Message from the Principal

E ngā reo, e ngā mana, rau rangatira mā, ngā matā waka, tēnei te mihi nui atu ki ā koutou katoa. Ko te wawata me te tumanako ka noho ora mai koutou katoa.

Firstly, welcome to all students, staff and families to Whakatane High School for the 2021 school year. This year we welcomed 260 Year 9 students, and 9 new staff members. In addition, there are new students at the other school year levels.

Whakatane High School has enjoyed considerable growth over the last few years and this has continued in 2021. In 2021 we will have over 1100 students enrolled in school. This represents a growth of over 350 students in the last four years.

At the centre of what we do is Whakawhanaungatanga this means relationships of care and connectedness. We know that when people have a sense of belonging, identity and feel cared for then this creates a supportive and caring environment where all people can flourish, where students are confident in taking risks and high challenge learning can take place.

We are a learning school, this means we are reflective and responsive. We reflect on what is happening for our young people and their families at school and work deliberately to improve what we do, to challenge ourselves and to grow to be better than before. To ensure that students and parents have a strong connection to the learning taking place, to the experience of school and to each other in our learning community.

We are student centred with a wide range of academic, sports and cultural programmes to provide all of our students with a range of opportunities to ensure they have a rich experience and valued outcomes as a learner at the school. 

As you read this prospectus I hope you get a sense of the innovation and passion we have for learning at our school.  We are a school focused on improving and as we move into 2021, our team will be sharpening its focus on 2022 and working with the community, students and staff to develop a clear vision and set of values that will help guide us into making changes that will future-proof our school and enable our students to achieve and thrive in society.

The school would like to thank our community for their support of the school as witnessed by these growing numbers. The school’s Board of Trustees, however, are looking at how the school can monitor and control so that we do not have roll growth at the expense of the quality of education we offer our students.

This year will see the second year of Bring Your Own Chromebook (BYOC) for all Year 9 students. The school has spent the last 18 months preparing for the initiative as we look to better prepare our students for life in the modern world.  We are signalling that in 2021 we aim to work towards a 1:1 device ratio for all students. Over the last 24 months, staff have had considerable professional development, the school wireless network has been upgraded and we have established an E-Hub to support staff and students to ensure there is an effective and efficient use of this technology. We have also signed an agreement with Bay Trust and First Credit Union to make sure that Chromebooks are accessible for all our families.

2021 promises to be a year of strengthening what we know that works, improving in areas of challenge and setting our sights on the horizon as we look towards 2022 and beyond to ensure we are a leading future-focused school.

Finally, I encourage all families to stay strongly involved in their children’s school. Whakatane High School welcomes this family involvement and we know that a strong relationship between home and school will significantly contribute to student success.

Martyn Knapton

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