Newsletter No. 8, August 14, 2008
Much work has taken place on the school site over the last term to provide full access to the second storey of D and B blocks. It is expected that the project will be completed following the installation of the lift shafts, by the end of this term. We have been grateful for the care and attention taken by Bindon Construction, and the patience of staff and students; this has been a challenging building project, right in the middle of the campus.
Families will also have noticed the long awaited start to the Student Services Centre, adjacent to the carpark. This building will house guidance, medical, careers and Gateway services. It should be completed by the end of this school year, due for its launch at the start of the 2009 school year.
We have also been in communication with the Ministry of Education, and various government ministers, about remediation of the fields and the wider school site. While there are sympathetic noises made, promises of follow up, and reports being written, the wheels continue to ‘grind exceeding slow’. We are pursuing this project vigorously, have done so for several years, and will continue to do so. We must have a school environment that matches the excellent academic and other successes enjoyed by Springs students.
The new curriculum
On August 1 there was a teacher only day, with the focus on the new curriculum. On this day teachers worked in departments to discuss how to integrate the competencies into curriculum planning. The competencies are:
- Using language, text and symbols
- Participating and contributing
- Managing self
- Relating to others
The new curriculum must be in place in 2010 – this school is well ahead in terms of discussion and implementation.
Chloe Davidson has returned from overseas leave during term 2. Chloe indicated that “the highlight was a week-long intensive contemporary dance workshop in Brussels with Ultima Vez, a well known and very physical Belgium dance company”.
Ken Havill has reported that he has visited schools in USA (Chicago), England and Norway. He has participated in a leadership forum at Harvard. At present he is enjoying the best weather that Norway has experienced for a decade. On his way back to New Zealand he is going to visit schools in Australia (Perth); he will return in week 5.
Li Ai has been appointed to the ESOL teacher assistant position. Li has transferred into education from a background of tourism and marketing.
Phillipa Oranje (art department) is currently on maternity leave. Congratulations on the arrival of baby Seth.
The open night/days, Monday – Thursday, week 2 of term 3, attracted a lot of interest. Ivan Davis led the classroom visits, ably supported by the student leaders. Enrolments began on Thursday August 7. Families should consult the office for enrolment information and appointment times.
We were notified that Bradley Watkinson and Te Ura Hoskins (Y13 Rumaki graduates) earned first and second places respectively, in the Ngarimu speech competition.
- At the end of term 2 we celebrated the success of a group of our international students, and farewelled students who had been with us for the last 6 months. One of these students was Georg Barth, a German student and a student leader. One of the highlights for him was the student leadership camp, and the opportunity to travel around the South Island. “I’ll be back’, he promised.
- The annual Fiafia night took place on the last Thursday night of term 2. The performances of the various groups were as usual of a high standard (the less said about the staff attempts, the better)! Of particular note were Juanita Hopkins and Chris Auva’a in MC roles, assisted by Eleanor Manu.
- Celia Faukava (Y11) was nominated by Learning Centre staff for a Youth Development Award; this involved a week long leadership camp at Long Bay.
- A group of Year 10 students worked with mentors as part of the Te Mana Tiki Tiki programme. They, along with their families, and students from other schools, graduated at the Orakei marae during the last week of term.
- The school ball took place on Friday 1 August, at the Rendezvous Hotel. The theme of ‘The Enchanted Forest’ was well supported by resplendent young men and women. The ball committee, coordinated by student leader Samantha Shanley, was largely responsible for the organisation of this successful occasion.
- Two WSC students will receive the Auckland City Art Gallery 'Friends of the Gallery' award. Alexander Laurie and Hiram Vaeau, will each receive a two year membership, with rewards and opportunities sponsored by the Gallery.
- A group of Y11/12 students represented WSC at the Kia Tu (Search for the Stars) regional finals; WSC has now the foundation to further develop this programme in 2009.
Junior Sexuality Education
Year 9 classes will begin the sexuality unit of work in the coming weeks. The first topic is ‘puberty’ which, for most students, will be revision of the work done in their Intermediate schools. Later topics in the unit are relationships, contraception, STI’s and reproduction. Year 10 classes will begin their sexuality unit near the end of this term or the beginning of term 4. If you have any questions regarding the sexuality unit, please phone your son/daughters Health teacher or the HOD Health, Karalee Green.
Message from International Students Department
We welcome again, all new international students from Germany, Brazil, Italy, Japan and Korea.
Congratulations to Colin Scobie from Canada, who has been nominated as the new International Student Leader. Colin has been a student leader in his previous school in Canada. Colin will endeavour to help international students from different nationalities to enjoy their school life at Western Springs College.
The whole group of international students have settled well. This good start should lead to the recognition of more outstanding international students this semester, those who have a great attitude at home, excellent attendance and performance in class, and who actively participate and enjoy various school activities.
I would like to say “Thanks” to all the host families on behalf of Western Springs College. Your great help and support have made our goals achievable at the beginning of the semester.
Messagefrom the Library
This will take place in week 7 - 1 September to 5 September. The official dates are 18 August to 22 August, which is also Languages Week. Due to this clash we decided to celebrate Library Week later in the term. However, planning is underway and more details will be available in the next newsletter.
In an earlier newsletter I mentioned www.anyquestions.co.nz, which allows students to talk to a librarian between 1pm and 6pm daily. A recent development is www.manyanswers.co.nz. Here students can research for answers to popular homework questions asked at AnyQuestion. Students may find this service useful as they can choose to browse using a simple search box. It is well worth a visit.
Information has been provided to each form class about this fantastic opportunity. Students between the ages of 13-18 can write a review online about a book they have read. The more reviews you submit, the more chances you have to win. Find out more:www.aucklandlibraries.com.
The Art rooms are continuing to buzz with creative energy, reflecting some of the exciting and innovative works that senior students are beginning to develop towards their folio submissions. At the time of writing the Level 1 students have eight weeks left to complete the 1.3 folio boards, Level 2 have nine weeks to complete 2.3 folio boards and the Level 3 have 11 weeks to complete their three board submission.
Not to be out done, the five junior classes continue to promote a range of highly creative responses and this is reflected in the class room, library and TAPAC displays throughout this term.
All students need to manage their class time and assessments more proactively to achieve to their maximum potential. The Department would like to emphasise that senior students can also access the rooms and equipment outside of normal classroom time in consultation with the teacher in charge. Parents and guardians are also encouraged to support their children to attend these times as required to enable them to meet the criteria for assessment. Students should also keep an eye on the notices and class room white boards for confirmed dates for resubmissions and extra holiday times.
Congratulations and acknowledgements to the two Y13 students have been accepted by the prestigious ‘Friends of the Gallery’. The students are Alexander Laurie (Painting and Scholarship Photography) and Hiram Vaeau (Art Design and Painting) who will attend a special awards ceremony on Monday 18 August to formally receive their two year membership to the Gallery and entry to associated events, exhibitions and lectures.
Lastly we would also like to thank parents and guardians who continue to contribute plastics, jars and newspaper to the department. Also, thanks to those who have paid their children’s art fees and a reminder to others that it is not too late to pay at the office.
News from the Maths Department
This year we are celebrating Maths week from the 11th to 15th August with the theme “Beijing Olympics”. Junior students will be given the opportunity to gain points throughout the week through daily challenges and other activities being run in classes. At the end of the week, the top three students will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals respectively.
We are also raising funds for the Child Cancer Foundation through the sale of “Kei te π” t-shirts. The Child Cancer Foundation is a non-government funded organisation that relies solely on donations. Please support this worthy cause by promoting this initiative to friends and family alike. Order forms have been handed out to students in their Maths classes.
On July 29, eight-six Mathematics students from across all year levels at Western Springs College participated in the annual ICAS Mathematics Assessment (now officially the University of NSW Educational Assessment in Mathematics). Congratulations to all who took part for their effort and enthusiasm! This has been a great opportunity for mathematicians to compare their skills against other students both nationally and internationally. Results will probably not be available until the end of term, but students will be informed of their results by their maths teachers as soon as we have them. Any students who registered but have still not paid, please remember you still need to bring your $6.50 to Beth in the office.
An upcoming highlight of the Mathematics Competition agenda is the annual Mathex Quiz evening, where teams of Year 9 and Year 10 students from across the Auckland area will compete against each other in mathematical challenges. It will be held on Wednesday August 20th between 6:30pm and 9pm at the ASB Stadium in Kohimarama. Western Springs College will be once again entering two teams of 4 students at each of Year 9 and Year 10. This event is always extremely competitive but huge fun, so please congratulate and support your student if they are one of the 16 who will be participating.
The Year 9A Netball team attended the Auckland Secondary Schools Netball Tournament on Wednesday 6th August. The 11 players performed extremely well for their first tournament, and were a credit to our school.
The girls played four games, and unfortunately narrowly lost three games, and won one. They lost to Massey High School by 1 point, who eventually went on to the semi-finals. There were over 60 teams who played in this tournament, and it is exciting we can be a part of such a credible event. We look forward to seeing these girls shine in the future.
Congratulations to Tessa Hodder who was our player of the day. Thank you to the wonderful student coaches, Hannah Winter and Florencia Seton who have done a marvellous job with this team this season. We also thank Ms Tupe Tai for being a fantastic manager.
WSC ‘Arts Fest’
The best of Springs’ Visual Art, Drama, Dance and Music will be on display in the WSC Arts Fest in week 5.
Pop into TAPAC to view the art exhibition or one of the evening shows.
Monday 18th, 6pm, Year 13 Music performance
Monday 18th, 7pm, Wolf Boy (Year 12 Drama)
Tuesday 19th, 6pm, Until You Say You Love Me (Year 12 Drama, cast 2)
Tuesday 19th, 6.45pm, A is for Apple (Year 12 Drama)
Wed 20th, 11am, Twisted (Year 11 Drama, cast 1)
Wed 20th, 6pm, Dance Showcase 1 (Years 9, 11, 12 and 13 Dance)
Thursday 21st, 3.30pm, Twisted (Year 11 Drama, cast 2)
Thursday 21st, 4.30pm, Until You Say You Love Me (Year 12 Drama, cast 1)
Thursday 21st, 6pm, Dance Showcase 2 (Years 9, 11, 12 and 13 Dance)
Payment for all performances is a gold coin donation.
What is Slingshot?
Slingshot is New Zealand's largest 100% kiwi owned phone and internet company. They focus on keeping things simple, and providing better service and better value than the big guys.
SLINGSHOT ‘BETTER SCHOOLS’ PROGRAMME
We are now part of this wonderful programme whereby Slingshot customers can choose to have a percentage of their monthly bill donated to the school. Each month, Slingshot will send us a cheque to use as we see fit. How big that cheque is depends on you! If you’d like this easy and pain free way to contribute please go to www.slingshot.co.nz/schools or call 0800 89 2000 and speak to one of their friendly customer helpers.