- From the Principal’s Desk
- A Visit from Simon Bridges
- Environmental Leadership Course
- Surviving English
- Chess Chamionship Success
- Sports Desk
- and more!
Download Kuranui Korero 23 May 2019
Download Kuranui Korero 23 May 2019
Starting college is a big step for any student and Kuranui College is making that step a little easier with the launch of its Peer Support Programme.
The programme allows a group of Year 9s to ‘buddy up’ with a pair of senior students, who act as mentors for the younger students.
Last year, Kuranui introduced its innovative IGNITE curriculum, which not only gives students the opportunity to make choices around their own learning, but also provides them with the chance to make friends across both Years 9 and 10, as they are taught together in the same curriculum classes.
The college hopes that the new Peer Support Programme will have an even bigger impact on supporting its younger students. One of the peer support leaders, Tama Liumaihetau, said that for him the programme is about helping the young students to become more confident. “It’s about confidence,” he explained. “We are split into groups of about 10 and we just let them know that we are now a group of friends. Let them know that if they are lonely, or just walking around school, they can come up to one of their friends, or me and the other leaders, so they never feel alone at school.
“I’m not as academically talented as some people, but it gives me a way to feel like I’m giving back to the school. It’s definitely given me something to do, and I really like spending time with the younger students.”
Liumaihetau believes it has begun to have some positive effects and he has already had students coming up to him to talk about their issues with classes and with their social struggles. “We had one student who had a problem with a class, so we sorted that out, but it wasn’t something they would have talked to people about otherwise.”
Year 9 student Josh Guild agrees. “It’s good having some seniors to talk to when I need to. We feel comfortable talking about things that are happening in everybody’s lives, so everyone gets help and support.
“They are students, so they have a better understanding of what’s happening. They know what’s going on from a ‘head in the game’ kind of perspective, rather than an external perspective.”
This can be especially true for students who struggle bringing their problems to a teacher, as there has to be a level of professionalism, which can sometimes make it hard for students to talk to them about more personal things.
Senior College Deputy Principal Alice Wards is extremely impressed with the Peer Support Leaders, citing them as great role models who relate to the junior students on their level. “The topics they cover in their sessions include communication, cooperation, peer pressure and friendship. We know that our juniors will learn a lot from them and enjoy the activities they organise.
“Peer Support is part of our mentoring programme at Kuranui College. It means that not only do Year 9 students form strong relationships with their mentor teachers, they also have senior students who they get to know very well and can talk to about their experiences at school,” added Wards.
Kuranui Year 12 student, Jayden Grey, was crowned the Wairarapa Secondary Schools Individual Champion in the New Zealand Interschools Regional Chess Qualifier held at Masterton Intermediate School on 13 May.
Run by members of the Manawatu Knights, each team was made up of four students and the championship spanned eight games per team.
Jayden was the only player to win all eight of his games demonstrating his outstanding grasp of the tactics and strategies of chess. “As white I just played the Ruy Lopez, and as Black I played the French Defense. I pretty much used those the whole day,” he explained.
“I’ve only been playing for about a year and a half, but recently I really started playing a bit more seriously by going to events.”
The use of digital technology has been a key contributor to the development of Jayden’s knowledge of chess “I mainly use a chess website called chess.com, as they also have lessons and tactic problems, but personally I like to play games.”
While chess is a mental sport, Jayden shows that it is undoubtedly a sport, requiring the same amount of training and practice as many physical sports. “It’s like any other sport I guess, I play and parctice it because I enjoy it.” Besides Chess, Jayden also plays football “It’s something which I also find fun.”
The Kuranui A team was made up of Dylan Lark, Caelum Greaves, Jayden Grey, Sam Hunter and the Kuranui B team Kael West, Charlie O’Connell, Joshua Wiegman, Josh Price.
Rathkeale College took the Team Championship title, with the Kuranui A and B teams placing third and fourth respectively overall. The 2019 New Zealand Interschools Championship National Finals will be held in Palmerston North on the weekend of 28 & 29 September.
Emerging environmentalist, Izzy Wisler, was one of 56 college students from across New Zealand and surrounding islands to experience the recent BLAKE Inspire environmental leadership course.
Held in Hamilton during the Autumn break, and hosted by the Sir Peter Blake Trust and the Ministry for the Environment, the week-long course is designed to develop leadership skills as well as provide knowledge around sustainability and the environment.
“I want to do marine biology, so it fits in really well with the things I am interested in,” explained Kuranui College student Wisler. “I got to meet a lot of marine biologists, and people doing things that I want to do”.
Activities ranged from the Royal New Zealand Navy talking about what they do in terms of sustainability, to chatting with NIWA scientists about water pollution. The experience also focused on the cultural and political impacts, with the students visiting the local Marae, and talking to the Hamilton City Mayor Andrew King.
“We got to ask him questions and challenge him on his ideas and plans concerning sustainability.
“I also loved speaking with the NIWA scientists, and learning about all of the opportunities we have now, not just in the future. There are so many things that we can do, and lots of opportunities for volunteering.”
Wisler is passionate about how we look after our environment and believes that the leadership course has given her confidence. “I feel much more confident coming back into school to talk about what we learnt. These are real issues which I need to bring back into school and talk to people about. It helped me not feel too nervous about what other people think about those topics, and that there are so many opportunities out there for me to help.
“It’s really pushed me to think about more sustainable practices,” added Wisler.
After she leaves Kuranui, Wisler plans to study Marine Biology and Environmental Law at Victoria University in Wellington next year.
Any debate where you only have 8 minutes of prep is an interesting one. Even more so when you have to argue that teenagers are lazy – to an audience of teenagers! But one where you’re debating against the leader of the National party, as well as the Wairarapa MP, well that’s something else entirely. Especially when you’re only 17 years old.
For some people, debating against the leader of the opposition is just part of their job. But not for me. As a student at Kuranui, my daily job is school, study, and writing. Not that I was nervous mind you. I was asked lots if I was nervous, yet I never really felt it. Everyone around me seemed more nervous than I was. However they were nervous for what I might say, how I might display myself. When you’re representing something bigger than you there is always an expectation, and it is weighs a lot. It didn’t really hit me until the night before, where people were telling me how nervous I should be, that I felt any nerves at all. That’s where Simon came into his own.
Both Simon and Alistair were incredibly charismatic, and it was easy to go into the debate feeling at ease. There is a very special feeling when you’re having an exciting, genial, humorous debate. It’s very different from what I imagine Simon must usually debate, and I sincerely hoped he enjoyed it as much as I did. Both me and my team-member, Aimee Clouston, could have learned a lot from such skilled speakers, if we weren’t so busy looking for holes in their arguments.
Pride has so many connotations, which makes it awfully difficult to explain how I felt in the moments leading up to, during, and after the debate. Because I was proud. I was so proud, but not because of the debate. The debate was some fun, a chance to relax and show Simon a few more of the amazing skills which our students at Kuranui have. I was proud of Kuranui, of the teachers and the students who surrounded me. Kuranui achieves well above national standards in so many areas, and I was proud that we could show that.
I was proud of myself too of course. I’ve been writing articles about Kuranui for our social media, as well as the local papers for a while now, but seeing something like this happen, knowing I was a part of it, really felt like everything was coming together. All of the hard work put into showing what Kuranui could do had paid off. Our students got the opportunity to show off our skills, ask Simon any burning questions they had, and gain the exciting opportunity to know our politicians a little better.
Everyone makes a big fuss over the fact that they came, they got to see our performances, and that they debated with us. But I’ve learnt many times that what everyone makes a big fuss about isn’t always the most important thing for the people involved. I know that some of our students got the chance to ask cultural or environmental questions which they normally would not have been able to. Some of them are now more into politics then they were before, because they got to ask questions of people who had experienced that environment. I was able to talk to Simon’s Social Media Advisor about how things work in the political sector, as well as someone young about university. As someone who wants to study scientific communication at university, works in that sector, and who is constantly seeking ways to get my fiction published, this provided rare opportunities to gain valuable knowledge and networking. Our students and staff gained something valuable that day, and speaking to Simon afterwards, he told me that it was nostalgic, like his college days. I just hope that he gained something just as valuable out of it as we did.
Whenever you go into a debate, especially one against someone of no small renown, or where the odds are close, there is a strange sort of excitement. The ecstatic titillation of your heart beating faster, the rising of words in your gorge faster than you can utter them, followed by the utter exhilaration of making a point which your opponent never expected. It’s a vice in its own right, and to throw down in a fast paced debate like that against people as skilled as they were…
Let’s just say is certainly an opportunity I am not likely to forget.
Caelum Greaves, Yr 13
Congratulations to all our runners who competed in the Kuranui cross country this morning – it was awesome to see almost 50 runners compete and gain house points for their efforts.
Also, a huge thank you to Mel, Connor, and Aaliyah for helping with marshaling and timekeeping.
A special congratulations to the following who placed in the top 3 of their age group:
1ST – Lola Holbrook
2ND – Freya Lewington
3RD – Lottie Stevens
1ST – Serenity Wilson
2ND – Patel Schenk
3RD – Charlotte James
1ST – Amelia O’Connell
2ND – Anna Laybourn
3RD – Briar Matthews / Abby Swanson
1ST – Amelia Butcher
2ND – Maaike Smolnicki
1ST – Jack Hancock
2ND – Jarrod Yee / Noah Ingham
3RD – Charlie O’Connell
1ST – Baillie Whyte
2ND – Joe Laybourn
3RD – Olly Penman
1ST – Jacob Gerritsen
2ND – Michael Hartley
3RD – Henry Isaacs
1ST – Austen Dale