Graeme Whitehead


Graeme has been in education for 30 years. He began his teaching in Whangarei, then spent time in Auckland as a teacher, Deputy Principal, curriculum facilitator and Principal. Returning to Whangarei in 2003 he returned to the classroom, leading a syndicate before taking on the role of Principal at Excellere College in Term Two, 2013.

In the last 5 years Graeme has led a focus on developing a collaborative learning culture, improving pedagogy, student agency, and cultural responsiveness. Systems for self-review, data analysis, and performance management have been reviewed and updated.

Excellere is continuing to explore their capacity to deliver an integrated learning curriculum and strengthen their special character foundation, whilst providing opportunities for leadership growth amongst our staff.

Principal's Update

Term 1, 2018

The two new kitchen stations in our Food Technology room.

The two new kitchen stations in our Food Technology room.

2017 was a year in which we completed a number of projects to strengthen our learning culture, and continued to improve our teaching practice and accelerate learning. Academically we had another excellent year, with an improvement in our National Standards results for Writing (84%) and Reading (81%), and improvement overall for our Maori students. At NCEA Level 2 we maintained a 100% pass rate, with 44% gaining Merit endorsement. This year we also achieved 100% at Level 1 with 25% Excellence and 25% Merit endorsement, and 91% at level 3, with 15% Excellence endorsement, whilst 70% gained Merit endorsement. Results for our Maori students continue to be excellent with a 100% pass rate. Our proprietors, New Zealand Christian Proprietors Trust, and our Land Trust, Whangarei Christian Education Trust, were successful in purchasing the property, which now enables us to develop growth plans for the school. Our Proprietors were also successful in gaining a roll-cap increase from 200 to 230.


At our powhiri we welcomed a number of new staff, and our largest intake of new families meaning we start the year with around 200 students. 2018 will see us continue to develop our understanding of relationship-based learning, roll out our school-wide learning to learn model and learner qualities, focus on maths, and strengthen our Christian character which is the foundation of our school. We are entering a season of refinement, embedding the learning we have done over the last few years, and reflecting on our Special Character, and its importance in our school culture.


“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4: 13 NAS


Like to know more?