WESTERN SPRINGS COLLEGE
Nga Puna O Waiorea
 

Newsletter No.8 – 8th September, 2006

PRINCIPAL'S NOTES

What a busy time! 2006 is still proceeding, and planning for 2007 is already underway. The school ball went very well, fun was had by all, and the Hilton staff commended our students on their excellent behaviour and manner. They have even invited us back!

We have received good feedback about the careers/NCEA information evening we ran in August: this is likely to become an annual event.

Exam Leave
Senior students will be on study leave from Tuesday 12 – Wednesday 20 September. Examination times are : 9am -12 pm, 2 – 5pm. You can assist your son/daughter to prepare by helping them to:

establish a programme of study
reduce hours of work, if they have after school jobs
organise the correct equipment
arrive in plenty of time
monitor their stress levels
check the examination schedule.

If your son/daughter is sick a medical certificate is required. Please let the school know that s/he is away.

Course Choices
Students are in the middle of making decisions about courses for 2007. They have received a course book, listened to teachers, and have worked with careers staff. Initial choice selections are due Friday 8 September. Once we analyse student responses a final choice will be made at the start of term 4, using the option choice grid. Please don’t hesitate to ring deans/directors/careers staff for advice.

Policies
We have reviewed and revised the complaints and attendance policies. These will be posted on the website or are available, on request, from the school office. These points are worth noting:

Attendance
1. There is a direct relationship between good patterns of attendance and student academic success
2. Parents are required to
Inform the school on the day of absence via the absence line
Follow up the absence with a written note
Provide a medical certificate if absence longer than 3 days
Request permission from the principal for any period of extended leave from school
3. Leaving school at any time during the school day will require
Prior consent from a senior manager
a note from home or appointment card
the student to sign out in the book held at the front office, once permission has been given.
4. Y13 students have permission to be absent for study periods and break times, on the basis of reasonable conduct. If there is a form period at the start of the day an arrangement with the form teacher needs to be made
5. Students may be excused for lateness or non attendance if they bring a note or if the parent comes in to explain.
6. Attendance will be recorded and data collated by the assistant principal for reporting to the board of trustees, regular review, and audit by MOE as required.
Form teacher/dean referral/contact with home
Guidance and other support
Attendance officer visits
Serious disciplinary consequences
Legal action
7. Interventions for continual lateness or poor attendance may include:
8. Unless there is a valid reason for non attendance those students who do not attend for more than 21 consecutive days will be removed from the roll.

Complaints
We would endeavour to resolve matters of dispute in a fair and reasonable manner, but, at times, there are issues, of a serious nature, that require specific attention. The steps are detailed in the policy document.

1. Complaints will be made in writing or in person; anonymous complaints will not be registered.
2. Complaints, of a serious nature, involving
a. staff members will be directed to the principal.
b. the principal will be handled by the BOT Chair.
c. parents will be directed to the principal, and if necessary, the BOT
d. students will be directed to the principal, and if necessary the BOT
e. international students will be handled in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

Tramway Project
Students are requested NOT to cross the road on the blind corner at the bottom of the hill outside of the school. This is a serious safety concern at present; we need your cooperation. There are temporary footpaths between the barriers and marked crossing points for students to use. The work will continue on the road area for another six weeks and the tramway extension due for completion at the start of December.

Curriculum consultation
The Minister of Education has granted schools a consultation day to consider the new curriculum document. The school has selected Friday 15 September. Y11-13 students will be on study leave; Y9-10 students should remain at home.

If you are unable to make satisfactory alternative arrangements for your son/daughter on that day and would like him/her to come to school, please contact the school office and inform us so that we can organise supervised study.

Linda Dillon
Acting Principal

The New Zealand Curriculum – Draft for Consultation 2006:

Schools and their communities are at present engaged in consultation and discussion on the new curriculum proposed for all schools from Years 1 to 13. Parents and students of WSC are to be included in our consultation round so I thought it would be useful to give some initial perspectives for our community to consider.

The new curriculum is centred on a set of key competencies:

Managing self
Relating to others
Participating and contributing
Thinking
Using language, symbols and texts

This is a move that simplifies what was previously complex and should enable us at Springs to focus on the development of programmes to suit our students and their educational needs. These key competencies have arisen out of the OECD’s Defining and Selecting Competencies project and who could argue against them?

Stuart Middleton at Manukau Institute of Technology points out in his early comments on this new curriculum, and these key competencies in particular, that “the line between simple and trite can be quite thin.” He challenges us to give these clear statements “rigour and some meat.” This we will certainly do as we discuss the integration of these competencies into the programmes that we deliver at WSC.

Perhaps the ‘values’ which the curriculum statement encourages our students and their communities to support will spark a greater debate? These are:

excellence
innovation, enquiry and curiosity
diversity
respect
equity
community and participation
care for the environment
integrity

The curriculum document urges dialogue between the schools and their communities to find specific ways in which these values will find expression. At WSC they should be evident in our school’s philosophy, structures, curriculum, classrooms and community of relationships.

Finally the curriculum document moves on the issue of languages by establishing this as an 8th learning area. The others are: English, Mathematics and Statistics, Science, Social Sciences, Arts, Health and Physical Education, Technology. This has to be a good move if we are to encourage a language learning culture in New Zealand.

Ivan Davis
Deputy Principal

News from the Mathematics Department

1. Term 3 Workshops
We are all very much aware of the need for continuous revision in Mathematics. Students must practice new skills on a regular basis in order for them to master these to the expected level. As students do find it difficult to structure worthwhile revision sessions for themselves, especially during the school holidays, we would like to invite all Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Achievement Standards students to take part in the revision workshops as set out in the roster below.

The achievement level workshops provide the ideal opportunity for students to catch up on those basic skills that are still getting the better of them, while the Merit and Excellence Level sessions are ideal for consolidation and extension.

We look forward to students making use of this very worthwhile opportunity!

2. Child Cancer Foundation fundraiser:
Thank you to all students and parents who have made a fantastic effort in supporting this very worthwhile fundraising project. Students have been requested to pay all sponsorship money in to Beth at the front office by Friday 8 September, after which raised funds will be donated to the Child Cancer foundation.

Thea Kilian

English

English Competition Results:
Congratulations to Rory Clarke, Yr 9, who gained a medal in the ICAS English competition. This means Rory shared the highest score in New Zealand for year 9 students. A fantastic achievement. Two other year 9 students also gained High Distinction Awards: Liam O'Dwyer and Hector McKay. The high distinction awards are given to students in the top 1% of participants in the competition - another great result.

English Publication of Student Writing:
This year the English department is going to publish a booklet of the best student writing in three categories: Poetry, Short Story and Formal Writing. Students who wish to submit a piece to be considered by the selection team should give it in to Sean Hawthorne or their English teacher before the end of term. Entries in term two's writing competition and students who gained excellent grades for in class writing will also be considered by the selection team.

The department would appreciate hearing from any parents with contacts for publishing or possible sponsorship of the booklet to help us get the project off the ground (contact Sean by email - hawthornes@westernsprings.school.nz). It is our intention that this becomes an annual publication of the best student writing in each year. It will be designed and edited by a team of students. If any student is interested in being involved and they haven't already expressed interest please see Sean Hawthorne or their English teacher a.s.a.p.

Sean Hawthorne

Photography News

A plea from the photography department : We are still searching for missing books and equipment. Sadly a number of books and other items have escaped the photography department this year which is a huge loss to us. I would like to ask for parents support. If you have a son or daughter who takes Photography in year 12 or 13 could you please check that there aren’t any of our books or equipment items at home? Book borrowing from the department has had to cease this term as too many books have disappeared. The books that I am certain are missing are :

The Essential Duane Michels ( Large grey hardback book )
Ralph Meatyard ( Small PHAIDON book.)
Robert Frank ( Small Photofile book.)
Jorge Molder ( Luxury Bound - Medium sized black book with Crimson spine )

The books are covered in clear duraseal, marked with a WSC stamp and have a card in the back.

We are also missing one tripod. It is a lightweight black Cullman tripod with a name on the leg in the form of a label – BARRAR. Any items or books that can be returned to the photography department will be welcomed with open arms.

There will also be workshops running until the end of term on Thursday afternoons from 3.15pm – 4.30pm. This is an excellent time for photography students to catch up. External deadlines are fast approaching and the darkroom will be quite full up until the external deadlines so photography students should make use of this time. The darkroom will also be available to ALL photography students during exam week. Make use of this time and get on top of your print load! See Ashra during exam week to use darkroom facilities.

Ashra Clement

Music

There has been much performing from the department recently. The WSC Chamber Orchestra performed with passion on the Concert Chamber stage as part of the Auckland Schools’ Competitions. It was a great thrill for me to be in the audience feeling so proud of our students up there. Sam Loveridge and Helen McLean were particularly impressive in their parts in the Bach double violin concerto arrangement. Thanks go to our orchestral tutor Vigdis Relph.

Also, as part of the competitions, our Jazz Band played in the fringe festival for emerging bands. We were not eligible for competition with 3 staff members in the band but given how well we performed I would not be surprised if next year the students insist on a student only band so they can compete! As part of the fringe the adjudicator spent half an hour with us on stage in a workshop situation which was very successful. Thanks to our tutor Trude Lile and congratulations to our soloists Hannah Pierce, Eamon Edmundson-Wells, Tom Bannister and Rowan Brooks.

Congratulations to Harry Peirse who won the Music Association of Auckland’s quartet composition competition. Harry’s piece for piano, violin, cello and er’hu (Chinese fiddle) has a definite jazz influence and it was a pleasure hearing the rehearsals. We look forward to hearing more of Harry’s compositions.

The Talent Quest is approaching!! On the last afternoon of term we will hold our annual Talent Quest in the school hall. Entries are looking good and students are reminded to get those rehearsals under way because the competition will be strong.

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