Rock of Ages

Congratulations to everyone involved in Rock of Ages, the 2017 school production.

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Humanities Trip Wrap-Up

After waiting for two long years, the Humanities Trip students finally embarked for Europe for an amazing two and a half weeks. It was a fairly surreal feeling to be finally leaving after months of preparation and anticipation but at 3:45am on Sunday morning of the 9th of April, thirty five nervous and excited students were ready to begin our travels to the other side of the world. We began by travelling from Wellington to Sydney, from Sydney to Dubai and finally from Dubai to London, which took around roughly twenty five hours.

Once we landed in London we were all tired and sweaty. Fortunately the bus had air conditioning. We stopped over at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Leicester Square. The next day myself and Panashe performed our excerpt from Macbeth at Shakespeare’s house in Stafford upon Avon which will go down as one of my greatest experiences in my life. We also learned about 16th century culture such as the ancient art of drinking yellow frog pee helps to cure sore throats.

On day 4 we trekked over to Westminster abbey, the famous church where many British monarchs are buried. But at the same time so incredible beautiful and detailed, every inch of the church had something incredible to look at. Finally, we visited Hampton Court palace, Henry VIII’s personal castle for recreation. A day full of history of a bizarre family.

The food was outstanding with a full english breakfast every morning with complementing OJ and mourning runs with Mr Mortensen that opened our eyes even more to the modern beauty of London.

The following day went head from London to Belgium. We started in Ypres by visiting a chocolate shop with the most enthusiastic salesman ever, then we entered the “In Flanders Fields Museum” which featured some cold hard facts on the war giving my life a deeper perspective. We ended that day with a service. In respect 4 members of the group laid a reef on behalf of the school. And finally Brugge a tiny town in Belgium. We were welcomed into the town by Pizza hut and Foot Locker just like home except the streets were cobblestone and you share the road with a horse. 

 – Paris Renalson (13BL)

When we first arrived in Paris we went straight to the Eiffel Tower. It was pretty amazing to see all of Paris from the top. The next day we went to Paris Disneyland, my highlights included going on the Tower of Terror which is a 61 m drop. The light show at the end was a great way to end the day at Disney. The day after we went to the Louvre which is a pretty big art museum which had real cool statues and so radical art. 

 – Booklyn Leota (12SL)

I think Rome was a highlight of the trip for me. With excellent weather, some top class food and really cool architecture, Rome was a great city to wander. On the first day in Rome we relaxed in the hotel for an afternoon before going out for dinner and gelato. The room that I was in was super cool with mirrors on every wall making for a cool rooming experience. The second day we went to the Vatican and the Colosseum, which were both some pretty cool sights from way back in the day. Our final day was probably my favourite, when we got to roam the city. My group went to the Capuchin temple, which contained heaps of human bones. We then carried on exploring Rome, a highlight of my day was the site of Caesar’s assassination which had been turned into a sanctuary for old and disabled cats. After that we headed to Sorrento for some rest for our last few days. With great views over the Amalfi coast and heaps of gelato to stuff our faces with it was good times all round.

 – Tom Horton (13WA)

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Flashback – The Wizard of Oz 2013

In this ‘Flashback Friday’ we revisit the 2013 production: Wizard of Oz. There were a number of students in the year group involved, some of whom will celebrate being in all five productions next week with Rock of Ages. 

For those who didn’t manage to catch the show, below is a photo album capturing some of the best moments.

Congratulations to all the Year 9s who were involved. In the cast: Nikaiah Basabas, Meg Burgess, Panashe Dindingwe, Clarice Du Toit, Hunter Giltrap, Jennifer Nash, and Talitha Wilson; Jenni and Meg were also part of the student choreography team; in the orchestra: Stella Lu; backstage: Jordan Borchowsky and Angus Mawby; in the make up crew: Charlotte Earle, Renee Hargreaves, Jesika Hermez, Donna Joseph, Tharushi Nanayakkara, Shanlon Robertson, and Rebekah Warwick.

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Rock of Ages – Assembly Preview

A sort scene from Rock of Ages was shared with the school yesterday. It involved just Sherrie, Stacee and Drew, three significant characters from the show – plenty of surprises are being kept for next week. Tickets are flying out the door for this show that runs for four nights. Friday is sold out, Wednesday is also effectively sold out with a waiting list in place, limited availability for Thursday ($10 students, $15 adults), and Tuesday our gala night ($25 including drink and dessert) still has tickets available. Get them from the school office. You do not want to miss this show.



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Getting Ready for 2018 – Transition Information

After detecting a few worries and questions about next year, Ms Featherstone is in the process of visiting Form Classes over the next two weeks to speak to the Year Group about preparing for 2018. These messages are familiar, but the opportunity for ask direct questions may be valuable for all. Some of the key ideas from her help sheet that she is distributing are recorded here:

  • shield-492991_960_720Applications for Tertiary Courses – most open in October and are open right up until the beginning of next year. Everything gets confirmed after your NCEA results come out next year.
  • Information on Tertiary Institutions – visit Ms Featherstone to pick up a prospectus, open days for Wellington providers occur on the 1st September, and information evenings for other unis around the country are coming up and will be advertised.
  • Accommodation – you can apply from mid-August through to mid September.
  • Scholarships – Ms Featherstone will be running a workshop on Scholarships in Term Three on applying and information on what is available will come out in due course through the notices etc.
  • Student Loans – again Ms Featherston will run a workshop next term and nothing needs to be done until you have worked out what you are going to do in 2018. It is helpful if you already have the required documentation: passport/birth certificate, bank account and IRD number.

Finally, once again it is important to remind everyone that the guidance team around you is here to help. Please make an appointment with Ms Featherstone ( or start a conversation with any of the guidance team.

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Nik Bruce-Smith – Wa Ako Guest Speaker

The Year 13s were addressed by Nik Bruce-Smith in Wa Ako last week. This was an opportunity to hear from a ex-student of Newlands College about their journey and hear some impressions and guidance from someone who used to be in their shoes. In 2006 Nik was Head Boy at Newlands College. Since then he studied at Victoria University, has traveled the globe and is now working at Chapman Tripp, and will soon move to London. On top of this he has achieved incredible success as a Comedian, performing in last year Comedy Gala alongside Rhys Darby and Urzila Carlson. The following capture some of the ideas he shared, but they are no means a complete summary of his inspirational talk.

Nik encourage the audience to constantly consider and reflect on two questions:

  • What matters to you ?
  • Why does it matter to you?

The answer to those two questions, Nik said, depended on three factors: 1.) Who you are (your situation); 2.) Who you want to become (your aspiration); and 3.) Where you ultimately wanted to end up (your destination).

He gave a range of examples and stories to support the importance of that kind of reflection and how the answers you give to those questions will change over time.  That is why, he said, it was important to constantly challenge yourself to reflect on those questions. He talked about how at school he had made an “acceptable amount of noise” and that it wasn’t until University where he began to find himself. Through reflecting on those questions he came to develop his sense of self.

The idea of being open to opportunities and having an open-minded attitude to change was strung regularly throughout his address. It was through being open to new things that lead Nik to try comedy at an open mic night. This led to paid gigs and having shows in the NZ Comedy Festival. Letting go of fixed ideas and assumptions mean that we are more open to opportunities.

One statement Nik finished on really stood out: “High School should not be the best years of your life”. He connected this to how at College you have a limited sense of control over what happens to you, and after leaving you have a completely different sense of control over your life. He also connected this to friendships: “there are three types of friends: friends for a reason, friends for a season, friends for life”. Nik is someone who met his closest friends after Newlands College. He made the point that by your 50th birthday party you should be able to look around and see all the friends for life that you have made.

His wide ranging talk appeared to strike a chord with a number of Y13s. To help unpack the ideas please feel free to approach any of the guidance team, and remember the hub of links to help support your career and transition thinking here.


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Flashback – Slow Lane – L2 Drama Trip

News from February 2016 that never quite got published…

Last week the Level Two Drama students went to the City and Sea Museum and also visited a nearby Fringe Festival performance of Slow Lane. The performance was created by Binge Culture Collective,

Feeling the pressure to get more done in less time? Is constant multi-tasking causing you to lose your focus? Head on down to New Zealand’s fastest moving street and chill out in the slow lane.

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Production Camp – Rock of Ages


Last week, the cast of Rock of Ages spent three days in a rehearsal camp. The show is now only two weeks away with tickets now on sale. See the facebook event for more information. Friday night is already close to selling out! Get in fast to see a rockin’ night of 80s music and an exceptionally talented group of Newlands College students!

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Flashback – Food Technology Desserts

News from 2013 that never quite got posted… These were photos taken in Food Technology in Year 9 from the end of Term Two. Students were tasked with creating a dessert…

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The Private War of Corporal Cooper – L3 Drama Production

Directed by Kiya Basabas and performed by Chantel Gates and Mitchell Laws. This was an intimate play staged in a really mature way by these three Y13 students. Congratulations to them for putting on such an outstanding production over the last two nights!

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