WHS Newsletter | Issue 1.5 | 5 March 2021
Kia ora, welcome to the Wakatipu High School newsletter at the end of Week 5. A shorter piece from me this week.
The week started somewhat differently with the move back to Alert Level 2. While things are quite business as usual for schools in Level 2 there were some Covid casualties in terms of events - most notably the Careers Expo, which was a real shame, and we actually had the drug detection dog booked to come through the school this week, which we have now rescheduled.
Greenstone Camp has continued with things going really well up there, with great reports from staff and students about the camp. See below for a piece from our Deputy Head Boy and Stars peer mentor, Will Cooper, and some great photos.
On Wednesday morning the WHS Foundation hosted their inaugural Speaker Series breakfast. The guest speaker was the fascinating Mr Tony Malkin, one of whose claims to fame is that he heads the organisation that owns the Empire State Building. Tony was a very interesting speaker, and it was a fantastic event. We are very fortunate that the Foundation and community are so supportive of us, even in these difficult times, and we are very appreciative of the efforts of the Foundation and the support of the community which makes a real difference to our ability to offer a great all-round education to our students.
In the newsletter below are many great examples of us engaging and working with the community to provide authentic learning opportunities for our students. From Mons Royale to maori carving and canyoning to Kick Start, there are a number of examples of the kinds of great opportunities our students are getting. Related, Tony Malkin and his wife Shelley also support a wonderful biology and statistics fieldwork learning opportunity for our students each year - the Redemption Project.
Another great new learning experience for our students this year is a partnership with SIT to provide our senior trades courses. It is at a workshop that has been set up in Glenda Drive, so the students are bussed there and back for each class (or they have to ride a bike that we provide if they miss the bus). I went down this afternoon and it was fantastic to see our students completely engaged and into it - stripping down Toyota 4K motors which they will then rebuild. A fantastic class and learning experience for these students, and one which they were really enjoying.
A reminder that, with us being well into March, blazers and ties are compulsory uniform items for all students every day.
A good week at WHS comes to a close, as we approach the mid-point of the term. Greenstone Camp continues with Duncan House having gone up today and Fox heading up for the final three days on Sunday. As I noted earlier in the term, our Associate Principal, Mr Nathan, will write this piece for the newsletter next week as I am attending a Wakatipu principal’s meeting.
The weather has taken a decidedly autumnal turn and the weekend reflects that with cooler temps and showers possible - Sunday’s currently looking best for bike-riding and lawn-mowing, make the most if it :)
STARS Greenstone Camp
Greenstone walk, a flashback to the good old days of Year 9, carefree and living life to the fullest. GO Orange supplied STARS with a water taxi to Greenstone Station. With the sun rising behind our Peer Mentors backs we pulled up to the wharf and embarked on the first part of our journey.
Now I don’t consider myself a morning person, especially not after a 5am wake up, but these youngins were a different story. After a huge team effort to raise them from their tents, we devoured breakfast and split into our groups. Tell you what, it was great to see that Mr McIntyre decided walking the whole of New Zealand wasn’t enough for him and thought he might as well walk the Lake Rere track a couple of times.
Eventually, we got going and ventured off into what was the great unknown for our Year 9s, however, it was my third time on this walk so it was the great reasonably known. Questions were flying, from us to them, from them to us, and the answers were flying right back. Our main mission was to form relationships and form relationships we did. The walk was great and the campers were even better, although they walked at a faster pace than me and my knees could keep up with, must be my age catching up to me.
Finally, we made it back to basecamp, and what more can you ask for than a sausage snag, boy oh boy had Mr Dubnick provided on that front, we sat around telling stories with smiles branded on our faces and our stomachs full. The unimog, talk about travelling in style, the Peer Mentors filed into the back seat in preparation for our return home, much to the dismay of the campers. All in all, it was an outstanding day, filled with friendship and walking, truly something special.
Deputy Head Boy
STARS Peer Mentor
Parents have been emailed information about purchasing school photos and students have been provided with their photo codes to use on the website. Visit www.photolife.co.nz to order yours - the free delivery offer expires at midnight on Sunday 14 March.
Students Excel in Climbing Festival
Students made the most of the local climbing festival in Queenstown last Saturday and were among over 40 other climbers who came to Wye Creek to compete in the annual Queenstown Climbing Festival. In this event climbers scaled as many routes as possible over six hours over a dozen different locations around this side of the Remarkables.
Our local Wakatipu High School students did extremely well and congrats to Azaria Brisoe, Lucy Sinclair, Cole Bramwell, Tannin Heeley, Cybella Brisoce and Oscar McCartney.
Teacher in Charge of Climbing
Making Learning Relevant in the Social Sciences
Making Learning Relevant in the Social Sciences
It has been an industrious week in the Social Sciences. With Geography field trips and keynote speakers in Business and Economics classes.
Year 12 Business - Motivation in Business, AJ Hackett Bungy Guest Speakers
AJ Hackett Bungy’s Human Resources and Safety Manager Shane Wairau along with HR Coordinator Michelle Smith, visited our Year 12 Business classes to speak about motivation in business. This informative talk was to support students with their current internal assessment and included the mission and vision of Bungy along with the strategies they use to support their “crew” to reach their goals and work in a positive environment. Students were intrigued by the “August Assassins” and this generated a lengthy discussion. We really appreciate the time given by both Shane and Michelle to work with our students.
Year 11 Geography - Fieldwork and Canyoning Highlights
A key component of our geography courses is to collect primary data from the field. Year 11 Geography students were given two opportunities this week to carry out their data collection. On Wednesday students travelled to the Sam Summers track where they investigated and measured aspects of the 12 Mile Creek and Delta. The purpose of this research was to consider appropriate environments for a canyoning operation.
On Thursday students then had the opportunity to compare and contrast this information with an actual operation. Canyon Explorers accommodated our students on this experience. This was an action-packed day in and out of the water. Students descended and explored the canyon by zip line, abseiling waterfalls, slides, plunging into natural pools, floating down narrow passageways and cascading down chutes – all in stunning natural surroundings. “It’s an awesome and breathtaking feeling” - as stated by one of our geographers.
Great effort from the Geographers Mrs Ray and her support teachers Mr Kendall and Ms Wood in making these activities available. A special thanks to Stefan Crawford and his team at Canyon Explorers for answering our students’ questions and providing an awesome experience outside of the classroom.
Year 11 Economics and Business Studies - Producer decisions Mons Royale visit
The final event to top off a busy week in the Social Sciences was welcoming guest speakers Global Operations Director Ben Irving and Craig Thorne from Mons Royale. The purpose of this was for students to further develop their understanding of how and why producers make decisions in a real business situation. Ben and Craig provided students with an insight into future business opportunities and new product lines and diversification. Some students were lucky enough to come away with freebies!
We feel very privileged to have access to such a wide variety of experts visiting with us sharing their knowledge and experience from which our students benefit.
Watch this space as with more to come next week for our Geographers and Business Studies students.
Head of Social Sciences
Maori Carving Project
In 2021 we have started a brand new project in Year 9 Hard Materials Technology which is focusing on Maori Carving. Students are researching Maori carving and have had three outside speakers into the classroom and one off site visit already this term. These have been organised to help students understand the depth of meaning involved in carving. We were lucky enough to have an offsite visit with Steve Solomon, a master carver. He spoke to us about the work he has produced at the Red Barn. The students were impressed with the workmanship and narratives connected to and expressed in his work.
Students are going to take a narrative from their own lives to transform into a design which will be carved into wood. We had a successful Maori outside speaker into our class to tell us about his life journey. His life was a challenge growing up but he spoke about his resilience through his tough times and what can be achieved when you use a growth mindset. While he was talking, illustrations were drawn to scaffold the process for students so they had a clearer idea of how to do this part of the design process. The wood we are going to use has been blessed and we are looking forward to having another artist into school in the few weeks time to talk about using colour to finish our outcomes.
Youth Enterprise Kick Start
Youth Enterprise invited students with solid business ideas to attend a kick start session in Cromwell. Five students attended for the first time and to meet potential mentors for their business idea. Usually directed towards Year 12/13 business students, we took five resistant materials students. These students ranged from Year 10 to Year 12. The students have building experience to construct and make their potential products that fill a whole in the market. We have two teams of two and one solo trader. Ideas include a sluice box starter kits for hobbyists, duck callers and a website for profit making businesses to locate volunteers. 70 students attended from across Southland. The students were questioned on the feasibility of their idea and mentors were paired to help students fulfil their vision. We stopped off at Shotover Engineering on the way back to school to give them one of the teams ideas to potentially build and cost the prototype. The next stage is a pitch session in May where students will present their idea and market research.
Year 13 Hard Materials Technology
This year the Technology programme launched a entirely new Hard Materials Year 13 course. Students are making a toy prototype as part of their project and this week Year 13 students visited the Early Childhood Centre to meet their stakeholders, four and five year old children! It was lovely to see our students interact and communicate with their stakeholders and their parents. We will be going back in Week 9 to show the little ones what the students have made based on their feedback.
Languages Learning Area - A Window to the World
Languages Scholarship Academy
We are thrilled to announce our new initiative ‘Languages Scholarship Academy’ which will offer students the opportunity to develop confidence in using and producing Japanese, French and Spanish at a Scholarship level.
Students will train on a weekly basis using a newly created website, special support from Education Perfect and with support from the Language Learning Area and contributing teachers from other schools in New Zealand.
So a massive ‘ようこそ / Yōkoso, bienvenido, bienvenu, welcome’ to our scholarshipians among this new programme: Anru Wakushima, Camille Daull, Julia Salonga, Niki Nakao, Paulo Bjorck, Tsuki Struthers, Aurelien Pons, Sebastian Cera, Isadora Figueroa.
Tervetuloa ESOL Student Teacher -
We are welcoming Jenni Karvinen to the Languages Learning Area this term who will be with Mrs Chris Fitzpatrick and her English as a Second Language classes.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Finland and moved to Germany when I was 10 years old. After moving back to Finland I studied a masters in German Language and Culture, English, Language Technologies and Educational Sciences. In 2013 we decided to move to New Zealand, and made Queenstown home in 2017.
Why teaching in the first place?
Teaching is a fascinating field that keeps evolving and as a teacher you never stop learning or being innovative. I enjoy working with students and collaborating with likeminded teachers and love a challenge how to engage students in learning. My grandad was the last Finnish school inspector until he retired, so I guess it also runs in the family.
What do you like about teaching languages?
Teaching languages is so versatile and can be approached in so many ways. It goes hand in hand with learning about cultures, traditions and cultural intelligence. Respecting and understanding cultural identities is more important than ever in this multicultural world. Learning languages gives us an advantage to gain better understanding of the world around us and to adapt to it.
Head Student Message
School is just getting back into swing of things with seniors starting internals and the Year 9s at Greenstone camp. Covid has touched our lives this week with the country moving into Level 2, which led to the Year 13s Careers Expo being canceled. In these times it is most important to keep safe and remember to use hand sanitizer, wash your hands and cover your coughs.
Next week will mark the start of a school culture reboot. This will involve all the students attending year level assemblies that will help promote a new positive student culture. Brace yourselves because this will be like nothing you've ever seen at Wakatipu High School.
Early next week marks the end of the Year 9s Greenstone Camp. The Year 9s and Peer Mentors have been having an absolute blast over the past week. This camp brings all the new Year 9s together and grants them the opportunity to meet so many new people and bond with them. So, to all the Year 9s go out there, meet new people, learn some skills and have some fun.
The Wakatipu High School students instagram page (@wakatipustudents) is a great way to keep up to date with school news and announcements coming straight from the student leaders. The page is a great way to also stay up to date with council events that I would encourage all of you to take part in. Some events upcoming include Guess Who, Breakfast Club and a colouring in competition for juniors. Once again, be sure to follow @wakatipustudents on instagram to keep up with the latest and greatest school events.
Have a great weekend and keep up the good work.
Arts News and Information
Band Hub is now underway after school on Thursdays running from 3.25 - 4.30pm. This is for students new to the school who are looking for options in terms of rock bands. The tutor is Michael Eden and it will run for 5 weeks. The idea is to allow students to form groups during this time which could then operate as stand-alone groups for the remainder of the year. The Band Hub runs in conjunction with Turn Up the Music.
An all-comers singing group is now running on Wednesday afternoons in the Performing Arts and Music area.
Musical at Level 2
The show will go on; however, the Arts Department will wait until more information is released from the government before ticket sales begin. Please refer to the school newsletter, Facebook page, website and school app for ticketing updates.
A Visit From Rodger Fox
Last week we were extremely fortunate to have Rodger Fox at WHS to run a session with some of our jazz musicians. As New Zealand's foremost authority on jazz, Rodger has been hugely supportive of youth and music in this country. It was great to hear him giving our students some ideas and advice for developing their own jazz playing as well as acknowledging the huge value of music in their lives.
Sports News and Information
South Island Volleyball Champs
Last weekend, two Senior girls volleyball teams travelled to Christchurch for the South Island Volleyball Championships. Both teams were in Division 3 of the tournament (based on regional seedings) and were playing for a spot in the final that would ensure a Division 2 place in 2022. The Senior A team got off to a great start, beating Middleton Grange A in the first game and going on to finish top of pool play. In the top eight section, the A team had three straight wins in what was a 13 hour day inside Cowels Stadium to make the semi final. After winning the first two sets in the semis, the A team lost the next two sets, but went on to win a nail-biting 5 setter against Cashmere High School and successfully achieved the goal of making the final and earning a Division 2 spot for next year. They played against local rivals Mt Aspiring in the final and despite beating them earlier in the tournament, could not take the title. The A team are now preparing for Nationals in Palmerston North.
The B team is predominately Year 11 players and are developing their game to be future A team representatives. They have been really lucky to have Steve Henderson as their coach and over the three days, the improvement in their game play was phenomenal. They also picked up a couple of wins and a number of set wins. The B team will return to Christchurch in three weeks to play in the South Island Satelitte tournament. Well done to both teams. It was a huge few days away and the commitment, resilence and positive attitudes were outstanding.
Torpedo7 National MTB Champs
A number of WHS riders competed in the National Downhill MTB Champs held in Christchurch last weekend. Stand out results were had by Rory Meek and Josh Bonnar. 11 students are preparing to compete at the South Island Schools Champs in Methven next weekend. All the best of luck to these riders.
Rory Meek - 2nd U15 Boys
Josh Bonnar - 3rd U17 Men
Taaroa Malmezac - 8th U15 Boys
Ben Blewitt - 9th U19 Men
Reon Fernandez - 9th U15 Boys
Max Caulton - 14th U19 Men
Zach Dixon - 30th U17 Men
A number of WHS students competed in the Southland Triathlon Champs last week held in Winton. An awesome set of results from this group. Congratulations to all of you!
Sam Davis - 1st U19 Boys
Evie Barlow, Daniela Difazzio, Zoe Bennetts - 1st U16 Girls Team
Logan Campbell - 1st U16 Boys
Tom Schenk - 1st U14 Boys
Siena Mackley - 1st U14 Girls
Polly Bennetts, Madeline Harvey, Lucy Boniface - 2nd U14 Girls Team
Hannah Eade - 3rd U14 Girls
Pete Davis - 6th U16 Boys
Three WHS students competed in the National Sailing Open Skiff Class in Wellington this past weekend with the Wakatipu Yacht Club. Congratulations to the following sailors:
Blake Jackson - 3rd U13 years and 21st overall
Jack Smillie - 27th Overall
Henry Brown - 28th Overall
Southland Surfing Champs
Congratulations to Year 9 Hayley Roberts who competed in the Southland Secondary School Surf Champs at Colac Bay last weekend. This is the first time a WHS student has competed at this event. Hayley finished fourth in the U14 girls category.
Netball - Team Selection Process
All players and parents have been communicated with regarding the upcoming team selection process for netball. This only applies to those students who are wanting to play competitive/development netball. Those that are wanting to play social netball will create their own teams and enter these. More information to come regarding this pathway. Please see dates below for each year level pre-season games.
Monday 8th March: 3:30pm - 5:30pm - Outside Courts
Tuesday 9th March: 4:45pm - 6:45pm - Gym
Tuesday 16th March: 4:45pm - 6:45pm - Gym
Wednesday 17th March: 3:30pm - 5:30pm - Outside Courts
Thursday 11th March: 3:30pm - 6pm - Outside Courts
Monday 15th March: 3:30pm - 5:30pm - Outside Courts
Thursday 18th March: 3:30pm - 5:30pm - Outside Courts
WHS Coaches Session
A session will be hosted for all WHS coaches on Wednesday 7th April at 7pm detailing the WHS Vision for Sport and sports procedures. As well as this Grant Milne from Sport Otago will be delivering a session called Winning in the Long Run which looks at Sport NZ’s Balance is Better approach and how this is beneficial to today’s teenagers. Anyone is welcome to attend this evening.
Junior Boys Cricket Fundraiser - Bingo
The Junior Boys Cricket Team are fundraising for their Australian 2022 tour with a bingo night in mid April. Pop this in your diary and support the team! More details below in the Community Notices.
Coaching Expressions of Interest
Winter sport is around the corner and a number of codes are looking for expressions of interest from potential coaches. The EoI for includes a short statement about your previous coaching experience and what grade/level you would prefer to coach. If you are interested in any of the sports below, please send your expression of interest to Laura Nathan; email@example.com
WHS Sports Hoody Order 2021
This year there will be one sports hoody order being placed each term. The dates orders close are below. The WHS sports hoody is the outer garment for sports teams which is worn to games/tournaments and can also be worn for PE classes. It is not limited to sports and anyone can order one, however they are not a school uniform item and cannot be worn around school during the school day.
Term 1 - 12th March
If you would like to order a school sports hoody please click this link: https://forms.gle/bRoaZ95YZZgzQ7qk6
If your child would like to size up a hoody before placing an order, they can pop into the sports office and try one on. Hoodies are $70.00 and will be charged to school accounts following the 12th March cut off date.
Keep Us Informed
The sports department would love to hear from you if you know of any awesome achievements from our students so that we can celebrate these as a school. Please send through details and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Sport at WHS
Jump on board and support the team by liking or following the Wakatipu High School Sports Facebook page. This is the best way to stay informed and up to date with the successes of our athletes and teams and help celebrate their great achievements. https://www.facebook.com/WakatipuHighSchoolSports/
Open Day/Tertiary Info Visits for Year 13
Year 13 students who are committed and serious about particular Tertiary Study in 2022 are invited to sign up for our school organised visits – we do all the travel and accommodation bookings for these (please do not do your own). Students are subsidised by 50% to attend two experiences. Those who attend more will be asked to pay the full cost for the extra one(s).
Planned visits include:
- Canterbury Uni and ARA - 7 May (day trip)
- Otago Uni & Otago Polytech - 23 and 24 May
- Auckland Uni TBC (day trip)
- Victoria and Massey Uni - 19-20 August
This information is communicated to Year 13 students via Google classroom and Year 13 Assemblies. In addition to the school organised trips the Careers Team supports students to attend experiences at
other Universities and Polytechnics – please check with us for booking these.
We are now asking Year 13 students to sign up with us in the Careers Hubs.
Tertiary Liaison Visits Coming Up
Year 13 students are encouraged to attend these presentations. Year 12 students are also welcome to attend. These visits provide opportunities for students to explore what particular programs are offered by specific tertiary providers. Most students in Year 13 already have an idea of which presentations they will need to attend. Please check-in at the Careers Hub for the venues (yet to be confirmed). Details below for dates and times of the Term 1 presentations:
- Friday 12 March AKO - Otago Polytech
- Thursday 18 March Break 3 - Canterbury Uni
- Wednesday 31 March AKO - Otago Uni
- Friday 9 April AKO - Law Presentation
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has an upcoming event you may be interested in:
The Female Only Defence Careers Experience (DCE) is to be held at Burnham Military Camp over 28th – 30th April. It is a three day event designed to show you what it’s like to be in the NZ Army.
It’s for people from all walks of life, and that anyone with a bit of fitness, aptitude, and motivation can do. Registrations are now open for this event. In the attached advert you will find information about how to apply via QR code and a brief description about the event and what’s involved. The DCE is great for gaining an insight to what the Army has to offer as a potential career option, with leadership and resilience skills development, and the chance to mix and mingle with like minded people.
You can use the below link to apply for the Defence Careers Experience: https://docs.google.com/forms/
Applications close on the 19th March 2021
Careers Department - Student Job Vacancies
City Cave is opening up in Remarkables Park on 13th March and is looking for students might be interested in our Cave Diver position after school.
The hours are from 4/5-7.30/8 Monday - Sunday inclusive. The job requirements will be to help us turn over rooms, look after the guests serving tea and get linen ready for the next guests during the busier time of the day.
Looking for students from 15 years and older who are looking for a different experience than what most workplaces can offer at the moment. To join a team that is brand new into the country!
For more info, please check out our website here: www.citycave.co.nz
We open on 13th March and there is a bit of online training to be completed first. All applicants need to send a CV and covering letter to queenstown.manager@citycave.