May 2020

Samoa Language Week

Tālofa lava! Afio mai!

Samoa Language Week / Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa is being held in 2020 from Sunday 24 May to Saturday 30 May. The theme for this year is 'Tapena sou ōso mo lau malaga' which in English means 'Prepare yourself a gift for your travels'.

Samoa Language Week / Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa is organised by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to maintain and promote the language and culture of Samoa. Gagana Samoa is the second most spoken language in some cities like Auckland and Porirua, and the third most spoken language across New Zealand.

Samoa Language Week celebrates the identity, language, and culture of students from Samoa and students whose families are from Samoa; supporting this group of learners to engage and achieve success.

This special week helps all New Zealanders journey towards shared cultural understandings.

Below is a link to our Samoa Language Week video presented by members of our Pacific Form Class.

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Sei Flower Making during Samoa Language Week

Teacher Ms van Heeswijk held a class in sei-making this week. Decorating hair with beautiful flowers has been taking place in Samoa for as long as anyone can remember. A sei can be worn in several ways and isn’t reserved only for women. It is common to see men also wearing a sei flower beside either of their ears. Women wear them beside their ears or pinned in their hair.

Beautiful flowers of all colors grow in abundance all across Samoa. As decoration flowers will be grown to line the streets of villages putting them right at your fingertips. Each blossom is waiting to be picked so it is common to see adults and students picking a sei for themselves.

Aside from their fashion the sie also presents a message. Like a ring you must be careful of the placement. A sei worn in the left ear means you are single. When placed in the right ear you are telling everyone you are spoken for.

Lastly, a sei is an item can be worn for any occasion. It’s both formal and casual. They are commonly seen on the street and even in parliamentary proceedings. Don’t forget to pick up a sei for Samoa Language Week!

sei b sei a sei c

Welcome Back

How exciting it is to have our students back this week. The school has been a quiet and lonely place without you! Everyone has enjoyed meeting up with friends and colleagues.

We have now completed our first week back under Alert Level 2. Students and staff have enjoyed reconnecting with each other and being back in a familiar environment. There has been a strong emphasis on building manaakitanga and student wellbeing. Adopting a ten day timetable has allowed more time for students to focus on their studies in a supportive way, particularly in those practical subjects where students haven’t been able to complete learning tasks remotely.

Below are some photos from our first week back where for the most part we have ALL worked hard to maintain our social distancing.

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back q back b back k back c
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back y back r back z
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PLEASE REMEMBER: Do not send your child to school if they are sick or have symptoms of Covid-19. If your child is going to be absent, please contact the school by emailing Attendance Officer Julie Griffin at or call telephone 627 0600, Ext 729 and either leave a message.

If you have already been in touch because your child is on the at-risk health register, you do not have to notify the school daily.

Online Debating

The Aotearoa Schools Online Debating (ASOD) debates got off to a good start after some intense effort to get teams registered and have practice time. For many in these teams it was their first experience in debating, but we managed to get all seven teams debating without default. The teams used the Slack online platform, for check-in and messaging. Overall it was a very positive experience for the participating students. Sophie Yang (Y11) said,

It was actually heaps of fun once I managed to send a few too many panic emails (sorry about that) and then join every single zoom except my own (even found myself on a junior one) but I really liked it! The girls were lovely and they were from Hamilton so we were admiring each other’s cities and I must say it’s pretty cool to meet people like this from everywhere! The debate went pretty well, it was close but we won. Yay and personally, it wasn’t my best but definitely an improvement from last week though thankfully. 🙂

We'll have another round next week, by which time the students will be online-ready, should we carry on the rest of the season with online debates in the ASD grades.


Lockdown Photography Competition

Congratulations to all students who entered the competition. It has been an exciting task to select 20 place-getters and from that group, to then choose the finalists. The works selected indicate the art of photography is alive and well, in the hands of our students.

Click here for a full review of the competition results.
girl street
Kirti Raju, 12RD Oliver Pracy, 11RY

New Staff Profiles

julie billie natasha corey
My name is Julie Bradley. I joined Lynfield College having come from a similar role at Rosehill College. Prior to Rosehill College I worked for many years in student recruitment and marketing in tertiary education including eleven years in the international office at the University of Auckland, and roles at Manukau Institute of Technology and the Auckland Institute of Studies. Making the change from working with adult students to teenagers has had some interesting challenges along the way but I’m glad to have made the change and have found it very worthwhile. I’m really looking forward to getting to know all the international students at Lynfield. Kia Ora, I’m Billie Lal. I’m a third generation Kiwi of Indian decent. I grew up in Helensville until I was 10, and have spent the rest of my upbringing in West Auckland. I attended Mt Albert Grammar School and later went on to graduate from the University of Auckland in 2019 with a Bachelors in Health and Physical Education. This is my first year teaching, my goal is to create a safe and supportive environment for students to thrive in - empowering them to become who they want to be and furthermore, life-long learners. Outside of school, I enjoy watching Rugby League, Working out (CrossFit and Yoga), Gaming and hanging with the boys. Hi I’m Natasha Samson! I grew up in a small town called Tokoroa in the South Waikato. In 2018 I graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching from the University of Auckland. My first year of teaching in 2019 was spent at One Tree Hill College and I am excited to join the PE and Health Department at Lynfield College this year. Outside of teaching, I enjoy doing CrossFit, being in the outdoors and travelling. I look forward to getting to know and work with the staff, students and whānau in the year ahead. Hi I’m Corey Walters. I was born and raised out in Swanson in West Auckland and attended Henderson High School. I recently completed my Masters in Geography at the University of Auckland which focused upon how NZ stadiums are communal entities in sport. My key areas of academic knowledge focus upon the influence of landscapes on identity and geographies of sport fandom. My main hobby is playing football in my spare time and I look forward to coaching a team when the season begins. I am joining the social sciences department this year as a first year teacher, where I am teaching Social Studies, Geography and Tourism.

Great ANZAC Biscuit Bakeoff

Over Anzac weekend some of the students and staff took part in a competition to see who could make the best Anzac Biscuits. Anzac biscuits were a popular treat during World War I in Australia and New Zealand.

Some historians say these biscuits were sent to New Zealand and Australian soldiers overseas, while others believe they were sold to raise money for the war effort. Either way, these biscuits made from rolled oats become synonymous with New Zealand and Australia hence the name Anzac biscuits.

While the judges could not taste test the biscuits themselves, all entries had to submit a review from someone inside their bubble who had tasted their biscuits as well as either a photo or video showing the biscuits. Extra points were awarded for creative presentation. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone who participated.

  • 1st Place: Jonathan Knox
  • 2nd Place: Sheila MacDonald
  • 3rd Place: Francesca Walsh
  • Best presentation: Ayesha Member
  • Staff winner: Trish Friel
cookies trish coffee cookies
First Place: Jonathan Knox Staff Winner: Ms Friel,
Best Presentation: Ayesha Member

Lockdown Challenges and Competitions

During lockdown, the Arts and Cultural Captains have been releasing weekly challenges and competitions for students and staff to express their creativity and have some fun at home.

The first challenge was an ANZAC Arts and Crafts Competition in which students could make anything related to ANZAC Day. They provided templates and colouring sheets as some ideas, but most students decided to create their own ANZAC related crafts such as biscuits, drawings and poppies.

There were about ten entries, ranging from crafts to ANZAC biscuits. Overall, it went well considering that this was the first challenge and it was great to see how people were getting creative during this time – to take a break from stress and online learning, to do something fun.

Thank you to all the participants for their entries, and congratulations to the winner, Min Lee (13YB) for creating some beautiful origami style poppies. The poppy poster was made by Laura McLeod (9BW) and the biscuits by Shivani Rana (12WG).

The Arts and Cultural Captains are looking forward to running more competitions each week. A ‘Creativity Challenge’ is currently underway where students can express how they have felt during lockdown through music, dance, drama, writing, art and filmmaking, and we are also set to begin some Skribblio (online Pictionary games) this Friday afternoon.
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The PSSP (Peer Sexuality Support Programme) Team at Lynfield College of nine senior students has been busy organising and creating activities to help connect with students outside their learning via online platforms Schoology and Instagram. Activities included an online bingo related to mental health and what people are doing at home to stay positive. The response to this was very successful as other schools participated and people from overseas, such as Samoa, also took part. Currently, the team is working on a scavenger hunt from home that is taking place to further promote the five ways of wellbeing (seen in the poster below) by the Mental Health Foundation NZ. This includes:
  • Connectivity: Connecting with others e.g. Students, families, school, and the community.
  • Give: Providing resources to share positivity.
  • Take notice: Taking notice of the little things at home such as cooking and being with your family or doing a face mask for self-care.
  • Being active: This was included in our online activities such as in the template for Instagram, going for walks/bike rides.
  • Keep learning: Finally, we promoted this idea by reinforcing that students should find a balance between school and home life.
The team is continuing to find ways to engage with students on online platforms, and we extend our support to everyone during this time. Instagram:
Team 2020 (left to right) Jack Gibbs, Oliver Pracy, Leigh Hine, Kimberly Saldanha, Darsh Sinha, Shreeya Prasad, Bhakti Tailor, Shinel Nadan, and Elizabeth Hastings.

Gifted Learner Awards

The Gifted Learner Awards provide support and opportunities for youth to extend and challenge their learning and skills across a wide range of interests.

A Ministry of Education initiative which started in 2019, these awards are available from early learning through to secondary school levels. Last year Lynfield College student and promising hurdler and triple jump competitor, Tom Christie received an award to support his ongoing training.

This year’s award recipients, Lynfield College students, Percy Maka and Rina Maka, will be making the most of this opportunity. This recognition will allow them to continue working very hard at developing their already impressive and consistent achievements in the field of discus and shotput.

Percy currently holds the Youth World Record 11 and 12 Boys Discus Champion title, along with other regional and local achievements. At Central and 

Western Zones this year he won the Intermediate Boys discuss and shot put. At last year’s Zones he broke both the junior discuss and shot put records (shot put record previously set by Jacko Gill in 2008)

Rina is an upcoming talent in both discus and shotput, having gained prominent placings in numerous local events over recent years. At Central and Western Zones this year she won Junior Girls discus, setting a new Auckland record of 43.82m and was also second in shot put.

There are two application rounds per year. Funding up to $3,500 is available towards the cost of an opportunity. More information can be found here on the Ministry of Education TKI website: