WESTERN SPRINGS COLLEGE
Nga Puna O Waiorea
 Newsletter No. 4, May 3, 2010  

Newsletter No. 4, May 3, 2010

PRINCIPAL'S NOTES

Springs Calendar
Term One
Week Three –3rd May to 7th May

Monday 3
Yr 13 Drama Performances continue
Pasadena & Kowhai Intermediate workshops

Tuesday 4
Late Start – First Bell 10.00am

Wednesday 5 to 6 May
Project K Community Challenge

Week Four –10th May to 14th May

Tuesday 11
Late Start – First Bell 10.00am
Yr 11 ESOL visit to Ambury Farm

Wednesday 12
Ponsonby Intermediate workshops
Project K Community Challenge

Thursday 13
Project K Community Challenge

Thursday 13 & Friday 14
Yr 10 Sports Academy Camp

Week Five –17th May to 21st May

Tuesday 18
Late Start – First Bell 10.00am

Wednesday 19
Project K Community Challenge
Yr 12 Media film day

Thursday 20
Yr 13 Geo 1/2 day planning site visit
Yr 12 Media film day
Project K Community Challenge

Friday 21
Yr 12 Media film day

Week Six –24th May to 28th May

Tuesday 25
Late Start – First Bell 100am

Thursday 27
Manu Korero – Hato Petera

Friday 28
Manu Korero – Hato Petera


Year 11 Preliminary Examinations Day, 31 May
All Year 11 students will be on examination leave on Monday, 31 May. They are required to attend school only for the times when they have an examination. The examination schedule for the day is:

9.00-10.00am Te Reo Maori
10.30-11.30am Geography
12.00-1.30pm Mathematics
2.10-3.10pm Science

Students should line up outside the hall in their subject classes ten minutes before the exam starts.

Alternatively, other departments have chosen to schedule in-class tests towards the end of term two, a time which better matches when students will be ready to practise external examinations in these subjects. In contrast, the four subjects to be examined on 31 May rely on early feedback and need a practice examination this month in order to help prepare students for their externally assessed standards in term four. Subject teachers will provide students with a revision programme and examination results will be reported to parents.

Mid-Term Break Dates
A reminder about the term calendar dates covering Queen’s Birthday weekend: school will finish on Thursday, 3 June, and resume on Wednesday, 9 June.

End of Term Four Date Change
A recent check of the completion date for WSC of the requisite 380 half day secondary school year has indicated that the last day of the year for junior students is Wednesday, 15 December, and not Thursday, 16 December as previously notified. Accordingly, the date of the Years 9 & 10 Prizegiving ceremony will now be on Wednesday, 15 December.

Board Elections
Another reminder to parents that their board election voting forms must reach the returning officer at the school office by midday on Friday, 7 May.

Pedestrian Safety for WSC Commuters
WSC is presently lobbying the Auckland City Council and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority to prioritise pedestrian safety measures on Old Mill Road and Great North Road. At a time when the ARTA-promoted and ACC-endorsed TravelWise programme is encouraging students to walk or cycle to school rather than use cars, it is ironical that pedestrian safety is currently jeopardised on both roads.

The Old Mill Road footpath on the Auckland Zoo side of the road is too narrow to accommodate groups of students walking abreast because of the intrusive bamboo. There is a real prospect that students will step off the path and onto the road into the path of a vehicle. Funding for the construction of a footpath on the northern side of the road has yet to be commissioned by the ACC. The building of a footpath on this side of the road would remove the need for pedestrians to cross the road in order to use the existing footpath on the zoo side of the road.

There are serious concerns for the safety of students forced to cross Great North Road from or to the bus stop on the motorway side of the road at the end of Motions Road. There is currently no alignment between a pedestrian refuge and the bus stop.

Parents who share these concerns are invited to lobby both organisations with a view to obtaining a commitment to remedy this dangerous situation.

EXCITING NEW BUSINESS STUDIES PROJECT

‘How Much Did I Cost My Parents/Guardians Last Year?’

A suggestion from a parent has encouraged me to give the students the above project, which will require them to calculate the cost of providing for them. They will be compiling a breakdown of all costs directly associated with them and also an amount that may be attributed to them of other costs such as electricity.

Students are already worried that their parents may not buy them as much after they realise how much the students are costing them!  However, I have assured them that you already know.

I look forward to you helping them work out their cost and hope this will lead to more appreciation of you.

Happy New Financial Year!!!

While many of us were welcoming the new financial year by paying more ACC Levies, the Year 13 students were simply celebrating with cake and pizza.

This has become an annual event and a good excuse for a party.
Liz Samy
Commerce Department

INFORMATION FROM THE LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT

Bonjour! Kon nichiwa!

Starting this term, the language department is offering a few
initiatives to our students.

The first one is the French club on Fridays. Students who are
interested in learning French through board games, readings and movies etc are all welcome to join the club. The first session started on April 23rd, and the students really enjoyed playing the board games, and tried using French in the game too.

We are also going to have an After-school Study Centre on Tuesdays for both French and Japanese. This initiative will start from Week Four (May 11th). Students from all year levels can come to the study centre to do work related to either French or Japanese, such as homework and revision work. Both French and Japanese teachers will be there to help students with any questions.

If you think that your child will benefit from this, we would like parents to encourage their children to avail themselves of the opportunity.

We would also like to remind the parents of our Year 9 students that it is half way through your child’s language learning, and if you have not yet paid for the course workbooks, please pay at the school office.

Thank you for your continuous support.
Renae Liao-Marsden
HOD

SCGNZ UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO SHEILAH WINN SHAKESPEARE REGIONAL FESTIVAL

This prestigious event was hosted by Western Springs College in the TAPAC theatre over two exciting days, Friday 23 April and Saturday 24 April. We welcomed ACG Senior College, Epsom Girls Grammar School, Macleans College, Massey High School, Diocesan School for Girls and St Cuthberts College. The visiting schools brought a wide range of performances with them, from a Maori-inspired Othello to a compilation from a little known and recently uncovered Shakespearean play, ‘Cardenio.’

Our Performing Arts Technology students played key roles in running the Festival by operating the ticket desk and box office, ushering patrons into the theatre, organising the groups from their rehearsal studio to the side of the stage, and calling the show backstage.

Western Springs College was represented on stage with professionalism and creativity by the following students; Molly Tait-Hyland Greta Gregory, Pearl McGlashan, Kieran Wilding, Daniel McBride, Tom Shore, Arlo Gibson, Clarice Reddin, Ella Pooley, Hannah Swedlund, Sally Bollinger, Caleb Wells, Taylor Groves, Elsie Bollinger, Isobel Shore, Marco Staines and Minnie Finlayson.

At the end of the festival Western Springs College stood out as a clear leader, picking up two of the three coveted awards. Molly Tait-Hyland and Greta Gregory were awarded the best five minute scene for their portrayal of Measure for Measure; as a result they will compete at the National Festival in Wellington over Queen’s Birthday weekend. Arlo Gibson was selected to represent the Auckland Central region in the National Schools Shakespeare Production in Dunedin later in the year. Our congratulations go out to these three outstanding young actors, and to all of our students who worked hard to perform and stage manage this event.

MATHEMATICS HOMEWORK

Homework is a very important part of learning Mathematics. Many of the skills and processes learned in lessons need to be practised at home so students can solidify their grasp on them.

We have carefully considered the best approach to homework for our students. Most parents of students taking Mathematics will know that we trialled using www.mathsbuddy.co.nz for homework last term (for free). We found that it fitted better with the junior students than students sitting NCEA. So, we have decided to continue our subscription to mathsbuddy for juniors. This means that you can continue to expect year 9 and 10 students to be doing some of their homework from this e-learning resource.

You may not be aware that you are able to get progress reports from their online homework by email. To do this, ask your students to sign in to the site, select the “parents area” tab, enter your email address, and tick the appropriate box(es).

Students are reminded that they have the opportunity to use the school computers to do their homework when they do not have access at home. The library and learning centres are good options and the Mathematics Department also supervises a computer room (B7) on Mondays after school for students to make use of. We believe that a more conventional approach to homework for students sitting NCEA is best. So we have decided that providing resources such at homework books and revision books, as well as practice exam papers, is the best approach for senior students.
Jared Hockly

MESSAGE FROM THE LIBRARY

Science Study Guides
The following are available for use in the library or may be borrowed for short loans.
Level 1 - Science
Level 2 – Chemistry Biology and Physics
Level 3 - Chemistry and Physics.

New Books
The ‘Suggestions Book’ initiative has taken off and students should check our current display for their recommended title.   While vampires is still a current theme of many new books, we have purchased a wide range of fiction to suit all interests. We have the latest works from James Patterson, Terry Pratchet and Jenny Pattrick, and for the fans of Ray Bradbury the prize winning novel ‘Now and Forever’.  For the non-fiction enthusiasts it’s all about Ponsonby, Freeman’s Bay and St Mary’s Bay in a beautifully illustrated book called’ Urban Village’. 

New Magazines
If you are a philosophy student, we have received our first copy of ‘Philosophy Now’ and our science enthusiasts will find something of interest in ‘Focus’, the popular BBC science magazine.

Overdue Books
Please, please return overdue books immediately or renew.

ID Cards
My message has been very well received. Many students now have money on their card which allows them to photocopy and print their work from the computer.
Sharda Patel

YOUTH FORUM

From the 11th- 15th of April I, along with 42 other delegates from across New Zealand, travelled to Wellington to attend the annual Sir Peter Blake Youth Environment Forum. The first day we went to Te Papa and did the night walk at Zealandia, the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, where I saw a tuatara. The rest of it was a ‘waste of time’, literally. I was in the waste group, and we did a waste audit on the Telecom building, visited the AllBrite Recycling Centre and the local landfill. On the Thursday, we presented our findings and suggestions in the Grand Hall in Parliament. It was a great opportunity and I met some inspirational people.
Phoebe Balle

A Message from the Academic Leaders
During the past term the Academic Leaders have been working on an initiative to improve knowledge of the NCEA system within the school community for both parents and students. We understand how difficult and comprehensive our national education system can be at times and we are hoping to make it more simple for you to understand.

We have created two video clips, directed at the parents of year 11 students, which provide a rough introduction to studying NCEA at school and what your student needs to achieve. There will also be a letter handed out to all year 11s which gives advice on how they can be successful learners and steps to take to achieving their first year of NCEA.

Remember to keep an eye out for our first two video clips which will be uploaded in the next couple of weeks onto the school's website.
Allanah Colley, Rory Clarke and Rebecca van Dam

Student Council’s Response to Student Survey
After analysing the student survey results, two areas have been selected by the council for consideration this term. These are making lunchtimes more interesting and continuing work towards maintaining our safe school status. Both issues we believe will impact positively on the mental wellbeing of our school community and support our overall goal of achieving a gold Heartbeat award. We will be seeking to actively link all initiatives with the wider community.

If you are therefore able to assist in any of the following areas, we would appreciate your support:
- Getting community groups such as radio stations and bands in for New Zealand music month.
- Arranging a guest speaker to address issues around bullying.
- Getting in ex-student graffiti artists to help us create a piece of art with a safe school message.

If you have any suggestions/comments to add to this or you know any bands that would be willing to play for us for New Zealand music month, please email student.council.westernsprings@hotmail.com
Sophie Blazey

Feet Beat
On the first Friday of term two, three of our student leaders (Katie, Ella and Madeleine) had the pleasure of organizing a Western Springs College Feet Beat session in the school hall. Feet Beat encourages workplaces, organisations and community groups in the greater  Auckland region to get teams of people to participate in regular exercise.

Last Friday's exercise consisted of a light warm up of Yoga, followed by a complicated but very successful Cha Cha dance lesson. With a sound track of dirty dancing and spice girls, what could go wrong? After a few wrong turns and minor collisions, everyone seemed to be glowing with knowledge of this new and exciting foreign dance. Once we had all mastered our steps, everyone paired off to test their inner rhythm, and soon enough everybody was able to take their eyes off their feet.

With some fabulous help from Mrs West, Ms Seaker and Ms Victor (Atea, Whenua and Moana deans), as well as Ms Kilian (Year 13 Academic Director), the day couldn't have gone smoother.

Also a big thank you to student leaders Rory, Adam and Ben who helped out for the day. Also Tom, who showed us there really are no limits to dancing. Look out for the Feet Beat in the daily bulletin, as there is a new, exciting activity every lunchtime on Fridays
Maddy Smith

COMMUNITY NOTICES

Adult Community Education
In addition to our regular classes, Term 2 Adult Community Education sees the introduction of eight NEW classes:

  • Art Appreciation - including Gallery visit
  • Bollywood Dance
  • Irish Language and Culture
  • Japanese
  • Photography – Develop Your Style (Includes Sunrise Field Trip)
  • Sewing Classes, Intermediate and Beginners (term 2 classes FULL – but spaces in term 4)
  • Water-Colour Painting

Term 2 starts in the week of 3 May. Check out the Community Education section of the WSC website for details on all our classes or contact Bridget (communityeducation@xtra.co.nz , phone 378-4487) for more information. All classes are open to students 16+ and some classes are open to students 12+.

Dyslexia Workshop
On 30 May 2010 international dyslexia expert Neil MacKay will be presenting a Dyslexia Parent & Child Workshop at the Rydges Hotel in Auckland.

Event: Parent & Child Dyslexia Workshop
Date: Sunday 30 May 12.30pm-4.30pm
Venue: Rydges Hotel, Auckland
Cost: $95 per person
For: Parents of children who show signs of dyslexia or other learning differences, AND their 8 - 18 year old children.
To register: Go to http://www.4d.org.nz/workshops/

Workshop description:
Staying connected to your child and their learning can be difficult when the challenges of dyslexia or other differences arise - especially when it comes to homework and learning for tests. Ensuring that your child knows that you understand and are willing to support them is critical for their self esteem and future opportunities as is actually knowing how and what to do.