New Migrant & Former Refugee Support Programmes

It is challenging for young people to move to another country.  We understand how difficult it can be to make friends, learn a new language and understand a new culture and school system so you can fit in.  We also know it's important for teenage migrants to stay connected to their cultures and home languages.  We have two main support programmes to help migrant and former refugee students feel supported and welcome at HVHS; Our English language programme and our clubs.

English Language Programme

There are a range of English Language classes at HVHS students can take to help them improve their English.  We have classes from Year 9 to Year 13.

Depending on their level, students can take one, two or three English Language classes. In English language classes students improve listening, speaking, reading and writing in English.  They also learn about New Zealand culture, history and society and go on some fun trips exploring the local area. Recently students have been to Parliament, The National Library of New Zealand, Te Papa, Petone Settlers Museum and Zealandia.

If students are doing an NCEA programme there are English Language classes that have credits for NCEA. These classes help students reach the level required for literacy (reading and writing) at level 1, 2 and 3. These credits are also what students need to get into a New Zealand university.  In our NCEA English language classes students can also get help with the work for other subjects. Our English Language programme supports English learning across all of their subjects.

The programme is divided into three streams, Academic English (ELAC), General English (ELAN) and Foundation (ELAF).

Academic English Language Classes

• Higher level NCEA classes

• 4 hours per week

• Focus on achieving NCEA credits

General English Language Classes

• Focus on learning and improving English language skills

• 4 hours per week

• NCEA credits can be offered when students are ready

Foundation English Language Class

• This is an entry-level class with a focus on basic language skills and vocabulary

• 8 hours per week

• Focus on gaining entry to General English classes

What our students say

Ruizhe, Year 12 from China

"English Language classes have helped me a lot. At the start of high school I didn’t know anything that my class was doing. This was due to the fact that there were a lot of differences between them and me. Differences such as jokes that I can not understand, phrases that I do not know and many many more. I didn’t know why we had to stay at home on different days. But then after I’ve studied about this country I realised that these days are important as they represent this culture."

Jasmine, Year 13 from India

"English Language is very important and helpful for immigrants, former refugee and international students who learn English as an additional language. The teachers work very hard for many students in ELAN classes to succeed in our school life by helping us achieve our goals. If we lack confidence in any subject there are many teachers to help us."

New Migrant & Former Refugee Support Staff

    Sarah Roper   English Language
        Yanling Guo      English Language
    Jamie Casley     Refugee Programme Coordinator
    Grace Hiess  Learning Support Assistant

     Victoria Mitchell       Learning Support Assistant
    Christine Carline Learning Support Assistant


We have three different clubs specifically set up to help new migrant and former refugee students feel welcome and supported at HVHS.

Kiwi Club

This lunchtime club meets every week and provides an opportunity for former refugee students and new migrants to meet together informally, practise speaking English, share some food and have some fun.

Homework club

Together with KiwiClass, an organisation proving multicultural support services in the Wellington region, we run a weekly homework club.  This runs afterschool in our library. Students have access to bi-lingual tutors and subject specific help in a range of subjects such as maths, history, science and technology.

HVHS Fusion

Our Fusion leadership and personal development programme for former refugee and migrant youth is run by staff from Ignite Sport.  This programme provides mentoring and the opportunity to develop self confidence and leadership skills.  Each term, there is a one or two day programme where students are taken off campus to experience a range of exciting adventures. Recent trips have included sailing in Wellington harbour, mountain biking to Pencarrow lighthouse, hiking to the top of Mt Kaukau or taking on the challenge of the high ropes course at Adrenaline Forest. The programme is fully funded and there is no cost to the students taking part.