A team of three students, representing Kuranui College, braved the cold and rain last Monday to compete in the annual Interschool Dressage competition hosted by Solway College.
Despite the weather there was an excellent turnout from local schools & colleges, as well as some who had traveled from further afield throughout the lower North Island.
Despite the Kuranui team’s relatively inexperienced ponies they were placed a credible 4th in their junior section, which was a great outcome. They are looking forward to returning to the competition next year.
Lucy Marshall (riding for Kuranui from Kahutara school), Piper Marshall & Nikita Cunningham.
Students from Kuranui College are being trained up to use short wave radio technology thanks to equipment donated by local amateur radio enthusiast Jim Bicknell.
The college has its own call sign, ZL2KCG, and it is hoped that Walter Taber, Emma Taumoepeau, Justin Bain and Dylan Taylor will be the founding members of the school’s new ‘ham radio’ club.
The students will have to obtain a General Amateur Operator’s Certificate of Competency to become a radio operator, which requires some dedicated study and a 40-question exam, but Taber, a Year 13 student, believes that it’s worth it.
“It’s a real opportunity, so why not take it? It’s a good chance to get more familiar with using radios and we also get to train other people on how to operate it,” said Taber.
“It’s great to be able to connect with people across the world and to communicate with anyone who wants to talk.”
In the era of internet technology and social media, it’s unusual to see such interest in a method of communication that was really big way back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, especially from today’s younger generation.
“That’s what makes it so cool,” he acknowledged.
It’s not just career openings in the world of radio electronics that has the Kuranui students hooked or the fact they can talk to just about anyone worldwide, it’s being able to communicate in an emergency that’s really pricked their ears.
“We will still be able to communicate with the rest of country in an emergency,” Taber added.
Mike Gray, from Greytown’s Community Response Team, sees this as an essential skill for New Zealand’s future generations given that mobile phone networks will be one of the first things to go down in a civil emergency. “Young amateur radio operators can be an essential resource in a civil defence situation,” explained Gray. “The radio can run on a battery if the power goes down and mobile phones don’t work.”
Kuranui College Science students became judges for the day when they took part in assessing entries in the South Wairarapa Primary School Science Fair, held at Martinborough Primary School last week.
Students from Years 5 to 8 from Carterton, Gladstone and South Wairarapa schools placed their best four entries into the fair, which only takes place every two years.
Although not a specialist science teacher, Eric Daubé from Martinborough Primary School is the Science Fair’s organiser and is extremely interested in science teaching. “It’s a passion of mine,” he said.
“When it came to judging the entries I thought it would be nice to involve the local college. A lot of the college students have been through this process.
“It just seemed like a no-brainer, as budding young scientists the Kuranui students make great role models,” he added.
Daubé got in touch with the college’s Head of Science, Cheryl Craig, to see if her student’s would be keen to judge the projects. “I’m truly grateful and I have to say you couldn’t wish for six more worthy students. Their intergrity, their intelligence, and the way they have approached this is absolutely outstandin,” acknowledged Daubé.
The Martinborough School teacher believes the quality of science amongst students is actually increasing and says its indicative of the way the schools now employ inquiry-based learning.
Schools have focused on encouraging their students to adopt a robust inquiry-based approach to their way of thinking rather than just making their investigations look good. “We’ve really tried to re-enforce the scientific process and the scientific thinking behind the tasks, rather than just doing something for show for the fair.”
The students were sent the marking criteria in advance and talked through the assessment process with their Head of Science. This impressed Daubé who thought the students really understood what was being sought and felt they kept to the criteria. “They’ve absolutely stuck to their guns. We will also be moderating each others marking to ensure we’re all in agreement.”
Year 12 students Rosie Isaacs and Nick Ariell, who hope to go on and train as doctors at Otago University, were extremely impressed with the quality of the entries. “The quality of the projects is really good. The language and their use of concepts is quite sophisticated,” said Ariell.
“They’ve spent some time making sure they have followed the scientific process and have clearly worked hard to demonstrate their understanding,” Isaacs added.
A group of Kuranui College drama students are raising money for the Wairarapa Cancer Society through a unique fundraiser. The Kuranui College Theatresports Extravaganza will be held on Thursday 10 September and is promising to be an inter-collegiate event with a difference.
Connor Taumoepeau, one of the drama students organising the event, is keen that the teams taking part have as much fun as possible. “Rather than having a competition, we’re just going to have fun with it,” he explained. “In the regional intercol competition everyone is sort of like ‘we have to win’ and then we’re all in a competitive moment.”
“It’s all about ‘what will get us more points’, instead of being naturally funny, we then just concentrate on what will make the judges like us, so this time round we just want everyone to get together and have fun.”
Kuranui’s Theatresports Extravaganza organisers: Nicki-Marie Campbell, Connor Taumoepeau, Lily Wride, Patrick Lennox and Thor Elley.
The Wairarapa secondary schools usually perform once a year and compete in the regional theatresports event for colleges. Kuranui’s Head of Drama Juanitia McLellan feels the students don’t get an opportunity to relax and enjoy the genre for what is it. “You just start to bond with people from the other schools and then you slap a competition on top of it, it just means instead of coming together we all stay in our separate boxes,” she said.
“This will be more about entertainment. We’re keeping judges but they won’t be giving out points they will be more interactive. We will be making fun out of the whole judging concept.”
“The audience have to join in too,” added Taumoepeau. “There is always a good turnout of teams at the annual intercol event, but not much of a crowd watching.
“We have room for 300 people and would love to see our auditorium packed out with everyone having a laugh. The storylines are all improvised and we want the audience to choose where we go with it.
“The emphasis is on having fun and raising money for the Cancer Society.”
The evening is shaping up to be a lot of fun with teams from Wairarapa, Rathkeale and Chanel Colleges having confirmed their spots. Refreshments are being kindly provided by FreshChoice Greytown.
The Kuranui College Theatresports Extravaganza will be held on Thursday 10 September.
Doors open at 7pm. Entry is a gold coin donation and all proceeds go to Wairarapa Cancer Society.
Kuranui Year 9 Enterprise student Isabelle Wisler paints in the money raised so far.
Kuranui College is just $5,000 short of its target of $40,000 for a new school van and is hoping to raise the final amount through a Give-a-Little page. Much of the money raised has been the result of a number of enterprising projects that have inspired Kuranui students to get involved.
Kuranui’s Year 9 Enterprise students recently organised a van raffle which formed part of a class project. The tasks included liaising with the printers to design and print raffle tickets, running a spreadsheet of ticket holders, obtaining prizes and organising a roster of sellers at a number of different venues.
Kuranui Enterprise teacher, Ken Ryan, believed the raffle’s success was due to the students taking the initiative. “It was a great class activity as it was a real world context that they could see the results from; it really was like running a small business. It was great to see students engaged in supporting their college and helping in no small way to upgrade our older van.”
Jade Makai-Daly and Schontelle Busch sold over $1,000 worth of tickets alone. “Lots of people we didn’t expect to bought tickets. We met heaps of new people who wanted to help Kuranui out and it wasn’t as hard as we thought.”
Food Technology students raised $2,700 by providing the catering at the John Kirwan event at Masterton’s Town Hall. Teacher Dean Hands was particularly impressed with his students’ willingness to help in what was a long and tiring day. “I was really proud of them: they worked like trojans and I would recommend them to anyone,” he explained. “It was great to see them rolling up their sleeves and experiencing a professional kitchen for a day,” he said.
Kuranui College is rapidly developing a reputation for being leaders in local secondary school football following a phenomenal 2015 season with three of its teams finishing champions of their respective divisions.
The Kuranui Girls 1st XI football team finished their Division One Wairarapa season unbeaten, having played against seven local teams throughout two rounds of the girls first division competition.
Kuranui’s Halina Bucknor takes on the Solway College defence
Meanwhile, the Kuranui Boys 1st Xl sat at the top of the College A-grade Division table with only a single loss, and finished winners against Chanel College.
Kuranui Boys 1st XI : Back – left to right – Nicky Carlisle, Max Maybury, Sam Locke, Jordan Blathwayt, Josh Fryer, Aaron Herrick, Doug Fleming, Jordan Walker, PJ Dales, coach Wayne Brasell. Front – Lachie Preston, Cole Freeman, Jordan Brasell, Justin Bain. Absent – Ben Saywell, Ryota Tashiro and Ethan Pinfold
The Kuranui Boys 2nd XI found form after a slow start to their season to be crowned champions of the College B-grade Division having defeated Makoura College in a nail-biting overtime final.
Kuranui 2nd XI co-captain Thomas Watson out-paces a Waicol player
Kuranui coach, Trish Morison, is immensely proud of her girls’ achievement. “They’ve had an outstanding season and were unbeaten throughout, in some games their goal difference even made double figures. The girls’ team is made up of players from a wide range of football experience, including several girls new to the sport.”
Morison believes the team punches well above its weight and this was largely due to the positive support the players give to one another. “It didn’t matter if a player mucked up, so no-one felt scared about trying something new. When a player did something better then they expected it was a ‘woop woop’ moment for all.
“For most of the players they just had a little thing to try and do each game. They listened, and on the field I could see them thinking about it, then they did it and it worked…boom…new skill, and the team got stronger,” she added.
Kuranui’s Boys 1st Xl team coach Wayne Brasell felt his team lifted their game in the second half of the season. “We were fortunate to retain the core of the winning team from 2014, so we had that stability. This season the boys were particularly strong in the first half of the season. However, more recently a few key players have been unavailable which really meant the boys had to lift their game”.
Kuranui Boys 2nd XI football coach Kees Muller also acts as a referee at home games. He recognises his team’s success is also down to having a good team manager. “One of the parents, Minty Hunter, stepped up as manager on Saturdays. This was very helpful and contributed to the success of the team.
Tough unceasing defense by Blake Hall in the Kuranui 2nd XI season was vital.
“The first couple of games were used to find the right positions for the players and experiment with tactics that would fit the spirit of the team. We then found our balance and started to win games. The team clicked, we had great fun during practice and games, which all in all led us to being a winning team.”
Brasell sees the college’s success as a combination of number of things. “All the players love their football,” he said. “We are fortunate to have enthusiastic coaches who consider which approach is the right one to develop their players and to keep them enjoying their football.
“Kuranui parents have helped to support football whether through the football committee or turning up each weekend to support teams or referee games. There has also been an increased focus by the college on football to ensure it’s correctly supported and this in turn has led to greater visibility of the game at college.
“We also have a 3rd XI which has great player numbers, huge parental support and I know those guys are having tremendous fun each week. For a small college, that’s a great sign. And all the teams play with the right spirit and attitude which is very important,” added Brasell.
Kuranui 3rd XI, with coaches Shane Jones and Hennie Basson