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From the Acting Principal


We are  almost at the end of a very busy term and students and teachers will be looking forward to a well-deserved break. Our senior students have now completed near to one third of their academic programme for the year, taking into consideration that the external examinations start very early in Term 4. As well as taking a break from school, it will be valuable for Years 11-13 students to take some time to consolidate their learning by reviewing topics learnt. This review time will benefit understanding and reinforce concepts.

Two weeks ago our Year 13 students enjoyed their School Ball which was held at the Sky City Convention Centre. This is always a special occasion and this year the theme was ‘Into the Forest.’ Students had a wonderful time and were well behaved at the event.

Congratulations to all students who have been involved in summer sports and those who have been competing in the recent summer tournaments. We have seen some very pleasing results from committed students who have worked hard to reach high levels in their chosen fields. Detailed results and achievements are available in this issue.

Many thanks to all parents who attended our Senior Interview Evening this week. These evenings are very important dates on our calendar as they provide opportunities for students, caregivers and teachers to get together to discuss each student’s progress. A quick reminder that the Junior Evening is on Tuesday 11 April. Two evenings will also be held after full reports are issued near the end of Term 2.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees I would like to thank all parents who have supported the school by contributing to the school donation. Funds raised in this way do support the learning of all students with extra equipment and staffing and this allows us to provide the rich and varied learning programmes that we offer.

Mrs Jane Stanley takes over as Principal on May 1. Thank you all for your support over this transition period.

A reminder that the last day of term is Thursday 13 April and school reopens on Monday 1 May. During the holiday some of our students will be representing the school at the ANZAC Day Memorial service in Takapuna on 25 April.  All parents and students are welcome to attend.

We wish you all a very happy Easter and school holiday break.
Kind regards

Julie Saikkonen
Acting Principal

Year 12 Drama: The Trial 

Pictured above: Josef realises the system has been made to prevent him from succeeding
Last month audiences were enraptured by the Year 12 Drama production of Franz Kafka’s The Trial. Josef K is arrested but not told why; he faces confusing bureaucracy, ignorance and tyrannical higher powers in his quest to be acquitted. By incorporating the epic theatre conventions of alienation technique and breaking the fourth wall, the play provoked people to think about the message of ‘compliance to justice’ in our own lives.

Year 12 Drama spent six weeks working up to the performance. The role of the clerks – where actors are onstage reacting to the play as an audience – was a new concept to adjust to, yet it created an authentic piece of epic theatre that encouraged the audience to interact with the actors and the main message. The cast has certainly widened their perspective a great deal through this aspect of theatre and are looking forward to developing this further. They would like to thank all those involved: the Drama Committee, the supportive audience of friends and family, and of course Mrs Lambert with all her well heeded direction.
Eimear Kelly, Year 12

Pictured below: The clerks interrogate the audience to check for compliance

Year 12 Geography Head to Tongariro

From 26 to 28 March, three Year 12 Geography classes took a trip down to Tongariro National Park to conduct research and collect data for our Achievement Standard. One full day was spent walking the Tongariro Crossing while we collected initial data to use in our assessment at the end of the term. We conducted this data using quadrat squares, and we judged the percentage of vegetation and how many species were in our quadrat. We had a great time learning about how the altitude of an area can affect the soils and vegetation. Everyone participated enthusiastically, and enjoyed connecting with students from different classes.
Our teachers and guides were very passionate about providing us with a fun, amazing experience walking the crossing, but sadly we had to turn around at the South Crater due to weather conditions. Although some people were disappointed about not finishing the crossing, it didn't affect how much fun we had. It was interesting seeing all the different types of species and getting a better understanding of why we find them where we do. Being able to say that we had done part of the crossing was a really good achievement and we will definitely be going back to finish it. It was a great experience, collecting good data and bonding closely with all the Geography classes.
Imagen Ng, Claudia Hellesoe and Laura Churches

Year 12 History Visit Kawau Island

On Thursday 16 and Friday 17 March, Year 12 History students had the opportunity to venture to Kawau Island to collect research for our internal, travelling on the Kawau Island Ferry from Sandspit in Warkworth. In this internal we researched three different focus questions on the island, learning the key skills of annotating, researching and sourcing our information correctly.
We spent a beautiful sunny day on the island and had the chance to wander around Mansion House to see and visualise how Governor George Grey used to live. We walked to the scenic remains of the Coppermine Engine House to get an idea of the scale of the copper mine and how it developed New Zealand’s biggest industry at the time. It was also very interesting to see the remains of the flora and fauna on the island. Sir George Grey had brought over many different exotic plants and animals from different continents to create his dream paradise resort. During our visit we encountered some of the remaining flora and fauna including peacocks, weka, and native plants and bushes. The trip was essential in order for us students to understand and see the changes the island and the Mansion House had experienced over the years.
Meghna Patel, Teagan Smith, Umniyah Adil 

In 2017 Westlake’s Got Talent will be replaced by a brand new competition: Noteworthy. Encouraging collaboration between artistic disciplines, Noteworthy celebrates the craft of songwriting and the production of original material. In recognition of the various skills required for effective songwriting, the competition is designed to cater for a wide range of students possessing these diverse skill sets. These different skills are acknowledged by the six different awards given at the conclusion of the event:
  1. Most effective lyrics
  2. Most effective solo song
  3. Most effective group song
  4. Most effective solo performance live on the night
  5. Most effective group performance live on the night
  6. Most effective music video
Lyricists, musicians, performers, film makers and dancers are encouraged to collaborate with each other in the production and presentation of their original work. Individual students and groups of students from Westlake Girls or Boys are to submit their songs either by live performance or a recording to the Westlake Girls music department by 24 May. Songwriters will also be encouraged to submit their songs to Play It Strange (a nationwide songwriting competition founded by Mike Chunn). A selection of submissions will then be chosen by an external specialist to be performed at the final Songwriting Showcase at Westlake Boys on Wednesday 21 June where the awards will be presented by a guest judge.


Maadi Cup Report

We had our most successful Maadi Cup ever last week bringing home four gold and two bronze medals at the NZ Secondary School Rowing Championships. Our points tally saw us finish in the top six schools in the country. We claimed the title for top girls’ school in the North Island and second in New Zealand, just one point behind Rangi Ruru. Special mention must go to Sophie Egnot-Johnson who took home an outstanding three gold medals from the event.

U17 Double Sculls
Sophie Egnot-Johnson, Andrea Fick
North Island gold medallists retained their title with a dominant 8 second win over fastest qualifiers Hauraki Plains. This topped off a dominant season for the U17 Double.
O15 Lightweight Double Sculls
Sophie Egnot-Johnson and Holly Gray
A quick start from Wentworth College and Craighead Diocesan School left Westlake patiently ticking along amongst the pack, slowly edging up toward the front of the field. A big move at the 1000m mark saw Holly and Sophie pull ahead and gradually open a gap on the field leaving North Island Champions, Cambridge High School in their midst.
O15 Lightweight Coxed Four
Janae Squire (coxswain), Holly Gray, Georgia Gray, Sophie Egnot-Johnson and Mica Erdmann
North Island Champions retained their gold medal position with a convincing win over Cambridge High School and Craighead Diocesan.

U15 Coxed Quadruple Sculls
Ciara Thomas (coxswain), Nyla Bunyan, Devon Thorpe, Arabella Hope and Sylvia Leadley 
As slowest qualifier for the A Final, they defied the odds crossing the line a boat length in front of event favourites and North Island champions, Tauranga Girls. With a quick start, they sat in second in place behind bronze medallists, Villa Maria, until the 1000m mark when they edged ahead. They continued to extend their lead, holding off attacks from Tauranga and national club champions Dunstan High School. This was a pretty impressive turnaround from a crew that were ranked 9th at the NISS just two weeks ago.

U18 Novice Double Sculls
Amelia Barrell and Atlanta Bruce
In a tight race with Kings College for the bronze medal, an exciting photo finish showed Westlake on top. 

U17 Single Sculls
Andrea Fick
North Island champion also had a close race to secure her bronze medal, getting the better of Taieri College on the line and ensuring the North Island was represented on the podium.

Tournament Week Update

NZSS Tennis Champions
Congratulations to our premier tennis team who have won the National NZSS tennis title for the third year in a row, beating Saint Kentigern College in the semi-final and Queen Margaret’s College in the final. The Westlake team members are: Paige Alter, Brooke Kenny, Amily Suga, Elys Ventura  and Deshma Weerapperuma.
Our tennis players have also just won the James Aitkenhead Shield for the school with the most points in the Auckland Champion of Champions tournament. This is the fifth time that Westlake Girls have won this shield, a very impressive achievement.

Brooke Kenny won the senior girls singles, Elys Ventura won the intermediate girls singles and Sadheera Weerapperuma was runner up in the junior girls singles. Brooke Kenny and Paige Alter won the senior girls doubles. Amily Suga and Tannith Kruga also represented Westlake Girls, making it through to quarter finals in all events.


Westlake’s premier water polo team won bronze at the North Islands Secondary Schools Competition. In the semi-finals the team played St Cuths, with St Cuths taking out the game. Westlake went on to play Baradene in the bronze play off with a final score of 2-1 to Westlake. This was an amazing result for a team who is rebuilding after losing some of their key players last year. Congratulations to Bridget Layburn who was selected for the Tournament Team. A special thank you to Steve Knights for his great coaching. The team are heading down to the Nationals in Wellington in the holidays to defend their title of National Champions which they have won for three years in a row.

Competing in the Senior National tournament, our softball team is made up of just 3 Seniors and 9 Juniors. After a hard fought play-off for 4th/5th position against Alfriston College, the team lost 3-5. Making 5th position was a great achievement for a young team. 
After losing their quarter final in a very close 5-setter game which was the only loss of the tournament, our volleyball team placed 5th. Congratulations to both Ariane Pola and Tamara Otene who were named in the tournament team.
3x3 Basketball 
The Senior Red team finished in 3rd place receiving a bronze medal. The Junior Red team narrowly missed out on a bronze medal losing their 3rd/4th playoff game by only one point. Both the Senior Green and Junior Green teams finished with respectable placings, having played hard throughout their games.

Silver for Equestrian Team

The Westlake Girls equestrian team put in a great performance at the Intercollegiate Secondary Schools Equestrian Ribbon Day in mid-March to finish in second place for the silver medal. The team members are: Nicola Moore-Carter, Brea Walker, Jordyn Oakley and Mia Sophie Cooper.

National Success 

Pictured left to right: Star Te Aukura and Chloe Seaman
Star Te Aukura recently competed in two National events. In the NZ U14 Surf Life Saving Nationals held in Tauranga, Star achieved four individual silver medals for the following events: Diamond (Ironman), Run Swim Run, Surf Race and Beach Flags. She also received a team bronze for Tube Rescue with fellow Westlaker Nicole Kelly. Later in the month Star went on to compete in the NZ Age Group Swimming Champions held in Wellington. Star brought home another two individual bronze medals from these championships, coming third in both the 50m and 100m Freestyle. 

Year 9 student Chloe Seaman also participated in the NZ Age Group Swimming Championships and won two bronze medals in the Girls 13yrs 100m Backstroke and in the Girls 13yrs 200m Backstroke. 

National Softball Selection

Pictured above: Pania with coach Jason Gerbes (Chopper)
Year 11 Pania Reihana-Halford has been selected for  the NZ touring softball team, playing for the U17 Emerging Sox Girls Squad. She has also represented the North Harbour Softball Association in the Under 17 and Under 19 Girls teams. She plays for the Roosters Softball Club in the Under 17 & Under 19 Premier Women’s teams. 

Marching Championships

The Westlake Marching team of 11 girls ranging from Year 9 to Year 13 recently travelled down south to Invercargill for the New Zealand Marching Championships. We are a new team and although most of us have marched for just one year, we managed to qualify as a top six team for our unique display with our use of flags and batons. We were proud to represent our school and hope that the sport continues to grow within our school community.
Samantha Lim and Samantha Fung

Help in Tough Times

The Health Promotion Agency has just released a “Help in Tough Times" pack for young people aged from 12-19 years. As this has been designed by experts in Youth Mental Health, we are confident that the information is correct, safe and reliable.

Any students who have some concerns about how they are feeling can come to the guidance area on the ground floor of the administration building and make an appointment to see one of the four guidance counsellors. We can also provide paper copies of resources that the Health Promotion Agency have provided for us, and we can direct them to the four websites that are recommended:

The Lowdown
Common Ground

The Counselling Team


Parents and Students are invited to this Seminar to hear an engaging presentation from Professor Helen Chenery, Executive Dean of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University.

Date: Monday, 8 May, 2017
Time: 6.30pm - 7.30pm
Venue: Joan Holland Auditorium
St Cuthbert’s College, 122 Market Rd,
Epsom, Auckland
RSVP to:
This event is hosted by St Cuthbert’s College and supported by the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia.
Adolescents, digital technology and mental health: a prescription for the future?
What will the healthcare landscape look like in the future and how will young adults engage with health promotion campaigns and in taking more responsibility for their own health and well-being? Healthcare is already seeing significant shifts towards person-centred care and integrated healthcare driven in large part by enabling technologies. But what is currently available for adolescents who are searching for assistance around mental health issues? And what does the evidence say about their effectiveness? In this presentation, Professor Chenery will review the existing literature on mental health apps and provide advice for users of apps to guide their choice.
Professor Chenery is a leading clinical researcher in language neuroscience and specialises in the area of language disorders that result from acquired neurological damage or disease.  

Whanau Marama Parenting
Life Changing Parenting Courses
for Parents of All Cultures

  • Parenting adolescents in English begins 2 May
  • Positive discipline for under 4’s in English begins 9 May
  • Effective discipline in English begins 3 May
  • Effective discipline in Korean begins 4 May
  • Effective discipline in Mandarin begins 5 May
Bookings can be made online at
Or phone Haiying 551 6974, Elizabeth 441 0209 or Jumi 551 6960.

Westlake Girls High School

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