Student Support Centre

Support for students with high needs.

The student support centre is a well organised and an integral part of the school.  Teachers effectively manage the particular learning needs of a group of students up to the age of 21.  Students are mainstreamed as far as possible, and benefit from the school’s inclusive culture.  Good provision is made for meeting the academic and social needs of students with high needs through individual education programmes.  Some mainstream programmes are well modified to cater for the needs and interests of students from the centre.  Students are supported to achieve success in NCEA.  They have some interesting opportunities to learn life skills.  ERO observed students engaged in purposeful activities to develop their independence.  They were receiving high quality individualised support from trained teachers and teacher aides.  Older students undertake relevant work experience.  Students with high needs participate in a wide range of co-curricular activities.  The school celebrates the success that individuals and groups of students achieve.



Students who require support with learning are offered places in the Student
Support Centre programmes for English, Maths and Social Studies in years 9 and 10.

The Student Support Centre offers appropriate individual programmes with opportunities for mainstreaming in core and option subjects with support if necessary.   ASDAN is run for the senior students which is an NZQA recognised  life skills programme.

I.T. is an integral part of the work provided within the unit.

English and Maths Unit Standards may be offered as qualifications to senior students. Work experience in the community is also an important part of this curriculum for senior students.

Outdoor Education, health and fitness are an integral part in individual and group programmes, which also aims to help each student to function independently and become included in programmes with peer groups as much as

Practical skills are catered for by the Hargest Technology Department.


It is the intention of the Centre to:

  • Provide a safe, supportive environment for students.
  • Provide programmes and support necessary for students to
    achieve to their optimum level.
  • Provide opportunities for students to develop social skills in
  • Foster the development of co-operation, consideration and
    tolerance for each other.
  • Improve the students' respect for themselves, others and property.
  • Encourage acceptance of consequences for their individual action.
  • Ensure that responsibility for the student's behaviour and education remains with the student.
  • Ensure students are aware of and practise socially acceptable behaviour.
  • Provide a wide range of learning opportunities through experience of real life situations in and
    beyond the classroom.
  • Develop communication, problem solving, self management, and study skills.
  • Ensure teaching and learning methods are flexible, adaptable and sensitive to their individual
    needs and capabilities.


  • The Student Support Centre caters for a wide range of abilities.
  • Cultural (Drama and Music)
  • Teacher Aides for individual attention and help in mainstream.
  • Some topics taught in the Unit.Small groups with Teachers and Teacher Aides
  • Outdoor activities
  • Social Skills.
  • Specialist visits.


  • All maths/Reading/S.S. resources.
  • Interactive Smart Board.
  • Daily access to school vans.
  • Kitchen facilities.
  • Newly fitted special needs toilet and bathroom facilities.
  • Expanded teaching space in the form of a new classroom with ten computers.



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?