WESTERN SPRINGS COLLEGE
Nga Puna O Waiorea
 Newsletter No. 7, July  4, 2008  

Newsletter No. 7, July  4, 2008

ACTING PRINCIPAL'S NOTES

Educational and other publications can be useful prompts for reflection, as in the Metro article “The Best High School for Your Child”. It was evident that, while there is some diversity in approach, teachers in schools continue to work hard to provide students with the best education possible. This is happening in most schools most of the time.

Teachers at this school spend considerably more than the “less than 3 minutes per month” considering teaching and learning, that John Hattie suggests is the norm. Teacher professional development has long been recognised as a strength of this school.

It is very clear what parents want for their children:  a school where they can succeed academically, be safe, have friends, have the opportunity to belong to/join in a range of activities. This school, and I would contend schools overall, works towards this goal, energetically and optimistically.

A check list is offered for parents to use, to evaluate whether a school is a good, or indeed the best, school. In the interest of reflective practice I thought it would be useful to consider how WSC stacks up against this set of criteria. We carry out a Quality Service Delivery survey every 2 years: we seek responses from parents, students and staff. This and other feedback shows that we are doing well in each of these areas.

Checklist: 9 things You should Find In An Outstanding School (Metro; June, 2008)

Academically, it scores above average for the decile

It gets above average scores across the subject range

It gets them right across the range of ability

The kids like and respect the teachers

There is wide student participation in sports and [some] perform well at the elite end

It has a busy co curricula programme in the creative [and performing] arts

The school embraces the values of service and community involvement

The school deals effectively with bullying, drugs and other safety issues

All areas of student achievement are celebrated

Peer reading/mentoring

We recognise the work of a large group of Y13 students who have given their time, to complete a training programme, and to work each week, with Y9/10 students to extend their reading skills, and Y11 students to assist them to develop effective academic work practices.

Like all successful programmes in the school it was supported by the work of staff, notably those in the Learning Centre. 

Other successes

  • Nga Puna o Waiorea attended the national kapa haka championships in Wellington. A mammoth event in terms of organisation, fundraising and practices – the group performed well. The importance of exposure to the top groups in the country cannot be underestimated.
  • The Stage Challenge festival was held in the Aotea Centre. The WSC group was led by three senior students: Rhiannon LaHatte, Pearl Newson and Lucia Farron. An accompanying teacher commented how well WSC students represented themselves in this public forum. They won 3 awards: excellence in concept, visual enhancement and set design. 
  • On Friday 20 June the Travel Wise group, co ordinated by John Ward, greeted students who had used transport methods, other than the car; they earned green recycling bags and the opportunity to win a prize. This is part of an ongoing sustainability focus. 
  • Cremedelica, won a place in the Rockquest regional final. They are currently preparing a video for submission in the next stage of the competition.
  • The Year 10 Project K students completed their community challenge. The end of this part of the project was marked by a meal with families, and Project K staff. The mentoring aspect of the programme will continue for a year.
  • Zarah Butcher McGunnigle featured in the June 2008 Metro article, “The best high school for your child”. Zarah has been published many times in the College Herald, is a student leader, is part of a student writing group, and mentors junior students. 
  • Senior girls and boys’ soccer teams, senior girls’ basketball, junior boys’ rugby, senior squash boys’ teams remain unbeaten ay this stage of the season. All other teams are also progressing well in their grades. Bravo! And thanks to all parent and teacher supporters.  
  • A group of year 11 and 12 students are part of the  Kia Tu leadership project;  they are coordinating the school’s entry in the ‘Search for the Stars Competition’.

Staff changes

John Ward and his family have decided to return to England to live closer to their extended family. John has made a very positive impact as a Geography and Social Studies teacher, and as the Atea dean, at WSC since he commenced his teaching career here at the beginning of 2005.

Joe Kerrigan has been appointed to a part time position, Geography and Social Studies to replace John Ward. Joe is a 5th year teacher; he trained in New Zealand, taught in Auckland, and has since been teaching overseas. With his young family, he is keen to return to New Zealand.

Bryony West (assistant HOD Maths) has been appointed to the Atea dean’s position. Bryony will bring energy, determination and enthusiasm to the position. Catherine Taiapa, a year 1 teacher, has been appointed to a science/maths relieving position until the end of the 2008 school year.

Val Smith has been with us this term, in a relieving role for Chloe Davidson, who took leave to travel overseas during term 2. We have been fortunate to secure such an able replacement, as Val, for this short term position.

Yanxia Zhao has tendered her resignation from the position of ESOL teacher aide. Yan has been with us since August 2006. Teachers have appreciated Yan’s quiet yet effective support of international students in their classes.

Curriculum

The staff met on June 10, to further consider the new curriculum. The purpose was to consider the values contained in the school charter, and those listed in the new curriculum. On the Teacher Only Day (Friday August 1) this process will continue - the focus will be the key competencies and how these relate to curriculum areas.

Parent and student consultation has also begun. Graeme Moran (curriculum director) and Ivan Davis (deputy principal) made a presentation to a parent group. Graeme commented that, in his view, the new curriculum is a very exciting document – envisioning young people of the future who are “confident, connected, actively involved and life long learners”. The school’s motto of “Learning for Life” is very apt; perhaps to be incorporated in a learning charter, developed with students during the year.  

Mission On

From June 1 schools are required to comply with the amendment to NAG5 (promotion of healthy food and nutrition to students). The amendment is about focusing on healthy eating, and the importance of schools in reinforcing key messages about healthy eating and physical activity.

In this school consultation and/or promotion has taken place through

  • Curriculum areas – health, science, sports academy, physical education, food technology
  • Entry in Activate (cooking game – TV2)
  • Heartbeat Award (school canteen) – eg pastry free days
  • Fundraising guidelines through prescribed healthy food sales (not sweets, chocolate)
  • Feet Beat – house competition
  • Health Promoting Schools group – feedback/surveys, 
  • Initiatives via the nurse: displays, dental van, monitoring student health conditions

I should like to acknowledge the role of the Health Promoting Schools committee for its work in this area.

Linda Dillon

Junior Report Interviews Thursday July 24th 1.30 to 7.00pm

The junior report evening on the first Thursday of Term 3 – July 24th will trial a new parent interview system for the first time.  School will close at 12.30, after the conclusion of period 3, and staff

will be available for interviews from 1.30pm through to 7.00pm.  There will be a break for a meal for staff at 4.30pm (see booking sheet enclosed with reports).  Booking slots will be 10 minutes long instead of the previous 5 minutes, the intention here being to give parents and teachers a little more time to talk – say 6 or 7 minutes and leaving 3 minutes or so for parents to get from one interview venue/teacher to the next.  We hope this will allow for better timekeeping and less frustration for parents in trying to meet their interview times.  As with the senior report evening a couple of weeks ago, the junior report evening will have teachers in 3 main venues – hall, library and D block to reduce crowding and noise.  Deans and senior managers will, as usual, be in their offices in the admin. corridor and Rumaki staff in the marae.

I would be keen to receive feedback from parents about the effectiveness of these changes.

Ivan Davis
DEPUTY PRINCIPAL

Geography

Year 11 Geography Fieldtrip to Rotorua and White Island August 17th to August 20th 2008

A group of about 40 students and teachers will leave school on the Sunday morning, the 17th August, at 10.00am to travel to Rotorua on a Leabourns’ bus to travel to Ohinemutu Marae, where we will be staying.  We will visit the Museum in the afternoon for a talk on the geothermal activity of Rotorua, visit the Polynesian pools, Whakarewarewa, and walk around Kuirau Park and to the houses affected by the revival of thermal activity in Tarewa Rd. This will enable students to gather information for the Contemporary Geographic Issue, “Bubble Trouble” worth 3 credits, which we will complete on the fieldtrip. 

On Tuesday morning we will drive to Whakatane and visit White Island with White Island Tours to see an active volcano for the external 90202, Extreme Natural Event.
We hope to arrive back at school by 3.15pm.  Please note that the final payment will only need
to be $100 and should be paid by Friday 25th July Term 3 week 1.

We will miss John Ward on the trip, but welcome Joe Kerrigan who will be taking his place.
We all hope that John’s move back to the UK is successful for him and his family and I will pass on any news to you in future newsletters.

Jenny Jones

News from the Mathematics Department

The Mathematics Department will yet again be hosting a range of revision workshops over the upcoming holiday period.  Workshops will cover a range of topics across all year levels. In our opinion, it is imperative that students carefully consider their recent exam results 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 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

Monday
14 July

10:30 am
To
11:50 am

2

Unit Standard 5245
Coordinate Geometry
Selected students only

B11

RS

Monday
14 July

9:00 am
To
10:20 am

2

Unit Standard 5253
Graphing
Selected students only

B11

WT

Monday
14 July

9:00 am
To
10:20 am

2

Unit Standard 5244
Calculus
Selected students only

B12

TO

Monday
14 July

1:30 pm
To
3:00 pm

2

Unit Standard 5246
Algebra
Selected students only

B9

WR
and
KN

Monday
14 July
9:00 am
To
10:20 am
1 Achievement Level Number:
This workshop will focus on the very basic achievement level skills only. It is recommended for all students.
B10 WR
Monday
14 July
10:30 am
To
11:50 am
1 Achievement Level Trigonometry:
This workshop will focus on the very basic achievement level skills only. It is recommended for all students.
B12 TO
Monday
14 July
12:00 pm
To
1:20 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
Tuesday
15 July
9:00 am
To
10:20 am
1 Merit and Excellence Level Number:
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.
B11 MI
Tuesday
15 July
10:30 am
To
11:50 am
1 Merit and Excellence Level Probability:
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.
B11 MI
Monday
14 July
10:30 am
To
11:50 am
2 Merit to Excellence level Algebra:
This session is recommended for students with a sound understanding of the basic Level 2 Algebra skills.

B9

MS
Monday
14 July
12:00 pm
To
1:20 pm
2 Merit to Excellence level Graphing:
This session is recommended for students with a sound understanding of the basic Level 2 Algebra skills.
B10 KN
Monday
14 July
1:30 pm
To
3.00 pm
3 Statistics:
Merit and Excellence level Probability Distributions
This session is recommended for students entering the external standard.
B10 RS
Monday
14 July
10:30 am
To
11:50 am
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

After School Homework Study Times

Monday is PI Homework Centre time in the Library 3.15 – 5pm.
The Learning Centre has Senior Supported Study Wednesdays and Thursdays after school until 4.45pm.  Snacks provided. 
Wednesday is the Moana House homework session time in the Learning Centre until 4.45pm.
Rumaki use the Library on Wednesdays 3.15 -5pm.
Mainstream Maori use the Library on Thursdays 3.15 – 5pm.
NB:  All students have access to the library after school on all days of the week.

Netball

On Monday 23rd June, 60 Western Springs College Netball students and supporters boarded a double decker bus and headed out to the North Shore Events Centre.  We were lucky enough to secure some free tickets to the Mystics game, where they took on the mighty Southerners. 

It was safe to say that the Western Springs College supporters WERE the crowd and our support was intensive.  Thanks to Ariia for dancing and warming the crowd up, and to the parents and staff who came along to help out. 

The Mystics caught the Southerners in a rare weak moment and pulled away with a convincing win. 

Congratulations to the Senior A Netball team who dressed up as the Blue Dragon in support of the Mystics.  They took out the non-existent dress up competition. 

Claire Burrough

Message from the Library

What is your son or daughter reading?
Recently I did a statistical analysis of ‘reading habits’ for 2008. Year 9 were by far the biggest readers. This is largely due to the time spent in the library for SSR (Sustained Silent Reading). They were followed by year 10, many of whom also have satisfactory reading habits. In the senior school the students who read the least were year 11 students.  I acknowledge that some students have their own collection or that they use the public library. 

Could parents and caregivers please discuss’ reading for leisure’ with their son or daughter and encourage them to make greater use of the school library. Lots of fantastic titles have been added to the collection and students will find something to suit their reading needs.  So all of you reluctant readers out there come and browse the shelves and get into ‘reading for leisure’

Art Display
Many thanks to Tori Young and her year 10 art class for the fantastic ‘corrugated cardboard’ animals.  They have created much attention and look impressive on top of the non-fiction shelves.

Sharda Patel


Community Notices


July School Holiday Programmes at The Performing Arts School of NZ…

SO YOU WANT TO BE AN ACTOR?
A programme for 11 – 13 year olds with tutors Jo Smith and Peter Daube

These holidays find out what it takes to become an actor for both radio and TV. Jo and Peter are professional actors who know first hand what it’s like to create a new play, perform to a theatre audience, be a voice artist and find their on screen character under the bright lights of a film set. Let them take you on a journey to discover the imagination and skills that they use to create exciting performances.

Age: 11 – 13 yrs
Dates: Week 2 - Mon 14 – Fri 18 July
Times: 9am – 3pm daily
Cost: $199
Code: 8JuTBA
Where: Studio 3, TAPAC

YOUNG, ALIVE and ON CAMERA - Teenage Screen Acting Workshop
A programme for Teens 13 years & over with Ben Crowder

This intensive two day course is for young people wishing to develop their performance skills in specific relation to film and television. One of the key focuses will be on getting a natural, yet vibrant performance from each actor. As well as script work, there will also be time given to improvisation and also audition technique.

Age: Secondary School Age, Yr 9 +
Dates: Week 1 - Mon 7 & Tues 8 July
Times: 10am – 4pm both days
Cost: $99
Code: 8JuTW
Where: Studio 1, TAPAC

To enroll: Phone 09 845 0290 ext 2 / 2
Or visit: www.pasnz.co.nz

Stage Challenge Photos

We would like to let everyone know that the photos from the Stage Challenge are still available online, and can be purchased as Prints and Photo Gifts. Digital downloads will be available after the whole event has finished. Please visit www.stageshowphotos.co.nz and click on the link for your child’s school. The password to access the gallery is dance and must be all lowercase.

Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial art, suitable for all sizes and both sexes.

Want to know more……

Come and see the live demonstration at lunch time in the gym on Tuesday 22nd July (day two of term three).

There will be free trial introductory sessions in weeks two and three.  Regular training will commence in week four.

Mr Norris (F4) has application packs available.  First come, first served.  Don’t miss out!!!!