WHS Newsletter | Issue 1.05 | 03 March 2023
Wakatipu High School’s vision is to deliver Aotearoa/New Zealand’s best all-round education. In 2022 we made great progress with many of our strategic priorities, including outstanding levels of academic achievement and good progress on promoting and supporting student wellbeing.
- Student Achievement
- Literacy and Numeracy
- High Quality Teaching and Learning
- NCEA Changes
- School-wide wellbeing and resilience
- Bullying prevention
- School Culture
- Biculturalism and Mātauranga Māori
- WHS Foundation and Branches Trust support
On Wednesday, we had a full-school assembly in Te Kirikiri, in which we celebrated Participation Day and announced the winning House for this key event in our House competition calendar. I complimented the students and Houses for exemplifying the school values, showing great pride and ultimately living the ‘Wakatipu Way’. The day is about participation and enhancing school culture. Congratulations to Mackenzie House who won the day by having the highest levels of student participation, and by winning the House March (see below for more details).
Last week, we met with the Education Review Office (ERO) to discuss our progress with respect to our evaluation of literacy achievement. It is well known that literacy rates in New Zealand have been on the decline and we now have nearly 25% of students arriving at WHS in Year 9 with literacy (and numeracy) levels below the expected level. As a school, we have developed a Literacy Strategy to improve students' literacy (click here) and we are holding a literacy information evening (online) on Wednesday, 15 March to outline what we do as a school to support our students and also to provide some ways in which parents/caregivers can support students to raise their literacy levels. This evening is particularly important for parents of junior students (see below for more details).
Students with low levels of literacy and numeracy find it difficult to access the broad range of the curriculum and to ultimately thrive at High School, but we know from our evaluation that targeted literacy interventions can accelerate literacy progress for students. This year, thanks to the support of the WHS Foundation, we have been able to double the amount of literacy and numeracy interventions available for students.
As mentioned last week, the WHS Foundation and the Branches Trust provide great support for the school and they make a big difference to the initiatives and support we can offer students and families. They however, cannot support the school alone. This morning a School Donation of $250 was added to each student’s account. While this is a voluntary donation it does make a massive difference to student achievement and wellbeing. We know that some families will be unable to pay the donation, but we also appreciate that there are many families who are happy to pay this donation and more. The link below offers families the opportunity to pay more than the annual donation in support of the families that cannot. Once again, we really do appreciate your support.
It was another great week at WHS with lots of action including our School Photos, Year 9 Greenstone Camps, Geography trips and much, much more. As we turn the corner to the second half of the term, students should be well settled into their classes and developing good study habits and routines. Those involved with the Musical and Tournament week will need to be disciplined and committed to ensuring they are staying on top of their school work.
Last few things from me:
- A reminder that Learning Engagement (LE) reports were published last week. Students should be receiving 3’s and 4’s and if there are any 1’s or 2’s, you should definitely be having a conversation with your student.
- For Seniors, the Internal Assessment Calendars have been published and senior students should have created their own calendar. As a parent/guardian you should ask to see their calendar.
- There is a national PPTA teacher strike day on Thursday 16 March. No classes will be held on that day but if students must come to school, they will be supervised in the library for the day.
- Musical tickets go on sale next week, be sure to get your tickets quick!
Hope everyone has a great weekend and be sure to have a read through a fantastic newsletter below.
Ngā mihi nui,
Junior Parents - Literacy Evening
When: Wednesday 15th March, 7.00 - 8.30
Where: Online - Google Meet Link
A 2020 UNICEF report found that only 64.6% of Aotearoa New Zealand fifteen year olds have basic proficiency in reading and maths. If we turn that around, 35.4% or, over one third, of our fifteen year olds struggle to read. Alarmingly, while we are seeing a world-wide downward trend in literacy levels, the decline in Aotearoa is greater than what is being observed in other comparable countries.
In order to address these concerns, we will be holding a Literacy Information Evening for parents of junior students which will cover the following:
The current state of literacy in Aotearoa New Zealand
What we are seeing at Wakatipu High School
Detail around the co-requisites for reading and writing
Introduction of the Wakatipu High School Literacy Strategy, including:
What WHS is doing to support students to accelerate their literacy progress
What parents and whanau can do to support at home
Q & A
We strongly encourage all parents and caregivers to attend this important evening, as much of what we cover will be discussed with you during your Junior Next Steps meeting with your student’s kaiārahi .
Arts Department News
Wakatipu High School students are set to return to the mainstage with their annual musical production, Rock Apocalypse which opens at the end of March. This year’s show is a hilarious rock 'n' roll parody of classic horror and sci-fi B-Movies. Join us for this annual evening of talent as our students dive into the life and times of rockstar Ricky Valiant and his big band of misfit doctors and “deadhead” zombies.
About the Musical: The story follows megalomaniac rockstar Ricky Valiant who sets up an evil laboratory turning unsuspecting victims into zombie-like creatures called deadheads. Married couple Dawn and Ash are lured to the institute for counselling but find themselves embroiled in Ricky’s evil plans to take over the world by broadcasting his concert and turning anyone watching into deadheads. Will Ash and Dawn help the FBI take down Ricky? Will the planet be saved? Watch the show to find out!
Tickets on sale next week!!
The WHS Musical needs sponsors!
WHS is excited to announce that this year’s Musical is Rock Apocalypse! The Musical will run from Wednesday, 29 March to Saturday, 1 April in the Wakatipu High School Theatre.
Our musicals are fantastic shows with wonderful opportunities for many of our students, and because of their popularity they provide a great opportunity for the community to support our students.
Musicals are, however, a significant undertaking and we appreciate support from the wider community to ensure they happen at the level we aspire to. One way for this to occur is through sponsorship from businesses and/or families. There are various tiers of sponsorships and advertising opportunities detailed in the document below.
Please contact me if you wish to be a sponsor or advertiser or have any queries at firstname.lastname@example.org - many thanks in anticipation!
Monica Parker - Arts Coordinator
Now that it’s March, we’re moving into crunch time for Rock Apocalypse with Act I/II rehearsals after school Tuesday through Friday. Last Sunday we also had a student photographer in to take photos of the band and cast which went up on the WHS social media. Without wanting to jinx anything, I’d say progress for the musical is going great and I’m super excited to see how it looks once we get costumes and props involved (and can make it through a scene without having to restart 6 times). Keep an eye out for the upcoming poster and I hope to see everyone in the theatre on the night.
Written by Jack Speedy
Year 13 Student
Just a reminder to all students to check the Classroom for information about the Music groups/clubs that are starting to get underway. The Performing Arts Classroom is the main area for information relating to Music, Dance and Drama with the following Classroom Code: sijw2gw
Gigs on the Green
The final Gigs on the Green event was held last Friday on a perfect summer's afternoon. Great to see the range of musicians playing and once again a huge thanks to Rockformation for their continued support of our students. Well done to The Goose Pies, Estrogen and Bethany Graf for their performances.
Mrs Alison Price
TIC Music/Hola Arts
Success continues this week as we celebrate another student who gained Scholarship in 2022. Pippa Bashford completed this panel based on Insomnia, fear of one's mind, and Nihilism. Pippa also explored reactions of one's self, which you can not help but have some connection with. Fear and escapism are also explored as the panel develops into an unknown state. Pippa was an outstanding photography student who worked hard to achieve her goals each year and we are extremely proud of her Scholarship success.
Kai, kōrero, and kēmu with Māori & Pasifika students/whānau
Te Iti o Tahuna at the Rees Hotel
Ka pai tō mahi to our kapa, Te Iti o Tāhuna who recently performed at the Rees Hotel. Kei te tino poho kererū au kia koutou, we're very proud of all your mahi so far this year. A big shoutout to Whaea Emily and whānau for their tautoko in this space!
Kia Ora Koutou,
As many of you know we had our annual participation day last Friday, it was a great success for all students and Houses involved. Participation Day is all about school culture and having a fun time and that was definitely achieved with great participation numbers and House chants all day round. The day was an opportunity for all year levels to come together within their Houses, students make new friendships and really understand the importance of school culture.
To start the day off with a bang all five Houses performed their marches that they had been working on for weeks. The marches were very entertaining and everyone gave it their all. During the day there were many laughs, chant-offs and activities such as high jump, standing jump, 800 metre, sprints and many more. All the students that attended should be very proud of their efforts in participating and excelling at their activities.
On Wednesday morning, the whole school gathered together in Te Kirikiri to hear the announcement of the results from Participation Day. Everyone was eager with excitement, especially the House leaders. There were three categories: girls participation, boys participation and the march. House spirit was also taken into account. Mackenzie took a clean sweep winning all three categories. This is the first time this has happened in years! The House leaderboard now stands with Mackenzie first, followed by Fox, then Duncan, then Arthur and finally Hay in Fifth. House leaders and deans should be very proud of the day. They did a great job!
Mackenzie House Leader
Sports and Active Recreation News
Last Friday was a fun filled day of athletic sports and sports challenges all wrapped up in great House spirit. This year’s House marches were very well done and our House leaders were superb throughout the day motivating and encouraging the younger members of their groups. Well done to everyone who attended the day, gave it their best and enjoyed themselves. Congratulations to Mackenzie House who won the March, the Girls and the Boys categories to become the overall winners for Participation Day. Below are the 100m finals results for each year level. Well done to these students!
Year 9 Girls
Year 10 Girls
Year 11 Girls
Year 12 Girls
Year 13 Girls
Year 9 Boys
Year 10 Boys
Year 11 Boys
Year 12 Boys
Year 13 Boys
National Mountain Biking Champs
The NZ National Mountain Biking Champs were held at Cardrona last weekend and it was awesome to see former students Toby Meek and Jess Blewitt win the Elite Men's and Women's Downhill events. Other highlights were Rory Meek placing 3rd in the U17 Men's race and Reon Fernandez finishing 4th. Well done boys.
Gillette Cup - Otago Country Qualifiers
The 1st XI Boys Cricket team beat Mt Aspiring College by 9 wickets on Sunday to become the Otago Country qualifier for the Gillette Cup, the 50 over knock out competition in the lower South Island. The team now takes on Southland Boys in the semi-final. Congratulations also to Jack Gallie who received his 1st XI cap before the game. He now joins Matthew Langford, Thomas Hulsman, Hugo Bogue, Jack Trounce, Mason Clarke, Angus O'Neill and Oscar Pullar as capped players.
Well done to Noa Milburn, Haruya Higuchi, Michi Lamond and Kaito Lamond who all represented the 14 and under Southern Lakes Tennis team in mid February in Dunedin and won their competition. Great stuff!
Volley South Representative Team
Congratulations to Year 12 student Roy Greer for his selection into the South Spikers Men's team to compete in the Representative Volleyball Tournament in Timaru during Anzac weekend. Awesome effort Roy!
Southland Triathlon Results
Congratulations to Year 9 student Keira Redden who won the U14 Girls category at the recent Southland Secondary Schools Triathlon in Winton. An awesome achievement! Best of luck to the WHS students who are competing at the SISS Triathlon Champs in Oamaru this weekend. Kā Mauka Whakatipu!
Mainland Volleyball Champs
We wish our Senior A and B Girls teams and our Senior A Boys team all the very best as they compete at the Mainland Volleyball Champs (South Island Secondary School) this weekend in Christchurch. This is the first time we have sent three teams to the South Islands. Go well!
Social Volleyball is a Hit!
Social Volleyball got underway this week with over 100 students signed up to play games after school on a Wednesday for the remainder of Term 1. It is so awesome to see how popular this is and have an awesome facility to be able to run these opportunities.
Opportunities to Get Involved
Pre-Season Online Rugby Meeting - Monday 6th March 8pm
Anyone interested in playing rugby, or who is new to school for 2023 and would like to find out more information about the upcoming season is welcome to attend the online meeting next Monday at 8pm. Please click the link to join: meet.google.com/fwe-beix-una
Southland Surf Champs Details
The annual Southland Surf Champs are taking place on Saturday 18th March at Colac Bay. If you are interested in entering you can find out more details here: https://www.sporty.co.nz/viewform/228929
Southland Athletic Champs
The Southland Secondary School Athletics Champs are coming up on Saturday 11th March in Invercargill. This is an open event and there are no qualification requirements. If you are interested in competing please email email@example.com with your name and the event(s) you would like to enter. The entry fee is $5 and the cost of transport will be added once we have an idea of numbers. Please communicate by Tuesday 9am if you wish to compete. The event sheet is on the Athletics Google Classroom.
WHS Sports Hoody Order
The first order of 2023 for the Wakatipu High School sports hoody is now open. This hoody is a generic design that runs across all sports. There has been a steep rise in prices over the past 12 months and the cost of a hoody this year is $95.00. Students do wear these to weekly competitions, tournaments and trips away and hoodies last for two-three seasons. Please complete the order and payment form below by Monday 13th March. Hoodies should arrive before the end of Term 1.
Order form: https://www.sporty.co.nz/
Keep Us Informed
The sports department would love to hear from you if you know of any awesome achievements from our students so that we can celebrate these as a school. Please send through details and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Sport at WHS
Jump on board and support the team by liking or following the Wakatipu High School Sports Facebook page. This is the best way to stay informed and up to date with the successes of our athletes and teams and help celebrate their great achievements. https://www.facebook.com/WakatipuHighSchoolSports/
Director of Sport
WHS visits the Queenstown Country Club
The WHS Foundation and WHS were thrilled to be present at a morning tea at the Queenstown Country Club on Friday, March 3rd. The event was an excellent opportunity to share news about Wakatipu High School and how our community can engage with the WHS Foundation. Attendees at the Country Club were greeted with a stunning piano performance by student Billie Carey. They also heard from Principal Oded Nathan, WHS Foundation Trustee Karen Spires and Head Students Lachy Boniface and Annika Thornton. We are delighted to have had the chance to come together with the local community to discuss the exciting developments at Wakatipu High School and look forward to more events like this in the future.
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