Message from the Commissioner

John Carlyon - Commissioner Wairarapa College

John Carlyon – Commissioner

Wairarapa College lies at the heart of a district with many resources. It is a great place to live. It is rich in its history, people and environment. Wairarapa College offers a co-educational education of quality to its community, with resources that few other schools anywhere can match. Its facilities include an outstanding hall, gym, hostel, farms, pool and a wide range of other specialist buildings, some with history for sure. The hostel serves a unique purpose, enabling all state school families to have a boarding option. And the sporting, cultural, academic and performance outcomes of the school are high.

The 1070 students here are outstanding young people. Parents are placing their children in to a good environment. This school, with its size and facilities, offers great opportunities to get involved in teams and groups. It can also offer a range of staffed subjects in specialist areas that few other schools can.

The school is at an age when reinvestment in facilities and some curriculum rethinking needs to be done. This is well under way. 2016 has seen a different, reshaped and refinanced school emerge. It is one appropriate for today’s age. Communities need to step forward and back their schools as they change and that is what this community is doing. Wairarapa College is a great asset for the district, with great potential for the future.   It will achieve that potential, with everyone’s support.

So what has been done recently? The curriculum has had balance brought back in to it, so that we can retain all the enriching options like the arts, music, performance, the technologies, some languages and all the other essential areas of the NZ curriculum. An analysis shows that in the senior school there are still some 33 options on offer, an incredibly wide curriculum package for any school. There are many both academic and vocational courses on offer, leading directly to employment or further training. We have aligned courses more with the six vocational pathways for students, to give relevance to our curriculum – making sure it leads to jobs. We have sought further qualification opportunities for our students so they can prove what they can do by a detailed record of learning.

The school has moved further towards being an ICT rich environment. The purchase of 100 computers means all suites and many other curriculum areas have been upgraded with this technology. Another 60 computers have had RAM upgrades so that we can provide an ICT rich environment throughout the school. We have joined an eSchool, an online cluster of 21 schools so that we can offer an online curriculum to supplement and broaden our existing curriculum. Suddenly we have a huge new range of subjects to offer, like: German, Chinese, Spanish, 3D animation, web design and so much more. About 45 students are already engaging in on-line learning, a medium that many life-long learners will take up in the future. Personal devices are welcomed in to an environment where there will be more use of ICTs in teaching and learning- well supported by the powerful WiFi we have throughout the school.

With the key and overdue resourcing of upgrades to property and physical resources, we are doing or have done $45,000 worth of key improvements to things like the pool and turf/court fencing, the gym ceiling, power pole upgrades, tree maintenance and work on school security systems. The major roof repair work required has now been scoped at $1 million dollars and will reach completion shortly.  Negotiations around Stage 1 of the Property Master Plan work for the site redevelopment, worth an estimated $8 million, are proceeding and will in time make a tremendous difference to the school site. Progress is starting to take place.

There is a wonderful mix of academic, sport, performance, cultural and agricultural aspects that makes up this school. Wairarapa College is lucky that so many excellent students choose to attend this school. The highest possible achievement is expected and successfully attained from within our great group of students. The range of opportunities and diverse subject choices are designed to achieve maximum success for every student.   Our students will have been nurtured through their years here by a caring group of teachers who are passionate about their school.

John Carlyon