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Tēnā koutou katoa

Samantha Wood Rawnsley connecting in for our final 2021 ArtsNews. Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the creativity and adaptability of our dedicated arts Kaiako and ākonga. This year has seen many challenges for all Arts areas. It has been wonderful to see these challenges being met with imagination, finding creative opportunities within these limitations.

Stand out moments of 2021 for in this role as Arts Coordinator would have to be, working with the Arts Leaders to establish a strong Arts committee. Meeting our awesome WSCW Arts kaiako regularly. Supporting nine groups of young actors to compete in the Sheilah Winn Drama Festival and the Junior Arts tour to Ponsonby and Pasadena Intermediates.

This year a new senior arts award was established. The M.A.D.D award – Music, Art, Dance and Drama for outstanding contribution to the Arts. This year’s M.A.D.D recipient was selected for her dedication, creativity, academic excellence, performance brilliance and arts leadership in Drama, Visual Arts and Music. Well done Elly Mae Lawson. Thanks to our brilliantly creative kaiako for the planning and presentation of this new award.

This year’s Burton Cup for outstanding contribution to the performing arts was selected for her imagination, adaptability and creativity in dance, leadership and commitment to the arts committee, consistent support for within school arts events, longstanding involvement in WSCW chamber group ( leader of cello). Congratulations Veda Di Fulvio.

2022 Arts Leaders Mattheus Elwood, Isabella Griffin, Katie Guenzel-Reilly and Veda Di Fulvio and I met last week to connect, hear reflections from this year’s Arts leaders and start to think about the possibilities for themselves within this new and exciting role. This is a stand out line up of young people and I look forward to supporting them and the Arts at WSCW in 2022.

Samantha Wood Rawnsley – Arts Coordinator

Snapshot of the inaugural M.A.D.D. tea ceremony and Veda’s 2.2 site specific solo

Haere rā awesome Arts Leaders of 2021 Rafael Hoskings, Isobel Christie and Te Kapua Te Maapi Pene. Last week we caught up to reflect on the year that has been.

Stand out moments for you as an 2021 Arts leader

  • The junior talent quest and the Junior Arts tour to Ponsonby and Pasadena were definitely my highlights of the year. Seeing so many talented young people with a platform to express themselves.
  • I really enjoyed the Arts Shows – I thought both the junior talent quest and intermediate tours were very successful.

Messages for WSCW 2022 Arts Leaders

  • Keep things simple and achievable. I think it’s the most rewarding when you have tangible results.
  • It would be good to grow the audience and engagement with students online.
  • Keep the arts committee going! This year we had a wonderful arts committee who contributed a lot of lovely ideas. I think it’s important to keep this going as it allows students from all years to have their opinions heard and ideas put into action.

2022 next steps for our creative journey

  • Studying music and English at Te Herenga Waka in Pōneke. I’m also keen to play as much live music as possible, having missed out this year. I’m looking forward to rebooting various music projects and hopefully organising a tour around Aotearoa.
  • Next year, I’m going to Wellington to study a Bachelor of Performing Arts at Toi Whakaarri or a Drama and English Literature at the University of Victoria.
  • Work, play music and enjoy life.

Dance Department Highlights of 2021

Student engagement with dance online during lockdown was impressive. It was great to see students ready to move, in their dance gear, working hard, despite the challenges. We were also impressed with the amazing dance work they created in their garages, bedrooms and gardens.

Lucy Harrison, Kyra Tuisamoa, Lucy Jones, Henri Woodley, Pascale Rive

Fabulous guest tutors taught a range of dance styles to Year 9-13 Dance students and supported our dance kaupapa: Otis Donovan Herring – African, Anitra Hayday  – Street dance – house, locking and an ensemble choreography relating to adaptability, Richie Cesan – Hip Hop, and Megan Adams – partnering, Shakespearean Jig and choreography.

Mairano Raukawa, Minh Anh Tran, Milly Woodely-Phillips, Tamsin Theron, Ada Li

YouDance Festival was a highlight for our Year 12 Dance class. A day of rehearsing, mingling with other schools, and performing two excellent dances on stage at the Raye Freedman Theatre, alongside 9 other schools.

We were fortunate enough to still attend Atamira Dance Company’s Te Wheke at ASB Waterfront Theatre to see.

Students from years 11, 12 and 13 performed the dance We Move at the Leavers Event. It was a celebration of student dance movement, created mostly during lockdown, and performed outside in the sun. Thank you Mattheus Elwood for capturing this movement so beautifully.

Tamsin Theron, Minh Anh Tran, Tigist Belay, Nina Stichbury, Theo Voon-Clarke, Isabella Griffin, Grace Harper Adams

Collections 2021 Dance showcase – Dress rehearsal! As our students are calling it, the almost show. We found out the day we were in dress rehearsal that Aotearoa was going into lockdown. These seniors dance students performed outstandingly in their dress rehearsal, almost show!

The annual Arts tour to Pasadena and Ponsonby Intermediate Schools – a great opportunity for our year 9 and 10 dance students to perform their class work to enthusiastic audiences.

Emilia Fairgray, Lily Smith, Naila Garman, Molly Green, Rio Watson, Isabella Gittos, Addison Prichard-Matagi, Sophie Gehin, Lennox Morunga, Emily Gilbanks.

Last but definitely not least a warm hearted farewell and best wishes to our year 13 dance class. You will be missed! Special mention goes to Stefan Tomokino who received the WSCNPoW Dance award for outstanding achievement in Dance. Stefan it has been an absolute pleasure to share dance learning with you over the past four years. Wishing all the Dance school leavers the very best, stay in touch.

Dance Department

Chloe Davison and Samantha Wood Rawnsley

Drama department recap 2021: ‘The course of true love never did run smooth’

Just as Lysander laments in a Midsummer Night’s Dream, we have seen it all in 2021. Hot on the heels of 2020, this year has been a movable feast for the Drama department. Despite the many restrictions posed on Theatre by Covid 19, our students have gone above and beyond to throw themselves into the broad range of opportunities we’ve still managed to offer this year. In the wake of shifted dates, cancellations and lockdowns, we have adapted, adjusted and pivoted to continue fostering a love of the Dramatic Arts.

Te Whare Kapua by Massive Theatre Company. Directed by Sam Scott
Our first trip this year saw three busloads of students head out the beautiful Mangere Arts Centre to explore this new devised work by the indomitable Massive Theatre Company. The work centred around real life stories, and proved to be a fertile discussion ground for our ākonga to reflect on the power of the stories we tell.
The Haka Party Incident By Auckland Theatre Company. Directed by Katie Wolfe. In the second term our senior Drama students were treated to this powerful and political work. The year 12 and 13 students were quick to pick up on the correlations between 1979 and some of the present social and political injustices faced in present day Aotearoa.
Young and Hungry Schools Tour: ‘Whadarya’. Directed by Stephen Ray. Postponed in 2020, we were lucky enough to catch the second tour of the Young and Hungry Trust Schools Tour. Many students recognised the excerpts from prominent New Zealand writers like Hone Kouka’s Waiora and Stephen Sinclair’s The Bellbird. Y13 Drama were particularly excited to see professional actors take on scenes from Burn Her By Sam Brooks, which they explored during their New Zealand Theatre unit.
Dakota of the White Flats by Red Leap Theatre. Directed by WSCNPoW Alumnus Ella Becroft. The day we were catapulted into lockdown, WSCW Drama students were blissfully unaware that this brilliant work would be the last piece of Theatre they would get to see live in 2021. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for when tickets become available for their 2022 tour, this show is not to be missed.

Junior Drama

For those in the know, our Junior Arts Festival is usually the pinnacle of end of year events, showcasing the outstanding talents of the Year 9 and 10 Drama Students. This year they have done a fantastic job of pivoting online, and taking the twists and turns of pandemic learning in their stride.  

Shakespeare Festival 

We had a bumper crop of junior entries to The SGCNZ Shakespeare Festival this year, covering excerpts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night. Obviously we are overjoyed to have had such interest in bringing the works of William Shakespeare back to life once more!

The 2021 Schools Tour

Each year as part of our introduction to the neighbouring intermediate students, we tour works from the Junior Music, Art, Dance and Drama Departments. This year our students showed work from Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, Contemporary Playwright Eugene O’Hare’s ‘Hospital Food’, and some dynamic work by the Y10 Theatresports players.

Senior Drama

Year 11 Drama
Wheelers Luck By Damon Andrews, Toby Leach and Nigel Collins. Directed by Robert Pollock This year the Y11 Students were lucky to sneak their riotous incarnation of a Kiwi Classic, right before the long lockdown. With support from the Performing Arts Technology class backstage, the students braved winter ills and stepped up to serve this hilarious romp with the full vim and vigour of deadpan kiwi comedy. 
Year 12 DramaZero for the Young Dudes by Alistair McDowell. Directed by Kayleigh Haworth
In the mid-year the Y12 class gave their all to translate this contemporary British political piece into present day Aotearoa. Building upon the skills they forged during the first term (disrupted by a brief lockdown) the students did a fantastic job of collaborating and supporting one another to breathe life into the challenges faced by young people today. Huge debt of gratitude to the Performing Arts Technology students who worked tirelessly to meet the complex needs of this outrageous show.
 Year 13 Drama
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. Directed By Robert Pollock
Devastatingly, the official performances of this beautiful work were stymied by the long and unrelenting lockdown. As a true testament to all they have learnt in their time at WSCW, the Y13 class continued their rehearsals online, even managing a performance of scenes online, but ultimately succumbed to circumstances. Their enthusiasm and flair will be missed, as we wish them well on their first foray into the wild!

Performing Arts Technology

After a brief hiatus, 2021 has seen the revival of our Performing Arts Technology Course, with a full Year 12 and 13 combined class. This year has focussed on teaching foundational skills in Set Design, Stage Management, Lighting Design, Costume Design and Special Effects Makeup. Through a combination of ‘quick maker’ tasks, independent projects (attached to class productions) and input from expert practitioners, the PAT class have all produced a thrilling array of portfolio websites, ready to seek out opportunities in the creative arts and industries. Many thanks to generous support of our expert practitioners; Calvin Hudson (Lighting design), Michael McCabe from AUT (Set Design), Marianne Infante, Creative Producer from Proudly Asian Theatre (Stage Management) and Yolonda Bartram from BodyFX (SFX Makeup). Art snippets Isabelle Adamson, Ilana Sakgun Kizildare, Emily Carter, Amy Ingold (Backstage).

The Drama Department 2021

Student Success and Finishing the Year in Art

Greetings from the Art Department


WOW – in a year like no other, the team are both overwhelmed and thankful to have been able to operate and function under the lockdown restrictions – and make a safe and mindful entry back to school.  The BOT decision for the school to stagger the return of the seniors then juniors has proven to be the right decision for the older students as it enabled them to work with their teachers in class and focus on specialised workshop situations to complete their work and prepare for the exams.  Modifications from NZQA for Auckland students also created a more equitable foundation for our folio students and it was great to see most of our students produce work towards the external standards.  Whilst the new ‘normal’ comes with mask wearing, handwashing and wiping of table spaces, it is a small concession given the large number of creative and critical works that students have been able to maintain with on-line teaching and since returning to school.

Usually at this time we are celebrating senior success, getting ready to go to the beach or junior camps and planning for the festive season.  Unfortunately, at Level 3 Alert, we are however restricted to what we can accomplish with safety and consideration.  That being said – this forum is a perfect opportunity to acknowledge the success of three of our senior Visual Art students.

Two of the students were presented with their cups and safely photographed at school.  Art Design student –  Zoe Ferstat was the deserved recipient of the TuiSamoa Cup – which was presented at the leavers event as the Top Y13 Visual Art Student for the year.  Our new award for the year was a large Y12 cup presented during normal school hours (by the department and Deputy Principal – Ruth Roberts in attendance) to a very surprised and worthy Hannah Chung in recognition for gaining Excellence level across more than one Visual Art field.  And last, but certainly not least – the Peter Coxon Year 11 Award for creative and critical excellence went to Jasmine Zhou.



An extended thank you to the amazing Art team, support networks, parents and guardians for your combined efforts in supporting the Visual Arts and surviving this year.Congratulations to all the students who completed their work this year; all the best for next year.Happy and safe holidays to all x

Ia Manuia               –               Lily A Laita – HOD Art










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