Nga Puna O Waiorea
 Newsletter No. 3, March 31, 2009  

Newsletter No. 3, March 31, 2009


Nga Puna O Waiorea Excel at the Auckland Secondary Schools’ Cultural Festival
Congratulations to the Nga Puna O Waiorea kapahaka group which placed second at the annual cultural festival on Saturday, 21 March – an outstanding result. As a result the students will represent the Auckland region at the national kapahaka festival.

Nga Puna O Waiorea brought back trophies for best waiata, best costume and most improved school. Notably, leaders Norbryn Vaiula and Daniel Watkinson gained second place in the manukura wahine and manukura tane sections. See the Leaders’ Voice item below for further details.

At the same festival on Friday, 20 March, Western Springs College was also represented by the Niuean group who gained second place in the singing section of the competition. The students received a warm and appreciative response for their captivating performance from the huge audience gathered around the Niuean stage. See below also for Newton Cook’s deservedly proud account of the event.

China Expedition, 5-21 April
Best wishes to the teachers and students travelling to China on Sunday, the first Western Springs College group to visit that country. The group, made up of 17 senior art and media studies students, will be led by Associate Principal, Linda Dillon, and includes HOD English, Ali Geursen, HOD Art, Peter Coxon, and International Students’ director, Joanne Qiao.

The group will visit two secondary schools (Jingying High School in Shijiazhuang, and Ningbo No. 2 High School in Ningbo ) to further develop links with schools with whom WSC has a partnership agreement. Students will be hosted in these two cities by local families and will also spend time visiting attractions in Shanghai and Beijing.

The schools’ agreements envisage regular student and teacher exchanges: WSC hosted teachers and students from Jingying last August, and we expect to receive a visit from a Ningbo High School group later this year.

WSC Newsletter Distribution Change
This issue of the school newsletter will be the last to be distributed in hard copy form to all families. Henceforth, the newsletter will be published three times per term on prescheduled dates as notified on the school website. Note that those families who are not able to access the school website will continue to be provided with a hard copy on request to the school office.

This decision has been made in response to the large paper and printing costs incurred by current practice and takes into account the almost universal internet access enjoyed by families in the school community.

Staff Farewell
Sadly, we will be farewelling our French teacher, Elodie Tempest, at the end of the term. After two years of excellent teaching service at Springs, Elodie will accompany her husband to London where he will take up employment. Elodie’s replacement, Cecile Bourgeois, will not take up teaching duties until the beginning of term three; Margo Koppany has been appointed to the vacant position for term two.

WSC Physical Education Department News

Team B takes out the Challenge!
Year 11 Physical Education students at Mangawhai Forrest

Year 11 Physical Education Camp
The Year 11 Physical Education students headed to Mangawhai Forrest for 3 days in Week 6 for a ‘Challenge’. The event was a huge success giving the students an opportunity to achieve a Level 1 Achievement Standard. There were 6 teams in the ‘Challenge’ with the winning team “Team B” taking home the shield. A big thanks to Matt Clayton, Graeme Massey and Nick Grieve for their help and well done to the class for an enjoyable teaching experience and what we hope was a very valuable learning experience.

Year 13 ‘Aquathon’ Training
In 2 weeks time the Year 13 PE class will be travelling to Waihi to participate in the annual Year 13 Aquathon which consists of a 400m ocean swim and 5km run. This is part of an Achievement Standard assessment that the students have been working hard towards in class and training even harder outside of class. Best of luck to the students in their final 2 week preparation for the event. With that in mind here are a few words of advice from one of New Zealand’s great Triathletes:

The pain of regret (failure on race day) is far worse than the pain of pushing yourself (training hard now). Bevan Docherty.

Senior Sports Academy

The Senior Academy students have been very busy this term. Many of the students competed successfully in both the Athletics and Swimming sports. The students also assisted staff in the running of these sports days. Their help was greatly appreciated by the staff, competitors and the sports day organisers.

The major focus for the Senior Academy students this term has been preparing for the Auckland Secondary Schools Triathlon Championships. This year we will be entering two social teams and one competitive boys’ team. They will compete in the first week of term 2. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to hearing of their success.

Congratulations to those students who have participated at provincial and national level this term. Of special note were Cahon McCarthy and Patrick Marsh who were members of the Piha Boat Crew ‘Underdogs’, along with Wyatt Bell (Y13 Western Springs College), Nicholas McKenzie and ‘Bugsy’. The boat crew competed at the NZ Surf Life-Saving Championships in Gisborne in both the short and the long course Under 19 events. They achieved first place in both events, so now have two national gold medals! Cahon also competed in the Open Mens’ Relay where his team gained Bronze. Rhye Jacka was a finalist in both the Under 19 double ski and the Under 16 single ski. Congratulations also to Tom Jacka (a Senior Academy member from 2007/8) who gained silver in the Under 19 double ski.

Also gaining national recognition are Kate Livingston (Senior Academy) and Renata Gottgtroy (Y10 Academy), who have both been selected in the NZ Junior Womens’ In-line Hockey team. They will be competing at the Oceania In-Line Championships in Australia during the up-coming holidays – we wish them the best of luck. Hannah Winter has been selected in the Premier Women’s Netball team for the Glenora Club – well done Hannah!

Congratulations also to the Sports Director, Peter McIntyre. Peter has been appointed as the NZ Men’s Touch coach for 2009 through until the 2011 World Cup. A well deserved appointment – we are all very proud!!

We look forward to continuous improvement (kaizen!) and significant achievements by Academy students over the remainder of the year.
Karalee Green

Sports News

What a start we have had in sport this term, with our biggest ever swimming sports day. It was a great day at West Wave with some outstanding individual swimming results and very competitive house relays. Thanks to Jane Clabrough and Gary Lane for their fantastic support in helping on the day. The teacher and student help was fantastic - well done house leaders and deans.

Swimming team:
GIRLS – Brittany Lane, Molly McLaren, Sophie McIntosh, Amy Edwards, Charlotte Clabrough, Georgia Edwards, Amelia Brown, Ella Constable, Marycarol Holdaway, Clare Corbett, Priya Mistry, Antoinette Jowitt, Helen McLean & Evelyn Warden.

BOYS – Shaan Mistry, Mathison Watt, Keanu Michaels, Lewis Booth, Cassidy Laurie, Adam Tapsell, Amokura Heather-Kingi, Gareth Clabrough, Hugo Norton, Mohammed Shekhumia, Matthew Lane, Patrick Marsh & Rory Clarke.

Athletics Day:
Unbelievable! It was the best sports school event that I have been involved in, with approximately 700 athletes on the day trying their best. To all the students, student helpers and staff – big congratulations for making this one memorable day.

Congratulations go to: Marycarol Holdaway for coming 6th in the intermediate girls 400m Auckland Champs of Champs final. The most memorable performances though went to Tulsa Saumamao - placed 2nd in junior boys 100m, 2nd in junior boys 200m and 1st in junior boys' high jump. What a fantastic effort and along with Sam Hutton’s 2nd in the junior boys high jump, gave Western Springs a one-two finish in this event, which was awesome.

Athletics team:
Sophie Mcintosh; Kimberly Adams; Shannen Millan; Renata Gottgtroy; Helen Mclean; Marycarol Holdaway; Tessa Hodder;Tulsa Saumamao;Thomas Robson; Jared Selwyn; Sam Hutton.

Western Springs College sent a small team through to the Auckland champs. The boys did the school proud by getting through to the quarterfinals in both the doubles and singles. Juniors - Theo McClennan- Elliot; Jack Tapsell; Intermediates - Hugo Norton; Tom Monro.

Water Polo:
This is fast becoming one of the school’s biggest sports with very passionate people involved. The college sent two teams to the North Island Division Two champs - senior boys, coached by Cris Brown and managed by Debbie Jacka. Senior girls were coached by Shreya Slaway and managed by Jan Milne. This tournament attracts very good teams and is of a very high standard. Both teams acquitted themselves well and gave their all. With that experience under their belts, this sport is looking very good for the future. Big thanks to all the parents who went along to support and help.

Western Springs College is now taking orders for the new school sports track suit which is on display at school reception, costing $95.00 each. Check out the new design and wear the new tracksuit with pride!!

Winter Sports:
If we have any parents, care-givers and/or ex-students who would like to help out in coaching or managing a Western Springs team, please ring (815 6730) or email mcintyrep@westernsprings.school.nz

Winter Codes:
Soccer; rugby; hockey; netball; basketball; rugby league; lacrosse; hockey; badminton; squash; underwater hockey.

Pacific Bulletin

Pacific Parents’ Meeting: There will be a Pacific parents meeting in the Western Springs College staffroom, Wednesday 1 April at 6pm. If you want to know more about assessment for juniors and seniors, please make the effort to attend. Parents also wanting to discuss their child's recent progress report are encouraged to come. Remember the Pacific Island Homework Centre every Monday from 3.15-5pm Congratulations for a wonderful effort from the Niuean Group who performed at this year’s Polyfest. They did us proud!! Special thanks to Pepe Siligi for her expertise in tutoring this group. Thanks also to Margaret Ruland, Mema and Tufa for their tireless support. Any queries, please don't hesitate to contact or email me on tait@westernsprings.school.nz
Tupe Tai

Leaders’ Voice

Polynesian Festival 2009

Nga Puna o Waiorea
Te manu e kai ana i te miro, nona te ngahere
Te manu e kai ana i te matauranga, nona te ao
The bird that eats the miro berry, his is the forest
The bird that eats education, his is the world

Kia ora e te whanau,

On Saturday 21st March Nga Puna o Waiorea Rumaki Reo students performed at the ASB Polynesian Festival held out in Manukau. This event is the secondary schools regional Kapa Haka festival. It was an awesome occasion for everyone and the group gave an outstanding performance. Waiorea achieved the following results:

Non aggregate items:
1st Kakahu (Uniforms)
2nd Manukura Tane - Daniel Watkinson (Male leader)
2nd Manukura Wahine – Norbryn Vaiula (Female Leader)
2nd Maurakau (Weaponry)
2nd Mita o Te Reo (Language Pronunciation)
3rd Waiata Tira (Choral)

1st equal Waiata Tawhito (Traditional song)
2nd Whakaeke (Entrance)
3rd equal Haka
3rd Waiata-a-Ringa (Action Song)

Overall placings in Division 1:
1st Kahurangi ki Maungawhau (Auckland Girls Grammar)
2nd Nga Puna o Waiorea (Western Springs College)
3rd Te Kapunga (James Cook High School)
4th Te Wharekura o Hoani Waititi Marae

Congratulations to all students in the Rumaki. As this year was a qualifying year for the Nationals, Nga Puna o Waiorea has qualified to enter the 2010 Secondary Schools Kapa Haka Nationals that will be held in Rotorua. Nga mihi nui ki nga kura katoa mo nga mahi i runga i te ataamira mo nga ra e toru. He mihi mahana kia koutou katoa. Mahi tika ana koutou ma!

Special thanks to Matua General and Whaea Marissa for all their hard work as tutors, to Pa Chris, Whaea Tracey and Matua James, the kaiako Whaea Jas, Whaea Hana, Whaea Lorin and Whaea Kau, the whanau from Te Arawa and all the parents of the students. We couldn’t have done it without you all! Ko koutou te Poutokomanawa o Nga Puna o Waiorea. Mauri ora!
Hayley Watford

Niuean Group
We arrived at school bright and early on Friday morning, ready to jump on the bus and head out to Manukau. On the way there, we had a bit of a warm up session singing a Niuean song, Si ue ue mai, which Pepe, our tutor, had taught us. Spirits were high and this was only the bus ride! As we drew closer to the venue, and nerves started to take hold, we quietened down in order to hear the beautiful sounds coming from the Polynesian stages. It was amazing to think that soon we would be part of providing the entertainment. Mr Talamaivao, Ms Tai, and Ms Ruland, organised us into groups of performers and supporters before entering the venue. We were extremely eager to get inside and check out our competition. Finally inside, we made our way over to the Niuean stage where we could hear our competition screaming out to us for a challenge. We were determined to oblige, nervously rehearsing and finalising those last few movements backstage. We were in full costume and ready to show them what we had been practising for at least a month leading up to the competition.

“And here we have Western Springs College” We stepped onto the stage, savage as can be, doing every single move to the best of our capabilities. Jumping in the meke like there was no tomorrow, our aim was to show both our competition and the audience that we are not only entertaining, but that we can deliver at the same level as the more experienced schools like Avondale, and even Niue High.

We did our stuff and as a result of it all, came 2nd with our Hymn. None of this would have been possible without the help of our tutors Mema, Tufa, and Pepe, so a big thank you to them from all of us.
Newton Cook

English Department News

First, the good news! Our junior teams all won their debates in the first round of the Auckland Schools Debating contest last Monday. Congratulations to teams and coaches. The seniors and advanced teams were beaten, but not because of a lack of effort or commitment! Competition at these levels is quite fierce, so congratulations to those teams for stepping up to the plate.

Many parents wish to know our policy on junior deadlines so I have included it below. As stated in the rationale, our aim is to encourage students to see the importance of managing their time and their workload in preparation for the demands of NCEA.


Rationale: Because NCEA assessment policy is increasingly rigorous, it is important that students in years 9 and 10 learn to meet deadlines. Each term they have three or four major assessments, each of which covers an important curriculum strand. These assignments are designed to develop the skills required for success in the senior school and so it is important that students take the work, and the due dates for completion, seriously.

  • If a student is unable to complete an assignment by the given deadline, he/she must bring a note from a parent or caregiver, explaining the nature of the emergency that has prevented the work from being completed or handed in. Given that students are given plenty of warning of due dates, we do not believe that personal appointments or problems with computers or printers should be considered as an excuse. (Should a problem occur with a printer, we suggest the assignment is emailed to the teacher.)
  • If they know beforehand of a family holiday or some other reason for their child’s absence, parents or caregivers must organise an extension with the teacher in advance of the deadline.
  • A student who does not meet a deadline, nor have an explanatory note, will be required to attend a detention, or several detentions, until the work is completed to the teacher’s satisfaction. These will probably be held at lunchtimes. The dean will be notified, and follow-up action will be taken, if there is a pattern of late or inadequate work.
  • If there are any ongoing concerns, parents or caregivers are encouraged to discuss their child’s progress with the teacher.

Ali Geursen
HOD English

Science Department Message

Year 9 Zoo visit
This week the Year 9 students are off to learn how the Auckland Zoo is taking care of our endangered birds and animals. The classes from each house accompanied by their Dean and Science teachers will go over on separate days:

Monday 30/3 (Whenua House) WH, WE and WU - Wednesday 1/4 (Kapura House) KA and KU - Thursday 2/4 (Moana) MN and MO - Friday 3/4 (Atea) AE and AT.

They will spend the first part of their visit learning about specific programmes aimed at increasing the numbers of our endangered animals such as the Tuatara. Then after lunch they will get to investigate all the unique New Zealand flora and fauna found around the zoo. Robert Forster

photos by Ryan Satyabrata and Keira Howat

Year 12 Biology Field Trip - Leigh Marine Reserve and Tiritiri Matangi Island
Our year 12 Biology Trip to Goat Island started at 7 o’clock on a cold morning. Even though many students appeared to be still asleep, spirits were high as there were nearly 60 students excited about the trip. When we arrived at the marine reserve we were briefed on our task. Then we hopped on a glass bottomed boat which gave us fantastic views of the life beneath us. The skipper and guide kept us amused and scared with his finger-eating Snapper stories.

The day was over and it was back on the bus for the short drive to our cabins at Pakiri. Most of us spent the trip discussing the perils of treating the banana with disrespect. The fun didn’t stop there, later on that night we went for a swim with the teachers at Pakiri and played spotlight around the camp.

The early starts weren’t helped by the food but everyone was excited to go snorkelling. The girls expressed their excitement by singing Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” hundreds of times whilst the boys cringed. Luckily the day was warm and everybody struggled into their wetsuits to get close up and personal with the local inhabitants of the reserve. While half of the group were in the water, the rest were up at the University of Auckland research laboratory. There we conducted experiments into how Whelks locate their prey.

The afternoon was spent collecting data for the internal assessment on the distribution of animal and algae species on the rocky shore. Everyone worked hard under a mixture of sunny and rainy conditions. They showed that hard core biologists do care about the weather when they are doing biological work.

That evening after dinner the group was treated to a lecture by Dr Bill Ballantine. Dr Ballantine is a world-renowned expert on marine ecology and marine reserves and we were very lucky to hear his arguments for more marine reserves.

Other highlights included a visit to the beautiful Tiritiri Matangi bird sanctuary. It was here we made friends with Greg the Takahe and his wife Cheesecake who both tried to eat our lunch.

All in all it was a great trip with great students who gave everything a go and stepped out of their comfort zone. And a huge thank you to the staff who can along, Robert Forster, Linda Dillon, Fa'avesi Talamaivao, Whaea Lorrin, David Okey, Logan Coleman, Gerry Victor Allayne Ferguson, and Sue Cameron-Brown. And we thoroughly recommend that all Year 11’s take Biology next year.
Yr 12 Students: Grace Kennedy and Ella Newell

Our thanks go to Robert Forster for all the hard work he put into making this trip successful and to the teachers for volunteering to accompany the students.

FINALLY: Thanks for the return of a few books found under beds - keep searching!!!
The Science Team

Message From The Library

If you know a past pupil of Western Springs College who would like to have a copy of the school magazine (formerly the ‘Seddonian’) please contact the library. We have been sorting the archives and have spare copies available for the years 1962-2005.

Our current display includes most of the finalists in the non-fiction and young adult fiction section. Of special interest is the ‘10pm Question’ by Kate de Goldi ‘and ‘Back and Beyond’ by Gregory O’Brien –a collection of New Zealand painting.

These are also on display and include Willie Apiata’s biography by Paul Little and Barack Obama’s two books: ‘The Audacity of Hope’ and ‘Dreams of My father’. There is something there for all readers so do come and borrow from the display.
Sharda Patel

Parent and Former Student Database

We are keen to set up a formal database. We would like to draw on the considerable expertise and skills of the parent and former student body that comprises the extended community of this school. Parents and former students could be contacts for

  • Career purposes
    • Questions about a career
    • Career visit
    • Lunchtime or class speaker
  • Gateway
    • As an employer
    • As a link to a workplace.
  • Curriculum resource eg Media, English, Science, Art, Sports Academy, Drama, Music – the list of possibilities is extensive. For example,
    • Speaker eg experiences as a writer, film maker, musician
    • Research resource eg historical assignment
    • Adjudicator eg speech competitions
    • Reviewer eg book week
    • Tutor/Mentor eg specific job experience: geologist, architect
    • Part of online forum eg discussion about philosophical issues
    • Online resource eg questions about a scientific issue

Please send details or request for further questions to David Okey (ICT development manager) okeyd@westernsprings.school.nz who will compile a register. This register will be available to staff of WSC only.

Name Industry/area of expertise To be contacted as: eg curriculum area, role Contact details

Linda Dillon

Student Services Centre (Waiora)

They say that all good things come to those who wait, and so it proved to be, upon the opening of the new Student Services Centre, Waiora. This multi purpose building houses careers and Gateway staff, counsellors, the nurse, RTLB, and there is space for visiting consultants. The building process was characterised by strong board support, a high degree of consultation and collaboration, and satisfaction with the outcome. Thank you to all of those involved. A particular mention must be made of Kelvin Grant, the architect, who passed away last year who was intimately involved with this project.

Pictures taken at the opening of Waiora


Food Tech:
In February 2009, I accompanied three Y11 students to Wellington to compete in a television programme based on cooking and healthy lifestyles. The show is called Activate and will be on our televisions in the autumn. The students were Renata Rea, Taylor Daniels and Rhiannon Dilworth. The girls were amazing and a fantastic representation of WSC. We had a great experience filming and loved being in Wellington. If you want to know how well they did in the competition, you’ll have to watch the series on T.V.

We are still celebrating our NCEA results from 2008. The averages were well above national decile 8 averages in terms of credits amounts gained and percentages of merits and excellents. Particular mention should go to Sophie Blazey and Katie Milne who both achieved “excellent” averages at level 1 and level 2 – amazing for Y11 students.

Soft Materials:
Some of our students are studying Sustainability this year, drawing inspiration and direction from the display in Barbara Joseph’s teaching space. Check it out if you have some spare time. They are looking at the sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacture of existing fabric fibres and also at emerging fibres such as bamboo and hemp. Some designers have run with the idea and produce products only using these sustainable and eco-friendly fibres. Others are selling products with seeds embedded in the tags.

Another dimension of sustainability is utilising existing garments by up-cycling them or re-purposing them into new garments.
We will keep you posted on how these projects evolve.
Matt Clayton

Absence From Internally Assessed NCEA Standards

Internal assessment for NCEA is a high stakes affair with many hours of preparatory time being put in by both students and staff. It is highly frustrating for staff members when on the day of an assessment a student is absent without prior notice. Adding to this frustration is the return of the student the next day with a note from home saying they were ‘sick’. The staff member must then put in place an alternative assessment opportunity for that student often giving up their own time to do this.

In our Assessment Handbook issued to all Year 11, 12 and 13 students this year it is stated that ‘if you are sick you will need to provide a medical certificate’. A parental note is not sufficient. Where it is not possible to provide a medical certificate we have a formal attestation form which students must obtain from either the deputy principal (Yr11) or the academic directors (Yrs 12 & 13) and parents must fill in. Just like for external examinations at the end of the year, it is best if at all possible that the student sits the assessment on the scheduled day.
Ivan Davis

Community Notices

Westmere Primary School
Garage Sale
SUNDAY April 5th
8:00 - 12:00

Newsletters Dates for Terms 2 & 3
Term 2
Monday 11 May
Tuesday 2 June
Monday 22 June
Term 3
Monday 3 August
Monday 24 August
Monday 14 September

Please note

Next BOT Meeting Next PAG Meeting
6th April, 2009,
6pm in the Staffroom
7th April, 2009,
7.30pm in the Staffroom