Newlands College
Newlands College
Newlands College

News from the Desk of the Principal

7 July 2017

Kia Ora Tatou

The term has now drawn to an end and as you would be aware from earlier messages, it has been an extremely busy one. I am sure that all the staff and students are ready for a well-earned break.

The end of the term also marks something of a milestone; my PA Mrs Sandra Wood is retiring after 25 years of service. She has given me and the college invaluable support and her knowledge of the college and community has been truly impressive. Mrs Wood and her husband have some exciting plans for their retirement which include visiting the Arctic Circle and I would like to publically thank her and wish her all the very best.

Interestingly enough the senior management team along with Mrs Wood is celebrating over 120 years' service to Newlands College. There is a lot of institutional and community knowledge here.

At the end of this term Mrs Jane O'Malley also leaves us to join the staff at Wellington Girls College as an ESOL teacher, something of a change from teaching English.

We would also like to congratulate Ms Claire Kersten who is trialling for the New Zealand Silver Ferns Netball team.

On 21 June, the Mayor Justin Lester opened our new artificial turf. It contains 6 netball courts, 6 tennis courts and is marked out for hockey training. It has added considerable value to the college and when the lights are installed in 4 weeks' time, it will add further value to the complex. I would like to thank the following organizations that generously financially supported the College: Lotteries Community Facilities Fund, Pelorus Trust, New Zealand Community Trust, Johnsonville Charitable Trust, Infinity Foundation and the Newlands College Board of Trustees.

I would like to thank Wayne Firmin who blessed the courts for us.

Matariki was celebrated on 28 June. This coincided with the 10th birthday of our Wharekura, ‘Te Ao Marama'. We were very pleased that we could have Lara Anderson our former Art teacher support us. Lara designed the stained glass window, and was able to share with the students the stories that sit in behind it. As part of the celebration a hangi was put down at the Papa Kainga – many thanks to those who helped and a great lunch was enjoyed by all.

I would like to congratulate all of those involved in the Winter Wonder on Tuesday 4 July. This enabled our community to enjoy the arts contribution to the college. There were live performances of drama, music and art displays. It was also very nice to see former students who have pursued their studies at university in these areas, to come back to the school to share their experiences.

It is timely that I have received the following information from the Ministry of Education in regard to the mental health issues that some of our students face.

“The Ministry of Education has asked all schools to let parents know where to find information to support the mental health and wellbeing of their children, and to let you know that the Ministry has recently updated their parents' website with information about where parents can go to for support and advice if they are concerned about their child's mental health. Parents are encouraged to regularly check in with their child about how they are doing and the things going on in their lives. You will find links to organisations you can contact for help and advice if you are concerned about your child on the Ministry of Education's website at“

In addition we have our own guidance network team, and our Guidance Counsellor, Mr Mulholland is available to support students.

I hope that you all have a well-earned break. Winter sports have only about 5-6 weeks to go next term and the senior examinations will start on Friday 25 August.

Nga Mihi Nui

Grant Jones

Newlands College Facebook
Our sports information has also been updated and this can be found at

News from the Desk of the Principal

19 May 2017

Kia Ora Tatou

Last week I attended the production camp to see the progress that the students were making towards getting ready for opening night. While I do not possess any musical skills I was very impressed with what I saw. I believe that the school production “Rock of Ages” will certainly be up there with some of our best. The music also allowed me to revisit my younger years as it is set in the 1980s and I knew all the songs! Tickets are selling out quickly, Friday night is approaching the “wait list” stage so if you are planning on attending I would encourage you to purchase your tickets from cast members of the show and the office as soon as possible.

On a more sombre note, there has been a lot of discussion in the media about the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. This series addresses difficult issues such as bullying, shaming, drunk driving, substance and alcohol abuse, sexual assaults and rape. The lead character, Hannah has her suicide graphically depicted.

The New Zealand Office of Film and Literature created a new Censorship category RP18 to address concerns over the series, issuing an immediate restriction on the show to those under 18 unless they were accompanied by an adult. The authority felt that previous classification distinctions were not appropriate as 16 and 17 were prime ages for teenage suicide.

While many young people are able to distinguish between TV drama and real life, engaging in thoughtful conversations about suicide is vital. Ask your son/daughter if they have seen the series, it will take a while for them to process it, and ask if they have any questions about it. Listen to your children's comments without judgement. This will require you to put aside your own agenda and listen very carefully. If they start to exhibit warning signs such as suicide threats, do not be afraid to ask them about it. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea.

Unfortunately the series does not talk to the underlying causative factors that may lead a teenager to think about taking their life, like depression and anxiety, and a great question for parents to ask of their teenagers is, “where is your mood at the moment on a 1 to 10 scale?” Scaling questions such as these give you an excellent snapshot of where their current mood is at which can be an excellent spring-board to start these sorts of conversations.

If you have any concerns our Guidance Counsellor is available for comment, or there are a variety of specialist agencies that can be contacted and these are listed below. I understand that there is a second series being filmed.

  • Suicide Prevention Helpline: 0508 TAUTOKO (0508 828 865)
  • Lifeline New Zealand 0800 543 354
  • Youthline 0800 376 633
  • Rape Crisis 0800 883 300
  • Depression Helpline 0800 111 757

The winter sports programme is now well underway. I have discussed with our Sports Director, Mr Graham Witts several important aspects of our sports practice and procedures, which you will need to be aware of.

The Annual Report to the Community from the Board of Trustees is also available here to see.

I look forward to seeing you at the production.

14 June 2017

Kia Ora Tatou

It has been a full on last couple of weeks with students participating in a wide variety of activities. The much mentioned Rock of Ages played in front of full houses for each of its performances. We have received many complimentary thank you e-mails and the students are very proud of the final product that they brought to the stage. students could once again have such a fabulous experience. Staff involved were: Jerome Cargill as the Director, David Pegram as the Producer, Anthony Lander as the Music Director and many more. I would like to publically thank all of those staff involved so that our students could once again have such a fabulous experience.

Quickly after the school production we held our school ball at Te Papa. While school balls are quick to draw media attention for all the wrong reasons, I am very pleased that once again our ball was a fabulous night out. The students looked stunning, with every one having a lot of fun.
The venue enhanced the evening and the numerous staff that attended had a great night out. I would like to extend my thanks to Deb Mills, Kirsty Hall and the ball committee for putting such a great evening together.

Recently a group of our Year 10 students visited Wellington hospital to get an appreciation of all the services that it offers. The students spent time cultivating bacteria, learning how to read x-rays, studying different parts of the body, and learning about different care strategies that can be used to help those who are ill. It was a wonderful opportunity for the students especially if they are considering pursuing a career in the field of health.

On Thursday 15 June we are holding our ‘School in Action' morning and this will be followed on by an Open Evening. This is an ideal opportunity for anyone considering sending their son or daughter to the college to get a better sense of what it has on offer.

The School in Action starts at 9.15 am with families being met in the hall by student guides. The Open Evening will begin at 6.00 pm in the Hall followed by a tour of the school.

The enrolment timeline is as follows:

  • All interviews for in-zone enrolments are to be completed by 30 June 2017. Please ring to make an appointment time. Dates for interviews are:
  • Monday 19 June: 8.30 am – 7.00 pm
  • Tuesday 20 June: 8.30 am – 7.00 pm
  • Wednesday 21 June: 8.30 am – 7.00 pm
  • Thursday 22 June: 8.30 am – 3.30 pm
  • Friday 23 June: 8.30 am – 3.30 pm

Year 9 Out of Zone Enrolments

Written completed applications to be received by 31 July 2017
Ballot held on 11 August 2017
Parents notified on 16 August 2017

Please also be aware that Parent/Teachers evenings are coming up on Thursday 22 June and Monday 26 June from 4.00-6.25 pm. Bookings can be made electronically and this information has already been advised to you.

Nga Mihi Nui

Grant Jones

Term 1 Review 2017
Newlands College Facebook
Our sports information has also been updated and this can be found at





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