16 Nov Plenty to celebrate at Middle School West Auckland

MSWA schools

Latest news from MSWA: a new academic manager, a participant in the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, and a new growth mindset statement for MSWA students.

New Academic Manager for Pohutukawa Villa (MSWA)

Mike Murray with Eileen

Mike Murray with Eileen

Middle School West Auckland and the Villa Education Trust announces Mike Murray as the new Academic Manager appointed to lead MSWA’s bilingual unit. Mike will be based at Pohutukawa Villa in Henderson from Term 1 2017. He has a Bachelor of Social Science along with a teaching qualification and further study in Māori Education.

He joins MSWA from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Pukemiro in Kaitaia, where he is currently Principal. During his three years at the Northland primary he has focused on improving student achievement, teacher effectiveness and well-being through the use of place-based curriculum and the regeneration of Te Reo Māori and tikanga Māori.

The father of three describes his educational philosophy as: ‘Kia puāwai ngā tamariki katoa’, translated as ‘creating opportunities for all our children’, and lists among his personal guiding principles:

  • Supporting kaiako to develop and implement high-quality teaching and learning programmes to maximise success for learners
  • Strengthening capability in the teaching and learning of te reo Māori
  • Shaping and implementing kura-wide Māori pedagogical practices and evidence-based inquiry to meet learners’ needs and interests
  • Developing strong whänau and kura partnerships to achieve shared goals.

The bilingual unit, which offers places for up to 60 students, keeps class sizes to a maximum of 15 and offers a comprehensive Te Reo programme.

MSWA opened in February 2015 and offers free education with a strong academic focus and community-based learning to boys and girls in Years 7-10. Run by The Villa Education Trust, a registered charitable trust which also manages South Auckland Middle School (Manurewa) and Mt Hobson Middle School (Remuera), its main MSWA campus is Jack Ralston House, located at 287-289 Lincoln Road, led by Principal Alex Metzger.

Speaking of the new appointment, Mr Metzger (formerly of Auckland Grammar School) said: “Mike’s extensive experience will be a huge benefit to our staff and students. I look forward to working closely with him on growing Middle School West Auckland and providing an outstanding education for young people."

MSWA Community Liaison Manager Alex Hawea said: 

“No matou te whiwhi i piri mai tenei Kauri no te raki ki matou o te Waonui o Tiriwa.
Ka te tu ia hei pou whakairo matauranga mo matou te kura whanui, otira te whare reo rua o Pohutukawa.
Ko tana he whakapakari, he whakawhanaketanga i te reo, me nga tu ahuatanga katoa o te whare o Pohutukawa.
Kia koe te Rakautaumatua, Nau mai whakatau mai.”

Prime Minister’s Youth Programme participant

One of our superb MSWA young people has just received notification that she has been accepted into the Prime Minister's Youth Programme for 2017.

We are so delighted for Hennessey Wattie. This is a part of what she wrote in her application:

"My family and I found Middle School West Auckland. A​t first it was a really shaky start and I had just barely found my feet, but MSWA helped me. By coming to school every day I made a lot of new friends and developed a lot of great relationships with my teachers. These inspired me to want to come to school every day and by doing so I found that I actually enjoyed learning. In the beginning I was hopeless at maths, but my maths teacher supported me by giving me extra help and attention, and by this year, I found that I was actually good at some aspects of maths, like trigonometry. I chose to surround myself with people that had a positive influence on me and people that I felt wouldn’t get me into trouble and would hold me up at school instead of bring me down."

How will attending PMYP 2016 benefit you and help you take your achievements to the next level? 

"I will always hold the place that I grew up in dearly to my heart however I believe that I can do great things with my life despite where I came from. I have already achieved so much since I started MSWA and I believe that attending this programme would do great things for me. I believe that if I surround myself with a crowd of hard-working people then I'll succeed and continue to rise up rather than fall back to where I once was."

I think it will inspire me to succeed and do something great with a life that wasn’t always so great.

Villa Education Trust learning statement

We have a new poster with the Villa Education Trust learning statement on it - outlining the growth mindset we have for all children.

MSWA learning statement