One Tree Hill College // Whanau House System

By: One Tree Hill College  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Student Services

The whanau house system is at the heart of One Tree Hill College and will be the foundation of our holistic approach to student education. The whanau is a school within a school where students are part of a smaller group of 200 students rather than being one of 800. 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, developing a sense of belonging and loyalty.

One Tree Hill College is designed with four whanau areas all adjoining the central Student Services Centre and Knowledge Centre. Each whanau contains specialist teaching rooms and general teaching classrooms surrounding a common space designed for student use. This layout is designed based on current educational research to make transition easier for Year 9 students beginning at the college for the first time. The whanau common area is a home away from home and provides a recreational living space for students to gather in before and after school and during breaks in the school day. It is also the venue for weekly whanau assemblies where student successes are celebrated and daily events 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 at One Tree Hill College. Where possible the college places siblings within the same whanau. The whanau leader and whanau teachers are the primary contact point for families and they will be reporting regularly on all aspects of student progress.

Students make a contribution to their whanau, the college, the community, and develop leadership through the college's co-curricular programme and the whanau. The four houses are Miro, Hinau, Tawa and Kowhai.

Keywords: Student Services

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The whanau leaders and form teachers take a special interest in the attendance, welfare and progress of each of their students. There is a counsellor, resource teacher for learning and behaviour specialist, a social worker, nurse and attendance officer. To ensure maximum academic progress, One Tree Hill College has developed a comprehensive pastoral care programme.


One Tree Hill College // Careers Centre

The computer software programme Career Quest is available for students to use and it will help them assess their interests and the skills they have developed leading them into future career options. Every student is encouraged to move on to further education or employment and the Careers Centre works with students on both an individual and group basis to ensure this happens.


One Tree Hill College // Student Support

Your child's whanau leader will probably the first person you contact if you have any questions or concerns about your child's progress. Whanau classes meet at whanau time twice a day for attendance checking and other administrative or pastoral matters. This group of people is available to students and their families to address issues which are barriers to learning.


One Tree Hill College // Pathways Programme

Each student is mentored by their form teacher who helps them to identify their strengths, set realistic goals for each year, and then monitor their progress in both their academic and extra-curricular involvement in the college.