WHS Newsletter | Issue 4.1 | 16 October 2020
Kia ora and welcome to the Wakatipu High School newsletter at the start of Term Four. The term is well and truly underway with plenty happening already this week, and hence there’s quite a bit from me and in the newsletter below.
Today has been ‘Pink Shirt’ day, with students able to accessorise their uniforms in pink in a stand against bullying - see Juliana’s Head Student Address below for more.
On Wednesday we gathered as a school to celebrate the announcement of the 2021 Head Students. As you have heard me say before, the selection process is rigorous and it is always very challenging for us to select from the amazing students who put themselves forward for these important roles. On behalf of the school my congratulations to our Head Students for 2021:
Head Boy - Todd Vermeir
Head Girl - Carmen Woodhouse
Deputy Head Boy - Will Cooper
Deputy Head Girl - Kate Edmonds
Please note that the process of selecting Lead Prefects and House Leaders is ongoing, and we’ll let you know more when it is concluded.
At the same assembly we celebrated our Class Act recipients for 2020. The Class Act award is sponsored by the ODT and is one of the most prestigious external awards our great all-round students can receive. The award includes a scholarship to Otago University, and is normally presented by the Prime Minister - which unfortunately didn't happen this year due to Covid. This year our recipients are Greta Balfour and Ryan Connaghan, and our congratulations go to both of them.
In terms of awards, today was also our annual ‘Wakademy’ Awards - complete with red carpet, flash dresses, furs and even drum rolls, it was great to see and celebrate the media and film talents of our students - see below for more.
Excellence, Ad Alta and Ākonga Passport Assemblies - are next week. Parents of prizewinners have been emailed and are welcome to attend.
Junior PAS Reports - are now available on the Portal, and have been emailed out. If you do have any questions regarding the Report please contact your student’s Kaiarahi, Dean or subject teacher as appropriate.
Branches Camp - the first big student meeting was held this morning. Please see below for more, including key dates - the first of which is the Medical and Consent Form due next week.
Performing Under Pressure - a final reminder re Dr Ceri Evans’ session at 7pm on Tuesday. Generously supported by AJ Hackett Bungy, the evening is on a topic which is important to students and families - be sure to come along.
New WHS App - another reminder to download the new ‘SZapp’ as it is now a key communication channel for us (and we used it this week to notify re the traffic delays on our road), and it has lots of great features as well. See below for more on how to download it and set it up.
WHS Foundation Golf Tournament - the WHS Foundation are very generous and important supporters of WHS, and their financial support makes a significant difference to our ability to deliver our great all-round education. In these Covid times their support is more important than ever - and of course Covid also means it is challenging for the Foundation to raise the funds to support us! One of their key fundraising events is the annual Golf Tournament at Millbrook on Wednesday 4th of November. Please see below for details, including how to register and get a team together for a great day out for a great cause!
Queenstown Rotary Club - are also great supporters of WHS, including offering amazing opportunities for our students. Our thanks to Rotary for their support - see below for pieces on the National Science Forum and Whitbread Sailing Experience.
Phase 2 - is moving along now, with the arrival of the first of the modules of the temporary classrooms arriving yesterday. While these will not be used until next year, it is good to see the project gaining momentum.
Despite postponements, tomorrow night is finally the Formal - one of the most important nights of the year for many. Everything is organised and expectations are clear, we look forward to a wonderful and enjoyable night for all :)
Three big weeks lie ahead now, with some of the most significant ceremonies of the year, including Sporting and Cultural Blues as well as Senior Prizegiving. It is also an important time for seniors in particular as they now have only thirteen school days until Senior Prizegiving followed by Tutorial week. They need to be encouraged and supported to be focused on their studies - whether it is final internals and/or preparing for external exams.
A rather average weekend of spring weather ahead, with Sunday looking a little sunnier and milder.
Go the All Blacks!!
2021 Head Students
3rd Annual Wakademy Awards
Each year we celebrate the best of student film-making in the Wakademy Awards. It gets harder and harder to judge these Awards as the calibre of film lifts each year. There is some serious film-making talent developing in this community! Here are the winners as decided by our various panels of judges:
Best Sound Design: Maelys-Lily Foote for Two in a Room
Best Editing: Rohan Key for Linzville
Best Cinematography: Aidan Gordon for Vanished
Best Actor: Charlie Hogan for Day & Night
Best Actress: Kira Almquist for Mania
Best Music Video: Runner by Amelie Saint-Pere
Best Documentary: Women in Karate by Maya Bunting
Best Director: Juliana Rossi Macaes and Ruby Esler for Day & Night
Best Picture: Mania by Elke Koehn
Congratulations to all the film-makers who worked under pressure to make these films, in a year that has been tougher than most. A big thank you also to all the teachers, friends and family who starred or supported in some way.
Ms Jennifer Smart & Ms Katherine Beaumont
Teachers of Media Studies
Branches Camp Update
The first student meeting was held this morning and gave students an overview of the whole camp, activities, health and safety and important key dates. These meetings will be held weekly after Labour Weekend until the camp goes in on Friday 27 November. These will progressively inform students about the camp and preparations, including the upcoming Community Workday and Pre-Branches tramps. Detailed information for parents/caregivers will be sent in weekly emails, so keep an eye out for these.
The school appreciates the additional uncertainty and stress that Covid-19 has caused for many of our families in the community. We understand that on occasion, families may need assistance in meeting the costs of various aspects of school life, and with Branches Camp being very much a 'rite of passage' and frequently one of the most memorable events of high school for students, I wish to remind you that financial assistance is available through the Awhi Fund. If you would like to access Awhi funds for Branches Camp, please fill out this form or contact one of our Guidance Counsellors: Vicki Patton email@example.com or Christopher Tweddell firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a confidential meeting.
Important Branches dates to note are:
Friday 23 Oct - Medical, Health, Consent Google Form due
Friday 30 Oct - Transport Google Form due
Friday 13 Nov - Branches Camp payment due; Student Community Workday
Friday 20 Nov - Pre-Branches tramps, including Activity Groups
Thursday 26 Nov - Camp Set up and early groups
Friday 27 Nov - Branches Camp goes in
Tuesday 8 Dec - Branches Camp comes out
Thursday 10 Dec - Year 10 Prizegiving
Branches Workday - Friday 13 November
Every year students going to Branches Camp have a ‘Branches Workday’ where they spend a day working to raise money for Branches Trust who support students going to Branches Camp. This year Branches Workday is Friday 13 November.
With Covid this year however it will be a little different. While students are still required to complete a workday this year they will work for a local company or community group who support the school and the Branches Camp and give back to the community. If some of these organisations are able to give a donation towards the cost of camp to help keep the costs down for students and their families that will be great, and if you are able to sponsor a student to work for a community group, eg. Happiness House, Reforestation Trust, that would be a ‘double good deed’ in that it supports a Branches student and a local community group.
Of course if you can provide paid work for our students on workday, or if you know of any businesses or individuals who may be able to support us, we would also love to hear from you.
Please contact Bennie Neilson - Branches Trust Workday Coordinator (021 271 1182, email@example.com ).
Branches Camp Coordinator
The Rotary International Science & Technology Forum
The Rotary International Science & Technology Forum has been going for 32 years. Each January, around 168 of New Zealand’s top science students spend two weeks of their holidays at a special Forum in Auckland, prior to starting their last year at high school. During this time, students live in the Halls of Residence at the University of Auckland.
This programme is for outstanding all-round science, maths and technology students in Year 12 who will be returning to school in Year 13 and are planning to study the sciences or technology at tertiary level. This programme is conducted by Rotary and the University of Auckland, AUT and Massey University who combine resources to present diverse and stimulating academic sessions and experiences across a wide range of sciences and technologies. This is augmented by visits to science and technology enterprises in the Auckland region as well as a range of fun activities for students to enjoy.
The central purpose of this Forum is to broaden the horizons for our best science students and to assist them in making the best decisions about their future direction. By the end of the Forum, students should have a better understanding of the tertiary courses they wish to follow and a fuller appreciation of the place of science and technology in the wider community. It also provides an opportunity for high achieving students to spend time with similar minded people. The experiences gained invariably result in overall personal growth, a renewed motivation to succeed and many new friends for life.
Students from all over NZ apply to attend the Forum and it is a competitive selection process. Rotary Clubs interview and then short-list suitable students who they then nominate to the NZ Forum Director, who will then make the final selections. This selection process is based on positive personal qualities as well as proven scholastic achievement.
During the Forum, participants will have the opportunity to win one of two places at the London International Youth Science Forum in July 2021. Wakatipu High School has been very successful with this with four WHS students chosen over the years, most recently, Archie Ritchie was the last student to be awarded this amazing opportunity.
The Queenstown Rotary Club is thrilled to have selected Hannah Battrick and Linus Ritchie to attend the 2021 Forum in Auckland.
Rotary Club of Queenstown
"Writing is the painting of the voice." – Voltaire
From the 24th to the 27th of September, 17 students passionate about writing had the opportunity to attend the sixth New Zealand Young Writers’ Festival in Dunedin. Students were given the opportunity to listen to some amazing Kiwi poets including the likes of Essa May Ranapiri and Jordan Hamel, but also to attend some incredibly creative workshops. Favourite workshops included ‘Map Poetry’ ‘Fern Fronds on Fire: Climate Poetry’, and ‘Zine Wake n Make’.
Of note, one of our students, Sorcha Wilkinson, won the ‘Flash Fiction Competition’ with her piece, The Story of Dunedin Manor:
I saw him when I was walking past the plush old armchair in the corner. I say plush because it usually is. When I went to sit down, I saw a dull crimson fabric peeling, stuffing and springs protruding. The upholstery sagging under a weight that could not be seen. A dappled spotlight shining, the chair surrounded by hollow darkness. A hand seemingly guiding me towards the light. I felt a cold emptiness filling me, sending shivers down my spine. This nook of the manor was overgrown, fern fronds poking out from cracks in the rotting floorboards, black ivy creeping up the walls. Daring to look back to the chair, a blue mist was floating with no apparent shape or form. I tried to back away, to leave this place, but something held me. Whether it was my own curiosity, or yet another unnatural force keeping me captive, I couldn't say. I turned back to the chair, and peering into my eyes, straight through my soul, were the eyes of another. The old man looked at me, dark eyes gleaming with a greed I had never seen before. A heavy weight set within me, tar filling my stomach.
Most Devastating Ending , 2020 NZYWF Flash Fiction Competition
Congratulations to Macy Tyne who performed an original song at the recent RenewArt 2020. This was an initiative from the Three Lakes Trust in response to Covid and was a celebration of our local arts culture. Featuring artists, musicians, dancers and comedians this event attracted large audiences in Queenstown and is running over the next weekend in Wanaka.
Rotary Sailing Scholarship
On the first week of the school holidays, we had the opportunity to travel on Steinlager 2 via a scholarship from Queenstown Rotary Club and BlueLight Trust. Steinlager 2 is an incredible sailing boat skippered by Sir Peter Blake, which won the 1989/1990 Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race; winning all six legs of the race and set the fastest time sailing around the world.
For five days we sailed around the Hauraki Gulf learning new skills, getting to know new people and of course, making memories. On the journey, we met some awesome people from all over the North Island (we were the only South Islanders) and experienced some crazy things together. A couple of highlights were the early morning ocean swims (7:00am) which were surprisingly cold for us Southerners, and our evening chill time when we got to chat with our crewmates. We were also extremely lucky to visit various islands in the gulf and see some wildlife including dolphins, albatross and even some peacocks at Mansion Bay, Kawau Island.
Each day we took turns working the boat, skippering, working the sails, navigating as well as other daily chores such as cooking and cleaning. This was a challenging time for all of us as we did not comprehend the discipline involved with maintaining such a large vessel. We also learned about Sir Peter Blake and his significance to NZ sailing as well as his massive contribution towards environmental awareness and climate change. This was certainly a highlight of 2020 for both of us and we are truly grateful to have gone on this experience.
We would like to say a huge thanks to Rotary Queenstown for this fantastic opportunity. We wish luck to Will and Jonty as they embark on the next Steinlager 2 expedition in the January school holidays.
If you would like to check out some footage of the trip click the link below.
Jack Smillie (Year 9) and Yasmin Kidd (Year 13)
Head Student Address
Kia ora and happy Friday everyone,
This term has started with a BANG! Many upcoming events are in the books and many celebrations to be had.
Speaking of celebrations, this Wednesday the staff and students were invited to a whole school assembly to announce our head students for 2021. Congratulations to Carmen Woodhouse and Todd Vermeir on their achievement of Head Girl and Head Boy and I wish them much success in their positions next year. The Deputy Head Students for 2021 were also announced - congratulations to Kate Edmonds and Will Cooper.
The holidays were a great and calming break for many students, however, for our Year 13 students it was a time full of anticipation, awaiting the news in response to their scholarship and college applications. The majority of the students in Year 13 are finalising their plans for next year and are in the midst of making big and exciting decisions. Congratulations to all the students who got scholarships and were accepted into university colleges. This year the competition for residential colleges was greater than ever, so I advise the current Year 12 students who are completing Level 2 to put effort in during these remaining months because it will be rewarded next year when you are choosing your colleges.
Today, the Year 10 students had the first in a series of meetings about Branches Camp. All of the students who attended Wakatipu High School during Year 10 know that Branches is an exceptionally special camp – full of opportunities. I urge all the students going this year to embrace the experience because it is one in which they will make many new friends and acquire various different life skills. The twelve-day camp runs near the beginning of December at Branches Station in the Skippers Canyon. It is one of the most memorable experiences according to past students who have gone on the camp. This is a very exciting time for the Year 10 students and a very busy time for all the camp coordinators, so it is important to be patient and grateful.
Pink Shirt Day is an annually awaited event to stand together against bullying. The event began in 2007 in Canada when two students stood up for one of their peers who was getting homophobically bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Now this event is celebrated annually around the globe. Wakatipu High School celebrates this day by allowing students to come to school wearing pink accessories. This year it was held on Friday the 16th of October (today) and many students participated. It is great to see such a supportive and united school community working together against bullying.
The Wakatipu High School annual Wakademy Awards occurred. You heard me right, Wakademy Awards. This event, similar to the academy awards in which it is an event to celebrate and reward people for excellence in the film industry. As part of the school’s media studies programme, students in each year group are given the opportunity to produce a short film of some sort. This year, Year 11s were to produce music videos, Year 12s created documentaries and Year 13s created pilot episodes for TV series. The films were showcased during breaks throughout the week and then the judges announced their final verdicts today. Congratulations to all the winners who were announced but also to all those who were nominated.
Final mention for this week is the annual Formal event held for Year 12 and 13 students. This event has suffered through many postponements due to the restrictions around Covid-19 and the students are very thankful that the event was still able to happen. This Saturday, the event will be held at the Skyline and students and staff will get the opportunity to relax and enjoy a special night with their peers. Through all the cancellations this year, it is amazing that we got to keep this one special event as it is a well deserved celebration for making it through the challenging period. Thank you to all the staff and students that have worked so hard to ensure this event could happen for us.
Happy Friday everyone!
Juliana Rossi Macaes
Academic Lead Prefect
Term 4 Music Department Events
Term 4 starts off with a very busy few weeks in the Music area. An outline is given below and updates will occur as we go along:
Friday 16 October - Songs of the Wakatipu (WHS Theatre). Open to any songwriters/bands from Year 9 - Year 13. Runs from 5.30pm - 7.00pmish with soundchecks after school
Friday 23 October - Jazz at WHS theatre (replacing the Invercargill event). Jazz combo/ensemble/junior jazz. Soundchecks after school. Time TBC.
Saturday 24/ Sunday 25 October (Labour Weekend) - Jazz Combo/Ensemble. The plan at this stage is to meet at the Village Green 11.30 to play From 12.00pm - 1.00pm.
Sunday gig TBC . Arrowtown. Meet 11.00 for 11.30am - 12.30pm performance.
Sunday 1 November - Central Soundwaves TBC
Tuesday 3 November - Cultural Blues
Thursday 6 November - Senior Prizegiving
Sports News and Results
National Mountain Bike Champs
Seven WHS riders competed at this year's National Schools Mountain Biking Champs in Wellington over the holidays and earned some fantastic results across this competitive event. Congratulations to you all!
Jess Blewitt - 1st U19 Womens Downhill
Rory Meek - 2nd U14 Boys Downhill
Maia Jowett - 4th U19 Womens Downhill
Ben Blewitt - 9th U17 Mens Downhill
Josh Culling - 10th U20 Mens Downhill, 18th U20 Men's Enduro & 12th U20 Men's Cross Country
Marley King Smith - 32nd U15 Boys Enduro
National Junior Freeski and Board Champs
Nine WHS snowsports athletes competed at Cardrona last week in the annual National Junior Freeski and Board Champs. Congratulations to all of those who competed and to those that placed in their events, well done!
Harper Souness - 2nd U16 Boys
Flynn Dawson - 3rd U16 Boys
Sam Riddle - 8th U16 Boys
Charlotte Muir - 1st U16 Girls
Bella Maroszek - 2nd U16 Girls
Taylor Breen - 5th U16 Girls
Kaiya Collins - 1st U18 Girls
Oto Higuchi - 2nd U18 Boys
Anru Wakushima - 3rd U18 Boys
Matthew Moore - 5th = U18 Boys
Harper Souness - 2nd U16 Boys
Sam Riddle - 5th U16 Boys
Charlotte Muir - 1st U16 Girls
Taylor Breen - 4th U16 Girls
Bella Maroszek - 5th U16 Girls
Kaiya Collins - 3rd U18 Girls
Anru Wakushima - 3rd U18 Boys
Harper Souness - 2nd U16 Boys
Sam Riddle - 6th U16 Boys
Charlotte Muir - 1st U16 Girls
Taylor Breen - 2nd U16 Girls
Bella Maroszek - 3rd U16 Girls
Kaiya Collins - 2nd U18 Girls
Anru Wakushima - 4th U18 Boys
Oto Higuchi - 5th U18 Boys
Matthew Moore - 6th U18 Boys
Harper Souness - 2nd U16 Boys Ski
Charlotte Muir - 1st U16 Girls Ski
Bella Maroszek - 2nd U16 Girls Ski
Taylor Breen - 3rd U16 Girls Ski
Snowvision NZ Alpine Youth Champs
Six WHS Alpine Ski racers competed in the Snowvision NZ Alpine Youth Champs in Cardrona at the end of September. This is the highest level of ski racing in New Zealand for the youth ages of U14 and U16 in particular. Unfortunately due to poor weather the Super G event was cancelled. A number of our athletes did really well, with some winning their events. Below are the results.
Bayley McDonald - 1st U14 Boys Slalom and Giant Slalom
Sammie Packer - 1st U16 Boys Slalom and Giant Slalom
Olivia Flight - 2nd U19 Women's Slalom and 3rd Giant Slalom
Olivia Key - 3rd U16 Girls Slalom and 5th Giant Slalom
Natalie Tatge - 4th U19 Women’s Giant SlalomJack Harman - 7th U19 Boys Giant Slalom
Overall Combined Disciplines Results:
Bayley McDonald - 1st U14 Boys
Sammie Packer - 1st U16 Boys
Olivia Key - 4th U16 Girls
Snowvision New Zealand Alpine Youth Team
Congratulations to Olivia Key who has just been selected into the New Zealand Youth Alpine Ski team. Olivia is one of four athletes selected into this team, congratulations!
South Island Ice Figure Skating Champs
Two WHS students competed in the South Island Figure Skating Championships over the holidays. Well done to Georgia and Megan. Results below:
Georgia Chinn - 3rd Basic Novice Ladies
Megan Carr - 5th Juvenile Grade
Spring Challenge 2020
This year two WHS teams competed in the Spring Challenge six hour race, which was held in Christchurch at the end of September. The Spring Challenge is a women's adventure race that involves every team member completing rafting, mountain biking, hiking, and rogaine sections, all while navigating and working as a team. The event maps and course are not made available until 12 hours before the race start, or during the race. Both teams did incredibly well finishing 1st and 2nd in the junior category (combined total ages of 60 or less).
Zara Mackley, Neve Bates and Phoebe Cavanagh finished in first place with a time of 8 hours, 9 minutes.
Hannah Battrick, Jessica MacDonald and Zoe Bennetts finished in second place with a time of 9 hours, 43 seconds.
Congratulations ladies on your great results in this awesome event!
Otago U19 Cricket Wider Squad Selection
A huge congratulations to Jordan Gibbons and Toby Hart who have just been selected into the Otago U19 Cricket wider squad for the upcoming summer. Well done lads on this awesome achievement!
Abby Fookes, Caitlin Hollyer, Paige Loggenberg, Kloe Vermeir, Lucy Viggers and Mia Williamson have all been selected into the Central Otago U19 Women's Cricket team. Congratulations girls!
Congratulations to Gigi Thomson (U16), Neve Bates (U15) and Marley King Smith (U15) for winning their age group divisions at the R2k single sculls regatta in Twizel during the holidays!
Congratulations to Year 11 Olive Watherston who was selected and attended the Highlanders U18 Camp in Dunedin during the holidays. This is a really amazing achievement and the first time a WHS player has been selected into this camp for many, many years. Seven girls were selected to attend from across Otago.
Careers Department - Job Vacancies
ARE YOU A LOCAL STUDENT ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A SUMMER JOB? GREAT NEWS….WE’RE HIRING!
A long term, part-time job while studying. The ideal candidate will be at least 17 years old. We will provide you with valuable skills, training and experience that you can either build on for a hospitality career once study has finished - or take with you when you head off overseas. We can offer flexible hours to suit your needs, such as part time work while at school and work during university holidays. Learn the skills of hospitality in one of Queenstown’s most popular restaurants.
You will be well presented and bring the right attitude along with a desire to learn.
If this sounds like you, then email firstname.lastname@example.org
We now have a summer position available in our Queenstown based project - Recreation Ground Wastewater Conveyance Scheme - located on Memorial Street.
If you are soon to be entering SIT or other civil engineering course and are keen to get some experience on site this would be a good opportunity for you to shadow / help our site engineer and get some experience on drainage, surveying, geotechnical testing, earthworks, pavement.
Please come to the careers hub for more details, or contact Anne Goddard, Project Manager, HEB Construction Ltd +64 27 620 9586
The Ferg businesses are looking for highly motivated, reliable Year 12 and 13 students who want to learn and obtain practical experience in the hospitality industry. You will need to be primarily available for work throughout the holiday period. Come to the careers space for all the details!
NZSKI have part time employment opportunities for students this summer at Coronet Peak. They are operating from December 17th – March 13th. 7 days a week until mid January then Thursday – Sunday after that. 10:30am – 6:30pm, 8:30pm on Friday nights. They are keen to offer the right people an opportunity to work, learn and ride with them this summer. This is a unique opportunity to learn some kitchen operations, barista and front of house service skills.
Contact Dan Maroszek email@example.com for more details.
WHS Schoolzine App
We have updated our communications system and have a brand new app. Please ensure you (all parents, caregivers and students) have downloaded it to your device as this is how we will communicate school alerts, student notices and our weekly newsletter. The app also features a new absence form, the online school cafe shop, a calendar and some handy links!
A reminder for students to also check the Student Noticeboard regularly.
Startup Queenstown Lakes 27 Nov
Startup Weekend is a high-energy, 54-hour event for established entrepreneurs and budding founders, for designers, developers, business-focused, and non-technical people alike. It's like outward bound for entrepreneurs!
You can expect to:
- Meet potential new co-founders and make some great friends.
- Have a FUN time - make some great memories with passionate, energetic people.
- Learn from the best - engage with mentors who will keep you going and foster your entrepreneurial spirit.