International Newsletter Term 2 2017

International Newsletter Term 2 2016


8 July 2016

Dear Parents, Guardians and Homestay Families

While Term 2 has been a busy time with the Korean Night, the Chinese Night, the trip to a Marae, the focus of Term 2 has no doubt been the Mid Year Exams. For some of our students, this was their first experience of sitting formal exams in New Zealand.

I wish to congratulate these students in particular, on their diligent and mature approach to these exams. I hope everyone has gained something valuable from the exam process.

To our students:

Remember, the most important thing about exams is not the marks they generate, but your own reflections afterwards. It is important that you go over all your exam papers, identify gaps in your learning, and develop strategies to close those gaps. This may mean that you need to revise certain sections of the content, clarify your understanding with your teachers and attempt those exam questions again.  A reminder that the following tutorials are held afterschool to support your learning:

  • Monday  –  Yr11, 12 and 13 Business Studies and Economics
  • Wednesday – Yr11 Science
  • Thursday – Yr12 and 13 Calculus and Statistics
  • Friday- Yr12 and 13 Physics

I also wish to congratulate the following senior students who came first in subjects:

Year 11

  • Issac An  – 1st in IGCSE Japanese
  • Bohan Dong  –  – 1st in Foundation English
  • Hoojun Lee  – 1st in Food Technology for Beginners
  • Hongchen Lin  – 1st in ELP Writing
  • Xiaoqiao Liu  – 1st in ELP Reading
  • Yixin Liu – 1st in Mathematics
  • Bingzheng Yan  – 1st in Science

Year 12

  • Naphat Amornmanus – 1st in ELP Writing, 1st in Travel and Tourism
  • Haodong Bai  – 1st in Foundation English
  • Zhangbo Huang  – 1st in Food Technology for Beginners,1st in Travel and Tourism
  • Nam Hun Kim  – 1st in Mathematics with Algebra
  • Jinming Liang  – 1st in ESOL Foundation
  • Jacky Lin  – 1st in Japanese
  • Wichayut Vicheansil  – 1st in Physics
  • Roykhien Wanglert  – 1st in Travel and Tourism
  • Ruobing Yang  – 1st in ELP Reading
  • Vincent Zheng – 1st in Art Design

Year 13

  •  Joshua Arnott  – 1st in Sports Leadership Programme
  • Yu Chen  – 1st in Photography,  1st in Sculpture
  • Hengshuo Duan  – 1st in Accounting,  1st in Economics
  • Silei Huang  – 1st in Painting
  • Yekang Kwon  – 1st in Art Design, 1st in Tourism
  • Bo Peng  – 1st in Physics
  • David Qiu  – 1st in AS Business Studies
  • Mark Sumadi  – 1st in Calculus

Finally, a reminder to all students that in Term 3 we will be looking at your option selections for 2017. You will need to reflect on your Mid Year exam results and think about your interests and future career aspirations.

We will make sure that your 2017 subjects reflect your personal strengths and keep your options open for the future.

Ms Tina Kwok,
Director of the International Department

International Student School Leaders

    This year we have two international students who are school prefects. This is in recognition of the effort and contribution made to Westlake life by our boys. In the following article, the newly appointed prefect Blair Duan talks about how he feels after being appointed a prefect.

Being a School Prefect

I am Blair Duan, an international student who has been at Westlake for three and a half years. It was very honorable for me to be chosen as one of the prefects for Westlake in 2016.

Before I become a prefect, I was really looking forward to being one, for the reason that prefects have a different style of uniform compared to other students. I thought it would be kind of cool wearing it, walking around the school in a blazer which would make me look distinctive and special. After being appointed as a prefect, I realized that the cost of wearing cool uniform is way more than what it looks like.

I knew that prefects would have a lot of things to do so I was prepared to be busy after becoming a prefect. It is really busy to be honest. I’ve got duty every day. This means that I take some students to pick up rubbish. Apart from this, prefects help the school organize different school events such as Parents’ Evening, Korean night, Chinese night, quiz night and more.

After one month of adapting to the new situation, I’m now getting used to all the busy stuff that a prefect needs to face. I know that I represent Westlake like everyone else. I feel good helping and serving the school. I feel a sense of responsibility when putting on the blazer. More importantly, as one of the International Student prefects, I should take care of all international students and this is also my responsibility.

I will try my best, no matter how tired I am, in order to make Westlake better.


Visitors from Thailand

Over the past two terms we have welcomed some young Thai international students for four week visits. In addition we have also enjoyed hosting some Thai educationalists in our school.Mr. Thammanoon Rattanamung, Head of Foreign Language Division, Head of Public & Exchange Program and Head of Foreign Language Curriculum Development & Promotion, from Kasetsart University Laboratory School Multilingual Program undertook class observations for three weeks.

He also took this opportunity to visit his students who are enrolled in a one year program at Westlake.

We also welcomed Dr. Salit Butnain, President of Saimit Group and Mr. Goragot Butnain Director of Foreign office.  image3  image4  Two of the Saimit Group teachers, Mrs. Premsuda Maneerin and Mrs Sareeya Ngamijaruchoktawee, participated in a Teacher Development Program where they observed classes for four weeks. They were hosted locally and loved their opportunity to experience time in Auckland and at a NZ school

  Korean Night 2016

image5 Westlake Korean Night 2016 was a night of record highs, new performances, and multicultural participation. The line of people waiting outside before the even got underway was huge, seeming to stretch almost all the way down to Westlake Girls!

The auditorium was full, with around 2000 people present on the night; a record number of attendees for this amazing evening. With such a huge turnout, there was a record amount of money raised for donation to charity as well as for the development of the Westlake Korean Community.

image7 The night was packed with exceptional performances, with the students celebrating Korean culture through dance, music, performance and song.

One of the highlights was the Boys and Girls Combined Mask Dance Group, a new performance that brought freshness to the event.



image6 Traditional dance infused with modern music made the performance very unique and will be certain to become a regular item for future Korean Nights.

Year by year, we are pleased to see a growing number of other ethnicities taking part in the Korean Night. The support of the Korean community and the love for Korean culture shown by all has us already looking forward to next year’s Korean Night.

Celebrating Maori Culture

Last month fourteen senior students had the opportunity to learn more about Maori culture on a trip to Ngatai Whakarongorua marae. This is an ancestral marae of Te Uri O Hau whose tribal lands are the northern Kaipara Harbour. The students learnt about Maori tikanga (cultural practices and beliefs) around kai (food).

Students were welcomed onto the marae with a traditional powhiri. Once everyone was settled they went to a local beach to gather pipi which were enjoyed for lunch the following day. Students then spent time gathering scientific data for NIWA about the health of the estuary. This included habitat mapping and measuring the changing contour of the land.

Late afternoon was spent learning about the cultural heritage and ancestry of Te Uri O Hau. Students stayed on the marae overnight and prepared food for everyone to share.

image9 In the morning students explored the ngahere (forest) and learnt about how Maori use plants as medicine and a food source.

Everyone returned to Westlake with a deeper understanding of Maori culture and full stomachs from all the delicious kai.

 Food Technology Opportunities for International Students

Our boys really enjoy their Food Technology Class as they learn:

  • About safe food handling
  • How to design a menu and work out what food to present
  • How to cook and display food beautifully so it looks delicious to eat

Last month, the boys invited the International Department staff to their Food Technology classes to sample their cooking and give feedback about the quality and presentation of the food.

I was very honored to visit the Year 11 class where twenty two boys stood proudly with their work on the table. The food was set out on separate dishes, with much attention given to making the food look inviting and healthy. We sampled items such as Chinese fried rice, chocolate pancake, pizza, stir fried vegetables and meat, and lamb and mint burgers.

All were just delicious! We gave feedback about each dish to help the boys reflect on their learning.

We were very proud of the boys’ efforts and hope that they will share their skills with their homestays and families at home. We certainly have some great chefs in the making! Well done boys. Ka pai! –

Jasmine Tang, Chinese Advisor

Spotlight on Sports and Academic Achievement


Tupou Afungia

It was great to see Tupou back on the rugby field after suffering a serious hand injury in a preseason game back in April.

His enthusiasm was terrific and he was rewarded with his first try for Westlake’s 1stXV team.

Tupou is our first international student from Tonga relishing the chance to complete his secondary education in New Zealand and develop his rugby talent.

He has settled in well, living with a host family who understands the importance of his academic opportunity.

The Brewis family, whose eldest son Finlay is in Year 12, are providing wonderful care to Tupou. Their farming environment is close to Tupou’s up-bringing, so his daily family living combined with schooling in the urban surroundings, gives balance to a young man on a new path.

 Taylor Ugava

Another first for the International Department is Taylor Ugava, a student from Papua New Guinea.

This is Taylor’s second year at Westlake.

He arrived as a young Year 9 student and it has been a pleasure to watch him grow and develop into a fine young man, gaining confidence and working hard in the classroom with his studies as well as enjoying his great passion for football.

He is a member of a school team which competes in the weekly competition and he also plays club football on the weekends.

Taylor would like to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pilot when he leaves school.


Thank You to our Host Families

We are very grateful to our host families who do so much for our students. We have over 120 boys in homestays and know that they are supported in so many ways to help them achieve and live in NZ. We really appreciate all the assistance that our special families give to the boys.We would like to thank each and every one of our host families for the care and commitment that you show our boys.
image12 image13 image14 Thanks to the Rachmadi host family, who shared these photos with us, showing Sicheng and Yifei on their recent family holiday to Rotorua.


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]