Active Learning – Science with NIS

Previously Clarice shared the story of active learning preparations. These photos capture the success of the initiative with six classes from Newlands Intermediate all awed by Science in action. This is just one of many incredible active learning journeys that Newlands College students undertook.

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Flashback – Writing Ambassadors

In this ‘Flashback Friday’ we revisit a curriculum initiative which gathered some juniors to support the school’s inquiry into literacy and writing. 

The school staff meet every Thursday morning for Professional Development, hence the late start for students. In 2013 the focus has been literacy and writing, and one of the aspect that the staff has explored is the AsTTle writing tool.

This is where the writing ambassadors have come in. Several Y9 and Y10 students have volunteered their time to work on developing some student voice in and around the key areas of writing: vocabularly, spelling, ideas, sentence structure, punctuation, and organisation. They have worked in small groups extending their understanding of writing, and producing resources to help staff and other students understand the steps that one must take to improve their writing. These resources is what they presented to the staff.

Here are a couple of examples of the Vocabularly that were created:

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Punctuation Presentation - how Zara and Emily understand the steps to great punctuation

Punctuation Presentation – how Zara and Emily understand the steps to great punctuation

Zara Dunlop-Storey and Emily Dunstan presented about punctuation:
– “Level Four you are using punctuation correctly at the end of the sentences, full stops and capital letters, but you still need to work on the punctuation in the middle of the sentences”
They produced a sensational punctuation poster that will be displayed around the school.

Siana Whatarau and Angela Montenegro presented ideas for scientific writing:
– “for level three it is an idea that is related to the topic and shows some knowledge”
– “level six are ideas that are chosen well and are effective and detailed”

Tiarne Southon and Josh Steele presented about sentence structure:
– “sentence structure is the grammatical arrangement of words and sentences, the impact words have in sentences and their role”
– “In rubric five there is some variety with the sentences, so you are learning to put a bit of feeling into it”

Casey Norman and Safia Cole presented about spelling. They put a spelling mistake in each slide and the first staff member to spot it got a chocolate.
– “it’s really hard to make spelling interesting, because it is not interesting”
– “at this level students can spell some commonly used words and will attempt to spell more difficult words”

Congratulations to all the writing ambassadors (including those in Y10!). It was a stunning presentation, with the articulation of some many intricate aspects of writing the staff were left very impressed, and very informed.

The writing ambassadors with Ms King

The writing ambassadors with Ms King who has coordinated the group

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Well-Being Hub


At the top of the log you will now see a new tab. This is the new well-being hub. It joins the tabs for Careers & Transition and Study & Revision as pages where links to the various post made on this topic over the life of the blog are combined into one handy place. Please use these resources!

The well-being hub contains information for parents, links to summaries of the health and well-being days as well as Attitude presentations and various other posts that relate to well-being.

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Sir Peter Blake Trust Dream Team

From the Sir Peter Blake Trust website:

The Sir Peter Blake Trust Dream Team is a group of inspirational Kiwi leaders who every year aim to inspire thousands of Kiwi kids to follow their dreams. They visit schools to tell their stories, plant seeds of inspiration, and encourage young New Zealanders to have big dreams and back themselves to make them happen.

Today in Wa Ako the Y13s were joined by the International Students to hear from Dream Team member, Pengbo Jiang. He is also a old-boy of Newlands College. He was an International Student about 15 years ago and since then he has made a big impact in the community through his work in immigration law and his volunteering and mentoring of individuals and groups.


Pengbo challenged students to believe in themselves, their abilities and their potential. He talked about the importance of believing in yourself, the power of saying “I can do it” and being open to opportunities.

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Johnsonville Youth Grants


The trust exists to help the young people living within the Tawa and Crofton Downs excel in life through monetary grants in the following areas:

  • Sport
  • Academia
  • Arts
  • Other professional endeavours

They particularly look for abilities that may make a future contribution to the community in some tangible way. The grants are for individuals. See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and the Johnsonville Youth Grants Trust website for further information. Grants are made annually in September.

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Flashback – Melodramas

In this ‘Flashback Friday’ we revisit the 2015 Melodramas. 

Congratulations to all the Year 11s involved in Tuesday night’s Melodramas. A large audience came to boo, hiss and cheer the nine performances. The standard was exceptional and bodes well for the Year 11 Term Three productions.

Vladamir and his Violent Vision

Presented by Briana Head, Heipua Leota-Mene, Sean Rennwandt, Mitchell Laws

Will Mea manage to look after her inheritance? Will Sir Charles whisk away his true love? Or will Vladamir succeed in his violent vision to steal the money and make away with Mea? Can Edith ever declare her love for her master?

The Last Will and Testament of Margaret Dawson

Presented by Danica Fontein, Enzo James-Penny, Gus Mawby, Jared Nobelen, Shanlon Robertson

The daughter of a powerful mansion owner finds herself caught up in the ploy of her father when all she wants to do is follow her heart. Will the handsome servant boy win the hand of the charming daughter? Or will her father’s ploy find her in the arms of another?

The Montgomery Mine Catastrophe

Presented by Jennifer Nash, Hendrik Jones, Chantel Gates, Paris Renalson

Will Elizabeth get her wish to be a famous actress? Will Victoria ever be noticed by the man she truly loves? Will John be able to show his true heroic nature or will Hank and his evil plans succeed?

The Bachelor

Presented by Quinn Blackwood, Charlotte Cunliffe, Panashe Dindingwe, Monique Mizon

Arthur rides into town in search of a wife and meets a Mother with a plan to marry her daughter to the richest suitor she can find. However, it is the servant, Matilda, who catches Arthur’s eye. Will true love overcome the evil scheme?

The Shoe Shop Shakedown

Presented by  Simon Little, Zephrea Howarth, Connor Patterson, Megan Joslin

Will the Shoe thief be identified? Will true love find a way to conquer all? Will the manipulating friend cause too much havoc for love to conquer all?

The Bakery Thief

Presented by Josh Chadwick, Paris Doran-Ward, Charlotte Earle, Emily Villanueva

Lady Scarlett – along with her sidekick Igor – unleash a nasty plan on her ‘best-friend’ Elizabeth. Will Edward be able to thwart the evil genius? And what is Lady Scarlett’s motivation for revenge?

Drake’s Devilish Deeds

Presented by Marcus Gibson, Meg Burgess, Renée Pearce, Guinnie Peoples, Robert Me’afo’ou

Will sweet Rosalie get her heart’s desire and find her true love? Will Drake manage to destroy all in his path and succeed in his devilish deed? Or will Victor find a way to defeat Esme’s scheming and save the day?

Adam and Eve Take New Delhi

Presented by Kiya Basabas, Cassie Catalan, Danica Fontein, Donna Joseph, Kristyn Morgan

Sir Pent needs a woman to marry in order to become King of New Delhi. Eve seems fit for the job, but has already caught the eye of local apple seller Adam. Will true love conquer all? Who will become King? And will Eve’s mother get to buy new shoes?

Crazy in Love

Presented by Dylan Jones, Josh McCullough, K’Shana Fa’amasino, Brooke Hopkins

The evil Victoria is trying to get her scheming way over the beautiful innocent Caroline. Will love at first sight conquer over the evils plans cooked up by Victoria and Uncle Graham? And will Dick save the day?

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Shave for a Cure 2017


I did Shave For A Cure to do something good for the community and raise money for a good cause. I feel pretty good to have done it and I also feel a bit like a cue ball.

 – David Fale (13WG)

I did this because I’m a little bit crazy. I feel proud of the group and just a little bit cold.

 – Tiarne Southon (13WG)

I did Shave For A Cure partly for something new and partly because it’s a great cause. My Mum works for NZ blood service so I’ve seen first hand how much these sorts of things effect people and how much help is needed. I’m proud of what we’ve done and the money that we’ve raised!

 – Jack Matterson (13CO)


The students were able to raise upward of $4000 to date. To donate see the previous Shave for a Cure blogpost for details. 

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Flashback – Y9 Form Representatives

In this ‘Flashback Friday’ we revisit the 2013 Form Representatives. 

Congratulations to the elected Form Class Representatives! The names below will represent their Form Class at regular Year Level meetings run by Head Girl Sachinie Wanasinghe and Board of Trustees Student Rep Mark Liew.

9CJ Chantel Gates, Lochlan Young
9LD Tharushi Nanayakkara, Joshua Steele
9LW Renee Hargreaves, Caleb Sawers-McClintock
9NP Nikaiah Basabas, Emanuel Gorges
9SL Brooklyn Leota, Callum Gibling
9SN Renee Pearce, Casey Norman
9WG Stella Lu, Benjamin Murdoch
The Form Class Representatives with Sachinie and Mark (School Exec members) and Mr Cargill (Y9 Dean)

The Form Class Reps with Sachinie & Mark (School Exec members) & Mr Cargill (Y9 Dean)

At their first meeting, the group elected Callum Gibling and Nikaiah Basabas as the school council representatives. Congratulations to these two! In the school council, each Year Level is represented by two members and the group meets regularly to discuss and deal with matters relating to the student body.

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Wa Ako – Jason Buckley

J K RowlingJason Buckley addressed the Year 13s last Friday with an inspirational talk drawing on his experiences. He is the Marketing Manager at Hells Pizza and is behind a number of their most famous marketing campaigns including some controversial marketing tactics. However, he started by never passing an exam, or gaining any qualifications. His journey (see picture) includes owning hairdressing salons and managing some high profiles Hurricanes and All Blacks. His talk was arranged by Daphne and Ben; some of Ben’s takeaways are below.


Leaving school is a daunting thought for our year level. Those who say it isn’t are either lying or haven’t actually thought about it. Jason faced the same change of leaving school that we are currently facing, the difference being Jason was thoroughly unprepared. With no school success and no qualifications Jason entered the “real world” and thrived. As we confront the fact we are leaving school at least we can find some comfort in the fact that we are as prepared as we can be for the future. Our qualifications are important, the ones we leave school with and the ones we will work to gain in the future, but these qualifications do not define us. Jason is proof of how important the character and personality of the person behind those qualifications are. It is the person that is important, so we should learn to not only believe in our qualifications, but to have some confidence in ourselves.

Despite his challenges and setbacks Jason has succeeded; so in is his words, “if I can succeed there’s nothing stopping you” and he is right. Our success will not look like Jason’s or anyone else’s success, but there is nothing stopping us from defining our own success whatever that may be.

The “real world” awaits, but there is nothing to stop us from succeeding and most importantly nothing to stop us from enjoying life.

 – Ben Murdoch (13WG)

Jason finished with six pieces of advice to sum up h20170602_121137is speech:

  1. Never give up
  2. Surround yourself with people how care
  3. Treat people the way you wanna be treated
  4. Always back yourself and be positive
  5. Always turn a negative into a positive
  6. Enjoy life
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Flashback – Emily Villanueva Shaves For a Cure!

In this ‘Flashback Friday’ we revisit the 2013 Shave for a Cure – when Emily Villanueva stepped up to raise money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.

9NP supporting Emily as her hair is shaved off!

Friday Form Time, Emily Villanueva took a deep breath and shaved all her hair as part of shave for a cure. She is the fourth person in the school after Mrs Karen Matthews (English teacher), Mr Anthony Lander (Music teacher), and Logan Sayers (Y12) were all shaved in a crowded hall on Monday. Emily had her Form class on hand to support her and told the following powerful story of why she was taking part:

“I had this friend back in primary, most people from St. Brigid’s will know her and she was one of my best friends. Back when we were six she was diagnosed with cancer and had to take chemotherapy, which was really hard for her as you can imagine little girls at that age would be obsessed with keeping their hair long. But she had to wear a wig and a Mr Lau with the shaver and Ms Nepata, Form Teacherhat everyday. When we were about 8 or so the chemo worked and we were really relieved and her hair grew back. 3 years later we found out that she had a relapse and had to go to Christchurch for treatment. After about a year and a bit of skyping she came back cured. But it wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that we found out that she had yet another relapse. I thought this was extremely devastating for her and her family, I mean getting diagnosed once was enough, but three times? So when the announcement came out for shave for a cure I decided if she can do it three times I can do it once.”

Emily has a page on the shave for a cure website, and is almost halfway to her target or $500. She says: “Also for everyone that donated, thank you so much whether it was just 5 bucks or 50 it probably means a lot to every kid out there with cancer.

Emily at the completion of the shave!

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