Perseverance is the key to success

Andre focuses on his work.

With an Excellence endorsement for Level 2 at the end of Year 11, Andre Castaing may have the opportunity to attend university at the end of 2016, earlier than most students his age.

The high achieving Year 12 student said that the key to his success is about enjoying learning and being enthusiastic about it too. “It’s about just maintaining a positive mindset and being prepared to do the stuff that needs to be done,” he said.

“It’s interesting seeing my class from when I started at Nayland, and the ones who just haven’t cared, have struggled,” he said when he spoke about the learning attitude of some students.

While most of the other students in his year group intend to sit for Level 2 credits, half of Andre’s six subjects are at Level 3. “I should get University Entrance this year and fingers crossed, Level 3 with Excellence,” he said.

The keen learner gave credit to his Year 9 accelerate English teacher, Ms. Forder, for enforcing the quote, ‘Self determination is the most important factor for the outcome of your life’ on her students, right from the beginning of the first term.

“I think that’s become self fullfilling overtime,” he referred to the quote from one of his first teachers at Nayland and the impact that it has had.

Andre said that the accelerate classes at Nayland are beneficial and cater for the students who need them. “A lot of that is about pushing students to where they want to be, but the students need to have some enthusiasm nurtured in them first,” he said.

As for New Zealand’s education system, Andre said that there are definitely some aspects that could be improved, although he said that lot of learning that takes place depends on the teacher.

He said that having an enthusiastic teacher, “Makes you enthusiastic about learning, so it means that you are engaged, you’re enfranchised, you’re enjoying it,” then added that Mr. McLellan helped him to enjoy his learning.

“Learning is progressive. You could say that the first time that you learned to write was the first time you learned to hold a pen and scribble, or the first time you did maths was the first time you counted, ‘one, two, three four,” said Andre, when he commented on the learning capability of students.

Andre said that his perseverance is what allowed him to do well in school. “You have to, have to, have to ask the questions when you don’t understand things,” he said.

For Nayland College’s pupil, Andre is yet to know what career he wants to pursue for the rest of his working life, or if he will even attend university. “Perhaps something sciencey, something commercey, maybe engineering, maybe air traffic control,” said Andre.

The decision to attend Nayland College came down to the location of where his family bought a house, that ended up being close to the school.

“I prefer co-ed school because I think it has a better atmosphere about it,” said Andre, although the decision ultimately came down to location. “We moved just down the road, it would make no sense to go anywhere else.”

New internationals bring interesting mix of cultures

International students from Europe have winter fun in Kahurangi National Park


The 25th of July 2016 was the start of the third term. For existing Nayland College students, this wasn’t an exciting day. However, for the big group of international students, it was the first school day in a new country.

The group consists of 58 students with 17 different cultures and 15 languages and so is a mix of very contrasting people. Now it is possible to meet teenagers from Brazil and Chile here at Nayland or to have contact with a European student. They come from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia and Britain. There are also a lot of students from Asian countries such as Korea, Russia, Thailand, Japan and Taiwan. Two thirds of the group are girls.

Every student’s background is different but they are now all in the same situation. Everything is new. “I think, still after the half year, I will get lost on this school campus,” German student Marlene Holtkotte said.

Most international students are open-minded and try to speak only English, even with pupils from their own country. Some students are disappointed about the big chance to speak their first language, because of the large amount of students from particular countries. “I would like to live really here. I would like to be a real Kiwi!” Ashley Yang from Korea said.

The students from the group have come to New Zealand with different motivations and aims. “I want to learn to know a new culture… to meet new people and make experience,” Leticia Lange Ramirez from Brazil said. “I would like to improve my English skills, make experience […] also learn to know new people from different countries, so we can share our cultures,” Ashley explained.

Even if most things are going well, everything isn’t perfect. “Sometimes it’s boring, then I wish to be at home” explained Nanae Kosaka from Japan. She will stay at Nayland till 2017.

Leticia and Ashley have stayed here for two months and are not home sick. Both laughed when asked if their families would miss them. “Oh yes, we have every day contact, we skype and text.” This is what most internationals are doing. However, the acclimatization is nearly over and New Zealand is starting to become their real home. “I think everywhere, where I go is my home,” Leticia said.


Mr Wilson has time for a photo opportunity with a visiting Korean group

Mr Wilson has time for a photo opportunity with a visiting Korean group


The internationals receive a rose each on Rose Day

The internationals receive a rose each on Rose Day