The Counselling Team at Burnside High School comprises five full-time Counsellors with Masters Degree qualifications in counselling, assisted and supported by Counselling Interns on placement working towards a Master of Counselling degree.

The New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) describes counselling as ‘the process of helping and supporting a person to resolve personal, social, or psychological challenges and difficulties.’

The NZAC (2016) states that ‘a professional and well-trained Counsellor helps clients to see things more clearly, possibly from a different view-point, and supports clients to focus on feelings, experiences or behaviour that will facilitate positive change.’

Students are able to make appointments with Counsellors by emailing the Counsellor or by filling out an appointment request form.  In counselling, students have a legal right to confidentiality, unless what is shared concerns imminent risk to the student’s or another person’s safety, and students are made aware of this as part of the counselling process.

Whanaungatanga is an important value in the Burnside High School community. If a parent, caregiver or student has any concerns about the well-being of a student, please contact a Dean or Counsellor.

Attention to the health and well-being of our students is of significant importance to ensure they are able to participate and engage in school activities to the best of their ability.

Our Sick Bay offers the services of a First Aid Officer and is open every day during school hours. This is for students who become unwell during school hours or for the treatment of injuries sustained while at school.  If a student is unable to continue at school, the First Aid Officer or duty personnel will contact whānau to collect the student to take them home.

If a student has medication which needs to be taken during school hours, this should be placed in a clearly labelled container where it can be collected and taken as needed. Medication is to be handed into Emma Childs (First Aid Officer) who will dispense them when required. 

There is also a team of public health nurses available to visit the school. They will see students for physical, mental, or sexual health issues and appointments can be made via link on the Student Portal.

At Burnside High School there is a career development programme for all students, every year, at each level. Through class-based seminars and individual interviews, students build the career management competencies that enable them to become effective decision makers. Each student is encouraged and supported to make a plan for the first steps post-secondary education. This may be into tertiary education, employment or training.

To assist career development the Careers Department offers Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) courses, Secondary Tertiary Pathways (STP) programmes, Gateway programmes, work shadowing and work experience placements; and arranges offsite and on campus career events such as Careers Expo and University or Polytechnic Experiences.

The Careers Department is part of the Student Support Faculty and works closely with all students, all teaching staff, and the Divisional Deans and Counsellors.

While Burnside High School is one of the largest schools in New Zealand, the way that it is organised  into divisions means that in effect each student is part of a small school within a big school. There are four divisions: three Junior Divisions (North Te Puna Raki , South Te Puna Tonga and West Te Puna Uru) for Years 9 -12 and Senior Division Te Huinga Wai for Year 13 students.

Each Junior Division is headed by a Deputy Principal and assisted by a Divisional Head Dean with responsibility for Year 11 and 12 plus an overview of the division, a Year 10 Dean, a Year 9 Dean and a Counsellor. Students are placed into a division when they enrol and will stay in that division until they reach Year 13. Allocation to divisions is done randomly but where possible divisional ties will be taken into account.

Senior Division brings all of these students together once they reach Year 13 as there are a number of common needs for them as they prepare for life beyond secondary school.  Senior Division has two Deans working with students and they have a close relationship with the Careers and Transition Department.

The divisional structure allows for individual care and attention of students, meeting their academic and social needs and providing the best learning environment for each student. The Deans get to know the students in their care and help them gain the most from their time at Burnside High School. Caregivers are encouraged to make contact with Divisional Deans if they have any concerns or to inform the school of any special circumstances that may assist the Deans to support the students in their care.

Te Whare Akoranga, the Burnside High School’s Learning Support Department is a student-focused learning hub, welcoming students who find learning challenging. This is where a number of programmes and supports are delivered.  Our team consists of highly qualified and experienced teaching and support staff from a diverse range of backgrounds.

We believe that ‘every student can learn’ and therefore it is important they have the opportunity to learn and to access the curriculum provided. We actively work to remove barriers to learning in order to raise the achievement of students who find learning challenging. This will enable the individual student to gain skills and develop confidence to not only cope with their academic studies, but also to enable them to become an active and contributing member of society.   We understand that everyone learns differently and some students need additional support.

We build on student strengths and work collaboratively with parents, caregivers, whanau, deans, class teachers, counsellors, and external agencies, including Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour (RTLB), Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech Language Therapists, where we place the student’s needs at the centre to develop a pathway forward.

We offer a range of services:

  • Timetable classes taught by our teaching staff:
  •  Year 9 Literacy focusing on developing and gaining confidence in literacy skills
  • Year 10 Literacy Boost programme – to enhance literacy skills in preparation for Year 11

Learning Support at all year levels

  • Learning Assistants in classrooms
  • 1:1 Tutoring, including Year 13 Reading Tutors, Learning Assistants Monday morning sessions
  • Supervised Te Kura programmes
  • Mentors who work with students who have specific learning needs
  • Diagnostic Testing
  • Identification and provision of Special Assessment Conditions (SACs) for assessments
  • Learning information available for staff

We value the input of families to help ascertain student learning needs.