WHS Newsletter | Issue 3.06 | 10 September 2021
Kia ora and welcome to the Wakatipu High School newsletter. Given that I have communicated quite a bit recently I will try to be a little shorter today, with my words once again dominated by Covid.
Our return to school has gone very well. The students have been calm and settled - exactly as we had hoped. As well as speaking with students and staff, I have done some laps of the school yesterday and today and things are looking really good with students settled and engaged with their learning. While there is some inertia and weariness from lockdown and the change back to school for some, most students seem pleased to be back. Attendance has been very high - with even students who were not so engaged during lockdown having returned, which is fantastic.
My thanks again to parents for their support of students during lockdown, the challenges of lockdown parenting are well understood now, and we appreciate your efforts. We are keen to get some feedback from students and parents re our lockdown learning so look out for that next week.
You may have seen the announcement yesterday re the update to NCEA ‘lockdown recognition credits’. See below for more on this, although please note that our monitoring and projections suggest that it will apply to relatively few of our students.
Last week I flagged a couple of key things impacted by Covid, including Phase 2 - which I will update when we know more, and of course there are many more issues that we are now dealing with as we return to school. You may have seen in the media that a major issue for secondary schools with lockdown is senior school exams. Schools do need to run these, including because if we are locked down again during the external exam period then school exam grades could be what are used. We have rescheduled ours for Thursday and Friday next week as well as in classes over the next couple of weeks. This is not an ideal time for exams as we typically have internal assessments scheduled during this period, and while some of these can now be moved into the extended Term four for seniors, this situation does create pressure for both students and staff. In terms of that it does mean that next Friday 17th will still be the junior teacher only day that we have during senior exams.
Also re Covid, our Covid Support page is included again below with a range of supports for families and individuals, and do see Lead Prefect Ruby Kirk’s great piece re supporting the vaccine rollout - and a plug to encourage students to play their part in the team of five million and book and get vaccinated.
Completely unrelated to Covid, August is well behind us now so puffer jackets are no longer part of our uniform.
Today is the end of week seven with just three weeks to go in the term. Particularly now that we are out of lockdown they will be important for teaching and learning. With exams next week, seniors do now need to be studying as well as working on any internal assessments they have - planning, priortising and discipline will be key for them to do well. Mr Nathan will be doing the honours on this piece next week.
A mixed spring weekend of weather ahead with tomorrow definitely the day for heading up for a few turns or getting out and about in the wonderful Wakatipu :).
The Covid-19 Support and Wellbeing information sheet below contains active links to contacts and additional resources from various local and national organisations who can help. Please download the PDF document to access the links.
Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group was set up in response to the uncertainty that Covid 19 brings and the subsequent community-wide mental health impacts. Te Hau Toka hopes to build awareness of services that are available, connect people with the support they may need and help them to stay well.
Te Hau Toka has put together this ‘traffic light’ guide (designed to be folded into a brochure) for looking after your wellbeing. It covers tips for what to do in an immediate mental health crisis (red), extra support (orange), and keeping well (green).
WHS Guidelines for Alert Level 2
Learning Recognition Credits - Update
The Ministry of Education and NZQA have released a further update on eligibility criteria for Learning Recognition Credits (LRCs), in which students disrupted by 16 days of COVID-19 lockdown this year will be eligible to receive Learning Recognition Credits (LRCs).
This means that all students at Wakatipu High School will receive LRCs as follows:
- at a rate of 1 LRC per 5 credits achieved through assessment, up to a cap of 8 LRCs at NCEA Level 1, and 6 LRCs and Levels 2 and 3.
The thresholds for being awarded endorsements and University Entrance will remain at their normal levels for students who have not been disrupted by Alert Levels 3 and Level 4 for 20 school days.
Senior Exams will be held on Thursday 16 September and Friday 17 September. The amended timetable has been finalised and sent out to all students. Please click here to view the exam timetable and associated details. Exams for other subject areas will be held on other days during normal timetabled classes. Teachers will communicate with their classes the timing of these.
Morning exams begin at 9:15 am and afternoon exams begin at 1:15 pm. Buses run as normal throughout the Senior Exams. Students should be at school at least 20 minutes prior to their exam.
Students should now be preparing a plan and begin their study. School exams are important for a number of reasons, including for students to practice the art of performing well in an exam environment, and they are used for ‘derived grades’ for the number of students who are always unable to sit external exams at the end of the year due to illness, injury, accident, possible covid disruption, etc. Additionally, these results are used to determine end of year prizes.
Head Student Message
Welcome back to term 3, post lockdown 2.0. I hope you all managed well in your bubbles. While I was locked down I was keeping an eye on our local charitable trust, Mana Tahuna, Who were part of the vaccine roll out in our community. You may have seen or been in the massive lineup of vehicles queuing into the Events Center to receive vaccinations. During one of the busiest days, staff and volunteers as a team managed to vaccinate 514 members of our community before they ran out at the end of the day.
To help make a difference I have started training and will be all hands on for future sessions. If you haven't had a chance to get your vaccination make sure you keep an eye out for me and the team.
Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori!
Next week it will be another year that Māori Language has been celebrated officially since 1975. ‘Kia kaha’ is well understood in New Zealand English with its meaning of ‘be strong’. We often talk about languages as if they are people talking about language health, strength and revitalisation. So when we say ‘Kia kaha te reo Māori’ we’re saying ‘Let’s make the Māori language strong'.
Being a part of this celebration could be as easy as greeting everyone you see with 'Kia Ora', starting your Zoom call with "Mōrena", or adding some Te Reo Māori songs to your playlist. How you do it is up to you, but you can get started with some of these ideas https://www.reomaori.co.nz/ideas
Maori Lead Prefect
Sports News and Information
Sport at Level 2 - Update
Sport NZ recently released their updated information and requirements for sport and active recreation at Alert Level 2 which can be found here: https://sportnz.org.nz/resources/play-active-recreation-and-sport-at-alert-level-2/. We will be in contact with summer sports and teams with specific details in order to get teams training with the correct safety protocols in place. There is a lot of movement with regards to upcoming events on the School Sport NZ calendar and at a regional level. As soon as we receive this information we will be on contact with the relevant coaches and players.
Cycling Schools NZ Skoda Vitual Tour
Zara and Siena Mackley competed in the Cycling Schools New Zealand Skoda Virtual Tour over lockdown. This was a four day event using Zwift, a virtual programme that simulates riding with others using a smart bike trainer. There were four different events held over four days. Each race was capped at 100 riders in each age group, then results were organised by gender then North/South Island. Siena finished second overall in the South Island U15 girls event and Zara finished third in South Island U17 category. Well done girls!
Sport NZ Webinar - What it takes to be a Good Sports Parent
Sport NZ via Balance is Better is running a series of webinars over the coming month and the final one is catering for parents, if you are keen to find out more and sign up to watch the webinar at 7pm on 6th October, please click: https://balanceisbetter.org.nz/webinar/setting-our-kids-up-for-success/
Volleyball - Competitive
The competitive volleyball season is about to get underway and the various teams and training times are outlined below. Year 9 Boys will hopefully get up and running soon. If you are keen to play competitive volleyball, come along to the following training times. Teams will compete at the Southland Volleyball Champs and a Junior Boys and Girls team will be selected to attend South Island Junior Champs in Nelson from 22-24th November.
Year 9 Girls - Wednesday am (7:15am) and Fridays 4:45-6:15pm
Year 10 Boys - Wednesday afterschool and Friday am (7:15am)
Year 10 Girls- Tues am and Thursday afterschool
Senior Girls - Monday am (7:15am) and Friday afterschool
The Queenstown Cricket Club and WHS are hosting a zoom meeting for players and parents on Tuesday evening at 7:30pm to overview the upcoming cricket season and explain how the relationship between club and school cricket works. If you are interested in playing cricket this season, we recommend that you join the zoom meet. A link will be emailed to all those that have signed up for cricket at the expos this year. If you are not on the google classroom but would like to be to receive an invite, please email email@example.com
Social Touch - Term 4 Touch Southland Module
If you are keen to play social touch this summer in the Term 4 Monday night competition at Frankton, get a team sheet by emailing; firstname.lastname@example.org
This year there is Mens, Mixed and Womens grades. You will need 10-12 players, fees will be charged evenly by the numbers in your team. Final date for team entries is Monday Week 10.
Are you a beginner/novice mountain biker that is keen to develop skills and learn how to ride your bike with confidence? This could be to begin to compete in secondary school events or just to enjoy the local trails more. Treadmark is offering a development programme targeted at riders at this level. Please click on the website link for more details: https://www.treadmark.co.nz/coaching Cut off date for sign ups is 15th of September, the programme begins Term 4.
Student Discount on Gondala Season Pass
Any person attending WHS is eligible to purchase a discounted pass. The Season Pass is available at the Bottom Terminal Gondola only and will need to be accompanied by a valid Student ID. The WHS Season Pass is $399.
If you are interested in playing golf this coming summer at a social, development or competitive level and are wanting more information and/or looking to register, please contact Simon Boland at the Wakatipu Junior Golf Club via email: email@example.com.
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.
Director of Sport
Arts News and Information
Success at the Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition
Congratulations to Billie Comer who has won the "2021 Lyric award" for her song "Dance with Me".
The Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition is part of the Play It Strange Trust. This national competition is open to all secondary-aged students and usually has well over 300 entries. There are three main awards: Best Song, Best Lyric and School of the Year.
Billie has had great success in the Play it Strange songwriting competitions this year BUT has gone one better in winning the overall Lyric Award which is extremely prestigious.
Our Lyric Award judge this year was Play It Strange trustee Sonja Hawkins. She had this to say about Billie’s song; 'I choose this song because I felt a real beauty in the words, both in a literal sense and metaphorically. A story of living life, overcoming struggles and love and companionship overriding.’
2022 Musical Auditions
We are now seeking all students who would like to audition for the 2022 WHS musical. Please complete this form. All current WHS students are welcome to audition. No experience is needed.
Cultural Blues Nominations
Nominations are now being taken for our Cultural Blues award. Nominations can be made on behalf of any WHS student who has achieved and/or contributed to a high level in any area of the Arts in 2021. The form can be found on the WHS website or below.
Time to get the creative juices flowing! Entries are invited for the WHS School Magazine Cover Art competition. Work will be accepted on any theme. This competition is open to all students and all forms of original visual art: painting, printmaking, mixed media, photography and digital media. Submit your art to get featured on the cover!
- The theme: Open
- The deadline: Friday 24 September
Submit your Artwork: https://forms.gle/japxp7qtQwVGnNFUA
Branches Trust 'B' Quiz Night
With uncertainty around when we will move to Level 1 we have taken the precaution of changing the date of our upcoming Quiz Night. The new date is Friday November 12. This new date is now at the end of week 4 of Term 4 and it coincides with the Year 10 Branches practice tramp – it will be a very Branches day for our Year 10 families!
Table sizes are now 8 (previously advertised as 6) and will be $200 per table which includes finger food throughout the night. To book a table please email email@example.com and we will revert back with confirmation of your table and bank details for payment. Your ticket will then be emailed to you. We have limited capacity at the Lake Hayes Pavilion so make sure you get in quick!
If you would like to support this event further then please know we are looking for prizes for the silent auction and raffles. We know these are difficult times so anything you can offer would be very gratefully received.