Nga Puna O Waiorea
 Newsletter No. 4, April 16, 2008  

Newsletter No. 4, April 16, 2008


Art Auction Fundraiser, WSC Hall, Sunday, 11 May, 5pm
The works of a range of notable artists, including parents, teachers and former students of Springs, will be auctioned for sale on Sunday of the first weekend of next term to raise funds to enable Nga Puna O Waiorea to compete in the national secondary schools’ kapahaka competition later in the term.

Food, wine and entertainment will be provided from 3pm on Sunday afternoon.

The art works can also be previewed in the hall on the previous day
( Saturday, 10 May ) from 3-5pm.

School Production: Little Shop of Horrors, 12-17 May, TAPAC, 7.30pm
Do not waste time purchasing your tickets for this production! We expect it to be a sell-out. Tickets ($10 adults; $8 children) are available now from Beth Parker at office reception.

Springs Top Coeducational School for Third Consecutive Year
Western Springs College has ranked second among all decile 7 state single sex and coeducational schools in New Zealand for NCEA results in 2007 behind Nelson College for Girls – the same ranking as in 2005 and 2006. The ranking is calculated across the six most important measures of student achievement: Level 1 Literacy; Level 1 Numeracy; Level 1 certification; Level 2 certification; Level 3 certification; and University Entrance.

Similarly, when compared to all decile 8 schools – WSC is a decile 8 school in 2008 – Springs ranks second behind only Napier  Girls’ High School and so is the top coeducational secondary school among decile 7 and 8 schools in the country.

It is worthwhile noting that if comparisons are made between WSC female students and the Nelson and Napier girls’ schools, female students at Springs out perform the students at these two schools for Level 1, Level 2 and University Entrance; and Level 3 in the case of the decile 7 school.

Staff On Leave
Congratulations to Petronella Townsend, head of the E.S.O.L. department, who has been seconded by Team Solutions for terms 2-4 to work as a facilitator of teacher development in her specialist area. Jan Thorburn will relieve Petronella for the remainder of the year.

Chloe Davison has been granted leave to travel and study dance in Europe during term two. Val Smith will replace Chloe for this time.

We are currently seeking to ease larger than desirable class sizes in Year 11 English and Science by creating additional classes for both subjects at this level for the beginning of term two.

Ken Havill

Leaders’ Voice

New Parents BBQ:
On Wednesday 5 March, a barbecue was held at Springs to welcome all new students and their families. The intent was to help establish relationships between teachers and new students and teachers and parents of new students. It was great to see so many new faces in one place and the support from teachers and PAG (Parent Action Group) was fantastic. This was one of the first opportunities for the Student Leaders to take on responsibility assisting with such an event. We have had our school Athletics Day, Swimming Sports and house Beach Days earlier in the term, but this was definitely a new challenge. The fifteen leaders who took part did an outstanding job directing families to the barbecue site, introducing parents and new students to teachers, and answering questions about their role in the school. PAG would like to extend an invitation to their next meeting to any new parents who would be interested – watch this space for updates. Cheers!
Luke and Sylvie

Polyfest 2008:
Saturday 15th March, the Rumaki (Nga Puna o Waiorea) represented the school at Polyfest. My name is Grace and I am proud to say I was a part of that ropu (group). We got up early that morning after having little sleep as we were practising into the early hours of the morning trying to perfect our bracket. Although we were all slow and pretty grumpy, we managed to have breakfast and move ourselves into the hall fairly quickly. We took quite some time to get changed into our kakahu (uniform) and get ready for the performance. We all had to get moko (facial tattoo) applied and of course the girls had to look stunning for a whole 20 minutes on stage, which required at least 2 hours of standing in front of mirrors and fighting over hair straightners and eyeliner. Make no mistake, the boys wanted some of this action as well. After we were all ready we practised for a while along with taking the sneaky picture when none of the kaiako and kaiawhina were watching. After a while we boarded the bus jittering with excitement; being

Year 13 girls we ‘shot gunned’ the backseat. While we were driving we sang random songs to warm our voices up and also tried to fit in a power nap which didn’t work as the juniors were loud and rowdy.  For most of them it was their first time performing so this behaviour was expected.

When we finally arrived at the Manukau Veledrome we were made to go the back way which annoyed our kaiako as we were on in roughly ten minutes which pushed the stress into over drive for them. As we drove around the back way, our tutor Matua G (General) instructed us not to talk to anyone on the bus or in the crowd surrounding the bus.  This was extremely hard but we needed to focus as we were on soon. As we exited the bus we were told to move into the holding tent. We all held hands and said karakia after gently warming up with our waiata-tira (choral). We all hugged and gave each other kisses for encouragement and luck and walked up to the side of the stage all within five or so minutes.

 As we were standing there our tutor gave us girls a few words of encouragement along with mocking me because I was using my mate’s lip-gloss on the side of the stage which he called original. Everyone laughed; this helped to calm our nerves. Then the kaikorero (MC) called out ‘Nga Puna o Waiorea”. The crowd went crazy calling out names, cheering, simply giving us the tautoko (support) we needed.

The performance was amazing.  Personally throughout most of it, especially the poi, I forgot that we were in a competition; I was having so much fun. Overall I felt that we had done ourselves and our whanau proud. We gave it our all and had fun while performing, and that is what Matua G wanted, for us to try our best and enjoy ourselves. After all our hard work we acquired 5th place over all (division one). We came 2nd in waiata-a-ringa (action song), haka, most improved and our kaitataki - wahine (Female Leader), Norbryn Vaiula  came 3rd. The day was fun and we worked really hard to achieve what we did that day.  We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of our kaiako, kaiawhina and whanau support throughout the term. Thank you all.
Na Grace. Faith-Crimmins

As an exchange student from Germany the Polyfest rehearsal performance gave me the opportunity to experience some very special and truly magnificent New Zealand culture. I had never seen a Kapa Haka performance before and I was very surprised to find myself getting goose bumps on more than one occasion. The performance was very powerful and strong and yet at the same time there was a feeling of calm and peace. A strong sense of history and heritage was expressed through the traditional costumes. The group performed stunningly and was enthusiastically received by a very supportive audience, myself included.

This is an experience I will treasure and must recommend to all.
Georg Barth

School Production:
Wooooohooooo!!! This year’s school production is well underway and we are keen for all to support! If you didn’t already know, the show is Little Shop of Horrors and is about a nerdish florist who finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who demands to be fed. To accompany this strange pair, we have a sadistic dentist who “gets off” on the pain he inflicts, a money-hungry boss with a craving for success, six singing urchins to move the story along, and where would any production be without the damsel in distress who dreams of “somewhere that’s green”.

The show will be performed in TAPAC from Monday May 12th until Saturday May 17th. This horticultural horror will leave you screaming with laughter and begging for more…but whatever you do folks, don’t feed the plants!!!!
Kirsty Corrin and Hannah Neville

Technology News

Above: Meredith striking a pose.

Work is continuing in the outdoor classroom that was formally the Technology courtyard. Students are enthusiastically removing a variety of obstacles including plants, rocks, walls and statues. Some of the marble and granite blocks will be used on other areas of the campus.

The students will be working in small teams with ownership of a specific area which they will block pave and deck. The situation is deliberately as close to a real life scenario as possible with students having to clear and level their ground first. We ask for all students to stay out of this area from this point onwards unless otherwise instructed.
Matt Clayton

Sporting Achievement

Recently Matthew Lane qualified to swim in the 200 metre butterfly at the Olympic "B" final which is at Westwave Pools in Henderson. The top 8 swimmers swim in the Olympic "A" final and the next 8 in the Olympic "B".  Well done Matthew.

Mathematics News

Holiday Workshops
The Mathematics Department will yet again be hosting a range of revision workshops over the upcoming holiday period.  Workshops will cover Algebra across all year levels. In our opinion, it is imperative that students carefully consider their current level of understanding in order to decide whether they would benefit from attending these workshops designed to, first and foremost, assist in filling current gaps, and secondly, challenge them to move toward the next level of achievement.

Staff invest a huge amount of time and effort in making these workshops worthwhile learning experiences.  We would therefore appreciate your support in encouraging your student to attend.

If you require any further information, or would like advice in determining which sessions your student should attend, please do not hesitate to contact your student’s classroom teacher.  Alternatively, feel free to e-mail me at kiliant@westernsprings.school.nz

Date Time Level Topic Venue Teacher
28 April
9:00 am
10:20 am
1 Achievement Level Algebra: This workshop will focus on the very basic achievement level skills only. It is recommended for all students. B11 MI
28 April
9:00 am
10:20 am
1 Achievement Level Algebra: This workshop will be tailored for students wishing to complete the Algebra Achievement Standard but who are not in an accelerate class. B12 WT
28 April
10:30 am
11:50 pm
1 Merit and Excellence Level Algebra: This workshop will focus on the key skills required for achieving at merit and excellence level. A must for accelerate level students. All students welcome. B9 MS
28 April
9:00 am
10:20 am
2 Achievement level Algebra: This session is recommended for all students entering Level 2 Algebra. B9 MS
28 April
10:30 am
11:50 pm
2 Merit to Excellence level Algebra: This session is recommended for students with a sound understanding of the basic Level 2 Algebra skills. B10 KN
28 April
9:00 am
10:20 am
3 Calculus: Achievement level Complex Numbers: This workshop will focus on the very basic achievement level skills only. It is recommended for all students. B10 KN
28 April
12:00 pm
1:20 pm
3 Calculus: Merit and Excellence level Complex Numbers: This session is recommended for students with a sound understanding of the basic Calculus Complex Number skills. B10 KN

English News

Firstly, our warmest congratulations to Hugo Carnell who came second in the Auckland heat of the Vegemite Spelling Bee, then went on to be runner-up in the National Finals in Wellington over Easter. Well done Hugo! Western Springs College is very proud of you!

We would like to remind parents about the dates for the ICAS English and Writing Competitions this year.  (These were formerly called the Australasian English Competitions.)  The Writing competition is on Thursday 12th June, and the English competition is Tuesday 12th August.  Students interested in participating need to have their payment and permission slip to Beth at the office by:

  • Tuesday 29th April – Writing entry form
  • Thursday 3rd July – English entry form

If you are interested please ask your child to get a parents’ information letter from his/her English teacher.

And a final plea for the return of text books! We still have a lot outstanding and they are very costly to replace.  Juniors should be returning any texts they have had for this term’s module – please encourage them to return them to their teachers as soon as possible so they are available for another class in term 2. 

We would encourage all students to do as much reading as possible over the holidays, and urge seniors to get their notes in order prior to exams, which begin on 29th June.

Gifted and Talented Students 2008 Programme

As a result of an ERO question about the ethnicity of our GAT students involved in the many programmes running at WSC and the variety of programmes that students can be selected for, ( see the last newsletter of 2007 ) I have decided to focus on gifted Maori and Pacific Island students.  The identifying and selection process is now underway and when this is complete, programmes will be organised to cater for their special abilities. These will probably include mentoring by past students and courses offered by outside providers.
Jenny Jones

Geography Overseas Fieldtrip

John and I were really disappointed to cancel the overseas fieldtrip to Samoa after two successful overseas trips in 2006 and 2007. Barely one third of year 11 students paid the deposit, insufficient numbers to make it an inclusive Year 11 trip and to make the trip financially viable.  In future we will run the trip in alternate years and for Years 11 and 12, giving all students an opportunity to participate.

Please contact me on the form posted to you to indicate if you want the money refunded or transferred to pay for another trip.
In terms two and three, fieldtrips will run to Tongariro (Y12), Waihi goldmine and White Island (Y11) and Waitomo (Y13).
Jenny Jones

Science Department News

As I waded through my usual mountain of mail jammed into my pigeon-hole one glossy brochure captured my attention:

“Are you looking for an unforgettable, interactive and in-depth learning experience, while discovering the wonders of New Zealand’s natural environment and unique culture?”

An inspiring meeting with Michele Beaton of New Zealand Odysseys sparked the possibility of science trips which would show students that science doesn’t just happen in a laboratory!  So many decisions: which area of science, which year level, which trip and where? Year 12 Biology seemed an obvious answer.

Year 12 Biologists usually collect data for an Internal Assessed Achievement Standard at a North Shore beach, but not in 2008. Fifty students enjoyed a successful three day field trip “Biodiversity: Conserve and Reserve’ focused around Leigh Marine Reserve.
I would like to thank Robert Forster for leading the trip and the team of teachers who supported this new venture.  A special thanks to parents and guardians for allowing the Science Department to provide this invaluable learning experience and in particular thankyou to Barry Winterton (Jenna’s father) who braved three days with us.

Our students were absolutely fantastic; great ambassadors for Western Springs College. Cast your eyes over the reflection written below.

We have already reserved a date for next year’s Biology field trip, although “Chemical Analysis of Hot Pools and Spas” sounds interesting for the Chemists in 2009 and what about the Physicists…?
Helen Armstrong Head of Science

Reflection on the Year 12 Biology Field Trip 2008
by Robert Forster

The first Year 12 Biology camp started the way it was to continue for 3 days, with gorgeous weather, and excited, enthusiastic students. 

We all boarded the bus and headed to Leigh Marine Reserve for our first day of becoming familiar with the area and all the plants and animals found there.

The students were asked to identify the common species found at Leigh in preparation for the data collection the next day, and then they headed up the hill to learn what the University of Auckland graduate students were studying in their various experiments.

After saying farewell to the University of Auckland students we hopped back on the bus and drove to our accommodation for the next two nights at Pakiri Beach. But school had not finished, because after a swim and dinner we were treated to a lecture from retired University of Auckland Professor Dr Bill Ballantine.   Dr Ballantine has been a strong voice supporting the construction of marine reserves around our coastline for the last 40 years.  His lecture was truly mind opening and his charismatic style kept the students interested.

Day two saw us up at 7am, a quick breakfast then back on the bus, back to Leigh. This was the business day of the camp.  The students collected data for their internal assessment to be written up back at school. They ran a transect line down the beach and recorded evidence for a zonation pattern on the rocky shore.

This data collection took most of the morning and after a quick lunch and wetsuit fitting it was into the water to get up close and personal with the inhabitants of the reserve. We were all varied in our experience of snorkelling, but that didn’t matter as we  jumped in to be amazed at the huge range of fish, some very large snapper coming very close, expecting to be fed. 

We then went for a ride on the glass bottom boat around Goat Island and got to see many of the species found out in the deeper water, and listened to the amazing knowledge of the guide.

That was the end of our time at Leigh and we returned to Pakiri Beach ready for dinner and the presentation of the students’ marine reserves performance. On day one the students were asked to put together a marine reserve presentation, arguing for why a reserve should be set up in a particular place, and in the evening of day two they were asked to present. All the groups showed an awesome range of talent but unfortunately there could be only one winner, with first prize being taken out by Navid’s group. With inspirational lyrics from Navid, beat box by Rory and the moves from Harry as well as great support from Danielle, Moira.

Breakfast on day 3 was at 6am so everyone was in bed early. Wednesday morning we were all fed, cleaned up and on the bus by 7.30am for the trip to Gulf Harbour to catch the ferry out to Tiritiri Matangi Island. The island is now a reserve and has been extensively replanted thanks to the hard work of many volunteers. The students were able to see some very rare birds such as Kokako, Tui, Bellbird, Robin and Takahe, most of which are impossible to see on the mainland. We had amazing volunteer guides whose extensive knowledge allowed us an insight into what our country used to look and sound like.

And then the first Year 12 Biology camp was over.  Thank you to the great students who came on the trip, you worked very hard and your mature and enthusiastic interactions with all the guides and scientists we met set the standard for future Biology trips.  And also a huge thank you to the staff that came and made the camp a wonderful experience: 
Fa'avesi Talamaivao, Clare Burrough, Allayne Ferguson, David Okey, and Helen Armstrong.

Project K

This is a programme designed to inspire twelve year 10 students to reach their potential.  The students were chosen from a survey administered by the Project K staff.  As this is the first year our school has been involved, there is also a reference group of students highlighted as well who are getting a smaller school-based supportive  initiative.

The Project K students had a two day induction and then on April 11th left for a 17 day wilderness adventure, which includes tramping, mountain biking, caving, kayaking and outdoor living with no cell phones or ipods!  Next term they will also undertake a project to give something back to their community. 

Then these same students are matched with mentors from the community for the following 12 months.  Their role is to support them in achieving their goals. 

Project K is designed to inspire students to reach their potential through building self confidence, promoting good health and education and teaching life skills such as goal setting and teamwork.  We look forward to seeing how these students develop over the next year.
Sue Poupouare

Events in the Commerce Dept

The end of the Financial Year or Balance Day was celebrated by the Year 13 Accountants on the 31st March.  We even had a cake to mark the occasion!
Liz Samy

Community Notices

Mediascape is back again! (www.mediascape.ac.nz)
In 2008 the website offers an even richer  resource for teachers, parents and students.  What can you find there? Information, explanations, viewpoints, debates and research about our media landscape.  It is edited by well known researchers at the New Zealand Broadcasting School CPIT, its founding sponsors are the BSA, ASA and Families Commission and it is endorsed by UNESCO and NAME. 

If you need to know more ring Dr Ruth Zanker 03.940.7559 or email her on Zankerr@cpit.ac.nz.
The inspiration for the researchers behind the site is that it is important to question the motives, the values and the ownership of our media. The site is designed to help Kiwis sift through and analyse the multitude of media messages that inform, entertain, and sell to us everyday. User can also answer polls, debate current issues, send us news and student media content which we can showcase on the student section of the site.

Impetigo Prevention
Tip Number One:
Impetigo, or school sores, are caused by a bacteria which enters the body through a scratch or cut in the skin.  They spread very easily on clothing e.g. towels, sheets and from skin to skin.  Sores should be covered with fabric plasters (not plastic ones).  For more information please contact the school nurse, Margaret Meyer, on extension 708

A healthy recipe from our school nurse, Margaret Meyer.
Chicken salad pita pocket

Serves: 1
1 wholemeal pita bread, split and cut in half
1 carrot, grated
1 small lettuce, shredded
1 tomato, sliced
1 small cucumber, sliced
1 small fresh beetroot, grated
1 small celery, sliced
1 tablespoon alfalfa sprouts
50 g skinless chicken breast, grilled or steamed and cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon tzatziki dip

1. Collect ingredients and equipment.
2. Wash and prepare vegetables.
3. Prepare chicken.
4. Cut pita bread in half and spread sides with tzatziki dip.
5. Place chicken and selected salad ingredients inside the two halves.
6. To serve, place on a plate and garnish appropriately

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