Censor for a Day – Media Studies Trip

A group of Y13 Media Studies students went to ‘Censor for a Day’ at the Roxy Cinema in Miramar to learn about censorship of film in NZ run by the Office of Film and Literature Classification. We watched the as yet unreleased ‘Get Out’ and went through the process of censoring it based on guidelines that the classification office use. We learnt about the gateway criteria of sex, horror, violence, cruelty and crime which can lead to restrictions placed on films. As well as the sub-guidelines, including degrading or demeaning conduct, that can also effect the ratings. We then reviewed the the role of censorship on the bus ride home and whether it was necessary part of society. A very interesting discussion!

– Adam Van Der Voorn & Connor Patterson (13WA)

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Dean’s Assembly – Careers Focus

casapToday I want to take a leaf out of Google’s Jaime Casap’s book and not ask what you want to be when you grow up, but ask you instead ask you what problems you want to solve.

What schools are trying to prepare you for is changing. Some employers are looking at results less than voluntary experience or creativity. Instead of taking the candidate who has the highest qualification, they’ll take the candidate with the most empathy or someone who can think outside the box and think differently to others. The jobs you’ll be vying for in 10 years time are ones we can’t even predict. Thanks to the exponential development of technology, we are trying to prepare you for jobs that don’t exist yet.

You are incredibly lucky to be at a school that doesn’t just want to set you up with good results; we want you to be confident, creative, and connected and capable of learning well beyond school. Wa ako this year is our opportunity together to realise this vision, to develop your learning story and celebrate you as an individual learner.

vision - final

As Wa ako develops this year and we take on active learning, I hope you will consider these questions:

  • How will you make a difference this year?
  • And what will be your legacy when you leave Newlands College?
  • What will you be remembered for?

I look forward to supporting your ideas and hope that Year 13 gets on board this initiative in a way that we can be very proud of.

In support of these messages, Ms Featherstone is our careers adviser and is happy to work alongside you to help make your transition to life after Newlands College successful. Here are some messages about cupcakes from her:

The important links she mentioned are all listed in the Careers and Transition page of this blog. Furthermore, the Y13 Careers Survey and the Guidance Team Feedback surveys are still there to create opportunities for you.

As a final treat in our assembly we had Dave Geigle demonstrate his skills and ability with a yoyo. He’s a World Champion in the sport and was visiting Newlands College from Germany. His 2014 World Championship performance is here:

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Form Class Representatives


Congratulations to the Form Representatives that were chosen by each Year 13 Form Class:

  • wp-1489193621637.jpg13BL – Laura Spiers and Harjot Sehra
  • 13CO – Shaun Liew and Shadrina Assegaf
  • 13SL – Lateefah Idris and Jan Galera
  • 13SN – Paris Doran-Ward and Casey Norman
  • 13WA – Angeline Dano and Tom Horton
  • 13WG – Simon McSweeney-Harte and Danica Fontein

This group is also supported by Student Executive members Dylan Jones and Ben Murdoch.

At the first meeting of the group, Dani and Simon were elected as the Year Level Representatives who will carry the voice of Year 13 at School Council meetings.

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Attitude Presentation – The Pits


Another Attitude presentation was delivered to the cohort last week. In the past presentations have been on Sex with Attitude (part one and part two), Tough Times, Hardwired, and Being Connected. This presentation was about pain, titled ‘The Pits‘. It was about our brain, which is the part of our body that is least equipped to dealing with pain.

1 in 5 people suffer from mental health issues. These issues are on a continuum. Phobias, addictions and compulsions can all be really minor and some that are more serious. What changes them from being severe to minor is how irrational or rational they are.

Depression affects around 1 in 3 people across their lives. Even is it doesn’t affect you, it will at some stage in your life affect someone that is part of your life. Depression also happens on a continuum, from having a bad mood, mild depression, situational depression (related to something that is going on, like grief) all the way to major depression.

Symptoms include (note they are also symptoms of being a teenager – once again these symptoms are also part of a continuum)

  • Trouble with sleep
  • A change in eating habits
  • A lack of interest in hobbies
  • Quitting things
  • An overwhelming sense of sadness
  • Avoiding friends
  • Random mood swings

What can you do about this?

  • Ask for help – family, friends, teachers, your doctor, an adult you trust, youthline
  • Get Active – put on your active wear and get high on endorphins – exercise
  • Be social – use your friends around you, spend time together
  • Spiritually – figure out what gets you going? What connects with you
  • Mentally – this is a mental battle, if you want to feel happy you need to think happy
  • Self-talk – focus on the thoughts going through your head, keep them positive.

The most important message of the presentation: Feeling the pits? Talk to Someone.

For more information, see the Attitude Website or like their facebook page.

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Games Industry Careers Night

Play by Play are thrilled to announce that as part of Play by Play 2017 – NZ’s Premier Games Festival, we’re running a free careers night for high school students (Y9-13) potentially considering or just interested in working in the games industry!

Hosted at Wellington High School‘s Riley Centre on April 12th at 6:00PM, industry professionals from various roles (games programmer, game artist, game designer and studio owner) will come to discuss what their roles entail, how they got there and their journey so far. There’ll also be time for Q&A at the end, and the EC from the New Zealand Game Developers Association will be present to give a quick overview on the national and international industry.


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Head Students – Maiden Speeches

To be standing on this stage today and being part of the school council executive as Head Girl for 2017 is an honour and privilege. I’m thankful and blessed for having the opportunity to work with the dream team for this year. I am also thankful for the people who helped me over my years here at college by teaching me to always believe in myself. Thank you to my friends, family, senior management, staff members and especially all of you. There wouldn’t be a student executive without you. There wouldn’t be an unlimited ranges of opportunities here at school without you all, the students of Newlands College.
As I said in my speech last week “Newlands College is more than just a school, it’s a place of opportunity.” and that could not be more true than right now with these fantastic people sitting in front of you today. We will celebrate and recognize successes, work hard to achieve together, involve the neglected, support the weak, look beyond ourselves and think: “What can we do for the wider community?”received_10154917370198592
This is a little taster of what the dream team aims for this year. The team needs its supporters and that’s you, the students. I look forward to all the successes and learning curves of this year. To see us guide, inspire and love one another, for Newlands College.
Me Whakamatau and thank you.
– Daphne Martinez, Head Girl 2017 (13CO)

I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity to be a part of student executive, especially as head boy considering the talents and caliber of all those involved. The strength of our team lies not only with those in it, but those who aren’t. The countless number of other deserving candidates and students reinforces our determination and responsibility to make a difference as exec.

I think that I speak for everyone when I say that we are striving to be a cohesive team that is open and inclusive as we work in collaboration with students and staff alike to create opportunities and lasting change that will stay with the school long after we leave.

Along with everyone else, I am looking forward to this year. I am looking forward to working with the talents, experiences, cultures and people who make up the wonderfully diverse melting pot of Newlands College that I am proud to be a part of.

 – Ben Murdoch, Head Boy 2017 (13WG)

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Peer Support Camp 2017

Below are some of the Y13 highlights of Peer Support Camp. For the complete photo set see the school flickr account. For a slice of nostalgia, the 2013 Year Nine peer support camp can be relived here and here.

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Student Executive 2017


Congratulations to the Student Executive for 2017:

  • Head Girl – Daphne Martinez
  • Head Boy – Ben Murdoch
  • Academic Captain – Kiya Basabas
  • Arts Captain – Hunter Giltrap
  • Sports Captain – Audrey Martinez
  • Kowhai House Captain – Matthew Bain
  • Matai House Captain – Dylan Jones
  • Rimu House Captain – Michael Chang
  • Totara House Captain – Rachael Wilson
  • Komiti Maori – Ian Murray
  • Komiti Pasifika – K’Shana Fa’amasino
  • International Student – Gary Xiao
  • Board Of Trustees Student Rep – Janhavi Gosavi


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Academic Captain – Junior School Address


Kia ora Junior School! It is crazy to believe that we are already on our 5th week of Term 1, and I’m aware that many of you have gotten well into the school system and are starting to truly experience college life through homework, tests, and whatnot. You year 10’s will already be used to how college works, but personally even as a year 13 I am still trying to figure some things out in my fifth year here. Something that I have learnt over my time at Newlands is that school definitely isn’t one easy cruise along the waterfront; like anything you do in life there are challenges and obstacles you must face – but hopefully today, from an academic point of view, I’m here to share with you my 3 easy steps for school success that might make your time here a bit easier, or less stressful, or even if you just want to look at the memes that’s cool too.


My first step that I think is crucial for anything you want to do is to establish a goal. Goals are important because they keep us on track and make sure we’re doing what we have to do. I don’t just mean, for example, setting a goal to do your homework every night. I want you to think about the wider purpose of a goal you set. This could be a purpose for a short term goal; so maybe actually doing your homework every night for the rest of the week, but so that you won’t have any to do this weekend when it’s your friend’s birthday party. This could be a purpose for a long term goal such as getting 62 excellence credits in Year 11 because did you know that Victoria University hands you five thousand dollars just like that if you do? Which means you won’t have to work as much when you’re out of school and will have more time to do other things you like, such as go to your friend’s birthday party in the weekend. Goals are important to set, but what is the purpose of them if there is no purpose behind them?


My second step for school success is to manage your time wisely. I’m not going to give you a lecture on why you should stay off of Instagram or Snapchat and open a book because truthfully I am not the best role model for staying off social media. You know yourself best so that self-control is on you. I do however, have tricks that I do to maximise the learning I get done even when I’m not sitting at my desk. When I’m walking home from school,  I might practice my lines that I have to memorise for a play in drama. When I’m doing the dishes at home or at work, I might go over the different atoms of the periodic table in my head. Time management can be about, but is not exclusive to, separating all the different things that you do into little slots in your calendar. I like to look at it as, “How can I make the most out of my 24 hours in a day, no matter where I am or what I’m doing?”


The last step for school success that I believe in is to find your passion. Not everyone decides what they want to do after college while they’re in college, but a step to getting there is to immerse yourself in activities that you are passionate about. Learning is not limited to sitting 6 hours in class each day; this school offers a plethora of sporting opportunities, clubs such as creative writing and philosophy club and competitions like chess comps and gaming tournaments that you can get yourself involved in. You might not win every game you play or ace every test you sit, but you will be surprised about how many different things you will learn through extra curricular activities that you can apply to your academic learning, as well as expanding on your overall growth as a student. Find your passion… and learn in the process.


To conclude, I hope you reflect on these three steps that might help you as they’ve helped me: Establishing a purpose for a goal, maximising your time wisely, and finding your passion and learning from it. Remember that if plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 more letters. I’d like to leave you with some wise words from my friend DJ Khaled: “You smart. You very smart. You the best”. Thank you.


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Y13 Orientation – Dean’s Address

Kia ora tatou, a very warm welcome back to you all. A particular warm welcome to our new students here today who I know the rest of you will support settle into the school.  I’ve seen a number of you already through course confirmation and last week’s peer support programme, but it is nice to see you back in your uniform sitting all together in a space we know so well.

Today I would like to tell you a story. The reason why I want to tell you this story is that at the end of last year we had over a hundred people undertake peer support training, and at the beginning of this year we took 68 of those students (a record number) to Peer Support Camp to run a programme for our new Year 9 students. There are 160 students sitting in this hall today. Twelve of you are likely to be on the Student Executive, elected in a couple of weeks. But we would expect a lot more than 12 will nominate yourselves to be considered. So this story…

In 2004 I was part of a year group that had about 250 students in it and in the system I was part of, about 40 students every year are chosen to be prefects. I wanted so badly to be a prefect. I remember as a tiny year 9 how much I hero worshiped the prefects. At the end of year twelve, there was a school wide vote and I wasn’t in the top 40. I wasn’t made a prefect. The system was as flawed as the Electoral College but putting that aside for a moment, this was heartbreaking for me. I remember balling my eyes out. Tears that you can only cry as a child. The ones where your mouth sort of starts gagging for air and you have no control over the noises you are making.

I’m sharing this with you, not just because I passionately endorse the cathartic impact of a good cry, but because these emotions of disappointment are totally valid. Everyone in this room has felt that at some point to various different degrees. And I’d wager most of us in this room have cried to the point where you are dehydrated.

But what did I do about this?  I had told a lot of people that I wanted to be a prefect, so I was pretty embarrassed to have missed out. I bounced back pretty well. I stayed strong through that perceived embarrassment and came out the other side. I wanted to prove I could make a difference.kingkong33newposter

It wasn’t long before I put together my love of cinema and new Audio Visual room built in the library. So I set about creating a film club. Cutting a long story short, this involved getting the library staff on board, a supportive teacher that helped mentor me through the process and a letter to the school leadership requesting a budget for the DVDs etc. I got granted $500, and bought films like Singing in the Rain, Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, the 1933 King Kong and Casablanca.

I started showing a classic film every week over a series of lunchtimes. The room was filled with people experiencing the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick – films that theses students might never have seen without this opportunity. I became well known around the school for coordinating this, with students approaching me with film requests – and making connections with peers who also had a passion for cinema.

I set up the cinema club to be continued for years to come and despite not being officially recognised as a ‘leader’ I had shown that anyone can actually make a difference.

Unfortunately the following year, someone discovered that the film club wasn’t covered by the school’s copyright permissions, and we had actually been illegally showing films and we liable for fines up to $80,000. Film club didn’t continue – but at least we had one year of cinematic magic.

I’m extremely proud of the peer support students. I will be extremely proud of those that make it into the Student Executive. But neither of these things stop anybody in this year group from making a positive difference to Newlands College.

As the great philosopher Emanuel Gorges said to me in last week, who may or may not have been quoting someone else: “’What you do for yourself dies with you when you leave this world, what you do for others lives on forever”. So the challenge we are posing to you today is now that you are Year 13 students, the leaders of the school: what are you going to give back?

I haven’t mentioned yet our results last year. And while it’s true that they are the best Level Two results this school has ever had and we should celebrate and we should be proud – this is only one measure of success. There are other ways of measuring how good you are as a year group – and how well you give back and create opportunities for others, lead the way by creating a positive inclusive environment – that is the measure I’m truly interested in.

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