WHS Newsletter | Issue 4.04 | 11 November 2022
Kia ora and welcome to the Wakatipu High School newsletter at the end of Week 4. A very special welcome to parents of our incoming Year 9 students who are receiving the newsletter for the first time - while there are only three more newsletters this year, hopefully they will give you a sense of WHS as well as some important information, welcome!
Related, today has been an important day at WHS - our annual Year 8 Orientation Day, when we welcome next year’s incoming students. Next year will be our biggest ever year level with approximately 300 Year 9 students starting at WHS, so there were a lot of faces to welcome this morning. The day is always a mix of excitement and nerves (including some parents :), but it has gone well and is an important step in the process of new students coming to WHS. We look forward to welcoming them back on their first day next year - Tuesday 31st January. Parents, please put that afternoon in your diaries for our Year 9 BBQ and the chance to meet key people.
Part of why we have Orientation Day today is that the school is very quiet. Nationally there are no NCEA exams today so seniors are on exam leave, and Year 10s are on their Branches Camp Workday so it is a good day for the incoming students to be here.
The Workday that the Year 10s have been on is an important fundraiser for Branches Camp, and a big thanks to Jane Bamford and the Branches Trust for their efforts and support of Branches Camp (and see below for a piece on their Quiz Night fundraiser last Friday).
This week has been the first week of NCEA exams, with some big days with Level 2 and 1 Maths in particular. It is always interesting to see how students have found the papers when they come out of the exams, but in general they seem to have gone pretty well this week. There are some big exams again next week so keep supporting seniors to study effectively (and we have included the piece on Managing Exams again this week below).
A brief piece from me this week as things get quieter at this time of year, and a smaller newsletter below but still some great pieces on what our students have been up to.
Again, reminders re some important upcoming days to note:
- The final two national Accord (Teacher Only) Days are on Friday 25/11 and Friday 2/12 (nb Branches Camp 1 continues as normal this day).
- PPTA Paid Union Meeting is on the afternoon of Monday 28/11, more details to follow.
After this week’s great weather this weekend is a bit more of a mixed bag, with a few showers to dodge - tomorrow morning looks best for big bikes rides and lawn mowing 🙂
Uniform Shop Opening Hours
Our uniform shop will be open from the 1st of December for current Year 8 students and new entrants joining WHS in 2023. This will allow students to try on a uniform before ordering it with confidence online through Argyle Schoolwear (link below). Small items, such as socks, belts, jerseys, tights and ties, will also be available to buy at the uniform shop during this time.
OPENING DATES & TIMES - Thursday 1st December - Friday 9th December | 3:15pm - 4:15pm (Weekdays Only)
Monday 23rd January 2023 - Friday 27th January 2023 | 9am - 3pm
Managing Exams | Whakahaere Whakamātautau
We are all aware that it is getting towards the most challenging part of the school academic year, exam time. Term 4 usually means one thing for senior secondary school students in particular - exams. Pressure is almost inevitable when it comes to exams and study. The important thing is to not let the pressure turn into overwhelming stress which has a detrimental effect on your wellbeing. Be proactive about your wellbeing and be proactive about managing your stress during exam season. The biggest thing you can do to support your wellbeing during exam season is to be well-prepared.
Exams are pretty much always stressful. You’re not weird if you often find yourself feeling particularly anxious or stressed before or during exams. Exams are nerve-wracking, period. It’s okay – in fact, normal – to feel daunted by the prospect of performing under pressure. As each exam gets closer, the stress and anxiety rises. But it's completely possible to manage some of the stress and it is important to remember that we all experience stress and anxiety differently, so ‘hoea tō waka, mahia tāu mahi - choose what works for you’. At the end of the day, it’s perfectly understandable to be anxious about exams. Thinking about why this is, and implementing strategies to combat it, are the best steps you can take to feel relaxed beforehand.
How to manage exam-related stress and optimise your study:
An important aspect of our Ākonga Profile is the development of self. Key aspects of this are identified as awareness, confidence and wellbeing which are all relevant when we talk about managing ourselves in anticipation of exam season. We've pulled together some useful resources to help you ‘take notice’ in order to understand where stress comes from and optimise your study and keep yourself well during exam season. You've got the skills. Karawhiua, give it your all!:
- Study to your strengths. Some study methods are more effective than others. For example, just looking at your notes won't help you learn them. Stick with strategies aimed at reinforcing the retrieval strength of the content (how well you’re able to recall it out of thin air), which will make a world of difference. The 4 R’s are key: Re-read, Revamp, Recall, Rehearsal. Mrs Ford has created a brilliant resource here with some wise words for students when it comes to preparing for exams: Preparing for Exams 2022
- Reward yourself and break your study up into bite-sized chunks. Use a Pomodoro timer - study for 20 minutes, then reward yourself with 5 on Tik Tok or go and get a snack. Schedule rewards and down time during your study day. Take time to relax and unwind. Ensure you exercise and practice self-care by listening to music, baking or cooking, taking some time for something you enjoy or simply just going outside for some fresh air.
- Talk with friends and older students who make you feel better and not worse about exam season. Find people who reassure you, aren’t catastrophizing, and listen to you and put your worries into perspective.
- Eat well. Ensure you eat breakfast each day. Eat smaller meals throughout the day, rather than big meals that take a huge amount of energy to digest. Decrease your sugar and caffeine intake to avoid energy crashes, and increase your water consumption.
- Say no to commitments that will make you more stressed, and think about some healthy boundaries you can set around catching up with your friends, part-time work, and sports.
- Even though they might not seem like they understand everything you’re going through, parents, caregivers and teachers totally know how it feels to be facing exams. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for extra support.
- Try to get eight hours of sleep a night. If you’re stressed about not being able to sleep, there are lots of ways to aid a good night’s sleep such as sleep apps, or journaling before bed.
- When you sit down to study, get rid of all distractions (phones especially!).
- Routines are the magic ticket to feeling “on top of things”, and constructing a routine is a strong tool you have in your arsenal to help you feel more on top of your exams. Routines are like putting up the infrastructure to ensure that all of the things that are inside your control (eating well, exercise, sleep and effective revision) are taken care of.
- Focus on the big picture – the reason you are sitting the exams; to get yourself ahead in life, to get into the course you want next year or whatever your goal is. A helpful activity is to visualise yourself being successful in your exams. Just like very few athletes genuinely love forcing themselves up early to train laps in the freezing cold at 5AM every day, very few people love entering exam halls for the thrill of it. But both parties do it for personal growth. The best athletes in the world still get anxious before they play, just like students. We’re all human.
- You shouldn’t stress about being stressed – it might actually be good for you. We know that small doses of stress can propel you forward and enable you to meet a challenge.
- Keep things in perspective. If something goes wrong in the exam, or if you miss some NCEA credits, it’s not the end of the world. There are always other options.
The role of whānau at exam time:
As whānau of students with exams, we can help by helping them set up a study space and making sure the rest of the family understands they need a wide berth when they’re studying. Give them time off activities and non-urgent family stuff, remind them to go to bed at a regular time each night, show interest about what they’re studying and their plan for study, and encourage them to get plenty of exercise.
Where to go if you need a little extra support:
If you’re really struggling with stress overload and feel burnt out, you’ve tried to make changes but it just isn’t getting any easier or if it's all feeling like it's getting too much, it’s important that you talk to someone. Email 'email@example.com' to talk to one of our counsellors and get support with managing exam-related stress and anxiety.
You can also check out www.smallsteps.org.nz for some tools or strategies which focus on positive thinking and mindfulness to manage stress or anxiety, and help when you’re feeling down.
Good luck for your upcoming exams. Kia kaha, Kia māia, Kia manawanui | Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.
Bronze Duke of Edinburgh - Routeburn North Branch Overnight Tramp
On Saturday morning, five Year 10 students (Cybella Briscoe, Jordie Shaw, Violet Smillie, Tayah Vivian and Tom Williams) set off up the Routeburn track as part of their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. We walked to Flats Hut and then turned off up the North Branch where we camped at Hobbs Bivvy. The hike was challenging, including a river crossing, clambering over fallen trees, and climbing up a root ladder. Congratulations to all of the students involved - they demonstrated their ability to look after themselves and their group and have a good time while they were doing it.
Thank you to Miss Dixon, Mr Rae and Mr White who spent their weekend supporting this trip.
This was great preparation for Branches camp - ask these students what they recommend you should bring!
Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award at WHS
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award is a great opportunity for students to:
- Gain an internationally recognised certificate for the time and commitment they put into extracurricular activities
- Discover new interests
- Support the local community through Voluntary Service
The Award is split into three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold), which involve progressively greater levels of commitment to three Sections (Physical Recreation, Skills and Voluntary Service).
Participants must also complete an Adventurous Journey (usually a tramp). Students receive training to plan and complete a Practice and Qualifying Journey.
It is not too late to register for the Award!
For more information and to register, you can go to the official website: https://dofehillary.org.nz/
We have also created a WHS website which gives ideas for activities that will meet the criteria: https://sites.google.com/wakatipu.school.nz/duke-of-ed-whs/
The Duke of Ed Google Classroom code is: uiarfxu
Visit from Fireballs NZ
Last Friday two citizen scientists visited our school to install a camera to help them detect meteors. Their aim is to cover New Zealand with modified security cameras to detect and log meteors. They detect the meteors by only picking up a particularly bright light. Using this data they can triangulate the location of the meteorites. We learned about the importance of meteorites as they can help us understand our solar system as some of them are older than Earth.
We were also taught the difference between meteors and their unique structure, although the ones we handled were mostly nickel. I was fascinated by the impossibility of making fake meteorites as they have random lines in the structure which can only be formed by slowly cooling over millions of years. If you want to learn more about the citizen scientist who visited our school or even want to get involved, visit their website www.fireballs.nz.
Lachlan Kidd - Year 10
Afghan refugee and author visits Social Sciences
Monday 7 November, 80 Social Science students were given the opportunity to listen to the harrowing story of resilience by Afghan refugee Mr Abbas Nazari.
Students appreciated the chance to learn and discuss with Mr Nazari about a topic they found interesting and challenging. He shared his early life experiences including life in his village, living under the rule of the Taliban and his treacherous journey to New Zealand.
Questions posed by the students reflected, not only their high level of interest but also their appreciation of the willingness of Mr Nazari to share his story and experiences as a refugee coming to New Zealand.
We continue to look forward to visits such as this becoming regular events on the Social Science calendar in 2023.
HoLA Social Sciences
Charity Knitting Blanket Resources Needed Please
During the Branches In School Programme this year we have a group of students who have chosen to take knitting as an activity option. They will be knitting a blanket for charity. It would be amazing if you can please donate any 8 or 10 ply wool and 4mm or 5mm knitting needles.
Just drop them at the front desk at WHS.
Thank you very much.
Teacher Health and PE
Sports and Active Recreation News
Eli Tregidga Road Cycling Contract
A huge congratulations to Year 13 student Eli Tregidga who has secured himself a contract with cycling team, Watersley in Holland starting next Northern Hemisphere summer. This is a huge opportunity for Eli and great recognition of his efforts in the Southern U19 cycling team these past two years. Eli will have incredible opportunities to learn and develop in this environment. Go well Eli!
Year 12 student Saxon Sheehan has just completed the South Island Motor Racing Endurance Championship held over three rounds over the past nine weeks. He finished the series in 4th place in the 2 litre class which was enough to qualify for the New Zealand Endurance Championship, which was held last weekend at Highlands Motorsport Park, Saxons home turf. Ten qualifying competitors representing both the North & South Islands were invited to race the final weekend in a winner-takes all, 20 car shootout across the two days. Saxon outstandingly placed 3rd in the national final. This was the perfect build-up to the championship he has been targeting for two years, the nationwide Toyota 86 Championship. This runs from January to May 2023 and is a great feeder series to championships such as Australia's ‘Supercars’ series. Saxon is busy trying to raise the $85,000 budget to run the car and team in the championship, which starts with two compulsory media days late November at Hampton Downs in Auckland. Well done Saxon!
School Sport NZ Athlete Commission
At the beginning of this year I was fortunate enough to be one of the ten students from around the country selected into the School Sport NZ Student Athlete Commision. This group is run by Mike Summerell, who is the CEO of School Sport NZ. Our focus is on providing a student voice to School Sport NZ in order to continue to make school sport enjoyable and fun, as well as working on ways to get more kids participating in sport. It was super interesting working with the other students in the group who had come from schools all over New Zealand, and hearing about what obstacles they had when getting more kids into sport. Many of them were quite different from anything we experience in Queenstown, and hearing about it was eye opening for me. We had a few online meetings as a group before going to Wellington in order to attend the School Sports Coordinators Conference. During this conference, we went to a series of different talks including balance is better, parents in school sport and girls in sport. We got to talk to sports coordinators from all over the country and hear about the awesome initiatives they’re installing in their schools, and gave some of them recommendations on how to get more kids involved in these. We also did some workshops as a group at the HQ of Sport NZ, and decided on what our next steps should be as a group and what we actually wanted to achieve. Our plans for next year are to be more involved in School Sport NZ's decision making process over any changes they planned to make, which Mike wholeheartedly agreed on. We also plan to speak at next year's School Sports Coordinators Conference, to make sure the sports coordinators have heard from the youth directly and can incorporate that into their schools events/initiatives.
Central Otago Softball
The junior team played well this week with Ava Rona and Immy Leahy pitching the team. The side had a narrow loss to the Dunstan Red Sox 12-7 in a 3 innings all bat game. The team got a “3 up 3 down” innings when fielding meaning they got the first 3 batters out without anyone getting one base!
This Weekend's Competitions
All the best to our students competing in the Southland Athletics and Indoor Volleyball Champs this weekend in Invercargill as well as our Junior Boys Cricket Team who are off to Dunedin on Monday to play in the annual Kings High School exchange.
New to WHS?
If you have just recently joined Wakatipu High School and keen to find out more information about sport and active recreation opportunities please visit our website to see what is on offer and join the google classrooms of those activities you are keen to participate in: https://www.sporty.co.nz/wakatipu
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/
Director of Sport
Arts News And Information
Central Sound Wave 2022 held at Yonder (Sunday 6th November) for musical students in the region was hit with solo and band performances from Queenstown, Wanaka and Cromwell coming together to share their talent on stage performing either covers or their own compositions. The talent pool keeps growing year on year as live music in Queenstown seems to be having a resurgence this summer.
Performance awards went to “Parabola” from Mount Aspiring College, Grace Tiko from Cromwell College, "Estogen" Wakatipu High School and "Powder Chutes" Mount Aspiring College.
The event held annually is a collaboration between RockFormation Charitable Trust and Whakatipu Youth Trust and is open to all regional high schools. The support from the community and sponsors was amazing thanks to Yonder, Central Lakes Trust, Maya Music and Queenstown Lakes District Council the event continues to grow year on year.
2022 Ballet Exams
Ruby Rose recently took her Grade 7 (Silver Star) Classical Ballet Exam and received Honours (90%) for her efforts. Well done to Ruby!
2023 Musical Audition for We Will Rock You
All students who have filled the form to audition for the 2023 musical will have received an email from Mr Jake Hansen. Junior auditions are next week so remember to be on time.
Let Us Know
The Arts department would like to know about any artistic achievements that students have attained outside of school be it in drama, dance, music or visual arts. Please send through details and photos to email@example.com
Support the Arts
We are always looking for local professional performing and visual artists to visit our school and run workshops for our students. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Monica Parker the Arts Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow our school’s Instagram page for recent successes or news within the school’s Arts Department at whsartdepartment
Branches Quiz Night
Kia ora e te whānau
'Sporting Legends' Quiz Night, last Friday 4 November
What a great night was had by all last Friday at Lake Hayes Pavilion for our 'Sporting Legends' Quiz Night!! This sold out event was a hoot from start to finish. We are still working on the final figures fundraised on the night so will report that next week, but the evening was a great success by every measure!
I would like to thank many many people for their support be it in prizes, time or attendance but special thanks have to go to Andrew Grey our extraordinary Quiz Master, Erica and Mark Latham for running the bar for us, Leigh Jeffreys for the great photos and the parent helpers (including our very own Principal Mr Steve Hall, who worked tirelessly in the kitchen) and Branches Trustees who helped run the night and make it such a success. Here are a few piccies for you to enjoy!
Enjoy your weekend everybody
Ngā mihi nui
Careers - Job Vacancies for Students
Student Job Vacancies can be viewed at the link below. Please join the google classroom with the code: 3spycgk