WHS Newsletter | Issue 3.03 | 04 August | 2023
Kia ora and welcome to the Wakatipu High School newsletter at the end of a busy week here at WHS. A short piece from me today, with a series of reminders.
2024 Option Selection - is due next Friday, 11 August at 4pm, please ensure your student has submitted theirs. A reminder that the Senior Leadership Team have appointments available to support with course counselling, if required. See below for all the details regarding 2024 Option Selection.
LE Reports - are now up on the Portal, number seven for seniors and number one for the new semester for juniors. A reminder that LE Reports are a key mechanism for teacher feedback on a student’s engagement with their learning, and while 2s suggest a conversation is required, 1's require urgent attention and action. Please take the time to look through them and have celebratory or other conversations as appropriate.
Senior School Exams - begin next Wednesday 9th August. Another reminder that they are very important, including for the opportunity to rehearse the exam process and studying effectively. Please see below for more information
Junior Next Steps - are important opportunities for parents to connect with students' Kaiārahi. They are starting next week, please see below for more details, including how to make an appointment if you haven’t yet done so.
Mid-year Extracurricular Expo - is Break 2 next Wednesday. We believe that an all-round education really is good for students, so if your child is not involved in any extracurricular activities please encourage them to get along and sign up.
The Whiffenpoofs (WHSF Fundraiser) - are coming to Queenstown and putting on a special performance at Te Atamira on Sunday 13th August from 5 pm. See below on how to get your tickets to this amazing a capella group from Yale University, with all proceeds going to the WHS Foundation.
Junior Teacher Only Day - as normal during senior exams is next Friday 11th August. While seniors have exams, juniors will have no school that day.
The week began with Dr Ursula Rack, a renowned Polar Historian and Lecturer coming to WHS to talk about Antarctica. A huge thanks to Dr Rack for sharing her insights with our students and also to X Travel and The Rees Hotel for supporting her travel and accommodation, respectively.
Great to see the snow come this past week, hope everyone gets out and about to enjoy this winter wonderland!
2024 Course Option Selection Due
A reminder, Course option selection needs to be completed by Friday 11 August at 4pm via SchoolPoint. For instructions on how to navigate SchoolPoint - our course option portal, see the SchoolPoint Instructions link provided below.
It is important for students to carefully consider their interests, strengths, and potential future pathways when selecting courses and planning their studies. We encourage Parents and Caregivers to discuss students' course options with them and seek advice from their subject teachers, HoLAs, Kaiārahi, Deans, or our Careers Advisers.
Should students require further assistance with selecting options for 2024, bookings with a member of the Senior Leadership Team are available using the button below.
Senior School Exams
The Senior School Exams are coming up in weeks 4 and 5 of this term. While they don't directly contribue to NCEA credits, they are a very important opportunity for students to revise and then test their understanding of course work covered to date. Additionally, in the event of a student missing any of their final NCEA external examinations, the school exams are used to determine derived grades.
We have held study seminars this week for each year level, with Patrick Sherratt providing students with plenty of "tips and tricks" for how to revise key concepts and then memorise and recall them in exam settings. We have also run some "High Performance" seminars, providing guidance for students who are aiming to achieve their examinations at the Merit and Excellence levels.
Attached below are links to the Term 3 Senior School Exam Timetable, as well as the slideshow presented to students in the "High Performance" seminars. There is also a planning document to support your student to fact gather and determine which subjects will have exams, and what will be covered.
Students will also be provided with access to further information around how to study effectively during Ako time over the coming weeks.
Junior Next Steps
Thursday 10th August: 3.30 - 6.30pm These interviews will run onsite and in-person.
Tuesday 15th August: 2.30 - 5.30pm These interviews will run remotely via Google Meet.
Junior Next Steps meetings are an important opportunity for parents of Year 9 and Year 10 students to meet with their respective kaiārahi to discuss:
- How the year has gone so far,
- Any concerns/issues,
- Courses selected for 2024.
Bookings are available here: https://www.
Yale Whiffenpoofs Performance
Polar Historian Dr Ursula Rack Speaks at WHS
Insights from the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Sustainable Economy Workshop
“95% of economics is common sense. Economics is not a science. Economics is politics. Never trust an economist. Economics is too important to be left to the experts.” - Ha-Joon Chang
These were the words Gareth Hughes, former Green Party MP and the host of last week’s Wellbeing Economy Alliance Aotearoa Queenstown Workshop, used to introduce the issue he had gathered thirteen Queenstown locals from a variety of backgrounds to discuss. Sitting around a conference table overlooking Lake Wakatipu were business owners, public servants, scientists, a professor, charity directors, a journalist, and a student. We had been gathered by Cath Gilmour, founder of Catalyst Trust and three time former Queenstown Councilor, to contribute our voices to the national discussion of Aotearoa’s economic future, which Gareth would present alongside the results of several other workshops from around the country at the WEAII Economy for Public Good conference on August 31st.
As we sat around the table preparing to begin the workshop, Gareth stood and introduced the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAII), an international organization with fifteen national hubs around the world including one in Aotearoa headed by him. He described the WEAII as “a think-tank and a do-tank” whose mission is to advocate for sustainable economies by “thinking globally and working hyper-locally.” They work to fix the systemic “upstream” problems we face today rather than acting “like an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff” and only reacting to these issues. This workshop was part of a listening tour he was conducting wherein he travelled around the country gathering as many varying perspectives on the past, present, and future of the economy. His purpose was by design not to educate, but to listen, and particularly to listen to ordinary people rather than politicians or economists. To this end, he pointedly stayed out of the majority of the ensuing discussion, instead taking copious notes as the rest of us shared our thoughts, debated, and drew conclusions through collaboration.
Describing the economy as a game is hardly a novel metaphor, but it is a cliché because it is accurate. In our discussion, we very quickly alighted upon this idea and expanded upon it. The economic climate today sometimes feels like a game full of rules restricting every aspect of our lives where the punishment for breaking them is losing your job, home, and life. But we’re never told these rules. We’ve had to learn them through observation of those who break them and suffer because those who know them have vested interest in no one else knowing how to progress in the game. It is a system devoted wholly to profit above all else, especially people and the environment. We’ve lived in this game for decades, but it didn’t used to be as hard as it is now. We used to know some of the rules, but not anymore. Many people don’t see the game, or don’t question it because they have figured out how to not lose. We spoke at length about young people, who I was there to represent (and hopefully didn’t do too bad a job); how we perceive the economy and how we hope to make it through life without losing the game.
An issue we discussed I feel it particularly relevant to my fellow students at Wakatipu High School is the question of the future. A growing theme in Aotearoa, especially in Queenstown, is children realizing that they won’t be able to afford to live where they grew up. Becoming an adult isn’t an exciting new future; it is being kicked out of a nest you’ll never be able to build yourself. There is a growing trend among our generation of people leaving behind their passions and giving away their youth before its time in an all-consuming quest for a higher paying job. But this isn’t the end, and there is hope for a better future.
We need an economic system built not on profits measured by an impassioned metric like Gross Domestic Product (GDP). You can’t measure quality of life through GDP-per-capita. You can’t measure sustainability through how much money a country makes through exports. The initial problem is that our methods of measuring economic success is fundamentally flawed, and the first step needs to be a shift in this. Gareth Hughes used the metaphor of an operating system, where we are trying to download apps onto a phone that is fundamentally unable to function with them. A greater emphasis needs to be placed on the wellbeing of society, the quality of life of every individual, and using environmentally sustainable practices. Our final note was a call to action for everyone to heed to act on. We are the future, but it is imperative that we are an informed future who care for others and are willing to devote our time and energy to improving society for everyone else. So read all you can about the world, and about the economy. Talk to people in your community. Get involved. Be informed. And vote for the world people 100 years from now will live in, not for the world you do.
Environmental Lead Prefect
Holocaust Centre Visit 2023
On the 28th of July, Kris Clancy, Education Director at the Holocaust Center of New Zealand, completed his annual visit to Wakatipu High School. The aim of this visit was to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the lasting impact of the Holocaust on our world's history, as well as the importance of remembering and learning from the past. Kris spoke to a range of classes from Social Sciences and a Year 11 English class.
The Year 9 & 10 Social Studies classes looked into the ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ of the Holocaust and its impact on Human Rights and equality. The opportunity to listen to Kris provided them with valuable insight into the mechanisms of hate that led to the Holocaust which will support their study of this event in the Year 10 Social Studies program.
Evie Snow, a student from the Year 12 History class, expressed that attending the talk was a fantastic opportunity to analyse liberation and life post the Holocaust in preparation for their exams. They looked at things such as displacement and the cultural challenges victims faced once the war had ended. Evie noted that “Kris challenged us to critically analyse liberation, not as something which was always positive, but also as something that had negative ramifications, such as the refugee crisis which was sparked as a result”.
Kris cultivated an open environment, allowing students to ask questions about the impact of liberation as well as his own family's experience of the Holocaust. Students appreciated the passion and dedication that Kris has for teaching this subject. We were exceptionally lucky to have this opportunity to work and learn from an expert in the field of Holocaust studies.
Evie Snow, Year 12 History Student
AJ Green, Social Science teacher
NZ Languages Championship 2023
Junior and senior languages students will take their language learning to the next level through the Education Perfect Global Languages Championships 2023 next week.
This year's competition will be open from 9am Tuesday 8 August until 3pm Thursday 10 August. All students need to do is go to 'Competitions' on Education Perfect.
Prizes will be awarded to students who earn the most points in their classes and in the kura.
Last year we came 8th in our category in NZ, and 31st overall in NZ. Let's do even better this year!
Staff vs Students Basketball
This week, we held our yearly basketball game between the Staff and Year 13 students. The competition was intense and full of spirit, highlighting the abilities of both teams. In the end, the Staff emerged victorious with a final score of 40-25. Congratulations to all who took part in the House Basketball Competition this year. The level of play was exceptional, with everyone exhibiting great resilience and sportsmanship.
Outdoor Education Overnight Adventure
Our Year 13 Outdoor Education students had an unforgettable experience this week. Students took advantage of the incredible conditions following this week's storm for their overnight Mountain Expedition on the northern ridge of the Remarkables.
Sport and Active Recreation News
NZ Cross Country Champs
Congratulations to Year 11 student Siena Mackley who competed at the New Zealand Cross Country Champs in Taupo over the weekend earning a silver medal in the Under 18 Women's race. Siena has just completed three weeks of altitude training in Colorado and it is great to see all her hard mahi pay off. Well done Siena!
Otago/Southland Ice Figure Skating Competition
The Otago/Southland Ice Skating Champs were held on 22nd and 23rd July. Three WHS students competed with some great results. Megan Carr finished first in the adult interpretive silver grade; Georgia Chinn was first in advanced novice and Shiloh Thurston was 2nd in interpretive youth Silver. Well done girls.
Staff vs Year 13 Basketball
The annual staff vs Tear 13 students basketball game took place on Monday and the staff once again displayed their athletic prowess to dominate the Year 13's 40-25. It is always a lot of fun and a great spectacle. That wraps the house basketball competition for another year!
Opportunities to Get Involved
Summer Sports Expo - Weds 23rd August
The annual summer sports expo is taking place on Wednesday 23rd August at Break 2 in the gym. This is your chance to sign up for involvement in summer sports and activities. A great chance to check out what is on offer and get involved if you are yet to do an extracurricular activity this year!
Otago/Southland Ski and Board Champs
The Otago/Southland Ski & Snowboard Champs have been rescheduled to Saturday 19th August at Cardrona so we can now accept new entries. Event categories are Ski Slopestyle, Ski Giant Slalom, Snowboard Giant Slalom. Athletes can enter as a team (male or female teams) or as an individual. All athletes entered as a team will also be automatically entered into the individual results as well. Teams are required to have a minimum of 3 athletes, max of 4. Entry cost is $40 per student. If you require a day pass at Cardrona this is an additional $60. Students and their whanau will be responsible for coordinating transport to the event. Entries close Monday 14th August. Please email email@example.com by Tuesday 8th August if you would like to compete.
OC Health Club
OC Health Clubs is proud to present strength and development training sessions specifically designed for teenagers aged 13-17. Our primary focus is to educate young individuals about the profound impact of movement and exercise on both their physical and mental well-being. These sessions aim to teach proper techniques for building strength, which is crucial in preventing injuries, promoting good posture, and establishing a solid basis for a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. These sessions will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3:30pm until 4:15pm. The cost for each individual is set at $200 for a 10 class pass.
Junior Boys Cricket Tour Fundraiser
Here is a great opportunity to get behind our Junior Cricket Team as they fundraise for their tour to the Hawkes Bay this summer AND have a great afternoon on the golf course with your mates! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your team entry and round up three friends!
What to Watch - Come along and support WHS Sport!
Saturday 5th August - Rugby at WHS
12pm: 1st XV vs Waitaki Boys High School - semi-final of middle 4
Monday 7th August - Basketball in Pouākai Gym
3.45pm: WHS 9A vs 10A
5pm: WHS Senior Navy v Dunstan Gold - Senior A Semi Final
5pm: Junior A Girls v Dunstan
6pm: WHS Junior Blue v MAC Black
6pm: WHS Senior Gold v MAC
Thursday 10th August - Netball at the Events Centre (Times TBC)
WHS Senior A vs Queen Bees - Premier Grade Semi Final
WHS 10A vs TBC - Senior A Grade Semi Final
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 email@example.com.
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
Arts Department News
Emerging Artist Award to Harriet Blundell
A huge congratulations to Harriet Blundell, who won the Emerging Artist prize at the Riversdale Art Exhibition and $1000. Benji Watson Palmer's artwork was also selected to be exhibited. The prize was open to Southland artists aged between 13 and 25.
Congratulations to Jack Speedy who received a Highly Commended award in the penultimate stage of the national Smokefree Rockquest competition.
This places him in the top five nationally in the solo/duo section of the competition.
Below is a recording of Jack's songs "Louisville"
Artist of the Week - Valentina Balzarini
Valentina is a Year 12 Designer who is a very talented artist. She has a great work ethic and creative flair. Below she explains her artwork shared.
“My theme was Japanese Night Markets. I chose this concept because I wanted to encapsulate the fun and nostalgia of food markets and stalls, the ones that left you feeling as though you were a child at the carnival. I chose to do Japanese food because it's my favourite cuisine and it's very comforting. The design model I picked was Ichijo Hikaru, whom I chose because of the bright colours and retro feel of their work. The texture in their pieces also tied into my foodie theme. That being said, these two pieces focus more on the people at the night market, since it's them that really make it come to life. I made sure to add in some of those retro silhouettes and colours to my own pieces.”
Fabulous work, Valentina.
the Blenheim Jazz trip is underway next week and we have a performance at 1.00 pm in the school theatre for friends and family.
Itinerant Music Lessons
Itinerant music lessons for Semester 2 are now in place with just some tidy-ups of times and days to be tweaked.
Any questions please contact Alison Price at firstname.lastname@example.org
Students are encouraged to be part of the extracurricular music groups that take place at WHS.
Information about these will be updated on the Performing Arts Classroom. The Classroom Code is sijw2gw. Some groups will be dependent on student interest. Groups include:
- Digital Music making group - Tuesday at Break 2 (Mr Jefferson)
- Jazz band - after school Wednesdays (Mrs Price)
- Songwriters group - Thursday at 8am (Miss Coombe, Mrs Price)
- Chamber music - inquiries to Mrs Matla
- Singing group - restarting on Mondays at Break 2 (new tutor TBC)
- Junior jazz - Day/time TBC (Mr McMenamin)
- Guitar group - Day/time TBC (Mr McMenamin)
All groups take place in the Music area. Any questions to Alison Price at email@example.com
This semester we will be starting a Social Art Club in the Puahuru Visual Arts space across from Sciences. This will take place every Tuesday during Break 2. All levels and ages of artists are welcome and invited to bring something they are working on or start a new piece to work on during club times. We may extend the days depending on interest. Join the Classroom to receive notices at 5dgmnqq. Any questions to Monica Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let Us Know
The Arts department would like to know about any artistic achievements that students have attained outside of school be it in Drama, Dance, Music or Visual Arts. Please send through details and photos to email@example.com
Support the Arts
We are always looking for local professional performing and visual artists to visit our school and run workshops for our students. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Monica Parker the Arts Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow our school’s Instagram page for recent successes or news within the school’s Arts Department at whsartdepartment.
Branches Trust AGM
Trades Academy - Beauty Course
In a recent exciting endeavour, the Otago Polytechnic Te PukengaTrades Academy's Beauty students, Ivy Wilcox, Lydia Marks and Kiera Williams-Knight, showcased their talent and skills as makeup artists in a real photo shoot.
The photo shoot provided an exceptional platform for these budding makeup artists to put their knowledge into practice and excel in a real-world scenario. Their work received praise for its quality and finesse, demonstrating the effectiveness of the Trades Academy program at Otago Polytechnic in honing the skills of its students.
The director of the photo shoot was impressed with our learners' professionalism and the quality of their work. This valuable real-world experience has opened doors for potential future opportunities. Otago Polytechnic Te Pukenga hopes to continue offering such rewarding work experiences to our trades academy students, allowing them to flourish and grow in their chosen fields.
Special thanks to Claire Topliff from @beautifulbridalhair, Claires Hair Team @beautifulbridalhairteam, and Ashley from Oh Darling Creative Studio for capturing the essence of the photo shoot. This fantastic initiative was hosted at The Salon.
If you're interested in checking out our latest Careers newsletter (in particular scholarships), click on the link below.