Headmaster’s Newsletter 5 August

Dear Parents and families

We’ve had Grandparents’ day at school today, which was wonderful and we look forward to doing it again next year.  Thank you to all of the Grandparents who came along and helped make it a special day.

Last night was our open evening for new students in 2017. The evening was successful and we look forward to meeting all of our new families later in the month for enrolment interviews.

We say farewell today to Christine O’Dowd who has done a great job over the last few years in her events and communications role at Westlake. The website, Facebook page and many school events have all been vastly improved under Christine’s tenure.  We wish Christine and her Westlaker husband, Alex, all the very best as they head off overseas.

Finally, I would like to give a special plug for our annual Gala Concert which is being held in our Auditorium next Thursday starting at 7.30pm.  Details are contained in the newsletter.  The Gala Concert is not just for families of our musicians, all of our community is welcome to attend.  It is always a highly entertaining evening with an incredibly high standard of music to suit everybody’s tastes.

Have a lovely weekend

David Ferguson

2016 Westlake Boys Grandparents’ Day

Grandparents' Day1

This morning Westlake Boys hosted our second annual Grandparents’ Day. 190 grandparents joined their grandsons for a school assembly followed by morning tea in the new Gymnasium before students provided their grandparents with a guided tour of their school. As the photographic evidence shows, it was a special occasion enjoyed by many school families.

Amidst the Westlake grandparents who enjoyed a morning in the company of their grandsons were several former Westlake students, a former staff member and 30 other grandparents who were last involved with Westlake when their own sons attended several years ago. This generational involvement is becoming a particularly valuable and enjoyable aspect of our school community.

Grandparents' Day2

At the commencement of assembly, Headmaster David Ferguson extended a warm welcome to all grandparents and recalled several tales reflecting on the importance of his grandparents in his own life. During proceedings Mr Ferguson expressed a fond farewell to Westlake’s Events and Communications Manager Christine O’Dowd before prompting the school to perform a rousing Happy Birthday to Westlake’s own Grandfather figure, Tony Buckingham.

Guests were treated to a sneak preview of next Thursday’s Gala Concert when they watched the Westlake Symphonic Band perform and then, during morning tea, witnessed a performance by Virtutti, the Westlake Barbershop quartet who recently won the Auckland Region Young Men in Harmony competition. The annual Westlake Schools Gala Concert will be held next Thursday 11th August – tickets are $15 and door sales will be available on the night.

Grandparents’ Day is fast becoming established as a popular event amongst our community and, judging by the enthusiastic, happy family groups who were part of today’s event, it’s heartening to know that the Westlake experience will be extended throughout school families for many years to come.

Grandparents' Day3For any grandparents who were unable to attend this year’s event, rest assured they will have another opportunity to join their grandsons in August 2017.

Special thanks to event photographers Miss McKay, Yu Chen, Jack Hall and Kelby Cai who captured some wonderful photographs of our grandparents and their grandsons today. We will upload more images to the Westlake Boys Facebook page and the Flickr gallery located on the school website soon. Please feel free to contact Vicki Fowler on [email protected] for a high resolution copy of the photos.

Languages Week 1-5 August

To celebrate Languages Week, students have enjoyed lunch time activities every day this week including a Chinese Kungfu tutorial with a professional instructor, French Crepe sales, Japanese animation movie in the Auditorium, Year 10 Master Chef Grand Final and the Year 9 FIFA Competition.

FIFA Competition

On Tuesday 2nd August, the first real sunshine in a long time coincided perfectly with this year’s annual Year 9 FIFA competition, run by the Languages Department.


All of the Year 9 students were involved in this cross-curricular event which saw classes competing against one another in a football tournament, as well as two supporter challenges. The boys had spent weeks preparing in their language classes – learning national anthems, studying the colours and symbols associated with sports in their target language countries, painting banners, writing chants and planning the strategies needed to come out on top!  On the day, it was wonderful to see the boys’ enthusiasm and hard work on full display for one another and for our eagle-eyed staff judges.
In the end, the football tournament was won by one of Ms Bader’s German classes (Captain: Regan Diver), with their healthy dose of Football Academy students leading the team to some high scoring victories. The prize for visual support (banners, costumes and face painting) was won by one of Miss Na’s well-organised Japanese classes (Captains: Bowen de Gouw & Nick Parkes) and the prize for vocal support (chanting and singing) was won by one of Mr McGinley’s enthusiastic French classes (captain: Angus Kelsey) who had put together a French version of Queen’s “We Are The Champions”, much to the delight of the judges! All classes prepared and performed admirably and the boys enjoyed the opportunity to put into practice everything that they had learned about the sporting culture of other countries.

Year 10 Master Chef Project

Our Year 10 Master Chef Grand Final took place during lunchtime on Monday. This is the first year that our Year 10 language students have been working on the Master Chef project. The students worked in teams to learn the language, make dishes, create a video in the target language and present their dishes in front of the judges.

Congratulations to the following teams:

  • First place: Ms Ho’s Chinese class team: Brian Kim (MU11), Jae Lee (HD11), Bongwon Seo (ST12) and James Turner (MU11)
  • Second place: Miss Yoon’s Japanese class team:  Danny Lan, Kaisheng Wu, Timothy Ho, Jiro Dela Cruz
  • Third place: Mr McGinley’s French class team: Tim  Viana, Francis Lustre, BJ Manzo and Dirk Encela
  • Fourth place: Miss Roberts’ German class team:  Wade Jansen, Josh McSherry, Aymen Alhilali, Hasan Al-Rawenduzy and Jonny Clark

Young Men in Harmony

Barbershop banner

Thought to have originated from American Barbers entertaining their customers during the 1830s, Barbershops are conventionally an all-male or all-female quartet branded by ‘A Capella’ singing with three voices harmonising to the melody of a fourth voice.

The Westlake barbershop quartet “Virtutti”, (Nick Curry, Matthew Bennett, Blake Scanlen and Anthony Ji) has had a long and successful history. This year, yet again, “Virtutti” gained the rank of Auckland Champions in the annual ‘Young Singers In Harmony’ competitions. This is the sixth consecutive year in which they have achieved this grade. In addition to the success of “Virtutti” an additional Westlake Boys quartet named ‘Deez Notes’ competed in the YSIH competition. Due to complications, ‘Deez Notes’ was unable to participate in the Auckland division and were forced to become a ‘Wildcard’ entry in the Hamilton division. They performed to a very high standard and emerged with the highest score in that division.

Both quartets have been selected to compete in the national finals, which is set to be held in Wellington on the 14th of September 2016, and are working diligently to produce their greatest sound in hope to not only represent the school but also create beautiful music.

By Azarish Ali

A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Directed by our Head of Drama, Mr Nick Brown, the 2016 Westlake Production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was an enormous success with large audiences at every performance.  Congratulations to the cast and crew from both Westlake schools who put in many hours at rehearsals and performances to make this such a success.

The cast and crew from Westlake Boys’ High School was:

Grant Zent (Puck), Angus Kelsey (Puck), Sungmin Lee (Flute), Cody Stott (Snout), Colby Wilson (Starveling),

Zach Klein (Snout), Alek Ristic (Ensemble), Joshua Wang (Snug), Matt Bullock (Theseus), Connor Charlesworth (Demetrius), Aidan Bonneau (Ensemble), Daniel Paek (Starveling), Will Page (Fairy), Andre Vachias (Ensemble),

Joe Jackson (Bottom), Jordan Te Aukura (Oberon), Laith Saeed (Egeus), Josh Song (Lysander), Daniel Lough (Lysander), Nick Curry (Quince), Abram Matthew (Oberon), Dylan Somervile (Demetrius), Rafa Yam (Snug)

Kelby Cai (Assistant Director) and the Technical team: Alek Ristic, Kees Gitmans, George Yang, Shaun Woods, Andy Wang, Emmanuel Ramli and Jun Hong Lim.


Community Curriculum and Option Selection Evenings

Westlake Boys High School would like to invite members of our school communities to attend our two remaining 2016 Curriculum and Option Selection Evenings. We would like to meet parents of students who would like to learn a little more about New Zealand education, about how to support their son, and about how to help him make wise course choices for 2017 and beyond.  We are running the evenings in the school Staffroom. Each will last around 45 minutes.

  • 6.00pm Monday 8th August: Māori Curriculum and Option Selection Evening. This evening will explain how to make important choices for your son’s future, and will also talk about helping our Māori students to achieve as Māori.
  • 6.00pm Tuesday 9th August: Pasifika Curriculum and Option Selection Evening. This evening will explain how to make important choices for your son’s future, and will also talk about helping our Pasifika students be successful in their studies.

We look forward to seeing you. These evenings will be a valuable way to learn a little more about your son’s education and will help you guide him as he thinks about his future.

Please let us know if you are going to attend any of the evenings. If you are going to attend the Māori or Pasifika evenings, please contact Mrs B Sutherland on [email protected] or 09 410 8667 extension 703.

Gala Poster 2016

An exciting opportunity for Year 10 students – Spirit of Adventure 5-Day Spirit Trophy Voyage: 19th – 23rd November 2016

The Spirit of Adventure Trust was established to provide New Zealanders access to a character development programme through sailing. You are being given an opportunity to develop the qualities of independence, understanding and community spirit through the medium of sea voyage.

The voyage will be a valuable experience for all who participate and is a great opportunity to develop personal skills, team work, communication and trust, which are integral to future successes.

Interested students need to submit an application form which can be collected from Mr Tillett in Deans Suite. Applications due 12th August.

See the Spirit of Adventure website for more information: https://www.spiritofadventure.org.nz/

Careers Department

Here is the latest Careers Newsletter from the Careers Department which contains some important information and key dates for students. Term 3 is an important time in particular for our Year 13 boys as they narrow down tertiary, training and employment options for 2017.

Attending open days, information evenings and other career-related events can prove invaluable in helping all seniors explore possible future pathways.

2017 Enrolment Information

Year 9 Enrolment Dates

In-Zone Enrolments9th August 12 noon – 4pm and 10th August 12 noon – 8pm

Out-Of-Zone (Including Out-Of-Zone Priority Enrolments)17th August 9am – 8pm and 18th August 9am – 4pm

Out-Of-Zone Priorities

  1. Sibling of current student
  2. Sibling of former student
  3. Son of a former student
  4. Son of an employee of the school

Enrolment Information

2017 Enrolment dates and information are available on the school website www.westlake.school.nz

Enquiries to Michele Cain on 410-8667 ext 818.

Students Using Public Transport

This is a reminder that students should use School buses where they are provided, and only use Express buses when it is absolutely necessary.

Would you like to work at Westlake?

Events & Communications Executive, Community Relations Department

As the result of Christine O’Dowd’s relocation to the UK, we are looking for a super-organised “people person” with superb writing skills to join our small team in the Community Relations Office.

The purpose of the events co-ordination and marketing communications role is to ensure that members of our community are provided with memorable opportunities to connect and re-connect with Westlake Boys High School.

 Key responsibilities include:

  • Co-ordination of community events (e.g. Father Son and Mother Son Breakfasts; Graduation Dinner; Grandparents’ Day; Westlakers Golf Day and Reunion events)
  • Copywriting for media, websites, yearbook and e-communications
  • Social media content creation and execution – Facebook and Instagram
  • Relationship management with old boys, school supporters and parents

The successful applicant will need to be:

  • Super-organised
  • Efficient and productive i.e. a “do-er”!
  • Very kind and thoughtful
  • Positive i.e. glass half-full person
  • A proficient communicator – written and verbal communication skills are essential
  • Accustomed to working as part of a team in a demanding, deadline-driven environment
  • Self-motivated, adaptable and flexible
  • Some experience with Photoshop or similar, and an interest in photography would be a distinct advantage

This is a full-time, salaried position with six weeks annual leave per year (to correspond with school holidays). Hours are 8am until at least 4pm, five days per week. Extra hours are often necessary in the lead-up to events.

For a full Position Description please contact Community Relations Manager, Vicki Fowler on [email protected] or 09 410 1814.

Applications must include the applicant’s current CV and a clear statement explaining why they would be suitable for the role. Applications close on Wednesday 10th August at 5.00pm.

Procedure for a Student Leave Request

When requesting leave for a student, a letter is required by Westlake Boys High School outlining dates, destination and the reason your son will be absent from school.  This letter is to be delivered to Mrs Murphy in Reception at the Main Office.  Your son will then be provided with a leave form which he takes around to his Dean, Form Teacher and Subject Teachers for signature.

Major Diary Dates:

8th August Whanau Hui, 6.30pm in WBHS Staffroom, PTA Meeting 7.00pm
9th & 10th August In Zone enrolments (9th 12-4pm, 10th 12-8pm)
10th August Late Start (students arrive at 10.55am)
11th August Gala Concert
12th August Westlakers Annual Reunion, 5.30pm, Gymnasium
17th & 18th August Out of Zone & OOZ Priority enrolments (17th 9am-8pm, 18th 9am-4pm)
22nd August – 2nd September Senior End of Year Examinations
29th August – 2 September Winter Tournament Week
31st August Board of Trustees Meeting
5th September PTA Meeting, 7.00pm PTA Conference Room, Top Gymnasium, Course Selection Process ends
7th September Closing date for Out of Zone enrolments
12th September Whanau Hui, WBHS Staffroom
14th September Ballot held
15th September Winter Sports Team Photographs
19th September Senior Reports issued
23rd September Senior Academic Prizegiving, End Term 3, CIE AS & A2 students leave
10th October Start Term 4, CIE Examinations commence
21st October CIE IGCSE students leave
24th October Labour Day – School closed
4th November NCEA Years 12 & 13 students leave
9th November NCEA Year 11 students leave, NCEA Examinations commence
14th November Late Start (students arrive at 10.55am)
18th November CIE Examinations end
21st-25th November End of Year Junior Examinations
2nd December NCEA Examinations end, Graduation Dinner
7th December Junior Prizegiving, End Term 4
9th December Junior Reports Issued

Westlake Sport  

Football Results

1st XI Football vs St Peter’s College

Westlake, without five experienced starters, ground out a hard fought away win over an improving St Peters team in a floodlit Friday night fixture. The away team made a strong start and almost took the lead within the first minute when a defensive error was capitalized on by the lively Rungpao. The striker deftly lobbed the stranded St Peters keeper only to see the ball headed off the goal line by a defender. Westlake continued to dominate possession but let another chance slip by when Nimmo’s free kick was parried by the keeper but there was no Westlake player following up to capitalise.

The deadlock was broken in the 21st minute when a towering clearance from keeper Williams was misjudged by the St Peters defence and Farnsworth was on hand to slot the ball home to give his team a deserved lead.

Farnsworth was a constant threat and tested the keeper again with a ferocious shot after a deft turn on the edge of the box. Westlake were unlucky not to double their lead in the 40th minute when Nimmo crashed a free kick against the St Peters cross bar with the keeper well beaten. The first half concluded with Westlake well on top but feeling they should have put the game beyond the home team.

Predictably the second half was a much closer affair with St Peters disrupting Westlake’s attempts to establish their passing game and either side able to retain possession for extended periods.

Nimmo was again desperately unlucky not to add his name to the score sheet when his cleanly struck free kick again rocked the St Peters cross bar.

Westlake dug deep to repel some late pressure by a fired up home team and deserved took all three competition points.

Westlake’s next game is an away Premier League fixture against Sacred Heart College on Friday 5th August, 7pm kick off at Bill McKinley Park.

Under 13 Knock Out Cup vs St Peter’s

Result: Lost 4-3 on Penalties (2-2 after Extra Time)

The U13 Football team took on St Peter’s in the Quarter Final of the Knock Out Cup. It was going to be a tough fixture from the outset and the game reflected it. Westlake started the game very strong dominating possession in the first half as they utilised the windy conditions to their favour. Many chances were created as Tor Keeley came close to opening the scoring by rounding the keeper and putting it just wide. The pressure continued and were finally rewarded with a fantastic goal by Sam Reidy coming from a lofted free kick. Westlake again put the pressure on and went close to doubling the lead only to have a shot saved off the line. St Peter’s came back to level before the break after a mistake at the back. Half time score 1-1.

The second half was a very competitive half with both teams putting each defence under pressure. Westlake created more clear cut chances and again had a shot cleared off the line following three or four clear chances but failing to hit the target. Westlake finally took the lead through Levi Wilson to make it 2-1 midway through the second half. St Peters drew level straight away from the restart. The second half continued to have chances from each team but finished 2-2. Extra time followed but no team could take the win. Penalties were going to be the decider on the day with Westlake missing their first penalty. St Peter’s took the advantage of this and ultimately won the game on penalties 4-3. A tough loss, but the game could have been won in normal time but Westlake but St Peter’s move on to the Semi Finals.

Under 15 Knock Out Cup versus Mt Albert Grammar School

The U15 KO cup team went to MAGS with a very strong side. They came up against a physical side in MAGS. After going 2 nil down in 20 mins, Westlake turned up and showed some real character and skill. A goal was disallowed late in the first half. The second half Westlake came out firing and dominated the second half, scoring a good goal, and missing several half chances. Unfortunately going down 2-1.

Social Football

Social Football has reached the Semi-Final stages and will be played on Friday at 4pm on the Westlake Girls Turf.

  • Adam’s Apples FC vs. KFC on Pitch #1
  • CCFC vs. Algebradas on Pitch #2

It has been a great competition again this year and the winners will play in the final on Friday 12th August at 4pm on our Turf followed by a BBQ for all the players (197 in total) who have taken part.

Congratulations to Laith Saeed who won an award from Harbour Sport for his contribution to the programme Nick Curry and Matthew Thornton are also commended by Harbour Sport for their contribution to the programme.

Hockey Results 5 August

  • 1st XI lost to Kristin School 103
  • 2nd XI beat Mahurangi College 4-0
  • 3rd XI lost to Long Bay College 0-4
  • 4th XI lost to Birkenhead College 0-3
  • Senior Red lost to Rangitoto College 2-5
  • Junior 1 beat Northcote College 3-0
  • Junior 2 beat Kristin School 3-1
  • Junior 3 best Kristin School 7-0

4th XV vs Orewa College 2nd XV

Playing against Orewa College second XV, Westlake fourths had one of their most disappointing performances this season. They lost to a better team by their biggest margin and failed to score for the first time this season. The team conceded 12 points in the last two minutes of the first half and the normally very strong goal line defence, allowed a number of soft tries.

The second half performance was much better and despite dominating territory and playing some exciting rugby, the team conceded another try. This was extra disappointing as a number of players had charged down an Orewa break-away to prevent a certain try and the final score of 0 to 29 was a true reflection of the match.

Next week’s game becomes more important against Rosmini College as our team does not want to lose another match. It’s time for the dirt trackers to lift their game and we’ll need a full turn out at training next week.

Rugby Report

MATCH REPORT: 1st XV vs Massey Saturday 30 July

This match was a must win situation for Westlake to maintain the top position going into the playoff rounds. Having already secured a home semi-final it was important to finish first for a number of reasons. Massey were markedly understrength on the day with a number of their key players on the injured list. However it would still require structure and discipline from us to win.

The first half we were dominant and Jack Heighton in particular controlled the game. Jack was involved in setting up 3 tries in that half. First Fine Inisi, and later Jack Fuller scored following work done by Jack. Tupou Afungia scored the second try and only Jack Fullers try was converted. Westlake dominated at scrum winning tight-heads and also at lineout winning opposition ball. Resolute Massey defence and their pride in the jersey kept the score down.

The second half was pretty much a repeat of the first. Fine Inisi ran half the field to score his second and Jack Fuller was on the end of a crosskick to dot down for his second try of the game.  A brief 5 minute period saw Massey use their pick and go effectively before spreading the ball wide and their winger scoring in the corner.

Scoreboard: Westlake 27  Massey 5 (Half time 17 – 0)

Tries: Fine Inisi (2), Jack Fuller (2) and Tupou Afungia

Conversion: Cameron Hey

Westlake Sailors Competing Internationally

  • Thomas Mulcahy competed in the North American Optimist Championships in Antigua finishing in 100th place from an international field of more than 144 competitors. Tom then went to the Texas Youth Race Week where he finished 14th from 80 entries at international level.  He was 2nd USA National Teams Racing Champs – Silver Fleet and 51st USA National Fleet Racing Champs out of 246 (International level).
  • Tom Fyfe has participated in the 29er World Champs in the Netherlands finishing in 41st place from approximately 228 entries.
  • Henry Wilson competed in the Optimist World Champs in Portugal finishing in 113th place from approximately 255 entries.
  • Robbie McCutcheon (pictured below) who represented New Zealand in the Optimist Asian and Oceanian Championships. The regatta was run over the course of a week, with over 120 competitors from 25 countries from around the world. With temperatures in the low 30’s and a warm 15-25kt winds every day there were excellent sailing conditions, and with the boats parked on the sand in front of the hotel it was an excellent venue. Although some of the New Zealand team became ill, with a combination of heatstroke, dehydration and tummy upsets, they relished the conditions and performed very well.  Robbie finished 13th in Asia and 3rd in Oceania and was the top New Zealander.

Robbie Sri Lanka

Gymnastics and Trampoline National Results

Last weekend saw Westlake competitors taking part in the National Gymnastics and Trampoline Championships.

In the Senior A Grade Men’s Artistic section, Year 9 student Daniel Stoddart was placed 2nd overall (1st in Parallel Bars).

In the Trampoline section, Nathan Monkton (Year 9) was 5th, Josh Adam (Year 12) was 8th and Jeremy Agnew (Year 10) was 9th. These boys all competed in the Elite section U16.

Daniel and Nathan are part of the Academy of Sport Elite group, along with Henry Wilson who was 113th out of 255 at the World Optimist Sailing Champs in Portugal over the holidays.

Congratulations to:

  • Grant Zent has been selected to represent New Zealand in the upcoming Oceania Karate Championships to be held in Noumea, New Caledonia.
  • Josh Feng and Oscar Guo participated in the New Zealand Badminton Under 17 team event championships (representing North Harbour) in Palmerston North recently, winning the title and defeating Auckland in the final 10-6. Josh and Oscar have both been named in the Pan Pacific New Zealand team for an Under 19 tournament to be played in Melbourne, Australia from 19-26 September.

Good Luck to:

  • Our 1st XV who play Takapuna Grammar School 1st XV at 12.00pm on 6 August at TGS 1
  • Our 2nd XV who play Northcote College 1st XV at 12.00pm on 6 August at WBHS 1
  • Our 4th XV who play Rosmini College 3rd XV at 9.30am on 6 August at WBHS 1
  • Our Premier Basketball team who play Rosmini College at 7.30pm on 5 August at WBHS
  • Our 1st XI Football team who play Sacred Heart College 1st XI at 7.00pm on 5 August at Bill McKinley Park
  • Our 2nd XI Football team who play Sacred Heart College 2nd XI at 10.00am on 6 August at Crossfield Res 2
  • Our 3rd XI Football team who play Albany Senior High School at 10.00am on 6 August at WBHS Grass
  • Our 1st XI Hockey team who play Kingsway School at 6.20pm on 10 August at Harbour 2
  • Our 2nd XI Hockey team who play Macleans College at 7.15pm on 10 August at Diocesan
  • Our Squash players who are competing at the Squash Nationals in Palmerston North this week

Westlakers News

2016 Westlakers Annual Reunion – New Venue!

Friday 12 August, 5.30pm-9.00pm – Westlake Boys Gymnasium

Join us after work in the recently opened $5 million Westlake Boys High School Gymnasium.

  • Catchup with your mates and former teachers
  • School tours (5.30pm-6.00pm), including the new fitness centre, artificial turf, honours boards and our world class Auditorium
  • Storytelling of “tall tales and true”

Entry is just $20 per person and includes finger food and your first beer or glass of wine. Click here to register NOW!

2016 Westlakers Annual Reunion
If you have information and/or photos which you feel may be included in a future newsletter, please contact the Headmaster’s EA, Mrs Sandra White:  [email protected]