Friday, 9 December 2016

End Of Year

Today we got to celebrate at our end of year formal assembly. Part of this was to present students with Personal Excellence awards. A Personal Excellence award is awarded to a student who achieved to their highest potential in a particular subject. This means the students worked hard continually all year and always tried their best each and every lesson. These differ from our Academic Excellence awards which are awarded to students who were the top scholars in each subject. Academic Excellence will be awarded at our Junior School Prize-giving.

I also had the opportunity to address the year group for one last time in 2016 and a transcript of my speech is below for all to read. As well as the speech there is an awesome End Of Year Video which shows all the fun we have had this year. 2016 has been a blast.


Kiaora Year 9's

2016 has flown past in a blur and here and now we sit in anticipation ready to celebrate success in our final year group assembly. Before we do so, I would like to reflect on aspects of this year that have been the most enjoyable from my perspective. Things I have enjoyed the most this year (each with a reason why) have been:
  • Peer Support Camp: The Reason: Hot summer days in Waikanae.
  • Hairspray: The Reason: Good things take time and effort. The students who rehearsed for 4 months were part of a spectacular and phenomenal show.
  • 3 Day Discovery Tramping in the Tararuas: The Reason: Getting away from technology, watching students overcome challenges and learn outside the classroom. Also the tale of Borris, Morris, Lobs and Ricky Baker (thanks Ella & Hannah).
  • Teaching 9WR Mathematics: The Reason: Seeing amazing progress from students over the course of the year and picking up a unique nickname (thanks Ella, Timara, Tiana, Cimon & Neve).
  • Inter Form Class Sports Competition: The Reason: Basketball, Dodgeball, Football, Table Tennis, Chess, Netball & Cross Country, 95% participation, 9CN Champions, have I said enough?
  • Year 9 Mathswell Team: The Reason: I love when Newlands Students go above and beyond the expected level, in this case coming 4th across 25 High Schools in Mathswell 2016.
Whilst 2016 was at times unpredictable, terrible, and dismaying for people around NZ and the world, it was a huge success for our year group here at Newlands College. If 2016 was a video game it is now Game Over; the good news is We All Won.

Now I’d like to wrap up the year with a thoughtful message…

But first, you need to know right now that I care about you. And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. I also think you should understand the truth about education. You see, the main event of school is not academic learning. It never has been. It never will be. Yes, algebra, essay writing, Japanese, the structure of atoms — all are important and worth knowing. But they are not the main event.

The main event is learning how to deal with the harshness of life when it gets difficult — how to overcome problems as simple as a lost locker key, to annoying peers, to gossip, to people doubting you, to asking for help in the face of self-doubt, to pushing yourself to concentrate when a million other thoughts and temptations are fingertips away. It is your resilience in conquering the main event — adversity — that truly prepares you for life after school.

But, you shouldn’t be worried about the fact that you will face great challenges. You should be worried because you may be setting yourself up to fail at overcoming them. Here’s the real reason I lose hours of sleep worrying about you: You may be failing the main event of school. You may be quitting. You may not think you are quitting, but you might be.

For some, you quit by throwing the day away and not even trying to write a sentence or a fraction because you think it doesn’t matter or you can’t or there’s no point. But it does. What you write is not the main event. The fact that you give your best effort, overcome barriers, and seek help when you are challenged — That is the main event.

Some of you quit by seeking out distractions such as gaming and social media during class time. The main event is delaying your temptation and investing in your own intelligence — understanding that sometimes short-term pain creates long-term gain.

I see some of you quit by choosing not to take opportunities to work harder and achieve success, no matter how far behind you are. The main event is not getting a number (or a letter) in a test to tell you you are worthy. The main event is pulling your stuff together and making hard choices and sacrifices when things seem impossible.

What you need to see is that every time you take the easy way out, you are building a habit of quitting. Quitters are the most difficult part of my job. Luckily for me the majority of our Year Group understands and enthusiastically pursues the main event.

As long as you are at Newlands College, I am not going to let quitting be easy for you. I am going to challenge you, teach you, push you, and coach you. You may not reach the grades you set goals for. You may not get selected for the number one team. You might not top the year group for French. You probably will be upset, deflated, or resentful if one day these things do happen. And the next day, guess what? I, along with our teaching staff, will be here waiting — smiling and patient — to give you a fresh start. Because you are worth it.

So, do yourself a favor: Step up. No more excuses. No more justifications. No blaming. No quitting. Pick your head up. Rip the cords out of your ears. Put your cellphone away. Grab a pen or keyboard and try each and every lesson to give your best effort. Next year I don't expect everyone to achieve to the highest level, but I do expect you to give your best every day.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Form Rep End of Year Speech

An amazing speech delivered by Ray Wu and Alani Butters to the Year 9's at our final assembly.

We started this year, excited and nervous with our oversize uniforms and shiny black shoes. If you were anything like me, you probably remember,getting lost and turning up late to class, trying to memorize your timetable to avoid writing it on your hand, and the constant battle of finding your friends at lunchtime.

Term one, we dove right into our fundamental highlight of the year - Peer Support Camp. Personally, I found Peer Support Camp an awesome way to make new friends. Most of you may know that I wasn’t from Newlands Intermediate, but through the Peer Support experience I had been given many opportunities to relate to more people. I am also sure that all of you enjoyed this experience that the school has set up for us.

As well as creating unforgettable memories, peer support camp helped us make the transition into college life a lot smoother. We would like to thank all the Year 13 Peer Supporters for the amazing experience.

We also had tabloids at the start of the year. Tabloids was a great experience to integrate ourselves into the school. It also had the school spirit of supporting our form classes and houses. I am sure that you all enjoyed it a lot.

Newlands College has a fantastic co-curricular programme of sport, performing arts and other activities. With so many options, there was something for everyone. Some of us represented our school at different inter school competitions, like the Mathswell, the Triangular, the Chess Tournament and many others.

These were great opportunities to pursue our interests and showcase our talents. Congratulations to all of you for putting yourself out there and representing the school.

We would also like to acknowledge all the teachers, especially the ones we had at the start of the year and the form teachers, for making us feel comfortable in this new environment. So we would like to thank all of the teachers for their work in making this school experience the best it could be.

Thank you Mr Jones for being our principal and the confidence you have in us. We appreciate your willingness to try new initiatives, like school-wide BYOD and active learning. (Ray gives flowers)

Ms King has also played a big role as the year 9 deputy principal. We really appreciate your efforts and dedication you have given to us. (Alani gives flowers)

We would also like to thank Ms Mills for her efforts. She organised our wonderful peer support camp and has run an incredible school student leadership group.

We would like to thank Mr Broadbent. He has helped us all settle into the school. Mr Broadbent has also set us up with our years theme of sport and he has created a great competition between all the form classes, which had shown great levels of enthusiasm and participation. On behalf of year 9 we would like to thank you for your efforts in being our dean. (Alani gets flowers)

Finally, we would like to thank YOU, the year nines. It is your effort and participation that has created such a memorable year. We’ve grown a little more into our uniforms,  our shoes are worn and scuffed and we’re well on our way to becoming creative, connected and confident learners.

We’d like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday and we look forward to seeing you next year.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Sports Competition Winners

9CN have won the 2016 inter-form class sports competition! Below is the final points table and a few snaps of the winners enjoying their afternoon tea! 

Community Spirit Fundraiser

On Tuesday we held our annual junior school community spirit mufti day. Part of the day sees every Year 9 student bring a money and food contribution which is donated to the local (Newlands & Johnsonville ) community centers. This year we had 389 items of food to donate and around $500. The students were spoken to about how many people in our community use food banks as a way to get by during the year and that our donations are going to people locally who need our support. A huge congratulations must go out to the every family for your generous donations towards this amazing cause. The students got into the festive spirit with many dressing up in their best Christmas outfits. Check out some photos of the action below!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Cross Country

Yesterday was the perfect day for a Year 9 Cross Country event. More than 95% of the Year group either ran or walked the track which I am super pleased with. The idea of giving things a go and getting involved is so apparent with this bunch of students. Congratulations to 9CN for taking out the Cross Country and with it the overall Form-Class competition for this 2016. They will be invited to a morning tea next week to celebrate their success. Well done to all students who were involved yesterday.

Sunday, 20 November 2016


The Year 9's are almost done in their end of year Examinations. These junior school assessments provide great practice for NCEA which they will sit once they get to Year 11. The students have really taken to Exam revision and the rewards will pay off once grades come in. Here is a few pics sneakily taken during the recent Science Examination.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Dodgeball & Chess

The last two events of our inter-form class competition have now wrapped up. 9MT have stormed back in to contention with dominating wins in both events. This means it is all on the line ( a morning tea for the winning class, and bragging rights...) with just one event to go; the cross-country. 

This is scheduled for Tuesday November the 23rd period 5 and involves the entire year group running a 2km course around school grounds. The points are structured so that everyone's placing will have an influence on the overall event winner. This meas that if your a runner the difference between finishing 3rd or 4th (in your gender category) is the same as finishing 56th or 57th. Let's hope everyone can give it their best on Tuesday.

Below are the updated photos from the dodgeball and chess, as well as a points table update and the cross country course. Double points available for the cross country!