How good has this year been?
Thank you to all our fantastic International community. It has been a hugely rewarding year. Just last week I looked at two photos; the first was from our term 3 arrivals in 2015 and the second was the term 3 arrivals in 2016. A picture tells a thousand words! The difference in the amount was stark. We have increased our numbers to the sustainable maximum. We are now sitting at between 90-100 International students. A number which we think ensures comfort for those arriving but also not too many, so that you can fall into just hanging out with just students from your own country or region.
I do apologise to those agents where we have been unable to accept students because we have reached our limit for 2016. However, to continue to offer a great service we are committed to having a maximum of 100 students from all countries and 15-20 from any one country attending our school. This ensures we are able to continue to live up to the expectations both you and I both expect.
What a privilege it was to take the International students not doing exams on a 3 day camp late in November. We explored Rotorua and Mount Manganui. It was great to see the students challenged by a number of things whether it be physically by the white water rafting or rock climbing or culturally by the Maori dinner and performance, even artistically when we learnt about how The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were made when we visited Hobbiton. I can confirm that it was a neat experience and everyone can be proud of the way the students behaved and represented themselves, their families and their countries. How lucky we are as a school to have these fantastic students in our community. If you have not seen the videos that the students compiled over the three weeks of the end of year activities have a look on our facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/wgpcollege/
The end of the year is always a bitter sweet time. Unfortunately, we are saying goodbye to so many students that have become so much a part of our community. We wish them all well and hope to see them all again in the future, either when they visit Whangaparaoa College or when we visit them and their countries.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas and those that have breaks around it. We look forward to seeing all of the smiling new students on Friday 27 January.
2016 in Review
2016 has been another successful year for the Whangaparaoa College International Department, with our students achieving academic success in subjects such as Science, Mathematics, Physics, Physical Education, Geography, Business Studies, Art and Drama to name a few and many of these at Excellence Level for many assessments.
Some of these successes were recognised at our Final Prize Giving on the 12th December 2016. Congratulations need to go to the recipients of the 1st in Subject awards in English Language for 2016 who were,
Shangquing Fern Wang for Year 7,
Minkyuang Amy Kim year 10,
Yuta Yokkaichi Year 11,
Nam Hung Ngu Year 12,
Xintian Feng Year 13
and we had,
Wanning Zhang take the prizes for Year 13 Excellence in Subject: Visual Art Painting
and Year 13 Award: 1st in Subject, Visual Art Painting Level 3.
These successes are due to the hard work, dedication and great work ethic of these individuals and an on-going commitment by the teaching staff and support staff within Whangaparaoa College.
We introduced a new initiative this year for our International Students, that being a ‘Home Learning Club’. While it has had a slow beginning, I am hoping that next year we get a bigger uptake on the idea of a place that the International Students can come and get some assistance with their Homework and to socialise and have something to eat and drink if they wish while getting the support they may be needing.
It has also been a year of being able to meet several of the agents and some parents which has been an amazing experience as it certainly helps when we meet and see how other cultures do things but also realising that we live in a world that is very small and that we have things to learn from each other. It also shows that language does not have to be a barrier and that when we are all working for the same purpose then we will always find the best way of achieving these goals.
At this time of the year there are many of our International Students returning home for either the Christmas break or so that they may return to their own homes and schools from around the world. It has been an absolute privilege to have worked with and for these students this year and we will miss all those that have returned home permanently but look forward to the return of those that will be back with us next year and the new faces that will join us. From the academic perspective I have found that most of the International Students want to be here to learn and have an amazing experience while they are here. Spending time with them in more social settings, the latest of which was when on our Trip to Rotorua and the surrounding area organised by Jason Pocock, that it gives you the ability to build closer relationships with the student. I am looking forward to 2017. They are a great bunch and we have some great events planned for 2017.
Another amazing trip to see agents in Europe was punctuated by fantastic weather. People telling me the hottest temperatures in September as I was travelling through Germany and the Netherlands. It was fantastic to take our Principal James Thomas with me.
It is such a special time for me in my job the ability to visit old friends make some new ones and chat to prospective students and their families about not only Whangaparaoa College but also about our beautiful country and our education system.
It was great to visit some new places that I have not been to before. The ancient city of Luneburg. How great to see the wonderful architecture and old houses. It was also really interesting to learn about the history of the area as a trading area with salt and other things and look at the subsidence around areas of the town. Thank you so much to Michael (teacher who taught with us in 2016) for showing us around. It was also great but very sobering to head up to Kiel where there was so much destruction in the Second World War because of the submarine hub. What an interesting place.
Again visiting schools and talking to prospective students and families was my favourite part of the trip. Thank you to all of the agents we met and we look forward to meeting again soon.
A special mention to Sibylle and the amazing people at NtoZ for organising the school visits and Felix and Lena from New Zealand Education experience for organising lots of our stuff throughout Hamburg.
The Whangaparaoa College 9th Annual Ball took place at the Crowne Plaza in Auckland City.
Around 250 Year 12 and 13 learners attended. The theme for the ball this year was ‘Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass’. The venue was set up with various decorations including 4 amazing paintings of the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, The Red Queen and Alice in Wonderland.
The DJ that the Crowne Plaza provided for us on the night, created an atmosphere that was unforgettable, with music that lasted the entire night.
Nine of our International Students (Brazilian, German, Thai and Japanese) joined a Futsal team and beat Northcote College 3-2.
Players are Ryan Ajaz, Pedro Antunes Miranda Santos, Caue De Oliveira Figares, Hideyasu Hata, Otis Maximilian Hoffmann, Joao Machado De Carvalho Freitas, Julius Maxime Morell, Renan Souza Chiabai, Jab Sukpalloprat and Poltri Trirattanachai.
End of Year Activities
In 2016 we changed our end of year activities program up. For the first time we took the students outside of Auckland to see some of the amazing places we have around our beautiful country. We also added a few different things to the Auckland experience. Although the weather was not great over the period of the activities the students definitely made up for the weather with their amazing attitudes.
The feedback we got was to continue along this theme for the future ad it also has made us as a department research some camps during the year for the internationals. Places at the moment that we look forward to visiting with our students next year are Bay of Islands, Taupo/Rotorua, National park and the Coromandel. We look forward to introducing other beautiful parts of our country to our fabulous international students.
If you haven’t seen the videos from the trips make sure you look on the facebook. Thanks to the amazing students for doing it and congratulations to Hannah, Ilaria and Anna for winning the video competition
Happy Holidays from Whangaparaoa College International Dept
Please click here to watch our 2016 video