Category Archives: Our School

Our Values

Our Key Values – Responsibility, Respect, Excellence and Inquiry are of great importance to us. These values are embedded in everything we do and learn at MHPS in our pursuit to achieve our motto of  ‘Growing Excellence’

The New Zealand Curriculum identifies a number of values that have widespread community support.  These values are encouraged, modeled and explored by students in the day to day life of the school.  The table below matches the National Curriculum values with those of Mission Heights Primary School.

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New Zealand Curriculum Values Relevant Mission Heights Primary School value/s
excellence
by aiming high and by persevering in the face of difficulties
excellence
innovation, inquiry and curiosity
by thinking critically, creatively and reflectively
inquiry
excellence
diversity
as found in our different cultures, languages, and heritages
respect
equity
through fairness and social justice
respect
responsibility
community and participation
for the common good
respect
responsibility
ecological sustainability
which includes care for the environment
respect
responsibility
inquiry
integrity
which involves being honest, responsible, and accountable and acting ethically
respect
responsibility
excellence

School Song

Our school song was written and sung by New Zealander Niki Kennedy, who now lives in Toronto in Canada. Niki visited our school to present our school song at a formal school assembly in 2009. The lyrics of the school song are meaningful and of great importance to each and everyone at Mission Heights Primary School.

This is my future
This is my key
This is my chance to fulfill my destiny
Working together teachers and friends
Growing excellence that will never end

We work real hard so we improve
In reading writing maths and science too
We try our best to learn and grow
Expanding on everything we know

This is my future
This is my key
This is my chance to fulfill my destiny

Working together teachers and friends
Growing excellence that will never end
We like to play and jump and run
Supporting each other and having fun
We love our music drama and art
And after all this is where our future starts

This is my future
This is my key
This is my chance to fulfill my destiny

Working together teachers and friends
Growing excellence that will never end

School Council

Student leadership at Mission Heights Primary involves creating opportunities for students to have a meaningful influence over what happens to them and around them. At MHP this happens in a variety of ways, both formal and informal, and involves students as leaders, advisers, ‘helpers’ and decision-makers, as well as consulting with them by asking their opinions and advice to improve the quality of all school learning events and programmes.

The MHPS Student Council is a group of students who undergo a rigorous selection process. They represent all students in the school and organise ways for their schoolmates to participate in school activities and decision-making.

Student councillors are selected for their positive attitude to serving their classmates and the wider school; ability to consult with other students and actively seek out and represent their views; and, show an acceptance of views and ideas that are different from their own.

The role of a Student Councillor is to give feedback and opinions in relation to school events, issues and process; and to feed-back the views of their class mates to the Council and the Senior Leadership Team. Thorough training and preparation takes place at the beginning of the year so that Councillors are aware of their responsibilities of representing their classmates as well as the responsibilities that the position entails.

Each year, 6 to 8 students are selected from Year 6 classes to be on the MHP Student Council. Once selected the students along with the four school House Captains serve a full year as a member of the MHP executive Council. The MHP Executive Student Council is convened by the Principal and meets regularly each week during term time to discuss and plan school wide social, cultural and academic events which also includes their own Graduation event at the end of the year.

Staff

Principal

Mrs Veena Vohra; MEd(1st class Hons), AdvDipTchg, DipEdM

Deputy Principals

Mrs Carol Norton – Junior Learning Community Years 1-3
Mrs Cheryl Hill – Senior Learning Community Years 4-6
Ms Jenny Keber – School Operations & Achievement

Junior Learning Community
Water Studio
Kirstin Meehan, LZ 1 – Year 2
Renlen Bolland, LZ 2 – Year 2/3
Deborah Law, LZ 3 – Year 3

Earth Studio
Janet Twentyman, LZ 4 – Year 1
Manjula Bhattacharay, LZ 5 – Year 1
Stephanie Thompson, LZ 6 – Year 1

Fire Studio
Leigha Stroeven, LZ 7 – Year 1
Nicole Melchor, LZ 8 – Year 2
Nadine Fiebiger, LZ 9 – Year 1

Air Studio
Sharon Garimella, LZ 10 – Year 2
Ruth Cooper, LZ 12 – Year 1/2

Forest Studio
Emma Passmore, LZ 28 – Year 3
Claudia Chan, LZ 29 – Year 3
Renuka Lal, LZ 30 – Year 3

Senior Learning Community
Wai Studio
Erna Bornman, LZ 13 – Year 5
Richard Campbell, LZ 14 – Year 4
Helen Stevens, LZ 15 – Year 5

Whenua Studio
Ashlee Morse, LZ 16 – Year 5
Ashika Devanath, LZ 17 – Year 5

Hau Studio
Monique Browne, LZ 20 – Year 6
Nicole Dennis, LZ 21 – Year 6

Ahi Studio
Wanda Wright, LZ 22 – Year 6
Edward Gee, LZ 23 – Year 6
Gina Heo, LZ24 – Year 6

Ngahere Studio
Bill McCutcheon, LZ 25 – Year 4
Katie McAra, LZ26 – Year 4
Marcella Djongianto, LZ 27 – Year 4

Classroom Release Teacher
Teacher – Mrs Karen Hishey

Music Specialist
Mrs Yun-Pai Hsu

Administration
Executive Secretary/PA – Mrs Sue Kennedy
Receptionist – Mrs Kyra Edwards
Finance/Accounts – Mrs Kathryn Pullar
Librarian – Mrs Sibylle Townsend
Library Assistant – Mrs Elise De Silva
ICT Managers- Mr Ben Doughney, Mr Mark Chang
Caretaker – Mr Marcus Revell
Maori/Pasifika Support – Justine Tuhaka

Teacher Aides/Learning Assistants
Mrs Simone Davies, Mrs Jill Rodgerson, Ms Tracey Currie, Mrs Sally Cutfield, Mrs Vaishali Manocha, Miss Emma Swires, Ms Mayada Yagot

House System

Our School Houses and colours are Hillary (Red) , Batten (Yellow) , Walker (Green) and Blake (Blue) . Students are allocated a House on enrolment. As parents we encourage you to enter into the spirit of House competitions, projects and events to motivate your child.  Each house is managed and led by a House Captain (Yr 6) and Deputy House Captain (Yr 5) who also form the membership of the school’s Executive Student Council. House leaders are elected at the end of each academic year by house members for the following year.

History

Mission Heights Primary School opened in February 2009 with a roll of 175 students and 11 teaching staff. Due to strong enrolments during the year the school grew to 280 students by the end its first year. Additional full time and part-time staff and Learning Assistants were appointed to manage the growing student numbers and opening of new classrooms during the foundation year. While the growth pattern for our school in its foundation year was unpredictable, the leadership and staffing structure was established from its foundation year with a flat management structure to support the future growth of the school which reached its peak roll of more than 686 students in 2014.

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The students  and staff are organised into two Learning Communities: Juniors: Years NE/1-3 and Seniors: Years 4-6. This structure allows a gradual transition for each student through the school and enables each learning community to focus on the academic, social, emotional and physical needs of each group. Each community is managed by a Assistant Principal who, along with the Principal and Deputy Principals comprise our school’s Senior Leadership Team.

School Vision

Our School Vision is: ‘Growing Excellence through innovative constantly evolving personalised learning’.

Our Key Values are: Responsibility, Respect, Excellence and Inquiry are of great importance to us. These values are embedded in everything we do and learn at Mission Heights Primary School in our pursuit to achieve and ‘Grow Excellence’.

Our School Motto is: ‘Growing Excellence’. At Mission Heights Primary School ‘Growing Excellence’ is about developing a habit, it is not a single act. Our vision is to enable students to achieve excellence in learning and in life by providing a rigorous, engaging, challenging and future-focused curriculum. Expecting excellence for all at Mission Heights Primary School is aimed at inspiring and directing students’ best efforts within the classroom and beyond to become active, positive and productive future citizens in a rapidly changing world.

‘Growing Excellence’ at Mission Heights Primary School is:

  • immersing students in the full range of the school curriculum.
  • recognising diverse forms of excellence.
  • providing students with opportunities to learn through multiple modalities.
  • valuing subject matter as important in its own right and as a vehicle to think critically.
  • recognising that knowledge forms the backbone for creativity.
  • expecting students to achieve more than what others think is possible.
  • teaching students to apply their learning to practical, real-world problems.
  • promoting students’ ability to understand things from multiple viewpoints and to appreciate diversity.
  • developing students’ understanding that what is “true” now may not be true in the future and may not have been true in the past.
  • teaching students to take personal responsibility for mistakes and learn from them from an early age.
  • teaching students to care about people other than themselves and to think about the effects of their actions on others and the environment both in the present and in the future.
  • teaching students to use their knowledge ethically, promoting the universal values of integrity, honesty and compassion.

Supporting, emphasising and empowering all students to learn and achieve personal excellence is at the centre of everything that we do at Mission Heights Primary School.

Principal’s Message

Veena Vohra
Mrs. Veena Vohra, Principal

As the foundation Principal of Mission Heights Primary School, it is an absolute privilege to warmly welcome you to a new school in Auckland New Zealand with a “state of the art”modern teaching and learning environment where every child matters.

At Mission Heights Primary School, we strongly believe that high expectations set from the early years of schooling ensure that students are active in their own learning throughout life. With the use of flexible learning spaces, learning studios and effective learning technologies, we expect our students to understand from an early age, what works well for them as they develop a sense of their own identity in how they learn best.

Together with a team of outstanding, dedicated and talented staff, we are strongly committed to deliver an evolving and innovative 21st century curriculum shaped by personalised learning. At Mission Heights Primary the use of engaging and innovative approaches within authentic learning contexts in a digitally intensive environment remains integral to all learning programmes.

As a centre for growing excellence, students at Mission Heights Primary experience unique and vibrant learning opportunities to become confident achievers and life long learners in a positive, safe and supportive learning environment. Besides our positive school culture, the school’s curriculum will enable students to foster a love of life-long learning, develop the capacity to think and learn, and cultivate responsible stewardship for our natural environment and heritage.

Mission Heights Primary School is firmly committed to developing strong partnerships with it’s growing school community. We welcome and encourage all families to be actively involved with our school as we continue our commitment to nurture responsible global citizens, who are empowered and inspired by our motto of ‘Growing excellence’

I am excited and optimistic about the future of our school and students as together with our school community we continue to make Mission Heights Primary a great learning institution that we can all be proud of being associated with in the years ahead.

Veena Vohra (Mrs)
Principal
MEd (First Hons), AdvDipTchg, DipEdM.

Enviro

We are a Green Gold Enviroschool! We take this accolade very seriously and continue to look into ways to demonstrate we care for  our people, programmes, practices and places.

Here we are with the certificate that we were presented at the Enviroschools awards.

This is the Enviro Council 2018, they make the decisions regarding what we do this year for our environment and they head the recycling programme. They shared their Sunsmart message with us at assembly at the start of the year.

At Mission Heights Primary we pride ourselves on our environment! Being a digital school means we’re big on conserving paper. Our school has many environmentally friendly features that include recycling procedures and rain water tanks.

Our lights and most of our taps turn off automatically.

We switched from paper towels to hand driers as well. We have a well established orchard now and our students enjoy feeding and tending to it.

We do our bit for the dwindling Monarch population by having a healthy and well looked after Butterfly Garden.

Our portable worm farm takes care of our fruit scraps.

Solar panels and our special window glass ensure optimum energy efficiency.

We are committed to caring for the environment beyond our school gate and went to Eastern Beach to do a beach clean up.

Here we are sifting through sand looking for the enemy – plastic!

We collected so many objects that could hurt our marine life.

It was the last of those splendid summer days.

Here we are planting and feeding our fruit trees. It is so exciting that we are a part of the Howick Fruit Trees at Schools Project. Students get to observe the progression from seed, to tree, to flower, to fruit and back to seed again.

Three of us went on the Great Enviroschools Bus Tour. We visited Te Ngira Marae, Pukekiwiriki Pa, the Papakura Art Gallery and Drury School. We had the most amazing and varied experience.

marae

This is us with our koha for Drury School

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Two of our team members attended the launch of the Howick Fruit Trees at School Project which was sponsored by Kings Plant Barn. They gifted us 18 fruit trees and the stakes and compost too! Thank you Auckland Council for inviting us to join in this wonderful initiative which is going to be a most valuable learning experience.

We did restorative planting with Auckland Council. Our team recognised that planting prevents erosion, creates a sustainable habitat for our indigenous birds and insects. And of course most importantly that trees provide us with clean air.

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Look at this beehive of activity!

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Right, we dig a hole twice the size of the root ball, drop the fertilizer pellet in the hole, gently ease in the plant, and pat the soil back in and around the plant. There – sorted!

Ishhun

We are signed up with paper4trees  and earned 15 indigenous trees which arrived in Term 2.  Mrs Devanath’s Garden Club planted them. Here are some of her team on the day of the planting.

Garden Club

We have adopted a park this year and we’re quite excited about it. Preliminary meetings were held and we have already been out to the Mission Heights Reserve and tidied up. We look forward to working with Wai Care as well to care for our streams. Here is a photo of us on a litter ramble.

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In Term 3 we will be doing some Restorative Planting alongside  Auckland Council. We look forward to being involved with the environment beyond our school gate.

Here we are helping Mr Revell with keeping our own grounds tidy by brushing the bark into the hedge area.

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We hosted the Eastern Enviroschools cluster meeting in Term 4 2015. We welcomed our manuhiri to our school with a powhiri. The workshop demonstrated the many ways we can use our adjoining forest as an exciting learning experience for our students

We joined the nation in the Earthquake Drill. Every learning zone was made aware of how best to react in an earthquake through a variety of resources and media. Here is a picture of us demonstrating Drop Cover Hold.

Drop

Because we are a rubbish free school, we encourage our students to bring in wrapper free morning teas and lunches. This is what we have in mind when we say wrapper free. It means no cling film or foil or chip and muesli wrappers that simply end up in landfill. Take a look at an ideal lunch box. It is wrapper free and illustrates healthy choices too!

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Here’s How We Care for Our Environment

Learning Zones adopt Enviro areas

Each learning zone ensures that their shared spaces are neat and tidy at the end of the day.

The Enviro Team

The Team are issued with Enviro Councillor and Monitor Badges and are responsible for decision making and collecting used paper for recycling. They are responsible for all three primary blocks, the administrative block, and the library.

Enviro Trophy

The Enviro Council rewards the Enviro effort across the school. They look for tidy bench tops and cubby holes, zero litter on floors, bag cupboards that are kept shut, tidy maths and reading stations and publishing that is neatly displayed. The individual Learning Zone or Studio that demonstrates the greatest effort is presented with the Enviro trophy which they get to keep for a fortnight.

Mrs Vohra is always happy with the number of students that gather around the Butterfly Garden and want to show her the Monarch at various stages of it’s metamorphosis. From a pin head size egg to a caterpillar, chrysalis and a butterfly. Our butterfly garden is a favourite spot for students and families before and after school. It was the legacy of the School Council 2012. They left the ongoing upkeep of it in the good hands of the Enviro Council.

Here’s a picture of our thriving butterfly garden! It just gets better:)

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The MHP Global Sign Post is a celebration of our diverse cultures. It is the legacy of the School Council of 2013.

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And here’s the legacy of the school council of 2014. It already looks great and we are very excited about it. We have these neat little bridges with a board walk that just so perfectly frames our Butterfly Garden. It’s a favourite spot for students during break times. But wait – there’s more… the hand prints of our foundation students and staff have been immortalised in our logo.

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Check out our school values and house heroes signpost.

The wonder of fruit trees right here on our doorstep.

Just chilling on our Friendship Benches – yet another legacy project of our outgoing Student Council.

Paper4trees

We  are signed up with Paper4trees to earn trees for our recycling effort. They even provide us with our grey bins made of recycled light-proof milk bottles. We earned 14 indigenous trees for the year 2016. These were put into the ground by Mrs Devanath’s Garden Club. We chose trees that encourage indigenous birds and insects to make our school their home. The effort we put into our gardens always gives us a good feeling.

Mrs Devanath is taking her students to the Botanical Gardens for the Eye On Nature workshop. It is a great opportunity for our students to learn life skills.

We continue to have a busy time with worthwhile, authentic projects!

Assemblies and Prizegiving

Assemblies

Whole school assemblies are held during odd weeks of the school term on Fridays at 8.50am.  Assemblies are held in the Multi-Purpose Hall and are formal school events where parents, visitors and invited guests are welcome to attend.  At assemblies merit certificates are awarded and successes celebrated.

Learning Community assemblies are held once a term on Fridays at 8.50 am in the Multi-Purpose Hall.  Parents will be informed prior to the assembly if their child’s Learning Community is having an assembly.  Information is also available on the school’s website calendar of events.

Prizegiving

Our prizegiving assemblies are held at the end of each school year.

The Junior Learning Community has a Celebration Assembly.

There is an Awards and Service to the School assembly for years 4-6.

The Year 6 students have an evening Graduation ceremony with a special event planned prior to this.