Our Story

Whakatane High School has a proud 99 year history as a co-educational public high school. We support a roll of over 950 students and offer every student an equal opportunity to succeed with strong values around responsibility, respect and achievement.

Whakatane is located in the sunny Bay of Plenty region on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Our climate is mild, allowing for year round enjoyment of beautiful Ohope Beach - a ten minute drive from Whakatane High School.

Whakatane has a population of around 19,000 people. We’re conveniently located within about an hours drive to Tauranga and Rotorua, and only four hours drive to Auckland.

The Whakatane High School International Student Programme offers an excellent education to around 35 visiting students currently. We welcome students from all over the world. The majority of our international students come from Europe, with some also visiting from Asia and the Americas. Our school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for International Students. Students stay with approved host families who care for them like their own children.

If you join us, you will study six subjects from this list: English, Mathematics (with Statistics or with Calculus), Science (Marine Studies, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Horticulture), History, Business Studies, Economics, Physical Education, Outdoor Education, Digital Technology, Food Technology, Textile Technology, Wood Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Product Development, Early Childhood Studies, Tourism, Languages, Hospitality, Music and Visual Art (Design, Painting, Photography) and Drama.

Marine Studies is a unique subject, offered by very few schools in New Zealand. Whakatane High School allows international students the opportunity to participate in the programme where they will study the ocean, marine plants and creatures. Students are expected to complete a PADI Scuba Diving Certificate as the class participates in several diving and snorkelling expeditions, including a visit to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, in Australia.

Another popular subject with international students is Outdoor Education. Students participate in a variety of sporting excursions such as; surfing, white water rafting, mountain biking, walking in the natural environment, kayaking, skiing and snowboarding.

Students also have the opportunity to join extracurricular activities such as; vocal or instrument lessons, team sports such as; hockey, soccer, rugby, basketball, volleyball, cricket, tennis, netball etc. Whakatane High School has a successful sporting history with current and alumni New Zealand sporting representatives.

Enrol now by contacting the Whakatane High School International Student Programme Director, Sue Whale at: sue.whale@staff.whs.co.nz or +64 7 308 8251 x 746. Mobile: + 64 (0) 27 779 9447.

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Term dates

2019 Term dates

Term 1 - Wednesday 30 January - Friday 12 April
Term 2 - Monday 29 April - Friday 05 July
Term 3 - Monday 22 July - Friday 27 September
Term 4 - Monday 14 October - Tuesday 10 December