Our world is really changing. In my school days there was very little in the way of connection between home and school. No interviews, no portfolios, just a written report at the end of the year that didn’t say a great deal really.

I biked to school, so my parents and my teachers almost never made contact - unless I was really naughty, but even when I got six of the strap my parents weren’t told.

Now we are connected in so many ways. We welcome parents into our school and classrooms (and my office), we have phone apps, Seesaw, Facebook, web sites, Direct Mail emailed newsletters, community hui and after school chats (or high fives at the very least).

I had a request to clarify how everything all fits together - so here goes…

Our school website - - has a lot of big-picture and long term information. Term dates, archived newsletters, information for parents, ICT guidelines and photo archives all feature.

Our Facebook site - - is for short term items notices, reminders, updates, and photo-stories of special events soon after they happen. You can sign up to receive an instant notification whenever we make a post to Facebook.

Our WHS Phone App - search for WHS in either store - is a free app you can download form the iTunes store or the Google Play store. Currently we have 539 people signed up to this app. We have just linked this app to our Facebook and Twitter accounts, so any message that is pushed out from our phone app is also automatically pushed out to Facebook and Twitter. This app is for important reminders, updates etc. If there was an emergency, we would be posting to this app first.

Seesaw is our electronic Student Learning Journal. It is first and foremost a record of your child’s learning. We do use it for notices, but try to limit this, and try to remember to take them down shortly afterwards so they don’t clutter your child’s learning timeline. Students should be uploading samples of their learning regularly - photos, videos, pdfs and similar. These may be annotated with video, audio or write-overs. Teachers moderate posts, usually include what the learning intention was and may include a note on next-step learning. We also keep a record of our Key Competencies - so there will be samples over time showing ways children participate, communicate, think, relate, show their understanding and manage themselves and their learning. When a post has been moderated and posted by the teacher, a notification will come to your device. We currently have around 98% of parents connected to Seesaw.

Linc-Ed is our Student Management System. It is evolving into our Student Learning Management System over time. Linc-Ed is a web based application that allows us to track student lateness and attendance, manage student finances (charges and payments), record student visits to our Recovery Room, track Pastoral Care provided for students, and track learning support measures provided such as English Second Language tuition. It shows usual the core information on each child - parent details, alleges, address and phone numbers, email contacts, custody arrangements and so on.

Linc-Ed also allows us to send push text messages to parents of children who are absent without having told us their reason. Previously our Office staff would spend hours on the phone  each morning trying to make contact with families of children who were absent without us knowing why. Now they can click a button and send an automated text message to all those parents in one go. It is quicker and it is therefore safer.

The difference here is that parents give us mobile phone information at enrolment - so Linc-Ed uses that data base to push messages to. Our phone app is only available to people who choose to go out and get it.

Our weekly newsletter is composed in a programme called Direct Mail (similar to Mail Chimp for example). This allows us to have emails converted to html and reconfigured on the fly so that the newsletter is optimised for whatever device you receive it on. We currently send our newsletter to 736 email addresses each week.

Our SchoolDocs Policy website has just gone live - - Our username is   westernheights    and password is    lead.

Prior to this we had typed up policies from back in the day that were uploaded to a google site and were all stand-alone documents by nature. SchoolDocs has reformatted all our policies to ensure they are cross-linked and cover and address every aspect of governance and management that a robust set of school policies should. We have a built-in review cycle individually targeted for each policy.

If you want to know what our policies are on Health, Safety, Welfare, Finances, Property, Governance or even Employer Responsibility (and much, much more), this is where you go to find out. 

We try hard to be very open and transparent with our community. Almost everything to do with our school is available online. Below is a list of other websites that have information that may (or may not) be of interest to you.      - Charter and Strategic Plan      - Learning Plan     - Community Consultation 2017      - Seven Cs - Caring, Curious, Creative, Critical, Confident, Connecting, Contributing   - Principal’s Professional Portfolio    - Maori Achievement Collaborative


Learner-Led Learning Conferences:  

28 February and 1 March from 1pm to approximately 8pm

26 and 27 July from 1pm to approximately 8pm.

Go to to book your time.

The login code for WHS is      

School phone 836 1213    -    Principal’s mobile 021 779 009    -    Absences mobile 021 040 2125