The Whanau 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 Whanau Model which essentially involves a central common room surrounded by classrooms. This model was investigated as an alternative for the Ministry of Education in response to a need for students to have a place to meet, a sense of belonging and identity.
Students in the beginning of Year 9 are allocated into a Whanau – Hiwi, Moana or Whenua. It is here that they become part of an extended family of both staff and students and they will remain in this whanau for their time at our school. Students are allocated into a whanau with preference going to students who have family links existing within that whanau. 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 building strong respectful relationships between students and staff and develops a further sense of community.
The school is based around three central whanau blocks. Each whanau is allocated a Whanau leader who leads the whanau and is responsible for the care of the students in the whanau, their conduct and attendance. Each whanau leader is assisted by an assistant who can assist by completing a range of jobs. The Whanau leaders job includes running fortnightly assemblies, promoting whanau spirit and organising the friendly activities that provide the inter whanau competition. Each year the whanau compete for the Preens Shield which has a history going back to 1942 when the school was Timaru Technical College. The teachers in the whanau mentor students in their role as a group teacher. A group consists of approximately 25 students and contain students of all 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 a valued 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, under the guidance of staff, to reinforce these values. Whanau Council: Each whanau has a council whose role it is to foster unity within the whanau. The focus is on encouraging others to be active and valued member of both their group and whanau, 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 whanua, as well as assisting with the organisation of assemblies. Students from any year level can be nominated to be on these councils, and is a way of developing leadership skills in all of our students. Two members of this council will 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: This 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 Monties 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 as well as access, on all computers in the school, to the Careers Services website. Students can take part in work experience and attend a variety of seminars both at school and at institutions. The Careers Services 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 they can begin their career journey. Students gain insight into this website when they complete careerquest as part of the junior social studies programme. 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.
Contact: Lois Kirkwwod, 6847039 ext 851, email@example.com
Our vision for students in the Learning Centre is to see them take their place in the community with the skills that will enable them to have pride in their own achievements and contributions.
Mountainview has a strong philosophy and history of providing inclusive educational opportunities. While our Learning Support Centre provides specialist programmes for individually funded students there are also many experiences for them in mainstream or small group classes. The Centre has, at present, two full time ORS teachers and fourteen support staff. Programmes such as Life Skills (Cooking, numeracy and work experience) and Social skills (communication) form the basis for learning while other leisure skills are developed with swimming, music and riding. There is a wide range of ability and needs within the ORS (on-going resourced) student group and this is recognised through the collaborative planning around each student’s IEP. (Individual Education Plan) The school also has a Moderate4 Needs Committee which is made up of a staff member from each Department and the SENCO and Specialist Classroom Teacher. This meeting helps staff identify students that we place on our Moderate Needs Register who may need extra assistance in their classes to access the curriculum. From this committee referrals can be made to outside agencies such as the RTLB service and Learning4U which assist with strategies and recommendations for teachers. The school has developed and make available a range of resources and professional development for teachers around specific disorders so all students have the best chance of achievement.
Mountainview High School offers guidance and counselling to those in the school community who seek it. Many of us face a variety of stresses which can sometimes be lessened with the support of others. In light of this, the school takes seriously its role to support its students, staff and families to the best of its ability.
This role includes:
- Helping students to explore their difficulties and concerns, and to develop their capabilities and resilience
- Fostering conditions in which a student can grow and develop as a person by managing themselves well and by relating well to others
- Offering leadership and sharing expertise in promoting positive relationships
- Promoting awareness of and respect for difference
- Advocating for those who are disempowered by providing equality of educational opportunity for all students, by identifying and removing barriers to achievement and by providing a safe physical and emotional environment for students
- Identifying and supporting students and groups of students (a) who are not achieving, (b) who are at risk of not achieving, (c) who have special needs, and (d) identify aspects of the curriculum which require particular attention
- Ensuring that all students achieve to their potential. Essentially, our focus is on fostering an environment in which all members of the Mountainview community feel valued, respected and trusted to contribute in a manner beneficial to the themselves and to the school.