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Student Wellbeing at Wellington East

Ko te piko o te māhuri, tērā te tupu o te rākau.
‘the way the sapling is shaped determines how the tree grows’

The wellbeing of our students and their learning and academic success are our highest priorities. Our mission is to promote the social, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing of all students through positive relationships, proactive responses and wrap around supports to help them become the best they can be and feel confidently equipped with the skills they need for their future. We know that students are more successful when they feel supported, have a strong sense of belonging and identity, are challenged and feel well cared for.

The Ministry of Education has asked all schools to let parents know where to find information to support the mental health and wellbeing of their children, and to let you know that the Ministry has recently updated their parents’ website with information about where parents can go to for support and advice if they are concerned about their child’s mental health. Parents are encouraged to regularly check in with their child about how they are doing and the things going on in their lives. You will find links to organisations you can contact for help and advice if you are concerned about your child on the Ministry of Education’s website at

If you require further support through the Wellington Girls’ College Guidance Network please contact:

Caro Atkinson(Guidance Leader)      or
Gael Ashworth (Deputy Principal: Student Wellbeing

Creating a strong sense of community is central to supporting our aim of promoting Hauora or Wellbeing for our students. We pride ourselves on the strength of relationships developed between students and between students and teachers as we recognise that this enables us to encourage and nurture student success. Your young person will be well connected to their AKO teacher and class and will also be supported by the year level Dean.  

Your first port of contact is usually either the AKO teacher or the Dean if you have concerns or need some support.

As well our our AKO and HUBS, we have a range of other systems, structures and people who work together to create our awesome Guidance Network which is here to support you and your young person.

About Us - The Guidance Network

We understand that Adolescence is a time of rapid change, growth and development.  We know that sometimes, the teenage years can present a number of challenges and may be overwhelming for students and their parents. At Wellington East we strongly believe it takes a community to raise a child so it is important that we work collaboratively with our whanau to support student’s academic success and their physical, social, emotional and mental well-being as well.

At the College, we have a number of staff and services that are here to provide assistance to students and whanau. The Guidance Network aims to

to support and promote the safety, wellbeing, learning and achievement of all students and staff provide additional, appropriate and responsive support to those who are at risk of poor wellbeing or achievement outcomes respond to wellbeing concerns or crisis as they emerge.

Our Guidance Network is made up of skilled personnel, who each play a specialist role in the pastoral care of our students.

Senior Managment Team:

  • Sally Haughton (Principal)
  • Ann Greenaway (Deputy Principal)
  • Gael Ashworth (Deputy Principal)
  • Heather Aked (Deputy Principal)
  • Anna Wilson (Acting Assistant Principal)


  • Michael Gates (Year 9)
  • Jessica Martin (Year 10)
  • Michelle Kennedy (Year 11)
  • Rose Bertram (Year 12)
  • Vienna Masoe (Year 13)
  • Gail Rush (Overseas students)

  • Guidance Co-ordinator - Gael Ashworth
  • Guidance Leader - Carolyn Atkinson
  • Counsellor - Laressa Donaldson
  • Social Worker - Jo Nicholls
  • Supported Learning Leader - Sue Perry
  • Head of Learning Support- Deborah Marshal
  • AKO Teachers - See list
  • Careers Education Leader - Cathy Matthews
  • Careers Adviser - Deborah Marshall
  • Gateway Co-Ordinator- Anita Van Driel
  • Maori, Pasifika and New Migrant Careers - Cathy Matthews
  • Head of Health - Cameron Smith
  • Enhanced Learning Coordinator (inc Gifted and Talented - Annabel Heenan

External (Frequent Contacts)

  • District Truancy Service - Cathy Tia
  • RTLB - Jeff Churchill
  • Youth Aid - Constable Duncan Ashton
  • Public Health Nurse - Dorianne Paige

We also work closely with a number on external support agencies such as:-

  • Evolve Youth Health Service
  • Child Adolescent Mental Health Service
  • Central Regional Health School
  • Alternative Education: Wellington Activity
  • Centre and Mission for Youth
  • Child, Youth and Family Service
  • Truancy Service
  • NEET (Not in Education, Employment or
  • Training)
  • Police and Youth Aide

Looking After Our Students

We have three trained professionals who are able to offer counselling and mental health support. What happens in counselling? In counselling people can talk about problems and concerns in a safe place with someone who will support them. A counsellor is someone who:

  • You can trust to be open with
  • Who listens carefully and sensitively
  • Is non-judgemental and will not blame
  • you for the problem
  • Will try to see things from your point of
  • view
  • Will support you in any changes you
  • decide to make
  • Will offer to refer you to other help if
  • necessary.

Counselling & Social Work support:

Confidential support (unless there is a serious or imminent risk to safety) is available for all students through our Hauora Centre for such concerns as:

  • Difficulties at home/school
  • Low self-esteem
  • Bullying
  • Abuse
  • Loss and Grief
  • Anxiety
  • To make better-informed decisions
  • Support in problem-solving and finding resolutions
  • Feeling lost
  • Depression or suicidal thought
  • Managing anger
  • Stress

Support offered may be by:

  • Seeing  you on your own or with support people
  • Giving  you information
  • Providing  referrals for specific help
  • Acting on your behalf with your consent
  • Facilitating mediations to resolve conflict

How can counselling help?

A counsellor can help you to:

  • Improve how you feel about yourself
  • Think about things in new ways
  • Do things differently
  • Reduce your stress
  • Open new options or directions for
  • yourself
  • Plan and set goals
  • Explore your thoughts, feelings and
  • behaviours.
  • Get to know yourself better
  • Improve your relationships

Medical Wellbeing Clinic

The school has a fully-qualified nurse on site for 2 days a week. The nurse is able to administer basic first aid and is also able to assist with specific medical needs and concerns of students. The Nurse is able to make referrals to specialist medical providers and is also able to conduct HEEADSS mental health assessments if needed: