Student Support Centre

Support for students with individual needs.

The purpose-built James Hargest College Student Support Centre complements mainstream opportunities for those students who may need extra assistance to meet their learning potential. The staff’s mahi is to support students in their journey towards being confident and resilient lifelong learners who are actively engaged within their communities. We aim to do this by working alongside ākonga, whanau, and teachers with the goal of co-creating learning environments that are stimulating, goal-focused, and accessible to all.

The SSC is able to offer:

  • Smaller classroom numbers

  • Teacher Aide support in mainstream classes

  • iPad and computers available for classroom use

  • Friendly and  structured environment

  • Practice post-school life skills

  • Wider school and community involvement

  • Level appropriate numeracy and literacy

It is our aim and intention to reflect the James Hargest College values of Honesty, Hard Work, Respect, Care, Responsibility and Treating others fairly by:

  • Providing a safe, supportive environment for students.

  • Delivering and developing the programmes and support necessary for ākonga to
    achieve to their optimum level.

  • Modelling the contextual development of social skills.

  • Fostering cooperation, consideration and tolerance for others.

  • Improve the students' respect for themselves, others and property.

  • Ensure that responsibility for the student's behaviour and education remains with the student.

  • Develop communication, problem solving, self management, and study skills.

Kaiako and ākonga in the James Hargest College Student Support Centre interact within the Mana Ōrite mō te Mātauranga Māori concept of whānau consisting of around 20 to 30 people who had their own compound (SSC) within a settlement (JHC mainstream). For us whānau comprises kaumātua (staff), pakeke (parents, caregivers, aunts and uncles) and ākonga. Traditionally whānau often had their own plot in communal gardens and their own places to fish and hunt. For us this represents the rich resources of the JHC mainstream which are available for all. Historically the whānau was self-sufficient in most matters - this helps guide us in managing our interactions with service providers and reminds us that the relationships that lead to meaningful work are a link that ensure ongoing success for our graduates.   



2020 saw an increased number of Year 9s begin attending the Student Support Centre and this year’s Curio Bay camp was the perfect opportunity for them to connect with staff and mainstream students. They returned to school with stories of experiences and new friendships that accelerated their connections on the Senior Campus.

This year also presented SSC students and staff with the perfect opportunity for additional practice around resiliency, flexibility, and supporting others as well as managing self-care. We all saw this demonstrated, after we returned from lock down, by witnessing a deeper appreciation between students and an increased willingness to acknowledge the efforts of staff.

Utilising growing space in the Horticulture area to cultivate, tend, harvest and cook vegetables led to some very interesting culinary experiences. The accompanying classroom module led to some changes in lunch time food habits and raised awareness around the impact of healthy food on physical and emotional wellness. This in turn morphed into regular exercise breaks and physical class challenges. It is hoped that we can include more bush walking activities, such as our Forest Hill Scenic Reserve trip in Term 3, throughout next year.

As the year wound down we said farewell to students who were heading to courses or to employment. It is gratifying to hear our remaining students remind each other what being ‘work-ready’ means and how they can practice this within the school environment. All involved with the SSC acknowledge the privilege that it is to participate in the wider JHC community.

Support Centre


We have had a wonderful year in the Support Centre. Our students have enjoyed successes in a number of areas and the Seniors in particular have participated in many cultural and sporting experiences. We have enjoyed the Ball, days in Gore ice skating, Swimming and Athletics. We are topping it all off with an end of year camp in Queenstown which we are all looking forward to immensely, probably more so because we have fundraised to pay for the camp ourselves! Seniors who are leaving school for work have enjoyed working in new placements such as Koha Kai and Southland Disabilities Enterprises; placements they will be able to continue working in when they leave school.


This year Mrs Du Preez was impressed by the Year Nine and Ten Students’ quality of work on personal poetry. She decided that the quality was of exceptional standard and happily submitted it to “Interrobang 17” committee for approval. Kyle Hodge’s ‘Found’ poetry was

selected by the committee to be published. Kyle was published on his own merit.


Our students also participated in the ‘World War 1 - Postcards from the Front’ challenge. In Social Studies we looked at how Anzac Day offers every New Zealander the chance to consider the impact of the First World War and remember those who served. During WW1 silk embroidered postcards were created by French and Belgian women to sell as souvenirs to soldiers fighting in Europe. The postcards created are our own postcards made to send home to family.


The Judges were charged with selecting works that would challenge viewers’ perception of textile works yet retaining the tradition as a reference to the past. Congratulations to Alex Nicholls, Jonathan Checketts, Jack Harvey, Kaitlyn Crawford and Chontae McMurdo who had their work selected for the exhibition. ‘Creative Construction: a Story in Textiles’ during the National Quilt Symposium Christchurch 2017.


On a sporting note: Jack Harvey went to Maadi cup and has written about his experiences.

Hi, let me introduce myself. I am Jack Harvey, a member of James Hargest Under16 Rowing Team. This year 6 of my team- mates and I entered the MAADI Competition.

We were 1 of over 100 teams from all over New Zealand competing. My journey began by travelling by car to Queenstown, flying to Auckland and back in the car to Hamilton. It was a long trip and we spent the first day relaxing at the house that our coach rented for us. On Saturday I walked in the Parade and the races began on Monday. Our team competed in four races, then 2 heats before the final races. We achieved our personal best but unfortunately we did not make the finals. Every day we went back to the house exhausted.

On the trip home we stopped in Rotorua and relaxed in the swimming pool and I sped down the luge. I think that the Rotorua luge was much more fun than the one in Queenstown.




One of our most outstanding achievers is Jane Fox who has just been awarded The Youth Mark award in recognition of her success in her chosen sport of Swimming. In 2017 Jane competed in her first New Zealand Opens in the Para Class (S14 classification). She was Southland’s first representative to ever do this. She won Gold in the S14 200m freestyle and achieved her PB in her 50m and 100m freestyle events. In her 100m backstroke she broke the NZ record by 5 secs. Jane currently holds 9 NZ long course Para swimming records and 5 short course Para swimming records. Jane has had many other successes at Regional and National level including 3 Gold and a Silver medal at the Trans- Tasman Special Olympics Aquatic Tournament. It is no surprise to learn that Jane is currently attending the Pacific NZ Development camp because her future goal is to compete internationally for Parafed New Zealand.


One of our most important goals in the Student Support Centre is to always strive for inclusion. With the inclusion of our students’ writing and quilting in mainstream events and sportsmen and sportswomen who compete both nationally and internationally, I think we may have achieved it, don’t you?