Spotswood College International Focus

Spotswood College is fortunate to celebrate New Zealand’s diverse culture by welcoming international touring parties to their school as well as their own students visiting other countries.

This year is particularly busy as students and staff have been involved in various international visits with more planned for later in the year.

Principal Mark Bowden and staff involved give a brief report of some of these visits.

Spotswood College is a very diverse school and we celebrate our diversity. We believe in our vision of developing young people with good character and teaching them the skills and knowledge to contribute to the 21st century global village.

We believe that the opportunity young people have to mix and mingle with people of other cultures, languages and other world views is hugely important in developing positive and contributing 21st century citizens.

I guess I would say that one of the reasons that kiwis do so well overseas is because they are able to cope with diversity.  They are able to relate to people who are different from themselves.

We can deal with people as people which is a huge strength in having a vibrant International student department within our school.  The opportunity for our students to travel abroad contributes significantly to that set of skills required to be successful in the 21st century global village.

Mark Bowden, Spotswood College Principal

New Caledonia exchange – Sabine deCrevoisier

In mid-May, French teacher Sabine De Crevoisier welcomed 24 New Caledonians aged 14 -15 and three members of staff to the College. The group’s leader was by Aurore Gubansky from the Collège Jean Fayard in Dumbéa, near Nouméa. The group stayed in New Plymouth for a week and it was a resounding success as the students and their billets seemed to really enjoy the experience.

They loved their school day, finding the rules more relaxed than back home and enjoyed the late starts. The New Caledonian school day starts at 7.10am and ends at 4.30pm. They were surprised at the variety of subjects on offer at the College.

They loved the shops – apparently much cheaper than at home – and the cleanliness of their surroundings. They walked tracks in the bush, seasoned by a hefty shower at the end.  Our black sand beaches surprised them.

We would like to thank Spotswood College, Sacred Heart and Francis Douglas families for billeting our visitors.  It was great for them to have a nice taste of kiwi life while in NZ.

This is the start of a long term relationship between our schools, and we are now planning our visit to New Caledonia in 2014 for senior French students.

Hatsukaichi Senior High School July 26 – August 2nd

In the Term 1 holidays 2 adults and a group of students visited our sister city school in Horoshima, Japan.

This was reciprocated by a visit from 8 students and 1 teacher who were hosted by our school families.

Spotswood College students currently studying Japanese took part in a significant opportunity to practice their skills whilst the Japanese students practiced their English.

The Hatsukaichi students joined their host student for the day attending timetabled classes. Their teacher enjoyed immersing herself into the school day too.

Chelsea, Wales – Friday 2nd to Monday 5th August

Head of Sports Phil Gayton organised an exchange with a public school called Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera from Swansea Wales.  Eleven girls and two staff were billeted out playing Spotswood College in Hockey and netball.

The girls were surprised that the New Zealand houses were detached and had their own lawns.  They were finding the country very flat compared to home where they had big hills and valleys. The girls described the trip as a once in a life time experience.

“Everybody was so nice and the country was rich in culture and history,” said 15-year-old Blue Shenton.

International Students – Gloria Holland

Term 3 we welcome 10 new international students from Germany, Brazil, Japan, America, China, Russia, Switzerland and Thailand to our school.

After only being in the country two days some of the students were keen to display their football skills joining the school’s teams’.

Having the mountain and sea in our back-yard is a big draw card for international students.  They come to New Zealand to improve their English while immersing themselves in our culture by living with a host family.

This is an enriching experience for both the international and kiwi students.

Buenos Aires, Argentina – October 1 – 14

Head of Languages Michelle Fitzpatrick has organised for a group of 10 Spotswood College students and 5 Francis Douglas Memorial College students along with 4 parents to travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, through a programme called Travel To Learn.  The programme enables the group to have a cheaper and more fantastic experience as it is all planned for them.

While the students are away they will be billeted out, but unlike in New Zealand the families will be paid. The students will have two hours of language class every day followed by an afternoon of sight-seeing.  Some of the activities the children will take part in are spending the day at a ranch where they will learn to lasso, ride horses and ride in a horse-drawn buggy.

Important Dates

Thursday 8th August – Paritutu Memorial Service

It has been one year since Spotswood College students Stephen Gedye, Felipe Melo and TOPEC instructor Bryce Jourdain were swept off Paritutu.  The loss of their lives remains very raw for us all.

A memorial assembly was held at the College after which close friends and family were invited to an unveiling of a rock sculpture created to remember them.  The memorial stone is situated just inside the school gates.

Enrolments for 2014

Enrolment for 2014 is underway if you haven’t been able to arrange an interview time through your Primary or Intermediate School please contact the office to make an appointment.

This was published in the Oakura Take One Moment (TOM) in the August 2013.

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