Newsletter No. 2, March 7, 2008
Early Finish Next Week: Tuesday, 11 March
Students will be dismissed at 1.30pm next Tuesday, 11 March, to enable staff to participate in a professional development session on Secondary Futures. The timetable has been adjusted to ensure delivery of all four lessons normally taught on Tuesdays. Accordingly, all students are expected to attend school. The school buses will be waiting to take students home at 1.30pm.
Secondary Futures is an independent project set up to create a vision for secondary education, looking out 20 years. Five themes have emerged from the wide-ranging discussion and debate throughout New Zealand communities during the last three years: Students First; Inspiring Teachers; Social Effects; Community Connectedness; The Place of Technology.
The aim of the workshop, which will also be offered to Springs parents and students at a date soon to be finalised, is to help us look forward and identify changes to current practice in order to better engage students in their learning. It is intended that futures thinking will become an ongoing feature of our strategic planning and curriculum delivery.
We believe strongly in the relevance of Secondary Futures as an introduction to our work in reviewing the WSC charter and implementing the new New Zealand Curriculum during 2008-2009.
For the second consecutive year WSC students have enjoyed impressive success in the New Zealand Scholarships examinations with a total of 20 Scholarships achieved across 12 subjects.
Congratulations to the following students:
Lawrence May in English (Outstanding), Media Studies (Outstanding) and History. Lawrence’s achievements have earned him an Outstanding Scholar Award worth $5,000 each year for three years of anticipated undergraduate study.
Hannah Clark in English (Outstanding) and History
Paolo Edgerton-Bachmann in Chemistry and Calculus
Nicole Edmond in Visual Arts and Media Studies
Wasan Forsyth in English
Adam Jarvis in Physics and Statistics
Thomas Joychild in Biology and History
Nicholas Pearson in English and Geography
Harry Peirse in Music
Kate Peirse-O’Byrne in English and Classical Studies
Thomas Wilson in English
The term one Progress Reports will be mailed out from Wednesday, 26 March. The teacher/parent/student report interviews are scheduled for the following two consecutive Tuesdays from 4.00-7.00pm: Tuesday, 1 April for students with surnames from A-L; Tuesday, 8 April for students with surnames from M-Z.
Nga Puna O Waiorea To Perform at Polyfest, 15 March, 11.00am
You are invited to attend the Auckland Secondary Schools’ Cultural Festival (Polyfest) at 11.00am on Saturday, 15 March at the Manukau City Velodrome to enjoy the kapahaka performance of Nga Puna O Waiorea. The Maori stage is located on the greyhounds track. If you have never attended this iconic Auckland event, you owe it to yourself to head down the southern motorway to give your support to the WSC Rumaki students who can be guaranteed to present you with a very polished feast for the eyes and ears!
Mathematics Department Year 9 Banding
It’s that time of year when our year 9s are eagerly awaiting to hear who will be their new maths teacher, and more importantly, which class they will be in!
At Springs, we band the students half way through the term so that we can not only look at prior assessment data, but also use teacher assessment and topic exam (in our case geometry) to place the students in the classes most suited to their abilities.
The banding process starts by analysing the data we receive from the feeder schools, and comparing this to students’ current PAT data. We then add into the mix the results from the assessment (which they are presently sitting) and discuss the final banding list as a department. This ensures that placements are as accurate as possible. When we are unsure of a student’s placing, we enlist help from the learning centre to individually interview and assess the student.
It is a very long, thorough process, and we have been very successful in matching the students’ needs to their classes.
With regards to the banding, we normally have an accelerated, two middle band and one paced classe in each of the two blocks. This year we have a stronger cohort, so will consider a mid-accelerate class in one of the of the option blocks.
I am often asked what the difference is between the classes, so I shall try and explain, briefly. All of our junior classes follow the National Curriculum, aiming for students to achieve within level 5 by the end of year 10, so that the students will be able to further extend their knowledge in year 11. The accelerate classes are given the opportunity to investigate areas requiring higher order thinking to develop their problem solving skills, but remain within the same programme of study that the other students follow. The paced band follows the same programme, but with an emphasis on achieving within their level. They do not receive as much extension into the merit style questions as the middle band may be exposed to. Where appropriate, students may be withdrawn from class to work in small groups in the Learning Centre.
All of the students sit the same exams at the end of the academic year, and the assessment data is then used to organise classes in year 10. So, for example, a middle band student who has worked hard and achieved well in all of the topics studied may be placed in an accelerated year 10 class.
Banding will be completed by the middle of week 6, and your student will be given a note informing them of their new class and new teacher. Once they have been introduced to their teacher, they will come home with the note for you to sign, and an information sheet detailing the course outline and an assessment timetable. Please ensure that you read through this with your student so that he or she is very clear what the expectations are for the year.
From the Social Studies Department
There have been a few changes to the department this year. Sharda Patel has relinquished the HOD position and is now the Library Manager. Heather Dikstaal is the new HOD. Sharda has not left us completely, but continues to remain within the department, teaching one Year 9 class.
Jenny Jones no longer teaches in the department, but is full time in the Geography Department. Paul Alford is continuing as Zoe Lindsay’s replacement while Zoe is on maternity leave for the rest of 2008. We welcome Graeme Moran into the department. Graeme is the HOD History, and this year we are very fortunate to have him teaching one of the Year 10 classes. John Ward, Tania Secker, Rob James and Ivan Davis are all teaching Year 9 or 10 classes, so the department has a full complement of experienced, competent and inspiring teachers.
Week 6 sees the annual Marae visit. Whaea Tere will be introducing the year 9 students to Nga Puna O Waiorea.
9WE, 9WU, 9MO & 9AT will be learning about the Marae on Monday 10th March, while 9KA, 9KU, 9MN and 9AE have their turn on Thursday 13th March. We are all very grateful to the Rumaki staff who give freely of their time to enable our students to have this experience.
Physical Education News
Firstly we must congratulate our own Graeme Massey who completed his first Iron man on Saturday the 1st of March 2008, in Taupo. This is a tough feat under any circumstances but Graeme managed the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42km run in 12 hours and 45 minutes, after being knocked off his bike by a car!
Congratulations to all those people who competed in the Athletics sports and the Swimming sports. Both days were truly successful, and there was a multitude of talent on display. Good luck to those competitors who are going on to compete in the Zones and beyond.
Next week our Junior phedders begin their athletics units. The year 9s will be working towards a five star award offered by the New Zealand athletics organisation, and the year 10s will be competing in “beisprings 08” where they will compete in different events in teams.
The year 11s will be heading to Mangawhai Heads to take part in the survivor challenge. They will compete in teams in different outdoor activities for the extremely prestigious survivor challenge shield. Good luck to these students!
Lastly we would like to acknowledge the following people for their achievements on the sporting field.
- Renata Gottgtroy
- Kate Livingstone
Both have been selected for the New Zealand Inline Hockey team
- Delorae Mani
- Ariia Tainui-McIntyre
Both have just finished representing the Auckland women’s touch team at the national championships.
Kody was selected for the New Zealand under 19 touch team.
If there are any sporting achievements that we have missed please let us know and we will be sure to mention it in further newsletters.
“Champions keep playing until they get it right.”
The PE Team
Further Sports News
Congratulations to the following students who were selected to compete in the Auckland Secondary Schools’ Zone Swimming Competition. Results will appear in the next newsletter.
Joe Arthur-Roche, Wyatt Bell, Alexander Berger, Sophie Blazey, Felix Bowker, Amelia Brown, Rowan Carmichael, Charlotte Clabrough, Rory Clarke, Hannah Clarke, Josie Desmond, Stewart Gifford, Marycarol Holdaway, Antoinette Jowitt, Matthew Lane, Cassidy Laurie, Patrick Marsh, Helen McLean, Priya Mistry, Tom Munro, Max Netten, Hugo Norton, Jessie Richardson, Adam Tapsel, Kenah Trusewich
Swimming Sports Day (15/2) was well supported by our students. This year the student vs staff race was won by the Senior Sports Academy - the first time the students have won this event, much to the horror of the teachers. There were some great finals and from these finals the zone swimming team was chosen.
A wide range of sports being offered this summer: athletics, cricket, tennis, water polo, under water hockey, waka ama, dragon boating, touch, swimming, volley ball, softball.
Director of Sport
On the morning of the 15th of February, Westerns Springs College students set off to enjoy our annual Swimming Sports day. It started with a blast! Each of the houses arrived on their separate buses, sporting their house colours and filling Pt Erin with blue, red, green and yellow.
Of course it didn’t take long for Mr T to steal the Atea flag and throw it in the pool. From there it was all on!
Everyone got really involved which was great to see. We definitely have some real talent at WSC. The day was going really well and then the relays began. First there was the juniors, which Moana took out.
The intermediate competition was easily won by Atea followed by the senior relay. This was definitely one of the most exciting relays I have ever seen. It was all looking good for Kapura, about 10 meters ahead of all of the other houses on the last leg. It was however not meant to be as Atea’s last swimmer won the race, even though only by a fraction of a cm. By the end of the day, everyone was pretty tired, but still keen to see the students take on the teachers. Of course the students won! The teachers seem to think they won because of a technicality, but really, who is listening?
On the 3rd of March Western Springs College had our annual athletics day, held at Mt Smart Stadium. Western Springs athletics day is usually held at the Westpac stadium but a change of venues for this year definitely added to the excitement.
It was a fun-packed day with an awesome turnout from both students and teachers. Many house points were gained by all houses through participation, house spirit and of course the amazing winning results for several different events.
The most exciting event of the day had to be the senior boys relay, with Whenua coming out on top by a large margin!
Overall it was a very successful and invigorating day for all. Let’s hope it is as victorious in 2009!
From 12 to 14 February, the Springs student leaders attended a 3 day course facilitated by AUT. The course was designed to train and support the up and coming leaders of the school for the year ahead. The course included team building activities, seminars from successful leaders and leadership workshops.
As the course was held over 3 days, our student leaders stayed overnight at the Marae here at Springs. This gave us the opportunity to get to know each other and to work with various teachers from the school. The course taught our student leader team many skills in terms of leadership, team work, communication and social understanding to help us strive for the best outcomes for 2008! We want to make 2008 a year to remember so if you have any questions or suggestions about anything at all, please feel free to approach any one of the student leaders!
In week 6 all senior students are fortunate enough to be given special access at MOTAT to some very exclusive costume collections. Barbara Joseph has negotiated with MOTAT to be given access to a collection of historical New Zealand costumes ranging from Victorian times to the year 2000. Students will have the opportunity to examine and handle original costumes that are not available to the general public. Each student will be able to study the individual pieces of clothing to give them a greater understanding of the methods of construction and use of fabrics over the last two centuries.
Neil Barnett is developing a new course at year 12 that focusses on practical hard materials skills. He will be using the technology courtyard as a living open air classroom for students to work with. Each Y12 student will learn such skills as: decking, block paving, concreting and producing outdoor furniture. We look forward to seeing the court yard change over the next few months.
Jill Hewitt is working hard to develop new links with industry that will allow students to study catering in future years. Jill is undergoing a programme of training that will allow her to access catering and barista courses in the near future.
The following students have volunteered their services as STUDENT LIBRARIANS:
Imogen Woodward, Weylin Hatton-Thompson, Sylvie Thrush-Marsh Nic Pearson, Mahala Harwood, Verne Wilson, Grace Elliot, Sebastian Clarke, Antoinette Jowitt, Eleanor Manu. They will be on duty at lunchtime and will mainly assist with issuing and shelving books. So far they have been very enthusiastic and punctual and I look forward to working with such fantastic senior students.
We have recently added to our growing Graphic Novels (comic) section. They include William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a biography of Malcom X and graphic adaptations of two of Agatha Christie’s most famous crime stories. There are also a variety of interesting novels so please visit our display.
The library is open every day of the week except Tuesday from 3.30 to 4.30 for students who wish to do their homework at school. This is a great opportunity to work in a quiet space, have access to a computer, reference books and the daily newspaper. I will provide assistance with research techniques.
Parent Action Group News
Coming up soon – Family Picnic on the Field. All welcome. Wednesday 19 March 6pm – 8pm (or when it gets too dark to see what you’re eating). This is your big chance to catch up with the people you usually only get to say Hi to in the corridor on interview night, and maybe to meet the family of the kid who’s often at your place. You just need to bring a rug, enough food for yourselves, and something to drink. PAG will provide limited BBQ facilities for you to cook your snarlers on. Margaret, Barnaby and Chloe are putting some entertainment together, so all we need now is a clear night and your faces there. If it’s raining we’ll be forced to cancel, and hope to see you at some of the other events we have planned. Watch this space…