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Education: Takapuna Grammar School

Continuing the Tradition

Head Girl, Claudia Brick, has continued Takapuna’s wonderful tradition in the Rodney Walshe Ireland Essay competition, which has been running for 22 years. Claudia has placed third in this prestigious competition, which had over one hundred registrations from colleges throughout New Zealand and, yet again, the standard of entries was very high.
Claudia essay was titled “An Irish Solution to an Irish Problem” and addressed the issues of abortion and contraception. Here is her introduction:
Ireland is a nation divided. Torn between two opposing sides, its government struggles to address key social issues in a conclusive way and can never hope to appease everyone involved. This divide first emerged as society began to modernize in the 20th century and pull away from the most influential power in the country - the Irish Catholic Church. Popularised in 1979, the phrase 'An Irish Solution to an Irish Problem' has come to represent any unsatisfactory political compromise to any issue that could only arise in Ireland due to the disconnect between modern, liberal values and the conservative, trusted beliefs of the Church. This disconnect has caused Irish policy to differ greatly from other nearby European nations on social concerns, most prominently contraception and abortion.
To read the whole essay and those of the winner and second place go to and click on Scholarships and Awards.
The Ireland Essay Competition was initiated in 1990 and personally sponsored by Rodney Walshe, the Honorary Consul General for Ireland. It is open to all full time students aged 16 to 18, attending schools throughout New Zealand. There is no requirement to have any Irish connections other than the essay must relate to some topic associated with Ireland, be non-fiction and contain no more than 1200 words.
Rodney Walshe will visit the schools of the top three prize winners and personally present the awards at school assembly. Takapuna will look forward to this visit, as Mr. Walshe has been every year for the past five years to award prizes to our students in this contest.
This year’s winner is Fintan Walsh, a student at John Paul College, Rotorua. His essay “Irish Poets/Scientists” was a most unusual subject, exceptionally well written and must certainly have involved many hours of research and study. Fintan will travel on an all-expenses paid, four week, visit to Ireland in August, residing with an Irish family in Dublin, attending a number of students courses throughout the country, visiting many landmark locations, attending receptions and meeting many well-known Irish personalities.

Geography Olympiad winner
Four talented geography students have been chosen to represent New Zealand at the 2013 International Geography Olympiad, to be held in Kyoto, Japan, from July 30th to August 5th. One of these students is our very own Rock Steele.

The International Geography Olympiad is a competition where the best geography students from between 30 to 40 countries compete in written, multi-media and fieldwork tests. There is also a poster competition and a cultural performance.
There was a tough selection process for the NZ team. Students had to submit essays, with the top six picked to go to a selection course in Wellington, where the team could be cut down to four. TGS was the only school in the country with two students chosen, Rock and Year 13 classmate, Sophie Parker.
The selection day in Wellington involved fieldwork, posters, multi-media tasks and a written test. After this, Rock was chosen to be one of the four students in the NZ team.
 “The International Geography Olympiad will be really challenging,” Rock said, “but I am very excited to go to Japan to compete!”
Geography teacher at TGS, Mr Mouldey, is also going, as one of the two volunteer teachers. “It is just awesome,”' he commented. “This is the first year TGS has entered the competition, so having finalists was great, let alone getting one into the national team!”
Not all costs are paid for so a fund raising page has been set up at  Rock is also to be the recipient of some sponsorship through the Phil Clark and Peter Ayton Harcourt’s Incentive Programme.

Takapuna Grammar School’s stage challenge team and the quiz night organising committee would like to thank the many people and businesses who generously donated time and products for the prizes and auctions. It was a sell out and a huge success.
AJ Hackett Bungy
Art by the Sea
Art of this World
Bettes Bar & Eatery
Calliope Road Cafe
Chains, Ropes & Anchors
City Fitness, Wairau Park
The Commons
Cornelius Jewellers
Cosi fan tutte
Devonport Deli
Devonport Health Store
Didas Wine Lounge
Eco Group NZ
Glengarry’s, Devonport
Hammer Hardware, Devonport
Hayward’s Paper Power
Hotel de Brett
House of Travel, Devonport
Ike’s Emporium
JustWorkout, Devonport
Life for Men
Little & Friday
Louise Simpson Hair & Beauty
Manuka Restaurant
Monteith’ Brewing Company
Mr Rentals
Neat Meat
New World, Takapuna
Newton Andrews
Nourish Group
NZ Health Store
NZ Football
Olive Press Bar & Bistro
The Patriot
Portofino Devonport
Santini Classic Coffee
Sierra Coffee
The Stone Oven
Sugar Suite
Torpedo Bay Cafe
Urban Kids Furniture
The Vic
Victoria Road Bistro
Wallace Cotton
Working Style
Tsui-wen Chen & Tom Robinson
Sam Cooke
The Dennis family
Mike Drummond & Caz Kelly
Claire & Simon Horner
Mike Harvey
Jeff Latch
Sandy & Grant Macduff
Anna Mantell
Jan McEwen
Kelvin McMillan

by Channel Editorial