WSC Newsletter #8

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

29 August 2016

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Week 6
Aug 29 to Sept 2
Winter Tournament Week
Sept 02
Nominations close for Student Rep on BOT

Week 7
Sept 05
School closed at 12.25pm to allow for PPTA/NZEI/ETū 
paid union meeting 


Week 8
Sept 12
BOT Meeting 6pm in the Library
Sept 13
Student Rep on BOT election held


Schools, and education and parents too, have certainly been featuring in the news of late, so I thought it may be appropriate to have a look at some of the issues hitting the headlines.

The first, of course, is the front page feature in the Herald on Monday of this week relating to parents taking their children out of school for holidays.  The Ministry has recently started collecting data on this and the figure of 23,000 students or 3.4% of the school population per term has been identified. 
The reasons for this happening are not too hard to work out – cheap flights and accommodation packages out of school holiday time clearly being the driver for much of this.  Family circumstances, significant events (the recent Olympics in Rio come to mind), leave from work etc are also all in the mix.
Alan Vester, the chairperson of the Secondary Principals’ Council has stated that there is little school principals can do about this “because clearly families are going to go no matter what the response is from the school.”

Here is my perspective.  As teachers and parents we know of the strong, really strong correlation between attendance at school and academic achievement. School attendance = engagement = academic achievement, is a simple formula that rings true for just about every student.  We also know that with early notification and a little planning the impacts of absence from school can be mitigated.  The joys of “Google Classroom”, BYOD and the cloud mean that our students can be connected to their classwork and their teachers 24/7 anywhere in the world.

This brings me to the announcement from the Minister of Education of ‘Cools’ – Communities of On-Line Learning.  As parents you will be familiar with the realities of this right now.  Springs students, and parents too, are connected to their school digitally via email, website, parent and student portals, Google Classroom and Intranet.  This is the reality for a 21st century education.  It would seem that the Minister is intent on offering publically funded alternatives to private providers to grow this space.  If 21st century learning means using knowledge to create new knowledge; working collaboratively in teams to increase understanding and the power of knowledge – then, ipso facto schools are powerhouses of knowledge growth.  The innovative learning environments created by our new school build we know will enhance a Springs education even further.  Sure, there are small numbers of students who for a variety of reasons are unable to attend school and organisations such as the Correspondence School and Northern Health School offer alternatives here.  We can’t see too many benefits in siphoning off scarce school funding to what could be a plethora of private providers with little real accountability to their clients.

This brings me to the other big item that has featured in the news of late, the announcement by the Minister of Education of a new Global Funding proposal.  School leaders have reacted that this is another take on bulk funding in disguise and its sole aim is to reduce the amount of money given to schools to staff and operate their organisations.  The Minister, and the Ministry state that this is not the case, but a mechanism to distribute funding more equitably.  The abolition of the decile system has been one of the key drivers.  We know the reality of the inadequacy school funding now.  We live it every day.  We staff Springs with 10 teachers over our allocation to support the learning programmes on offer here.  We know that we are fortunate in being able to attract overseas fee paying students to boost our budget (by a 7 figure sum) to support this.  We know schools need more money to operate in the ways that you, as parents wish, not less.  To this end Western Springs College will close from 12.30 pm on Monday September 5th to allow staff to attend a joint PPTA/NZEI paid union meeting (as allowed for in the contracts of the two organisations) on this matter.  Notification of this meeting has been emailed out to you (Friday August 19th).  It is noted that senior school exams are scheduled for this time.  They will continue to run, but we will be unable to run classes for Year 9 and 10 students, who will be dismissed at 12.30 pm (the end of period 3).

Ivan Davis
Acting Principal


Trip to Nouméa, New Caledonia
While everyone was enjoying the school break in cold New Zealand, 17 students went to New Caledonia to practise their French and enjoy a week in a warmer weather.

The first three days, the students attended Creipac, Nouméa language school, and visited Nouméa town center, the Museum of New Caledonia, the Aquarium and the cathedral. Then they celebrated France National Day on July 14 with their homestay and finally discovered the island of Amédée, with its lighthouse and Tricot Rayé snakes, and even managed to snorkel with some turtles.  The weather was amazing for the whole week and the homestays made the whole experience very enjoyable to our students. The next trip to New Caledonia is planned for July 2018 and open to Senior students of French.                                                                                                                         Cécile Bourgeois, French teacher

The Trip to New Caledonia was such an amazing opportunity that I was lucky enough to have.  It was so good to meet new French speaking people. My highlight of the trip would have to be being a part of a French family for a week and experiencing their way of life! The homestay families were amazing and made us feel a part of their family straight away.  They provided beautiful food and took great care of us.


Another highlight of the trip would have to be Amedee Island which was so beautiful and picturesque.  The best part was climbing up 247 stairs to look out to the beautiful view from the top. Overall the trip to New Caledonia was amazing and a great learning opportunity. I highly recommend that you take the opportunity to go on this trip if you ever get the chance to!  Frederica Lio, Yr11.


Wrap It Up has now launched! Western Spring’s first Young Enterprise company is now selling beeswraps - a sustainable alternative to gladwrap - from the front office. As opposed to gladwrap, our beeswraps look beautiful, are reusable and will not harm the environment! There are 4 sizes and several package deals available. Made by infusing beeswax and jojoba oil, (which have antibacterial properties) into cotton, these wraps can be used to cover food from sandwiches and snacks to fruits or blocks of cheese, and can cover dishes or leftovers in the fridge!

If you want to find out more, or contact us, head to our website, or Facebook page,


Be among the first to see this fantastic documentary about Richie McCaw, which releases across NZ the day after our screening.

We have many talented parents at our school and one of them is Cass Avery, the producer of Chasing Great!  Even more reason to come along and see the film.

Chasing Great is a hugely inspirational film, which is less about rugby and more about resilience, the psychology of goal-setting, and overcoming failure and adversity – all topics which will resonate with parents of teens!  Bring your kids along too.

Details below:

8.00pm for drinks, 8.30pm movie start
Wednesday 31st August
The Bridgeway
Tickets (including a drink) $25 each from Bronwyn Hackett 

Bring along friends and family to this highly anticipated NZ film, the next big hit of 2016!

Check out the trailer here

An easy and enjoyable way to support our wonderful school


New Year 9 Technology Rotation
9WE have just finished their Food Technology unit. This involved identifying hazards in the kitchen, understanding how and what units of measurements are applied to baking and cooking, plus exploring the 5 main nutrients and their functions.  Furthermore, they learned how to create a balanced meal. The main project brings together what they have learnt and then they created a snack food that is inspired by the Mexican Burrito.

First the students worked in their cooking teams to create a bean burrito using authentic ingredients. Then, in turn, they designed and created their own fusion food. On a whole there was some amazing innovative ideas with 4 breakfast burritos ranging from what you might see in you breakfast bowl (Nutri-grain, yogurt, bananas, berries, nuts & seeds) to fresh in-season healthy foods.

Students in photos: Kelly Shi, Lilly Raukawa-Heslin, Zarife Jarvis, Lucy Empson, Nathaniel Faull, Caspian Rive

Year 11 Resistant materials
The students of Ms Hayes class have been working on their toy concepts. This involves researching existing ideas and conversing with a stakeholder to inform their design & decision making process. Students have shown great versatility, working with different resistant materials such as PVC tubing, acrylic, macrocarpa & pine. What is more, they are incorporating textiles and using the laser cutter to enhance their product. After this they will be working towards trialing and testing their skateboards - watch this space!

Students in photos: Dylan Foy, Isaiah Brbich, Taine Slaughter, David Wood, Luke Jeffries, Thomas Parekowhai, Isaiah Vagana.


The Junior Learner Awards for Term 2 were presented by the Heads of House in the first two assemblies of this term.  The awards celebrate two students from each core class who proved themselves outstanding learners for the duration of Term 2.  They could be outstanding because of the progress they made, because of the effort they put in, because of the academic excellence of their work, or because of their contribution to advancing the learning of others in the class.  Congratulations to all our Year 9 and 10 Award Winners.

Year 9 Award Winners

Luke Mayo
Mireille Morello-Nahkle

Adam Oliff
Jude Stevens

Conor Bowes.
Martha Coltman

Tayla Eaton
Harrison Olsen


Briar Hollick
Nicholas Tjong

Oliver Bennett
Indie Paepke


Ratema Te-Hei Simpkins
Mykayla Vaiula


Tayla Faddy
Hoani Williams-Cadore

Nathaniel Faull
Lucy Ward

Rosa Burrell
Jakob Mein

Year 10 Award Winners

Sean Agustin
Niamh Maher

Ruby Denee
Max Pratt

Jackson Green
Aleina Ite



Toby Schumacher
Kaysey Jones

Aasiya Shaikh
Jack Gong

Imogen Van Dam
Jack McMullen



Manaaki Hudson
Maia Tairi

Matariki Bennett.
Nganeko Wilson-Newman

Angus Burling


Māori Language Week 2016

The last week of Term Two proved to be a fun and dynamic one as students and staff celebrated Māori Language Week for 2016. The theme “Ākina te reo” was about finding active and fun ways to normalise and encourage the use of te reo Māori. Students were witness to haka flashmobs and performances and received free fried bread if they asked for it in Māori. The week ended off with an awesome Year 10 Kiorahi tournament in which all Year 10 students took part as an end to a Kiorahi topic that they had been learning in PE. Kāore e ārikarika aku mihi ki aku hoa mō te kaha tautoko me te whakarite i ēnei kaupapa whakarauora reo. Kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi! Bring on Wiki Reo Māori 2017!

Manu Kōrero Regional Speech Competition
Last term, we were very pleased to announce the regional placings for the annual Manu Kōrero speech competition.

Rangiunuhia Ngatipa - 2nd Senior Māori
Uenuku Papuni Abbott - 2nd Junior Māori
Piripi Gordon - 1st Senior English
Atakura Hunia - 1st Junior English

We wish Piripi and Atakura the very best of luck as they represent Auckland Region and compete in the National Manu Kōrero competition this September in Whangarei.

Year 9 Māori Studies
It has been 3 years since the introduction of a compulsory course of Māori Studies in Year 9 and the classes are proving to be an instrumental part of the ‘first year experience’ for new entrants. As the aim is to provide learners with basic conversational skills in te reo Māori, students also enjoy learning about local Māori history that pertains to our area and Auckland as a whole. If normalising te reo Māori in society is the way of the future then these students are on the right track!


The NZ Schools’ Peace Week, organised by the Peace Foundation, is held every year in August, and this year’s theme was ‘Dialogues for Peace’. Our Peace Ambassadors got involved by organising a bake sale and live music on Wednesday 10th August. The bake sale raised $300 for the Women’s Refuge, and we enjoyed wonderful music from ‘Critical Damage,’ finalists in the Pacifica Beats National Competition, and Mercy Williams, who won the Play it Strange Peace Song competition! In keeping with the theme of the week, we encouraged students to talk to someone they didn’t know in their form class.

On Friday 19th August, Linda Bean (school counsellor) and a group of 14 senior students attended the Schools’ Peace Symposium. This was a wonderful day where groups of students from about 12 Auckland secondary schools got together. We were inspired by the speakers, the music and the presentations from the schools who were there. Our group made a powerpoint of the events of the week, including a video where we interviewed students and staff at Western Springs, asking them what peace meant to them. One of the highlights of the day was meeting students from other schools and exchanging ideas and experiences.

Above is a photo is the group of students who came to the Symposium

This year the Peace Ambassadors have focused their fundraising efforts on supporting families who are dealing with violence at home.

At the end of this term,  from 12th - 16th September, we are collecting items for the Women’s Refuge. They need household items in GOOD CONDITION as they set up home from scratch for every family: cleaning products and equipment, first aid supplies, clean and tidy clothes for children (especially for over 8 yr old boys and girls), duvets and sheets in particular for single beds, curtains, kitchen utensils, plates cups and glasses, toys and children’s books.

Items can be dropped off at WAIORA, the student support building at the school end of the carpark, anytime during the week of the 12th-16th September. Please note we can’t take furniture or large items.

Thank you for your support!


Y9 Technology Lessons

There is a growing need for people with coding / programing skills. We have decided to give all students some hands on programming tasters that link to Maths. By the end of this term all Year 9 students at WSC will have had lessons on:

Programming Sphero robots (pictured)
Programming a Scratch animation
Improving their Excel Spreadsheet tool

Students are enjoying these lessons, and we hope that they will continue to see the link between Mathematics & Statistics and coding in future years.

Y11 External exam on Tuesday September 13th

The majority of Year 11 (and accelerated Year 10) students will be sitting their first external NCEA assessment on September 13th. The exam is a 1 hour standard most commonly known as the MCAT. Students taught by Mr Hockly, Mrs Turner and Mrs Paulkutty (the Year 11 general maths classes) will not be sitting this paper but all other classes are. 



Hopefully you’ve had information about this already, otherwise here is the information that you should have received.


Week 3 of this term was Maths Week. Congratulations to HNW on winning the form class quiz. Congratulations to Kapura on winning the the Inter House Mathex competition - 2nd equal was Atea and Whenua.
And we had maths dress-up day too… at least us maths teachers enjoyed the chance to look awesome.

Interschool Mathex

Last Wednesday, Western Springs College went to participate in the Auckland wide Mathex competition. Two year 9 teams and one year 10 team, along with their coaches, represented us this year. All of our teams had a successful evening, with our WSC Year 9 team 1 getting 55 points. This team had Nina Quinn, Sylvia Frater, Ana Cory-Wright and Maia McRoberts. They worked well together to achieve this great score. 

The WSC year 9 team 2 got an amazing score of 70 out of 100.

Isabelle Sheperd, Raaz Alfassi Berman, Bella Ashby and Ana Downey were in this team and worked extremely hard for this score. The year 10 team had an outcome of 55 out of 100. The Year 10 team students were Sophia Reay, Khushee Jain, Kate Hannay and Jack Gong. This team was coached by the former year 10 Mathex team members Bicknell O’Callahan and Ruskin Swedlund.

The experience of Mathex was well worth the training. We all had a fun and energetic night as we tore through the questions, watching the scores rise steadily.

Special thanks to Petra and Mr Watt for organising all practises. Thank you Mr Kondamudi and Ms Johnson for supporting and helping us reach the Mathex venue on time. Without these teachers us students wouldn't have had the chance we did.

~Khushee Jain~

Groups from 9MN racings the Spheros

 Pythagoras, a “number jack”, Newton and a maths teacher dressed as another maths teacher?

“The maths teachers make great cheerleaders!!,”

Term 3 is drawing to a close following an action-packed calendar full of exciting events in theatre and music. 

Over the past weeks Dance and Drama have showcased wonderful performances with the annual senior class productions. Congratulations to all students involved and to teachers Melanie Turner, Chloe Davison, Robert Pollock and Beth Kayes.

Coming up are the Rockquest and Pacifica Beats National Finals and we wish Daffodils and Critical Damage the best of luck for their performances – Critical Damage performs on 23rd/9/2016 at Pacifica Beats and the Daffodils at Rockquest on 24th/9/2016 – both finals are at the Raye Freedman Theatre, Epsom Girls Grammar. Get your tickets!

Art and Media are a hive of activity as students begin with preparation for end of year assessment and art portfolios.

Coming up next week we are taking a selection of students to Ponsonby Intermediate for our annual Arts Showcase. This event always highlights success in the arts. Following this, Talent Quest in week 10!

Thanks to Hunter Keane – 13Art Design – for the ArtsNews Heading in this issue.                                                                          Kirsty Britton – Arts Coordinator


The last two weeks have been full of amazing drama performances. The Year 12's did an amazing job in Too Fast, a play about a new band trying to make it at their first big gig - a classmate’s funeral. The story was humorous and emotional at the same time and they did very well conveying that emotion.

Congratulations to all of the Year 13 drama students who performed their last show in TAPAC, The Wedding Party, and with three out of the four shows packed to the brim I think it is safe to say it was a success. The students were great at bringing out the classic kiwi-ism's of each character and the typical drama that goes on in a simple rural wedding.

We would like to thank Robert Pollock and Beth Kayes for all of the time and effort that you put into making our shows wonderful. We really appreciate you.

              Ariane Lenihan - Arts Leader


Last week 13 Dance produced a strong show of their own choreographies in Footprints.  Themes ranged from the celebratory response to the announcement of war and the promise of opportunity it represented, through returned soldiers suffering shellshock, to female responses to war.  They were joined by 5 year 12 students performing a year 12 choreography.  It has been exciting to observe these young adults growing as artists, gaining confidence in their ideas and vision, and finding their own artistic voice in Dance.  The group performed 4 shows in 2 days, including a very demanding male piece. Over 250 people saw the show, including 80 students from our neighbouring school Pasadena Intermediate who really enjoyed the humour ☺  

The next major event on the Dance calendar is our annual Dance Showcase, featuring the best work in senior curriculum Dance Levels 1-3 over the year.  Shows are 3.30 and 7.00pm, Wednesday 21 September.  Tickets through TAPAC – book yours now!

Selected year 9 and 10 Dance students are performing as part of the WSC junior showcase at Ponsonby Intermediate next week.  There are lots of performance opportunities at all levels in Dance – they just keep coming!

See you at Dance Showcase! ☺

Photo credit: Nina Gastreich Photography                            Melanie Turner – HOD Dance

The 48hr film challenge is fast approaching on the weekend of 16th-18th September. A gentle reminder to those students who would like the two for one discount to pay their money to the office and get their registration form to the media office ASAP. Our official school team is getting into 'training' and raring to go! Film Club is happening every Monday lunchtime in D12 - anyone is welcome. We're currently doing some green screen experimentation.
                                                                                          Sharn-Konet Reitsma – Media Leader

                     Greetings from the Art Department

Despite the inclement weather and residual influenza bugs – there is a real sense of momentum building as students gear up for the practise exams and looming deadlines.

Sparrow Phillips talking to senior art students

Just recently we have had tertiary tutors give talks to our senior students about portfolio applications, course content and moving image.  Lisa Crowley brought Elam students in to talk directly about the pros and cons, and John Piper gave an informative presentation focusing on Moving Image at AUT.  We also have Robotics and Drone expert Assad Khan tutoring a small group of students on applications for Moving Image to develop their work.  Sparrow Phillips (aka ‘Component’) also gave a talk to a packed room of seniors about his ideas and methods behind his success as a prominent NZ street artist. The value of hosting other voices is not lost on students in the Visual Arts, especially in regard to possible career pathways and options beyond NCEA. 

Similarly, as a department we have been more forward this year in nominating and promoting students towards other Creative Arts opportunities.  The 22 students and three staff who attended the prestigious international Art Symposium ‘Semi Permanent’  –  came back motivated and inspired with a large number returning on the Saturday to get the most out of the experience.  The seniors who spent their own time during the holidays working with Unitec tutor Bobby Hung on the Pt Chev mural project were not only paid for their time, but actively contributed to a community project documented on Western Springs College Art students give back to the community with visual installations and Bobby Hung - Berst Workshop Series: Pt Chevalier Project.  And lastly, Y13 students Cato Refiti and Dione Tay have been accepted into the Tautai Trust ‘Fresh Horizon’ workshops at AUT where they will produce works focusing on signs and symbols for an exhibition at the end of three days.

The ability for all students to maintain goals and keep moving forward (regardless of adversities) is a transferable life skill that will enable them to develop confidence and strategies in meeting challenges head on.
                                                     Ia Manuia                                               Lily A Laita - HOD Art


News from our Sustainability Groups


Alternate travel week
Week 8 (after senior exams) we’re running Alternate Travel Week.This week will involve a series of events to promote transport alternatives to private vehicle use. We are passionate about encouraging our community to reduce its dependence on cars. There is the environmental payoff of course; but the congestion our city suffers from will not improve if people don’t shift to using other forms of transport where possible.

Waste Wise is starting beeswax wrap workshops this term! Come and make your own reusable sustainable alternative to glad wrap after school each week. Gold coin donation only. Look out in the daily notices for more information.

Our stream
Lucy & Luke are currently working on an application to council for some money to buy the next lot of natives for planting along Meola Creek. Fingers crossed they are successful - watch this space. They will be looking for volunteers to help with planting if they are!



Ministry of Health - Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme at Home Pharmacy Grey Lynn
Free Antibiotics & Throat Swab for Maori and Pacific Island children aged between 3 and 19 years old.
No Appointment required - we're open 7 days, simply pop in.
Home Pharmacy Grey Lynn | 280 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn (next to Fruit World) | Tel: 09 281 2812
Mon - Fri 9am-6pm | Sat 9am-5pm | Sun 10am-4pm
For more information -


Term Three Special Offers
Adult and Teen Community Education Classes
Western Springs College

For a full list of upcoming classes click here. 

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