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 2019 school year. This year we welcome 230 Year 9 students, 24 new International students and 10 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 couple of years and this has continued in 2019. In 2019 we will have approximately 950 students enrolled in school. This represents growth of over 200 students in the last four years.

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 introduction 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 a modern world. Over this 18 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 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.

In addition, this year we will be running three Project Based Learning (PBL) classes at Year 9. The Project Based Learning classes will be taught by the same teacher for all core subjects. For some students, having a consistent single teacher to relate to is more effective, particularly as they transition into secondary school life.

This year will see an election for the Whakatane High School Board of Trustees. I would encourage any interested parents to make contact with me, to discuss the role of being a school Trustee.

2019 promises to be a year of great education change. The Ministry of Education is currently carrying out a number of wide ranging reviews and this year we will see the new directions that these reviews propose. It will be an important time of change in our schools.

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.

C.L. Nielsen




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