WESTERN SPRINGS COLLEGE
Nga Puna O Waiorea
 

Newsletter No.1, 16th February 2007

PRINCIPAL'S NOTES

2006 NCEA Results
Western Springs College students have matched the high standards achieved by our students in NCEA in 2005, again placing the college in the top echelon of decile 7 schools in New Zealand.

It is particularly noteworthy that our Level 2, Level 3 and University Entrance results have all improved markedly, and that we have again excelled with our Level 1 numeracy (95%) and literacy (90%) standards pass rates.

The most impressive results are in University Entrance ( 70% pass rate ) where Springs students have achieved at 20% above the national decile 7 average. (This result would have placed WSC first among decile 7 schools in New Zealand in 2005; rankings for 2006 will not be possible until NZQA releases individual schools’ results in April.)

Our gender analyses reveal some interesting findings:

  • the U. E. pass rate for female students at Springs is over 10% above that for decile 7 girls’ schools;
  • the U. E. pass rate for male students at WSC far exceeds that for boys in decile 7 boys’ schools ( by 23.6% ) and co-ed schools ( by 26.5% ),

confirming that boys and girls are achieving extremely well at our college.

It is also worth noting that WSC’s University Entrance pass rate is well above that for decile 8 ( by 17.6% ), decile 9 ( by 9.7% ) and decile 10 schools ( by 8.1% ).

We have yet to undertake our ethnic group analysis of last year’s NCEA results, however, we have received the Ministry of Education’s Benchmark Indicators report for 2005 which provides the following information:

School Leavers Year 12 Qualification or Higher (%)
  WSC Auckland Region NZ Co-Eds Decile 7s
European 72.4 67.1 62.7 58.4 62.6
Maori 68.4 33.3 33.5 30.4 35.6
Little or no formal attainment 0.0 11.0 12.4 14.1 11.4

Maori parents, in particular, may be interested to note the negligible differential for Springs compared to other schools.

Board of Trustees Elections
Please give serious consideration to making a significant contribution to our school community by serving as a trustee. Your life experience, expertise or energy are all likely to equip you to play an important part in helping to steer the school’s development during the next three years.

Parents will receive a nomination form in the mail by 1 March for the upcoming board of trustees election. Forms are also available from the school office. Nominations close on 15 March.

Voting papers will be issued prior to 20 March and the poll will close on 29 March if the number of nominations exceeds the number ( seven ) of parent representatives’ places on the board. The results will be published on 4 April.

School Roll
The school roll has this month reached 1,000 students, including 43 international feepayers. We are monitoring class sizes closely, however, there are still a few comings and goings, meaning that it may not be until the end of next week before we make any final decisions about additional staffing.

Ken Havill

English Department
The year has started well in the English Department. Sean Hawthorne is on study leave for terms 1 and 2, and we welcome Tim College and Amber de Boer.

Thank you to parents for support in returning owing books from 2006 and for the payment of invoices sent; please ensure that any book or money is given to the school office as soon as possible.

Debating is historically strong at WSC and we hope that 2007 is another successful year for us. The competition gets under way in the next fortnight and we wish our teams well.

Interested writers are invited to join the Writers’ Club which will begin soon; listen out for meetings in the notices. There are already a number of speech and writing competitions advertised in English classrooms and on the English Department notice board in D block. Students should ask their teacher for details.

Kate Meade

Assessment Handbook
Next week all senior students will receive an Assessment Handbook, which will provide information about the procedures to follow in the event of illness, missed assessments, extensions etc.

Students and parents are encouraged to familiarise themselves with all the information in this handbook.

Ali Geursen

Gifted & Talented Students
Philosophy is now an option in Terms 1 and 2 for Year 9 students and in Terms 3 and 4 for Year 10 students.

In 2007, I hope to run cross-curricular withdrawal groups in Terms 2 and 3, and in Term 1, I will interview individually Year 10 students identified last year about their individual learning needs.

Jenny Jones

WSC Learning Centre
The Learning Centre is intended to provide an inviting and stimulating environment where students from any year level can come individually, or in groups, to seek assistance with almost anything related to their learning. Ours is a learning partnership in which we work alongside students to identify and assess their learning needs; encourage them to set learning goals and develop action plans; and then help them work towards developing the skills and strategies needed to achieve those goals. We are not so much about teaching subject content, as helping students to develop strategies that they can take back into the classroom with them, to assist them in becoming more independent and successful as learners.

All our interventions are negotiated with the students themselves and may involve as few as one or two sessions, or as many as a series of regular sessions over an extended period of time. Students from year 9 -13 are encouraged to refer themselves for help and many do. Ours is a revolving door policy, where students are able to move in and out of the Centre as they feel necessary.

In 2006 Learning Centre staff assisted students with senior and junior essay writing, senior and junior exam preparation, junior literacy and numeracy, study skills and general organisational issues, as well as specific subject and assignment support. Students were encouraged to ask questions, to develop strategies for finding out information and for clarifying meaning when they encountered concepts they found challenging. Some junior students benefited from working closely with senior students as part of the Centre’s Peer Reading and Peer Mentoring Programmes. In 2007 we will be continuing these interventions and also providing targeted programmes as listed below.

Programmes operating in 2007

  • ‘Start Right’ study skills sessions, covering: organisation, time management, effective learning strategies, exam preparation and exam technique.
  • Senior essay writing for History and English
  • Peer Reading
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Senior English groups run to gain necessary literacy credits missed in 2006
  • Year 9 Literacy and Numeracy
    Small groups attending Learning Centre during either English or Maths classes.
  • Year 10 ASDAN Programme
    Selected students will be invited to take part in this exciting new programme.

Learning Centre Homework/Study Sessions
The Learning Centre is open from 8.00 a.m. Monday to Friday, Monday and Wednesday after school until 4.30pm and every lunchtime. Students can use our computers for research and call on Centre staff for assistance in a range of subjects.

Learning Centre Staff 2006
Helen Thorpe – LC manager
Helen Hogg – literacy/numeracy
Trina Sellers – LC support – (part-time: Thursdays)

‘Start Right’ Study Skills Workshops
This year the Learning Centre will periodically be offering one-off study skills sessions, each with a specific focus. These sessions are targeted at Year 11 students who are new to NCEA, but are open to any senior students who feel they would benefit from improving their learning strategies. The sessions will be advertised in the daily bulletin and on the school intranet. Each session will be run twice, (on two consecutive days), to try to accommodate students who are involved in other school activities. Students may attend as many of the sessions as they choose. We strongly recommend these sessions to those students who seriously want to take charge of their own learning and achieve success in NCEA this year.

Session 1: “Planning for Success”
Wednesday 21st February, repeated on Thursday 22 February
Learning Centre at 1.30pm.
The focus will be on effective planning and organization for your year of study.

Session 2: “Taking Charge of Your Learning”
Wednesday 28 February, repeated Thursday 1st March
The focus will be on strategies for taking charge of how you learn in and outside the classroom.

Mathematics News
The Mathematics Department for 2007 has been through changes over the summer break. The most significant being the birth of Aleksi Kilian, on the 11th January, weighing in at 3.5kg (that’s 7lbs.8ounces – for the old schoolers). Mother and baby are doing extremely well with Thea already itching to get back to us. NOT!

The holidays have allowed us to return to an updated and expanded resource room. A big thank you to Nigel and David (builders) for doing an awesome job in such a tight time restraint.

I would like to welcome back the staff in the Mathematics Department with a special welcome to Esther Mayari, and also Jasmine Paulkutty while Thea Kilian is on maternity leave.

Parents are reminded that a scientific calculator is an absolute must for all students studying Mathematics. These are available from the front office as well as stationery stores such as The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery. The cost is around $20. Senior students studying achievement standards courses will be required to have a graphics calculator. More information on this will be provided by the relevant classroom teachers.

Homework will again be a very important part of Mathematics teaching and learning at Western Springs. Parents should expect students to receive homework on a regular basis and to be notified in the event of students not completing the required work.

A range of activities are yet again on the calendar for 2007. Students will have the opportunity to join the Chess Club, Maths Publication team or enter a variety of competitions throughout the year. More information about these events will be posted in the daily Bulletin.

We look forward to yet again working alongside parents and caregivers to ensure the best possible outcome for all our students in 2007.

Fa’avesi Talamaivao

Art
Welcome back to all our students. It is lovely to see so many fresh and returning faces. Students seem positive about the year ahead.

Just a reminder that students should have by now purchased the necessary equipment for their art course:

Year 9 and 10 - $3.00 for an A3 Manila wallet and pencil

Year 12 and 13 - $7.00 for an A3 Visual Diary
(except Year 13 Painting who will be working on an A4 Journal $4.00 and Year 12 design will need a felt nib pen also, $5.00).

Students are welcome to supply their own equipment.

Art Department staff

Pasifika News
Talofa lava, Kia ora, Kia Orana, Malo e Lelei, Taloha Ni, Ni san bula, Namaste, Greetings.

Warm Pasifika greetings to all Pasifika parents and students of 2007. A special welcome to all the new students and families who have joined us at Western Springs College.

This is just a reminder that the Pacific Island Homework Centre runs every Monday from 3.30pm – 5pm and will start on Monday 26th February in the WSC Library. All students are encouraged to attend this.

There will be a Pasifika BBQ for all Pasifika students and families at Western Springs College on Thursday 22 February at 6.30pm. This will be a wonderful opportunity to introduce new parents and meet up with the old. Please make this a must in your busy schedules. We would love to see you all there!

Soifua, Tupe Tai Pacific Island coordinator.

Parents’ Action Group
The PAG is a friendly, loose association of involved and interested parents which gets involved with Western Springs College issues in a positive way. The PAG meets for working bees when required, and runs things like the New Parents and Students’ Barbecue (this year, Wednesday 28th February).

The PAG meets once a month and spends a considerable amount of effort raising funds. These funds are available, after consultation to meet criteria, to the school and student groups for things like outdoor shelters, money for our Smoke Free challengers, sports team and cultural group requirements, outings etcetera.

The PAG meets informally in the staff room at 7:30pm once a month, usually on the first Tuesday, and always welcomes new parents. The first meeting is Tuesday February 20th, 7:30pm in the staff room.

The PAG’s principal source of funds is the contract for cleaning up after Rugby League games at Mt Smart Stadium. You will hear more about this as the year progresses, when we start looking for parent and student volunteers.

The PAG has raised more than $150,000 for Western Springs College in the past decade.

For more information, you can see our web pages at www.westernsprings.school.nz/PAG.html

You might also like to join the WSC PAG email list – just email Mark Webster at mark@macguide.co.nz and ask to be added.

Mark Webster

Community Notices
Guitar and bass lessons with Samuel Benge
Samuel is an experienced performer and teacher with a degree in music from the University of Auckland. Samuel is a full time international artist with a passion for sharing music with the community.

Contact: Mobile 021 213 7614 or 09 361 3904 email sambenge@hotmail.com, www.samuelbenge.com

West Auckland Area Girls’ Brigade
Girls’ Brigade is for girls aged 5 – 18. Our programme features a variety of fun activities designed to educate, inspire and develop.

We meet at the Old Homestead, 92 Pt Chevalier Rd on Wednesdays during school terms, 6 – 7.30pm for Juniors (Years 1 – 4) or 6 – 8pm for Seniors (Years 5 – 8) & Pioneers (Years9 – 13). $15 per term.

For further information contact Charlotte Rose: Phone 09 376 6224 or 027 250 0623. Also see our website www.geocities.com/aucklandgb16

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