At the end of 2018 Hobsonville Point Secondary School reached five years of age. But Principal Maurie Abraham, reflecting on this milestone, says it seems like yesterday that the school opened.

“So much has happened since we walked into our beautiful new building,” Maurie says.

Back in 2014 there were no sports teams, no kapa haka, no performance groups and no student leadership structures. There’s now a wide range of sports, many of which the students are playing at a highly competitive level. The school’s kapa haka group is going from strength to strength and students have organised cultural evenings, school balls and a range of ‘Community Spirit’ events.

Maurie is proud of the school’s student council, which he says has “…matured into an effective student voice and leadership structure. This year we appointed our first Kaiārahi [leaders], two of whom went to international internships in Australia. Our student guidance team has expanded to include counsellors, youth workers, nurses, a physio and a chaplain service, which once again ensures that student well-being is paramount.”

Standouts for 2018 include head students raising $5000 for Youth Line, two HPSS teams being placed first and second in the National Aquabot Championships (with the top team to travel to USA this year), Gus Clelland placing first in the Senior Division at the recent Student Design Awards, and three students (Tim Cheng, Pieter Douglas and Angus Lynch) taking out top honours at the recent ‘Bright Sparks’ competition.

One of the school’s young Kaiārahi, 18-year-old Jennifer Berry, was interviewed by the New Zealand Herald for its ‘Polite Rebellion’ feature in 2018, which spoke to young people around the country with a firm eye on their futures. She has made it her mission to work on climate change and is heading this year to Canterbury University to study engineering. She hopes to develop technologies that could stem the tide of global warming – and also to inspire other young women into a career in science. As for Principal Maurie Abraham, 2019 will hold a solid, across-the-board internal review.

“Now that the school has got to the point of having all five year levels, with our first students graduating in 2018, we need to ensure that all our programmes are still sticking to our principles: innovate by personalising learning, engage through powerful partnerships and inspire with deep challenge and inquiry. And of course we remain determined to have student well-being at the centre of all we do.”

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