Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Borland Lodge Trip

The information sheet for the Borland Lodge EOTC Trip for Year 10 is now available. Please take the time to read this to ensure your child has an enjoyable and safe experience.

The Year 10 EOTC Programme runs from Monday 24 November through to Thursday 27 November.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Australian (ICAS) English and Spelling Competitions.

Congratulations to the following students who have received awards
Henry More- participation English and Spelling
Brydon Harrington- participation Spelling
Tara Woodd- participation Spelling
Brenna O'Neill- participation English
Jasmine Barnfather - participation English
Christine Lieshout - participation English
Tegan Goodall - participation English
Bronwen Hughes- participation English
Nat O'Neill- participation Spelling, credit English
Dermot Hughes- credit English and Spelling
Sarah Hughes- credit English and Spelling
Padriac O'Neill - credit English
Michael Kelly - credit English
Caitlin Wallace- credit English
Jack Kelly - credit English
Patrick Stone - credit English
Hannah Grindlay - distinction English
Ella Prendergast - distinction English, credit Spelling
Meg Prendergast- distinction English
Thank you to the English Department staff who co-ordinated this assessment.

Otatara Community Nursery

Last week 8KM helped to plant trays of tussocks at the Otatara Community Nursery. The tussocks will be replanted as part of the College landscaping plan when they are large enough. Leone Grace has coordinated this environmental action project with Chris Rance who runs the nursery. The class planted over 300 plants which was an excellent effort. Department of Conservation ranger Teresa Jackson helped the students explore the local wetland walk. Thank you to everyone who helped make the day possible.

Young Enterprise Results

Congratulations to team “Keep It Pumpin” comprising Amy Radka, Coby Dowling, Hannah Morrison, Katherine Affleck, Lauren Morsink, Louise Moodie and William Hewitt and team “Markit” comprising Ben Garrett, Catherine Butt, Courtney Harris-Fletcher, Emma Greenfield, Kaylee Fannin, Mike Chamberlain, Olivia Gorton and Thomas Edwards who all passed the recent examination.

Jazz Fest - 2009

Congratulations to the Verdon Swingers who were placed second in the annual Southland Secondary Schools Jazz Festival.
Special mention goes to:
Ben Cochrane – best Sax Player and
Jamie Macdonald – best Bass Player.
As usual there was wonderful support group from Verdon Teachers, pupils, family and ex-pupils.
Our special thanks to Alistair Monteath, brass itinerant, who organises the whole event. It is a real credit to him.

SMAC Maths

Congratulations to all our teams who entered the SMAC Maths competition on Wednesday evening. We entered seven teams across Year 7 to Year 10 and all of them scored some impressive totals. Special congratulations to the Year 9 team of Liam Cosgrove, Oliver Fry, James Shirley and Ben Williams who came third.


We proudly congratulate the following students on gaining scholarships.

ILT Tertiary Scholarships:
Ben Cochrane, Simon Gourley
William Hewitt, Courtney Jones
Nicole Macaballug, Jamie Macdonald
Alice McDowell, Louise Moodie
Rosamund More, Amy Radka
and Zachary Vermeulen.

Southland community Trust Scholarships:
Lauren Morsink
Alice McDowell
and Renata Davis

Year 8 Camps

During the first weeks of term four, the year 8 classes went to Deep Cove for their camp.

The activities included tramping, marine studies, the confidence course and learning about the geography and history of the area.

Vietnam Tour 2008

A group of 42 troops consisting of 27 students split up into the four mythical icons of Vietnam: Dragons, Tortoises, Unicorns and Phoenixes, just recently returned from a two week long stint in Vietnam. We arrived in the extreme heat and even more extreme traffic of Saigon and spent a few hours exploring the area. The culture shock and the smell was instant but we got over this quickly and soon returned back to base Vien Dong with around 10 DVDs each.
Next day we had an early flight to Hanoi where our first stop was a war museum then onto Maison Centrale AKA The Hanoi Hilton-A prison where the French held the Vietnamese political prisoners. Later that day was one of the highlights of the trip when we each individually took rides on bicycle carts (called Cyclos) around the city for an hour.

The most amazing experience on the trip had to be spending the night on two boats in Halong Bay in the middle of the Indo-China Sea this also included a trip to the Surprise caves on an island in the middle of the sea. We spent the night buying real pearl jewellery and singing Karaoke on the Junk (Vietnamese boat). We also had the chance to taste the Vietnamese cuisine of seafood consisting of shrimp, clams, prawns, squid and for those allergic to seafood duck eggs!

Next we travelled south to central Vietnam and visited Khe Sanh and experienced what life was like for the Americans during the war. Then on to Da Nang where we visited a school with 7000 students. The dragons introduced the locals to a bit of New Zealand culture, and entertained the students with a Haka.
From here we marched on to one of the most exciting little towns we have ever experienced, Hoi An. Hoi An consists of at least 400 tailors and dress makers, which the whole tour party definitely took advantage of. By the end of the second day everyone was sporting fancy tailor-made suits and dresses, and the odd pair of shoes or four. The Pho Hoi resort included a luxurious pool that was the perfect finish for a busy day of commuting around the busy streets, listening to "scoose me, you come look in my shop, please buy something".

We returned to Ho Chi Minh city, formerly known as Saigon, for the last leg of our trip. Here we enjoyed the markets and several of us came back with North Face jackets for $40 with a RRP of $400 in New Zealand. We made a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels where the Dragons fulfilled a life long ambition, firing an AK47. The noise was amazing!

All in all a well enjoyed trip, and a great first taster of Asian culture. Our tour leader Gen. Wes Melvin kept us all in formation and made sure we all came back in one piece. Thanks to Mr Melvin for his co-ordination and to everyone who supported us in our fundraising, we had the trip of a life time!
Sin Chow, Vietnam Tour 08 Team.

New Caledonia Experience

On the last day of term three a group of 13 students and two teachers left Invercargill for an exciting fortnight in New Caledonia.

After very little sleep in Auckland overnight, we arrived at Tontouta airport at noon, tired and perhaps a little disappointed that the weather was overcast and a bit drizzly. But once the doors were opened, we certainly felt the heat. And that was the only day it rained. As the days went by, the temperatures rose, and even at 7.00am and 10.00pm, it was 22 degrees or more. Because not all our hotel rooms were ready on our arrival, we had a tour of the city’s highlights courtesy of the little yellow train.
One big difference we immediately noticed was the driving on the right side of the road, and it took some of us a long time to adjust to looking in the other direction before we crossed the road.

On Sunday we took another tour of the city by bus. We had all-day passes, so we could hop on and off as we pleased. The kids all hopped off at McDonald’s because they could get McFlurry there, and then hopped back on again when it came back an hour and a half later.

Monday was an early start as we were supposed to be at the school at 7.00am to meet host children and find out classes, etc. It must have been a funny sight to see the procession of people lugging suitcases alon g the street at that time and it was hot already, so we were in a right state by the time we got there a bit after the right time.

School starts every day at 7.30am and goes through till 5.00pm, but some students do have non-contact time during the day. However, they are supervised in study periods by non-teaching staff. Wednesday is a half day, and students finish at 11.30 at the latest. Lunch is eaten in the canteen. Students pay a nominal amount for a hot meal, the quality of which is variable. However, it was a good experience. Twice we ate there, and the other days we were given a packed lunch - a sandwich made of half a baguette with ham and lettuce, a piece of fruit and a bottle of water.

The students at the school were really polite and well-behaved and eager to learn. Classrooms are not as well resourced as here, but the level of English spoken by these youngsters was surprisingly high for the age that they were. English is heard all around them – songs on the radio, TV programmes, tourists – so they can see the value of it.

Each afternoon after lunch we did various activities and then returned to the school by 5.00pm for the students to go home with their homestays. We did this for the first week and then the next two days. These activities included beach visits, a tour of the supermarket to see the variety of goods available, the aquarium, museums to understand the history and culture of the city of Noumea and of New Caledonia.

Below we have a picture of a chief’s hut at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre where the history of the native people of New Caledonia is told. On the right is part of this building – there are eight of these huge structures, representing the tribes of the Kanaks. Then we see some of us eating lunch at a beach on one of the many fine days we had.

The tricot raye snake is common on the island of the Amedee Lightouse, which has 229 steps to reach the top. Paigan volunteered to climb a coconut tree following the demonstration of how to do so. St Joseph’s Cathedral was built using prison labour.

Fortunately, the only ray we saw was this one in the aquarium. Bronwen and Rowena got their photo taken with the musical group who entertained us over
lunch on the Amedee Lighthouse island. Many of the group had tried the island dancing which was also part of that entertainment. Ryan is seen placing a poppy and the Southland Spirit of a Nation pennant on the grave of a Southland soldier who lost his life in World War 2 and who is buried at Bourail, where a large contingent of 2500 men was stationed at a training base there. New Zealanders are very well respected in this town because of the contribution they made to it during that time.

Finally we have the whole group of Verdon and St Joseph de Cluny students in front of their school gate. We are very appreciative of what the school did for us and for the tremendous generosity of the families with whom we stayed. It was truly a remarkable experience, and we hope to be able to continue the contact and friendships that we have made.
We would like to thank the Board of Trustees and staff for their encouragement and support. We were certainly the winners – the school and the students.

The families could not do enough for us, and some students came home with generous gifts from their families. Many became good friends with their host brothers / sisters, and this correspondence will no doubt continue. The improvement in knowledge and understanding of the French language varied amongst the students, but everyone certainly gained an insight into a different way of life and an appreciation of home. Thanks you. Mrs Marshall.

Verdon Community Planting Day

The holiday and early term Saturday working bees have been a huge success. Many thanks to the students and friends of the College who contributed time, skill and money for purchasing the plants. A special thank you to Colin Telfer Ditch and Drainage -03 218 7040 for the use of his digger and Michael Tither from Plants Direct -027 736 9464. is Michael’s website. He supplies top quality plants at extremely low prices. We ask you to support both of these businesses. Please call the College office if you would like to donate a plant to the project.