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 aims to provide each student with the highest quality co-educational experience. Teaching and learning is the core business of the school. Our academic results reflect achievement across the board. We are an inclusive school and seek to provide programmes of learning and opportunities for all students to reach their full potential.

Students are strongly encouraged and supported to take advantage of the numerous opportunities available at this school, both inside and outside the classroom, as potential steps to regional, national and international recognition. While students are encouraged to excel in their specialist areas, we are also determined that they should be balanced and well-rounded young people. We expect our students to have busy, rewarding and fulfilled lives and we are constantly amazed by, and incredibly proud of, the level and range of the success they achieve.

Maintaining a safe and supportive environment is essential in enhancing student learning and achievement. Our behaviour management system focuses on five key values:

  1. Show respect for others

  2. Aim for the best you can be

  3. Identify and develop talents and skills

  4. Persevere and do not give up

  5. Value diversity and differences

I am personally excited about the future educational directions of the school and always consider it an honour and a privilege to work with such a highly professional and committed staff and school community.

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


 7306 illustration of thanks text pv

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:




Hillcrest High School is a co-educational secondary school with a roll of approximately 1800 students situated in attractive grounds in the southeast of Hamilton.
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.

Hillcrest High is in close proximity to the University and School of Education and has developed a strong relationship with the University and Wintec. The student population is very multi-cultural, representing over 70 different nationality groups with the ethnic makeup of the school being 57% Pakeha/European, 21% Asian, 16% Maori and 6% other, split equally between male and female.

In their last report in 2013 (from which the school received a 4-5 year review), the Education Review Office identified some of following as significant positive features of the school:

  • A supportive and inclusive culture and atmosphere throughout the school, which promotes student engagement and success;
  • Hillcrest High School Annex Group Photography 4A rich and extensive range of opportunities for students to achieve success and follow pathways appropriate to their needs and aspirations in academic, sporting and cultural endeavours;
  • A strong focus on providing support for students’ learning and wellbeing and maintaining a safe physical and emotional environment; and
  • Teachers who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their curriculum areas, have a positive and professional approach to their practice and who maintain respectful and affirming relationships with students.


Special features of the school include the Independent Living Centre for students with moderate intellectual disability, and the Physical Assistance Unit for students with physical disabilities. There are extensive classroom facilties to deliver a modern curriculum. Classroom facilities are continually upgraded and recent developments include new tranisition, careers and hospitatility learning spaces. In 2017, a purpose build Mathematics block will be built.


For most up to date NZ Schools Zoning Maps - Click here


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.