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Riccarton High School

August 2018 Newsletter


Kia Ora Koutou

Recently I joined a group of other Principals from throughout New Zealand at an NCEA summit in Wellington with the Minister of Education. 

This meeting forms part of the review process into our national qualification-now 16 years in existence. What I found reassuring about this meeting was to hear from the Minister himself his concern about our students being over assessed and the fact that assessment is essentially driving the learning in our schools. 

A day after the summit we held our own parent’s forum here at Riccarton High School to discuss NCEA: its merits and ways in which we could strengthen it as an assessment tool. I was heartened by the response by our school community with almost 200 people gathered in the assembly hall to share their views on NCEA and to clearly articulate some wonderful ideas about what it could be. 

The Minister has extended the date for public feedback on the qualification to 19 October and therefore I would strongly encourage you to get online and share your thoughts at

Next week we welcome a four-person team from the Education Review Office (ERO) who last visited Riccarton in 2014. The team expects to be on site for 4-5 days (involving a number of meetings and classroom visits) before presenting a draft report to the Board of Trustees the following week. We look forward to the opportunity of sharing with ERO all the wonderful things currently happening at the school.

As I write my Principal’s comment, our senior students are in the middle of their prelim exams-obviously important not only as a way of gauging progress but also as a way of creating derived grades should they be needed in November. This week also signals the fact that there are nine weeks left for our senior students before the NCEA exams. There is still time to make any necessary changes with attitude and effort.

Our prelim exam week will be followed by a Senior Interview Day on Wednesday 12 September. The intention of this day will not only be to provide feedback on progress but also to provide course/career advice to senior students and their whanau.

Neil Haywood


Southern Jam Jazz Festival

by Shane Morrow

Congratulations to our Jazz Combo on gaining a silver award at the Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival in Blenheim last week. The group performed at Vines Village, a cafe, a tavern, and two primary schools while at the festival. They also performed at the ASB Theatre in Blenheim for their adjudication session and the Gala Finale concert and attended masterclasses. Special mention to trumpeter Toby for his selection in the All Stars Big Band for the finale concert.

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Video: Interschools ODE 2018

Equestrian - Canterbury Interschools

by Mary Russell

Fleur Carter-Hodder (12RB) competed recently in the 2018 Canterbury Interschools One Day Event at McLeans Island Equestrian Centre.

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Important dates and events

by RHS

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Eyes on the Prize: The Te Paepae Kaka Trophy in the foreground as students from Riccarton High School and St Thomas' College perform their haka

Ngā Manu Kōrero 2018

by Melanie Aitken (13PL)

Ngā Manu Kōrero is a Māori speech competition that aims to encourage fluency in both Te Reo Māori and English among Māori secondary students.

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Strum Strike Blow - A City Makes Noise

by Kate Husband

Riccarton High School's Ukulele Band are playing with the ukulele ensemble in a musical event showcasing marimbas, ukuleles and recorders - 1200 students playing together for an hour.

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Brain Bee Competition 2018

by Nikki Conyers

In week 9 of Term 2, a team of four Year 11 students: Jorja Dowty, Ziad Abdelmaksoud, Jack Rutherford and Jessica Yu travelled down to Dunedin to take part in the 2018 Brain Bee Competition at Otago University.

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Language Perfect World Championships 2018

by Anne Jacques

Once again, Riccarton High School participated in this global competition – with great success for our students.

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Senior Speakers of Ngā Manu Kōrero 2018

Quiz Night

by Anne Jacques

Did you hear Thomas Chin’s inspirational speech at Ngā Manu Kōrero last term? Did you see the passion and power with which the kapahaka supported him?

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NZ Blood Service

by Carole Lake

On Thursday, 2 August, RHS hosted the NZ Blood Service. The hall was the venue for this event and throughout the day it was busy with staff and senior students donating blood. Our collective donations meant we helped save 114 lives. Well done and thank you to everyone involved.

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Fundraising for Ngā Manu Kōrero

by Sharyn Varcoe

Members of the student council sold hot milo before school on Wednesday to support sending Thomas Chin and supporters to Ngā Manu Kōrero Nationals.

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Sporting success

by RHS

Congratulations to the following students who have achieved sporting success on and off the sports field.

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Digital tikanga magnet

Device Advice

by Sharyn Varcoe

In 2018, Riccarton High School is Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for the whole junior school and it is heartening to know that most students are being the best that they can be in how they self-manage their use of devices inside and outside the classroom.

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Zone Review update

by Al Aitken, Board Chair.

Earlier this year the Riccarton High School board asked for feedback from our school community on the proposed school zone expansion. We received some encouraging and constructive feedback and would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond.

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by Linda Leishman, HOD Kohanga Ako.

Our 2018 school leavers have been busy trying out a range of new experiences to help them plan for a good life when they leave school.

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University Entrance - What you need to know.

by Aiden Ireland

For our senior students whose time at Riccarton High School is rapidly coming to an end, here's a brief recap of everything you need to know to get your University Entrance.

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The influence we have on social media

by Courtney Watson (12SC)

With social media having such a large impact on our lives nowadays, it's very important to be creating and sharing positive and respectful posts. That can be difficult when every individual has just as much influence as each other.

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Tips for Wellbeing

by Monica Koster (11HC)

Mental wellbeing describes your mental state - how you are feeling and how well you can cope with day-to-day life.

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Library News

by Sally Blake

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Video: Jazz Combo at the Arts Centre

Jazz Combo at the Arts Centre

by Anne-Marie Plummer

Jay Kang piano, Carmen Holdaway saxophone, Toby Buckner trumpet, William Baxter guitar, Jordan Riddell bass and Daniel Bruerton drums.

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Westland sports exchange Results

by Aiden Ireland

With the end of this year's Riccarton-Westland sports exchange, here are the final results.

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