Nga Puna O Waiorea
 Newsletter No. 11, November 20 2009  

Newsletter No. 11, November 20, 2009


School Self Review: Survey Return
Many thanks to all of those parents who have returned surveys to date. If you have yet to return your survey, it is not too late. You can mail it in the post or arrange for it to be dropped into the box at the school office.

Junior Examinations, Tuesday, 1 December – Friday, 4 December
Parents should note that on the four days of the junior examinations school will finish at 2.00pm. The buses have been rescheduled accordingly. Parents might like to note the Learning Centre item below which advertises assistance with exam preparation for English, Mathematics and Science during breaks and after school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Week 7.

Junior Prizegiving, Thursday, 10 December, 10.00am
All parents and caregivers are welcome to attend the junior students’ prizegiving in the hall on the last day of the term, Thursday, 10 December. Note that subject certificates are awarded only for outstanding achievement and/or application.

Staffing News
This week we farewelled Linda Dillon who has been granted seven months leave to travel to the Middle East in order to take up a contract as an advisor to the senior managers of a girls’ school in Abu Dhabi; Linda will return for the beginning of term three in July. Ivan Davis will be the acting associate principal during the period of Linda’s leave. Heather Dikstaal will be the acting deputy principal in Ivan’s place.

Last week Thea Kilian was appointed to the newly created position of assistant principal. Accordingly, Thea will relinquish her position as head of Mathematics.

Another addition to the senior management team is Chris Selwyn who has been formally appointed to the newly resourced position of Tumuaki of the Rumaki, Nga Puna O Waiorea.

Next year Graeme Moran will join Margaret Robertson as our second Specialist Classroom Teacher, primarily to work alongside the large number of second and third year teachers currently on our staff.

Another recent appointment is that of Tania Secker as the teacher-in-charge of Classical Studies.

Senior Prizegiving, 6 November

This year’s ceremony was a very impressive event capped by the announcement of Matthew Edmond as WSC dux for 2009; Hannah Cleverley is proxime accessit to the dux. Guests  enjoyed some wonderful valedictory speeches ( two of them from Matthew and Hannah, the third from Apenti Tamanui-Fransen), outstanding musical and dance performances and an absolutely rousing whakatau from the Rumaki students. Board chairperson, Trevor Crosby, was honoured for his outstanding services to the school community.

Pasifika Prizegiving Ceremony, 28 October
A large audience of family members and friends along with many of our teachers filled the school hall for this immensely enjoyable occasion. The top Pasifika Excellence school community awards for this year went to Rosiriia Allen and Leou Fruean.

Sports Prizegiving, 30 October
This year’s top team award went to the premier girls’ netball team. The sportsman of the year is Matthew Lane, and the sportswoman of the year is Antoinette Jowitt.

Sports: Water Polo
Congratulations to the junior girls’ water polo team who will play their grade final at the Millenium Institute at 7.10pm on Sunday evening (22/11).

Important Reminder:

Early finish Tuesday Nov 24th.
4 shortened periods of 45 minutes each.
Students dismissed at 12.30

Department-based work on the New Zealand Curriculum for implementation in 2010.


Mathematics Department

We have Junior Exams coming up in week 8. While teachers will have some time before exams to begin preparing students for these, students should be looking to start a revision programme of their own. The results of their maths examination will be a major factor in their placement in classes for next year. Calculators will be required.

The Mathematics department has decided to trial the online e-learning resource www.mathsbuddy.co.nz. The website offers hundreds of audio visual lessons and tasks to practice skills. We believe that students will have an excellent opportunity to consolidate learning and fill in gaps. It is based on an Australian website which has had tremendous success. Homework may be set on this website meaning that students will be expected to complete tasks at home. For those that do not have access at home, there will be afterschool sessions in the computer rooms or printouts. All year 9 and 10 students will receive a login from their mathematics teacher. We are excited to see how students will take to this new way of doing Mathematics outside the classroom 

Junior Exams Begin In Two Weeks

Any juniors who are unsure how to go about studying or would like help with things such as essay writing should come to the Learning Centre to make a time for help. We will be available next week during breaks and there are also three Homework Centres from 3.15-4.30 with Maths Teacher help on Monday and Science help on Wednesday. English help is available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Students need to be pro-active and ask for the help they think they need.

English Department

Now that we are in the middle of the NCEA exams, it is time to remind Year 9 and 10 students that their exams are coming up on the 1st of December, and that they need to be getting prepared.  This year junior English classes will bring home a separate report, as well as the usual school one, which gives details of their grades for the assessments they have completed this year.  At Year 10 there are 10 assessments throughout the year, and at year 9, there are 9.  The grades for these, along with the exam results, give us useful information about each student’s strengths and weaknesses, and in the case of year 10 students, help us place them appropriately in one of the two year 11 bands.

At year 11, there are two courses, but one has five external exams (the EGE course)  and the other has only three.  Both are made up of Achievement Standards with one Unit Standard, so the work is at the same academic level, but the EGI course has fewer standards as well as fewer exams, and we find this is helpful for students who are still developing their ability in English.  A lot of care and discussion goes into the placement of students to ensure they are in the course which ensures them success at Level One and in the future.

If you have any concerns or queries, please feel free to contact me about this.

I would like to share with you this wonderful poem by one of our Year 11 students, Etta Bollinger:

Ali Geursen
HOD English

Wild Orchestra

Go on, take a handful
Take a handful of words

Words to pick up and carry
Words to stir into the coffee
Words to leave hanging
Leave in the air
Leave on placards
Leave in letterboxes
Down telephone lines

Look at these strings of letters
These strings of letters sitting on your palm

In this loud, busy world they are a currency
Currency to buy who you are
To pay for your identity
Layers of words and finger spaces
Layers and layers
The only piece of your first self to remain two eyes
Two eyes crying wet ink

But go on take a handful of words
Spend each one fashioning yourself a beautiful face
The best lips
The perfect nose…
And leave your ears till last

Your ears let you hear the world
Hear the world howling
Listening makes you want to add your words to the cacophony
You want to craft clear, sharp reason to sing over this wild orchestra

But your hand is empty
You have no money
To buy a voice
Loud enough
Loud enough to be heard
Screaming over the traffic