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Hockey Turf Re-Development

After a number of years of negotiations, meetings and the raft of fundraising; including quiz nights, mufti days, sausage sizzles, and even the memorable ‘helicopter drop’, the work began recently on the hockey turf development. The first stage has involved clearing the existing facility -  initially the bollards and side barriers . The next stage is to take off the old playing surface and clear the site so that the full re-constitution and groundworks can be carried out. It will be fascinating to see the various stages of the transformation of the site as we work towards the new water-based turf that will be such an asset to the school and its community.

France Homestay Tour Exchange

France Homestay Tour Exchange: MRGS-Lycée Jean XXIII

From 18th September to 10th October 2015, 23 students and three teachers took part in a student exchange to France with the French high school Lycée Jean XXIII. It had often been stressed by Mr McAlpine that this was not a normal touristic trip at all; it was, “not a trip you go on. It’s a trip you make happen.

How do you describe something that you have anxiously been waiting for, for more than a year? Unexpected. This group of 26 people flew for almost 30 hours to reach the small town of Yvetot in Normandy. There, we were to meet the host families that we would be spending our next two weeks with. Excitement built up over the year quickly turned to anxious anticipation as we arrived. We started with a nervous “faire la bise” French greeting and whatever small talk we could manage with our vocabulary. That day, we started our first weekend with our host families. The weekend passed by in a flash and most of us already felt at home with our host families.

Soon we were at school at 8:20am on Monday, sharing our experiences from the weekend. Some of us were already tired from having to take the train at 7am! At the Lycée Jean XXIII, Mr Wilkinson did a fantastic presentation on Maori art and symbols and the French students had a chance to try to recreate them. It was a great way to share our culture with the school. We performed our waiata and presentations on New Zealand culture four times for the students of the Lycée Jean XXIII and the Collège Bobée, quizzing them on our presentations and handing out marmite as punishments for wrong answers – along with many gifts and prizes of course!. Each group marvelled at the magnificent performance of the haka, which also attracted the attention of local media, getting us articles in the local newspapers.

We also had a special World War I day, which tied in well with the centenary commemorations of the Great War. This day consisted of us visiting the WWI museum at Péronne, then a Commonwealth Cemetery at Caterpillar Valley near Longueval where there are the graves of 214 New Zealand soldiers and also a wall on which are engraved the names of a further 1,200 NZ soldiers who died during the Battle of the Somme but whose bodies were never recovered. The same day, we also visited the “Carrière Wellington” in the city of Arras where New Zealanders (NZ Tunneling Company) had dug impressive tunnels in preparation for the Battle of Arras. It was a very emotional day for most. We performed our waiata for the soldiers at the cemetery, as well as the national anthem and the haka by the boys, which led to many tears being shed.

We had a cocktail evening for all those involved in this exchange including parents, students, teachers, principals and also the Mayor of Yvetot, Monsieur Canu. There were wonderful gifts exchanged as well as speeches which outlined the importance and strength of the friendship between the two schools involved in this exchange. Our last day in Yvetot was a difficult one, with tearful hugs and the comfort that we would see each other again in four months’ time.

It was very challenging to leave behind our French families, but the upcoming week in Paris guaranteed more thrilling experiences. Even though we had only a week in Paris, we managed to see many of Paris’ popular landmarks. We visited museums such as Musée du Louvre which houses the Mona Lisa and the Vénus de Milo, we looked around the Musée Rodin where we saw renowned sculptures such as The Thinker, The Burghers of Calais, The Kiss and The Gates of Hell from the sculptor Auguste Rodin and also visited Musée d’Orsay. We saw landmarks such as L’Arc de Triomphe and La Tour Eiffel. It was incredible to view some of the greatest landmarks of France, the same monuments that we spent years studying.

We really can’t wait to welcome our new French friends in February. Thank you to the New Zealand-France Friendship Fund for assisting us with this amazing trip. From the 23 students of the France Homestay Tour of 2015, a massive thank you to the Board of Trustees and to Mr McAlpine, Mr Wilkinson and Mrs Smith without whom this trip would have never taken place. Also thank you to Mr Lett and Miss Robertson, and to Hanna Davidson who joined us and helped us in Paris. The trip was an absolute pleasure and it is one that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

Radhika Lal


Diwali Event Success

The October 30th Diwali event was a great success and a typical contribution to the hockey Turf fundraising campaign in addition to providing a sparkling night of entertainment. The Campus would like to thank the many who attended, all the performers, and the numerous people who helped in the organisation. We would also like to give a special mention to the various sponsors of the event. Future Print, HummFM 106.2, 0800 Mandap, Indian Gate Restaurant, Dominoes Mt Roskill South, Mt Smart Superette Pravin and Puspa Keshoor, Roskill South Supertte, New World Stoddard Road, The Red Warehouse, Precious Beauty Parlour, Countdown General Merchandiser, Reckitt Benckiser, Sports First, Roop Darshan, Mega Choice St. Luke’s and Tony Martin gym. At this stage with some funds/ticket sales still to be included the money raised is close to $4,000 — another great achievement.

Chinese Book Presentation

On 31st October 2015, Mount Roskill Grammar School Principal Mr Greg Watson, HoD Languages Alistair McAlpine and TiC Chinese Grace Rissetto accepted 400 Chinese books donated by the China International Publishing Group and the NZ Chinese Language Week Trust at the opening ceremony of the 7th New Zealand Chinese Cultural & Book Festival. Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-liga presented Greg Watson with the books. This Festival is held on an annual basis to help New Zealand Chinese maintain their heritage and to help Kiwis who are studying Chinese learn more about Chinese culture. Hon Phil Goff also recognised the establishment of Chinese at MRGS.

Senior Prizegiving

Our annual celebration of success - the Senior Prizegiving was held on Thursday, 29th October. It was a sparkling event attended by prizewinners, their families, other students, local MPs and councillors, and many representatives from tertiary institutions who presented their scholarships and awards to our achievers. The evening culminated in the presentation of our two top students in Year 13. Balu Mallela received acknowledgement as Proxime Accessit - marking his high level grades this year in NCEA. This was followed by the announcement of Joyce Wong as Dux of MRGS for 2015. Her achievement is outstanding with all her NCEA work this year being at Excellence level. These two young people epitomise the ‘powerful learning’ that is the hallmark of our school - congratulations to them both.

Roskars Media Awards Video Winner 2015

Winner of the 2015 Roskars Best Documentary and People's Choice Awards “Turbans are Sikh” directed by Level 3 Media students Parneet Kohli and Mike QiuMore 2015 MRGS Media Productions

Informatics Olympiad Success

Roskill students Jonathan Khoo and Albert Ou both gained medals at the recent Australasian Informatics Olympiad exams. This Australasian event is a computer programming competition held annually in early September. Students write computer programs to solve three problems that vary in difficulty and is focused on problem solving through programming skills. Jonathan gained a Gold medal score with 270 out of 300 and was the first New Zealander and Albert won a Bronze medal. These great results give Jonathan and Albert entry into the January training camp for the NZ Olympiad team for 2016 in Russia.

Senior Student Wins Photography Prize

At the recent Eden Arts Young Artist Awards Joshua Dales of Year 13 won a Highly Commended for Photography. His composition was titled "Considerantia".

Short Term International Student Stays

In term 3 we welcomed 30 new international students to MRGS from China, Japan, India, Italy, China and Brazil. As part of their orientation we did a safety talk with them one day and then took them on trip to familiarise them with Auckland and enable them to make friends. They visited Mt Eden, the Museum (including the cultural show), the winter gardens and Sylvia Park.

Corner of Chinese Culture News

This article continues the news about our Corner of Chinese Culture (CCC). The aim of this group is to provide students with an Experience in Chinese Culture, including Chinese Movie Discovery, Chinese Calligraphy and Paper Cutting, Chinese Kongfu, Chinese Tea Art, Chinese Dance and etc. The aim is that these activities can help students gain an initial and/or insightful experience of Chinese culture.

CCC is well supported by professionals and teachers from Auckland and our local schools. On 8th of May, professional Calligraphy and Kongfu Performers who came from the Chinese New Settlers Service Trust offered CCC learners opportunities in learning Chinese Calligraphy, paper cutting and Kongfu training. CCC also has invited our teachers with expertise in performing arts, music and vocal training to be judges during the Competition of ‘Corner of Chinese Culture Has Got Talent’.

CCC activities are fun. From 8th of May, Corner of Chinese Culture has been organising a great variety of activities weekly to engage our young learners who participated voluntarily. Students have taken great interests in Taichi, Chinese Tea Tasting, Chopstick Use, paper flower pattern cutting, and other cultural-related activities. They were highly engaged because there are competitions, games, and prize draws.

CCC also runs a series of activities relating to Cultural Festivals based on the Lunar Calendar. On 19th of June, CCC hosted a lunch time session to remember our famous Chinese Poet Qu Yuan for Dragon Boat Festival. Four of our teachers participated and helped with the Question and Answer Prize Draw after watching the video of Legend of Qu Yuan. Students had the opportunity to taste Zongzi for the first time. CCC is going to host another cultural celebration in the upcoming Moon Festival at the end of September.

The student attendance rate has been on the rise. They are recruiting students with talents in leading and organising activities, in the hope that CCC will be student-centred and student-run in the near future.

Slingshot ´Better Schools´ Programme

We are now part of this wonderful programme whereby Slingshot customers can choose to have a percentage of their monthly bill donated to the school. Each month, Slingshot will send us the money to use as we see fit. How big that donation is depends on you! If you’d like this easy and pain free way to contribute please go to call 0800 89 7733 and speak to one of their friendly customer helpers.

Who is Slingshot? Slingshot is New Zealand's largest 100% Kiwi owned phone and internet company. They focus on keeping things simple, and providing better service and better value than the big guys.

Students Attend Inspire 2015 Event

Early in the term 3 a group of MRGS students attended the Inspire 2015 event - this annual student leadership event was organized by Fuji Xerox NZ in conjunction with AUT Business School and the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

This was a full day event held at the AUT Business School in Auckland featuring an inspirational line-up of speakers and it brought together over 350 secondary school students from all over the city. The event is designed to recognise and inspire the potential leaders of tomorrow providing them with a unique opportunity to meet and learn from the leaders of today's world.

This year’s event focused on providing insights on how young people today can harness a sense of global citizenship in order to deal with some of the pressing environmental and humanitarian issues of our time. The speakers included Sir Ray Avery, Claudia Batten & Nikki Kaye.

One student who attended the day said, "I loved the whole day, I met inspiring people, students and adults. I had a great time, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The rhythm interactive was great fun, and it was moving to have a whole auditorium full of people working towards a common goal. Thank you so much for the opportunity, I hope to be up on the stage in years to come talking to like-minded people about how I have succeeded in life and hope to inspire the next generation of leaders. But I don't think I would have realised and set this goal without experiencing Inspire 2015."

A special Roskill element was added by the presence of ex-student Josuah Iosefo who led one of the inspirational sessions.

Twinkle Foundation Auction

Thanks to those who donated their time, their money and their voices to the Twinkle prefect (and teacher) auction and especially to Korine Rosario, Saloni Kamble and Pebble Varela for their leadership.

We were able to donate $1300 to the Wilson Home in Takapuna, providing support directly to children with disabilities.

School Fundraising with Athlete´s Foot Store

The school's fundraising relationship with the St Lukes branch of the shoe retailer ‘Athlete’s Foot’ has been productive in its early stages and the first cheque representing the donations made for each purchase at the shop by a student or their family was handed to the school by Kylie Whyte, the manager of the store. Some of our Head Prefects and Deputy Principal Mr. Hall accepted what we hope will be the first of many cheques to support the school in its work.

School Ball

The annual school ball was held at the end of term 2 and as ever the formal occasion allowed senior students to celebrate their year and for many to mark their last year at Roskill with a sparkling social evening. The ball was held at the Ellerslie Convention Centre and the venue was decked in glitter and stars to represent the Vintage Hollywood theme. Guests approached the entrance on a red carpet and many took advantage in typical ‘celebrity’ style to have their first photo taken there. A buffet dinner was followed by a great night of dancing and there were also the annual awards for popularity and presentation. The student organisers, the year 13 Deans, Mr Gipps and Mr Cornes and a host of others ensured that it was a memorable evening for all who attended.


Roskill Musician Wins Auckland Solo Comp

Senior student Mark Bingham competed in the Auckland Youth Orchestra’s Solo Competition recently and having been selected for the finals went on to win the competition in an evening performance. His entry was in the GEM section of the event - an accompanied piece of less than 10 minutes length. This is another honour for one of our premier musicians.

MRGS Musicians Succeed in Local Competitions

Juhaina Mascarenhas, Bryan Busby, Aryaman Parulkar and Joyce Wong

Stand Up Stand Out Semifinal qualifiers

The Music Department had an extremely busy week 5 with competitions. Natasha S’au got through to the semifinals of the solo vocals category of the Stand Up Stand Out Competition, and the 13MKM band were called to the semifinals of the bands category. They all represented Mt Roskill Grammar with pride in what was a tough competition.

KBB Success for Orchestra and Concert Band

The String Orchestra and Concert Band performed in the KBB Festival and their months of hard work resulted in both groups receiving Bronze Awards. Juhaina Mascarenhas, Bryan Busby, Aryaman Parulkar and Joyce Wong attended the Gala Concert and Awards Ceremony on Saturday 22 August to receive the awards on behalf of Concert Band and String Orchestra. This was a fitting acknowledgement of the outstanding leadership and commitment shown by these ‘musical prefects’ over their time in the Concert Band and String Orchestra. Along with the other year 13s in both groups they will be sorely missed next year! We would also like to acknowledge Dave Snelling and Glynn Sergeant for directing the String Orchestra, and Tim Atkinson for directing the Concert Band.

Bronze Medal for NZ in Informatics Olympiad

Jonathan Khoo won a bronze medal at the World Informatics (computer programming) Olympiad held in Kazakhstan. A team of 4 New Zealand students attended, and Jonathan was the top performing NZ student. Many of the students have competed at the event for several years, and Jonathan did exceptionally well for his first year of competition. He is looking forward to the challenge of continuing to improve his skills and hopes to go to next year's olympiad.

Mt Roskill Grammar are currently running the examinations for interested Year 12 students who wish to compete in next year's trials for the NZ team.

Science Fair 2015

From left: Sheng Ya Wang, Vinodhini Murali, Isaac Bayldon, Krisha Chandnani, Kerwyn Bennett, Sakshi Hegde, Kaitlyn Booth, Nisaa Mirza

Congratulations to our young scientists and engineers for putting so much work into some great projects over the course of the whole year. Many thanks to the teachers, parents, and others for their motivation and help along the way.

Finalists in the MRGS competition earn an entry into the NIWA Auckland City Science and Technology Fair. This year over 220 entries from 23 schools competed with a day of interviews and judging in the categories of technology, earth, space, biology, chemistry and physics. Highly commended entries and category winners can also be awarded special prizes from the Fair sponsors.

Waterview Connection Project

Over the last three months the Ministry of Education and the Government have been running visits through the Waterview Connection tunnel to bring about awareness in schools of the opportunities there are for students in the engineering fields. This programme has included visits to the Universities and industry.

On September the 4th they held a challenge event where schools competed against each other to receive prizes made from the old blades of the tunnel drill. They had the opportunity to hear from young female engineers from the Waterview tunnel project on what it was like to work in the field of engineering. MRGS competed well in all events and three students had the opportunity to meet the Rt. Hon. Steve Joyce and Simon Bridges.

Bring It On

On Saturday 5th September, a passionate and talented group of 28 students represented Mount Roskill Grammar at this years ‘Bring It On’ dance competition. After two terms of hard work rehearsing after school, weekends and during school holidays the team of dancers lead by Shaden Smith, Randy Sjafrie and Tyler Nicholas, under the amazing guidance of Miss Aitchison and Miss Gamble, achieved fantastic success with a third place in the Auckland competition. A well-deserved recognition of the groups tireless efforts.


Senior Report Evening

Senior Report Evening - 4-7pm Tuesday 22 September 2015

You can make an interview time  by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the Event Code of QK5YY

Bookings close 8.30am Tuesday 22 September.

BYOD Information Evening

BYOD Information Evening – Thursday 17th September 6-7.30pm

On the 17th September the school is holding a BYOD information evening in the school library from 6pm-7.30pm. This evening is to inform parents of our optional BYOD programme which seeks to take education and learning to a whole new level that will both excite and stimulate students in their academic pursuits.

Below is a link to flyer about the evening. We look forward to talking with you with about our BYOD programme during this evening.

If you are intending to attend please confirm this in an e-mail by 15th September at the latest - With your name, students name – and total number attending

To: Xanthe.Sulzberger@mrgs.school.nz

Uniform Shop Closed 24/09/15 for Stocktake

n.b. the Uniform Shop will be closed all day Thursday 24th September for stocktake

Visit of Deputy Prime Minister to MRGS

The school was honoured on Wednesday 2nd of September by a visit from Rt. Hon. Bill English, Deputy Prime Minster and Finance Minister. He was accompanied by local National part list MP Dr Parmjeet Parmar.

After a welcoming whakatauki and a chance to share morning tea with Senior Staff and prefects, Mr English visited a senior accounting class in the Commerce Department where he spoke of his own background and work as a cabinet minister. He also enjoyed responding to a series of searching financial questions put by the students. After his visit Mr English and his party went on to a luncheon in Sandringham where he and the other guests were entertained by our own ‘Boling Trio’ of Aryaman Parulkar, Joyce Wong and Yolande Wang.

11APY Black Water Rafting in Waitomo

On August 20th 11APY had the opportunity to experience one of NZ’s great wonders in the Waitomo Caves. As part of their Achievement Standard on Self Management Strategies we were lucky enough to spend 3 ½ hours navigating our way underground in the Ruakuri Cave system. In two groups, 18 excited students put on full body wetsuits, boots, and helmets before being briefed about what they were to expect over the next 3 hours as we navigated our way underground in the famous Ruakuri Falls. We first had to practice jumping from height in our tubes. Tthis was refreshing as we jumped two metres into a stream near the cave entrance. Once we had all had a go we made our way to the caves and descended into the darkness and the homes of giant weta and glow worms. Our experienced instructors guided us through the maze of caves and we were able to jump off two waterfalls as we made our way down the underground stream. This was a great experience and it was awesome to move out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves in an activity that was new for everyone. Thanks to Lucas Koroheke and the Black Water Rafting Co for helping us have such a great time; and also Mr McGibbon and Ms Evans for taking our class down.


Desi Dance Competition Success

Desi Dance Competition Success for second year running

The annually organised Desi International High School Dance Off was held earlier in the week and MRGS achieved significant results. The dance performances are a fusion of Indian traditional, Bollywood, Hip-Hop and also some European dancing styles. The school’s group consisted of 16 students and after the judging was completed they were placed first in the competition. An additional prize was also given to Chernade Prasad who was named as the best female dancer. It was a successful and enjoyable evening for all the students involved.

Golf and PE Classes

Snag golf lessons in PE classes.

Any students interested in professional coaching from a golf pro places for 20 students to get free coaching for 20 hours please see Mrs Bennett

Peace Week

Peace Symposium


Another exciting International Peace week was celebrated at MRGS during August 3rd-7th 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 Wednesday, it was “Embracing Diversity and Anti Violence Day” where the hall was full of information stalls from agencies like Rainbow Youth; ‘Violence is not ok campaign’; Manalive;  Shine; Shakti; Youthline; Youthlaw; RPE;  Umma group; The String Movement; as well as student stalls on Amnesty International, PSSP, Body image and Autism support.

Students wore their MRGS uniquely designed peace Tshirts and there was also beautiful music played by the student bands.

On Thursday the Mediators organised a cake stall and raised $355 for the Peace Foundation.

Some Year 9 students commented on their experience of Peace Week saying how much they enjoyed the activites: “I enjoyed everyone getting involved in peace week, standing up for one another”. “Everyone was nice, everyone was happy”. “Everyone was nice and kind in the class”.

On Friday 14th, a group of Mediators attended  the Secondary Schools Peace Symposium where they presented their awesome assembly presentation “Collaboration of Culture” with a dance competition becoming a collaboration dance. Our Year  9 student  ‘Isope ‘Akau’ola delivered a powerful anti- bullying speech in front of 10 other Secondary schools, the Peace Foundation and other peace experts.

A big thank you to the Symposium Mediators; Jon Jon Cowley Lupo, Sanaj Deshpande, Lulu Feng,  Mary-Kate Fonua,  Katana Fruean, Nancy Gafa,  Disha Gomathinayagam, 'Ilaisaane Heilikutonga , Sam Langi, Sammie Lee, Ryan McKee, Caitlin Morgan-Manukau, Sai Krupa Narayana,  Inaanuanu Paseka, Natasha Sa'u, Aashna Saxena, Tanaya Sonar, Tonga Vakalahi, Deeksha Vijayakumar, and Kyla Concepcion. You did MRGS proud.

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!


Health Week

Once again the school was involved in Health Week activities and a variety of events and opportunities were spread across the week. Daily health facts in notices set key talking points and each day chances for activity and healthy life style choices were on offer. Zumba classes graced the gym at lunchtimes and representatives from the YMCA and the Cameron Pools provided athletic and physical challenges in the
school quad area. On the final day various health organizations packed the hall with exhibitions, displays, free samples and healthy advice.


Arts Week Events

Our rich student involvement in the Arts was evident the week beginning Monday 27th July with three days of events and experiences showcasing Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Music. On the Wednesday students attended a performance from the Basement Theatre group and were able to view an art exhibition as well as seeing screen T-shirt printing demonstrated. On Thursday the Performing Arts Dept with dance displays, Elizabethan and Commedia Dell’arte together with a Bring It On open rehearsal were a focus for the school. Finally on Friday the Music Dept provided a band, vocal groups and the celebrated Jazz Combo to entertain lunchtime audiences in the hall.


MRGS Lateness Strategy

MRGS has been working to ensure every student has the best opportunity to succeed in learning. During the first part of this year we identified an increasing number of students arriving later to period 1. In response we have talked with students to remind them of the school's expectations and in term 2 we put in place a management process to support all students in learning.

Students who arrive late for class (more than 4 mins) are required to sign in at the Deans centre, collect an 'entry-to-class' slip and do a make-up session after school for 10 mins. Students who do not meet this expectation will complete a one hour session after school and the Deputy Principal of the House will speak to the student and make contact with families.

We have noticed a significant improvement already and appreciate the support of our families in helping our students make the most of their learning time.

Spirit of Adventure

During the term 1 school holidays and the first week of term 2, I was fortunate enough to take part in a 10 day youth development voyage called “The Spirit of Adventure”.

The Spirit of Adventure trust allows 40 kiwi kids from across New Zealand (i.e. trainees), from the age of 15 to 19, per voyage to spend up to 10 days on a sailing boat with people who they have never met before, to help develop skills which help build ourselves (e.g. confidence, resilience and breaking out of our comfort zones) to go to places that you wouldn’t imagine going in your regular life, and to sail on a sailing boat with other people by learning how to sail the ship whilst communicating with others.

Early in the morning, I was dropped off at Auckland Harbour and I boarded the Spirit, knowing that I wouldn’t see my family for 10 days. At first the idea seemed a bit daunting since I hadn’t been away from home for any longer than 4 days, but at the same time it was exciting to know that I was going on this trip not just to take a holiday, but to develop as a person.

I knew nobody on the ship, so I went out of my way to go around and meet some of the people onboard, and to think that the 40 of us + crew were going to be living together for the following 10 days.

The first few days were focused on the 40 of us trainees getting to know each other, and it was really cool to get to know people from not just Auckland, but from across New Zealand. The first few days allowed me to make some really good friends and it was then that I knew I was going to have a lot of fun.

The 40 of us were split into 4 groups of 10, the groups we would be in each day whilst completing the day’s activities. Each day, each group was assigned a section of the ship, where we would learn about the sails on that part of the ship, the ropes and what does what.

On the 3rd day, we were fortunate enough to sail over to Great Barrier Island, a place with the most amazing scenery, and we spent quite a few days there, where we went for a day tramp on Great Barrier, got to swim in the natural hot pools at the end of the tramp, and have a barbeque and bonfire on the beach. I was also able to climb right up to the top of the mast, which was rather high when you got up to the top. The day was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

Every morning we got up at 6:30am and from there we warmed up and jumped into the water for our morning swim, and on one of the mornings I led the warm up. The first morning was quite cold, but eventually I got used to it. The accommodation consisted of two cabins which each had 21 people, and we ate in a cabin towards the back of the boat during each meal. Each day a group would be serving each meal for the day, and the food was pretty good, and each morning, our groups cleaned our section of the boat so that everything was clean for the day.
I feel like I have so much more to say about what I did, but if I had the time I could go on for a while. This trip gave me the opportunity to take the time to grow as a person, as I was able to put myself out there and do things with people who I hadn’t met before. I was able to gain a lot more confidence, and it gave me the chance to refocus for school and wider life. This is an opportunity that I would like to thank Mrs Bennett for giving me, and this could be something that you may be interested in.

I think it’s fair to say that this voyage was one of those life experiences that I simply won’t forget, and all the friends I made, it was amazing. I had the time of my life, and maybe in the coming years that could be you.

Joshua Simmons

World Refugee Day

This year World Refugee Day was the 20th of June, so on Friday the 19th of June a celebration was held at Owairaka Primary School for school students with a refugee background. This is an annual event with students from all over Auckland, as far south as Manurewa to as far north as Whangaparaoa, coming along to participate in the celebrations. The day was filled with entertainment including singing, dancing, poetry and a speech by Dame Susan Devoy, New Zealand’s Human Rights Commissioner. There were also a number of guest speakers who talked about their
personal journeys and the challenges that they and their families faced resettling in a new country. The day ended with an array of beautiful ethnic food and drink. We had 14 students representing Mount Roskill Grammar and we had such a great day we are looking forward to next year!

Day of Silence

Day of Silence - Roskill Joins Worldwide Stand

Last year the Peer Sexuality Support Programme Team in conjunction with the Student Services department initiated the Day of Silence at Mt Roskill Grammar School. Tracing its roots back to the University of Virginia in 1996, the Day of Silence began as a day of silent protest in retaliation to the discrimination and indifference that lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex people face. Since its inaugural year, the Day of Silence has gained worldwide traction, with schools and communities across all continents taking part in the stand against prejudice and discrimination.

The Day of Silence on 12 June was highly successful, attracting support and participation from over 100 other students who brought themselves along to participate. The day showcased the strong spirit of social justice we have at Mt Roskill Grammar School.

Top Ten Performance in Adobe Software Design Competition

Junjie Yang (Year 12) took part in the National Round of the Adobe Certified Associate(ACA) Championship and was placed in the top 10 of the competition. Junjie enjoyed the experience and the chance to compete with students from all around New Zealand who have a special interest/talent in Photoshop and Design. The National Championship round consisted of a round of project based testing on Adobe software. Students received a campaign brief from this year’s Charity Partner, The Heart Foundation, and were given six hours to complete the brief, at which point judges decided on the winning material.

Four Roskill Teams Qualify for Finals

Four Roskill Teams Qualify for Finals of Computer Programming Competition

Our students have been performing at a high level in business and MIT sponsored computing competitions. In the forthcoming JHack finals 4 teams from MRGS have qualified amongst the 40 from schools in the Auckland region. This competition gives students the opportunity to experience challenges and ’real-life’ computer programming tasks . IT Companies such as Orion and Xero are sponsoring the event and working in partnership with Manukau Institute of Technology to foster computing experience in secondary schools. We wish all our teams the best for the finals on 4th July.

The JHack qualifying teams will compete as part of the 3 day GovHack event which will bring together our best and brightest around the country to innovate and create. GovHack is about encouraging and celebrating technical and creative capacity. This is the inaugural year for GovHack taking place from 3rd to 5th July at various locations around New Zealand. Details can be found at http://jhack.co.nz/

High Distinction in Australasian Computing Examination

Jonathan Khoo has gained High Distinction in the Computational and Algorithmic Thinking Australasian exam. This means he is in the top 2% from the 2300 schools (involving 7000 students) who entered for the examination. Jonathan made only one error in his entire paper. This is the first year that Roskill students have entered this test. It is a problem-solving competition which seeks to identify computer programming potential. Some questions test the ability to accurately perform procedures; others require logical thought, while the more challenging problems require the identification and application of algorithms. Jonathan has already been picked to represent New Zealand in the Infomatics Olympiad which takes place in Kazakhstan on the 20th of July.

Senior Computing Students Visit Techtorium

Nine Year 12 Computing students had the opportunity to attend Techtorium this term to learn more about computer hardware and the inner workings of a computer. The students loved the experience of pulling a computer apart and reassembling it into a working computer. They also learnt about networking and how to set up a small network. The students sat two Standards and all nine passed both, gaining 10 credits at Level 3.

Techtorium commented on the positive attitude to learning and the enthusiasm these students had for the tasks they undertook. Everyone approached each challenge with a willingness to learn and develop new skills and knowledge. These students represented our school in a commendable way, and showed real appreciation in being given this opportunity. Thanks to Ms Hodge for organising the course with Techntorium and to Mrs Insull for taking the students and filling out all the paperwork.

Upcoming Diwali Celebration

PUKETAPAPA (Mt Roskill) DIWALI CELEBRATION 30th October 2015

Diwali is a significant celebration amongst the Indian population and celebrated by the wider community all over New Zealand with all ethnicities.

This year the Diwali celebration in Puketapapa (Mt Roskill) will be held on:

  • Friday 30 October 2015 at the Mt Roskill Grammar School Hall, Butler Hall
  • 6.30pm onwards food stalls, cultural stalls will open
  • 7.00pm performances
  • 8.00pm Garba begins

If you would like to participate in a performance, have a food stall, arts and crafts stall, sponsor prizes or help organise 2015 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.

Classical Studies Architectural Trip

This term Year 12 Classics students went on a trip into the CBD to look at the influences of ancient architecture on public buildings in Auckland. This trip was to help them to complete their internal assessment and also ties in with their current unit, Ancient Athenian Art and Architecture, which looks in particular into the incredible buildings of 5th century BC Athens, as well as ancient sculpture. A fun day was had by
all; Mrs Carruthers, Ms Mason and Ms Cranch thoroughly enjoyed taking such a great group of interested students to the city.

Peer Mediation and Mentorship News

Firstly, on Sunday 14th and Monday 15th June, 35 Mediators were trained by Julie McCracken in mentorship skills. This engaging, interactive training included goal setting, problem solving, rapport building, communication skills and learning how to think outside the square. A great time was had by all students and now these Peer Mentors are available to support younger students one-to-one. So if any student would like some support or mentoring from an older student please contact Donna Hourigan-Johnston at Student Services.

A big thank you to Julie McCracken for the wonderful training and to Louise Fisher and Peter Maher for their generous donation to cover costs.

Secondly, INTERNATIONAL PEACE WEEK is coming up on the 3rd-7th August and 80 Mediators had an exciting lunchtime meeting this week to plan activities. They welcomed student visitors from Kings College Amanda Ngo (Head Girl) and Catherine Fu who are in the process of setting up a Mediation Service in their own school. Many activities are planned including assembly presentations, peace
t-shirts, peace banners, peace march, anti- violence and embracing diversity stall day, mufti day, cake stall, random acts of kindness, face painting and the wearing of white ribbons.

Make sure you are involved in spreading the messages of peace and kindness to all.

Roskill Retains Brain Bee Team Title

Mount Roskill has for the second year won the Brain Bee team challenge competition. Our four member team of Karen Zhang, Alice Wang, Vyshni Ishwaran, and Sharon Mathew were victorious with 18 points beating closest rivals St Cuhtberts who scored 15, ACG Parnell with 14 and Auckland Grammar with 11 points. The win gives the girls individual prizes and for the school a Plaque, Trophy and a 60 inch TV. This was the highlight of the day as the other 47 teams cheered and congratulated the Roskill Team. The performance cements our mastery of this event as last year the title and the prize of a large screen TV were also brought home to Roskill. In the last 3 years the school has won two team competitions and one individual competition. Forty eight schools competed in the event and in the final four teams competed closely but our team of four confidently took the lead in the first three rounds and despite a nervous seventh round kept ahead in the closing stages to take out the title. All those taking part in this prestigious science competition run at Auckland University by Auckland Chapter of Brain Bee, recognised the strength of Roskill and the capacity of our young scientists who have once again set the standard of excellence for others to try and match.

Outstanding ERO Report

The confirmed ERO report for the school has now been released. The school has again been recognised for the outstanding support its governance, leadership,    teachers and support staff provide students with a 4-5 year period before ERO will return – the highest possible category.
The report concludes:  "Mt Roskill Grammar School promotes and supports successful outcomes for its diverse student community. School leaders  continually review the  curriculum and set effective goals and targets to    improve school  performance. The school’s inclusive values and restorative practices encourage high levels of student engagement, participation and achievement. The school is very well placed to sustain and further  improve its performance."
Many people contribute to making our school strong. Thank you to our wonderful Board of Trustees, particularly our Chairperson Marjet Pot whose governance, guidance and leadership are invaluable. Also the school  leadership, teachers, support staff, students and the entire community who make our school a place where great learning happens. We can be rightly pleased with ERO’s endorsement of our work together.

Some excerpts from the report:

  • Mt Roskill Grammar is a successful and progressive school.
  • The school’s vision of students becoming successful powerful learners is evident through the academic and co-curricular life of the school.
  • The school curriculum is effectively promoting and supporting student learning.
  • Programmes of learning are well designed and students are enabled to take ownership of their learning.
  • The school adds value to learning and students make good progress and achieve well overall.
  • The school is justifiably proud of improved outcomes for all students at NCEA Levels 1 and 2, particularly the significant improvement of Maori and Pacific students.
  • High quality teaching enabled students to attain 47 scholarships in 2014, maintaining strong performance in this award.
  • An effective pastoral system supports student engagement. A restorative ethos underpins the focus on positive learning relationships. Students are encouraged to participate and develop social competencies and key learning skills. Diversity is celebrated and opportunities for leadership and peer support at all levels are strongly promoted.
  • The school’s vision and mission statements are central to strategic and annual planning. The principal continues to provide professional leadership to the board and staff. Trustees work collaboratively with the principal to promote ongoing school improvement making informed decisions through robust self-review
  • and responsible governance.
  • The school adds value to learning and students make good progress and achieve well overall. There is good support for students who enter the school below expectations. The achievement of different groups and ethnicities is tracked and compared over time. The board is responsive to the trends and patterns indicated in the principal’s analysis of achievement information.
  • Programmes of learning are well designed and responsive to student and parental aspirations. Learning pathways for senior students have been expanded and the high levels of student retention, together with leaver destination data, indicates that more senior students are leaving school with suitable and useful qualifications.
  • Teachers are well supported to improve outcomes for students through high quality professional learning and development. They are benefitting from reflective inquiry practices that are expectations of the school’s appraisal procedures. Teachers are consulted about schoolwide changes and have increased opportunities for leadership
  • The percentage of students leaving with NCEA Level 2 is nearly ten percent higher than national levels. NCEA Merit and Excellence endorsements are similar to or above national levels.

Food and Hospitality Winners

The Auckland Secondary School Salon 2015 was held at the Manukau Institute of Technology on Wednesday 1st July. We are delighted that both Food/Catering and Hospitality students who were entered in this competition were rewarded with medals for their hard work.

Rachel Fan 13HFIO won a Bronze medal in the Barista Competition. Within a short time frame she had to prepare and present 2 x single espresso, 2 x single shot latte and 2 x single flat white. There were no gold medals awarded this year in the Barista Competition.

Chelsea Ellis 11NBRT entered the Cake Decorating. Using a prepared cake she had to decorate it within 30 minutes. Chelsea's beautifully decorated and colourful design of a ‘Spring Garden’ was the only Gold medal winner.

Well done to them both. We are proud of them and would like to commend them on the effort and time that was put into preparing for this competition.

Barbershop Group Success

This year the school has once again been extending its involvement in barbershop and boys chorus competitions. At the recent Auckland regional ‘Young Singers in Harmony ‘ event held at Macleans College our Boys’ Chorus came 3rd in the competition and the Boys’ Quartet were 2nd - gaining themselves eligibility to perform at the National Finals held in Hamilton later in the year. Our singing groups are tutored by Mr Pita Tuiaki and directed/managed by staff member Mr Chan.

2015 France Homestay Tour

2015 MRGS France Homestay Tour – Visit of Mr Herb Farrant

The France Homestay Tour pupils are having regular Thursday preparation sessions and tutorials so that they will be able to make the most of their trip to France this year. This year’s Tour coincides with the centenary commemorations in France of World War 1. MRGS is part of the Shared Histories programme and we are extremely grateful to have received some funding from the New Zealand-France Friendship Fund towards our Tour.

As part of these tutorials, we were honoured to welcome to the school Mr Herb Farrant, President of the NZ Military Historical Society. As well as being a passionate historian, Mr Farrant takes guided tours through parts of France to do with WW1 and WW2 battlefields, historical sites, cemeteries and museums. He is extremely knowledgeable and it was a thrill to listen to him as he made history come alive. The Tour is visiting a number of WW1 sites, including the “Carrière Wellington” built by the NZ Tunnelling Company during WW1 in preparation for the Battle of Arras. Mr Farrant was able to share a detailed history of the NZTC, and speak about the exploits of this Company and of some of its men. We all gathered round as he showed us maps, books and war medals.

We would also like to thank Mr David Lett for organising this meeting for us and for the tutorial sessions he is running.

For further information about the NZ Tunnelling Company and the Carrière Wellington in Arras as well as the NZMHS, see these websites:

2015 Language Perfect World Championships

Language Perfect World Championships – 18-28 May 2015

Mount Roskill Grammar School gained very good results in this International Languages competition. MRGS pupils answered over 767,000 questions, gaining 302,969 points, which represents 2,301 hours spent learning.

Special student achievements:

  • Tessa Brown – in the top 60 in the world with 21,720 points!
  • ELITE award + badge (10,000+ points) gained by 9 students: Tessa Brown, Zoe Fuller, Persia Gharekhanian, Taruki Gunawardana, Naman Gupta, Steffanie Kobayashi-Cox, Nathan McDougall, Ellen Peng and Alex Wichman
  • GOLD medal certificate (3,000+ points) = 24 students: Esther Ayoade, Andy Cao, Kiana Damu, Cathy Fan, Aiden Fang, Rebecca Ferguson, Sannan Hafeez, Chloe Haigh, Selena He, Srishaa Iyer, Wooyoung Jang, Radhika Lal, Sarah McKenzie, Holly Porter, Meleana Puloka, Lovely Puloka, Shriram Raveendran, Aman Rawat, Halym Smith, Lance Stubbings, Kirushni Suthakaran, Alice Wang, Sheng-Ya Wang, Sarah Yan
  • SILVER medal certificate (2,000+ points) = 15 students
  • BRONZE medal certificate (1,000+ points) = 28 students
  • CREDIT award certificate (500+ points) = 32 students

Open Day

OPEN DAY 2015 - Thursday 23rd 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: 2016 In Zone and Out of Zone Enrolment forms will be available from the School Office or from the website:


  • September 2- Applications for Out of Zone places close
  • September 9- Out of Zone Ballot Date

Enrolment Evenings:

  • Tuesday: November 3
  • Wednesday: October 14, November 11
  • Thursday: August 18, November 5      

Enquiries: Phone 621 0050, Fax 621 0055, or

Deputy Principal Toe Pune, email Toe.Pune@mrgs.school.nz

Campus Matariki Celebration

Once again we joined with the two other campus schools to celebrate Matariki and mark the significance of the Maori New Year with performances and presentations. The event was as usual well attended and extra seating had to be drafted into the Primary school hall to accommodate all those wishing to take part. Our Kaumatua Ted Ratana welcomed everyone with a prayer and the campus Maori Co-ordinator
Whaea Jackie –Jade introduced the first performance from the Primary school – Te Kura Tuatahi o Puketapapa, This was followed by sections form the Intermediate Te Kura Takawaenga o Puketapapa and finally the Grammar school Te Kura Tuarua o Puketapapa. At each stage the mix of dance song and spoken word both celebrated and set the context for Matariki. At the close of the evening all those present shared supper and had the opportunity to enthuse about the evening’s presentations.

             “ Ka puta Matariki, ka rere Whanui. Ko te tohu tena o te tau e"

"Matariki reappears, Whanui starts its flight and begins the sign of a new year.”


Corner of Chinese Culture 5th June

On 5th of June, 2015, some students came to R3 to receive free Taichi training. Taichi is a kind of Chinese martial art that brings you skills in defence and benefits in health. It is also a performance art. Liu Lao Shi is an ACC certified Taichi instructor. She provided students with demonstration, verbal guidance, and explanation of benefits of certain movements. There were two sets of movements being taught and students were required to follow and later show Liu Lao Shi their movements step by step. These students have the potential of interpreting the essence of Taichi through practice because they were fast learners. Next week, a prize will be given to the best performer.  All ages and year levels are welcome.

Corner of Chinese Culture photos

Campus Music Concert

Many months of practice and preparation culminated in another sparkling night of musical performances from students of the campus. Parents and community members packed the Grammar school hall and were treated to the usual high quality presentations from bands, choirs, concert bands, orchestras, the jazz combo and of course the Primary school ’Ukes’. The evening opened with every singer and musician combining in ‘Nga iwi e’ which was followed by a welcome
from MRGS Principal Greg Watson. The programme next launched into full swing with the Primary school band performing modern melodies and movie themes. The Intermediate Orchestra later gave a great rendition of a Sam Smith composition in its set. Through the evening we were treated to traditional, modern and classical pieces from the range of vocal, ensemble and orchestral groups that the Music departments of each school tutor and direct. Every piece was enthusiastically and skillfully performed to the penultimate singalong campus item ‘Que Sera’ which drew everyone into song. Finally the Grammar school’s award winning Jazz Combo played and at the close the audience and performers were invited to join together for supper which gave each person a chance to share their memories of a wonderful night’s entertainment.


Year 9, 10 &13 Report Evening

Year 9, 10 & 13 Report Evening - 4-7pm Tuesday 30 June 2015

You can make an interview time  by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the Event Code of ERSKT - Bookings close 8.30am Tuesday 30 June. Bookings are already open.

Thankyou from the Himalayan Trust

To the staff and students of Mt Roskill Grammar,

As a small gesture of our thanks for the school's fundraising efforts in response to the Nepal Earthquake, we've created and attached a certificate of appreciation from the trust.

The money raised by the school will make a real difference to communities in the Everest Region and we are very grateful for the students' support.

I’ve attached below some details on the situation in Solukhumbu and our response so far to give you an idea of how the funds raised will be spent. If the students would like to keep updated with our response, they can follow our earthquake updates here and on our Facebook page.

Just over one month since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, relief operations continue to scale up ahead of the monsoon season. The first, and second earthquake, and the ongoing aftershocks have dramatically affected the lives of all Nepalis. It is estimated some 2.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Our focus is in Solukhumbu, the region in the watershed of Everest, and the area of Nepal where the Himalayan Trust has worked with communities since Sir Ed Hillary built the first school in 1961, a single classroom, in the village of Khumjung.

On May 23, a landslide wiped out Nakchung - a small village of ten homes.
The families lost everything - their homes, their possessions and their crops. The families were evacuated by helicopter to Lukla, on the far side of the steep valley cut by the Dudh Khosi river.

The devastation was so great they will never be able to return. Five of the families affected were able to find shelter with relatives. The other five families, already desperately poor had nowhere to turn. The community of Lukla rallied to their support, providing food relief and land on which to rebuild.

An emergency relief home project was developed, and with funding for the building materials from the Himalayan Trust, the first of five homes was completed within two days. A further 20 relief houses will now be built in the Chaurikharka district of Solukhumbu, for families that have lost everything.

We have also sent engineers to the villages to provide construction advice to homeowners and builders, to help them rebuild their homes and lodges so they are better able to withstand earthquakes. We have distributed more than 600 tarpaulins and more tents, tarpaulins, warm clothing and wet weather gear is on its way.

Many schools and hospitals have been damaged or destroyed and our immediate priority has been to ensure patients can be attended to, and children can go back to school. Several of the schools we support have been completely flattened, and the challenge is to create temporary classrooms that will withstand the monsoon, while we make plans for the complex logistical challenge of rebuilding.

Over the coming months and years we will continue working with our partners and local communities in the remote Solukhumbu region. Our focus is particularly on the schools and health centres that have been damaged and ensuring teachers and health professionals are equipped to do their jobs, and that children are healthy and well-educated.

This wouldn’t be possible without your school’s kind support, so a big thank you from all of us to your students once more.

Campus Concert

Opening of the No.1 Football Field

After many months of anticipation our main football field was officially opened in a morning ceremony led by local Kaumatua and attended by school leaders, Board members, staff, students and representatives from Turftech - the grounds technicians who have delivered this state-of-the-art playing surface for our school.
Groups gathered and were welcomed by Principal Greg Watson who then handed over to two local kaumatua who dedicated the field and the success of those who will play on it - in speeches and karakia. The attending party led by Head Prefect and 1stXI Boys Football captain Glenn Lewis then blessed each of the four corners of the field before reassembling for a closing prayer. The field area has been laser-levelled , re-laid and equipped with an extensive drainage/irrigation
system and will provide the level of surface and performance to grace our top football teams. In a fitting initial game on the following Saturday the 1st XI boys christened the turf with a solid 3-0 win over Kristin School and since then the girls 1st Xl football team has also had two wins in their games on the field.


Pizza Reading Challenge

The library is involved in the annual LIANZA and Hell Pizza Reading Challenge again in 2015. Borrow a book from the library, read it, write a five word review and post it in one of three places to receive a stamp on your pizza wheel. Once you have posted seven reviews you can redeem your pizza wheel for a free pizza at any Hell Pizza.

  • You need 7 stamps on your wheel to get a free kids hells pizza. Get your wheel from the library.
  • To get one stamp write a 5 word book review for a book you’ve read. Bring this review to a librarian. Your review will go on a pizza topping for the MRGS library pizza.
  • The review could be 5 descriptive words or a short sentence, anything goes, be creative, ask your teacher for advice.
  • For another stamp like the library facebook page and share your review at www.facebook.com/MRGSlibrary
  • Add your review to the library catalogue for another stamp. *Instructions in the library on how to do this
  • Ask a librarian if you have any questions.
  • You can do as many pizza wheels as you wish
  • You can do any of the 3 options for getting your stamps you don’t have to do all of them eg. You could do 7 five word reviews and none on the catalogue or facebook page. Or do a combination of them all.
  • Read books, eat pizza, have fun.

Come to the library for more information and to take part! For more information on the challenge go to

Success in Auckland Mathematical Olympiad

Jahnvi Trivedi recently took part in the Auckland Mathematical Olympiad and finished in the top 15 candidates from all Auckland schools.

The Olympiad is organised and hosted by the Department of Mathematics at the University of Auckland. Its aims are to promote enthusiasm and curiosity in Mathematics, and to encourage young people who attend schools in the Auckland region with an opportunity to exhibit their problem solving skills by meeting various challenges put to them by mathematicians.

Mentoring News

Thank you to families for your contribution to a highly successful mentoring conference day on Tuesday 19 May – it was fantastic to see 655 families of year 11 and 12 students.

We were able to continue the conversation around academic, attendance and co-curricular goals as well as reporting face to face on subject specific progress and next steps.

A survey for the 19th May conference will be sent out via email this week. We would love to hear your feedback on the conference process and it will also assist in our future planning. The survey can be found at:


The next half hour mentoring conference is on Thursday 20th August.

This conference in term 3 will enable us to continue working together to support students in reaching their goals. It will also report on subject specific progress and next steps with an additional focus on the external examinations and learners’ future pathways.

You know your child best; knowing their progress, next steps and what is coming up (assignments, assessments etc) will mean that you can assist them in effectively managing their time.

Between now and the 20th of August please continue, as we will be, to have conversations with your children/our students about their progress towards their goals.

“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

More information avialable about the Mentoring Programme here

Pathways Coordinator Appointment

Talofa lava!

My name is Peniel Fa’amausili and I am the new Pathways Coordinator here at MRGS.

I have a passion for working with young people and have over 10 years’ experience in the field. In the past I’ve worked for various organisations in a variety of roles, with the most recent being Youthline Charitable Trust, where I was the Team Leader for the Youth Development Workers across Auckland.

Recently I discovered a new found passion in photography and left Youthline to pursue this interest. With new goals set for 2015, this opportunity presented itself and I am very happy to be part of the MRGS community.

Gateway News

The MRGS Gateway programme for 2015 is well underway! We have successfully placed over 25 students in a range of fields, including Automotive, Tourism, Retail, Hospitality and Commerce etc. with more heading out to work in Term 3. Gateway is an awesome opportunity for students to gain some real life work experience, learn on the job and work towards NCEA qualifications.

In May and September we are running a 2 day Communication & 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 September we are holding a 2 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 it looks great on a CV!

If you are in Year 13 and would like to be part of the programme please see Mrs Payne in H4.

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 2015/16 or you have any questions regarding the programme, we would love to hear from you!! email gateway@mrgs.school.nz

More information about Gateway here

Brain Bee Success for MRGS

In this term’s Brain Bee Challenge Roskill students were successful in qualifying for the Round Two Finals to be held at Auckland University in July. Students, Alice Wang, Vyshni Ishwaran, Sharon Mathew and Karen Zhang will compete individually and also as a team. The event involves year 11 students being challenged to determine who is the "best brain" on such topics as intelligence, memory, emotions, sensations, movement, stress, aging, sleep, addiction, Alzheimer's and stroke. This year’s Roskill team are hoping to emulate the 2014 success when we achieved first place in the competition.

Chess Power Competitions in May

On Tuesday 12th May Mt Roskill's chess team won the Auckland Central Zone chess tournament qualifying us for the national finals in October. Congratulations to the team of Kashyap Choudhary, Elvin Zhang, William Lesiak, Neil Mario, Yashasvigiri Gosai, Daniel Morrin, Nathan McDougall, and Patrick Balderama.

On Tuesday 19 May, when they could have stayed home because it was the mentoring day, a chess team of Years 9,10 and 13 students did battle in NorthWest Auckland and won the tournament, losing only one match out of 28. This gives us an extra reserve we can use in the national championships in October. Congratulations to William Lesiak, Stella Xu, Neil Mario and Thea Dickson.

We are looking for more chess players to join us every lunchtime in E1 for training. Last year we were 3rd at Nationals. We want to do better. Last year our junior team won the Auckland Championship, beating Auckland Grammar School. We need more junior players to join us to hold on to the trophy. Last year our girls team were the national champions. We need more girl chess players to join us to help us keep the trophy!

Roskill Hosts Blues Squad

Roskill Hosts Blues Squad for Mother's Day Event

In the same week as our curtain raiser at Eden Park, the school provided a venue for the Super Rugby Auckland Blues Squad to honour their mothers with a personally cooked meal. Our Food and Hospitality rooms were made available as teams of four in a “My Kitchen Rules” style raced against the clock to produce two courses. The rugby players then served these to their mothers in a specially decorated Senior Common Room. It was a fun event and Roskill catering students and our 1st XV squad provided assistance and advice to make the evening a success.

It´s All About Love

On Thursday 21 May, Year 13 Drama students had their first internal assessment evening of the year. Their objective was to apply the features of Elizabethan Theatre for their 3.4 Assessment Standard “select and use complex performance skills associated with a drama form or period”.

Extracts from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummers Night Dream and The Taming of the Shrew were aptly performed in front of parents and staff – thank you to all who supported them – it was a great success.


Corner of Chinese Culture 15th May

On the 15th of May, the Corner of Chinese Culture (previously named ‘Chinese Culture Encounter’) has offered MRGS students another opportunity to experience Chinese Culture. A group of professionals from Chinese New Settlers Service Trust were invited by Liu Lao Shi from Languages MRGS. They have given demonstrations in Chinese Calligraphy, Paper Cutting and Kongfu. Students were provided with the authentic Chinese brush and ink to create their unique writing in Chinese. They have learned how to appreciate the art in Chinese Character Writing. In the Hall, a group of students had fantastic experience in practicing Kongfu with a Kongfu champion from China. A lot of others students enjoyed watching the fist and sword dance.

You are welcome to join us every Friday lunch time for a unique Chinese Culture Experience. Bring your own lunch. We will announce weekly activities in Daily Notice. We are currently recruiting talented students with an interest in Kongfu, Chinese song singing and Chinese Dancing. Go on to Eventbrite to register your interest. Details will be provided in Daily Notices.


Hillsborough Heights Performance

On Thursday 14 May the Concert Band & a chamber group, as well as some soloists, performed at the Hillsborough Heights Retirement Village. The residents loved the concert and our students did us all proud – the residents were gratified at the way our students mingled afterwards to talk to them during afternoon tea. It was a lovely occasion and part of a tradition that the residents look forward to each year. Thanks again musicians.


DIY Fun at Art Club

Over the past few weeks Ms Groebar and Mrs Kempster have been teaching stencilling and screen printing so we can print our very own designs on a Tshirt or fabric of our choice. Here is a picture showing an example of our “work in progress”. Art club runs every Wednesday afterschool 3.15pm in A16.


Right Time, Right Place

From Monday, 18th May, 2015, we will have a focus on encouraging students to be on time to period 1. We want all students to experience maximum learning time with as little interruption as possible. When students arrive late into class the learning is disrupted and learning time is lost.

Our school expectation is that all students will arrive to each class on time. If a student is more than 4 minutes late to class he/she will be sent to the Deans centre. Their name will be recorded and the student will be expected to attend a lunchtime or after school session to make up the learning time they have lost. Parents will be informed by email/phone.

Please ensure your son/daughter attends school on time. Students should walk through the school gate at 8.30am as this will allow them to be on time to classes.
The chart below is an example of what learning time can be lost when students do not attend classes on time.
We look forward to your support of our focus on helping students attend school on time.

Julie Small
Associate Principal

Minister Congratulates MRGS on NCEA Achievement

For a second year the BOT and school community received a letter from the Minister of Education Hekia Parata commending MRGS on its improved NCEA achievement. The letter (available below) notes that our school has consistently raised its national examination achievement and makes the point:

“the results being achieved by Mt Roskill Grammar are a clear and valuable example of the positive impact great teachers and great schools can have on the achievement of their students”
In addition to the letter we also received a copy of a specially prepared poster (pictured below) which includes the names of all the schools in recent years who have received this acclamation form the Minister’s Office. A picture of the poster is also attached to this article.

Mt Roskill ANZAC Service

On Saturday 25th April, our prefects and senior leaders of the school joined with the local community to honour the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings at the War Memorial Park in May Road. Our party joined in the march to the memorial and then Head Prefects Glen Lewis and Pearl Lazaro laid a wreath on behalf of the school. Students from the school also figured in the service performances - the singing being led by Natasha Sa’u and a number of past and present grammar students played in the Auckland City Brass band which accompanied the hymns. The school was formally thanked for its participation in a letter from civic organizer Jamie Weiland:
“I would like to express my gratitude to the students and staff at Mt Roskill Grammar School for their time and participation in 2015’s Anzac day service at Mt Roskill. In particular Head Boy Glen Lewis who read the scripture and Philip Darragh’s music student, Natasha, who led all the singing – I have heard nothing but exceptional feedback on her voice and courage. The school’s involvement was greatly appreciated.”

Mentoring Conference Day

Mentoring Conference Day Tuesday 19th May

To parents/caregivers of Year 9, 10 and 13 learners:

  • These students are not required to be at school on this day.
  • Normal school will resume on Wednesday at 9.17am for all students.

To parents/caregivers of Year 11 and 12 learners:

  • The school is open from 8.30am-8pm on Tuesday 19th May for year 11 and 12 mentoring conferences only. Students to attend in uniform.

The conference:

In this half hour conference on Tuesday 19th May you will discuss subject specific feedback, which the mentor will have received from subject teachers. This information will inform part of the ongoing discussion and partnership around your child’s academic, attendance and co-curricular goals and next steps.

Reporting for year 11 and 12 students is through face to face mentoring on Tuesday 19th May (Term 2) and Thursday 20th August (Term 3).

Conference booking:

You will be sent an allocated half hour slot through a letter your child will bring home by the end of week 2 (Friday, 1st May) and a letter for your employer outlining the importance of this conference to your child’s learning progress.

Staff will be meeting with a number of students and families throughout the day, however, if the time you are allocated does not suit please contact the office staff on 621 0050 to arrange an alternative time for the same day.

Thank you for your support of the mentoring programme – it makes a significant difference to students’ engagement and achievement knowing that we are all working with them to help them achieve their goals.

Looking ahead to other dates and events for your diary:

  • Year 11 & 12 Mentoring conference: Tuesday 19th May 8.30am-8pm (Years 9/10/13 do not attend)
  • Queen’s Birthday Holiday: Friday 29th May and Monday 1st June
  • Reports Issued Years 9, 10 & 13: Tuesday 16th June
  • Subject Report Evening Years 9, 10 & 13: Tuesday 30th June 4-7pm

Greg Watson

ICAS Science Competition

Years 9-13 entries now open! The details are as follows:- Entry cost $8.50 and payable at Accounts office. Closing date is Tuesday 5th May and Official Sitting date is Wednesday 3rd June 2015.

Mentoring Information

Mentoring for all Year 11 and 12 students

A goal of the school this year is -To enrich mentoring relationships with students and their families to improve student progress and achievement .

The process for this will be

  • Form teacher and associate staff member allocated to form classes
  • These staff will mentor their learners years 11 and 12 during LCT 2x per term
  • There will be Parent/caregiver conferences with the mentor and student - 19th May ( all day ) 20th August ( all day ) - [ May and August 30 minute appointments ]

Year 11 and 12 mentoring day – 19th May 2015

The reporting for year 11 and 12 students in 2015 will continue as a partnership between mentors and students/their families meeting face to face to consolidate goal setting and look more closely at progress and next steps (academic/attendance/co-curricular).

In this conference on Tuesday 19th May you will be provided with subject specific feedback, which the mentor will have received from subject teachers.

  • What: One half hour mentoring conference.
  • Who: All year 11 and 12 students, their mentor and parents/caregivers (year 9, 10 and 13 do not attend on that day).
  • When: Tuesday 19th May (half hour block) between 8.30am and 8pm.
  • Where: In form classroom.
  • How: Parents/caregivers will receive a letter in week two of term two with a half hour allocated time slot.

The school will also provide a letter for employers to explain the importance of these meetings to enable parents/caregivers to negotiate time to attend this meeting. If you are unable to attend your allocated time the letter will provide further information regarding how you may be able to change your time.

Thank you for your support of the mentoring programme – it makes a significant difference to students’ engagement and achievement knowing that we are all working with them to help them achieve their goals.

Student Engagement

During the last few weeks of term one many students were faced with a wide range of assessments to complete. It is interesting to note that during these weeks student attendance rates generally increased. While attending for the actual assessment is obviously critical, the lead up to these is just as important. It is the learning done between classes that will help students achieve quality results. To help your son/daughter engage in their ‘between class’ learning - ask yourself - have they got the following conditions which are conducive to effective study?

  • A quiet space
  • A place to put up summary wall charts/learning posters
  • At least two hours of ‘quiet time’ per night
  • 8 hours for sleeping
  • Nutritious ‘study food’ eg. -nuts, berries, bananas, fish, wholegrain breads

Forty Years of Service to MRGS

Mr Glynn Sergeant reached his fortieth year of teaching at Mount Roskill in term 1 and this special event was marked by a morning tea with guest speakers and a presentation. Glynn began his teaching at Roskill in 1975 taking his position straight from teachers’ college. He began his work in the Music Department and over the decades has guided many musicians and music groups on their instrumental education. One of the speakers at the morning tea (now a HOD music herself ) spoke of his inspirational and encouraging teaching. Glynn has served under five Principals at the school and there is also a strong family connection as two of his boys attended Roskill and his wife also teaches here. In the past 15 years Glynn’s teaching has been more in the Computing Department where he has given other students the benefit of his knowledge and enthusiasm. As part of the presentation he received a jade mere representing the strength and endurance he has demonstrated in his teaching career. He has seen Roskill change in many ways over the years as it has continued to lead learning in the community but as he said in his speech of thanks “walking through the grounds and seeing all the smiling faces makes coming to work easy.

Academic Mentoring at MRGS

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our Academic Mentors

On the 26th March our Academic Mentors attended a ceremony organised by Mrs Seetha Singh and Ms Ashmita Gosai. A large number of students made an application to be selected for Academic Mentoring for 2015. Students selected were presented with their badges and congratulated.

Our Academic Mentors offer support to a wide range of students who need additional support with their learning. If your son/daughter needs support please contact Mrs Singh or Ms Gosai so that they can help link your child with an academic mentor.

More information here

Academic Mentors 2015:

  • Alan Jiang
  • Sudarjini Satkunarajah
  • Marium Ahmed
  • Jasleen Kaur
  • Joshua Simmons
  • Mannat Ahuja
  • Aishwarya Kochhar
  • McGregor Small
  • Aishwarya Balasubramanian
  • Mohana Kolli
  • Tanaya Sonar
  • Anirudh Bhatnagar
  • Samuel Langi
  • Daryl Stanley
  • Larissa Bird
  • Sammie Lee
  • Emma Stitt
  • Gareth Brown-Haysom
  • Allanah Leerdam
  • Sakshi Tah
  • Oyishik Chakraborty
  • Lily Li
  • Jenny Ung
  • Jocelyn Choo
  • Yathursan Mohanathas
  • Reval Verghese
  • Nathan Davidson
  • Sai Krupa Narayana
  • Deeksha Vijayakumar
  • Sanaj Deshpande
  • Albert Ou
  • Jessica Walsh
  • Samita Dossa
  • Dhruvil Oza
  • Emily White
  • Janita Fuller
  • Holly Porter
  • Claire Wyeth
  • Connor Gibson
  • Chernade Prasad
  • Nidhi Yellapantula
  • Disha Gomathinayagam
  • Athulya Rathnayake
  • Christina Yuan

Excellence Awards Evening

At a sparkling evening we honoured our NCEA Excellence award winners. Over 400 students and caregivers attended the ceremony and listened to the inspiring words of guest presenter, ex-student and current Sir Peter Blake Trust Ambassador Samantha Collings. After the presentation of certificates and badges families were able to linger over a supper and share in their congratulations with staff and presenters.


Chemistry Olympiad

Certificates for achievement in the Chemistry Olympiad qualifying stages were awarded to 9 Roskill students in a term 1 assembly. The certificates for Hasnain Cheena, Vilia Li, Nathan McDougall, Rayner Rebello, Joyce Wong, Lily Li, Sai Krupa Narayana, Deeksha Vijayakumar and Raymond Wang acknowledged their qualification at the end of 2014 for the term 1 2015 training group. All the students have trained in term 1 via online and paper assignments and sat an entrance exam for the next stage of the Olympiad team selection, an intensive training camp limited to 30 students nationally. We heard recently that Nathan McDougall has been successful in gaining entry to the camp and we wish him the best as he progresses in this final stage of the process which will lead to the selection of the 4 students to represent New Zealand in the International Olympiad.

NZ Secondary Schools´ Symphony Orchestra

Ellen and Mark Bingham have been selected to play in the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra. This selection is widely regarded as a significant training ground for young players aspiring to membership of the New Zealand Youth Orchestra and ultimately to a career as a professional musician. They will participate in an intense six-day orchestral course, run in Christchurch culminating in two public performances.

Informatics (Computer Science) Olympiad

Jonathan Khoo (Year 12) has been selected to represent NZ in the Informatics (Computer Science) Olympiad team. The team is made up of 4 students chosen from around NZ after a rigorous series of exams carried out over the last 6 months. Jonathan is attending a training camp in Sydney in the upcoming April holidays and will then head to Kazakhstan in July to compete in the World Championships.

St Matthews Chamber Orchestra Concert

The campus was privileged to host a concert on Friday 27th March by the St. Matthews Chamber Orchestra. The professional group performed two concerts in the MRGS school hall, one in the morning for Primary and Intermediate students and a second in the afternoon for our Year 9 students. Their programme included Haydn’s Toy Symphony and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with a narration which kept both audiences enthralled. A number of Roskill musicians joined the orchestra and had featured involvement in the toy symphony.

Year 13 Camp

Earlier in term one our year 13 students took part in their annual camp on Motutapu island. The week’s activities give our senior young men and women an invaluable opportunity to challenge their skills and build team relationships in a marvelous environment. Tests of dexterity, ingenuity and even the basic demands of camp living combine with outdoor pursuits in the haven of the Hauraki Gulf. These few days away cement networks and friendships which prepare our seniors and their leaders for a successful year ahead.


Physical Education

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, com-munication skills, tolerance. These are some of qualities we want to install in our students as well as be-ing physically active.

Most of these benefits are not measurable but clearly lead to a more production 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 Ros-kill Grammar so please next time your son/daughter asks for a note to be excused from Physical Educa-tion 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.

Peer Sexuality Support Programme

Five of our students were trained by the Auckland District Health Board as P.S.S.P. leaders in week 3: Jonjon Cowley Lupo, Mary Kate Fonua, Sanaj Deshpande, Josette Xu and Erin Newton. They spent four days at Kiwani’s camp in Huia to learn about a wide range of topics in the area of relationships, wellbeing and sexuality.
They’ve joined returning PSSP-ers Kavish Dharan, Hasiba Zareh and Conor Frencz to make up a new, enthusiastic PSSP team.

These highly trained students give confidential support to their peers, and help with the teaching in sexuality in the Year 10 Health programme. They also will offer optional workshops for Year 13 students. More information about the programme is available here.

Year 9 Anti-Harrassment Workshops

This term all Year 9 students will meet with two members of the counselling team. We will run two Anti-Harassment workshops with all year 9 core classes to explain how we effectively stop harassment in our school. Students will be told that if they tell on harassment, their identity can be kept confidential. We know harassment causes long-term psychological harm, and we will always treat it as unacceptable, even when students say it’s just “friendly mocking”.

Also, all Year 9 students will be asked to fill out a confidential, internet-based “Travellers” questionnaire in class. This helps us identify students who may benefit from extra support. The results are confidential to the counsellors only, and will not be shared with the school.

From Term two onwards, we will run the exciting Year 9 small-group TRAVELLERS programme to help students build resilience and enhance connectedness. From term 3 onwards, we will offer DRUMBEAT, a percussion-based group therapeutic programme.

Counselling Services at Mt Roskill Grammar School

This year we welcome two new, but experienced counsellors to join Donna Hourigan-Johnston and Margaret Hoogendoorn in the Student Services counselling team: Rose Jenkin and Catherine Hawke.

Our four Counsellors are members of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors, and abide by their Code of Ethics. All counselling is confidential, unless there is an imminent risk to safety.

Common issues we deal with include family stresses, traumatic experiences, loss and grief, depression, anxiety and harassment. If your child may benefit from ongoing psychological support, with your consent we can refer them to a psychologist at no cost to you.

If you are concerned about your child’s wellbeing, please feel free to make contact. We are here to help!

You can find us on the school website at the Guidance page.

We also have three counsellors from Auckland Sexual Abuse Help working on our premises part-time. Again, help is confidential and discrete. Teachers in our school will not find out what counselling is about.

NZQA Fees Collection 2015

All senior students must pay their NZQA Fees (compulsory) to the accounts office between Wednesday 6th May – Friday 8th May. These fees must be paid so that any credits a student achieves through either Unit or Achievement Standard assessments will be recorded on a student’s record of learning. If not paid, the credits will not be released to the student.

The Fee for the majority of students will be $76.70. However financial assistance is available to students whose parents/guardians receive a Work and Income Benefit or have a Community Services Card. Financial assistance forms can be collected from the front office, accounts office or from Mr Parratt in the Commerce Department next to H6.

Student Engagement

One of our annual school goals this year is:

To improve student engagement through a focus on attendance and teaching and learning.

At Roskill, students engaged in their learning will:

  • be confident, connected learners and
  • achieve “to the heights”

One aspect of being engaged is how students learn in class.

Students engaged in their learning will:

  • talk about their learning in small groups and in their wider class
  • share new ideas
  • plan together
  • listen and be able to explain their learning to others
  • debate
  • ask questions
  • show curiosity

By talking with your son or daughter about their learning and by asking questions about what they are learning you will be able to support them to achieve “to the heights”.

A second aspect of being engaged in learning is to attend every class on time.

Our school target for attendance is 90% for 2015. Do you know what your son/daughter’s attendance rate is at the moment? Students can ask their Form Teachers/House Deans for this information.

Important Information for Families About Attendance

In order for students to be successful, powerful learners they need to be in class on time in every lesson.

If a student misses two periods (this can include roll check and LCT) they are recorded as having missed half a day of lessons and this is reported to the Ministry of Education.

Teachers mark their roll on the computer every period. This allows us to monitor attendance statistics for both individual and groups of student 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 attendance@mrgs.school.nz.

Please phone on the morning of your child’s first day of absence. When we do not receive a call from the family a text message is sent out. Students are expected to be in every class on time in order to be successful powerful learners. Parents/caregivers have been sent their password to access the parent portal in order to view attendance.

n.b. The Ministry of Education now has a NEW code for the way the school is required to record absence. Families who take holidays during the school term will have their son/daughter’s absence recorded as an unjustified absence.

We look forward to working with you to support your son/daughter in being engaged in their learning.

Ms J Small, Associate Principal Learning

International Student Leaders for 2015

Each year we select a student leader to help new International students by introducing them to friends, showing them to class and interpreting as necessary. Our leaders this year are: Ray Shen, Zara Tang, Sara Lu (China) and Joao Victor de Rego Barros Borba (Brazil).

International Department Orientation Day

On the 18th of February we took our new International Students on an Orientation trip to explore some top attractions of Auckland city. New students have come to our school from China, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Korea and Singapore. We started by walking to the top of Auckland’s highest volcanic cone, Mt Eden to view the city. The students could also see our school from a different perspective.

The next stop was at Mission Bay for lunch. The weather was excellent, and the Brazilian students even took a swim! The last visit was One Tree Hill. Some of the students walked to the top, while others had fun at the playground. We even got a dance lesson from our Brazilian Student leader. All in all we had a great day, and students were able to make new friends while enjoying our beautiful parks and beaches.

MRGS Foundation Year´s Reunion

We recently received news of a reunion lunch organised on Waiheke in November last year for 60 MRGS past pupils from the 1950’s.

Many of these people were foundation pupils in 1953, and as the organizer said “As we are all pensioners we were able to use our Gold Cards to get to Waiheke.” This is the second lunch organised since the 60th Reunion at the school in 2013.

The interest in these reunion lunches is fantastic and organisers anticipate even greater numbers for their next get together. We have included the a photo of the November Lunch and organisers have other photos if there is any interest. (Contact the school for details)

Robotics Academy News

This is the first set of robots created by the new Robotics Academy at year 9. The initial brief was to create a robot which had wheels to enable it to move forwards, backward and rotate. A radar sensor so that it won’t run into objects and a reversing sensor so it wouldn’t reverse into things. A directional sensor to enable directional movement and colour sensor so it can follow a colour. There was a big learning curve in creating, but by working together and solving construction problems the class has produces 20 working robots. The programming has just begun using the on-board micro controller, and this will progress into using the LEGO software on the computer and eventually writing programs in LEGO BASIC. For their extra curricula activity the students will be entering the Robocup nationals during the term 2 holidays with teams designing, building and programming robots for the Soccer, Dance/Drama and the search and rescue competition.

MRGS NCEA Results Continue to Improve

Once again Mount Roskill students demonstrated their powerful learning in the NCEA examinations at the end of 2014. Pass rates increased and there was particularly raised achievement at Level 1, level 2 and year 13 leaving school with NCEA level 2 qualification. The results for Maori and Pasifika students were also pleasing. Maori students gained across all measures and Pasifika student NCEA achievement has increased overall.

MRGS Excellence Endorsements for 2014 Examinations

Once again the school achieved high numbers of Excellence endorsements. At level 2 we surpassed our results in 2013 and continued the outstanding achievement across a range of subjects that the endorsements represent. A students NCEA will be endorsed with Excellence if they gain 50 credits at Excellence. This year a total of 157 MRGS students achieved at this highest level across NCEA 1, 2 and 3. In addition another 278 students had their NCEA endorsed with Merit after achieving at least 50 credits at this level. These results once again attest to the committed, resilient and engaged learning within our student community. These young men and women were celebrated at our annual Excellence Awards Evening in the school hall.

New Zealand Scholarship Examination Successes (2014)

The school’s record of achievement in the premier national examination continued with 47 individual scholarships across 13 subject areas with 5 of the scholarships being at Outstanding level.

Victor Xie gained a total of 5 Scholarships and is therefore named as a New Zealand Outstanding Scholar. Diana Qiu was awarded 4 and Alice Ng, Jiantao Shen and Mark Yep all achieved scholarships in 3 subjects. The Commerce department was once again a high achiever with 10 scholarships in Accounting and Science amassed a total of 16 with the combination of achievement in Physics, Biology and Chemistry.

UN Youth

UN Youth is an organization that provides civics education outside the traditional classroom context through fun workshops, Model UN events (which are basically a simulation of the United Nations) and various discussion groups actively engaging the youth of our country in the most pressing affairs of New Zealand and the global community. If that wasn’t exciting enough already by attending these events you will also gain valuable skills such as public speaking, critical thinking, problem solving, negotiating and many more all while interacting with amazing like-minded individuals from all over NZ. UN Youth offers many opportunities throughout the year for students to get involved in such as the Auckland Model United Nations, Aotearoa Youth Declaration, NZ Model UN, and several others. So if any of this sounds exciting to you look out for more information in the notices about upcoming events and how to get involved with UN Youth or see Ms Boudreau in E3.

Shaizan Virani

New Staff Members at Roskill

At the start of this year we greeted a number of new staff at the Powhiri - we welcome them to our community of learners and look forward to the contributions they will make as they settle into their Roskill classrooms!

  • Mr Toe Pune - Senior Leadership Team
  • Mrs Xanthe Sulzberger - Senior Leadership Team
  • Ms Amy Benton - Technology
  • Ms Joanna Cakebread - Music
  • Mr Rowan Johanson - Mathematics
  • Mr Zak Musa - Mathematics
  • Mr Tom Inger - Physical Education
  • Ms Taylor MacKinlay - Physical Education
  • Ms Gillian Holliday - English
  • Mrs Whitney Johanson - English
  • Mrs Catherine Hawke - Guidance
  • Ms Rose Jenkin - Guidance
  • Ms Grace Rissetto - Languages
  • Ms Naressa Gamble - Performing Arts
  • Ms Kerrily Aitchison - Performing Arts
  • Mr Tony Kwok - Science

New Senior Leadership Team Members

We are privileged to welcome three new Deputy Principals at the start of 2015 - the skills, experience and commitment they bring further enhances our community’s leadership.

Mrs Karen Collins

Karen has already been an acting Senior team member and with her permanent appointment brings her wealth of knowledge of Roskill learners and their community. She first began her teaching career here in the English Department and since then has taken up a range of leadership roles. She has been a management unit holder in the English department, a House Dean and for a number of years was senior Academic Dean for year 13 where she guided many of our students through the challenges of their final year at school. She has been influential in the student support area of the school, driving the development of the vision and values in our ‘Roskill Way’. She also has experience in enrolment and the organisation of learning pathway choices for the senior school. As Deputy Principal she will lead the portfolio of Progress with responsibility for such areas as Mentoring &Tracking, Reporting and the Deans Team.

Mr Toe Pune

Toe’s previous school role was as Deputy Principal at Otahuhu College and since that senior role he has worked with the Education Review Office . At Otahuhu he received an AIMHI award for teaching excellence and he also holds a Masters qualification in Professional Language Studies. Earlier in his career he was HOD of Physical Education. He brings a range of experience and as a senior leader has held portfolios in assessment, student engagement/leadership, literacy programmes, sports academies in addition to intermediate school leadership. Together with his curricular expertise he has a particular interest and strength in rugby coaching and promotion - having developed successful programmes and teams at his previous schools. At Roskill he will lead the portfolio of Pathways with responsibility for Sport Academies, Pathways, Maori and Pasifika Achievement.

Mrs Xanthe Sulzberger

Xanthe joins us from Botany Downs Secondary College where she was Head of the Learning area of Health and Physical Education. Prior to that she had a number of roles at Aquinas College where she was a Dean and interim Assistant Principal. In her career she has also been a HOD sport. She holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership. She brings particular expertise in E-Learning and in recent years she has worked alongside the Ministry of Education initiative Best Evidence Synthesis on Electronic Learning Logs. She is acknowledged as a national innovator in 21st century teaching and learning - publishing articles and presenting professional development courses for fellow teachers. At Roskill she takes charge of the Pedagogy portfolio with responsibility for areas such as E learning, Junior Assessment and Junior Curriculum.

Junior Report Evening

Junior Report Evening for Year 9 & 10 - 4-7pm Tuesday 31 March 2015

You can make an interview time by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and entering the Event Code of FW9A4 - Bookings close 8.30am Tuesday 31 March.

MRGS Art Club

Our enthusiastic MRGS Art Club’s first commission for 2015 was a poster for the St Matthews Chamber Orchestra campus concert on Friday 27 March in the school hall. With a tight deadline - only two weeks to come up with a printable poster image -  students were taught stencilling by Mrs Kempster and Ms Groeber. Sourcing and cutting out orchestral images, students then chose a vibrant paint colour scheme, and added a text overlay. The results were eye catching and have been circulated around MRI and MRPS in advance of the big day. Well done to all involved!

The MRGS Art Club meets every Wednesday afterschool in the Art Department.


The 40th year of ASB Polyfest started on Wednesday 18th March and our cultural groups have been demonstrating the results of their weeks of hard work and commitment to large crowds at the Manukau Sports Bowl. The Kapa Haka group were the first to perform on Thursday and they were followed by our Samoan and Indian groups on Friday. The last of the groups to appear was the Tongan and they gave two spirited performances on Saturday.

The ASB Polyfest is not only a chance for secondary school students to showcase their culture, but to also participate and share in others. This was clearly seen on the Maori stage as more and more non-Maori were seen performing kapa haka.

MRGS Kapa Haka Te Karere (TVNZ) March 19th video


Year 12 Japanese Restaurant Trip

On a pleasant Thursday (26th February) at 5:00pm, the year 12 Japanese class, with Miss Kojima, met outside Nishiki, keen to experience the Japanese palette. It was all Konnichiwa’s (Hello’s) and Irashaimase’s (Welcome’s) as we entered the restaurant, the aroma of Japanese cuisine surrounding us. With anticipation we all waited as platters of hot, authentic, Japanese food was carried around us until finally plates with at least ten traditional Japanese dishes was placed on our table, steaming. We all dug in, some expertly grasping pieces of rice, meat, and vegetables, others engaging in a great struggle with the chopsticks attempting to fill their eager mouths, myself included. Miso soup, varieties of sushi, Takoyaki and other meat and vegetable dishes were served and quickly eaten before the vanilla, green tea and sesame ice creams were placed in front of us, each more interesting than the first but delicious all the same. Overall the laughs, tasty authentic Japanese delicacies, and the struggles with the chopsticks made an experience to remember. Thank you Miss Kojima!  

(12 CSNR Aditi Ramalingam)

Excellence Awards Evening

At a sparkling evening we honoured our NCEA Excellence award winners. Over 400 students and caregivers attended the ceremony and listened to the inspiring words of guest presenter, ex-student and current Sir Peter Blake Trust Ambassador Samantha Collings.


Year 10 Japanese Lunch

On Wednesday 4th March R3 was filled with overexcited Year 10s impatiently waiting for our lunch to arrive. Our lunch was かつどん (katsudon), battered chicken cutlets served on rice. After a call of “いただきます” (thank you for the food) we all started eating with our “おはし” (chopsticks). The whole class said it was “おいしい” (delicious). However the green tea was greatly believed to be “まずい” (awful). The lunch was a great success, so “ありがとうございます” to Miss Kojima, Carmen and Shara for making it possible.

Tessa Brown (10 NHLG) 


Polyfest Preparation

Our cultural groups are heavily involved in their last weeks of preparation for the upcoming Polyfest. Each evening and at the weekend Maori, Samoan, Tongan and Indian cultural groups can be seen going through their performance sets. The valued support from families and communities is a special part of this build-up to what we hope will be another successful competition entry from the school.

Passing of Ex-Principal Charles Dowdle

It was with sadness that the MRGS community learned early in the week of the death of past Principal Mr Charles Dowdle. He passed away on 21st February after long illness and his funeral was held on Wednesday February 25th. Charlie Dowdle began his career at Mount Roskill Grammar school in 1968, taking up the head of Social Studies role when Jack Kelly became Deputy Principal.

Mr. Dowdle excelled as a teacher of history and geography becoming renowned for his story telling and his interest in the well-being of his students. The Dowdle library, a hub of learning in the school recognizes his mastery of teaching. Mr. Dowdle’s passion for learning across the curriculum found him coaching cricket, rugby and archery, producing several school plays and running inter-form lunchtime sports competitions.

He became Deputy Principal in 1977 and in 1981 was appointed Principal. In all his roles, his will to succeed and commitment were inspirational. Charlie’s wife Verna also taught at MRGS and later became Headmistress at Epsom Girls Grammar School. At one stage both Charlie, Verna and their four children Bruce, Bryan, Keith and Rebecca were all teachers.

Mr Dowdle is fondly remembered and respected by our whole school community. We continue to enjoy the support of the Dowdle family through the Sursum Trust. We offer both our condolences to the family for their loss and our thanks for the legacy of service and achievement that Charlie gave us in his years at Roskill.

Head Prefects 2015

2015 School Prefects have been selected and formally introduced to the school and presented with their badges and ties. These 43 young men and women strengthen the student leaders of the school bringing their particular service, commitment and energy to their new roles. We look forward to their ongoing demonstration of excellence, respect and responsibility. Mr Watson also announced the Head Prefects for this year: Pearl Lazaro and Glen Lewis are Head Girl and Head Boy respectively; they are ably supported by Parneet Kohli and Mandie Galea who will be their deputies.

Alphabetical List of 2015 Prefects:

  • 'Akau'ola, Perpetua
  • Allan, Grace
  • Alphonso, Jonathan
  • Bell, Cameron
  • Bell, Ethan
  • Bingham, Mark
  • Brown, Zoe
  • Busby, Bryan
  • Cao, Alex
  • Dakwale, Ankur
  • Deverell, Ben
  • Dhungel, Salina
  • Edmonds, Luke
  • Ferencz, Conor
  • Fernandes, Ritika
  • Galea, Mandie
  • Haigh, Chloe
  • Haunga, Eddie
  • Havea, 'Aisake
  • Judd, Heidi
  • Kohli, Parneet
  • Lazaro, Pearl
  • Lewis, Glen
  • Lewis, Scott
  • Li, Vilia
  • MacDonald, Usha
  • Mallela, Balu
  • Mascarenhas, Juhaina
  • McDougall, Nathan
  • Pala, Kaaj
  • Parulkar, Aryaman
  • Pillai, Ayushi
  • Power, Josef
  • Puertollano, Pia
  • Raju, Yvette
  • Rosario, Korine
  • Sapoi, Nightingale
  • Smith, Keren
  • Smith, Shaden
  • Varela, Pebble
  • Wang, Raymond
  • Wong, Joyce
  • Zamani, Tamana

Meeting for Parents of New Students

Tuesday February 10th at 7.00pm in the School Hall.

This meeting will be an opportunity to find out about the school organisation, values and the learning opportunities which exist within the school.

Members of the Senior Leadership Team, Academic and Pastoral Leaders, will be present to meet with you and answer any questions. Tea and coffee will be served after the meeting.

The school leadership looks forward to meeting you and welcoming you to the school as part of this evening.

First Day Powhiri 2015

For the first time both new students and staff were welcomed in a combined powhiri. After gathering on the field in their house groups, the new students were led into the hall in the company of the new teaching staff. They were given a haka by the present staff and year 13 students before taking their places in the gathering. After a hymn and karakia, Mr Watson spoke in his welcome of the proud tradition they were joining at Roskill. His words were followed by a waiata and then Y13 student Luke Edmonds spoke. Responding whaikorero and waiata were next delivered by representatives of the newcomers. After the ceremony new students made their way to house meetings and their day of orientation at the school.


E-Learning Update

The school ran a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trial last year. Feedback from this trial has been very positive. The potential for improved learning outcomes for students has led us to roll out student BYOD to all students in 2015. During term 1 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.

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.

In 2015 it is optional for students to bring a BYOD capable device.

The ideal device for school use:

  • has built-in wireless capability
  • enables word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, image manipulation, video and audio editing
  • is lightweight, but robust enough to handle daily use
  • has a protective carrying case
  • has 4-8 hours of battery power (or preferably more) and easy options for recharging
  • has a common web browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox).
  • offers sufficient storage for documents, photos and videos
  • has some form of keyboard for typing (built-in or external)
  • has some form of antivirus/anti-spyware protection

If you have any further questions please contact Lorraine Vickery (E-Learning Director – lorraine.vickery@mrgs.school.nz)

First School Day 2015

Thursday 29th January Y9, Y13 and all other new students

  • Y9 and new students 9.40am on school main field (for Powhiri and assemblies)
  • Y13 9.00am in school hall for Powhiri preparation

Friday 30th January = All students

  • School closed Anniversary Day - Monday 26th January
  • School closed Waitangi Day - Friday 6th February

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