All posts by Maree

Mind Lab Makers and Doers

Students from Year 9 and 10 Mountains Whanau have had a great day at the UNITEC MindLab facilities in Newmarket, participating in workshops relating to Coding, Film-making, Augmented Reality and Animation – some even got the chance to dress up! The Mind Lab supports the development of the next generation of makers, doers, inventors and creators who will shape the future with new ways of working, thinking and living.

The Mind Lab team was really impressed with the MHJC context, the ideas the students shared and their level of understanding. This term students have been examining Mental Health in New Zealand – the attitudes, media messages (past and present) in both English and Global Studies classes. The subject is also being examined from a wellbeing/Hauora viewpoint in Science and PEH classes.

The purpose is to examine issues they may encounter in their teenage years that may affect their Mental Health/Wellbeing and ultimately making positive decisions for themselves.

Next on the agenda will be a challenge project based on what they have learned, requiring them to select an aspect of this knowledge to create a media/digital product with the objective of affecting change for individuals or for our community, from an attitude or wellbeing perspective. Watch this space!

Success at the APPA Inter-School Hindi Speech Finals

Mission Heights Junior College hosted this years’ APPA Inter-School Hindi Speech Competition Finals with 11 schools from Auckland participating in two categories.

Participants spoke eloquently and even with passion and humour on a mix of topics ranging from Technology to Gender Equality, Pollution, The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, Nature and My Culture and My Identity.

In the Year 5/6 competition Demira Manchanda from Mission Heights Primary School placed second and the judges commended her for being absolutely fluent and using amazing vocabulary. In first place was Siddarth from Remuera Primary and third, Manav Kumar from Papatoetoe West School.

In the Year 7/8 finals MHJC student Aadi Golcha’s speech took out first prize! Judges said they enjoyed his speech as it had excellent content with contemporary ideas and wit. Second place went to Iris Arora from Somerville Intermediate and in third place was Shriya Kumar from Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate.

The distinguished judges, Ms Roopa Sachdeva and Ms Vandana Ram were impressed with the quality and content of the speeches and appreciated the efforts of the students and the teachers in promoting Hindi language.

Young leaders come together to share ideas

On Friday 8th September our Student Executive Council hosted a leadership conference with three other Junior Colleges. This was the first ever Junior Leaders Convention in New Zealand and was planned and executed entirely by Mission Heights Junior College’s (MHJC) executive council.

Earlier this year, six MHJC students travelled to the 23rd Student Leaders’ Convention in Singapore and returned buzzing with ideas and the self-belief that they could drive initiatives to make a real difference to our society. The event on Friday followed a similar format to the global conference and students from Albany Junior High School, Ormiston Junior College in Flat Bush and Hamilton’s Rototuna Junior High School traveled to MHJC to work collaboratively through five themes:
Education – critical thinking, relying on digital devices
Cultural preservation – why is it dying?
Technological restraints – robots, employment
Humanising mental health
Youth contribution and involvement

In the last session of the day, solutions were delivered through group presentations followed by Principal Ian Morrison and the visiting heads of the other schools, taking time to critique the day’s work and applaud the suggested initiatives.

Ice Skating Success

A huge congratulations to Cordelia Shi (8W1) who performed in the North Island Championship in Ice Figure Skating early September and took out first place. Cordelia has now qualified for the New Zealand Championships to be held in Dunedin 5th October. Good luck Cordelia – MHJC are backing you!

Change Makers Inspiring our Young Women

Last Monday  we hosted our first ever ‘Women’s Change Makers Breakfast’. The event was a sell-out and Assistant Principal and organiser, Kate Lambert, believes this is the first of many to come. “Our female students came away with many inspirational messages about the power of women and girls to be creators and change-makers.”

Eighteen year old, Alexia Hilbertidou is CEO of her company Girl Boss and is passionate in encouraging girls to consider the opportunities the STEM courses offer in sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. Her key concerns are the lack of women in CEO roles globally and how the future of females in the workplace needs to ensure more women make it into growth areas.

Dr Pralene Maharaj’s story was very moving, when as a 26 year-old, part  way through her medical studies, she contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare and debilitating disease. Her journey to many achievements and her recovery was truly inspirational.

Two-time Olympian, ex-New Zealand Hockey player and coach, Christine Archer, was an entertaining speaker sharing her strong  mantra of the four C’s: Courage, Commitment, Choice and Confidence – helping young women be the best they can be.

During the breakfast students were seated alongside additional table guests – all successful young women in careers of Publishing, Marketing, Agriculture, Design, Engineering, Infrastructure, Electronics and Bio Medicine.


MHJC students excelled in the recent NIWA Science Fair with an outstanding high level of awards.  The Fair is an annual event, celebrating the excellence in scientific and technological investigation carried out by Auckland Year 7 to Year 13 students.

Congratulations to all those from MHJC recognised for their hard work in 2017:

1. Double winner Joanne Ting won Highly Commended in Years 9 to 13 Secondary Consumer Science as well as First Prize in the Award for Best Project Using Flour.

2. First Place Winners in the category Years 9 and 10 Living World – Leane Te Boekhorst and Solana Carpenter with presenter Lynn Dunbar.

3. Second Prize Winner in the Travelwise Award – Anmol Singh Dhillon with presenter Eadaoin Butler.

4.Highly Commended in Myth and Go project in the category Years 9 to 13 Secondary Consumer Science, Rajbir Sandhu with presenter Lynn Dunbar.

5. Highly Commended contestants in the category Years 9 and 10 Living World – Ariel Kim, Caitlyn Pillay and Trishika Nand.

6. First Place Winners in the category Years 7 to 10 Technology and Innovations – Ricky Bassno and Aadi Golcha with Jacqui Davidson from category sponsor KP Group Ltd .

7. Second Place Winners in the category Years 9 and 10 Living World –Jamini Patel and Camryn Chetty with presenter Lynn Dunbar.


An excellent result from our Year 7 & year 8 boys Basketball Team! After six fast-paced games, MHJC beat rival Farm Cove by 6 points to reach the semi-finals. They then went on to defeat St Kentigern Boys 17-12. This saw our team placed third overall in yesterdays South Eastern Zone Tournament.
Captain Denzel Pereira stepped up to become top points scorer and both Harrison Shao and Leandro Arabelo scored valuable 3 pointers. Great effort from the entire team.



First Festival Performance

Our school performed an amazing kapahaka at this years Kōanga Festival on Saturday morning at Somerville Intermediate. It was a day of many ‘firsts’ –  first performance for most in public, first time performing at the Kōanga Festival, and the inaugural performance of our school haka: ‘Kia Mana Ake’ – ka mau te wehi! Congratulations to the group, you did us proud; and a big thank to all staff and supporters in the audience. 

Winning Design for Kōanga Festival

Māori and Pasifika Coordinator, Jason Tuhaka, has congratulated Tra Mi Nguyen (7W2) for designing the winning Mission Heights Junior College picket to represent the school at this year’s Kōanga Festival. The picket reflects our students voices characterising aroha (love) kotahitanga (oneness) and kia mana ake (growing greatness). Great work Tra Mi.

There will be over 30 South-Eastern schools taking part, showcasing the beautiful taonga (treasure) of kapahaka.

Chinese Speech Competition Winners

Dr Fu, the National Advisor for Chinese, visited our College in August to present awards to the winners of the Chinese Bridge Speech Competition. Congratulations to winners Elsa McCormack (8M2) and Aadi Singh (9C1) shown below, receiving their prizes. Dr Fu was impressed by our facilities and our Chinese Teaching Programme. Later, he taught a Year 7 class how to use chopsticks with first prize of the Chopsticks Challenge going to Leo Cao (7C1).

Dr Fu gave advice on expanding our language programme to include trips, scholarships, culture and language exchanges and establishing a relationship with a ‘sister school’ in China.

Dr Fu specialises in Chinese teaching pedagogy and is skilled in calligraphy and Tai Chi. He supports Chinese teaching programmes throughout New Zealand by visiting schools, organising events and running workshops.