01 Apr

General Notices 

Kia ora Koutou, 

It’s nearly the end of the term and I want to acknowledge the hard work of our akonga, Kaiako and staff. I have really enjoyed spending time getting to know the community this term. 

The last two weeks I have had many koreros (conversations) with our akonga and been very impressed with their maturity, goals and leadership potential. Community baking has also been a highlight this term, both amongst the staff and students.

Before the break ahead, it would be great for our akonga to check with their advisors and kaiako to make sure they are set for Term 2. This would also be a good time to check in with where they are at with credits and assessments. The NCEA tracker is a very useful tool to assist with this- https://www.nceatrack.nz

Have a lovely break, make sure you take a rest and connect with whanau and friends.

Ngā mihi nui

Katy Cottrell 

Key dates for your diary’s 

  • Next term we’ll be trailing the new Numeracy NCEA exams with our Level 1 students, in preparation for changes in NCEA next year. This exam will be on Thursday the 15th June in the afternoon. 


Careers – Zena Kavas

Many Tāwari ākonga have enrolled in the First Aid course that will be held on Tuesday 4th April in T2. Just a reminder that all ākonga need to have completed the on-line theory component before they complete the practical component of this course on Tuesday. 

The Work-Ready Barista course will be held on 11th and 12th April (Tuesday and Wednesday after Easter). This will be held at the Wellington Bridge Club 17 Tinakori Road, Thorndon, Wellington. 6011 and will run from 9.00am to 3.00pm both days. 

Level One Subjects

Art – Fleur Sadlier

Ākonga continues to work hard, recording information through drawing and developing artworks. Over the break Level 1 students will begin their grid artwork. Progress assessment conversations went well, with a few things to continue working on. 


BCATS – Keiron Harding

Level 1, most have finished their first project and are doing very well. Some are also making small cheese boards to keep themselves busy till the next project comes along.

Big History – Rose Langridge, Stuart Mason and Zena Kavas

Akonga continues to work on their physics practical. The final practice is on Friday the 31st of March and then the set-timed assessment will happen next Wednesday the 5th of April.

Some of the class are also choosing to complete a history inquiry and have had to pick a significant event from history – these are far ranging and I am enjoying being asked questions about the discovery of the Otzi man, the Otago Gold Rush, The Stolen Generation, Jones Town and The Erebus disaster all in one class! Given the strikes, we have chosen to move the due date for this into term two.

Term two will see us moving into the wonder of life and how living things interact with, to quote Carl Sagan, “this pale blue dot that we call home”.


Digi Tech – Michael Draper 

The level 1 digi-technologists continue to work on their initial designs for their design projects. They are now up to: completing their conceptual designs (if they haven’t already); getting feedback from stakeholders on their conceptual designs; then using the learning from this feedback and their own reflection on their conceptual design analysis to inform the first version of the design that will be the basis for their final design.


Drama – Lucy Brownlee 

All students are doing very well rehearsing their poems and thinking about their dramatic intention – what do we want the audience to feel/think when they see our performance? And, how will I use my voice, body, movement and space to convey emotion? We are gearing up to perform these dramatic poems in the last few weeks of term. Students have some homework – to learn lines, organise a minimalist costume and finish annotating their scripts to show use of the dramatic techniques, and stage directions.


Mandarin – Lisa Chin

All students are continuing to work on their speech internal assessment. This assessment is scheduled for presentation next Monday during class time. However, if anyone would like some extra time, they are welcome to present it in early Term two. Please have all the required materials ready on the presentation day: cue cards, props etc. Remember to practise your pronunciation and get familiar with your speech. Use your props and “look up” as much as possible when practising. Good luck 🙂 

Please continue to listen to all the audio files in the Google Classroom on a regular basis as it will help you prepare for this presentation. 


Te reo maori – Louane Ngataki

The level 1 akonga are currently working on the first part (of 2) of their Korero strand and beginning on their second part (of 2).  Recording will be between weeks 2-5 of Term 2.   A final grade will be awarded once both parts are completed as they cannot be graded individually.


Maths – David Starshaw

The level 1 maths students have just finished their first internally-assessed standard: 1.1 Number which will give them four credits. Now they will start learning the content for the next standard: 1.7 Trigonometry which will be internally assessed in early/midterm 2.

Music – Michael Stebbing 

The Level 1 and 2 music students are continuing to make good progress on their understanding of chords and harmony, and are putting this into practice through the development of their own chord progressions, which we then aim to write melodies over. This is a reminder that all students will need to perform a piece in the first week of Term 2, which will be recorded as part of Music 1.1 Solo Performance.


Physical Education – Lucy Brownlee 

The Level 1 students can be very proud of their progress in PE so far this term. Students now have a sound understanding of what a growth mindset is, and are open to learning opportunities and working on maintaining a positive attitude and taking responsibility for their own learning. For example, students have been taking turns to lead different sports and PE activities, and we have had some great games of Netball, Light Saber Ball, Capture the Flag and Handball all run by ākonga. Every student has grown in self confidence through our three team talks which we have each session, with students contributing ideas both around strategy as well as encouragement, teamwork and inclusion. It is really awesome to see all students working together to support each other and get the most out of their PE experience. Students have also been working very hard to take on feedback and improve their detail and structure in the written element of the internal. Again, all students can be proud of their continued efforts and progress here.


Level Two Subjects

Art – Fleur Sadlier

Ākonga continues to work hard, recording information through painting studies and developing artworks. Progress assessment conversations went well, ākonga continued building on their artworks and developing ideas. 


BCATS – Kieron Harding

Level 2. Making a large wooden chair. Following instructions well, another student is making a guitar base and is in the design stage.

Biology – Zena Kavas 

The L2 Biologists are working well in our second unit AS91155 Demonstrate Understanding of Adaptations of Plants and Animals to their Way of Life. Unfortunately the strike this week meant that we missed our visit to Wellington Zoo, but we have been lucky enough to rebook for this Wednesday, 5th April. We will take part in the Animal Adaptations workshop, focussing on the feeding adaptations of a range of animals. 


Chemistry – Stuart

How would one distinguish between ethanol, propan-1-ol and pent-1-ene on the basis of tests on just the physical properties of the liquids? Pent-1-ene, being a hydrocarbon like petrol,  forms a layer on top when mixed with water. The first two listed are alcohols and dissolve in water, like the ethanol in wine and beer which of course does not form a separate layer in the glass. Propan-1-ol is a bigger molecule, with more protons and electrons than ethanol so the attractive forces between the molecules are greater, so if both are heated ethanol will give gas bubbles before propanol. This is the answer to one of the organic chemistry questions in the Level 2 chemistry course manual this week, which hopefully gives an idea of what the students are working on.


Digi Tech – Michael Draper 

Our level 2 Digitech student is continuing their training in cybersecurity and their project to create a cybersecurity environment for Digitech. Their project will be assessed against the level 2 digital media outcome standard (AS91893 4cr internal) and the level 2 digital technology process standard (AS91897 6cr internal).


Humanities – Rose Langridge 

The class is focusing on reports that are tied to protest movements. Some of the class have chosen to inquire into an Aotearoa historical protest and its significance. Others are completing  the social studies inquiry focusing on a recent protest and the impact of these to make a change in our current time.

Next term as chosen by popular demand we are delving into the fascinating world of conspiracy theories – grab out your tinfoil hats. 

Mandarin – Lisa Chin 

The level 2 Mandarin students finished learning all the required contents for 2.2 speech presentations (4 credits) this week. They will be presenting their speech in class in early Term two. Students are currently continuing working on their speech script, writing about their ideal day. Please remember to listen to all the audios on the Google Classroom on a regular basis as it will help you prepare for this presentation. 


Maths – Michael Draper 

The level 2 Maths (algebra and calculus) ākonga are continuing to hone their general algebra and geometry skills, and progress their Trigonometry and Algebra learning.  There is no assessment this term. Instead, students work on developing long term mastery of the mathematical learning and skills used in later learning and assessments.


Music – Michael Stebbing 

The Level 1 and 2 music students are continuing to make good progress on their understanding of chords and harmony, and are putting this into practice through the development of their own chord progressions, which we then aim to write melodies over. A reminder that all students will need to perform a piece in the first week of Term 2, which will be recorded as part of Music 1.1 Solo Performance.


Physical Education – Neville Paul

I am supervising the Year 12 students as they participate in recreational activities, which include team-building exercises. In addition to my monitoring, they are also evaluating their own level of social responsibility using an assessment schedule based on Hellison’s Model.

Physics – Michael Draper  

The level 2 physicists are taking a break from Nuclear Physics to do some more work on Mechanics (which is assessed in the end of year exams).  The physicists will be doing their Nuclear Physics internal assessment on the Tuesdays of week 2 and week 3 next term.  They will need to do some revision of Nuclear Physics over the holidays to ensure they are prepared for the assessment.


Psychology – Zena Kavas

The L2 Psychologists are completing their first report, comparing three different perspectives of psychology and how they can each explain a particular issue. Some ākonga have already completed this report, allowing them to focus on other assessments during the last week of term.  Others will complete it by the end of the term. 

Statistics – David Starshaw 

The level 2 statistics students are continuing to learn the content for 2.10 Experiments which will be assessed in early term 2.

Level Three Subjects

Biology – Zena Kavas

The L3 Biologists are enjoying their second unit of work AS91605 Demonstrate Evolutionary Processes Leading to speciation. Although there is a lot of new vocabulary, the concepts are really interesting and many of these concepts are demonstrated in some of David Attenborough’s documentaries. In the first week of term 2, we will take a visit to the zoo for a Speciation workshop, and see living examples of where speciation has occurred. 

Chemistry – Stuart

When a smoker breathes cigarette smoke in one’s face there is a distinct smell of mothballs from the naphthalene, along with the inhalation of a further 69 confirmed carcinogens. What makes the eyes really water is the irritant aldehyde called ethanal. A kilogram of raspberries contains up to four milligrams of a compound known as raspberry ketone, which is responsible for the aroma of strawberries. It is expensive to extract, so synthetic raspberry ketone is used in perfumes, cosmetics and as a food additive. The preparation, reactions and properties of aldehydes and ketones is this past week’s area of study for the Year 13 chemists.


English – Rose Langridge 

The class is working on their film analysis. They are all working well and have chosen scenes that they are busy unpacking. Apparently, Tim Burton uses far too many shots! They are all doing well and the final is due next Thursday. I look forward to reading these pieces.

Next term the class will be moving from the fantastical worlds of Tim Burton to that of William Shakespeare. 


History – Rose Langridge 

The class is working on their significance reports which are based on events from World War One. There has been an extensive range and I am being kept on my toes moving from meat production to shellshock questions within minutes of each other. It is really fascinating to see them discovering the impacts of these things on Aotearoa and the far-reaching consequences that they are discussing. Their final report is due at the end of next week. 

Next term the class will focus on a contested event and the one that they have chosen is Holocaust Denial.


Maths – David Starshaw

The level 3 maths students have finished learning the content for 3.3 Trigonometry and will sit the assessment in the first week of term 2. Then they will start on the first big exam: 3.6 Differentiation.


Physical Education – Neville Paul

Year 13 PE are working on their assessment about devising strategies for lifelong well-being. A big part of this is the involvement of Physical Activity. This is a very important topic these days as the student has to monitor themselves and plan for their well being in the future.


Physics – Michael Draper 

The level 3 physicists have completed their Modern Physics internal assessment and we’re just awaiting final moderation to confirm grades. They’ve started work on Weaves, beginning with standing waves and resonance (e.g. how musical instruments work).


Psychology – Zena Kavas

The L3 Psychologists are completing their first report for AS91872 Analyse the Interaction Between Psychological Approaches. This report looks at a particular issue from the biological perspective and another perspective of choice, and then describes how these approaches interact. I am seeing good progress being made and I look forward to marking these reports over the holidays. ????


Social Studies – Rose Langridge 

The class are working on their reports looking at policy changes driven by social action. They have chosen to work on either gun control or the Deep Horizon Disaster. This is due at the end of next week.

This has put them in good stead to understand social campaigns and enact change with them. This is what they will focus on next term as they run their own campaign.


Statistics – David Starshaw 

The level 3 statistics students have finished the assessment for 3.10 Formal Inference and have started learning the content for the next standard: 3.11 Experiments.