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Paid Union Meeting & Cancelled Strike Action

We would like to advise that the College will be closing early on Monday 24 June at 12:45pm. This is to enable staff to attend a PPTA (Post Primary Teachers Association) Union meeting. Please note that buses have been ordered for 12:45pm.

Cancelled Strike Action

The PPTA has advised our Board of Trustees that the proposed rostering home actions, on Tuesday 25 and Tuesday 2 July have been cancelled. Normal school will take place on those days, for all students.

Thank you for your continued support.

Regional Strike Action Cancelled for Mon 17 June

13 June 2019

Dear Parent / Caregiver

The PPTA (Post Primary Teachers Association) has advised our Board of Trustees that the proposed regional strike action on Monday 17 June, will no longer be happening.

Normal school will take place on that day, for all students.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely

Lyndy Watkinson

Acting Principal

Avcol wins Showquest

Avondale College has won the Auckland Showquest performing arts competition! The student-led mini-spectacular incorporated dance, spoken word poetry, an LED screen backdrop and stunning lighting to communicate a strong environmental message. The performance also earned them awards for lighting, choreography and theme, along with the overall prize. Congratulations to all who took part!

Year 10 Strike Action Cancelled for 11 June

7 June 2019

Dear Parent / Caregiver

The PPTA (Post Primary Teachers Association) has advised our Board of Trustees that the proposed Year 10 rostering home on Tuesday June 11 has been cancelled.

Normal school will take place on that day, for all students.

Thank you for your continued support

Yours sincerely

Lyndy Watkinson

Acting Principal

Further strike action proposed by the PPTA


Earlier this week, the ongoing strike action by the PPTA meant that our Year 9 students were ‘rostered home’ for a day. Further action is proposed as follows:

Tuesday 11 June Year 10

Monday 17 June Auckland Regional Strike for all year levels

Tuesday 25 June Year 11

Tuesday 2 July Year 12

We will confirm arrangements for each of these days closer to the time, and if there are any changes we will inform families at our earliest opportunity.

Year 9 students to be ´rostered home´ Tuesday 4 June

Avondale College is open for instruction on Tuesday 4 June. Due to ‘rostering home’, Year 9 students are not required to attend school on that day. This is part of the ongoing PPTA Strike Action. Related Links > Letter for Year 9 parents/caregivers

School Closed Wednesday 29 May

Dear Parent/Caregiver

THe PPTA (Post Primary Teachers Association) has advised the Board of Trustees that all union members will be taking strike action on Wednesday 29 May.

As the majority of our teachers are members of the PPTA, the school will be closed for instruction on that day.

A small number of non-union staff will be available to supervise students if required. Please contact the office to indicate if you child needs to attend school on that day.

If the College receives notification of any changes regarding the strike action we will immediately inform familes.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely

Lyndy Watkinson

Acting Principal

Academic Pathway Information Evenings

Related Links > Cambridge International Info for Parents | NCEA Information

Big Band Rehearsal...

Our jazz bands are working hard in the lead up to the Tauranga Jazz Festival's secondary schools' competition... Here are some shots from one of the Big Band's rehearsal...


Cultural Groups preparing for Polyfest



The ASB Polyfest Trust Board and ASB Polyfest Director have decided to cancel the final day of this year’s festival in light of the terrorist attack that has taken place at two mosques in Christchurch this afternoon.

Chair of the ASB Polyfest Trust Gregory Pierce and ASB Polyfest Event Director – Seiuli Terri Leo Mauu said this evening “the safety and well-being of our student performers, and the public that come to enjoy the festival is always paramount in our planning.”
“Today’s events in Christchurch have unsettled some of our performers, Polyfest staff, schools and our sponsors, and to respect their well-being we have decided to cancel the final day of the festival.” 
“If the event had gone ahead there would have been a significant presence of heavily armed police at the festival which would not have been appropriate for Saturday’s family day focus at the ASB Polyfest.”

The organisers will be available for media queries, at the Manukau Sports Bowl on Saturday morning at 10am.
For More Information:
Media Liaison:                  Dean Wilson
Mobile:                             (021) 637-636
Event Director:                 Seiuli Terri Leo-Mauu
Mobile:                             (021) 144-4503

Polyfest Community Performances

Many of our Polyfest groups will be performing to the community in the Avondale College theatre this week. All welcome!


Monday (Gold Coin Donation)
6pm – Diversity Showcase

7.30pm - Niuean Group


Tuesday (Gold Coin Donation)

7.30pm – Tongan Group


Wednesday (Tickets $10 at the door, or from a member of the Samoan group)

7pm – Samoan Group



Athletics Day

Avondale College's whole school Athletics Day was a brilliant event, with school-wide participation in a range of athletic events. Adding to the fun of the day were the Year 13 students who ran, jumped, hopped and skipped through their events while wearing fancy dress. The more serious athletes who emerged from the day will go on to compete in the Avondale College Championships Athletics Day to be held at Mt Smart Stadium on Thursday 21 February.

Start Dates for 2019

Senior Prizegiving

Avondale College celebrated the success of our top students for 2018 at the Senior Prizegiving. Congratulations to all students who were recognised for achieving the highest results in their subjects, and to those who were awarded special prizes and tertiary scholarships.

Our highest academic honours went to:
NCEA Dux: Sian Dillon
Cambridge International Dux: Varun Bora
NCEA Proxime Accessit: Anne Hurt
Cambridge International Proxime Accessit: Bailey Tang

Special congratulations also to Mrs Rachel Lamb who won the Staff Travel Study Award for 2018.

Interphase - Dance Showcase!

An astonishing 167 students took to the stage to perform at our Dance Showcase! The two night event featured students from our Performing Arts Academy, as well as senior and junior Dance classes and co-curricular groups. Highlights included the high-energy K-Pop group, some amazing hip-hop groups, and the very thoughtful and polished contemporary performances from our Scholarship students.  Well done to all involved!


Awards for Catch Me If You Can!

Avondale College won FOUR awards at the Showdown Awards on Saturday night, for the school's production of Catch Me If You Can! 


The red carpet event was held at the Mercury Theatre, and recognised excellence in the performing arts in Auckland secondary schools' dramatic and musical productions.
Avondale College had been nominated for 12 different awards in the 'Musical' category, amidst some fierce competition from a large number of Auckland schools. We were delighted to win the following awards:

Ms Clare Jennings - Best Choreographer
Mr Les Hughes - Best Lighting Design
Mrs Susan Elijas and team - Best Costumes
Monty Mathieson - Best Male in a Supporting Role
Congratulations to all our nominees and award winners!



Related Links > Insert file description

Vote for Catch Me If You Can!

Avondale's school show is up for the Showdown Awards! Register your vote for the People's Choice Awards here!

Catch Me If You Can!

Slideshow of Images from the Avondale College Show for 2018

School Show: Catch Me If You Can

As the curtain fell on closing night on Friday, more than 120 student performers and crew took a well-earned bow!  <p>

The five night show week was a huge success, with high-energy performances, superb dance numbers and, as promised, a riveting storyline.<p>

Congratulations to all who worked so hard in the weeks and months in the lead up to show week - your efforts both on and off the stage were very well received!<p>
Particular thanks go to the key staff involved: Ms Jennings (Choreographer), Mr Stenbo (Musical Director) and especially the Show Director, Mrs Norton, who did such a fantastic job in pulling it all together and, together, created an extremely memorable show for 2018!

Catch Me If You Can!

Avondale College is proud to present our show for 2018: Catch Me If You Can!

Based on the hit film and the incredible true story, 'Catch Me If You Can' is a high-flying musical comedy about chasing your dreams and not getting caught.

Seeking fame and fortune, precocious teenager, Frank Abignale Jr (played by Joshua Parker) runs away from home to begin an unforgettable adventure. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged cheques, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer – living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams. When Frank's lies catch the attention of the FBI, agent Carl Hanratty (played by David Tuitama) pursues Frank across the country to make him pay for his crimes...

Catch Me If You Can is a big and bright spectacle with high-energy dance numbers and a riveting story.

See it at the Avondale College theatre from 17 to 21 September.

Doors sales (cash only) available 30 minutes before the show starts.

Click to book!

Avondale College students claim five top-ten places at Microsoft World Champs!

The latest results of Certiport’s Microsoft Office Specialist Championships have just been announced, and Avondale College students have claimed a total of five top-ten places in the international competition!

Yesterday the College celebrated the success of Year 11 student Tristan Mona at assemblies - today the celebration continues with the announcement that four of his team mates have been recognised as achieving top-ten status in their respective competitions.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 - First place, Tristan Mona

Microsoft Word 2013 - Seventh place, Sebastian Thomas, New Zealand

Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 - Eighth place, Christopher Tang, New Zealand

Microsoft Excel 2013 - Seventh place, Jack Hui, New Zealand

Microsoft Excel 2016 - Eighth place, Alexander James, New Zealand

In its 17th year the competition attracted more than 760,000 candidates from 116 countries, a 35 percent increase in participation year-over-year. Students entered to prove their superior skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, culminating the most popular technology skills competition on Microsoft Office and the only one endorsed by Microsoft since its inception in 2002.

To enter the competition, students aged 13 to 22 took a qualifying Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification exam to demonstrate their mastery of Microsoft Office products. Regional competitions were held worldwide and 152 student finalists from 52 countries competed in the final round of competition in Orlando, Florida, USA from July 29 – August 1, 2018.

Tristan crowned World Champion!

Avondale College's Tristan Mona has risen to the very top of over 760,000 competitors worldwide to gain first place in the PowerPoint 2016 category of the 2018 Certiport Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship!

It's an amazing achievement for the Year 11 student, who says the moment when his name was announced from front of the award ceremony at the USA finals was "unreal!"

"Becoming the first ever New Zealander to reach a world placing in this competition is quite overwhelming, and perhaps the biggest moment in my life so far," he says.

It's no small achievement - over 760,000 competitors entered the competition worldwide in the six Microsoft Office applications - and of these, 152 national champions made it to the finals held in the USA from 29 July to 1 August.

To win the competition, Tristan was faced with a 50 minute exam where he had to use all of his expert skills to recreate a series of slides, complete with transitions, animations and media. It was a challenging test, and Tristan left the room knowing he hadn't managed to fully complete the assignment, but hoping his submission was enough to make the months of training in the lead up to the competition worth it.

"You always try to believe you have a chance to win it all," he says, "but there’s also the possibility lingering that someone bettered you in that room at the same time. I guess I’m just fortunate enough to have my best efforts produce what they did."

Along with the world champion status, a gold medal and shining trophy, Tristan won an X-Box and US$7000 in prize money.

Tristan says he is now encouraged to make the most of all the remaining opportunities offered by Avondale's Innovation Programme. He currently holds 22 internationally recognised industry certfications (in Microsoft Office, Adobe, IC3 and more), and is looking at furthering these qualifications as well as competing in the Microsoft Office Specialist Championship next year - in a different application!

Open Evening - Wed 1 August 4-7pm

Prospective students and their families are warmly invited to attend our Open Evening! Come to our main Atrium building (Victor Street entrance), to join a guided tour.

Jazz & Soul Concert

Avondale College's Jazz and Soul night is always one of the musical highlights of the year, and this year's performance, held in the last week of Term 2 was no exception, with the two hour concert featuring a larger variety of music than ever before.

The night began with a set by our Jazz Academy, which has grown this year to a full big band under the direction of Mr Robinson. They were followed by performances from band Soulful, the 52nd Street Combo, our Year 13 Music students, Blue Note Combo, Dale Soul and the Avondale College Jazz Combo. Next up was the inaugural performance by our newly formed Gospel Choir, who gave an energetic rendition of a traditional Zulu song, Humba Nathi, and gospel classic: This Little Light of Mine. The night concluded with the full sound of our Big Band who played three pieces including Flight of the Foo Bird, Stormy Weather and It's All Right With Me.

Well done to all the performers who gave the audience such a superb evening's entertainment, and to the Avondale College Music Department staff and itinerant tutors who put in so many hours behind the scenes rehearsing and honing the performance skills of our talented students.

Jazz & Soul Concert

An Evening of Choreography

Don't miss out on seeing some of the fantastic work being devised by our senior Dance students. Wednesday 4 July in the B13 studio, 6-7pm.

Classical Concert

Avondale College's Classical Concert was a very special event, with performances by our Taikaka Orchestra, Classical Music Academy students, the Premier String Ensemble and the Avondale College Symphony Orchestra.

The concert showcased the breadth of musical opportunity available at the College, and the sheer number of students who stepped onto the stage clearly demonstrated how the programme has grown in strength in recent years.

Some students in the Taikaka Orchestra performed for the very first time after having begun learning instruments this year through our itinerant music programme. Others were highly experienced and accomplished musicians, such as the Premier String Ensemble who gave a dazzling performance, led by student Emily Kamimura and tutored by Mr David Snelling.

One of the highlights of the concert was the Avondale College Symphony Orchestra's inaugural performance of a very special piece of music, Hush Be Still, written by former student Kirsten Strom. Kirsten is the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra's Rising Star Young Composer in Residence.

Kirsten's piece gave the orchestra a wonderful opportunity to perform local music specifically written for our ensemble, says Director of Music, Mr Mathew Stenbo. "Working together with her for the last few years has been a pleasure, and we look forward to seeing and especially hearing more from her in the future."

The Avondale College Music Department would like to thank all their supporters who work hard behind the scenes to enable the music programmes to flourish.

Performing Arts Academy Evening

The hard work and talent of our Performing Arts Academy students were displayed in their performance evening last Thursday evening. The audience was treated to performances from all four Academy strands - Classical Music, Jazz Music, Dance and Drama - featuring work they have been developing in their before-school classes.

Congratulations to all students - and their teachers - on producing such a dynamic and entertaining evening.

David performs lead role in ´Cats´

Year 12 Avondale College student David Tuitama will be performing the lead role of Old Deuteronomy as part of the National Youth Theatre Company's production of Cats. He is one of seven Avondale College students who are involved in the production, which is taking place at the ASB Theatre from 21-24 June.

"It has been an intense experience," says David. "I was really happy to just be part of the ensemble cast but ended up being one of the leads!"

David has had a busy year so far, taking the title role of Othello in the College's 15 minute production that won the West Auckland heats of the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare competition and performed at the National Shakespeare competition in Wellington over Queen's Birthday. Following on from this event, he has just learned he has been chosen to take part in the National Shakespeare Schools Production (NSSP), a week-long intensive course with workshops, rehearsals and performances in the September/October holidays. This is a significant achievement as just 48 students from the hundreds involved are selected for this course.

In addition, the talented actor has also been cast as one of the lead roles in Avondale College's upcoming production of Catch Me If You Can.

David will be performing as Old Deuteronomy on Friday 22 June at 7pm and Saturday 23 June at 1.30pm. Tickets are available through Ticketek.

Lyric award for songwriter

Congratulations to Avcol's Indie rock band 'Bad Dog' whose front man Joshua Parker won the APRA Lyric Award for the best lyrics at the Auckland Central regional finals of Smokefree Rockquest!

The band also placed second in the regional finals, and now have three weeks to write, record and create a video of an original song to submit for selection for the national finals.

Adobe Specialist Workshops

Selected ICT classes had the special opportunity to engage with the Australian-based Adobe Education Specialist team in a creative workshop session on Wednesday 13 June.

Students undertook a mini Adobe Have a Voice project where they had to work with a partner or in groups to build a two minute video promoting a concept, idea or issue that was important to them. Students built the videos using either Spark Video, Premiere Clip or Premiere Pro and had to incorporate a short animation made with Adobe Character Animator.

In the afternoon, staff from Avondale College and other secondary schools had the opportunity to take part in a professional development session in using Adobe in the classroom.

The session was led by Dr Tim Kitchen - check out his write up about the day (and our students' videos!) here:

Netsafe Parents Evening - Monday 11 June

Avondale College wants to help every learner become a global citizen, and enable them to thrive in a safe, digital environment. We are running our annual Netsafe Parents' Evening on 11 June. Come along to find out how to help your children be responsible digital citizens and keep themselves safe online. The session will be led by Pauline Spence, Education Advisor at Netsafe.

The Netsafe session will cover:

• How you can support our school to be a safe and meaningful place for learning - and how home and school can support each other

• Practical and useful approaches to digital technology that are most likely to work at home and school

• How we can work together to grow our digital citizens

About Netsafe

• Netsafe is your first port of call when you need help or expertise related to online safety and online challenges

• For online safety advice and guides visit or call 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)

• Follow Netsafe on Facebook or Twitter (@NetsafeNZ)

We also recommend that attendees read Netsafe’s parenting advice at

Avondale students on their way to the national MOS champs!

For the third year running, Avondale College is fielding the entire team of hopefuls to compete in the national Microsoft Office Specialist championships. This year 120 schools took part in the nationwide competition, with 20 students making it through to the finals. All 20 are, once again, from Avondale College. We wish them all the best for Thursday's finals!

Whau Youth Awards

We are celebrating the success of Avondale College students and staff who were recognised at the Whau Youth Awards on Friday 25 May. Staff member Judith Revell received a 'Local Hero' award, and  our high achieving students (poet and Head Boy Matt Manukuo and athletes Percy Maka, Deja Rees and Joanna Poland) also received honours. Congratulations!

Auckland Youth Orchestra

Great to see three Avcol students (Rana Cawley, Qiao Sang & Emily Kamimura) and former student Genevieve Tang on stage with the Auckland Youth Orchestra at the Town Hall on Sunday. A superb performance from an outstanding group of young musicians!

Academic Badges Assembly

An enormous number of hard-earned badges were handed out at Monday's Academic Assembly. Congratulations to our current Year 12 and 13 students whose academic endeavour last year saw them achieve the very top grades possible across all their subjects: NCEA with Excellence and Cambridge with Distinction!


A group of 27 Year 11 and Year 12 girls had an inspiring day yesterday as part of the STEM Girlboss event held at Avondale College. Highlights of the programme included hearing about the work of many inspirational women involved in science and engineering, and taking part in a robot race challenge. The day also gave students the opportunity to connect with female university, STEM and science professionals, which will be a great help as they make their own career and study choices going forward.

Pink Shirt Day

We’ve joined the Pink Shirt Day movement!

Avondale College has joined the Pink Shirt Day movement to Speak Up, Stand Together and Stop Bullying! On Tuesday, 15 May we showed our commitment to creating a school environment that is safe, welcoming and inclusive of all students. Home room teachers delivered lessons about bullying prevention, many students used the mufti day to wear pink and Safe School Leaders continued to spread the message by handing out stickers and balloons.

Proceeds from the students' donations are going to Youthline and the Mental Health Foundation.

Conference inspires environmental leaders

The two student leaders of Avondale College's Environmental Council, Dylan Chand and Emily Smith, attended a three day Young Leaders Sustainability Programme in Manukau during the holidays. There they learned about the Manukau Harbour and the importance of its ecosystem. They did fun activities like snorkelling at Goat Island and Mathesons Bay, and visited the wastewater management system nearby to help develop their understanding of the Harbour. At the end of the programme they spoke to members of the Manukau Harbour forum, in groups, about what projects they could undertake to improve the harbour's health.

Inspired by the programme, Emily and Dylan, along with all the members of the Environmental Council have enjoyed putting together a range of activities for Avondale College students to participate in as part of Seaweek this week. The activities are aimed at raising awareness about how we treat the sea, and considering ways to show greater respect towards this environment.

Honours Assembly

The outstanding achievements of 220 students were recognised at our Honours Assembly on Monday. The students had all achieved top results in a variety of arenas - from academic to cultural and sport - at regional, national and even international levels.

Digital literacy achievements for Year 9s

Our Year 9 Innovation students are proving their digital literacy is truly at a global standard.

All students are currently working towards gaining IC3 Digital Literacy Certification - a qualification usually gained by professionals in the ICT industry.

These Year 9 Innovation students sat the IC3 Spark exam last term and now are working towards their Computer Fundamentals exam next week.

Avondale College believes IC3 includes concepts and skills that apply to almost any career pathway. It's the ideal solution for any adult student or job seeker looking to validate their digital skills.

Simply put, the IC3 Digital Literacy programme is the best way to ensure that University students and employees are prepared to succeed in a technology-based world. That these Year 9 students are achieving it is a testimony to their desire to succeed and hard work of the teaching staff.

Talent Quest

There was just so much talent on stage at the annual Avondale College Talent Quest in the last week of term! Judging the performances were two Avondale College alumni, musician Dixon Nacey and singer/songwriter Iris G, as well as hip-hop artist Kings.

The prefect Talent Quest committee did a great job organising and MC'ing the event - and also demonstrating much talent of their own in the annual Prefects v Teachers concluding acts!

Well done to all the finalists, and particular congratulations to the overall winner - for the second year in a row - hip hop dancer, Kiahan Simons-Tipau.

Overall Winners:

1st - Kiahan Simons-Tipau

2nd - Maurice and the Men - Joshua Parker, Max Fagan, Liam Harris, Bradley Nauck

3rd - Ephraim Matafai

New record for Kanah

Year 13 student Kanah Andrews-Nahu broke another NZ & Oceania record at the Youth & Junior Olympic Weightlifting development camp and competition in the holidays. She's well on track for the Oceania Champs in June and hopefully the Youth Olympics in October!

Findlay jumps his way to Denmark!

Year 9 student Findlay Shannon is heading to Denmark to represent New Zealand at the world GTramp Games after winning the New Zealand Youth Division of the NZ GTramp Champs held at Jump in Avondale on Sat 21 April. GTramping is an extreme sport incorporating freestyle and acrobatic styles - and is a sport Findlay has been involved with for several years. We wish him all the best for the international competition in August!

Anzac Day 2018

Twenty three Avondale College prefects and staff represented the school with pride at the Anzac Day service held in Avondale on 25 April. Head prefects Matthew Manukuo and Tiffany Sua both spoke at the event, and a wreath was laid at the memorial on behalf of the College.

NZIBO National Camp

New Zealand International Biology Olympiad

Three Avondale College students were selected amongst the country’s top 25 high school biologists to participate in this year’s New Zealand International Biology Olympiad Camp. Jesslyn Chen, Leo Cekus and Eric Huang represented the College with pride and enthusiasm. During the ten-day residential camp, co-ordinated by Avondale College's own Mr Shawn Cooper, students first had the opportunity to visit the research labs at Auckland University’s School of Medical Sciences where they observed current research projects, spoke with scientists, and conducted their own scientific investigations using the most modern technologies. Growing colonies of glow-in-the-dark bacteria gathered from fish gills was a highlight – literally! Following this, the campers went snorkelling at Goat Island Marine Reserve in Leigh and learned how to conduct marine investigations.

Massey Albany hosted stage two of the camp, challenging the students to consider animal welfare when participating in conservation, allowing students to isolate their own DNA from saliva, and using nanopore DNA sequencing to “play CSI” on the stomach contents from a stranded whale to see what it had eaten. Massey’s final contribution was to lead a field day on Tiritiri Matangi where students observed korimako (bell bird) and hihi (stitch bird) behaviour to interpret ecological relationships important to conservation management. The day ended with a sighting of four of the last remaining 347 takahē living in Aotearoa.

While most students relaxed over the holiday period, Jesslyn, Leo and Eric are to be commended for their extraordinary efforts preparing for and competing in the final two days of practical and theoretical examinations. Tested on their dissection skills, disease pathology observations, data processing abilities and technical lab skills using micropipettes and spectrophotometers, these students finished the camp exhausted. As they await the results of NZIBO 2018 competition, all three have already earned Silver Awards for their achievements and should hold their heads high, if for no other reason than to see the opportunities that undoubtedly await them in the future!

Japan Trip

In the last week of Term 1, 24 Year 10 to 13 students departed Auckland for Tokyo, Japan, in the Daito Bunka Dai-Ichi High School exchange. The exchange has occurred for the past 29 years and sees our students immerse themselves in Japanese life for sixteen days. Each student lived with a Japanese family, attended school with their homestay and took part in yoga and calligraphy lessons. Students involved themselves in judo and handball clubs and even cleaned the school, as is customary, with their Japanese counterparts.

Alongside the school exchange our students also had the opportunity to sightsee in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima where they gained insights into the cultural and historic sides of Japan. The trip included a shinkansen (bullet train) ride past the awe inspiring Mt Fuji, temple visits, shopping and plenty of walking! The sightseeing culminated in an emotive trip to the Peace Memorial and Museum in Hiroshima. We look forward to hosting the Japanese staff and students in the return trip in July and August of this year.

Ecology Field Trip

Thursday the 5th April marked the fifth and final Ecology trip for Year 11 Science students this year. Accompanied by experienced staff, groups of students had been visiting two streams (Karamatura and Shadbolt Streams) in the Whau River catchment. Students completed chemical testing of the water and compared key differences in the organisms living in the streams. The goal was to collect information that identifies the impact of urbanisation (human influence) on the overall health of a stream. With the current health of waterways and streams in New Zealand, this year's Science cohort is well set to make choices that will benefit the environment in the future.

Avcol actors win entry to national Shakespeare festival

Avondale College Drama students gave an award-winning performance in the West Auckland heat of the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival on Wednesday evening.

Avondale entered three pieces into the competition, with our senior Drama students 15 minute scene from Othello taking out the top award on the night - and winning a spot in the National Festival to be held in Wellington over Queen's birthday weekend.

Also acknowledged on the night was Director of Drama, Miss Erica Newlands, who won the award for the Best Director for the scene from The Merchant of Venice, and Year 13 student Tegan Stinson who won the award for 'Most Promising Actor'.

The University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival is organised by The Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand. Now in its 27th year the nationwide festival involves over 5500 students from more than half the secondary schools in New Zealand.

Medals for Avcol Athletes

With a full team of 23 athletes who qualified in the zone meets, the team headed to Mt Smart Stadium early morning on Monday 26 March to compete in the College Sport Auckland Athletics Championships. The athletes were eagerly anticipating a fantastic day of competition.

We came away with a staggering number of medals - eight - but more importantly, all these athletes were given the opportunity to contest the championship titles on offer. All in all, we were awarded three gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals.

Stand out performances were seen by Percy Maka with his win in both the Junior Boys' Shot Put and Discus throws.

Joanna Poland also showed an impressive display of middle-distance running talent, winning her 1500m race by an incredible margin.

Lex Revell-Lewis showed great determination in his 800m run, but was just pipped at the post by an Auckland Grammar boy within the last few metres. His silver medal performance is still a fantastic result!

Dhanush Chandra dominated the Senior Boys’ Triple Jump event but just missed out on that gold medal in the final jump of the competition.

Maclani Michael also showed a strong performance in her Triple Jump event, placing 2nd overall and gaining another silver medal for her efforts.

Deja Rees, our Senior Girl thrower, had a great day, taking home a bronze medal for her Shot Put performance.

The Intermediate Girls 4x100m Relay team also came away with a bronze medal after showing speed, strength and clean baton-change technique in their race.

Congratulations to all students who competed and a big thank you to all the staff and families that helped in making it such a successful event!

Silver awards for all our jazz musicans in Tauranga!

Avondale's musicians shone on stage at the National Jazz Festival in Tauranga over Easter - and have come away with a fistful of awards to prove it!

All three jazz combos and our Big Band received Silver Awards at the national competition - an oustanding result for all 31 musicians involved!

The students also performed at the Tauranga Farmers' Market on Saturday morning, much to the delight of the crowd!

Research trips for Geographers

Avondale's Year 12 and 13 Geography students had an extremely busy week in the field last week, collecting research data. The Year 12 Geography classes visited the Karamatura Stream on Wednesday and Thursday to check out the differences between the features of a river at the mouth compared to further upstream. Conscious of the rahui in the Waitakeres, we consulted with the local iwi, Te Kawerau a Maki, before organising the trip and they were happy for us to proceed.

The Year 13 students visited Muriwai beach on Friday and spent the morning in the sunshine measuring longshore drift and gathering data for beach profiles. The local cafe provided shelter from the heavy rain around lunchtime, but cleared for us to explore the Okiritoto end of the beach after lunch.

Australasian Speedway title for Chris

When Chris Kernohan sat his restricted licence recently, he had a pretty good chance of passing. After all, he has been driving since he was seven years old!

The Year 13 Avondale College has honed his love of Speedway through years of ministock and then saloon class racing. His most recent success saw him return victorious from Australia after winning the 2018 Webbcrete Australasian Junior Sedan Championship.

Having left his custom-built car back home, Chris had to race in an unfamiliar car but beat 60 competitors to win all his heats before taking out the feature race final.

It was a satisfying victory for the New Zealand team, says Chris. "The Australians were quite surprised. No Kiwi had ever won that before."

Back in New Zealand, Chris is looking forward to the final few weeks of the summer Speedway season. He travels each weekend with his parents to Tauranga, where he trains and races at Baypark.

"I'm into engines and cars - and I like how it's an individual sport as well. It's just me out there - I only have myself to blame if something goes wrong."

Polyfest 2018

Avondale College celebrated cultural diversity with tremendous pride at last week’s Polyfest! With nearly 500 students involved this year in 14 different cultural groups, Avondale was the festival’s largest participating school.

The annual cultural festival is now in its 43rd year, and with an estimated 90,000 visitors last week, is now the largest Maori and Pasifika festival in the world.

Having historically excelled on the Samoan cultural stage, the College’s Samoan group were delighted to once again bring home the trophy for the best overall co-ed school, after winning five of the nine judged categories. Also recognised this year was Avondale College’s leader of the Niuean group, Matthew Manukuo, who won the award for the best male leader on the Niuean stage. Our Tongan group placed third in the Lakalaka, and Sakaria Filo and Paea Filimoehala placed second in the Samoan and Tongan speeches respectively.

However, it is not just the Pasifika groups who are excelling. In recent years the multicultural Diversity Stage has grown to the point where it is now as competitive as the others, with 85 different groups competing for different continent and choreography awards over two days. Diversity is truly the theme of this stage - Avondale’s Fijian Group was made up of students from a variety of ethnic backgrounds - including just one student from Fiji! They won two awards: 2nd place for Oceania and 2nd place overall for choreography - an outstanding achievement!

Avondale’s African group not only won their division, they also led a masterclass in African dancing with the enthusiastic crowd. In a Polyfest first, Avondale College also introduced a Mexican group to the stage this year. Made up of mostly international students, the group brought a vibrant South American flavour to the event. One of the students, Zoe Belaunzaran-Sonsejo, was so passionate about exploring the different cultures that she took part in two groups - managing to divide her hours after school to learn both the Mexican dance and the very intense Indian dance!

Mrs Elizabeth Hunt, teacher in charge of the Cook Island group, says that seeing the students grow in atawhai for one another during the rehearsal process was one of the most gratifying things about Polyfest this year.

"They were a team in the best sense of the word," she says. “Not just because they danced and sang beautifully in sync, but because of the genuine bonds of friendship and respect that were built during the rehearsal process.”

Avondale College would like to congratulate and thank all the students and their families who were involved, as well as staff and former students who worked so hard to make this such a special event. Kohia nga Taikaka.

Big win for Lucy

Year 13 athlete Lucy Makaea has had a great week, winning both a prestigious Tania Dalton Foundation scholarship as well as the U19 Iron Person event at the Surf Life Saving Nationals.

The Tania Dalton Foundation named Lucy as one of its first scholarship recipients last week, which will entitle her to receive personal mentoring and fiscal support. The Foundation was established in the memory of netballer Tania Dalton, and also aims to guide young women to lead their best lives, inspired through sport.

At the Surf Life Saving National Champs held in Gisborne last week, Lucy did extremely well, winning the U19 women's Iron Person event.

Samoan Group wins stage at Polyfest

Performing in front of a crowd of thousands at the world’s largest Maori and Pasifika festival last week, Avondale College’s Samoan group showed that they are indeed world class - and proved it definitively by bringing home the award for the best co-ed group on ASB Polyfest’s Samoan Stage.

Avondale’s Samoan group have historically been a force to be reckoned with at the annual competition, winning the top prize 11 times in the last 17 years. However, the last time Avondale’s name was on the trophy was in 2014, and it is with a great sense of achievement that the group has brought home the trophy once again.

Trained by a dedicated group of tutors, most of whom are former Avondale College students themselves, the 58-strong group worked tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the competition, putting in many hours perfecting the new songs and dances that made up their twenty minute routine.

Their performance on the day was flawless - with the group placing in the top three of all nine of the categories, winning five, as well as the overall prize.

Teacher in charge, Ms Guinevere Alai said that she was extremely proud of the group’s efforts. "The commitment and determination the students had to be better after every single practice paid off on performance day. They were amazing."

Silver medals for our IBO students

Following five long months of participation in the New Zealand Biology Olympiad online tutorial programme and excellent results in their entrance examinations, Year 13 biologists Eric Huang, Jesslyn Chen and Leo Cekus have all achieved NZIBO Silver Awards and a place at the national camp in April. The three Avondale students will join just 22 other students from around New Zealand at the camp, where they will collaborate with University researchers from Auckland and Massey Universities to explore a range of disciplines from cellular and molecular biology to physiology, ecology and evolution.

The opportunity to participate in this ten day residential camp has been inspiring and motivating for past students, connecting like-minded, highly talented students from across the country and exposing them to future career and study pathways.

The top four students as identified by theory and practical examinations at the camp will be awarded the NZIBO Gold Award and will be invited to participate in a research internship in the Great Rift Valley of Africa in July, where Mr Shawn Cooper will be the team leader. Congratulations and all the best for these three worthy students as they continue to achieve and impress!

Alumni: Football scholarship to USA for Molly!

Congratulations to Molly Flynn who will be heading to the USA in August after winning a football and academic scholarship to study at Bethel University in Tennessee.

Molly played for Avondale College's 1st XI during all five of her years here, rising through the ranks as a Sports Academy footballer in Year 9 through to captaining the 1st XI in Years 12 and 13. She had dreamed about studying in the USA on a football scholarship and so sent videos of herself playing football to some coaches - and was snapped up by Bethel University.

The next four years are going to be full on for Molly - she will be doing a Bachelor of Science degree and also playing football full time.

"This is something which I have always dreamed of doing," she says. "I am so excited to be starting a new adventure very shortly!"

Eco bins help get Avcol's recycling sorted!

Avondale College's Environmental Council has joined forces with Paper4trees's waste minimising and tree planting programme to work towards diverting the amount of paper waste currently ending up in landfill.

One hundred and sixty black eco-bins were distributed throughout the College last week, to be used just for paper and cardboard recycling. Donated by Fonterra, the bins are made from recycled light-proof milk bottles.

The idea of the partnership with Paper4trees came from Dylan Chan, one of this year's Environmental Council's student leaders, after the students discovered that the large cardboard classroom bins used throughout the College needed to be replaced.

For each two cubic metres of paper and cardboard recycled by Avondale College, Paper4trees will donate one native tree or plant.

It's a great idea, says Environmental Council TIC, Mr Shawn Cooper. "It's really fantastic to see student initiative driving the Environmental Council. The idea for our recycling efforts to feed into a tree planting programme is brilliant".

Percy Maka breaks international record

An international age grade record that has stood since 1982 was broken by Year 9 discus thrower Percy Maka in his Grade 12 Boys competition at the Auckland Athletics Senior Meet held on Saturday 3 March.

Competing for his Papakura club, Percy threw an outstanding 48.73m at the event, winning not only the competition but also breaking the Auckland record he had previously set, as well as the international record set in June 1982 of 48.65m.

This is the second time Percy has smashed an international age grade record in discus; he also set one as an 11 year old.

Percy’s latest international record will be announced through official channels when the paperwork has been finalised in upcoming weeks.

We look forward to seeing more of this rising star at athletics events throughout the year!

Multiple medals for Lucy

Doing what she loves has seen surf lifesaver Lucy Makaea come away from the Surf Lifesaving Northern Regionals with a fistful of medals - 20 in total!

The Year 13 Avondale College student won 17 golds, two silvers and a bronze at the weekend event in Under 19 and Open Women's events, competing for her Piha club.

It's a big year for Lucy - last year she broke a New Zealand record in the U19 Manikin Tow and was selected for the New Zealand Youth Lifesaving Squad. From this squad a team of just five boys and five girls will be chosen after the nationals in March to compete at the Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide at the end of the year.

Lucy's commitment to the sport is huge - she trains twelve times a week, with swimming sessions before school and surf training after school. The 2018 Avondale College Senior Girls' swimming champion also swims competitively for Mt Eden Laser, and says this helps keep up her fitness in the surf.

Lucy is coached by legendary Olympian Steve Ferguson, and says she loves the atmosphere of the sport. "I love surf lifesaving so much," she says. "The training sessions are so fun - you're outdoors in the ocean - I love everything about it."

Atawhai in Action

Our Year 13 Prefect group put atawhai into action today, selling Valentine's Day flowers, cupcakes and cookies to the College community. The initiative was about more than just sharing the love at the College though - all funds raised are being donated to the Heart Kids NZ's Little Hearts Day.

Maori achievement higher than achievement for all NZ students

Avondale College's Maori students have good reason to feel proud of their academic success, especially following the release of achievement data for NCEA and UE last year.

In contrast to national trends which saw overall achievement rates in NCEA and UE drop last year, Avondale College’s results continued to rise, with a notable increase in the success of our Māori students. 
Not only did Avondale's Māori students do better than the average of NZ Māori nationally, they also achieved above the pass rates for ALL New Zealanders, regardless of ethnicity.
According to figures released by the Ministry of Education, 96.5% of Avondale College’s NZ Māori achieved NCEA in Level 1 last year compared to the national NZ Māori average of 75%, and the national achievement of all students of 84.2%.  
Avondale’s Māori students also achieved better results than most New Zealand students at Levels 2 and 3, and in University Entrance, their pass rate of 62.5% is significantly higher than the national Māori rate of 39.7% and also higher than the national average for all New Zealanders of 59.9%.
Congratulations to all these students and their teachers, on achieving these outstanding results.


1st in NZ for Psychology!

Jesslyn Chen - 1st in Psychology

A fascination with figuring out how people’s minds work has paid off for an Avondale College student who has topped New Zealand in her Cambridge AS Psychology exam. 

Jesslyn Chen (17) was presented with her award at the national Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards Ceremony held at Eden Park on Thursday 22 February.

Jesslyn says she was delighted by the news that she had come first in the country – especially as she had picked up the subject for the first time last year while in Year 12.

“I didn’t think I had done as well as I had,” she says. “The first paper was pretty hard, but the second involved applying your knowledge, evaluating and using critical thinking skills and I was happier with that one.”

Psychology teacher Ms Grace Williams says that the award is well deserved.  “Jesslyn worked really hard throughout the year. She should be very proud of herself.”

Ms Williams also has cause to be proud of her own self – Jesslyn is the second of her students to top the country in AS Psychology in the past two years.

Avondale College has a growing reputation for success in the subject area. Jesslyn is the sixth Avondale College student to have come first in New Zealand’s Cambridge Psychology exams since 2012 – with two also coming first in the world.

Avondale College’s Psychology teachers take an active role in professional leadership within the subject area and in developing resources for other schools. 

“We hear from the universities that our courses really set up our students well for success in their tertiary studies,” says Ms Williams. “The stage one Psychology classes are full of Avondale College students who are doing extremely well.”

Top exam results

Top in Psychology Jesslyn Chen and teacher Ms Grace Williams

 Avondale College students have gained outstanding results in their NCEA and Cambridge exams in 2017!

Our achievement in NCEA has increased across all levels, and is well above the national performance levels in all year groups. Our University Entrance results have also increased, and at 71% is 11 points higher than the national average of 60%. Of particular note is the achievement of our Maori students, who are achieving well above the norms for not only Maori but all students in New Zealand.

In the Cambridge International Examinations, our students once again performed extremely well. Two students gained the top marks in New Zealand for their subject: Ruohao (Howard) Mao in Applied ICT (AS Level) and Jesslyn Chen in Psychology (AS Level). This is the second year in a row that an Avondale College student has topped the Psychology examination - and both were taught by Ms Grace Williams.

Our achievement in CIE continues to impress, with a 93% pass rate achieved at Year 11 and 96% at A Level.

New Zealand Scholarship results were received yesterday, with Avondale College students achieving 31 Scholarships, including one Outstanding Scholarship (Akhilesh Madhur for Physics) and four students (Christine Sun, Bailey Tang, Helena May and Changji (Alex) Hua ) gaining scholarships while still in Year 12.

Start dates for 2018

Wednesday 31 January

Y9 & 13 First day. 9am Year 13 Assembly – Theatre. 10am Year 9 Assembly – Theatre. End of Day: Year 9 at 2.45pm, Year 13 at 2.15pm. No morning buses. Afternoon buses at 2.45pm

Thursday 1 February

All year levels begin: 9, 10, 11, 12. 9am Powhiri for Year 9 in Theatre. 10am Year 12 assembly in Stadium. 11am Year 11 assembly in Theatre. 11am Year 10 assembly in Stadium. End of day: Year 9 at 2.45pm. Years 10, 11, 12 at 2.15pm

No morning buses. Afternoon buses at 2.45pm

Friday 2 February

Teacher only day

International Activity Programme

Our international students have had a superb two weeks enjoying the sights, sand and surf of New Zealand's beautiful outdoors during their end-of-year activity programme. We hope they have made many wonderful memories to take back with them when they head home over Christmas!

Sport Waitakere Excellence Awards

Congratulations to our students - swimmer Gabrielle Fa'amausili and weightlifter Kanah Andrews-Nahu who both won awards at the Sport Waitakere Excellence Awards!  Also winning on the night was Avcol Alumnus, cricketer Jeet Ravel!

Orbit dance show: Wed 25 and Thurs 26 October

The 2017 Dance Showcase: Orbit is on next week! The show runs for two nights, Wednesday and Thursday (25 + 26 October) at 7pm in the school theatre. Tickets are $2 each (or 3 for $5) and are available at the door. The programme incorporates contemporary dance, hip-hop, jazz, ballet, and cultural forms of dance (including K-Pop, Pasifika styles, and Bollywood!) and is not to be missed!

Nine nominations for Showdown Awards

Congratulations to cast and crew for their superb efforts in producing Rock of Ages! The list for the Showdown Awards is out, and Avondale College has secured NINE nominations! These are: Best female soloist - Sophie Carter-Peters "Hilda Kleineman"

Best male soloist - David Tuitama "Stacee Jaxx"

Best performed choreography - whole cast

Best performance by a chorus - whole cast

Best male in a leading role in a musical - Dylan Terry ,"Lonny"

Best male in a leading role in a musical - Joshua Parker, "Drew"

Best female in a leading role in a musical - Kiara Fernandes, "Sherrie"

Best Musical Director - Mathew Stenbo

Best set design - Susan Elijas

Rock of Ages!

Rocking back to a time of big egos, big guitar solos, and even bigger hair, a massive cast of nearly 90 students took to the stage last week to perform in Avondale College's five night run of Rock of Ages, (High School Edition).

The show featured classic 80s hits from legendary artists Bon Jovi, Journey, Styx, Pat Benatar, Poison, REO Speedwagon and more. Audiences had "Nothin' but a Good Time" as they jammed out to reimagined renditions and mash-ups of "Don't Stop Believin,'" "Here I Go Again," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," "The Final Countdown," and other rock favourites. Set during the tail end of the big, bad 1980s, Rock of Ages followed aspiring rock star Drew (Joshua Parker) and small-town girl Sherri (Kiara Fernandes) as they fight to save Hollywood's Sunset Strip.

Congratulations to all the students involved, and to the staff who worked so hard behind the scenes to bring the show to life!

Rock of Ages

September 18-23

Don't miss Avondale College's school show for 2017: Rock of Ages (High School Edition)

Aspiring rock star (and resident toilet cleaner) Drew longs to take the stage as the next big thing (and longs for small-town girl Sherrie, fresh off the bus from Kansas with stars in her eyes).

But the rock and roll fairy-tale is about to end when German developers sweep into town with plans to turn the fabled Sunset Strip into just another capitalist strip mall. Can Drew, Sherrie, and the gang save the strip-and themselves-before it's too late? Only the music of hit bands Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, and more hold the answer.

Chris D'Arienzo created the five time Tony nominated musical Rock Of Ages, the 27th longest running show in Broadway history.

Rock of Ages 101: High School Edition has been adapted by the author and iTheatrics to create a version ready for high schools.

Book today by phoning Avondale College on (09) 820 1731 or email Elizabeth:

Meet Nadia Lim!

Avondale College is delighted to welcome Nadia home to celebrate the launch of her new book! For tickets, call in to the school office (8am-4pm) or purchase online at Eventfinda: Email for more information.

Top in NZ. Top 3 in the World!

Making to the top three in the world’s largest ICT competition is no easy task. To do it twice is extraordinary! Meet Jayden Cooke, who has now added a second medal and a cheque for USD$1,500 to his collection, following his success in the Excel 2016 category of the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship held in the USA in July/August.

Beating more than 670,000 contestants worldwide, Jayden (an Avondale College graduate and current intern at the college’s Innovation Programme) is just one of four Avondale College students who achieved top-ten results in the final round of the international competition.

It’s an extraordinary tally for the west Auckland secondary school, which has now achieved twelve world top-ten results including three medals since they began taking part four years ago.

The competition tests participants’ ability to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint as they race against the clock to create unique project-based assignments.

Open to secondary and tertiary students aged 13 to 22, this year the competition grew to attract 1.1 million entries from 670,000 individuals in 122 countries.

Avondale College fielded the entire Australasian team of six at the international final after dominating the New Zealand finals for the fourth year running.

Only 200 finalists from 50 countries made it through to the world championship, and after an intense round of competition, the final tally saw New Zealand’s Avondale team score highly in the published results.

Three of Jayden’s teammates achieved top-ten in the world results: Shrey Tailor (Year 12) - fifth in Microsoft Excel 2013, Sebastian Thomas (Year 11) - eighth in Microsoft PowerPoint 2013, and Ed Allison (Year 10) - eighth place in Microsoft PowerPoint 2016.

“The Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship is inspiring – not only because these students won an impressive award, but because they have gained valuable workforce skills that will benefit them throughout their academic and career pursuits,” said Aaron Osmond, General Manager of certification provider and competition organiser, Certiport.

“The best part is watching the champions go home and then reporting back to us with all of the amazing things they are doing academically and in the workforce.”


Avcol´s got talent!

There's no doubt about it: Avondale's got talent! Wednesday's final of the annual Talent Quest was a night to remember with  instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers coming together to create a diverse and hugely entertaining evening. 

Returning to the Avondale College stage this year as a judge was musician (and alumnus) Thomas Stoneman (aka Thomston). He was joined on the judging panel by vocalist, song writer and producer Cherie Mathieson, and choreographer Eloise Gantuangco.

The night concluded with the much-anticipated items from the staff and prefects.


Congratulations to all who made it through to the finals, and in particular to the winners:

1st: Hip hop dancer Kiahan Simons-Tipau

2nd: Drummer Akhilesh Madhur (India meets Africa - a Rhythmic Journey)

3rd: BPM K-Pop Dance crew



Multiple Awards for Tauranga Jazz Festival

Term 1 concluded with the much-anticipated Tauranga Jazz Festival held at the Baycourt Theatre over Easter. Despite a delayed start due to Cyclone Cook, our Big Band and two Jazz Combos performed superbly, winning a gold award (Avondale Jazz Combo) and two silver awards (Big Band and Blue Note Combo).

Particular congratulations go to Kiara Ferandes who won the award for the best vocalist, and to James Poss who won the award for the best guitarist. These are astonishing achievements given the calibre of the students performing at this national event, and we warmly congratulate James, Kiara, and teacher-in-charge Mr Robinson for achieving such outstanding success.

The trip to Tauranga also included a four hour gig at the Tauranga Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning – the sixth year that we have performed here.  The chairs put out in front of our stage were full all morning as market goers enjoyed listening to jazz in the sunshine.


Avcol beats Polyfest record

With 13 groups performing in this year's ASB Polyfest, Avondale College is the leading school at the event. The NZ Herald caught up with our Filipino group as they prepared for their performance on the Diversity Stage...


Avcol IS the NZ team to the MOS World Champs

Avondale College will be sending seven national champions to the world finals of the Microsoft Office Specialist and Adobe Certified champs in the USA next month.  They have beaten approximately 1.3 million global competitors to make it there.
The Certiport Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship is a global competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office applications. The students with the highest exam scores and lowest exam-taking times will represent their countries and compete at the World Championship to be held in Anaheim, California from 30 July to 2 August.
For the fourth year running Avondale College has dominated the national competition – with 2017 being the second year in a row that all finalists are from our school.
These students are the youngest and most high performing group ever – and they have yet to be coached in any way for their tests, so their potential for success at the international level is exciting!
The Avondale students can’t wait to be let loose on the global stage - in the past four years Avondale College students have achieved eight top-ten results (including one silver and one bronze); this group want to do even better!
MOS NZ Contestants for the World Champs:
Category: Microsoft Word 2013
Evan Ng (Y12)

Category: Microsoft Excel 2013
Shrey Tailor (Y12)

Category: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
Sebastian Thomas (Y11)

Word 2016

Christopher Tang (Y10)
Excel 2016
Jayden Cooke (Alumnus)
PowerPoint 2016
Ed Allison (Y10)
Adobe National Champion
Rita Zhong (Y11)


Dance Showcase

In recent years the Avondale College Dance Showcase has become one of the highlights on the school's Performing Arts calendar, and last week's performances showed once again the serious talent of our dance community.  With more than 120 students taking to the stage in the two hour show, the audience was treated to a variety of dance styles; from hip hop to jazz, ballet, contemporary and more.  Of particular note were the performances choreographed and performed by our Year 13 Scholarship students, with their dances communicating thought-provoking themes that were executed with imagination and technical expertise.

Congratulations to Director of Dance Clare Jennings, teacher of Dance Kiaya Lupi, and the many other staff, backstage helpers, costume designers and most of  all the performers for putting together such an entertaining evening of dance.



Athletics Day

Avondale students Walk the Line at NZ Fashion Week

Emma Richards models Lucy Parkinson's design at NZ Fashion Week. Photo by Luke Foley-Martin

Avondale students ‘walk the line’ at NZ Fashion Week

Eight Avondale designers took a step into the real world of fashion on Saturday, when their garments were modelled at the ‘Walk the Line’ show during New Zealand Fashion Week.

Organised by YMCA Auckland and Raise Up, the Walk the Line event gives young designers aged between thirteen and eighteen the opportunity to display their creativity on a world stage platform.

 Fashion Technology teacher Ms Shannon Freestone says the event was a great opportunity for students to showcase designs they had been working on in their NCEA senior classes. 

 “The show gave them real world experience - along with a concrete deadline to work towards,” she says.

 Also entering alongside Avondale’s seven senior students were two Year 9 students, designer Lucy Parkinson and model Emma Richards. Their garment was entered in the ‘recyclable’ category, meaning it had to be made from at least 80% recycled materials that are not used in everyday clothing.

Lucy’s stunning design caught the eye of fashion photographer Luke Foley-Martin, with photographs of her outfit featuring on the NZ Fashion Week website.  Check it out here!

Iris G wins Smokefreerockquest Solo/Duo 2016!

Congratulations to our talented singer/songwriter Iris Guevarra who won the top solo award at this year's national Smokefreerockquest competition...

Read more here....

Avondale College is now on Twitter.... follow us!


Double Gold for Avondale musicians

Avondale College Big Band performing at KBB Music Festival 2016. Photo by KBB official photograper.

Years of hard work is leading to the sweet sound of success for Avondale College musicians, whose String Ensemble and Big Band both won Gold awards at the prestigious Auckland-wide KBB Music festival.


Avondale’s String Ensemble (tutored by David Snelling and led by Genevieve Tang) not only won a Gold award, but they were one of only four chamber orchestras invited to play at the exclusive Gala Concert at the conclusion of the festival.


“It’s the culmination of years of work,” says Director of Music Mr Mathew Stenbo.  He notes the combination of students coming through the college’s Performing Arts Academy, the dedication of the tutors and the hard work of the students as key factors in their success. 


“To be standing alongside the best chamber orchestras from all the schools is wonderful recognition.”


Avondale College’s Head of Jazz, Michael Robinson, also attributes his students’ success to their passion for music combined with hard work and commitment over many years. 


“The majority of our senior Big Band students have come through the College’s jazz programme or Performing Arts Academy and have taken part in numerous co-curricular opportunities,” he says.


Silver medal for New Zealand at Microsoft ´Olympics´

At Microsoft’s version of the Olympics, New Zealand just won a silver medal.

Beating a pool of more than 700,000 hopeful competitors and 150 finalists from 40 countries, Avondale College student Aidan Sharpe (17) won second place in the PowerPoint competition at the 15th annual Microsoft Office Specialist World Championships held in Orlando, Florida last week.

The global competition tests the expertise of tech wizards aged 13-23 as they create documents and complete timed tasks in PowerPoint, Excel or Microsoft Word with accuracy and speed.  Convened by computer skills certification company Certiport, Aidan also took home a cash prize of USD$3,750.

Narrowly missing out on a medal was fellow Avondale College student Di Kun Ong, who placed fifth in the Microsoft Excel competition; the third consecutive year that he has achieved results within the world’s top ten. 

Australasia now boasts a total of eight top-ten place winners in the competition’s history. All eight have hailed from Avondale College.

Both Ong and Sharpe have also earned multiple industry-recognised Microsoft certifications as part of their involvement in Avondale College’s Innovation Programme.  The Auckland secondary school is now New Zealand’s largest provider of ICT industry qualifications.

“In today’s global economy these young people understand that Microsoft Office Specialist certification gives them an edge and prepares them for success,” says Bob Whelan, president of Pearson Assessments which owns Certiport.  “The competition is a lot of fun, but it also gives participants a valuable, industry-recognized certification on their resume.”

PowerPoint whiz Sharpe attributes his success in the competition to having developed creative thinking skills rather than rote learning.  “The task is more about engaging problem-solving skills – you just have to figure it out,” he says. 

His top tips for PowerPoint users: get to grips with the slide master feature, and always make sure your design suits the purpose of the presentation.

Prime Minister opens Atrium & A Block


Prime Minister John Key led the celebrations at the official opening of the third and final stage of Avondale College’s multi-million dollar rebuilding programme on Thursday 11 August.

In his speech the Prime Minister praised principal Brent Lewis and staff of the college, noting their significant contribution to the achievements of Avondale College as a top performing school.

He also applauded the use of timber from the old school that had been incorporated into feature beams in the new Atrium building.

“The building itself is remarkable,” said Mr Key, “… it speaks to the past and the history of the school. Avondale College has a deep history and a huge future in front of it.”

Principal Brent Lewis noted that the new buildings have accompanied record achievement by students at the college, in national and international examination results, outstanding University Entrance pass rates, and astonishing success in industry ICT certifications, of which Avondale College is now New Zealand’s leading provider.

Architects Jasmax won a New Zealand Architecture Award for the rebuild, with the judges’ citation stating that the completion of the four year project “at this large, aspirational state high school has given the community buildings that it can be inspired by and proud of.”

Pereira living Football Ferns Olympic dream

Jasmine Pereira is living every school athlete's dream. Four years ago Pereira was just another excited kid at Avondale College, avidly watching all the action from the London Olympics.

Today, the 19-year-old was back at the West Auckland school - but this time up on stage - as one of the youngest members of the 18-strong New Zealand women's football squad named for the Rio Olympics.

It was extra special for Pereira, one of four Avondale College alumni - along with Kirsty Yallop, Amber Hearn and Betsy Hassett - to be selected by coach Tony Readings.

"It wasn't so long ago that I was one of those kids in that assembly," said Pereira. "I always looked up to those athletes going to the Olympics, thought it was pretty amazing, so to be part of it is quite special."

Avondale College has a strong sporting tradition - the likes of Martin Guptill, Francis Meli, Emily Drumm and Sir Murray Halberg passed through the doors - and an established footballing reputation.

But to have almost one-quarter of the Football Ferns' Olympic squad is quite an achievement, especially as the school doesn't have the financial muscle of other institutions.

"When I was at school, it was one of the places to go to for women's football," said Yallop, a 12-year veteran of the Ferns who made her debut as a seventh former in 2004. "There was Hayley [Bowden], Maia Jackman and Kristy Hill, while Amber [Hearn] was a couple of years older than me."

The fourth member of the quartet is midfielder Hassett, who has played professionally in England and Germany since her school days.

"I've seen a couple of teachers today. It all feels very familiar," said Hassett. "Someone like Kirsty [Yallop] inspired me a lot. When you saw someone at your school playing for New Zealand you realised what was possible."

The hundreds of pupils at today's announcement created a special energy, but there were few surprises in Readings' squad. It's easily the most experienced team in Ferns' history, with five players boasting more than 100 caps (Abby Erceg, Katie Duncan, Hearn, Ria Percival and Ali Riley) and another six who have more than 70 appearances. There are seven players who played in both Beijing and London, and only two members of the squad have yet to experience an Olympics.

"It makes such a difference when you have been there, done that," said Yallop. "It means you are more prepared for everything that might happen."

And just like they did before the 2015 Women's World Cup, Readings and his team aren't holding back from making bold pronouncements.

"It's the strongest team we have ever assembled," said Readings. "We are going there to win a gold medal. Whether people think that it is realistic or not, we are not really bothered. We have set gold medal standards. Everything we do is [around aiming] to be the best in the world. We will take it one game at a time and once you get out of your group you are a game away from a medal. We will strive for the top spot and do the best we can."

NZ Olympic squad: Katie Bowen (FC Kansas City), Katie Duncan (FC Zurich), Abby Erceg (Western New York Flash), Anna Green (Malbackens IF), Sarah Gregorius (Speranza FC Osaka-Takatsuki), Betsy Hassett (Werder Bremen), Amber Hearn (USV Jena), Annalie Longo (Cashmere Technical), Meikayla Moore (Norwest United), Erin Nayler (Norwest United), Ria Percival (USV Jena), Jasmine Pereira (Three Kings United), Ali Riley (FC Rosengard), Rebecca Rolls (Three Kings Utd), Rebekah Stott (SC Sand), Rosie White (Liverpool), Hannah Wilkinson (University of Tennessee), Kirsty Yallop (Malbackens IF).

By Michael Burgess - NZ Herald

Students win Excellence awards at Jazz festival

Avondale College’s combos Poss and the Possibilities and Dale JC both came away with Excellence Awards for their performances at the New Zealand School of Music’s Jazz Project competition in Wellington from 8th-11th June.


As part of the project, the students also attended workshops with world renowned jazz educators Karrin Allyson, Tom Warrington, Larry Koonse and Joe La Barbera.


Over the four days the students attended two to three concerts every day, including international artists Wayne Shorter and Snarky Puppy.


Students off to national Shakespeare competition

Transporting a scene from Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’ to a modern reality television show proved to be a winning idea for a group of Avondale drama students who are now on their way to the national finals of the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare competition in Wellington in June.

The group of six (Sammie Campbell, Sammie Rae, Jiwoo Oh, Arjuna De Simas-Oakes, Xavier Loretz, and Jahaan Nordien) won the Auckland competition in April, with teacher Mr Ben Moore’s re-write of the famous ‘casket’ scene for the 15 minute teacher-led section of the competition.  In this scene Portia’s suitors are presented with three caskets, and asked to choose one – if he chooses the one with her portrait inside, he will win her hand in marriage.

It’s a scene well-suited to a Bachelor-style treatment, and the drama students thoroughly enjoyed hamming it up, complete with suitably dramatic (and cheesy) music played live by Arjuna.

In the process the students gained a new appreciation for the 400 year old play. 

“The scene was confusing at first,” said Xavier, “but modernising the setting helped to open up the language.  You realise that Shakespeare means so much more than what you see on the surface.” 

Polyfest 2016

Science field trip to Mt Mangere

Four classes of Year 12 Science students hit the slopes of Mt Mangere on Friday, as part of their Level 2 Earth Space Science topic. From the top of the mountain, students were able to gather panoramic views of some of Auckland’s (nearly 50!) volcanoes, as well as photograph volcanic rock samples at the site. The Auckland Domain was also part of the day’s trip, as another excellent example of volcanic activity in our region.

Two friends at the top of the world

First in the world results: Camille Balducci and Bronwen Lamb

Two Avondale College students gained the world’s top marks in two Cambridge International Examinations in 2015.

Camille Balducci (16) was first in the world for Cambridge International Examinations AS French, and Bronwen Lamb (16) was first in the world for AS Geography, making it the fourth consecutive year that students from Avondale College have topped the world in the international exams. 

“It was a very unexpected result,” says Bronwen. “It was a really difficult exam – three hours long – and it took all of that time.”

Bronwen’s time in all her exams was obviously well spent – she achieved straight A grades in all five of her CIE subjects, including 96% in Geography, 90% in Psychology and 89% in History. 

Camille Balducci also topped the world in her subject, AS French.

“I wasn’t expecting such a great result,” she says. “French grammar trips everyone up… I was very, very happy!” 

Camille and Bronwen were presented with awards recognising their achievement at a ceremony held by the Association of Cambridge Schools in New Zealand on Thursday 25 February.


Excellent Scholarship results for Avondale students

Avondale College's Scholarship winners, and their teachers

Avondale College students once again achieved excellent results in the 2015 NZQA Scholarship examinations, with a total of 46 Scholarships awarded, including five Outstanding Scholarships, and one Outstanding Scholar Award winner.

Regarded as the most prestigious secondary school award available in New Zealand, around 8000 students participated in the 2015 examinations, with only 2381 students nationwide being awarded one or more subject scholarships.

Avondale College students received 46 scholarships across fifteen subjects; four gained Outstanding Scholarships (Jaclyn Chetty (two); Favor Nweke, Ka Ho Lam and Daniel Shorrock).  Five students achieved scholarships in three or more subjects (Jaclyn Chetty, Alysha Johnson, Favor Nweke, Kartikey Vyas and Johnny Zhang). Two students (Rokaya Islam and Ki Kun Ong) received scholarships while still in Year 12, with Rokaya achieving in two subjects (Calculus and Statistics).

Jaclyn Chetty’s excellent results across all her Scholarship examinations were recognised with her also winning an Outstanding Scholar Award.

Avondale’s Scholarship award winners were recognised at a special assembly on Wednesday 17 February, where they were presented with the prestigious Avondale College Scholars badge.

“The students gaining New Zealand Scholarship are the best of the best,” says NZQA Deputy Chief Executive, Kristine Kilkelly, “and their hard work throughout the school year is reflected in these results.”

“Congratulations to all students on their achievements.”

Athletics Day 2016

Avondale's annual school-wide athletics day was a fun event that saw some serious (and some not-so-serious) competition on the field and track!

Lean on Me - Junior performs on TVNZ´s Good Morning show

When Head Boy Junior Soqueta joined with some other students in singing an impromptu rendition of "Lean on Me" at the Stand Up Stand Out semifinals, the clip went viral, with more than half a million views. This morning Junior and two other friends from Aorere College and Manurewa High School regrouped to give a soulful performance on TVNZ's Good Morning show.

Check it out on Good Morning's Facebook page here....


´Footloose´ wins choreography award

Congratulations to the entire cast of 'Footloose' whose dancing won the Best Performed Choreography Award at the Showdown Awards on Friday 6 November!

Top teaching award for Mr Irwin

Avondale College's Director of Science, Mr Philip Irwin, has received a Woolf Fisher Fellowship in recognition of his excellence in teaching. Mr Irwin was presented with the award at today's senior assembly.

The late Sir Woolf Fisher was a passionate supporter of education in New Zealand. In 1960 he founded the Woolf Fisher Trust for the advancement of scientific and general education in New Zealand through its prestigious fellowships and scholarships.

Woolf Fisher Fellowships provide overseas study and travel for outstanding secondary school principals and teachers, polytechnic senior managers and, most recently, primary and intermediate school principals.

National architecture award for Avondale!

Avondale College was awarded the top prize in the Education section of the New Zealand Architecture awards on Friday 30 October.

The redevelopment of Avondale College is one of the biggest school rebuilding programmes in New Zealand and the Jasmax work there won an education category award, praised for "producing an outstanding new learning environment. This is a school for kids - busy and purposeful but never regimented or patronising".

Read more: NZ Herald Article


Avondale College wins National Architecture Award

Avondale College wins National Institute of Architecture Award

As one of 28 winners announced at the NZIA awards ceremony hosted on Friday 30 October, we’re extremely proud to congratulate Avondale College and the project and contractor teams, who dedicated four years to making this exciting three-stage development a success.

One of the largest school rebuilding programmes in New Zealand’s history, a study of the internal performance temperature of the classrooms within Avondale College concludes the newly built thermomass classrooms are 2.8 degrees warmer*.

Working closely with an integrated Jasmax architecture and landscape architecture team, and dedicated contractor team, the design has “Deploy[ed] the language of an urban street, the arrangement of confident buildings and courtyards, which are given texture and interest via textured concrete formwork and coloured plywood paneling, [it] must surely energise and affirm its pupils each day.” - NZIA Citation

The Board’s vision to create a modern, future-focused and cohesive campus came to fruition over a four year period.

Directly raising funds for certain initiatives within the design, the project has succeeded in creating an urban streetscape within an interconnected campus.  

Sustainable initiatives were integrated throughout the 92 new and refurbished teaching and resource spaces. Professor Bin Su of UNITEC has already completed and published a first paper on the internal temperature performance of thermomass (or heavy weight construction) in classrooms during winter. He compared heavy weight, lightweight and prefab classrooms at the school. The conclusion is that these classrooms are 2.8 degrees warmer* than the insulated light weight structure classrooms.

“A multi-stage redevelopment of a large secondary school has produced an outstanding new learning environment that meets contemporary needs while keeping continuity with the school’s particular pedagogical legacy. The school may have lost its old buildings, but it has kept its heart. This is a school designed for kids; although it retains its traditional character and classroom organisation, it is not regimented or patronising – deliberately, there is scope for random movement along its streetscapes. All spaces are treated as rooms of their own, and are pleasingly proportioned. The school is robust and purposeful; the drama of movement is especially evident in the big central courtyard funded, as were many of the school’s sustainability features, above and beyond standard Ministry of Education provisions by a Board ambitious for students’ progress in education and early life.” - NZIA Judges’ Citation


Dance Show

An outstanding showcase of dance was presented by Avondale College students in their two nights of performance on 28 and 29 October. With styles ranging from hip hop to tap; rock n' roll to jazz, and performances by senior and Scholarship Dance students, there was a multitude of creative talent on display. Congratulations to all who took part!

Avondale welcomes home Nadia

Nadia Lim launches lifestyle cookbook at former high school

On the pages of Avondale College's yearbooks is an ambitious student with dreams of being the next cooking sensation.
What a difference 11 years makes.

That student is Masterchef winner Nadia Lim who next week returns to her former high school – where she topped food technology every year – to launch her fourth cookbook, Nadia Lim's Fresh Start Cookbook

This latest endeavour has proven a labour of love and "one of the hardest", Lim says, because it wasn't just a cookbook, it's a lifestyle book. 

"I get a lot of emails and messages from people asking for advice on healthy meals to lose weight. I used to go to the effort of writing individual dietary plans and then I thought why don't I just do a book?"

The book contains 100 recipes of healthy meal ideas accompanied by exercise tips that form a 12-week programme aimed at helping people lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"I want people to be able to do something like this for the rest of their lives, it's not a short-term fix.

"It's a sustainable approach and focuses on the positives. It looks at what you should be eating instead of saying what you shouldn't."

Since winning Masterchef in 2011, Lim's career has been a whirlwind of success tied in with good old-fashioned hard work. She is achieving all those goals she wrote in her yearbook.

As well as four published cookbooks, the qualified dietician is the co-founder of food business My Food Bag which encourages households to try new recipes with premium ingredients.

She is in the process of launching the business in Australia which sees her on a plane at least three to four times a week.

"My Food Bag is changing people's lives. People tell me they are cooking things they haven't before, they're holding dinner parties – that's gold for me."

Nadia Lim's Fresh Start Cookbook launch is at Avondale College Atrium, 51 Victor St, on August 31 at 6pm.

Tickets cost $10 including refreshments and can be purchased from Avondale College School office, Paper Plus Browns Bay, Remuera, Glenfield and Meadowbank or online at Eventfinda.

 - Stuff

Avondale students amongst top ranks at world Microsoft competition

Avondale College world class: Azizul Islam, Ellen Greenly and Di Kun Ong


Three Avondale College students have beaten more than half a million competitors from around the globe to place in the top ten in the world finals of the Microsoft Office Specialist championships – for the second year in a row.

This year the international competition attracted more than 600,000 competitors from 145 countries, including many from universities and other tertiary providers. Only 145 of the world’s best made it to the finals in Dallas in August – and following the New Zealand final, (in which Avondale students won 11 of the top 12 places) six of these international competitors were from Avondale College. 

When the final results were announced last week, three Avondale students were once again named in the top ten of their various categories. Ellen Greenly (18) came ninth in Microsoft Word 2010; Azizul Islam (16) placed ninth in PowerPoint 210; and Di Kun Ong (16), ninth in PowerPoint 2013. 

What is particularly significant is that, unlike many of their competitors who spend many months of intense preparation in the lead up to the event, these kiwi world-beaters hadn’t come through an official Microsoft course. 

Instead the Avondale students have all been part of the college’s ground-breaking Innovation Programme, where Microsoft applications are just one small part of the platforms they use every day to solve real-world challenges.

Teacher Paul McClean attributes the students’ success to their ability to think holistically and apply intuitive and creative solutions to complex problems while under pressure. 

“These astonishing kids are going from strength to strength, “ says McClean. “And not by learning productivity tools or even other technologies, but by relishing the chance to think. This is having a heartwarming and profound effect on shaping their values, skills, and importantly, how they see the world.”

Of course, making it to the top is never without its dramas: a change to quota rules meant that with only two weeks to go, the Avondale students found out that they couldn’t compete in their preferred application. Then a lightning strike to their plane delayed their flight to the US, leading to a mad dash to ensure connecting flights were boarded with only minutes to spare. 

The students took it all in their stride, determined to make the most of every opportunity – whether that was performing well under the intense exam-room pressure; connecting with other students from around the world; or sprinting from location to location in a once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing spree.

“It’s a good feeling to be placed in the top ten in the world,” says Year 12 student Azizul Islam. “And now we really want to strive to do even better next year.”


  For more information:

Susan Elijas

Communications Manager
Avondale College

021 244 5459

Paul McClean

Innovation Programme
Avondale College

021 530184

Jazz Combo wins Platinum award

Convincing a panel of judges to award your band a score of over 90% is no easy feat, but such is the calibre of Avondale's Jazz Combo this year that they managed just that - taking away a Platinum Award at the finals of the annual Auckland School Jazz Competition on Saturday 15 August.

The Avondale College band was one of only four Auckland schools to make it into the finals following their performance in the semi-finals in which they showcased a variety of jazz styles, including bossa/latin and swing. 

Saturday's performance put them in the top three, alongside Lynfield College and Rangitoto College.

Congratulations to teacher Mike Robinson and the combo members:


Alysha competing at International Geography Olympiad in Russia

International Geography Olympiad scholar, Alysha Johnson

Representing New Zealand at International Geography Olympiad in Russia from 11 to 17 August is Year 13 student Alysha Johnson. 

Alysha is one of only four students making up the New Zealand team at this competition, which tests the very best Geography students from 41 countries in their subject knowledge and application of geographic concepts and processes.

In addition to the competition itself, Alysha will also have the opportunity to sight-see and explore the surrounding area with the 150 other contestants.

We wish her well!

Filmmakers inspire Media students

Director of 'Syrenia', Fraser Grut and actor Tom Grut at Avondale College

Year 12 and 13 Media Studies students gained a unique insight into their study of funding and marketing in the New Zealand Film Industry on Wednesday, with the visit of filmmakers (and former students of Avondale College) Fraser and Tom Grut.

The brothers spoke to the students about the process of directing (Fraser) and acting in (Tom) their new film, ‘Syrenia’, which tells the story of a young boy who creates a fantasy world through the lens of his home movie camera after the untimely death of his parents.

Their visit gave our students an insight into the reality of being young filmmakers in New Zealand, and the process of creating a film – all the way from scripting and production through to post-production and distribution.

'Syrenia', which is Fraser’s first feature film, will be screening at the Rialto cinema, Newmarket 10-13th August.

Book tickets here: 

Meet Nadia Lim at Avondale College!

Monday 31 August, Avondale College Atrium, 6pm, $10


Join us for great evening with the very talented Nadia Lim of My Food Bag, My Kitchen Rules and MasterChef fame, as she returns to her former school, Avondale College.

It's an amazing chance to meet this New Zealand icon in person and to hear of her adventures in food so far. It will be a wonderful evening of laughter, fun and fabulous talk about food. Nadia will captivate us with stories of her travels and business, her love for cooking and the terrific recipes in her new book, 'Nadia Lim's Fresh Start Cookbook'. You will learn how delicious, nutricious and easy her meals are to cook for yourself and family.

Tickets to this event are limited, and there is only one event in Auckland, so be in quick!

Nadia's book will be available to purchase on the evening, and she will personally sign them for you.

Refreshments are included in the ticket price, so see you there at 6.00pm when you can socialise with your friends and get your book signed by Nadia, before she begins to speak at 6.30pm. Nadia will be available for signing afterwards as well.

Tickets are $10, and are available from the school office, or from


Avondale College and HP New Zealand announce innovation partnership

6 July 2015 – Avondale College and HP New Zealand have today announced a strategic partnership which will see them collaborate to transform Avondale College from a legacy-based education paradigm to a new, digitally-enabled, learning and innovation model.

The partnership signals a commitment by Avondale College to incorporate innovative, design and critical thinking into its curriculum and expose students and teachers to the potential of technology, so that they may actively contribute to the fast-changing world around them.

“In addition to the overhaul of our ICT infrastructure, this partnership represents our greater strategic focus on introducing innovation practices into the school and driving positive change in the curriculum,” said Brent Lewis, Avondale College Principal.

“We recognise success in the world is increasingly influenced by new knowledge, industries, and technical advances. Our ability to develop capability and the talent of those who will become our future generators of intellectual property, products and services is critical to how we will compete in the global marketplace as a nation.”

“New Zealand’s ICT skills shortage is well-documented so we are delighted to be partnering with HP New Zealand to address this challenge and help our students to gain real-world success.”

The initiative will see the full redesign and update of Avondale College’s technology environment, including its systems architecture, digital software and tools – from an administrative level right through to curriculum delivery.

Students involved in the college’s ground breaking Innovation Programme will also have the opportunity to add HP’s Accredited Technical Associate qualifications to their already impressive portfolios. 

Avondale College and HP New Zealand also intend to establish an Incubation Hub for the identification, testing and implementation of innovative ideas and solutions.

Keith Watson, HP New Zealand Managing Director said: “Avondale College has long positioned itself as a leader in the education space. We are pleased to be able to support its innovative vision and collaborate to create a 21st Century learning environment, leveraging the combination of our local and global capability and experience.”

“It is important for HP as a representative of industry to take a leadership role in promoting ICT as a career and providing Kiwi kids with the tools and skills they will need to succeed into the future.”

Avondale College is one of New Zealand’s largest secondary schools with over 2600 students, including 150 international students, 160+ staff and provides an outstanding and broad academic curriculum, sporting and community services.


For more on Avondale's Innovation Programme, follow this link...

Avcol students off to the Microsoft World Champs

Avondale College students are once again proving they are world class, having won six of the seven places in the New Zealand team heading to compete in the Microsoft World Championships in Dallas, Texas, in August.

Di Kun Ong, Bronwen Lamb, Nathan Lee, Aiden Sharpe, Muhammad (Azizul) Islam and Ellen Greenly all won the right to compete in the international event after gaining exceptional results in the national competition held last month. In fact the Avondale students blitzed the competition, gaining 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places in every Microsoft 2013 Office application except PowerPoint, (where, unofficially, only the competition’s elegibility criteria prevented an Avondale first).

Making it to the finals is no small feat. Each year around 750,000 students from 130 countries enter the Microsoft Office Specialist championships, with only just over one hundred making to the finals.

Avcol band wins second place in Smokefree Rockquest

Rocking their way to second place in the West Auckland regional finals of the Smokefree Rockquest on Saturday night was Avondale College's band, The Kicking, Screaming Love Machine.

The six piece band (Oscar McFarlane, Cullen Erson, Zain Azimullah, Josh Parker, Myke Prayoncorn and Arjuna De Simas Oakes) performed two original compositions to win a top-two spot in the hotly-contested competition, which gives them a shot at the national finals in September.

Drummer - and vocalist - Joshua Parker also won the MAINZ musicianship award for his outstanding performance on the night.

The band now has the challenge of putting together two new original pieces and a music video to win one of only nine places in September's grand national final.

Check out this video of the regional heats:

Architectural award for Avondale College

Avondale College's 40 million dollar rebuild has received an award at the 2015 Auckland Architecture Awards in the Education category.

The New Zealand Institute of Archicture recognised Jasmax’s three-stage, four-year project at Avondale College as a project with a positive communal effect. “The arrangement of confident buildings and courtyards must surely energise and affirm pupils each day,” the jury said.

"The completion of a three-stage, four-year project at this large, aspirational state high school has given its community buildings that it can be inspired by and proud of. Deploying the language of an urban street, the arrangement of confident buildings and courtyards, which are given texture and interest via textured concrete formwork and coloured plywood paneling, must surely energise and affirm its pupils each day. The environment within which they easily move is assured and sophisticated, the well-appointed teacher work rooms must be a delight to their users, and the retention of a wing of the school’s historic early buildings is to be applauded. "

Avondale College will be will now be considered for 2015 New Zealand Architecture Awards, which will be announced this November.

Avcol students join in with APO´s massive orchestra for NZ Music Month

Being part of a 400-strong orchestra was an amazing experience for some of our most talented junior musicians as they took part in the 'Bring it Together' event held at the Vodafone Events Centre on 12 May.

The special day was organised by the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, and involved school orchestras, bands and choirs from over 60 schools. Musicians from the APO joined forces with the students to play popular orchestral repertoire en masse. The programme included Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' theme, ‘Happy Happy’ from Ren Stimpy, Tchaikovsky's 'Marche Slave' and David Hamilton's 'Call to Arms'.

Led by New York conductor and educator extraordinare Beth Cohen, this mass performance of up to 1000 students was a part of the APO's celebration of New Zealand Music Month. 

To view a slideshow of the event, visit the APO's website here.

Talent Quest 2015

Sir Graham inspires 1st XV at rugby launch

Sir Graham Henry presents the Avondale College 1st XV with their jerseys for the 2015 season

Rugby coaching legend Sir Graham Henry is no stranger to presenting black and white jerseys to talented rugby players – but this time the jerseys had the Avondale kiwi rather than the silver fern on the front.

Guest of honour at the college’s launch of the 1st XV’s rugby season, Sir Graham - ‘Ted’ - inspired a room full of rugby players – girls and boys - drawing their attention to the college’s HEART values as a way of carrying the school’s culture onto the rugby field.

His advice was simple: “Not easy, but simple,” he said. Have fun – the more fun you have the better you play. And make good mates – the relationships developed with team mates will be ones that last for life. 

He encouraged the players to work hard, develop their culture, and to work on simple ways of showing this on the field. “You guys have real ability,” he said. “Have the structure, then express yourselves within that. It’s what ‘team’s’ all about.”

The Avondale College rugby season commences for boys on 2 May and for girls on 4 May.


ANZAC day commemorated at Avondale College

A Field of Remembrance and a WWI timeline running the length of the transverse corridor are just two of the ways ANCAC day is being commemorated at Avondale College.

Organised by a student steering committee under the guidance of history teacher Ms Clementine Fraser, a special ceremony was held after school on Wednesday 22 April, during which 30 white crosses were placed in specially consecrated ground between the library and A Block. Each cross represents a soldier with connections to the Avondale area who lost their life during the Great War.

An informative and visually stimulating display gives more insight into the events of the war, with students having worked on creating the timeline in their own time during the school holidays. The timeline focuses on 22 key events of the war, and has at its centre a stunning wreath of handmade poppies made by Mrs Shannon Freestone and fashion technology students.

Students can find out more about the historic event and discover links with family members who were involved, by visiting the college library where special information pods have been established.

Ethan wins $100,000 scholarship



News of Ethan Sorrell's scholarship to Cambridge is spreading far and wide! (See below!)

Read the NZ Herald's article here...


Kiwi philanthropist awards full scholarship to 18 year-old to Cambridge


24 March 2015

A scholarship funded by businessman Sir Douglas Myers for a future New Zealand leader to study at Cambridge University has been awarded to exceptional 18 year-old Ethan Sorrell from Waterview, Auckland.

Last year, while studying at Avondale College, Ethan came first in the world in the Cambridge International exams for both Psychology and Biology, was top in New Zealand for A level Chemistry and Physics, and achieved the best average score among New Zealand students across any three A-level subjects.  He also came top in Scholarship Physics.

The Sir Douglas Myers Scholarship provides an opportunity for students to complete undergraduate study at Gonville and Caius College, at the University of Cambridge (UK) - one of the most prestigious universities in the world.  The Scholarship, worth approximately NZ$100,000 over three years will provide Ethan with his tuition fees and a living allowance.

Ethan who is currently at the University of Auckland, will take up the scholarship to study bioengineering in October this year.

Ethan says, “I want to solve real world problems that can help improve the quality of people’s lives worldwide.  My dream is to take part in research to do with the brain and the use of the nervous system, to develop thought-controlled prostheses.  I aim to enable those who have lost limbs to lead lives parallel to those who haven’t.”

While at Avondale College, Ethan was awarded a silver medal at the International Biology Olympiad for secondary school students held in Bali last year.  As well as achieving high grades, he was also the Deputy Head Boy, represented the school in the 1st XI football team, and was co-organiser of the school ball.  In addition he represented Auckland in the national track and field championships, competing in the high jump and long jump.

In announcing the scholarship, Mr John Taylor, Chair of the selection panel said, “It is Sir Douglas Myers’ hope that the scholars will be great ambassadors for New Zealand wherever they are in the world, whether or not they return home in the near future".

Universities New Zealand, formerly the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, administers this scholarship, in addition to 40 other undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships, each year.


Polyfest slideshow...


Avcol cheers on Martin Guptill

Avondale College was cheering on Martin Guptill as the former Deputy Head Boy blazed a record-setting 237 not out against the West Indies at Wellington Regional Stadium on Saturday...

Martin was drafted into the Avondale College First XI in third form, and played goal keeper for the school's First XI football side, plus stints with rugby, softball and Kilikiti...

Read more about his success in the Herald's article here...


Polyfest Community Evenings

Students have been working hard perfecting their routines for the upcoming Polyfest event to be held in Manukau from 19-21 March.

Parents and the wider school community will have the opportunity to view these performances at a  series of shows held in the Performing Arts Centre.

All performances commence at 7pm.

Entry is by gold coin donation, with the exception of the the Samoan Fiafia concert - tickets for this event are $10, with tickets available from the Samoan Group members and payment to be made at the door.


MONDAY 16 March: Diversity Groups (African, Chinese, Fijian, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Sri Lankan and Thai)

TUESDAY 17 March: Tongan Group

WEDNESDAY 18 March: Samoan Group

THURSDAY 19 March: Niuean Group


Jazz Combo perform at Kauri Karnival

Contributing to the fun family vibe at the Kauri Karnival at Parr’s Park on Sunday 8 March was Avondale College’s Jazz Combo. The band played from 2pm until 4pm and were headliners for the renown ukulele band, The Nukes.

The festival was a free family event organised by Auckland Council, celebrating kauri and raising awareness on kauri dieback disease.


Cambridge students honoured at awards ceremony

Top Scholar Ethan Sorrell is awarded the John Morris Scholarshiop for the Top A Level Student in New Zealand's Cambridge Exams for 2014

Our highest achieving students received their awards at the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards Dinner held at Westlake Boys' High School on Thursday 19 February.

At this event, Avondale's outstanding scholar Ethan Sorrell was awarded the ACSNZ John Morris Scholarship for the top A Level student in New Zealand, a scholarship which has a value of $10,000.


Pupils on top of NZ for exam results

Featured in the Western Leader on 18/02/15 are our high-achieving Cambridge Scholars...

Read the article here


Hot off the press is the very latest ERO report on Avondale College!

The report concludes:

"Avondale College provides a high standard of education. It offers students a broad, well designed curriculum that is responsive to their diverse needs and aspirations. Students achieve well and take pride in their school. High quality self review underpins the board’s strategic decision making and planning.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years."

Read the full report here...

or download your copy by following the link below.

Related Links > Avondale College ERO Report 21/01/2015

Evening for Parents/Caregivers of Year 9 Students

All parents and caregivers of Year 9 students are warmly invited to the school on Tuesday 10 February at 7:00pm. (We are meeting in the school theatre.)

You will receive information about much of what we have to offer our community in terms of activities, support, curriculum, the Family Connection and the online services that are available to you.

There will also be an opportunity to meet the Principal, Deans and your child's homeroom teacher.

We look forward to meeting you and further developing our relationship with you for the benefit of your child.


TV1 News: Top of the world kiwi whiz kid nails Cambridge exams

Watch Ethan being interviewed on TV One News here!


A high achieving youngster has his sights set on a prestigious scholarship after topping the world in this year's Cambridge International Exams (CIE).

Aucklander Ethan Sorrell hopes to soon be packing his bags for Cambridge, England.

"I've applied for a scholarship to Cambridge which is what I really wanna do, the ultimate goal is to get into biomedical research to improve the lives of people really through biomedical engineering," he told ONE News.

The aspirations come after the 18-year-old Avondale College student achieved the rare feat of coming top of the world in both psychology and biology. He's also first in New Zealand in chemistry and physics.

Achieving a premium award for topping the country in three A-level subjects, Ethan says there've been no shortcuts to his success.

"It's about two, three months of just studying every day."
Ethan chose to do the CIE system over NCEA while he was deputy head boy at the decile four school.

"I liked the way it was examined, I liked getting a percentage to know exactly where you fit in rather than an excellence or a merit which could mean anything really," he said.

The Cambridge education system is hugely popular, more than one-and-a-half million students sit the exams every year. Avondale is among more than 60 NZ schools that offer it along with NCEA.

Ethan's father David Sorrell says he has never had to tell his son to do his homework.
"All we do is support him in what he's doing, never ever had to push him, never had to say why don't you go do some work."



Top Cambridge results!

Great news received today from the Cambridge International Examinations centre: Avondale College students have come top in the world in two subjects and top in New Zealand in five subjects as well as achieving one overall award.

Receiving top honours is Ethan Sorrell who not only topped New Zealand in A Level Chemistry and Physics, but came first in the world in Psychology and Biology. In addition, Ethan also received the ‘Best Across Three Cambridge International A Levels’ award which recognises his achievements as New Zealand’s top Cambridge scholar. 


Also receiving top national awards were Pooja Nagaraj who came first in New Zealand in IGCSE Business Studies; Run Qi (Ery) Zhu – top in AS Level Physics; and Jayden Cooke who rounded off his impressive year with top in NZ for A Level Applied ICT.


Congratulations to all of the staff who have contributed to these students' success and especially their subject teachers in 2014: Helen Lowe, Paul McClean, David Farquhar, Jane Berry, Phil Irwin, Sally Bowden and Jason Smallman!

 27 Jan 2015


Cambridge AS and A Level exams were taken in 127 countries across 2000 schools, with more than 435,000 subject entries last year. This is the third consecutive year in which impressive results have been achieved by Avondale College CIE students.


2014: Top in World: Psychology A Level, Biology A Level; Top in NZ: IGSCE Business Studies, AS Level Physics, A Level Applied ICT, A Level Physics, A Level Chemistry

2013: Top in World AS Applied ICT; Top in NZ in AS Level Psychology

2012: Top in World AS Psychology; Top in NZ in IGCSE Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Accounting

Junior Prizegiving 2014

Congratulations to all our students who received awards at this year's Junior Prizegiving.

For a full list of recipients, please follow the link below.



Related Links > Junior Prizegiving Booklet 2014

Avondale College well represented at YSPOTY Awards

The ASB Young Sports Person of the Year Awards is designed to recognise the sporting achievements of high school students reaching their highest pinnacle across multiple sporting codes across the Auckland Region. The Awards were held at Eden Park on Thursday 20 November. This year there were five students from Avondale College who had been identified for their sporting categories.

Natasha van Tilburg – Cricket Girls
Luke Fielding – Distance Running
Gabrielle Fa’amausili – Swimming
Daxxon Vong – Badminton
Ruth Minturn - Wreslting

Three out of our five finalists won their categories: Natasha van Tilburg, Gabrielle Fa’amausili – winning the award for the second year in a row and Ruth Minturn also winning the award for the second year in a row. Gabrielle won the “ASB Young Sportswomen of the Year” award last year and was nominated for the award again this year. The ASB Young Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year went to students from Kings College and Takapuna Grammar School. It was a fantastic evening and all students should be extremely proud of their efforts this year.  

Francis to travel for US Youth Leadership Exchange

Francis Flores has been selected to participate in the US Embassy Youth Leadership Exchange programme, which will take place in the USA from 30 November.  Only 18 high school students from across Australia and New Zealand were chosen for the three week educational exchange opportunity. The primary theme is civic education and community service and the secondary theme is environmental issues and climate change. They will begin on the west coast in Portland, Oregan or Seattle, Washington. Finally, they will travel to Washington, D.C. for the 'Synthesis Workshop'. We are looking forward to seeing what fun follow-on activities he will bring back to Avondale College. Congratulations, Francis!

NZ Herald Article: School years full of positives

ear 13 student from Avondale College Alisa Samountry studying at her dining table. Photo / Jason Oxenham


Featuring on Page A12-13 of today's New Zealand Herald is Year 13 student Alisa Samountry!


School years full of positives

Alisa Samountry is just weeks away from wrapping up years of New Zealand schooling.
The 17-year-old Avondale College student sat a chemistry exam yesterday afternoon, with her final end-of-year exam on December 1.

Now considering what to study at university, with bio-technology a possibility, she said a combination of factors had made her school years a pleasure.

Near the top were teachers that went the extra distance and were also relatable.
"They don't just treat you like children. They get along with us, are down-to-earth and genuine.
"Our teachers always offer tutorials after school, and make clear if we have any questions they are there for us."

Alisa said the number of extra-curricular opportunities offered at Avondale - she was a member of the school show and played premiere hockey - had also ensured her enjoyment of school.

The size of the school, at about 2670 students, was a positive, too: "every day you see a new face".




Read the full article from the NZ Herald website here:


Sports Awards Dinner

Avondale College's top sports men and women received their prizes at the College's annual Sports Awards Dinner on Thursday 21 October. Guest speaker and All Black Patrick Tuipuloto entertained the audience with his after dinner speech before presenting the top awards.

Congratulations to all who received prizes at this special event.

For a full list of award recipients, please download the document below.


Related Links > Sports Awards Recipients 2014

Junior wins Unitec Songwriting Competition!

Junior Soqeta (centre) with Unitec representatives Psalms Marsters and Patrick Mose

Congratulations to talented musician Junior Soqeta who has beaten amateur and professional songwriters of all ages to win the overall prize in the Unitech Songwriting competition.

Junior’s song – written and sung in Fijian – gathered more than 3,800 views on YouTube to win the People’s Choice award. In addition to the kudos, Junior won $1000 in prize money. 

The competition was run by Unitec, to promote and celebrate Pasifika languages through music.

You can view Junior's song here:

Jazz & Soul Concert

2009 Avondale College Victor Street, Avondale, Auckland New Zealand
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