top of page

Director of Operations - Ms Amanda Ferris

There are a lot of new changes and challenges for our kura and my hope is that we communicate as effectively as possible so our students, staff, whanau and community feel included in what our kura has to offer.

We have changed our school structure. We no longer have a Deputy Principal, Assistant Principal, Dean, Junior School Leader or Curriculum Manager. These roles have been realigned to work more effectively with our new curriculum. Our senior management team now consists of the Principal, four Directors and an Assistant Director. 

We have changed our curriculum. We will still be delivering the core curriculum subjects which will be run in the morning sessions. We also have learning PODs, each with their own Head of Learning, which integrate a variety of curriculum areas together to create a course of learning. Further details are outlined with the Director of Teaching and Learning. 

We have changed our timetable. We have shortened break times but added an extra one. Classes are 45mins long and there is a faster pace and energy about the school this year. 

We have changed our home-rooming. No longer are students in Year levels but in Whanau House groups instead. These are called vertical form rooms and support the kaupapa of teina/tuakana relationships. There are also 2 to 3 teachers per House so students have more than one person to talk to. Most immediate whanau are also placed together so parents only have to contact one person. Through these classes we will be doing academic counselling, values education and careers work. It’s also the competitive part of the school with house challenges and rewards.



the Director of Operations when...

  • You would like to organise an event or have the school support an event you are doing.

  • Would like to send a communication/message to students and staff in the school, or to be put on our social media pages.

  • Have concerns or suggestions around communication to whanau and community or struggling to find out what’s going on.

  • Have a general question, concern or information and not sure who else to talk to.

My aim is to improve the outcomes for the students here at Whangaroa College. Students will learn skills to set them on the path to be successful. The recent changes to our curriculum are designed to get the most out of students. I will promote the use of teaching and learning processes that will enable students to achieve to their full potential, setting teachers/students challenging targets and then monitoring the performance of teachers and students to ensure those targets are met.

Teaching and learning

Each day, the junior students at Whangaroa College study English and Mathematics. They also rotate around Te Reo Maori and Science. In the afternoons, these junior students join our POD learning system and get to experience learning in each POD for a period of four weeks. This rotation plan has been put in place so that these junior students are able to make an informed choice as to which pathway best suits them for when they join the senior school.

Senior students select three modules for the morning sessions. These modules are short courses offering between 4 and 8 credits. Students select which modules they will engage in after conversations with both the careers advisor and the Director of Teaching and Learning. Seniors will then select a pod to enroll in for one semester which equates to two school terms. There are four pods to choose from plus the Trades Academy that are also offered to students. The four pods are Creative Industries, Social and Community Services, Primary Industries and Construction, and Services and Retail Services. 


the Director of Teaching & Learning when...

  • You have questions around your child’s course of learning.

  • Like to support the Project Day and get involved.

  • Have specific questions around student progress and/or specific classes (please remember to try and speak directly with teachers 1st, before going to the Director of Teaching and Learning. You can also see your child’s Whanau House teacher to discuss anything regarding your child.).

All students also take part in Project Day. The seniors from period 3 to period 7 and the junior students period 4 to period 7. This provides an opportunity for all students to change or improve the school or the community by working with people who are passionate about change. Wer already have some exciting community projects and people coming in to tautoko this day. Teachers are part of the projects in a supervisory role but it will be the students of Whangaroa College who will be responsible for concepts and implementation.


Current projects that students can be a part of are:

¨ Volunteer fire Brigade, ANZAC day display, Art show, Fitness/training, Student council, Advertising/promotion of Kaeo, and some senior students have work experience on this day.

Director of Teaching & Learning - Mr Ben O'Donnell

Director of Well Being- Ms Leanne Donaldson

The Director of Well being oversees all matters relating to the well being of students and staff members.

This includes monitoring academic outcomes for students who require extra support with their learning, checking in with new students to see how they are settling in, liaising with teachers and outside agencies to support students and their whanau, directing students to guidance and counselling services both within the school and the community and any issues that affect the overall wairua of our students.


the Director of Well-being when...

  • Your child has learning difficulties and you want to talk around support needed for your child.

  • Health/hauora issues or concerns for your child. 

  • Things not going well at home and would like to let the school know what’s going on.

  • Want to help with reading or writing or other support classes in the school. We would love to see more whanau coming and helping us out.

Director of Student Engagement- Ms Amber Davidson

My aims for this year is to get our students energised and excited to contribute to our school and wider community.  Each week we will be asking students to participate in House Group competitions, learn about our key school values and explore possible future career choices. It is really important that our students are engaged in school and take every possible opportunity to experience new things and figure out what they want to do when they leave.

The one thing that I really want to emphasise is that my role is to help students set goals for themselves; whether its academic, cultural, sporting or even around improving their attendance and behaviour. We want the kids here to be successful, so we will do whatever we can to support them to achieve their goals.


the Director of Student Engagement when...

  • You need support with uniform.

  • Issues are behaviour and/or bullying

  • You need to discuss long term absences (unless health issues then see the Director of Well Being)

  • You would like to support any of the house challenges on offer.

Our first big initiative was to start up a Uniform Exchange in my office. Everyday students can come in and swap out their non-uniform items for the right gear. This way they save themselves the hassle of being asked about why they aren’t in uniform – and, as a bonus, our school looks sharp. The students return the items they borrowed, and they are washed and dried daily. Thanks to everyone who has used this service and always said “thanks” at the end of the day!

The next thing we have added is Whanau Group of the week award.  Each week at assembly the Whanau Group with the most points wins the award – and some goodies to share – and the Whanau Group photo is displayed in the Foyer for everyone to admire. Points are awarded based on Whanau Group competitions, student attendance, student achievement, uniform, and being best students in class. These points will also accumulate and help towards the end of year Whanau House Trophy.

Assistant Director of Teaching & Learning -                                  Ms Raewyn Cairns-Cowan

The Associate Director of Teaching & Learning is responsible for all the senior school assessments. They ensure the NCEA requirements are being met by our teaching staff, and that quality practices are in place. Together with the Director of Teaching and Learning they check the standards are valid and accurate and that internal moderation is being completed in a timely fashion. They liaise with the Director of Well Being to ensure students are supported with assessment conditions. The Associate Director enters all students into external exams and provides information for students who need financial assistance. They share all relevant information with students and whanau regarding tracking of NZQA results.

bottom of page