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Student Profiles

LEARN YOUR WAY at Hagley in Year 12 and 13

Su Ierome

Exploring my interests at Hagley, I've been able to find my passion

I arrived in New Zealand in 2017 and spent a year at another high school before joining Hagley last year. We learned how to read and write in English in Sāmoa, but living and studying in an English-speaking environment is completely different! At Hagley, I’ve been able to take English Language Learning classes alongside my passion subjects. My teachers are all helpful, and the Careers Department are great at supporting the students’ plans for the future.

I’d wanted to study Nursing, so I looked into the Hagley Pre-Health Studies course for this year. The more I thought about it though, I really don’t like blood and I don’t think that would have worked out! I switched focus and signed up for the Early Childhood Education course instead. I’m so glad I did. We spend regular time in the Hagley Preschool, and I’ve had the chance to see what the career actually involves. I feel happy and connected in the class- we spend five days a week together- and we’re more friends than classmates now.

My older sister is studying towards her master’s degree in Wellington and she’s always encouraging my studies. Having had the chance to try out different courses and explore my interests at Hagley, I’ve been able to find my passion. I feel confident moving forward and am planning to continue my ECE studies at university.

Emily Dellaway

I feel free to be myself here, without judgement

Before I came to Hagley, I’d stopped enjoying school. I can’t believe how much has changed in a year! I live out of town, in Waipara, but I’m so happy to get up early and make the trip into school. My favourite thing is how free I feel to be myself here, without judgement, or feeling the need to change myself to fit in.

I know I want to work with children in the future, either in Education or Social Work, so I’ve chosen courses in Health, Child and Family studies (where we visit the Hagley Preschool), and te reo Māori. I already feel prepared for a smooth transition into tertiary study next year. I study full-time at Hagley, but because I don’t have a class on Wednesdays, I can work at my cafe job. I know that learning how to balance study and part-time work will be really important during uni.

Hagley has encouraged connections to my Māoritanga and this year I’ve really strengthened the ties with my iwi, Ngāpuhi, and my hapū. I also play Basketball and I’m helping to organise our Senior Formal. I’ve been able to meet lots of different people and have blossomed into who I am today.

Per Tonascia

I chose Hagley for the people, the subjects and the culture.

I chose Hagley for the people, the subjects, and the culture. The mix of students and teachers here make for a great community. There’s heaps of diversity, kindness, flexibility as well as plenty of opportunities. I’ve learned a lot, both academically and in life, and I know I’ll leave here with an open mind and an appreciation and respect for people of all backgrounds.

Hagley’s flexible approach has made it possible for me to be involved in lots of activities outside of class while also working towards my academic goals. Taking part in lots of sport, going on Outdoor Education trips, and my leadership commitments have all been accommodated for. I can work with teachers to make a plan for catching up on assessments and class work without missing out on other opportunities.

I take a range of classes at Hagley including Psychology, Computer Science, Classics, Calculus, and Physics. One of the unique things about Hagley is the After3 classes and I’ve been able to study German on Wednesday evenings. My academic needs are met here, which means I can learn at the level that’s right for me.

Raihana Akbari

In New Zealand, as women we belong to ourselves.

My dream is to own a restaurant where I’d serve traditional Afghani food, not just to people from Afghanistan, but for everyone to try it. At Hagley, I’m preparing for my next step which is to gain entry to a course in Hospitality. In New Zealand, as women we belong to ourselves. It’s important to me that I can support myself and I have more options here than in the small village in Afghanistan where I came from.

I chose Hagley because I can study subjects like Maths and Science, and learn English at the same time- I know this will help me with my future plans. Science is probably my favourite class. We learn so many interesting things about the world. I go to the Homework Centre once a week in the evenings for some help with my writing; I find it enjoyable because we choose to go. There’s also a translator available at Hagley who I have seen help students with many things, not just schoolwork.

What I also like about Hagley is that there is time in my week to take my classes but also for other things. I have time to help my mother, and take her to her course, as well as time I can spend in the Library here at school, reading or catching up on my studies. I’ve met lots of people and am friends with people from so many places like Somalia, Ethiopia, Fiji, and the Phillipines. The adult Kiwis here are helpful, friendly, and smiley. I’d like to make more friends with young Kiwi students, they seem nice too, and I’d have the chance to practise my English skills.

Solomon Davis

Hagley a place that gives people the room to discover their own reason for learning.

I’d describe Hagley as a place that gives people the room to discover their own reason for learning, and then supports them in that direction.

Te Whare ki Te Puna Wai o Papa has been such an important space for me. It’s a pocket of our school that operates under tikanga Māori- it’s open to everyone and has a real community feel. The kaiako/teachers of the Māori department see students as whole people, not only as pupils, and I’ve flourished there. My potential has been nurtured, and I’ve had opportunities to grow as a leader, and a person. Recently, I had the chance to co-teach a reo Māori session for students training to be teachers- something I would never have imagined myself doing a couple of years ago.

I’m interested in art, music, and language- they’re are all expressions of our identity- and here at Hagley I’ve been able to pursue each of these. I take Music, Printmaking, Māori, Kapa Haka, Film, and Classics. The variety of subjects is why I chose to come to Hagley for my last two years of high school. I came from a smaller school where there was a lot of freedom but being smaller there were fewer classes on offer. There’s also been the flexibility to take six subjects- the usual is five- and there was space in my timetable to do that.

The two councils I belong to at Hagley (Student Council and Te Urungi) have given me an appreciation of how important it is that young people have a voice and are listened to. We care about our world, the people in it, and doing what we can to make positive change- that feels meaningful here.

I think of Hagley as being like the launching pad that I’ll set out from into the future. I feel confident now, in heading into the world.

Liadan Dickie

I’ve never felt pressured into specialisation at Hagley

My interests are broad, and include climbing, music, academics, and most especially, the natural world- where there’s so much more to learn. I’ve been able to explore my passions and projects here, without having to choose between them or narrowing down my options for the future.

Being at Hagley has helped me to improve my self-confidence; I’ve found the teachers and students here to be supportive instead of intimidating. My teachers are also always willing to help with personal projects that relate to the subject, giving me the chance to learn lots of new skills- like the time I found a slime mould and took it to the Science Department for a closer look under one of their microscopes. Things like that really show how supportive the culture is here.

I’m busy most lunch times with activities like Juggling Club, Environment Group, and Scholarship study groups. One of the things I love about Hagley is, you can get involved in what you’re interested in no matter what your prior experience is, and if a group doesn’t exist- you can probably start one up!

Jess Haigh

I feel comfortable and accepted here

I’ve always been creative. When I was little, I’d prefer to make my own toys out of different bits and pieces that I’d put together. Now I’m older, I’m still doing that but I’m creating sculptures instead of toys. In the Sculpture course I take at Hagley, I’ve learned that sculptures can contain symbols, and incredibly deep ideas, but sometimes they can mean nothing at all! I’m inspired by what I see around me, and I’m always looking for new mediums- some of my favourite materials are copper wire and bone. I also take Animation where I get to see my drawings come to life. It was the opportunity to take interesting classes that drew me to Hagley in the first place.

In the past I’ve experienced bullying for being deaf but that hasn’t happened at Hagley. I feel comfortable and accepted here. I’ve found the students are pretty non-judgemental and willing to have a conversation and get to know each other. My friends and I gravitated towards each other in Year 9 but this year we’ve been making other connections through our different subjects and our group is expanding.

I think Hagley encourages responsibility while respecting our independence. It’s certainly helped me to develop my maturity and explore my passions. Going into Year 11, there was a clash between two subjects and I was able to take a Level 2 class to make space for Psychology. Next year I’m keen to pick up the Creative Writing class. I don’t know what my future direction is but I’m going to make the most of my time here working on the projects that I love.

Gisele Proud

There's a focus on learners as individuals at Hagley

Education is important in my family and we spent time researching schools before deciding on Hagley. Having been home-schooled up until Year 9, I knew that bells and a uniform would be a backwards step; I wanted to take more personal responsibility when it came to school. There’s a focus on learners as individuals at Hagley and I’ve always felt supported in making decisions and exploring a range of interests.

It was a subject clash in Year 12 that really helped to set me on the path I’m on today. I was able to take Level 3 Drama and Dance that year which meant I was working towards NCEA Level 2 and 3 at the same time. Following that, in Yr13, I was accepted into the Hagley Theatre Company’s full-time performance and theatre course. Now, I’m 100% committed to pursuing a career in the performing arts. The chance to work with industry professionals every day in this course makes me feel confident and excited about the future. Next year, I hope to study towards a Performing Arts degree at Toi Whakaari or UniTec.

In my time at Hagley I’ve seen the positive way that teachers and students can work together as equals. Whenever I’ve had an idea about my learning pathway, I was able to talk it over with someone and I felt genuinely listened to. I’m always telling people about this place and how many unexpected journeys can unfold here.
The Hagley School of Music has a strong theory component that has helped me develop as a musician. The main difference is that at Hagley everyone can work on what they are interested in, and if you have a strong passion or ambition, Hagley will cater for it.

Cerwyn Bach-Strong

I feel trusted at Hagley to make choices about my learning

At Hagley, the length of my hair or the style of my clothes has never been a barrier to my learning. I feel free to express myself and I can focus on my interests- at the moment, I’m focused on architecture and design. It’s important to me to keep my options open for the future and I’ve had the flexibility at Hagley to take the Maths and Physics courses I’d need to become an Architect, as well as the likes of Painting and Motion Graphics to prepare for a career in a creative field.

I feel trusted at Hagley to make choices about my learning. The teachers have encouraged me in the challenges I’ve set for myself and supported me when I’ve taken on too much! Even though my weeks can be quite busy with classes, sports, School Council, and as the Student BOT Representative, I have freedom in my schedule to catch up with friends and spend extra time in the Art room which I love.

Just like me, Hagley is diverse. I’ve met all kinds of people and we can all be ourselves, without limitations.

Georgie Trigg

Our maturity and independence as young people is encouraged.

I’ve never been told that my dreams are too big at Hagley. Instead, I’ve been given opportunities to pursue any goal I’ve set for myself. Next year, I’ll head to Victoria University to begin a degree in Psychology- I want to achieve a master’s, or even PhD qualification. What motivates me is a wish to help people who are struggling with their mental health; I’m also hoping to encourage more inclusivity within the field, like widespread use of NZSL to help people who are hearing impaired like myself. I’ve loved being able to take the Level 3 Psychology course at Hagley and it’s confirmed that I’m heading in the right direction.

Life is full of commitments like whānau, work, sports, coaching, and study. My teachers have shown flexibility and understanding when I’ve needed it. I’ve been able to catch up with anything I’ve missed, as well as take up opportunities to extend my learning. Our maturity and independence as young people is encouraged here, and the teachers work with us to find solutions and new ways of doing things. I feel trusted to make decisions for myself, not just about my education, but my wellbeing too.

Hagley has encouraged my academic abilities as well as allowing me to express my full self as a Year 13 Māori student. We’re proud of our name, Te Puna Wai o Waipapa, and I can feel proud here of my Ngāi Tahu whakapapa.

Beau White

For me, Hagley has been the perfect balance of structure and freedom

Hagley is a place where you’ll feel safe and be able to find your place- no matter who you are. I came to Hagley as a Year 12 student because I wanted more control and freedom over my education. At my previous school, there were subjects you had to take right through school, but I can make my own choices here.

This year, I’m taking three subjects at Hagley, and two days a week I study Electrical Engineering at Ara. I don’t have to choose between one interest or the other. I’ve been given a head start on my future career and have been able to experience a tertiary environment while having the security of my classes at Hagley. My teachers have offered lots of flexibility with the assessments and I haven’t had to worry about missing tests or deadlines.

I think Hagley does a great job of preparing you for the real world. The variety of people, courses, and the whole environment realistically reflects society- more than other schools where everything can feel the same! I feel positive and confident in relating to people from a range of backgrounds, perspectives, and places. For me, Hagley has been the perfect balance of structure and freedom.