WESTERN SPRINGS COLLEGE
Nga Puna O Waiorea
 Newsletter No. 1, February 14, 2011  
Springs Calendar
Term One
Week three

Wednesday 16th February
4-6pm new parents barbeque.

Thursday 17th February
Project K - all Yr 10 students.
Beach Day Atea House.

Friday 18th February
Beach Day for Whenua & Kapura Houses.

Week four

Monday 21st February
Athletics Day @ Waitakere Trust Stadium. Compulsory for Yr 9.
Students from other levels elect to participate. No Yr 13 classes on this day.

Thursday 24th February
Paid Union Meeting. School will finish at 12.30pm

PRINCIPAL'S NOTES

Late Start Tuesdays in 2011
The Board of Trustees' decision to continue with a late start (9.45am) on Tuesday mornings has been welcomed by the teaching staff. The December board meeting received a report on the staff use of this time during terms 2-4 last year and endorsed a staff request that it be retained for the year ahead.

Teachers will alternate each Tuesday from department-based professional learning activities one week to cross-curricula topic-oriented professional learning circles the following week. Departments will focus on integrating the effective pedagogies espoused in the New Zealand Curriculum into units, preparing units for implementing new achievement standards at Levels 1 and 2, and developing marking and moderation expertise and practices. The cross-curricula groups will develop their knowledge and skills by trying out and evaluating new teaching and learning strategies in a self-selected area.

New Families' Barbeque, Wednesday, 16 February, 4-6pm
A reminder about the gathering in the centre of the campus on Wednesday afternoon this week for families new to our school community. Please take into account that the work ban beyond 5.00pm will require teachers to leave at that time.

Paid Union Meeting, Thursday, 24 February
School will finish early at 12.30pm in order to allow teachers to travel to attend an NZPPTA regional meeting that afternoon to determine how to deal with the current impasse over negotiations with the Ministry of Education concerning the Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement. The Ponsonby bus will collect students for the homeward journey at this time.

NCEA Level 1 Credit Ceiling
We would like to assure parents that there is no disadvantage to students as a result of the decision made by WSC last year to limit Level 1 courses to 20 credits. The decision was motivated by a desire to enable students to focus more on in-depth study and grade quality ( that is, achieving at the level of Excellence or Merit ) rather than on accumulation of credits well beyond the requisite number needed for certification and endorsement. Our practice is to monitor students' academic progress closely throughout the year and to intervene in order to help students avoid near-miss results.

Homework Diaries
Parents are encouraged to check that students are making effective use of their homework diaries by reading and signing them once a week. This simple, time efficient practice reinforces our efforts to develop sound student self management. The diary is an excellent device for encouraging the planning and time management which are essential to manage the constant deadlines required of our students by the rigorous assessment regime under which they study. This action also facilitates meaningful parent-student conversations about the themes and topics currently being explored in the classroom.

Athletics Day, Monday, 21 February
Parents are welcome to attend the annual athletics day on Monday next week at the Waitakere Trusts Stadium track in Henderson. The event is compulsory for all Year 9 students; students from the other levels elect to participate.

Year 9 Beach Education Week
The orientation programme for Year 9 students, supported by their deans, subject teachers and Year 13 students, continues this week at Karekare and Bethells beaches in recognition of the need to teach our young people how to use Auckland's west coast beaches safely.

Leaders' Voice

Student leadership team 2011
By Amy Flynn
After a fantastic start to the year with student leadership camp, I can proudly say I am glad to have been appointed one of the leaders within the school this year. We all know it won't be an easy ride of course, you have to do the work to earn the title, but I am looking forward to the responsibility of being a leader and working with others to improve the school in any way we can. The opportunities to gain new skills and experiences are priceless so I know I, for one, will not be taking this position lightly.

In the past we have had three leaders for each house (Atea, Moana, Whenua, Kapura and Oranga) and three leaders for each of the five key portfolios: Academics, Culture, Sports, International students and Environment. However this year, the environmental portfolio has been separated into three segments: Travel Wise, Health Wise and Waste Wise. This will allow for a more in-depth approach to sustainability and the environment in and around the school.

Last, but so very far from least, I have been greatly impressed and humbled by the talent, skills and personalities within this year's team. I look forward to working with all of you throughout the year.

HOUSE LEADERS PORTFOLIO LEADERS
Atea Academic
Georgia Gregory Zoe Dunster
Eloise Taylforth Xixi Xian
Wilson Thrush Marsh Taylor Groves
Moana Cultural
Matt Jeffries One Mata'afa
Mary Pierse O'Byrne Daniel McBride
Tom Shore Olivia Shaw
Whenua Sports
Ruby Arden Victoria Hawkins
Kakala Lutui Ciaran Milford
Cole Masina Tiana Gibbons-Campbell
Kapura International
Amy Flynn Nicholas Short
Ryan MacAllister Mahli Xian
Chelsea Tidswell Etta Bollinger
Oranga Kirara Oyamada
Chaz Brown Franziska Dix
Chiquita Cation Waste Wise
Nathaniel Howe Rory Lenihan-Ikin
Travel Wise Karina Smith
Beth O’Reilly Nell Mooney
Ella Constable Health Wise
Kieran Wilding Eva Woodward
BOT Rep Shaheen Patel
Linda Palavi Shannen Millan

Student Leadership Camp
By Etta Bollinger
We sat in a circle on the grass looking intently at Ms Kilian who was reassuring us all that when this was over we would be a "cohesive team." I let my eyes flit about the circle. Sure, I think it's safe to say that Western Springs isn't particularly clichy but still, I knew that each of these people had their own interests, passions and concerns and that a vote last year had told us we each had leadership potential. Ms Kilian had two days to unify all thirty-nine of us. This was going to be nothing if not interesting.

For me, that's where camp really started; we had two days to turn a group of individuals into a team. To do that we were going to need a little faith, faith in our teacher, faith in ourselves, faith in each other. We had to follow before we could hope to learn how to lead.

I suppose, in high school what we tend to know about a person mostly revolves around how they act in a classroom environment.  People swap grades, they crack jokes in class or are completely earnest, they are punctual each day or they swan in typically tardy and full excuses. What we learnt on camp was different.

During camp we had meals together, slept on the same floor, played games, discussed plans, told truths and made each other sugared cups of tea. We saw each other hanging from the air on high ropes and were sometimes swinging the pendulums ourselves looking down to see our peers cheer us on with calls of congratulations,  "Fly away Superman!", "How you going?" And the one that makes you either laugh or cringe; coupled with the flashing of a camera, "That's a Facebooker."

When we returned from the High Ropes course late Friday afternoon, there was a final task. Walk the school in groups of three. Easy. We've been here long enough. But the catch- give up one sense or function beforehand. In our group I was blindfolded, Nick had his legs bound and Mahli her mouth. Getting round the school is one thing, but having to trust others to guide you completely, that makes things a bit trickier. Eventually we did all arrive at home base on the office steps.

The camp ended with a circle. We went round and talked about the person to our left. We knew so much more now. When that was done we could go. Despite the sunburn souvenirs, if everyone left the way I did, it was having had a great experience and eager to see what the year would throw us to tackle as a team.

Mathematics News

The Mathematics department would firstly like to congratulate all mathematics students on another round of excellent results in the 2010 NCEA exams. Well done.
The Mathematics Department was again very proud of the result achieved by Springs Students in NCEA exams in 2010. Particular mention must go to Year 11 students. Well done.

The department is in very similar shape to last year with only slight changes and a few promising additions. Bella Pomare, after consistently working effectively with our mainstream Mathematics Classes, will be taking her skills to the Rumaki. We are confident she will succeed in this role. Because of Bella's move and increased numbers of students taking Mathematics, we welcome 3 new teachers to the department. Elena Turner joins us from Howick College. Halley Kondamudi and Kathryn Jenkins both return to us after having a very successful time here on their practicums. We all look forward to seeing the mark that they leave on our students.

Last year we used the e-learning resource Mathbuddy.com with just our juniors. We have decided to continue its use with the juniors and add all level 1 NCEA students to the subscription. Students will receive there login information from their teachers and can expect much of their homework to be given through this site. The strengths of this resource is that students are able to follow clearly explained mini lessons at their own pace, then practice required skills and receive immediate feedback on their progress. For those students who do not have internet access at home, we encourage you to make use of the computers in B7 after school on Wednesdays (3:20 to 4:20) or use the library computers when they are available. Students may also be able to arrange the homework to be done in worksheet form with their teacher. Please note that all students are welcome to use the Maths homework centre on Wednesdays if they would like some help with any area.
We look forward to a successful year.
Jared Hockly
HOD Mathematics

Career Happenings

Current trends
The WSC Careers Department staff attended the Careers and Transition Teacher Conference in November last year.  There were some common themes expressed at the conference. 
Keynote speakers were;

  • Dr John McCarthy (The International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy) addressed delegats about how Career Education can be delivered effectively in schools. 
  • John Bibby  (Dean of Science Victoria University of Wellington) spoke about  the need to focus on science and technology to provide alternative and sustainable revenue (to dairying and tourism) for the New Zealand economy.
  • Stuart Middleton (Manukau Institute of Technology) touched on relevant demographics and post-secondary training trends.  He said students need 'porous boundaries between education providers to allow flexible learning outcomes' ending in skilled employment.   He also said the international fixation with 'increasing the number of conventional degree graduates' will not meet the skill needs of the economies and that academic and vocational pathways can merge.
  •  Jeremy Baker, the Executive Director of Industry Training Federation, emphasised the need for more students to consider Certificate and Diploma level courses after secondary schooling.  
  • Universities are reporting an increasing number of graduates who have no idea what job they want on completion of a degree.

The conference reported an increasing need for multiple pathways for students who are at the point of transitioning out of school.  A good example, lauded by delegates, is the Tertiary Education Commission's Youth Guarantee Scheme, an initiative for 500 targeted 16 and 17 year old students nationwide, which can improve their educational achievement by providing them with an opportunity to participate in a range of vocational courses free of charge.

While many students want to go to University, the cost for some will be overwhelming or they may not meet the entrance requirements.  Hence, the notion of looking at multiple pathways to jobs becomes important in order to keep doors open and provide future opportunities for our students

Key Dates for 2011 Term One
Year 13 Students Careers Interviews
We aim to meet every Year 13 student by the end of term one. After a quick introduction, students will register online then answer a 20 minute online Quiz called Career Quest (http://www2.careers.govt.nz/careerquest.html). This provides a good talking point for the interview.
Someone recently asked me, What is a successful career interview?" One of the most important outcomes is when a student finds out what they do not want to do. For example, a student came to me last year and enquired about a job. Training took five years at University and, when we researched the unimpressive pay, she very quickly calculated that for her circumstances this was not a viable career option. An interview may even motivate a student to find out further information about jobs. Carol Christen, who wrote "What Colour is your Parachute for Teens, advocates talking to eight (YES!) different people who do a job before deciding. Gaining work experience can help students find out what aspects of the work they enjoy. Also, talking to the teaching staff at Western Springs could offer valuable insights about careers not only from their teaching subject but from other work they may have tried.

Some Early Dates (more will be posted on the school intranet later this term)

April 5th 1-1.40 pm Otago University Officer will speak to all Year 13 about University jargon and entrance requirements.   Students interested in attending Otago will be able to speak to her afterwards.

May 2nd Auckland University visit
June 9th-11 Careers Expo for general public (parents are encouraged to go with their children , although some Year 12's will go from school)

September 13th Careers and Subject Evening (biennial) at Western Springs College

Geography Department 2011

Congratulations to all students for the high standards achieved in the externals in 2010.

We look forward to another successful and enjoyable year studying such exciting Geographic topics as the impact of extreme natural events around the world as well as longer term natural issues like coastal erosion, the sustainability of human activities like mining and tourism and the reasons for the lack of development in countries like Afghanistan.

The fieldtrip to the Amazon is still on, but not until either February, when there is an "Amazonas Carnival" on, or June, the "best time to visit the Amazon" in 2012. Unfortunately, the Rugby World Cup means that flight availability and prices are not good around the time of the third holiday which would have been our only possible time in 2011. For the Y13 students who will miss out, I am hoping to replace our usual Waitomo trip, our NZ tourist destination, with a trip to Tonga, our overseas tourist destination.

Our usual fieldtrips will go ahead throughout the year, beginning with Term 1 fieldtrips, to Omaha for Y13, to the Museum and Mt Eden for Y11 and the Tongariro Crossing for Y12. You will receive letters with details and permission slips when classes begin.
Jenny Jones

Welcome to the Student Learning Centre

We are located downstairs in B Block
We are open all day from Monday to Friday and after-school on Wednesdays in Term 1.
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 2011. These students will go on to work with and provide support for year 9 students, or become subject tutors in a subject/subjects that they have strength. Each student will receive a training certificate at the end of 8 training sessions and a further certificate at the end of 2011 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 are 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

Wednesdays after-school until 4.30 p.m.

The Learning Centre is running a Homework Centre and Study Support Session on Wednesdays in Term 1.  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 and book a time with Helen or Trina.

Year 10 Project K Survey and Programme

Dear Parent/Guardian of a Year 10 student in 2011

Our college has participated in a programme called Project K since 2008.  Project K programmes are designed to inspire Year 10 students to reach their potential through building self confidence, promoting good health, education and teaching life skills such as goal setting and teamwork. 

Students who will most benefit from this initiative are identified through a questionnaire completed by all year 10 students in the first few weeks of term 1.  The surveys are analysed off site and to protect the students' privacy a code number is used and not their names.  If you do not wish your child to be a part of the survey questionnaire, then please let  Sue Poupouare know at the school (815 6730 ext 742). 

Project K staff will be at the school on the 17th of February and will give your child some further written information about this programme.  There will only be 12 students selected to be a part of this Project during 2011.  It is a voluntary programme and the families of those students will be involved in further discussions.

Year 9 Travellers Programme 2011

Dear Parent/Guardian of a Year 9 student

Our college is very conscious of the important changes and transitions that teenagers cope with during their schooling.  The change from Year 8 to Year 9 is one of the most important.  It takes about 8 months for most students to successfully make that change.

Since 2002 we have participated in a successful Ministry of Health project to make that transition easier, called "Travellers".  To help us to support our Year 9 students we give a short survey routinely in the first month of school.  The questionnaire asks them very general questions about such things as changes of schools and challenging situations they have faced.  The Skylight Foundation (in Wellington) collates the data from the questionnaires for us and a number of students are selected and invited to be a part of a small group Travellers programme. 

The programme has now gained international interest as a worthwhile programme supporting teenagers, and four of our students travelled to Wellington to spend time discussing their experiences with officials from Denmark.

This is a voluntary project.  The questionnaire will be completed by the end of February.  If you do not want your child to be a part of the survey questionnaire, then please let us know. Also if you have any questions about the project, please ring Graham Woolford or Sue Poupouare at the college (815 6730) and they will talk it over with you.

Art Department

We were very pleased with our NCEA results last year. The best of Level 1 students produced highly imaginative, individualised responses to ideas and styles introduced during the year in their folio submissions. Over 80 students submitted this 12 credit component of the course and it was pleasing that 20% gained Excellence grades.
Level 2 Design, Photography and Painting students continued the high standard set in the previous two years with 50% gaining Excellence for their folios. Students who completed this component of the course were focussed and productive. It was particularly pleasing to see the divergent range of work produced. For most of this course students engage in individual programmes where they select their own subject matter and artistic influences to shape the development of their own work.

We had 41 Level 3 students submit folios for the externally assessed component in Design, Painting and Photography and 21 gained 14 credit Excellence results. 80% of students gained either Excellence or Merit grades. This was an outstanding result in an exam that is highly competitive and very demanding. Those of you who saw the exhibition of their work at the senior school prize giving will be well aware of the incredibly high standard of work this cohort produced. The range of styles, genres and approaches to their fields of practice was exceptional. They have certainly raised the benchmark for this year's students... no pressure!

Special commendation to Sophie Blazey, Finn Godbolt, Cathering Cumming, Aretha Jansen and Kenah Trusewich who gained Excellence in two of the art fields [28 credits]. Congratulations to Kenah for having her painting folio selected to tour NZ as part of the secondary schools Top Art show.

Art History Level 3 ran for the first time in 2010, after a few years of being offered as a correspondence course at WSC. Students were extremely successful in the external examinations with many gaining credits at excellence and merit level. Sophie Wellnitz achieved excellence across all three externals. Art History is running with large classes at both level two and three this year and we look forward to an engaged year with the students in 2011.

Later this month all Level 1 students will be off to the Auckland Museum for a morning of drawing of selected artefacts. Costs for this trip are included in the subject fees.

Finally a reminder that all art fees are now due. We thank you for your support.
Peter Coxon

Message from the Library

New Books
Our first display for 2011 is all about showcasing the exciting range of books held at this library.  Once the new ID cards are available students will be able to borrow books.  However past students will be able to borrow from next week.

Book Club
If you have a passion for reading and enjoy talking about your favourite books with other students you are welcome to join our book club. This is a first for our school and membership is open to all levels. Our first meeting will take place on Thursday 17th at the beginning of lunchtime in the library. Bring your latest read and please be prompt. There will be a reminder in the Daily Bulletin.

Overdue Books
Despite a strong effort in 2010 there are still a large number of books which have not been returned.  Students with overdue books should return them immediately.  Until this happens they will be unable to borrow.
Sharda Patel

Technology News

The Technology department celebrates the achievement of staff and students in Technology and Graphic Design after another great year in 2010. The results are again consistently high across all the Technology subject areas with some simply amazing work being produced by our students.

At the end of 2010, we farewelled Jill Hewitt, our Food Technology teacher. She is now the Head of Technology at Turangi Area school near Lake Taupo. Her expertise, passion and skills will be missed. She has hugely raised the profile of this subject at Western Springs College.

We welcome Maria Moylan as our new Food teacher. She is a Food Technology specialist and will be teaching all levels of the curriculum. Maria is from Ireland, trained in the UK and has been teaching in London. She has a fantastic track record and is already proving to be an asset to the school. We are all very excited to have her here and look forward to working with her.

Our department is growing in size with increased student numbers and a greater variety of courses offered to students. Kirsty Britton and Tori Young from the Art department have been recruited to teach senior graphics and junior technology programmes. We welcome their enthusiasm, work ethic and creativity into our department.

Barbara Joseph and Maria Moylan have both been promoted to become joint assistant heads of the Technology department. This will strengthen the department and make more use of their valuable experience.

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 a clear understanding of the whole process of designing to a higher level. They will be expected to spend time experimenting and modelling as part of their Technology projects as an essential part of the new curriculum.

In Food Technology, we are delighted to be able to offer level 2 of the hospitality standards institute programme. Level one has been running successfully for 4 years and we are very excited about introducing level 2. We have also upgraded and improved level 1, which means year 11 will be studying a wider range of areas.

In Fabric Technology some of our students are developing their projects as entries in the Bernina Young Designer and the SGCNZ Sheilah Winn Shakespeare competitions. As always our year 10 Food students will be competing to secure a place in the New Zealand Beef and Lamb gourmet burger finals in Auckland.

Commerce Department

Welcome to a new and exciting year in the Commerce Department. 2011 has seen the Department enrol its largest number of students. We are pleased to see the growing passion and interest in Business Studies, Economics and Accounting.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Tim Stubbs who will be teaching Economics. Some students have already commented on how they think he is an 'Economics Genius' which is quite a compliment.

We are looking forward to working together with parents and guardians to make this year a success for our students.
Liz Samy
HOD Commerce

Student Exchange

Student Exchange Australia New Zealand is a not-for-profit secondary exchange organisation which is registered with the New Zealand Ministry of Education. You can find out more about our organisation by visiting www.studentexchange.org.nz.  

In June/July 2011 Student Exchange Australia New Zealand Ltd will be receiving exchange students from Europe, the USA and South America. Our new arrivals will live with a host family and attend a local school for 2-10 months. 

As we plan for their arrival, we are keen to hear from suitable families who might be interested to host a student.  

Hosting an exchange student can be a truly rewarding experience. It allows a family to experience a foreign culture first hand, be exposed to a new language and pass on a bit of our own culture. They might even make a friend for life!

Student Exchange Australia New Zealand Ltd

Suite 2590, PO Box 83000, Wellington 6440 New Zealand
Tel: 0800-440079
Fax: 0800-440079
Web: www.studentexchange.org.nz

PO Box 1420 Mona Vale NSW 1660
T: (02) 9997 0700
F: (02) 9997 0701
W: www.studentexchange.org.au

Nau Mai
Haere Mai
BBQ for Maori Mainstream Students and their Whanau

Staff room
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Tuesday 22nd February

Come along and meet other mainstream Maori whanau,
the teachers with responsibility for mainstream
Maori students, student leaders and the B.O.T rep.

(Note that the time for the barbeque has had to be scheduled earlier this year to accommodate the ongoing PPTA work ban affecting duties beyond 5.00pm. This is not an ideal arrangement, but we believe that it is preferable to cancelling the event altogether.)


Health Notice

Please be advised that there is currently a measles outbreak in the Auckland region.  Since 11th January, 13 cases of measles have been confirmed in Auckland and measles is now likely to be spreading in the wider community.  The number of cases may seem small, but one person with measles can infect many others.  Please contact the school nurse, Margaret Meyer, on 815 6730 extension 744, if you have any queries.