WESTERN SPRINGS COLLEGE
Nga Puna O Waiorea
 

Newsletter No.6 – 2nd August, 2006

PRINCIPAL'S NOTES

The end of term 2 and the start of term 3 have been a busy time indeed. A number of events, involving significant numbers of students, took place, notably

• Arts Festival
  This event took place over 6 nights, furthering the vision to involve all arts at TAPAC. The event was a first for the school: drama, dance, media, music, visual arts, theatresports, catering, wearable art, visual art, poetry readings, speech and poetry readings. Interest was high. This will be followed up with a junior arts festival in November.
• Fiafia Night
  This was a great success, largely due to the effectiveness of the organizing committee. Tickets were provided for families (rather than open access) which contributed to the genial atmosphere in the hall. Colourful costuming was a particular feature of this year’s event, as well as superior performances.
• Stage Challenge
  For the first time WSC made the finals. The group gained two awards, one for best costuming and a second award that recognized the school that most embodied the spirit of Stage Challenge. The competing schools vote to select the recipient of this award. The student organizers, and the full cast, are to be congratulated on their vision and dedication.
• Rock Quest
  Six groups/performers were selected from this school to participate in the regional finals, a significant achievement. Two groups, "The Incident’ and ‘Kinky Wizards", will perform in the final on August 4th at AGGS, Dorothy Winstone Theatre, 8pm. $20 door sales.

The parent-teacher interviews held on 25 July were a second opportunity for parents to consider their son/daughter’s progress, in anticipation of examinations at the end of this term, and career decisions that students need to make. An evening for parents (2007 Y11-12 students) to meet HODs, careers staff and tertiary providers is scheduled for 24 August. Parents of Y11 (2007) students will meet with deans on that same evening to find out about NCEA. Students will begin deciding about courses for 2007 towards the end of this term.

The open days, Tuesday – Thursday, have attracted a lot of interest. Enrolments have begun strongly; the closing date for out of zone enrolments is September 1.

Term 3 is also the time for the annual ball; this year the theme is ‘rock ‘n’ roll’. Planning is well underway for the August 26 event. On August 18 there will be a teacher only day, a necessary time for teachers to reflect on and refine their practice. While students will not be at school there will undoubtedly be much for them to work on, to prepare for upcoming examinations or to complete assessments.

There have been some staff changes. Dorothy Fernandez has been appointed to a maternity leave position to replace Susan Landrey. Li Zheng (Jasmine) the ESOL teacher aide, has resigned to dedicate herself to her Buddhist studies full time, and Ada Wong, a mathematics teacher of 3 years standing, has relocated to Sydney, to join family there. Robyn Tu’uhetoka, the new finance officer, and Barnaby James, the new HOD Drama, have commenced duties, and Gerry Victor returned from maternity leave. And, of course, Ken Havill has departed for far parts. Ken has visited a number of schools in Melbourne, excited by his observations of selected differentiation programmes which he will share with staff on his return in January.
Linda Dillon
Acting Principal

ASSESSMENT @ SPRINGS
Recent reports in the press suggesting that schools are pushing up their internal assessment pass rates to enhance their schools reputation have raised questions about the validity of NCEA results. These assertions are based on the NZQA acknowledgement that 29% of the 2005 internally assessed standards sent in nationally for checking were found to be incorrectly marked. Associated claims have been made that schools have resorted to the practice of loading courses with internally assessed standards in order to boost their results.

The local community can be confident that the integrity of NCEA assessment procedures here at Springs is intact. Here’s why,

First, an analysis of Western Springs College pass rates compared to national rates for merit and excellence grades shows that while the college exceeds national rates for externally examined standards at all levels, this difference disappears or reduces significantly when comparisons are made for internally and externally assessed standards combined. This tells us in fact that Springs internal marking is harder, not easier than the external.

Secondly, and closely related to the above finding is the fact that less than 10% of moderation reports for WSC internally assessed work sent in for checking is judged to be incorrectly marked relative to the standard being assessed.

Additionally the claim in the press that students in some schools are gaining University Entrance qualifications without having to sit an external examination does not ring true for Springs where for Level 3 courses the overall ratio of externally assessed to internally assessed standards is 6:4.

Both parents and students can be reassured that Western Springs College teachers are managing NCEA assessments with professionalism and integrity.
Ivan Davis
DEPUTY PRINCIPAL

NEWS FROM THE MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT
Holiday Workshops
As has become tradition over the last four year, the Mathematics Department yet again offered Level 1, 2 and 3 achievement standards students the opportunity to attend a range of revision workshops during the term 2 holiday period. As in the past, the workshops were well received with around 60 students taking advantage of the opportunity. Parents and Caregivers are reminded that workshops will again be scheduled during the term 3 holiday period and that workshop timetables will be available as from the start of week 10. We look forward to even more student attending in the future.

Maths Uncensored
The Maths Publication hit the press over the holiday period as is currently in the process of being distributed. Under the student leadership of Catharine Roberts, student mentor, and Tom Wilson, student editor, the publication has yet again maintained its very high standard and is a definite worthwhile read. Below are a few extracts from maths Uncensored 2006.

An extract from Bistromathics – Tom Wilson
The first curly number in the bistromathics canon is defined thus, and I quote from the Guide: 'The first non-absolute number is the number of people for whom the table is reserved.' That seems reasonable on the surface, but this definition makes no allowance for anyone who cannot be bothered to get anything out of the freezer, or those who are so cosmopolitan they don't have a freezer, preferring to gatecrash someone else's dinner party and leave quickly to avoid payment of the bill. This first number is highly likely to change multiple times during the course of booking a table for the restaurant, and more often than not has no apparent relationship with the final number of people who turn up for the meal. This is because most professors tend to be notoriously absent minded and often forget who they've invited, opening a convenient loophole for anyone who fits into the above categories of freezer-related apathy.

The Magicosity Of The Number Nine - Nicky Edmonds
Here’s a neat trick. Explain to someone that the universe is based on the number nine, and that although most examples of this are too complex for them to understand, there is one very simple illustration that proves it. Ask your victim their age – say they are 16. Add the digits of their age together (1 + 6 = 7) and then subtract this number from their age (16 – 7 = 9). You are always, always going to get a number divisible by nine. Say the person is 48. 4 + 8 = 12. 48 – 12 = 36. If there is any doubt in your victim’s mind add the digits together (3 + 6 = 9) for irrefutable proof. It gets even more exciting when dealing with really really old people, for example, someone who is 103 years old. 1 + 0 + 3 = 4, and 103 – 4 = 99 (for the non-believers, 9 + 9 = 18 and 1 + 8 = 9) but what’s more you can split 103 into 10 and 3: 10 + 3 = 13 and 103 – 13 = 90. There you have it. The universe is based on the number nine.

An extract from Sir Isaac Newton – Eva Gregory
Newton is reputed to have invented the cat flap! So he would not have to be interrupted by his cat wanting to come in or out, he invented and installed a cat flap into his study. This allowed him to remain buried in his thoughts!

Thea Kilian
(HOD Maths)

ENGLISH NEWS
Staffing:
We would like to welcome Dorothy Fernandez to the English Dept. this term. Dorothy is relieving for Susan Landrey's classes as Susan has left on maternity leave. Dorothy is an experienced teacher of English and we are very happy to have her join the team.

Arts Festival Catch-up:
During the Arts Festival in Week 8 of last term there were two events that were organised by the English Dept that need to be acknowledged.

Firstly, the Senior Speech competition was held. All entrants had to speak on the subject of "In an ideal world..." Six students entered the competition and performed their speeches on the first night of the festival. Parents and friends were entertained and enlightened by the content and delivery of the speeches. The competition prize of $100.00 was won by Hannah Clark (Yr 12). Congratulations to Hannah and to all the entrants. In particular to Ardeena Scott and Nicci Edmond who also performed great speeches.

Secondly, the School Writing Competition was held. This year there were several categories with differing levels of award attached to each. The poetry prize of $100.00 was won by Zarah Butcher McGunnigle, (Yr 11). The '50 Word Story' and the '2000 Word Story' categories were both won by Kate Peirse-O'Byrne (Yr 12). These netted her $125.00. The final prize of $50 for the '500 Word Story' category was won by Morgan Cannon (Yr 11). Congratulations to all winners and entrants in the competitions. Special thanks to the Parent Action Group that funded the prizes for the festival.

It is our intention to publish a booklet of the best student writing this year that would be available for parents and friends of the school to appreciate the calibre of student writing at WSC.

Debating
I would also like to acknowledge the Debating teams and coaches that have competed in the inter-school competition this year. We had a record number of teams in the Junior Grade two of which made it through to the octo-finals before being knocked out. There were no entrants in the Senior Grade this year, but the Advanced team made it through to the quarter-finals before being knocked out of that.

Congratulation to all teams and participants.

A special congratulations and acknowledgement to the Advanced team members - Eva Gregory, Alix Jansen and Wasan Forsyth who have debated together for four years and have made it through to the finals of their grades twice in that time. They have been a fantastic example to the school. Thanks also to their coach Jane Hall who has also been with them over this period.
Sean Hawthorne
(HOD English)

ART NEWS
With the onset of the cold weather and the challenges of the external folio submissions, the Art rooms have become a buzz of productive creativity with senior students utilizing their interval and lunchtimes to further develop and complete their course works for assessment.

The department is also offering Tuesday and Thursday after school times for the Level 1 students in E3 from 3.30 – 5.00 with Lisa Jagusch and Chloe Davison. Parents and Guardians are encouraged to support their children to attend these times as required to enable them to meet the criteria for assessment.

We are also pleased to announce that the prestigious 2006 ‘Friends’ of the Auckland City Gallery nomination is Year 13 Art student Claudia Jowitt. As the Western Springs College nominee Claudia will receive a two year membership to the Gallery and entry to associated events, exhibitions and lectures.

Lastly, the Art department would like to thank all parents and guardians who have paid their children’s art fees, and remind others that it is not too late to pay at the office.
Lily Laita
(acting HOD 2006)

HEALTH EDUCATION
Year 9 students will begin their sexuality education in the first few weeks of Term 3. They will revise Puberty and then cover Decision Making, Relationships, Contraception, Reproduction and assessment; then they will do a unit of work on Marijuana and Other Drugs before beginning their sexuality programme in the second half of term 3. If you have any questions regarding the sexuality programme, please contact the HOD Health.
Karalee Green
(HOD Health)

PHEDDER’S ON FIRE
A ‘Phedder’ is defined as an individual who absolutely loves Physical Education! A passion for sports, fitness and the body are just some of the dimensions that encompass these fine people.

I am pleased to report that all of our own WSC Phedder’s have been working extremely hard this year. All of our senior programme’s now have an outdoor education experience included in the course. The year 11’s had a ‘survivor’ type retreat at Mangawhai Forest in term 1 and arrived back at school feeling both invigorated and fatigued. The students were kept busy with challenges ranging from shifting huge bails of hay to firing catapults at kayaker’s! Thanks to all students and staff for a great trip. The year 12 students will embark on their annual snow camp in term 3.

The year 13 Phedder’s have had a very challenging year so far. Term 1 was spent training for the inaugural 13PE Aquathon which consisted of a 500m ocean swim and 5km run. The students trained several times a week both in and out of class time at the Mt Albert Aquatic Centre, and also ran countless kilometres around the Western Springs area. The students applied their knowledge of physiology, principles, and methods of training to write a personal exercise programme to train for the event. By the time the event came around the students were in top shape and eager to get the job done. The class travelled to Waihi beach for 3 nights where they participated in a range of activities such as golf, surfing, and sea kayaking. The Aquathon was held on the last day of camp under beautiful sunshine and calm water. The students raced their hearts out and some great results were achieved. Special congratulations must go to Catherine Roberts and Conor Lorigan, the top female and male student home.

The year 13 students are now making an impact in the community by running activities with year 7 and 8 Pasadena Intermediate students twice a week. The Pasadena students look like they are having a lot of fun and their love of physical activity is certainly prominent! Thanks to Pasadena Intermediate School for letting us come and work with you.

The junior Phedder’s have been very impressive this year. Their enthusiasm is much appreciated. The year 9 students are currently in the middle of their winter sports programme and the year 10 students are finishing their experimentation with Australian Rules football which has certainly attracted some fans this year! A reminder to all parents to help your son/daughter remember their PE uniform and get their homework in. Efforts in both of these areas have been great this year.

It’s great to see all of the students getting involved in school sports teams this year and we wish you all good luck for the season.

Onwards and upwards…
Matt Corbett
(PE Department)

DANCE NEWS
TAPAC was abuzz at the end of Term 2 with a week-long Arts Festival. WSC Dance, Drama and Music students performed a variety of evening shows complimented by a visual arts projection and a selection of short films. Food Technology students provided audiences with gourmet nibbles and delicious fresh baking.

Some of the many highlights of the Arts Fest include the play Top Girls, the Sp[rings Battle of the Bands (7 altogether!), a German short film about a girl’s love affair with a lamp, Year 10 Stomp and Hip Hop dances, and guest performers Pointy Dog Dance Company. Look out for the Winter Series and the Junior Arts Festival in November.

Chloe Davison
(Dance Department)

COMMUNITY NOTICES
This term the Kelmarna Centre, (Catholic Family and Community Services), are offering three courses.

Parenting 8-12 year olds
Wednesdays 2, 9, 16 & 10 August. 7.30-9.30pm
Women Parenting Alone
Wednesdays, commencing 2 August. 9.30-11.30am.
Parenting Teenagers
2 ,9,16 & 30 August. 7.30- 9.30pm

The courses are held at our premises, Kelmarna Centre (Catholic Family and Community Services), 2 St Benedicts St, Newton

Western Springs College
:: 100 Motions Rd, Western Springs, Auckland 1022, New Zealand
:: Phone (+64 09) 846 8197
:: Fax (+64 09) 815 6740

:: Email admin@westernsprings.school.nz