Nau mai, haere mai ki te kura takawaenga o Heretaunga. My name is Michael Sisam and I am proud to be the Principal of Heretaunga Intermediate since May 2014. After starting my career at an intermediate school in Upper Hutt, my wife and I moved to Hawke’s Bay to raise our family; we have two boys and a girl who are growing up quickly, and I taught at Frimley School for 10 years, the last four as Deputy Principal.
The time came to move on and Heretaunga was an obvious choice, as I believe it has five great contributing schools whose students arrive at Heretaunga ready for the challenges of Intermediate, make new friends, and enjoy having many opportunities to choose from that an Intermediate can offer.
Thank you for taking the time to consider Heretaunga as the Intermediate for your child’s education. The intermediate years are a crucial part of the school system as students transition from primary to secondary school, while at the same time the students are coping with significant emotional, physical, intellectual, and moral development. To assist us in catering for all these needs we pride ourselves on delivering a quality learning environment that places the development of positive relationships with our students and their whānau at the core. Once we have the whanaungatanga in place, we then develop our students’ Te Ara Ako within the learning programme to give them the skills to learn in all curriculum areas, and settings.
At Heretaunga Intermediate, we know and understand the need to really get to know our learners. We are an inclusive school and aim to individually meet the needs of our learners in and out of the classroom. We know that our students need to be stimulated in their thinking about what and how they are to learn. By offering a range of learning programmes, styles, and topics we attempt to cater to the areas of interest of all our students through our approach to teaching and learning of Literacy, Numeracy, and the wider curriculum - including all the cultural, sporting, art, science, technology, and musical opportunities.
To assist in getting the best out of our students at Heretaunga our Whanaungatanga is based on: Respect, Pride, and Commitment. We weave these values through our focus on having a ‘Strong and Smart Identity’ so that students can leave Heretaunga ready for the challenges of secondary school and beyond.
We have a dedicated staff that work hard to reflect on their practice in order to provide quality learning programmes for our students, as well as sporting, cultural, arts, and musical opportunities.
Our support staff, Board of Trustees, and HInt Whānau Committee are extremely supportive of the students, and teachers to ensure they have the necessary resources available to them.
Heretaunga is a very inclusive school. We are an Intermediate host school for the Kowhai Special School whose students aged between 11 and 15 attend our school as Heretaunga pupils. While they have their own programme, the Kowhai students wear the Heretaunga Intermediate uniform, take part in sport, cultural, and musical events as well as attend assembly and participate in the technology and arts programmes. All other staff and students are very receptive, supportive, and inclusive of our Kowhai students and it assists our students in accepting differences. This has also been commented on by Dr Russell Wills, New Zealand’s Children Commissioner about a student in the Kowhai Satellite class, “Her parents are impressed at how other children from Heretaunga Intermediate greet her both at school and out of school. The inclusive culture is greatly to the school’s credit.”
Utilising the connections in the community to assist with teaching and learning programmes is important. At Heretaunga, we have a Social Worker available, the Public Health Nurse, and Community Constable are also on hand to assist staff and students with teaching and learning programmes as well as provide support in general health and well-being. We also engage the RTLB service where needed.
Being a Principal is an exciting job because you get to be a part of positive change in so many lives. I take pride in seeing students and staff enjoying their time at school, making connections in their learning and making the most of the opportunities and challenges presented to them. I also really enjoy seeing the students perform on the sports field and stage, showcasing all the other talents that they have to offer (outside of the classroom).
Looking through our website, and our school, should give you the feeling of our want to provide the best environment, and opportunities for all our students to achieve in all areas of the curriculum.
If you are interested in making an informed decision and care about your child's education, on behalf of the Heretaunga staff and students I invite you to make an appointment to have a good look around while we are busy making the most of our learning opportunities.
Wannabe cook (and food tester)