2013 Highlights

Nithya Narayanan, Queen Bee of Spelling


Nithya Narayanan, 10ET, won the 2013 New Zealand Vegemite Spelling Bee title in Wellington at the weekend after several gruelling hours of competing against 17 other contestants.

Nithya who didn’t immediately realise she was the winner when she correctly spelt ‘perestroika’, meaning "the policy or practice of restructuring the economic and political system in the former Soviet Union", felt it was as if she was in a dream.

"It hasn’t really sunk in," says Nithya. "I feel really privileged to have won today." She is pictured being congratulated by our principal Mr Steve Bovaird.

spelling Bee Champion Nithya was one of 18 finalists from around the country attending the ninth annual top spelling contest in the country, spelling up to 14 rounds of words before a packed house at the Circa Theatre. The students showed off their orthography skills, spelling words such as vicissitude, maladroit, denouement and endocrine.

When the other 16 contestants had been knocked out of the competition, Nithya locked horns with Uma Sreedhar of Wellington Girls College. Uma took second place after stumbling on ‘trifecta’, which left Nithya to take out the New Zealand Vegemite Spelling Bee championship.

Roger Hall, Patron of the NZ Vegemite Spelling Bee, says: "It was the best contest yet! The spellers were very talented and it was fascinating to see the different personalities and how they tackle each word. If ever there was an exciting show, the spelling bee is a wonderful piece of theatre."

Spelling Bee organiser, Janet Lucas, was impressed by the orthography skills of this year’s finalists.

"Nine years on I am really noticing how much better prepared our finalists are for the final," said Janet. "The event seems to be going from strength to strength and it’s so exciting to think that we will be celebrating ten years of the national spelling bee next year which has always been my dream to get it this far.

As the 2013 Spelling Bee champion Nithya has won $5000 in cash along with the National Spelling Bee trophy .

Congratulations Nithya!

Race Unity Speech Applauded

Speech Lute(copy)

Congratulations to Lute Sikalu who was one of eight senior secondary students who progressed through to the National Finals of the “Race Unity Speech Awards”.

The standard of speech making from competitors across the country was outstanding. Lute’s response to the theme of My Dream for Aotearoa New Zealand emphasised the enrichment she has experienced through being exposed to a diverse and rich mix of cultures. She also offered some practical steps which could be taken to reduce the level of racial stereotyping, which sadly still occurs in New Zealand today.

Lute was commended by the judges, won a $200 gift voucher and delivered her speech again at the Auckland International Cultural Festival which was held on Sunday 7th April. She has had a number of other requests to deliver her speech as a guest speaker and to act as a speech adjudicator.

Of the eight finalists, six were Year 13 students. Lute is in Year 12 and we are very proud of her achievement at this national level.

Reading with Marshall Laing Primary

Four Year 9 English classes were invited to Marshall Laing Primary  to participate in their recent Annual Book Week activities.

Students were asked to select a favourite childhood book which they then practised reading aloud. All Marshall Laing students participated and on the day there were groups of students positioned all around the school reading their books.

Bookweek1(copy) Bookweek2(copy)

Our students enjoyed sharing these rich experiences of books with younger children.
Here are two of their comments:

We split up into groups of 6 and set off finding our designated classes. For some it was a trip down memory lane wandering through the courts and fields. Memories flashed in front of us as we remembered our past. I had reached the class I was assigned and was given a group of 5 cute little kids. There was one little girl and she took my hand and led me outside as if I was the child. She asked in a sweet voice if we could sit on the luscious green field, but sadly it was damp from the previous night’s rain. Instead we sat on the concrete patch just outside their class. I had given them two options of stories and they picked “Oscar the Star of the Opera” which was about a dog who could sing which they found hilarious. They listened with awe, every now and again pointing at the pictures and would shout “Look at that dog.”
                                                                                                Shahin Najak 9HL
I went to room 8 and we read to the littlest children. They were adorable and such good listeners, and they gave me their full attention. I felt that it was a really good experience reading to them. It was so much fun and I have actually changed so much over 8 years and miss being a little kid. They are such good listeners and it was so much fun I would love to do it again! “
                                                                                    Aleece Monkman 9HL