The Whanau system is at the heart of the school and is the foundation of our holistic approach to student education and pastoral care. The Whanau is a ‘school within a school’ where students are part of a smaller group of 300 students rather than being one of 1800. On enrolment, students are placed in a whanau where they become part of an extended family of teachers and students of all year levels and they remain in this whanau during their years at school, nuturing a sense of belonging.
The school is designed with six two storey whanau buildings. The second floor contains specialist teaching rooms and the ground floor has five teaching classrooms surrounding a Commons space. The Commons area is a home away from home and provides a recreational living space for Whanau students to gather in before and after school, as well as during breaks in the school day. During class time the space provides a breakout area for the surrounding classrooms. It is also the venue for weekly Whanau assemblies where student successes are celebrated and “housekeeping” matters discussed.
Each Whanau is led by a Whanau Leader who is responsible for the pastoral care, academic monitoring and discipline of each student. The teachers in the Whanau mentor students individually and are the people who know the students the best, remaining associated with the students and their families for the five years they are in the school. Where possible the school places siblings in the same Whanau. The Whanau Leader and Whanau Mentors are the primary contact point for families and they will be reporting regularly on all aspects of student progress. Parents should fee free to contact their Whanau Leader by phone or email with any queries or concerns regarding their child.
Students make a contribution to their Whanau, the school, the community and develop leadership through the co-curricular programme and the Whanau Committees. Each Whanau has a complement of the following; Arts Committee, Cultural Committee, Environment Committee, ICT Committee, Service Committee and Sports Committee. Each whanau has Lead Students that copntribute to the leadership of each whanau.