The Whānau system is the foundation of pastoral care at Mountainview High School. It is also one of the points of difference for our school.
In 1984, Mountainview High School was built using the Macleans College whānau model which essentially involves a central common room surrounded by classrooms. This model was investigated as an alternative by the Ministry of Education in response to a need for students to have a place to meet and a sense of belonging and identity.
At the beginning of Year 9, students are allocated into a whānau – Hiwi, Moana or Whenua. It is here that they become part of an extended family of both staff and students. They will remain in this whānau for their time at our school. Preference is given to students who have family links existing within a whānau. We endeavour at Year 9 and 10 for students to be taught by teachers who also belong to that whanau for their core classes. This assists with building strong, respectful relationships between students and staff and develops a further sense of community.
The school is based around three central whānau blocks. Each whānau is allocated a leader who leads the whānau and is responsible for the care of the students in it, their conduct and attendance. Each whānau leader is supported by an assistant who collaborates with the leader to complete a range of jobs. The Whānau Leader’s job includes running fortnightly assemblies, promoting whanau spirit and organising the friendly activities that provide the inter-whanau competition. Each year the whānau compete for the Preen Shield which has a history going back to 1942 when the school was Timaru Technical College. The teachers in the whānau, mentor students in their role as a group teacher. A group consists of approximately 20 students and contain students of all Year levels. This fosters student leadership and promotes on going peer support. The group teacher acts as the first point of contact for a parent and if the matter is of further concern, please feel free to contact the whanau leader.
Mountainview High School provides opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills which will ensure they become valued members of a wider community.
Peer Support: Peer Support is an important part of our junior orientation programme. It provides support and assistance to the Year 9 students starting secondary school by ensuring they have positive role models. The peer support programme utilises group discussion and activities led by senior students to help develop self-confidence, trust and friendship. Year 12 and 13 students undergo a training programme prior to implementing the programme, and organise ongoing sessions to reinforce these values under the guidance of staff.
Whānau Council: Each whānau has a student council whose role is to foster unity. The focus is on encouraging others to be active and valued members of both their group and whānau, and to participate in the many challenges and activities that are run within our school. They take responsibility for the day to day running of the whānua, as well as assisting with the organisation of assemblies. Students from any year level can be nominated to be on the councils, as it is a way of developing leadership skills in all of our students. Two members of this council lead it and they provide the link to the Executive Council. Year 10 leaders are also elected for each whanau to assist during the latter half of the year as the seniors turn their focus to their end of year exams.
Executive Council: Consists of the Head Students, House Leaders, Sports Captains, Maori Rep, and the International Rep. Members of this council often represent the school at formal occasions as ambassadors of the school. The Executive Council works closely with senior staff members to implement their vision for the year. Charities and organisations are supported with funds raised through mufti days and events such as our annual Mounties Got Talent. All year 13’s take on an important leadership role in supporting this council and are integral in making up the Social Committee, SADD and the Sports Council, as well as being buddy readers to our Learning Support Centre students.
The careers advisor helps students to make subject choices and decisions about career options and training beyond school.
The careers room is well-resourced with brochures and prospectuses for universities and other tertiary training providers. The careers service’s website can be assessed from the school computer. Students can take part in work experience and attend a variety of seminars both at school and at various institutions. The careers service’s website provides excellent advice on study, training and employment options for students and school leavers. It provides a huge range of career paths and ideas on how students can begin their career journey. In the senior school, students can request one on-one-time to discuss applications, careers and assistance in developing a curriculum vitae. The Careers Advisor has also been used as part of the subject selection process available to Year 11, 12 and 13 students prior to subject selection.
Phone: (03) 684 7039 Fax: (03) 684 7037
Learning Support – Whare Ako
Mountainview has a strong philosophy and history of providing inclusive educational opportunities for all students.
Whare Ako (formerly the Learning Support Centre) provides specialist educational support for individually-funded students. Through the collaboration for success model and a philosophy of mahi-tahi we work alongside students and their families to develop a meaningful individualised education programme that caters for their specific requirements within the New Zealand Curriculum.
Learning Support also works alongside leadership, teaching and support staff to meet the needs of students identified with additional needs. We support individualised planning for students with complex or additional educational requirements outside of Whare Ako, that may also include collaboration with both the health or social sectors to engage specialist service. We are the key contact for students accessing or applying for specialist support from out of school providers such as Ministry of Education Learning Support or Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour. We provide opportunities for staff to engage with specialist professional development and resources to ensure the best outcomes for all identified learners. Learning Support also manages the application for NCEA Special Assessment Conditions and allocation of conditions for verified students.
Phone: (03) 684 7039 Fax: (03) 684 7037
Mountainview High School offers a guidance counselling service to our school community. New Zealand and international research shows that the enhancement of student wellbeing is emerging as an important approach to the development of a student’s social, emotional and academic competence. Youth issues are increasingly complex. As such our school counsellor can assist student’s co-construct solutions to deal with a range of personal, social or behavioural issues that could impact on their current and future wellbeing.
About the role:
Counsellors help to manage risk around complex issues as a point of ‘first screening’ that students can easily and confidently access. Skills, knowledge and strengths-based approaches are used to assist students to:
- Be listened to, in privacy and with confidentiality
- Safely get through moments of crisis and manage ongoing risk
- Find solution-focused strategies to use
- Identify their strengths, and draw on key emotional competencies
- Build resilience
- Strengthen their sense of self, and self esteem
- Access key information, other services and resources relevant to their situation
- Be advocated for, as needed
- Be motivated, encouraged and empowered
- Value and express diversity