Nga Puna O Waiorea
 Newsletter No. 10, October 28 2009  

Newsletter No. 10, October 28, 2009


School Self Review: Quality of Service Delivery Survey
We would like all parents to participate in the biennial school self review survey during the next fortnight. Parents will be contacted within the next week and asked to process the 24 item questionnaire and record their thoughts in response to two open-ended questions: What pleases you most about WSC? and What upsets or annoys you most about WSC?

The survey data will be processed then analysed by the trustees, senior managers, a representative group of staff and the student council. This information will have direct input into the planning work we will be undertaking for the year(s) ahead.

The survey with accompanying instructions will be mailed within the week to all parents who will have the choice of locating it on the school website, completing it online and emailing it back; alternatively, it can be returned in the mail or dropped into the special box at the school office. Note that all responses will be received confidentially.

Senior Prizegiving, WSC Hall, Friday, 6 November, 10.30-1.00pm
Parents of prizewinning senior students are invited to join the celebrations of their daughters’ and sons’ achievements by attending the annual prizegiving ceremony for senior students at 10.30am on the Friday of Week 4 (6/11). We can assure you a special event to celebrate the exceptional talents and remarkable spirit of Springs students.

Note that all students will be dismissed for the day after the ceremony at approximately 1.00pm.

Parents of Year 9 students are asked to keep them at home on the day of the prizegiving for the reason that the current hall seating capacity is unable to accommodate all of our students and guests. However, parents who are not able to make alternative arrangements for their Year 9 students on 6/11 are welcome to contact the school office in order to request that supervised study facilities be arranged for the day at the school.

Pasifika Prizegiving, Wednesday, 28 October, 6.00pm
All members of the school community are invited to join in this celebration of the achievements of the Western Springs College Pacific Island students during this year.

Early Finish, Tuesday, 17 November
The NZPPTA has scheduled its authorised Paid Union Meeting pertaining to the current Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement negotiations for the afternoon of Tuesday, 17 November. Accordingly, classes will finish at 12.30pm to enable teachers to attend the meeting. See the notice below for further details.

Nga Puna O Waiorea Successes
Rumaki students have recently excelled in two competitions.

The following students have won prizes in the national Ngarimu Essay Competition:

  • Hono Wihongi has placed third in the Intermediate English section
  • Amokura Heather-Kingi has gained second in the Senior Maori section
  • Daniel Watkinson was third in the Senior English

Nga Puna O Waiorea matched their excellent performance at the Polyfest in term one by gaining second place overall at the Te Ahurea Tino Rangatiratanga Cultural Festival on 17 October.

Board of Trustees News

Board Elections
Mid-term (staggered) election option for parent representatives to be considered at 2 November Board Meeting

Currently all 7 parent representatives on the WSC Board of Trustees are elected for 3-year terms in an election year (previous election April 2007, next election May 2010).

To assist schools and trustees in Board succession planning (including the transfer of information and experience from board to board), there is an option to have half the trustees elected for a 3-year term in an election year and half for a 3-year term in a mid-term election – this is also known as staggered elections. The WSC Board will discuss this option at its 2 November 2009 meeting, and consider whether to adopt the mid-term election option or not.

If the mid-term election option is adopted, it will affect the number of parent representatives to be elected in subsequent elections as follows:

  • May 2010 election: 4 parent representative positions will be available for a 3-year term. The remaining 3 parent representative positions will be for a shortened term until the mid-term election date (September 2011).
  • September 2011 mid-term election: 3 parent representative positions will be available for a 3-year term.
  • 2013 election:  4 parent representative positions will be available for a 3-year term.
  • 2014 mid-term election: 3 parent representative positions will be available for a 3-year term.

(Note: this change would not affect the Rumaki and Maori Mainstream trustee positions which are filled by co-option on the nomination of the Rumaki whanau and Mainstream Maori parents group.)

Any parents interested in whether or not the staggered election option should be adopted are invited to attend this meeting and to have your views considered. Parents are also welcome to submit views by email by 5 pm on 2 November to admin@westernsprings.school.nz and these will be considered by the Board before a decision is made.

The meeting is at 6 pm, 2 November at the meeting room in the WSC school office block. 

Replacement Trustee Selected
Due to a casual vacancy occurring, the board at its last meeting decided to fill this vacancy by selection.  This was advertised as required in case the parent body required a by-election to be held.  We received no responses requesting a by-election, therefore the board appointed Kent Dadson, who in the 2007 board elections was the next highest polling candidate.
Trevor Crosby
(BoT chairperson)

Board Chairperson Honoured – Excellence Award 2009
A Science Excellence Award 2009 has been presented to Board Chairperson Trevor Crosby for outstanding contributions to invertebrate science, editorial services in biosystematics, collection management and international capacity building.  Congratulations, Trevor!

English Department

I would like to acknowledge the success of a former student of ours, Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle, whose work is featured in the latest issue of Poetry New Zealand, a magazine acknowledged internationally as amongst the best poetry journals published anywhere in the world.  Over twenty of Zarah’s poems have been included in Issue 39, so I would urge students and parents to get a copy of this magazine and read the work of this very accomplished young woman. The website is: www.poetrynz.co.nz
Another student deserving of congratulations is Matthew Jeffries in Year 11 whose delightful story “Lighting up the Twilight” was recently chosen for publication in the College Herald.

The following Year 9 and 10 students recently took part in the ICAS Writing Competition:
Jack Beesley (10KU) gained a Distinction Certificate
Mary Carol Holdaway (10KU) gained a Credit Certificate
Georgia Rudd (10KU), Lucelia Everett-Brown (10KU) and Leah Harwood (9AT) each gained a Participation Certificate

The results for the ICAS English Competition have also just arrived, and the results are:
Oliver Yates  (9WU) gained a High Distinction Certificate. Well done Oliver!
Jack Beesley (10KU) gained a Distinction Certificate
Tihema Bennett (9WH), Leah Harwood (9AT), Lucelia Everett-Brown (10KU), Georgia Rudd (10KU) and Ben Conway (9WH) all gained a Credit Certificate
Libby Clifton (9AT) gained a Participation Certificate
Thank you to those students for taking part in this competition and congratulations on your achievements.

Revision Workshops
We are offering 12EGC students after-school exam workshops every Wednesday and Thursday, between now and the Level 2 exam in mid-November.  A letter will be sent home with more specific information about what skills and topics will be covered.  It is essential that students attend as many of these workshops as possible, in order to be properly prepared for the external exams.

Finally, it would be great if parents could please check around the house for any books belonging to the English Department, and return them to Beth at the front office.   We still have several hundred dollars worth of texts outstanding at this stage and would appreciate your support in getting them back.

One Final Plea
At the beginning of the year, classes year 12 and below, were supplied with a write-on coursebook, to help with basic literacy and revision, and this was to be paid for out of school fees. Unfortunately, because a lot of the fees are still to come in, the department is down several thousand dollars.  If you could help out by paying any outstanding fees, it would be greatly appreciated.
Ali Geursen
HOD English

News from the PE Department

Year 10
Last term the year 10 students were involved in a ‘Transform Your Life’ unit that looked to promote physical activity and learning to monitor healthy nutrition in regards to physical activity. We would like to acknowledge the hours of training and nutritional planning that were put in by the Y10 students who participated in the year 10 Cross Country. Congratulations to the winners mentioned below but more importantly to all those students involved. It was a huge success and learning experience for all. Both the male and female course records were broken this year. Last year the fastest male was 11.26 minutes, this year Hugo ran the course in 10.42 minutes. The female record in 2008 was 15.31 minutes; this year MC ran the course in 11.34!

Females   Males
Mary-Carol Holdaway 1st Place Hugo Norton
Maddison Kinney 2nd Place Nathan McGregor-Berg
Georgia Edwards 3rd Place Jacob Zussman

A huge thank you to all the staff and student helpers that helped out on the day! Well done to Dave Burton (pictured above) who easily took out the male division.

At the end of last term, the Y12 Physical Education classes travelled to Mt Ruapehu to complete an Achievement Standard and a Unit Standard. They were required to participate in skiing or snowboarding and complete a risk analysis for the activity.  The trip was a huge success with the majority of students hitting the slopes without incident. It was great to see the ability of the group improve over the two days up the mountain. Well done to all students who participated.

Sporting Achievements
Congratulations to Sam Hutton for becoming the U15 66kg New Zealand Boxing Champion! An outstanding achievement.
Colette Shearer

Learning Centre News

The end of the year is fast approaching and very soon we will be losing the valued help of our 30 Year 13 Peer Mentors/Tutors. We would like to acknowledge the magnificent contribution they have made this year. Each one of them has given superb service to the Peer Mentoring Programme and it is only through their commitment and good will that we are able to offer this additional support to WSC students. We wish to thank them sincerely for all they have done and wish them well in their future endeavours. They are fine young men and women who have each made a significant impact on those they have worked with this year.

We are now asking for volunteers to join our programme for next year. In Term 1 the new group of Year 13s will undergo 8+ hours of training before school and in lunch hours, after which each student will receive a Training Certificate. From Term 2 onwards, each student will choose one of three options: either to work with a year 9 student as a peer mentor, or to tutor students in a subject area, or to help out at a homework centre one day per week. After completing their service, students will receive a further certificate and a special endorsement on their testimonials. Being part of the Peer Mentoring Programme is an invaluable experience for students and an impressive additional aspect of work experience which can be added to their CVs. We encourage all current Year 12s, who may be interested in participating next year, to come in to the Learning Centre and speak with us and add their names to our already burgeoning list.  

Exam Preparation
The exams are only a matter of weeks away and all seniors should now be revising. However, we are all too aware of the tendency for denial and procrastination. The Learning Centre is here to help those who need it.
What we offer:

  • Advice on how to study and exam techniques.
  • Help to construct a revision timetable.
  • Advice on things like essay writing.
  • A place students can come to revise. (We are open in all breaks and have Homework Centres after school every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until 4.30pm.)
  • Senior students are also welcome to use the centre during exam leave. They may come and go as they please and staff are always on hand for those who need advice.

Advice on Exam Techniques
Before the exam – Eliminate the element of surprise.
Prepare yourself! If you know what to expect you will be less likely to panic or to be thrown by the exam.

  • Know where and when the exam is.
  • Know what the exam will be like.
  • How long it will be.
  • How many questions will there be/
  • Will you have to do all the questions or will you have choices?
  • What topics will be covered?
  • What types of questions will be asked?
    1. Essay questions
    2. Short-answer questions
    3. Multi-choice
    4. Practical
    5. Or a mixture
  • How will the marks be allotted?
  • Will some questions be worth more than others?
  • Work out a plan for how you will divide up your time.
  • Look over old exam papers and try them.
  • If you get stuck ask for help.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • As you get familiar with the exam set yourself time limits.

The night before

  • Get a good night’s sleep.

On the Day

  • Have a good breakfast
  • Arrive in plenty of time.
  • Make sure you have everything you need.
  • Take a watch.

Starting the exam

  • Remain calm. Breathe.
  • Keep your eye on the time and spread it fairly across questions.
  • Check the structure of the exam.
  • Read through the instructions carefully to check what you must do.
    1. How many questions to be answered?
    2. Are any or all compulsory?
    3. Do questions carry equal marks?
  • Read through the whole exam before you decide which questions to do if there is a choice.
  • When you are allowed to start writing go through and mark all the questions you will have to answer.
  • Read each question carefully at least twice and allow time to think. Highlight key words. Number the different parts of the question if it is asking you to do more than one thing.
  • If you have to write essays, maybe do your plans first so you have your thinking done early.
  • At then end of the first hour, take a couple of minutes to rest, relax, and eat to keep your blood sugar steady.
  • Keep to your allotted time for each question. It’s easier to score the first few marks for a question than the last few marks.
  • Consider tackling the harder questions first while you are fresher.
  • Use the entire exam period rather than rushing.

Answering the questions
Objective tests

  • Work through the questions methodically.
  • If you can’t answer a question, mark the place, pass on and come back to it.
  • If you really don’t know the answer, then a guess is better than zero. But make an informed guess: look at options, reject those that are obviously false, carefully relate the others back to the questions and choose the best option.

Essay-type exams
When you’ve read through all the questions and decided which you will attempt you should:

  • Underline or highlight the key words or phrases.
  • Decide exactly what the question is asking you to do. Look at the instructing words such as discuss, evaluate, describe, explain
  • Is there more than one part to the question? Number the different parts
  • Spend a few minutes planning your answer, e.g. jot down key words which you associate with the topic, plan the essay structure by doing a little thinking map identifying the key statements you want to make and the supporting ideas/evidence.
  • Remember correct essay structure.
  • Make sure that your introduction is a strong statement that shows you have understood the topic.
  • The body should have at least 3 paragraphs, each dealing with a separate key idea supported by evidence.
  • If the essay is in 2 or 3 parts then at least one paragraph should be devoted to answering each part of the question.
  • Answer the question in different words in your concluding paragraph.
  • You need to make sure you write a reasonable amount but it is not quantity that is most important, it is quality. You must answer the question rather than just regurgitate what you know. Keep checking back to the question to make sure you have kept your focus.
  • Always keep an eye on the time. Don’t spend too much time on one essay and leave little time for the next.
  • You will do better to do two reasonable essays than one really good one and little or none of the second.
  • Write legibly
  • Try to allow 10 mins at the end for review

Helen Thorpe

Art Dept

By the time you receive this, our Level 1 NCEA students will have completed their folios and their work will have been displayed in the Dept.

Level 2 and 3 Folio displays
Level 2 Design, Painting and Photography boards will be on display in the Art Dept rooms from 1:30 – 5:00pm on Friday 30th October.

Level 3 Design, Painting, and Photography will be on display in the school library 9:00 – 4:00pm on Thursday 5th of November and Friday 6th to coincide with the senior school prizegiving.

We welcome you all to come and see some outstanding artwork.
Peter Coxon

Free Treasure Hunt to Discover Hidden Pt Chevalier

Lots of Pt Chev’s residents have moved in over the past few years and want to know more about the wonderful suburb they now call home.

Now you have the chance to unleash your powers of discovery.  Starting outside the Pt Chev library at 1pm and finishing at Coyle Park by 4pm, a progressive  treasure hunt around Pt Chev’s historical and ecological features is being held on Sunday November 8th.

You can choose a leisurely walk over all or part of the course to find some of the clues and surprises, or go hard out on your bicycle or scooter to cover the whole distance.

Bring your whole family, friends, and lively spirits to travel the area and collect clues to piece together an understanding of our suburb’s amazing history and natural beauty.

Bicycles (singles and tandems) can be rented on the day from Adventure Cycles in Premier Ave.  For more information contact them at 940 2453 at www.adventure-auckland.co.nz/adventurecycles/  Organised by Transition Town, Pt Chevalier.  For more information visit www.transitiontowns.org.nz/pointchevalier



1.00 to 3.00pm

School will close at 12.30.

Periods 1, 2 and 3 will run.
Buses will be rescheduled to pick students up at 12.30.
Ivan Davis



The PACIFIC ISLAND PRIZEGIVING will be held at the WSC Hall on
Please come and celebrate your children's success