Student Support

When studying at Wellington College, we want to give all students every chance to succeed. We encourage students to reach out when they need help; our supportive and knowledgeable Deans, Learning Support team, Counsellors, Chaplain, and Nurse are here to support students and whānau with any questions.

Getting in Touch

Included in the online enrolment application form is a section under ‘school questions.’ Here you are invited to provide details of any support needs or requirements.

Wellington College

Deans and Guidance

You can email or telephone your Dean, or visit the Dean in the Dean’s Office.

Rivkah Nathan


Hannah McGee

Rhea Stevenson

Ellie Basterfield


Petra Malcolm

Pete Maitland

Tom Inger

Anine Korb

Yu Feng

Ph (04) 802 2520  x754

Student/Learning Support

Wellington College’s Student/Learning Support Department, Te Pou Whirinaki, is focused on providing support and care to help remove barriers to ensure that all students can access the curriculum. Te Pou Whirinaki, literally means ‘post to lean on, pillar of support, dependable and reliable person’ and this is what we try and embody as a team.

The Department consists of Lead Teacher, Deb Marshall, Special Education Needs Coordinators (Co-SENCOs), Saskia Manktelow / Brenda van der Meulen, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Advisor /Student Mentor, Henry Fane de Salis and a team of Teacher Aides.

In Year 9, students who require support with literacy are invited to take ‘Integrated Studies.’ This subject is designed to support students’ English classes and also to help them with the language demands across the curriculum. In later years, students who still need literacy support can continue with this option.

In the senior school, departments often offer courses with an internally assessed focus. These classes work closely with the Student/Learning Support team.

Wellington College is an inclusive school, and we support a range of learning, physical or medical challenges. Students who are funded are mainstreamed and part of our school community with the help of teacher aide support. Our school is committed to supporting these students through staff professional development, a range of support strategies, student mentoring and peer support.

Students who are eligible for Special Assessment Conditions (SACs) will have these provided where appropriate. Data to support a SAC application is needed from either a registered assessor or from school-based evidence.

Getting Help

The Guidance Counsellors at Wellington College are Geoff Charles, Lyndon Coppin, and Jane Gray.

They are based in the Guidance Centre – P2 (formerly Office 150, next to the Whare at the top of the drive).

In Crisis?

If it is an urgent mental health issue or crisis then it is best to call Te Haika (CCDHB)


Wellington College

Our Counsellors

For an appointment or support email, phone, or text during school hours – or leave a message.

Counselling is:

  • a special way of talking over the difficulties we face
  • a relationship in which we can explore these difficult ties, work out how you want to change your life and put the changes in place
  • confidential and free
  • aimed to help you reach solutions to some problems or difficulties that you might be going through

Types of Counselling Services:

  • Personal Counselling
    e.g stress, anxiety, depression, bullying, family issues, relationship issues, friendships, grief.

  • Addictions
    External services are often used for issues like smoking, drugs and alcohol and other addictions.

  • Sexual Health and Related Issues
    A counsellor may be a good starting point.

Getting Help

Wellington College

What happens in Counselling?

In counselling you are helped to explore your difficulties and concerns, and to develop more satisfying and resourceful ways of living. Counselling may at times make you feel temporarily uncomfortable, miserable or angry. However, overall it should feel safe and caring. You should also have a sense of progress over time.

  • explore your emotions, thoughts, and behaviour
  • become more aware of yourself your values and what motivates you
  • plan and set goals
  • improve your relationships
  • reduce your stress
  • develop your sense of well being
  • do things differently
  • see you on your own or with support people
  • give you information
  • discuss with you who you could talk to about your difficulties
  • act on your behalf with your consent
  • refer you to someone more appropriate
  • be trustworthy
  • respect your confidentiality
  • listen to you carefully and sensitively help you sort out how you would like things to be different

Further information on many mental health issues can be found by visiting this excellent site.

Getting Help

We also have a new online reporting tool WC Bullying Free Helpline(Anonymous Online Reporting) for you to use if there is anything happening that is potentially harmful to anyone in our community – both online and offline.

Our School Chaplain

Liz Pa’u

  • supports the students and staff, and adds to the resources available in the school
  • cares for the students and staff – taking an interest in what they do and being prepared to walk the journey with them

Our School Nurse

Robyn Peterson

Wellbeing Programmes

COLL Time is an extended period of time during the week where tutors teachers can discuss issues of a ‘Pastoral Care’ nature. These may vary in nature from topics such as Cyber-bullying, goal setting, course planning and study skills.

Peer Support is a ‘student-help-student’ programme to build relationship skills and self-esteem. It has been run at Wellington College since 1992 and is backed by the Rotary Club of Port Nicholson.

Year 13 (senior) students are trained by a small group of certificated Peer Support teachers. These seniors are shown how to lead a group in activities and discussion. The leaders in turn are put in charge of a group of new entrant Year 9 students. They assist with their induction into the College, especially to assist them in making the transition to life at College.

Peer Support aims to provide the opportunity for all students entering the College to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to interact with their peers in a positive and supporting ways within the safe and caring environment of the College.

The Travellers Programme is an innovative, small group programme for Year 9 students, to build resilience and key life skills.

Young people today experience change at a more rapid pace than previous generations. This means some will benefit from the help and support of our Travellers Programme as they go through transitions like:

  • starting a new school
  • changing friendships
  • moving cities or countries
  • dealing with family and personal health issues.

During Term 1 a survey is undertaken with our Year 9 students and from this a group is chosen to undertake a 10 week programme with trained facilitators.

This is a day for our Year 12 and 13 students to discuss issues related to Wellbeing. It is predominantly student driven with students deciding upon the keynote speaker(s) and the workshop content. The day is based around The Whare Tapa Whā. This Māori philosophy towards health is based on a wellness or holistic health model.

Seeing health as a four-sided concept representing four basic beliefs of life:

  1. Te Taha Hinengaro (psychological health),
  2. Te Taha Wairua (spiritual health),
  3. Te Taha Tinana (physical health),
  4. Te Taha Whānau (family health).

Workshops in the past have covered topics such as financial education, healthy diets, yoga, resilience and sexualhealth.