On Sunday the 7th of May the level two geography class drove a hectic 10 hours to Aoraki/Mount Cook.
Devastation. That was the emotion felt by many students after it was announced that Stage Challenge would not be coming to Nelson in 2016.
On the 4th of April representatives from the defence force visited Nayland to educate students about leadership skill and team building, as well as the big variety of career opportunities within the military.
On Saturday the 8th of April, eight groups of Nayland College students participated in the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival with vast success, taking home multiple awards.
There is no better way to start the day than having a good breakfast with your friends. The Kickstart Breakfast Club started at Nayland College nearly two years ago.
On Monday April 10th a large group of youth came together like actual world leaders trying to solve international problems.
Students redesigned and painted the school wheelie bins as a part of Nayland College’s first junior intensives week held at the end of last year. Head of Arts department, Mr Friend, and the other art teachers, Ms Radman and Mr Wootton led the project to combine their resources. The opportunity for students to have ownership over their work and direct their learning was provided by the art teachers.
Students saw how their learning experience and hard work had a place in a real world situation. “Learning doesn’t take place inside a classroom that is divorced from reality, or it shouldn’t do,” Mr Friend explained.
The idea stemmed from a site that Ms Radman uses called VisArtsNet. The site is used by art teachers to gather inspiration for their classes. “Someone online had put painted wheelie bins they had done for their assessment at school as part of a NCEA course so that’s where the idea started,” Ms Radman said.
Mr Friend hand-picked students from his junior art class to be involved with painting the bins in his art room. “Students wanted to do something to make the bins more exciting than they were, also to draw attention to them,” he explained.
Nayland College is known for artwork and being involved in the arts so the idea was also inspired from that background. “There’s a history of street art in Nelson, this college campus has got a history of murals around the place so it was a way of combining that,” Mr Friend said.
Students thought the experience was fun and they had a passion for adding more colour to Nayland’s grounds. The process of creating designs and painting the bins brought students together in order to create the best work possible. “It was really fun because we kind of got to get together and brainstorm all of our interests and put it into one big artwork,” art student, Eden Rutherfurd explained.
Nayland’s newly painted bins represent more than just the students’ creativity. Mr Friend said it was about the fact that students here are given the opportunity to find real world success. “I think that that’s what Nayland stands for actually, it’s not being “alternative” or “out-there”, it’s about saying that Nayland stands for allowing a kid to be who they are and providing them the opportunities to demonstrate that.”
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.”
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.”
Along with many new upgrades at Nayland College, the early 2016 re-paint has been one of the most significant and controversial.
“Nayland College is an exciting, innovative place. We have to have a few more exciting colours,” property manager Margaret Le Nedelec said. She has been working alongside principal Daniel Wilson to achieve a modern look for Nayland through updating the paint work.
The Spanish white base coating the buildings along with the putty colour on the library contributed to the outdated look which held the school back in the 80/90’s era. “The yellow that we had on the library, that had to go” Mrs Le Nedelec said.
The team was given the opportunity by the Board of Trustees to repaint the school altogether. This was a change from previous years when they could only repaint the school block by block. “We could have another fresh look at the colours and modernise them,” the property manager said.
Mrs. Le Nedelec worked alongside a colour architect who established the green around the campus. “We had it in a lot more places and I’ve pulled it right back to accent hand rails and just a few splashes around the place” she said.
Principal Mr. Wilson had a similar opinion to Mrs. Le Nedelec on the green paint use. “I personally felt that it was a little bit too overpowering when it was on a big wall.”
As for a modern looking school, some people still aren’t convinced by the green colour, while others think the opposite. “They either love it or hate it, but of course most people will only come and tell me if they love it” Mrs Le Nedelec said.
“I like the other colours, but not the green on its own” a senior student said. None of the twelve students surveyed were in favour of the new colour on its own.
The cyclical maintenance routine of Nayland College meant that the buildings were due for a repaint. The approaching 50th Jubilee prompted the task to be finished in time so that the school wouldn’t look exactly the same as past pupils remembered it.