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Year 9s Careers- “Ko Wai Au?” “Who Am I?”

When we think of any career planning we reflect on our personal values, strengths and interests. In whanau class last week, Year 9 students were asked to develop their own self awareness through an online “Who Am I?” activity. Students used a online program called ‘Career Central’ to write their personal qualities, activities outside of the classroom and used a slider tool or prioritise their career values.

Student can access the Career Central tasks through our WSCW Careers. From there they log into Career Central and click on “About Me” It would be beneficial if your child could demonstrate what they have done to you at home too. If you need any further information please email

A Tribute to Lily Aitui Laita (Ngāti Raukawa/Māori, Tanugamanono/Sāmoa).

Lily Laita was an accomplished and celebrated artist and a dedicated, much loved teacher. As the first Pasifika woman to graduate from Elam School of Fine Arts she paved the way for many to follow in her footsteps. Te Papa holds a number of her works in their collection – a measure of her standing in the art world. Lily also featured on a Samoan stamp in 2004.

Lily taught at Western Springs College – Ngā puna o Waiōrea for more than 30 years. Her service to the school and its students began in 1992 and she was the Head of our Art Department from the mid 2000’s. Her dedication to education and her artistic brilliance touched countless lives. She loved to teach and bestowed her love of art on the many ākonga she inspired. 

Our Library Art Collection is part of Lily’s legacy, which now graces the walls of our cafeteria since the completion of the new school buildings.  Student commissioned artwork for the school library began in 2001.  Lily became heavily involved in the selection of students/ākonga to create art works with her guidance. The current collection reflects Lily’s inspirational support and is a wonderful celebration of the visual arts at Western Springs College – Ngā puna o Waiōrea.

It includes pop art drawing, traditional oil painting, tactile mixed media and computer generated digital manipulations.  A number of these students have careers in the creative industries as tertiary art lecturers, practicing artists, designers, architects and tattoo artists.



Harry Ashton-Ireland – Dutch National Ballet Academy

Harry Ashton-Ireland completed his professional dance training at the Dutch National Ballet Academy in 2023. During his studies he has learnt and performed repertoire from William Forsythe, Ernst Meisner, Rachen Beaujean, Hans van Manen and performed onstage with the Dutch National Ballet in their production of Sir Peter Wright’s The Sleeping Beauty. From the 2023/24 season, Harry is a member of the Bayerisches Junior Ballett München as a scholarship holder of the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung.

Harry started off in 2021 at New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington but at that stage he already knew he would only be there until the middle of the year as he had won acceptance to Dutch National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam through a huge international scholarship-based ballet competition called YAGP. 

Harry’s mother Megan says “It was difficult as it was in the middle of Covid so taking my 16 year old to the other side of the world to pursue excellent training at a very prestigious ballet school was very scary but we all knew we had to take the opportunity as the school only takes around 24-28 students a year.” 

Before he left for Amsterdam Harry had to achieve level 2 NCEA (in 4 months) as the academy is part of a university. He trained there for 2 years and got his Associate Degree (submitting assignments for the theoretical component such as Feminism in Ballet and The Place of Women in the Ballet World) but of course the main focus of the school is on ballet training, performing and technique. 

During audition season Harry was offered places at various companies but held out for the one he wanted the most which was for the Bayerisches Junior Ballet Munchen (or the Junior company of the big and very well respected Bayerisches Staatsballet Munich). The contract there is for 2 years then he will, hopefully, be promoted to the main company.  We wish Harry all the very best on his inspirational journey.

Digital Learning & Communications at WSCW

A Spotlight on the Digiwise Panel

Our students/ākonga have the opportunity to join a ‘Wises’ panel – students in these groups focus on promoting sustainable behaviours aligned to our school values. The Digiwise panel works hard to promote online safety and a balanced approach to using digital tools. They raise awareness through the Instagram account @wscwdigiwise and school events throughout the year. Recently they were also able to give feedback on the revised digital user agreement, which you can see at the link below. With the end of the year approaching, I’d like to thank the Yr 13 students on the panel for the dedication and passion they’ve shown over the last few years. Special thanks to this year’s leaders Iona Wilson and Tobias Beaumont.

Digital User Agreement

All whānau & students/ākonga are expected to agree to principles in the digital use agreement on enrolment. These principles highlight their rights and responsibilities, and the role and responsibilities of the school. Students are reminded regularly of these principles. Our digital learning agreement can be found here. You can also access information about digital learning at WSCW on our website here


Please remember that earphones are a stationery item, and required by all students/ākonga. You can read more information here about the rationale behind this requirement and what earphones are suitable.

Teachers learning together

Every second Thursday before school we offer ‘E-cafe’ a chance for teachers to learn together about digital tools. It’s an opportunity for sharing and discussion about a rapidly changing space. Here’s a photo of a lively group discussion around the use of AI tools in the classroom.

Social Media & Communications

You can follow our Instagram & Facebook accounts here:
Instagram  wscwcollege and Facebook  Western Springs College – Ngā Puna o Waiōrea
Our newsletter is emailed to you once every three weeks. You can also find news articles on the website here.

Deb Thompson
HoD Digital Learning & Communications


Spoken Word Competition Success

‘​WORD – The Front Line’ is an inter-high school spoken word poetry competition held every year. This year’s team from Ngā Puna o Waiōrea had an excellent performance at the semi-finals against six other teams and were one of three teams that made it through to the finals. They’ll be joined by three other teams from a previous semi-final on Saturday the 16th of September at Aotea Centre.

Congratulations to Milan Moala, Billy McCarthy , Piremina Ngapera and Koromiko-Jacob Williams. They are joined in this photo by their mentor Arihia Hall with their mentor who is an ex Waiorea student (bottom left of the photo). Thanks must also go to Whaea Alice, and Matua Rewa for their support of the team.

Music News

Smokefree Rockquest update

BUZZ and Carthage both made it through to the top 30 acts for 2023 – massive congratulations to both bands!

And now, following in the footsteps of 2022’s This Machine Means Murder, we have another national finalist from WSCW!

Yes, BUZZ was named in the Top 10 acts in the nationwide competition and have been chosen from over 800 bands who entered the competition. We are delighted to have WSCW representation in the National Finals for the second year in a row! BUZZ is Harlo Brady on Guitar, Holly Naish on Drums, Harper Sergeant on Bass and Felix Miller-Cooper on Guitar & Vocals.

The finals will be held in Q theatre, Auckland on September 16th, get your tickets and be part of a big WSCW crowd! We are very proud of them!

A fabulous donation

Thank you so much to Lesley Mann, a member of the WSCW community. Lesley had a beautiful drum kit she was no longer playing and she decided to offer it to us.

Pictured happily receiving the kit are Carmel McGill Wright (new HOD music), Margaret Robertson (previous HOD) and Jedd Burgess (Y13), with Lesley in the middle.


Jazz Band and Chamber group

What a great pleasure it was to see and hear our Jazz Band at the Auckland School Jazz Band Competition held last weekend at the Pt Chev. RSA. Not many Jazz Bands can boast a line up of flute, clarinet, oboe, trombone and 2 saxophones along with the rhythm section!

All the best for the KBB Band and Orchestra Festival this week. This will be at St Mary’s Parnell. Chamber group Tuesday 8th, 2pm session. Jazz Band Wednesday 9th, 6:30 pm session.


Senior Classes

There is a flurry of performing and composing going on as our seniors push to complete their course work. It is wonderful to hear and see such musicianship and creativity.

If whānau have any questions about their senior music students, do please be in touch with their teacher – 




Noho ora mai,
Margaret Robertson

Careers Expo and Subject Pathways – 17 August 4.30 pm – 7pm KHCL

The Western Springs College Ngā Puna o Waiōrea Pathways Evening is being held in KHCL is aimed for whanau and students who are Year 10 and older although all students are welcome to attend. The poster shows the list of exhibitors and this year there will be a multitude of Non University and University exhibitors. Heads of Departments and staff will be available on stands to discuss their subjects pathways and how they progress through the year levels.

This event provides you with time for a personal kōrero about subject pathways.

Mini Arts Tour

In week 9 of term 2 a fantastic group of young creatives performed a selection of short works for Pasadena Intermediate. This is an annual event that we look forward to every year! We are always greeted warmth and enjoy sharing work with an engaged audience. The short programme we presented this year consisted of seven live works from Dance, Drama and Music, followed by showreels from Media and Visual Arts. The event was skillfully held together by our amazing MCs and Arts Leaders Ruby Judson, Isabella Benson, Oliver Burton and Ocsar Lyons.

Dance shared a selection of junior and senior choreography. Taaniko Lyon Elzen bravely opened the performance with a dance he choreographed in his year 10 Dance option that was inspired by graffiti art images of hands. Ruby Leota, Katinka Paul and Ria Yu shared a piece of level 2 NCEA choreography. This dance was titled ‘Distant’ and their intention was to communicate the idea of space growing. The final Dance item was a duet performed by two year 13 students Tamsin Theron and Oscar Lyons. Their Dance was inspired by reverberation. Tamsin and Oscar learnt this dance as a solo and then explored ways that two dancers can move together by adding connections, contrast and more….

Drama shared three short items from the year 9 term 2 option class. Darcy Armstrong, Toby Reece, Erika Orbell, Sienna Hayvice and Marni Gibson all presented short open scenes developed in class. In this process the students selected a script and developed their own given circumstances. Deciding on the who, where, what and why.

Music shared two solo performances. Year 11 Shakainah McLean recently took part in a 1 day workshop with ARO duo Charles and Emily Looker. ARO runs songwriting workshops focusing on storytelling and the power of language. Shakainah has since written two songs and we had the pleasure of hearing one. Year 9 Ivy Foster performed a stunning cover of Black by Black by Amy Winehouse on.

Media shared three short films exploring the style of a Western. Speedy Gonzales by Teina and Aiyana. Guns and Roses by Archie, Finn, Jacob and Frida and High Noon Saloon by Eemon, Cash, Issy and Te Whetu. Our final item before our closing karakia was showreel of Junior Art from years 9 and 10 2022 visual art learners. As well as showcasing subject specific techniques, elements and conventions these young performers shared vital and transferable skills that run across all arts subjects. Critical thinking, communication of ideas, creative problem solving, collaboration and curiosity.

A huge thank you to all of the Arts kaiako who supported this event.
Samantha Wood Rawnsley – Arts Coordinator

Nathan Lindsay – Representing New Zealand

Congratulations to Nathan Lindsay (year 13) on being selected as a member of NZ U18 Bowling team- Katipō18. On Friday 18th August, Nathan will be travelling to Singapore with the Katipō18 Ten Pin Bowling Team representing NZ at the Asian Junior Championships. This is a huge achievement for Nathan who has been bowling since 2017, but only seriously since 2019, training and competing a minimum of 3 times a week.

Go well Nathan. WSC is very proud of you!

Dance News – Trips and Street Dance guest tutors

This term the year 12 Dance class have been developing their understanding of hip hop and street dance with their Dance teacher Sam Wood Rawnsley. The outcome of this learning will be a NCEA performance assessment. Unitec and WSCW Dance Alumni Taniora Motutere has returned to share his extensive movement knowledge and teach two short sequences of movement. Students have learnt some fundamentals of popping and hip hop choreography. We are also fortunate to have Sherrick Martin return again this year bringing his experience in hip hop, commercial and contemporary dance. He is currently working with this rōpū on Afro beats and Dancehall movements.

WSCW Dance students benefit from observing and working with professional artists based in TAPAC, our performing arts venue. Last week, Samoan choreographer Tupua Tigafua returned to TAPAC to rehearse his work ‘Shel We’ before it tours NZ and Australia. Year 11 and 13 Dance were invited to join Tupua and his 4 male dancers in one of their morning warm-ups. On Friday afternoon students from Waiorea and the Dance and Drama classes watched ‘Shel We’ – a “comedy tragedy” inspired by Shel Silverstein’s poems. Fa’afetai tele lava Tupua and Le Moana for sharing your work with us.

Dance students have attended two other shows this term! Year 11-13 were in awe of the incredible dancing, sound and lighting in Auckland Arts Festival international dance performance ‘Revisor’ at the Aotea Centre. Year 10-13 Dance students were particularly moved by ‘He Huia Kaimanawa’, a dance that explores the “resurfacing, reclaiming and honouring of te reo Māori.” Ngā mihi nui Bianca for visiting the Year 10 Dance class and talking about the dance before the trip.


Junior Arts Festival 2022

In the final week of 2022, our Arts Departments shared a very special celebration of Junior Arts here in TAPAC theatre. Our foyer and theatre were filled for two sold out shows!  Thank you to all of the kaiako and tauira who worked very hard at the end of a busy year to bring this event to life.

Ma whero ma pango ka oti ai te mahi

Amazing images captured by the wonderful NinaG Photography.


Samantha Wood Rawnsley – Arts Coordinator


Welcome Arts Leaders of 2023!

This year we are fortunate to have four new creative and driven Arts Leaders joining our team. Oliver Burton, Oscar Lyons, Ruby Judson, Isabella Benson.

Hi! I’m Bella, one of the 2023 Arts Leaders. My experience in the arts is mostly in music. I play flute and piccolo. Throughout my time at springs I have played with various groups (including the WSC chamber group and West City Youth Band). Supporting others’ arts endeavours has always been important to me. I’ve also gone to lots of Springs’s arts showcases, including the Junior Arts Festival and the showcase of senior’s visual arts projects. I’m really excited to be more involved in supporting and promoting the arts at Springs this year!!

Hey I’m Ruby! I’m so excited to be one of the Arts Leaders this year. My main passion is visual arts, especially painting. In my spare time you will find me doing all sorts of craft projects and op shopping around the city. I’m looking forward to working with the other awesome arts leaders to bring you a very artful year here at springs!!

Hiya everyone! I’m Ollie, and I’m involved in the music side of the arts at Springs. I play violin, bass and saxophone and am in a number of groups inside and out of school. I can’t wait to get to know everyone so we can start planning all the ways to show off the arts and create collaborations not only between the students but the different types of art. I hope to see you around.

Hi, I’m Oscar Lyons and I’m so excited to be one of the 2023 WSCW Arts Leaders. I’ve always had an interest in the arts since I was able to walk. I’ve been involved with performing arts since I was 6, being involved in dance and drama classes. At the age of 9, I started to get involved in musicals and have been continuing it ever since. I was involved in the Junior Arts Festival in 2020, Year 11 Drama Production in 2021, Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Competition in 2022 and Year 12 Drama Production in 2022. I’m excited to be an Arts Leader this year because I want to be able to uplift the arts at WSCW. To bring more awareness and attention to the amazing young artists that we have at our school by promoting them with the help of the arts committee.

ARTS COMMITTEE Want to work with these awesome Arts Leaders to promote and support the Arts at WSCW. If you missed the signup it’s not too late to join. Email your friendly Arts Coordinator Samantha Wood Rawnsley ( email below) to have your name added to the google classroom page. Meetings – Wednesday lunchtimes ( 2 or 3 meetings per term) TAPAC, S2 Frequency of meetings will be dependent on upcoming arts events and as needed. Notification of meetings will be sent out via our arts leaders and committee google classroom page. NEW ARTS INTAGRAM PAGE – Follow our new ARTS Instagram page arts_wscw Samantha Wood Rawnsley – Arts Coordinator

Dance News

The Top Dance Scholar for NZ in 2022 was our very own dance student Minh Anh Tran. Congratulations Minh Anh on this huge achievement! We also celebrate the success of Zara Wong, who was one of just 3 Outstanding Scholars, and Johanna Geary who was also awarded Scholarship. We are very proud of the excellent work and perseverance of these students – 3 of only 17 students across Aotearoa NZ who achieved Scholarship Dance in 2022.

This year we have booked a range of fun experiences for Dance students to look forward to.

Here are the dates for your calendar:


Revisor (Auckland Arts Festival) Friday 10 March 7.30pm, Aotea Centre (Yr 12-13 students only)
He Huia Kaimanawa (Auckland Arts Festival) Friday 17 March 1pm (Yr 10-13 Dance students)
Tupua Tigafua’s Shel We in TAPAC Theatre, early May (all Dance students)


Senior Dance Showcase Sunday 20 August – Friday 25 August (Week 6 of Term 3), Thursday 24 August: SHOW 1 (3.30pm) and SHOW 2 (6.30pm) Friday 25 August: SHOWS 3 & 4 (matinee times TBC) Yr 13 Choreography (3.1) Show Sunday 6 – Wednesday 9 August (Week 4 of Term 3) Tuesday 8 August , Show 1 (6pm) Wednesday 9 August, Show 2 and 3 (3.30 and 6pm)
YouDance Festival, an inter-school performance opportunity for selected Year 12 and 13 students – June 14-15 The Junior Arts Festival, November 15, TAPAC Theatre.

Community Update: 12 February – Cyclone Gabrielle

Western Springs College Ngā Puna o Waiōrea will be closed for onsite learning on Monday 13th February and Tuesday 14th February due to the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle.
Due to the risk of Cyclone Gabrielle impacting Tāmaki Makaurau and the ongoing state of emergency, we have made the decision to close our school on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 February.
Reasons driving this decision:
– Safety of students and staff is our paramount concern
– The emergency alert issued by Auckland Emergency Management at 2.20pm to avoid any unnecessary travel
– Chance of power outages across the region and disruption to public transport
– Our local cluster schools will also be closed
Please note (where practicable) teachers will post work in Google Classroom. Some of our teachers live in areas that are already experiencing power outages. We also understand that not all students will necessarily be able to access the work, given how close we are to the start of the school year and the weather event. Please do not worry about having your student(s) online if you have more pressing matters to deal with.
We will review the situation at midday on Monday and send further communication to our school community.
Kia kaha. Stay safe, e te whānau.
Board Chair and Springs Waiōrea Senior Leadership Team

Arts News

Skill building, creating, connecting, refining, rehearsing and much more!
It has been a busy term here at WSCW in all of the Arts learning spaces. This term has seen many performance  and assessment events for Music, Dance, Drama and Kapa Haka. The Visual Arts spaces are now home to many ākonga busily working to meet their folio deadlines. Seniors have been involved in derived grade exams and option selection decisions for 2023. Not to mention the many projects our keen creatives take on outside the classroom!

Take a bow Arts ākonga and kaiako for your dedication to your craft, creativity and continued resilence. May these holidays be replenishing and allow space for you to appreciate the mahi you have achieved this term. 

Term four…
In term four our seniors will complete the visual arts folios, sit external exams, perform in senior prize givings and for some of them say goodbye to WSCW and hello to the next chapter of life. 

Junior Arts Festival. Wednesday the 7th December. TAPAC theatre.  Show times TBC
As always, we will end the year with a celebration of the Arts at WSCW. If you are a junior student keen to take part in this event contact your Arts subject teachers. 

Samantha Wood Rawnsley – Arts Coordinator


Art News!

Extended Greetings 

Spring has clearly sprung – and it really is the busy end of the year when senior students are starting to ‘live’ in the Art rooms in a concerted effort to complete their folio work before the term four deadlines.  The Level 1 and 2 students should be on their final board and the Level 3 are close behind (although they have a later hand in time).  As part of a return to pre-covid events – we will also be showcasing work from the eleven senior classes next term with the Media and Technology departments  –  so it will be well worth popping your head in for a quick catch up with students who are creating authentic shifts in their critical and creative processes.

As a department we had been fielding a number of inquiries about Art courses as Y9-12 students consider their subject choices for 2023.  The coursebook information is clear and up to date – however if you require more specific course information, please contact re: Art Design/Junior Art re: Art Photography re: Art Painting/Art History

We have had a number of students succeeding within the wider Arts communities and would like celebrate in their achievements.  Firstly we have two students who have secured the annual Pat Hanly Creativity Award, Y13 students Shay Patel and Sophia Collins who attended the gala event at the ACAG and received their award from the organisers and representative from the Hanly family.  We also have to acknowledge Y13 student Noah Grimer – who was selected by a panel to have his work ‘To wander’ showcased in the Wallace Arts Trust – Secondary School Art Awards Finalists’ Exhibition 5-30th October at Pah Homestead.  

Finally, a reminder that the Art rooms will be open in holidays on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday of the first week only between 10am-1pm.  Students are welcome to utilise the space and time to consolidate their external work and finish off internal standards. 

The following are important dates for handing in for the Level 1, 2 and 3;

LEVEL 1 boards due T4 Week 1 Friday 21st October
LEVEL 2&3 Photography and Art Design board files due T4 Week 2 Thursday 27th October
LEVEL 2 Painting boards due T4 Week 2 Friday 28th October
LEVEL 3 Painting boards due T4 Week 3 Wednesday 2nd November
ART/MEDIA/TECHNOLOGY Exhibition T4 Wednesday 2nd November 3.30-6.30 supported by PAG

(Senior student celebration to proceed Y13 Prizegiving)

Scholarship folios and workbooks due Tuesday 8th November
(last call for L3 folios as we need to weigh and pack boards before the courier arrives)                                                                                                                                                                                   

Ia Manuia
Lily Laita – HOD Art

In June of this year Charlie Hill and James Drake participated in The National Youth Theatre’s production, Oliver! This project commenced in 2021, navigated covid disruptions and came to the stage in June of 2022. Today I had the pleasure of sitting down with these two dedicated performers to share a little more about their experience. 

What role/ roles did you play?
 “ I played a house orphan and a posh person. I was part of the ensemble”. James
I played two roles. Noah Claypole, a speaking role and the knife grinder, a singing role and I was part of the ensemble”. Charlie

What did you enjoy most about performing in Oliver the musical?
“Getting to know the people and the structure of the show and also performing in the acts”. James
“Going up on stage. The frightening excitement is quite enjoyable” Charlie

What skills do you think you have developed during this time?
More vocal skills. Working with others. Listening skills. Time management. Commitment. Timing – when to come on stage, knowing the running order of the show”. James
“Confidence to perform in front of others. Built some bravery. This is my second full show. Over the two shows seasons I have learn a lot about ensemble skills” Charlie

Next up for these young performers….
I recently sat my tap exam and received highly commended. Next term I will be taking Dance as an option at school. James
Coming up I am performing in the next National Youth Theatre Company production, Wendy. Charlie

Do you have an experience you would like to share?
Are you taking up opportunities outside of the classroom in the Arts? Would you like to share this with our kura and wider community? Email Samantha Wood Rawnsley to set up a kōrero.


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