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Feb 272014

On January 2, 2014, a group of Kuranui alumni gathered at the Tauherenikau racecourse and had a small reunion, held as part of the regular race meeting of the Tauherenikau Racing Club.

We met in a rather nice facility called the Kiosk, which is used for other occasions for weddings. One of the races was named the Kuranui Classic, to recognize the significant contribution that Kuranui College has made to the education of many generations of the youth of the South Wairarapa. It was a delightful outing, talking with friends of years gone by and having fun following the races.

During 2015, the Tauherenikau Racing Club celebrates its 150th anniversary of its activity in the South Wairarapa, and for the January 2, 2015, race meeting we plan again to sponsor the Kuranui Classic.

We will also have the Kiosk available as a venue for groups of Kuranui alumni to meet with their friends and enjoy the races. Kuranui alumni from all years are most welcome to participate. If you would like to organize a small gathering of your friends and former classmates, please contact Robyn Moran – moranr [at] kuranui-college [dot] school [dot] nz – to make the arrangements.

Click any picture to see it larger, then click left or right (or use your arrow keys) to step through the images.

Feb 272014

The Ministry of Health has released the following letter from the Director of Public Health, Dr Darren Hunt, concerning recent measles outbreaks.

To all school principals,

We understand that this is a busy time of year for schools. We appreciate your support in helping to inform your staff, parents and caregivers about measles, and the steps they can take to protect themselves, their children and their community from this preventable disease.

Between late December 2013 and 24 February 2014, there have been 47 confirmed measles cases reported in New Zealand: 29 in Auckland, 15 in Bay of Plenty/ Lakes, and three in Wellington. Some of these cases have been in pre-school aged children. A total of eight cases have required hospitalisation to date.

Most cases have occurred in unimmunised people, and immunisation remains the best way to prevent infection and spread within the community.

There are ongoing measles outbreaks in places like the Philippines, Australia, Europe, UK, Africa, Asia, India and North America. So international students, families travelling to these areas over the holidays, or with visitors from these countries should be aware of the symptoms.

Measles symptoms

Measles is a highly infectious disease that affects both adults and children. Measles is more serious than many people realise. Symptoms include fever, cough, red eyes and a runny nose, followed by a rash which tends to start on the face, before moving over the head and down the body.  The rash develops about 3 days after the other symptoms start.

Complications can include middle ear infections, pneumonia, and, more rarely, encephalitis or brain inflammation.

The best protection against measles is the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine which is free for all children. MMR vaccinations are scheduled at 15 months and 4 years.

MMR vaccination is also free for susceptible adults born after 1 January 1969 who have not received two doses of a measles containing vaccine.

What schools can do

Prevent measles from spreading by:

  1. Telling staff, parents and caregivers about the current measles cases.
  2. Asking staff, parents and caregivers to make sure that their immunisations and their children’s immunisations are up-to-date.
    Anyone born after 1 January 1969 should ensure they are fully immunised against measles. If they are unsure, they can check with their family doctor.
    Pregnant women can’t be vaccinated against measles while they are pregnant and are at greater risk of measles complications if they get sick.
    People who are in close contact with pregnant women, or those with reduced immunity (such as people receiving chemotherapy) can help protect them by being immunised against measles.
  3. Updating your immunisation register. All primary schools must keep an immunisation register under the Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995. This means you can quickly identify unimmunised children who have been in contact with someone with measles and help reduce the risk of measles spreading.

Measles at your school:

Separate unwell children
If a child becomes unwell with possible measles, separate any unwell child from other children while waiting to be taken home. This helps minimise the risk of measles spreading.

People with measles must stay home
Students and teachers with measles are infectious from 5 days before to 5 days after the onset of rash and must stay away from school and follow the advice of the local medical officer of health. Those students that have not been fully immunised (two doses of MMR) or those with no immunity to measles, who have been in close contact with a measles case during the infectious stages must stay away from school for 14 days from their last contact.  It is recommended that teachers should also follow this practice. These requirements are under the Health (Infectious and Notifiable Diseases) Regulations 1966 (Regulation 14).  These exclusions also apply to staff and students taking part in interschool sporting and other events.

More information

For further health information on measles and measles immunisation please visit the Ministry of Health website or the Immunisation Advisory Centre website  You can also call the Immunisation Advisory Centre toll-free on 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) for advice.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues in this letter, please contact your local public health service.
You can find more information at

Thank you again for your support in helping to inform your staff and your community about measles and its prevention.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Darren Hunt
Director of Public Health
Ministry of Health

Feb 252014

Football Committee Meeting

When: Thursday 6th March

Where: Kuranui College Staff Room

Time: 7pm

Parents/Caregivers and Players are welcome to attend

Kuranui Boys Football Trials

When: Thursday 13th March

Where: Kuranui Football Field

Who: For all players

Time: 3.30pm sharp

Bring: A light and dark coloured shirt.

Unavailable: If you are unable to attend the trials, you must see Mr Yee at the Sports office prior to the trials

Feb 182014
Stacey Grant Kuranui Rugby 2014

Wairarapa Bush Development officer Stacey Grant
putting the boys through their paces in their first training run last Tuesday.

Sports Notice Board
Situated by the main office, check it daily for the latest sports information which will include starting date of practices/draws/new sports on offer and cancellations.

St Matthews Collegiate is hosting this year’s Inter-school event on Monday 31st March at Solway Grounds, entries close 25th March and entry forms are available from the Sports Office door. If you require further information contact Mr Yee at the Sports Office.

Regional 3A Inter-school Competition begins this week at the Masterton Tennis Club with Sarne McGillicuddy, Walter Taber, Daniel Aburn and Brooke-Amelia Lewington entered.

Wednesday lunch-time tennis (1.20pm—2.15pm) commenced last week with Belinda Cordwell co-ordinating our tennis ladder, ladder matches will begin this week, all players welcome and sand shoes compulsary.

Training for all players on Tuesday’s starting at 3.30pm with Stacey Grant, meet on rugby field, please be prompt. All players to bring sand shoes and a drink.

Competition starting next week, entries to Dennis Tapp or see Mr Yee at the Sports Office.

Kuranui Golf day is on Wednesday 5th March held at the Featherston Golf Club, there are 2 sections, social (new to the sport with no handicap) and championship (players who belong to a club and have an official handicap). Cost is $10-00 per player. Consent forms available from the Sports Office door.

Athletics Day
is on Tuesday 25th February 2014 (cancellation date is Friday 28th February 2014, parents/caregivers are most welcome to come to support their child. Starting time is 9.10am on the main field. If you can assist with timekeeping or recording of events on the day please report by the announcers table.

Kuranui Swimming Day
Thursday 13th March 2014 (cancellation date is Friday 14th march), time keepers required to assist us with the smooth running of this event, if you can help in anyway, e-mail me on yeed [at] kuranui-college [dot] school [dot] nz or leave a message on my phone (06 3049 116 x728). The starting time is 9.15am held at the Greytown Pools.

Wairarapa Under 17 Boys Football Team

Trials to be held at 6pm Sunday March 2nd at Featherston Football grounds. The team will be entering the Wellington U17 boys competition. Season commences April 6th with games to be played every Sunday. We welcome all players aged 14 to 17 years old to trial. (Must be under 17 as at 1 Jan 2014).

The team is looking for the support from local businesses – if you are keen to be involved please contact Trish Morison on 0272005101 or Wayne Brasell 0211057088.

Wairarapa Federation Talent Centre (FTC)- by Wayne Brasel
Each year Capital Football holds trials to find the most skilled and enthusiastic football players. Once selected these players are offered the opportunity to enter a football programme that provides over 60 training sessions throughout the year and several opportunities to represent the Wairarapa in a games against other national provincial teams.

As players move through the FTC programme some will have the opportunity to take part in the Talent Acceleration programme, these players will be identified through the New Zealand Football National Talent Centres.

The FTC concludes with exit routes leading towards the highest levels of amateur football, ASB Premiership, USA college scholarships or national representative honours.

The goals of the FTC pathway:

  1. To widen and improve the talent base
  2. Create an aspirational pathway for talented players to progress towards higher representative honours, starting with national age group teams at U-17 – motivate players to get and stay involved
  3. Implement a national approach for the development of talented young kiwi players
  4. Create a pool of highly capable talent development coaches

The talent development arm of the national player development framework focuses on providing players with more and better opportunities ‘to become the best that they can be.’ For some that may mean reaching world class status and for others it may simply mean playing for the first XI of their local club, school or federation team.

Congratulations to Kuranui students Jordan Blathwayt, Jordan Brasell, PJ Dales, Aaron Herrick, Ben Saywell, Jacob Skinner and Jordan Walker who were selected in the 2014 FTC programme.


Feb 122014
Educational Behavioural Consultant Margaret Ross talks about Mentoring

Educational behavioural consultant Margaret Ross talks about mentoring.

Kuranui College has introduced an innovative new individual mentoring programme, with the aim that each student will have the same teacher to mentor and guide them closely for the five years they are in the school.

Each student has been allocated to one of 22 mentor classes, comprised of a mixture of year 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 students and they will stay together as a group for the full five years of their secondary education.

Each morning, they will meet with their mentor for 15 minutes to go through the attendance registration and notices. Once every two weeks they will meet with their mentor for an hour.

Throughout the year, during this hour, the mentor will take students through a carefully-planned programme which will include goal setting, career education, alcohol and drug awareness, learning styles and internet safety. In addition to this programme, the mentor will conduct an ongoing conversation with each student about their learning.

The key points of the conversation will be recorded in the student’s electronic file in KAMAR, the college’s student management system. Each of the mentors will be receiving mentoring training to assist them to implement this new programme.

The mentor will also meet with parents twice a year at family learning conferences to set learning goals and to review them. Therefore they will become the family’s first point of contact with the college and they will be encouraged to keep in close contact with parents and caregivers throughout the year.

Kuranui Principal Geoff Shepherd has introduced this new programme because he believes it will lead to significant improvements in student achievement. “The transition from primary to secondary education means that students move from one teacher all day every day to many teachers each day when they are at college,” he explained. “This new programme will address that issue and offer continuity across the entire time they are studying at Kuranui.”

“The traditional form teacher role has been more of an administrative one, dealing with attendance and school notices, with no emphasis on pastoral care or learning needs. From this point forward, we won’t be talking about form classes, we’ll be talking about mentor groups.

“To me it’s fundamental when we start talking about traditional learning, we need to change the way we think about our job at this school from teachers of subjects to teachers of learning, because as mentors our job will be to guide the students through their learning..

“I believe it’s absolutely essential that every student who comes along to our school should have a teacher who can guide them through five years of learning, otherwise they get passed from one person to another and no one really knows how that student is tracking. Regular contact with parents and caregivers is essential in order to accurately monitor progress.

“This is about learning, it’s not about being the person who checks the roll or the person who reads the notices out. That’s important, but that’s not the critical part. The mentoring programme is also about a sense of identity and added to that is another layer, the house system, and we’re going to focus on developing that this year.”

Educational behavioural consultant, Margaret Ross, visited Kuranui College at the start of the term to help staff implement the new programme.

Educational Behavioural Consultant Margaret Ross talking to Kuranui College Staff about mentoring

Educational behavioural consultant Margaret Ross talking to Kuranui College Staff about mentoring.

“Mentoring isn’t new, it’s probably the oldest thing ever, but we’ve forgotten how to do it,” she said.

“The question we are trying to answer is what will really change a person’s behaviour to direct it towards what they want? As teachers, we often teach knowledge and skills, but we also need to take into the account social purpose and the value of what they are doing.

“Mentoring will change that person’s behaviour by directing it towards what they want. It’s not just about goal setting, because they often end up as performance goals which you either achieve or not and those are not the most important goals, because if they don’t get it the student fails. This is far more fundamental than that.

“If you really want to mentor someone, you have to get inside their head and you really can’t do that until you really think about what’s going on inside your own head. Mentors can be the difference between doing what’s been done before and becoming the first person in their family who goes to university.”

Feb 062014

New Kuranui Science Teacher Jacki Durham

New Kuranui Science Teacher Jacki Durham

Kuranui’s new science teacher Jacki Durham has taken an interesting route to the South Wairarapa college, having made the move from her home town of Rochester, near Niagara Falls in up-state New York. She has already had a crash course in Kiwi culture, having spent five months working in a bar in Auckland before settling in Greytown to take up her new role.

So how did an American with a love of softball and science find herself teaching at Kuranui?

“My husband met a random couple in a restaurant one evening and told them of our plans to come to New Zealand,” she explained. “They told him they had a cousin who moved there and teaches there, so we got her involved and she offered us a place to stay and showed us the teachers’ gazette so we could look for jobs.

“Moving here has meant we’ve had to relearn things like the money, driving on the left and the fact that certain things are called different names.

“The first time I drove here I was terrified! It was in the dark and raining and I’m so used to everything being on the right-hand side in a car and it’s now on the left. So when you signal, you go for the left hand and the wipers keep coming on. We call it signalling – you “indicate”, we “yield” you “give way”. Food is not “to go” it’s “takeaway” and everyone says “sweet as” and everyone’s a “legend”.”

With the teething problems of moving to a new country in a new hemisphere now in hand, Jacki and her husband are busy settling into the local community and their new jobs.

“My husband Richard and I are living in one of the school houses in Greytown. He has to commute every day to Wellington where he works on instructional design and e-learning.”

Teaching wasn’t Jacki’s first choice of career, but she found herself irresistibly drawn to it while weighing up her options at university.

“I originally wanted to be a physiotherapist. I went to an undergraduate school and have a bachelor of science degree in bimolecular science. I was in grad school and I went “you know I was a teacher’s assistant in college, why aren’t I doing that?” So I switched and went to New York University for a year and got a masters degree in teaching and learning, because in New York State you are required to have a masters degree to teach. Their programme means you will be in the classroom every single day and then take your classes at night. It’s very hands-on.

“I started teaching in Manhattan. I did my graduate work there for a year, before getting a job offer at the same school, so stayed another year. My old high school then called me and said they wanted to fix their chem programme and asked if I was interested in coming back. I thought “this could be fun” so I spent five years there and built the programme back up with another teacher.”

Despite enjoying her role at her old school, Jacki decided it was time to move on and experience something new, which resulted in her relocation to New Zealand.

“I knew I had gone as far as I could at my old school. I needed something new so I could experience more and more, because if you’re not learning or experiencing new things, what’s the point?

“I love teaching, it’s fun! I can’t explain it, but when I had five months in Auckland not actually doing it and I realised I really missed it. You get to interact with kids and I love science. I’m such a science geek and want to share my geek love for it.

It’s not just teaching science at Kuranui that Jacki is excited about – she intends to fully immerse herself in every aspect of school life.

“There’s still so much unknown about Kuranui, so it’s about getting my feet wet and figuring it out. I want to be involved as much possible. I used to volunteer in the theatre department in my old school and I love sports. I played softball and I’d love to see if there is enough interest to start a team.

Kuranui College’s Head of Science, Vicki Wish, is delighted to have Jacki on board in time for the new school year. “I am really pleased to have Jacki joining our department. Her energy and enthusiasm, coupled with her experience of teaching chemistry, should provide our students with everything they need to succeed.”

Feb 042014

Kuranui Athletic Day :  Tuesday 25th February 2014 (cancellation date is Friday 28th February 2014)

Athletic Wairarapa Inter-Collegiate : Tuesday 4th March 2014

Kuranui Golf Day : Wednesday 5th March

Kuranui Swimming Day : Thursday 13th March 2014 (cancellation date is Friday 14th march)

Athletic Champs Wellington : Thursday 13th March 2014

Swimming Wairarapa Inter-Collegiate : Wednesday 26th March 2014

Golf CSW Champs Wellington : Thursday 3rd April 2014

Athletics North Island : 5th-6th April

Kuranui X-Country : Wednesday 9th April 2014

X-Country Inter-Collegiate : Wednesday 7th May 2014

Wairarapa Squash Champs : 18-19th May 2014

Secondary School Tournament Week : 1st-5th September 2014

Feb 042014

Starting Wednesday 3.45pm on 19th February through to the 16th April at Makoura College.
Get a team of 6 and have fun!
Cost: $10-00 per player-Closing Date: 11th February.
See Mr Yee at the Sports Office if you are interested.

St Matthews Collegiate hosts this event on Monday 31st March at Solway Grounds.
For further information see Mr Yee at the Sports Office.

Regional 3A Competition starts on 13th February.
Consent forms available from the Sports office door.
Entries close 9am-10th February.

Coaches and Managers required for our boys 2nd XI team and possibly a mixed 3rd XI or social team.
Parents/caregivers interested, contact Mr Yee for further details.

Football trials will be mid/late March and Pre-season, will begin straight after that.

Training for all players on Tuesday 11th starting at 3.45pm with Stacey Grant, meet on rugby field, please be prompt. All players to bring sand shoes and a drink.

Competition starts next week, entries to Dennis Tapp or see Mr Yee at the Sports Office.

Kuranui Golf day is on Wednesday 5th March hald at the Featherston Golf Club.
There are 2 sections, social (new to the sport with no handicap) and championship (players who belong to a club and have an official handicap).
Cost is $10-00 per player. Consent forms available from the Sports Office door.