June 2022

23 June 2022

"Ahakoa he iti he pounamu"

 (although it is small, it is a precious greenstone) ,

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

This morning I arrived at the school at 6:00am along with approximately 150 staff, students and whānau so that we could celebrate Matariki.  The fire was lit, the karakiha were delivered and the speakers were supported with carefully selected waiata.  It was a special occasion, a time of reflection for the year that has passed, a time to remember those that have passed and a time to contemplate the year ahead for us. Matariki holds a special place in our school as it brings as all together for a single purpose.  As Whea Tehani said,

 “We Ngā Pou o Te Ao Mārama would like to thank you all for your contributions, big or small, to Te Ao Māori over the last year and beyond. Like the whakataukī "Ahakoa he iti he pounamu" (although it is small, it is a precious greenstone) , every little bit of effort contributes to the fabric of who we are as a kura and to the elevation of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga. For our ākonga Māori, this does not go unnoticed.

Matariki is a time for us to celebrate.

Matariki can be seen in the centre of the photo above the treeline.

On 11 June we were able to celebrate one of the social highlights of the school year, the ball.  Once again we were at Te Papa and this is a superb venue for such a celebration. Unfortunately, some staff and students missed out because of COVID-19, but over 340 students were able to attend.  It was a fantastic night, enjoyed by all with many photos being taken to record the event. 


Year 11 students can look forward to their semi-formal towards the end of Term 3.

Earlier this week we held the Business Challenge for 80 Year 11 students who take commerce.  The students were provided with mentors and they had to develop a product from its inception through to presenting the idea and business plan to an external panel of business people.  The teams were marked on a range of criteria and this year, the winning team consisted of Bayley Puha-Harris: CEO, Terupe Raka, Charlotte Conder, Sonali Sagar, Jared Young, Jordan May, Dhruti Keshaboina, Paphada Suphachaisakhon & Fien Verhoeven, and the project they developed was called O-Bags which seeks to reimagine the backpack market by making it more sustainable and improving the user experience. This is an excellent example of students learning in a context.


Anush Goel has spent much of this year on a special project, bringing a Ted-X conference to the college.  Anush with a group of supporters arranged for student speakers across Wellington to present their ideas to an audience of 150 spectators on 2 June.  Unfortunately, our own speaker, Russell Gill was not able to attend because of illness.  However, Russell presented their speech at an assembly and it was both well-constructed and thought provoking. Anush is to be congratulated on producing such a quality event.


There is now only two weeks to go before the end of the term.  Next week most of our Year 10 students will be attempting the Literacy CAA (Common Assessment Activity).  This is a high stakes examination that will be held in the hall. Successful students will be able to gain credits towards the new literacy requirements for NCEA Level 1. Next year Numeracy testing will be introduced in the same way.  The changes to NCEA are now well underway.  The term will conclude with our Lyp Sync competition.

I would like to wish you all the best for the inaugural Matariki public holiday tomorrow.

Ngā manaakitanga

Grant Jones

May 2022

23 May 2022

Ko te pae tawhiti,

whāia kia tata; ko te pae tata,

whakamaua kia tīna

(Seek out distant horizons and cherish those you attain)

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

We are now four weeks into term 2 and with the month of June just around the corner winter will be upon us.  The winter term is always interesting, firstly for obvious reasons, the weather is at its worst.  For schools, this means students spending most of their time indoors, students often coming to school wet, (please ensure that your student has a plain black jacket to keep dry), and a significant amount of uninterupted teaching and learning occurs.  For our senior students this will mean that their assessment load will increase and there is an opportunity for many students to gain quite a few credits towards their NCEA through internal assessments.

Term 2 is also a lot shorter than the previous term being only ten weeks long. With Queens Birthday being June 6 and a mid-term break on June 7 students will have the opportunity to take a mini-break and have time to get over the winter illnesses and COVID-19  that are prevalent at this time of the year. Matariki on June 24 will also provide another welcomed break.  While planning for Matariki is still in the early stages, we will probably celebrate it in similar ways as we have in the past, a pre-dawn ceremony on June 23, followed by breakfast and the science department providing telescopes for students, staff and whānau to explore the night sky.  More information will be provided shortly.

Another good thing about term 2 is that winter sport has begun in earnest with the bulk of most competitions being played.  At the moment many of our teams are still playing through grading rounds which can produce some lopsided results.  However, these results should even out over the next few weeks as grading is completed. More information can be found at https://sports.newlands.school.nz/

We have had some changes to our staffing.  Ms Te Morenga (Careers) has left teaching. Her replacement, Ms Valder will begin on June 13.  Mr Corbett (English) also leaves teaching and will be replaced by Ms Leigh and the transition will be seamless.  Mr Witts our Sports Director finishes on Friday after 10 years of service.  We are currently interviewing for a replacement.  I would like to wish them all the best in their new careers.

The college will be hosting a TED-X conference which will be organised and run by our students.  Please see their message below,

Kia Ora!


TEDxYouth@Paparangi - Newlands’ very own TEDx event! The student-led event committee has been working hard to bring this to the community, and we’re excited to announce that tickets are on sale now. For it, we’ve brought together an amazing set of youth speakers, youth agencies and organisations, sharing their ideas under this year’s theme “Through My Eyes”. The event is scheduled for Wednesday 1st of June from 530pm onwards in the Newlands College hall.


We believe that this is a fantastic opportunity for students to network and connect, be inspired and most importantly, learn how they can make an impact on the future. Tickets are reasonably priced at $15 dollars and are great value, covering both admission as well as light food and beverages. A great evening out for the whole family!

Tickets are for sale via eventbrite.co.nz (search Tedxyouth@paparangi) and please check out our website at www.tedxyouthpaparangi.com and follow us on social media.

The TEDxYouth@Paparangi Organising Committee

If you have visited the College recently you would have noticed that a lot of property development work has taken place. Currently the new staffroom and guidance centre is well underway and is due for the completion at the end of the year, or early next year.  Also, a lot of groundwork are being completed after the demolition of the Library.  A separate project to modernize the top of A Block is also underway.  However, there is some new development that will affect the planning of our next phase of work.  More information can be found in the attached doc on this page. 

There are some key dates coming up that I would like you to be aware of please:

6 June          Queens Birthday

7 June          Mid-Term Break

12 June        Year 12 & Year 13 School Ball

15 June        School in Action for Year 9 students enrolling in 2023

15 June        Open Evening for 2023 Enrollments

23 June        Matariki Celebration (Pre-Dawn)  

24 June        Matariki Public Holiday

All the best

Ngā manaakitanga

Grant Jones

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