International Newsletter Term 1 2016

15 April 2016

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Homestay Families

Tēnā koutou!

I would like to congratulate all international students on a fantastic Term One.

We started the term off by celebrating a set of very pleasing external exam results. Our 2015 cohort has done us proud by producing a 88% pass rate at Level 3, a 25% endorsement rate at Level 1, a 28% endorsement rate at Level 2 and an astonishing 48% endorsement rate at Level 3. These outstanding results are testament of all the hard work and persistence of our students and teachers.

In order to repeat, or even exceed, our 2015 results, I wish to remind all students that it is important to establish a good study habit early and start your preparation now. The school provides after school tutorials in the following subjects and it is my recommendation that students take advantage of these: Yr11 Science, Yr12 Business Studies, Yr13 Calculus and Yr13 Statistics. Please also be reminded that the ESOL Department runs after school Homework Centre on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Term One has always been full of exciting activities and this year has been no exception. So far, international students have had opportunities to participate in the Whole School Powhiri, the Haka Competition, the Swimming Sports, Cross Country, the School Ball and the Cultural Week. I believe these activities not only provided wonderful experiences and memories for our international students, but also enabled them to develop important key competencies such as Relating to Others, Participating and Contributing and Managing Self.

A special mention to our Year 13 students who took the initiative to organize the International New Year BBQ function and several activities during the Cultural Week. Our school is a much richer place because of your contribution. Thank you!

Year 9 and Year 10 students enjoyed two wonderful trips to Rangitoto Island and Kelly Tarltons with their ESOL classes. The trips focused on eco-sustainability and gave students some authentic learning experiences. I must commend the ESOL Department for their effort to provide this holistic and experiential learning opportunity for our international students.

An increasing number of international students have become more involved in the co-curricular programme of our school. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being a part of the whole school life.

To our students:

Being a part of a team, be it sports, music or cultural, will not only sharpen your skills in a wide range of areas, but also help you develop a good work ethic, people skills and resilience.
Make the most of what is available to you and make 2016 your year.

Virtute experiamur!

Ms Tina Kwok,
Director of the International Department

International New Year BBQ

new-year-bbq-1 We celebrated the Spring Festival with a BBQ after school.

A group of senior boys planned and catered this event, providing an opportunity for our students to celebrate this very important time of year.

It also offered a chance for these senior boys to plan and run a large school event and enhance their leadership skills.  Well done to these boys!

The boys enjoyed sausages and chicken on the BBQ and also some very delicious dumplings.

Many staff members also attended this function and together they shared food and conversation in an informal setting.

It was great to see so many boys relaxing and enjoying a beautiful summer’s afternoon at school.


Visits overseas

Westlake Boys High School began its 2016 marketing with a two week trip to Germany and Austria in April. We have been very pleased to have increased the number of German students over recent years and wish to continue to do so. As a new initiative, we held a parents’ evening of ex-Westlake boys in Cologne. We also visited one of our current international student’s school in Bonn, establishing ties and hoping to see more students spend some time in NZ in the future.

On the homeward journey we made a brief stop in Thailand, visiting a school to expand our connections with the Kingdom of Thailand.

The rest of the year’s programme will see us make three trips to China, with one of these extending to Hong Kong and Taiwan, Korea and Japan with a further trip to Thailand later in the year.

 Presently Ms Tina Kwok, our Director, is hosting a tour of China for Westlake students studying Chinese and while there, will be taking the opportunity to meet with families of our students.

Cultural Week

cultural-week-1 Westlake boys had a wonderful cultural week in April.

Cultural week is an important activity in our school.  It not only promotes a NZ multi-cultural tradition, but it also gives the boys chances to organize various activities and enhance their social skills.

They experienced food, music, art and fun activities from many cultures including China, Korea, India, the Middle East and South Africa.

cultural-week-2 There were lunchtime theatre and music performances including a very special evening concert.
cultural-week-3 On China Day, boys learned to play Chinese music, try calligraphy and taste delicious dumplings.

On Korea day, boys enjoyed traditional Korean food and even had a competition eating spicy food.  It was indeed a challenge to keep smiling after eating a mouthful of spicy kimchi.

Many international boys played important roles during this week.

They really feel a part of the school, and the country now.


Visitors from Thailand

Satit Pattana boys with Mr Ferguson, Headmaster, and their Westlake buddies

Satit Pattana boys with Mr Ferguson, Headmaster, and their Westlake buddies

Term one was very busy one for our International Department. We hosted a short term group for one month from Satit Pattana School, a private co-ed school from Bangkok, as well as students from Vajiravudh College, one of the top private boarding boys school in Thailand.  The Vajiravudh boys participated in a special rugby training program here at school.
  visitors-from-thailand-1   visitors-from-thailand-2

Vajiravudh College boys with Westlake fitness and coaching staff

The students mentioned what a good time they had had at Westlake with some planning to come back as full time students in the future. Our thanks to those families who looked after these boys for these memorable visits.


Photo:  James Ahn, Siwei Peng, Yufei Liu

Photo: James Ahn, Siwei Peng, Yufei Liu

This term we were pleased to see six international students join the school cycling team.

This could not be possible without the support of Mr Andrew Clarke, teacher in charge of cycling and the parents of the cycling club who have committed to providing extra support to our students whose parents live overseas so cannot be involved. James Ahn is fortunate to have his mother live here in NZ with him.

Good luck for the season to Yufei Liu, Bingzheng Yan, Marcel Yang, Puhan Yang, James Ahn and Siwei.

Musical Students

Brian, Opas, Otto, Roykhien, and Yunjae are passionately involved in Music at Westlake.

Their dedicated group includes the Taharoto Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Concert Band and Big Band.

Students are placed in a group according to their ability and they are challenged to improve not only their performance, but also their musicianship, leadership, ensemble and social skills.

They should take pride in being a part of the very successful music groups at Westlake. We are also very proud of the dedication and musical skills that they have shared with us at school.


Westlake High School Ball

school-ball-1 On Friday 1st of April, the combined Westlake High Schools Ball was held in the Sky City Convention Centre.

This is a very special occasion in our school’s calendar and one very much enjoyed by students and staff alike.

Our year 13 boys dressed to impress and were welcomed by both schools’ Principals.

Throughout the night, they enjoyed food and dancing and their enjoyment showed on their smiling faces.

It was pleasing to see these senior students experience such a special night: looking smart, making Kiwi friends and enjoying a formal night out.


International Team:

Our International Department are here to help. Our school phone number is + 64 9 410 8667 and we are available on email as below. We also have a WeChat number which is available 9am to 3pm (school days, school term time only):  WBHS-INTL
Pictured (left to right):

Jennifer Fan,               Chinese Advisor                                  [email protected]

Lou Borok,                  Marketing Manager                             [email protected]

Helen Martin,               Homestay Manager                             [email protected]

Jasmine Tang,             Chinese Advisor                                  [email protected]

Julia McGahan,            International Department Manager      [email protected]

Tina Kwok,                  Director, International Department     [email protected]

Sara Limpapath           Thai Advisor                                       [email protected]


Kevin Ahn                   Korean Advisor                                   [email protected]