Whanau House System

The Whanau house system is at the heart of One Tree Hill College and is the foundation of our holistic approach to student education.

The Whanau is a school within a school where students are part of a smaller group of approximately 250 students rather than being one of 1000. Students are placed in a Whanau where they become part of an extended family of teachers and students of all year levels and they remain in this Whanau during their years at school, developing a sense of belonging and loyalty.

One Tree Hill College is designed with four Whanau areas all adjoining the central Student Services Centre and Knowledge Centre. Each Whanau contains specialist teaching rooms and general teaching classrooms surrounding a common space designed for student use. This layout is designed based on current educational research to make transition easier for Year 9 students beginning at the college for the first time. The Whanau common area is a home away from home and provides a recreational living space for students to gather in before and after school and during breaks in the school day. It is also the venue for weekly Whanau assemblies where student successes are celebrated and daily events discussed.

Each Whanau is led by two Whanau Leaders who are responsible for the pastoral care, academic monitoring and discipline of each student. The teachers in the Whanau mentor students individually and are the people who know the students the best, remaining associated with the students and their families for the five years they are at One Tree Hill College. Where possible the college places siblings within the same Whanau. The Whanau Leaders and Whanau teachers are the primary contact point for families and they will be reporting regularly on all aspects of student progress.

Students make a contribution to their Whanau, the college, the community, and develop leadership through the college's co-curricular programme and the Whanau. The four Whanau are Miro, Hinau, Tawa and Kowhai.