcome for our tauira will be a greater understanding of how culture shapes the way we think and behave as an individual within the community. Learning Tikanga fosters in Tauira the appreciation of cultural diversity in Aotearoa.

Senior Level Tikanga

Tauira is also enjoying Tikanga at Senior Levels, extending their knowledge and skills while earning some credits towards the Nacional Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

“I have really enjoyed doing Tikanga over these last 2 terms. I feel like it was a great subject to learn different things about the Māori culture and just something different from all the other subjects.” (Year 9 Student)


Congratulations to our students who entered the Wellington Regional Japanese Speech Competition. They all spoke confidently in Japanese without any cue cards or notes and represented, and performed to a high standard.

Samuel Bennion 10BQAD

Bobby Ma 11MI - 3rd Place Year 11 Japanese division

Tai Van der Bar 12MO - Special Award Year 12 Japanese

Nadia Prasetyo 13HA - 3rd Place Year 13 Japanese

Peter Wu 13RS

Also Izza Armand, ex HVHS student 2020, received 1st Place in the University Division.

Well done to Erin Thomas-Riley 13FX who is the winner of the University of Canterbury Art of Science competition for NZ school students. Her entry was music she composed herself translated into reflected waves on the HVHS Oscilloscope - made in the Physics Department. Her entry will be displayed as part of an exhibit at the Christchurch WORD Festival and following the festival at the University of Canterbury Ilam campus. As well as sending the video she created to UoC, she has uploaded it to YouTube. Here is the link:



Many of our teenagers have been sucked in and are now addicted to the nicotine in their vapes.

The World Health Organisation recently released its 2021 report on the global tobacco epidemic, which addresses vaping and e-cigarettes. The report emphasises that Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) are addictive and not without harm, and that they should be strictly regulated. The report also states that children and adolescents need to be protected from these products, which can double their risk of smoking cigarettes. It highlights the negative impact nicotine can have on brain development, leading to long-term consequences.

I am hoping that this lockdown might give some of our students a chance to begin to quit their ugly and harmful vaping habit. Here is some information that might help.



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Useful sites for information on mental health for young people

The first is for whānau who may want to seek support via a counsellor /psychologist outside of school. It has info on how to find a therapist near you, what it might cost and what you might be looking for in one.

Seeing someone - guide to seeking support outside of school

The second is a great site with links to info and support on specific topics relevant to young people.

Mental Health information for young people