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Weekly News Bulletin Term 1, 2016

Weekly New Bulletin Term 2, 2016

Weekly News Bulletin Term 3, 2016

Weekly News Bulletin Term 4, 2016

BYOD Information Evening

Come and learn more about how BYOD will benefit your child's learning.

  • When: Tuesday November 15th 6-7.30pm
  • Where: Butler Hall

Come along - all welcome

Community Award for Pele Talaisi

Senior student Pelenatita Talaisi has received a Quota Community Champion Award. The award honours young women in the community who have succeeded despite of their own difficulties and become an inspiration to others. Pele is a deserving recipient of this award as she has maintained her positive outlook and been a role model to fellow students - at all times striving to support those around her.

Diwali Celebration 2016

Our community’s annual celebration of Diwali will take place on Friday 28th October in the MRGS School Hall. In addition to cultural performances there will be food stalls, arts and crafts and the chance to win prizes in raffles. The evening opens at 6.30pm with performances from 7.00pm and entry is free. Anyone that would like to perform, have a stall, volunteer please contact Ella Kumar on (09) 6290660, 021 0477642

Term 3 Sports Update

Womens Rugby Star on the Rise

A massive congratulations to Leilani Fuikefu for making the Auckland Womens Rugby 7's Development Team. Leilani is currently over in Japan with the team, to compete in a tournament. This is an outstanding achievement as Leilani has only been playing rugby for a year!

Tournament Week 2016 MRGS 1st XI Football

After placing third in Auckland and reaching the semi-finals of the Knockout Cup, the Mt Roskill Grammar First XI football team headed down to Te Puke for the National Tournament for 2016. This was the first time in Roskill history that the team has qualified and competed in the top schoolboy football tournament in the whole country.

No experience in this tournament didn’t lower expectations as the team travelled down the country focused and looking to secure the national title. It was also the last time the senior players, in their final year of school, were to play for MRGS. Mt
Roskill faced Tauranga Boys and Palmerston North on day one of the tournament and Wellington Boys on day two. Topping the group and placing themselves in the top 8 schools in New Zealand was the first job for the team.

Day one proved to be very successful for the side, winning both games. Scoring in the dying minutes to beat Tauranga 2-1, and overcoming a resilient Palmerston North Boys 5-2. With these results, qualification to the quarter-finals was secured,
regardless of the result on day 2. However the side still wanted to get a result to keep morale and confidence high. Mt Roskill however went down 1-0 to Wellington in a very close game. Mt Roskill still finished on top of their pool and was drawn against Auckland Grammar in their quarter-final. In what would be an intense and very tight game, just like the previous Knockout Cup semi-final between the
two schools, Roskill’s goal of winning the national title ended at this stage. Auckland Grammar scraped the ball over the line in the last play of the game to win 3-2 and advance to the semi-finals.

Now playing for a placing between 5th-8th, Mt Roskill faced New Plymouth Boys. The team didn’t prepare well for this match, as most were still thinking of what could’ve been, had they won against Auckland Grammar the previous day. This
was a game to forget as Roskill were comprehensively beaten 4-1.

In the final day of the tournament, playing for 7th and 8th Roskill faced familiar opposition in Wellington Boys, whom the side had lost to in the group stage. The team prepared much better for what would, for majority of the team, be their last
game for Mt Roskill Grammar ever. A last game which proved successful, with Roskill getting the win 7-2. Mt Roskill Grammar finish 7th place in the national tournament, a great achievement for a side with no previous experience in the
competition. The players still at Roskill next year have gained great knowledge and now know what it takes to play in the biggest schoolboy tournament in the country. This will prove vital for next year and the coming seasons.

Netball Premier 2016

The Premier Netball team participated in the Upper North Island Secondary Schools Netball Tournament at Papakura. This year there were 114 teams participating. The weather was dreadful on day one with umbrellas, rugs and gloves the order of the day. But, the weather gradually improved over the week.

Shania Vahai, a Year 10 student, was an umpire for the first time at the tournament, after passing her Netball Centre badge this year.

The team played well all week but went down to Western Springs on Wednesday afternoon, their first loss after 4 wins and a draw. However they held their place in the top eight teams going into the semi-finals and finished with a commendable 4th place, ensuring their promotion to B Grade next year.

Our Player of the Tournament went to Patrice Mu.

The 2016 team: Anna Laufoli (captain), Caera Judge, Tabitha Kilisimasi, Eden Leaso, Helen Meni Soka, Claire Wyeth, Rheon Maiava (vice-captain), Patrice Mu, Jasmine Paul, Muna Taunga, Talalelei Tualima, Paige Vogel, Coach – Ms. Mardia Te Whiu, Manager – Mrs. Mary-Anne Cameron, Umpire – Shania Vahai

Rugby League Update

Manu Ma’u at the Eels and Kiwis, Patrika Vai Vai at the Titans, Delouise Hoeter at the Broncos and our very own Tualima Tualima and Jerome Mamea at the Warriors. What do they have in common? They are all current or ex MRGS students applying their trade in the NRL. This year at National Tournament week a new generation of future NRL stars were on show, representing our school.

This year our 1st XIII gained a late entry to the Development Section of the National Rugby League Tournament at Takanini. The team only had 4 weeks of training together. Despite this they exceeded all expectations. They played four games
in all, finishing equal top of their pool. Defeating Otara Hilary Collegiate, Francis Douglas Memorial Collegiate, and Papakura High School. Unfortunately points differential was used to decide who progressed to the Semi-finals. The team however, was victorious in their playoff for 5th place nation-wide.

The performance was a fitting farewell to our departing year 13’s Jerome Mamea, Tonga Vakalahi, and Andrew Taufa who have been great servants to the sport at MRGS. For Tonga it was his 3rd year representing MRGS at Tournament week. The bulk of the rest of our team was made up of year 11’s which bodes well for the future of our code. These young players showed great courage tackling teams
made up almost entirely of year 13’s.

All our players performed with distinction and Jerome was selected to the New Zealand Secondary School’s team to play Australia at a later date. Various scouts from NRL clubs were present and Warriors Duane Mann took a specific interest in
Dalvin Filiga who had an outstanding tournament. The team would like to thank parent Phil Crumpe for his support of the team.

The team was as follows; Young Ah Iau, Eisley Brown, Solemone Fanamanu, Dalvin Filiga, Sam Halalilo, Tai Hoeter, Dorn’ell Ikaposi, Holyfiel Kapsin, Burnie Liaina, Tevita Lotoa’atu, Jerome Mamea, Daniel Mcleod Crumpe, Hayden Mcleod Crumpe, Sam Pau, Daeton Potaka-Hogg, Shedrack Salemomo, Faitalia Sheriff, Peter Siale, Andrew Taufa, Sam Taunga, Fritz Tuiavii Solomona and Tonga Vakalahi. Managers and Coaches: Andre Leilua, Peter Leilua, Tom Kavaliku, Soeli Makaui and John Leen.

Hockey 1st XI Girls Tournament Week

For the Hockey 1st XI Girls team Tournament week was as usual a highlight in our Hockey season. This year we travelled down to Tauranga to compete in the Chica
Girlmer Trophy Tournament. In the first two days we played three games placing 2nd in our pool and qualifying for quarter finals against Baradene College which we lost 3-1 in a tough game. The following day we faced Carmel College from the North Shore and won, allowing us to play off for 5th and 6th against Wellington
East Girls in our final game on Friday. Sadly, despite the many opportunities we were unable to put away the goals required to win our final game resulting in an
overall placement of 6th out of 15 teams. Between games the girls spent time at the beach in Papamoa where we were staying, travelled into Mount Maunganui
to soak in the hot pools and on our last night enjoyed dinner together at a restaurant opposite the beach. We are proud of the work our girls put into each game and the way the encouraged and supported one another through our wins and losses.

Stand Up Stand Out 2016

Stand Up Stand Out is Auckland’s secondary schools’ premier music and dance competition. It is an event delivered by Auckland Council as part of a regional arts and culture programme for youth.

Our very own Mt Roskill Hip Hop crew ‘Virus’ began their journey at the OMAC centre where the heats were held. At the heats Mt Roskill were up against 16 other dance troupes from various schools in Auckland. Only five were able to go through to the live final at the Vodafone Centre. And guess what? Roskill did us proud! “Virus from Mt Roskill Grammar is just one example of the outstanding talent displayed at today’s Stand Up Stand Out, dance heat. They’re going straight through to the finals night.

Even though Roskill didn’t win the final, the commitment and talent they displayed throughout the rehearsals, as well as in front of a packed arena, was immense. One of Mt Roskill’s principles, whanaungatanga, was clearly present throughout
Virus’ journey. Ex-students Shaden Smith, Summer Smith, Myke Davis, and Louanne Campos maintained their relationship with the school by giving up their own time and providing essential expertise.

Many congratulations to the hip hop dance family of 2016!

Barbershop Singing Success

Mount Roskill Grammar competed in the National Young Singers in Harmony Barbershop Championships in Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua. Barbershop singing is 4 part a Cappella singing, this means without music. 20 boys flew down on the 14th September and competed over two days. The quartet consisted of
‘Aisea Pulotu (tenor), Paula Ilaua (lead), Sione Lehakehe (baritone), and Kavish Dharan (bass) under the name Truly Roskill. Truly Roskill placed an incredible 3rd Nationally out of 15 competing choruses - a massive improvement from 11th place last year. The Chorus consisted of 20 harmonious young men under the name Mr G’s Barbershop Chorus. They placed 5th overall an improvement from 12th last year, another amazing achievement when competing against choruses that had over 70 members! Barbershop has had a proud tradition of Mount Roskill and has triumphantly returned to top honours and will continue to build on its results. The chorus was directed by Pita Tuiaki and supervised and managed by Mr Tim Chan
and Mr Keith Hall. Thank you to all the supporters especially generous donators to the “give a little page”, this amazing achievement could not have been possible without you!

Education Perfect Top School

Education Perfect World Series Top School Overall Award 2016

Recently, Mount Roskill Grammar School was delighted to learn that they have been awarded Top School Overall in the Education Perfect World Series 2016.

The Education Perfect World Series is an annual online competition in which schools compete in Social Sciences, Languages, Maths, English and Science events. Students can earn points and certificates - and win prizes - in each individual event. All events contribute toward school and student totals for the overall World Series.

Mount Roskill Grammar School has participated in the Language Perfect competition for several years, but 2016 was the first year that the school also participated in the maths and science competitions. Competing against over 1100 schools worldwide, MRGS came 3rd Globally, and 2nd in NZ in Languages;
13th Globally and 3rd in NZ in Mathematics; and 19th Globally and 2nd in NZ in Science. Individual students also participated to score 12th in NZ in the English Competition and 10th in NZ in Social Sciences. Credits are awarded in the top three Education Perfect World Series 2016 events to determine Overall scores.
Congratulations to all the students who participated in these events. 300 certificates were awarded to individual students for their outstanding efforts.

Top students:

  • Languages: Tessa Brown, Jordan King
  • Mathematics: Huthaifa Ibrahim, Jordan King
  • Science: Huthaifa Ibrahim, Davis Sebastian, Jordan King
  • English: Adithi Rathnaake
  • Social Sciences: Jordan King

Mr Dass 30 Years Service

Recently the school recognised the long service and commitment of Mr Dass, HOD Science. In a special presentation at staff briefing his 30 years at MRGS were acknowledged by Mr Watson with a certificate and gift.

Mr Dass joined Mt Roskill in August 1986 after ten years teaching in Fiji where he had become Principal of a High School. His transfer to New Zealand took him into a teaching position in Physics and Mathematics but he soon became wholly involved in Science at the school rising to HOD Physics and eventually to his present role leading the Science Department. As HOD he has seen the Department move into first the dedicated S Block facility and then the Physics rooms in P Block.

In addition to his teaching and management he has been involved in the co-curricular life of the school as a hockey coach, in overseeing the Indian Club, the Interact Club and this year working with the student SADD (Students Against Dangerous Driving) group. He has also supervised Indian Dance groups. In recent years he has worked closely with students entering the Auckland Brain Bee Challenge and on a number of occasions he has led MRGS to prize-winning status. On behalf of our community of staff, students and parents we thank him for his dedicated service to the school.

Checking Sore Throats

Important and useful information at this website here

International Medal Winner

Senior student Jonathan Khoo has continued to impress at world level in Informatics. As a member of the New Zealand team he achieved a bronze medal at the 28th International Olympiad in Informatics which was held in Kazan Russia from 12-19 August. On the 2 competition days each contestant is given 3 problems to solve in the 5 hours allocated. It is a tense demanding competition and Jonathan individually came 104th out of over 300 competitors from 81 countries.

Senior Subject Report Night

SENIOR SUBJECT REPORT NIGHT (For Years 11 to 13 only)

Final opportunity to meet subject teacher prior to NZQA external examinations and completion of portfolios.

NIWA Auckland Science Fair Success

Once again many of our students performed successfully in the annual NIWA Auckland Science and Technology Fair. Puja Nory with her project “Super Snowballs” gained  a gold award Stardome Observatory prize - which also won her a telescope - in addition to coming 1st in the Planet Earth and Beyond section. Travis Parsons with his work on "Soundproofing with Common Materials” gained a Gold University of Auckland award for Excellence in Physical Investigations as well as 3rd place in the Physical World section. Ashleen Lau with her work on “Salt Water Power” came 2nd in the Material World section. Anna Brown and Amber Meiklejohn with their study “Football” together with Rishika Raju’s work “Studying Bernoulli’s Principle” were all highly Commended by the judges. The event celebrates the excellence in scientific and technological investigation carried out by Auckland City Year 7 to Year 13 students. MRGS has a proud tradition of top level entries and accomplishments.

International Student Junior Ambassadors

On Wednesday the 7th September we had the prize-giving for our Junior Ambassadors. These students did a great job this year as buddies for International students who come to MRGS for a short term group experience. They take them to some of their classes, hang out with them during breaks and take part in cultural activities as representatives of the school. Here they are with their Service Certificates. After the presentation the students enjoyed a pizza lunch and social time.

Consent Awareness Week

The week August 29 - September 2 saw the second wonderful “Consent Awareness Week” at MRGS. This week is co-constructed by the PSSP team  with the organisation Rape Prevention Education. The PSSP team put on an informative and funny Assembly skit to educate on sexual consent, and they ran a vibrant information booth at Thursday lunchtime. Hundreds of students chose to attend the booth to fill out a “consent quiz”, and enter into a conversation. The key message is that for any sexual activity to occur between two people, consent is required. Consent is a sober, free, enthusiastic “yes”.  You need to  be 16 to be able to give consent and you can change your mind anytime. Consent cannot be forced, pressured or manipulated.


Recent Sports News

New Zealand Taekwondo Representative

Congratulations to Year 13 student Srikar Masanam for his success in Taekwondo. Srikar, who took up learning Taekwondo ten years ago, has been selected as a member of the New Zealand team to participate in the World Taekwondo Federation (WTO) Junior World Taekwondo Kyorugi Championships later in the year. The matches are scheduled to be held in Burnaby, Canada from November 16 to 22, 2016.
You can read more about Srikar here.

Wheelchair Basketball Victory

Congratulations to Sebastian Filipe who was a part of the New Zealand team that won first place in The Country Cup tournament. The competition ran over two days and included seven teams, with New Zealand being the only invitational team.
New Zealand played six games on Saturday, winning five and losing one. The game they lost was their very first game in the tournament against Illawarra (Sydney). Illawarra has taken out the Country Cup tournament for the last six years and has been undefeated throughout the whole competition. Semis and finals were played on day two. New Zealand won their semis and headed into the finals against the undefeated team. The final was an intense, nail-biting game to watch!

Gymnastics Successes

Well done to the following students who gained medals at the New Zealand Secondary Schools competition.

  • Shivesh Lal  (1st C grade Men Gold Medal)


  • Anna Greaves (Level 1, 1st Gold medal
  • Team MRGS 2nd Silver Medal (Anna, Chantal, Kaitlyn and Isabella)
  • Level 2 Team MRGS 3rd Bronze medal (Kate, Naomi, Zara and Steffanie)

Badminton Champions

Mount Roskill Grammar beat Mount Albert’s top team, six games to nil, to win the A Grade Reserve competition. Sakhsham Arora won his singles 21-17, John Seo won 21-16, Asif Cheena won 21-17, and McGregor Small then won the number one singles 21-19. If MRGS had lost one game we would not have won the grade, so it was an excellent show of determination and focus by all players and our best result of the season. This is the third year in a row that MRGS has won this division and we must be building a strong case for inclusion into the top grade next year.

Secondary Schools Peace Symposium

On Friday 19th August 22 MRGS mediators and one Year 9 student attended the 12th Secondary Schools Peace Symposium organised by the Peace Foundation. 120 students represented 10 schools, all of which presented information about their schools Peer Mediation Service and Peace week activities. The students' presentations were exciting and inspirational, with many creative ideas on how to bring peace to school communities. Other peace speakers included the Right Honourable Phil Goff MP for Mt Roskill, Giant Killa (Songwriter/musician/ actor), and Cam Calkoen.

Our very own MRGS students did Mt Roskill Grammar proud showing their original anti-bullying video, Fai’ana Vea (Year 9) delivering her fantastic speech on ‘The Effects of Judgement’ and everyone singing the Bob Marley song ‘One Love’. Well done to Jonjon Cowley- Lupo, Mary-Kate Fonua, Nancy Gafa, Zane Chaudhry, Paula Ilaua, Ashanth Kumar, Brian Liu, Eileen Makasini, Ashleen Prasad, Bhavisha Punja, Janna Rana, Wai Kei Relph, Ojas Shukla, Halyn Smith, Melody Ting, David Tuifua, Siosaia Tuitupou, Fai’ana Vea, Shiying Xu, Tasnim Yassin Ismail, Azra Banu, Natascha Bates and Ash Chaudhary for their wonderful presentation.

A big thank you to the Peace Foundation for giving our students such an amazing opportunity!


Diversity Day

Mt Roskill Grammar was excited to be invited to the Unitec Leadership Diversity Day on Wednesday 10th August this year. We took  ten Year 12 students who were welcomed into the wharenui with a powhiri and then spent the day listening to guest speakers about their religion and how they related to climate change, refugees and leadership.

It was a great experience to be able to attend an event that boasted such a bright and talented group of young leaders, including MRGS student Athulya Rathnayake, who spoke on Buddhism. During the day we were able to interact with a large number of other Auckland schools and learn about religions in a deeper and different way than before. We learnt that we all share the same principles in life whether we are Hindu, Christian or Jewish. To be a leader it is important to understand perspectives of those from different walks of life and this event has now equipped us with this understanding.

Trip to the Auckland Food Show

On Friday 29 July, senior students from 12FHS23, 13FHS23 and 13CHS3 had a well-earned day out at the Auckland Food Show held at the ASB Showgrounds in Epsom. The students experienced a wide variety of foods, beverages and cooking techniques demonstrated over the course of the day.

It was a stimulating and exciting environment filled with a very diverse range of foods. From the moment we walked in the door it was food, food, food! Every stall had a sample to give away for free! Students were able to sample food and beverages that otherwise they may not have had the opportunity to try.

As a special treat we were able to see some of New Zealand top chef’s in action in the special cooking demonstrations set up in one of the three giant food halls.

The atmosphere was electric with thousands of people there to indulge themselves in this rather unique culinary experience. All the students seemed to thoroughly enjoy their day and the staff were extremely proud of their mature and exemplary behaviour

Year 9 - French Breakfast

On Wednesday 17th August, a large number of Year 9 French pupils enjoyed a “petit déjeuner français” (French breakfast). The morning started with some Year 10 French pupils helping to set up two classrooms as well as organising who was going to serve the following items: “un croissant”, “un pain au chocolat” and “un chocolat chaud”.

Queues started to form and everyone was eager to eat the very large size French pastries and drink at least two hot chocolates (without spilling it on the floor!). Pupils had to order in French – easy – “un croissant, s’il vous plait”. It was a great way to start the day. Pupils caught up with their friends and tried to finish eating everything. Some of them needed to finish the pastries later as they were full.

At about 8.45 we had spot prizes and pupils won all sorts of items (recently imported from France by Monsieur McAlpine) which included: CDs of French music, Eiffel Tower key rings, “J’adore l’école” rulers, a “Paris” pencil case, French fountain pens, French bookmarks and French Football Federation key rings.
The morning was “FORMIDABLE!”, or could be described with the new MRGS invented word of “FormiTable”!

Merci les élèves et Merci les professeurs.

Counselling Department News for Parents of Year 9 Students

Counselling Department news for parents of Year 9 students
During Term 2 the counselling team ran ‘Manaakitanga Anti-Harassment’ workshops with all Year 9 classes. Students received strong messages about the culture of respect and belonging in our school.

All reports of harassment, mocking and bullying are taken seriously and are dealt with in a restorative, thorough manner. The identity of the informants can be kept confidential. Both students and parents can report harassment through a private message on our Facebook page (“mrgs counselling”), or by talking to, or emailing a Counsellor or a Dean.

Four emotional resiliency building groups called “Travellers” started last term. We are proud to continue running this excellent 16-hour University of Auckland programme designed specifically for Year 9 students. Each group has just 10-12 students. Participation is voluntary, but we strongly encourage our students to join if they receive an invitation. For further information, please check the school website here.

Four counsellors are available to work with your child. We are all members of the New Zealand association of Counsellors, and our services are confidential, unless there is an imminent risk to safety.

All our contact details are on the school website under Student Services. We welcome you contacting us with concerns about your teenager!

News from Performing Arts

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Years 11-13 Drama classes went to Q Theatre on the 11th of August to see Auckland Theatre Company’s production of ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ by the playwright Simon Stephens. The Year 13 class had performed sections of the script earlier in the year and have been preparing to answer their external exams using information from this production. All year levels really enjoyed the show and were particularly impressed by the main role of Christopher, who was played by a recent Toi Whakaari graduate. The lighting, set and projection system was also a real highlight. On the 17th of August the Year 13s enjoyed a workshop with Auckland Theatre Company which unpacked the production in more detail in preparation for their exams.

‘Orangutan’ Performance

The Years 11-13 Drama classes enjoyed the in-school production of ‘Orangutan’ performed and written by Alice Canton, the current playwright-in-residence of the Basement Theatre. Our partnership with the Basement Theatre means that our students will enjoy up to three free shows in a year, including any cost of transport . This show was particularly impressive, as the entire show was about an orangutan in a cage, a by-product of the effects of deforestation. Canton used mask to create the character, as well as using the experience she gained working in Bali under a well-known mask expert. We are most grateful to the Basement for their generosity in bringing this work to our school.

Excel School of Performing Arts Showcase

Excel School of Performing Arts performed in Butler Hall on Friday the 12th of August in order to showcase the school and its programmes to our students. The show consisted of singing, dancing and acting and it was fantastic. Many students scored free tickets to see their evening performance at Auckland Girls Grammar, and this show was even more impressive. It was a joy to have Sophie Galea (alumni 2013) back performing on the Butler Hall stage, and to see another Mt Roskill Grammar student enjoying success in the Performing Arts.

Short Term Japanese Group

In July we welcomed a group of 13 students and three teachers from Yokohama, Japan. The purpose of their trip was to experience NZ culture, to learn about NZ schools and to improve their English. The students stayed in homestays for two weeks, went to ESOL classes some of the time and were also helped by Junior Ambassadors who took them to their own Year 9 or Year 10 class. The students had a great time and the Junior Ambassadors did a wonderful job of looking after them.

Education Perfect Maths World Championships

2016 marked the first year that Mount Roskill Grammar School participated in this competition. The results were outstanding. Our students answered 97,726 questions to earn 80,144 points, spending 1,179 hours learning over one week.

MRGS was 1st in NZ for the 1000-2500 students category out of 23 schools, 3rd overall in NZ out of 212 schools, and 13th overall out of 921 schools globally.

Outstanding effort was made by Huthaifa Ibrahim and Jordan King who were respectively 6th and 9th in NZ, 27th and 38th worldwide and gained Elite Awards (10000 + points).

A total of 23 awards will be presented to students:

Australian Mathematics Competition

The Australian Mathematics Competition was held on Thursday 28th July. Over 60 interested and talented students sat the competition. It was a 75 minute long competition with 30 questions and was held in many counties such as Australia, Fiji and Singapore. We will get the results sometime around week 3-4 next term, just before senior students go on their study leave.

In preparation for the competition, there were weekly practice lessons. These were so popular this year that we ran two after school lessons. We eagerly look forward to seeing if all the hard work has paid off.

International Peace Week

The Mediators once again helped MRGS celebrate International Peace week during the 8th – 12th August by providing a number of exciting activities: peace assembly presentation; random acts of kindness; peace quote competitions; face painting; peace badge making; the wearing of white ribbons for peace; painted peace banners and t-shirts. On the Wednesday , it was “Embracing Diversity and Anti Violence Day” where the Hodge Commons was full of information stalls from outside agencies like Manalive, SHINE, RPE, Youthline, Fonua Ola, plus student run stalls on ‘Violence is not ok campaign’; PSSP, Amnesty, Live4Tomorrow, BILS, Skittles, Refugee awareness, Crane making and Peace Badge making. There was also beautiful music and singing playing outside.

On the Friday, the Mediators marched for peace around Mt Roskill community with the releasing of white balloons at the end.

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. They are very active and vocal about the importance of peaceful, respectful, inclusive relationships within Mt Roskill Grammar and its wider community.

A big thank you to all you wonderful Mediators!


KBB Music Festival Success

At the KBB Music Festival during week 4, our Chamber Orchestra gained a Bronze and the Concert Band received a Silver award in a tough competition involving over 4000 students. Deeksha Vijayakumar, Ellen Peng and Thea Dickson performed in the Honours Concert Band. Our student ambassadors were noticed for their initiative and our groups for their general demeanor – we were nominated for the Peter Goddard award for a group that epitomises the spirit of the festival.

Barbershop Chorus Success

The Barbershop Quartet “Truly Roskill” comprised of Jezaniah Sasagi, Paula Ilaua, Kavish Dharan and Sione Leakehe, along with the Barbershop Chorus, competed  in  the  Regional  Young  Singers  in  Harmony  Pan  Pacific Competition last holidays. The quartet placed 2nd in Auckland and the Barbershop Chorus placed 1st in Auckland in the Regional Young Singers in Harmony Pan Pacific Competition. This means that they have qualified for Nationals. Well done to the group of 19 boys for their efforts and to Mr Tim Chan for his leadership of the group.

Nationals are to be held in Porirua on the 14th and 15th of September. To help cover travel and accommodation costs, a Give a Little page has been set up by Mr Chan.  If you would like to donate to the group, you can find the Give a Little page here:


UN Youth Honour for Roskill Student

Disha Gomathinayagam has been selected to be part of the United Nations Youth Global Development Tour for 2017. She is one of 22 students chosen to represent New Zealand on this extensive study tour of Europe which will culminate in her attendance at the Youth Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York. Disha will have the opportunity to connect with a global community which is developing the 2030 sustainable development goals to respond to issues of poverty, affordable and clean energy needs and the strengthening of stronger governmental institutions. She will be connecting with businesses, policy makers, organisations and universities as part of the tour. This will be a remarkable experience for her. Disha has been involved with United Nations Youth since year 10, attending the Auckland Model United Nations and the national events in Wellington. At present she is Mount Roskill Grammar School’s High School Ambassador for UN Youth New Zealand. She is currently fundraising to gain financial support for her trip and has set up a give a little page at:


1st Place in Japanese Haiku and Calligraphy Competition

Tessa Brown in Year 11 won the NZ Japan Society award for the Haiku & Calligraphy Competition. As the recipient of this Auckland-Fukuoka Sister City Prize, Tessa will represent Auckland City and New Zealand as a youth ambassador, enhancing the special connection between Auckland City and Fukuoka City.

Tessa received this award on Saturday 3rd September in the Auckland Town Hall during the Fukuoka Day. Stephen Duxfield, President of the NZJS presented the award and Tessa also met the Mayor of Fukuoka City, Mr Takashima.

This year is the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Auckland City and Fukuoka City, and therefore the poem theme was about “friendship”. Tessa composed the Haiku Poem in Japanese and wrote it with a special writing brush and ink. Tessa was also interviewed by five council members both in Japanese and English.

During the 2017 school holidays, Tessa will travel to Japan for a one-week homestay in Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu.

Mentoring Update

As a school we value face to face reporting with students and fami-lies and the mentoring conference on Thursday 18 August was again well attended.

We also appreciate the effort made by both staff and families to rearrange these meetings where necessary.

This was the last conference with families this year, however, students will continue to be supported by their mentor as they approach the MRGS subject entry examinations and the NZQA external examinations.

Information regarding support provided through additional homework centres and holiday programmes will be sent out via email shortly.

We look forward to your continued involvement with the mentoring programme next year as we work together to help our students achieve their goals.

New Staff Joining Our Senior Management Team

This term we have welcomed Deputy Principal Nicole Peterson to our senior leadership team. Mrs Peterson has wide experience in supporting and enhancing effective teaching through leading professional development, mentoring and teacher appraisal. Most recently she has held teacher development roles with the Westmount schools and Team Solutions at Auckland University. Previously she was HoD in Technology at Massey High School and at Westlake Boys High School. She has a Master’s degree in Education from Auckland University and has written and contributed extensively on bullying and on parental engagement in their child’s learning.

Mrs Peterson has taken up responsibility for teaching and learning, and for Ngata House alongside Mrs Leigh and Mr Ferguson. It’s tremendous to have such a capable educator join our team.

At the beginning of 2017 we will welcome Desmond Pemerika to our senior leadership team in a Deputy Principal role. Mr Pemerika has strong connections with the Mt Roskill area where he grew up and is currently Deputy Principal at Michael Park School in Ellerslie. Mr Pemerika has taught Science at Auckland Grammar and Avondale College where he was a school Dean. He has led initiatives that have resulted in significant improvement in student achievement while at Michael Park School. He holds Masters degrees in Management from Massey University and in Education from Auckland University. He is a strong sportsman and currently coaches representative age group basketball. We look forward to Mr Pemerika joining our team at the start of next year.

Japanese Stall During Peace week

On the 10th of August, our Japanese, (日本語) class helped with the annual peace week. In Japan (日本) it is a tradition to fold a thousand paper cranes for good health. This tradition originated from the story of “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes”. This story is about a girl who survived the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The bomb did not kill her, but due to the radiation, she developed leukaemia at 11. Wishing for good health, Sadako started folding a thousand paper cranes, but died before her project finished. Her classmates finished her project for her after she died.

On our peace week stall a lot of junior students and senior students were interested in making paper cranes and learning the tradition that is behind making them. We all had a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed themselves as they were surprised that making paper cranes was so easy.  The paper crane chains are displayed in Student Services. 

Neel Kolhe

Year 9 Japanese Sushi Making

On Tuesday 16th August, one of the Year 9 Japanese classes went to A2 to make sushi. First of all we gathered all the ingredients together (which were prepared before we came in the room) and put them on the tables. After that, we followed what Miss Kojima taught us a few lessons before. We placed the nori sheet (sea weed) on the sushi mat, left two centimetres, and filled the rest of the nori sheet with sushi rice. We then placed our fillings on the rice. We wet the two centimetres left of the nori sheet and rolled the sushi with the special mat.

Once we finished we took our rolls of sushi to the front of the room, put them on a chopping board and cut them into pieces. We enjoyed our sushi and it was a fun experience. In my opinion we should do more sushi activities.

Michelle Ibram 9NHRB

Out of Zone Enrolments

Out of Zone enrolments are due 1st September. Enrolment froms available from main office and online here.

Consent Awareness Week

Co-constructing Consent Awareness Week: the PSSP team with Rape Prevention Education and the Puketapapa Local Board.

Next week (29th August - 2nd September) is “Consent Awareness Week”, organised by the Peer Sexuality Support Team. The Peer sexuality Support Team have consulted with Julie Fairey of the Puketapapa Local Board, and Auckland Rape Prevention Education.

This important week is to ensure all students are familiar with the concept on sexual consent.  Consent is a free, positive, sober “yes”.  Consent cannot be given if you are under 16 years of age, if you are intoxicated or if you are threatened or pressured. 

Health Week

The week of 15th to the 19th of August was our annual Health focus week which has been a great success. It was run by the Student Health Council, the nurses, and teaching staff. Activities included a Health Expo, Zumba and events led by the Cameron Pools Leisure centre over 3 lunch hours. The health expo included many different student groups including the Peer Sexuality Support group, Live for tomorrow, Body image, Students against dangerous driving, classes presenting health topics and many different organisations from outside school including Youthline, Shakti, Asthma Auckland.


Campus Music Concert

On the evening of Wednesday 10th August, the annual Campus Music Concert was
held. Once again it was a sparkling event showcasing the talent of the our three schools. After a welcome by Mr Watson the programme got into its swing with a joint items “Te Aroha” and “Ko Matou”. There then followed a succession of entertainingly
performed pieces from choirs, bands , orchestras and of course the marvelously energetic MRPR Ukelele players. A highlight of the evening was a performance by our own Auckland champion Barbershop chorus. Their piece “You’re Nobody ‘til Somebody Loves You” enthralled the audience and they were applauded into an encore piece which again demonstrated their award winning singing. The evening closed with everyone singing along to ‘I’m a Believer’ and this was followed by refreshments and a light supper where students and their families were able to share in the success of the evening.

Mentoring Conference

Thursday 18th August. Online bookings are now open. Book by Friday 12th August (www.schoolinterviews.co.nz), enter the code 'aatgv' and book your mentor appointment.

Year 10 Subject Choice Evening

Year 10 (going into Year 11, 2017) subject choice evening - Thursday 4th August 6pm in MRGS hall. Curriculum leaders, HOD's, Careers staff and Academic Deans available to offer options and pathways advice.

Junior Report Evening

4-7pm Tuesday 9th August, 2016 - You can make an interview time  by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the Event Code of 8kdsj - Bookings close 8.30am Tuesday 9 August.

Boys´ Chorus and Barbershop Success

As part of the Pan Pacific Harmony event on July 13-14 Aotea Centre our acapella singers performed at the highest level to achieve Auckland acclaim. The Boys' Chorus came first in Auckland as part of the Young Men in Harmony Competition and the Quartet placed second in their section. Under the leadership of staff member Mr Chan our young men are producing marvellous award-winning performances.

Year 9 Speech Competition

Eight of our Year 9 students took to the stage on 6th July to compete in the Year 9
Speech Final. Standing tall in front of more than 300 other students, they delivered
persuasive speeches that were moving, challenging and entertaining. Special mention goes to Aditi Anand and Pranayam Lal for their outstanding performances, and congratulations to Huthaifa Ibrahim for winning the competition with his speech
on why “School kills creativity!”

Well done to all Year 9s who prepared and delivered a speech this term during their
English classes. We would like to thank Mr Simpson for organising the event.

Body Image Leaders Teach Year 10 Health Classes

Everybody experiences different messages about body image in different ways. There are many influences that can impact how we feel about the way we look. The media has a significant effect over the way students can feel about themselves. This term the Body Image Leaders (BILs) had the opportunity to go into health classrooms to share their knowledge with Year 10 students. Students were supported by Year 10 Health teachers in leading one hour sessions with a powerpoint and activities aimed to stimulate thinking in our Year 10s about healthy body image and the way the media in particular, can influence us in a negative way.

BILs also deliver key messages about the School Ball with the aim that everyone can feel great about their individual sense of style and have fun on the night.

The Body Image Leaders in Schools programme is a youth development, peer education programme that is student run and supported at MRGS by our Counselling Department. Body image leaders receive training in health promotion planning, skills and tools, critical media literacy, understanding body-safe environments, mindfulness and gender stereotypes, inequalities and representations.

BILs aim to contribute to our safe school environment by encouraging students to report appearance based bullying and by developing in students more respect for body diversity. To enquire about the programme please contact our Student Services Department.

Music Camp

On Friday 17 June, the Concert Band and String Orchestra piled into a bus and headed off to Camp Maynard in Albany for a training weekend. The main purpose of the weekend was to rehearse the music in preparation for the KBB Festival in August; but in-between rehearsals with Mr Atkinson, Mr Darragh, Mr Snelling and Ms Dekker, there was plenty of team bonding around the campfire, during the fiercely competitive quiz night (led by quiz master Miss Cakebread) and throughout the highly animated games of ‘spoons’ at break times. The weekend culminated in a concert for the families that demonstrated the impressive musical progress made by both groups.

Comments from some of the students who attended:

"Music camp was a great opportunity to bond with my fellow musicians.”

"Everyone helped out with food prep and cleaning up, there was a good atmosphere."

"We had more time to work on the music so we improved a lot! We sounded so much better in the final concert compared to the first practice at camp!”

"The final concert was good and it was cool to see the other group's work.”

Highlights for students include: Tai Chi in the morning, pizza dinner on the first night, singing by the campfire, burning marshmallows, and playing ‘Happy Birthday’ for Ms Dekker!

Live for Tomorrow Update

Live for Tomorrow student leaders attended a training day in Term 2, meeting students from other schools and sharing ideas on how to put together great events. After a successful bake sale this term where they sold cakes and positivity, they are ready to go with their next initiative, ‘What Helped?’ early next term. The leaders will collect stories about what our students have found difficult in their life, and also, ‘What Helped’. These stories will then be displayed on brightly coloured papers to form a
rainbow, allowing all students to walk past, stop, and read the messages that offer hope for their own hard times. A beautiful combination for what Live for Tomorrow are wanting in our school; the realisation that it’s normal to have struggles at times, but there are ways through, and people who can help.

International Peace Week

International Peace Week is coming up on the 8th-12th August with the Peer Mediators already organising many exciting peace activities for MRGS. These include assembly presentations, peace t-shirts, peace banners, a peace march, an anti-violence and embracing diversity stall day, peace badge making, chalking peace messages, 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.

A year 9 student from last year stated: “I love peace week because people show that they care about each other and are kind to one another.”

Peer Mentorship Training

On Sunday 19th June and Monday 20th June, 35 Mediators were trained by Julie McCracken in peer mentorship skills. This engaging and 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
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.


MRGS Peer Mediation Service

Independent Research Shows Outstanding Results for MRGS Peer Mediation Service 2016

The research project: Leadership through Peer Mediation (LtPM): Assessing its Impact in Nine Secondary Schools throughout the Auckland Region by Unitec Dr Helene Connor and Peace Foundation researcher Leo Buccahan has found overwhelming positive effects of the programme on students, teachers and school environments. Over 56% of the research respondents were from MRGS which is indicative of the success of the LtPM programme in the school.

Principals, school coordinators, teachers, current LtPM Peer Mediators, former LtPM Peer Mediators and students who had used the LtPM peer mediation service were overwhelmingly positive about the set of skills students learnt around peaceful conflict resolution. The following quotes from student LtPM mediators exemplify the impact of learning skills around peaceful conflict resolution:

“Being a mediator definitely allowed me to develop the skills I needed to improve my relations with the people around me. I feel like not very many people are conscious of the importance of skills like reflective listening, rapport building and using "I" statements, especially in daily situations. Safe to say, I definitely learned a lot being an LtPM mediator at MRGS, especially since I was able to mentor younger mediators as well.”

“All the skills taught in the training are life-long skills and I only wish everyone was taught this at school.”

“The Peer Mediation training and programme contributes significantly to student wellbeing! It creates belonging, connectedness and social responsibility.”

The research found that the majority of the respondents felt LtPM was of benefit to the culture of the school. LtPM was viewed as being helpful in improving relationships within the student population and appeared to reduce bullying, creating a safer environment.

Current and former LtPM Peer Mediators overwhelmingly found their peer mediation training and experience impacted positively on their lives both at school and beyond the school. A number of the comments mention improved relationships with family and friends and feeling more confident to tackle conflict when it arises. Former LtPM Peer Mediators commented on the usefulness of the training in their jobs or when they went onto tertiary study.

"I use the skills I've learnt in my personal life all the time. As a trainee doctor, being able to build rapport and understand different personality types has been invaluable. I still reference my peer mediation training when we have professional and communication skills assessments!”

The Research Report recommends that a case study of Mount Roskill Grammar School be undertaken as the results of the Survey Monkey survey, clearly identified this school as a ‘stand-out’ success regarding the implementation of the LtPM programme. A case study would help identify some of the underpinning reasons for the success of the programme and why it has been so stringently supported by staff and students alike.

‘Students are the agents of change, you give them the responsibility and they will fly with it!’

-Donna Hourigan-Johnston, LtPM School Coordinator, Mount Roskill Grammar School, (Peace Foundation, 2015).

PILOT Programme

The purpose of PILOT (Pacific Island Leaders of Tomorrow) programme is to create a Pasifika methodology to inspire, engage and develop Pasifika secondary students to make informed decisions about their education and career. The programme has two parts; a day session for students, and an evening session for parents and family members.

Ten Year 12 students attended the programme on the 15th June. Ten of our Year 13 students attended the programme in Term 1. Coming up, there will be a programme for Year 11 students to attend on the 18th August, and lastly one for Year 10 students held on the 13th October, during the first week of Term.

The recent PILOT programme was a fantastic experience for all who attended. Guest speaker, Falanipo, talked about life at university and how important it is to pursue what you want to be. He also shared some of the challenges he had faced. Students learnt how to prepare themselves for the future, and left feeling motivated and committed to achieving their goals for the future.

Senior Marae Trip to Rotorua

The Senior Marae Trip this year to Te Kuri Marae in Rotorua was an amazing opportunity for all who attended. The trip was open to all of the Senior students who are currently studying Te Reo Maori.

The aim of the trip was to strengthen the schools overarching values of Manaakitanga and Whanaungatanga, and to also put into action all of the things the students have learnt while earning credits.

Highlights of the trip were definitely visiting Te Puia Geothermal Centre where students learnt about the history of the area and about Maori carving and weaving. We also enjoyed Tamaki Tours, where we were picked up on a bus along with overseas tourists, took part in a full scale powhiri and were fortunate enough to partake in a delicious and authentic underground hangi. The Zorb and Luge were also a few of the more exhilarating things that the students were fortunate enough to take part in.

Overall it was a great trip and we highly recommend that if you are offered a space on this trip next year that you take it!

MRGS on Social Media

You can now follow Mount Roskill Grammar on social media to keep up with the latest news and events. Check out our facebook page to see more photographs from events that have taken place recently.


Reporting (Years 9 and 10)

Face to face reporting is invaluable for both junior and senior students. As we are at the half way point of the year it is essential that you are informed about the progress of our junior students. Our Year 9 and 10 students will bring home a progress report before the end of term outlining their grades for progress, effort, conduct and homework. This report will also provide you with a summary of their academic progress in each subject.

We would like to invite parents/caregivers of (only) Year 9 and 10 students to attend a subject report evening on Tuesday the 9th of August to discuss your child’s progress and next steps in these subjects. The access code to make appointments with your child’s teachers between 4pm and 7pm will be included on their report.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 9th August so that we can work together to ensure our Year 9 and 10 students have established positive work habits and are able to be supported by you to reach their academic goals.

Letter from Minister of Education

Recently, Minister of Education Hekia Parata wrote to the Board of Trustee's acknowledging the excellent achievement by students at Mt Roskill Grammar School.

Working together gives our students the best possible opportunities for achievement. Teachers greatly appreciate working alongside families supporting students in their learning journey. Our goals for the year expect each teacher to have knowledge of the place each learner is at and to use an ever strengthening toolkit to set up the best possible learning experiences, so that achievement is accelerated. Our progress towards our goals is tremendous.

n.b. the letter in full is available below.

Healthy Sandwich Day

On the 8th of June our School Health Council ran a very successful event at Lunchtime called “Healthy Sandwich Day’.

For a gold coin donation, students could line up outside the senior common room and proceed down the ‘subway’ sandwich line, choosing from a wide range of healthy and delicious sandwich fillings, all served up by our Student health Council. We promoted the importance of a healthy lunch and how easy it is to create something nutritious and cost effective. We were fortunate to receive amazing sponsorship from Countdown and the Aussie Butcher which kept our costs low and maximised our potential for fundraising. The proceeds go towards health promotion in school; the Student Health Council are committed to promoting health and wellbeing within their school, families and their community. This was a true community event, not only did our sponsorship come from local businesses, but we also had the privilege of having people help out - a special thanks to Damien and Andrew from Countdown Mt Roskill, and Wendy from Youthline who jumped right in with the students and served up the yummy lunches. Thanks also to Paul from The Aussie Butcher, and Countdown Mt Roskill and Countdown Three Kings for their incredible donations to our event. To the students who bought a sandwich, we trust you enjoyed it and look forward to seeing you at our next event; Health Week, running from the 15th-19th of August. See you there!


Year 11 Japanese Restaurant Trip

11年生 レストラン  Trip

On Tuesday 28th June, 12 Year 11 Japanese students headed on a highly adventurous trip to にしきレストラン (Nishiki Restaurant). Aside from minor mishaps, the class were deeply appreciative for the chance to taste a very wide range of Japanese food, which included sushi, squid, octopus, miso, rice, green tea, tempura, chips and ice-cream. Needless to say, it was exceedingly to our taste and we lamented over protest of our stomachs in keeping us from eating more. A thousand thanks to the amazing Miss Kojima on behalf of the class for organising this dinner.

Tessa Brown, Selena He

Calendar Information for Families

  • End of term 2 Friday 8th July 2016 closure - 2 pm
  • Teacher only day 25th July 2016 – students are not required at school
  • Term 3 School starts TUESDAY 26th July 2016 n.b. All students will attend form class on Tuesday 26th July 9.00-9.10 am.


Production 2016, Beauty and the Beast

The 2016 Production, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast involved over 90 students in all different areas - acting, dancing, makeup, costume, stage management and loads more. Our season was in Week 9 where we performed to three full house audiences. We would like to thank the community for their support of the show and their kind words afterwards. I am incredibly proud of the show and have been so impressed by the level of talent here in Mt Roskill Grammar  on my return to the school late last year – the Performing Arts Department would like to thank all the staff involved for their commitment to letting our students shine, and congratulate the students involved for an impressively polished show.


Opening of the New Hockey Turf

On Saturday 25th July our new hockey turf was officially opened by Councillor Christine Fletcher QSO. Local M.P. Dr Parmjeet Parmar and Puketapapa Board members were also present. Despite the poor weather conditions a large number of people involved in the fundraising, planning and building of the Olympic standard facility joined in the event.

Official speeches were held in the pavilion, then everyone then went down to the turf to watch the ribbon being cut by Councilor Fletcher and BOT Chair, Marjet Pot. An exhibition game was held between past and present MRGS hockey players,
followed by the serving of refreshments for all guests back in the pavilion.

Earlier in the term a dawn blessing was held. It is fantastic to see the state-of-the-art playing surface now in use and serving our community after the years of lobbying, planning and fundraising by the school and support from local community groups. This new resource will give MRGS a state-of-the-art premier playing surface and facility which is integral to our pursuit of sporting excellence. It will also provide the Roskill community with a venue for hockey from junior to club and international level. We thank everyone who has helped make the re-development of this facility possible.


Beauty and the Beast

Rehearsals are in full swing for this year’s school production, which is based on the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast.

There will be three performances of the production:

  • Wednesday 29th June - 7pm
  • Friday 1st July - 7pm
  • Saturday 2nd July - 3pm

Tickets are on sale now from the school office. We look forward to seeing you there!

Students from a Refugee Background

This year we were able to take 23 students to the annual Careers Expo held at the Auckland Show Grounds. The students were not quite sure what to expect as they have never attended one in the past. All of them came away with great information about their options for career pathways with also a new outlook on the various study options that are available outside of the larger Universities and Polytechnics.

11 young men of refugee background have been selected to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award programme delivered through Blue Light. Their journey began with an overnight tramping camp around Piha. The feedback I have received from both students and Blue Light staff is that it was an amazing experience and the boys were very well behaved.

On the 3rd of June 2016 we held our first Refugee Background Parent Information Evening. We had families, community leaders and representatives from UMMA Trust and the Ministry of Education attend. One of the outcomes of the meeting was having an open discussion on how to connect better with our families of refugee background with some great insights offered by everyone there. The first of many meetings to come.

Board of Trustees Election Results

Mt Roskill Grammar School Board of Trustees Election 2016

Declaration of Parent and Staff Election Results

Parent representative votes:

  • Irshad Ali 69
  • Saleh Ayyub 31
  • Judith Bingham 122
  • Saleem Dean 45
  • Jo Franklin 110
  • Tillam Kapsin 29
  • Shail Kaushal 43
  • Don McKenzie 85
  • Alana Madgwick 45
  • Rob Mason 93
  • Vijay Parulkar 55
  • Marjet Pot 117
  • Grant Power 84
  • Khylee Quince 65
  • Helen Tauau-Filisi 64
  • Maria Taufelila 77
  • Kima Tuialii 87
  • Invalid votes 23

I hereby declare the following duly elected:

  • Judith Bingham
  • Jo Franklin
  • Rob Mason
  • Marjet Pot
  • Kima Tuialii

Staff representative:

At the close of nominations, as there was only one valid nomination received, I hereby declare Lorraine Vickery duly elected.


Beverley Wong

Dance Showcase Evening

On Thursday 12 May year 12 and 13 dance presented their choreography for Assessment in the hall for an audience of friends and family. This is the first time they have had the opportunity to present their assessment work under lighting and to an audience. After weeks of hard work learning how to communicate intention and develop choreography, they wowed us with their precision of dancing and their ability to tell stories through their choreographic work. They did such a stunning job and presented some outstanding performances. Many of the works explored personal journeys of growth or friendship and connected with many audience members.

Year 11, 12 and 13 Mentoring Conference Day

On Tuesday 21st June, 2016 we will be having a Year 11, 12 and 13 Mentoring Conference Day. This is for students and their families to continue working alongside mentors to review and consolidate goal setting and look more closely at academic, co-curricular and attendance progress and next steps as we head into the second half of the year.

Students and families will also be provided with subject specific feedback - provided to the mentor by the subject teacher.

  • What: One half hour mentoring conference.
  • Who: All year 11, 12 and 13 students, their mentor and parents/caregivers (Years 9 and 10 do not attend school on that day)
  • When: Tuesday 21st June (half hour block) blocks start at 8.30am-7.30pm
  • Where: In form class
  • How: Parents/caregivers will receive a letter by week

6 of term 2 with a half hour allocated time slot. The school will 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 working with them to achieve their goals.

Campus FiaFia Night

The campus Fia Fia night was held on Tuesday 24th May. It was a splendid occasion at the Intermediate school and the opportunity for the community to see the entertaining performances of our cultural groups. Students and speakers from the three schools gave us an exciting evening of dance, song and speech which celebrated the talent of our young men and women. It was particularly great to see the
Niuean group performing after an absence of a number of years.


Education Perfect World Languages Championships

Education Perfect World Languages Championships – 16-26 May 2016

Mount Roskill Grammar School gained impressive results in this International Languages competition. MRGS pupils answered over 1.5 million questions, gaining 580,675 points, which represents 6,514 hours spent learning languages.
Special school achievements:

  • MRGS was 2nd school in New Zealand
  • 7th in the World (over 1,100 schools)
  • 3rd in Japanese in New Zealand
  • 4th in French in New Zealand
  • 4th in Chinese in New Zealand

Special student achievements:

  •  Tessa Brown – 3rd in New Zealand and 21st in the world with 27,819 points!
  • ELITE Award + badge (10,000+ points) gained by 16 students: Tessa Brown, Jordan King, Anna Brown, Huthaifa Ibrahim, Ellen Peng, Jessica Gao, Halym Smith, Amy Roscoe, Zainab Iqbal, Zoe Fuller, Bhavya Jasti, Rebecca Ferguson, Anna Greaves, Persia Gharekhanian, Aiden Fang and Alex Wichman
  • GOLD Award (3,000+ points) gained by 40 students: Qanita Abdul, Hepi Akauola, Jane Babu, Isaac Bayldon, Kate Bonnici, Shirley Chan, Max Chen, Thea Dickson, Ayesha Essop, Jamie Gibson, Selena He, Jiahui Huang, Lillian Huo, Serah Kavaliku, Tabitha Kavaliku, Steffanie Kobayashi-Cox, Ashleen Lau, Jean-Luc Libeau, Dominic Loretz, Miki Lu, Keerat Marwah, Euan McDougall, Sarah McKenzie, Jeremy Narayan, Dhavni Patel, Amisha Prasad, Rishil Prasad, Aarti Rao, Charlotte Shirreffs, Angela Soriano, Loran Surendran, Kirushni Suthakaran, Anuksha Talpade, Sheng-Ya Wang, Dulanya Withana, Josephine Yo, Eurodias Young, Kenny Yu, Sophia Zhou, Ellie Zou
  • SILVER Award (2,000+ points) = 17 students
  • BRONZE Award (1,000+ points) = 65 students
  • CREDIT Award (500+ points) = 73 students

New BodySafe Programme

On Friday 20 May the organisation “Rape Prevention Education” launched  it’s new and revised “BodySafe” programme. HOD Guidance Margaret Hoogendoorn and Year 13 prefects Sanaj Deshpande and Kavish Dharan were the guest speakers at this media launch.

They spoke about last year’s successful “Consent Awareness Week” the Peer Sexuality Support Programme team ran last year. Counsellor Margaret Hoogendoorn spoke about her gratitude for the excellent facilitation of the BodySafe programme in our Year 10 Health programme over the last 13 years.

Year 11 Geography Trip to Rotorua/Tarawera

31 year 11 Geography students spent three days in Rotorua as part of a field trip to see the volcanic environment. They study Extreme Natural Events and the Tarawera eruption of 1886 is their case study. Whilst in Rotorua the student visited the Buried Village, took a 4 wheel drive trip to the top of Mt Tarawera and explored the Waimungu Valley. They also went up the gondola and down the luge and visited the Rotorua Museum.


2016 Chinese Speech Competition

On 14th May, 2016, three students of Chinese from Mount Roskill Grammar attended the ‘2016 Chinese Bridge Speech Competition’ hosted by the Confucius Institute of Auckland. They are Alex Wichman, Bhavya Jasti and Ayesha Hafeez. They gave an excellent performance in the speech competition. Congratulations to Ayesha and Bhavya who both won a Merit Prize Certificate. Congratulations also to Alex on winning the SECOND Prize for the Auckland Region. She is going to compete again in the National Chinese Speech Competition in two weeks’ time. Mount Roskill Grammar School was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the Confucius Institute of Auckland.

Live 4 Tomorrow

Live 4 Tomorrow have been selling cakes and positivity this week starting 16th May, 2016. With every sweet treat purchased, buyers also received a bookmark with an encouraging message. Live 4 Tomorrow aim to decrease stigma around mental health and to encourage help seeking behaviours in our student body. They will be using the money to cover costs associated with other events and initiatives they hope to run this year. Any leftover money will be donated to the Mental Health Foundation.

Open Day 2016

OPEN DAY 2016 - Thursday 30th June - 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 Hodge Learning Commons Room.

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
  • Excellent NCEA & Scholarship results – 3 NZ Outstanding Scholars in 2015
  • 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: 2017 In Zone and Out of Zone Enrolment forms will be available from the School Office or from the website here

  • September 1: Applications for Out of Zone places close
  • September 8: Out of Zone Ballot Date

Enrolment Evenings

  • Tuesdays: November 1
  • Wednesdays: July 6, July 27, October 12, November 9
  • Thursdays: November 3       

Enquiries: Phone 621 0050, Fax 621 0055, or contact Deputy Principal Toe Pune, email Toe.Pune@mrgs.school.nz

New Hockey Turf

Our new hockey turf is progressing towards completion. After the years of lobbying, planning and fundraising by the school and support from local community groups, it is satisfying to see the striking blue top turf surface being laid and the area taking on the characteristics of a state-of-the-art hockey playing surface. In the next months we will be organising a dawn blessing for the turf and later an official opening ceremony which will formally inaugurate the facility and acknowledge the work put in by so many to provide the school and Roskill with such a marvelous resource.

DP Keith Halls´ 30 Years of Service

Deputy Principal Keith Hall has delivered 30 years of service to our school and community. Keith started his career at MRGS in 1986 and in his time here he has been the HOD Social Studies and a Y13 Dean before moving into his current role as Deputy Principal. Keith has also been very involved in our community through such endeavours as overseeing fundraising events and rugby management. In recognition of Keith’s service, a morning tea was held on Monday where he received congratulations from staff, a gift from the school, and a framed long service certificate.

Youthline 2016 Health Fono

Our Health Council are a group of young people united to advocate and promote healthy wellbeing in their community. On the 7th of April, our Junior Health Council represented Mt Roskill Grammar School at the Youthline 2016 Health Fono. We took 8 elected students from Year 9 and 10 to an excellent day of training where they learnt event management skills, leadership development and team building to equip them with the skills they will need for the year ahead.

Here’s what our students had to say about the day: 

The 2016 Health Council Fono was a blast! We met other health councils from other school. We participated in 3 workshops which all taught us aspects of what it means to be in health council. We learnt the more we planned, the better our results will be!’ – Simar, Yr 9

The youth health Fono was an immensely enjoyable experience. We had free food which was great, as were the activities which we participated in. We gained a lot of new knowledge (and calories!) and engaged in conversation with other enthusiastic students from other schools. I personally recommend everyone participate in this enjoyable experience.’-  Akash, Yr10

The activities taught me about team work which is a key part of successful working. I will be focusing on effective team work in our health council to make this school a better place.' – Puja, Yr 9

We look forward to putting some of the skills we learnt into making our events this year successful and fun. Look out for further information on our healthy sandwich day coming up later in term 2. 

MRGS Social Media

You can now keep up to date with the latest happenings at Mount Roskill Grammar School via social media. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Here are the links:

Sheppard House Relay for Life

Sheppard House had the privilege of participating in this year's South Auckland Relay for Life in support of the Auckland Cancer Society. It was an amazing experience filled with laughter and the forming of new friendships. There were 14 students who participated and over $2000 was raised. Relay for Life gave us the opportunity to raise awareness and give back to the community and the Auckland Cancer Society for all their hard work as well as honouring those who are survivors and fighters of cancer. Sheppard House plan to make this an annual event and would love to see more students getting involved.

Year 12 Geo Mt Tongariro trip

This year, students from the Year 12 Geography classes travelled down to Mount Tongariro, to study the natural and cultural environment around this mountain. Hiking up hills and over bridges to waterfalls, rivers and lakes. On these walks we got to see the different plants and areas around the base of the mountain, which helps now that we are back at school studying the actual environment. As well as the hikes, we also were able to go white water rafting down the Mount Tongariro River which has about 60 rapids. This was an amazing experience to be able to have on this trip. We also had a fair amount of free time which meant we were able to bond with our classmates and get to know each other better. Overall this was a great trip, for both education and social experiences.

Student Engagement

An increasing number of students are getting to period 1 on time. Thank you to families who ensure their son/daughter arrives at school before 9am.

While we have spent time in Term 1 focusing on supporting students to arrive to period 1 on time you will understand that it is vital students attend all classes on time. We have therefore implemented the “4 minute” to class expectation across all periods including Learning Capability Time.

We want each student to gain the best experience from each lesson and therefore arriving to class on time ensures learning is not disrupted and that the learning time can be maximised.

Chalk Art Day

During term one Chalk Day once again transformed our quad. There was a rainbow of positive and thought provoking messages, and some beautiful art works too. After an initial set up, the work organically grows, as students passing by are invited
to participate, adding their own ideas and colours to the ever growing mural. A total of 60 pavement chalks were used up by the end of interval!

The event is led by the Live for Tomorrow group, who promote mental health and well-being. L4T also encourage help seeking behaviours, and work towards the destigmatisation of mental health issues.


Learning Capability Time (LCT)

This year Learning Capability Time has become a formal teaching and learning time with lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays in term one and a shift to one
lesson on Thursdays for term 2. LCT supports students to further develop key learning dispositions and transferable skills or competencies that will help them to become successful, lifelong learners who are active and responsible citizens. We have covered a range of topics this term under the theme of ‘Our Place’. Students learnt about things such as where to find help at school, the history of Puketapapa (Mount Roskill), the New Zealanders our five Houses are named after and what our School values of Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga, Excellence, Respect and Responsibility look like in different contexts. Students have been encouraged to work in mixed year level groups in LCT and there has been a strong push for seniors to take up leadership roles within their form class and to share their experience and
knowledge with our junior students in a Tuakana/Teina type model. We look forward to the learning we will be doing alongside our students next term in LCT with a theme of ‘Participating and Contributing’.

Peer Mediation Service 2016

The MRGS Peer Mediation Service is going from strength to strength with nearly 180 students applying each year to be trained. In March, 114 new Mediators were trained by the Peace Foundation which involves learning effective communication
and conflict resolution skills. A further 33 Advanced students received a whole days training from the Peace Foundation and 8 LEADR adult Mediators, many of them being lawyers. These Adults Mediators spent the whole day coaching our students to be more confident Mediators. Advanced Mediators have also received advanced training from Youthlaw (Youth Rights & Responsibilities) and Brainwave Trust (How violence effects the developing brain). Rainbow Youth will be training
them next term.

The role of the Mediator is to be an ambassador of social justice helping MRGS to be a safer, kinder, more respectful place to be. An anonymous survey reports evidence that suggests that Mediators feel more confident and connected to school, experiencing a stronger sense of belonging and have positive visions for
themselves for the future. They enjoy helping others and being a part of the bigger picture of creating community peace.

Daniel Pegado (Mediator of the Year 2008) who visited this year’s advanced training says that “Mediation kept him coming to school and has changed his life.”
For more information please read MRGS Mediation Service article in the latest Peace Foundation magazine Mediation Works (page 5).

Yr13 APY Bush Survival Camp

On Friday 8th April, Mr Horne and Mr Gabriel took the Year 13 APY class out to Mr Horne's section in Waimauku for a Bush Survival camp. As part of the trip the students had to complete the assessment criteria of building a shelter wholly from natural materials and sleep in it for the night. The assessment also requires them to light fires in damp conditions, make an animal trap and create a water purification device. The students were paired off and had three hours to make the best shelters that they could before tucking into a BBQ dinner, campfire and marshmallows. Tepou and Maria serenaded us with great music and we had a fantastic time. At 5.00am the rain began but the shelters held up well and everyone survived! Thank you to the helpers involved - Mr Gabriel, Alana Miller and Mr Purvis.

Cooking for the Community

Recently a Year 11 Food and Hospitality class prepared a two course evening meal for families staying at Ronald McDonald House. The class prepared the meal over two days and catered for 120 people. The menu included baked marinated chicken drumsticks, fish bites, felafels, garlic rolls and a selection of salads. Dessert was apple and blackberry crumble and custard.

A group of students were lucky enough to go to Ronald McDonald House to serve the meal and represent our school. They got first-hand experience of catering service. It was an enjoyable experience that they would love to do again.

Year 11 Art Trip to Corban Estate Art Centre

On Thursday 31st March, the entire Year 11 cohort of Art students went to Corban Estate Art Centre for an all day Art workshop. Students spent the day designing, planning and making paper body adornment. The body adornment is for a 4 credit internal art assessment. Students are working on their assignment in class until the end of the term, but the intensive full day workshop gave them the opportunity work collegially to share and refine their ideas with friends across both classes. There was a great atmosphere throughout the day, students were positive, focused and productive the entire time.

At the end of the day, after a full on day of creating, we had time to get some fresh air and check out the fantastic graffiti street art at Corbans, before getting on the bus back to Roskill.

Polyfest 2016

On the 16th – 20th March the annual ASB Polyfest took place at the Manukau Sports Bowl. This year, Mount Roskill Grammar had five groups participating; Maori, Samoan, Niuean, Indian, and Tongan. Each group put in many hours of practice and represented our school superbly at the event. We are proud of each group's efforts and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who was involved. From the staff
and students to the family and community members that helped make this experience such a memorable and enjoyable event.



MRGS Tongan Culture Group

There were 74 members of MRGS Tongan Cultural group who prepared and performed on Friday 18th of April at the ASB Polyfest. They were very positive and well behaved. They performed two different faiva (dancing). They did very well and won the first prize for Faha’iula and came second for Lakalaka. Members have learnt and experienced that they have to be positive and persevere in order to achieve a set goal. It is exciting that Level 1, 2 and 3 students will all achieve NCEA credits from what they have done. This years group upheld the good reputation of MRGS, as always being one of the top three schools on the Tongan stage.



MRGS Niuean Culture Group

MRGS have not had a Niuean culture group representing the school at Polyfest for 12 years. After much discussion between Mr Tuialii, Lynnie Leilona (tutor) and the Niuean community it was agreed that a group would be entered this year. Practices for group leaders started late 2015 over the holiday period and then students were asked to sign up with practices starting in week one of Term 1, 2016. Practices were held daily c/o Mt Roskill Intermediate School gym, Saturday’s c/o Wesley Intermediate School hall and then for last few weeks before Polyfest c/o MRGS quad area.

The majority of the 23 students are of Niuean descent with a few Samoan students as well. They were well led by group leaders Thornton Taufelila and Ana Laufoli plus well tutored by Lynnie Leilona, and accompanied by musicians Afa
, Minnie Polima and Morrison Fakaigo Ikaposi. The additional parent support also needs to be acknowledged (Taufelila, Laufoli, Fakaigo and Vaisele families) as does Mr Tuialii, Mr Pune and Ms Atchison.

As a lead up to Polyfest the group was invited to perform at Mt Roskill Intermediate School and Wesley Intermediate School whole school assemblies. We’d like to extend a big thankyou to these schools for inviting us to perform and for the use of their facilities for practices. We are part of a wider school community so it was a great example of collaboration at its best. After a 12 year absence from the Polyfest stage our expectations were to have fun and represent MRGS, ourselves and families with pride.

The group far exceeded our expectations and proudly achieved the following:

  • 1st place Olden
  • 1st place Exit
  • 2nd place Meke
  • 2nd place Costume
  • 3rd place Modern

Awarded the ‘Koli mo e Lologo he Vaha Tuai’ trophy on behalf of all the students (listed below), tutor, musicians, parents and supporters we’d like to say a big thankyou to everyone who has supported the group. MRGS is back and rocking on the Niuean Polyfest stage!

Lynnie Leilona (tutor) / Russell Su’a (teacher in charge)

MRGS Niuean Culture Group 2016 (as at 30/3/16):


  • Thornton Taufelila 12HSBV
  • Corban Taufelila 9HREW
  • Jerry Tafea 13HMAZ
  • Rhicky Tafea 13HREW
  • Dornell Ikaposi 13CAFL
  • Jon Maluavia 10SGRN
  • Devante Brennan 12HRSG
  • Nisi Polima Isaia 9HNGO
  • Akuila Fakatoumafi 10RKKT
  • Antonio Filemone 9SSRG
  • Joey Noue 9SMCS


  • Ana Laufoli 12HMAN
  • Krisney Akeimo 13HGYC
  • Lovely Oka Uaisele 11RKKT
  • Maggie Akeimo 11CJNW
  • Vaimoana Tuitavake 11HMAN
  • Olivia Vaisele Fakatoumafi 10SLYN
  • Siutaisa Palu 9HRSG
  • Neigalo Lavea 9RKKT
  • Victoria Polima 12HRNK
  • Bianca Bryan 10NBGV
  • Tanya Bryan 12CCAV
  • Prigette Halalova 13SLYN


  • Afa Laufoli
  • Minnie Polima
  • Morrison Fakaigo Ikaposi


  • Malia Taufelila
  • Tala Taufelia
  • Tessa Laufoli
  • Afako Laufoli
  • Tukisifa Fakaigo
  • Avia Fakaigo
  • Taka Vaisele
  • Heilala Vaisele

Board of Trustees Triennial Elections

Nominations are invited for the election of five (5) parent representatives to the Board of Trustees.
A nomination form and a notice calling for nominations will be posted to all eligible voters.  Additional nomination forms can be obtained from the school office.
Nominations close at noon on Thursday 19 May 2016 and may be accompanied by a signed candidates’ statements.
The voting roll is open for inspection at the school and can be viewed during normal school hours. There will also be a list of candidates’ names, as they come to hand, for inspection at the school.
An evening for prospective candidates to speak to voters will be on Thursday 26 May 2016 at 7.30pm at the school in the Hodge Learning Commons.
Voting closes at noon on Thursday 2 June 2016.

  • Calling for Board of Trustee nominations by Thursday 5 May 2016
  • Voting papers sent by Tuesday 24 May 2016
  • Voting day by Thursday 2 June 2016
  • Count votes Wednesday 8 June 2016
  • New Board takes office Thursday 9 June 2016

Beverley Wong
Returning Officer

Year 12 Photography Trip

On Tuesday March 22 the Year 12 Photography students completed a field trip to Cornwall Park and the One Tree Hill summit to create photographs for their AS 2.2 Landscape assignment. The objective of the assignment is for students to demonstrate understanding of the conventions of landscape photography by looking at a range of different exemplars and to use these conventions in their own work. We started photographing at the Greenlane end of the park, walked up to the summit where more photographs were taken, then walked down the Manukau Road side of the mountain to the Star Dome Observatory. It was a busy day and the students are now downloading their images and working on them in Photoshop in preparation for the approaching deadline.


Book Week at Dominion Road School

Visit to Dominion Road School for Book Week:
On Monday, March 21st, a group of prefects visited Dominion Road School as part of book week. Here, they read to students from their favourite picture books. Our students enjoyed visiting the primary school, as many of them had gone to Dominion Road School in the past. The children also enjoyed having the older students read to them and were full of questions about the chosen books. It was a great success all round and wonderful to see reading enjoyed across the community.

Apirana Taylor Visit

On March 12, poet and author Apirana Taylor visited the school. Year 9 students were treated to a poetry recital of some of his most notable works, such as Rat-at-tat-tat and Sad Joke on a Marae.  A group of 25 senior students sat down in the school library with Taylor for a writing workshop, where they explored the power of words and were able to craft their own poetry using some of his techniques. It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to see writing in action.

Junior Report Evening

YEAR 9 & 10 SUBJECT REPORT EVENING: Thursday 31st March 4-7pm
At Mount Roskill Grammar School we value the opportunity to meet with parents and caregivers of our students so that we can work together to support their learning.
Years 9 and 10 may now be at secondary school, but all of our students benefit from us meeting with you to discuss their progress, achievement and next steps.
We look forward to seeing you and your child on Thursday 31st of March.
Bookings are now open on schoolinterviews.co.nz - The access code is tw9xe
Any queries please do not hesitate to contact the school admin@mrgs.school.nz or 621 0050

Year 12 Lake Pupuke Trip

12APY went to Lake Pupuke to give the sports of Windsurfing and Paddleboarding a try. It was a new experience for most of the class and it was great that  everyone gave it a go. The weather was a challenge; not enough wind in the morning and too much in the afternoon. There was just as much time spent falling into the lake as standing on the boards but as the day wore on the level of success increased. Throughout the day there was plenty of fun and laughter and most importantly, plenty of learning and thinking around the aspects of safety involved in the activity which the class was currently learning.

Excellence Awards Evening

Our annual Excellence Awards allowed students and their families to proudly mark their examination achievements at NCEA and Scholarship. It was a marvellous evening and a number of past students took the time away from varsity to accept our acclaim including two of our Outstanding New Zealand Scholars - Arun Ravindran and Zi Yuan Tee.

Ta Moko Trip

The Year 13 Drama class went to The Basement Theatre in Week 6 (term 1) to see the incredible Dance-Drama-Spoken word hybrid performance of Ta Moko, performed and devised by students of the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts. Mt Roskill Grammar is enjoying a fabulous relationship with The Basement this year as a partnership school – the patrons of the theatre provide free transport and tickets to shows for our students in order to allow MRGS students to see local talent for free. The performance was a moving performance about identity and culture, and although it was unsure how much the Drama students would read into the Dance component of the performance, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive and students felt a real personal connection to the story of the performance. We would like to thank PIPA and The Basement for this incredible opportunity and cannot wait for future performances courtesy of the generous Basement Theatre.


Opening of Hodge Learning Commons

As part of the development of our Facilities, the H block downstairs area , previously Senior Common Room - was opened this week as the ‘Hodge Learning Commons’. This renovated area will provide a learning hub and pathways offices for the school in addition to being a place where Year 13 can share their intervals and lunchtimes.


Pop-Up Globe Visit

In late March the Year 11 and 12 Drama classes went back in time to Elizabethan England - to the Pop Up Globe! This structure is the first of its kind in the world – an exact replica, pop-up, temporary reconstruction of the second Globe Theatre in London. Year 12 Drama have been studying Shakespeare for the first two internals and the workshop we were treated to was so helpful for their learning. Rita, our workshop leader, taught us about the history of the building, Elizabethan theatre, and we even got to perform on the stage in Shakespearean style. It’s been so great to have this resource available to us this year and it has made our students so much more passionate in learning about the great Bard and his works. We are going to the Globe again on the 5th of April to see a production of Romeo and Juliet which will be the cherry on top of a great start to Years 11 and 12 Drama at Mt Roskill Grammar.


MRGS BoT Survey for Parents

As part of the Board and School management’s communication and responsiveness to our community we are conducting a parent/caregiver survey in the first two weeks of March which we would appreciate as many parents as possible taking part in. This survey will provide feedback to the Board of Trustees about how we are tracking against the strategic plan. A separate e-mail with details and a link will be sent to all families but if you would like to take part now the survey can be found here.

Roskill Alumna to Attend Venice Architecture Biennale

Past Roskill student (Class of 2009) Antonia Lapwood has just been awarded a scholarship to attend the Venice Architecture Biennale. The event opens in May and is known as ‘ the Olympics of Architecture’.

Antonia is a recent Masters of Architecture graduate and recently she has been assisting with the proposed redevelopment of the Tauranga Civic Centre.

An article detailing her achievement and featuring background on her career was recently published in the NZ Herald’s Viva supplement of February 24th - a link to the article is here.

School Exchange with Lycee Jean XXIII

In term one our school continued its successful return exchange with the French school Lycee Jean XXIII. For over twelve years the languages department has established a contact which sees Roskill students journeying to Yvetot in Normandy for a two week homestay. The process is reversed when the French students visit New Zealand and are hosted by students and families. During this term’s visit of the French school, friendships were renewed and host families met the young people with whom their sons and daughters had stayed on the French leg of the exchange late last year.

On their arrival here the French party were welcomed with a stirring powhiri from the school’s Kapa Haka group,. During their first week the twenty-five students and three staff visited Rotorua, taking in the Waitomo caves on the way. They had the full Whakarewarewa village experience as part of their overnight stay including a hangi which gave them a real taste of Kiwi ‘kai’. On another trip they visited Tiritiri Matangi - witnessing the sanctuary’s wonderful bird and marine life. During their stay they also had further trips around Auckland including a morning tea at the historic Alberton mansion. They also gave a presentation in a school assembly  - performing both a popular song and their national anthem. There were some tearful farewells when the French group left for the return home; but their time with us, like the exchange as a whole, has been a positive learning experience. The school would like to acknowledge the financial support it has always received from the New Zealand-France Friendship Fund - assistance which has enabled the continuation of the exchange for many years.


NZQA Fees Collection 2016

All senior students must pay their NZQA Fees (compulsory) to the accounts office between Wednesday 18th May – Friday 20th 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.

Learning Capability Time (LCT)

With the change in daily timetable for 2016 all students now have a lesson each Tues and Thurs during LCT where they are explicitly taught a range of capabilities to help prepare them for the global world.

The vision for Learning Capability Time is that:

all Mount Roskill Grammar students are given opportunities which support them in developing key learning dispositions and transferable skills or competencies that will enable them to become successful, lifelong learners who are active and responsible citizens.

LCT will provide students with a space in which to think and develop ideas about who they are, what their beliefs are, and how they learn. To work out how to find support when needed, how to collaborate effectively with others and how to navigate relationships, technology, and a range of their own and others’ expectations.

These are the types of things we want students to be able to say as a result of their learning in LCT:

  • I have experienced leading others in learning while at school.
  • I have ideas about what kind of world I want to live in.
  • I can effectively and professionally present my skills, qualifications and experience in a CV.
  • I know what caring and having empathy for others is.
  • I want to do positive things for others as well as achieving my own success.
  • I know how to study in a way that works well for me. I have strategies for time management so I can meet deadlines.
  • I have experienced stress but I have strategies for dealing with and preventing stress.

Student Engagement

One of our annual school goals this year is:

Each teacher will lift student engagement and achievement through examining and strengthening their pedagogy (learning and teaching)

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 92% for 2016. 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 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 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 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.

Lateness to school:

Students must be in class within 4 minutes of the start time of each lesson. When a student is late to class they miss the initial learning being set up for that lesson and they interrupt the learning for others in the class. If late the class teacher will send the student to the Deans Centre for a late pass and mark the student LATE. The student will then attend a make-up session after school that day. Repeated lateness will result in students completing detentions after school.

By being on time all students will get the best from their learning.

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

Ms J Small
Associate Principal
Learning and Engagement

MRGS Reunion Lunch

For the third successive occasion, Bob Jones (MRGS foundation pupil from 1953) has organised a Reunion lunch which took place in February. There was a great response to the invitation and 90 people were confirmed, 32 of which are Foundation pupils. People attended from all parts of New Zealand and overseas. Bob’s comment recently was that even after 60 years those attending still remember their days at MRGS fondly. The event was held at “The Venue” on Waiheke island.

Prefect Team and Head Prefects 2016

In an early assembly this term the 2016 School Prefects were formally introduced to the school and presented with their badges. These 42 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:

Sanaj Deshpande and Deeksha Vijayakumar are the Head Prefects for 2016 and Mary Kate Fonua, Joshua Simmons, Victor Chitando and Janita Fuller are the Deputy Head Prefects.

NZ Scholarship Exam Successes

Our school’s record of achievement in the premier national examination continued with students gaining 64 scholarships - the best result since 2008 and the 5th best in the 25 years since this model of scholarship was introduced. Three students, Nathan McDougall, Arun Ravindran and Zi Yuan Tee will receive New Zealand Outstanding Scholar Awards. Arun and Nathan each gained 3 outstanding scholarships and three further scholarships placing them 10th and 11th in New Zealand just outside Premier Scholar status. Scholarships were gained across 14 different subjects with 17 scholarships and 3 outstanding scholarships achieved in Accounting. 34 students gained at least one scholarship and 8 students gained 3 or more scholarships. A striking performance from our 2015 cohort of senior learners!

MRGS NCEA Results from 2015

Once again Mount Roskill students demonstrated their powerful learning in the NCEA examinations.
Some details and graphs are given below:-

Whole school

  • Pass rate for Level 1 at 79% is the best ever and is ahead of and increasing more rapidly than the national rate.
  • Pass rate for Level 2 at 75.2% matches the best ever result in 2014; 12 % up on previous years.
  • Pass rate for Level 3 at 60.7% is the best ever and is matching national trends.
  • The percentage of year 13 students gaining at least level 2 is now 90%.
  • Level 1 Numeracy and Numeracy achievement rates remain over 90%.
  • Excellence and Merit endorsement achievement rates are very good. The number of excellence endorsements at levels 1 and 3 are the highest ever.

Key points

  • There is a sustained trend of improvement in Level 1 and Level 2 pass rates, particularly for Maori and Pasifika students.
  • Endorsement rates at all levels continue at high levels.
  • Increasing achievement is beginning to impact at Level 3

Excellence Endorsements fror 2015 Exams

Once again the school achieved high numbers of Excellence endorsements. At all three levels we surpassed our results in 2014 and continued the outstanding achievement across a range of subjects that the endorsements represent. A student’s NCEA will be endorsed with Excellence if they gain 50 credits at Excellence. This year a total of 203 MRGS students achieved at this highest level across NCEA 1, 2 and 3. In addition another 295 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 will be celebrated at our forthcoming Excellence Awards Evening in the school hall on March 10th.

Graphs below give the Level 1 and 3 Excellence Endorsements in comparison with National figures.

MRGS endorsements at these levels continue to be above national and in 2015 were 6.4 % higher at level 1 and 6.5% higher at Level 3.

UN Youth High School Ambassador

Disha Gomathinayagam, a year 13 student in Rutherford house and a member of Prefect team has been selected as a UN Youth High School Ambassador for 2016. In this role she will be supporting and promoting the organization of UN Youth which runs a number of events throughout the year for both high school and tertiary students, including the well-regarded Auckland Model United Nations, Auckland Case Competition and outreach events. The organisation provides civics education outside the usual classroom context. Through fun workshops, Model UN, and other events, they engage students in the most pressing affairs of their country and the international community. We are sure that UN Youth will benefit from Disha’s energy and commitment.

New Staff Members

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!

Hockey Turf Update

Work on the redevelopment of the Hockey turf continues. Its base layer, and fencing are nearing completion. We expect to be using the new surface in mid-May.

Parents of New Students Evening

On Tuesday 16th Febrruary we held our annual meeting for families of new students. The evening opened with an informal opportunity to meet and greet House Deans and school leaders over a a cup of tea and biscuits. Those attending were then invited to take their seats in the hall for a brief introduction to the school by Board Chair Marjet Pot, the Principal and other Senior Leaders. A highlight of the presentation was the introduction of the school’s Head Prefect team for 2016 who each gave brief detail about themselves and their school involvement. Their words and the commitment to the school they displayed fittingly inspired our new students and their parents.

Powhiri for New Students and Staff

Once again the school proudly welcomed its new members in the school hall. The class of 2016 were called into the school hall with a karanga and given a rousing haka powhiri by existing staff, prefects and year 13s before being formally acknowledged by a whaikorero from the Principal Greg Watson. After the ceremony students joined their House groups for an orientation day.


2016 Start of Year Details

School Administration Office

The School Administration Office opens on Thursday 21st January

Returning Students: Course Changes

Returning Students – 2016 course changes only:

  • Year 13 – Wednesday 27th January 9.00am (in school hall)
  • Year 12 – Wednesday 27th January 11.00am (in school hall)
  • Year 11 – Wednesday 27th January 1.00pm (in school hall)

First School day:

Thursday 4th February 2016 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 5th February = All students

9.00 am (students to form classes)

School closed Anniversary Day – Monday 1st February
School closed Waitangi Day – Monday 8th February


All new enrolments must be completed by Tuesday 26th January for students wishing to start on 4th February.

Uniform and Stationery Shop
on Campus (access Frost Road entrance 4)

Opening hours – Jan 26th - 29th, 8.00am to 6.00pm closed Monday February 1st
Feb 2nd – 5th, 8.00am to 6.00pm; closed Monday February 8th
February 9th 8.00am to 12.00 midday; Feb 10th – 12th 8.00 to 9.00am and 3.00pm to 5.00pm.

Then the shop will return to normal term time hours
Mondays – 8.00-9.00am and 3.00 to 4.00pm; Thursdays - 8.00-9.00am and 3.00 to 4.00pm

Term Dates 2016

Term 1
For Y9 and new students Thursday 4th February. For all other students Friday 5th February - Friday 15th April
Term 2
Monday 2nd May - Friday 8th July
Term 3
Monday 25th July - Friday 23rd September
Term 4
Monday 10th October - Friday 9th December

Changes to the School Day for 2016

Over the past two years the school has been reviewing its provision of learning in the junior school and has pursued its vision to make learning in years 9 and 10 as interesting as possible and the best possible base for senior learning. This has resulted in changes to subject choices in the junior school with a deepening of learning opportunities in certain subjects and the introduction of academies in a range of areas. As part of this continuing process of strengthening learning provision we are making changes to the way the week at Roskill will look in 2016. The changes will make the times of the day simple and straightforward.

For 2016 the school will have a new timetable in which:

  • There are 25 periods per week (rather than the previous 27 periods) - so no lessons will be rotated off.
  • Every lesson will be 55 minutes long
  • LCT— Learning Capability Time will be three times a week for 30 minutes each time (It will be more like a lesson and focusing on learning.) Everyone in the form class will be there.
  • Assemblies will only be on Monday. On the first week of a two week cycle -there will be a school assembly. On the second week there will be house assemblies - strengthening the idea of the house being a ‘school within a school’.
  • School will still finish at 3.10 pm ( apart from Wednesday when finish time will be 3.00pm)
  • School will start a little later at 9.00 am. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The expectation is that with a 9.00am start everyone has plenty of time to get ready and be on time for learning. It also means that there will be some time before school when teams or student groups might choose to meet.
  • School will start on Wednesday at 9.20 ( This is to allow for Staff Professional development time before classes)
  • Otherwise the school day will be the same. There will be 5 lessons, lunch will be after period 4 followed by assembly or LCT.

Mount Roskill Grammar School - Frost Road, Mount Roskill, Auckland New Zealand T:+64 9 6210050 F:+64 9 6210055 Terms & Conditions  Site Credits