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Jun 272018

Move over ‘Dancing with the Stars’, because Kuranui College is taking dance to the world. Dance teacher Karin Melchior and a group of senior dance students will be attending a worldwide dance conference in Adelaide during the July school holidays.

daCi (dance and the Child International) along with World Dance Alliance are hosting the Panpapanpalya Conference, a gathering of dancers, artists and educators who hope to generate new ideas and thoughts through dance. Interwoven themes that will be explored are Dance, Gathering, Generations and Learning. There will be workshops, presentations, social interactions and debates along with performances and creative meeting points.


Year 12 student Amelia Butcher is excited to be going. “It’s a chance for us to learn about different types of dance, not just ballet and contemporary dance,” she explained. She’s also looking forward to attending workshops where she hopes to meet likeminded people and share in their experiences and knowledge.

The conference will also focus on indigenous cultural dances from around the world. Ms Melchior believes these conferences are very important as dance is seen as a way for people to express themselves and give a voice to their lives. “It gives our students an opportunity to connect with other dancers from around the world and to learn from experienced tutors and educators,” she said.

Getting to Adelaide is not cheap and the senior dance group of Amelia Butcher, Betsy Laybourn, Zoe Edwards, Awhina Southey and Izzy Wisler have been hard at work fundraising for their trip. Along with selling raffle tickets for firewood, they are selling chocolate, and holding bake sales at Kuranui College, which has been fully supported by the other students.

To complete their efforts they are combining with dance group In Motion, to present a dance spectacular. This one-off performance on Tuesday 3rd July at Kuranui College promises to be highly entertaining and is a good chance to help celebrate and support them in their dance adventures.

Jun 202018

A.J Southey is the latest student from Kuranui College to be selected for the National Schools Shakespeare Production. The production is run by the Shakespeare Globe Community of New Zealand (SGCNZ) and is being held in Dunedin later this year.

AJ And Juanita Web

AJ Southey with Kuranui’s Teacher in Charge of Performing Arts, Juanita McLellan

Over a thousand students from all over the country were up for the award, but only twenty were chosen to attend. Attendees will be given the chance to be picked to perform in the Young Shakespeare Company at the Globe in London next year.

A.J performed Coriolanus at the recent Sheilah Winn Festival of Shakespeare in Schools. The five-minute piece presented him with a challenge. “I liked that Coriolanus wasn’t a hero, he was a grey person, a flawed human being,” explained AJ. “I also liked the thought of a lesser known play and enjoyed exploring the themes and ideas, especially since the organisers had asked for ‘no pixies, fairies or witches’.”

Being selected is the culmination of hard work and on-going passion for the Year 13 student, following in the footsteps of former Kuranui students, Civic Cruz and Tommy Laybourn, who were previously selected. “It’s quite an honour and I’m proud to be part of the tradition,” said A.J.

The week long workshop involves the auditioning, learning of a part, and performing a Shakespeare play on the final day. It also includes other sessions such as Waiata and Kapa Haka training. “I like the thought of giving and receiving manaakitanga, the sharing of my mana with others and allowing them to grow,” he said. “I can’t wait to meet and connect with other people with similar interests, and working with experienced tutors in a supportive atmosphere.”

Shakespeare for A.J is all about the story, even if the words are hard to understand at first. Having this new sense of history and being in this environment, has certainly led A.J to be more willing to tackle new ideas and experiment with new theatrical forms.

Fundraising is being planned to get AJ down south to the Production and then, with fingers crossed over to London.

Jun 122018

Sorcha O’Donoghue, Y9, Abstracted Still Life, mixed media.

Kuranui Korero 11 June is now available for download. It features:

  • From the Principal’s Desk
  • Health Clinic
  • Student Absences and Signing Out
  • Dancing it Up!
  • Doing it Tough
  • Shakespeare
  • Home is Where the ‘Art is
  • and more!


Download Kuranui Korero 11 June 2018

Jun 112018

Students from Kuranui College spent the long weekend performing at the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival in Wellington, and at the same time scored themselves a VIP invite to meet the Governor-General, Her Excellency Dame Patsy Reddy, before picking up a very special award.

Gg May18 Sheilahwinnshake 186 WEB

Run by the Shakespeare Globe Company NZ (SGCNZ), the three-day festival proved a good opportunity for the students to attend a number of workshops and to perform their interpretation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus.

The weekend started with the invitation to attend a festival reception, alongside 300 drama students hosted at Government House. “We nearly didn’t make the guest list, but were luckily added at the last minute,” explained Kuranui’s performing arts teacher, Juanita McLellen.

The reception incorporated a little drama of its own when a fire alarm went off and the fire brigade turned up, fortunately a disaster of Shakespearean proportions was averted and the reception eventually resumed after the all clear.

Over the weekend, the drama students went to several workshops run by theatre personnel, including Peter Hambleton and Rangimoana Taylor, they also had an opportunity to listen to Allen Henry, spent time with the team from Waiora, and the actors from Still Life with Chickens.

McLellan struggled to put into words how proud she was of her students. “They won an award for most co-operative school,” she explained. “They were always on hand to hang notices, carry boxes, set up tables, change furniture, help others out, clean up, open doors, and congratulate everyone. I loved seeing how they were so happy to go up to others and say what they liked specifically about a performance.”

Dawn Sanders, SGCNZ CEO, said it was a huge pleasure to present the award to such a fantastic bunch of young people. “The troupe were always there and helped so very willingly.”

In July, McLellen and former student, Tommy Laybourn, will be heading over to London to perform Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale on the stage at the Globe Theatre.

Kuranui Cori Shakes WEB

Jun 072018

A group of 20 Kuranui College students enjoyed success of a different kind recently, as the school took part in the Tough Guy and Girl Challenge in Wainuiomata for the first time.


With more than 600 students competing from all over the Wellington and Taranaki regions, the intrepid group from South Wairarapa were venturing into the unknown, but PE teacher Emma King was delighted with the results.

“We went over to compete as part of the students’ assessments in a unit on applying training principles for an event: ‘perform a physical activity in an applied setting’,” she explained. “They’ve been training for this for the majority of the term and for our first time going over we did fantastically well and the kids had a blast.

“There was a staggered start, so it’s tough to determine exactly where all the kids came, but we do know that Josh Taylor was 13th out of 603 competitors and we had Jonty Ariell and Sam Hunter also both finish within the top 30.

“The NZQA results don’t come out for another two weeks, but preliminary results show a lot of excellences and merits.

“Heading over there for the first time was a huge unknown, but it was a very successful exercise and we’ve certainly learnt a lot of tricks for next year.”

Tough Girls

Jun 062018

A new Kuranui College initiative to engage local primary school students in the world of science is already proving to be extremely popular. Carterton School leapt at the chance to take their senior students (years 6-8) to the college over two days of specialised teaching.

Acting Principal Wendy Taylor was delighted with the results. “The science programme is enriched by using the Kuranui College facilities, along with the expertise of the science teachers,” she said.

Kuranui science teacher, Ryan McCroskery, believes that this collaboration is very important for the students at this age. “It gives them experience in lab conditions and a chance to use science-specific equipment,” he explained. A new challenge for him in teaching a year 6 group was to modify his vocabulary and make sure his instructions weren’t too complicated. “I also didn’t expect to be asked how to spell certain words. I had to readjust my thinking,” he added.

Kuranui Carterton Science Day 1

The young Carterton students got to experience a day packed full of science, with fun experiments such as ‘The Squeak Test’ and hunting for DNA in fruit. Mr McCroskery was also impressed at their ability to debate topics and felt that they brought a whole new way of looking at things. “I found myself interested in the way they processed things as it seemed different from the usual teenage brain.” One such interesting debate centred around which flame from a Bunsen burner would burn the quickest, blue or yellow?

“Carterton School is always proactively seeking opportunities to challenge and extend our senior students and this programme is excellent,” Ms Taylor said. “These visits continue the positive relationship between Carterton School and Kuranui College. Our students returned brimming with excitement about their day at Kuranui.”

Kuranui College plans to have the year 7 and 8 children back again once a term over the course of the year. “Everyone benefits from this, by sharing ideas and use of space and equipment, Mr McCroskery explained. “It has a very collegial feel to it and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Kuranui Carterton Science Day 2

Kuranui Carterton Science Day 3

Kuranui Carterton Science Day 5

Kuranui Carterton Science Day 6