The school community
Hutt Valley High School - Te Kura Tuarua o Te Awakairangi
Description of the School’s Community
The Hutt Valley High School community covers a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds in the Lower Hutt City area. It encompasses a ’settled’ area, where new housing occurs only on re-developed sites and where there is steady internal migration as families with teenage children endeavour to settle close to the centre of Lower Hutt. The largest population area is that of Maungaraki/Normandale which also contains the largest area of teenage population, while the Central Hutt – in close proximity to the school – and Eastbourne, contains the highest proportion of elderly people (70+ years).
At the time of the last census (2006), Lower Hutt City had just over 97,700 people. 64.9% of the Lower Hutt population said they belonged to the European ethnic group compared with 67.6% for all of New Zealand. 17.1% of people in Lower Hutt city said they belonged to the Maori ethnic group compared with 14.6% for all of New Zealand. The population of Lower Hutt City contains a larger proportion of Pacific peoples (10.5%) and a slightly smaller proportion of Asian people (8.7%) compared with the whole of New Zealand (at 6.9% and 9.2% respectively).
In general, the school’s community is one in which there is a high expectation of educational success for children from their parents. A growing proportion of students have after school jobs at some time of the week.
A feature of Lower Hutt is the variety of educational institutions found in the Central area. Within a few kilometres of Hutt Valley High School are Weltech, Sacred Heart College, St. Bernard’s College, Chilton St. James School, St. Oran’s College and Naenae College.
The majority of students come to the school via Hutt Intermediate (54%).
There is a high community expectation of Hutt Valley High School as an ‘academic’ school, because many of the local community are old students and that is the tradition they remember. Because the school is located close to the centre of Lower Hutt City, it is very much identified with the City itself. With the closure of Petone College in 1998 the school’s catchment area was enlarged, to include everything between the Hutt River and the Petone foreshore.
General Description of the School
The school has a roll of 1,645 (May 2011), 57% boys and 43% girls, including 44 foreign fee-paying students. Students comprise 53% New Zealand European, 15% Maori, 7% Pacific Island, 15% Asian and 6% ‘other European’. Within these groups there is a considerable diversity of ethnic origins. The school also has at any one time a number of overseas students here under official exchange programmes. Two full-time and three part-time teachers deliver ESOL programmes to those for whom English is not their first language.
The school’s enrolment zone encompasses both the poorest and the wealthiest areas of Hutt City, and students come from a wide range of both employment and household backgrounds.
Twenty six students who are verified as having high or very high educational needs, of whom 20 are taught in a Learning Support Unit with specialist teachers. All of these students are ORRS funded. Six ORRS funded students are fully mainstreamed.
There is a high community expectation of Hutt Valley High School as an ‘academic’ school, and that is very much the drive of the Board of Trustees and staff. Because the school is located close to the centre of Lower Hutt City, it is very much identified with the City itself. With the closure of Petone College in 1998 the school’s catchment area was enlarged, to include everything between the Hutt River and the Petone foreshore.
There are 99 full-time teaching staff, of whom 59 are women and 40 men. There are also six women and one man in part-time positions. Management units are shared proportionally between men and women.
All teachers are registered, and the school is fortunate in continuing to attract staff of high calibre and professional commitment.
There are also ten itinerant music tutors, 15 teacher aides and 34 administrative, ancillary and grounds staff.
The Woburn Road campus consists of a variety of buildings spanning 50 years. In the last ten years a new library and administration block, Learning Support Unit, Physical Education gymnasium and Art block have been completed. The old library has become a student centre, to complement the Year 13 common room/pavilion. There are specialist Dance and Drama rooms, as well as six computer rooms. There is a new graphics area with computer facilities and the school has a laser cutter for use in technology work.
The provision of additional resources for the school has been helped by an active Parents Association. The joint Community/School Gymnasium enables a large number of people to use the school, and the proximity of community facilities means that students can easily go outside the school for work experience, Art Gallery, Library and Polytechnic visits.
Special features of the School
Hutt Valley High School has a proud tradition of involvement and achievement in extra-curricular activities, and school sports teams, music, drama and dance are a strong feature of the school. We put an emphasis on students achieving high standards in what they do, and this is repeated in academic work. Students are encouraged to aim high and succeed in national awards, and the results of these show the school distinctly above the national average.
The school is proud to be inclusive, and celebrates diversity of background and ability. Anyone who lives in our zone has the right to attend, and our professional responsibility is to provide suitably demanding and rewarding challenges for all our students. Beyond the classroom there are well developed support networks involving students, counsellors and deans.
Our size is our strength, and gives us the flexibility to offer a wide range of option subjects and extra-curricular activities. The majority of our students go on from here to some form of training or further study. Whatever their particular areas of strength, our leavers are noted for three characteristics: they accept differences; they are prepared to ask questions; they have achieved success in some endeavour. With this basis, they can go confidently forward.