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The school has been running a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trial with selected classes in term three this year. Feedback from this trial has been very positive. The potential for improved learning outcomes for students has led us to widen the trial group. In term 4 we will be inviting all Year 9 and Year 10 students to bring an internet capable device to school to enhance their learning. This trial will run from Wednesday November 5th through to Tuesday the 2nd of December.
While the parents of junior students will receive more detail by letter and a parent consultation evening is planned for 6.30pm on the 28th of October in the library we wanted to update the full school community about the exciting developments in this area. The advantages we see for our students from increased access to e-leaning through BYOD include,
- Anytime, anywhere access to class resources, support and extension activities through 'iLearn';
- The ability to develop “digital” folders, portfolios and e-books for their classes; (that can’t be lost, and never need replacing) through the use of 'My Portfolio', Google apps and office 365.
- Greater ability to communicate with teachers, parents and peers to support their learning through instant access to their student e-mail and other online tools;
- Anytime, anywhere safe access to unlimited resources and information on the internet;
- The ability to draft, redraft and publish their work at the click of a button;
- Allowing students to become active participants in their learning, students who manage themselves and are responsible digital citizens.
We are planning to roll out student BYOD to all students in 2015. During term 1 next year we will be issuing access codes and Google Drive accounts to all students starting with Year 10, then the Senior students (Yr11 – 13) and finally our new Year 9 students on the completion of their full digital citizenship course.
If you have any further questions please contact Lorraine Vickery (E-Learning Director – firstname.lastname@example.org) or Andy Gipps ( Deputy Principal – Andrew.email@example.com) to discuss this trial further.
Mt Roskill Diwali Celebration
17th October 2014
Puketapapa community and local schools celebrated their first Puketapapa (Mt Roskill) DIWALI in 2013.
Diwali is a significant event amongst the Indian population and celebrated all over New Zealand with all ethnicities. This year the Diwali celebration in Mt Roskill will be held on the Friday 17th October 2014.
If you would like to participate in a performance, have a food or arts and crafts stall or help organise 2014 Diwali in Puketapapa (Mt Roskill) please contact Ella Kumar on 09 629 0660 or 021 0477642. This is an opportunity to be part of a great annual local event and help with fundraising for a great community project. The funds raised from this event will go towards the Mt Roskill Water base Hockey Turf project.
Come along and enjoy a great night with students performing, then you all can enjoy the garba night. Tthis is a cultural dance everyone can participate in, or sit and watch, enjoy the festive traditional foods at the food stall and check out other cultural stalls.
- 6.30pm onwards food and cultural stalls will be open
- 7.00pm performances
- 8.00pm Garba begins
- Tickets cost: $5.00 per person and children under 5 are free
- Every entry ticket has a chance to win a door prize
Gratitude and Remembrance
Theo Loretz’ visit to France and Belgium
On the 11-26 July the French minister of defence M. Arif, presented and shared histories to a group of predominantly French language students. Out of this grew the Young Ambassadors tour. This tour was a collaboration between the French and NZ ministry of defence. A group of eleven year 13 students from around the country were chosen to go to France and Belgium to commemorate the centenary of WW1.
Some of the highlights of the visit were:
- The best seats in the house for Bastille day celebrations
- Visits to sites of famous battles including the battle of the Somme
- Touring through the underground quarries build by New Zealander WW1 soldiers in a small town called Arras (complete with NZ city street names)
- Learning about our shared history and being immersed in the French culture
- Visiting the War memorial sites, museums and cemeteries and experiencing first-hand the impact of the war on our two countries
- A visit to the Menin Gates (Belgium) where traffic is stopped daily to host a wreath laying memorial and play the last stand.
- Visiting the massive memorial in Le Quesnoy, its big statue of a Maori warrior and the Rue Des All Blacks
The group also spent five days in Paris, where they got to spend some time being tourists and participating in the culture that they have been studying for five years.
The most touching experience of the visit, that had the biggest impact was the visit to Belgium’s Flanders fields Museum. This is an interactive place. The experience helped the students make connections to the people involved in the war, their feelings and personal experiences. Along with this the visit to the largest WW1 cemetery, Tyne Cot in Belgium, was overwhelming and made all of the students wonder why wars happen.
Each member of the team also worked on their own project that grew out of the tour. Theo’s focus is the spiritual and psychological aspects of the war, insights that we have gained from it. He has followed the career of a NZ Chaplain from Petone, who went to war to look after the injured soldiers. He was killed by an explosion while giving sacrament to the fallen. In a memorial in Messines, Belgium, Theo found a picture of the chaplain priest which would have been taken the day before he was killed. A touching link to an event across the other side of the world whose impact on NZ was so wide spread.
Noho Marae Trip to Rotorua
From the 25th of August to the 28th the Senior Maori students received an amazing opportunity to live and breathe the life on a marae. We were split into our groups in which we stayed in for the whole of the trip and set out to begin our journey. We stopped off at two beautiful places, one being Taupiri where we sang Te Aroha as the first stepping stone to earning our credits for NCEA. The second place being Turangawaewae Marae where we explored and were amazed at the stunning architecture.
Over the next four days we visited other cultural attractions such as Te Puia, Whakarewarewa and Tamaki Village. At both places we gained further knowledge on the traditions of the Maori culture and watched some amazing performances of one of the most well known love stories and himene (hymn) Pokarekare ana. Not only did we further our learning in Rotorua, we also had a lot of fun. We got the chance to go on the gondola rides and luge and had a relaxing evening at the thermal pools. Throughout the week we worked on whanaungatanga and manaakitanga, which brought us as a group and a family closer together, and none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for our amazing tutors/teachers Whaea Lee Tawhai and Whaea Jackie-Jade Ruri along with her mum Whaea Rangi Ruri who let us stay on her family's personal marae known as "Te Kuri". A big thank you to all the teacher helpers for your amazing efforts on keeping us on track.
“ki te kotahi te kakahu ka whati, ki te kapuia e kore e whati”
When reeds stand alone they are vulnerable, but bound together, they are unbreakable
Pearl Lazaro was one of 13 students selected to take part in 'Pao Pao Pao’ a series of songwriting/performance workshops for emerging Maori artists. As part of this programme Pearl performed in the Silo Park Matariki celebrations which featured a range of Maori artists, including Whenua Patuwai.
Mark Bingham’s composition entitled “Fragments of Messages From the Time of the Great War” was performed by himself and his sister Ellen in a brass ensemble from several schools during the WWI commemorations at the Auckland Museum.
Se Joo Han is one of only four New Zealand Korean students selected by audition to compete in KPOP Star in October. - ( Korean Version of X - Factor)
Vertigo made it through to the regional finals of Rockquest this year. They gave an outstanding performance amidst tough competition!
KBB Music Festival
Congratulations to Valentines String Orchestra who gained a Bronze Award and Concert Band a Silver award at the recent KBB Music Festival. This is an outstanding result in a competition that featured many groups from around Auckland playing at an extremely high level. Well done to the students who put in many hours of hard work at rehearsals and also at the music camp earlier this year. It is very rewarding to see how much both groups have developed this year musically, and also to see the student leadership within each ensemble. Thank you also to the directors of each group - Mr Snelling and Mr Sergeant in String Orchestra, and Mr Atkinson and Mr Darragh in Concert Band for their hard work this year.
Stand Up Stand Out Talent Quest
Congratulations to Vertigo who made it through to the finals of the SUSO band category and gave a strong performance in front of a packed crowd at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau on 29th August. Pearl Lazaro performed her own original song in the solo vocals category of SUSO and was selected to go through to the semifinals where she gave another stunning performance.
Visit to Mt Roskill Intermediate
On Thursday 18th September the String Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Brass Ensembles performed at the year 8 assembly as part of the MERGE initiative between the schools. The music teachers on the Campus have been working to strengthen the links between the Primary, Intermediate and Grammar Schools, and to encourage participation in ensembles. The Grammar students performed well for the enthusiastic year 8s who particularly enjoyed the ‘audience participation’ in one of the Brass Ensembles pieces.
As we approach “exam season” it comes into focus how important it is that all students continue to attend every lesson. For many students, internal assessments have taken priority and it is now time to shift into exam mode.
Our year 9 and 10 students have exams in term 4 so this message is equally for them. We want to ensure that there are no gaps in learning so that students are able to access support from staff - if students aren’t in class or do not complete practice questions/essays/tasks it is difficult to offer productive support. For our senior students in particular this is the time to ensure that they are attending every period so that staff can support their learning and achievement.
- Year 11: results may influence their options for next year - open more doors.
- Year 12: the same applies as for year 11 AND applications to tertiary institutions next year will look at their year 12 results as part of their academic picture as they will apply BEFORE level 3 externals examinations.
- Year 13: sometimes they will need a plan B (or C) for 2015 and beyond. They are at the time of “lasts” and feeling nostalgic, but it is also a time to be excited about the future. Finish the time at school with no regrets.
A reminder that when applying for jobs/study outside of school, or privileges within school, attendance reflects their commitment to being a “successful powerful learner and active responsible citizen”.
If a student misses roll check and LCT for an unjustified reason it will be recorded on their record as a half day of absence.
I like to frame things positively but Term 3 roll check and LCT attendance were not good enough. We want students to have attendance data that backs up their individual commitment to learning through good self-management (responsibility) and meeting school expectations (respect for yourself and MRGS).
Each student is an individual, within a form/core class, within a house, within the school. They need to take individual responsibility to not just meet expectations - but to exceed them.
The process we use to track our student’s achievement has ensured we know which of our students across Year’s 11, 12 and 13 still have the potential to achieve NCEA with some additional support. A number of these students will be going to Techtorium in the next holiday break to learn Computing skills. Following two days of learning each student will have the opportunity to sit an assessment to gain 10 credits at Level 3. Some students will also be undertaking further study with NCEA Campus. This is an organisation who offers additional study help in particular subjects. We hope that with this support more of our students will attain success in the upcoming NCEA examinations.
Chess Teams Achieve Further Success
Earlier this year two of our junior chess teams qualified for the Auckland Inter-Secondary Schools Junior Chess Championship. Over three days teams battled until our junior team emerged triumphant, ahead of Auckland Grammar school by just half a point. Congratulations to the team of Cathy Fan, Max Wu, Elvin Zhang, Daniel Morrin and Yashasvigiri Gosai. Our Junior team 2 was well ahead of Auckland Grammar 2 showing the strength and depth of our chess talent.
Our girls team recently won the Auckland Girls Secondary Championship, defeating Westlake Girls High School by 1 point. Three of our team are still in year 9 and 10, so we look forward to keeping this trophy for a number of years. Congratulations to the successful team of Srah Yan, Cathy Fan, Stella Xu, Thea Dickson and Rachel Fan (reserve).
Senior Report Evening
Senior Report Evening for Year 11,12 & 13 will be held 4-7pm Thursday 25 September 2014. You can make an interview time by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the Event Code of NX5M6
Helicopter Drop Event and Prizes
Finally, after cancellations due to bad weather last term, the Helicopter Drop Fundraiser went ahead on a bright Saturday morning. The MRGS Head Prefects and Acting Principal Mr Wilkinson left from Mechanics Bay in a helicopter laden with ten numbered hacky sacs. After a short flight they swooped over the grid-marked No 1 MRGS Rugby pitch and randomly dropped the sacs which then fell to earth picking out ten lucky prizewinners. The event was well attended and there was great excitement as the positions of the hacky-sacs were confirmed. There was even an opportunity for visitors to purchase scenic flights on the helicopter to add to the Sursum Foundation fundraising event.
The helidrop prizewinners have been contacted this week and they are as below:
1st prize ($1,000) Yinqui Wu; 2nd Prize ($500) Maxine Cornes; 3rd Prize ($500) Epenisa Tuikolavatu; 4th prize ($500) Khylee Quince; 5th Prize ($500) Venkat Prakash; 6th Prize ($500) T. Ashby; 7th Prize (Mc Donald’s Vouchers) Eddie Chi; 8th Prize (Bunnings Vouchers) Dion Gosling; 9th Prize (Autographed Hockey Stick) P. Smith; 10th Prize (Luxury Hamper) S. Brown.
A big thank you to all the organisers and especially to all those who purchased tickets for this worthwhile fundraiser.
Campus Matariki Celebrations
Once again our three campus schools came together to mark Matariki. The audience was treated to performances from all our Kapa Haka groups together with presentations, readings and slideshows to illustrate the significance of the event in the Maori calendar. There was also a fitting tribute from The MRGS students who remembered those who had passed away in the last year and become stars - (just like the Pleiades - the Matarkii constellation) in our skies by the influence they had in their lives on our community and individuals. The venue was once again full and our evening ended with the sharing of a supper.
Gateway Goes from Strength to Strength
We currently have 35 students who have completed or are completing their work placements with more heading out to work in Term 3.
We have had some exciting new working opportunities arise for our students this year. We are fortunate enough to have two of our fashion students gaining experience at Trelise Cooper, two engineering students working at the Waterview Motorway Connection project (with ALICE, the tunnel boring machine!) and James Chen has begun his placement at the Accountancy firm - Crowe Horwath (NZ) Limited.
In August we are running a two day Communication and Leadership course for our Gateway students. This programme will teach students key skills and knowledge in relationship management, performance management, and workplace organisational principles. In addition in early September we are holding a two day combined Health & Safety and First Aid course. Students will come away from this training with their First Aid Certificate and NCEA credits – a fantastic qualification to have and looks great on a CV!
If you are a business and would like to offer a life changing work experience opportunity for a year 13 student in your company in 2014/15 or you have any questions regarding the programme, we would love to hear from you!!
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The school ball was held at the close of last term. The venue was Ellerslie Event Centre and was as ever a successful night. The theme was Circus and arriving students were treated to performances by jugglers, uni-cyclists, and acrobats. There was also a Candy Floss making machine which together with the decorations set the party-scene. Y13 Deans Mrs Singh and Mr Cornes got fully into the spirit of the evening with their costumes. A Buffet dinner was accompanied by dancing and socializing - the whole evening was enjoyed by all with typical Roskill spirit of fun and formality.
Full Houses for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Campus audiences were thrilled for three performances by the school’s production of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Inspiring lead roles and the marvelous Oompa Loompas enthralled students and adults with well acted and staged scenes. From Charlie’s hopes and finding of the golden ticket to the various downfalls of the nasty children, the actors kept up a thrilling pace and constantly entertained the audience with wit and dramatic expertise. The Performing Arts Dept, led by Ms Meyer and supported by Ms Walsh and Ms Lattey inspired a great team of staff and students.
MRGS E-Learning Update
We continue to grow our use of digital technology to enhance the learning of our students. This term marks a significant development in this journey. While the school will continue to invest in and support extensive ITC provision we are exploring the possibilities offered through student ‘Bring your own device’ (BYOD). To work towards our goal of a seamless blended E-Learning environment we are starting student trials of BYOD next term. We will be selecting a limited number of senior and junior classes. Each will have a specific learning outcome that will be enhanced by providing students with online access via individual personal devices. Students in these classes will be invited by letter and, should they choose to take up the opportunity, they will be encouraged to bring internet capable devices to school for use in that particular lesson.
The aim of these trials are to allow us to develop our thinking around managing this change as well as to test the technical capabilities of the school network. Our intention is very much that devices are not purchased for these trials but that students who currently have internet capable devices bring them and used them for that particular period of the day. The normal school expectations around mobile devices will remain in place. The classes selected will be chosen from school departments that already have some mobile device provision so that no student will be disadvantaged if they are unable to bring a personal device.
To help us to plan for the future we would greatly appreciate parents and caregivers completing this very brief survey. We are keen to know what technology already exists in our community and grow our understanding of how we can maximise the technology that already exists within our community.
Please follow the link below
Another successful Arts week was held in the second week of term 3. Performing Arts , Visual Arts and the Music Departments led a range of presentations and participatory events. Cast members of the school production roamed the school sponsoring fun and games. Our Vertigo award winning band performed in the Senior Centre at lunchtime, screen printing of T shirts was available, origami cranes were created for Peace Week and students were able to experience Henna hand tattoos. There were also poster and photography competitions, ukele ’jam’ sessions in the music block and the week culminated in the evening performances of ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’.
SADD Demonstration Crash
SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving)
With a dramatically staged demonstration in the school quad last term senior students showed their commitment to fostering safe driving and warning their peers of the dangers of irresponsibly taking a car on the road. Their demonstration was prefaced by an assembly sketch earlier in the week which introduced the situation of a group of people driving dangerously after leaving a party. Later in the week at lunchtime a crashed car complete with simulated casualties was set up in the school quad. Emergency services joined in the graphic display with fire officers, ambulance crews and police enacting a response to a serious crash. At each stage of the process of the response professionals and students explained details to the large student crowd - impressing on them the consequences of risky road habits.
Wider Education for Junior Students Term 4
Wider Education (3rd–5th December, Week 9) is a school tradition at MRGS. It is an opportunity for Year 9 and 10 students to take their learning outside the classroom. They will learn new skills, make new friends and develop as individuals whilst having fun! Year 9’s will have a series of day trips and activities to choose from, while Year 10’s are encouraged to attend overnight camps. The main camp for Year 10 students is at CYC Ngaruawahia this year with activities such as archery, swimming, water and mud slides, kayaking, and much more. There are also smaller camps and day trips as well as girls only options. Attending a camp or trip is compulsory for all students and there are fundraising opportunities available. More information about all activities and camps will be sent out this term.
Junior Report Evening
Junior Report Evening for Year 9 & 10 - 4-7pm Wednesday 27 August 2014
You can make an interview time by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the Event Code of 4YUZ6
Bookings close 8.30am Wednesday 27 August.
Come along and see the competition and support Roskill. Fickling Centre, Three Kings Library. 5pm-8pm Friday. 10am-5pm Saturday. Scifair.org.nz
Peace Week 2014
Peace Week 2014: Winner of Peace Song Competition!
Another exciting International Peace week was celebrated at MRGS during August 4th-8th where the Mediators organised many activities for students to enjoy: peace assembly presentations; random acts of kindness; peace quote competitions; face painting; the wearing of white ribbons for peace; painted peace banners and t-shirts. On Thursday, it was “Embracing Diversity and Anti Violence Day” where the hall was full of information stalls from the Pasifika Project; Rainbow Youth; ‘Violence is not ok campaign’; Manalive; Shine; The String Movement; as well as student stalls on Amnesty International, PSSP, and Body image. There was also beautiful music playing from all the music bands.
On Friday, the Mediators marched for peace around Mt Roskill community with the releasing of white balloons at the end.
On Friday 15th, a group of Mediators attended the Secondary Schools Peace Symposium where they won first prize with their original Peace song “ Stand as One" written by Pebble Varela, Vilia Li and Maia Morgan-Hampson, singing with Natasha Sa'u, Srishaa Iyer, Jon Jon Cowley Lupo, Tangiia Enjoy, Conor Ferencz, Mary-Kate Fonua, 'Ilaisaane Heilikutonga and Joshua Simmons. Sejoo Han danced and Joyce Wong, Yvette Raju and Vilia Li played the piano, flute and violin. Abel (Apelu Lealavaa) delivered an outstanding spoken word with June Tofa playing piano. Both presentations received a standing ovation from the audience. Special thanks to Parneet Kohli, Caitlin Morgan- Manukau and Chris Godber who were in the original song recording for the competition. Congratulations to all of you!
Peace week is a student driven and student owned campaign where all the Mediators collaborate together in a positive way to make a difference to our MRGS community.
A BIG Thank you to all the Mediators who worked so hard to make International Peace Week such an enjoyable week!
Year 12 Cross Country
The weather did not scare year 12 core classes from doing the annual school cross country. Well done to all on the superb effort, progress and commitment from all students and the PE Department. We are so proud of the effort and positive attitude and perseverance displayed throughout this module.
Self-Help Counselling Page Launch
At Mt Roskill Grammar we have the largest Mediation service in the country. We take pride in being able to guide all students to find solutions to their problems, and to resolve conflicts that exist between friends. However, we understand that there will always be students who maybe dealing with conflicts or have other worries and want to seek help, but are not ready talk to anyone about it. So, that is why a group of student mediators, in collaboration with the Counselling Department, have launched our very first Self-Help Counselling Page on Ilearn.
The aim of this page is to help you at Roskill to have access to useful information relating to your health and well-being. It does this by providing you with a relevant resource collection, which you can access through the comfort of your own home online. Our school’s first ever Self-Help Ilearn page regarding individual health and well-being therefore gives independence back to you. You are able to navigate through each of the tabs (Feeling down? Bullying/Cyberbullying etc.) to learn more about health and well- being in general, as well as where to find effective support if you need it.
The Self-Help Counselling page is still a 'work in progress' project. If anyone has any suggestions or comments (any are welcome!), please contact Donna at Student Services. Alternatively, any of our students Kevin Chow, Hugh Huang, Diana Qiu and Melody Ting can be approached as well.
Helicopter Drop Fundraiser New Date
The Fundraising Helicopter Drop - postponed due to bad weather in July - now has a new date. The event will take place at the school on Saturday 23rd August. The drop itself will be at 11am. All previously sold tickets are valid and on the day the front field of the school is going to be divided into squares and a helicopter will randomly drop packages onto the field - those who have the squares where the packages land will have the chance of winning one of the $250, $500 or $1000 prizes available. This event organized by the The Sursum Foundation, teamed with the Mt Roskill Grammar School Prefects, is a fundraiser for the future Hockey Turf and Sports Pavilion. See you there!
Music for Remembrance
Music for Remembrance: No Strings Attached
Saturday 11.30am and 1.30pm, 9th August - WWI Sanctuary, Auckland Museum
The brass sextet ‘No Strings Attached’.
‘No Strings Attached’ is a brass sextet of three trumpets, a French horn, trombone and tuba. Formed last year to compete in the Auckland Chamber Music Contest, they won “Most Engaging Performance”. These Year 10 and 12 students attend Lynfield College, Mt Roskill Grammar, Mt Albert Grammar, St Kentigern College and Auckland Grammar. They will perform a piece entitled Fragments of Messages from the Time of the Great War, written by Mark Bingham, and other musical pieces popular at the time of the First World War.
More information about the Museum's Enlist Now Centenerary Launch Weekend here
Model United Nations Event
Recently the 2014 New Zealand Model United Nations took place over 4 days in July, and was held at Victoria University in Wellington. Seven Roskill students were delegates and each represented a country in the proceedings : Benny Chun (Lesotho), Tangiia Enjoy (Georgia), Jairaj Modak (Cambodia), Diana Qiu (Palau), Prawesh Ranjitkar (Lithuania), Romina Seylani (Luxembourg) and Shaizan Virani
Over the course of 4 days, our representatives together with over 200 like-minded students from across the country gathered to become international diplomats who represented their respective allocated countries of the United Nations. They engaged in intense debate, rigorous negotiations and strategised lobbying. At the conference there was also a wide variety of expert guest speakers, including Deputy Head of Mission Teddy Poplinger. Everyone enjoyed a range of extracurricular learning material and stimulus, including learning about the New Wars’ Theory, and being inspired to think of new, modern day, methods of peacekeeping given the changing nature of modern warfare. During the closing ceremony one member of our delegation, Diana Qiu, was also selected to represent New Zealand, along with 21 other delegates, at The Hague International Model United Nations later this year.
BodySafe Collaborative Project
At MRGS we are proud to have run the BodySafe programme in year 10 Health for over a decade. This four session programme teaches students to stay safe and maintain respectful relationships.
In our recent newsletter you may have read about the BodySafe School Collaboration Pilot Project. We are delighted to have been approached by Rape Prevention Education in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice to be a pilot school to extend the BodySafe programme.
The main aim of this project is to look at ways of promoting safe relationships by providing education and advocacy on unwanted sexual experiences to a school community.
We would like to enable you to have a voice in how this programme can be further developed.
You are invited to participate in a survey asking for your input on what schools can do to contribute to encourage promoting safe relationships, reducing sexual pressure and sexual violence in our society.
If you are a parent or caregiver, click here
If you are a MRGS student, click here
SURSUM Foundation Grant to Roskill Student
Earlier this year the Sursum Foundation gave a grant of $1000 to assist senior student Theo Loretz in journeying to Europe in July. Theo has been accepted as a Young Ambassador to France. This July he will travel to North Eastern France to participate in WW1 commemoration events, visit historical and cultural sites and make contact with the people of this region. Theo and other students from around the world who have been selected as Young Ambassadors will also have the honour of representing their country during the official parade down the Champs-Élysées in Paris to open the commemorations on Bastille Day.
The Sustainability Challenge involves teams of 4 students who compete in a 2 or 3 hour event, which includes a mix of running/walking, navigation and sustainability based activities. Teams navigate to as many checkpoints as they can, collecting points for each checkpoint visited. To earn extra points teams can complete sustainability themed activities which will require some research and teamwork. Examples of activities could be to identify native bird calls, match a pest to the correct trap used or make something from flax. Mt Roskill have competed in two events; the first was held at Shakespear Regional Park during Term One and the second and most recent event was at Duder Regional Park on the 13th of May.
During the first race our Year 11 team came 7th overall and 1st all girls team which was a fantastic result. In the second race our junior team after a slow start made up good ground on the others for a commendable mid-table result. The third race will be held in Term 4 which we will be looking forward to.
Junior Students Rewarded for Assistance in Reading Research with Booktrack
“On Friday 23rd May we went to the Booktrack headquarters in Takapuna to learn all about how the company operates. They invited us to say thank you for appearing in a Seven Sharp news item about research which had been done at Mt Roskill Grammar showing that adding soundtrack to texts increases reading comprehension scores .
Booktrack is a new revolution in reading, where you can co-ordinate musical soundtracks into a piece of writing, or a book, to make it into a really cinematic experience with music, ambience and effects eg. if you’re reading about walking along the beach you can hear the waves crashing.
The CEO Craig showed us around and we got to meet all the people that worked there such as Chazz who used to be in a band but now is the soundtrack engineer. He showed us how to turn a boring old book into a musical masterpiece by adding a soundtrack.
Booktrack further thanked us with complimentary t-shirts and pens and took us for lunch at Sal’s pizza where we ate the biggest pizza’s we’d ever seen.
We had an amazing and interesting day and we thank Booktrack for putting up with us.”
Maddie, Lance, India, Ronan 1014
MRGS Music Students Out in the Community
On Friday 16 May, 17 music students travelled to the Hillsborough Heights Retirement Village to perform to the residents. The string orchestra and several chamber groups performed a variety of pieces that had the audience smiling and tapping their feet.
As part of New Zealand Music Month, the Mt Roskill Library hosted a concert by year 12 and 13 MRGS students on Saturday 24 May. Members of band Vertigo (Ben Deverell, Matthew Deverell, Tim Coldham and Mark Bingham) competently performed a set of 5 songs to the delight of the public, including a large group of young children who were at the library for storytime. The concert was rounded off by Pearl Lazaro singing a beautiful song in both English and Maori. The concert organiser and members of the public were enthusiastic in their praise of the students’ performances.
Music Camp 2014
Music Camp 2014 was held in April, in perfect weather, at Motu Moana Scout Camp.
Over the course of a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 40 eager MRGS students from Concert Band and String Orchestra came together to live, dream and breathe MUSIC! The focus of the camp was for students to work towards achieving higher standards of performing whilst forming a cohesive ensemble and developing a sense of belonging to the team.
The camp was superbly organised by Ms Dekker, with Ms Steedman on entertainment (and real coffee), and under the artistic supervision and guidance of Mr Atkinson, Mr Darragh, Mr Snelling and Mr Sergeant. Thanks also to ITM tutors Mr ‘Ofamo’oni and Ms Camilleri for their helpful tutoring as well as parents and Arts Coordinator Mrs Lattey for generously giving their time to assist. The students spent their days divided between section and full rehearsals, and activities like the teambuilding confidence course, flying fox and the entertaining quiz on Saturday night.
The weekend came to a close with a fantastic finale - a lunchtime concert for parents. Congratulations to all students and staff involved in making Music Camp a huge success!
School Production News
The MRGS Performing Arts Department is delighted to announce that this year’s school production will be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. From 30 July – 1 August, including both evening performances and a matinee, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will come alive on stage with a student cast including our very own Willy Wonka, 5 lucky children, an entire Bucket family and MRGS Oompa Loompas! Watch out for lickable wallpaper, hot icecreams for cold days, fizzy lifting drinks and square sweets that look round! Ticket sales from the end of this term – join us for a scrumdidilyumptious time!
Samoan Language Week
In the last week of May the school participated in Samoan language week and celebrated the language of Samoa throughout the school. A special presentation of a traditional song medley took place in assembly and each day students and staff were provided with Samoan phrases to use, cultural information to share and the rich detail of Samoa’s traditions to enjoy. On the last day of the week students served a special morning tea in the staffroom, presenting a feast of traditional recipes. Throughout this year other Pasifika languages will be celebrated within the school. In August we will share in Cook Islands Language Week. For information about all national Pacific language weeks click here Pacific Languages
Farewell to Bonnie Wills
There are often things you’ll find that you could not have done without in your life. And you’ll find it as part of many different contexts. It could be as simple as one document that ties an entire case together, or a book that ignited a passion you otherwise wouldn’t have seen. But often definitive things we can’t go without are other people. We all have one. This school has a few defining people and this month we say goodbye to one of them - Bonnie Wills.
Bonnie has worked at MRGS for 25 years and this month leaves us for retirement. Whenever I call the school I can honestly feel Bonnie smiling down the phone at me and I’m sure any of you who have had the pleasure of speaking with her would have had a similar experience. On behalf of the Board and the Mount Roskill community I would like thank Bonnie for her tireless service to the school over the years. I wouldn’t be able to do her justice if I attempted to quantify her contribution to MRGS in such
a short space.
Kima Tuialii, Trustee
Helicopter Drop – (second postponement)
Due to continuing adverse weather conditions the Helicopter Drop fundraiser has been postponed and will NOT be held this Saturday 12th July.
A new date will be arranged in Term 3 and publicised to the community.
All tickets sold will be valid for the re-arranged date.
Please hold onto your tickets and watch this website for updates.
Tough Guy Tough Gal 2014
On Friday 27th June, 85 MRGS Students were involved in the Secondary School Tough Guy and Gal Challenge at Woodhill Equestrian Event Centre. Over 1000 students from around Auckland were taking part and the event lived up to its name. You might recall that the weather was cold and wet and this made the course and the mud even more challenging. To give you some idea of what was involved, there were a number of mud pits that the students had to make their way through, some up to waist height and some that we had to drop into after sliding up to 50 metres down a mud slide. There were also obstacles to climb over, electric fences and barb wire to crawl under and heaps of creeks to wade through.
A number of students performed well but the highlight was our junior girls where Janita Fuller came second overall and Emma Stitt finished a close third. They managed to do this despite stopping halfway for a mud fight before realising they needed to get moving.
OPEN DAY 2014 - Thursday 24th July - 3.30 – 6.30 pm
Meet at the Administration Building (main entrance)
Tours start from the conference room
You will be able to view an informative visual display while you wait
A School Prefect will direct you to a tour route of the school – staff will answer your questions throughout your visit. There will be a presentation from the Principal at 4.30pm and 6pm in the school library.
During the tour you will be able to meet staff and gain information about the following subjects and aspects of the school
- Quality teaching and learning
- Outstanding NCEA & Scholarship results – 2 Top in subject 2013
- Wide range of sporting and cultural activities
- World class facilities
- Metro Magazines Top Auckland Schools 2009-2014
- Focus school in ERO Best Practice report May 2014
Enrolment Information: 2015 In Zone and Out of Zone Enrolment forms will be available from the School Office or from here
- September 3: Applications for Out of Zone places close
- September 10: Out of Zone Ballot Date
- Thursday August 21st
- Thursday October 16th
- Tuesday November 4th
- Thursday November 6th
- Wednesday November 12th
Enquiries: Phone 621 0050, Fax 621 0055, Deputy Principal Karen Collins, email Karen.Collins@mrgs.school.nz
All welcome - Tours start regularly from School Main Office
Roskill Model United Nations
"Our first ever Roskill Model United Nations, which took place recently over a weekend, was a huge success and was enjoyed by 20 of our students who participated in it. During the event, these 20 students became mock representatives of various countries round the world and debated The Question of Population Growth, in a general assembly. During the Roskill Model United Nations volunteers from the UN Youth NZ organisation also came out to help on the day, and among them was Vice-President of Auckland High Schools Brendon Lee. Every student who participated at the RMUN had a chance to speak, and were encouraged to think about the issue at hand and came up with effective solutions into solving it. Overall it was a very successful and very worthwhile event, and best speakers on the day were Jairaj Modak, Shaizan Virani and Srishti Toora.
The Roskill Model United Nations was a local UN youth event. This organisation also organises both regional and national events, such as the New Zealand Model United Nations coming up early next month. The NZMUN is a national event that takes place every year in Wellington over 4 days. This conference gathers 240 of the nation's best senior student leaders and critical minds, giving all who attend an even more extensive opportunity to really engage with global issues at hand. NZMUN is UN Youth's premier national event and traditionally Mt Roskill Grammar has sent reasonably sized delegations from our school to attend it. This year 4 of our students had been selected by UN Youth NZ to fly down to Wellington next month to attend it. They were chosen based on the merit of their written applications, and their intensive prior experience with UN Youth. These students are Benny Chun, Tangiia Enjoy, Diana Qiu and Romina Seylani."
Campus Music Concert
On the evening of Thursday 19th June our annual celebration of the three campus schools’ musical talent took place in the Grammar school hall. An audience of
over 500 was enthralled by performances from the range of groups, orchestras, bands and choirs. The night opened with a rousing combined item ‘Kia Orana’ which involved all performers. There were then individual presentations by the primary school band, the grammar school concert band and the intermediate school choir. The as ever popular primary school ukes entertained everyone with ‘Poi E’ and other performers such as the grammar school year 9 band and the intermediate orchestra brought contemporary pop pieces to vibrant life. After further pieces from string orchestras, choirs and a jazz combo the evening ended traditionally with a marvellous ‘sing-along’ of ‘Everything’s Going To Be Alright’. The audience and performers
then mingled for light supper refreshments and a chance to share their enthusiastic responses to another great campus musical event.
Passing of Mr Colin Prentice
As we mourn with our community, and the educational world as a whole, the recent passing of Colin Prentice, we are reminded of the legacy he has left not only Mount Roskill but New Zealand. After leaving MRGS in 1994 he went on to further roles in Education and Aid work. As Director of the Schools Partnership Office at the University of Auckland he ensured the links to tertiary education of so many Auckland secondary students. Also when Executive Officer of World Vision, New Zealand’s largest international Aid Agency he furthered the charitable involvement of so many institutions and individuals as ever reminding us all of the responsibilities we bear as caring members of a global society.
Throughout his career he won several scholarships and awards; a visiting fellowship at Otago, a University of London Commonwealth Fellowship, a Woolf Fisher Travelling Fellowship and a Universitas 21 Scholarship.
At every opportunity however, despite his commitments, he was interested in the progress and achievement of MRGS and as Mr Watson has said it was fitting that he graced our Jubilee celebrations as both speaker and participant. As a community we send our condolences to Colin’s family and feel forever grateful for his immeasurable contribution to the school.
70th Birthday Prentice Run
At the start of term past principal of MRGS (1989-1994) Colin Prentice returned to school to do a commemorative “Prentice Run” with past and present pupils. The original runs were taken every Wednesday during Colin’s time at the school and he would take a number of students who were in the spotlight for some of their ‘behaviours’ on a series of sprints running up Mt Roskill Mountain. As Nick Tuialii says “It was like pre-season training for Rugby; running up Mt Roskill Mountain, climbing ropes etc. I think in his 6 years here there were only two students who got the better of Sir. The tough kids saw Mr Prentice in a very different light and in most cases he won them over for life.”
A number of those past pupils came along to the commemoration, to give their best wishes for his 70th birthday and were rewarded with an afternoon tea and a chance to re-live some memories with Mr Prentice.
Duke of Edinburgh´s Hillary Award
As part of their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a group of year 13 students completed a Bushcraft training course in the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park recently. They were trained in map reading and compass navigation by Mountain Safety Council instructors and had to navigate their way off track through dense bush. They slept under emergency shelters and spent 6-8 hours hiking each day.
The instructors were impressed with the attitude, teamwork and reflective ability of our students. The 14 students are: Hanna Davidson, Nuobelle Fong, Lizanne Gomes, Juliet Han, Praveen Krishna, Sara Li, Theo Loretz, Saviduruu Mohan, Venkat Prakash, Diana Qiu, Romina Seylani, Shivay Singh, Mildred Wong and Mark Yep.
Mark did a fantastic job of organising the trip and was praised by the course director for his communication and organisational skills.
Hockey Turf Fundraiser
n.b. 'Helicopter Drop' postponed until Saturday 12th July
Keen to help raise money for our new water-based Hockey Turf or better yet, want to win some money? $250, $500 or even $1000? Of course you do! This year, The Sursum Foundation, teamed with the Mt Roskill Grammar School Prefects, are organising a Helicopter Drop as a fundraiser for the future Hockey Turf and Sports Pavilion. The front field of the school is going to be divided into 5000 squares and a helicopter will randomly drop 10 packages onto the field. For as little as $5 a ticket, you can purchase a square and be in the draw to win a monetary prize or perhaps even a wonderful mystery prize to the value of $250. Ultimately, you’ll get to contribute to the betterment of Mt Roskill Grammar School as well as our wider community and be a part of Mt Roskill History. Tickets are available from any of the 40 Mt Roskill Grammar Prefects and can also be obtained from the Accounts Office. See you there!
Language Perfect World Championship
Language Perfect World Championships – 19-29 May 2014
Mount Roskill Grammar School has again gained outstanding results in this International Languages competition. MRGS pupils answered over 1.6 million questions, gaining 604,642 points, which represents 3,522 hours spent learning.
Special school achievements:
- 4th school in the World overall out of 1,151 participating schools
- 2nd for French in NZ (6th globally)
- 2nd for Japanese in NZ (5th globally)
- 1st in World for schools having between 250-500 participants (1st in French, 1st In Japanese in this category)
- Top NZALT School in New Zealand winning the NZALT-LPWC Trophy a second time
Special student achievements:
- Sophie Liu – 7th in the World overall, 4th in World for Japanese, with 37,073 points
- Taruki Gunawardana – 18th in the World overall, 2nd in World for French, with 29,722 points
ELITE award (10,000+ points) gained by 12 students:
Sephie Liu, Taruki Gunawardana, Joshua Simmons, Bryan Busby, Naman Gupta, Ziwei Zhuang, Jessica Gao, Tessa Brown, Caitlin Chessum, Qi Zhu, Yong Shi Lin, Nathan McDougall
GOLD medal certificate (3,000+ points) gained by 49 students:
Stephanie Tea, Rebekah Yu, Aiden Fang, Phoebe Chau, McGregor Small, Disha Gomathinayagam, Hannah Yu, Sachi Yamamoto, Zoe Fuller, Shivesh Lal, Ellen Peng, Raphael Tang, Holly Porter, Eleanor Mulrennan, Jacky Chen, Syed Kazmi, Angie Sun, Gary Zhang, Sarah Yan, Yilong Wu, Shriram Raveendran, Adib Jaffar, Winnie Chen, Rachel Fan, Kelvin Shen, Jelisa Rana, Carmen Chen, Phoenicks Seiuli, Brian Liu, Stephen Njoto, Josephine Yo, Paul Robinson, Kevin Yang, Shirley Wang, Christina Tran, Yukta Madan, Josette Xu, Mandie Galea, Azra Banu, Charlotte Shirreffs, Srishaa Iyer, Rebecca Ferguson, Sneha Patel, Esther Ayoade, Shiying Xu, Alice Wang, Anna Sin, Halym Smith, Chloe Haigh
- SILVER medal certificate (2,000+ points) = 25 students
- BRONZE medal certificate (1,000+ points) = 56 students
- CREDIT award certificate (500+ points) = 78 students
What started off with a polite “konnichiwa” and some very awkward hugs, in the span of two short weeks changed to tearful goodbyes and more than one “I’M STEALING YOUR PASSPORT SO YOU CAN’T LEAVE!” 10 students and two teachers were fortunate enough to visit Japan on the first student exchange trip with the prestigious Toho High School in Chiba, Japan. We arrived at Auckland International Airport at quarter to 6 in the morning on Saturday the 19th of April- and it seemed like none of us were able to sleep the previous night!
12 hours and 8820km later, we were bombarded by a large group of people waiting for us at Narita Airport, and we finally got to meet the host families we had been emailing! As we were staying with our hosts, we had the unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in Japanese customs and culture in a way that wouldn’t be possible if we were just tourists. That Monday, we all appreciated the fact that New Zealand High Schools have the same or similar subjects, as many of us had to wake up well before 6am to reach school at 8! In Japan, it is not uncommon for students to travel more than an hour each way to get to school! But Toho High School was well worth journey. The staff and students were all so kind and friendly, and we were placed in classes with our respective hosts. School life in Japan is very different and we are all so glad we were able to experience it! Not only did we go to school, we got to witness students playing some traditional Japanese sports- such as Kendo, Judo, Japanese Archery and we even got to participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Not only did we have lots of fun attending Toho High, we did a lot of sightseeing, both with our host families and with our MRGS tour group. After only two days with our hosts we had to say bye for a few days as we went to places in Japan. A definite favourite was visiting the two theme parks- Disney Sea and Disneyland. We ate Mickey themed food, waited hours in line to get onto the rides, and saw some amazing light shows and displays. According to my host father, “it is illegal to be sad in Disneyland’’ and everyone made some amazing memories. Filled with amazing shops with all the Disney themed goods you could ever want, everyone left with their wallets a whole lot lighter. Ironically, it was the seniors who ended up buying most of the stuffed animals that we carted back to New Zealand with us! We also visited the Tokyo Sky Tree which stands at 634m- almost double the height of the Sky Tower! During the time we were not staying with our host families, our tour group also visited places like Shibuya- with the famous crossing- and Harajuku, a popular area amongst teenagers. We even got to attend a professional baseball game between the Tokyo Giants and the Swallows at the Tokyo Dome. To make sure we were learning, we went to plenty of Shrines and even went to an Edo Museum, which was extremely interesting and fun. A huge highlight of the trip was seeing Mt Fuji- we got squashed on the trains during the early morning work rush and ended up being two hours late- but it was all worth it when we saw Fuji-san from the observation platforms. Full on days and a jam packed schedule which meant that dinner was often a time to unwind and socialise with the group back at the school hostel, and we made sure to get plenty of sleep!
We had days that we did activities with our host families and many of us went to “Lalaport”, a very popular shopping mall that could easily dwarf Sylvia Park. Many of us also went to historical places like Narita Temple and Kamakura, as well as theme parks such as Fujikyu Highland. The most important thing, however, was that we got to know our host families and interacted with them as a part of their family. We got to try many new foods, and experienced many new things. We made so many new friends- both in Japan and within our little group. This was a very unique experience that we will never be able to participate in again, and something we will never forget. We will treasure it for the rest of our lives. On behalf of the 10 students that went on this trip, thank you to Toho High School, MRGS Languages Department and Ms Kojima and Ms Shepherd who gave up so much of their time to make this amazing experience possible.
High School Rockerz 2014
The MRGS Bollywood team have been practicing their moves and grooves for the Inter Secondary School ROCKERZ competition! This colourful event has 18 competing schools and is to be held at the Logan Campbell Centre (ASB Showgrounds) Green Lane on the 24th of May. Good luck MRGS!! Tickets available in the PFA.
School Workathon Fundraiser
At the 60th Jubilee last year we heard many stories of how facilities that we value at Mt Roskill Grammar were built through the efforts of the students, parents and the local community. This year we are reviving the old fashioned Workathon to help raise funds for the upgrade of our hockey turf to a water based pitch and to build a sports pavilion that will service all sports using our fields.
Students are being asked to raise funds for the school by doing Workathon jobs, outside school time, that involve community service or helping others. You can:
- Either get sponsorship from friends and family for doing a job in the community e.g. at your church, a rest home where a family member lives, or helping out an elderly relative or friend of the family. More than one person could sponsor you to do the same job.
- Or your friends and relatives may have jobs they will pay you to do e.g. cleaning windows, mowing lawns or gardening.
Please do not approach businesses or people not known to your family for work or sponsorship.
The work can be done from Saturday May 31st–Sunday June 8th.
Please start thinking about what work you could do for the Workathon.
Workathon Sponsorship forms will be given to all students towards the end of May.
- Westfield St LukesGift Cards for the Eight Students who Raise the Most i.e. Top 3 Students Overall, and then One Student for Each Year Level
- Top Form Class will receive a Pizza Lunch
- Everyone that participates will be entered in the draw for Spot Prizes
MRGS Fundraising Quiz Night
Friday 16th May 7.00 pm in School Staffroom
- Teams of 5-6 (Adults only)
- Cheese and Nibbles on each Table
- Cash Bar, Raffle & Auctions
- Prize for Best Themed Table
We can put you in a team or you can book a table.
All money raised will go towards upgrading our hockey turf to a water based pitch, and building a sports pavilion that will service all sports using our fields.
Prizes, Auction & Silent Auction Items gratefully received include:
- An Evening Cruise for up to 10 on Keith Hall’s 14m yacht Flo Jo.
- A Pamper Package provided jointly by Finishing Touch Hair Design and Beyond Beauté
- A Penn Fishing Rod and Reels from Pure Fishing
- Villa Maria Wine
- Premium Double Passes to the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
- A Cake from the City Cake Company
- 2 x 3 month memberships from Tony Martin’s Sports Connection Gym
- Dinner at Tusk Thai Balmoral
- A Wooden gift-box containing 6 cheeses from Whitestone Cheese
- $100 Carlton Party Hire Voucher
- an “Entertainment Book”
- a Countdown voucher to assist with costs
- a School holiday programme of 10 lessons from Ross Millar Swim School
- Dining at Frasers Café Mt Eden
- Thank you also to Redmond Engineering Ltd
Bidding on Silent Auction Items has started – You can place a bid anytime before the Quiz using the bidding sheets at Reception, or of course during the Quiz Evening.
Quiz Night Tickets are on sale at Mt Roskill Grammar School Accounts or Phone 621 0050 (Joanne) to purchase tickets using VISA and collect on the night
Tickets Limited so Get in Early
Year 13 Drama Assessment Show
On Friday April 11, Year 13 students captivated an audience performing Toa Fraser’s BARE
Bare is the inter-twining and inter-linking of characters from different walks of life, sharing their stories, their dreams, their aspirations, their fears and their desires. Traditionally “Bare” is performed by two actors who break the “fourth wall” (speaking to the audience and speaking through the audience to the other character).
Congratulations to the students involved; Jacinta Weaver, Vincent Feng, Manan Sharma, Wilhelm Faapoi, Nicholas Jacques, Sejoo Han, Payal Pillay, Cairo Te Whiu, Eleanor Mulrennan, Livai Holani, Ilaisaane Mafi, Venkat Prakash, and Aasha Nimo. The evening was a resounding success!
Continuing Success for Chess Teams
Recently our A chess team won the West Auckland Zone competition, qualifying us for the ChessPower National Finals in Nelson in December. Our B Team placed 2nd in the same competition.
Individually, Kashyap Choudhary received a silver medal for 2nd place, Sarah Yan a bronze medal for 3rd place, and Sarah also received a gold medal as the top girl in the tournament.
On Friday 14th March we hosted the central zone tournament and again we placed first and second with our two teams. Sarah Yan also earned a bronze medal for being the 3rd best girl at the tournament, with 6 wins out of a possible 7.
Roskill Musician to Join NZSSSO
We were delighted to hear recently that senior student Mark Bingham has been selected for the NZSSSO (The New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra). Mark is a talented trombonist and his selection recognises the high standard of his instrumental skills. Entry to the NZSSSO is by audition and over 150 students applied for consideration.
Mark’s selection gives him the opportunity to represent the school in a full size orchestra and taking part in the symphony orchestra course is regarded as a significant training ground for membership later of the New Zealand Youth Orchestra, and ultimately for many to a career as a professional musician.
The orchestra members will take part in an intensive six day orchestral course in Christchurch in the coming school holidays - and this will culminate in two public performances at St Margaret’s College . The programme for the concert will have pieces by NZ composer Gareth Farr in addition to international pieces by Sibelius, Dvorak and Gershwin. We are sure that Mark ’s expertise will make a strong contribution to the performance evenings.
11SPS Steinlager II Sailing Trip
Last year when the America's Cup Yacht Races were on, some students at MRGS said they would love to go on boats like those racing but doubted they would ever experience that in their lifetimes. So the challenge was laid down and the PE Department has made this possible for 11SPS in 2014.
All the 11SPS students had a once in a life time opportunity to sail for 2 days and sleep overnight on Steinlager 2; once skippered by the inspirational Sir Peter Blake when he won the 1989/1990 Whitbread Around the World Race in the impressive boat. Many skills were learnt by the students in only 48 hours; a new experience for all stepping out of their comfort zones, working with others and discovering how to communicate, sail, tie knots, navigate, analyse weather – winds and currents, read maps, how to log boat entries, navigate and tramp on islands in the Hauraki gulf and even construct rafts! At the same time they were assessed in Achievement Standards for Self-Management and Safety in the Outdoors. What better way to put theory into practice!
The Trip one Adventure included sailing to Tiri Tiri Matangi, tramping around the island and then sailing to Kawau Island to stay overnight at Mansion House bay.
Trip two the following week sailed to Motutapu Island and tramped around there before staying overnight on Ponui Island. This was followed the next morning by a 7:30am swim, then by raft building at Garden Cove on Waiheke Island.
[A generous donation to the NZ Sailing Trust from Richie McCaw's charity foundation "For EveryOne" made this trip possible for MRGS students. See story below].
Students Meet All Black Captain
On Friday the 21st of March 2014, four students were selected to go and meet famous All Blacks captain Richie McCaw. The lucky students were Aubrey Lasi, William Tupou, Krisney Akemio and Hayley Gosling who each felt honoured and privileged to have this opportunity.
'All four of us were lost for words when coming face to face to the icon. We were lucky enough to ask him some questions; we discovered that if Richie hadn't become a top rugby player, his other dream was to become a farmer down south."
Richie's inspiration of how hard-work beats talent is something that will stick with all four of us, through our future endeavours. It was a privilege to be involved in this once in a life time meet and greet, and if it wasn't for Mrs Bennett we wouldn't have had this opportunity. So we would like to thank her on behalf of us all. (Written by Hayley and Krisney)
Head Prefects Meet Distinguished Auckland University Alumni
Head Prefects - Hayden Couper and Mildred Wong recently attended the 3rd annual ‘Auckland Live!’ event at Auckland University. This event brings together six distinguished graduates of the university - all recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni awards: Bruce Aitken - ex-CEO of Vancouver based Methanex Corporation; Gareth Farr ONZM - a leading composer; Dr. Julie Maxton - Executive Director of the Royal Society; Dr. William Tan - neuro scientist and paralympian; Hon Dr. ‘Ana Maui Taufe’ulungaki - Minister for Education and Training in the Kingdom of Tonga; and Roseanne Liang - Young Alumna of the Year, film director and writer. Broadcaster Finlay MacDonald interviewed the achievers in a panel chat evening and they each afforded inspirational role models and clear insights into the benefits of further tertiary learning after school.
Biology Students Attend Televised Debate
Early in March, 16 MRGS Biology students were selected to participate in the studio audience of Professor Lord Robert Winston’s NZ debate on the Ethics of Reproductive Technologies. This was in recognition of the close ties between the MRGS Bio dept and the University of Auckland. The event was live-streamed to schools around the country and to schools overseas with an audience of around 4,000. A senior MRGS student Theo Loretz, was further privileged to be invited to have lunch with Lord Winston and sit on stage as a member of the panel of ‘experts’ discussing the ethics of reproductive technologies and Theo carried out this role with enthusiasm.
Theo’s comments - "Being on the panel with Lord Robert Winston is something I will never forget. Talking on the pressing issue of the ethics of reproductive technologies such as In Vitro Fertilisation and Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis was something that at first was a little scary, as these procedures are against my religious views. However, my views were respected and appreciated by both the audience and Lord Robert Winston himself. The talk was essential to young people today as it addresses the complexity around these issues and invites us to think, debate and find where we stand on ethical issues in science."
[Lord Winston is patron of Gravida and a Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College, London. Lord Winston is a noted science commentator and advocate, presenting shows such as ‘Child of our Time’ and ‘The Human Body’.]
Once again our cultural groups performed with commitment and skill at the annual Polyfest. Kapa Haka, Tongan, Samoan and Indian groups had practised hard from the beginning of the year to perfect their performances. A number of the groups had been involved in sleep-over weekends which enabled the fellowship that is so much a part of these shared endeavours. The preparation work and the polyfest actual days owe so much to the support and expertise of tutors, staff, parents and community members - who give their time and goodwill to encourage our students. Each group gave their best on performance days and made the school proud by their bearing and athleticism exhibited in the routines. Amid a range of marvellous performances the Tongan group had particular success. They were awarded first place in the Mako - the fast paced dance performed by the young men of the student group. In the Lakalaka - the longest and hardest of the Faiva (dance) they were awarded a 4th place. These results are a fitting reward for everyone’s effort over the term.
Passing of Treasured Kaumatua
Mount Roskill Campus Schools and the Wider Puketapapa Community Mourn the Passing of a Treasured Kaumatua
Recently the grammar school learned of the death of Tame Cassidy, past Kaumatua and Board of Trustees member. Tame served as a Board member from 1998 to 2007 and throughout that time was a tireless supporter of the school’s values and the development of its whanau to encourage student achievement. He championed the progress of kapa haka at the school and was ever-present at school events to encourage students and the further accomplishments of the campus. Tame was a Roskill taonga - a treasure to us all. In 2012 his service to the community was recognised by the Puketapapa Local Board when he was presented with a Good Citizen Award.
Head of Maori at MRGS Lee Tawhai and the school’s senior leadership paid tributes when he was laid to rest at the Mangere Lawn cemetery, and the grammar school’s Kapa Haka group performed a haka at the graveside. At this term’s Whanau hui the Campus Principals remembered Tame’s contribution to our tamariki over many years. We share with Tame’s family the sadness of his loss but are supported by the knowledge that his spirit, like the Titoki tree we planted on his retirement as Kaumatua, will always rest as a guardian presence over our whare and the grammar school’s continuing contribution to the education of our young men and women.
E Tame, takoto mai i te poho o to whanau, takoto mai, takoto mai
Tame - May you rest in peace in the bosom of your family, rest in peace, rest in peace
Senior Report Evening
Senior Report Evening - 4-7pm Thursday 10 April 2014
You can make an interview time by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the Event Code of 8VZ3E
Bookings close 8.30am Thursday 10 April
On the 11th of March students from MRGS were given the chance to experience professional theatre performance first hand when a trio from Class Comedians gave a free stand-up comedy show during the lunch hour. Interested senior students were then invited to join an after school workshop where they were led by Ben Hurley of 7 Days fame. The results were outstanding! From a group of handpicked students offered further development, Ruby Allen-McKee has confirmed her place in the continuation workshops and will be joining Class Comedians this year. As well learning to write and perform a stand up set, she will meet local and international stand ups and performers, industry experts and will also be introduced to various other media options. We wish Ruby the best of luck and for anyone interested in seeing the final performance - the live show is Saturday May 10th, 4PM at Rangatira @ Q Theatre.
New Year’s Honours Awards for three former Roskill Students
Our community began 2014 with some excellent news when the New Year’s Honours announcements listed three Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) awards to ex– Roskill students.
Mervyn Ah Chee was given his award for services to hospitality and the community. Mervyn is also a strong supporter of the Sursum Foundation and married to Quieta, also a past pupil of our school.
Manoj Daji received his for services to sport and education. Manoj is a former Headboy ,1st X1 Captain and assists the Sursum Foundation whenever he is able.
Mark Christopher Grantham gained his honour for services to the community. He was an inspiration as a student and has continued that into adulthood. He is a notable presence on Newmarket’s Broadway selling chocolate for his many sponsored World Vision children.
General Information and Reminders
General Information and Reminders for Parents and Students
MRGS regulation uniform is the only school uniform that may be worn and the uniform requirements are available here. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact Mrs Collins on 621 0050. For security purposes please ensure your child’s uniform is clearly named.
Second Hand Uniform
Year 11 going in to year 12? Outgrown your uniform? If you have second hand uniform to sell, collect a card from the Deans’ Centre and it will be posted in the Deans’ Centre window for three weeks. Transactions are conducted between buyer and seller, not through the school.
Uniform Shop Hours
The MRGS uniform shop is open Mondays and Thursdays from 8.00 am to 9.00am and 3.00pm to 4.00pm.
Teachers mark their roll on the computer every period. This allows us to monitor attendance statistics for both individual and groups of students more frequently and closely. If you have any concerns about attendance or want to report an absence, please phone Mrs Hyland, Attendance Officer, on 621 0069 or email email@example.com Please phone on the morning of your child’s first day of absence. Students are expected to be in every class on time in order to be successful powerful learners.
At MRGS we have zero tolerance for bullying.
We use restorative practices to ensure that victims have a voice. We aim to heal the harm while endeavouring to change the wrongdoer’s behaviour. In some cases the senior leadership team will need to extend our response beyond a restorative approach.
We also have a range of staff able to assist students if they have any concerns…
Students should not hesitate to contact their house dean in the Deans’ Centre.
Alternatively they are welcome to make an appointment with one of our counsellors (counsellor appointments can be made before school or at break times through Mrs Pace at student services or via facebook).
If you have a new address, phone number, cellphone number or email address please pass this information through to the school: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emergency contact details should also be kept current so please update the school when either the person or their contact details change.
Please ensure that you have given the school a current email address which enables us to keep you up to date with information and newsletters.
Junior Report Evening
4-7pm Thursday 27 March 2014
You can make an interview time by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the Event Code of Z8W8T
Bookings close 8.30am Thursday 27 March
Senior Report Evening
4-7pm Thursday 10 April – booking details will be advised shortly
11SPS and Richie McCaw
Four students (Aubrey Lasi, William Tupou, Krisney Akeimo and Hayley Gosling), after attending the 11sps Sport Science trip, were selected to meet Richie McCaw.
Comments from the students included “it was an awesome opportunity to meet such a famous professional rugby player who was very humble.”
Richie McCaw's charity foundation "For EveryOne" also donated some money to the NZ Sailing Trust. This generous donation made it possible for MRGS students from both year 11 Sport Science classes to do two days sailing on the famous boat Steinlager 2, once capitained by Sir Peter Blake.
Japanese Restaurant Trip
On Friday 14th March, a group of 8 students who study Japanese along with Kojima Sensei had an outing to the Japanese Restaurant Nishiki. There they ate a mouth watering set meal of authentic Japanese food consisting of Miso Soup, Sushi, Tempura (Fried Shrimp), Edamame (Boiled Soy Beans), Yakitori (Fried Chicken), Tataki (Lighlty Grilled Beef) and a wide range of ice cream where the Green Tea and Sesame flavoured ice cream were the most popular. The food was praised with boat loads of comments such as ii desuyo (It’s good! In Japanese) and totemo oishii (very delicious in Japanese). It was a great experience. Thank you Kojima Sensei for taking us there!
Rachel Fan (12 GFIO)
Physical Education is a compulsory subject at Mt Roskill Grammar from year 9 – 12 where all students have two periods per week. All students are expected to wear correct PE uniform for all lessons. Please ensure your son/daughter has their uniform clearly named in full. No school sports uniforms are to be worn for PE.
We all know the benefits of exercise and eating properly, we have read it, most of us have acted on it, yet we still get many parents signing letters to get their child excused from PE. Please think about what you are doing before signing – there are many things in life we do not feel like doing but most often, once we have done them we are glad we did.
If your child is well enough to be at school then they can still take part in some of the PE lesson. The Physical Education curriculum area is often referred to as having the most valuable skills you can learn for life – by learning; teamwork, sportsmanship, peer friendships, cooperation, leadership, self esteem, self confidence, personal identity and self worth and even though students maybe fully involved in sport outside of school they can still benefit in these areas during PE.
Interpersonal skills: Respect for diversity and cultures, care and concern for others, social justice, communication skills, tolerance. These are some of qualities we want to install in our students as well as being physically active.
Most of these benefits are not measurable but clearly lead to a more pro-duction and healthy life style.
As parents we hope you can help us to help you install these skills in your child while they attend Mt Roskill Grammar so please next time your son/daughter asks for a note to be excused from Physical Education you may think twice Physical Education is no different to any other subject – you wouldn’t think of asking your child to be excused from Maths or English, why PE?
Are you child's medical records with the school up to date, has their PE teacher been informed of any medical issues that might need to be recognised in a PE class?
After trialing a new initiative last year we are asking all students in Health and Physical Education to enrol on our class learning sites on Edmodo. Students have been given all the information needed to enrol in this, and we look forward to sharing parental access in the future.
Please contact Mrs Bennett HOD Physical Education ext 824 if you have any areas in the Physical Education curriculum you would like to discuss.
Gateway Programme 2014
Applications are now open for our 2014 Gateway Programme.
GATEWAY is open to Year 13 students to progress from school to the workplace. It provides students with structured workplace learning, across a wide range of in-dustries and businesses, while they continue to study at school.
We have work placements available including banking, hospitality, nursing, retail, sport and recreation, tourism, engineering, police, education, childcare etc.
GATEWAY is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) so it is FREE to students!
Is GATEWAY for you?
- Are you a Year 13 Student at Mt Roskill Grammar School?
- Do you have a good attendance record?
- Are you ready to enter the working world but want some experience first?
- Can you keep up to date with academic studies while on placement?
- Do you have a desire to explore a particular career path?
- Do you have the approval and support from parents?
For more information on GATEWAY check out our webpage
Application forms are available from the MRGS website, Facebook, Mrs Payne (Room H4), outside the Deans Centre and Mrs Matthews-Ward in the Computing department. Applications close on Friday 14th March 2014.
For more information on Gateway please see Mrs Payne in H5A, Ms Matthews-Ward in the Computing department or email email@example.com
Duke of Edinburgh Award Presentation
In the summer holidays two groups of year 13 students tramped around Lake Waikaremoana as a practice hike toward the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award. Over 4 days the students walked over 46 km, climbed almost 600 metres up to Panekiri Bluff, and practised their map reading skills while carrying heavy packs (the record was 23 kg!) A highlight was the extra hour’s walk to the 22 metre high Korokoro Falls.
The following students displayed resilience, persistence, team spirit and good humour: Mildred Wong, Hanna Davidson, Praveen Krishna, Mark Yep, Shivay Singh, Savi Mohan, Diana Qiu, Dianca Mitchell, Romina Seylani, Juliet Han, Sara Li, Jenny Kim, Nuobelle Fong, Lizanne Gomes, Nicholas Jacques, Venkat Prakash, Theo Loretz and Priyam Varma. Miss Dekker—the Roskill staff member who led the party was very proud of the way the students interacted with members of the public, and a number of fellow trampers complimented the groups on their organisation and hut etiquette.
Young Ambassador Theo Loretz
Our congratulations to Year 13 student Theo Loretz who has been accepted as a Young Ambassador to France. This July he will travel to North Eastern France to participate in WW1 commemoration events, visit historical and cultural sites and make contact with the people of this region. Theo and other students from around the world who have been selected as Young Ambassadors will also have the honour of representing their country during the official parade down the Champs-Élysées in Paris to open the commemorations on Bastille Day.
Shared Histories Project
This year marks 100 years since the beginning of the First World War. To commemorate the involvement of New Zealand in Northern France, Mr Simpson and a team of students from MRGS will be collaborating with our sister school, Lycée Jean XXIII in Normandy, as part of the Shared Histories Project. In November 2013 we were privileged to host French Minister M. Kader Arif, Ambassador M. Laurent Contini and other dignitaries at MRGS to launch this project.
Year 13 Camp
Over a week ago on the 24th of February, about 200 Year 13 students hauled their luggage to Gate 1, ready to embark on their journey to Motutapu Island. With a pleasant ferry ride over to the island, Year 13 students along with their supervising teachers began an adventurous camp that would consist of many challenging activities. These included the high ropes, seal challenge, sailing, kayaking, confidence courses, and rock climbing along with many activities that the students enjoyed and learnt from. Overall, Year 13 Camp was a success and will remain a fond memory and highlight for those who took part in it this year.
Year 11 Applied Physical Education Camp
Recently this class enjoyed three days of outdoor activities in Tawharanui focusing on teamwork through snorkelling, first aid, and beach activities. The final day was spent snorkelling at Goat Island.
At Roskill the heart of our achievement is the quality of our teachers and it has been pleasing to welcome new staff who have joined us this year. They bring a range of experience and the commitment to teaching and learning of the highest level.
Powhiri for New Students
The school formally welcomed the 2014 year 9 and other new students on the first day of school in January. The ceremony marked the start of their journey of learning and citizenship in our educational community.
The new students assembled on the main field and were then called into the hall where the Kapa Haka group and the year 13s performed a haka powhiri. They then received a mihi by our Kaumatua Ted Ratana who reminded them of the proud educational and social whakapapa of Mount Roskill Grammar School.
The Principal, Mr Watson then spoke to the students welcoming them also to our whanau. After speeches and a reply from the Y9 Manuhiri represented by the Academic Dean Mr Hays, they were directed to their first house assemblies of the year where they met their form teachers and House Deans. Together with the Y13s in their form class the new students then spent the rest of the day becoming acquainted with school systems, buildings and teachers.