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From the Principal

Jane Stanley


Kia ora Parents and Caregivers, 

We’ve come to the end of Term 2 and I know teachers and students alike are looking forward to the holidays. I hope you have some family time planned and enjoy the break from school-day routines.
The term has ended with a flurry of activity across the school, including sports, music competitions, production camp, Chinese Night and our fabulous Mid-Winter Concert at Holy Trinity Cathedral. The students also held a very successful Service Week to raise money for their House charities.
Our Open Night for potential students and their parents was on 25 June. I was extremely proud of all our current students involved in showcasing the school. They were wonderful ambassadors and helped us to put on a very successful evening.
Reports for our Senior students will have been received via the Parent Portal last Friday, and our Junior Reports will be going out today. Thinking ahead to the start of Term 3, we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our Parent-Teacher evening on Thursday 25 July. Details on how to book are included in your daughter’s report.
Our school production of Les Miserables is also on during that first week of Term 3, so it’s already gearing up to be a busy start. Do be in quick if you are planning on attending the production as more than 1000 tickets have already been sold to this popular show.
Have a relaxing break with your daughter, and we look forward to welcoming her back on Monday 22 July.

Kindest regards

Jane Stanley




Mon 22 July Start of Term 3
Tue 23 - Sat 27 July Les Misérables production
Thu 25 July Report Evening
Tue 30 July 2019 Enrolment Evening 1
Thu 1 August 2019 Enrolment Evening 2
Mon 5 August 2019 Enrolment Evening 3
Wed 7 August 2019 Enrolment Evening 4
2 - 6 September Winter Tournament
Week of 9 September Senior Exams begin
Friday 27 Sep End of Term 3


Important things to note


School wide network outage 

During the school holidays the school network will undergo a comprehensive upgrade. This will impact the school staff email system and online enrolments. We anticipate this outage to last from 8-14 of July. We appreciate your patience and understanding regarding this matter. 

School Reports

Senior Reports were issued on Friday 28 June, and Junior Reports will be issued today via the Parent Portal. Information on how to book for our Parent-Teacher evening on Thursday 25 July is available in the report. 
Term two school holidays:
  • Wednesday 17 July: 10.00am - 2.00pm
  • Thursday 18 July: 10.00am - 2.00pm
  • Saturday 20 July: 10.00am - 2.00pm
Term three hours :
  • Mondays: 2.30pm - 5.30pm
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays: 2.30pm - 5.00pm
  • Saturdays CLOSED (except for August 24th when the shop is open from 10am-2:00pm)
For more information please visit

A Spanish experience 

On June 21st, Westlake Girls High School participated in a national Spanish debating competition which took place at Northcote College. Year 11 students, Sofia Angelova-Bray, Grace Chen, Corina Errazo, Hannah Jones, Parmida Raeis-Hosseini and Sadheera Weerapperuma competed against various year 12 and 13 teams from schools across the region.

The range of language used in the debates was broad and impressive. Grace Chen noted it was "a valuable day spent listening to and learning about Spanish. I was able to improve not only my Spanish vocabulary but also my debating skills."

Sofia Angelova-Bray felt “It was really valuable to be able to use our Spanish skills outside of class with other Spanish speakers. I enjoyed getting to think and speak about issues which aren't usually covered in class as well as watching other really good speakers and interesting topics in the final round. I enjoyed the challenge."

¡Excelente esfuerzo de nuestro equipo!

Drama students explore comedy 

By Caitlin McConchie 
Year 11
For our final internal assessment, Year 11 Drama are exploring the theatre form 'Commedia Dell'arte', the origins of physical comedy. The form uses mask and movement to convey character and narrative. Lisa Brickell from the theatre company ‘Funny Business’ delivered a workshop to our class to help us develop our understanding of techniques. 

During the workshop we looked at the physical attributes of the many characters and how best they should be played. For characters such as Arlecchino, the hungry and slightly stupid servant, we learnt that when moving you must lead with your stomach and you need to be quick on your feet. We went through a series of different exercises to get us familiar with all the different ways to move and learnt about mask etiquette as well as how to work the audience with our reactions. We also we able to improvise small scenes in character. 

By the end of our workshop, we were all confident with how to best portray these characters and everyone was buzzing with excitement. We were grateful to work with an industry expert and are looking forward to applying our new skills in our assessment. 

Engineering all the way  

Susan Tomaz, STEAM coordinator 
This June, the Westlake GirlBoss Pod hosted Massey University Engineering and Food Roadshow as part of an initiative to reduce the gender gap in fields like Engineering. The roadshow was focused on raising awareness of the different engineering pathways and the application of engineering in the food industry. This coincided with International Women in Engineering Day, a global initiative to promote women’s involvement in this exciting industry.
Westlake Girls students had the opportunity to speak to current Massey engineering students, explore engineering career pathways and learn about projects undertaken in tertiary education, highlights included an automated robotic barbecue arm and a chocolate 3D printer.

Westlake Girls collaborates with Sunnynook Kindergarten

Last month, Year 12 Senior Social Studies students collaborated with Sunnynook Kindergarten. The aim was for the Year 12 students to carry out activities to raise awareness about endangered African animals.

Our students came up with creative and fun ways to educate the children. Activities included face-painting, puppet shows, arts and crafts, story time, playdough, and banner making. Both Westlake,and Sunnynook Kindergarten students enjoyed this collaboration between Pupuke Kahui Ako schools. 

“Putting in all the hard work and time to ensure our social action ran smoothly was well worth it. I very much enjoyed conducting these activities, working together with the other students in my team. I enjoyed the fact that through these activities we were given the chance to contribute to educating our younger generation about an issue we are passionate about. The issue of African animals which are being poached in Africa and the rangers who are risking their own lives to save the lives of these extraordinary wild African animals.” Garima Sharma

“I thoroughly enjoyed participating and planning this social action as it allowed me to remember what it was like to be a child, by teaching young children about the endangerment of African animals which they can now grow up to remember and eventually try and help. Overall, I felt this was a very cool experience which was definitely worth the effort in entertaining while also teaching the young kindergarten kids.” Caitlin Leslie

We would like to thank, Jo Watton and the Team at Sunnynook Kindergarten for their support of this initiative and look forward to doing this again next year.


Composition Competition success for Westlake Girls musicians  

Wei Qi Lim, a Year 13 student has won the SOUNZ NZCF Choral Composition Competition for 2019. This national competition is open to secondary students to compose a piece of music for any choir – girls, boys or mixed.

Wei Qi’s piece entitled ‘The Vast Hour’ is scored for 4 parts with mixed voices and will be performed by her choir Choralation at the Gala concert to close The Big Sing National Finale. Adjudicator Cheryl Camm, wrote “This is a very accomplished piece of music. It is technically assured and there is imagination a-plenty on show. The mood created is ethereal, expansive and mystical, and this reflects perfectly the mood of the poem.”

Fellow student Xiaole Zhan received a Highly Commended for her piece entitled “Shapes.” Both students learn composition from David Hamilton, Westlake’s Composer-in-Residence. 


Westlake Choirs to compete on national stage 

Westlake’s premier girls’ choir Cantare (directed by HOD Fiona Wilson) and the premier mixed choir Choralation (directed by Rowan Johnston) have been selected for The Big Sing National Finale, held in Dunedin at the end of August.

From the various regional festivals held in June, only 24 choirs are selected for Finale. Cantare and Choralation will be joined by Voicemale (the premier boys choir) at the Finale. Competition for awards at Finale is fierce, as choirs present two programmes of music to a panel of three adjudicators, one of whom will come from overseas. 

Toronto Children's Chorus Visit 

This week Cantare choir hosted the Toronto Children’s Chorus (TCC) at the start of their New Zealand and Australian tour. The choir’s Director Elise Bradley, was HOD of music at WGHS for 13 years and during that time established ‘Key Cygnetures’ as the top secondary students; choir in New Zealand.

Westlake’s HOD of music Fiona Wilson was one of the original members of Elise’s choir and current staff members Vanessa Kay and Soo Lee have also been past members. Elise was recently awarded Member of the NZ Order of Merit for Services to Music. Elise has worked in Canada with TCC for the last 12 years and has brought her Canadian choir back home, to tour through Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Masterton and Wellington (participating in the National Choral Conference) before flying to Australia to attend the Gondwana Voices Anniversary Celebrations.

It has been a wonderful week of singing and catching up with Westlake alumni. Members of Cantare and Toronto Chorus have forged new friendships, culminating in a combined choral concert at St Matthews in the City. Soprano Natasha Wilson (WGHS alumna) was a guest soloist and Radio NZ recorded the concert.

Cantare are looking forward to their tour in April 2020, where they will perform again with the Toronto Children’s Chorus and Elise Bradley at Carnegie Hall in New York, before travelling to Boston and Toronto.    


Tennis ace wins on tour 

Vivian Yang has played three ITF tournaments recently. She made the semifinals of the singles and doubles in an ITF event in Darwin, and then made the singles final and took out the doubles title duirng two ITF events in New Caledonia.

Sailing Away - to represent NZ!

Year 12 sailor Sophia Fyfe has been selected as one of 12 under 19-year-olds to represent NZ in the Youth World Sailing Championships in Poland in July. 

Sophia, pictured above right with her sailing partner Holly Liefting, recently competed in the 29er National Championships, finishing as top female in New Zealand with Holly.

Being named for the Youth World Sailing Champs is a significant achievement and it is the second time she has been selected. The first was in 2018 at the Texas Youth Worlds, finishing in 14th place. 

Part of the build-up to the World Champs in Poland involves competing at one of the largest regattas in the world – Kiel Regatta in Germany. Sophia will be attending this with Holly and her coaches, to ensure they are best prepared for the World Champs. She is then going to a training clinic in Lake Garda, Italy before heading to Poland. 

We wish Sophia all all the very best! 

Westlake Girls Gymnasts enjoy success at Auckland Championships 

World Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics hopeful, Laylah Waggie placed second overall in the international grade of the Auckland Secondary Schools Gymsports Championships held on 27th June, 2019.  

The silver medallist competed alongside 10 other Westlake Girls who represented the school across the Artistic, Rhythmic, Trampoline and Tumbling events at the Auckland Championships.  

Laylah finished second after an elegant performance with the ribbon.  Laylah will represent New Zealand at the inaugural World Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Moscow, Russia in July. She will also compete in October, as a member of the NZ Aeon Cup Team in Japan.

Alongside Laylah, year 9 students Kaitlin Viljoen and Lara Telford also experienced success.  Kaitlin won bronze in Junior Women’ Tumbling and Lara won bronze in the Womens Step 5 Artistic.

Sports shorts 


Year 12 Kaia Tupu-South competed at the 2019 Oceania Area
and Combined Events Championships in Townsville, Australia, at the end of June. 23 countries participated in the largest Oceania Athletics championships meeting to be held so far this year. She won a Silver medal in the U18 Women’s Shot Put with 16.48m and a Bronze medal in the U18 Women’s Discus with 47.94m (PB).


Congratulations to Zoe Crawford who was named in the Bronze National Squad (females) for 2019/2020. 


The Westlake Girls basketball teams have had a strong start to the season. The Premier team have an excellent record with seven wins and a singular one point loss.

A season highlight for the team to date was playing in front of a packed Eventfinda Stadium winning comprehensively against Carmel College.

Both the Open Senior & Open Junior teams are dominating the Open Harbour grade, with the Junior team sitting at the top of the leader-board, followed closely by the Senior team.


The Westlake Girls Rugby 12s team is currently unbeaten in the North Harbour Secondary School Girls Premier Rugby competition.

With big wins over both Kaipara College and Long Bay College the team now turns their attention to term two where they face strong competition from Birkenhead College and Rangitoto College.

The team is hoping to make the North Harbour for the first time ever and play as the curtain-raiser to the Boys 1A final at North Harbour Stadium.


Service Week raises funds for worthwhile causes

A combined effort between all five WGHS Houses saw a frenzy of lunchtime fun and activities from 24-27 June, all in the name of charity. 

Benefiting from the range of events were the SPCA, Reclaim Another Woman, Wilson Home, Auckland Women's Refuge and CanTeen - the 2019 House charities. Proceeds will be shared equally between the groups. 

Students enjoyed Henna tattoos, a sausage sizzle, lunchtime movie, a bake sale and bubble tea. 

How does screen time before bed affect sleep?

Research has shown that teens buried in their screens before bed are more likely to report falling asleep later, sleeping less and waking during the night. But is the content or the device that is causing the issue?

Generation Next has written a great article on blue-light and some simple ways to resolve the issue. If you've got a teen that is prone to screen time before bed, this is well worth a read. 

Health teen screen use at night

Let's talk more about sleep

While we are on the topic of sleep, SchoolTV on our website has a very informative series on teenagers and sleep. 

A series of sleep specialists tackle topics such as "How much sleep do kids need?", "What is delayed sleep phase syndrome?", "Are sleep patterns genetic?", and "What environmental changes can promote better sleep?" 

Check out all of the videos here.

Jump back July - actions for happiness these holidays ! 

These holidays use the above calendar to strengthen your wellbeing and build personal resilience. It is also important that you take time to rest and recover from Term 2 to ensure you come back to school motivated and ready to achieve your goals in Term 3.

Westlake Girls High School

Copyright © 2019 Westlake Girls High School, All rights reserved.

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