WSC Newsletter # 8

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

1 September 2017

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Calendar - Term Three  - 2017

Week 7

4 Sept - 8 Sept
Tuesday Sept 5
Half Day - early finish @ 1.45pm

Week 8

11 Sept - 15 Sept
Monday Sept 11
Senior Exam Week
Tuesday Sept 12
Last day for student rep nominations for BOT

Week 9

18 Sept - 22 Sept
Monday Sept 18
Last day of senior exams
BOT Meeting
Tuesday Sept 19
BOT student rep election

From the Principal

It was an honour to host our local MP and Leader of the Opposition, Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday morning as she announced the Labour party’s post-school education policy.  Many of you will know her campaign manager Barbara Ward, a previous BOT chair here at Springs.

For me it was pleasing to see the warm and rapturous welcome that Jacinda received from our students.  Her earlier comment, upon being selected as leader, that she was “youth adjacent” was certainly evident.  Her visit was reported as follows:
“the applause was ecstatic, the so-called ‘Jacinda effect’ in full swing.  If these students were to elect the Parliament, Labour would win in a landslide.” (Stuff 30.06.17)

One of our students – Mercy Williams introduced Jacinda to the audience in the Hall. In that introduction she noted that “we live in a world where our livelihoods depend more and more on the level of education and skills that we can acquire, and in a world where that educational experience is harder and harder to come by.

I was particularly proud of our year 13 student Oscar Furness-Wills who has organized a candidates meeting here at Springs for Friday, September 1st.  Oscar is passionate about getting young people involved and voting and his statement says it all for me:
“Students at Springs identified with Ardern because her policies were an embodiment of what this school stands for.”

Term 3 is always action-packed with end of year assessment and final showcases of senior work in dance, drama and music.

Most recently, the school community has been celebrating senior work in dance and drama with 13Drama presenting Twelfth Night and 13Dance presenting their choreographed show Absence at TAPAC Theatre. Later this term we look forward to the annual WSC Dance Showcase on Wednesday 27th September at 3.30pm and 7pm at TAPAC Theatre.

Art and Media Digital Labs are a hive of activity as senior students begin preparation for end of year assessment and art portfolios. Students also are taking up opportunities outside of the classroom with competitions such as the 48Hour Furious Film Challenge, Play It Strange Design, Bright Awards and James Wallace Art Awards.

This weekend are the RockQuest Finals! We wish Daffodils the best of luck for their performance at the Dorothy Winstone Theatre, AGGS this Saturday 2nd September. The top twelve acts selected from regional competitions around the country will battle it out Saturday night for the title of National Band Champion. Get your tickets from Eventfinda (doors open 6.30pm) for the 7pm show.

Thanks to Oscar Furness-Wills – 13Art Design – for the ArtsNews Heading in this issue.                                                                          Kirsty Britton – Arts Coordinator

What is SGCNZ YSC? The Trip – Project Outline

Each year 24 of New Zealand’s most talented young actors are selected from SGCNZ’s National Shakespeare Schools Production to form the SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company. They participate in a comprehensive and exciting ‘package’, based principally at Shakespeare’s Globe London, of workshops, talks, Q&A sessions about the plays with actors and directors, behind the scene tours of the Globe, Rose and National Theatre, watch performances and rehearse at the Globe. Over their two weeks in London, they will have twelve rehearsals taken by a Globe Director in scenes from one of Shakespeare’s plays which they will have the amazing opportunity to perform for the public on the Globe stage at 11pm.

In addition, to complete their nearly three week long stimulating itinerary, they move on to Stratford-Upon-Avon for historical Setting Shakespeare’s Scene – including tours and performances there.

The Selection Process

During SGCNZ’s National Shakespeare Schools Production (NSSP) the three leading New Zealand Directors, high-calibre Workshop Tutors, and all other affiliated personnel, constantly evaluate the 48 students and select an exceptionally talented group of 24 students to represent New Zealand as the SGCNZ YSC.

They are chosen not only on their artistic merits, but on qualities of compatibility to ‘mesh’ as a group, ability to relate well to all age groups, being ‘sponges’ who will develop from the opportunity and are willing to give back to the community on their return.

Ella McIntosh - My time in England and SGCNZ YSC 2017

It is interesting trying to explain an experience to someone when you can't even find the words to begin with, all the memories are there but no words could ever express to someone who didn't experience it just how truly incredible an experience it was but I will try my best.

Excited, Ready, Apprehensive, Challenged,
Into it, Out of it, Appalled, Afraid.

Incredibly, unbelievably, lucky to be there. In love with it all.

I had already had ten days in England before meeting up with the YSC at Heathrow Airport greeting 23 beautiful, young, Kiwi creatures, that over the next twenty-something days would be my comrades in an adventure which was not going to be for the faint-hearted or thin-skinned. Nothing could have prepared us for the days ahead. As a company we knew two things:  1. We were going to be performing Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet on the Globe stage and 2. We had 11 days to be performance ready for a public audience. Thanks to NCEA, most of the company was relatively knowledgeable about the Romeo and Juliet tragedy, from studying it in either English or Drama but that didn't change the fact that no one had been given their roles yet. After a full day of classes and meeting our director and tutors for the first time, and then another day on a “find the Shakespearean monument” chase around London, we were assigned our parts. This gave us 8 days to learn them in time for our first dress rehearsal. Plenty of time!?

Cast as the magnificent Mercutio, and given the “Queen Mab” speech to perform, was exciting to say the least, but I am not going to lie and tell you that I wasn't scared shitless! The first day sight-reading that speech, script in hand, stumbling over words line by line, aware of iambic pentameter but unable to find my feet (in more ways than one) and struggling to understand the meaning of what I was saying, was the worst moment for me. However, we were all in the same boat and the need to get it together, trust each other and believe in the process meant the camaraderie we felt was phenomenal.

I started my days at 5:30am with a run from Bankside across the Millennium Bridge down to Southwark Bridge and back to the Globe, to get some air and shout my lines to the Thames. Nobody I passed seemed surprised. Maybe actors have been doing that there for centuries.  The full days of Shakespeare lectures, voice/movement classes and rehearsals left us physically and emotionally exhausted and invigorated at the same time. I didn’t want to waste a moment morning or night.  The tutors were so inspiring and encouraging. Every day gave us something to soak up (we were Dawn’s Shakey Sponges after all) and I wanted to absorb everything but it was hard trying to sort it all out in my head, stay sane, learn lines, get enough sleep and not be tempted to spend all night down at the basement pub performing tipsy Shakespeare sonnets with the other 18+ members of the company. The one-pound coffee every two hours did help a lot though.

When I said that this experience was not for the faint of heart, even for a drama kid, I was not being dramatic. Our first onstage rehearsal was 3 days before our final performance. From 11PM-2AM we rehearsed in the moonlight with the faint buzz of London city in the distance; still alive and awake just like us. Stepping onto the Globe stage that night was a rush; especially knowing that in 72 hours we would be back there with an audience in front of us.  We all knew a lot of work was still to be done for our performance to be any good and our rehearsal time was running out!   However, our director, Timothy Walker, pushed us to believe we could do it and with the support from our incredible tutors and the support we gave one another, we did. It was truly magical. Our midnight performance three days later, to friends, family, stragglers, strays, students and aficionados alike, was a moment blessed with all the glories theatre can bring. We danced, sang, spoke, laughed and cajoled as we told the sad story of the tragic Romeo and Juliet, and with the beauty of Shakespeare’s words and the belief instilled by our tutors and ourselves, I truly believe we all found a moment to soar. 

And then …. it was over…. but not quite!  The next day…. we were on the bus to Stratford Upon Avon, Shakespeare's birthplace. We spent the next four days exploring where Shakespeare grew up and experiencing British life outside of London. My last night in England was spent with the YSC gang in an old pub round the corner from where we were staying in Stratford Upon Avon. Around midnight I spotted a piano in the corner, the bartender gave me a nod and so in my overly-confident, tipsy state, (maybe imbued with a touch of the brave Mercutio), I sat down at the piano and started to play and sing Nina Simone's ‘Feeling Good’, because I was feeling good and for a minute life was just happening and it was great. We sang and danced for what felt like forever and then, just like that, we were back on the plane to New Zealand.

Thank you to everyone who believed in me on this journey. Even though, I am now definitely behind on my schoolwork, it was worth it!

My goal now is to get back there as soon as possible and see what else the city of London has for me.  I hope I have the chance to be a part of an experience like that again but I know they are rare and precious. Shakespeare, as usual, had the words for the occasion when he said,.. “we know what we are, but not what we may be”.  You never know what life has install for you! So fingers crossed for more of the same.

Thank you, Ella Augusta

YouDance performers receive Outstanding Feedback!

Congratulations to the WSC Dance students who performed at YouDance last term for the outstanding feedback they received. Part of the YouDance experience includes a critique of student choreography and performance from invited dance professionals. This year Shona McCullagh, artistic director of the New Zealand Dance Company, Sarah Knox from Auckland University, and Melanie Ashby-Klassen, the National Dance Moderator, praised WSC students’ original choreography, clear communication of ideas and commitment to their own dances.
Here are some great examples:

Cling choreographed by Georgia Menhennet, Akinehi Munroe and Rarahu Wong (Year 12)

'A real gem of a piece - I’m excited see your next work. Three very big talents and huge potential. Fabulous entrance. My favourite of the evening so far.

Powerful choreography!  A standout work of genuine creativity, heartfelt performance and ORIGINALITY.

You developed movement that very clearly expressed your ideas around what is comfortable and what isn't.'

The Women we Left Behind choreographed by Esther Cohen-Goh, Carla Harre, Freya Sturm and Rahera Taka-Brown (Year 13)

‘Good exploration of source material. You have developed interesting movement vocabulary which clearly communicates your themes and ideas. Effective and well-chosen musical accompaniment.

Focused performers who worked well together to support each other.

Expressive performance which was cohesive and moving.’

Control choreographed by Christophe Bate, Rahiri Maihi and Shani Mitchell (Year 12)

‘A highlight of my evening - very well done.  An intriguing opening, beautiful expressive bodies, clear choreographic ideas, you are really authentically connected and together.

Refreshing and brave choreography by three wonderful male dancers / choreographers.  Intimate, detailed movement vocab and complex partnering.

Engaging and captivating opening sequence. I get a really clear sense of what you are dancing about. Well done!

Committed and controlled performers who danced with purpose and expression. Fantastic work. What promising dancers and choreographers you are.’

Control has been selected for Auckland’s Tempo Dance Festival at Q Theatre. Well done Christophe, Rahiri and Shani. Check them out in Ignite! on Sunday October 15 at 3:30pm.

Chloe Davison – HOD Dance

Twelfth Night presented by Year 13 Drama

The year 13 drama students completed their season of four performances of Shakespeare’s great, late comedy Twelfth Night or What You Will.

This is a truly delightful comedy with a range of parts allowing every student the chance to not only show off their skills, but also to extend them as young performers. As a class they rose to the challenge to create a great piece of ensemble theatre.

The concept was a troupe of clowns attempting to perform the bard’s text. The text was edited to a racy 75 minutes, which kept the plot structure and much of the text intact, but allowed the show to move at pace.

The clowns played with a mixture of mischief and delight, making the most of their moments on stage, and at times audaciously competing for the audience’s attention.

They also added music playing mandolin, ukulele and trumpet, along with maracas, honking horns and the odd tambourine.

Double casting ensured everyone and a decent role and allowed for a chorus of clowns to take care of shifting the mobile Christmas trees to create an ever-changing array of locations.

A good night was had by all and it was lovely to see the smiles on the faces of the departing audience members. A huge thank you to everyone who came to support and to enjoy the performers.

Robert Pollock – HOD Drama

Art Department News

Greetings from the Art Department

It is week five, on the eve of Spring – half way through the term with students really starting to fire and grapple with regenerating and integrating conventions throughout their external folio boards.  The change of season also signals a staff reshuffle as we farewell Jacqui Dunningham who has been working as the senior Photography/Art History teacher from the beginning of the year.  Jacqui leaves us to pursue travel and her own Art practise - we wish her all the best for her future endeavours.  With senior classes covered by myself and Danielle, we are grateful to have Teina Smith join us for the remainder of the year.  As an experienced secondary Art teacher, Teina is also a lecturer in Art Design from AUT and will no doubt have some great tips and suggestions for our seniors completing their work.

Congratulations to senior Art Painting students Mahina Bennett, Lea Rust and Eva Fuemana for having their work chosen to represent the school in the Ringa Toi Exhibition on the 19th September.  The Wellington exhibition is organised by NZQA to celebrate the wide range of Art making by Maori students throughout the country.

Another standout achievement this term is by Y13 Art Design student Aria Toilolo-Ite, who will attend the ‘Fresh Horizons’ three day Art workshops and exhibition to be held at Auckland University of Technology.  The photography, fashion and printmaking workshops are part of an on-going initiative by the Tautai Trust to nurture and support the development of emerging Pasifika artists.

Lastly, thank you to all of the parents and caregivers who have paid student Art fees – a reminder that payment can still be made at the office as full or arranged AP.  Also, keep an eye out for the folio due dates and senior display in term four in the library:

Level 1 due;           Friday 29th September – last day of Term 3.
Level 2 due;           Friday 20th October – end of Week 1, Term 4
Level 3 due;          Thursday 26th October – end of Week 2, Term 4

Level 1, 2, 3 Display;     Friday 27th October, 10am-6pm, School Library – end of Week 3

Level 3/Scholarship due;   Tuesday 31st October – midday

la Manuia - Lily A Laita - HOD Art

Careers Happenings

Two Senior WSC students at “2017 AUT Shadow A Leader” Day
Western Springs College Nga Puna o Waiorea, selected two Year 13 representatives for AUT Shadow a Leader Day.  Students were Zach Monk, of “Wrap it Up”, a sustainable beeswax food wrap business, and Kiriataahua Te Maapi Pene with her Youthline student work.

Photo: Kiri Pene (Year 13 WSC), Bev Cassidy (Diversity Works), Tracey Han (AUT business student) 

Kiri said,  “I was honoured to have the opportunity to attend this year’s AUT Shadow a Leader Day. This event is a part of AUT leadership week and involves a high school students ‘shadowing’ an influential and inspiring business leader for the day.”

“Shadow a Leader Day began early in the morning over an amazing breakfast at AUT Business School.  Students met with their leaders and listened to inspirational stories from a number of leaders then departed and shadowed our leader for the day.  Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie, Chief Executive of Diversity Works NZ - showed me how their organisation teaches and encourages many businesses to make their workplace more diverse. My day was full of visits to different organisations, meetings with many influential people and gaining job interview skills - it was a very productive. I enjoyed it very much and am grateful I was nominated for this event”

Kiri’s nomination for Shadow a Leader resulted from her development of a peer support networking framework, connecting students, family and friends with Youthline. Kiri’s work resulted in a lot of her peers finding alternative pathways, assistance and career opportunities.

Zach spent the day following Ewen Anderson, Investment Director at Next Foundation, an ‘investor and supporter of well-defined, well-managed projects that deliver a meaningful and measurable philanthropic returns.’  More about AUT Shadow a leader Day and

Kay Wallace - Careers Department

Yr 13 Academic Leaders

Subject Selections

Just a reminder for all Year 10, 11 and 12 option sheets for 2018 are due on the THURSDAY 21st OF SEPTEMBER, that’s Thursday of Week 9.  Meeting the deadline gives you a far greater chance of getting your first choice of subjects, so get them done by the 21st.  Remember hard copy option forms need to be signed by your caregiver and electronic ones sent from your caregivers email address.  (Year 9 students you will choose your options for 2018 at the start of next term.)

In order to inform you about the subjects available in 2018, the coursebook has been published (click here). Alongside this, the Academic Leaders have been working on a new initiative: short videos to explain the content and focus of each subject. We gave each Head of Department the opportunity to produce a video for their subject/s, and these can be watched here.

Applying for 2018 Leadership Positions

Applications for leadership positions in 2018 are also coming up, so if you are in Year 12 and interested in becoming an Academic Leader next year, then feel free to come and find one of this year’s Academic Leaders: Zach, Jess or Mercy (pictured) to find out what the role involves.  Applications are due in by Thursday 7th September. (If you are in Year 9, 10 or 11 and are thinking about going for this leadership position in a few years time you are also welcome to come and chat to us.)


Year 13 Academic Leaders: Jessica Dallas, Zach Monk, and Mercy Williams.



NZ Secondary Schools Championship

On Thursday 20th July, the Western Springs orienteering team flew down to Palmerston North to compete in the New Zealand secondary schools orienteering champs. The members of the team were Sylvie Frater, Nina Quinn, Anna Cory-Wright, Angus Williamson and George Wright. We competed in the Sprint, Long and Relay events and ran in the mud, rain and cold. WSC came third in the intermediate girls relay, maintaining their position from the North Island champs. We had two top 10 finishers in the long distance event, Sylvie Frater in 5th and Anna Cory-Wright in 7th, these girls also placed in the top 10 in the Sprint, Sylvie in 7th, and Anna coming 10th. As a school over the whole event, Western Springs came second in the Small Schools competition, which is for schools that have 5 or less competitors.

Thank-you to the Adults who came down with us; Bronwyn Rosie, Moana Tercel, Martin Wright and also to Guy Cory-Wright who coached the team as well.


On Sunday 6th of August, Nina Quinn, Sylvie Frater and Anna Cory-Wright went to Waitawa Regional Park to compete in a Lactic Turkey rogaine. They had to get as many points as they could in the one and a half hour time frame they were given, by completing activities and finding checkpoints. They ended up with 1670 points, which landed them in first place in the schools category, and 2nd place overall.


On Thursday 10th of August, Nat Faull, Felix Lim, Austin Turnbull, Theo McIntosh, Sofia Gorman, Nina Quinn, Anna Cory-Wright and Sylvie Frater raced in an adventure race run by Hillary Outdoors called Get2Go. This was comprised of four activities based around Ambury Farm, Panmure Basin and Cornwall Park. The team competed in biking, orienteering and a mysterious ‘team challenge’, but sadly not kayaking as this was cancelled. The team challenge involved passing a tennis ball between members of the team using different objects such as pipes and a spoon. Despite the mud our team did very well as they ended up in first place. The eight year 10s have earned themselves a place in the National Final, a week in December on Great Barrier Island.

Thank you to Guy Cory-Wright who took the day off work to mentor the team, as they could not have competed without him.


Congratulations to TONGA NAU for being selected in the Auckland West Under 16 rugby team. Last season, he was selected and played in the Auckland West Under 14s. Tonga has also been an integral member of the school’s Rugby League First XIII and Rugby Union First XV for the past two years, so it is pleasing to see him making his mark at such a high level. 


Thursday 17 August was the date for the school’s Annual Squash Tournament. The event was held at the Unitec Squash Centre. Sadly, with a half day at school, only sixteen students arrived to compete for the various titles on offer. The standard of matches played however was of a high quality.
The JB Champ semi-finals saw the top four players from the Gold team battling it out. Sam B beat Rhys D and Harvey G beat George D in very close games. George then defeated Rhys in three sets for 3rd place. In the Plate Final, Harrison Cooke defeated Theo McIntosh in two close sets.

The stage was therefore set for the school’s two best squash juniors to battle for glory. Harvey Goodall, last year’s champion, was slightly favoured to do the repeat. The anticipated match was frenetic and worthy of a Grand-Final. Both players fought tooth ‘n nail for every point, with long breathtaking rallies and a great array of shots on display. However, in the end it was Sam Buckley who slowly wore his valiant opponent down and finally emerged as the school’s new champion.

Big thanks go to Robbie Lam (Unitec) and Tony Wilson from Direct Sport for the ongoing support of our racquets programme. For our school tournaments Unitec supply the music and courts while Direct Sport supply wonderful prizes, which is much appreciated.

Congratulations to all the participants, especially to our winners below.



L to R   Rhys Davidson (4th) Harvey Goodall (2nd) Sam Buckley (JB Champion)
             Theo McIntosh (2nd Plate) Trelise Chappell (JG Champion) George Danielson (3rd)
              ** Harrison Cooke (1st Plate) missed the prizegiving

Philosophy News

Western Springs Nga Puna O Waiorea Election Year Special

Come and discuss the topics that matter most to you and our wider community with our local electoral candidates! Bring your friends, whanau and anyone else you wish from our local community! Come and share your thoughts on policy and our future as a country. Confirmed so far are  Denise Roche (Greens), Helen White (Labour ), Paulo Garcia (National Party), Mika X (The Opportunities Party), and Joe Carolan (Socialist Aotearoa), as well as members of the Maori party and ACT yet to be confirmed.  The discussion will be chaired by Paula Penfold.

We'd  love to hear what topics mean the most for you this election, so send in your issue requests to or visit the Western Springs Nga Puna O Waiorea Election Year Special facebook event page for more details and updates.

We hope to see you there!

Oscar Furness-Wills, Year 13 Arts Leader

Community News

                                                     Check out the happenings at TAPAC


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