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The ACG Strathallan Magazine

Sun, Sea, Sand and Scavenger Hunts Children learn best when given rich experiences that enable them to explore and discover for themselves in a hands-on practical way. Pre-school Curriculum Co-ordinator, Simone Butler, shares the pre-school’s recent learning experience at Kawakawa Bay. This term, Strathallan Senior preschool embarked on a very exciting adventure. Dressed in our sun hats and gum boots, we set off on the bus ready to put all our learning about our current topic this term, “Sun, Sea and Sand” into action by spending the day at Kawakawa Bay. The exploration strand of Te Whariki which is part of the early childhood curriculum states that children should develop working theories for making sense of the natural and physical world, learn features of their natural environment and develop a respect and responsibility for natural resources. What better way to learn about the eco-system of a rock pool than to travel to one for ourselves and get exploring! The children were delighted to discover all the creatures we had been learning about and they ticked them off on their Scavenger Hunt tick list as they found them. The highlights included the barnacles, the hermit crabs and finding tiny little anemones. As we explored, the children collected natural treasures they had found on the beach. We enjoyed using these later to create our wonderful sand sculptures. Our imaginations ran wild and we created sand mermaids, hearts, knights, castles and even a bridge! After all our hard work investigating and discovering in the beautiful fresh air of Kawakawa Bay, we enjoyed a picnic lunch and a special ice block treat before returning to Preschool on the bus, tired but very happy children, parents and teachers. What a great day out, doing what kids do best - playing and exploring and, most of all, having fun!


TERM 1 | 2018


Looking Ahead Clearly articulated vision, mission and values statements are crucial to the success of any organisation and we have spent this past term reviewing these key statements to ensure they reflect the needs of our learners as we look ahead to the future. A series of collaborative meetings involving staff from the primary school and college helped to refine these statements and they underpin everything we do to achieve our overarching aim of bringing out the best in every student that attends ACG Strathallan. These statements are at the heart of our strategic goals that guide our yearly development priorities in the preschool, primary school and college. As a team we have developed 10 strategic goals that will focus our time and energy over the coming years so we can continue to provide students with a challenging holistic education, underpinned by strong core values and exceptional pastoral care.

Strathallan Strategic Goals 1 2 3 4 5 6

Student wellbeing to provide students with exceptional pastoral care to nurture the development of the skills and qualities that will allow them to have positive self-worth and relationships based on trust and mutual respect

Academic curriculum to provide students with a challenging and varied academic curriculum that prepares them for the future and equips them with the knowledge, skills and qualities to lead fulfilling lives

Sport, activities, the arts to provide students with a sport and activities programme that inspires them to engage in activities outside of the classroom so they can develop particular skills and exhibit their non-academic abilities

Experiential education to provide students with a sequential programme from Years 1-13 that includes a wide range of experiences and adventurous activities outside the classroom to promote personal growth and core life skills

Leadership and service to provide students with a range of opportunities and challenges to develop leadership skills and to foster empathy and compassion

Professional learning to provide staff with ongoing professional learning opportunities to support and develop their knowledge and skills so as to provide high quality teaching and learning


Environment for learning




Long-term sustainability


Community engagement

to provide students with a safe and inspiring environment for learning that supports the delivery of our holistic learning programme

to use technology to support and enhance teaching, learning and campuswide operations

to ensure our policies and practices contribute towards the long-term sustainability of the school

to participate in genuine collaborative partnerships with our students, their families, alumni and the wider community

P R I N C I P A L' S W O R D

Left to right: Pattarintorn Jusakul, Liam Nelson and Joanna Whitworth

Cambridge Success The 2017 Cambridge examination results once again saw ACG Strathallan gain some top awards, with six students gaining recognition for excelling in their particular subjects. Subject

Student Name

Cambridge Award

AS Level History

Joanna Whitworth

High Achievement

A Level Art & Design: Photography

Dominic Van Camp

High Achievement

AS Level Applied Information & Communication Technology

Tanya Everitt

High Achievement

IGCSE English as a Second Language

Pattarintorn Jusakul

High Achievement

AS Level Art & Design: Photography

Tia Goldsmith

Top in New Zealand

IGCSE Business Studies

Pattarintorn Jusakul

Top in New Zealand

IGCSE First Language English

Liam Nelson

Top in New Zealand

As well as these quite remarkable individual successes, we had a significant number of students who gained some incredible results across all their subjects. We spoke to some of our top students to see where these results will take them. Tia Goldsmith achieved Top in New Zealand for AS Art & Design: Photography, and has taken up full-time work this year to save up for next year’s fees for university. Tia says, “I enjoy all things creative and have hopes of becoming an interior designer. I was inspired to choose this career path when I was visiting open homes and viewing the staging of the houses. I find it amazing how design, furniture and accessories can alter the look of a place entirely.” Joanna Whitworth took A Level Classical Studies, English Language and AS Level History and Drama, achieving all A grades in her Cambridge examinations. She is looking forward to studying a Bachelor of Arts at Auckland University


this year, with a double major in Psychology and Linguistics. Joanna is “looking at becoming a clinical psychologist, maybe even working with children and young adults. Mental health is a huge problem at the moment and I want to help be part of the solution. It seemed the right path, combining what I’m good at and my interests with wanting to help people in a very direct way.” Charles Ouyang achieved four A* grades in A Level Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. While Charles has received an offer from the University College of London in the UK to study a four-year integrated master’s program in biochemistry, he is still holding out for a place at the Chinese University of Hong Kong to study Biomedical Engineering. Charles says, “The need for developed biomedical technologies is growing. There is therefore a huge opportunity in this area and I would like to devote myself to this development and progress.” Uchit Gangoli achieved two A* grades in A Level Biology and Chemistry, and an A in AS Chemistry. Uchit will be studying Biomedicine at the University of Auckland this year. He says, “Studying medicine has always been my dream. I always loved learning and, now, with an ever-growing exposure to science, the idea of combining my dream of bettering people’s lives with the knowledge I will accumulate over the years seems more appealing than ever.” With such stellar school results, these students have a very secure platform from which to achieve their goals.

House Spirit One of the most impressive additions to our uniform has been our new house badges. These badges, which represent each house’s individual identity, initially started as a simple house competition where students were invited to submit designs to represent our four houses: Angus, Batten, McLaren and Wilkins. The result: an amalgamation of two designs by then Year 13 students, Fraser Smith and Sean Chen. We spoke to them about the journey from competition to final product. What inspired you to participate in the design competition? Fraser: I was in Year 13 and wanted to leave Strathallan knowing that I had made a positive impact on the school. As soon as the competition was announced I knew exactly what my concepts were going to look like. I showed Mr Sefton my very first designs and he was already a huge fan of them, so that motivated me to try and win the contest. When you realised you were a co-winner, what was the next step? Sean: Mr Kirkham told me about the results of the vote and suggested that Fraser and I try to combine our designs. We were both more than happy to, and after a few weeks we came up with a super basic design of the house logo. We kept working on them over the course of the year, mainly drawing different variations and trying out different colours while frequently getting feedback from the school. It took around ten different versions before we reached this final design in November that year. Eventually, we were both fully happy with them.

Students’ concept drawings

Our four houses are named after four famous New Zealanders:

Jean Batten Aviatrix

Maurice Wilkins Physicist and molecular biologist

What do you think of the final product? Fraser: I am impressed with how they all turned out, especially how consistent their designs look. I hope these new logos help promote the house spirit and give each student a sense of pride for their respective houses. Sean: They are awesome! I am glad they have finally been made and students are now wearing them. I remember waking up one morning and receiving a bunch of messages and photos showing me the badges. It is such an amazing feeling seeing something you have helped design actually become a reality. My mum is currently holding onto the badges for me. I cannot wait to see them in person once I’m back in New Zealand.

Bruce McLaren Race-car designer and driver

We thank them both for their outstanding contribution to the school. Sean Chen is currently studying Graphic Design Communication at the University of Arts London, and Fraser Smith is in his second year at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design studying Photo Media.

Rita Angus Painter



Primary Experience This term the Primary School has been making the most of our Education Outside the Classroom opportunities. From year-level trips to whole school events, we have been getting our cheerleading skills out and broadening our horizons. Here are just some of the highlights.

Senior Summer Sports League Created in 2017 and back by popular demand, the Senior Sports League is run every Friday afternoon and involves all Year 5 and 6 students. There are eight teams that play in two separate pools, before being brought together for semi-finals and finals matches. This term the two sports being contested were T-ball and cricket, to align with our focus on small ball skills. Katrina Song enjoyed the challenge, as “Even though we lose we still have a great time.” The focus on team building and camaraderie is strong, and MuChien Lee enjoyed the fact that “You get to meet new people.” Overall the competition is great fun and highly competitive — just ask the undefeated 2B team going into finals week!

ANZAC Museum Trip With a mix of drama that was both intriguing and engrossing, Daniel Xian felt that the Year 6 trip to the Auckland Museum’s ANZAC Day exhibit was a “bubble of knowledge waiting to be popped.” Evangeline Speedy wrote that “A real Spitfire, trench coats and lemon squeezer hats, an interactive drama and Anne Frank’s diary were just some of the highlights,” while Spencer Ha would personally recommend it, saying that “Everyone was intrigued, excited and happy with the information while we probably felt a little sad for all that they lost.” Overall the trip was a huge success, summed up neatly by Emmy Malins, who felt it was “a museum trip worth its weight in gold and silver.”

School Swimming Sports With the weather playing a key role in our swimming sports this year, it was a combined school and family effort to complete our day of races. After initially being rained out, senior students who were keen to complete their races returned to the pool a few days later to complete their best lengths. Maddie Sorrell enjoyed the challenge of racing the length of the pool, while Cooper Thomas and Tony Zhang loved the fact that the pool was warm! Deacon Hansen was competition-focused, using the lines at the bottom of the pool to help him know when to stop during his butterfly race.


The Sounds of Music The music department has taken off with renewed enthusiasm this year. Colourful instruments, a new teacher and some exciting developments ensure the hills are definitely alive with the sounds of music at Strathallan. We spoke to new music teacher, Josh Mckay, about his love for music and the music department’s plans for this year. Tell us a bit about your background in music. I have a Bachelor of Music majoring in Jazz Performance from the University of Auckland, and I play a variety of instruments. As a musician I love performing and have performed both in New Zealand and internationally, with some of my highlights including the Melbourne Ska Festival, the Auckland Ska Festival (2017), and many more. What are some of the activities you are running this year? The House choir competition is something new this year and we already have a lot of interest from the students. It’s my belief that nobody is tone deaf. If you can get on the phone with your mum or dad and know by how they sound that they’re angry at you, then you can hear pitch and tone! This activity will pit each of Strathallan’s four houses against each other in a performing arts competition like no other. Also, we want more students to make use of the fantastic resources ACG Strathallan currently has! Since I started, Mrs Winsome Wensley and I have revived the concert band programme, and I’ve started a choir, a string ensemble, and a feature slot at assemblies which highlights a new musician every fortnight. What is available for students who wish to have individual lessons? For those students who wish to learn specific instruments, Mrs Wensley can teach clarinet, saxophone, piano up to Grade 3, keyboard, percussion, recorder and music theory. We also have a number of itinerant teachers. Albert Lee is our drum tutor. He studied at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington (Victoria University), and passing on musical knowledge is his passion. He looks forward to each lesson, whether it is on drums or piano, and seeing the progress each student makes. Peter Doublinszki is an accomplished concert guitarist. He toured Europe extensively, performing solo and in chamber music concerts.


He has developed his own method that guides students through grades with ease and equips them with the necessary skills to continue their studies at a higher level. Michael Bennett has had an extensive career of over 30 years as a full-time pianist and singer, in New Zealand and overseas. For the past 14 years Michael has passed on different singing techniques to his students sitting exams or seeking a career in music. With all these wonderful opportunities available, every child at Strathallan should be able to find their musical forte.

An Exercise in Sport Participation in sport really has rewarding benefits for our students. Two students share their experiences with Strata. If you are early enough to school on a Monday morning, you will have seen around 20 students (and a few staff) taking part in some rigorous training on the upper field. This is Strathallan’s newly formed running club, headed by professional coach James Kuegler and aimed at developing running and fitness training for our students. Maruti Mishra reflects on how these early morning sessions in the running club have given him a new perspective on life. The running club has started a physical and emotional experience for anyone willing to give it a go. Each training session consists of a reasonably consistent programme. To start, everyone does a warm-up, co-ordinating their bodies through physical “tongue twisters” where a set pattern of movement has to be copied out. This activity tests each individual’s focus and co-ordination. Secondly, we run a minimum of three laps across the whole track, depending on our individual ability or determination. The maximum limit varies, but the most competent are encouraged to run a whopping 1500m! After one or two laps, there is something called a recovery lap where we are allowed a slow walk. After the final laps there is a warm-down, where a little fun game or activity is played that releases us from our overworked states. Going for an early morning run on fresh green grass is a distinct break from the digital world that most adolescents have become absorbed in. Here, you battle grass, sweat, rain, and, above all, yourself. Another sport which has seen significant growth in the college is rowing, with 12 students qualifying for New Zealand’s prestigious school rowing regatta, the Maadi Cup, held in the South Island in March. Callum McNally was one of those participants and tells us about his experiences of the regatta. The regatta took place on Lake Ruataniwha, near the town of Twizel. The regatta was officially opened with the Maadi Parade, where all athletes walked through the streets of Twizel underneath their schools’ banners. After the Parade, some schools performed hakas to intimidate and challenge their opponents — the competitive spirit of the week was just beginning. Racing started with two days of heats, with all crews fighting to qualify for semi or quarter finals. Some events had up to 60 crews, so it was extremely competitive. Of the fourteen ACG Strathallan crews, nine made finals, with five crews placing in the top sixteen in the country, a great achievement. The week also presented one of our few opportunities to race against South Island crews, many of which took advantage of rowing on their home lake.

S P O R T: R U N N I N G CLU B & M A A D I

Lake Ruataniwha is positioned at altitude, which made breathing while racing more difficult, adding another dimension to the racing along with the cold climate. Personally, I greatly enjoyed my time at Maadi. The South Island scenery was incredible and the organisation and support from parents and coaches allowed us to focus entirely on the competition and having fun. As athletes, our focus has now switched to the season ahead, thinking about what we can do better and looking forward to competition in future.

Campus Improvements The New Year has heralded some significant improvements to the school’s facilities, with a makeover of the tennis courts and staff carpark already in place and the refurbishment of some of our science labs planned for later in the year. Our tennis courts have always been well-used, not just for tennis but for several other sporting codes, and after 18 years there’s been some wear and tear. So this term saw the entire base of the tennis courts stripped, proper drainage installed and the AstroTurf replaced, resulting in a more versatile, allweather venue for its various uses, including the year-round football enjoyed by many students during their lunchtimes. Added to this, the new nets with aluminium posts will ensure that this facility is enjoyed by the whole school for a long time. The new courts are already getting much use but there are also plans afoot to hold an inter-house college tennis competition this year, while the Primary School will be organising special lessons on the courts as part of their focus on sport.

Relay for Life Our Year 12/13 student leaders took part in the Papakura Relay for Life this term, raising over $5000.00 for The Cancer Society. The students walked over 300km over 18 hours and finished the event feeling exhausted but elated.

The staff carpark adjacent to the tennis court has also been fully resurfaced, creating a serviceable area for staff to park safely and securely. Another renovation set to take place this year is the college science laboratories. Two entire rooms are being revamped with everything being replaced, from furniture to specialist equipment. G14 and G17 will be gutted and completely remodelled and refurbished with new lino, repainted walls, LED lighting, new heaters and new blinds. The students’ benches will be replaced so students can work more efficiently on their experiments, and teachers’ desks will be upgraded to include a section for demonstrating experiments. Additional sinks are being fitted, along with an eye-wash area over the main sink as an added safety feature. Portable fume cupboards will also be installed, and the equipment storage area is to be reconfigured to improve organisation. Science is a compulsory subject in Years 7–10 and Biology, Chemistry and Physics are highly popular subjects for our seniors, so there is no doubt the impact of these improvements on our students will be great.

ACG Strathallan 0800 222 899 | T: +64-9-295 0830 | E: Hayfield Way, RD1 Papakura, Auckland 2580, New Zealand

High Jump Gold Congratulations to year 12 student, Daniel Tilsley, who won Gold in the Senior Boys High Jump at the Auckland Secondary Schools’ Athletics Champs. Daniel then went on to compete at the North Island Champs where he won Silver, despite being forced to retire due to injury.

Strata Term 1 2018  
Strata Term 1 2018