|15 April 2016
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Homestay Families
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.
Ms Tina Kwok,
International New Year BBQ
|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.
|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.
|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.
|There were lunchtime theatre and music performances including a very special evening concert.|
|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
|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.|
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.|
|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.|
|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
|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.
|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]
23 September 2015
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Homestay Families
Term Three has been busy, busy, busy, especially for those who participated in winter sports, the sports tournament and the music competitions.
Getting Involved at Westlake:
At the start of the year, we talked about the importance and benefits of getting involved in school activities, and I am now pleased to see a large number of international students participating in a wide range of co-curricular activities and representing our school in many different areas.
These experiences will not only improve students’ sporting or musical abilities, but also give them skills to manage their time and work as a team player.
Also in Term Three, all students have been interviewed for option selection. These are important conversations where students reflect on their own learning and progress, identify their academic and career goals and plan their courses accordingly.
Study strategies were discussed in these interviews as well. I would like to remind all students to keep focused on their goals and make sure they continue to develop the study strategies discussed to achieve them.
External exams start in October for senior students. It is imperative that senior students use the upcoming holidays effectively and revise for these very important exams.
Year 13 students, in particular, should make exam preparation their top priority for the next two months and make sure they do everything in their power to gain a qualification they can be proud to leave the school with.
Revision Tips for Students:
I have included some revision tips for all students as you get ready to sit your exams. Don’t forget to enrol in the Holiday Revision Programmes run at school these holidays and make use of the Homework Centre in P3 at lunchtimes.
I wish you great success in these very important external exams.
Head of the International Department
10 Important REvision Tips
- Draw up a revision timetable
Your revision timetable must be realistic and specific, outlining the times and subjects you want to revise each day. It should also contain frequent, short breaks.
Physical activity is very important, particularly during intense study time. Exercise accelerates blood circulation which allows your brain to get more oxygen and increase its productivity.
- Create a good study space
Find a place where you can be uninterrupted for a few hours. Your bedroom and library are good choices. Starbucks is not! Make sure your study space is well lit and ventilated.
- Morning is better than evening
Research shows that you are more likely to do all the planned work if you start early. Your brain also works better in the morning as it is well rested and ready to work.
- Use colours
Drawing colourful learning maps / notes will help you memorise faster. Research shows that colourful notes are easier to memorise than plain black and white ones.
- Do lots of past papers
You can download past papers from NZQA website. They come with assessment schedules and exemplars. You can also buy revision guides and workbooks from bookshops. When doing past papers, pay attention to both content and exam skills.
- Make summary notes
When you read a textbook, you should highlight the key information, then summarise this information in your own words in your revision workbook. You can test yourself by twinking out the key words in your own notes. The best way to memorise information is by making notes repeatedly.
- Reward yourself
Treat yourself to something nice after a productive day. This will give you the right balance between study and leisure and make sure that you don’t burn out.
- Use your family and friends
Ask your family to test you and give you feedback. Form a study group with your friends and help each other stick to the revision plan.
- Think positive
Your revision plan may seem daunting at the start, but each day you are making progress and each day you are one step closer to your goals. Keep a positive attitude and revision will be a lot more enjoyable.
Visit from our Sister School in China
In July, Dong Guan No 6 School, our sister school in China, visited our school for four weeks. We have had the pleasure of welcoming students from this school for visits since 2011 and have also been able to send some of the students who study Chinese at our school to China to see what school and life is like in another culture.
They spent time in our classrooms seeing what Westlake school life is like and making new friends. They learnt to make scones, do the haka, play rugby, sing a waiata (song), and much more. They toured parts of Auckland as well as Rotorua and Taupo.
We enjoyed having the boys visit with us and for the many opportunities we had, sharing each other’s cultures. The photos below were taken when the boys were learning how to make scones.
Sports at Westlake
We have many talented sports international students and this term congratulate all the boys who participate in our school sports programmes.
With over 30 sports to choose from there is something for every student to try.
It is an important way to meet new friends, keep fit and learn about working in a team. Popular amongst our boys are the sports of basketball, table tennis, rowing, hockey, swimming, football and rugby. We encourage all students to try a sport and proudly represent our school.
Pictured here are some of the boys who play sports for Westlake: David Qiu from China who plays badminton, table tennis and basketball, Tim Rohrbach from Germany who plays hockey, Luke Li from China who is a rower, David Minsch from Germany who plays table tennis, and Bongwon Seo from Korea who plays rugby. Warakorn Jetlohasiri from Thailand has really got into the spirit of the school sports programmes, playing badminton, table tennis, squash, tennis and now he is learning to row!
|Mats Radeck: Dedicated to Swimming
Mats Radeck joined Westlake at the beginning of this term and is already swimming for our school. We interviewed Mats to find out more about why he came to NZ as an international student and to learn more about his interest in swimming…
Mats is 15 years old and arrived in July 2015 to study at Westlake for this year. He is from Trier, the oldest city in Germany. He loves swimming and has been swimming since he was 5 years old. In Germany he represented his school, his local club, and his region at swimming events. All of his family swim so they share a mutual love of this sport.
Mats came to WBHS to experience life in a NZ school and to learn all about kiwi culture. He has already represented WBHS and has received top placings at two recent school swimming meetings.
His day is impressive. Six days a week he gets up at 4.30am and arrives at the pool by 5.15am. He swims until 7.30am and then comes to school, grabbing breakfast on the way. He also swims three afternoons a week for 2 hours each session. In between he attends a full school day and does his homework! Well done Mats!
Our thanks to his host family who support Mats with his school and sport and also to our swimming community who help Mats get to all his trainings and events.
Music at Westlake
Voicemale were awarded a Gold Award, putting them amongst the top 6 choirs in the country.
Yekang Kwon, one of our international students, sings baritone in Voicemail. Yekang is from Yang Pyeong, a beautiful city in Korea, popular for cycling. He has been singing for three years and joined Westlake two years ago. Congratulations to Yekang and the Voicemale choir!
We would like to thank the wonderful host families who look after the boys in their homes. Not only do they make sure the boys have a warm and comfortable room, with good space to study and do homework, and of course provide good, healthy food each day, they do many other things to support the boys in their care.
This can include such things as helping with transport, organising bus, phone and bank cards, attending parent interviews about the student’s progress, helping with homework, providing advice for problems, taking to the doctors when unwell, celebrating birthdays, watching school sport, showing off Auckland or maybe even taking a student travelling on holiday.
Yes, these are very special people and we value the immense contribution they make.
To our students, please make sure you show your gratitude regularly to your host families– they are a big part of why you are able to do well in NZ and at school. We truly appreciate the wonderful homestay families we have who care for our international students.
Chris has also introduced the boys to rugby, and has taken the boys to watch our national game live at the stadium. We are sure they will be eagerly watching the progress of The All Blacks at the current World Cup!
Thank you to all our host families!
Cultural Corner: Chuseok
Chuseok is one of the biggest and most important holidays in Korea.
Family members from near and far come together to share food and give thanks to their ancestors for an abundant harvest. In 2015, Chuseok falls on September 27, but the holiday is observed for a total of four days (September 26–29).
After Charye, families visit their ancestors’ graves and engage in Beolcho, a ritual of clearing weeds that may have grown up over the burial mound.
After dusk, families and friends take walks and gaze at the beauty of the full harvest moon or play folk games such as Ganggangsullae (Korean circle dance).
Wearing Korean traditional dress (Hanbok) and eating delicious traditional rice cake (Songpyeon) is always the most enjoyable part for kids.
By Kevin Ahn, WBHS Korean Advisor.
Kevin is currently in Korea visiting with the families and agents of our students. He will enjoy the Chuseok holiday period whilst in Korea.
1 July 2015
Dear parents, guardians, host families and students,
Welcome to our second newsletter of 2015. Term 2 has been another busy term.
With Mid-Year Exams taking place in May, the focus of the term has been exam preparation and post exam reflection. I am pleased to report that most of our international students performed well in the Mid-Year Exams. 37 students (22%) have been ranked in the top 3 places in their subjects. More importantly, most students worked hard. 29 students (17%) have gained 4 or more As for Effort. Remember, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration! Hard work pays off every time.
Four parent evenings followed the Mid-Year Exams. It is important that students and parents attend these evenings as they provide an opportunity for in depth discussions on student progress. Teachers often have additional data to inform student performance and progress at these evenings, and are able to offer personalized study tips. I urge all international students, parents and homestay parents to capitalize on these events. Those who did not perform so well or did not try so hard were given a one-on-one conference in which an intervention programme was drawn up for each individual student. I look forward to seeing an improved attitude and subsequently improved results in the near future with this group of students.
Cultural Week, Korean Night, Chinese Night and the School Ball
Our social calendar was full and colourful in Term 2 as well. In one term, we managed to squeeze in the Cultural Week, the Korean Night, the Chinese Night and the School Ball. All of these are highlights of our school social calendar.
We had an unprecedentedly high number of international students running activities during the Chinese Night. These boys collectively ran six lunchtime activities. The Korean boys cooked a lovely Korean BBQ to raise funds for the Korean Night. Well done to those who either organized or participated in these cultural events. Congratulations also to those who were involved in the Korean and Chinese Nights. Both events were a huge success, bringing the Korean and the Chinese communities into our school to celebrate their cultural heritages.
I was most pleased to see non-Korean and non-Chinese performers, helpers and audiences. It was testimony that our school really is a culturally responsive school and our community is embracing our wonderful cultural diversity.
I was also delighted to see some of our Year 13 students turning up to the School Ball looking smart and grown up. I hope the boys will have fond memories of the evening.
This term, we hosted a gathering with our homestay families. It was lovely to see so many homestay families supporting our school event and advocating for our students. Our homestay families are our very important and valued partners. We can never thank them enough for the love and care they give our students every day. We will continue to strive to do our best to support our homestay families.
Cybersafety and Personal Health
Another initiative this term included a special assembly on 24th June on Cybersafety and Personal Health.
It is of prime importance that our students understand which online activities are considered inappropriate and illegal in New Zealand, and how they can protect themselves. Unfortunately, two international students recently left our school to return to their home countries due to gross misconduct. Please note that Westlake Boys High School upholds the highest expectations for student behaviour. If an international student breaks a school rule outlined in the Policy Document, breaches any condition in the Cybersafety agreement or conducts himself in an inappropriate manner to other students and staff, he risks having his contract cancelled and being sent home, usually within 24 hours.
The July holidays are fast approaching. While I do want our students to get some R&R, I also have some homework for our international students to do over the July holidays:
- Year 9 to Year 12 students will be selecting their 2016 options in Term 3. I would like these students to think carefully about their option choices for next year. Their choices must be guided by their interest, their ability and their future career pathway, with their interest being the most important and influential factor.
- Year 13 boys will be applying for university courses next term. Please have a think about what courses you are interested in and research the entry criteria. You should use the information you gathered on the Auckland University Open Day, the Canterbury University Presentation, the Auckland University Presentation and the Careers Evening to help you form some ideas.
- The second piece of homework is to be safe and sensible in the holidays.
Open Day Scholarships
Finally, congratulations to Steven Yan, Kazaf Tse and Cheng Zhong on winning the Canterbury University Scholarships to attend their Open Day in Christchurch during the holidays. I hope you have fun and look forward to hearing about your experience next term.
Head of the International Department
The 6th Annual Korean Night certainly was one of the highlights of this term, exceeding the energy of last year. Longer preparation time, more teachers involved and a better sound system all contributed to making the night better than ever before. Doors opened at 6.30pm as almost 1500 people rushed in to get the best seats and the show started with the Westlake Haka at 7.00pm. There were acts ranging from a Rap group, K-pop dance group, Singing group, Rock Band and Barbershop to more traditional performances like Tae Kwon Do, Fan dance and Nanta drums.
Some of the lucky audience won raffle prizes such as restaurant vouchers, a jewellery voucher, a new iPad and a sack of 25kg rice which was the most exciting prize of the night. The Korean committee leaders from both the Boys and Girls school did an amazing job organising the event.
The quality of the each performance was second to none and the thunderous response from the crowd reflected all the hard work and effort that has been put in over the last term and a half. All profits made from The Westlake Korean Night has been donated to World Vision this year.
Kevin Ahn, Korean Advisor
On the evening of June 12, the curtain was drawn open on “Chinese Night”. With excited clapping from the nearly thousand strong audience, boys and girls from WBHS and WGHS presented something really marvelous.
At the very beginning, beautiful girls in Chinese traditional costumes performed “Fan dancing”, and the gentle subtlety reminded us of the spring of the Jiangnan (South of Yangtze River).
Besides singing and dancing, there were also guessing games and lucky draws arranged to enable audiences to be better involved in the show.
“Chinese Night” was not just an annual gala night where students of Chinese origin presented their performing talents, but it was also a great chance to show the schools and local communities how colorful the Chinese culture can be. Given the great commitment and diligent preparation from the boys and girls, and the wonderful support from their teachers and parents, this year’s show was another great success and a warm memory for all.
Jennifer Fan, Chinese Advisor
FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015
INAKL is a great Auckland program, designed exclusively for international students to help ensure that they have an unbeatable time in Auckland. INAKL provided 10 free tickets to our international boys and encouraged them to be part of this truly global event.
Some of our staff and boys attended the very exciting Quarter-Final: USA against Serbia on Sunday 14 June at North Harbour Stadium Auckland. Though it was cold and raining, they very much enjoyed being part of the 10,826 strong crowd to watch the game live.
Jasmine Tang, Chinese Advisor
It’s a Small World
In January we welcomed Sean Goodburn a fine young man from County Kildare in Ireland, who would be with us till the end of term 2.
Sean’s in his gap year and took the opportunity to spend this time engrossed in the New Zealand way of life and experiencing a season of rugby playing in the 2nd XV team.
Prior to his departure from Ireland a chance meeting with a young man at Sean’s local rugby club “NUIM Barnhall” was to leave an impression on him. This young man was Westlake old boy Chris Winks who was in Ireland for a year playing for the local team. Chris was very informative and spoke highly of the school.
After such a recommendation the Irishman looked forward to heading to the Land of the Long White Cloud. In a twist of fate now 12 months on and Chris Winks is now the teacher of the student.
Hope you have enjoyed your time here Sean, safe travels home.
Julia McGahan, Manager, International Department
Some of our Year 10 students recently entertained us, presenting scenes from the Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet. They acted with enthusiasm and flair.
Well done to the boys and their teacher, Mrs Margie Cachopa.
CHICKEN GREEN CURRY (GAENG KEOW WAN GAI)
100 g chicken breast sliced into small pieces 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon red curry paste ¼ cup sweet peas
Red or green chilies cut lengthwise Kaffir lime leaves
1 cup coconut milk ½ teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon sugar Fresh Thai basil leaves
- In a large saucepan, briefly stir-fry curry paste in oil over medium, then, add half of coconut milk.
- When coconut milk begins to bubble, add chicken. Once chicken is cooked add the rest of coconut milk, turn down heat and simmer to reduce sauce. If it becomes too thick, add a little water.
- When the sauce is desired consistency, add red chili or red capsicum, add Kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar. Removed from heat and stir in Thai basil leaves. Serve with rice.
Miss Sara Limpapath, Thai Advisor
Dear Parents, guardians and host families,
Tēna koe! Haere mai! Welcome to Westlake Boys High School.
For over fifty years, we have been committed to providing an outstanding learning environment for boys on Auckland’s North Shore. We are proud of our school. We have high expectations of everyone in our community and we know, by providing an exceptionally wide range of opportunities for our students, and ensuring the very best teaching and learning experiences, everyone has the chance not only to succeed but to exceed both our and their own expectations.
Congratulations to our returning Year 12 and 13 international students for achieving outstanding exam results in 2014. These are academic results of which the students, their parents and our school can be very proud of.
A Westlake man, though, also respects others as well as himself: good manners matter, as does an open, reflective attitude to the world. I commend our students for the way that they take pride in and have respect for themselves, their environment and the people around them.
I wish to acknowledge our international students for making our school a culturally responsive and responsible environment. Our entire school community benefits from having international connections, enabling us all to have a much wider world view. We are proud at Westlake to be part of our international students’ NZ experience and we will work hard this year, and every year, to make sure that this is the best it can be.
To our international boys: I hope you enjoy your experience at Westlake. I urge you to fully immerse yourselves in our school and seize all of the opportunities available.
Mr David Ferguson
|International Prefect:Congratulations to Annan Chen, one of our Year 13 Chinese students, who was selected as a school prefect this year. Annan has been at Westlake two years and is a great role model for the boys.|
Term One 2015
This term we have welcomed 62 new students to our school. These students have come from Germany, China, Korea, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, South Africa and Bolivia. We extend a very warm welcome to you and your families and wish you great success for your time in NZ and at our school.
We also warmly welcome back all our returning students for another great year at Westlake.
All of our new boys have received an Orientation Programme that included goal setting, English testing, course placement and a school tour.
All the boys belong to one of our six school Houses and, as part of their House group, join in various activities throughout the year. Our first House activity, the Haka Competition, was a great way to introduce our new boys to something uniquely Kiwi. The boys worked hard to prepare for the big day and did us proud. Congratulations to all the boys in Ururoto House who won this competition.
|Here is Ivan Yang, from Ururoto House, ready for the haka.Athletics Day and Cross Country were also well attended by our international students. We continue to encourage all our international students to get involved in as many school activities as possible. It is a great way to meet new friends and be integrated into the wider aspects of the school life.|
|Currently we have boys competing in a range of extra activities for Westlake – rowing, football, hockey, rugby, choir, orchestra, ultimate frisbee, dragon boating, chess, basketball, tennis, to name just a few of the school activities.|
Chinese New Year Celebrations
|We had a very successful BBQ in February to celebrate this special time of year.The BBQ was organized by a group of our students and was held after school in the International courtyard.Staff and students had the chance to relax and enjoy each other’s company whilst sharing in a BBQ meal.|
Our Homework Centre has been up and running since Week 4. We have a group of talented and keen senior tutors to work in the Homework Centre to help younger students with their school work. The Homework Centre is operating Monday to Thursday at lunchtime in P3. Boys, please come along, bring your homework, lunch and friends!
|We have just completed the welfare interviews which we conduct once a term. Our questions are thorough, covering a wide range of student interests. The feedback on homestay families has been overwhelmingly positive. Boys have commented how caring and inclusive their homestay families are.Thank you to all the homestay families for the care and support you show our boys every day. It is a huge responsibility to take someone else’s child under your wing and we really appreciate it.|
We have been out visiting our homestay families at home and will continue these visits throughout the year. These are valuable opportunities as they enable us to see how the boys are doing in their homes and help us provide the best support for the boys, both at school and home.
Every year we travel overseas to meet with new student families or their agents and to also meet with the families of the boys currently attending school. We also love to catch up with past students who are living overseas to find out where their journey has taken them after leaving school.
We really value these opportunities to meet families and students. By visiting we can help families understand as much as possible about a Westlake education. We can reassure them that their son is being well cared for both academically and in their NZ homes. This year our staff will travel to China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Korea, and Taiwan.
Welcome:We are delighted to welcome Mrs Jennifer Fan to our team on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Jennifer is also able to speak Mandarin.
The Scholars Assembly in February will have certainly given all our students a model to look up to as current and past students were acknowledged for their outstanding successes and commitment to learning.
This week, every student has received a Progress Report and is a good opportunity to see how well they are doing at school.
Although term 1 break starts 3rd of April, students should not forget the Mid-Year exams set for 11th to 15th of May.
Next term we will have the school wide Parents Evening. This is a good opportunity for parents, caregivers
and agents concerned about their son/student to visit the school and speak with the teachers in person. Our first language advisors are also available to talk to on this night.
Soon our school will be celebrating Culture Week: 28th April to 1st May. Students will have the opportunity to share their culture through food and performances at school.
Following on, Korean Night will be held 22nd of May where Korean students can be proud of their heritage and celebrate together in the auditorium. We welcome all families to come along and share in this evening.
Here are some photos from last year’s Korean Night.
We are looking forward to this year’s performances.
International student Shaoshuai (Luke) Li from China has immersed himself in the rowing program this season and was a valued member of two crews. Luke also took the opportunity to represent the affiliated North Shore rowing club in the recent National Club championship regatta in Twizel. All students are encouraged to take part in co-curricular activities – for ESOL students this is so valuable as they gain confidence, meet new people and improve their English. Well done Luke.
Two of our German students Leon Joost and Malte Engelbracht are also members of the rowing society. Leon is an integral member of the senior 8 crew as the stroke. It’s assured both boys will take home fond memories and valuable experience from their time here.
From our cultural corner….
Songkran Festival (Thai New Year)
Songkran Festival is also known as the water festival which starts on April 13 every year. The traditional greeting is “Sawadee Pi Mai” which means “Happy New Year!” Although the Thai people officially changed the New Year to January 1 in 1940 to coincide with the Western business world, the traditional Songkran Festival is still celebrated as a national holiday in Thailand.
The traditional way of celebrating Songkran follows a three day pattern. The first day involves cleaning of all household items and the houses themselves. The second day is spent preparing Thai food, which will then be offered to the Thai monks. The third day signifies the actual ‘New Year’s Day’ and on this day Thai people visit their temples and present the monks with food and clothes. They bathe the statue of Buddha with scented water which they believe will bring them good luck for the forthcoming year. Sometimes people have pagoda building competitions in the ceremonial grounds of the Thai temples as a meeting place for the community during religious or festive occasions.
One custom is the releasing of small fish back into the rivers. Small birds may be released from cages as part of the festival. The festival lasts for 4 days.
Miss Sara, Thai Advisor
As we conclude our first newsletter for the year, Ms Kwok, our Head of International has these words for our boys….
Becoming a Westlake student
I wish to welcome all the new international students who joined us this year, and welcome back all the returning students.
This year, I want all of us to think long and hard about what it really means to be a “Westlake student”. All of you chose to come to Westlake for the best education you could possibly get.
Nevertheless, have you really thought about what “education” means to Westlake. Yes, academic success is our core business and we will do all we can to help you achieve your academic goals. But that’s only one part of our job. As a school, we value each student’s holistic development. To us, your emotional and social wellbeing is just as important.
As someone who has worked closely with you for a year, I’d like to share the aspirations I have for you:
- I want you to be happy
- I want you to be proud of who you are and where you come from
- I want you to feel that you are valued
- I want you to look forward to coming to school each day
- I want you to feel confident that when you encounter problems, you can always come to us and trust us to do our outmost to find the best solution for you
- I want you to experience a sense of belonging and a sense of achievement
- I want you to know that we care
I cannot claim success in any of these things. All I can do is to outline the initiatives that the whole school has put in place in Term One and hope that you have taken advantage of these activities:
- Chinese New Year BBQ
- Peer Tutoring Programme
- ESOL Writing Workshop
- Wednesday Assemblies
- Haka Competition
- Athletics Day and Swimming Sport
- Co-curriculum Activities
- Monthly Birthday Celebration
We all have one life. It is up to us to make the most of it. Westlake provides plenty of opportunities to make you part of us.
It’s your call now whether you want to give yourself a chance and make your time at Westlake worthwhile and positive.
Ms Tina Kwok
Head of the International Department