April 2024 Edition
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Newsletter Week 11 Term 1

Hastings Christian School

10 April 2024


On Monday night the board of trustees met for the second time this year. Their job is to provide high-level governance support, help set the strategic direction of the school, to hold the school leadership to account for enacting the school’s strategic plan and to ensure the leadership team have the resources required to make this happen.

Two of the regular reports they receive include a curriculum development update and a professional development report. Excerpts from these reports can be found below:

Curriculum Director Update:
  • The English Curriculum Guide is finished. We are now busy implementing this and working with teachers to help them align their teaching to the new curriculum.
  • To support the new curriculum, we have invested heavily in large numbers of new titles for our library and for classrooms. We have purchased a lot of classic and Christian literature to support instruction in the classroom and to promote the reading of high quality literature amongst our students.
  • The Science Curriculum is currently being written. The director is leading a team of both high and primary school specialists and teachers on this. A vision and aims for our science curriculum have been articulated as have biblical principles that guide planning and practice have been articulated. We are now busy thinking through how to best organise content in a way that best serves student needs.
  • The Curriculum Director continues to co-plan units of instruction (e.g. topics) with individual teachers to ensure implementation of our existing curriculums. He is also meeting regularly with the new secondary English Head of Department to help her better understand the HCS curriculum and how it is implemented in the classroom. We're also working together on how best to trial the Cambridge curriculum from Years 7 upwards.
NB. The curriculum development work undertaken by our curriculum director is made possible by the board of proprietor and board of trustees commitment to release Jonathan Marinus for this work. Your voluntary donation enables the proprietor to make this significant investment.

Primary Professional Development
As mentioned above, the major focus for the primary staff this year is the implementation of the new English curriculum. This document is set to make a significant contribution to the knowledge rich instruction provided by HCS. The minor professional development focus for the primary school teachers this year is the continued support with implementing the new mathematics curriculum. This work is being led by Jo Oxley and Nina Tate.

Secondary Professional Development
Angie Pratt, Emma Nicoll, and Gerald Feyter form the leadership team for the professional development of our secondary staff. This year, our main goal is to use our new Year 11 curriculum as a uniting endeavour. All staff are busy rewriting the Year 11 curriculum and we want this process to be as collegial as possible. We also want to see a consistent approach in building a more knowledge-rich approach and using our professional development time to do this seems sensible.

Renee Ford is leading our house teachers; Jacob Doak, Meredith Robert, Ben Harrington, Anna Smith, and Raphelle Andrews, in developing a house-meeting curriculum. This is a combination of devotional time, student disciplines, house spirit, and a healthy dose of team building. Renee allows house teachers to contribute ideas and give feedback on how the house meetings are going, All house teachers benefit from a collective plan which is collated by Renee.

Herman Philipsen is our lead teacher for the secondary deans who are; Angie Pratt Y13, Vic Clark Y12, Herman Y11, Fiona McEvoy Y10, and Emma Nicoll Y9. The deans have a dual purpose, to get alongside students so that they can participate fully in the classroom, and to deal with any pastoral issues that inevitably arise. The deans serve as a conduit between school and home.

Your prayer support for the curriculum and professional development work undertaken by the school is greatly appreciated.


On Friday we will farewell Jason Stuckey. Jason has been teaching part time in E1 & E2 over the past few years. We're thankful to Jason for the input he has had at HCS and wish him all the best.

Vietnam Trip

The bags are packed and excitement is building for tomorrows departure! Please pray for safety and a great time for our students and teachers as they travel and explore Vietnam. We look forward to hearing about their trip when they return.

Secondary Parent Teacher Interviews

Secondary parent-teacher interviews will take place during week 2 next term. The dates and times will be as follows:

Tuesday 7th May 2:30 - 6:00pm
Wednesday 8th May 2:00 - 5:30pm & 6:30 - 8:30pm
Thursday 9th May 2:30 - 6:00pm

Secondary classes will finish at 2:10pm on Tuesday 7th and Thursday 9th and at lunchtime on Wednesday 8th. D2 will be available for any students who need to stay until 3:10pm.

Further information was sent out via the school app. Here is the link to book your interviews.

Secondary School Interviews

Primary Parent Teacher Meetings

These will take place during week 3, Wednesday 15th - Thursday 16th of May. More details to follow.

Teacher Only Days next term

This is advanced notice of some teacher only days next term.

Friday 31 May - Special Character Training day for staff (school closed)
Tuesday 4th June - Professional development for staff (school closed)

In addition to this the PPTA teachers union have advised us that they will be holding a paid union meeting on Wednesday 15th of May. As we will be unable to staff the secondary school we students will finish at 12:30pm (secondary only).

Trip to Palmerston North for B1 & E2

Next term during week 2 (Wednesday 8th of May) we plan to take the year 5-6 students (B1 & E2) by bus to Palmerston North for a sports day with other Christian schools from around the region. Students will need to be at school at 7:30am and will arrive back at around 4:30pm. More details will be provided early next term.

Muffins & Cupcakes

Muffins and cupcakes will be for sale on the last day of school this Friday. Order alongside the pizza in the morning. $2 per cupcake.

Student Teacher

Next term we will be hosting a student teacher in the secondary school. Wilson McCullogh will be here for 2 x 4 week training blocks working in the health, PE & mathematics classes.

Lost Property

Please remember to check the lost property if you are missing shoes, uniform, lunchboxes or drink bottles! Anything unclaimed by Friday afternoon will be donated.

Volunteer Work Experience- GATEWAY

Our school's Gateway programme supports our HCS students to transition into the workforce. One component of the program is that it offers structured workplace learning while still at secondary school, usually one day a week for at least 10 weeks. Prior knowledge and experience in an industry can help young people make better, more informed career choices. This also increases the likelihood that young people will end up with a great career.
We are looking for work experience placements for three senior students. Supporting our students is great for your business with an extra set of hands on site for free.
Our three students are interested in the following careers
  • Automotive technician
  • Carpentry/building
  • Plumbing/Gasfitting
If you were able to possibly offer one of these students the opportunity to come and see how your business operates day to day and share with them real-life work experience please contact Emma Nicoll at e.nicoll@hcs.school.nz or call the school office.

Student Achievement

Congratulations to Stefanie Bothma and Lucy Smith who were recently recognised for their achievements.

Stefanie Bothma (Y13) completed her first solo flight and was awarded a trophy for preflight, precision circuits and landing in a national competition in the summer holidays. Well done Stef!

Lucy Smith (Y13) won a Rotary Scholarship to attend a science conference run by Auckland University in the summer holidays. Lucy spoke at a Rotary dinner on Monday night which was also attended by Mr Clark & Mr Feyter. Well done Lucy!

Wings at Toitoi

Here are some of the wings our primary students have created this term. They will take part in a parade on Thursday, starting from Toitoi at 9.30. The wings will then be displayed at Toitoi during the 'lift off' festival during the school break. Well done to all students taking part!

E1 Optimist Yachting

What a windy week at optimist yachting! A handful of plucky sailors gave it a go on Monday but conditions were very challenging. Much to their credit, they held it together, even the capsized sailor! Tuesday and Thursday provided opportunities however, and it was encouraging to see smiles and progress until more wind came and the smiles turned to a few squeals! E1 are a good bunch and they made the most of it, many of them staying on the water. One of the highlights for me was having David Wilkinson, Yoav’s grandfather who he calls ‘saba’ (Israeli for grandfather), a national level sailor in his day, help out before, and during our optimist yachting. His skills and kind and gentle nature were very much appreciated. David gave the students a wonderful 10 minute devotion which really gripped us all as he recounted a harrowing sailing experience and how the Lord protected and saved him and his friends. He said he had to consider God as being real after that day. E1 and I are thankful to Ted Palmer also, and all the parent helpers who made the week a success.

Pizza Lunches

Order before school outside the staff room on Friday mornings. $1.50 per piece, cheesy garlic, pepperoni or ham and cheese. Gluten Free $2.00 per slice.

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday 11th Apr - Students leave for Vietnam Cultural Trip
  • Friday 12th April - Last day of Term
  • Wednesday 1 May - Whole school assembly
  • Thursday 2 May - Y12 Ryda Driving programme
  • Thursday 2nd May - Y9/10 debating
  • Tuesday 7th May-Thursday 9th - Secondary school interviews
  • Tuesday 7th May - Rugby Coaching primary
  • Wednesday 8th May - Healthy Eating Show Y1-4
  • Wednesday 8th May - Y5-6 sports day in Palmerston North
  • Wednesday 8th May - Y11-13 Music Trip
  • Wednesday/Thursday 15/16 May - Primary Parent Teacher Meetings
  • Wednesday 15th May - Union Meeting 12:30pm finish for Y9-13 students