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


Piece of pi for the new guy

Crawford prepares for next class

‘Patient’ is one word Nayland’s latest addition to the maths department, Ben Crawford,  would use to describe both himself and his approach to teaching.

A Canadian native, Mr Crawford, attended teachers’ college in Canterbury after studying for a degree in mathematics at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

One of the reasons Mr Crawford decided to pursue teaching was to repay past influential teachers. “A good friend of mine at the time was a retired teacher and he thought just that my patience and my demeanor would be really well suited for teaching.”

A love of maths began before this when he discovered he was naturally good at it at a younger age.

Mr Crawford believes the key contrast between both countries is the sheer size of Canada in comparison to New Zealand.

[Canada’s] “got everything New Zealand has, it’s just on a much bigger scale. You typically can’t drive from the mountains to either coast in a few hours.”

Aside from teaching, Mr Crawford takes leisure in anything that involves the beach and outdoor activities such as mountain biking and squash. He hopes to embark on more kite surfing after being captivated by the sport on a recent trip to Fiji.

One of 3 brothers, Mr Crawford’s siblings have also achieved well in their careers. His older brother works for a major bank while his younger brother works for Toyota.

In his own career, Mr Crawford finds that teaching challenges him positively.  He believes teaching students helps him to think young.

He believes in not giving up, even when situations become difficult. “How many times do you have to get on the board before you stay on the board?” he asked.

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”.