WESTERN SPRINGS COLLEGE
Nga Puna O Waiorea
 

Newsletter No.3, 5th April 2007

PRINCIPAL'S NOTES

Board of Trustees Election Results
The following candidates have gained election as the seven parent representatives on the WSC Board of Trustees for the next three years:
Robin Arthur
Trevor Crosby
Robyn Curry
Paul Edmond
David Peirse
Kau Tepaki
Marianne Wilson

They will be joined by the staff representative, Heather Dikstaal, and the student representatives, Joss Colling and Hannah Clark. The Board, which meets formally for the first time on Monday, 30 April, is likely to give consideration to co-opting additional members to ensure full representation of the school community.

A wine and cheese evening has been arranged for Thursday, 26 April, 5.30-7.00pm, to thank and farewell former trustees and to greet and meet the new trustees.

NCEA Parent Information Evening, Wednesday, 9 May, 7.30-9.00pm, WSC Library
We are concerned that public confidence in NCEA has been adversely affected by recent media coverage of criticism of the national qualification. Accordingly, we have decided to convene a meeting in the third week of next term to address concerns which have surfaced during these debates.

Like many schools we are clear about the improvements which need to occur. Students need to receive more recognition for grade quality. It should be a relatively easy matter to design an honours system which accords High Distinction, Distinction and Merit for Levels 1, 2 & 3 and University Entrance passes meeting specified criteria for the proportion of standards achieved at the level of Excellence or Merit.

I have told our students that they should have confidence in NCEA as an assessment system which, with its combination of internally and externally assessed standards, prepares them well for tertiary education.

Landscape Renovation
We have received the geotechnical report commissioned at the request of the Ministry of Education to ascertain whether there are any long-term solutions to the school site’s subsidence problems. It appears that the prospects for stabilisation are not good and that the Ministry will have to resource ongoing management of the problem.

This has been a frustrating delaying process given that we have had a landscape renovation plan ready to implement for over a year. The report recognises that the site is bedevilled by numerous trip hazards which together amount to an unsafe environment which presents extreme difficulties, especially for less able bodied students. It is high time the Ministry provided the funding.

School Entrance Road Works
The end is in sight for the MOTAT tramline road works which has impacted heavily on people commuting to and from the school in recent months. The Prime Minister is expected to officially open the tramway on 24 April, a deadline which is spurring progress on the works near the school entrance. We are hopeful that the new stormwater drainage works which are currently being put in place will mean significantly reduced ponding at the front of the school in the aftermath of Auckland’s downpours.

Ken Havill

Social Studies News
Museum Visit
On Monday 26th the department took the year 9 students to the Auckland Museum to visit the highly recommended Vaka Moana exhibition. The exhibition shows the remarkable journey of the ancestors of the Pacific people. Their unique navigational skills enabled them to eventually inhabit the many island groups in the vast Pacific Ocean.

We were fortunate to be able to view the exhibition before the closing date on March 30th. Vaka Moana will then go on a global journey for five years. The students were particularly fascinated by the demonstration of certain tools used by these early travellers. A significant display was a cross section of their double hull canoes which carried people over vast expanses of water. The outgoing Western Springs College Board Chairperson, Rick Pearson, was the Lead Exhibition Designer.

This important field trip will be a focus of the year 9 module ‘Movement of People’.
I would like to thank all staff for their assistance on the day.
Sharda Patel

The Careers Centre - Wahi Rapu Umanga
If your children are starting to think about options available beyond school then a very useful website is www.kiwicareers.govt.nz or telephone 0800 222 733. This website can help students decide on the job, training or career pathways that could be right for them.

Click Online Tools to get

  • Skill Matcher – find jobs that match personal skills
  • Subject Matcher – Find jobs that match the subjects that are enjoyed by the student
  • Jobs by interest – Discover job ideas using the jobs by interest categories
  • Pathfinder – a free in-depth online career guidance programme. Pathfinder has been designed so a student can answer questions about themselves, generate and sort career ideas specific to them, then plan and implement the next steps towards achieving their career goals.

Margaret Ruland

Beach Education 2007
Our Peer Support programme at Springs was rounded off with the Beach Education days at Muriwai and Bethells beaches in week 8. Atea and Whenua houses enjoyed fine weather at Muriwai but Moana and Kapura faced miserable weather at Bethells on Thursday and Friday. Undaunted, however, they ventured out and reports back tell us that it was great despite the weather.

Beach Ed. Is run by Surf Life Saving New Zealand Northern Region and involves sunsmart and beach safety education as well as the opportunity to participate in basic lifesaving techniques with the lifeguards in the water. Adult to student ratios during the water session are monitored at one adult per four students with the trained lifeguards assisting the adults to maintain a safety box out in the water in the flagged and patrolled area. Tubes were used by one half of the group to practise basic retrieval techniques while the other half of the group enjoyed time on the boogie boards. The two groups then swapped activities. Assisting at all times too were the year 13 peer support leaders who have worked with the year 9s from the beginning of this term. In addition the lifeguard equipment on the beach included a quad bike and IRB.

It is sobering to recall the statistic that twice as many Kiwi kids drown in a year when compared to Australia. It is good to work with professionals on beach ed. days like this in the hope that we can make some impression on this statistic with our youngest students at Springs while having fun at the same time.
Ivan Davis

Sports
2007 started with swimming in week 2 and athletics in week 3. The short time frame between the two
events required 100% cooperation. Congratulations to all involved. Our biggest sporting events of the year ran smoothly.

Results from Champion of Champions
Amokura Heather-Kingi received a bronze medal for junior boys long jump
Helen McLean was place 8th in the intermediate girls 100m sprints.
Amini Fonua won the senior swimming 50m butterfly and breast stroke, defending his titles from 2006.
Matthew Lane won the intermediate 50m butterfly.
Senior boys’ breast stroke won 4 x 50m relay.
Open butterfly relay team won 4 x 50m relay.
Intermediate boys’ breast stroke won 4 x 50m relay.

I would like to thank Neville Arbury for the long years of service he has given to Western Springs College cricket. Neville has been an inspiration to all the boys he has coached and has given our school the privilege of an outstanding coach and mentor. We wish him all the best. Neville, the boys will miss you.
Peter McIntyre

Reminder
Individual and formclass photograph order envelopes need to be returned by the end of the first week of Term 2.

Quiz Night

Western Springs PAG Fundraiser
May 4th 7.30pm
Parents v Staff Showdown

Make up your own team of up to ten, or come alone and we will match you up for an evening of fun as you compete, not only for spot and grand prizes but also, for your very honour.

Tickets $10 each
From the School Office or on the evening
Refreshments will be available for purchase
Bring your own nibbles
more

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