The Special Needs Department was established in 1990.

ORS funded students are welcomed into HNHS and will be part of the Special Needs Department, who plan with consultation,  the inclusion, integration and mainstream opportunities on an individual basis.

Special Needs Department

​​​​​​​The Special Needs Department has its own learning classrooms where ORS funded students are based. It is run by the Head of Department and another full-time teacher. It currently has six experienced teacher aides who are real assets to the department.

As every student has different needs, what it might look like for each individual student will be different. We have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for each student so we can address all the learning needs, social needs and communication needs. These are based on the Key Competencies. We aim to create as much independence as possible for each student.

  • 13-17 year olds work within the school’s option subjects and regularly go out to classes with teacher aide support. Their literacy, numeracy and other needs are met within the department. They have P.E., swimming, TaeKwon-Do and Pasifika lessons regularly. There is a heavy focus on functional life skills.
  • 17 to 21-year-olds have a newly developed programme called the Lifeskills programme. These students spend time in the community volunteering and doing work experience. They also engage in cooking, sewing, gardening and other everyday activities. There is a heavy focus on developing their independence. Their literacy and numeracy is planned for and is woven into the Lifeskills activities.

Each student has an assigned Lead Worker from the Ministry of Education (MOE) to help support the student, their families and staff at HNHS.​​​​​​​ The families, SNU staff and the MOE lead worker meet a minimum of twice a year to plan the individualised programme to meet the needs of that particular student.

Quotes from our parents 

“The transition to HNHS has been incredibly easy and stress-free. He loves school and his form class.”

“The 50/50 split between the ORS programmes and mainstream classes is really working

well - we are super happy - it is the right balance for him”.

 “She’s excited to come to school each day - she gets up and gets ready all by herself and is loving going to her options each day”.

“Our daughter has gained so much confidence since starting in the ORS department at HNHS.”

“She is becoming more independent and very ICT savvy.”

 “He has exceeded our expectations in transitioning to the Special Needs Department at HNHS. His confidence and self-esteem have risen significantly. It has been lovely to see his increased sense of belonging and participation. It is wonderful that he feels safe with all the staff and has bonded with his peers.”

“I am pleased with the progress he is making and he is helping around the house a lot more too.”

"She is independent in getting herself organised. She can pack her own bag. She is much better at initiating conversation now. The mornings are a breeze". 

“We are thrilled at how mature our son is becoming and how he manages his anxieties. His strengths are around routines and how independent he has become.”

"He has become very independent and is enjoying working two shifts a week at New World helping with the trolleys."

MOE lead worker - “Thanks so much for such a brilliantly well organised IEP season and congratulations on such a great strong swell of positive reports and feedback from students and parents. It’s a joy to be a part of it all.”

Being part of our Special Needs Department means:

  • A Havelock North High School experience for ORS funded students
  • Individualised learning programmes and activities
  • Regular IEP and whānau meetings with daily notebook contact
  • Lifeskills based programmes to assist the transition to life after HNHS
  • Regular community outings and experiences
  • Access to work experience and volunteering in the community
  • Specialised teachers and highly effective/experienced teacher assistants
  • Opportunities to attend Riding for the Disabled (RDA), TaeKwon-Do, swimming
  • Integration throughout each day with mainstream students

1. via vertical form class as part of a school house (students remain in this form class for their time at HNHS)

2. via suitable option subjects, such as drama, art, music, technologies and computing.

  • Opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, such as kapa haka, choir, and music lessons
  • Being part of an inclusive community where students are accepted for who they are

If you have any questions please contact:

Angela Hames  HOD