Around The World

Each department within languages offers its own range of diverse cultural experiences. Refer to the links above to find out more about pétanque, Language Week and the various language department trips available.

Chinese Trip (2010)

Every two years, the Chinese Department organises a school trip to China. The aims are as follows:

  • to enhance student understanding and awareness of Chinese culture;
  • to maximise student exposure to Chinese language;
  • to develop student life skills such as managing self and relating to others;
  • to widen students’ appreciation of being a member of the global village.

The trip usually takes place during the April holidays. Students will visit 2 – 3 cities, with the majority of the time spent in Beijing where students attend Chinese classes taught by native speakers.

Apart from the language classes, students also participate in cultural lessons such as Chinese painting, folk singing, Chinese martial arts, paper cutting, etc. In the evenings, students will be taken to authentic Chinese restaurants and tea houses to experience Chinese food culture first hand. In addition, students will have the opportunity to see an acrobatic show and the Beijing Opera.

Students also take part in a busy touring schedule, visiting places such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and so on.

Japanese Trip (2010)

The Japanese Department organises a two-week school trip to Japan every two years. The first week or so is usually spent in a homestay that is arranged by a host school. Students have the opportunity to experience Japanese life both at home and at school. They will be exposed to Japanese language and culture every day and everyone always finds it a highly rewarding experience.

During the second week we use the Japan Rail Pass and travel around Japan on the Shinkansen visiting several famous sites and towns. We typically travel to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Hiroshima, with occasional excursions off in different directions to view  points of interest. We visit temples, castles, palaces, parks, and generally get a really good feel of how both traditional and modern Japan are mixed together. We usually stay in a combination of youth hostels and traditional inns.

Apart from gaining obvious cultural experience, it is hoped that students will gain a deeper interest in Japan in order to pursue their language studies with increased vigour. Japan is one of the main world economic powers – if you speak their language you will have a great advantage that could one day add healthy support to your chosen career choice.

The trip takes place during the Term 2 holiday period (around July). This is summer in Japan and the weather is really warm. It also overlaps with the rainy season, which means there can be the occasional heavy downpour.

Languages Week

 Ni Hao, Bonjour, Guten Tag, Kon’nichiwa, Kia Ora!

Westlake Boys’ High School celebrates Language Week with a range of fun and educational events, which highlight the importance of learning a second language. During this week the teachers and students embrace the multicultural and linguistically-orientated week with enthusiasm and a sense of competition. Each day of the week one of the different languages that boys have the opportunity of learning at Westlake is celebrated.

Having learnt  the way boys work, we know that food-orientated activities are a success thus we offer speciality foods in the quad each day to give the boys a flavour of each country. It is lovely to see the students of all year groups enjoying a variety of foods from Chinese dumplings to pretzels and pain au chocolat to sushi. Of course food only plays one part of the festivities.

There are special events going on throughout the school such as Tibetan dancers, Pétanque and Japanese calligraphy, and assembly is language-orientated.

Westlake Language Week helps students appreciate the importance of learning a second language and encourages them to grasp the opportunity of learning Chinese, French, German, Japanese or Maori here at Westlake Boys’ High School.

Pétanque Tournament


Every Thursday after school, Westlake’s petanque team is hard at work, preparing for the regional competition held at the Herne Bay Pétanque Club on the 27th March. Pétanque is a sport requiring not just accuracy, but concentration and patience. Learning their skills from their pétanque coaches, Miss Kopf and Miss Edwards, Westlake’s Premier Pétanque team is well prepared for the intensity of the season’s tournaments.

57 teams from all over Auckland turn up to the annual All Auckland Pétanque Tournament. The day is entertaining, enjoyable and encourages camaraderie but, in true French spirit, the pétanque playing is taken very seriously!

Westlake has made it to the finals in 3 of the past 4 years and the team has even been approached by a local talent scout! After seeing our boys play the NZ pétanque champion noticed some natural talent and wants to start a pétanque club in Takapuna, with WBHS as the enrolled players!

It’s all in a day’s work for the Premier Pétanque boys.

You too can enjoy the fantastic game of pétanque. Just come into F7 after school on Thursday (Terms 1 and 4 only) and enjoy a little French fun. Give it a try and experience true French culture!