WSC Newsletter # 10

100 Motions Rd, Western Springs
Auckland 1022, New Zealand
Phone (+64 09) 815 6730
Fax (+64 09) 815 6740

10 November 2017

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Calendar - Term Four  - 2017

NCEA Exams start 09/11/2017 end 01/12/2017

Week 5

13 Nov - 17 Nov
Lumino Dentists in school for juniors
Friday 17 Nov
Junior Arts Festival


Week 6

20 Nov - 24 Nov
Lumino Dentists in school for juniors
Mon 20 - Wed 22
Yr 9 Camp Atea House
Wed 22 - Fri 24
Yr 9 Camp Moana & Whenua

Week 7

27 Nov - 1 Dec
Lumino Dentists in school for juniors
Tue 25 
WSC Half Day for PD - early frinish
Wed 29 - Fri 01
Yr 9 Camp Kapura & Oranga

Principal's Yr 13 Prizegiving Speech 2017

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa – welcome to this very special prize giving celebration!

Would everyone please stand.

We are standing to acknowledge Ken Havill, our past principal, who for 19 years and 19 prizegivings has presented this principal’s address.

I am honoured to follow in his footsteps and to deliver the first of my prizegiving addresses.

Thank you and please be seated.

I would also like to acknowledge Mr Cyril Hicks, one of the first principal’s of this school on its present site and the initiator of our annual prize and medal for dux of the school.  Mr Hicks is in his 97th year and has regularly attended our annual senior prizegivings for as long as anyone can remember.  I think that deserves a special round of applause don’t you?

To our students and the families who are supporting you tonight - Welcome to you all, and that is a welcome to this special celebration acknowledging the end of your secondary school years.  I know that the teachers who work most closely with you have put a great deal effort into organizing an event for all of you at this special time, and here I would like to acknowledge Julie Debreceny our DP with overall organisational responsibility responsibility for both this and tomorrow morning’s Yr 12 prizegiving; Margaret Robertson our Head of Music who is our chief finesser of all things to do with the presentation and entertainment aspects of our prizegivings; Heather Dikstaal our Yr 13 Academic Director and originator and creator of this innovative new format and Christine Goodes, my PA working in the engine room on prize lists, certificates, trophies, guests and myriad small details to make this event run smoothly. I mentioned, and want to emphasise again, that this is an event for all year 13’s rather than the somewhat exclusive events of the past that have only recognized prize winners.  You see, we have a philosophy here that you are all leaders in some way when you have reached your final year of school, and in many many ways you have shown that, in the things that you have done – in the little things and major events you have contributed to throughout the year.  Who will forget the carnival atmosphere of Daffodil Day for example where our village green was transformed into a festival site to raise money not for us but for others.

 Who will forget the hours and hours that 47 of you have spent with our Year 9 students in need of extra assistance in the peer assisted learning programme.  Many of you have said to us that this is the best thing you have ever done at school and the bond that has been formed between you and our most junior students is gold.  Who will forget the sports games, the house competitions, the field trips, the camps, the athletics days and swimming sports, the performance evenings, the showcases, the bands, that you have been part of. This is all about you and forming relationships, friendships, mateships that will endure long after you have left these gates.

I want to mention here a statement from one of our country’s greatest citizens – Sir Edmund Hillary, popularly known as Sir Ed and popularly known as our greatest New Zealander…and a man I had the good fortune to meet on a number of occasions.
Ed said this:

“I have had the world beneath my clumsy boots on the top of Everest, and saw the sun slip over the horizon after the dark Antarctic winter.  I have been given more than my share of excitement, beauty, laughter and friendship.
Each of us has to discover his or her own path – of that I am sure.  Some paths will be spectacular and others peaceful and quiet – but who is to say which is the most important?
For me the most rewarding moments have not always been the great moments – for what can surpass a tear on your departure, joy on your return, or a trusting hand in yours.”

There is a Maori whakatauki that really sums up what both Ed and I are saying to you:

“He aha te mea nui o te ao
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.”
“What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people, it is people it is people.”

And you will be aware that your ability to network with people, to work to together to go far further than you ever would working on your own is the 21st century skill that has been nurtured here at Springs and is what employers are crying out for.

Knowledge is now universal (“Google knows everything”).  What you do with that knowledge and how you collaborate with others to expand and utilize that knowledge is the way ahead.  Because you have been educated at Springs – you know that! And you can do this!

While I am on the subject of people let me mention those people who have guided and shepherded you through to this point.  The teachers, support staff and coaches who have nurtured you on this incredible educational journey. Let’s give them all a round of applause! I know you will have thanked them in myriad ways but I too want to acknowledge the at times superhuman efforts our staff have made…and are still making on your behalf.  I always say that this place attracts people who are into the business of teaching, who are teachers first and not distracted by rules around uniform for example that plague the building of relationships which lead to educational success.  And it is not just me saying this, ERO in its last report on this school noted the strong teacher student relationships translating into quite outstanding educational success. 

Sadly, we farewell from our team this year four teachers who are moving on to other opportunities. 

Julie Senescall our head of learning support for the past 10 years is taking time out to look after herself, and in time to explore other opportunities.  She has told me that she does this with a heavy heart as she has had a truly amazing time here at Springs.  What greater endorsement to a school can a teacher give than to send her own sons to the place where she teaches?  Julie, your work, your compassion and your human touch have made us bigger and better people, have made this school a magnet school and school of choice for parents interested in advancing the learning of their children through specialist support.  How on earth will we replace you?

Hana Aranga, after 11 years of service with us will return to her home in Christchurch.  Hana is our head of Te Reo Maori and has made an outstanding contribution to the development of the language within Nga Puna o Waiorea and at Springs, as well as translating mountains of work for us.  Hana has commented to me that her colleagues have become her family here in Auckland as they have grown together through their work.  Hana intends to give back to her whanau in Christchurch who have supported her to get where she is today.  Hana, we wish you the very best and look forward to your return some day.

Mike Gunn, our digital technology teacher is leaving us after four years here for a position at the new Rototuna senior high school in Hamilton.  A visit to Mike’s classroom is school like nothing we know!  Coding, 3D printers, digital projectors, 4D software and not a whiteboard or marker in sight.  It makes one feel very last century...and of course our digital natives take to this like ducks to water.  Thank you for your work in establishing this aspect of the technology curriculum Mike and all the best for your new adventure.

And Brydie Hunt, a member of our physical education department since 2016 and an assistant HoD of PE for the second half of this year is leaving us for Portsmouth in England where her partner who is in the Royal New Zealand Navy will be engaged in 18 months of training.  Brydie, thank you for all that you have done for our students in the time you have been with us both within school and in the co-curricular sports programme.  This time in Portsmouth will be memorable.

And now back to our students who are leaving us today, and back to Sir Ed. who said:

“I will come again and conquer you because as a mountain you can’t grow, but as a human I can.”

Think back to 5 years ago when you started here as little Year 9’s full of awe and enthusiasm at this big school and the big people in it and look how far you have come.

I will leave the last bit of philosophy to Ted Geisel – you will know him better as Dr Seuss.  Apologies Ted for some subtle modifications:

Today is your day
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the person who’ll decide where you go.

And will you succeed?
Yes, you will, indeed.

You’ve been educated at Springs
So its 98 and three quarter percent guaranteed!


Be your name Brandt or Brown or May
Or Reimarie Tuhana George McRae
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting
So…get on your way!

Nga mihi
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

Ivan Davis

"Date for Your Diary - Junior Prize Giving 10am Friday 8th December"

Option Forms

All Option forms for Year 9 students moving into Year 10 in 2018 should now have been returned.  Any outstanding forms need to be returned urgently to the office (in hard copy or form a parental email) address. Both the option form and the Year 10 Option Subject Booklet can be found in the bottom left hand corner of the website under the heading
"Course of Study and Academic Document"
Students can bring a hard copy form in signed by their parents or parents can email choices in direct form their own email account.

WSC Senior Speech Competition

The third annual Springs Speech Competition for senior students was held in the Library on October 19th.The finalists were Sam Meyerhoff, Frankie Valentine, Marco Scott, Thomas Parekowhai and Phoebe Scott. Their brief was to put their own spin on one of the Values in the New Zealand Curriculum- to see the potential in them to say something that demands a response. Luckily, they all had something pretty memorable to say. The variety in content, style and delivery reflected the rich and diverse talent we have here and kept the audience of mainly Junior students enthralled and hopefully inspired them in their own speaking.

Sincere thanks must go to Gordon and the Lenihan-Ikin family for their generous sponsorship of the prizes. In the end, the winner was Frankie with a speech on the value in Donald Trump in re-igniting democracy. Her delivery was astonishing: no notes and 100% fluent and engaging from start to finish. Thomas was second talking about material happiness and Phoebe with the virtues of veganism came in third. If you are a Year 11, 12 or 13 student in 2018, get involved and get your voice out there. Keep an ear open for details of next year's competition.

Phil Douglas

Defence Force Experience October 2017

Phlavoir Mani-Marsters (Year 13-Right in photo)  writes..

“No words can describe how happy I was when I found out  I was one out of two people to be selected from Western Springs College Nga Puna O Waiorea for the Defence Careers Experience, where 50 students from all over the North Island are picked by Defence staff to come to Whangaparoa T.L.C (Tamaki Leadership Centre). It was a great opportunity as it gave me a better insight into Defence Force operations and their trades. I especially enjoyed boarding Navy ships and viewing the technical equipment, flag races, learning about Air Force guns and sitting in the aircraft pilot’s seat. The multiple group activities the Army included going over a river with limited equipment, without falling in, and a race where we put together a trailer, ran to a destination and back, then pulled the trailer apart, ventured through a tunnel with and without night vision goggles and learning how to march and move to specific commands! The most challenging part would have definitely been waking up at 5:30am every morning, having to run back and forth from the parade grounds and our room within 90 seconds changed from uniform into P.T (Physical Training) gears and the physical activities, despite not being very fit at the moment. However, I had an amazing time, learnt so much, and now know that I want to be a Navy medic!”

Weylin Morrison (Year 13 - above left in photo) writes…

“Hopping off the bus straight into marching formation, learning how to march, get fitter, living in one of the three identical rooms where everything had to be exactly the same in each room….”

Ever since I started high school I've always had an idea about wanting to join the Royal New Zealand Navy. Being selected for this DCE (Defence Careers Experience) was one thing but getting full military experience for four days, was something I will never forget. Day one - learning how to march and execute the many commands, literally everyone being in sync with each other step by step, arm swing by arm swing, was so disciplined and very exciting to learn. One of my favourite parts of camp was the practical leadership assessment day where our six competing groups were assigned six different tasks. Each task was a race against time, because scoring was based on how effective and fast the task was completed.

We were all trying to show the staff how well we worked together and that's where leadership kicked in. Another activity I enjoyed was P.T. (Practical Training). The first day were beep tests and push-ups, day 2 running and marching, day 3 more running, more marching and on the 4th and final day to end it all off, even more running, 2 sets of 12 crunches, 1 minute planks and 20 squats all at the time of...........5:30am.

It was really fun and enjoyable as I like to stay quite fit and it also gave me a good insight of the type of trainings they do in the NZ Defence Force. The hardest part of camp for me personally was the 5:30am wake ups every single morning which was difficult most days especially the day after P.T. (Practical Training). A  DFE highlight was my stay at Tamaki Leadership Centre.If you're looking for a future in the Defence Force I suggest you apply for this camp - you won't regret it.”



Late September I took 16 students down to Mount Ruapehu for the North Island Secondary Schools Snowboarding Championship. There were around 180 competitors in the boys comp and around 50 in the girls. We were up against some big private schools (Elim, Kristin, St Peters) so anything in the top 20 for boys is amazing and in the top 10 for girls is amazing.

Ruby Boyes got a podium place with coming 3rd in Slalom!!!!
Luca Menzi-Smith came 6th in Boardercross.
Nico Johnson came 9th in Slalom
Eugene Loof came 13th in Slalom
Dylan Foy came 15th in Slopestyle.

If you see any of these students, please congratulate them on their efforts!!

Russell Anderson


What an amazing year it has been for our badminton programme. In Term 3 we had two teams competing in the Wednesday ABA competition and impressively both teams ended up winning their grades. Earlier in Term 2, we had five teams competing, with three teams winning their competitions and the other two teams finishing 4th overall.

We would like to also acknowledge the fine work our coaching staff provided during the two terms. Vikram Setty and Mikayla Stokes always led from the front and it was great to see full attendance at most training sessions. 

Mixed Gold –    Vikram Setty, Matt Dao, Kelly Shi, Kate Hutcheson and Justin Lee

Mixed Green –  Theo Habberfield-Short, Mikayla Stokes, Harrison Cooke, Logan Park,
                             Khushee Jain and Lily Raukawa-Heslin

In Term 4, Springs have two junior boys teams contesting the North Harbour Open B grade tennis competition. Most Harbour schools have a senior or two playing in their team which makes for a more intense competition.

After two rounds, our Gold team remain undefeated, while our Green team have battled very hard, despite losing both their opening games.
It is only early days and we hope our Gold team can hold their form to make their playoffs and our Green team also get to improve on their earlier results.

JUNIOR BOYS GOLD – Blake Bannan, Rhys Davidson, Finn Johannessen and Pranava Pavitran

JUNIOR BOYS GREEN – Harrison Cooke, Ben Gardiner, Harry Olsen and Logan Park.


The Challenger Cup is a great way to start the season, with some intense games before getting in to the Auckland Competition.

Our boys started off slowly with a draw against old foes, Kristin. As the boys warmed into it, we got
a couple of good wins to see us in to the semi-finals against Tauranga. Tauranga are traditionally good swimmers and tough players and this year proved no different. Springs hung in well to be down 3-4 at half time, but couldn't keep it going with an eventual 4-8 loss.
This put us in to the Bronze Medal playoff, against you guessed it, Kristin again. Our junior boys have had some very close games against them.

Springs got a great start, being 3-0 up in the first quarter, but somehow we found ourselves down
4-6 with 2 minutes to play in the final quarter. A couple of great, late goals, including the final one from Kelly McDowell with only seconds left to play, gave us a 6-6 draw …. Penalty Shoot-Out!
In the end, Springs won the shoot out 4-1, with some good saves from GK Theo McIntosh.

Overall a fantastic weekend of waterpolo and a great experience for these young players, with the Bronze Medal as a reward to show for it.

Dave Paddy,  Manager

The WSC Junior Girls waterpolo team did not let diminished team numbers (due to illness and injury) stop them from participating in the Challenger Cup in Hamilton. The girls played against the best girls teams in the North Island and despite taking some serious beatings in the pool and losing narrowly a couple of times in nail-biting games, they played courageously and showed great team spirit at all times.

The WSC girls’ resounding win in their first Auckland league game of the season reflected their increased skill, strength and tenacity resulting from the high level game time they enjoyed in Hamilton. It looks like the beginning of a great season! UP THE EELS!

Emma Lewis,  Manager


Last year, a group of students from western springs applied for and were awarded a Federated Mountain Clubs youth scholarship. The scholarship is a grant of $1000 towards a tramping expedition in the less explored areas of New Zealand. The route is from Arthurs Pass to Lewis Pass in the South Island, taking eight to nine days in December. The group consists of year 13s Max Truell, Thomas Vandersluis, Anthony Cummings, and Darius Mortimer-Webster from the WSC Tramping Club, accompanied by senior member of the Auckland Tramping Club Jim Morrow. The trip will be a really great experience to learn more about tramping offtrack, in the bush and on the tops. A huge thanks to FMC for the opportunity.

Mid Term Election

The Board of Western Springs College / Ngā Puna o Waiōrea runs holds mid-term elections, which means that three parent-elected trustee positions expire in December.

All parents/caregivers will have received nomination forms in the mail.  If you have not, you will find the forms here or you can ask the office to print one out for you.

We have a co-governance board, reflecting the college’s commitment to meeting Treaty of Waitangi responsibilities by working in partnership with the Māori school community to reach the educational and cultural aspirations of Māori students and their whānau. Our Board operates a consensus decision making process, rather than a voting system.

The board’s primary objective is to ensure that every student at the school is able to attain his or her highest possible standard in educational achievement. We are also obliged to govern by setting policies.

If you are considering standing for election, you should be aware that this is a busy board working on many projects. You will all be aware of the re-build, and some of you may have heard that we talking with Auckland Council about the possibility of shared gyms appended to our new build. We are also working towards formalising our co-governance approach in our constitution. There is a significant programme of work to ensure that our teachers are well prepared for the flexible learning spaces in the new buildings. We also have a full programme of policy review.

We welcome all trustees who are able to contribute to these projects. We have a board meeting about once a month. In addition to that you will be expected to attend some committee meetings and workshops, as well as some work outside these meetings.

The New Zealand School Trustees Association runs a comprehensive range of governance courses (online and seminar style). We encourage all our trustees to take advantage of these development opportunities.

Key dates

Nominations close Friday 17 November 2017
Voting papers sent  Wednesday 22 November 2017
Meet the candidates in school library 7:00 pm - Thursday 23 November 2017
Voting Closes Noon - Friday 1 December 2017
Count votes Thursday 7 December 2017
Board takes office Friday 8 December 2017

To apply
Email to Trevor Crosby -
 A completed nomination form
 A candidate statement (no more than 400 words)
 A photo of nominated candidate (optional).

6 November 2017

The redevelopment of the school is going well and we’re looking forward to welcoming new students in 2019. Here's some information to answer any questions about the work which is currently under way.

Our main priority is the safety and wellbeing of everyone at the school.
This information pack provides the board, school, parents, staff and community with information so that you can be confident that we are doing everything to ensure the safety of the site now and while the works are being carried out.
This pack contains:
• A Project Update
• Timeline
• Key information about the redevelopment project at Western Springs College
• Health and safety measures which are being undertaken
• Frequently asked questions
We are confident we have good procedures and processes in place, and hope this information helps you understand how the build is progressing.
If you have any queries about the project, you can email the Ministry at:

Driver Licences

Now Can Give You NCEA Credits

If a student has gained a ‘Class 1’ (Car) category they can automatically claim NCEA credits. Students simply need to fill in the top half of this form and take it to the office along with their photocard driving licence.  The office will take a copy of the licence, staple it to the completed form, and pass the documents to Ms Roberts.  Ms Roberts will then enter the NCEA credits.

If the student has a restricted licence they get the 4 credits attached to it, but also the 2 credits that are attached to a learner licence.  If the student has a full licence they automatically get all 8 available credits!

Paul Alford
Deputy Principal

The Junior Arts Festival 2017
TAPAC Theatre and Foyer - Western Springs College
Showing: 3.30pm and 5.30pm
Friday 17th November – next week.

Students, families, friends and staff are invited to our annual Junior Arts Festival – celebrating the work of junior Dance, Drama, Media, Music and Visual Arts on Friday 17th November. This year we are again very lucky to have the support of the Parent Action Group who are kindly donating celebratory drinks and nibbles for the occasion.

There are two free shows so you won’t miss out - the first is at 3.30pm and second at 5.30pm.

Make sure you come along early to view the art, enjoy some nibbles and secure a seat in TAPAC!

Lastly, congratulations to Year 13 Dance student and Arts Committee Leader Carla Harre who has been accepted into Unitec Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Contemporary Dance).                          Kirsty Britton – Arts Coordinator

Chamber Group and Jazz Band - looking for new members!

With the seniors away now this is the perfect time for keen junior musicians to join these groups.
If you've been playing for a year or more we'd love you to come along and play a few notes with us. we can create parts suitable for all levels.

Chamber group instruments
violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, double bass, trumpet

Jazz Band instruments
alto sax, tenor sax, trumpet, trombone, flute, drums(especially if you can read drum music), piano, bass guitar, lead guitar

Chamber group meets on a Tuesday from 11 am until 12.05

Jazz Band meets Friday lunchtime.
Not sure? Come and talk to Margaret or Kim in the Music Department.

Music Lessons available

There are spaces available to learn trumpet, trombone, clarinet and flute AND we have instruments you can borrow.

See Margaret or Kim or email

Margaret Robertson – HOD Music

The 6th Thai/NZ Language and Cultural Student Exchange Programme

for Year 10-12 students (2017 academic year) - a journey of a lifetime with unforgettable experiences

The Royal Thai Embassy in Wellington is organising this student exchange programme which runs between 12 January - 13 February 2018 in Thailand.

The programme aims to offer a unique experience of living and studying in another culture to promote further cultural understanding between Thai and New Zealand people.

Guidelines and application form for this programme are available here.  The Royal Thai Embassy in Wellington also has a facebook page.

Please note that all supporting documents must be submitted electronically to the Royal Thai Embassy via email: by Friday 17th November. 

Kay Wallace
HOD Careers

The Young Enterprise Scheme

The Young Enterprise Scheme Regional Awards were held recently at the AUT campus, where the Western Springs College entry 'Snack Attack' received an award for 'Start Up Company of the Year 2017' in the West Auckland Region. Snack Attack, consisting of Joseph Bailey, Jack Gong, Otis Wales and Henry Doyle (not pictured), displayed a high level of resilience, and also impressed with their ability to think and operate outside convention. They found a market for a snack box containing 'exotic snacks from Asia'.

In his acceptance speech, Jack Gong stated that the team hoped they could tackle issues of race and discrimination, issues that he said were flaring up as a result of cultural misunderstanding and misinformation in the media. Teachers Kay Wallace and Ben Hinton hope to see the team back in 2018 for another crack at the Regional or National Awards.

Community Notices

We are pleased to announce 

our very first Adopt a Tree celebration in Western Park on Saturday Nov 18th at 10am where children can adopt their very own tree and plant their own seedlings to take home.

We have music, a BYO picnic and fun demonstrations from 10am - 4pm.

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