WSC Newsletter #5

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

7 June 2016

Can’t see the images ? Click here


Week 6
6 June to 10 June

June 6 No School (Queen's Birthday holiday)
June 7 Intermediate Workshops
June 7 senior study day
June 8 - June 10 senior exams

Week 7
13 June to 17 June

June 10 Junior Sports Academy


Week 8
20 June to 24 June

June 23 to July 8
Lumino Dental van on site

June 23 Senior Parent / Teacher interviews 2-7pm



Last November, Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced a budget of $75m to redevelop the school, with an additional $4m going to upgrade TAPAC. Ms Kaye said the build was expected to be complete by the end of 2018. Work has been progressing well and the Board is pleased to let you know that an updated Master Plan for the redevelopment has been reviewed by the Ministry’s Design Review Panel. This is a bulk and location plan which will guide the final design.

In the interests of keeping you informed about progress, the Ministry of Education and the Board are eager to share the latest plan at a meeting in the school library on Wednesday 15 June at 7pm. We invite you to attend. For anyone not able to make it, information will also be provided on the school website and by email.


"The Senior student/parent/teacher interviews (from 2-4pm and 5-7pm on Thursday 23 June) are now open for bookings, and the code is 7kvem, access the booking website here."


Attention parents, students, coaches and general community... our new auto sliding gate is due to be installed at the main entrance in the next couple of weeks.  The main gate will be closed to public access for most of the school day and at night.

Please ensure you park in the TAPAC car park or the angle parks along Motions Rd.  The TAPAC car park also has a drop off zone along the school side of the parking area. 

Thank-you for your assistance in keeping our campus safe and secure.


Thanks to all the parents who completed the survey at the last senior and/or junior interview evenings.  There was overwhelming support for clustering teachers around the library and hall, and for ringing the bell every 5 minutes so that the interviews ran to schedule.  I will give more detailed information on the results in the next newsletter.  We will be continuing with this system for the two remaining interview evenings this year, and will then use the data form the surveys to plan ahead for next year.

As the smooth running of our interview evening does rely on all teachers and parents keeping to the timetable, please do consider other parents and end your interviews on time; frustration with others' interviews running over was one of the most common parental complaints in the parental survey.  If you need more time with a particular teacher they will be happy to arrange a separate meeting or phone call, so please do ask.

A reminder that at the interview evenings it is also possible to book a slot with: the Accelerated Students' Coordinator, Graeme Moran; the Gifted and Talented Coordinator, David Larsen; the Maori English-Medium Coordinator, Sophie Lenehan; the Pasifika Coordinator, Tupe Tai; the Head of the Learning Centre, Helen Thorpe; The Head of Learning Support, Julie Senescall; the HOD of Careers, Kay Wallace; and the Heads of House.

Thanks in advance for your continuing goodwill at these major school events,

Paul Alford
(Deputy Principal)


Political Philosophy Role Play
- John Rawls’ ‘Veil of Ignorance’.

The Year 11 Philosophy students are at present exploring and researching Peter Singer’s idea that we should talk about ‘Person Rights’ not ‘Human Rights’.  His argument is that we should not have special rights because we happen to be members of the human species, but because we meet the criteria for being classed as a ‘person’.  Singer’s argument means that some non-humans (such as the great apes) might be classed as persons, and more controversially that some humans might not be.

As background to their work the Year 11 students have done some role plays into the foundations of political philosophy.  The picture above was from a reenactment of John Rawls’ idea of the ‘original position’ and how a just society might be constructed out of practicing fairness - even If the fairness is motivated by self interest!

Rawls argued that when we are setting up the rules for a society, we should step behind an imaginary ‘veil of ignorance’, where we know nothing specific about ourselves (e.g. our gender, sexuality, race, religion, ethnicity, religious or political views, ability/disability, age etc.).  Rawls thought that from behind the ‘veil of ignorance’ we would act rationally and avoid setting up rules and institutions that discriminate against particular groups or individuals in case when the veil came off we found ourselves in that disadvantaged group.  Our self interest would thus lead us to design a fair society.

In our reenactment, volunteers Sofia Coley, Kyle Saifiti and Jorja Jamieson went quite literally behind the ‘veil of ignorance’.  They were then asked a series of questions by the class on how they would organise a society in terms of the rights different groups were given, and how resources would be shared amongst different groups.  They came up, in line with what Rawls’ predicated, a fair and just society and state.

There is a really direct link between the students’ work here and our WSC Mission Statement:

“All students and staff, inspired by a love of learning, are challenged to discover and develop their unique personal strengths so that they are well equipped to share in the building of a just and sustainable society.”

Paul Alford
Year 11 Philosophy Teacher


The Parents’ Action Group, or PAG, is made up of parents who work together to support our school and strengthen the school community.

PAG is open to all parents of students at Western Springs and new members are always very welcome – all you need to do is email and you can join the PAG email list to be part of the PAG forum, get meeting details & information about PAG-related events. 

Joining PAG is a great way to meet other parents and to hear about what’s happening at our school, as well as a great way to help out in any way you can (If you signed up at the New Families BBQ and haven’t been receiving emails, let me know – I couldn’t read your writing!)

We love supporting the school to benefit our students – to date this year PAG is very proud to have funded a wide variety of items and events, to the tune of $18,200.00. These include:

• A covered trailer (sign-written with WSC logo)
• A defibrillator
• Equipment for the WasteWise group
• Costumes for the WSC Hip Hop Dance group
• Training for Youth Leadership and Peer Mediation courses
• An outdoor chess set
• A contribution to the school ball which will provide a dance floor & decorations

To continue funding much-needed items we do need to keep fundraising!  Please support our once-a-term movie premieres, which are an excellent night out.  And please send an email to me at PAG if you’re keen to get involved in fundraising – we need keen & eager organisers!

Huge thanks to all the parents who helped out serving tea and coffee to visiting prospective parents during Open Week – a perfect example of PAG participation.

Next movie night is 29th June – check out the flyer for hilarious “Dough” & flick an email to our movie maven Bronwyn for your tickets (easy as pie).

We’re also looking at running an info evening about teens & alcohol, as per parents’ requests – watch this space.

Do let me know if there’s anything you’d like to talk about at our next meeting – which will be in the staffroom at 7.30pm on Monday 13th June.

Thanks!  Belinda Drake, PAG Secretary




Sexy Helmet Hair Campaign

Travelwise has been promoting a new campaign, because what’s sexier than helmet hair? Nothing. (Except possibly spandex). All the posters up around the school prove it. Even Mrs New Zealand is biking to school!

The goal for this term is to get 100 more students biking to school. So what are you waiting for? Grab a bike and helmet, and you’ll have sexy helmet hair in no time. We also ran a stall so you could create sexy helmet hair for your friends, and they could do it for you. Those who did win canteen vouchers

Elena Turner

Kathryn Jenkin & Jarrod Dunn

Robert Pollock

Travelwise is focused on sustainable travel, and bikes are one of the best options. They’re fast and environmentally friendly. So instead of harassing your parents for a lift, bike. Then you too could be beautiful like Mr Pollock.
                                                                                                                              (Hazel Burgess, Travel Wise)

Wises members displaying safe, sustainable and ‘sexy’ travel to prospective students at Open Night.


After a successful ‘Orientation 2.0’, HealthWise has got some planning to do! The results from our survey indicated that Springs students want to learn a more about ‘motivation and procrastination’! ’.


We are certainly motivated and are working towards a campaign in term 3. In the meantime, HealthWise is planning an event later this term surrounding the appreciation of the people and the place that makes up ‘Western Springs College

Upcycling Squad

Skate Ramps

Both of our skate obstacles are finished, woo! These were made collaboratively by senior hard tech students, upcycling club members and anyone with an interest in skating and making things out of reclaimed materials.

All the wood was saved from landfills, keeping with our philosophy of being good caretakers (kaitiaki) of the Earth. Now every Wednesday lunch, one upcycled ramp and one skate box are available for students to skate and do tricks on behind the Hard Tech blocks. Great team effort everyone, and hopefully these ramps and this project will make a difference to our school now and in years to come.

Upcycling Trips

We have also had quite a few exciting trips recently, one to the Waitakere Transfer Station and Zero Waste Zone and another to an ‘Up-cycled’ Cafe in Ranui, where many things were salvaged from the cafe’s rebuild.

Zero Waste Zone 

Ranui Community Centre Cafe

Ranui community Centre Cafe

Both of these trips were a great time, but more than that they provided an opportunity to reflect on our society and how much gets thrown away. Do we really need to always buy something new?

They also sparked our creativity and excitement about the ways we can turn things we think of as ‘trash’ into something with value. Since then we have had workshops making planter boxes with Waste Wise, and even an open ‘DIY Pinboard’ making-workshop with old coffee sacks and MDF from a building site, kindly donated by the Ranui Community Centre.

Our next trip is to Tat Upcycle to get materials to make seating and tables for Western Springs. Tat is a creative workshop and organisation that make all kinds of amazing things from old furniture and salvaged materials. This trip is to Te Atatu after school on Friday 17th June, which is open to all students. We would love to see interested students there - keep an eye on the daily notices for more info.

                               Zero Waste Zone, Waitakere Transfer Station (below)

The Tat Upcyle Team


Congratulations to our Term 1 WSC Junior Learner Award Winners

Each Term WSC celebrates 2 Junior Learners from each of the 20 junior core classes, with each student receiving a certificate and two movie tickets.  Students are selected by the Heads of House on advice from core and option teachers.  Students can be nominated for outstanding progress, consistently high levels of effort, excellent work, and contributing to the learning of other individuals or the class.  The winners for Term 1, listed below, received their certificate and tickets from John Loof (BOT Chair) and Trevor Crosby (BOT member and a former BOT Chair).

Year 9 Junior Learner Award Recipients

9 AE
Ana Downey
Archie Lee-Cooper

9 AT
Brodie Dye
Pip Owles

9 KA
Hazel Burgess
Milo McPhail

9 KU
Milan Stevenson
Conor Tumulty

9 MN
Zoe Brawn
Victor Saussie

9  MO
Sylvie Frater
Mimi Sayid

9 OA
Tyrone Neho-Hauraki
Terina Whaikawa-Gord


9 OR

Bella Ashby
Natanahira Tauariki

9 WE
Oliver Hutchinson
Nina Quinn

9 WU
Pranava Pavitran
Isabelle Shepherd

Year 10 Junior Learner Award Recipients

10 AE
Kate Hannay
Max Johnson

10 AT
Finn McWhirter
Rosa Mitchell

10 KA
Luca Gibbs
Zahra Patel



10 KU

Sienna Davidson
Dohyong Kim

Tonga Nau
Hunter Shannon

10 MO
Xavier Fong
Aasiya Shaikh

10 OA
Jayden Williams
Phineas Reid

10 OR
Arihia Hall
Atakura Hunia

Celia Hamling
Ethan Wai Poi

10 WU
Elaine Robertson-Fomai
Frazer Tavener


Correction.  In the 2015 Yearbook we listed James MaCewan as one of the Outstanding Learner Award Recipients for 2015, it should have read ‘James McEwen’ - apologies James for the mix up.

Paul Alford
Deputy Principal



Hard Materials Technology - Y13

With the school moving towards BYOD and increased usage of devices in all classes, Year 13 Hard Tech. students have designed and produced their own adjustable, flat-pack laptop stands to use in various settings. Anthropometrics and ergonomics have been key design features to encourage improved posture with the increase in daily device usage.



Year 12:

As part of the Year 12 Hard Materials course, students learn how to use an industrial MIG welder to join up a steel frame with the aid of jigs and magnets. 

Once their frame is complete, they produce a press­fit kauri top, incorporating a game of their choice or design. Once the graphics are created, they are engraved onto the timber surface using the department’s CNC laser cutter. By the end of the year we will have produced forty­eight unique game tables, which students will have the opportunity to donate to a charity or the school if they wish to. Game on!

Chess, Snakes & Ladders, Lego game tables made from steel and kauri 

Hard Tech legend Max Truell of Year 12 has completely designed and produced his own custom mandolin and carry case in his own time.

The truly amazing part (apart from the fact that it sounds beautiful!) is that he has locally sourced all materials and has used recycled materials wherever he can. For the plastic handles and feet, Max has melted and recast milk bottles and lids and for the neck head he has cut and inlaid a tui out of various hardwoods for the tuning keys to be screwed onto. It is great to see students incorporating upcycling and recycling into their design work and thinking about a more sustainable future!



Congratulations to the following students who have made age group representative sides and will be travelling to represent Waitakere at the age-group nationals tournament in July.

* Milar Whaikawa -   Netball Waitakere - Under 17/1s  Heading to Rangiora for the NZ U17 Nationals in July
* Parehuia Delamare - Netball Waitakere - Under 15/1s Heading to Taranaki for the NZ U15s Nationals in July
* Terina Whaikawa Gordon - Netball Waitakere - Y9/1s  Heading to Taranaki for the NZ U15s Nationals in July


Rugby has commenced with our Seniors moving into the 2C Open grade. Three rounds have now been played, for two wins and one loss. It is great to have Sigi Spath and Hannah Moselen onboard again, along with  Siu Puletiuatoa as the team’s new assistant coach.

Our Juniors have played four games for three wins and one loss, showing exceptional promise in the early stages of the season. We would like to welcome our new, but very experienced coaches, working the juniors fairly hard, I might add – Lio Va’auli, Denis Ulcoq and David Fane.


This term we have five squash teams contesting the College squash competition. We have a senior A boys, two senior girls and two junior boys teams. All five are competing well, especially the senior A boys and junior boys gold team who remain undefeated after three rounds. Very shortly, we will be
selecting a boys and girls team for the Auckland Championship which is to be held overt two days at the end of June.


Tennis had a very successful season, where five teams competed in a seven week competition in the new North Zone Monday competition. Three teams reached finals and were impressive winners of their grades - Boys B2, Girls B2 and Boys B6. Our other two teams completed their season, both finishing
4th respectively.

Our school’s Open Tennis Tournament was postponed prior to term break as most seniors were involved in various camps and trips. This tournament will
now be played in conjunction with our Junior Tournament in September.



 At Western Springs College

Upcoming in JUNE & JULY
Xero Accounting Software 102

Korean Cooking
Vegetarian Indian Cuisine
French Cuisine

Hatha / Vinyasa Flow NEW
Flow and Let Go NEW


TERM 3 (JULY 2016)

Our school welcomes applications from local families who maybe interested in hosting International Students.

Ever thought of hosting an International student? Have a spare room available?
We are looking for families to host International students (male or female, long or short term) starting in Term 3, 2016.

We offer a good remuneration to cover student costs being $275.00 per week as of Term 3, 2016.
If you are keen or interested in becoming a host family please contact our Homestay Manager,
Rachealle Tyrell for more details.

Phone 8156730 (ext 752), Mobile 021617172 or email:
Our International team would love to hear from you!

Our musical extravaganza Seussical has just concluded at TAPAC Theatre and what a show it was! The stories of Seuss were transformed by two casts over five days of shows that were jam-packed full of amazing talent. Seussical was incredible theatre, song, innovative dance and drama, wonderful costumes and set… again, no wonder each performance sold out! Feedback has been outstanding with a lot of the school community taking the opportunity to see the show twice to see both casts.

Students of all years performed their roles with energy and enthusiasm - the laughter, the smiles; the cheers from the audience were all so well earned! The production team and teachers in charge are very proud of all students who participated. Congratulations on the musical and visual spectacular that was Seussical.

Special thanks to HOD Drama - Robert Pollock, Cherie Moore, Robin Kelly and Amber Liberté for preparing for an exciting week of shows. Thanks again to all the staff, students and the local community who have helped, supported and sponsored this event.                                                                             Kirsty Britton – Arts Coordinator

Arts Leaders



Seussical the Musical is finally finished and what an adventure we’ve had! After an exciting few months of rehearsal and preparing for the shows we are all now trying to get back into the normal day to day life at school. Seussical was amazing - a huge success! Everyone did so well with only good comments coming from those that came to experience the wild imagination of Seuss, with even ex HOD of Drama, Barnaby James, giving a rave review on closing night.

On behalf of us Arts Leaders we wanted to say a massive thank you to Cherie Moore, Robin Kelly and Amber Liberté for transforming this musical into a vibrant, multi-sensory and unorthodox show for one and all. It was such an awesome experience working with professionals from outside of school who helped us immensely

Our thanks must also go to Robert Pollock and Joe Kennedy for playing the all the important roles of Producer, Stage Manager and working restlessly behind the scenes. You all put so much into the show, and we are all so grateful. Thank you to everyone who came to see us, hope you all enjoyed the show as much as we did!

In other news, the Arts Committee are in the process of utilising our grand old school quad by showcasing a series of musical performances titled ‘Music in The Quad.’ This initiative will see performers, who mightn’t usually have an audience to perform in front of, have the opportunity to perform and create a vibrant atmosphere with their diverse sounds.

Due to the sporadic and unpredictable weather changes that our city has been blessed with, we have not been able to assign any dates to this event. So keep your eyes and ears peeled for this very special event hopefully in week 7.

Ariane Lenihan & Sebastian Rice-Walsh – Arts Leaders




On the 31st of May, a group of year 12’s & 13’s got the chance to perform their exciting, creative dances at the Youdance event, hosted at the Raye Freedman Arts Centre in Epsom.  Youdance is great opportunity for young teens in youth groups or secondary schools to showcase their dancing and choreographing ability with an emphasis on sharing dance in a non-competitive environment.  It allows young people to experience what it is like to perform in a show and present their hard work. 

For the group of year 12’s & 13’s, they were able to perform their 2.1 and 3.2 dance assessments.  The 2.1 dance was choreographed by Molly Snowden and was a unique dance with a flow of breath and weight bearing.  The 3.2 dance was collectively choreographed by a group of year 13’s, including Faith Henare, Hannah Langton, Jet Lelisi, Waitama/Vincent Tuisamoa and myself Dione Tay.  The dance had a great sense of sound and strength flowing throughout the performance.  All of the dancers got to share their amazing ability with other schools and overall create a thrilling and incredible show! 

Arts Leader - Dione Tay


WSC Media Studies Alumni Catch-UP

We love hearing what our students get up to after they leave school, and how their media careers are progressing.  This week we cought up with Matt Hunter one of our star students and a scholarship recipient in 2014.  We are very proud of him.


Regional finals are on June 10 and 11 at the Dorothy Winston auditorium at Auckland Girls. Tickets are $10. There is a WSC band playing each night. It's a big weekend because on June 12th WSC will be represented in the solo/duo part of the RockQuest competition - listen out for more information and get along to support Mercy and Hattie.

On June 18 WSC will be featuring in Pacifica Beats - you may have heard Loxmyn and his band rehearsing on Monday and Wednesday lunchtimes, they are sounding fantastic.

New Found Sound
The Raise Up programme run by the YMCA is pleased to introduce this new event. On July 1st there will be an all age’s gig featuring new (and newish) DJs, Bands, Singers, Instrumentalists, and Dance Crews from local schools. A full professional set up will be available - you just have to turn up to play. See Margaret in the music department to register for this opportunity.

What fabulous work done by the musicians in the band for the school Seussical the Musical. Well done to Antonio, Max, Loxmyn, Jack, Ruskin, Harry and Bickio.

Margaret Robertson – HOD Music

visual arts

Extended Greetings
At the time of writing its half way through the term and with the days getting colder and darker; all students are progressively making their way to the art rooms to prepare or finish work to a higher level of completion.  This level of commitment indicates not only a desire to do well, but reflects the ability of the student to ‘manage self’ and take responsibility for their learning and productivity. 

The Visual Art department has also been busy over the last couple of weeks.  I was invited to speak at the Maori and Pacific Elam graduate ceremony with their families in the Tuakana room at Auckland University. It was an honour to have been part of their Lei ceremony in celebrating their esteemed accomplishments and also spotting a number of current students who are just starting their tertiary journey.  In situ, Kirsty Britton was involved in talking to visiting Principals from the feeder schools about successful models of learning in the Visual Arts, and all staff have been promoting Junior and Senior programmes during the Open week tours and the in-school photography and design workshops with the intermediate schools. 

The hosting of our professional organisation - the Auckland Secondary Art Teachers Association was also a highlight in week five.  The gathering of 43 teachers - organised by Judy Chiang, signage by Danielle Voyce and with catering supplied by Jennis Hayes y10 Food technology class, proved to be a great networking opportunity for the four invited artists (Siliga Setoga, Salome Tanuvasa, Kenneth Merrick and Dagmar Dyck) and fellow educators alike.  Teachers received complimentary usb wrist bands from the Tautai Trust, an advocacy group that has worked for the last 30 years to support the development of young artists of Pasifika heritage through the national ‘Fresh Horizons’ workshops and ACAG Pat Hanly scholarship nominations. 

Acknowledgements to our students who have had success in the wider Art community.  The inaugural Hauora Garden Watercolour exhibition at Toi Tu Studio One resulted in two winning entries from Western Springs College; Tyla Novak for her ‘Kawakawa’ and Phineas Reads ‘Horopito’.  The Y10

Students were judged by tutor Sandra Morris, and both awarded prizes for their observational work. 
Congratulations also to Y13 Art student Honor Munro, likewise featured in an exhibition at the prestigious Auckland Art Fair at The Cloud on Queens Wharf with patrons purchasing her work.  Another senior, Art History student Elise Friedman was recognised for her volunteer work at MOTAT 1.  As one of the youngest technicians responsible for operating the printing presses, Elise will be profiled in the local Harbour News.

A timely reminder to past students and families – there are a number of old folio boards that have been gathering dust in our cupboards and need to be picked up.  Whilst we can hold them with our current storage space – the temporary school will not be able to accommodate the excess which will have to be disposed.  Please email or phone to make a suitable time to retrieve the folios.
P.S.  If anyone has old newspaper they would like to donate, please leave on the large utility tables in

la Manuia                                                                                                                          Lily Laita - HOD Art


Year 10 Careers week

The Year 10 Careers Programme aims to broaden students’ ideas while developing their skills for further independent career research.

Heads of Houses began the week by demonstrating how NCEA works, including how to achieve the best results.

Year 10 students explored ways to investigate careers options based on their interests using an online tool called Dreamcatcher.  After creating their own Dreamcatcher profile, students viewed the Careers website ( to research information.  This allowed students to research possible interest matches using an online quiz called Career Quest and seek job opportunities, pay and training/entry requirements.  

Students learned to seek information, particularly in WSC coursebooks (here), which give subject prerequisites required to study at the next school year level (especially important after year 11), tertiary entry requirements and recommended subjects for different jobs (here).

Student can log onto Dreamcatcher at home through the school intranet and discuss with you the jobs they researched.

Key advice about for Year 10s making subject choices
1. Students tend to achieve better academically in subjects they enjoy. 
2. A manageable load is important when deciding subjects. 
3. Keeping subject options open in case of a change of plans is paramount.
4. Check ahead for Year 12 subject prerequisites when deciding year 11 subject selection.

Year 12 Careers

Almost all of year 12 have had their first session of their Careers Programme.
In the final class we will cover financial aspects of tertiary study by looking at StudyLink and exploring financial scholarship eligibility using website (available at school only through a licence).
We will cover University Entrance requirements and restricted course entry using Auckland University as an example.  We will emphasise the need for year 12 students to gain part-time work experience to complement their study as well as starting to visit various tertiary campus open days.

Calendar of Careers events can be found here

Matariki 2016 a Huge Success. Thanks for coming along!

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