Newsletter No. 2, March 8, 2010
|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
Junior Progress Reports mailed out this week. Student online parent/teacher appointment booking opened
|Week Eight – 22nd to 26th March
Sunday 21st to Wednesday 24th
Senior Volleyball Nationals
Junior Parents’ Evening 2 – 7pm
Level 3 Music Performance Evening 6pm
Paid Union Meeting, school closes at 12.30
|Week Nine – 29th March to 2nd April
Tuesday 30th March to Thursday 1st April
Yr 13 PE camp & Yr 12 Bio trip to Leigh
HPV Dose 1
Project K Wilderness Camp
First Day of Term 1 Break
Late Starts on Tuesdays from Next Term
From Tuesday, 20 April, in week one next term for the remainder of the year school will commence at 10.00am on Tuesday mornings to enable our teachers to undertake curriculum and professional development in order to manage the implementation of the New Zealand Curriculum.
The WSC Board of Trustees has authorized this programme which will run on Tuesdays from 8.30 – 10.00am to create the time required to make possible the joint planning and preparation needed to do justice to the demands of the new curriculum. Following on from the requirement to introduce the new curriculum for Years 9 & 10 in 2010 schools are expected to be in a position to implement the curriculum in Level 1 (Year 11) in 2011.
If there are parents who want their children to come to school at the normal time, be aware that the school canteen will be open from 8.00am as will be the library.
Clearly, a decision of this nature is not made lightly. The decision reflects the complexity of the challenges posed by the new curriculum document and a recognition on the part of WSC that high quality delivery cannot be reasonably expected without putting in place the structures to support implementation.
I would like to personally apologise to any families inconvenienced by the lack of notification concerning the postponement of the late starts on Tuesdays in weeks 5, 7 & 9 of this term indicated on the term one calendar sent out in the mid-January mail-out. This oversight occurred because I failed to note this information had been included in the calendar. The introduction of late starts from next term onwards has required full consultation with the staff and the trustees which has only recently been completed.
Paid Union Meeting, Thursday 25th March
At 1.00pm on Thursday 25th March, members of the Post Primary Teachers’ Association who teach in schools in our ward will attend a paid union meeting to be consulted about details of the proposed new employment contract. Legislation provides for the scheduling of these meetings during work hours as part of contract negotiations.
Given that Western Springs College teachers who are members of PPTA are required to attend this meeting, it will not be possible to operate the normal school timetable for the whole day on 25/3. The amended timetable will offer four of the usual five periods, but of 45 minutes duration rather than the usual hour, allowing school to finish at 12.30pm. The school buses have been rescheduled to arrive at school at this time to transport students home.
If these arrangements are not convenient for you and you would like your daughter or son to be supervised at school for the afternoon, please contact the school office with your request.
Nomination forms for the upcoming board elections will be mailed out during the period 12-15 March. Nominations close on 23 April. All interested parents and caregivers are encouraged to put their names forward. Please refer to the Board Elections notice at the end of this newsletter for more details.
Year 9 & 10 Progress Report Interviews, 23 March
The Junior Progress reports will be mailed out next week. The mail-out will contain guidelines for the online booking of teacher appointments from 15 March. Parents are encouraged to bring their children with them to these subject teacher interviews which provide an excellent opportunity to confirm that students are on course for a successful year. A reminder that the efficiency of the interview schedule is dependent on both parents and teachers adhering to the assigned start and finish times.
Quality of Service Delivery Survey Results
The term four survey of parents ( students and staff ) identified high satisfaction levels among those who participated in the review.
- There was an average performance rating for 20/22 of the questionnaire items ranging from 7.5/10 to 8.8/10 – a very pleasing result.
- Parents and staff gave the school a very high rating for the item both sectors rated as most important: The school provides a safe and secure environment for students.
- Parents also gave the school a high performance rating (8.1/10) for the item rated by them as the third most important: The school is responsive to requests and concerns expressed by students, parents and caregivers.
The survey data was examined by a planning and review group involving trustees and the principal. There were three main areas identified for school improvement:
- the need to improve the school’s career services – in this regard staffing has been strengthened by the recent part-time (0.60) appointment of Kay Wallace to a newly created careers teacher position which she will commence next term.
- the need to improve the profile for sports in the school – this will be partly achieved by using the website to provide regular coverage of results, as with the reporting of the recent swimming and athletics events.
- the need to improve school-home communications: specifically, by offering parents who so wish a hard copy of the 3-weekly newsletter - this will be done next January; the desirability of emailing parents a link to the newsletter in PDF form on the school website - this will be set up during this year; the dates for the newsletter’s publication should be highlighted on the website - this has now been done; the calendar of school events should be featured on the website edition of the newsletter as well as on the calendar page itself - this has also now been carried out.
Urgent note for parents of year 9, 10 and 11 Students!
This year we are using a new course book at these three levels, which is paid for through school fees. It is essential that all students have a copy because it contains information and exercises on the core skills required at each level, and is closely linked to the New Curriculum. In order for it to be a useful teaching resource for the whole class, we need everyone to have a copy and at the moment only about half the students have paid for it.
In order to buy the new course book, it is not necessary to pay all your school fees immediately. You may pay separately for the book. If your son or daughter pays Beth at the front office ($20 for year 9 and 10, $25 for year 11) and takes the receipt to the English teacher, the book can be issued straight away. Thank you for your support.
Up to this stage both the Year 9 and Year 10 course have not required calculators. But from now on they will be required. The expectation is that all students have there own scientific calculator and bring it to school every mathematics lesson. The office is selling these calculators for $15 but they can also be purchased elsewhere.
All senior students should already have a scientific calculator but should carefully consider getting a graphics calculator. Graphics calculators are very useful in the classroom as they can speed up processes and allow students to visually investigate problems. They are allowed in all NCEA internal assessments and exams. Students who have a graphics calculator have found it significantly improves their results. Anyone wishing to study Mathematics to a high level is strongly urged to purchase a graphics calculator.
Year 9 Banding:
It’s that time of year when our year 9 students are eagerly waiting to hear who will be their new maths teacher, and more importantly, which class they will be in! At Springs, we band the students half way through the term: we not only look at prior assessment data, but also use teacher assessment to place the students in the classes most suited to their abilities. The banding process starts by analysing the data we receive from the feeder schools, and comparing this to their current PAT data. We then add into the mix the results from class tests and projects, and discuss the final banding list as a department. This ensures that the vast majority (there are always a few anomalies) are correctly placed. When we are unsure of a student’s placing, we enlist help from the learning centre to individually interview and assess the student. It is a very long, thorough process, and we have been very successful in matching the students’ needs to their classes.
With regards to the banding, we have an accelerated, two middle band and one paced classes. I am often asked what the difference is between the classes, so I shall try and explain, briefly. All of our junior classes follow the National Curriculum, aiming for students to achieve up to level 5 by the end of year 10. We reinforce skills that are already known and fine tune them so that the students will be able to further extend their knowledge in year 11. The accelerated classes are given the opportunity to investigate areas requiring higher order thinking to develop their problem solving skills, but remain within the same programme of study that the other students follow. The paced band follows the same programme, but with an emphasis on achieving within their level. They do not receive as much extension into the merit style questions as the middle band may be exposed to. Where appropriate, students may be withdrawn from class to work in small groups in the Learning Centre.
All of the students sit the same exams at the end of the academic year, and the assessment data is then used to organise classes in year 10. So, for example, a middle band student who has worked hard and achieved well in all of the topics studied may be placed in an accelerated year 10 class.
Banding is completed by the end of week 6, and your student will be given a note informing them of their new class and new teacher. Once they have been introduced to their teacher, they will come home with the note for you to sign, and an information sheet detailing the course outline and an assessment timetable. Please ensure that you read through this with your student so that he or she is very clear what the expectations are for the year.
You will have an opportunity to meet your child’s new teacher at the parent teacher interviews in week 8.
Music Lessons - lessons available!
Our itinerant music programme is now well under way. Students and parents are reminded that if three lessons are missed without excuse the student will be removed from the lesson - there are waiting lists for several instruments! Lessons are timetabled during the school day with students coming out of class for 30mins once a week. It is important to catch up on class work missed and of course class assessments take priority over music lessons.
Lessons are still available for flute, clarinet, saxophone, cello and double bass - contact Margaret or Kim.
Players wanted - calling all violin, cello, clarinet, flute and sax players! Chamber group and/or Jazz Band would love to meet you. Come and talk to Margaret in the music room sooooon.
NEWS FROM THE PE DEPARTMENT
Congratulations to all students who competed in the Athletics day. Now is a chance for all Y10 students to compete for the Olympic title. Will India take out the gold meal? Y9’s will also be working towards a 5 star award. Citius Altius Fortius!!
On 7th – 13th March the three Y11 Physical Education classes will be heading to Mangawhai Forest to take part in “Challenge 2009”. Students will be competing in a number of different challenges and working towards an Assessment Standard while they are away. Good luck to all of the students and be prepared for some hard work!! Just a reminder for those who have not, please pay the $185 for this camp.
Students are currently working towards an Aquathon (400m swim, 5km run) which will be held in Waihi in Week 9. Information about this camp has been sent home with the students and a deposit of $100 should have been paid by now. Keep pounding the pavement people!
Beach Day by Lucy Leslie
Two weeks ago, all of the year thirteen peer supporters and year nines jumped on a bus and headed to the west coast. Whenua (my house) spent an exhilarating day at North Piha beach, while Kapura, Oranga, Atea and Moana went to Muriwai. Piha was very cloudy, the sea was rough and it felt like the windiest day of the whole summer. We still made it into the water, and the ten minutes we spent there were very challenging, but heaps of fun. We had an awesome sandcastle building competition and it was rewarding to see how arty Whenua really was. We spent the first half of the day learning all about rips, different kind of waves and how to keep safe on the beach and in the water. The lifeguards showed us all of the special equipment they use, and some lucky students even got to start the motor on the IRB (inflatable rescue boat). Overall we had an enjoyable time and I’m sure the year nine students benefited from the experience.
Junior Swimming Day by Rory Clarke
On Wednesday the 10th of February, the new year nine students at Western Springs College attended the Junior Swim Day. Accompanied by their deans, sports council, and many peer supporters and student leaders, the five houses made their way to Point Erin pools.
There were some serious events to compete in that day and Pete McIntyre had chosen the most elite of swimming challenges for the houses to race in. There was the dreaded “Baggy T-shirt Swapover” relay, which challenged ten of the toughest champions from each house to pull twice their weight through the surging waters. Oranga quickly showed the older houses that they knew what they were doing, and came in first. The other houses were quick to follow, Atea apparently aiming for participation points in this race. Atea only ended up with six competitors for the race, and one year nine had to run the pool a massive four times.
The next challenge was to push a soccer ball across the pool using only a standard foam noodle. Atea redeemed themselves by using strategy to outwit the other houses. Their first swimmer picked the ball up above the water with the noodle and ran with it, causing an outrage among the other houses. Moana managed to scrape through on the last lap and steal first place from Atea.
The next two relays consisted of Doggy Paddle and Swimming with a Foam Noodle Between your Legs, and Oranga did very well in both. Due to some confusion during the Noodle race, Oranga was missing two swimmers, so while they pre-emptively celebrated an imaginary victory, Moana, Whenua and Kapura raced their hardest to best each other. After Moana won the final event, the last Atea swimmer was escorted across the whole pool by two of his student leaders. This display of teamwork was appreciated and recognised by all.
The races were a great success, and some very healthy feelings of house rivalry were instilled in all of the new year nines. Nearly everybody participated and the day was fantastic. The free time at the end got a bit chaotic, but it was good to see that all the students could seriously compete against each other one minute, and share a fun game of water rugby in the pool the next.
Athletics Day by Adam Tapsell
On behalf of the school I would like to thank Pete McIntyre, Karalee Green, David Okey, all the deans, the sports council and academy as well as all the staff who got involved, making the day possible. Congratulations to all who participated, and especially those who moved on to the zones.
On Tuesday, 23rd of February we set off for our annual athletics day. It was great weather and we were lucky to only have one short shower throughout the day. All the participants performed extremely well and displayed the positive and proactive attitude which has become synonymous with Springs students. The highlights were the hundred metre finals and of course, the house relays, where house spirit was at an all time high. New chants were bursting from the crowd; all wearing their fantastic new house shirts. It turned out to be a great day all round.
CREATING A SUSTAINABLE SCHOOL
To: Parents, Western Springs College
Participant information sheet
This year we will be continuing to work with the school on our action research project “Creating a sustainable school”. This project started in 2008 and is supervised by Niki Harré, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Auckland. The rest of the research team are psychology students - Charlotte Blythe (a PhD thesis student) and Adam Scott and Merav Amith (honours dissertation students)
The purpose of this research is to test, measure and document strategies to create a more environmentally sustainable school at Western Springs College. We hope that our project will provide a case-study that other schools may find useful, and demonstrate that it is possible to make positive changes in a secondary school context.
The project will involve activities designed to create a more sustainable school, in keeping with the school’s strategic goal to work towards sustainability. The activities will be decided jointly between ourselves and people at the school, through the sustainability panel established in 2008. We will document and measure these activities through observations, interviews and measuring resource use or features of the school environment as appropriate.
Later in the year, we may approach you about your child being involved in an interview on sustainability at the school, or we may ask to observe a sustainability activity your child is involved in. The principal has assured us that participation or non-participation of students in our research will in no way affect their relationship with the school or jeopardise their participation in sustainability activities.
All data collected this year will be stored indefinitely, and kept on the researchers’ computers at the university or at home. We wish to keep the data indefinitely in case it is useful for further studies. If you have any questions or concerns at all, please get in touch with us. You are welcome to a summary report of our findings, if you contact us by March, 2011.
To contact Niki Harre: Department of Psychology, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142. Ph 3737599 ext 88512, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Head of the Psychology Department is Professor Fred Seymour: Department of Psychology, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142. Ph 3737599 ext 88414, email@example.com.
If you have any concerns of an ethical nature you can contact the Chair of the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee at 3737599 ext 87830.
APPROVED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND HUMAN PARTICIPANTS’ ETHICS COMMITTEE ON 20/2/08 for three years from 20/2/08 to 20/2/11. Reference Number 2008/024.
MESSAGE FROM THE LIBRARY
All students have been encouraged to put $5 on their card which can be used in the library to photocopy or to print their work from the computer. It’s pleasing to see this message has been received particularly by the seniors who have been queuing to photocopy resources for their history assessments.
Library Monitors (see names below)
This year we again have a wonderful team of library monitors. They are punctual, dedicated and are performing their duties with absolute efficiency.
Our fiction section has a range of exciting additions which will appeal to all levels. If you are non-readers, please come and talk to us so we can find something that will suit your needs.
We want to have your suggestion of books which we can add to our collection. Please feel free to enter the details of a book you would like us to purchase in the ‘Suggestions’ book which is kept on the Issue Desk.
Year 9 Orientation
All year 9 English classes have been to the library for their orientation which is designed to familiarise them with the various areas of the library. They spent most of the lesson walking around as they answered the questions. The library staff were on hand to assist with the more challenging questions.
THE HEART FOUNDATION’S NINE STEPS TO EATING FOR A HEALTHY HEART
Mostly avoid or rarely include butter, deep-fried and fatty foods, and only occasionally choose sweet bakery products.
- Enjoy three meals a day, selecting from dishes that encourage you to eat plant foods and fish, with little or no dairy fat, meat fat or deep fried foods.
- Choose fruit and/or vegetables at every meal and most snacks.
- Select whole grains, whole grain breads, or high fibre breakfast cereals in place of white bread and low fibre varieties at most meals and snacks.
- Include fish, or dried peas, beans and soy products, or a small serving of lean meat or skinned poultry, at one or two meals each day.
- Choose low fat milk, low fat milk products, soy or legume products every day.
- Use small amounts of oil, margarine, nuts or seeds.
- Drink plenty of fluids each day, particularly water, and limit sugar-sweetened drinks and alcohol.
- Use only small amounts of total fats and oils, sugar and salt when cooking and preparing meals, snacks, or drinks. Choose ready-prepared foods low in these ingredients.
PAG MOVIE NIGHT
PAG Movie Night Monday 29th March 8.30 pm – The Men who Stare at Goats – at the Bridgeway Cinema in Northcote. Come along at 8.00 pm for a complimentary glass of wine. Tickets $20.00 each. This black comedy is about a reporter (Ewan McGregor) in Iraq who might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's New Earth Army, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions. Also starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. Rating is M.
If you would like tickets please email the PAG firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details and someone will be in touch to get the tickets to you.
Western Springs College
Board of Trustees Election
Nominations are invited for the election of 7 parent representatives to the Board of Trustees.
Four (4) positions will be for a 3 year term, and three (3) positions will be for a shorter term (18 months) until the 2011 mid- term elections.
A nomination form will be posted to all eligible voters and you should receive this by 15 March.
As well, nomination forms can be obtained from the Western Springs College office.
Nominations close at noon, 23 April 2010 and may be accompanied by a signed candidate statement.
A copy of the electoral roll is available for inspection at the school office during normal school hours.
There will also be a list of candidate names, as they come to hand, for inspection at the school reception.