WHS Newsletter | Issue 1.04 | 23 February | 2024
Kia ora koutou and welcome to the end of Week 4. Today was our annual Participation Day, and the weather, the students and the marches were top notch. A huge thank you to the House Leaders and Deans and to all the students who truly exemplified the ‘Wakatipu Way’ and showcased the positive and inclusive school culture that we are wanting to consistently see. We look forward to announcing the winning House at a full school assembly next Wednesday.
On Tuesday evening, we held our annual NCEA information evening for parents of senior students and you can see below for all the details including the all-important Internal Assessment Calendars. Please ensure that your senior student creates their own Assessment Calendar and that you support them to plan accordingly for the weeks ahead. Speaking of senior students, all senior students should by now have set their academic, extracurricular and wellbeing goals for 2024 and we look forward to sharing those with parents and caregivers in the upcoming weeks.
Next Monday and Tuesday, all students will have their individual and Ako Group photos, and students are required to wear their blazer and tie, as well as correct uniform for all photos. With that in mind, a reminder that from the start of March, both the tie and the blazer are compulsory items that all students need to wear every day. Please see here for the timeline for the Photos on Monday.
In the latter part of 2023, WHS made the decision to engage with GoodSpace in 2024, which is a programme focused on supporting students with their health and wellbeing. We believe this programme will provide us with more information on what we can do as a school to improve student wellbeing. Please see below for more details, and you can click here to read more about GoodSpace.
We are aware that buses continue to be an issue for students and families. WHS has a mixed-model of school bus transport, with the MOE responsible for one set of buses and the ORC responsible for another set of buses (Orbus). We have recently met with ORC and continue to impress upon them the importance of the Orbus service, including its timeliness and capacity and ensuring that students and families know early if buses are not running. In the interim, we strongly encourage students and families to try and make carpool arrangements and if possible, for students to ride their bikes to school. See below for more details from Orbus.
Lastly, the WHS Foundation plays a very important role in supporting Wakatipu High School with its aspiration of delivering Aotearoa New Zealand’s best all-round education. The Foundation’s annual contribution to the school enables WHS to offer a range of programmes and initiatives in 2024, including: GoodSpace, Stars Peer Mentoring, Literacy support and much, much more. Additionally, the WHS Foundations supports the Āwhina fund (financial support), which ensures students and families can apply for support with getting a device (BYOD), uniform or to assist with participation in the extra and co-curricular life of school. These contributions make a significant difference to the education that WHS can offer our students in our community and ensure that all students can access WHS great all-round education. Click here if you’d like to know more about the WHS Foundation and how you can support, and see below if you’re interested in joining as a Trustee. Once again, a huge thank you to the WHS Foundation and all the businesses and individuals who support WHS.
Another informative and great newsletter follows, please be sure to have a read. Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.
Ngā mihi nui,
NCEA Information for Parents
Thanks to all of the parents who attended the NCEA Information evening held on Tuesday. For those parents and students who are new to NCEA, there can be quite a lot of information to take in. We hope that you will look through the information below and discuss with your student and/or contact the school, including subject teachers, Kaiārahi, Deans or SLT, should you have any questions.
Here is the powerpoint. Below are some other useful links.
As a school, we highly recommend that Year 11 students strive to achieve NCEA Level 1 with either a Merit or Excellence endorsement, as this lays a good foundation for success at NCEA Level 2 and beyond. It is also very important for students to aim for course endorsements, which requires achievement to be from both internal and external assessments.
NZQA Website - Here you can find information about NCEA as well as subject specific resources, including exemplars of student work.
Assessment Policy - Each school is responsible for ensuring that robust and quality assured assessments are provided, so that the qualifications and marks that students achieve are consistent across the country. To support this, we have an Assessment Policy that must be adhered to. Students have been explained this policy, and it is important that parents are also familiar with the policy.
Mr Richards for NZQA and NCEA firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Hearn for Special Assessment Conditions email@example.com
NCEA Level 1,2, and 3 Internal Assessment Calendars
The assessment calendars for the year have been set and can be found below.
These are updated frequently and you should check back on a regular basis.
GoodSpace - A digital screening tool for monitoring student wellbeing
This year we will be running a confidential survey with all of our students, one year level at a time, to gather information about various aspects of their wellbeing. The survey is a youth-friendly, secure online survey, based on an evidence-based framework for schools to be able to identify students who may need targeted support.
We will start with our Y10, during Ako Time this term, and then repeat the process for other year levels from Term 2 onwards. The survey takes 10-15 minutes and results are known immediately to our Guidance Counsellors, who work within the bounds of confidentiality, and will be taking responsibility for the survey. Parents of Year 10 students will receive an email on Monday with more detail, including information about how to "opt" their child(ren) out of participating in the survey if they so wish.
Whole year-level data will be available to the Senior Leadership Team, to help determine what resourcing and support would most benefit the student body both in 2024 and moving forward.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email our Guidance Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vaping - Don't get sucked in
NZ has legislation prohibiting vaping in all schools (including the grounds and the buildings) at all times. The legislation also prohibits the sale of and distribution of vaping products to young people aged under 18. WHS also has policies on vaping and smoking which extend beyond the school grounds for all students in uniform (from the moment they leave home, to the moment they return home, including on buses).
How does WHS deal with vaping?
Vaping is both a health issue as well as a discipline issue and will be treated at WHS as such. For a first offence, a student will receive a Dean's detention, a formal warning, be offered the opportunity to engage with the Public Health Nurses (including an education component around vaping), and parents notified. The vaping device will also be confiscated and destroyed.
WHS has an escalation system for all behaviour management elements and for additional offences the escalation process will apply. It should be noted that toilets are an area of concern for vaping and students have been made aware that only one student is allowed in a toilet cubicle at any time.
Support for students
Maria Frewen, one of our Heatlh Nurses, is on site two days a week to provide us and students with the most up-to-date and reliable information and resources regarding vaping. Maria is at school every Monday from 9:00 - 10.00am and Friday from 9:00 onwards, depending on demand. Students can make an appointment to see them at Student Services at a time that suits. Students also have access to guidance and counselling support including referral to external programmes to support the breaking of habits/addiction.
There is also lot of useful information for students, parents and caregivers on the website 'Don't Get Sucked In'. This is part of the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation's efforts to inform and reduce the appeal of vaping (and smoking) to children and young people and promote healthy lungs. The material on this website is evidence based and reviewed by the Vaping Educational Advisory Group made up of a wide array of experts including registered health practitioners.
An Important Message From Orbus
We know that demand for buses is always very high at this time of year with the return to work, tertiary institutions, and schools. To add to this, Queenstown is currently a few drivers short.
While we are expecting to see our services go back to normal soon, we ask you to please be patient and plan ahead, as buses are likely to fill up quickly. If possible, please also allow more time for travelling, consider catching an earlier bus or hopping on at earlier stops.
Our drivers really love it when you say hello and thank you, especially now when they’re having to deal with delays due to roadworks and high levels of congestion in Queenstown. So, give it a go! Research has shown it makes them feel more valued and appreciated when passengers thank them for a ride. It makes their day!
You can check out our Code of Conduct for more information. For your convenience, CCTV is always in operation on our buses.
Handy bus and ferry information
Buses are an affordable way to get to and from school this term. Bus and ferry fares are cheaper with a registered Bee Card when a child concession (for 5–18-year-olds) is loaded onto the card.
· Learn how to buy a Bee Card, catch a bus, and plan your journey: www.orc.govt.nz/bus101
· Find the latest timetable information for Queenstown’s buses and ferries, including cancellations and delays, at www.orc.govt.nz/orbusqt or by calling our free phone number: 0800 672 8778.
Message From the Head Students
Kia Ora everyone Jess and Mason here.
It was so awesome to see the past few weeks of house spirit, meetings, practices, dancing, chanting and everything else, come together on participation day! Hopefully, all the coloured paint isn’t too hard to wash off! It was so cool to see the spirit and support from all five houses throughout the entirety of the event. It’s so important as a school we come together to celebrate and compete, but most importantly participate in such a fun day. Well done to all of you for making it so enjoyable!
It was great to see both the extracurricular sport and art expos over the last two weeks. Extracurricular activities at WHS are such a vital part of our culture here at school. It’s a way to meet new people, socialise with friends, engage in a new way, and have a sense of pride for Wakatipu High School. We strongly recommend getting involved in whatever extracurricular activities you can do, you won't regret it. It’s not too late to sign up if you missed out. See your Kaiarahi (Ako teacher) or view the flyer here if you are interested in signing up.
On another note, assessments for juniors and NCEA for seniors have well and truly got underway. It’s really important that we all use our time wisely early on in the year before it becomes really really busy later. Our best advice is to try to put in the mahi now so it doesn't all catch up with you later on. Especially for seniors, who some might be aiming for an NCEA endorsement this year, we all know there comes times where tons of internals and school work piles up. If we all put our heads down now and get the best possible grades early in the year, the stress of getting certain amounts of credits or grades in crunch periods won’t be nearly as bad.
For both of us who missed the first few days of school, we never got to properly introduce ourselves this year. So don’t be shy to come say hi if you see us around in the hallway. We’d love to meet and get to know as many of you as we can!
Keep showing kindness to one another and Reach For Your Heights - Kā Muaka Whakatipu!
Jess Hudson and Mason Clarke
The Lakes Weekly Bulletin ran a great article on our Head Students this week, check it out here.
Whānau Hui - Wednesday 28th February
Kia hiwa rā!
Nau mau, haere mai - A warm welcome to our first whānau hui for the year. This will take place next Wednesday (28th February) in Mātuitui here at Wakatipu High School from 4.30 - 6.00pm. Mātua (parents) of our Māori students and students studying Senior Te Reo Māori are more than welcome to attend. In particular, the hui will focus on:
- An introduction to key individuals
- Our WHS Whānau Advisory Group: Roles, responsibilities, and an invite for interested individuals to join
- Confirming kaupapa Māori priorities for 2024 at WHS
- An update on kapa haka, Te Reo Māori classes, and staffing
- An opportunity for whānau and rangatahi to feedback and ask questions
We look forward to seeing many of you there - tamariki and rangatahi are more than welcome to attend with their mātua. Please let me know if you plan to attend for catering purposes as we will supply light refreshments. Please enter through the main Reception on the night.
Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi
A Snapshot of Our Multicultural Community at WHS
It is fantastic to have a large array of cultures represented at Wakatipu High School! With 55 ethnicities and 44 countries at birth, we embrace the diversity of cultures that enriches our learning environment, cultivating understanding, unity, and a global perspective at WHS. A warm welcome to the numerous new students, their families and whānau to Aotearoa and to WHS this year.
Autumn Uniform Requirements from Monday 4th March
It has been pleasing to see so many of our students wearing their uniform with pride and making an effort to follow the uniform requirements. This sets a positive tone around our environment and creates positive interactions with staff who are complimenting rather than sanctioning their uniform choices. Unfortunately, there are still a few students who are not wearing their uniform correctly and now is a timely point in the year for them to reset and get organised for the cooler months ahead.
It is important to note that the girls’ winter uniform, which is the kilt and tights, must be worn as shown in the picture. If the blue skirt is being worn, this is with blue ankle socks only. No tights can be worn with the skirt please.
The Blazer is compulsory
This is the compulsory ‘primary’ garment. It must be worn to and from school and during the school day. Students may remove the blazer whilst in class or when active during break times. The blazer must also be worn to all formal school events, such as assemblies. If you are wearing the school jersey, this must be worn underneath the blazer.
Hoodies, even school insignia hoodies, are not to be worn at school during the day. They will be confiscated and can be collected by the student at student services at the end of the school week in the first instance but will escalate if these items are continually worn.
White socks are never OK to be worn with the uniform and should not be worn, even under trousers. The blue school socks can be purchased at the school uniform shop.
Must be: plain; all black (with no coloured logos); be made of polishable material (i.e. not canvas, but may have a rubber toe-cap); have a low or no heel; be shoes, not boots or ‘high tops’ or sandals. They may be lace-up or slip-on, with no buckles.
Boys with shirts untucked
We ask our boys to wear their shirt tucked into their trousers and shorts where practicable. Being active at break time is of course one place where this would not be enforced. Consistently ignoring requests to do so may result in them receiving a detention for consistently ignoring instructions.
Āwhina support for uniform needs
There is support available for students and families for whom accessing uniform is a financial barrier. We encourage you to seek support through our Āwhina Support Fund which can be found here. The in-school WHS Uniform Shop is open weekdays 8:30am- 3.00pm (term time) for our students for most needs.
Our system for addressing uniform issues has been clearly and consistently communicated and we really appreciate parents/caregiver support with ensuring students are wearing their uniform consistently well to school.
We are hoping that students are able to get themselves well organised in the next week and look forward to your support in ensuring your child is clear on the need for wearing their uniform correctly and with pride.
Ngā Reo - Languages Learning Area News
New Zealand Swiss Exchange Opportunity for Year 12 French Students
This New Zealand / Swiss exchange programme is a fantastic opportunity to live with a homestay family in the French speaking part of Switzerland over our summer break (their winter). In return, you will be required to reciprocate their hospitality, hosting a student in your home.
This is open to 2024 Year 12 students. For further details contact Mr Charton before this Tuesday 27 February: email@example.com
Head of Languages
Tuakana - Teina | Junior Students Interviewing Seniors...in French!
End of last week saw Year 10 students of French interviewing Year 12 and 13 students. Madame Denney's class prepared their questions and in a speed dating type of activity where French was the main language spoken for the next 15 minutes between seniors and juniors.
Tuakana-Teina is a Māori concept referring to the relationship between an older person (Tuakana) and a younger one (Teina). This reciprocal learning opportunity helps students to gain confidence in producing language and to use languages with older students.
World Challenge Nepal Trip
Embark on an Adventure: Join the World Challenge Trip to Nepal in December!
Experience the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture of Nepal on a 20-day trip with World Challenge this December. Trek through the Annapurna region, immerse yourself in Nepali culture, engage in community projects, and develop valuable life skills. December offers ideal weather and a festive atmosphere. Don't miss this opportunity to make a difference and create lifelong memories. We suddenly have a few extra spaces available on this once in a lifetime trip.
For more information or to sign up please contact Miss Noni Gabb via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for signing up is Monday 4th March.
‘Driving’ for Excellence – Year 13 Physical Education
The Year 13 Physical Education students are currently embarking on a programme that will enable
them to apply selected Biophysical Principles while attempting to increase the maximum distance
they can drive a golf ball. The Frankton Golf Club and Golf New Zealand are hosting the practice
sessions for this process and all students are enjoying the opportunity to experience this very
popular game on the driving range. Students’ abilities range from beginner/novice status to high
performance in terms of metres driven, however, as the goal is to improve the distance gained, all
students will experience some form of success as they progress through the teaching, learning and
practice programme. A big thanks to Doug Mathews at the Frankton Golf Club and Byron Willis from
New Zealand Golf for their passion and expertise in this challenging game.
Attention Year 13 students... just a quick reminder about two exciting events coming up this week that you definitely don't want to miss.
First up, on Monday 26th February, we will be welcoming Sandra Spence, the University Liaison Officer from the University of Otago. The session will take place in Pouākai. Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn all about the University of Otago and what it has to offer.
Then, on Friday 1st March, we're excited to host Steph Kerslake, the University Liaison Officer from the Otago Polytechnic, in the theatre, to share valuable information about studying at Otago Polytechnic.
If you are considering your study options after high school, we highly recommend attending these events. They are a great opportunity to explore your options and get inspired. Make sure to mark these dates in your calendar and we look forward to seeing you there!
Upcoming Term 1 Tertiary Liaison Visits:
Monday 26 February - University of Otago Liaison Visit https://wakatipu.careerwise.school/post/18
Friday 1 March - Otago Polytechnic Liaison Visit https://wakatipu.careerwise.school/post/16
Monday 4 March - Massey University Liaison Visit https://wakatipu.careerwise.school/post/110
Monday 7 March - Lincoln University Liaison Visit https://wakatipu.careerwise.school/post/49
Friday 8 March - University of Auckland Liaison Visit https://wakatipu.careerwise.school/post/392
Monday 11 March - Victoria University of Wellington Liaison Visit https://wakatipu.careerwise.school/post/20
Friday 15 March - University of Canterbury Liaison Visit https://wakatipu.careerwise.school/post/19
Monday 8 April - University of Waikato Liaison Visit https://wakatipu.careerwise.school/post/438
University of Canterbury, Lincoln University and Ara Tertiary Trip -
Spend the day on campus, explore study options, chat to staff and students and get a taste of student life. This tertiary trip is an opportunity for prospective students to experience all that is on offer.
For further information or to book your place on this trip, please click the link below. Numbers are limited. Registrations close Tuesday 28 March.
Sport and Active Recreation News
Challenge Wanaka Triathlon
Congratulations to the triathlon team of Keira Redden (run), Bailey MacKay (bike) and Billie Druett (swim) who placed 2nd in the U16 Girls Category at Challenge Wanaka last Thursday. An awesome achievement with over 20 U16 girls teams competing.
Several WHS riders represented Otago Southland at the NZ Pony Club Association Championship Week in Gore in January. Congratulations to Jessica Buchanan, Heidi Green, Jessica Downer, Jenna Shefford, Kendra van Leeuwen, Sophie Eade, Libby Smith, and Georgia Dee.
Lewis Laird and Indy Deavoll competed at round 4 of the NZ Downhill series at Cardrona last weekend. Lewis won the U15 Men category and Indy placed 2nd in the U17 Women.
Best of luck to our Senior A Girls, Senior B Girls, and Senior A Boys who are away in Christchurch competing at the Mainland Volleyball Champs from Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th February.
Opportunities to Get Involved
Social summer sport and organisation for winter teams are starting to get underway. Make sure you are on the Google Classroom of any sport you might be interested in getting involved with! Sign up forms and training information has either been posted this week or will be shared shortly. The codes for each Classroom are on the flyer below.
WHS Term 1 Social Sport Opportunities
Mondays: Climbing (break 2 in Gym 1)
Wednesdays: Table Tennis (break 2 in Gym 1)
Wednesdays: Social Volleyball (3.30pm in Pouakai) + Junior Social Touch (3.30pm on WHS fields)
Thursdays: Pickleball (3.30pm in Gym 1)
Sign up forms are on the Google Classrooms and more information will be sent out next week once sign ups close.
Mountain Bike - Marshalls Needed
Queenstown Mountain Bike Club & Ride Coronet Peak are still looking for marshalls on Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th February to assist as marshals at Coronet Peak for the New Zealand Mountain Bike Championships.
Age 15+ All marshals will receive a free day lift pass to use in their own time plus a free packed lunch at the event.
If you would like to have front row seats as a race marshal, please sign the link below and stipulate preference for DH or XC and which day/s times you are available.
If you have a bike this is also handy for moving around the mountain.
In addition, a service letter can be written by the club if any students would like credit for service to the community.
Marshals sign on link:
Keep Us Informed
The Sports Department would love to hear from you if you know of any awesome sporting achievements from our students! Please send through details/results and photos to Sian at email@example.com so we can share and celebrate these as a school.
Support Sport at WHS
Support the team by liking the Wakatipu High School Sports Facebook page. This is the best way to stay up to date with the successes of our athletes and teams and celebrate their great achievements!
Director of Sport
Arts Department News
Out and About
Gigs on the Green
Friday afternoon sees the last of the Gigs on the Green which involves another of WHS Bands - The Raging Rodents. This event starts at about 5pm with The Raging Rodents due to start at around 6pm.
Huge thanks once again to Rockformation and their continued support of our students.
Opera in the Garden rehearsal
Joe Leyden spent last Saturday afternoon with the performers at the Opera in the Garden rehearsal. It was a great experience and huge thanks to Grant and Sharyn Stalker for giving us this opportunity.
WHS Musical 2024
Rehearsals have begun, please refer to the schedule to make sure you attend all rehearsals.
The Schedule for all rehearsals and meetings is in the Hairspray 2024 WHS Musical Classroom Group (pvgr6zm).
Extra/Co Curricular groups
Most of the Arts extra/co groups are underway this coming week and students who signed up for these will be sent details of where and when to meet via the Classroom Groups. There will also be a hard copy in the Music/Drama area for students to check.
Any questions, please contact Alison Price firstname.lastname@example.org
Expo / Performing Arts Classroom Group
The Arts Expo was held on last week, if you missed out on putting your name down on the sign up sheets please have a look at Extra Curricular page for the Classrooms codes: https://www.wakatipu.school.nz/extracurricular.html
There are a variety of groups/activities on offer in the Music department with many running in the long Break. Students need to read the information on the Performing Arts Classroom (code: sijw2gw) for updates on what is happening and when.
Groups will be underway in the next 2-3 weeks with information posted on the Performing Arts Classroom
If you are interesting in joining Jazz Band, Singing Groups, Guitar Groups, Saxophone Groups or any other Musical group make sure you sign up. These Classroom Groups will be up and running over the next week.
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 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 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.