WHS Newsletter | Issue 1.0 | 29 January 2021
Kia ora - a very warm welcome to the first Wakatipu High School newsletter of 2021! An especially warm welcome to parents of our new Year 9s and other students starting at WHS today. It has been a very good day here with the Year 9s and other new students, beginning with a mihi whakatau to welcome them this morning and then the rest of the day for them to learn their way around and meet their teachers. The Year 9s are always delightful in their new uniforms with their mix of excitement and nerves. Big thanks to all the Year 9 parents who came along to my session and the BBQ this afternoon - it was great to see such an awesome turnout.
2020 Academic Results - once again our students have done very well academically. When we consider the impact of Covid on the year, including being locked-down and away from school and remote teaching and learning for two months, we are absolutely delighted with our students’ achievements.
As a school we work very hard to support our students to achieve their ‘best qualification possible’ (BQP) - to give them as many options and opportunities as possible for their futures, which feels even more important than normal at this time. Below are our key results:
University Entrance (UE) - is again the highlight of our results, and given the impact of Covid on both 2020 and the future, that our leavers have done so well is fantastic for them and their futures. Approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of our students go on to tertiary study and so UE is a critical qualification for those students and their families.
Our target was again ambitious, for 114 of our Year 13 students (ie 76%) to achieve UE. I am very pleased to report that currently 122 students (ie 79%) have achieved UE (this number will increase over the next few weeks, and could even get to 80%) - this is an outstanding result for those students and their futures (and will again be high nationally).
A point re UE is that there are students who do not intend to do tertiary study, but in the spirit of BQP this is a great qualification for our young people to have in 2021, and of course some of them change their minds!
NCEA Level 2 - is a significant qualification which is regarded nationally as very important for young people and their futures, and accordingly it has considerable emphasis from the MoE, schools, students and parents. We currently have 146 students, 91%, who have achieved NCEA Level 2 - another fantastic result.
NCEA Level 2 Endorsed with Excellence - particularly for those with tertiary aspirations, this is an important achievement that can yield significant financial scholarships and support entry into courses and Halls of Residence. Currently 32 students (ie 20% of Year 12 students) have achieved this - a great achievement, and the result of real commitment by those students.
Particularly given the Covid context, these are fantastic results. I do want to acknowledge our students and their efforts to achieve so well. I think sometimes people do not realise just how hard so many of our students work and my congratulations go to each and every one of them for achieving so well. My thanks also go to our staff for their efforts to support our students to learn, progress and achieve. Last year had its challenges for staff, but the combination of our internal systems to track and monitor students and the efforts of staff who worked tirelessly to support students were important contributors to our students’ success. Scholarship results are due out next week, we’ll keep you posted.
Phase 2 - is the planned expansion of the capacity of WHS from 1200 to 1800, and this project is now well and truly underway. There are three parts to the expansion - the new NE and SE wings and the new Gym. In addition, two areas of the current building are going to have modifications - Technology, downstairs on the Southside; and Performing Arts, upstairs on the Southside. The new areas of the expansion will be completed at the end of Terms 1 and 2 next year and the end of next year respectively, and the modifications of the current building are going to be done during Term 4 this year and Term 2 next year respectively.
The project, including being in a construction zone, will pose some challenges for us in a range of ways over the next two years. The temporary classrooms on the NE corner of our site are an important part of the project in that, while they are not part of the expansion itself, we have lost access to the four learning commons on the eastern ends of our building (where the NE and SE extensions are going) and will lose other parts of the building when they do the internal modifications, and so the temporary classrooms will be important teaching spaces for the next 18 months. As per the Facebook post on Wednesday, the temporary classrooms are very good. They are brand new, modern ILE classrooms, with a combination of ‘Quads’ (ie space for four classes, into which we expect to normally only put three classes), Doubles and two single classrooms, as well as teacher workspaces. Maths and Languages as well as some other classes are based in the temporary classrooms this year.
As I said to the Year 9 parents this afternoon, as a school we have a solid track-record of continuing to offer our great all-round education through periods of challenge and change (such as the move to the new school three years ago, and Covid last year) and we will continue to work hard to ensure that we do that again over the next two years.
WHS App - as we get the year underway please do ensure you’ve got the WHS App on your devices (see below for more), and follow our Facebook page for all the action at WHS.
There is a big newsletter below with all sorts of info - from reminders and links on things like uniform, buses, lockers and parking, to articles on the Stars peer mentoring programme and updates on Sports and Arts. Below is also a piece on our Awhi (financial assistance) Fund - please see below for more. From next week I will cover some of the strategic priorities that we have for this year, including Wellbeing and a boys pilot programme.
We are looking forward to getting the year underway with all students back to school on Monday. Next week is a big week with school photos on Thursday (perfect full school uniform required) and Participation Day on Friday - exciting times!
A nice weekend of weather ahead, enjoy :)
On Monday we will be using Ako time as an opportunity to check the uniform for all students. Details around uniform, including the uniform shop, can be found here. The website also lists the variations in rules around wearing the blazer in February and the tie for junior students. Both the tie and blazer are compulsory uniform items and need to be worn on formal occasions even in February, such as the upcoming House Pounamu Assemblies in Week 3.
We are aware of some delay in uniform items arriving from the supplier. Students can get a uniform pass from their Kaiārahi in the meantime.
As with each year, there is a settling period with the school buses and some adjustments may be made in the first few weeks as GoBus work through the numbers on each route; we will communicate any changes with you.
Unfortunately, despite our efforts, the Ministry is not going to be altering the primary transfer bus system for 2021, meaning the buses will be departing school at the same times as last year. We have been advised that the wait time is not dissimilar to many Ministry bus services around the country.
On Monday, students will check their allocated bus route/s and these will be printed onto the student’s ID cards. The Ministry only provides the service to get from home to school and back again, so students must only travel on the route allocated to them. They cannot travel on other buses to get to sport, friends’ houses, work, etc as there is simply no capacity to carry them and buses end up overloaded.
Students have also read through the expectations for their behaviour on buses. Students can be stood-down from using the buses either temporarily or permanently if they do not adhere to these expectations.
Please see the buses section of the school website for more information and the school bus timetables, but as noted above, these may change over the next few weeks.
2021 Stationery requirements are available for ordering online via the stationery link on our website. This is a quick, easy and affordable way of ordering your student's stationery with convenient delivery to your home.
We still have a small number of lockers available for students in 2021. Lockers are available for hire for the duration of the school year and locker hire includes a padlock, which is provided. We currently have small and medium lockers still available at the following prices:
Students who wish to hire a locker should visit our Student Services desk, or requests for lockers can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
School Operations - important information for parents
Welcome to the 2021 school year. This section contains some important information about school operations. Parents of new students in particular need to review, but there's some good reminder information for everyone.
Parents should not park in the staff and student car parks at any time during school hours (9am - 3.30pm) as these parks are for permit holders only. Parking enforcement applies and unauthorised vehicles will be ticketed. There are approx 25 visitor parks available at the front entrance to the school. There are a number of public car parks available within a 1 block radius of the school with 2 hours free parking, if you are coming to the school for an event - these should be where you park.
As there is insufficent parking available at school for all the students who drive, the school has negotiated a discounted $2 per day parking rate for students (and staff) at the Public Car Park near Game Over/Red Barn. Note that only Year 13 students will be issued with parking permits to park onsite but it is 'first in, first served' and they should register for the discounted public parking as a back up. Students can register for this at Student Services.
Did you know you can pre-pay and load money on your student’s Student ID card for purchasing food at the school cafe?! You can eliminate the need to send your student with cash, or having to put money in a bank account that could then be used anywhere for anything.
To load money onto their Student ID card, you can pay at school via cash/efpos etc or pay online (reference is the Student ID number on their ID card and “cafe” eg 15632 cafe). If you have questions please email email@example.com.
Students can beat the queues at the cafe by pre-ordering online. Food must be ordered by 9am for same day pick up. Pre-ordered food is picked up from the Cafe Cart at Break time. Students and parents can pre-order here; https://whs-cafe.myshopify.com/
Picking up and dropping off your student(s)
QLDC have CCTV monitoring the bike lane/bus stop outside the school on Red Oaks Drive directly in front of the school. QLDC advises: “The cameras have been installed to monitor the area for vehicles that stop, stand or park on broken yellow lines or in bus stops, vehicles that double park and other offences under the Land Transport Act 1998.” We would therefore encourage you to continue to use the drop-off areas within the school site for dropping off and picking up students.
School hours and school security
The school building is open from 7.45am - 4.00pm on school days. Any students arriving before or after these times must only be at school for a supervised activity. Any unsupervised students remaining in the building at 4.00pm will be requested to leave when the onsite facility team do their daily lock up. Students cannot stay at school waiting for other activities (eg Kip McGrath) after 4.00pm unless they are participating in a supervised activity. Options available to students include the QLDC Frankton Library at Remarkables House which is open until 5.30pm and "The Loft" at the Wakatipu Youth Trust across the road on Red Oaks Drive . The Youth Trust Drop-In is open from 3.15pm - 6pm Monday to Friday - www.wakatipuyouthtrust.co.nz/programmes/the-loft/
We are aware that the costs associated with commencing and attending secondary school can be challenging for families, and as a school we offer financial assistance for families to support all of our students to access our great all-round education. Below is information about how to access our financial assistance as well as support offered by another agency.
WHS Awhi Fund - Our Awhi (‘support’) Fund, which is generously funded primarily by the Wakatipu High School Foundation, provides financial support for students and families for a range of school-related costs including uniforms, educational assessments, trips and some extra-curricular activities. The level of support is usually to a maximum of 50%, but depends on what the support is for and individual circumstances. While there are several steps for approval, the process is as quick and confidential as we can make it. NB there is strictly no retrospective funding - requests must be processed and approved before any activities or payments are made.
WHS BYOD Awhi - WHS is a BYOD (bring your own device) school and all students are required to bring a device to school from the start of the year (our website has more information including specifications).
To make a request for either general or BYOD financial support, please see our website for more information; contact one of our Guidance Counsellors or click here to complete an online Application Form.
Birthright - is a community welfare organisation that believes that children of one-parent families are entitled to the same “birthright” as other children. Birthright supports uniform and camps for single parent families. Caregivers need to put in an initial registration and then request specific funding in writing in advance. Application forms are available from a Guidance Counsellor.
Please note that the key contacts re the Awhi Fund or other support are our Guidance Counsellors, Ms Vicki Patton (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Mr Christopher Tweddell (email@example.com).
Stars Peer Mentoring Programme
This past Wednesday, all of the Year 12 and Year 13 Peer Mentors for 2021 came into school to train for this year’s STARS Programme, in preparation to work with the Year 9s. We worked through and learnt new activities and games to utilise, as well as many skills that will assist us throughout the year. Through all of this, we were also able to learn more about our fellow peers and the people we will be working with.
Overall, this was a very successful and fun day and an excellent start to the 2021 STARS Programme.
Today was another great day for the STARS Programme. On their first day of school, the Year 9s got to meet their Year 12 and 13 Peer Mentors. Everyone participated in an amazing race around the school to get to know each other in a fun and engaging way. We are all looking forward to the year ahead!
STARS/Peer Mentor Lead Prefect
We have updated our communications system and have a great new app. Please ensure you (all parents, caregivers and students) have download it to your device as this is how we will communicate school alerts, student notices and our weekly newsletter. The app also features a new absence form, the online school cafe shop, a calendar and some handy links!
A reminder also for students to also check the Student Noticeboard regularly.
Extracurricular Expo - Tuesday 16 February
The annual Expo showcasing all of the awesome extracurricular opportunities at WHS is on Tuesday 16 February at Break 2. All sporting opportunities will be in the Stadium and all arts, cultural, academic and leadership activities can be found in the Theatre.
Participating in extracurricular activities at WHS is highly valued and beneficial and the Expo is the best chance for you to get involved and contribute to the wider life of the school, make friends and stay connected. There is something for everyone!
To check out what is on offer prior to the expo and signing up, you can find more details on the school website: www.wakatipu.
Year 9 Greenstone Camp
The set time for this long running Year 9 Outdoor Educational experience is: 27 February to 9 March. Students will attend their camp period (3 days and 2 nights) according to their House Whanau.
Here are these dates to assist with your planning:
Hay House Camp = 27, 28 February, 1 March
McKenzie House Camp = 1, 2, 3 March
Arthur House Camp = 3, 4, 5 March
Duncan House Camp = 5, 6, 7 March
Fox House Camp = 7, 8, 9 March
We prefer all students to attend the camp of their allocated House. However if there is an issue with these set dates, please contact me as soon as possible. More information and parental consent forms will be sent out next week. A parent information evening will occur on Wednesday, 10 February, 7 - 8.30pm in the Theatre.
2021 WHS Musical - Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities
WHS is excited to announce that this year’s Musical is Grease! Set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School, Grease follows ten working-class teenagers as they navigate the complexities of peer pressure, politics, personal core values and love. The Musical will run from the 24th to the 27th of March in our theatre.
Our musicals are fantastic shows with wonderful opportunities for our students, but significant undertakings to put on. Because of their popularity with students, families and the local community they provide a great opportunity for the community to support our students.
Businesses or families can sponsor the musical, please click here for options and details. Businesses can also advertise in the musical programme - a great way to support the musical and promote your business at the same time! Advertising includes a range of options, each with complimentary Thursday night tickets, please click here for options and details. As always we are very appreciative of other support including supplies and paint, props, costumes, makeup, as well as adult support for the various production crews.
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!
Desperately seeking English novels!
It's time to dig into the bottoms of school bags, and check those piles of books by the bed for ANY Wakatipu High School English texts. The English teachers would really appreciate the prompt return of all novels so we can put together class sets for this year. Topping up these sets is costly, and therefore the replacement cost for unreturned books from 2020 will be charged to student accounts in the coming weeks.
Ms Jennifer Smart
HoLA English & Media Studies
Gibbston Valley Concert
Well done to Haven who were one of the warm-up acts for the Gibbston Valley concert last weekend. It was a polished and professional performance which showcased their skills to an appreciative audience. The line-up included Ryan Connaghan, Harrison Maguire, Tyrone Henderson and Harry Thomas. Thanks to Rockformation for once again enabling this opportunity for our students.
Village Green Concerts
These concerts start this Friday afternoon 29 January and feature a number of present and ex WHS music students. They are opportunities for our musicians to play in an informal and relaxed setting. Thanks once again to Rockformation for setting these up and providing the gear.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be organising the itinerant music lessons as well as all the extra-curricular music groups that we offer at WHS. information will be sent out to parents of our new Y9 cohort while our current Year 10-13 students will have this information shared in class.
Sports News and Information
Sammy Fookes wins Gold
Year 11 student Sammy Fookes went one better than 2019 to win gold in the Junior Girls 800m event at the New Zealand Secondary School Athletic Champs in Tauranga in December. This is a remarkable achievement for Sammy, her coach Neville Britton and Wakatipu High School. Congratulations on holding a New Zealand Athletics title Sammy, we are very proud of you!
Jude Deaker also performed well qualifying for the Junior Boys 1500m final, finishing 12th. Jude has two more years in this division which is exciting.
Former Year 13 student Jackson Rogers finished 10th in the Senior Boys High Jump, an awesome achievement as he only picked up the sport last year.
Well done to all seven WHS athletes who competed at the nationals.
Get2Go Dream Team Selection
The Wakatipu High School Get2Go Challenge team competed in the national finals on Great Barrier Island for the first time in early December. The team finished 9th out of 12 schools from around NZ. A huge congratulations to Tom Schenk who was one of eight students to be selected into the Get2Go Dream Team at the end of the event and was named as captain. Great stuff Tom!
Queenstown Schools Cricket Carnival
The 5th annual Queenstown Schools Cricket Carnival ran from the 18th-21st January in less than ideal weather conditions. The WHS 1st XI was one of 10 teams competing from around the South Island. The team finished up second behind Timaru Boys. Highlights were a good win over Otago Boys in a T20 match that saw CJ Kemp score 96 and Toby Hart had the second best bowling stats with 5-10. A huge thanks to Russell Mawhinney and the organising committee that provide this opportunity for our cricketers.
What's Coming Up?
The annual whole school Participation Day is next Friday 5th February. This awesome all day event kicks off the 2021 house competition and is a great day to celebrate house and school pride, dress up, have fun and be active. Please ensure that students have plenty to eat, drink and are sun safe as it is a full on day outside. Who will be this year's house march champion??
Extra-Curricular Expo - Let's get into it!
This year's expo will be held on Tuesday 16th February at Break 2 and all sports will be in the stadium. This is the best and most effective way to sign up for sport at WHS. Before you commit pen to paper though please check out the details of each sport in terms of pathways, competitions, dates, length of season etc. Once you are signed up to a sport you will be communicated with via email with more details related to the sport and invited to join that sports google classroom. Lots of sports have different pathways i.e performance, development, social - so there is something for everyone!
Otago/Southland MTB Champs
If you are keen to compete for WHS in the Otago/Southland MTB Champs on Sat 20th/Sunday 21st Feb in Dunedin, please complete the online entry form and payment here: https://mountainbikingotago.co.nz/events/2021-otago-southland-school-champs/ Please email Mrs Nathan: email@example.com if you are entering.
Otago/Southland Waterski Champs
The annual waterski champs are being held on Sunday 21st February. Please email Matua Brad: firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 9th February to enter.
WHS Sports Hoody Order 2021
This year there will be one sports hoody order being placed each term. The date each order closes is below. The WHS sports hoody is the outer garment for sports teams which is worn to games/tournaments and can also be worn for PE classes. It is not limited to sports and anyone can order one, however they are not a school uniform item and cannot be worn around school during the school day.
Term 1 - 12th March
Term 2 - 28th May
Term 3 - 20th August
Term 4 - 29th October
If you would like to order a school sports hoody please click this link: https://forms.gle/bRoaZ95YZZgzQ7qk6
If your child would like to size up a hoody before placing an order, they can pop into the sports office and try one on. Hoodies are $70.00 and will be charged to school accounts.
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/