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Issue 32. April 2017 The ACG Strathallan Magazine

Preschool Celebrates Chinese New Year

The ACG Strathallan Preschool hosted a wonderful Chinese New Year celebration providing a great
learning opportunity for the little ones to experience and appreciate a different culture.

So what is Chinese New Year all about? Michelle Chang, Chinese lion dance performed by Michelle and Weina, two
a teacher at the preschool explains: teachers at the preschool. The purple, shining lion moved
Chinese New Year is a very important festival to all and danced to the rhythm of the cymbals, the gong and
Chinese communities in China as well as overseas. In China, the beat of the big drum. Then the children had the chance
it is the only time people can take some time off to be with to play the instruments and dance inside the lion costume
their families. - what an experience! Following the show Miss Yu-Mei Lin
visited us with her class from the college to tell the story
The meaning behind Chinese New Year is to be reunited so
of Nian, the story behind Chinese New Year. The children
it is a time for all people to connect with their 5,000 years of
especially enjoyed the quiz that followed with some of
history and feel proud to be Chinese.
them very excited to win a hung bao, a red envelope with
On the eve of Chinese New Year, families have a special stickers inside. Sorry no money this time!
dinner, they receive red envelopes from parents and
Our children learn through their senses and what better
grandparents, a lion dances in the street, poetry couplets are
way than a cooking class from two of our mums, on how to
placed on the door, pictures of good fortune are displayed,
make Chinese dumplings. The children watched to begin
water dumplings are eaten and fireworks are let off.
with and then had a turn at making their own dumplings.
This certainly sounds like a lot of fun. The senior classroom They learnt that the shape of the dumpling was the same
was able to experience this celebration in a number of shape as the ancient Chinese money, so they eat dumplings
thrilling activities. on Chinese New Year to encourage good wealth for the
year ahead. The children enjoyed eating their dumplings
Caroline Lithgow, also a preschool teacher, explains:
at lunch time, there were certainly lots of happy faces and
We wanted our children to understand and celebrate all that
contented tummies!
it is to be Chinese at this special time of year. Only through
exploring it could they truly understand and embrace With language learning an important component of the
Chinese culture. With this in mind our learning began with a primary and college curriculum, it is only right that our pre-
magnificent show. The children were lucky enough to watch a school children have their own cultural learning experience.

Never be tired of learning or teaching others Confucius 1

Shakespeare Live
this term, our college students had the opportunity Not only does it take you back in time and show
of attending different Shakespearean productions. you what plays would have been like back in
With Shakespeare being a very significant part of Shakespeares time, it also helps you to visualise the
our Cambridge English Literature syllabus, there was play more clearly which will assist us in analysing and
no question of whether it was To be or not to be? writing about similar plays in our essays at school.
Some of our seniors headed off to the Pop-Up Globe
That same week the Ugly Shakespeare Company
Theatre while the juniors watched the Ugly Shakespeare
visited our juniors. Christian Whyte shared
Company at school.
his experience:
The Pop-Up Globe Theatre is in Ellerslie this year and
The company is made up of three men who bring a
provides quite a unique experience for theatre-goers
light-hearted, comedic tone to Shakespeare and at
as it is a full-scale replica of the original Globe Theatre
the same time convey the key messages of the plays.
in London, exactly the way it looked in 1599. When
They performed adapted versions of Shakespeares
audiences attend today, they are still entranced by the
The Merchant of Venice for Years 7 and 8 and
experience and charmed by the actors who make the
Macbeth for Years 9 and 10. One highlight was Portia
language clear and comprehensible.
from The Merchant of Venice who was played by a
Flynn Fromont in Year 12 shared his experience of male actor, as they did in Shakespeares day. She
watching Much Ado About Nothing with us: declined two suitors rather abruptly saying that they
should Go away; theyre boring. These modern takes
Even from walking into the theatre, the atmosphere
on Shakespeare helped the students see exactly
instantly feels different. Standing in the pit or yard
what was really happening in these scenes.
where the peasants would have stood gives you a real
sense of the bustling audience back then. From the Another highlight was Lady Macbeth from Macbeth
pit, you can take a look around at the gallery seating, performing a short tap-dance in high heels with a
traditionally for the nobles and royals. Its impressive. full length dress on a true show-stopper! After their
During the show, actors sometimes appeared from delightful performances, each audience member left
amongst the crowd and asked us questions which was with a smile on their face and a new view
quite exciting. We were no longer an idle audience but of Shakespeare.
part of the play. The actors were amazing, not breaking
As well as being highly entertaining, watching a live
character on or off stage.
performance brings Shakespeare to life and makes
I was lucky enough to see the same play again any study of his plays more meaningful. As Christian
with my family at the weekend and it was just as quite rightly puts it, It isnt just words in a book, it
exciting. I believe that seeing the play live is a very is a performance made for people to appreciate and
good experience. laugh at.

Credit: Peter Meecham

2 The object of art is to give life a shape William Shakespeare

Celebrating Success
the Cambridge system truly allows for students to Aimee shared a key skill that has helped her with her
excel in a variety of curriculum areas. From the Arts studies - focus. Being able to sit down and maintain
and Sciences to Physical Education, ACG Strathallan my concentration for as many hours as were necessary
students are given the opportunity to build on their to dissect a question, write an essay or come up
individual talents and to choose subjects that will reflect with yet another set of study notes ... but remaining
their passions and interests. Nothing could have been disciplined with ones mind is even more important;
more clearly evident at the Outstanding Cambridge figuring out how you think, why you feel as you do, and
Learner Awards Ceremony where four of our top what set of thoughts you find the most motivating.
students were acknowledged in their diverse fields Gareth Hall was another Year 13 student who excelled
of study and awarded either Top in New Zealand or in the 2016 examination. He achieved two A grades
High Achievement Awards, as noted in the table below. in AS Business and AS Computer Science and two
Besides the commendable results of these students, A* in A Level Chemistry and Physics. Gareth went
A and A* passes seemed to be the order of the day on to receive the Te Paiwai O Te Rangi scholarship
at all levels of the school. At Year 10, students who for academic achievement from the University Of
committed to taking courses at IGCSE level showed Waikato. This is where he will be pursuing his studies in
determination to be successful. Twenty-one students sat Engineering. Gareth shared with us the habits of mind
IGCSE Combined Sciences and all students remarkably that influenced his success: If you dont understand
achieved high A or A* passes. Of the 23 students who something, take the time to work it out and get
undertook the study of Global Perspectives, nearly all assistance until you get it right consistently. When
scored A or A* passes. you learn something properly once, its far easier to
revise later.
In Year 11, Flynn Fromont, Anastasia Gater, Danielle
Harris, Rene Ryall, Sahil Tiku and Christine Wheeler truly
rose to the challenge at this level. They passed all their
courses with either A or A* grades, a true indication of
the persistence needed to be successful.

At Year 12, Benjamin Christy excelled in all four of his

courses with all As at AS Level and Xiangyu Ouyang
also completed his course with four As at AS level and
an A* in A Level Chinese.

Year 13, the final leg of high school, can often be

the greatest challenge of all for students as they
start to make plans for their future. Their results
often determine the paths they can choose. Aimee
Bebbington has maintained a consistent approach in
her studies, passing all her A Levels with 3 A* and one A. Students from left to right: Xiangyu Ouyang,
Aimee will be attending the University of St Andrews in Julia Nicholson and Gareth Hall
Scotland, to study Biology and Mathematics.

Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards

Cambridge Qualification Syllabus Student Name Cambridge Award

A Level Chinese Xiangyu Ouyang Top In New Zealand

A Level Physical Education Julia Nicholson Top In New Zealand

AS Level Computer Science Gareth Hall Top In New Zealand

AS Level Applied Information & Communication Technology Katarina Lum High Achievement

We rise by lifting others Robert Ingersoll 3


Coaching Matters
Good coaching can make a huge difference to a As part of the role Joe will also coach and provide
sportspersons career. It also provides the finer skills to support to Counties and Midlands hockey teams.
shape a students natural ability and to motivate them
Joe is looking forward to continuing his experience
to do their best. Without a good coach, those talented
within Midlands, Counties and ACG Strathallan as a
students may never realise their true potential in their
Coach. I hope to quickly establish myself within the
chosen sport. Strathallan is fortunate to have some very
hockey community and contribute and learn as much
exciting coaching for our students.
as I can, he said.
Hockey has been identified as a real strength at our
Equestrian is another sport which draws many students
school. As a result, Joe Hanks, who recently captained
at our school. Annie Styles coaches our teams in this
the Central Region Hockey team to a top-three finish in
sport. She was drawn to coaching after returning from
the National Hockey League, has been named Midlands,
a campaign in the UK with her top horse in 2011. I had
Counties and Strathallans Development Coach.
sold my other top horse to fund the UK trip and, upon
Starting immediately, he will be based at our school, my return, I had only youngsters to ride so my focus
training the schools First XI Boys Hockey team and shifted. Ive always been hugely passionate about the
providing coaching support for other teams. sport and really enjoy helping others achieve their
His appointment is part of Midlands Hockeys strategy goals, so it was a natural progression.
to grow Hockey excellence in the region.

I love helping the kids learn about sports, sharing my

love and passion for sport with them and helping them to
improve and become better.
Hunter Sheperd

4 Coaching is unlocking a persons potential to maximise their growth John Whitmore


In the Primary School, students have been fortunate

My aim is for every rider enough to receive specialist, skills-based coaching

in both golf and cricket this term. Cherie Boucher-
to go away from a lesson Cunningham shared what has been going on:

having grown in confidence There were two cricket skills sessions and five golf
skills sessions, with primary school students reporting
Annie Styles that learning both sports was a fantastic experience.
The golf sessions were taken by Coach Hunter Sheperd
Annie has ridden professionally as an event rider for who has been coaching golf as part of his role with Kelly
many years, but her competitive career has taken a Sports for around two and a half years. Kelly Sports
backseat over the past five years to focus on her young believe in teaching the basic fundamentals and skills of
children. Although she continues to ride, her focus has the sport so everyone can have fun while learning and
switched from high-level competition to producing and participating. Coach Hunter was a favourite with all the
selling young horses. classes and said he hopes to be back at ACG Strathallan
primary to teach a new sport in the near future. I love
Annie brings a wealth of expertise to her coaching. She
helping the kids learn about sports, sharing my love and
sees herself as a stickler for doing the basics correctly.
passion for sport with them and helping them to improve
Position, straightness, rhythm and balance are aspects
and become better.
of riding that I focus on as a coach. I also ensure I give
plenty of positive feedback and my aim is for every rider We are certainly privileged to have experienced sports
to go away from a lesson having grown in confidence coaches like these to support our students in achieving
from their ride with me that day. their best.

It is not what the coach knows; it is what his players have learned - Winston Churchill 5
Collaborative Learning
Teamwork. Group discussion. Negotiation. The work learning approach, collaborative learning is very often
place is becoming more and more demanding with its displayed across all curriculum areas, across all Primary
expectations of potential employees. Employers are School year levels. During maths lessons, junior students
looking for young people who can interact effectively will often work in mixed ability groups at various work
and communicate successfully. No longer is it enough stations, guiding and questioning each other as they
to be able to quietly get on with your work at your desk, build up their fundamental numeracy skills.
but you are expected to work collaboratively. In order
During health lessons, mixed class groups of year
to teach our students these necessary soft skills, ACG
six students can be seen working across their three
Strathallan takes the approach that the sooner you learn
classrooms as they focus on not only increasing and
these skills, the easier your transition will be into the
deepening their knowledge of their current learning
future. As a result, even students at our Primary school
topic, but also fostering their leadership skills and their
are learning how to work like this.
ability to relate to and work alongside their peers.
Cherie Boucher-Cunningham, an ACG Strathallan
As we move more into the 21st century and prepare our
Primary School teacher, shared some of the innovative
learners for the skills that they will need to be successful,
ways in which collaborative learning takes place in their
collaborative learning finds itself at the forefront of
learning environment:
an effective teaching vision. Through collaborative
When walking through ACG Strathallan Primary School learning, ACG Strathallan Primary students learn to
during school hours, the junior atrium will be filled develop key social skills and are given opportunities
with students working in small groups on their big mat to foster the development of leadership skills. They
area and the senior atrium will have students working become more than just passive listeners. They become
on specialist furniture that has been purchased over active participants of their school community who
the last year. There are specific areas being set aside have the focus, self-belief, respect, and drive to enable
in classrooms, such as bean bag areas, to help foster them to become not only successful at set tasks and
collaborative learning, and the mini senior atrium is set assignments, but well-rounded individuals who are
up as a collaborative learning space with furniture for able to manage themselves, relate well to others, and
the Year 5 students. All atrium environments are further become the masters of their own learning journey.
enhanced by relevant displays and student resources Through the process of collaborative learning we are
created in a collaborative learning environment that are able to prepare our 21st century learners for success in
showcased around the walls. their future.

While there are certain subjects, social science in

particular, that lend themselves well to a collaborative

6 Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much Helen Keller

Student ...the most noteworthy activity

Council & was on the second night,

where we split into groups to

Leadership perform an act... Not only did it

break the ice, but provided

Camp many laughs and smiles...

A CG Strathallan student leaders got together before The leadership camp served perfectly as an opportunity
the school year started for a weekend of team building to not only get to know each other, but also build a strong
at Kauaeranga Valley Camp in the Coromandel. This team morale which will most certainly be key to our
provided the perfect setting for friendships to blossom success this year.
and strategies to develop.
As individuals, we learnt many valuable things such
Caleb Pahina, Student Council President, recounts as effective communication, problem solving and
the time away and the Student Councils plans for the organisational skills. We were also able to celebrate our
year ahead: strengths and confront our weaknesses.

The camp offered a myriad of activities, from Returning to school to start the academic year, they were
archery and air rifles to building rafts and kayaking able to put their plans into action:
in the gorgeous Kauaeranga River. The camp events,
As the Student Council, we set out to empower and share
accompanied by the beautiful summer weather,
students ideas in order to give them a voice. We also
definitely allowed our team to enjoy every moment to
aim to be positive role models, contribute to the school
its fullest. Perhaps the most noteworthy activity was on
community and assist with the organisation of school
the second night, where we split into groups to perform
events and activities during 2017. In doing so, we want
an act in front of each other. Not only did it break the
to have an active role in creating an enjoyable school
ice, but provided many laughs and smiles which are truly
environment which aligns with our core school values.
representative of our awesome team spirit.
We started Term 1 very well with a successful Valentines
Day fundraiser! This involved a lot of organisation,
planning and teamwork to bring hundreds of roses,
chocolates and notes to our staff and students. We
are extremely proud to have raised $1090 for the New
Zealand Heart Foundation. The council team worked
tremendously hard and were rewarded by a
fantastic result. Add to this the success of the junior social
and the money raised from Relay for Life and we are
already well on the way to achieving our goals.

Overall, this term has been an extremely successful and

enjoyable learning experience for the team so far and we
are looking forward to the future events on the calendar
which will provide further opportunities for us council
members to grow as leaders.

ACG Strathallan, Hayfield Way, RD1, Papakura, New Zealand

09 295 0830 | strathallan@acgedu.com

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other John F Kennedy 7

Let the Show Begin
The Hawkins Theatre will soon host ACG carve a path through the herbaceous borders and
Strathallans performances of The Lion King and tangled wisteria to the shelter of a nearby gazebo.
The Wizard of Oz. What a treat awaits us and I felt for my poor sister missing her moment of
what a fantastic experience for the many students glory but I remember we did perform the play
who are involved. It is the last performance for in the end so there must have been a gap in
the musical directors of the Wizard of Oz, Heather the English weather. My experience in primary
Revell-Knighton, and Lynnette Leggett, who is school and further encounters with Shakespeare
directing The Lion King primary show. There are at grammar school established close and long-
countless students past and present who have lasting ties with drama and 17 years later I was
benefited from the opportunities provided by touring the cities of Europe as a street performer.
these passionate and talented music teachers.
I am sure they will continue to have this positive I am an unashamed Shakespeare fan but I
influence and we wish them every success in am also aware that when asking the question
the future. Why should we teach Shakespeare at school?
you will receive vehement arguments on both
Performance provides a rich context for learning. sides. On the one hand, it is seen as archaic and
Strong impressions, lasting memories, lifelong impenetrable for todays youth. On the other it
lessons are features of this. Theatre, performance, contains timeless images and archetypal stories
dance, drama, on-stage, back-stage, front of which never lose their relevance especially to
house, make-up, costume, music and lights - what young people as they develop their sensibilities.
opportunities drama creates for young people! To have the opportunity to watch Shakespeare
I write from personal experience. One of my on the stage is an essential part of any childs
earliest memories of school was as a seven year education so I am pleased that the Pop-Up
old dressed in a sack cloth skirt, barefoot waiting Globe is providing this chance for many students.
to run down the grassy bank onto the lawn in my Research on the brain suggests that creative work
first on-stage role as Flute the Bellows Mender causes very high levels of activity in the brain.
in A Mid-Summer Nights Dream. Amidst screams Drama and dance provide vital opportunities for
of Help! I was to have the skirt ripped off by a growing minds to test the world around them and
marauding lion as part of a play within the play. explore the world within them. These elements
Great excitement for a young boy who always of the curriculum are brought to life through
took delight in making an exhibition of himself! performance which is such an important part of
The first act had gone off well with no lines to what we do at ACG Strathallan.
speak I only had to remember where to stand.
Puck and a fairy had started Act II then my older
sister, who was playing the part of Titania the Robin Kirkham
Queen of the Fairies, opened her mouth for the
first line. What, jealous Oberon! whereupon
there was a loud thunder clap, the heavens
opened and audience and cast were forced to