Newsletter No. 12, November 27, 2008
Late Start Day, Friday, 5 December
A reminder that the Board of Trustees has given its approval for a late, 11.30am start on Friday next week ( 5 December ) to give teaching staff the opportunity to invest more time into planning for the implementation of the new curriculum. The focus for this department-based curriculum development session is pedagogy.
Students are expected to arrive by 11.30am in time for the first of the Junior Exams which are scheduled for the afternoon from midday to 2.00pm. Bus departure times have been arranged as follows:
Mt. Eden 11.00am
Ponsonby 11.00am – all to arrive at WSC by 11.30am.
The annual end of year examinations for Year 9 and 10 students begin at midday on Friday, December 5th ( Note the late start on Friday morning mentioned above ) and continue until Wednesday, December 10th.
Parents and students should note that these exams finish at 2.00pm each afternoon, at which point students will be released for the day. Buses will be scheduled to collect students from school at 2.00pm for each of the exam days.
Student Reporting Review
We have decided to initiate a review of our student reporting systems and procedures. Accordingly, we are seeking feedback from parents concerning the effectiveness of current provisions in this area.
|At present WSC operates under the following structure:
||Progress reports for all students in March
||Senior reports in Week 4
||Junior reports in Week 9
||Senior reports in Week 10
||Junior reports in Week 9
We are interested in feedback about how we report and what we report on
( including the format and content of the reports ), and about the frequency of our reporting.
Key questions for us are:
What are the main purposes of reporting?
What information do parents and students need?
How should report information be used?
What role should parent/student/teacher interviews have?
What is working well currently? What is not working well? What needs improvement?
What links can we make between reporting and student achievement?
We would like to invite you to forward your views in writing to the school office. Please mark the envelope Student Reporting Survey. Alternatively, you can visit the school website and take the front page link to the Student Reporting: Parent Feedback survey form. Submit the form on completion.
Science Department News
On Wednesday, 12th November, all of our Year 10 scientists went on a Geology trip to visit Auckland’s volcanic features.
We gathered in the gym in the morning and were briefed on the trip and then filed into 5 buses. Our first destination was Lake Pupuke which is a crater lake that erupted 150,000 years ago.
We then visited Takapuna Beach and observed the beautiful tree moulds that were formed when the lava flow from a breached tuff ring off Lake Pupuke was deflected by a tree and rose up and cooled. In those days it must have been a swamp with many Kauri trees growing in it.
Then we visited Savage Memorial where Whaea Tere and Lorrin told us the history of Ngati Whatua and Joseph Savage. We also observed the volcanic islands of Rangitoto, Brown’s Island, Motutapu and students wrote observations on the rock types that made up these islands.
The next stop was at Orakei Basin, where we observed the slipping tuff ring – scarp. Our next stop was the Auckland Domain where the students were to observe the ‘castle-moat’ structure and the types of rocks found on the mound in the middle of the field.
This is where we stopped for lunch. After about 45 minutes we took off to our final destination – Tahake Reserve. Students were gathered in the stage area and were sitting on the tuff ring of a breached crater. David Okey then explained the lava from the eruption of Mt Eden and Three Kings flowed through Western Springs College and formed the Meola Reef. We were also briefed on the basalt columns found on the AGS hockey turf and the huge boulders of rocks scattered around the top half of the reserve.
We all arrived safely back at school around 3pm. The weather was fantastic, the students were great and the staff was supportive. Overall it was a successful and enjoyable trip.
Huge thanks to Mr.David Okey who helped me organise the trip. Also to all staff who accompanied us on the trip.
Exam time is looming for our year 9 and 10 students and they should start to prepare now. We would like to encourage them to use the science resources provided on the Western Springs College ultranet. (Username:student,
These resources include revision booklets and answers for each unit of work studied. A past examination paper will be added shortly for each year level. Students can also use their homework book / CD rom to work through activities.
This is a crucial time for students to develop their study skills which will be required at NCEA Level in year 11. Students should try different study techniques to decide what works for them. Science teachers will be suggesting strategies for students to use e.g. cue cards, mind maps, key words.
“You cannot teach a man or woman anything; you can only help them to find it within themselves.”
If any student is struggling with an aspect of their science work, they need to discuss this with their science teacher or myself. If they would benefit from attending the learning centre they can put in a self referral via their science teacher or see a member of staff in the learning centre.
There are a number of useful revision websites. These do not directly match our curriculum but can help with key learning.
PLEASE RETURN ALL SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS. We are currently doing a stock take and would like to recover as many textbooks as possible. So please hand them in.
During the recent senior prize giving ceremony, Liam O'Dwyer was awarded Top Scholar in Senior Maths and Josie Desmond was awarded the Ruben Mac cup for outstanding achievement in mathematics for her contribution in the junior Gifted and Talented programme
Well done to them both. It is an amazing accomplishment to receive these awards, but is especially rare for a year 9 to be awarded a prize during the ceremony.
Our Junior Gifted and Talented programme will culminate in a presentation due to be held on Monday 23rd November.
Our juniors have just completed their asTTle testing, which is used to help collect data on the students. The information is fed back to the teachers, and used to help plan for the students’ learning. At this time of the year the students are being prepared for their exams in week 9, and information highlighting the students’ strengths and weaknesses is invaluable to us, and the students. We are also using reflective thinking to help the students’ progress forward by building on their own strengths and knowing how to overcome any problems.
I would like to promote the use of the Learning Centre at this time. Students may self refer, or they can ask their teacher to refer them. The student may then be withdrawn from class or make a time at interval, lunchtime or after school to work on subjects which are causing them concern.
We also have a range of homework centres with staff available to support study. Pasifika students work in the library on Monday afternoon, Rumaki on Wednesday afternoon, Maori mainstream on Thursday afternoon and all students are welcome to attend the Learning Centre supported study sessions on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.
Leading up to the exams, please ensure that your child has all of the correct equipment, including a scientific calculator.
Last week, a few of our students had the privilege of working with Nicki Harre and her research team from Auckland University. Representatives from each of the houses (Eva Woodward, Olivia Shivas and Victoria Hawking of Kapura, Nicholas Short, Shaheen Patel and Max Thomas of Atea, Mary Peirse O’Byrne and Zoe Dunster of Moana and Joe Arthur-Roche, Rowan Carmichael, and Asher James of Whenua) used statistics to analyse the school’s sustainability survey results. These students will be presenting their findings in the house assemblies running this week.
Message From The Library
We have come to that time of the year when the library must have all its books returned. The final due date for year 9 and 10 students will be Friday 28 November. To avoid sending reminders or phoning home please assist us by ensuring your son/daughter returns all books as requested. Please come and talk to library staff if you have any queries about books issued in your name.
Currently our display is all about Refugees. Well done 9MN and 9MO for your booklets about a refugee. They have been of interest to other students and your social studies teacher Ms Secker is proud of your effort.
From International Students’ Department
Our goals have been successfully achieved. International students who are not taking NCEA exams have been given opportunities to know more about Western Springs College, learn more in new and interesting areas, develop their leadership and organisational skills through team work, and add on more joy to their journey at Western Springs College.
Students enjoyed the Hard Material Technology Workshop with Neil Barnett, Sports Workshops with Ross Wheaton, Jarrod Dunn & Colette Shearer, Tourism Workshop with Joe Kerrigan, Drama Workshop with Barnaby James, Dance Workshop with Chloe Davidson, Media Workshop with Meg Freeman, and Art Workshop with Monique Oliver.
Our Auckland wide Scavenger Hunt, our Mountain days at Devonport, Cornwall Park and Mt Eden, and Tramping at Muriwai Beach brought the international young men and women to the “summit”.
The following are winners of 2008 End-of-year International Student Programme:
Triple Award Winner: Giulia Faccin
Best Team Leader, Model international Student Award and Performing Arts Start Award.
Double Award Winners: Colin Scobie, Sarah Bandibanga, Honoko Uehara, Laurin Thiesmeyer and Beatrice Barbieri.
Performing Arts Star Award, Model International Student Award.
Model International Student Award to: Sinje Koch, Franziska Schmid and Silja Pohland.
Performing Arts Star Award to: Sophia Drey and Insa Ruppelt.
International Student Programme Excellent Application Award to: Ann Janin Waltemathe, Fred Yan Yang Guo, Janika Schuessler, Carolin Steeg, Alexandra Meffert and Daniel Menoncin.
The Associate Principal Ms Linda Dillon has helped design and co-ordinate our 2008 End-of-Year International Student Programme 10th - 21st of November. Our programme was opened by the Principal Mr Ken Havill. Our International Programmes have also been particularly supported by Ms Margaret Ruland and Ms Sharda Patel.
To all international students who are going to finish with Western Springs College soon, we wish you all the best for your future study. We will include you as part of Western Springs College Community in the future. We have enjoyed having you. You have made the College’s culture rich and colourful.
Director of International Student Department
From the School Nurse
It’s that time of the year so here are some headlice facts:
- Headlice are a common problem all over the world
- Live on the human scalp – which provides food and warmth for their eggs to hatch
- Feed on human blood through a feeding tube inserted into the scalp 5 or 6 times a day
- Cannot jump, fly or swim
- Do not carry disease
- Can live underwater while on the head and will not leave the head during swimming or bathing/showering
- Ordinary shampoo or soap will not kill headlice. Speak to your chemist for advice about what treatment to use and how to use it.
Junior End of Year Examinations 2008
||Friday Dec 5th
||Monday Dec 8th
||Tuesday Dec 9th
||Wednesday Dec 10th
9 study leave
10 study leave
10 SOCIAL STUDIES
FORM CLASS 11.30-12.00
9 SOCIAL STUDIES
10 OPTION D
9 OPTION ARTS
Next Board of Trustees Meeting
8th December @ 6pm in the staffroom
FOR ALL YOUR STORAGE & PACKAGING NEEDS
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