WESTERN SPRINGS COLLEGE
Nga Puna O Waiorea
 Newsletter No. 9, September 13, 2010

Newsletter No. 9, September 13, 2010

PRINCIPAL'S NOTES

Springs Calendar
Term Three
Week Nine
13 September to 17 September
Monday 13
Yr 11 Geo Trip @ Ruapehu
Tuesday 14
Careers & Subject Choice evening 6-8pm
Tuesday 14
NCEA Yr 10 Evening 6-6.30pm
Wednesday 15
PPTA Strike (no school)
Wednesday 15 - Friday 17
PE Snow Camp
Week Ten
20 September to 24th September
Friday 24
Talent Quest
Saturday 25 - Sunday 26
Sports Academy Dive Camp

Course Information / Careers Evening, Tuesday, 13 September, Hall, 6.00 – 8.00pm
A reminder to families with students currently in Year 10, 11 and 12. Please check the details below.

PPTA Strike Action, Wednesday, 14 September
It is regrettable that teachers have felt the need to resort to direct action in support of their collective agreement claim. While it is true that teaching is a vocation, it is also true that quality teachers cannot be recruited with uncompetitive salaries. There has never been a time in this country's development when it is more important to attract talented people into the teaching profession. Unfortunately, the current offer amounts to an erosion of teachers' conditions of service.

Last year the Secretary of Education asked Auckland principals what she could do to make the biggest difference in support of secondary education. All of the principals who responded said the same thing: Give teachers the salaries and conditions of service to enable us to avoid having to constantly recruit off shore. Providing quality teachers across the state education sector cannot be done on the cheap.

Deputy Principal Appointment
Shaun Hawthorne, currently head of English at Mount Roskill Grammar School, has been appointed to the deputy principal position vacated following the recent resignation of Linda Dillon. Shaun, who will be known to some parents and students from his previous period of service in the English department at WSC, will join us after the departure of the senior students for NCEA and Scholarship examinations in the second week of November.

School Donations
I would like to urge parents who have yet to make a payment for 2010 to seriously consider doing so as soon as possible. The school budget depends on a minimum level of parental support through this source of funding which we have yet to achieve for this year. These funds contribute to learning support staffing, the sports programme and health centre costs.

TAPAC AGM, Tuesday, 28 September, 7.00pm in Studio 2
Now in its eighth year of operation Auckland's leading community performing arts venue and the home of WSC's performing arts faculty is ready to launch a second phase of development. The ambitious Phase II development will provide large, new, flexible studio spaces for resident users and visiting companies. Be part of TAPAC's next phase of development. See below for more details.

Quiz Night, Friday, 17 September, 7.30pm in the Hall
I would like to urge parents to support this Parent Action Group – organized fun-filled fundraiser this coming Friday evening. Funds raised will be directed towards enhancing the current landscape programme which is already well on the way to transforming the school grounds. See below for more details.

Website Sports Page
A recent meeting of the principal and the sports director with a group of parents has resulted in the decision to establish a sports page on the WSC website next term. This long overdue development will feature information about teams across all codes including contact details for coaches and managers, match venue and time details, and results. It has also been decided to introduce a players' contract, to be signed by students and parents, which specifies the school's expectations of all players who represent Western Springs College in inter-secondary sports competitions.

PPTA Day of Action - Wednesday 15th September 2010

On Wednesday 15th September, members of the Post Primary Teachers' Association who teach at Western Springs College will be participating in a national Day of Action. This union action is in response to the break down in negotiations between the Ministry of Education and the PPTA over the new employment collective agreement.

As almost all Western Springs College teachers are members of PPTA, it will not be possible to operate the normal school timetable on September 15th.

It would be appreciated if you could keep your son or daughter at home on this day.

If these arrangements are not convenient for you and you would like your son or daughter to be supervised at school on this day, please contact the school office as soon as possible.
Heather Dikstaal

Course Information Evening Tuesday 14 September 6 – 8pm

Families with students currently enrolled in years 10, 11 or 12 are invited to attend the Course Information Evening on Tuesday 14th September, in the school hall. There will be displays to look at, materials to browse through and teachers on hand to discuss the subjects available at senior school.

Year 10 students and families will meet with their House Deans from 6-6.30pm to go through NCEA requirements and expectations.

Atea TAPAC theatre
Kapura S3
Moana Library
Oranga Marae
Whenua S2

Library – Top Borrowers

As part of Library Week we recognise our top borrowers at each year level, both male and female. It's great to see three of our library monitors amongst the list. The final names will be announced in term 4.

Top Borrowers to Date:
Year 9: Rawiri Witehira (WAO) Lucretia Griffiths (BNW)
Year 10: Travis Galbraith (JAM) Faiza Bush (SLW)
Year 11: Jacob Solway (WMW) Amina Mohamed (ONK)
Year 12: Lewis Purdon (HWW) Eleanor McKibbin (TEA)
Year 13: Loren Bailey (ONK) Luke Candir (CEW)

Book Council Book Review Competition:
What did you think of the book you read recently? Write a review and send it to the Book Council. If your review is published you will receive a pack of books courtesy of Scholastic NZ. Entries need to be in by 29 October. Please come to the library for further information about this competition.
Sharda Patel

Connor is on the right of the photo

Project K

Our Project K students are well into the third stage of their leadership training. This third and final stage is one of being mentored. The students have just set their goals and it will be interesting to see these 12 young men and women developing their skills to achieve these goals.

Our Project K team from 2009 has had their graduation ceremony. One of our students, CONNOR MAGEE WATLING was nominated as an outstanding student within Project K over several schools. At the awards night, each student who was nominated had to make a speech about how Project K had impacted on them. Connor's speech was very well received; his journey is inspiring and he more than deserves his award as an outstanding student.
Sue Poupouare
School Co-ordinator of Project K

Language Department News

Urban Trips Experiences for our Senior Classes:
The Languages Department senior classes had their urban trips to both French and Japanese restaurants in town before and during International Languages Week this term. The Year 11 and Year 12 students of French went to Le Torchon Creperie, in Elliot Stables; and the Japanese Year 11 to Year 13 classes went to Saika Japanese restaurant on Wellesley Street.

The students were not given the names of the restaurants but direction only in either French or Japanese. The students had to work in groups, and use their language knowledge to figure out how to get to the destination. Then they had to use their language skills again to get what they wanted in the restaurant. Despite the wet weather, the students enjoyed the food and the opportunity provided for them to use what they learnt in the classroom in a real life situation.

Here is what Wilson Thrush Marsh (Year 12) thought of it:

‘On the 23rd of August, our Year 12 French class went on a trip to Le Torchon café in the city. After being divided into groups, we caught a bus into the city and each group was given a different set of instructions detailing how to get to the café. After the groups arrived, we chose bacon and egg or mushroom crepes, or French toast; dessert was sugar and lemon juice crepes. The food was good, but not as French as expected.
I enjoyed the trip; it gave me an opportunity to test my French out and see how confident I was with it, and the food was a big bonus. I would definitely do it again.’

Renae Liao-Marsden & Cécile Bourgeois

Photos of French Classes
Photos of Japanese Classes

Titirangi Bus Transport

You will recall last year that we sent out a notice to Titirangi Bus commuters saying we will monitor the Titirangi Bus patronage and review the situation after two terms.

The time has now come to reluctantly terminate this bus service from 5 November this year. A decline in student users in recent months has meant that we are unable to offer competitive ticket prices. Western Springs College has subsidised this service for a number of terms, but cannot continue to do so.

Please visit MAXX.co.nz for alternative bus transport.

ARTA (Auckland Regional Transport Authority) News

The Auckland Regional Authority is introducing a new and improved train timetable to all lines across Auckland's rail network from Sunday 19th September.

Many of the additional services will be during the day, especially in the afternoon, which will benefit students travelling after school. Students should check the new timetable carefully before travelling as changes to train times may impact on their travel arrangements.

Six car-trains will start running on weekdays on the Western Line as most platforms have been lengthened to accommodate longer trains. At Baldwin Ave station the platform extension will be completed in early 2011. Until then only services operated by two and four-car trains will stop at Baldwin Ave. Please check the new timetables carefully to see which services will operate for this station.

Visit MAXX.co.nz for more information about the timetable change. You can download a copy of the new timetable now. Alternatively printed timetables will be available from early September.
Mark Lambert, ARTA

Atea House Fundraiser

Atea House have again chosen a charity to fundraise for. On May 21st Westpac Helicopter launched its Helicopter appeal. We have many surf life savers in our house so we combined this appeal with raising funds for Piha Surf Lifesaving club. Throughout term 2 we sold bands and managed to raise $100 for Piha SLSC and $50 for Westpac Helicopter Trust.

Last week we presented a cheque to Tony Featherstone who came in to talk to the House. A special thanks to Gareth Clabrough, Paia Pardoe and Tyler Wood for talking in assembly and tirelessly selling the bands.

Careers Happenings

Year 10 Careers Week Follow Up
We have started thinking now about option selections for next year. We have looked carefully at future possible pathways for students. Deans will issue Year 10 students with a straw poll sheet on Tuesday 14th September. (Year 11 & 12 will be kept behind after assembly and given their straw poll option sheet). A trial blocking of subjects will be prepared over the holidays so that 2011 subject choices can be made in Week 1 of term 4.

The idea is for students to discuss their possible options with their parents/caregivers. Once this has been discussed. We ask parents to sign the student’s preferred subject choices and return this by Friday 17th September. The WSC Course Book can be found on the school website under “Course of Study” (left side of home page) or click on this link. This contains the information required about courses and prerequisites to gain entry into higher levels of study in Level 2 and 3 subjects.

Students have been thinking carefully about their choices. We have encouraged them to select for next year and also to consider their pathway through the school and be aware of entrance criteria for university and future training. The subject selections for the future may not be binding yet because the blocking has not yet been set in place for 2011. The Junior careers week process will hopefully have helped students see possible pathways to their chosen career possibilities.

What else can students do now to help with their Option Selections?
When students are choosing their options for next year, it is a good time for them to reflect on the tertiary course or employment area they want to enter into after school. With hundreds of jobs to consider and so many different training courses, career decision-making can be hugely confusing.

A good place to begin is for students to think about the school subjects they enjoy as well as those where they can achieve well. That is often a good clue to future pathways. If students have any ideas about what they want to do in the future, find out what the entry requirements are for that particular course or job, and work backwards to the option choices they need to make now to fulfil those entry requirements. Leave the way open for a change of mind later on by choosing a wide enough range of options to provide entry into a few different courses. This is especially important if you are undecided about future careers. It is also important to remember that the entry criteria for universities are changing, and academic grades that were sufficient for a particular course this year may not be sufficient in the future.

If students want to go to the University of Auckland, they should be taking at least 5 university approved subjects in Year 13. For other universities, they should be taking at least 4 university approved subjects.

Please check with the Careers Adviser if you are unsure about this. The careers website www.careers.govt.nz is an excellent tool (Career Quest) to assist students to make a decision about their interests, values and abilities. This website contains sections on Planning Careers, Job Information, Education and Training programmes as well as a useful quiz that might help students to reach a good decision.

Students can also visit the Careers Centre in Waiora.

For further information about particular subjects see Subject Selection Evening on 14th September 6pm -8 pm in the WSC Hall. HODs and teachers will be available to personally answer queries about varies areas of study.
Kay Wallace

Philosophy at Western Springs

A Year of Change and A New Zealand First
There have been a lot of developments within Philosophy at WSC this year, from Year 9 right through to Year 13.
In Year 9, there has been a complete overhaul of the one-term Philosophy Option. The emphasis is now very much on a cross-curricula approach, and each week students focus on the philosophy of a distinct subject area, the “Four Humours” in Drama, Ethics in Science or the nature of History. At the end of the course students are going to be awarded certificates at the Achieved, Merit or Excellence level. Whereas in the past students were invited to take part in the course as part of the GAT Programme, now the option is open to all. There has also been a successful push to make sure that the ethnic and gender balance of the class more fully reflects the overall balance of the school.

In Year 10, as with the Year 9 course, students will now receive certificates at the end of the year at the Achieved, Merit or Excellence level. These will be awarded on the basis of the student’s contribution to discussion, their preparation for lessons and the quality of the major assessed tasks that they complete. Dr Vanya Kovach from Auckland University has kindly agreed to present the certificates.

In Year 11, the NCEA Course is now firmly established.Over the year all students attended the Extension Conference at St Cuthbert’s College and had the chance to attend The Auckland University Schools’ Philosophy Conference. The year 11 students would also like to thank Sally O’Brien from The Libertarian Party for coming in to talk about positive and negative freedom (as part of the Political Philosophy Module). Changes at Level 1 NCEA next yearhave meant that the course has been revised, with a new unit on the “Ethics of War” being included.

The Year 12 students would like to thank Peter Jenkins from the Sensible Sentencing Trust and Monique from the Howard League for Penal Reform, both of whom came in to talk to students as part of the Philosophy of Punishment Module. They would also like to thank Mark Farnworth from UNITEC who came in to talk during the Philosophy of Science Module. This is the first year for the Level 2 course. Of all the themes covered students have probably found the issue of “Free Will and Determinism” the most challenging – and perhaps the most disturbing!

Year 13. At the start of this term it was decided to offer a combined NCEA and University of Waikato Philosophy course to students in Year 13 in 2011. This will, we think, make WSC the only state school in NZ to offer Philosophy in every year at secondary level, and as an externally accredited course in Years 11, 12 and 13.
Paul Alford
Philosophy

Year 10 Healthy Start to Life Science Project

This year 10WE, 10WU and 10AE science classes have been involved in a project with LENS Science called A Healthy Start to Life. The project is centred on research being carried out at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland. Scientists at the Liggins Institute are investigating the factors that affect the decreasing age of puberty. At school the students investigated the effect of life experiences from conception, specifically diet, on their own health. Classes looked at the changes that occur during puberty, and the potential consequences of a “mismatch” between physical and mental maturity. The topic culminated in a visit to the Liggins Institute. On the day students had a chance to extract their own DNA from their saliva, measure their own heart function using an ECG, and investigate the effects of exercise on heart rate and heart health. In the afternoon students had the opportunity to talk to scientists involved in wide range of research areas at the Liggins Institute.

The day was a valuable and enjoyable experience for all students involved and allowed them to see the science they had been learning about in a new and current context.

Mathematics

Workshops and Homework Centres:
Senior practice exams are over and students should have a clear understanding about how well they are performing in different areas of Mathematics. Below is a brief recap of some of the workshops students could be attending to develop in this subject:

  1. The Mathematics Department will be running an extensive range of Holiday Workshops for senior students in the break before term 4. They will be on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the first week of the holidays (28th, 29th and 30th of September). The timetable for these workshops is not yet finalised, but students will receive at letter towards the end of term and there will also be a copy on the department’s intranet page (Go to www.wscintranet.school.nz , choose Mathematics under the learning area section, and then Mathematics again).
  2. Monday afternoons (3:20 – 4:20) in B7 during term are another chance to get extra help from Mathematics Teachers. Just come along and ask about a particular topic or problem.
  3. Thursday afternoons (3:20 – 4:20) in B11 during term are for year 11 students wanting to master the skills needed to achieve at Merit and Excellence.

Mathex:
On the 18th of August Western Springs had another enjoyable night participating in the Auckland Mathex competition. Mathex is a group problem solving competition. Teams of 4 solve problems and rush their answers up to markers, trying to score as many points in the 30 minutes as possible. Anyone who has had the chance to attend this event will tell you what an energetic and exciting event it is.

Both our Year 9 and year 10 students represented the school really well and had a great time. One of our Year 9 teams scored an impressive 70 out 100, which is the best a team from this school has achieved in recent history. Khelan Naran won a spot prize for outstanding runner in the year 10 competition. A big thanks to the teachers evolved (Mrs West, Mr Wheaton and Mr Hockly), the year 13 coaches (Liam O’Dywer, Zac Riddle, Nick Merrington and Joseph Dillon) and all the students who did us proud (Year 9: Charles Alexander, Sacha Knight, Levon Ware, Jasmine Thompson-Milne, Kevin Lee, Kayla Tangitau and Zoe Stowers. Year 10: Alexander Swain, Kieran McCullogh, Khelan Naran, Geordie Winlove and Tom Hartill).

Math week – WSC can do it:
Thanks so much to all the students and their families, not to mention WSC staff, who have supported the Maths Department’s collection of cans for the Auckland City Mission. We’re pleased to report we will be donating 430 cans to the charity.

The final event of Maths Week was the Can-Olympics, held at lunchtime on Friday of week 6. Activities involving cans were set out and teams from Maths classes were scored on how well they did. Well done to the team from Mrs Paulkutty’s Maths class, who the won the year 10 competition; and to Mr McIntyre’s class who won the Year 9 competition. A great time was had by students and staff alike.

The Students, Staff and Cans!

Leaders' Voice

From the Council:
Following the success of feat beat and zumba last term the student council has continued this initiative of getting active at lunchtimes. We ran a fun event on Wednesday the 8th where we organised a number of games to get people moving and interacting. We have an instructor from Auckland Zumba coming in at lunchtime on Wednesday 22nd September to finish off the term with a bit of Latino groove.
Sophie Blazey

Trash to Fash:
At the end of term 2, we staged a Trash to Fash event to promote sustainability throughout the school. Each house had its own fashion show where outfits were displayed on the “cat walk”. The winner from each house was then in the Finals.

Our special judges Barbara Joseph, Nici Harre, Gordon Ikin, Kau Tepaki and Ken Havill had the difficult task of marking the outfits based on the following criteria:

  1. Execution and style of the garment (s)
  2. The use of sustainable/ recyclable/ reusable materials
  3. The underlying message

“How is your garment representative of our view on sustainability? How does the garment represent you/ your house/ the school?”

The final winner was Emily Seddon from Whenua House.

Emily Seddon (left) and Ariella Balmforth displaying the winning garment.

Community Notices

Term 4 Adult Night – Bookings Open Now - Classes start 26 October.
In addition to our old favourites, we are offering some exciting new classes:

  • Car Maintenance
  • French Bistro Cooking
  • Golf
  • Party Food, Including Tapas
  • Beyond the Bar-B-Que – How to Smoke Your Own Fish
  • Meditation
  • Ukulele
  • Vegetarian Cooking
  • Wood Carving (to be confirmed)
  • Yoga
  • Zip It Up – How to Insert Zips and Sew Buttonholes

Details of new classes will be posted on the WSC website by 27 September. If you would like me to email you updates, or you want to enrol in a class, contact me now.

Bookings are open now. Contact Bridget, communityeducation@xtra.co.nz phone 378-4487.

Even the best parents and caregivers get stressed sometimes...Do you want to take the heat off?

Parent Trust offers programmes for you (Being The Parent You Want To Be) that deals with the day to day stresses and help you feel more confident with difficult feelings, develop new and creative approaches to parenting that are practical and relevant to you and your family. We have Mum programmes starting Term 4 at Pt Chevalier Community Centre 12.30 –2.45 pm 26th October. Please visit our website www.parenttrust.org.nz or Phone (09) 3760400 to find out more.