Category Archives: Principal’s Blog

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.

Welcome to the 2017 school year!

This promises to be another year of exciting opportunities for our students. I look forward to welcoming all our new and returning students personally and hope everyone has made suitable resolutions for 2017.

We were very pleased with our National Standards achievement data and wish to congratulate the Year 7 and 8 cohort who managed to exceed the 2016 target in Mathematics and reach the 2017 target of 85% at or above standard a year ahead of schedule! All our results will be placed on the web site in the Principal’s Report once the NCEA data has been received.

We also received the confirmed ERO report which is also extremely positive. The team were extremely impressed by the school and how we are bringing the vision of “providing innovative, constantly evolving, personalised learning” to life. The full report will also be put on the web site after it has been ratified by the Board of Trustees at its first meeting of the year.

A big year lies ahead for our students who will be the first to be able to work at school with their own devices. We predict this move will have a very positive effect on teaching and learning and reinforces every aspect of our vision. Please refer to our web site for more information about this important initiative.

Best wishes

Striving for excellence

Our students have shown two examples of being able to compete against the very best.

The first example is the Year 7 and 8 cricketers who reached the last four of all intermediate schools in Auckland in a limited over competition. In an exciting semi-final they were very disappointed not to make the final when the two teams finished on the same total. A count back to wickets lost meant their fantastic run ended after knocking over three local schools and St Kentigern College in the quarter final. An excellent achievement and credit to coach, Mr Pasupati and the boys.

In the area of academic competitions, our Year 10 team of problem solvers entered and reached the finals of the Bright Sparks Competition. This is a fantastic achievement and complements the four teams who won awards in the IPENZ Competition. Again credit is due to the students and mentors, I would also like to thank Mr Hargreaves whose engineering background is proving invaluable in supporting these and other projects.

“Growing greatness – kia mana ake”

Advice for Year 10 students 2017

Many parents have been asking me for advice about their Year 10 child/ren’s next steps on their learning journey. I need to emphasise that the vision for the Flat Bush area was for MHJC to be the feeder school for Ormiston Senior College and I remain committed to this ideal. We work hard to ensure there is a seamless transition from our contributing schools through MHJC to OSC. Diana Patience and I have regular meetings to seek ways to collaborate and we have spoken recently about how we can share resources to develop each other’s sporting programme. She has already made good progress with her school being involved in a sports exchange this year.

I am also convinced that Ormiston Senior College is able to provide outstanding academic opportunities for your children. The school’s results last year indicated excellent growth and to have over half of the Year 11 cohort achieving an excellence or merit endorsement is a record most schools would envy.

I attended the Prize Giving last year and was very impressed by the tone of the event and the achievements of the students. One was of particular note – Taraani Mohammed (former student of MHJC) who was awarded a scholarship from the University of Auckland to cover her entire study fees estimated at over $30k.

Finally we all want students to learn in a happy, caring environment and the personalised learning programme that they are used to combined with entering the school with well-established friendships is a crucial ingredient to academic success.

I hope my words, visits to the school and meeting members of staff may help you to make an informed decision. But don’t forget to listen to your child as well!

“Growing greatness – kia mana ake”

Enrolments 2017

I would like to urge our community to ensure that enrolment applications are handed to reception in good time. Much of our planning and in particular staffing is based on the data we collect before the end of this term so accuracy is important.

The Board of Trustees has indicated that Out of Zone applications may be considered for 2017. This is in response to a number of families, particularly from Mission Heights Primary School who have found themselves to be outside the new zone created by the Ministry of Education to cater for the opening of Ormiston Junior College next year. They had originally bought homes inside our zone with the intention of attending MHJC so the board felt the need to support their application. We wish to keep families and community together – whanaungatanga.

It is also important to remind the community that if you have a sibling at the college and your home used to be inside the zone your child may remain at the college and siblings are entitled to enrol without going into the ballot.

“Growing greatness; Kia mana ake”


At Mission Heights Junior College we use e-asTTle tests at the beginning, middle and end of the year to help us gain an insight into the numeracy and literacy abilities of our students. This data in turn helps us to personalise and cater for the diverse learning needs of our students, it is also used to help us measure student progress.

At the completion of each test each student has an ‘Individual Learning Pathway’ report that is generated for them. This report allows them and us as their teachers to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This is the report that your child will share with you in their Student Led Conference.


The report is divided up into four quadrants:

  • Achieved (Yellow) – questions that, given the student’s overall e-asTTle score (in the appropriate curriculum area), should have been answered correctly and were.
  • Strengths (Green)– questions that were expected to be answered incorrectly, given the student’s overall e-asTTle score, but were answered correctly. These questions are more difficult than his/her overall ability. However for reading, it is possible for a student to have correctly guessed the answer to questions that would normally be outside their ability range. While such responses will be excluded from the student’s level calculation, the questions will still display in the Strengths box.
  • Gaps (Red) – questions that, given the student’s overall e-asTTle score should have been answered correctly but were incorrect. These are questions that would be expected to be relatively easy for the student. This is an area where teachers will investigate to determine the reason. It may be due to carelessness, skipping questions, illness or not having being taught it yet. As these questions are at a level easier than the student’s overall ability, it is expected that the student should be able to learn this information quickly.
  • To Be Achieved (Blue) – questions that were expected to be answered incorrectly, given the student’s overall e-asTTle score, and were answered incorrectly. These questions signify areas that the student has yet to achieve and in which it is expected they will require more teaching and learning of strategies to achieve in this/these areas moving forward.

It is possible for the same objective to be listed in multiple quadrants, because the questions relating to a single objective may be of varying curriculum levels.

A question may appear more than once in the same quadrant. This is because a question may have more than one objective associated with it.

More information about the ILP reports can be found here.

We have recently developed and are trialling a new tool which will see students identify the area of most concern in the ‘To Be Achieved (Blue)’ box of their report and make a goal using strategies to target this area of weakness. We are hoping that by doing this students will have a better understanding of the reports, their own capabilities and take more ownership of their learning between tests by making and revisiting goals around their needs.

At the completion of the test an overall score is generated for each student, from these scores we are able to identify if students are ‘well below’, ‘below’, ‘at’ or ‘above’ where they should be for their cohort nationally. This information is outlaid in the ‘MHJC Traffic Lighting’ for reading and maths and is used by teachers to personalise the learning of students with level appropriate texts and tasks. This differentiation and personalisation of learning is important in order to help students make positive shifts towards where they need to be to meet cohort expectation or to extend them and provide them with the necessary challenge needed if they are working above level.