Newlands College
Newlands College
Newlands College

Principal's News Archive

First Message

Kia Ora

I would like to welcome you to the first ‘Message from the Desk of the Principal' for 2016. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to all parents and caregivers who have children in the College for the first time.

Communications with our families and whanau are extremely important. These messages are provided on the website fortnightly, and we advise parents of them by e-mail. In addition parents and caregivers can find important information specific to their own student(s) through the parent portal. This information will include: attendance, timetable, invoice for costs, and personal details. The students' progress is also reported through the portal, subject by subject as significant pieces of work are completed. This will occur at least once a term. In this way you will receive regular feedback. All students will also receive an engagement report. This is a snapshot of how things have been going, based on a 1 to 3 scale and are published fortnightly. The first of these will be coming out in the middle of the term. The portal is password protected and you will have received your password by now. If you have any difficulties with your password, please contact my P.A. Sandra Wood at

Last year's students have now received their NCEA results, and while there is still an opportunity for students to gain additional credits, the College has a picture of how well the students achieved this year. I am always reluctant to discuss specific percentages as there are so many variables that influence the results that are beyond our control. An example of this is that international students who returned home in August and did not sit the examinations, are still included in the results. However for the sake of transparency, our results were:

  • Level 1 86%
  • Level 2 85%
  • Level 3 84%
  • University Entrance 68%

These were all above national averages. While the numbers are small (which make percentages meaningless) I am pleased that all of our Maori students who left at the end of Year 13 had achieved at least NCEA Level 2 or better, and 90% of our Pasifika students had achieved NCEA Level 2 or better.

Once again our Year 9 students were inducted into the college by attending a Peer Support Camp held at El Rancho. This is the 40th Camp that we have held there and this year there were 160 Year 9 students plus 62 Year 13 students. The activities included horse-riding, tubing, swimming, archery and lots of initiative activities. One of the main goals of the camp was for students to transition seamlessly and start to understand what Newlands College is all about. Upon their return the students were then formally welcomed with a powhiri on Tuesday 9 February.

School Bus Services Review - Advance Warning

We have been advised by the Greater Wellington Regional Council that the school bus operated by Newlands Bus Company departing at 3.15 pm into Courtney Place after school will be discontinued from 2 May 2016 (Term 2). As the bus usually carries less than 10 students this should not cause too much of an inconvenience. For affected families there are two alternative routes on public bus number 52:

  • From Newlands College bus stop to Courtenay Place - Route 52 at 3.35 pm
  • From Newlands College bus stop to Johnsonville - Route 52 at 3.13 pm and 3.33 pm.

Our BYOD programme has now been introduced to all year levels and so far there have been few complications. Some parents though would still like some more information about the types of devices that are best suited to the classroom. This can be found on the website at E-Learning

Finally I have been encouraging the students to become involved in co-curricular activity. The summer sports programme is getting underway, with cricket and dragonboating already started as well as auditions for the school production Hairspray. This is a good time to get involved.

I will keep you informed of what is happening in the College as the year progresses.

Second Message

'24 March 2016

The Easter break has now arrived and it has been a full on term so far. We have virtually wrapped up our summer sports programme, with just a few events still running during tournament week which starts on 4 April. The students have had some considerable successes during the season and I would encourage you all to use the link below that takes you to our sports site. Winter sport is now being planned and the season gets underway at the start of next term.

I would like to congratulate Amanda Stone who has been selected for this year's New Zealand Secondary Schools' Symphony Orchestra. Amanda will be participating in an intense six-day orchestral course, run by the Christchurch Forte Team of Itinerant Music Teachers (an attached unit of Hagley College) in the second week of the school holidays, which will culminate in two public performances.

On Monday this week we held a Year 9 Parents Evening that enabled us to have conversations with the parents of our students who are new to our school. We found the evening invaluable and we spent some time talking about active learning. In newsletters last year I described what active learning was and the reasons why we think it is appropriate for our students to engage with this learning style. I have included the link that I used last year which explains active learning for you. (NB. The clip refers to student–centred learning, this phrase is interchangeable with active learning).

Active Learning

We will begin active learning on Mondays during form class time. Students will be in form classes or mentoring groups, where they will design and develop a project that they are passionate about and carry it through to fruition. A possible example is three students explore a complex problem or question like 'how can dance be used to show emotion?' through a dance performance for our students in the Learning Support Centre, which will be performed as part of the school show, Hairspray. The programme will run through to early Term 3 and as part of this there will be a one day and a two day time allocation when the students are off timetable. We have engaged an external researcher to evaluate the programme's effectiveness and we are interested in feedback from parents, students, and staff.

Over the years I have seen a growth in support for the celebration of ANZAC day. I see the day as a significant part of our history, and for me, marks the time when we as a country lost our innocence, and started on the road to autonomy. ANZAC is being celebrated in Johnsonville and I am happy to share the following public notice:

The Johnsonville RSA ANZAC Day service is on Monday 25 April 2016. We would like to invite you to be part of the ANZAC day commemorations by joining in the parade which assembles at 9.15 am in Burgess Rd (by KFC) and starts marching at 9.30 am to the Salvation Army Johnsonville at 125-137 Johnsonville Road. The service at the Salvation Army, Johnsonville starts at 10.00 am and concludes at 11.00 am with refreshments.

I would like to wish you all the best for the Easter Break, and I look forward to seeing the students back in school on Thursday 31 March.

Nga mihi nui

Grant Jones

Additional information about what's been happening in the college can be found at publicity. It's well worth a read. Our sports information has also been updated and this can be found at





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