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Education: Westlake Girls High School

Westlake Girls: Students and Staff Experience the Culture of Vietnam

 Students and Staff Experience the Culture of Vietnam

A touring party of seventeen senior students and three teachers experienced the culture of Vietnam as part of their Social Sciences trip.  The experience involved visiting sites of great historic and geographical interest, as well as experiencing a fascinating and diverse culture.

The trip facilitated an unforgettable cultural experience and interchange of ideas. Students learnt about the rich history of Vietnam and its cultural values. They were able to appreciate the value of learning another language as well as the importance of cultural identity. An over-night stay in a village on the Mekong facilitated an insight into a local community.

 The trip offered the students various learning opportunities. They were obliged to operate as a group, to support each other and to travel together in a cooperative environment. Travelling in a nation of over 90 million people generated social awareness and a greater understanding of developing nations.

The students also had sufficient leisure time to experience the night markets and, for example, to have clothes fitted in the picturesque town of Hoi An. They were able to experience the hospitality of the Vietnamese people and to learn about their wealth of traditions and their strong sense of community. 

Students learn first hand about the Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa

Year 12 Senior Social Studies classes were very fortunate to have a visit and presentation from Mr Remy Bucumi, a social worker from the Red Cross, who survived the Rwanda genocide in 1994. They are currently learning about Rwanda and other conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa in preparation for the Level 2 external examinations. Most students had not heard of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and were fascinated to learn about the causes of the conflict and how it affected the Rwandan people. 

Conflict in this region is complex so by sharing his story, along with his expert knowledge of the region, Remy increased students’ understanding and appreciation of this important and fascinating region in the world. Remy has much hope for the future and the students were inspired by his wise words. 

Student Wins International Fashion Design Competition

Yeon Jae Choi from Year 13 has won yet another Fashion Design competition. 

This time it was in New York where she competed against designers from around the world, most of them older than she is. Her brief was to design a collection of three garments for sufferers of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

For her prize Yeon Jae received US$1000 and the opportunity to design a collection of 24 garments for Madrina Fashion, the official clothing line for sufferers of CRPS. The collection will be launched in New York in November. Yeon Jae’s garments were made from silk which she dip-dyed to get the effect she wanted. 

Fencer Wins Bronze Medal

Westlake student Megan Wilkie took part in the Northern Secondary Schools Fencing tournament where she won the bronze medal in the Girls Epee. Megan is currently ranked third in New Zealand for Girls Epee in the Under 15 age group. 

Ex-Student Selected for Tall Ferns

Ex-Westlake student Deanna Franklin has been named in the Tall Ferns team which will compete in the Four Nation Tournament in China at the end of 2014.  Nineteen-year-old Deanna, who stands at 1.86m, has emerged from the Junior Tall Ferns and was a member of the recently crowned WBC Champions, Harbour Breeze. 

Year 12 Students Experience the Great Outdoors

Ninety Physical Education and Outdoor Education students said goodbye to friends and family and left for a week long PE camp at Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre in Tongariro National Park. 

The incredible activities that they experienced included high ropes, caving, skiing, abseiling, canoeing, leadership and team building activities and the overnight camp in the bush.  

“PE camp was one of the best weeks of my life.  Not only did I get to try amazing things and meet new people, but I came back feeling more mentally tough, responsible and ready to attempt new challenges in my life.  As Sir Edmund Hillary said, “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”. Jessica McPherson 

Famous Author visits Westlake Girls

A group of Year 9 English students were privileged to have author Lindy Davis share her tips for creative writing. 

Basing her presentation on the process she followed while writing her second novel, The Golden Scarab’s Secrets, Lindy provided the Year 9 students with a number of useful strategies to improve their creative writing, including keeping a notebook, writing about what you know and developing character analysis and dialogue. Lindy also talked about the research process involved in writing a novel. 

Student Gains Selection in New Zealand Trans-Tasman Squash Team

Tyler Duberly started playing squash at Westlake in Year 9 in 2010. Over the past five years Tyler has been integral in the coaching and development of the schools Premier team. 

She is an outstanding role model and has pursued her dream of making the New Zealand Secondary Schools Tournament team with determination and perseverance. Tyler played exceptionally well throughout the recent Squash Nationals event in Nelson. Her outstanding performance both at this tournament and at tournaments throughout the year, resulted in her being named in this year’s New Zealand Secondary Schools Tournament Team. Tyler was one of five girls selected to make up the Senior Girls team where they will play in Brisbane, Australia. 

Oceania Karate Selection

WGHS student Reilly Polaschek has gained selection in the New Zealand team for the 16th Oceania Karate Championships in Suva Fiji during September. 

Lacrosse Team Claim Two Titles

The Westlake Girls Lacrosse team had a very successful season winning both the Auckland Secondary Schools Division 2 League and the Auckland Secondary Schools One Day Tournament. 

by Channel Magazine

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