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Sep 302019

Kuranui College Year 13 student Amelia Butcher stole the show at the national Dance NZ Made competition, with an outstanding performance of her self-choregraphed dance Endure, winning her the title of best Year 13 solo artist in New Zealand, and third best solo performance overall.

Held at Regent on Broadway, Kuranui performers travelled to Palmerston North over the weekend to compete against the best schools in the country. 59 teams, 74 duos and trios and 31 soloists from across New Zealand performed at the annual event.

InspireMe 2019 20Butcher also came third in the Open Category, alongside Florence Cater and Lola Armstrong in their collaborative performance of Secret.

Kuranui dance teacher, Karin Melchior, said all of the dances were choreographed by the students. “It is lovely to see the students take ownership of their performances and striving for excellence because they are so invested in them.

“I am so proud of all of the students involved. They worked very hard and put in many hours of rehearsals for their dances. It is so exciting to see a small school like ours do so well at a national level, competing against city colleges with huge pools of highly trained dancers and dance academies.”

Butcher’s dance piece was the masterpiece of many weeks of hard work. Deeply moving and violently raw, it appealed to every member of the audience. “I practise my solos during every interval or during my dance scholarship class, and I use any spare time I have,” explained Butcher.

“The piece was called Endure, because everyone goes through something which is harsh, or not the best in life. Life is trying to live and survive through everything, and it’s about pushing through when things are hard, so I was trying to show that,” she added.

Melchior has been Butcher’s teacher since she started at Kuranui, and has encouraged the Year 13 student to follow her passion during her time at the college. “I have watched Amelia grow as a choreographer and dancer since Year 9 and she has developed a very unique and distinctive style that was commented on by the judges and definitely makes her dances stand out.”

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Sep 252019

Former Kuranui student, Beth Graham has designed and stitched the costumes for this year’s college production Peter Pan.

Graham graduated in 2018 and has been studying at NZ Fashion Tech. Ahead of her full-time study by 10 weeks, the promising young designer has volunteered her time to craft costumes for the entire cast to add to the colorful Disney-style pantomime.

She has been busy designing Captain Hook’s attire, Tinkerbell’s fairy outfit, the pirate outfits, mermaid tails and pajamas to help create a lively, vibrant atmosphere in keeping with the classic children’s tale.

“Making things is like putting a puzzle together. The most difficult pieces have been the costumes I’ve have to make from scratch. Tinkerbell is probably the hardest with a whole dress to design and make,” said Graham.

“I have a passion for creating on the stage, and through Kuranui I found my passion for the costuming side of theatre. Making the costumes at Kuranui is a chance for me to share my passion of theatre with others.

“My goal is to make real clothes. I really like to make it happen for real women of any size.”

Kuranui students have also been busy making prop swords, beds, and all manner of scene backgrounds, with the help of the college’s various departments.

Peter Pan matinées will take place from today and tomorrow at 1pm, while evening shows will be on Thursday 26, Friday 27 and Saturday 28 September at 7pm.

Tickets will be available through the school office with proceeds going to the Wellington Children’s Hospital.

Peter Pan Beth Graham

Sep 102019

Kuranui College is hosting their first careers day for students, staff, whānau and members of the local community.

The event is a collaboration between the college, Youth in Education, Training and Employment (YETE), Business Wairarapa and the Wairarapa Economic Development (WEDS) team, and focuses on students initiating inspiring conversations with real people in real jobs.

Entitled Inspire Me!, the programme is being driven by the students who have played a key role in planning the event. “We want to ensure that our students can open their eyes to the world of work, see what’s on offer, and be prepared for a modern economy,” explained Kuranui Principal Simon Fuller. “The students have taken the initiative with our student leaders surveying the school to find out what they wanted out of the event.”

Inspire Me 2As a result, the programme is open to the whole school from years 9 to 13, as well as staff who will be using the day as professional development, so they can have modern conversations with students about the future of work.

Over 20 businesses and employers will be in attendance representing a cross-section of industries and with a strong representation from Māori business owners and primary industries, many who are bringing along their own teams and specialist equipment.

Representation also ranges from the region’s highly successfully construction businesses to emerging astro-tourism, and from an award winning creative portrait artist to a Mandarin-speaking kiwi who is creating apps for millions of Chinese users.

“The programme format has been designed to provide excellent opportunities for sharing knowledge and experiences, so those involved can have great conversations about their futures. This will mean the whole school will be able to have conversations with at least three industries or businesses in our region in one day,” Fuller said.

The day also incorporates two keynote speakers, former Kuranui pupil, international businessman and philanthropist, Shane McManaway and specialist website designer and E-commerce consultant, Nikki King.

“Kuranui recognises that it’s just as important to include families and whānau in conversations with our students about the future of work and so we have opened up the event to the wider school community and encourage people to join in,” added Fuller.

Inspire Me! takes place on Tuesday 17 September. Anyone interested in coming along should contact Kuranui Gateway Coordinator, Sharon Dignan, at dignans [at] kuranui-college [dot] school [dot] nz.

Inspire Me 1

Sep 052019

Kuranui Students recently had a unique opportunity to showcase their design and visual communication (DVC) project work to the South Wairarapa community with an exhibition at the Greytown Town Hall.

The Town Hall was transformed with a display of beach house and tiny home designs created by the college’s senior students. DVC teacher Elizabeth Turley said it was the first time Kuranui had celebrated the students’ artwork publicly and she was extremely proud of their work. “We have some extremely talented students who are not only incredibly passionate about their work, but have a real eye for spatial design,” explained Turley.

“DVC is a subject that allows you to problem solve using a variety of design briefs and drawing opportunities, from spatial to product design. The design solutions are challenging and encourage students to be creative and to think outside the box.

“Students gain an understanding of the basic principles and elements of design combined with the knowledge of illustration and modelling that is needed to express design ideas. From producing freehand sketches of their designs, through to instrumental working drawings of these designs, as well as producing computer-aided design (CAD) drawings and models.

“The DVC course at Kuranui College allows students to experience what it is like to be a designer and prepares them for careers as graphic designers, architects, industrial designers, urban planners or landscape architects.

“They learn how to draw and read plans, cross sections and other drawings associated in particular with the building industry, all leading onto a wide and varied career pathway in the industry and its related trades, as well as other career opportunities in design,” she said.

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The DVC exhibition was launched with a special opening for students, staff, whānau and invited guests from the business community.

Year 12 student Joji Dell told a packed Town Hall that he’d found the project on designing a beach house for a client really inspiring, especially as it had taught him a lot about working with other people. “Designing for the client meant I had to think about things from the client’s perspective; understand what they wanted, what their specifications were and what they would like to have out of my time and their time.”

Former Kuranui head boy and older brother Samson was also invited to say a few words. He said it was incredible to see this big collection of everyone’s work, especially the variety of designs on display, given they had all started with the same brief. Samson said the diversity of designs was a testament to the students’ creative minds.

Now almost through his first year of a Bachelor of Design at Massey University in Wellington, Samson reflected on his design journey that began at Kuranui College. “This DVC course is one that teaches both critical thinking and flexibility – both important skills to have in any future workspace.”

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Grand Designs 3

Sep 032019

It’s all hands on deck to build the set for Kuranui College’s production of Peter Pan as students begin the construction of a pirate ship of immense proportions, the largest set the college has ever built.

“We didn’t want just a facade for the ship, because even though this is for fun, we are going to do it right,” explained Kuranui Team Leader for Technology, Doug Juggins. “We are transforming the entire stage into a three-dimensional ship.

“It is a lot of framework, and we are recreating it as a real ship would be, which means the hull will be curved, and the stage will have depth.”

The set is an inspiring collaboration across multiple school departments and involving a huge team of students, including Year 13 actor Hayden Tankersley, who plays Captain Hook. “Mr Juggins talked to me about the idea, working together we had to find out what we can and can’t do, based on where people will be on the stage.

“Because the pirate ship is staying on stage the whole time, we are getting the art students to paint canvas tarps, and we will throw them over the side to show different scenes, like this is a bedroom wall, this is the lagoon, and so on. The pirate ship will become our backdrop, rather than being a ship the whole time.”

Peter Pan Boat Building 4

This multi-purpose prop will really set the stage for the entire play, with Juggins and his group of carpentry students hard at work creating the frame for the whole structure. The frame is being made out of repurposed packing crates donated by Plumbing World Masterton.

“I don’t think we’ve had a single set piece this big before. Last year with HMS Pinafore, the set was large, but it was made up of separate pieces which came together. This is the largest set we’ve ever done,” added Tankersley.

Peter Pan matinées will take place on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 September at 1pm, while evening shows will be on Thursday 26, Friday 27 and Saturday 28 September at 7pm.

Tickets will be available through the school office with proceeds going to the Wellington Children’s Hospital.

Peter Pan Boat Building 1

Sep 032019

Clay target shooting isn’t your typical school sport, but Kuranui students Will Isaacs and Oscar Karpinski will be taking part in the New Zealand Secondary School Championships in Hamilton at the end of September.

Over the course of the past year, the students have attended a number of competitions, qualifying for the national championships after three shoots. “There are 6-7 shoots in a year, and you have to do three shoots to get selected for nationals,” explained Isaacs.

“I started the sport because we live on a lifestyle block, and me and Dad did some shooting off the bank, and I really enjoyed it. We looked into it and found out I could do clay target shooting as a sport, so we gave it a go!

“The Championships spans a weekend during the holidays in September, and there are people from all over New Zealand coming to take part.”

Clay Target BoysThe two students will shoot in various styles of shooting over the three days, including down the line, single rise, and single shot. Their hope is to get a full team of five students to represent the school, because they are currently shooting as a composite squad.

Oscar Karpinski is an exchange student from Germany, staying with the Isaacs family, and is enjoying his first taste of non-traditional sports. “Will and his dad shoot as a hobby, and I tried it and really enjoyed it. Then we found out we could enter the secondary school nationals.

“I always look forward to the competitions and practices. It’s been good because I’m not really into sports, I’ve tried football, basketball, everything, but clay target shooting is just something different,” added Karpinski.

Kuranui’s principal, Simon Fuller is delighted to see the two students engaged and excelling in a variety of opportunities. “One of our college goals is to have students engage in their passions and interests. Our students who are involved in cart racing and clay target shooting are doing just that.

“They are representing our college with mana, whilst following their passions. We are encouraging our students to put their interests forward to the college, so we can work with them on supporting their unique endeavours,” he said.

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