Quad fiesta

This term’s Quad Fiesta was a great success! With a rainy start to the day, followed by a sun-filled afternoon the weather arrived just in time for the fun. With this term’s theme being “spend some to save some” there were a variety of opportunities for our students to get involved and help raise money for others. Whether it was food, such as the cake bake or sausage sizzle, or activities such as balloon popping, the coin trail, crash the cans or the sponge throw, there was an event for everyone to enjoy. Students also had an opportunity during the week to provide for charity by bringing in a can with the “you sure can bring a can” movement, with all cans being donated to the Salvation Army. The day of fun ended with a tremendous amount of money raised to help others in our community so a massive thank you for all those who got involved and for the house leaders who organised such a fantastic day.  


– By Zeena Haba

Club of the Week – Board Games

Each lunch time and interval Mrs Hibberd opens up her classroom for the board game club – or just for general “chilling out”, as she describes it. A cosy place to hide on winter lunchtimes, the board game club is open for everyone, all ages. Board game favourites include Cluedo, Monopoly, and Chess – anything goes. Mrs Hibberd has a collection of board games, and students are of course welcome to bring their own. It’s a lovely, friendly vibe, and a great way to meet new friends and relax!

– Rene Ryall Y13

IGCSE Economics class

Our IGCSE Economics class spent a very interesting few hours at Villa Maria this week. Led by a very informative guide, we learned about the lengths the company have gone to to be eco-friendly (their bottles, produced by a dedicated company a mere five kilometers from the plant, are made completely of recycled glass) and how the Villa’s wine fermentation tanks’ cooling technology are designed to conserve energy by using generated heat on other systems in the plant. We also learned that Villa Maria led New Zealand in the mass adoption of the ‘twist-style’ cap, as opposed to the ancient cork that often failed to properly seal the bottles. Next, we traveled through to the bottling area, where we were amazed by the massive machines used to bottle, label, seal and analyse the wine bottles. Particularly interesting was the information we gained about the company’s acquisition of other New Zealand wineries, and how they source some of their premium wine grapes from vineyards nationwide. In addition to this we saw how they approach their multinational capabilities – such as sales in China, the UK, Australia and the US. This was particularly pertinent to our current topic in Economics where we have been learning about Multinationals and their effects on the economies of their host countries. All in all a very enjoyable and productive field trip!


Following on from the Auckland South Sprint series, Strathallan had three students attend the NISS Orienteering event held in Wellington in the April School holidays. There was a large number of participants and all three students performed well. The following results were achieved;

Intermediate Girls – Olivia Nichol 16th short course event , 13th long course event.

Junior Girls – Leah Weck 21st short course event, 16th long course event.

Year 7/8 Boys – David Grey 29th short course event, 19th long course event.

Junior Social

Our student council did a great job organising the Junior Social for our year 7 to 10 students last Friday. The ‘glow-in-the-dark-themed’ lighting, the sounds from DJ Mckay and the many activities kept the students entertained throughout the night

Kids Lit Quiz

Strathallan had wo Year 7 and 8 teams enter the highly popular ‘Kids Lit Quiz’ this week, a national competition for intermediate-aged students who love literature. Tahlia Pillay was one of our participants:

We arrived at the competition quite early which gave us plenty of time to settle our nerves by running through some practice questions. Soon the main hall at St. Cuthberts  was packed with eager young literary enthusiasts ready to take out the competition. When all the teams had been seated,  the quizmaster gave us the run down of how the competition would work. There were ten categories. In each category there are ten questions. He would read out the questions and we would write down the answers to each one in our booklets. At the end of each round, we were to rip out the page and hold it up to be collected.

The initial rounds were quite tricky and we were horrified to get a Harry Potter question wrong. We soon got the hang of it and even won a round earning us some Whitcoull’s gift vouchers. The lit quiz was fun and very challenging and there are some students out there who really know their literature. Some of the draw breaker questions were really amazing to watch being answered. One girl from  the Carmel 1 team answered her question at the speed of light. The quizmaster was reading the first two words of a poem when the girl shot her hand up and exclaimed ‘The Jabberwocky! By Lewis Carrol’.

My team placed 15th overall and our Year 7 team was placed 17th. The lit quiz was fun and very challenging and I found that I learnt quite a lot about literature. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience participating in the LitQuiz.


Grandparents Day May 10th 2018

What an enjoyable sunny day to welcome our grandparents to Strathallan.

First we performed in the hall to show off our music skills led by Mr Randell. Afterwards in class there were activities linked to Social Science and Art that we worked on appreciating the helpful ideas.

Some of us toured the school to show our grandparents the different areas of learning. A great big morning tea was enjoyed before we said ‘goodbye’.

Thank you to everyone who made the day special.

Creative writers’ course

Creative non-fiction. At first glance, it might seem an oxymoron – indeed, it did to me. ‘How can something rooted in pure fact be creative?’ I had wondered to myself when I was first introduced to the concept last Friday, at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Parnell. There I was, one of two lucky students from ACG Strathallan who attended a writing workshop entitled “Creative Non-fiction and the Short Story”.

It was the first of our two guest speakers, Bianca Zander, who worked with us on this apparently contrary genre. A recipient of the CNZ Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary, presently the editor of Little Treasures magazine, an author of two novels – as well as a multitude of works for radio, television, and film – and having taught creative writing at both AUT and MIT, to say she was an authority on the subject of writing would be quite the understatement. She explained that, in essence, creative non-fiction was “a true story well told”; the inclusion of literary devices such as dialogue and metaphorical description results in a piece which seeks to entertain as well as inform its reader. As an aspiring journalist, this concept very much appealed to me, as is hopefully apparent by the style of this article.

Ms. Zander also went on to demonstrate to us a technique for combating the bane of writers everywhere; writer’s block. We used the astutely named “One-Inch Window” – a one-inch by one-inch square cut into a piece of paper, functioning to eliminate outside distractions whilst describing a certain object viewed through the aforementioned aperture. Whilst mostly designed to prove the point that there is plenty to be described in a mere one-inch view, it was a fascinating and useful exercise nonetheless.

The second speaker was yet again undoubtedly qualified; Tracey Slaughter is a talented and accomplished multi-award-winning writer of short stories, and lecturer in creative writing at the University of Waikato. She worked with us on the skills involved with the writing of such pieces, including altering cliché opening lines to be more gripping, the best way to end a piece, and how to write characters properly. Passionate and personable, she was inspiring to everyone present, and provided welcome insight into the world of professional writing.

The workshop was, in a word, invaluable. Engaging and entertaining, we developed our abilities greatly, and added many techniques to our repertoire. I sincerely look forward to future events such as this, and wholeheartedly encourage other young writers to look into attending one such workshop too.


Although I do freely admit that the morning tea of biscuits and jelly snakes certainly contributed to my opinion.

Written by Angus Cameron who attended a writing workshop hosted by the Michael King Writer’s Centre at the National Library in Parnell.

NZTSA National Secondary School Team Sailing Regatta

Waiuku arrived fully fledged on Saturday, attending briefing in our yacht club hoodies after sussing out the local playgrounds. We settled in after briefing for an early night, getting ready for the weeks’ worth of sailing ahead of us. We were up with the sparrows on Sunday, getting out on the water at 9:45 and full of nerves. By 10:30 we had started our 13 races of the day, sailing in good wind against some strong teams. We snuck in a win before returning to the Ocean Rogue, our changeover barge, full of teens!

By Monday we were still feeling strong – unfortunately, the wind had other intentions – it was waning. After hanging around for a few hours on shore, we were sent out to some breeze, allowing us to race our races, with some stiff competition. The wind abandoned us halfway through the second race, leaving us becalmed, finishing the race with only 15 seconds to the finish.

Regardless of the wind’s intentions, we were sent out on the water at 9:15 on Tuesday. After 6 hours and multiple course changes, the wind came to the game, breaking up our fraternising with the other teams for some … racing! We had a very competitive race against Glendowie but unfortunately we couldn’t push through for the win –  we did learn a lot though!

We had a late start on Wednesday, respecting our ANZAC Soldiers. The stress levels were high that morning as we prepared for the race we had to win. The team pulled through, landing a first, second and sixth! We were pumped for our next race; the wind was smiling down on us – especially when one of the helms fell out pre-start! The start was mayhem, with all but one boat over the line. Unfortunately, the other team had better boat-handling skills and beat us to the win – nevertheless we again learnt a lot. Our last race had less competition, giving us a calm end to the day.  Our team relaxed on the beach after sailing, before heading in for another early night.

On Thursday morning our favourite flag – the AP – hung limp from the top of the flagpole, so we ventured up the hill to the donkey farm. After a relaxed wander down the hill, the team returned to camp for a swim and a water fight in the still tide. After a game of bull rush, we scrubbed up and headed out to dinner – I think it is fair to say that we represented Waiuku proudly! A game of spotlight ended the night on a high for us all.

We woke up sadly on Friday, none of us wanting the week to be over. The wind was stronger today, blowing a fair 15 knots, with some strange things called waves joining the party as well. Our first race was an important one, so stakes were high. After a broken boat and a quick change, we were at the start and rearing to go. We sailed hard and took out the top 3 places! We jumped onto our hometown boat, the Jane Gifford, the flat-bottomed scow that frequented our home water for many years. After hiding from the wind, we were up again, with tough competition and unfortunately no wind. We sailed hard in our next two races, taking the wind in the first, and racing hard through the second one. And that was it! Our week was over!

We headed back to shore, to derig the boats for one last time before scrubbing up for prizegiving. In our number ones we raced into the warehouse to pick up the necessities before heading into dinner. We all turned out well, dressed up in our formals instead of sailing gear for once! After dinner we had a final game of spotlight before heading in for one last night.

We farewelled all our new friends, packed up camp, and drove our tired, sore, salty and smiling selves home. Overall, we placed 31 out of 32 teams, giving us the win we wanted. We learned so much in one week, and over the 5 months we have been sailing in these boats, we have grown as sailors and as people, and we owe a massive thankyou to the Waiuku Yacht Club Committee for getting us on the water, the Waiuku Rotary Club, for their support financially, getting us the boats and a chance, and the Counties Manukau Sport Fishing Club for supporting us in getting to the regatta. Also, a huge shout out to everyone that donated towards our new sails, and our families for cheering us on!


Written by – Zoe Allan

Leadership Forum

Late last term, Mckenzie Northcott and Flynn Fromont represented Strathallan at the Counties Manukau Schools Leadership Forum. Schools from all over the area met to discuss their leadership roles, with new ideas bouncing all around the room. It was an enjoyable day spent meeting and learning about fellow leaders in the local community.