Our Whanau

Every student at Ellesmere College belongs to an extended family or Whanau where they develop a sense of identity and belonging. In the Whanau they learn the values of the College, the acceptable standards of behaviour and the expectations of study and learning that will lead to success.
Ellesmere College has four Whanau that are named after native New Zealand trees: Rata, Rimu, Kowhai and Totara. Within each Whanau are five smaller form classes each with approximately 25 students under the pastoral oversight of a form teacher.
In order to help their transition into the College, Year 7 students are kept together in their own form classes, but from Years 8 onwards the students are in a mixed age vertical form class where they remain until they leave the College. The mix of age groups (where older members of the group help the younger members) and the on-going influence of the same form teacher develop a caring family culture that promotes well-being.
The form classes meet at the beginning of each day, with the exception of Wednesday and it is here that they gain a strong sense of belonging that includes pride in the Whanau and ultimately pride in the College.


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The Totara Whanau endeavours to foster an atmosphere of inclusion, perseverance and pride in self, the Whanau and the College.

The 2017 Totara Whanau Teachers are:

Mr Chris O'Connell - Whanau Leader
Mrs Janet Sirisomphone - Assistant Whanau Leader

Form Teachers:

Mr Dayle Stoliker
Ms Brooke van den Beuken
Mr Steven Packer
Mr Miru McLean
Ms Sarah Parker

The 2017 Student leaders are:

The 2016 Totara Prefect is Anastasia McPherson.
The Deputy Prefects are Catherine McLean, George Ward, Leecia Johnson and Jerome Taefu.



Whanau means family and this is the spirit we try to engender into our team. We want to see everyone achieve to their best in at least one area (if not all areas) while at the College. Each member will be supported by the Whanau Staff team and their fellow students to set and achieve their goals, whether sporting, social or academic. We want our people to be proud of who they are and the Whanau they belong to.

The 2017 Kowhai Whanau Teachers are:

Mr Dean Mower - Whanau Leader
Ms Anita Collett - Assistant Whanau Leader
Mrs Dianne Knops and Ms Karla Morton - Support Teachers

Form Teachers:

Ms Heather Lawson
Miss Jessica Watson
Mr Sam Lemon
Mr Mattias Wieland
Mr Steven Henderson
Mrs Pam Thomas

 The 2017 Student leaders are:

The Kowhai Prefect is Emily Andrew.
The Deputy Prefects are Acacia Lousich, Nicole Ashby, Chelsea Smith and Bridget Wheeler.



Within the Rata Whanau we strive to uphold the core values of Ellesmere College. Through a dedicated and enthusiastic group of teachers and student leaders, we encourage our whanau to participate and excel in all aspects of college life. Our overriding goal is to engender a sense of belonging and pride in Rata and help our students to achieve their own goals in a wide variety of areas.

The 2017 Rata Whanau Teachers are:

Mr Craig Anderson - Whanau Leader
Mrs Liz Kidd - Assistant Whanau Leader

Form Teachers:

Mrs Desirae Beechey
Mrs Melissa Jones
Ms Katrina Lilly
Mr Shafeel Khan
Mrs Rebecca Marshall
Ms Anna White

The 2017 Student leaders are:

The Rata Prefect is Neesha Imeson
The Deputy Prefects are Mikayla Ramsay, Liam Chatterton, Ally Mechen and Chrisma Roberts.




Within Rimu we instill a sense of pride and aim to support each other, working to achieve our highest potential across a range of areas. The vertical whanau groups we have allow mentoring to take place between junior and senior students. This gives our senior students an opportunity to develop leadership skills, whilst our junior students are able to form support networks and foster bonds with positive role models. Ehara taku toa, he takitahi, he toa takitini.

The 2017 Rimu Whanau Teachers are:

Mr Antony French - Whanau Leader
Mrs Tessa Collins - Assistant Whanau Leader

Form Teachers:

Ms Selina Sim
Mr Patrick Neal
Mrs Christine Cheesman
Mr Eric Wang
Miss Branaye Wylie
Mrs Jan Marshall

The 2017 Student Leaders are:

The Rimu Prefect is Ian Bresler
The Deputy Prefects are Kate Inwood, Danielle Swain, Grace Walker and Alex Barns