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Apr 252017

Kuranui College students recorded another outstanding set of NCEA results in 2016, as the school’s academic standards continue to rise each year.

The participation-based results, which have just been released, showed 94.1 per cent of Year 11s achieved NCEA level 1, 94.2 per cent of Year 12s achieved level 2, and 80.4 per cent of Year 13s achieved level 3.

Kuranui Students NCEA April 2017 A

Principal Geoff Shepherd was delighted with the continual improvement in each of the last three years and believes the introduction of the new mentoring programme had played a major role in the success.

“Our form teachers have now become mentors and they closely monitor each student individually,” he explained.

“Each mentor is responsible for 15-20 students and hold regular conversations with them to monitor their progress. The focus is in making sure that each student knows exactly where they are with regards to the credits they have attained and have a clear plan for achieving more.

“This programme involves a lot of planning, by both the mentor and the student, but the results show that it’s working well. We’ll look to develop it even more this year as we continue to strive for improvement.”

The 2016 results follow on from the school’s success in 2015, which drew praise from Minister of Education Hekia Parata for significant improvement in NCEA achievement, particularly with Māori and Pasifika students.

Apr 142017

Kuranui students tackled the rarely-performed ‘Pericles: The Prince of Tyre’ to win a place in the national finals of the 26th Sheilah Winn Festival of Shakespeare in Schools.

Adapting the Shakespearian drama to fit modern times proved to be a winner for the senior drama students. Alexander Southey (Pericles), Grace Voice (Thaisa), Florence Cater (Marina), Amber Spicer (Diana) and Jessica Buckham (Gower) brought an emotional 15-minute excerpt from the play to life.

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“Part of our concept was to show the differing attitudes towards women within European and Māori culture,” explained Kuranui Drama teacher Juanita McLellan. “The role of Diana was portrayed as the Māori Goddess of Death, Hine-nui-te-pō, and all of Diana’s lines were translated by Whaea Suzanne Murphy into Te Reo Māori.”

The South Wairarapa college hosted this year’s regional competition which included six participating schools and involved a 15-minute teacher-directed scene along with a five-minute student-directed scene.

Kuranui’s entry for the five-minute scene was from ‘Hamlet’.  Starring Thomas Laybourn as Hamlet, and Ophelia played in three parts, by Amber Spicer, Charlotte Penman and Keziah Stonnell, the scene provided honours for two of the students. Thomas came away with the Wairarapa Speech and Drama Association Trophy for Outstanding Delivery of Text and Amber won the award for Outstanding Direction.

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Other awards went to Chanel College for Comedic Moment and Rathkeale College who will join Kuranui at the national finals with a five-minute student-directed scene from ‘Antony and Cleopatra’.

The national finals of the 2017 Sheilah Winn Festival of Shakespeare in Schools will take place between 1-3 June at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington.