Student Profiles

LEARN YOUR WAY at Hagley in Year 12 and 13

Congratulations to Rongomai Callaghan who won the solo/duo categories of the Tangata Beats National Final 2018.

Click here to watch the video

Israel Soper

I want to pay it forward

My teachers have shown me that failure isn’t failure; that making mistakes is how you learn

The culture here is inviting, comfortable and everyone learns better when they’re comfortable. They look for and acknowledge the good. Feedback is always constructive and about what you need as an individual learner. They changed me from someone who didn’t want to try – to someone who constantly pushes himself. They open the gym for me at 7am so I can train. They respect me as an individual, as a human being.

Now I want to give back. I want to give others what Hagley has given me.

Samantha Cowley

There’s more autonomy at Hagley – in what we learn, how we learn

I like working my own way. I can do that here.

At my old school, there were strict schedules we had to stick to and very little flexibility. I think when choice is taken from you, you end up not wanting to engage as much and there’s less ownership. There’s more autonomy at Hagley – in what we learn, how we learn, even where and when we learn. The teachers understand too that not everyone’s the same, that not everyone learns in the same way.

I’m an independent worker; I like working my own way and I can do that here. The work is the same but different. It’s not just about how to pass, but also how to learn.

I’m juggling my music and my studies, and the teachers are helping me to manage my learning and offer huge amounts of support. It feels like the teacher’s sole purpose here is the student, while in other schools it sometimes seems like you’re just a statistic.

I’ve really developed as a vocalist and have learnt a lot about different musical genres as well. I now have a much wider perspective on music and life. I’ve just been selected as a finalist for the Tangata Pacifica Beats Competition and next year, I’m off to the UK to continue my studies as a vocalist.

Teshager Berhe

I’m pushed in a good way. They encourage you. They keep checking in.

I’m pushed in a good way

I was born and raised in the Sudan. It used to be quiet and peaceful but now there is political unrest. This is my fourth year at Hagley. When I arrived, I had no English – now I’m studying to pass level 2 NCEA. In Africa, the teachers make you study even when you don’t want to. Here they push you in a good way. They encourage you. They keep checking in, making sure you don’t get behind and that you know what you’re doing.

The teachers don’t just teach subjects – they help with everything: writing a CV, applying for jobs, and finding the right career. They care about you.

Charlotte Van Der Meys

I’m enjoying learning and having fun. I’m happy.

There’s nothing I can’t ask my teachers

I used to be shy, but the teachers here are so friendly and easy to talk to. In the first week of school, one of my teachers saw me standing alone and took me and introduced me to other students. The tutor group is good too. It helped me make friends and feel confident.

In the past, I was afraid to ask the teachers questions in case I got it wrong and they judged me, but there’s nothing I can’t ask my teachers here. There’s nothing I can’t say. It makes me more motivated to learn. I’m enjoying learning and having fun. I’m happy.

Elvis Nicolls

I’m more motivated here, because I know I can get where I want to go

I’m composing my future

I’m free to do my own thing and experiment with music and different instruments at Hagley. At my last school I wasn’t allowed to play piano because I didn’t have the theory, but here I’m encouraged to explore and create. When I first arrived, it seemed that everything felt brighter; everyone was happier – the students and teachers.

We’re encouraged to perform outside of school. The teachers come and watch and will even use it as an assessment opportunity. They support you emotionally too. I’m more motivated here, because I know I can get where I want to go. The teachers have shown me more choices than I knew existed and this year I’m choosing to record my first EP in the school studio.

Nasteho Mohamud Mohamed

PE teacher – not a typical career choice for a Muslim girl!

Refugee to rulebreaker

I was born in Somali and spent six years in a refugee camp in Kenya. Now Hagley is home. Next year I’m going to train as a PE teacher – not a typical career choice for a Muslim girl! PE is important. In my culture, girls aren’t encouraged to do sport and I want to change that.

My teachers encouraged me all the way. They told me I could do it! They let me take rests during Ramadan, gave me extra help as a second language learner and include my culture and religion in class discussions. They respect my culture and beliefs.

Sol Rogers Mullins

I feel like the teachers are preparing you for the real world

Real learning. Real-world learning.

I feel like the teachers are preparing you for the real world. I’m achieving better here because the focus is on learning not just passing tests. It’s about engagement. The teachers really care about their subjects and about you as an individual learner. I love History, English and Music, and Hagley encourages me to keep an open mind about career paths, to embrace a broad range of interests. They don’t put pressure on me to choose, more to immerse myself in what I love.

I get treated like an adult at Hagley. It’s a trust thing. The teachers trust that I can make my own choices, make my own way, at my own pace.

Charlotte James

The freedom to follow my dreams and the structure and support to reach them

Rocket Woman!
I’m determined to be the first kiwi woman in space.

I love Science and my Science teachers have supported my dream. They’ve always taken it seriously. Next year I’m going to Space Camp with the school, but for now they are challenging and inspiring me to achieve academically, to push my learning and knowledge frontiers.

I was home-schooled and chose Hagley as a high school as it gave me the best of both worlds. The freedom to follow my dreams and the structure and support to reach them; to achieve academically on a national scale. Hagley lets me be what I want, to learn what I want. It allows me to be myself.
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.

Liam Day

They saw I had potential; they saw things in me I didn’t know I had

Leading from behind

I wasn’t really into sport before I came here - I liked watching more than playing. Now my dream is to play basketball professionally or become a sports coach, and the PE teachers take my dream seriously. They keep me busy, help me train and have nominated me for leadership seminars, but they also care about my wellbeing and connect with me on a personal level. This makes me feel supported. It makes me feel respected.

They saw I had potential; they saw things in me I didn’t know I had. I’ve learnt from them that leadership isn’t about being bossy, it’s about standing behind your words.