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BodySafe Collaborative Project
At MRGS we are proud to have run the BodySafe programme in year 10 Health for over a decade. This four session programme teaches students to stay safe and maintain respectful relationships.
In our recent newsletter you may have read about the BodySafe School Collaboration Pilot Project. We are delighted to have been approached by Rape Prevention Education in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice to be a pilot school to extend the BodySafe programme.
The main aim of this project is to look at ways of promoting safe relationships by providing education and advocacy on unwanted sexual experiences to a school community.
We would like to enable you to have a voice in how this programme can be further developed.
You are invited to participate in a survey asking for your input on what schools can do to contribute to encourage promoting safe relationships, reducing sexual pressure and sexual violence in our society.
If you are a parent or caregiver, click here
If you are a MRGS student, click here
SURSUM Foundation Grant to Roskill Student
Earlier this year the Sursum Foundation gave a grant of $1000 to assist senior student Theo Loretz in journeying to Europe in July. Theo has been accepted as a Young Ambassador to France. This July he will travel to North Eastern France to participate in WW1 commemoration events, visit historical and cultural sites and make contact with the people of this region. Theo and other students from around the world who have been selected as Young Ambassadors will also have the honour of representing their country during the official parade down the Champs-Élysées in Paris to open the commemorations on Bastille Day.
The Sustainability Challenge involves teams of 4 students who compete in a 2 or 3 hour event, which includes a mix of running/walking, navigation and sustainability based activities. Teams navigate to as many checkpoints as they can, collecting points for each checkpoint visited. To earn extra points teams can complete sustainability themed activities which will require some research and teamwork. Examples of activities could be to identify native bird calls, match a pest to the correct trap used or make something from flax. Mt Roskill have competed in two events; the first was held at Shakespear Regional Park during Term One and the second and most recent event was at Duder Regional Park on the 13th of May.
During the first race our Year 11 team came 7th overall and 1st all girls team which was a fantastic result. In the second race our junior team after a slow start made up good ground on the others for a commendable mid-table result. The third race will be held in Term 4 which we will be looking forward to.
Junior Students Rewarded for Assistance in Reading Research with Booktrack
“On Friday 23rd May we went to the Booktrack headquarters in Takapuna to learn all about how the company operates. They invited us to say thank you for appearing in a Seven Sharp news item about research which had been done at Mt Roskill Grammar showing that adding soundtrack to texts increases reading comprehension scores .
Booktrack is a new revolution in reading, where you can co-ordinate musical soundtracks into a piece of writing, or a book, to make it into a really cinematic experience with music, ambience and effects eg. if you’re reading about walking along the beach you can hear the waves crashing.
The CEO Craig showed us around and we got to meet all the people that worked there such as Chazz who used to be in a band but now is the soundtrack engineer. He showed us how to turn a boring old book into a musical masterpiece by adding a soundtrack.
Booktrack further thanked us with complimentary t-shirts and pens and took us for lunch at Sal’s pizza where we ate the biggest pizza’s we’d ever seen.
We had an amazing and interesting day and we thank Booktrack for putting up with us.”
Maddie, Lance, India, Ronan 1014
MRGS Music Students Out in the Community
On Friday 16 May, 17 music students travelled to the Hillsborough Heights Retirement Village to perform to the residents. The string orchestra and several chamber groups performed a variety of pieces that had the audience smiling and tapping their feet.
As part of New Zealand Music Month, the Mt Roskill Library hosted a concert by year 12 and 13 MRGS students on Saturday 24 May. Members of band Vertigo (Ben Deverell, Matthew Deverell, Tim Coldham and Mark Bingham) competently performed a set of 5 songs to the delight of the public, including a large group of young children who were at the library for storytime. The concert was rounded off by Pearl Lazaro singing a beautiful song in both English and Maori. The concert organiser and members of the public were enthusiastic in their praise of the students’ performances.
Music Camp 2014
Music Camp 2014 was held in April, in perfect weather, at Motu Moana Scout Camp.
Over the course of a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 40 eager MRGS students from Concert Band and String Orchestra came together to live, dream and breathe MUSIC! The focus of the camp was for students to work towards achieving higher standards of performing whilst forming a cohesive ensemble and developing a sense of belonging to the team.
The camp was superbly organised by Ms Dekker, with Ms Steedman on entertainment (and real coffee), and under the artistic supervision and guidance of Mr Atkinson, Mr Darragh, Mr Snelling and Mr Sergeant. Thanks also to ITM tutors Mr ‘Ofamo’oni and Ms Camilleri for their helpful tutoring as well as parents and Arts Coordinator Mrs Lattey for generously giving their time to assist. The students spent their days divided between section and full rehearsals, and activities like the teambuilding confidence course, flying fox and the entertaining quiz on Saturday night.
The weekend came to a close with a fantastic finale - a lunchtime concert for parents. Congratulations to all students and staff involved in making Music Camp a huge success!
School Production News
The MRGS Performing Arts Department is delighted to announce that this year’s school production will be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. From 30 July – 1 August, including both evening performances and a matinee, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will come alive on stage with a student cast including our very own Willy Wonka, 5 lucky children, an entire Bucket family and MRGS Oompa Loompas! Watch out for lickable wallpaper, hot icecreams for cold days, fizzy lifting drinks and square sweets that look round! Ticket sales from the end of this term – join us for a scrumdidilyumptious time!
Samoan Language Week
In the last week of May the school participated in Samoan language week and celebrated the language of Samoa throughout the school. A special presentation of a traditional song medley took place in assembly and each day students and staff were provided with Samoan phrases to use, cultural information to share and the rich detail of Samoa’s traditions to enjoy. On the last day of the week students served a special morning tea in the staffroom, presenting a feast of traditional recipes. Throughout this year other Pasifika languages will be celebrated within the school. In August we will share in Cook Islands Language Week. For information about all national Pacific language weeks click here Pacific Languages
Farewell to Bonnie Wills
There are often things you’ll find that you could not have done without in your life. And you’ll find it as part of many different contexts. It could be as simple as one document that ties an entire case together, or a book that ignited a passion you otherwise wouldn’t have seen. But often definitive things we can’t go without are other people. We all have one. This school has a few defining people and this month we say goodbye to one of them - Bonnie Wills.
Bonnie has worked at MRGS for 25 years and this month leaves us for retirement. Whenever I call the school I can honestly feel Bonnie smiling down the phone at me and I’m sure any of you who have had the pleasure of speaking with her would have had a similar experience. On behalf of the Board and the Mount Roskill community I would like thank Bonnie for her tireless service to the school over the years. I wouldn’t be able to do her justice if I attempted to quantify her contribution to MRGS in such
a short space.
Kima Tuialii, Trustee
Helicopter Drop – (second postponement)
Due to continuing adverse weather conditions the Helicopter Drop fundraiser has been postponed and will NOT be held this Saturday 12th July.
A new date will be arranged in Term 3 and publicised to the community.
All tickets sold will be valid for the re-arranged date.
Please hold onto your tickets and watch this website for updates.
Tough Guy Tough Gal 2014
On Friday 27th June, 85 MRGS Students were involved in the Secondary School Tough Guy and Gal Challenge at Woodhill Equestrian Event Centre. Over 1000 students from around Auckland were taking part and the event lived up to its name. You might recall that the weather was cold and wet and this made the course and the mud even more challenging. To give you some idea of what was involved, there were a number of mud pits that the students had to make their way through, some up to waist height and some that we had to drop into after sliding up to 50 metres down a mud slide. There were also obstacles to climb over, electric fences and barb wire to crawl under and heaps of creeks to wade through.
A number of students performed well but the highlight was our junior girls where Janita Fuller came second overall and Emma Stitt finished a close third. They managed to do this despite stopping halfway for a mud fight before realising they needed to get moving.
OPEN DAY 2014 - Thursday 24th July - 3.30 – 6.30 pm
Meet at the Administration Building (main entrance)
Tours start from the conference room
You will be able to view an informative visual display while you wait
A School Prefect will direct you to a tour route of the school – staff will answer your questions throughout your visit. There will be a presentation from the Principal at 4.30pm and 6pm in the school library.
During the tour you will be able to meet staff and gain information about the following subjects and aspects of the school
- Quality teaching and learning
- Outstanding NCEA & Scholarship results – 2 Top in subject 2013
- Wide range of sporting and cultural activities
- World class facilities
- Metro Magazines Top Auckland Schools 2009-2014
- Focus school in ERO Best Practice report May 2014
Enrolment Information: 2015 In Zone and Out of Zone Enrolment forms will be available from the School Office or from here
- September 3: Applications for Out of Zone places close
- September 10: Out of Zone Ballot Date
- Thursday August 21st
- Thursday October 16th
- Tuesday November 4th
- Thursday November 6th
- Wednesday November 12th
Enquiries: Phone 621 0050, Fax 621 0055, Deputy Principal Karen Collins, email Karen.Collins@mrgs.school.nz
All welcome - Tours start regularly from School Main Office
Roskill Model United Nations
"Our first ever Roskill Model United Nations, which took place recently over a weekend, was a huge success and was enjoyed by 20 of our students who participated in it. During the event, these 20 students became mock representatives of various countries round the world and debated The Question of Population Growth, in a general assembly. During the Roskill Model United Nations volunteers from the UN Youth NZ organisation also came out to help on the day, and among them was Vice-President of Auckland High Schools Brendon Lee. Every student who participated at the RMUN had a chance to speak, and were encouraged to think about the issue at hand and came up with effective solutions into solving it. Overall it was a very successful and very worthwhile event, and best speakers on the day were Jairaj Modak, Shaizan Virani and Srishti Toora.
The Roskill Model United Nations was a local UN youth event. This organisation also organises both regional and national events, such as the New Zealand Model United Nations coming up early next month. The NZMUN is a national event that takes place every year in Wellington over 4 days. This conference gathers 240 of the nation's best senior student leaders and critical minds, giving all who attend an even more extensive opportunity to really engage with global issues at hand. NZMUN is UN Youth's premier national event and traditionally Mt Roskill Grammar has sent reasonably sized delegations from our school to attend it. This year 4 of our students had been selected by UN Youth NZ to fly down to Wellington next month to attend it. They were chosen based on the merit of their written applications, and their intensive prior experience with UN Youth. These students are Benny Chun, Tangiia Enjoy, Diana Qiu and Romina Seylani."
Campus Music Concert
On the evening of Thursday 19th June our annual celebration of the three campus schools’ musical talent took place in the Grammar school hall. An audience of
over 500 was enthralled by performances from the range of groups, orchestras, bands and choirs. The night opened with a rousing combined item ‘Kia Orana’ which involved all performers. There were then individual presentations by the primary school band, the grammar school concert band and the intermediate school choir. The as ever popular primary school ukes entertained everyone with ‘Poi E’ and other performers such as the grammar school year 9 band and the intermediate orchestra brought contemporary pop pieces to vibrant life. After further pieces from string orchestras, choirs and a jazz combo the evening ended traditionally with a marvellous ‘sing-along’ of ‘Everything’s Going To Be Alright’. The audience and performers
then mingled for light supper refreshments and a chance to share their enthusiastic responses to another great campus musical event.
Passing of Mr Colin Prentice
As we mourn with our community, and the educational world as a whole, the recent passing of Colin Prentice, we are reminded of the legacy he has left not only Mount Roskill but New Zealand. After leaving MRGS in 1994 he went on to further roles in Education and Aid work. As Director of the Schools Partnership Office at the University of Auckland he ensured the links to tertiary education of so many Auckland secondary students. Also when Executive Officer of World Vision, New Zealand’s largest international Aid Agency he furthered the charitable involvement of so many institutions and individuals as ever reminding us all of the responsibilities we bear as caring members of a global society.
Throughout his career he won several scholarships and awards; a visiting fellowship at Otago, a University of London Commonwealth Fellowship, a Woolf Fisher Travelling Fellowship and a Universitas 21 Scholarship.
At every opportunity however, despite his commitments, he was interested in the progress and achievement of MRGS and as Mr Watson has said it was fitting that he graced our Jubilee celebrations as both speaker and participant. As a community we send our condolences to Colin’s family and feel forever grateful for his immeasurable contribution to the school.
70th Birthday Prentice Run
At the start of term past principal of MRGS (1989-1994) Colin Prentice returned to school to do a commemorative “Prentice Run” with past and present pupils. The original runs were taken every Wednesday during Colin’s time at the school and he would take a number of students who were in the spotlight for some of their ‘behaviours’ on a series of sprints running up Mt Roskill Mountain. As Nick Tuialii says “It was like pre-season training for Rugby; running up Mt Roskill Mountain, climbing ropes etc. I think in his 6 years here there were only two students who got the better of Sir. The tough kids saw Mr Prentice in a very different light and in most cases he won them over for life.”
A number of those past pupils came along to the commemoration, to give their best wishes for his 70th birthday and were rewarded with an afternoon tea and a chance to re-live some memories with Mr Prentice.
Duke of Edinburgh´s Hillary Award
As part of their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a group of year 13 students completed a Bushcraft training course in the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park recently. They were trained in map reading and compass navigation by Mountain Safety Council instructors and had to navigate their way off track through dense bush. They slept under emergency shelters and spent 6-8 hours hiking each day.
The instructors were impressed with the attitude, teamwork and reflective ability of our students. The 14 students are: Hanna Davidson, Nuobelle Fong, Lizanne Gomes, Juliet Han, Praveen Krishna, Sara Li, Theo Loretz, Saviduruu Mohan, Venkat Prakash, Diana Qiu, Romina Seylani, Shivay Singh, Mildred Wong and Mark Yep.
Mark did a fantastic job of organising the trip and was praised by the course director for his communication and organisational skills.
Hockey Turf Fundraiser
n.b. 'Helicopter Drop' postponed until Saturday 12th July
Keen to help raise money for our new water-based Hockey Turf or better yet, want to win some money? $250, $500 or even $1000? Of course you do! This year, The Sursum Foundation, teamed with the Mt Roskill Grammar School Prefects, are organising a Helicopter Drop as a fundraiser for the future Hockey Turf and Sports Pavilion. The front field of the school is going to be divided into 5000 squares and a helicopter will randomly drop 10 packages onto the field. For as little as $5 a ticket, you can purchase a square and be in the draw to win a monetary prize or perhaps even a wonderful mystery prize to the value of $250. Ultimately, you’ll get to contribute to the betterment of Mt Roskill Grammar School as well as our wider community and be a part of Mt Roskill History. Tickets are available from any of the 40 Mt Roskill Grammar Prefects and can also be obtained from the Accounts Office. See you there!
Language Perfect World Championship
Language Perfect World Championships – 19-29 May 2014
Mount Roskill Grammar School has again gained outstanding results in this International Languages competition. MRGS pupils answered over 1.6 million questions, gaining 604,642 points, which represents 3,522 hours spent learning.
Special school achievements:
- 4th school in the World overall out of 1,151 participating schools
- 2nd for French in NZ (6th globally)
- 2nd for Japanese in NZ (5th globally)
- 1st in World for schools having between 250-500 participants (1st in French, 1st In Japanese in this category)
- Top NZALT School in New Zealand winning the NZALT-LPWC Trophy a second time
Special student achievements:
- Sophie Liu – 7th in the World overall, 4th in World for Japanese, with 37,073 points
- Taruki Gunawardana – 18th in the World overall, 2nd in World for French, with 29,722 points
ELITE award (10,000+ points) gained by 12 students:
Sephie Liu, Taruki Gunawardana, Joshua Simmons, Bryan Busby, Naman Gupta, Ziwei Zhuang, Jessica Gao, Tessa Brown, Caitlin Chessum, Qi Zhu, Yong Shi Lin, Nathan McDougall
GOLD medal certificate (3,000+ points) gained by 49 students:
Stephanie Tea, Rebekah Yu, Aiden Fang, Phoebe Chau, McGregor Small, Disha Gomathinayagam, Hannah Yu, Sachi Yamamoto, Zoe Fuller, Shivesh Lal, Ellen Peng, Raphael Tang, Holly Porter, Eleanor Mulrennan, Jacky Chen, Syed Kazmi, Angie Sun, Gary Zhang, Sarah Yan, Yilong Wu, Shriram Raveendran, Adib Jaffar, Winnie Chen, Rachel Fan, Kelvin Shen, Jelisa Rana, Carmen Chen, Phoenicks Seiuli, Brian Liu, Stephen Njoto, Josephine Yo, Paul Robinson, Kevin Yang, Shirley Wang, Christina Tran, Yukta Madan, Josette Xu, Mandie Galea, Azra Banu, Charlotte Shirreffs, Srishaa Iyer, Rebecca Ferguson, Sneha Patel, Esther Ayoade, Shiying Xu, Alice Wang, Anna Sin, Halym Smith, Chloe Haigh
- SILVER medal certificate (2,000+ points) = 25 students
- BRONZE medal certificate (1,000+ points) = 56 students
- CREDIT award certificate (500+ points) = 78 students
What started off with a polite “konnichiwa” and some very awkward hugs, in the span of two short weeks changed to tearful goodbyes and more than one “I’M STEALING YOUR PASSPORT SO YOU CAN’T LEAVE!” 10 students and two teachers were fortunate enough to visit Japan on the first student exchange trip with the prestigious Toho High School in Chiba, Japan. We arrived at Auckland International Airport at quarter to 6 in the morning on Saturday the 19th of April- and it seemed like none of us were able to sleep the previous night!
12 hours and 8820km later, we were bombarded by a large group of people waiting for us at Narita Airport, and we finally got to meet the host families we had been emailing! As we were staying with our hosts, we had the unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in Japanese customs and culture in a way that wouldn’t be possible if we were just tourists. That Monday, we all appreciated the fact that New Zealand High Schools have the same or similar subjects, as many of us had to wake up well before 6am to reach school at 8! In Japan, it is not uncommon for students to travel more than an hour each way to get to school! But Toho High School was well worth journey. The staff and students were all so kind and friendly, and we were placed in classes with our respective hosts. School life in Japan is very different and we are all so glad we were able to experience it! Not only did we go to school, we got to witness students playing some traditional Japanese sports- such as Kendo, Judo, Japanese Archery and we even got to participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Not only did we have lots of fun attending Toho High, we did a lot of sightseeing, both with our host families and with our MRGS tour group. After only two days with our hosts we had to say bye for a few days as we went to places in Japan. A definite favourite was visiting the two theme parks- Disney Sea and Disneyland. We ate Mickey themed food, waited hours in line to get onto the rides, and saw some amazing light shows and displays. According to my host father, “it is illegal to be sad in Disneyland’’ and everyone made some amazing memories. Filled with amazing shops with all the Disney themed goods you could ever want, everyone left with their wallets a whole lot lighter. Ironically, it was the seniors who ended up buying most of the stuffed animals that we carted back to New Zealand with us! We also visited the Tokyo Sky Tree which stands at 634m- almost double the height of the Sky Tower! During the time we were not staying with our host families, our tour group also visited places like Shibuya- with the famous crossing- and Harajuku, a popular area amongst teenagers. We even got to attend a professional baseball game between the Tokyo Giants and the Swallows at the Tokyo Dome. To make sure we were learning, we went to plenty of Shrines and even went to an Edo Museum, which was extremely interesting and fun. A huge highlight of the trip was seeing Mt Fuji- we got squashed on the trains during the early morning work rush and ended up being two hours late- but it was all worth it when we saw Fuji-san from the observation platforms. Full on days and a jam packed schedule which meant that dinner was often a time to unwind and socialise with the group back at the school hostel, and we made sure to get plenty of sleep!
We had days that we did activities with our host families and many of us went to “Lalaport”, a very popular shopping mall that could easily dwarf Sylvia Park. Many of us also went to historical places like Narita Temple and Kamakura, as well as theme parks such as Fujikyu Highland. The most important thing, however, was that we got to know our host families and interacted with them as a part of their family. We got to try many new foods, and experienced many new things. We made so many new friends- both in Japan and within our little group. This was a very unique experience that we will never be able to participate in again, and something we will never forget. We will treasure it for the rest of our lives. On behalf of the 10 students that went on this trip, thank you to Toho High School, MRGS Languages Department and Ms Kojima and Ms Shepherd who gave up so much of their time to make this amazing experience possible.
High School Rockerz 2014
The MRGS Bollywood team have been practicing their moves and grooves for the Inter Secondary School ROCKERZ competition! This colourful event has 18 competing schools and is to be held at the Logan Campbell Centre (ASB Showgrounds) Green Lane on the 24th of May. Good luck MRGS!! Tickets available in the PFA.
School Workathon Fundraiser
At the 60th Jubilee last year we heard many stories of how facilities that we value at Mt Roskill Grammar were built through the efforts of the students, parents and the local community. This year we are reviving the old fashioned Workathon to help raise funds for the upgrade of our hockey turf to a water based pitch and to build a sports pavilion that will service all sports using our fields.
Students are being asked to raise funds for the school by doing Workathon jobs, outside school time, that involve community service or helping others. You can:
- Either get sponsorship from friends and family for doing a job in the community e.g. at your church, a rest home where a family member lives, or helping out an elderly relative or friend of the family. More than one person could sponsor you to do the same job.
- Or your friends and relatives may have jobs they will pay you to do e.g. cleaning windows, mowing lawns or gardening.
Please do not approach businesses or people not known to your family for work or sponsorship.
The work can be done from Saturday May 31st–Sunday June 8th.
Please start thinking about what work you could do for the Workathon.
Workathon Sponsorship forms will be given to all students towards the end of May.
- Westfield St LukesGift Cards for the Eight Students who Raise the Most i.e. Top 3 Students Overall, and then One Student for Each Year Level
- Top Form Class will receive a Pizza Lunch
- Everyone that participates will be entered in the draw for Spot Prizes
MRGS Fundraising Quiz Night
Friday 16th May 7.00 pm in School Staffroom
- Teams of 5-6 (Adults only)
- Cheese and Nibbles on each Table
- Cash Bar, Raffle & Auctions
- Prize for Best Themed Table
We can put you in a team or you can book a table.
All money raised will go towards upgrading our hockey turf to a water based pitch, and building a sports pavilion that will service all sports using our fields.
Prizes, Auction & Silent Auction Items gratefully received include:
- An Evening Cruise for up to 10 on Keith Hall’s 14m yacht Flo Jo.
- A Pamper Package provided jointly by Finishing Touch Hair Design and Beyond Beauté
- A Penn Fishing Rod and Reels from Pure Fishing
- Villa Maria Wine
- Premium Double Passes to the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
- A Cake from the City Cake Company
- 2 x 3 month memberships from Tony Martin’s Sports Connection Gym
- Dinner at Tusk Thai Balmoral
- A Wooden gift-box containing 6 cheeses from Whitestone Cheese
- $100 Carlton Party Hire Voucher
- an “Entertainment Book”
- a Countdown voucher to assist with costs
- a School holiday programme of 10 lessons from Ross Millar Swim School
- Dining at Frasers Café Mt Eden
- Thank you also to Redmond Engineering Ltd
Bidding on Silent Auction Items has started – You can place a bid anytime before the Quiz using the bidding sheets at Reception, or of course during the Quiz Evening.
Quiz Night Tickets are on sale at Mt Roskill Grammar School Accounts or Phone 621 0050 (Joanne) to purchase tickets using VISA and collect on the night
Tickets Limited so Get in Early
Year 13 Drama Assessment Show
On Friday April 11, Year 13 students captivated an audience performing Toa Fraser’s BARE
Bare is the inter-twining and inter-linking of characters from different walks of life, sharing their stories, their dreams, their aspirations, their fears and their desires. Traditionally “Bare” is performed by two actors who break the “fourth wall” (speaking to the audience and speaking through the audience to the other character).
Congratulations to the students involved; Jacinta Weaver, Vincent Feng, Manan Sharma, Wilhelm Faapoi, Nicholas Jacques, Sejoo Han, Payal Pillay, Cairo Te Whiu, Eleanor Mulrennan, Livai Holani, Ilaisaane Mafi, Venkat Prakash, and Aasha Nimo. The evening was a resounding success!
Continuing Success for Chess Teams
Recently our A chess team won the West Auckland Zone competition, qualifying us for the ChessPower National Finals in Nelson in December. Our B Team placed 2nd in the same competition.
Individually, Kashyap Choudhary received a silver medal for 2nd place, Sarah Yan a bronze medal for 3rd place, and Sarah also received a gold medal as the top girl in the tournament.
On Friday 14th March we hosted the central zone tournament and again we placed first and second with our two teams. Sarah Yan also earned a bronze medal for being the 3rd best girl at the tournament, with 6 wins out of a possible 7.
Roskill Musician to Join NZSSSO
We were delighted to hear recently that senior student Mark Bingham has been selected for the NZSSSO (The New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra). Mark is a talented trombonist and his selection recognises the high standard of his instrumental skills. Entry to the NZSSSO is by audition and over 150 students applied for consideration.
Mark’s selection gives him the opportunity to represent the school in a full size orchestra and taking part in the symphony orchestra course is regarded as a significant training ground for membership later of the New Zealand Youth Orchestra, and ultimately for many to a career as a professional musician.
The orchestra members will take part in an intensive six day orchestral course in Christchurch in the coming school holidays - and this will culminate in two public performances at St Margaret’s College . The programme for the concert will have pieces by NZ composer Gareth Farr in addition to international pieces by Sibelius, Dvorak and Gershwin. We are sure that Mark ’s expertise will make a strong contribution to the performance evenings.
11SPS Steinlager II Sailing Trip
Last year when the America's Cup Yacht Races were on, some students at MRGS said they would love to go on boats like those racing but doubted they would ever experience that in their lifetimes. So the challenge was laid down and the PE Department has made this possible for 11SPS in 2014.
All the 11SPS students had a once in a life time opportunity to sail for 2 days and sleep overnight on Steinlager 2; once skippered by the inspirational Sir Peter Blake when he won the 1989/1990 Whitbread Around the World Race in the impressive boat. Many skills were learnt by the students in only 48 hours; a new experience for all stepping out of their comfort zones, working with others and discovering how to communicate, sail, tie knots, navigate, analyse weather – winds and currents, read maps, how to log boat entries, navigate and tramp on islands in the Hauraki gulf and even construct rafts! At the same time they were assessed in Achievement Standards for Self-Management and Safety in the Outdoors. What better way to put theory into practice!
The Trip one Adventure included sailing to Tiri Tiri Matangi, tramping around the island and then sailing to Kawau Island to stay overnight at Mansion House bay.
Trip two the following week sailed to Motutapu Island and tramped around there before staying overnight on Ponui Island. This was followed the next morning by a 7:30am swim, then by raft building at Garden Cove on Waiheke Island.
[A generous donation to the NZ Sailing Trust from Richie McCaw's charity foundation "For EveryOne" made this trip possible for MRGS students. See story below].
Students Meet All Black Captain
On Friday the 21st of March 2014, four students were selected to go and meet famous All Blacks captain Richie McCaw. The lucky students were Aubrey Lasi, William Tupou, Krisney Akemio and Hayley Gosling who each felt honoured and privileged to have this opportunity.
'All four of us were lost for words when coming face to face to the icon. We were lucky enough to ask him some questions; we discovered that if Richie hadn't become a top rugby player, his other dream was to become a farmer down south."
Richie's inspiration of how hard-work beats talent is something that will stick with all four of us, through our future endeavours. It was a privilege to be involved in this once in a life time meet and greet, and if it wasn't for Mrs Bennett we wouldn't have had this opportunity. So we would like to thank her on behalf of us all. (Written by Hayley and Krisney)
Head Prefects Meet Distinguished Auckland University Alumni
Head Prefects - Hayden Couper and Mildred Wong recently attended the 3rd annual ‘Auckland Live!’ event at Auckland University. This event brings together six distinguished graduates of the university - all recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni awards: Bruce Aitken - ex-CEO of Vancouver based Methanex Corporation; Gareth Farr ONZM - a leading composer; Dr. Julie Maxton - Executive Director of the Royal Society; Dr. William Tan - neuro scientist and paralympian; Hon Dr. ‘Ana Maui Taufe’ulungaki - Minister for Education and Training in the Kingdom of Tonga; and Roseanne Liang - Young Alumna of the Year, film director and writer. Broadcaster Finlay MacDonald interviewed the achievers in a panel chat evening and they each afforded inspirational role models and clear insights into the benefits of further tertiary learning after school.
Biology Students Attend Televised Debate
Early in March, 16 MRGS Biology students were selected to participate in the studio audience of Professor Lord Robert Winston’s NZ debate on the Ethics of Reproductive Technologies. This was in recognition of the close ties between the MRGS Bio dept and the University of Auckland. The event was live-streamed to schools around the country and to schools overseas with an audience of around 4,000. A senior MRGS student Theo Loretz, was further privileged to be invited to have lunch with Lord Winston and sit on stage as a member of the panel of ‘experts’ discussing the ethics of reproductive technologies and Theo carried out this role with enthusiasm.
Theo’s comments - "Being on the panel with Lord Robert Winston is something I will never forget. Talking on the pressing issue of the ethics of reproductive technologies such as In Vitro Fertilisation and Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis was something that at first was a little scary, as these procedures are against my religious views. However, my views were respected and appreciated by both the audience and Lord Robert Winston himself. The talk was essential to young people today as it addresses the complexity around these issues and invites us to think, debate and find where we stand on ethical issues in science."
[Lord Winston is patron of Gravida and a Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College, London. Lord Winston is a noted science commentator and advocate, presenting shows such as ‘Child of our Time’ and ‘The Human Body’.]
Once again our cultural groups performed with commitment and skill at the annual Polyfest. Kapa Haka, Tongan, Samoan and Indian groups had practised hard from the beginning of the year to perfect their performances. A number of the groups had been involved in sleep-over weekends which enabled the fellowship that is so much a part of these shared endeavours. The preparation work and the polyfest actual days owe so much to the support and expertise of tutors, staff, parents and community members - who give their time and goodwill to encourage our students. Each group gave their best on performance days and made the school proud by their bearing and athleticism exhibited in the routines. Amid a range of marvellous performances the Tongan group had particular success. They were awarded first place in the Mako - the fast paced dance performed by the young men of the student group. In the Lakalaka - the longest and hardest of the Faiva (dance) they were awarded a 4th place. These results are a fitting reward for everyone’s effort over the term.
Passing of Treasured Kaumatua
Mount Roskill Campus Schools and the Wider Puketapapa Community Mourn the Passing of a Treasured Kaumatua
Recently the grammar school learned of the death of Tame Cassidy, past Kaumatua and Board of Trustees member. Tame served as a Board member from 1998 to 2007 and throughout that time was a tireless supporter of the school’s values and the development of its whanau to encourage student achievement. He championed the progress of kapa haka at the school and was ever-present at school events to encourage students and the further accomplishments of the campus. Tame was a Roskill taonga - a treasure to us all. In 2012 his service to the community was recognised by the Puketapapa Local Board when he was presented with a Good Citizen Award.
Head of Maori at MRGS Lee Tawhai and the school’s senior leadership paid tributes when he was laid to rest at the Mangere Lawn cemetery, and the grammar school’s Kapa Haka group performed a haka at the graveside. At this term’s Whanau hui the Campus Principals remembered Tame’s contribution to our tamariki over many years. We share with Tame’s family the sadness of his loss but are supported by the knowledge that his spirit, like the Titoki tree we planted on his retirement as Kaumatua, will always rest as a guardian presence over our whare and the grammar school’s continuing contribution to the education of our young men and women.
E Tame, takoto mai i te poho o to whanau, takoto mai, takoto mai
Tame - May you rest in peace in the bosom of your family, rest in peace, rest in peace
Senior Report Evening
Senior Report Evening - 4-7pm Thursday 10 April 2014
You can make an interview time by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the Event Code of 8VZ3E
Bookings close 8.30am Thursday 10 April
On the 11th of March students from MRGS were given the chance to experience professional theatre performance first hand when a trio from Class Comedians gave a free stand-up comedy show during the lunch hour. Interested senior students were then invited to join an after school workshop where they were led by Ben Hurley of 7 Days fame. The results were outstanding! From a group of handpicked students offered further development, Ruby Allen-McKee has confirmed her place in the continuation workshops and will be joining Class Comedians this year. As well learning to write and perform a stand up set, she will meet local and international stand ups and performers, industry experts and will also be introduced to various other media options. We wish Ruby the best of luck and for anyone interested in seeing the final performance - the live show is Saturday May 10th, 4PM at Rangatira @ Q Theatre.
New Year’s Honours Awards for three former Roskill Students
Our community began 2014 with some excellent news when the New Year’s Honours announcements listed three Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) awards to ex– Roskill students.
Mervyn Ah Chee was given his award for services to hospitality and the community. Mervyn is also a strong supporter of the Sursum Foundation and married to Quieta, also a past pupil of our school.
Manoj Daji received his for services to sport and education. Manoj is a former Headboy ,1st X1 Captain and assists the Sursum Foundation whenever he is able.
Mark Christopher Grantham gained his honour for services to the community. He was an inspiration as a student and has continued that into adulthood. He is a notable presence on Newmarket’s Broadway selling chocolate for his many sponsored World Vision children.
General Information and Reminders
General Information and Reminders for Parents and Students
MRGS regulation uniform is the only school uniform that may be worn and the uniform requirements are available here. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact Mrs Collins on 621 0050. For security purposes please ensure your child’s uniform is clearly named.
Second Hand Uniform
Year 11 going in to year 12? Outgrown your uniform? If you have second hand uniform to sell, collect a card from the Deans’ Centre and it will be posted in the Deans’ Centre window for three weeks. Transactions are conducted between buyer and seller, not through the school.
Uniform Shop Hours
The MRGS uniform shop is open Mondays and Thursdays from 8.00 am to 9.00am and 3.00pm to 4.00pm.
Teachers mark their roll on the computer every period. This allows us to monitor attendance statistics for both individual and groups of students more frequently and closely. If you have any concerns about attendance or want to report an absence, please phone Mrs Hyland, Attendance Officer, on 621 0069 or email email@example.com Please phone on the morning of your child’s first day of absence. Students are expected to be in every class on time in order to be successful powerful learners.
At MRGS we have zero tolerance for bullying.
We use restorative practices to ensure that victims have a voice. We aim to heal the harm while endeavouring to change the wrongdoer’s behaviour. In some cases the senior leadership team will need to extend our response beyond a restorative approach.
We also have a range of staff able to assist students if they have any concerns…
Students should not hesitate to contact their house dean in the Deans’ Centre.
Alternatively they are welcome to make an appointment with one of our counsellors (counsellor appointments can be made before school or at break times through Mrs Pace at student services or via facebook).
If you have a new address, phone number, cellphone number or email address please pass this information through to the school: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emergency contact details should also be kept current so please update the school when either the person or their contact details change.
Please ensure that you have given the school a current email address which enables us to keep you up to date with information and newsletters.
Junior Report Evening
4-7pm Thursday 27 March 2014
You can make an interview time by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the Event Code of Z8W8T
Bookings close 8.30am Thursday 27 March
Senior Report Evening
4-7pm Thursday 10 April – booking details will be advised shortly
11SPS and Richie McCaw
Four students (Aubrey Lasi, William Tupou, Krisney Akeimo and Hayley Gosling), after attending the 11sps Sport Science trip, were selected to meet Richie McCaw.
Comments from the students included “it was an awesome opportunity to meet such a famous professional rugby player who was very humble.”
Richie McCaw's charity foundation "For EveryOne" also donated some money to the NZ Sailing Trust. This generous donation made it possible for MRGS students from both year 11 Sport Science classes to do two days sailing on the famous boat Steinlager 2, once capitained by Sir Peter Blake.
Japanese Restaurant Trip
On Friday 14th March, a group of 8 students who study Japanese along with Kojima Sensei had an outing to the Japanese Restaurant Nishiki. There they ate a mouth watering set meal of authentic Japanese food consisting of Miso Soup, Sushi, Tempura (Fried Shrimp), Edamame (Boiled Soy Beans), Yakitori (Fried Chicken), Tataki (Lighlty Grilled Beef) and a wide range of ice cream where the Green Tea and Sesame flavoured ice cream were the most popular. The food was praised with boat loads of comments such as ii desuyo (It’s good! In Japanese) and totemo oishii (very delicious in Japanese). It was a great experience. Thank you Kojima Sensei for taking us there!
Rachel Fan (12 GFIO)
Physical Education is a compulsory subject at Mt Roskill Grammar from year 9 – 12 where all students have two periods per week. All students are expected to wear correct PE uniform for all lessons. Please ensure your son/daughter has their uniform clearly named in full. No school sports uniforms are to be worn for PE.
We all know the benefits of exercise and eating properly, we have read it, most of us have acted on it, yet we still get many parents signing letters to get their child excused from PE. Please think about what you are doing before signing – there are many things in life we do not feel like doing but most often, once we have done them we are glad we did.
If your child is well enough to be at school then they can still take part in some of the PE lesson. The Physical Education curriculum area is often referred to as having the most valuable skills you can learn for life – by learning; teamwork, sportsmanship, peer friendships, cooperation, leadership, self esteem, self confidence, personal identity and self worth and even though students maybe fully involved in sport outside of school they can still benefit in these areas during PE.
Interpersonal skills: Respect for diversity and cultures, care and concern for others, social justice, communication skills, tolerance. These are some of qualities we want to install in our students as well as being physically active.
Most of these benefits are not measurable but clearly lead to a more pro-duction and healthy life style.
As parents we hope you can help us to help you install these skills in your child while they attend Mt Roskill Grammar so please next time your son/daughter asks for a note to be excused from Physical Education you may think twice Physical Education is no different to any other subject – you wouldn’t think of asking your child to be excused from Maths or English, why PE?
Are you child's medical records with the school up to date, has their PE teacher been informed of any medical issues that might need to be recognised in a PE class?
After trialing a new initiative last year we are asking all students in Health and Physical Education to enrol on our class learning sites on Edmodo. Students have been given all the information needed to enrol in this, and we look forward to sharing parental access in the future.
Please contact Mrs Bennett HOD Physical Education ext 824 if you have any areas in the Physical Education curriculum you would like to discuss.
Gateway Programme 2014
Applications are now open for our 2014 Gateway Programme.
GATEWAY is open to Year 13 students to progress from school to the workplace. It provides students with structured workplace learning, across a wide range of in-dustries and businesses, while they continue to study at school.
We have work placements available including banking, hospitality, nursing, retail, sport and recreation, tourism, engineering, police, education, childcare etc.
GATEWAY is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) so it is FREE to students!
Is GATEWAY for you?
- Are you a Year 13 Student at Mt Roskill Grammar School?
- Do you have a good attendance record?
- Are you ready to enter the working world but want some experience first?
- Can you keep up to date with academic studies while on placement?
- Do you have a desire to explore a particular career path?
- Do you have the approval and support from parents?
For more information on GATEWAY check out our webpage
Application forms are available from the MRGS website, Facebook, Mrs Payne (Room H4), outside the Deans Centre and Mrs Matthews-Ward in the Computing department. Applications close on Friday 14th March 2014.
For more information on Gateway please see Mrs Payne in H5A, Ms Matthews-Ward in the Computing department or email email@example.com
Duke of Edinburgh Award Presentation
In the summer holidays two groups of year 13 students tramped around Lake Waikaremoana as a practice hike toward the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award. Over 4 days the students walked over 46 km, climbed almost 600 metres up to Panekiri Bluff, and practised their map reading skills while carrying heavy packs (the record was 23 kg!) A highlight was the extra hour’s walk to the 22 metre high Korokoro Falls.
The following students displayed resilience, persistence, team spirit and good humour: Mildred Wong, Hanna Davidson, Praveen Krishna, Mark Yep, Shivay Singh, Savi Mohan, Diana Qiu, Dianca Mitchell, Romina Seylani, Juliet Han, Sara Li, Jenny Kim, Nuobelle Fong, Lizanne Gomes, Nicholas Jacques, Venkat Prakash, Theo Loretz and Priyam Varma. Miss Dekker—the Roskill staff member who led the party was very proud of the way the students interacted with members of the public, and a number of fellow trampers complimented the groups on their organisation and hut etiquette.
Young Ambassador Theo Loretz
Our congratulations to Year 13 student Theo Loretz who has been accepted as a Young Ambassador to France. This July he will travel to North Eastern France to participate in WW1 commemoration events, visit historical and cultural sites and make contact with the people of this region. Theo and other students from around the world who have been selected as Young Ambassadors will also have the honour of representing their country during the official parade down the Champs-Élysées in Paris to open the commemorations on Bastille Day.
Shared Histories Project
This year marks 100 years since the beginning of the First World War. To commemorate the involvement of New Zealand in Northern France, Mr Simpson and a team of students from MRGS will be collaborating with our sister school, Lycée Jean XXIII in Normandy, as part of the Shared Histories Project. In November 2013 we were privileged to host French Minister M. Kader Arif, Ambassador M. Laurent Contini and other dignitaries at MRGS to launch this project.
Year 13 Camp
Over a week ago on the 24th of February, about 200 Year 13 students hauled their luggage to Gate 1, ready to embark on their journey to Motutapu Island. With a pleasant ferry ride over to the island, Year 13 students along with their supervising teachers began an adventurous camp that would consist of many challenging activities. These included the high ropes, seal challenge, sailing, kayaking, confidence courses, and rock climbing along with many activities that the students enjoyed and learnt from. Overall, Year 13 Camp was a success and will remain a fond memory and highlight for those who took part in it this year.
Year 11 Applied Physical Education Camp
Recently this class enjoyed three days of outdoor activities in Tawharanui focusing on teamwork through snorkelling, first aid, and beach activities. The final day was spent snorkelling at Goat Island.
At Roskill the heart of our achievement is the quality of our teachers and it has been pleasing to welcome new staff who have joined us this year. They bring a range of experience and the commitment to teaching and learning of the highest level.
Powhiri for New Students
The school formally welcomed the 2014 year 9 and other new students on the first day of school in January. The ceremony marked the start of their journey of learning and citizenship in our educational community.
The new students assembled on the main field and were then called into the hall where the Kapa Haka group and the year 13s performed a haka powhiri. They then received a mihi by our Kaumatua Ted Ratana who reminded them of the proud educational and social whakapapa of Mount Roskill Grammar School.
The Principal, Mr Watson then spoke to the students welcoming them also to our whanau. After speeches and a reply from the Y9 Manuhiri represented by the Academic Dean Mr Hays, they were directed to their first house assemblies of the year where they met their form teachers and House Deans. Together with the Y13s in their form class the new students then spent the rest of the day becoming acquainted with school systems, buildings and teachers.