December 2022

9 December 2022

He maonga āwhā

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

The whakatauki that I used at the Junior Prize giving translates as, “the calm after the storm”. I chose this whakatauki as the last three years have been extremely hard to manage with COVID-19 and its subsequent effects such as lockdowns, rostering home, Zoom lessons, and the cancellation of many events.  The hope for 2023 is certainly some sort of normality will return to schools as our borders reopen, and our ability to hold events such as the school production increases. While I do not think COVID-19 will completely disappear, I do hope that our ability to provide an exciting education for our students is not impacted on too greatly.

The school year has now finished. During this term we have held several ceremonies to recognise the successes of our students.  The most recent, held early this week was the Junior Prize Giving.  Our successful recipients were:

Top Year 10 Academic Achievers Joint: Sia Goel and Holly Robins

Top Year 9 Academic Achiever: Xiaoyu Huang

Year 9 Runner-Up: Kathleen Wang

At the end of last week, we once again held our Two Day Discovery when the students had the opportunity to try different things. The students were offered a wide range of exciting activities, everything from learning to surf, making films around the city to learning to knit and soap making.  The students readily engaged with these activities and some new skills were learned.

At our recent prize-giving we farewelled the following staff. Their reasons for leaving are wide and varied and include leaving to live in Australia or other parts of New Zealand or retiring.  I would like to thank the following for their contribution to the College:

Ms Dorricott (resigned), Ms Aaltonen (retired), Mr Mulholland (moving to Christchurch), Mr Reddy (moving to Hamilton), Ms Beck and Ms Illangasinghe (moving to Australia), Ms Shearson (travelling overseas), Ms Pooley (undertaking study), Ms Schuster and Ms Sanderson  (changing schools), Ms MacIntosh, Ms Long and Ms Grant will be taking maternity leave.

Once again, we are posting a Retrospective of the school year. This will give you the opportunity to reminisce about the year that was; by browsing through each term, that includes highlights, videos, photos and write-ups, all in one handy location.

It can be found here


For more information about our 2023 start-up, including dates, these can found at

I hope that you all have a good break. Next year we look forward to welcoming our returning students as well as our new Year 9s, which again will be a very large group of approximately 240 students.

Ngā mihi nui

Grant Jones

For any other information, please visit our website

November 2022

He maonga āwhā

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

The whakatauki above was one which I had planned to use at Senior Prize Giving. It translates as, “the calm after the storm” and it seemed to me that after several turbulent years of COVID-19, we seemed to be returning to some sort of normality, but I believe the normality is somewhat different than pre-2019.  While many of the things we used to do have now returned, eg mask wearing is voluntary, international travel is available, and seating in public places does not need to separated, there is in my mind the shadow of COVID-19 still hanging over us.  The national number of cases in the country is on the rise, and we are seeing this in our College as well. A side issue of this is, because of lockdown, the transmission of cough, colds, flu, had decreased during lockdown and so did our immunity diminished.  We are now being hit with people exhibiting these symptoms, myself included which caused me to miss senior prize giving much to my disappointment. It was the first time in my career!

However, we have still held a number of successful evenings to acknowledge and celebrate our student successes.  The Senior Prize Giving, the Arts Awards, and the Sports Awards were all special occasions and are a wonderful recognition of our students efforts and the hard work of our teachers.  Some of our achievers were:

Dux Litterarum                                    Anush Goel

Proximae Accessit:                               Mazen Khallaf and Jayden Kah

Wesley Broughton Award                     

(Top year 12 Academic Achiever):          Thomas Ru

Year 12 Runner-Up                               Ella Pan and Jaeyun Han

Top Academic Achiever Year 11:            Kaitlyn Far

Year 11 Runner-Up:                             Sophia Wong

We also had highly successful sports people nominated for the Sports Person of the Year Award (SPOTYs).  These awards recognise the highest achievement in college sport across the wider Wellington Region.  We were delighted that the following students won their categories:

  • Wellington Community Fund – Student Officials of the Year Girls – Claudia Hatfield, Netball
  • Table Tennis Players of the Year
    Girls – Holly Robins (Newlands College)
  • Special Olympics Athlete of the Year
    Boys – Sasha Howard

A special congratulations to all of our students.

NCEA has now begun and some of the larger Level 1 external examinations have been completed.  We are finalising our internal assessment grades for the year.  At this stage 86% of internals have been completed (although not all internals are offered in any given years) and there is probably about 3-4% to go through final moderation.  At this stage we are slightly ahead of last year with 72% of those standards being achieved at some level (Achieve, Merit, Excellence). Last year at was 71%.  With Learning Recognition Credits once again available, and the externals to be completed, I am confident that our students will once again, enjoy a good academic year.

I would advise you of several significant dates.

21 and 22 November.  These are Ministry of Education mandated Teacher-only- Days so that schools in New Zealand/Aotearoa can continue their work on the NCEA change package.  The school will be closed on those two days.

I have been advised by the PPTA (the Teacher’s Union) that they will be holding a Paid Union Meeting (PUM) which is provided for under the Employment Relations Act on the morning of Tuesday 29 November.  This will impact on the school and I am envisaging that we will have to provide on-line learning in the morning and supervision only at school.  I will provide further details shortly.

I would like to wish you all the best for the remainder of the year.

Ngā manaakitanga

Grant Jones

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