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Nov 132014

A total of 40 students from schools, scout groups and Air Training Corps in the Wellington Region got ‘up close and personal’ with vintage and modern aircraft at a recent ‘Youth in Aviation’ day at Masterton’s Hood Aerodrome, home of next January’s Wings Over Wairarapa.

David Saunders, Chairman of the Wellington Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society, was delighted with the event despite the weather’s best attempts to dampen the day. “This is the first time we’ve done this type of event,” he explained. “The aim of the day was to provide an opportunity to experience vintage and modern aircraft and talk to pilots, engineers and Royal New Zealand Airforce (RNZAF) staff.

“The programme involved a mixture of presentations, tours of hangars, flying demonstrations and prizes of air experience ‘incentive’ flights. We managed to execute three flying displays and the air experience flights before the weather tipped its hat to us,” he added.

For three lucky young aviation enthusiasts this meant they were able to experience a 30-minute flight high above the Wairarapa valley. Kuranui College’s Walter Taber was one of the lucky aviators presented with an opportunity to fly in the Sport and Vintage Aviation Society’s De Havilland Chipmunk.

Kuranui’s Walter Taber is shown the controls of the De Havilland Chipmunk by Bevan Dawes.

Kuranui’s Walter Taber is shown the controls of the De Havilland Chipmunk by Bevan Dawes.

The highlights of the day for Walter were the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or drone demonstration flights and the flying displays by local pilots such as Bevan Dewes. “The Chipmunk was an amazing ride, the only word to sum up my experience was ‘outstanding’,” stated Walter.

“To be put upside down in an aircraft for the first time was really something. In my own flying experience I’ve done stalls, but steep turns pulling a max of maybe two Gs in the Chipmunk – wow that was amazing.”

Following the success of this year’s inaugural event at the region’s aerodrome, David is hoping to repeat the day in the future. “Aviation is a attractive career proposition for many young New Zealanders and the ‘Youth in Aviation’ field day provides a valuable introduction and insight into the industry and we hope we can run a similar event again,” he concluded.

Kuranui College is one of two colleges in New Zealand offering a National Certificate in Aviation, and the only college to offer gliding as the practical component. Contact Vern Grant at GrantV [at] kuranui-college [dot] school [dot] nz for further information.

Nov 102014

Elizabeth Simpson, Kuranui Dux 2014

Elizabeth Simpson, Kuranui Dux 2014

Kuranui College’s 55th Annual Senior Prizegiving and Graduation celebrated many outstanding achievements by the students after one of the most successful years the school has enjoyed.

For the first time ever, no fewer than five students: Izabelle Brown, Emma Croskery, Lewis McCoshim, Elizabeth Simpson and Callum Skinner, have been awarded high achiever scholarships to use in their tertiary studies, while Paris Mason’s tuition and accommodation fees will be paid for over the next three years after being awarded a substantial Girls Friendly Society (GFS) scholarship.

The school is also renowned for its success in the sporting and cultural fields and one of the highlights of the past year has been the achievement of Year 13 student Civic Cruz who is one of only twenty New Zealand students selected to travel to London in 2015 to perform in a Shakespearean production in the replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. This is only the second time in the history of the college that a Kuranui student has selected for this prestigious honour.

Civic was one of 20 senior drama students who managed to fundraise over $100,000 to fund a theatre and art trip to London and Paris during the September holidays, which was another outstanding achievement. Fundraising was high on the agenda all year for Kuranui, with the whole school community getting involved in various fundraising projects to support student Jacob Skinner and his family after he was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer.

On the academic front, Elizabeth Simpson was named as Dux, with Izabelle Brown as Proxime Accessit, and the Tocker Cup for the greatest contribution to the life of the college was awarded to Paris Mason.

The Minolta Cup for outstanding leadership went to Stephanie Wright and Rosie Isaacs was first overall in NCEA Level 1 with Walter Barber picking up the Level 2 award. Next year’s student leaders were also named as Bethany Patten (Head Girl), Walter Barber (Head Boy), Jordan Gates (Deputy Head Girl) and Walter Taber (Deputy Head Boy).

Kuranui Principal Geoff Shepherd was delighted with the progress the school has made during 2014 across all areas. “This has been another outstanding year for Kuranui, with some fantastic success right across the board,” he explained.

“We have worked hard over recent years to lift our NCEA achievement rates. We know that increased achievement isn’t as a result of any one thing we have done, but we have worked hard to lift our expectations of our students and more importantly to lift students’ expectations of themselves. In addition we are continuing to develop strategies and innovations to continually boost achievement.

“We should also celebrate the fact that already so many of our senior students have achieved their NCEA goals without sitting any external exams – that many more will certainly achieve this success by sitting their exams and that so many have already achieved NCEA level 1, 2 or 3 with Merit and in some cases Excellence, endorsements.”

Mr Shepherd also thanked the staff for their professionalism and hard work and paid tribute to a number who wouldn’t be returning in the new year: Lee Austen, Gina Beecroft, Matt Boucher, Caroline Finlay, Melody Haira, Chris Mckenna and Gina Smith.

Nov 062014

A number of Year 13 students will be leaving Kuranui College this year with a little something to help them with their tertiary studies, and for one lucky student there’s a chance to perform at the Globe Theatre in London.

Paris Mason’s tuition and accommodation fees will be paid for over the next three years after being awarded a substantial Girls Friendly Society (GFS) scholarship. This special award is given to an outstanding young woman living in the greater Wellington region. The GFS Trust was set up 125 years ago to provide safe housing for young women settling in Wellington from England.

“My parents applied for the scholarship on my behalf, so I’m very grateful to them,” explained Paris. “I want to study musical theatre at Whiteria, to learn dance, drama and singing. I hope to get my diploma in performing arts then go on to do a bachelor in performing arts. After that I would like to spend some time working on the cruise ships.”

Having been given a place at Victoria University, Izabelle Brown, Emma Croskery and Elizabeth Simpson have been awarded Excellence Scholarships of $5,000 each to help with the cost of their first year of study. Callum Skinner will be heading off to Massey University supported by a $3,000 High Achiever Scholarship. These scholarships are given to students who gained excellence endorsements at NCEA Level 2.

Elizabeth Simpson, Izabelle Brown, Paris Mason and Civic Cruz

Elizabeth Simpson, Izabelle Brown, Paris Mason and Civic Cruz

Lewis McCoshim and Callum Skinner are also the recipients of this year’s Martinborough Fair Trust Bursaries and Trophy that provides $4,500 to each student to assist them with their tertiary studies.

Meanwhile Year 13 student Civic Cruz will be heading off to the Globe Theatre in London next July with the New Zealand Young Shakespeare Company. “Back in April I got direct entry for National Shakespeare Schools Production and then I went down south to Dunedin to compete for a place to go to represent New Zealand to perform at the Globe Hheatre in London,” he said.

“They select 48 students from all over New Zealand and then half of those to go to the UK as members of the New Zealand Young Shakespeare Company 2015.

“I will have to get the money myself to pay for the trip, but next year I’m taking a gap year out to concentrate on working so I can attend the Globe. Kuranui are going on a history trip to Vietnam in September, so I’m also hoping to go along as an adult helper. The year after that I want to go to Whiteria to study musicial theatre,” he added.

Both Paris and Civic are currently performing with the Greytown Little Theatre.

Nov 042014

Zane Hopman was welcomed as our guest speaker at our annual sports awards.

Zane is a professional Muay Thai kickboxer and boxer. During the past year, Zane had a 15 fight winning streak in the amateur ranks. He won a North Island and New Zealand cruiser weight title last year and a gold medal at the WMC IMFA world championship in Malaysia in May.

Zane talked about what it takes to be a champion and the hard work and dedication he puts into his training schedule, and then Zane presented the trophies to the major prize winners.

Cole Freeman, Brooke-Amelia Lewington, Zane Hopman, Toyah Churton, Danielle Turton & Emily Morison

Cole Freeman, Brooke-Amelia Lewington, Zane Hopman, Toyah Churton, Danielle Turton & Emily Morison

The award winners are:

Cole Freeman – B J BLAKE CUP for Outstanding Sportsman and General Excellence in Sport
Brooke-Amelia Lewington – KURANUI COLLEGE TROPHY for Outstanding Sporting Achievement in Junior Sport
Toyah Churton – BNZ TROPHY for Outstanding Sporting Achievement in Senior Sport
Danielle Turton – KURANUI COLLEGE TROPHY for Junior Sportswoman of the Year
Emily Morison – C W TURKINGTON CUP for Outstanding Sportswoman and General Excellence in Sport
Lincoln Williams (absent) – SHAUN WORKMAN TROPHY for Junior Sportsman of the Year