No. 8, August 21, 2007
Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement
Principals at the recent meeting (7/8/07) of the Auckland Secondary Principals’ Association were each invited by visiting speaker, Karen Sewell, the Secretary for Education, to express to her their most compelling wish for secondary education in New Zealand. The first six speakers addressed the same concern: that the Ministry of Education take immediate steps to improve resourcing for teachers’ salaries and conditions.
There is a consensus among principals that the country is confronted with a crisis in the supply of quality teachers. Currently, there is considerable disquiet that precious operational grant funds are required to be used paying overseas teacher recruitment agencies large sums in order to secure quality teachers. In today’s competitive education marketplace it takes some courage for individual principals to take a public stance on staffing concerns. Accordingly, it would seem unwise of the Government to ignore this message.
It is in this context that parents might view the problems currently being experienced by the NZPPTA in its negotiations with the Ministry of Education to gain the salary levels and conditions of service ( especially class sizes ) needed to make teaching a more attractive profession for the best and brightest university graduates.
University of Auckland Developments
Changes in the funding regime at the tertiary level are likely to contribute to the capping of growth in the numbers of undergraduate students at the University of Auckland at a time when the university is also planning to increase the proportion of its post-graduate students involved in masters or PH.D. studies or research work. From 2009 it is predicted that all courses will have limited entry.
The implications for secondary students in the future are that a University Entrance pass may not be enough to guarantee enrolment in any degree course at the University of Auckland. This occurs at a time when more secondary students are gaining U.E. nationally ( 2005: 17,937; 2006: 19,758 ). This all points to the increasing importance of grade quality in NCEA certificate passes. It will be the students who gain Level 3 with Excellence or Merit, in addition to University Entrance, who can be more confident of enrolment.
The main focus of the Kotahitanga programme, currently funded by the Ministry of Education in a small number of secondary schools, is on teacher professional development. The premise is that solutions to Maori students’ educational achievement are dependent on effective teaching. Russell describes the key elements of effective teaching as quality teacher-student relationships, high expectations, caring greatly about successful learning, creating a context into which Maori students can bring their prior cultural experiences, using a range of proven teaching and learning strategies and focusing primarily on learning rather than behaviour management.
WSC recently (7/8/07) hosted prominent Maori researcher, Russell Bishop, who was invited to speak, firstly, to the Springs teaching staff and, later, to parents of Maori students. We are hopeful of an ongoing association with Russell and his team.
Course Selection - 2008
Course selection for 2008 will begin in Week 8 of this term when we hold our successful careers information evening for students and their parents on Tuesday, September 4, from 6.00pm onwards in the Hall. Students and their parents are able to talk to HODs about their specific subject areas as well as representatives from Universities and Polytechs.
The following morning, Wednesday September 5, will be subject selection morning for students. The Coursebook, with our subjects for 2008, will be mailed out to all families with students in Year 10, 11 and 12 in Week 7 prior to this course selection process.
English Department News
Great results in ICAS competitions for WSC students.
The English department would like to congratulate all those students who entered into the annual ICAS English and Writing competitions. We would like to make special mention of those students who gained Distinction (top 4%) and High Distinction (top 1%) Awards.
In the English competition Rory Clarke and Liam O'Dwyer gained High Distinction and Janine Lawton and Phoebe Balle gained Distinction. Rory Clarke also gained Distinction in the Writing competition. Fantastic results.
School Writing Competition
Entries are now being sought for the school writing competition. The categories and prizes (generously provided by the Parent Action Group) are listed below:
Poetry Prize - $75.00
Short Story <2000 words - $100
Short Story <500 words - $50
Short Short Story <50 Words - $25.00
Entries close on the 14th of September
Geography Fieldtrip to Samoa
Despite a nearly 24 hour delay, when we HAD to stay at the new Aggie Greys, we all arrived home tanned and safe at just after 2.00am this morning! (Friday 17th). Sleeping beside the stunning coastline in beach fales, swimming with sea turtles, sliding down the Papaseea waterfalls and snorkelling in the aqua marine lagoons were just some of the many highlights. Thanks to the staff and students who made it the most enjoyable and successful trip I have ever run. The students were stunning and we frequently received comments on their exemplary behaviour, their interest in their surroundings and their willingness to work and complete the achievement standard.
|Samoa fieldtrip students assemble for a photo.
News from the Mathematics Department
Maths week a great success!
It was with great enthusiasm that we approached Maths Week 2007. The theme was Egypt and the possibilities endless. Junior students had the opportunity to learn more about Egyptian numerals and Egyptian multiplications while Ms West, complete with a little red Egyptian hat, handed out a Toblerone bar to the first student who correctly solved the daily challenge. Maths teachers handed out Egyptian pounds to deserving students which could be cashed in for a slice of cake at the canteen and Maggie got on board serving Egyptian orange and almond cake as well as Egyptian beef and rice served in half a pita with lettuce and drizzled with yogurt. The cake was unbelievably yummy!
Our greatest effort though was selling T-shirts in support of the Child Cancer Foundation. Two of our year 12 students, Imogen Woodward and Leslie Hansen, combined their mathematical and artistic talents in order to design the “sweet as pi” logo which was printed on the T-shirts. Students had the opportunity to pre-order T-shirts at $15 a piece.
On Tuesday 14 August, Neerali Parbhu spoke in assembly, about her own fight with cancer as a toddler and the impact this had on her family. She urged students to wear their T-shirts on Friday the 17th of August to show their support for the foundation and the work they do. As pointed out by Neerali, the Child Cancer Foundation is not government funded and thus rely very heavily on support from people like us. We were therefore very pleased to be able to raise $4500 which will be presented to the Foundation at our next assembly.
Leslie Hansen must be commended for her efforts in selling 77 T-shirts!
Presentation cheque for the amount of $4,500 raised by the sale of T-shirts.
|Students and Staff in their T-shirts
The annual Casio Mathex Quiz Competition took place on 15 August. This year, Western Springs were represented by one Year 9 and two Year 10 teams, competing against over 100 teams from other schools throughout the greater Auckland region. All three teams put in a huge effort on the night, and achieved creditable scores in a very competitive, fun and exhausting event. Congratulations to all the participants (with special mention to Phoebe Balle for her sterling efforts as runner)!
Year 9 participants:
Harley Adams, Max Diack, Takayuki Ibaraki, Lily Searchfield
Year 10 participants:
Phoebe Balle, Jake Barnes, Alexander Craig, Joseph Dillon, Santosh Durlabh, Ella Newell, Liam O’Dwyer, Jasmin Toiting
Many thanks to Year 13 students Kate Peirse-O’Byrne and Nicky Edmond for their invaluable assistance putting the Year 9 team through its paces; and to Year 10 reserves Frances Carter and Ana de Pont van Schie for their enthusiastic support on the night!
Congratulations also to all those students who sat the ICAS Mathematics Competition earlier this year. Many students achieved great results, with Liam O’Dwyer, Frances Carter, Rory Clarke and Alexander Craig being awarded Distinction Certificates (top 10%).
Located in the centre of Unitec in Mt Albert, Carrington's is a character-filled function venue and cafe located on the banks of a natural fresh water stream inside a renovated Victorian pump house originally built at the turn of the century. With a 3 acre footprint of pristine park-like grounds, Carrington’s is a wonderfully private function center only minutes from the CBD.
We are open seven days a week:
Monday through Friday: 9:00am – 10:00pm Join us for lunch, a snack or a drink!
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00am – 3:00pm Come in and try our tasty brunch menu!
We are looking for wait staff to help us out during the week between 11:30am and 2:30pm, let us know if you are interested in becoming a part of our team. Would suit stay-at-home mums (or dads), giving you something different to do before the kids get home!
Contact: Mike Simpkins on 849-2590