Our Motto – Taumata Rau/Working together to achieve our goals

Taumata Rau ko tatou
Whānau kotahi e
Taumata Rau ko tatou
Kotahitanga e

Ngongotahā te maunga
Rotohokahoka te kura
Ihenga te tangata
Taunaha whenua
Ko Kahu te moana e
Whānau kotahi e

Ko te matauranga
Ko te honore
Ma tini ma mano e
Ka rapa te whai e oti ai

We are one
We are one family
We are one
In unity

Ngongotaha is the mountain
WHHS is the school
Ihenga is the ancestor
The explorer (Ihenga)
Kahumatamomoe is the Lake
We are one

By working together
We will achieve our collective goals

The waiata (song) above embraces our ‘Heights’ philosophy of whanaungatanga (family connectedness).

It includes reference to the physical surroundings of Ngongotahā and the whenua (land) of Rotohokahoka.

We pay respect to our elders through the ancestor Ihenga, the original explorer and navigator. He was responsible for naming various landmarks around our School and Rotorua.

It also embellishes our learning intentions of our Heights vision of working collaboratively toward greatness.

Nau Mai Ki Western Heights High School/Welcome to Western Heights High School!

Western Heights High School has so many reasons to be proud. The academic, cultural and co-curricular achievements of our students and the emphasis on whanaungatanga (family connectedness) creates the unique character that is ‘heights’. We offer our local and international students the opportunity to make their learning experiences enjoyable and rewarding in a truly unique way.

Being an international student at Western Heights is an experience like no other. During your time here you will:

  • Make friends and family for life!
  • Have warm and welcoming homestays
  • Experience authentic New Zealand culture and lifestyle
  • Have highly professional and caring staff
  • Have specialized orientation
  • Experience trips around Rotorua and our surrounding area
  • Experience quality education with globally recognised qualifications

Western Heights High School Profile

Western Heights High School is a State, Co-Educational Secondary School located in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Co-Educational means that both boys and girls attend our school.

Our student body is made of Year 9 to 13 students (12 to 18 years old). We have approximately 1200 students in total.

Our Ethnic make-up is over 50% Māori, approximately 40% Pākehā/New Zealand European and the remaining 10% is made up mostly of Pacifica and Asian ethnicities. We have a small percentage of other ethnicities from the Americas and Europe.

School House System

Our school is divided into five whare/houses. This is to further help students feel connected to our local area, each other and to take pride in where they come from. These houses are like smaller family groups who look after one another and compete in inter-house competitions. House leaders and teachers provide additional levels of pastoral care for our learners. On arrival your child will be placed into the appropriate house group.

Our houses are:

Ngongotahā – to drink from a gourd.

This references back to the legend of the explorer Ihenga and his encounter with the patupaiarehe (fairy people), as well as being the geographical locator of our kura/school.

E eke ki ngā taumata o Ngongotahā – Reach for the heights of success beyond Mount Ngongotahā

Te Motutapu-ā-Tinirau – The sacred island of Tinirau

This references back to Hawaiki (our ancestral homeland) and the story of Tinirau – a pet whale that the island resembled.

Kia Mārohirohi te tū, e rite ai ki Te Motu tapu a Tinirau – Stand strong like Mokoia Island

Rotorua-nui-ā-Kahumatamomoe – The 2nd big lake (dedicated) to Kahumatamomoe

Kia rere ngā kōrero, kia rite ki ngā ia o Te Rotorua nui ā Kahumatamomoe – Let the histories flow like the currents of Lake Rotorua

Waiariki – Water of the gods, Geothermal

Puhapuhatia tō mana, kia pērā ki ngā Waiariki – Let your prestige erupt like geothermal geysers

Ngā Pūmanawa e waru o Te Arawa – The 8 beating hearts of Te Arawa

The 8 children of Rangitihi who begat the tribes of Te Arawa

Kia pātuki ngātahi ai tātou, kia rite ki Ngā Pūmanawa e waru o Te Arawa – Let our hearts beat like those of the 8 beating hearts of Te Arawa

A message from our Principal…

Western Heights promotes a culture of ‘can do’. This means that we expect our students to attend every day possible, have an attitude of positivity, and achieve their personal best in whatever they participate in at school. Our mission statement expresses this: “Western Heights high School will provide every opportunity for students to excel and reach their individual peaks. Taumata Rau – Heights through opportunity”.

At Western Heights High School we are privileged to be able to provide extensive opportunities to our students. Our subject offerings are diverse and include a wide range of science, technology, and language options. We have a dual qualification pathway with both Cambridge and NCEA available. Alongside this our Trades and Gateway programmes offer experience and training for those who might take trade’s pathway. Heights students have continued to find success in academic, leadership and sporting fields, both nationally and internationally.

Choosing which secondary school to send your child to is one of the most important decisions that you will make. We hope that you will trust your child’s education to us and we look forward to welcoming you into our school community. You will quickly see why we are so very “Proud to be Heights”.

  • James Bracefield
    James Bracefield Principal

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