Nga Puna O Waiorea

Introduction to the New Year, 2010


Kia ora tatou katoa. New Year’s greetings to all of the families in our school community. The teaching and support staff of Western Springs College are looking forward to working closely with you during the year ahead to ensure that 2010 is a successful year for all of our students.

2009 NCEA Results
The provisional 2009 NCEA results indicate that both the Level 3 and Level 2 results have exceeded last year’s record performance at these levels - a truly remarkable outcome!

  • The Level 3 University Entrance pass rate is currently at 76% ( it was 73% at this stage last year  )
  • The Level 3 Certification pass rate is 75% ( the provisional result was 70% last year )
  • The Level 2 Certification pass rate is currently at 85.2% ( slightly above the 2008 provisional figure )

The Level 1 results are mixed:

  • The Level 1 Literacy pass rate is currently at 91.3% ( the provisional result was 93.5% last year )
  • The Level 1 Numeracy pass rate is an outstanding 100% ( it was 98.5% at this stage last year )

The Level 1 Certification pass rate is 77% ( considerably below last year’s 87% ). It is anticipated that the final result will exceed 80%, however, you can be confident that there will be a very thorough analysis of the factors influencing this particular result and some decisive interventions, as appropriate.

Excellence Certificates
I would like to congratulate the following top students who have gained Excellence Certificates:

Level 3 Level 2 Level 1
N: 10 ( 2008: 5 ) N: 17 ( 2008: 16 ) N: 11 ( 2008: 15 )
Nicholas Priddey Liam O’Dwyer Zoe Dunster
Max Doesburg Katie Milne Xixi Xian
Hannah Cleverley Phoebe Balle Eva Woodward
Matthew Edmond Sophie Blazey Nell Mooney
Sophie Edwards Rory Clarke Rochelle Peckham
Sebastian Clarke Rebecca Van Dam Nicholas Short
Leon Hudson Ariella Balmforth Sally Bollinger
Finn McLennan Elliott Zoe Marler Taylor Groves
Lucie Irwin Whitney Allanah Colley Kieran Wilding
Clare Hannam Madeleine Smith Daniel McBride*
  Johnny Sainsbury Pearl McGlashan
  Sophie Wellnitz  
  Connor McAneny *Daniel also gained a Level 2
Merit Certificate as a Year 11 student.
  Edward Crawshaw
  Dana Franklin  
  Greta Gregory  
  Catherine Cumming  

National NCEA comparisons will be possible later in term one when NZQA have confirmed these results. Scholarship examination results are expected next month.

There has been remarkably little staff turnover since the end of term four. Jasmine Paulcutty has replaced Simon Henley in the Mathematics department; Mark Rainey joins us as the Rumaki specialist Mathematics teacher. Jared Hockly has taken over from Thea Kilian as head of Mathematics; Thea will this year combine the roles of assistant principal and Year 13 academic director.

A reminder that Ivan Davis has replaced Linda Dillon as associate principal for terms one and two;
Ivan will take sabbatical leave during term three when Linda returns. During this time Heather Dikstaal is the acting deputy principal.

School Developments
The main focus for teaching staff in 2010 will be on delivery of the New Zealand Curriculum. Departments have been working hard to meet the term one implementation deadline for the junior curriculum. The NZC represents an exceptionally fine aspiration for secondary education; I am confident that Western Springs College is well placed to meet the exciting challenges involved in taking its vision, values and principles off the page and bringing them alive in our classrooms and in our community.

We are currently working to ensure that issues identified in last term’s biennial school review are reflected in the school planning documents. You will be notified in term one when the revised strategic plan and 2010 annual plan have been posted on the school website.

Western Springs College will be reviewed during 2010 by the Education Review Office. Our goal is to match the outstanding report WSC received in 2007.

Property Developments
A major focus this year is on implementation of the Ministry of Education-funded site renovation programme. The field development, drainage and surface contouring work involved across the site will inevitably be disruptive at various times, however, with the assistance of our recently contracted landscape architect, we are looking forward to a long-overdue transformation of the grounds into a visually appealing campus.

Another important development to be initiated from July is our third Five Year Modernisation programme (2010-2015). A large number of curriculum areas will benefit from refurbishment projects as a result of this Ministry-funded programme.

Currently, work is well advanced on the last major project for the second modernisation programme: a comprehensive upgrade of the Food Technology facilities which will enable WSC to offer vocationally oriented Hospitality Standards Institute courses in the senior school.

School Donation
It is important that all families clearly understand the purpose of the annual school donations of $325: the main school donation ($250), and the sports/cultural activities donation ($75).

The main donation funds learning support staffing, including our extended library hours,  and covers such costs as our student health service services, the purchase of ICT equipment, and expenses related to the annual yearbook.

The sports/cultural activities donation funds all extra-curricula activities. This includes expenses associated with the running of clubs and the production of school-wide performing arts events. This donation enables us to run a comprehensive sports programme, covering specific costs such as the salary for the sports director, the wage for the part-time administrative assistant, the employment of coaches for soccer, basketball, hockey and netball, the purchase and maintenance of the school vans and the purchase of sports equipment for teams representing the school.

It is simply not possible to avoid a deficit budget without the financial support of these family donations.
The Board would like parents to take into account that:

  • donations, which are not compulsory, are tax deductible;
  • there are options to pay per term or by automatic payments in convenient instalments, as opposed to paying once at the beginning of the year;
  • the Board, along with the School Trustees’ Association, will continue its practice of lobbying the Government for increased operational funding, and encourages parents to urge all political parties to fully fund school activities.

New Families’ BBQ
A warm invitation is given to all families new to the Western Springs College school community to attend a barbeque on the campus on Wednesday, 24 February, from 6-8pm. This event, promoted by the Parent Action Group, is an excellent opportunity to meet form teachers, subject teachers, deans and senior managers, along with parents from the board of trustees and the Parent Action Group, in addition to other parents new to the school.

Student success is built on a close partnership between school and home. Do take this chance to begin building relationships with the key staff identified above.


I look forward to seeing you at school events throughout the year.

Ken Havill