Horowhenua College

office@horowhenua.school.nz     0800 HOROWHENUA     Get Social

Board of Trustees

 

 

 

BOARD UPDATE

October 2019

Tēnā koutou katoa

The year is fast drawing to a close, and the examination period for our senior students is nearing it’s end.   Sincere thanks to all our staff for the additional support provided to our students in the lead up to exams.  At our last board meeting we again looked at detailed achievement data to see how our students were fearing in the lead up to exams.  It is so good to know the academic tracking ‘traffic light’ system that management have put in place is functioning well, and staff know what each student requires.  This year has also seen the system extended to year 9 and 10 students and this is paying dividends, in that students who may need extra support are identified at the earliest opportunity.   We have also been receiving reports at recent board meeting from our staff member in charge of special education needs, and it great to see a range of programmes in place which meet the needs of our diverse learners.

Mr Congdon presented his principal’s report. This is on the agenda of every meeting and is always structured in relation to our annual goals, so that each month when we meet, we can see the progress that is being made in relation to these goals.   We always spend time discussing what is working well, and how we might improve areas where there is still more work to do.  At the end of the year, and beginning of 2020 when the NCEA results come back we will do a detailed analysis of variance to look at the extent to which we have achieved our goals, and this information is also used to help formulate next year’s annual goals.

Work is beginning on next year’s budget, this involves a great deal of work for our board finance committee (Dylan Kiriona, Bob Slade, Mr Congdon) and in particular for Leanne Phillips (the school’s executive officer).  While the finance committee put together a draft budget which reflects the needs, priorities and goals of the board and management, this is discussed by the whole board in our last meetings of the year. 

Health and Safety is a regular item on our agenda, and it was good to note at our last board meeting that the management and governance procedures which support this are working well.  The Senior Leadership Team have been working on a traumatic incidence plan so that if a traumatic event occurs, actions and lines of support and communication are well established.  Parents should also have received a link to a survey on our Health Curriculum, this is something the Board consult on every two years.

We have one final BOT meeting plus and additional budget meeting in December, so I will provide a further update after these to round off the year.

Ngā manaakitanga
Juliana Mansvelt
Board Chair
Horowhenua College Board of Trustees

 

BOARD UPDATE

September 2019

Kia ora Koutou

By the time you read this we are well into the school holidays.   I am sure this is a welcome break for both students and staff before we begin Term 4 and the run down to end of year and NCEA Exams.  During Term 4 we celebrate through a variety of events the achievements of our students but also we recognise the additional pressures on our students in completing term work, assessments, portfolios and exams, so again will be doing our best to support them through this period.  

Term 3 has been a busy one for the Board.  We are looking at further property work to update and modernise parts of the school, and have continued to review our health and safety procedures, including discussing preparedness for any Measles cases, and developing a Traumatic Incident Response Plan.  We have decided to take up the Ministry of Education’s support for fees relief for parents, as we realise school fees can be a significant burden on our whānau.  The Senior Leadership Team has spent considerable time reviewing our procedures to ensure they align with board policies and current practices in the school and it is fantastic to have these all up to date. We recently had elections in the College for the student representative on the board and are delighted we have Sam Anderson back again for another term. We certainly appreciate the perspective that our student and staff representatives bring to the board table. 

As usual this term we have been getting regular reporting on the academic achievement of our students, and are very grateful for all the extra time staff are giving to support students to achieve their goals.   Thank you to all those parents who provided responses to the survey on the curriculum conducted earlier in the year.  At Board meetings we have been discussing the changes to our curriculum which Staff have been involved in the planning of for the last 18 months.   We are looking forward to seeing these changes implemented in 2020 – with lots of innovation and differentiation in terms of curriculum occurring within a structure we know works well.   During Term 4 we will be assessing progress on our annual goals and reviewing our activities as a board over the last year.  It is always exciting to be looking forward, and to be considering our goals for 2020, and how we can best facilitate them through the setting of a budget.

Meanwhile I look forward to meeting many of you at our end of year school activities and events – it is so great to celebrate growing successful young men and women together!

Ngā mihi nui
Juliana Mansvelt
Board Chair
Horowhenua College Board of Trustees
 

BOARD UPDATE

June 2019

Kia ora koutou

I hope Term 2 has ended well for you – it has felt a very busy term with plenty going on within and outside of the school curriculum.  I enjoyed attending performances of ‘Hairspray Jnr’ our first school production in seven years .  This was a huge undertaking and many congratulations to the students involved and to all the staff that supported them. Thank you to parents and whānau for supporting the performance and all those students who played an active role.  The same might be said of our Fia Fia night and Pasifika Fusion – how good it was to witness our College win the kava bowl for best cultural performance, and to see this award come back to Levin again!  I had the privilege of watching both Waiopehu and Horowhenua Colleges celebrating together after the event.  It was wonderful to see our students enjoying their success and demonstrating pride and passion in celebrating their identity and culture.

On the last day of term we sadly farewelled our School Counsellor Gary O’Brien (QSM).  Gary has had a huge impact not only in supporting students and whānau over these last two decades, but also through all his involvement in sport, culture and the arts, and in service to the wider community.   He will be greatly missed.  We warmly welcome Sancia Duncan to the position of School Counsellor and look forward to all that she will bring to the role.  We finished Term 2 with a successful Open Night for Year 8 students and their whānau. Again this was a significant undertaking involving many of our staff and current students. Thank you to all who contributed!  There will be further opportunity for Year 8 students to visit and experience Horowhenua College in Term 3.  We welcome new students and are constantly working towards giving them the best learning and growing experiences we can!

At our last meeting we spent a good proportion of our time discussing  ‘Curriculum 2020’. Our teaching staff and the Senior Leadership Team have put an enormous amount of effort into developing a curriculum that presents students with choices, promotes meaningful pathways through the school and is based on sound educational evidence and research on what works.  Many of you responded to an online survey earlier in the year, and your responses helped to inform the choices and options discussed as part of this revision of the curriculum.   It is great to know we have a sound plan and clear sense of direction which will support our students to succeed academically, and which will extend students across all year levels. We also asked Jill Thomson, teacher in charge of the Gifted and Talented Programme to speak at our last meeting as we were keen to hear what is being done to identify, encourage and provide opportunities for students who demonstrate giftedness across all our four pillars – academic, sports, arts and culture and service.  It is great to see progress being made in extending students through this programme, and anticipate the programme developing further over the next couple of years.   We aim to know all our students well and to have high expectations for progress for students of diverse abilities.  Again the Board discussed our traffic-light programme for tracking and assisting students who may be in danger of falling behind and it was helpful to see the mechanisms for flagging and acting on assessments of students’ progress.
You may be aware that we recently had School Trustee Elections.   At closure of nominations we had 5 nominations for the trustee positions available so we did not proceed to election.  I am delighted we have our same team willing to continue for another three years.  For those parents new to the school, and especially given our parent community didn’t see our election ‘briefs’,  I thought it was useful to reproduce the candidate statements we prepared to give you a feel for who we are as a Board and the areas of expertise  and interest we are involved in.   Sadly, at the Board election in June we farewelled David Tate our staff trustee.  David’s calm manner and his genuine concern for the wellbeing of staff he represented on the board meant he did an excellent job of bringing a staff perspective to the board table.

His service and commitment is very much appreciated and we will miss his thoughtful contributions and sense of humour.  However, it was a delight to welcome our new staff representative Hanchen Johnson to our last meeting. Hanchen is enthusiastic about this role and we are already appreciating her input to our discussions.
I feel privileged to be able to continue to serve you on our board. As a Board of Trustees we strive to do our best to support the wellbeing of students and staff, and to lift and foster student achievement for all our tamariki over the next three years. Thank you – we do appreciate your support.

Have a safe holiday, and keep warm and well!

Juliana Mansvelt
Board Chair
Horowhenua College Board of Trustees

 

BOARD UPDATE

April 2019

Kia ora koutou katoa

This term seems to have gone by very quickly.  There has been plenty happening and I do hope students who are new to the school are now well settled into classes and routines, and enjoying the range of activities Horowhenua College has to offer. Winter sports are beginning again and the school production practices are well underway, our first school production in 7 years, so definitely something to look forward to in Term 2!  It is with great sadness that we learnt of recent events in Christchurch and it has been a reminder not only to ensure our Health and Safety procedures are robust, but of our responsibilities as a Board of Trustees to support the health and wellbeing of our staff and students.  As a board we are well aware of some of the challenges our young people face. Our support of Gumboot Day to raise funds for counselling for young people, and of Mr Congdon’s ‘0 for 3’ social media challenge to our students, is part of taking our responsibilities in area this seriously. 

We also take our core responsibility of lifting student achievement seriously too!  Just recently, we held a meeting with all the Heads of Faculties.  Each year they provide for us a report on achievement in their faculties and a reflection of what is and isn’t working well.  This enables us together to compile a list of priorities which the HOFs will report back on later in the year.  Flagged at this meeting were the potential changes which will come as a result of an extensive review of the teaching curriculum at Horowhenua College “Curriculum 2020”.  Thank you to those of you students, parents and staff who completed the recent online questionnaire on this – all of these responses will help inform this review of the curriculum influencing the form and nature of our teaching in the future.  This in an exciting area to be developing – we want our students to be well equipped for employment, training and further education in the 21st Century, and to be able to embark on meaningful and relevant learning pathways as they transition though and out of College.

Just a few thanks to round off the term:  To our Senior Leadership team, and all our college staff – our most grateful thanks for all your commitment to our College and our young people. Thank you to our students, parents/whanau – we so appreciate you engaging with us during the years you are associated with Horowhenua College.  Finally my most grateful thanks to our Board of Trustees:  Garry Good (Deputy Chair), Dylan Kiriona, Nikki Simpson-Tukapua, Bob Slade, Sam Anderson (Student rep), David Tate (Staff Rep) and our Tumuaki (Grant Congdon). I feel so privileged to serve our school community alongside this amazing group of people (whose expertise and skills are extensive!) and whose absolute commitment to growing successful young men and women is evident at every board meeting I attend.

Have a wonderful holiday everyone.

Noho ora mai
Juliana Mansvelt
Board of Trustees Chairperson

 

BOARD UPDATE

 

March 2019

Tēnā koutou katoa

If you are new to the school – welcome! It’s great to have you as part of our Horowhenua College family!  Term 1 is well underway, and we are almost into parent conferences where you have an opportunity to discuss with whānau teachers and your young person, their academic goals for the year.  We encourage you to come along, as a board and a school we are wanting to continue to develop exciting and relevant learning pathways which lead into employment and/or further education and training.  We so appreciate when our parents engage with us our students learning journeys, and parent conferences are just one of a number of ways we endeavour to build relationships, encourage responsibility and lay a foundation for success (our core NUA values).

In 2019 we again we have a full complement of school trustees on our board, I am always in awe of their skills and expertise - which extend across finances, governance, education, youth justice and social and cultural areas.  Your Board of Trustees representatives are Dylan Kiriona, Nikki Simpson-Tukapua, Garry Good (Deputy Chair), Sam Anderson (Student rep), David Tate (Staff Rep), our Tumuaki (Grant Congdon) and myself (Juliana Mansvelt, Chair).  As a Board we are responsible for formulating the strategic direction and overall goals of the College and creating the policies which support the academic achievement and the social, cultural and physical wellbeing of our staff and students. 

At our first meeting of the year we signed off our school charter and looked at the extent to which we achieved our 2018 annual goals.  Attendance of students will continue to be a significant goal in 2019, and we are also looking to upskill our levels of teaching pedagogy, consolidate academic mentoring practices, to facilitate effective transitions into, through and out of Horowhenua College, and finally to use a range of measures to enhance student and staff wellbeing. Later in the year we plan to engage in consultation with our parent community to develop our goals for the next iteration of our strategic plan.

The start of an academic year also provides an opportunity to thank you our parent community, our students and our staff for all their hard work and commitment in achieving academic success in 2018.  As a board our aim is to continue to find ways to lift academic achievement and to provide opportunities to grow successful young men and women through our other pillars – arts and culture, sports and service. 

Thanks again for your trust in us as a Board of Trustees, it is a privilege to serve you in this capacity!

Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt
Board of Trustees Chairperson
 

BOARD UPDATE

December 2018

Kia ora koutou

As I write this we are racing towards Christmas and the end of the year!  2018 was a busy year in the life of the college with lots of great learning going on in the school.   Our Year 9 and 10 academic tracking system has been developed across the year and in 2018 we continued to track the progress of our Year 11-13 students.  The development of tracking systems is important as it enables staff to provide extra help and learning support where necessary.  We will be focussing again on lifting academic achievement in 2019 as it is the core academic business of the College.  The Board of Trustees work in partnership with Mr Congdon and the Senior Leadership Team and it is great that we are united in our actions being directed towards ‘continuous improvement’ in all areas of the school.

Through the year we have continued to review and develop our policies and procedures and have developed a new behaviour management procedure which underpins the restorative justice practices we have in the school.  With regard to property, it was with mixed feelings that we saw the old gym demolished. Garry Good (Deputy Chair) and Denis Hutchings (Campus Manager) have done much to ensure changes in school facilities are managed well through their role on the property sub-committee.  A consequence of the rationalisation plan agreed with the Ministry of Education is that we will be able to renovate and improve other areas of the school facilities,  and these changes will proceed during in 2019.   Our finances have been ably managed through the work of our Executive Officer, Leanne Phillips and our trustees Dylan Kiriona and Bob Slade who sit on the Finance Sub-committee.   Our student representatives Brooke Antonsen, and Sam Anderson who was recently elected to Brooke’s position provided regular reports to the board during 2018 on issues affecting students in the school.  We also enjoy learning of student achievements at board meetings.   A staff perspective is brought to the board table by Mr Tate and this too is important in ensuring the implications of our decisions are carefully considered.  I would also like to thank trustee Nikki Simpson-Tukapua – whose contributions mean the wellbeing of students and issues of social justice and ethics feature strongly in our conversations.  In his role as school principal/tumuaki Mr Congdon is able to bring insights from, and has oversight of, a huge range of areas and we couldn’t manage without his valuable input into board meetings. 
 
Thank you to all our students -  I do hope the year has been a productive one for you and that you return in 2018 fresh and ready for the exciting learning opportunities which await in 2019.   For our Year 13 graduating students – well done on completing five years at college, it was wonderful to see you all receive your graduating certificates and prizes at Senior Prizegiving and I wish you well in all your journey beyond secondary school.  A huge thank you to all our teaching and support staff for your commitment and hard work this year.  Thanks also to our senior leadership team, to Ms McCormick who has had had two terms as Assistant Principal and to Ms Moerkerk and Mr White our Deputy Principals, and to Mr Congdon.  I feel priviledged to work with such an amazing and dedicated team of people, and it is wonderful to see their genuine concern for the academic success and wellbeing of the staff and pupils under their care. 
Thank you too to all our whanau for support of your tamariki and for partnering with us in growing successful young men and women in 2018 – I look forward to another great year in 2019. 

Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt
Board of Trustees Chairperson
 

BOARD UPDATE


October  2018

Kia ora koutou

October’s Board of Trustees was lengthy but productive!  I am very grateful we have such a dedicated team of trustees who read all the meeting documents prior to the meeting.  We work electronically so thankfully we avoid the need to print off reams of paper!  Becoming familiar with the Google Docs system (something our students and staff use) has been good professional development for a number of trustees – including myself!  Our October meeting was also the first for our recently elected student trustee Sam Anderson and it was great to welcome him to the board. We really value our student trustees and the perspective they bring to our discussions. Sadly it was also the meeting where we farewelled outgoing trustee Brooke Antonsen. Brooke has done a wonderful job in her role as student trustee.  We have appreciated her thoughtful and insightful contributions as a board member and wish her all the very best for her future as she leaves College at the end of the year.
At the start of the meeting we had a site visit with Mr Samson to discuss the use of additional powertools in the Technology Faculty.  The board recognises the need for our courses to provide students with the skills and expertise they need for the workplace and for further study.  The proposal to extend the range of powertools would provide students with the opportunity to improve project options and to increase the skill levels of leavers entering the workforce.  The proposal (if implemented) would be underpinned by plans and procedures to support the health and safety of staff and students working in this area.

At the October meeting we also met with the Heads of Faculties. This was a meeting which involved a review of actions outlined earlier in the year to address aspects of student achievement in each faculty.  Reflections on progress this year also help inform the Board’s strategic goals for 2019.  The Board wishes to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of staff in addressing these achievement goals during the year and it was pleasing to see good progress in relation to the majority of these.  Our discussions also highlighted an area for concerted focus for 2019 – that of attendance. Our academic data shows that there is a direct correlation between achievement and attendance, and that students who are absent from class have greatly reduced chances of passing NCEA.  We realise improving this will require commitment of students, staff and whanau and hope that we can work together to provide further lift attendance next year.   

Technology requirements for 2019 were discussed at the meeting. Mr White had produced a detailed plan prioritising purchases and we talked through the needs of staff and students in the College.  The Board recognises the value of new technologies for learning, but just as importantly the need for appropriate pedagogy (theories of teaching and learning) which inform how technology is used in the classroom. 

The rest of the board meeting covered our usual business - the Principal’s report, finance, property, health and safety and policy review.  I do love the variety that being on the board brings.  There are always plenty of challenges and the opportunities for growing successful young men and women across our four pillars – academic, sport, service and arts and culture are something all our board members are committed to!

Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt
Board of Trustees Chairperson
 

BOARD UPDATE

August 2018

Kia ora koutou

It has been a busy start to the term with Jandal Jam, the visit from Namiki High school students, university visits and our Open Day for prospective year 9 students amongst other things. It was with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Steve Parrant, Deputy Principal at Manawatu College. Our sincere sympathies go out the Parrant family, and the staff and students of the Manawatu College. I am mindful that in fostering a sense of whanau/family as a school we walk with each other through both the happy and the sad times and it was so good to see many of our Horowhenua College students and staff attend Steve’s service and perform the school haka as he was farewelled.

We had our most recent board meeting on Monday night, beginning with the annual report from Carole Brungar our head librarian at the College.  It is great to see the library used as a hub of activity for the school and it’s our desire as a board to that the library continue to be an inviting and well resourced learning space.  We so appreciate all the work Carole and her team of librarians are doing.   At our Monday meeting we also discussed feedback from our prefect team on how the board might promote growing successful young men and women – it is helpful to have these ideas as part of our strategic planning going forward.   The board of trustees keeps track of how we are progressing in relation to our annual goals through the Principal’s report- and this month the challenges around improving attendance were discussed.  We have previously viewed data which shows high rates of attendance are a strong predictor of success in NCEA (and which shows the reverse  for students who do not attend).  We also realise encouraging our tamariki to attend school cannot just be a responsibility of management or staff, rather this involves partnership with and the active engagement of both students and whanau.

Mr Congdon presented an NCEA credit report at the meeting, and we spent some time reflecting on the graphs contained in it.  This is an important time in the year as staff are able to pinpoint how students are tracking in relation to their NCEA achievement.   While we see an aggregated version of NCEA data without student names, it is pleasing to know that our teaching staff have an accurate picture of who might need extra help or mentoring to achieve their goals and to know that this assistance will be put into place for those who need it over the coming weeks. 

In addition to finance, property, health and safety and student representative reports we reviewed two policies, and discussed potential next steps in the ongoing refurbishment of the college. You may have noticed the scaffolding at the front of the school which is currently being repainted and the main administration building will soon be lit at night thanks to a grant from Horowhenua District Council for which the board is very grateful. 
 
Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt
Board of Trustees Chairperson
 

BOARD UPDATE


May 2018

At our May meeting we invited all the new staff to come and meet the Board of Trustees.  We really enjoyed learning about the multitude of roles that our new support and teaching staff are involved in and to be thinking how best we can support them through our governance role.  

As usual Mr Congdon presented his Principal’s Report on how various aspects of the school are functioning.  Each time he does this he provides a written summary of how the college is progressing against the annual goals which have been set by the Board and Management.  It is good to have this update each time we meet, and the board is able to ask questions about the pace and extent of progress as we move through each year.   Mrs Searle, in her capacity as manager of the administration staff also presented a verbal report on staffing and how the various administration support staff roles work together.  Mr Congdon and I also presented a report on our attendance (along with Head Boy, Matthew Hollows) at the Christchurch Education Summit.  This was a significant gathering with nearly 800 people coming together over two days to address a number of topics related to the future of education.  The summit comprised community members and groups, representatives from early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and workplace training organisations (including both staff and students).  Part of this discussion centred on the kinds of values we wanted our education system to promote and what success might look like for our learners.  If you are interested in participating in this education conversation which ongoing and is likely to inform a number of reviews currently happening (including of NCEA and the governance of schools by boards) then go to this internet link:  https://conversation.education.govt.nz/

In addition to the receipt of our usual reports on health and safety, finance and property, at the last board meeting we also reviewed a revised Code of Conduct for the trustees and passed our NAG 6, 7 and 8 policy which covers our reporting obligations to the Ministry of Education. Having a Code of Conduct for our trustees is really important as it sets out the expectations of a trustee (including coming to meetings prepared to discuss key issues having read all the documents) and of our behaviour, including matters of confidentiality, transparency and honesty.

Our next board meeting is 25th of June and I shall be overseas for the three weeks preceding it. Garry Good, Deputy Chair,  has kindly agreed to step in as Acting Chair in my absence, and Board members will be in attendance at the forthcoming interview night to talk with you about how things are going in the school for you and your tamariki. Please do go and have a chat with them, we would really appreciate your feedback on our College.   I am sorry I won’t be there!

Hei konā mai
Juliana Mansvelt
Chair Horowhenua College Board of Trustees

BOARD UPDATE

April 2018

Our March and April meetings were held a short time apart,  so this is a joint report from our last two trustee meetings.  In 2018 as in 2017, we have invited different members of the school into the first part of our board meetings.  This gives us a chance to learn what is working well and where we might make improvements through the school.  Our March meeting visitors were the 2018 prefect team. It was great to meet these fantastic young men and women and to gain some insights into the prefects’ roles and responsibilities, and to learn about their future intentions.  Most recently, we met with the Heads of Faculties and the Senior Leadership team to review student achievement in each of our seven faculties for 2017 at all levels across the school, and to look at the positive and the limiting factors in terms of lifting student achievement.  This is always a lengthy but productive meeting as we take the time to talk about plans and strategies going forward.  We will meet with the Heads of Faculties later in the year to see how things have progressed, and to talk about what further the board can do to support their actions.

I am very grateful to our property committee comprising trustee Garry Good, campus manager Denis Hutchins, Mr Congdon, and our Executive Officer Leanne Phillips. They do an amazing job of overseeing the building and renovation programmes in the school. Over the past couple of years there has been much to manage with the construction of the new science labs, the renovation and repair of the drama and music rooms, and new ramps being installed around the school.  It is with mixed feelings that we will see the demolition of the old gym which begins in April. However there are numerous improvements that are happening in the school buildings over the next year so we will keep you posted as to developments!

In the last two meetings we have signed off the Analysis of Variance and the Annual Financial Report which goes to the auditors.  These are important documents as they outline our performance - the former in relation to our academic goals and the latter according to our financial management. These are both available on the school website, and show pleasing results.

The two Kahui Ako (Communities of Learning) which cover 18 schools in the Foxton (Kerekere) and Levin (Taitoko) areas have now appointed their lead principals.  These are Moira Howard-Campbell from Levin North, and Murray Powell (Shannon School).  As Horowhenua College is one of the schools involved in these Kahui Ako we look forward to seeing some momentum in terms of the sharing of professional development and knowledge across all our schools in the Horowhenua, and ultimately to seeing benefits in terms of support for our own teachers and learners. A governance group which will oversee the work across both Kahu Ako, has also just been established and a panel of representatives from Muaupoko, Raukawa, the Early Childhood Sector, Board Trustees plus the lead principals have recently appointed five teachers who will work across schools. These five teachers (one of whom is our own Chris Wilton!) will share their expertise across all 18 schools and will work collectively on meeting the agreed achievement challenges for the region.   While local schools have often worked together, the Government has provided additional funding to the education sector in the region through the Kahui Ako which should help facilitate more strategic and co-ordinated programmes to lift achievement, facilitate pathways through the education system (from pre-school to tertiary/workplace employment) and to support the wellbeing of our tamariki.

That’s it from me.  I will be in touch again after the school holidays and our next board meeting.  Wishing all our staff and our students a relaxing holidays and a great start to Term 2.

Nga mihi
Juliana Mansvelt
Board of Trustees Chair

BOARD UPDATE

March 2018

Kia ora koutou katoa

It’s the end of Term 1 already!  If you are a student that is new to school I hope that this term has been a good in terms of settling into life and routines at Horowhenua College.  Our aim through management is to grow successful young men and women through our four pillars –academic, sports, arts and culture and services, so there are plenty of opportunities for our young people to engage and to thrive! 

Our trustees Dylan Kiriona, Nikki Simpson-Tukapua, Garry Good (Deputy Chair), Brooke Antonsen (Student Trustee), David Tate (Staff Trustee), our Tumuaki (Grant Congdon) and myself (Juliana Mansvelt, Chair) have student achievement at the forefront of our minds at our board of trustees meetings.  We are also concerned to ensure the wellbeing of our staff and students.  As a board we are now 2/3 of the way through our current term and are really enjoying our journey together.  In 2018 with help from your input into surveys and interviews we created a new streamlined charter with strategic goals to take us forward for the next four years.  We review this charter annually, and each year set annual goals and targets which ensure the actions of both the board and management in reaching these goals are monitored.  Whether we have reached these targets is reported on in our Analysis of Variance report which becomes part of the Annual Report. Both the revised charter and our annual report are available on the school website. 

We have spent a considerable amount of time at our meetings in Term 1 examining last year’s academic data, with a view to continually improving our teaching and learning programmes to the benefit of all our students, all the while recognising and supporting groups of students whose achievement may need lifting.   We had another year of great academic results in 2017, achieving above the national average in many areas, and are looking to sustain and build on this in 2018. These results are a consequence of the hard work of both our students and the staff, and we are delighted with and grateful for both!

Our building and renovation programmes continues this year, and it is with some sadness that we will see the demolition of the old gym. Property, Health and Safety, the development of policies and procedures, and Finance are all board responsibilities, and I am grateful we have on our board, members who have expertise in all of these. 

Wishing you all a wonderful term break.

Hei konā mai
  
Juliana Mansvelt
Board of Trustees Chair 
 

BOARD UPDATE

March 2018

Tēnā koutou katoa

We are now well into Term 1 and as usual there is plenty happening at Horowhenua College.  As a board we look forward to rising to the challenges and opportunities that come our way during the year!  A special welcome to all those families and students who are new to the school in 2018. We trust your involvement in Horowhenua College will be both positive and productive.  It is a pleasure to serve the school alongside a wonderful team of trustees who bring a depth of governance, educational and financial experience to the board table. Your Board of Trustees representatives are Dylan Kiriona, Nikki Simpson-Tukapua, Garry Good (Deputy Chair), Brooke Antonsen (Student Rep), David Tate (Staff Rep), our Tumuaki (Grant Congdon) and myself (Juliana Mansvelt, Chair).  As a Board we are responsible for formulating the strategic direction and overall goals of the College and creating the policies which support the academic achievement and the social, cultural and physical wellbeing of our staff and students.

During 2017 we undertook a considerable amount of consultation with our school community in order to develop priorities for a revised school charter.  We are so grateful for all the feedback and insights we were given into what is working well (and occasionally less well!) and to learn of your aspirations for the school and its students.  At its last meeting the board approved the charter which contains strategic goals for the next five years and which has an annual section outlining the academic goals for 2018. This will be uploaded to the school website in March, and you will be able to read our annual variance report which outlines the extent to which we were able to address our 2017 academic goals.
Much of the time at our last meeting was taken up looking at our 2017 NCEA results. Level 1 and 2 results were the highest the college has had on record, numeracy credits for our students were also at their highest levels yet, and we have had consistently more students achieving merit and/or excellence grades – so there is much to celebrate.  In addition seven students received 10 scholarships between them. The board is delighted with these results and they provide strong evidence that Horowhenua College is on track with academic expectations and ensuring progress for its students.

We would also like to acknowledge all the hard work and commitment of our staff and students in attaining these results!  As a board we continually seek to lift academic achievement in school and want to ensure all our students are able to learn and make progress. As a consequence we regularly review our own practices, and do analyse the data and information we receive carefully in order to address any areas in need of improvement.  It’s great being on this learning journey together!

Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)

BOARD UPDATE

February 2018

Tēnā koutou katoa

We are now well into Term 1 and as usual there is plenty happening at Horowhenua College.  As a board we look forward to rising to the challenges and opportunities that come our way during the year!  A special welcome to all those families and students who are new to the school in 2018.  We trust your involvement in Horowhenua College will be both positive and productive.  It is a pleasure to serve the school alongside a wonderful team of trustees who bring a depth of governance, educational and financial experience to the board table.  Your Board of Trustees representatives are Dylan Kiriona, Nikki Simpson-Tukapua, Garry Good (Deputy Chair), Brooke Antonsen (Student rep), David Tate (Staff Rep), our Tumuaki (Grant Congdon) and myself (Juliana Mansvelt, Chair).  As a Board we are responsible for formulating the strategic direction and overall goals of the College and creating the policies which support the academic achievement and the social, cultural and physical wellbeing of our staff and students. 

During 2017 we undertook a considerable amount of consultation with our school community in order to develop priorities for a revised school charter.  We are so grateful for all the feedback and insights we were given into what is working well (and occasionally less well!) and to learn of your aspirations for the school and its students.  At its last meeting the board approved the charter which contains strategic goals for the next five years and which has an annual section outlining the academic goals for 2018.  This will be uploaded to the school website in March, and you will be able to read our annual variance report which outlines the extent to which we were able to address our 2017 academic goals. 

Much of the time at our last meeting was taken up looking at our 2017 NCEA results. Level 1 and 2 results were the highest the college has had on record, numeracy credits for our students were also at their highest levels yet, and we have had consistently more students achieving merit and/or excellence grades – so there is much to celebrate.  In addition seven students received 10 scholarships between them.  The board is delighted with these results and they provide strong evidence that Horowhenua College is on track with academic expectations and ensuring progress for its students. 

We would also like to acknowledge all the hard work and commitment of our staff and students in attaining these results!  As a board we continually seek to lift academic achievement in school and want to ensure all our students are able to learn and make progress. As a consequence we regularly review our own practices, and do analyse the data and information we receive carefully in order to address any areas in need of improvement.  It’s great being on this learning journey together!

Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)

BOARD UPDATE

December 2017

Kia ora koutou katoa 

Our final board report for the year for 2017!   As you may be aware we had two board of trustees positions up for nomination and election.   No new nominations were received by the closing date of 17th November, so we are delighted that our current trustees who were nominated for the positions (Mr Garry Good and Mrs Nikki Simpson-Tukapua) will be able to continue their service on the board.  The next Board of Trustees election will be held mid 2019 and all five trustee positions will come up for election then as the Board returns to the standard three year election cycle.

At our last meeting our Librarian, Carole Brunger and Careers Advisor, Whaea Pani Kerehoma came and presented reports on the library and Gateway programmes respectively.  The Board has really enjoyed meeting many of the school staff this year.  Having staff report on progress at the beginning of our Board meetings gives trustees an opportunity to meet staff, ask questions and find out about the learning opportunities in the school.  It also enables staff to bring their insights and perspectives and provides a foundation for discussions on how we can best support the different faculties and learning programmes in the school.  We shall continue to do this in 2018.  

At the meeting, Mr Congdon presented a draft of the school charter which has been created with input from the parent surveys administered at parent interviews, the online school survey and in consultation with staff.  When the charter is finalised we will put this up on the website.   Each year the Board, in conjunction with management produce annual goals which derive from the broader strategic goals contained in the charter. It is these annual goals that form the basis for reporting on progress at each board meeting as the school year progresses.  Thanks to Leanne Phillips the school’s executive officer and the Board’s finance committee, the formulation of the 2018 budget is also well underway.  At our final meeting of 2017 we will pass the budget and also ratify the draft of the school charter we have been developing.    The charter and strategic goals help specify funding priorities which it is why will be good to have both signed off and ready to go for the New Year before we break for Christmas.

As a board we realise the significant contributions that parents and caregivers make in giving practical, emotional and financial support to our students.  Thank you for partnering with us again this year to grow successful young men and women.   We look forward to our learning journey together as a school in 2018, and wish all our staff, students and whanau a happy and blessed Christmas and New Year. 

Ka kite anō 

Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)

 

BOARD UPDATE

November 2017

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Term 4 is always such a busy term in the life of the school.  It has been wonderful these last couple of weeks to attend the first of our celebrations of student achievement through the Sports and Cultural awards.  We will soon be having our Gateway graduation, Service Academy Prize giving, and our junior and senior academic prize givings.  I so enjoy being a part of these events- it is great to acknowledge all the successful young men and women who exemplify the NUA way across multiple facets of school life.

At our last Board of Trustees meeting we farewelled our outgoing student representative Toni Baker.  Toni has made a significant contribution during her time as a student trustee these last two years, and we will miss her!  We so appreciate all that she has given, not only to the board, but to school life in general and wish her every success in her future as she leaves Horowhenua College at the end of 2017.  We also had opportunity to welcome our new trustee Brooke Antonsen.  Thank you Brooke for putting your name forward for election – we hope your time on the board will be an enjoyable and productive learning experience!! This week our parents and caregivers will be receiving forms regarding the nomination and election of two trustees.  After consulting the School Trustees Association and recognising the continuity required for our Board work plan, the board has decided to move back to the standard tri-annual election cycle, hence the appointments for this election will be for an 18 month term.  The trustee positions to be filled are those currently held by Mr Garry Good and Ms Nikki Simpson-Tukapua.  Garry and Nikki have done an outstanding job on the Board, Garry bringing huge experience in governance and with a background in education (having been a school principal himself) and Nikki with expertise in youth justice and now involved in care and protection of young people through Oranga Tamariki.  You will find more about them on the voting forms when they are sent to you.  Please do vote in these elections, it is your chance to have a say in who you would like to represent you for these next 18 months. 

During our last meeting we examined our NCEA credit performance relative to previous years at this time.  We were also encouraged to see the mentoring programmes which have been implemented for students at risk of not achieving.   As a board we monitor academic progress against the achievement targets set out in the annual plan and look towards continuous improvements in learning and teaching.  One of the key foci for next year is likely to be in the area of Information and Communication Technologies.  At the meeting Mr Jason White and Mr Luke Stevens presented the ICT plan for the Boards consideration. The Board will use this information to make strategic decisions as it ratifies the budget for 2017. Mr White also presented a review of the PE faculty. In addition to acknowledging the hard work that has been done by staff, these faculty reviews help the board to think about where and how it should prioritise school resources to best facilitate teaching and learning. 

Thank you to all our whanau for supporting our young people through the last few weeks of term.  We realise this can be a stressful and tiring time, but we wish you and all our students every success as they complete course work and sit final exams.  
 
Ngā mihi

Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)

 

BOARD UPDATE

September 2017

Kia ora tātou

Only a week to go till school holidays!  I do hope all our college staff and students have a good break over the vacation.  Thank you to the more than 40 parents and caregivers who have responded to our school charter survey – we so appreciate the time you have given to do this. In Term 4 we will be working on our new charter goals and your comments will help us produce the key aspects of these goals. 

In our August board meeting we spent the bulk of the evening meeting with the Heads of Faculties (HOFs). Earlier in the year we had a meeting where we identified priorities for 2017 and the focus of our evening meeting was reporting back on how these priorities were being addressed, and on the identification of the enabling and limiting factors for increasing student achievement. Going forward into 2018 we will be looking more specifically at attendance, curriculum design and ICT device management and utilisation.  It was really encouraging to see the work being put into helping our students succeed, and as a Board we really value effort the HOFs put into leading their areas of speciality.  Ms Moerkerk has also been extremely busy producing statistics for us on NCEA credits, and it was great to see that overall we are improved on last year’s credit totals for students at the same point in the academic year. 

During our meeting time the Board also approved our revised complaints procedure and a new flow chart which should simplify the processes involved in making and resolving complaints for both parents and staff.   We discussed the forthcoming student elections and our next BOT election which will be held in November.  We agreed to move back to a triannual cycle for elections as this enables us to develop the board as a team with consistency through a three year work plan. 

This month’s featured trustee is Mr Bob Slade. Bob was selected onto the Board earlier this year because of his expertise in finances. A chartered accountant for many years, Bob continues to be involved in consultancy work and has previously had experience of being on a school board.  We are enjoying having Bob on the board and we appreciate the questions he brings each month.  Bob also serves on the finance sub-committee of the board and his skills in this area are put to good use!  Here are Bob’s thoughts on being a trustee: 

I have had a long career as a Charted Accountant, mainly acting for small to medium size businesses.  I was appointed to the Board of Trustees six months ago and also serve on the Board’s Finance Committee.  I am very impressed with the high standard of governance, teaching and facilities at Horowhenua College. The College, very well lead by Principal Grant Congdon, offers the opportunity for students, willing to apply themselves, to aspire to their full potential.

I look forward to communicating with you again next term. Have a safe and happy holidays.


Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)

 

BOARD UPDATE

August 2017

Kia ora tātou

It seems like the months are flying by – we are now well into term 3, and already looking toward to 2018 with our focus on charter review and the recent Open evening and day for prospective year 9 students.  In preparation for our last board meeting we received summaries of all the feedback from parents and caregivers obtained from the questionnaires administered by our trustees at parent interviews and Open night. We are interested in what is working well for you and your child, what might be improved and what parents would like to see as part of their young people’s education.  It was suggested that we also place the survey we administered on-line, so expect to see this in the next couple of weeks.  We want to hear from you and would really encourage you to write down your thoughts and ideas, whether you have spoken to us already or not!

At the start of the last meeting we moved into committee (the publicly excluded section of the meeting which is used to discuss matters pertaining to personnel, discipline, and other matters which warrant privacy for the individuals/organisations) as we had our external Principal Appraiser come and talk to us about how Mr Congdon’s appraisal process was going, and to gather our opinions for his appraisal report.   Staff appraisal is an important process within a school as it provides guidance on what is working well and it identifies next steps for professional development.  Mr Congdon is responsible each year for ensuring the appraisals of all staff in the College, and the Board is accountable for the appraisal of the principal.  While as a Board we know (and see evidence) that our tumuaki is doing a wonderful job, it great to have evidence of this and to gather information about how best we can support our principal going forward. 

At our last meeting we also reviewed our new Theft and Fraud prevention procedure.  Having revised our all our policies, we continue to work through a raft of procedures.  This process will be ongoing through the rest of 2017, but is great to feel we are making progress and that when completed we will have a clear and comprehensive governance framework which provides a foundation for good decision making and the sound implementation of practices within the school.

Mr Congdon presented an NCEA credit report at the meeting, and we spent some time reflecting on it.  It is at this time of year that the Board and teaching Staff are now able to get an overview of how our students are tracking towards NCEA.  This is the point at which teaching staff are able to recognise areas (and students) who might be in need of more support and to develop interventions to help lift student achievement.    As a Board it is fantastic to see this kind of tracking as we want all our students, whatever their capability to make progress and experience success in their learning.
Again in this newsletter, we continue our series of ‘getting to know’ our trustees. This month I would like to introduce Mr Dylan Kiriona. Dylan is a parent elected representative and an active supporter of Rangatahi Ora.  He is also on the finance committee and spends a great deal of time putting the financials in graphical form which provide us with clear visuals.  A teacher himself, Dylan also brings a strong sense of the diverse needs of learners to the Board and I so value his insightful contributions. 

Tēnā koutou katoa,

My name is Dylan Kiriona and I descend from Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Huia. I am a Parent Representative on the Board of Trustees as well as the Finance Committee and am an active whanau member of Rangatahi Ora. My wife Laurae Broughton-Kiriona and I have 5 children with 2 of them currently attending Horowhenua College. I am currently a Primary School Teacher at Levin East School and am actively involved in Kapahaka as well as coaching a range of sporting codes.
It has been a pleasure to represent whanau on the board and work with an amazing and committed team under great leadership. The range of skills and experience that each member brings to the table ensures that issues are viewed from a variety of perspectives. We focus on providing the best possible resourcing so that teachers can be effective in their roles to facilitate a quality education to ensure our students excel. We are proud of the school's many achievements and wish to acknowledge the dedication and generosity of so many on a day to day basis because as we all know, it takes a village to raise a child. Our role as a board, is simply to share the load with management and staff, and to pave the way for our future generations to be successful young men and young women. Ko ngā rangatahi o te rā nei, Ngā rangatira mō āpōpō.

Nāku noa
Dylan Kiriona


I will be in touch again after our next meeting in September!

Nga mihi
Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)

 

 

BOARD UPDATE

July 2017

Tena koutou katoa

We held our final board meeting for the term in Week 9.   The last few weeks of term have been particularly busy with sports matches and exchanges, flag assembly, report evenings, open days and the house haka competitions. A group of staff, students and representatives of Muaupoko headed off to Auckland on June 27th to celebrate the success of the Rangatahi Ora programme.  Though we didn’t win our category we were one of only eleven schools (out of 2539 schools in the country) who made it to the finals, so that alone is an impressive feat! We also celebrated the opening of our five new science labs last week, these had been on the drawing board for many years and it was fantastic to see them come to fruition.  Thanks to all those who had a hand in their design and build especially Colspec Construction and Proarch Architects.  Mr Denis Hutchings our Campus Manager has put many long hours into overseeing and supporting the contractors and it is his significant contribution and that of the Board Property Committee (comprising our tumuaki Mr Congdon, Mr Garry Good, Mr David Tate, Mrs Leanne Philips, and Mr Hutchings) which has seen the labs through to completion.   As I write this our science teachers are busy moving in and these 21st century teaching spaces will be up and running for Term Three.  

The Board has now made conversations with staff a regular part of its agenda.    This month Mrs Susie Prentice (acting Head of Science and Lead Teacher in the Horticulture Academy) came and gave us a report on the Horticulture Academy. As usual we received and discussed Mr Congdon’s report which keeps us up to date with how we are going with respect to our annual academic and wider charter goals.  The Board’s role is to ask critical questions - how, what, why and when questions to ensure we are making progress in relation to these goals across the academic year. We are also embarking on our charter review consultation.  You may have met some of us asking questions about what we do well and what we can do to improve things at Horowhenua College at the parent interview and Year 8 Open nights.  We intend to make this survey available online too.  Thank you to all who have participated so far, including our students who have also received a version of the survey!! 

In this newsletter, we continue our series of ‘getting to know’ our trustees. This month I thought you would like to hear from Mr David Tate, the teacher representative on the Board. In addition to being on the property sub-committee, David has a vital role in bringing a teacher perspective to all our decisions on the board, and he always encourages us to think about the impacts of our decisions for both academic and support staff in the school. Thank you David, for all that you do!

Kia ora

My name is David Tate and I am the Staff Representative currently in my second term of service on the Board of Trustees. I am a Social Scientist and this year teach History, Studies of Society and junior Social Studies. My other roles in the college are Relief Co-ordinator and Specialist Classroom Teacher.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve in this position and to work with a board that has real heart and integrity. Its focus on providing the best possible support to all staff in the college to ensure the best possible outcomes for our students is exemplary. One key aspect of my role as Staff Representative is to ensure that a staff perspective is raised and discussed on issues where relevant. I have learnt much about the Governance versus Management relationship and the sometimes convoluted processes involved when working with the Ministry of Education. As a member of the Property sub-committee which has invested a huge amount of time and energy into various projects on behalf of the college it has been extremely satisfying to see some key projects completed such as the re-roofing of S Block and the opening of the new Science Labs. The ongoing work of this sub-committee is helping to shape the future learning environment that we will all benefit from.

For me, working in an effective team environment which is extremely well led is a privilege. The commitment, skill set, and insight that the current board possesses is ‘very rich’ and invaluable as we continue to progressively refine our focus and deal with the exciting new challenges that are in front of us.

nāku noa
David Tate


I look forward to being in contact again next term and wish all our staff and students a relaxing and enjoyable school holidays.
Nga mihi

Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)

BOARD UPDATE

June 2017

Kia ora koutou

The Principal and our Student Representative reports presented at our last Board meeting were a reminder of all the great things happening in our school – it is wonderful to see our students taking up opportunities in the arts, sports and culture through through events such as Shave for a Cure,  inter-school and regional sporting competitions, Sheila