by Rachel Fitness

New well-being progamme introduced this term

Further to the Headmaster’s prize-giving speech and follow-up article in the December issue of the Informer newsletter, on the theme of Hauora or wellbeing, we have instigated a number of significant changes.

Hauora grouping

We have moved away from vertically organised house mentor groups to year level groupings with a mixture of students from different core classes/houses. These hauora groups will meet around midday on twenty of the Wednesday slots (i.e. between 12.15pm and 1.00pm), specifically five times in the second half of Term 1, seven times between weeks 4-10 in Term 2, five times between weeks 2-6 in Term 3 and for the first three weeks of Term 4. Each hauora grouping will have two staff (i.e. 50 teaching and support staff have been paired up for each group) that will work with them on age-specific topics.

In Years 9, 10 and 11, the programme will have character development and an emotional intelligence enhancement components, as well as dealing with age specific learning topics such as digital citizenship and developing into a gentleman (Year 9), through to ‘what legacy do I want to leave?’ and addiction issues (Year 11). The Year 12 programme ranges in topics from managing pressure of expectations; staying cool under pressure; through creating strong healthy relationships.

Year 13 students, during this time-slot, will take part in a life skills programme, which looks at topics such as managing money, through to career guidance. Outside speakers and facilitators will be brought in for a range of topics/issues being covered.

House meetings will now be held during the same slot each Tuesday, with on Thursday in Term’s One and Four, students will receive a ‘take-away’ lunch to more easily facilitate intra-House and House organised activities between 12.15pm and 2.00pm.

Emotional Intelligence (EI)

With the widening of the number of staff delivering information on EI at both Year 10 and Year 11, we will be looking to provide professional development through Mr Andrew Gibbs to enable a greater number of staff to have a better understanding of the principles, components and significance of emotional intelligence for our youth.


(1) Purposeful staff professional development

During the Hauora time slot each Wednesday (12.15pm to 1.00pm) the other half of our teaching staff will be involved in a professional development programme, coordinated by Director of Teaching and Learning, Mr Jeremy Coley and Deputy Headmaster, Mr Peter Hampton. This programme will have a focus on:

(A) Enhancing confidence and understanding of Te Reo Maaori and Tikangi Maaori

We want to maintain the momentum that we have been able to establish as a staff over the past two years. We are proud of the commitment of 15 of our staff who are involved in a formal study in He Papa Tikangi Maaori (i.e. NCEA Level 3) through Te Waanaga o Aotearoa, at Te Awamutu.

(B) Digital Learning initiatives

Continue the growth of staff digital learning skills. Building on the initiatives and the use of Google classroom in lesson delivery; fostering an enhanced familiarity and consistent use of ‘Classwise’ software to ensure student engagement; encouraging the use of Google sites as a possible learning resource within the classroom. Encouraging the use of digital technology to support and deliver an engaging curriculum.

(C) Improving reflective practice

Utilising ‘Appraisal Connector’ as a tool to improve teaching and learning. Successfully integrating it into the staff performance management system. Embedding teaching as inquiry as our key platform for improved classroom practice.

(2) Reducing the influence of mobile phones in the classroom

Reinforce the revised school policy on mobile devices. Enforce the removal of access to mobile devices in the junior school (i.e. within the St Paul’s campus). Ensure the consistency of practice in the insistence of placement of senior student’s Smart phones in boxes provided at the front of classrooms.

(3) Reinforcement of homework practices

Review, clarify and reinforce the type of meaningful homework that we want our students to complete. Continue to promote the active use of the electronic homework diary.

(4) Investigate alternative qualification frameworks in light of the government NCEA review

Investigate the feasibility of Cambridge IGCSE and other options as external qualifications for our Year 11 students to aspire to.

Ensure all teachers keep the online assessment schedule up to date and are cognitive of the academic pressures of assignments timing within particular Year levels. Work to ensure that we minimise the level of internal assessment and achieve the desired balance between internal, external achievement standards and mental wellbeing.


(1) Employment of HOF Physical Education/HOD Learning Enhancement Unit

Seek and employ top quality replacements for the two vacancies for the middle management roles within the PE/Health curriculum area and Learning Enhancement and support area.

(2) Integrate new Deputy Headmaster

Support and successfully integrate Mr Craig Hardman into his new role as Deputy Headmaster into the Senior Leadership Team.

(3) Support for new staff

With four new fulltime teachers, a new part-time teacher and changes to sport administration, matron role and netball development, we need to be mindful of the support and assistance that will need to be provided when key milestones occur over the year.