Category Archives: School News

Finding Our Way with Orienteering

After an orienteering hiatus, Mission Heights students have found their way around the new orienteering courses at local schools.  Jasper Carpenter recently came 7th in the Years 7/8 event at the Howick College. Over 100 students participated in that age group – congratulations Jasper!

Sustainable Coastline Clean-Up

Students recently went to Kauri Point Reserve in Wattle Downs for a beach clean-up.  Collaborating with Sustainable Coastlines, the group collected quite a lot of rubbish in an hour.  Removing the waste, including a lot of plastic, prevents it from ending up in the ocean and the stomachs of fish and other aquatic species.

The Sustainable Coastlines project is a large project set out to clean up the beaches around New Zealand.  If your family would like to attend one of the upcoming local clean-up events (Manukau and Drury) please visit

Read more on EducationHQ here.

Mrs Gao – Winner of 2017 Chinese Scholarship to Beijing, China

Mandarin Teacher Juliet Gao has won a 2017 Chinese Scholarship to Beijing, sponsored by the governments of New Zealand and China. Only twelve New Zealand teachers were selected nationwide. She will travel to China in April on a three week intensive language and culture programme hosted by the Beijing Language and Culture University. This will be a prestigious opportunity for both Mrs Gao and our school to enhance our teaching pedagogies in teaching and learning Mandarin, and to connect with the international language teaching community. Our school’s commitment to teaching Chinese language and culture impressed the panel.

The programme partners are:
• Chinese Ministry of Education via Hanban
• New Zealand Ministry of Education through ILEP
• Chinese Embassy in Wellington
• Beijing Language and Culture University

Jayshant’s Athletics Success

Jayshant Kumar (10M1 – pictured centre) has recently taken up athletics with the Pakuranga Athletics Club. His events are 100m , 200m, 60m and Long Jump. The Counties Manukau Champs were held last Saturday and Jay did extremely well, bringing back medals for all 4 events in the under 14 boys ;
Gold medal in Long Jump, Silver medal for the 60m sprints and Bronze medals for 200M and 100M sprints. We are extremely proud of Jay and his achievements at MHJC and wish him all the very best for this weekend coming, where he will be competing at the Auckland Athletics Championships.

Introducing New Staff to the College

We extend a warm welcome to the following new teachers and support staff:
Pictured from Left: Tess,  Ayesha,  Lesley,  Laetitia,  Sonia,  Wyn, Razak,  Dino  &  Patricia.
(Adora & Elise absent)

Tess Connell is a beginning teacher in Forest Whanau who teaches Global Studies. Tess studied Psychology and Sociology at the University of Auckland. She loves tramping, painting landscapes and travelling (she once travelled the length of India!)

Wyn Morris is an experienced teacher from Remuera Intermediate School who has joined Mountains Whanau teaching Mathematics and Science. Wyn has  twin girls and loves the outdoors, camping, gardening and horticulture.

Sonia Lovemore is a second year teacher who specialises in Health and Physical Education, joining Mountains Whanau this year. She has a passion for and is an accomplished football and touch rugby player and loves animals.

Dino Gardi brings a wealth of experience in Outdoor Education having run successful programmes at Edgewater College, Alfriston College and Tangaroa College. He is teaching Global Studies and Health and PE in Forest Whanau so he can share his passion for the environment with his students in two learning areas.

Lesley Williamson is teaching Science in Water Whanau as a new career move after starting and developing the very successful “Littlies” company which provided parenting advice to thousands of subscribers. This passion to help others has found expression in teaching, a lifelong dream of hers.

Adora Lindsay teaches Maths and Science in Coast Whanau and has valuable experience of successfully leading a collaborative team of teachers at Alfriston College. She is keen to contribute to the collegial, cross curricular approach we promote at MHJC. 

Patricia Zwarts is relieving for Priscilla Naidoo in term 1 as Ms Naidoo completes her Masters degree. She is an experienced teacher of Domestic Science and loves gardening.

Support Staff:
Laetitia Jansen Van Rensburg is our new Sports Assistant and a qualified fitness instructor. She has a degree in Sports Management and a passion for all sports, particularly netball which she plays at a high level.

Razak Shukor has joined us our IT assistant. He has excellent qualifications and experience in the IT field specialising in systems and operations management.

To cope with the extra volume of work in the library as the two schools grow, a Library Assistant has been employed. Elise de Silva is passionate about books and reading and also is experienced in multi-tasking – a key requirement in this busy role.

Ayesha Kumar joined us in term 4 last year as our Science laboratory Technician. Originally from Singapore she completed her B.Sc in Biological Science at the University of Auckland.

‘Around the World in 80 Days’ Challenge

As a part of the ‘exploration’ stage of their learning journey, Year 9 students from Water Whanau enjoyed the opportunity to conduct firsthand research with industry experts, Emma Pilkington and Sesh Dayal from Botany Flight Centre today.  Students have been tasked with the challenge of designing an ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ tour on a budget, taking account for real-world requirements such as passports, visas, timezones, currency, insurance, personal safety and travel bans plus a range of ‘What if’ scenarios and travel tips.  We thank Emma and Sesh for their time and valued support of the school.