Newsletter - Term 3, Week 10
Thursday 29 September 2022
Dates for the Diary
Friday 30 September: End of Block 3
Friday 30 September: Last Day of Term 3
Monday 17 October: First Day of Term 4
Monday 17 - Friday 21 October: Derived Grade Exams - Years 11, 12 & 13
From the Principal
Yesterday Te Anau School hosted students from Fiordland College as part of our buddy programme between our two schools. Our buddies are set up between year groups that are six years apart. For example the Primary School Year 3s are buddied up with College Year 9s. This means when Te Anau School children move to the College their buddies will be the Year 13 Leaders at College.
The children did a range of activities including Art, learning the Haka and just chatting about life at each other’s schools. Having these relationships forming from a young age helps keep connections and supports transitions between schools.
We have two fantastic schools in Te Anau and these connections are really positive for our entire community, as they provide our students with opportunities to lead, share skills and experiences and help all of our students see that there are others with similar interests and personalities achieving, learning and inspiring each other.
Grant Excell - Principal Te Anau School & Steven Mustor - Principal Fiordland College
Last night we had the first meeting of our new board. The meeting was an opportunity for the new board to have a chat with the outgoing members, for us to thank the outgoing board for their efforts, and for the new board to elect its presiding member. Robert Kempthorne was elected as presiding member.
I want to thank each of the outgoing members for their years of service but want to particularly focus on the contribution Nigel Humphries has made. Nigel has been on the board for 12 years and has given a huge amount of support to the school community as both a parent representative and as presiding member. I've appreciated the support he has offered me this year as I find my place in the school. His knowledge of the school's background in governance, property, finance and personnel has been invaluable to me. We can all be incredibly grateful for the work Nigel has done to help make Fiordland College the school that it is.
Madeleine Peacock, Kathryn Wright and Murray Willans all leave after several years of hard work on the board. In their parent representative roles I have found them to be passionate advocates for the students and for making sure that Te Anau's geographical isolation never hinders our students' access to amazing learning opportunities.
Christoph Zink also handed over his staff representative role to Kelly Hunter. Christoph has been instrumental in ensuring that the staff's voice was always represented as we've made governance decisions that affect our students and staff.
With all of the changes, it's also important to acknowledge Josh Ruddenklau and Christine Wallace who return to the board as student and parent representatives respectively. I'm sure that Robert, Sinead, Kelly and Justin will value their experience and skills as they grow into their roles. I'm really excited about the skills, experience and enthusiasm the board has already shown, and am looking forward to working with them as we create a strategic plan that will continue to take Fiordland College and its community forward.
Ngā Mihi Nui
Visiting Your Pepeha Grant
All applications close on the 21st of October 2022. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by early November.
Visiting Your Pepeha – Individual Grants
Te Ōhanga Tīwhera is offering rangatahi the opportunity to connect with their roots through ‘Visiting Your Pepeha’ grants. There are five individual grants of $2,000 available to financially support recipients to visit their pepeha. Funds can be used towards travel, accommodation, food, koha and taking someone with you for the journey.
- Applications are open to rangatahi Māori, 16-18 years old, living in Murihiku, who whakapapa outside of the Otago/Southland regions.
- Applicants must have the ability to visit their pepeha between November 2022 and January 31st 2023.
To apply for the Visiting Your Pepeha – Small Grant, click here
South Island Secondary Schools (SISS) MotoX
Well done to all students who participated in the SISS Moto X Event.
Fiordland College finished 5th overall out of 30 Schools.
Special mention to Hayden Scott, Jack Campbell and Ryan Lane who all finished in the top 10 individually.
We have just joined the Fireballs Aotearoa project by having a camera installed that will be tracking meteorites in the night sky.
We had our camera installed yesterday. It is one of a series of cameras placed around Otago/Southland by a team of Otago University researchers. We will have access to the data collected so we can look forward to some interesting images and maybe, with a bit of luck, might even get involved in the hunt for a meteorite that dropped in our region.
We had word this morning that our fireball camera is working perfectly! It detected 11 meteors last night before the rain closed in. Otago University attached a ’stacked’ image that shows all 11 detections in one frame - see below.
Natural Building Workshop
Two weeks ago we were lucky to have Everett and Elizabeth Norris come to the College to talk to us about sustainable buildings.
These buildings were primarily constructed using clay, straw and sand. Light straw clay (clay slip and straw settled between two planks, which are removed once the clay has hardened) creates a natural insulating layer, mainly because of the air gaps in the straw. A 40-60 mm layer of clay then covers the straw, which dries and hardens to create a wall. Although made of straw, this structure is very fireproof, even more fireproof than a normal wall. Earthen or adobe floors can also be constructed using clay and sand. This has to be a very specific mixture.
What Everett and Elizabeth talked about and showed us was very interesting and we all had a very good time and learned a lot about this different style of building.
By Bailey Taylor
Project Whītiki te Huarere / Energy Park
Project Whītiki te Huarere is a student-oriented initiative designed to harness the three renewable energy sources which prevail in Fiordland: wind, rain and sun.
On a one hectare parcel of land adjacent to the Milford Rd, the concept of an Energy Park was conceived in 2018 (Dr Sue Peoples, HOD Social Sciences, and a group of students were originally involved - please refer to the 2019 Education Gazette article). Initially, Māori-inspired sculptures integrated to wind and solar installations were proposed. The project was shortlisted for the international Zayed Sustainability Prize, but did not receive a placing in the competition.
Inspiring and promoting education for sustainability throughout the school and community was a key focus of Whītiki te Huarere. With this in mind, the Fiordland College School Board managed to secure funding for the project and, in 2021, a project manager was appointed (Nick Key) and a working group was established (Nick Key, Lynlee Smith / Steven Mustor, Delia Bellaby, Vaughn Filmer, Cassie Thomson, Alessandra Menegatti and Christoph Zink).
While the project has evolved to also include a shelter/sustainable hub (intended as a teaching and ‘usable’ space), it retains the original ideas of harnessing renewable resources and inspiring sustainable change.
For Whītiki te Huarere to be sustainable in the long term, the engagement of staff, students and the wider community is paramount. The working group acknowledged the importance of involving the whole school community in moving forward with this project, hence the idea of the natural building workshop / introduction for the College students.
Watch this space and feel free to get in touch with the working group if you would like to get involved.
Cassie Thomson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alessandra Menegatti: email@example.com