Bins provide practical learning opportunity

Hard at work painting the design on the bin.

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 artists and teachers proudly display one of their creations.

 

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.”

Nayland finally free from the 80’s

The Student Support Centre sports a touch of the new green

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.

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

 

Geography trip rocks

The class travels back in time at Shantytown

An annual event on the geography calendar for Nayland College is the year 12 trip to the West Coast and this year did not disappoint.

Over the course of two days, from the 14th-16th of March, Gavin Dickson’s class investigated the natural landscape of the West Coast and how people use it.  The research was conducted near Westport and focussed on whether or not to mine the Denniston Plateau.  The group also investigated the issue of tourism on the West Coast.  They will apply this knowledge in two internal assessments and an external assessment later in the year.

In recent years many coal mines and gold mines have closed down.  This made previously available locations inaccessible for the class to visit.  For this reason, the emphasis of the trip this year was shifted more towards the tourism aspect of the area. Activities such as visiting Shantytown, Punakaiki, the Metro Caves, riding a steam train and panning for gold were offered to the students, who took full advantage of the opportunities.

Mr Dickson noted the high level of engagement of students, as they each took responsibility for the information they needed to collect, such as photos and interviews for their research. “I was there facilitating, not dominating the situation,” Mr Dickson said.

For Year 12 student Caitlin Reid, who participated on the trip, there were many highlights and she learnt a lot. “We were able to look at things from a different perspective, looking at it how other tourists see it,” she said.

On the last day the group had the opportunity to visit Shantytown, a tourist attraction replicating what life would have been like on the West Coast in the 1860’s. The enthusiasm of the students at dressing up as Victorian-era men and women and performing various tasks meant everybody who participated learnt a lot by having fun.

The West Coast is a popular choice as the destination for geography assessments because it still remains a very natural environment. “It is has a very distinct climate and land forms,” Mr Dickson said.

As well as this, it provides insight for the students into the current economic and social situation that has resulted from the mine closures, where many West Coasters have lost their jobs and significant industries have shut down due to the decreased need for coal.

Dickson finds inspiration for teaching and taking an interest in geography from the fact that the world is forever changing.  “There’s always something new and exciting.”

Production armed and loaded

Cast members have fun while learning dance moves

Annie get your Gun is a musical about a group of traveling performers who go from town to town challenging people to rifle competitions. Annie, a young girl from this group, wants to be the best at shooting. She is also in love with the best shooter around, Frank Butler. Mr. Bentley, Nayland’s drama teacher, and Mr Weeks, Nayland’s music teacher, have chosen this Western themed musical for the 2016 production.

Lead actress Casey Crocker thinks the message of this story is especially important to girls. Annie Oakly wins against the best shooter, Frank Butler, and proves women can shoot. “A lot of girls believe they aren’t good enough for specific gender roles,” she says about her character being thought of as not good enough to shoot because of her gender. The character is very headstrong and proves herself to her community.

The cast didn’t know what the production would be when they auditioned but are now very excited about working on it. Crocker is looking forward to working with many new people this term. She’s most excited about “working with the entire cast and with the directors.” Production director Mr. Bentley is excited about what everyone will bring to the show. “It’s going to be a new experience here working with different teams of people. I really like the collaborative nature of working on a show,” he said.

Mr. Weeks and Mr. Bentley will be co-directing Annie get your Gun. “We [have] got to agree on what we want to do and the casting. Mr. Weeks is in charge of what it sounds like, and I’m in charge of everything else,” Mr. Bentley explained.

The show will be held August 5-11th, with rehearsals already well underway. An intensive term is in store for all those involved.

Secondary students excel as world leaders

Delegates proudly display their countries' placards

On Monday the 11th of April all of the world’s problems were solved. Well, in theory they were.  This was when Nayland College hosted the Nelson Model United Nations, an event where secondary students from around the region came together to debate the issues facing the world today and find solutions to some of these problems. The topic for the day was UN Protected where students looked at providing Peacekeeping and Humanitarian aid in areas of conflict.

The Model UN was set up to inspire global citizens and encourage students to learn about issues facing the world today in a fun and safe environment. For Model UN Canterbury Regional President Ashley Stuart, it inspired her to study International Relations and offered her an insight into how countries and the UN work.

Students were asked to prepare by finding out their countries’ views on issues, such as giving financial aid to developing countries. While all countries wanted solutions to these weighty issues, there were lots of different ideas on how best to do it. Challenges such as culture, religion and international relations were all brought to the fore and were carefully considered by countries to bring about unilateral solutions to the issues raised.

Organisers of the event tried to keep it as authentic as possible using the same procedure that is used in the real United Nations. Yielding, speaking to resolutions, and amending resolutions were all skills learnt by students.

Keynote speaker Sylvia Nissen highlighted the difficulty of trying to solve the problems brought up by the day’s events. “They’re such incredibly complex processes that there’s going to be no perfect outcome.” Students began to realise this during the day and had to compromise to get anything done. Delegates were able to work together to solve problems and the second resolution was passed with a majority of countries supporting it. It was decided that all countries would give money towards undeveloped countries for humanitarian aid.

Students left the event with a clearer idea of how countries worked together and a greater knowledge of the challenges facing the world today. As well as a learning experience, Model U.N participant Isabella Lorandi described the event as “fun, interesting and definitely something (she) would do again”.