WESTERN SPRINGS COLLEGE
Nga Puna O Waiorea
 Newsletter No. 9, September 14 2009  

Newsletter No. 9, September 14, 2009

PRINCIPAL'S NOTES

Course Selection Week: Years 10, 11 & 12
A reminder that the annual Subject Information Evening is scheduled for Tuesday, 15 September, in the hall from 6.00-8.00pm. Students and parents are encouraged to attend in order to discuss subject options with department heads and subject specialists.

Note that the 2010 WSC Course Book is available on-line. Access can be gained on the WSC web site Courses of Study page. Parents who do not have internet access are able to request a hard copy from the school office. Copies will also be available at the Subject Information Evening.

Students are expected to hand in their Subject Choice – 2010 sheet to their form teacher by Wednesday, 23 September.

Teacher Only Day, Friday, 18 September
Another reminder that WSC’s annual teacher-only-day is on Friday, 18 September, the day of the school ball. Our teachers will be working on subject-based planning for the implementation of the NZ Curriculum. Parents who are experiencing difficulty making alternative arrangements for their son or daughter are welcome to contact the school office so that we can arrange supervised study facilities for the day.

School Ball, Friday, 18 September
The venue this year is the Aotea Centre.  The doors open from 7.15-8.00pm.  There are no door sales.  Students must arrive by 8.00pm to gain entry.  Once they have entered students will not be able to depart until 12.00 o’clock, unless collected by a parent.  We strongly advise parents to ensure that students have safe transport to and from the ball.

The ball is a school event so the usual school rules apply:  smoking and drinking alcohol are not permitted.  Students who are clearly affected by pre-ball drinking and/or smoking activity are liable to be required to leave.  Should this occur parents will be phoned to collect their son or daughter from the venue.  Please note also that any pre-ball or after-ball activities are not school events and that no staff supervision can be provided for them.  Supervision at these times is a parent/caregiver responsibility.  There are legal implications relating to attendance at such events so parents should advise wisely.

We have received information about the organization of an after-ball event involving the illegal supply of alcohol and passed this on to the NZ Police. Students have been advised not to organise large scale pre- or after-ball events and not to sell tickets for such events which offer the bearer the illegal supply of alcohol. 

We have a Moulin Rouge theme for this year’s ball.  Doubtless, this will enable our students to give full expression to their legendary imaginativeness and creativity about what to wear without going to excessive expense.  The Ball Committee is very keen for the evening to be a great success.  May everyone involved have a great, safe night out!

Parent / Teacher / Student Interviews, Tuesday, 22 September
The Senior Students’ Report and Record of Learning will be mailed home on Wednesday, 16 September, ahead of the interviews day on 22 September. Parents have been advised previously ( See 24 August newsletter.) about on-line interview appointment bookings. The reports and interviews have been carefully timed to enable students to act on the guidelines provided by their subject teachers in time for the November NCEA examinations and portfolio deadlines.

Please note that school will finish at 12.30pm (22/9) prior to the beginning of the interviews at 2.00pm. The school buses have been rescheduled to depart at 12.30pm.

Student Achievements
For those of you who saw them perform at the Po Fia Fia night it will be no surprise to learn that the WSC Lipsync group has gained first place at the Search4Stars National Finals in Hamilton last week. And let’s not forget the achievement of the Popping and Breaking group in placing third. See the story below for further details.

Congratulations to Sophie Dyson who has received a silver medal for second place in the under-16 years section of the Auckland Girls’ Chess Championships.

Well done, Nick Short and George Magee: Nick placed second, and George was third in the B grade men’s competition at the recent New Zealand Trampoline Championships.

And news of the success of a former student: Ali Ramsay ( WSC: 2002-2006 ) has been honoured as the top NZ Police Training College graduate in her cohort. Ali has joined the beat at Howick station.

News from Languages Department

The International Languages Week, which was held in Week 5 (August 17 to August 21) this term, proved to be successful again this year. We had events such as the cultural dress-up and quiz competition; greetings and canteen food for different cultures. In the last newsletter, we announced the winners for the Dress-up competition from both the staff and students’ categories. We would like to congratulate our quiz winning form class from each house: they are BM (Atea house), HG and MN (Moana house), YS (Kapura house) and SL (Whenua house).

We also would like to congratulate our Year 13 Kester Panting and Year 11 Nicholas Short for their achievement in the Auckland regional Japanese speech competition, which was held at the end of the International Languages Week. It was our first time to participate in the event. Kester took 3rd place in Year 13 category and Nicholas came 5th place in Year 11 category.

During the Languages Week, our senior Japanese classes also went on their urban trips to town, and visited Japanese restaurants. They had to read the instructions in Japanese to find their way to the restaurant.
Renae Liao-Marsden & Cecile Bourgeois

Geography Fieldtrip

It was a bright early start for the year 11 geographers on Sunday 6th of September as we started off on our second 3-day trip down to Mt Ruapehu. After a successful expedition to climb the summit in the summer, anticipation was running high for another exciting journey as this time we were promised a day of snowboarding, skiing or tobogganing. The mountain was simply picturesque as we first saw it from our rigid bus-sitting positions, its snowy peaks so different from our memories of the last time. Arriving at the Ski Haus it was as if we hadn’t left as we were greeted with a delicious meal and the relaxation we needed from the long drive down.

An early start the next morning to get ready for the days challenges and lucky for us our day at the mountain began with clear blue skies, which carried on for the duration of the trip.  As we approached the destination it became apparent just how many people came to Mt Ruapehu during the ski season.

And so our day of extreme sports began, luckily with no major accidents, even more people joining in the fun with each hour.  By the end of the day we estimated a total of about 2000 people had passed through, a big change from the almost non-existent mountain population of our last visit. Sore but satisfied we headed back to the refuge of the Ski Haus before setting off to the hot pools.

Another early start came the next morning as we packed up and piled back into the bus with many thanks to the Ski Haus owners as we went.  A trekking activity had been organised to let us experience the Silica Rapids before our trip came to a close. Arriving back at school that evening we all agreed the trip had been a success and a big thanks was to be given to the Geography teachers for organising a second amazing trip to Mt Ruapehu.
Amy Flynn

Mt Ruapehu
Year 11 Geographers taking a rest

Learning Centre News

Managing Dyslexia at University
On Tuesday, 8th September, we were fortunate to have Jackie Eade, the Senior Tutor from Auckland University’s Student Learning Centre, and three students, Meryl, Tina and Jay, visit our school. In a 1½ hour workshop they shared with WSC students the impact of dyslexia on their learning. Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects as many as 1 in 10 people. Yet, because it is a hidden disability, it often goes unacknowledged and causes many students to underestimate their own capabilities and set aside aspirations of going to university.

The intention of the workshop was to give our students the opportunity to hear the stories of three students with dyslexia who were currently at university and succeeding.  Jackie Eade pointed out that there was now generous funding to provide support for students with learning disabilities at tertiary level. As a consequence, more and more students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, were enrolling at Auckland University. This year the Student Learning Centre at Auckland University had worked with 157 students. Their role was to advocate for these students and ensure that they received the support needed in order to be successful. This included help with course selection and enrolment, free assessments in order to put in place special exam conditions, assistive technologies, and guidance with assignments.

Meryl, Tina and Jay shared their different, but in many respects, common journeys through secondary school and university. Secondary school had been difficult and frustrating for all of them. They spoke of the struggle to keep up and the challenges they’d had with tasks that other students found relatively easy. They agreed they’d had to work much harder than their peers in order to achieve.

All three have now begun university degrees and are finding that, with the support of the tutors at the Student Learning Centre, they are succeeding. While each acknowledges that it is still hard work, their message to our students is that, with determination and the right help, it is not impossible. Their central piece of advice was to be proactive – be open about your learning disability, and seek out and use the help you are entitled to.
Helen Thorpe

Message from the Library

Readers Group – this is a new initiative which is being trialed with the following five year 9 students:  Alex Swain, Geordie Winlove, Caitlan Pearson, Fraser Ambridge and Kieran McCullough. They are all reading ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne. They read several chapters and meet weekly to discuss many aspects of the book. They are also in email contact with the Book Lady who provides the books. She answers questions and monitors their progress.

The students are enjoying reading this very popular book and I have been impressed by the quality of the discussion.

Healthy Easting – A Guide for Teens

Healthy eating is a way of balancing the food you eat to keep your body strong, energized, and well nourished. When you eat well, you are taking good care of your body.

Healthy eating is a great way to:
  • Have energy all day long
  • Get the vitamins and minerals your body needs
  • Stay strong for sports or other activities
  • Reach your maximum height (if you are still growing)
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent unhealthy eating habits, like skipping meals and feeling overly hungry at the next meal
What is "healthy eating?"
  • Aiming for regular meals (usually 3 meals per day in the morning, afternoon, and evening) and healthy snacks (when you are hungry or need extra energy)
  • Eating foods from all of the food groups (grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy proteins, and healthy fats) each day to meet your nutritional needs
  • Balancing nutrient-rich foods with moderate amounts of other foods, such as sweet or fast foods
  • Eating when hungry and stopping when full

Health Promoting Schools

Search4Stars National Finals

Congratulations to the students who participated in the Search4Stars National Finals held on Friday, September 4th at Founders Theatre in Hamilton.  Competing schools included Hamilton Boys High School, Waihi College, Mount Maunganui College, Reporoa College, Rosehill College just to name a few.  This year’s competition had a new aspect to it, because funding was secured to have a seven part series documentary created.  The film crew followed students who participated in this competition from auditions to regional competition, workshops, rehearsals, and the finale of the National final.  This will be televised in November 2009 on Maori Television.

The amount of preparation, time, effort and support involved certainly contributed to the excellent performance the Search4Stars students conveyed to the audience.  The Popping and Breaking group consisted of Tetoki Tepaki, Matt Walsh, Ahutoa Lanefale, Taniora Rangi-Motutere, with their performance earning them, Third Place.  The Lipsync group consisted of Tetoki Tepaki, Matt Walsh, Ahutoa Lanefale, Taniora Rangi-Motutere, Newton Cook, Krystal-Lee Brown and Chaz Brown, and WOW!!! they executed their item to their absolute potential and gained First Place.  The best LipSync performance that organisers have seen for a few years. Fantastic and great effort!

It is with much appreciation that the performers would like to acknowledge all the contributions of support and sponsorship from the following individuals and groups: Whanau o Te Rumaki Reo o Nga Puna o Waiorea, Donald Hollingsworth, Chris Selwyn, Linda Dillon, Peter McIntyre, Bella Pomare, Senior Management, Kau Tepaki and Lorrin Shortland.  Mihi nui rawa atu ki a tatou katoa!

Adult Community Education, Term Four

Adult Community Education classes start again on 27 October. This is your last chance to enrol for subsidized classes so make the most of it! (Government funding cuts will take effect from 2010). Classes will continue next year, but with higher fees.

Current classes include:

  • Digital Photography
  • Organic Gardening
  • Guitar
  • Pacific Island Dance – Cook Island
  • Pacific Island Dance – Samoan
  • Hip Hop
  • Learner Licence (school & adult students)
  • Portrait Painting
  • Life Drawing
  • Landscape Painting
  • Silkscreen Printing
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Job Search – CV Writing
  • Job Search – Interview Skills
  • Small Business Start Up
  • Sharemarket Investment
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Yoga
  • Pilates

For more info see the Western Springs College website home-page: www.westernsprings.school.nz and click on Community Education or phone 378 4487.

Community Notices

Richmond Road School 125th Jubilee & Reunion
Dates: 24-25 September 2009
We warmly extend an invitation to anyone with connections to Richmond Road School to join us as we celebrate our 125th year. For more information or to register visit www.richmondroad.school.nz and click on the 125th Jubilee link, or call the school office on (09) 376 1091
Stephanie Anich principal@richmondroad.school.nz

Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market
Shop for your fresh fruit and vegetables from local producers at the Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market.  Find fresh produce from fish, to nut, to cheese and more every Sunday morning (except the last Sunday of the month) from 6th September at 9am, Grey Lynn Community Centre, 510 Richmond Rd.  For more information Phone Erica on 021 048 0800.


Next Board of Trustees Meeting

21st September @ 6pm in the staffroom