Principal’s Message

Tena Koutou, nga matua, kaitiaki me nga tauira.
Nau mai, haere mai ki to matou Kura Tuarua o Tihipuke.
Hillcrest High School Is a decile 7 co-educational secondary school with a roll of approximately 1800 students. The school has been serving the Hillcrest community and surrounding rural areas for over 40 years and during that time has developed a very positive reputation in the community, regionally and nationally for delivering a quality educational experience for our students. Teaching and learning is the cornerstone of the school, with a significant number of our students achieving at the highest level in NCEA and Scholarship.

Hillcrest is an inclusive school with a wide range of nationality groups reflected in a diverse array of languages and cultures. The educational needs and abilities of our students is also reflected in our curriculum as we week to provide opportunities for our students to engage in meaningful learning pathways to attaining the qualifications and skills that will prepare them for life beyond school in the 21st century. We cater for over 40 ORS funded students who are taught in the Independent Living Centre (ILC) and Physical Assistance Centre (PAC). The school played a key role in establishing the Hillcrest Kaahui Ako Community of Learning which features nine schools in the Hillcrest cluster.

The beliefs and values of Hillcrest High is based on our core RAPID Values firmly imbeddded in the culture of the school and form the basis of our behavioural management system. Within the framework of these values the school promotes high standards of student conduct and behaviour.

Our recent Education Review Office (ERO) Report highlights significant strengths of the school and also provides us with suggestions for moving forward. This along with our current strategic review will assist in our future plans and development

Our staff of dedicated professionals are committed to teaching and learning and striving for academic success. This is supported by our extensive extra-curricular programme, which adds pride, school spirit and competitiveness, which is essential in a successful school.

As Principal I am committed to maintaining and enhancing the success, ethos and culture of Hillcrest High School and to providing a safe and supportive learning environment.

I hope that the school will be more than a place where students learn, but an exciting and rewarding experience that involves a family commitment to the school.

A warm welcome awaits all students.

Kelvin Whiting


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We have set up a Givealittle page for those wanting to support Hillcrest High School:

Without the school donation and other sources of income we could not offer our students the rich and varied curriculum they enjoy.

Funding of the school's activities is always a very fine balancing act and if we relied on the Ministry of Education funding alone then the school would be much poorer (literally and metaphorically).

If you would like to make a donation please visit our Givealittle page:


We have set up a My Challenge page for those wanting to support Hillcrest High School:

By choosing to register and donate your fuel discount you can help us raise funds for school resources like; music and sport equipment, and tablets and school trip for some of the students that wouldn't normally be able to afford these things.



The school operates an enrolment scheme with boundaries incorporating parts of Hamilton East, Hillcrest and Silverdale and a rural zone including Tamahere, Tauwhare, Newstead and Matangi.




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Academic Excellence

Hillcrest High has national recognition for scholastic achievement. In 2016, over half of the students who achieved in NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 achieved a merit or excellence endorsement. These are some of the highest levels of achievement in the Hamilton area.

Our academic results reflect achievement across the board from ‘priority learners’ in numeracy and literacy to NCEA endorsements and Scholarship. The school offers a broad range of NCEA subjects which cater successfully for student needs. Cambridge AS level is offered at Year 12 in English and Mathematics and senior computer programming students are able to enter for the Waikato University Computer Science Scholarships. At Year 13 selected students are also able to study papers at the University of Waikato.

A significant number of our Year 13 students enter University and other Tertiary providers. However our Vocational Pathways Programme which includes STAR (Vocational Courses), Gateway (Work experience and industry based Unit Standards) and we have a strong relationship with Wintec Trades Academy, alternative education and work experience options for those students seeking employment or apprenticeships.

Maintaining a safe and supportive environment is essential in enhancing student learning and achievement. Our behaviour management plan focuses on our school’s five key values and are incorporated into our five Houses which are named after famous New Zealanders – Sheppard, Snell, Rutherford, Hilary and Te Puea. We are a Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) school. We have high expectations, in terms of behaviour and learning, for all of our students.


Junior programmes are designed to cater for the academic needs of all students. Our Junior Enrichment and Extension Programme (JEEP) and Sports Development Programmes at Year 9 and 10 specifically cater for students with specific academic and sporting abilities, while extra numeracy and literacy support is available to all students. In collaboration with Hilary Outdoor Education Centre on Great Barrier Island, groups of up to thirty Year 10 students spend 5 weeks on Great Barrier Island participating in a specifically designed outdoor education programme which combines outdoor activities and studies revolving around the principles of sustainability.

International Appeal

Hillcrest High School has embraced the international flavour of our diverse student population. We have approximately 55 international fee-paying students, and a number of exchange students enrol at Hillcrest each year. A specifically built International Centre provides classrooms, reception and offices for our International and ESOL Departments. A number of activities including camps, trips and the annual international concert are held regularly to celebrate, recognise and provide experiences for our international students.