Exchange student scores final goal

Inka enjoys the relaxed team spirit of Waimai United.

After learning English for 10 years, German exchange student Inka Hoehne was given the opportunity to experience life and sport in a different country for a year.  The choice to live in New Zealand for a year was ultimately up to Inka, with input from her little brother, who agreed on her chosen destination across the globe. “I was like, ‘wow, New Zealand’,” said Inka, recalling the thought of visiting such a foreign country.

Once here Inka became a team player of local hockey team, Waimai United and noticed that playing hockey in New Zealand is very different than in Germany.  “I played in a really, really, really, really good team and they always had to win everything,” said Inka. “It’s so much more fun here, just to have fun.”  What interests her about hockey is the team playing aspect and success that everyone shares a part of. “You have together this success if you win, or you lose together.”

While staying in New Zealand, Inka tried a handful of different activities such as tennis and athletics. She admits to having a love for sport, though since her time in New Zealand has come to a close, her priorities have changed. “I just want to spend as much time with my friends, so I stopped,” she said.

Besides studying at Nayland College, the 16 year old and her family have travelled around the South island as well as up to the Bay of Plenty. “I did a bungy jump in Queenstown and that was one of my highlights.”

Inka spoke of how the bigger cities in the South Island made her think of her home in Hamburg.  “I missed the big city feeling, so I was really happy that New Zealand has a big city as well, that was cool,” she said.

The move to New Zealand was a challenge for her younger brother, who couldn’t speak any English. Inka admitted that her family spoke German at home because her brother wasn’t fluent. “He enjoys it and it’s probably really exciting speaking another language,” she concluded.

Inka said that her family loves New Zealand and the way that everything is much more relaxed. “In Germany, it’s always stressful. Everyone needs to be on time and everything needs to be planned and everyone is always in a rush,” she said.  Here the attitude is very different.  “Everyone is like, ‘don’t worry about that too much’,” Inka said.

Inka met many new people from all around the globe on her exchange to a country that she hadn’t been before, including the friends she has made at Nayland College.  “I’m pretty sure that I’ll come back even after I’ve finished school, to travel and meet my friends again.”

Internationals at Nayland: The Kiwi view

Internationals and Kiwis celebrate Rose Day together

The international students are a part of Nayland’s normal daily life. They like being here and having contact with Kiwis. But what do the Kiwis think about this situation?

“I really like it, cause they come from all over the world, you can talk to them, hear their stories, where are they from,” Year 12 student Lainie Cable says. Most Kiwi students see the advantages of having them here.  “It’s a good thing for people, to have a kind of contact with different countries,” explains year 12 student Isabella Lorandi. She previously had a girl from Chile staying with her.

The teachers also have their opinions. Most like to teach them, to have them in classes, however not too many. “Too many is too hard, because of the whole assessment stuff,” hospitality teacher Mrs. Wendy Whiting says. “An amount of four or five is good.”

The special international classes in Outdoor Education, Earth and Marine Science and English are an often-discussed topic. Many internationals say that it keeps them from having good contact with existing students. However, there is another reason for having this separation.  “It’s more difficult with our exam programme, to slot them in. It is a management thing,” principal Daniel Wilson explains.

The programme started about 20 years ago and works very well, but nothing is perfect. “We always think about how we could improve the programme,” adds Mr. Wilson. He and international director Mr.Gavin Millar meet regularly.

These international classes bring advantages to teachers as well. “I’ve the freedom to teach a lot of cool stuff and don’t worry about the assessment,” Earth and Marine Science teacher Mr. Bloomfield says. Mrs. Whiting also sees positives for teachers. “If you had time in your programme, the internationals could teach you dishes from their own countries.”

60 international students at the same time sounds a lot, but is it really? “They are spread across the whole school area, so you don’t really notice there being too many,” Lainie Cable explains. However, Isabella sees reasons for the kind of gap between the internationals and Nayland’s Kiwi students. “It is kind of nerve wracking, when you’re sitting next to two people, who are speaking their language and you don’t understand, cause they could speak about anything and you don’t know.”

Mr. Bloomfield has yet another view. “Bring us students to realise that the world is bigger than Stoke.”

Students showcase learning in Writers’ Day

Speakers present in the hall.

On Tuesday April 5th Nayland College’s year 10 extension class presented their work on poets in a Writers’ Day. Year five and six Nayland primary, Tahuna and Broadgreen students attended the event. They were invited to Nayland College to learn about the poets’ connection to Stoke streets. The year 10 class planned this day to meet a class challenge goal: to present their work in a public place for the wider community to interact with.

The day began with an introduction to address the primary students. They sat down in the school hall to listen to three guest speakers: children’s book illustrator Tracey Duncan, publisher Robbie Burton and English teacher Mr Fa’avae’s brother, Nathan Fa’avae. In the workshop students completed quizzes such as the quotes quiz, the writers’ walk quiz and a word find activity. All the answers were found on posters displayed in the hall.

“There were lots of opportunities but they had to go to it themselves,” year 10 English student Ella Kruger explained. They all took a break for lunch then the final guest speaker, Nathan Fa’avae spoke about his biography. “These were students interested in writing and when they’re together it’s a real buzz,” English teacher Mr Fa’avae said.

Since this event was a first of its kind for Nayland College, it was a new way to showcase the students’ abilities and creativity. All the planning, fun activities and the primary school kids’ enthusiasm added to the good experience for the teacher and year 10 students. “It’s a real highlight to see a group of young people selected from their schools to come and participate in something that they enjoy,” Mr Fa’avae said.

“Initially the aim was to look into our literary heritage or inheritance for having streets in Stoke named after great poets and writers of English,” Mr Fa’avae said. It turned into something else. “We were going to do a writers’ walk on a Sunday but we built the idea up which became this day for the primary school kids,” year 10 English student Oliver Stark explained. The event was bigger than first expected. “A month out from the Writers’ Day we had a full programme and we emailed the schools and there was a lot of interest from the local primary and intermediate schools,” Mr Fa’avae said.

Each student in Mr Fa’avae’s class had roles to play in the Writers’ Workshop. “My role was to direct kids, so they’d come to me saying ‘hey I need this certain question answered’ and I’d show them the posters and walked them through it,” Ella Kruger said. It was important to Mr Fa’avae that the event was student run. “What we got was a balance between teacher led learning and student ownership.”