Nga Puna O Waiorea
 Newsletter No. 1, February 15, 2010  

Newsletter No. 1, February 15, 2010


Springs Calendar
Term One
Week Three – 15th to19th February

Year 9 Orientation Programme (cont’d)
Monday 15th
Moana Beach Education Day – Muriwai
Tuesday 16th
Oranga Beach Education Day – Muriwai
Wednesday 17th
Kapura Beach Education Day – Muriwai
Parent Action Group (PAG) Family Picnic @ 6pm - TAPAC
Pacific Parents BBQ @ 6pm
Thursday 18th
Atea Beach Education Day – Muriwai
Friday 19th
Whenua Beach Education – Piha

Week Four  – 22nd to 26th February

Tuesday 23rd
Athletics Day, Waitakere Stadium
Wednesday 24th
New Families BBQ @ 6pm
Friday 62th
ID Photo catch up

Week Five – 1st to 5th March

Tuesday 2nd 
HPV vaccination consent talk in girls’ assembly
Thursday 4th
All Maori Mainstream students and parents Yr 9 BBQ 4.30pm – staffroom lawn

Week Six -  8th to 12th March

Sunday 7th to Saturday 13th
Year 11 PE camp all week (different days for different classes)
Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th
Senior Volleyball Auckland Championship

Week Seven – 15th to 19th March

Monday 15th
Junior Progress Reports out this week  Student online parent/teacher appointment booking opened

Week Eight – 22nd to 26th March

Sunday 21st to Wednesday 24th
Senior Volleyball Nationals
Tuesday 23rd
Junior Parents’ Evening 2 – 7pm
Wednesday 24th
Level 3 Music Performance Evening 6pm

Week Nine – 29th March to 2nd April

Tuesday 30th March to Thursday 1st April
Yr 13 PE camp & Yr 12 Bio trip to Leigh
Wednesday 31st
HPV 1st vaccination
Friday 2nd
Project K Wilderness Camp
First Day of Term 1 Break

Scholarship Results
Our 2009 Year 13 students have achieved 21 Scholarship passes (2008: 20) across 14 subjects. Three Scholarships were gained in each of Statistics & Modelling, Media Studies and Classical Studies.

The Scholarship students were Tobias Croydon-McRae (Classical Studies; Media Studies), Matthew Edmond (Statistics; History), Sophie Edwards (English; Graphics), Emily Holland (Classical Studies; Media Studies), Nicholas Priddey (Accounting; Geography), Stuart Austin (Statistics), Paul Baek (Chemistry), Sebastian Clarke (Classical Studies), Pascal De Sully (German), Clare Hannam (Media Studies), Aidan Lomas (History), Hudson Prestidge (Statistics), Tristan Marler (Painting) and Kester Panting (Japanese).

NCEA Results
The main feature of the 2009 NCEA results was the best-ever WSC pass rates achieved in Level 2 (91%), Level 3 (83%) and University Entrance (84%).

A gender analysis of the results for same decile schools (Decile 8) is presented below:

Male Students
% WSC NZ Decile 8 Differential
Level 1 77.5 72.8 4.7
Level 2 90.6 76.3 14.3
Level 3 79.3 64.0 15.3
Level 4 81.6 61.7 19.9


Female Students
% WSC NZ Decile 8 Differential
Level 1 84.0 78.8 5.2
Level 2 96.3 84.3 12.0
Level 3 87.7 78.4 9.3
Level 4 87.9 71.9 16.0


  • The WSC and national female student pass rates exceed those of male students for all levels.
  • The WSC female student pass rates exceed those of WSC male students by less than the national differential for Levels 2, 3 & U.E.
  • WSC male students exceed the national male student pass rates by more than WSC female students exceed the national female pass rates for Levels 2, 3 & U.E.
  • In summary, the gap between male and female students at WSC is less than the national difference for Levels 2, 3 & U.E. ( In 2008, this applied at all levels.); the Level 1 difference is comparable.

We will continue to monitor male and female student achievement closely and focus our efforts on further closing the gender gap.

Board of Trustees Elections
The draft electoral roll will be available for inspection at the school office from 1-12 March. It will contain the names of all parents and caregivers indicated on the student enrolment form. You can check that your name is on the draft roll by contacting the school office receptionist. (ph 8156730)

If eligible parents and caregivers do not receive a nomination form and information about the elections by 16 March, they are asked to contact the returning officer, Anne Millan, ph 8156730 extn 715.

Over 300 students competed at the 2010 WSC Swimming Sports last Thursday (11/2) out at the West Wave Aquatic Centre in Henderson. The excellent standard of swimming evident in the finals section of the competition was matched by the equally impressive organisation and management: staff and student leaders, aided by expert parent helpers, ensured an efficient and smooth flow of events. Inter-house rivalries were to the fore as ever, enlivened considerably this year by the advent of Oranga house whose waiata added a new dimension to the usual challenges and celebrations.

The WSC Swimming Sports results will be placed on the school website this week.

Term One School Sports
Volleyball (Thursdays), cricket (Saturdays), touch (Tuesdays), tennis (Saturdays), softball (Wednesdays), and waka ama are now under way. Note too that our dragonboating team is gearing up and a WSC golf club has been recently formed under Craig Baily’s direction.

Softball News
The WSC boys’ softball team does not lack for talent. Jarrod Gribble, Casey Nukunuku, Steven Rogerson and Richard Clark are all members of the Auckland Under 15 representative team; Tom Robson and Teahu Manuel-Larkins are in the Auckland Under 17 side. Congratulations are especially warranted for Richard, Casey and Steven who have been selected for the Under 16 New Zealand team to play in Australia in April.


On Wednesday this week (February 17) we have the Family Picnic on the TAPAC lawn. All invited.

Our Pacific community also has a BBQ on February 17 in the staffroom, beginning at 6pm.

On Thursday (March 4th ) we have a BBQ on the staffroom lawn for all Yr 9 Maori Mainstream parents and students.


On Wednesday next week (February 24th) we have the new families BBQ on the library lawn. This is an opportunity for new families to meet the teachers in an informal atmosphere. We provide all the food for this one, so come along with your child(ren) and get them to introduce you to their new teachers.


The year has started off well in the department and all classes are under way.  There are still a few books from last year drifting in, and as always, I make my plea for parents to have a look around for any WSC texts and pop them back in to Beth at the front office, or hand them in to any English teacher.
I would like to mention a new focus in the junior school.  Many of you will be familiar with Art Costa’s 16 “Habits of Mind” - these are a set of values, attitudes, and skills which all relate directly to a person's outlook on knowledge and learning, and ways of thinking and acting. In our English classes this year, we will be focusing specifically on two important habits of mind:

  • Persisting
  • Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision.

We believe that mastering these two skills will help students succeed, not just in English, but as lifelong learners.  We have explained these habits of mind to students in the following way, and hope parents will help us by reinforcing these values at home:

Persistence:  This means that you are able to ‘stick at’ something – it means working with determination and patience at whatever you do.  This could mean presenting something in the best possible way, or finding the most relevant supporting detail, or researching a topic as thoroughly as you can.  It will certainly mean re-writing and re-working your draft to produce a polished good copy.

Ability to communicate with clarity and precision:   This means that you take the time to find the best words to explain your thoughts, and that you are careful with punctuation, spelling, the arrangement and structure of your work, and the neatness of your writing.

This year we have bought new course books for the juniors, and for year 11 students. These will be paid for as part of school fees and will be issued in week 3 or 4.  These books will be very useful for students because they link closely to the new Curriculum and cover all the skills needed for success at years 9, 10 and 11. We would urge you to pay the small sum for this book as quickly as possible to Beth at the front office, so we are able to issue it to everyone within the first month.  If you have already paid school fees, you will see it itemised as ‘Year 9 write-on book’ or something similar.

Please feel free to contact me with any queries or concerns via my school email address: geursena@westernsprings.school.nz  (Please note that all teachers have a school email address that follows this format if you are wanting to get in touch with an English teacher).
I look forward to seeing many of you at the New Parents’ Barbeque on Wednesday the 24th February at 6pm.
Ali Geursen
HOD English


The Mathematics department would firstly like to congratulate all mathematics students on another round of excellent results in the 2009 NCEA exams. Well done.

I am pleased to report that while there have been some major changes in the structure of the department, we start 2010 with few major changes in personnel. The large shoes left by Simon Henley are now filled by Jasmine Paulkutty, who took over a temporary roll teaching mainly Rumaki classes for most of last year. We welcome Mark Rainey to the position of Mathematics teacher to the Rumaki. Our congratulations go to our colleague Thea Kilian who has relinquished the role of Head of Mathematics for an Assistant Principal role.  Jared Hockly now takes on the role as Head of Department.

We invested a great deal of time in planning for the new curriculum changes in the junior school last year.  Students should find that lessons will be more student centred and tasks will allow students to think and develop understanding to a higher level.

Late in term 4 last year we signed up for a free trial of the online resource www.Mathsbuddy.co.nz. We have been lucky enough to get an extended trial for all of term 1 this year. All students enrolled in a Mathematics course should have received a login for the site by now. This allows the student to use the site’s online lessons and practice their skills with the self-marking activities. Teachers will also be setting tasks from the site to be completed for homework. If internet access is a problem for a student they will need to inform their teacher so they can either make use of the Mathematics department’s computer sessions on Monday after school in B7 or get tasks in worksheet form. Any feedback on the use of this resource would be appreciated (hocklyj@westernsprings.school.nz).  We look forward to another fantastic year.
Jared Hockly
HOD Mathematics


Science Department News
Congratulations to students on their successful 2009 NCEA Science Examination Results and in particular to Paul Baek who achieved Scholarship Chemistry and Sam Metson who achieved Scholarship Physics.
Our Junior students have started their year in Science, developing their scientific skills within two new units of work that reflect the New National Curriculum.  The Year 9 students are investigating  ‘Scientific  Solutions’, a unit based on dissolving and its everyday applications.   Year 10 students are studying Chemistry within the context of ‘Our precious water’ and are rising to the challenge of the Year 10 curriculum already.   Year 11 Science students have been engaging in practical activities in Chemistry or exploring micro-organisms in Biology and will soon be embarking on their first Internally Assessed Achievement Standard.  Our senior students have begun their Level 2 courses with interest and commitment. Their enthusiasm is already clearly evident in lessons and we look forward to working with all our students this year.

Year 12 Biology Field Trip
At the end of this term the year 12 Biology students will be undertaking a three day field trip to the Leigh Marine Reserve and Tiritirimatangi. They leave on Tuesday the 30th March and return on Thursday 1st April, the last day before the term break.  The purposes of the trip are to learn about the importance of land and marine reserves in NZ for the protection of ecosystems and also to gather data for a rocky shore study in preparation for an internally assessed Achievement Standard.  The students will stay at Pakiri Beach Motor Camp before going by ferry to Tiritirimatangi on the third day. A place on this highly rewarding trip can be reserved with a $50 deposit, payed by 22nd February. The final balance is due on 15th March.  If you have any queries or financial assistance is needed please contact Robert Forster; forsterr@westernsprings.school.nz.

Science Extra-curricular Activities
Students will have the opportunity throughout the year to be involved in extracurricular activities in Science.  Events in 2009 included visits to Auckland Zoo, Stardome and the Liggins Institute, activities at the University such as ‘Girls in Science’ and various competitions including the ICAS Science Exam.

Hands-On Science

At the start of 2010 Janine Lawton and Zoe Butcher-McGonagle were lucky enough to be chosen to take part in the Hands on Science Festival in Dunedin.  'Hands-On Science' is designed to support and show interested students what research scientists do, why they do these things and to encourage talented young New Zealanders to consider science as a career.  Interested students are selected from schools around New Zealand to stay at the University of Otago in Halls of Residence and be an undergraduate for the week.
If you are a Year 11 or 12 student with a strong interest in Science and the potential to excel in Science, Hands-On Science would be a great opportunity for you.  Dates for Hands-On Science 2011 are 16th to 21st of January.
For more details, view the website http://www.otago.ac.nz/handsonscience/ or contact Helen Armstrong; HOD Science.

MAD Marine Young Leaders Project

Phoebe Balle, Janine Lawton and Madeleine Trusewich were successfully accepted onto the Marine – ‘Make a Difference 2010’ Science programme for Young Leaders, held at Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp on Motutapu Island, over 3 days, at the end of January.  They engaged with Marine Experts and teamed up with other students passionate about sustainability to work towards creating a sustainable community.

Our students thoroughly enjoyed their experiences and they proved to be excellent ambassadors for Western Springs College.

Are You SciCurious?

The Freemasons Reel Film Festival is a new competition that is aimed at year 11-13 students who are encouraged to make a 2 minute film on any aspect of science using their cell phone. To make participation in this competition easier for students, the Centre for Science Communication at the Otago University will be holding a series of workshops in Auckland on how to make a film with very basic equipment. They will be given tips on lighting, editing and sound techniques.  15 of the winning students get to spend 5 days in Dunedin working with film makers and scientists to make a professional short film with the best of these films winning the Freemasons Reel Science Festival. More information can be found at www.reelsciencefilm.org.nz.

If interested contact Helen Armstrong: HOD Science.

Book Amnesty
Thank you to all students who have returned their textbooks from 2009 and to parents for their support in encouraging them to do so. However, we still have a number of issued Science Department books still outstanding, which are needed for current classes.  Unfortunately, our class sets of books have also been depleted by some students borrowing them without permission and not returning the books. Please check at home to see if you can find any of our books and hand them to Beth at the front office or to one of the Science teachers or technicians as soon as possible.  Textbooks for use in 2010 will be issued to Year 12 and 13 students shortly.

Contact Details
If you have any queries throughout the year please do not hesitate to contact myself or my colleagues.

Helen Armstrong: HOD Science armstrongh@westernsprings.school.nz
Sue Cameron-Brown: Assistant HOD i/c Year 11 Science cbrowns@westernsprings.school.nz
Allayne Ferguson: Assistant HOD i/c Year 9 / 10 Science fergusona@westernsprings.school.nz
Helen Armstrong
HOD Science


Level Three students achieve the perfect score!
Congratulations to Mathew Edmond and Lucie Irwin Whitney who both completed all six questions in their source analysis paper, AS90656 at Excellence level. The criteria for Excellence is to successfully answer three of the six questions. This paper is traditionally the most demanding as all sources that are analysed are unseen and require a sophisticated level of insight and knowledge to achieve at Excellence.  In meeting the criteria for all six questions at Excellence level, Matt and Lucie have topped the country and can be justly proud of such a remarkable feat.

Congratulation also to their Western Springs College peers who did particularly well in the three external papers that were sat in November. The percentage of Year 13 students achieving at Excellence was well above the national average. Our students in Year 13 achieved at 29.5% for Excellence. The national average was 8.2%. In one paper all students achieved – 72% of them at Excellence or Merit level.  Male students did much better than their national counterparts. The percentage of male students in Year 13 History at Western Springs College achieving Excellence was 30.8%. The national average was 7.1%. In one of the essay papers the percentage of our male students achieving at Excellence was 41.7%. The national average was 7.7%.  Numbers in History continue to grow, and four classes at Year 11 are evidence of the interest students have in understanding the past of the world in which they will one day play an important role.

We are delighted to have Emma Dywer as a new member of the History department and to welcome back Zoe Lindsay who has been away on maternity leave. Unfortunately for the department, Tania Secker and Paul Alford are unable to teach history in 2010 because of their responsibilities as House Deans. Their expertise, enthusiasm and skills will be missed.
Graeme Moran
HOD History


Calling all instrumentalists!
The music department staff is very keen to hear from any players of the following instruments - violin, cello, clarinet, flute, viola, double bass, saxophone or brass.  All these musicians are invited to join our Chamber Group and/or our Jazz Band. Please see Margaret or Kim in the music room for more information.

Also - see us if you want to learn to play flute, clarinet, saxophone, cello or double bass. There are places in these classes ready to be taken now.

Any questions? Feel free to email on robertsonm@westernsprings.school.nz

Look forward to hearing from you!
Margaret Robertson
HOD Music


Ports of Auckland Harbour Cruise
The first week of school started well as we explored, first hand, the Port of Auckland on one of the 360 Discovery vessels.    After a long bus trip into town, the 12 ESOL students embarked (just in time) on a free one-hour weekly cruise run by the Ports of Auckland.   As our boat glided past the shoreline, we viewed many points of interest including the wharves, container cranes, straddle carriers, tug boats, Viaduct Basin, Tank Farm for bulk liquid imports, Westhaven marina and the venue for Downtown ‘Party Central’.  There were two large cruise ships in the port and the downtown area was incredibly crowded and busy.  For an hour, we could imagine ourselves as tourists in our own city.

For many of our new and returning students from Chile, Korea, China, Brazil and Japan, this was a great orientation to Auckland and New Zealand and a chance to chat in English to new classmates.  The class was accompanied by teacher, Ms Wallace and our new ESOL teacher assistant, Mrs Roberts. If you want to find out more about these wonderful free cruises then visit www.poal.co.nz.


We are located downstairs in B Block.  We are open all day from Monday to Friday and after-school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Any student may come and refer themselves to us for help for any learning need, (small or large), and we will endeavour to get them the help they need. The students who gain the most from working with us are those who come early, (as soon as a problem arises), and those who genuinely want to learn. So don’t wait until a teacher or a Dean directs you to us. Make the choice to take charge of your own learning. Call in and book a time to discuss your learning need.

Peer Assisted Learning

We will very soon begin training year 13 students as Peer Mentors for 2010. These students will go on to work with and provide support for year 9 and 10 students. Each student will receive a training certificate at the end of 8 training sessions and a further certificate at the end of 2010 in recognition of the work they have done.   We already have an initial list of volunteers, but are still keen to hear from other year 13 students who would be willing to give up the equivalent of one study period per week for most of the year. This is a superb opportunity to show leadership and give back to the school. If you would be interested please call in to the Learning Centre at any time and add your name to the list.

Homework Centre and NCEA Study Support
Learning Centre
Tuesdays and Wednesdays
After-School, until 4.30 p.m.

The Learning Centre is running a Homework Centre and Study Support Sessions, in conjunction with the Atea and Moana Deans, again this year.  Students who attended these sessions last year found them very helpful.

If you are a student who has difficulty getting your homework done at home, or could do with some help, then you should be attending one or both of our homework centres.

If you are a senior student and you would like to get help with essay writing, research, breaking big assignments down into manageable pieces, time management, study skills and exam techniques, please either come to the after school sessions, or come book a time with Helen or Trina.


All Pacific parents and their families are invited to our first gathering of 2010, to held at the Western Srings Staffroom, WEDNESDAY 17 FEBRUARY AT 6.p.m.  A BBQ is a wonderful way of meeting the new parents and renewing links with past families.  Please make the effort to attend this important gathering, to meet the Pacific staff and to hear what we can do for your child during their time at Western Springs College.
See you all there!
Tupe Tai
Pacific Island Co-ordinator


All families welcome.  Bring your own food and a blanket and join us for an enjoyable family night with music, maybe some games and lolly scrambles.  6pm start, on the field behind Tapac.  The event will be cancelled if its raining. 


It was with a great amount of excitement mixed with a little bit of apprehension that the student leadership group for 2010 arrived on the school marae. It was Sunday the 23rd of January and most had not quite gotten their feet back on the ground after the long, glorious summer holiday.

The first challenge was, of course, getting to know each other, not just socially, but as leaders. Knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses would definitely benefit the overall success of the team.

On Monday morning we got off to an early start with a 7am skipping session. This was followed by breakfast and at 8:45am we were off to the High Ropes course at Unitec. As was the case in 2009, it was an absolutely tremendous experience. Watching these students challenge themselves, some to the extreme, was not just rewarding but humbling and inspiring. They learned to rely on each other, trust each other and take full responsibility for their actions. They did an amazing job and of course I got some fantastic photos!!!!

Monday night, even though we were all exhausted, was spent practising our public speaking skills with Ms West and Ms Victor. We also spent some time putting ourselves in the shoes of others, as well as brain storming some tough issues alongside 2009 student leader, Seb Clark.

Arriving Tuesday morning, I expected to find a group of absolutely exhausted leaders scattered all over the marae. I was, however, greeted by up and about, smiling leaders, ready for the day ahead. Whaea Hana was fantastic in talking us through the powhiri procedures, and even taught us the waiata. We concluded the day celebrating Norbryn’s birthday with some chocolate cake while Dougal McIntyre played the bagpipes.

I have been greatly impressed by this group of students. I look forward with great excitement to what they are able to bring to our school community in 2010.

A great big thank you to all the staff who gave up their time to support the leadership camp. Ms West, Ms Victor and Whaea Hana for their input. Ms Secker and Whaea Lorrin for their support. And of course Mr Forster, Ms Armstrong and Mr McIntyre for running the evening program and spending nights on the marae with the students.


Atea Culture
Benjamin Pearson Edward Crawshaw
Ella Newel Zoe Butcher-McGunnigle
Emily Mathews Holly Reynolds
Kapura Edward Dean
Amokura Heather-Kingi Sport
Phoebe Balle Karl Woolley
Jason Tuisamoa Kate Livingston
Moana Morgan Robson
Katie Milne Academic
Manu Walters Allanah Colley
Grace Kennedy Rebecca van Dam
Oranga Rory Clarke
Norbryn Vaiula Environmental
Tuhoe Tamaiparea Molly Tait-Hyland
Deloroe Mani Liam O’Dwyer
Whenua Wanakia Heather Kingi
Lucy Leslie International
Adam Tapsell Fred Guo
Ariella Balmforth Camila Nogueira
  BOT Rep
  Sophie Blazey