Connect, inform and learn together

Communicating and reporting to students, parents, caregivers and whānau

At HVHS, we believe students’ interests are best served when we work together, in a partnership with our parents, caregivers and whānau. Communication is a key to happy schooling.  Here are some of the systems and practices that we use to keep you in touch with the progress of your child.

Mentor Teachers, Deans

  • Deans and mentor teachers work together with parents, caregivers and whānau to ensure a thorough academic and pastoral care of each student.
  • The deans of each year move with the year group through to Year 13. They get to know your child very well over the years and please get in touch with them if you have a query, request or concern.
  • Wherever possible, one of the Year 9 mentor teachers progresses with the class into Year 11 and 12. This enables strong relationships to build up between family and school.
  • Mentor groups are small with only 12-15 students in the junior years.
  • All mentors will make introductory phone calls and/or emails home at the beginning of the year to introduce themselves or reconnect after the holiday break.
  • Families are encouraged  to contact mentor teacher with their queries and it is expected that mentors will contact you with minor concerns before anything escalates. We work on a policy of ‘No Surprises’.
  • Email is the best way to contact mentors and deans.

Subject teachers

  • Subject teachers will communicate with you on a regular basis.
  • A learning overview for the term is available on Kamar (online reporting).
  • For every subject, each term, there will be a minimum of one grade and a comment. The grade will indicate the New Zealand curriculum level that the student is working at. Some of the grades will be summative - marks given at the end of a topic or unit of work that summarizes overall learning and indicates the curriculum level that the student is working at.Other entries will be formative - mid-topic progress comments and grades to give parents and students an idea of the level currently being achieved and how further progress can be made; these will be referred to as ‘next steps’.
  • Google Classroom - resources and information is posted here for students. If students are absent they can keep up to date with what is being taught in a class.
  • Behavioural concerns - emails and phone calls.There should be ‘No Surprises’ and family and school should work together to support students.
  • Caregivers can email staff at any time for progress information or to ask for clarification.

Recognition of Achievement

The following ceremonies and formal events are focussed on recognising the academic achievements:

  • Dean’s awards at the end of each term
  • Ad Alta Award - awarded to students who consistently achieve high attitude to learning grades, have excellent attendance and contribute to school life by way of service, sport, cultural, and /or artistic endeavour. (End of year prizegiving)
  • Academic, Sports, Cultural and Service badges  (each term as the honour is gained)
  • Maori student achievement - Hotuwaipara award night (end of the year)
  • Pacifica student achievement night (end of year)
  • End of Year Prize Givings

Start of the Year Welcome Meetings

All Year 9 parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend the February ‘Meet and Greet’ evening. This evening provides an opportunity for you to meet mentor teachers, some subject teachers and hear about expectations, systems and how you can support the learning of your student, as well as to meet other parents/caregivers.

Access to student data

  • Parents and caregivers access student data through the Kamar Portal. You can view daily attendance, academic results including NCEA progress, individual subject achievement including feedback and feedforward information, student timetables, school notices, groups, awards and contact details. 
  • We recommend parents check the portal regularly. Parents and caregivers will be emailed log-on details. Call the school office if you have lost your log-on information.
  • Students can access this same data by using their school log-on to the Kamar Portal.

Attitude to Learning Reports

  • Attitude to Learning will be reported 3 times a year for seniors and 4 times a year for juniors. The reports will be available in the middle of each term.
  • These reports give an indication of the attitudes to learning that a student is demonstrating (readiness to learn, completion of work, behaviour and effort) in each of their subjects. 
  • It is our experience that students who receive excellent or very good grades for all four of these factors go on to achieve well.
  • If the ‘Of Concern’, or ‘Inconsistent’ box is ticked, parents/caregivers should make contact with the teacher to discuss ways that you can help your child to improve this particular aspect. It is likely that staff will have already made contact with you to make a plan moving forward.
  • All reports can be accessed on the Kamar Parent Portal - Reports

Learning Conversations

All students will be invited to a Learning Conversation with their parents/caregivers and mentor in term two. This provides an opportunity for a collaborative approach to support a student’s journey through school. The mentor teacher has a key role in the ongoing connection between home and school and they are well placed to pass on information from subject teachers and provide support and guidance. Learning Conversations also provide a holistic, and if need be specific, reflection on a student's learning. At the senior school the focus is also on NCEA progress, awareness and goals. 

Preparation for the Learning Conversations are completed by the student and mentor teacher during mentor time in the weeks prior to the meeting. The mentor teacher will gather information from the Attitude to Learning Reports, assessments completed and subject teacher feedback. The student will lead the Learning Conversation and the mentor teacher will facilitate the meeting. The Learning Conversations are held over two days at the end of term 2 by scheduled appointment. Students will continue to learn on line over these two days when not in a Learning Conversation. 

Each level's Learning Conversation will have a different focus. However, all will look at Attitude to Learning grades, achievement to date and work-ons to ensure success at school.

  • Year 9 and 10 will focus on building a strong foundation for academic and social success. School values will be aligned with short and long term goals.
  • Year 11 will focus on the beginnings of a student's journey into NCEA. There will be targeted discussions to ensure students and families understand all that is required.
  • Year 12 and 13 will begin to focus on pathways after school and the specializations that may be starting to occur. The set up of these conversations will enable much more flexibility in that they may be face to face, virtual via Zoom or email and phone calls.

Reporting progress - Years 9 to 13

The school formally reports student progress and achievement in the following ways:

  • Termly ‘Attitude to Learning’ Reports - emailed out mid term (3 times a year for Senior sStudents and 4 times a year for Junior Students)
  • Grades and comments posted in real-time on the Kamar Portal
  • Learning Conversations in term two for all year groups run by Mentor Teachers
  • Appointments with teachers as needed - email teachers direct.

Reporting to the NZ Curriculum Levels at Years 9 and 10

We report and assess students against the New Zealand Curriculum levels Level 1-8.  At years 9 and 10 our intention is to capture where a student is at in terms of the achievement objectives of the New Zealand Curriculum, rather than where they are at in terms of internal and external assessment of particular standards for an individual subject. It is likely that students will be at different levels for different aspects of the curriculum; for one skill they may be at a higher level than they are for another skill in the same subject. 

  • As a broad generalisation, the average student in year 9 builds on work previously covered at curriculum Level 4, and begins to develop skills and understandings at curriculum Level 5. In Year 10 students continue to extend their understanding at Level 5. Typically teaching programmes range across curriculum levels, and provide students with scope for revision and reinforcement of key concepts at lower curriculum levels, as well as scope for extension to higher curriculum levels. A student in Year 9 or 10 has the potential to show achievement at Level 6 of the curriculum.
  • This diagram below shows how curriculum levels typically relate to years at school. Many students do not, however, fit this pattern. They include those with supported learning needs, those who are gifted, and those who come from non- English-speaking backgrounds. 
  • Students learning an additional language, or studying a learning area not taught by a specialist at primary school are also unlikely to follow the suggested progression: Level 1 is the entry level for those with no prior knowledge of the language being learned, regardless of their school year.  Level 3 is often the entry level for The Arts. By the end of Year 10 the average student will have consolidated work from curriculum levels 1-4 will be in the process of developing skills at Level 5 of the curriculum.

While most subjects will report the curriculum level, some subjects may also break down the Curriculum Level into 3 stages - Beginning, Proficient and Advanced. 

Within each level there are 3 sub-categories to give you a clearer understanding of where your child is at.

  • Basic Items that require partial mastery of knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at the level. 4B: means that your child is beginning to work at Level 4
  • Proficient Items that demonstrate applications of the knowledge. 4P: means that your child is proficiently working at Level 4
  • Advanced Items that are difficult applications of the knowledge and skills of the given level. 4A: means that your child is working at an advanced level within Level 4

Not all students start on the same level or progress at the same rate. It is also likely that students may be at different levels for different aspects of the curriculum. E.g for one skill such as writing they may be at a higher level than they are for speaking. Likewise this can be the case between subjects as well.

NCEA reporting - Senior students

At any point in the year students, parents and caregivers can go to the Kamar Parent Portal for information on progress.

  • For subject progress click on Current Year Results. You can then select the subject and view completed internal NCEA standards, and there may be comments about the progress towards completing an internal standard. In addition there will be indicative grades and comments about a practice external assessment (e.g. end of year examinations).
  • For an up to date NCEA summary of completed credits you should click on ‘NCEA Summary’.
  • For a copy of the Attitude to Learning report click on ‘Reports’.
  • If there are comments or grades that cause you concern, you should contact the subject teacher requesting further information or a meeting.  
  • Term 4 Derived Grade examination results are available on the portal as soon as they are marked.
  • Practice examinations or practice externals throughout the year are an indication of what a student might achieve in the end of year NCEA examination.  
  • Term 4 Derived Examinations results are used if a student is unable for legitimate reasons to sit the November/December NCEA exams.
  • Parents can print any of the above reports for their own records. The school will supply a copy on school letterhead on request.

NCEA Examinations

  • Ongoing formative assessment and practice happens regularly throughout the year for external standards. Students should be receiving verbal and/or written feedback on their progress.
  • Formal tests will happen throughout the year at the end of units of work.
  • The results of these examinations will be used for NCEA Derived Grades if necessary. A Derived Grade is required when a student misses the end of year NZQA examinations due to a legitimate reason such as illness, or a family member passing away.  Long term illnesses,conditions are not covered by the derived grade process.
  • Formal senior examinations - Weeks 1-2, term four (results and feedback given directly to students, and results posted on the portal)
  • NZQA’s end of year NCEA examinations take place in November and December. Students receive an admission slip for these exams from mentor teachers and are briefed on expected behaviours in these exams run by NZQA. The exams are held at HVHS.

Updated Dec 2021