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Continuing Success for Chess Teams

Recently our A chess team won the West Auckland Zone competition, qualifying us for the ChessPower National Finals in Nelson in December. Our B Team placed 2nd in the same competition.

Individually, Kashyap Choudhary received a silver medal for 2nd place, Sarah Yan a bronze medal for 3rd place, and Sarah also received a gold medal as the top girl in the tournament.

On Friday 14th March we hosted the central zone tournament and again we placed first and second with our two teams. Sarah Yan also earned a bronze medal for being the 3rd best girl at the tournament, with 6 wins out of a possible 7.

Roskill Musician to Join NZSsSO

We were delighted to hear recently that senior student Mark Bingham has been selected for the NZSSSO (The New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra). Mark is a talented trombonist and his selection recognises the high standard of his instrumental skills. Entry to the NZSSSO is by audition and over 150 students applied for consideration.

Mark’s selection gives him the opportunity to represent the school in a full size orchestra and taking part in the symphony orchestra course is regarded as a significant training ground for membership later of the New Zealand Youth Orchestra, and ultimately for many to a career as a professional musician.

The orchestra members will take part in an intensive six day orchestral course in Christchurch in the coming school holidays - and this will culminate in two public performances at St Margaret’s College . The programme for the concert will have pieces by NZ composer Gareth Farr in addition to international pieces by Sibelius, Dvorak and Gershwin. We are sure that Mark ’s expertise will make a strong contribution to the performance evenings.

11SPS Steinlager II Sailing Trip

Last year when the America's Cup Yacht Races were on, some students at MRGS said they would love to go on boats like those racing but doubted they would ever experience that in their lifetimes. So the challenge was laid down and the PE Department has made this possible for 11SPS in 2014.

All the 11SPS students had a once in a life time opportunity to sail for 2 days and sleep overnight on Steinlager 2; once skippered by the inspirational Sir Peter Blake when he won the 1989/1990 Whitbread Around the World Race in the impressive boat. Many skills were learnt by the students in only 48 hours; a new experience for all stepping out of their comfort zones, working with others and discovering how to communicate, sail, tie knots, navigate, analyse weather – winds and currents, read maps, how to log boat entries, navigate and tramp on islands in the Hauraki gulf and even construct rafts! At the same time they were assessed in Achievement Standards for Self-Management and Safety in the Outdoors. What better way to put theory into practice!

The Trip one Adventure included sailing to Tiri Tiri Matangi, tramping around the island and then sailing to Kawau Island to stay overnight at Mansion House bay.
Trip two the following week sailed to Motutapu Island and tramped around there before staying overnight on Ponui Island. This was followed the next morning by a 7:30am swim, then by raft building at Garden Cove on Waiheke Island.

[A generous donation to the NZ Sailing Trust from Richie McCaw's charity foundation "For EveryOne" made this trip possible for MRGS students. See story below].

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Students Meet All Black Captain

On Friday the 21st of March 2014, four students were selected to go and meet famous All Blacks captain Richie McCaw. The lucky students were Aubrey Lasi, William Tupou, Krisney Akemio and Hayley Gosling who each felt honoured and privileged to have this opportunity.

'All four of us were lost for words when coming face to face to the icon. We were lucky enough to ask him some questions; we discovered that if Richie hadn't become a top rugby player, his other dream was to become a farmer down south."

Richie's inspiration of how hard-work beats talent is something that will stick with all four of us, through our future endeavours. It was a privilege to be involved in this once in a life time meet and greet, and if it wasn't for Mrs Bennett we wouldn't have had this opportunity. So we would like to thank her on behalf of us all. (Written by Hayley and Krisney)

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Head Prefects Meet Distinguished Auckland University Alumni

Head Prefects - Hayden Couper and Mildred Wong recently attended the 3rd annual ‘Auckland Live!’ event at Auckland University. This event brings together six distinguished graduates of the university - all recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni awards: Bruce Aitken - ex-CEO of Vancouver based Methanex Corporation; Gareth Farr ONZM -  a leading composer; Dr. Julie Maxton - Executive Director of the Royal Society; Dr. William Tan - neuro scientist and paralympian; Hon Dr. ‘Ana Maui Taufe’ulungaki - Minister for Education and Training in the Kingdom of Tonga; and Roseanne Liang - Young Alumna of the Year, film director and writer. Broadcaster Finlay MacDonald interviewed the achievers in a panel chat evening and they each afforded inspirational role models and clear insights into the benefits of further tertiary learning after school.

Biology Students Attend Televised Debate

Early in March, 16 MRGS Biology students were selected to participate in the studio audience of Professor Lord Robert Winston’s NZ debate on the Ethics of Reproductive Technologies. This was in recognition of the close ties between the MRGS Bio dept and the University of Auckland. The event was live-streamed to schools around the country and to schools overseas with an audience of around 4,000. A senior MRGS student Theo Loretz, was further privileged to be invited to have lunch with Lord Winston and sit on stage as a member of the panel of ‘experts’ discussing the ethics of reproductive technologies and Theo carried out this role with enthusiasm.

Theo’s comments - "Being on the panel with Lord Robert Winston is something I will never forget. Talking on the pressing issue of the ethics of reproductive technologies such as In Vitro Fertilisation and Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis was something that at first was a little scary, as these procedures are against my religious views. However, my views were respected and appreciated by both the audience and Lord Robert Winston himself. The talk was essential to young people today as it addresses the complexity around these issues and invites us to think, debate and find where we stand on ethical issues in science."

[Lord Winston is patron of Gravida and a Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College, London. Lord Winston is a noted science commentator and advocate, presenting shows such as ‘Child of our Time’ and ‘The Human Body’.]

Polyfest 2014

Once again our cultural groups performed with commitment and skill at the annual Polyfest. Kapa Haka, Tongan, Samoan and Indian groups had practised hard from the beginning of the year to perfect their performances. A number of the groups had been involved in sleep-over weekends which enabled the fellowship that is so much a part of these shared endeavours. The preparation work and the polyfest actual days owe so much to the support and expertise of tutors, staff, parents and community members - who give their time and goodwill to encourage our students. Each group gave their best on performance days and made the school proud by their bearing and athleticism exhibited in the routines. Amid a range of marvellous performances the Tongan group had particular success. They were awarded first place in the Mako - the fast paced dance performed by the young men of the student group. In the Lakalaka - the longest and hardest of the Faiva (dance) they were awarded a 4th place. These results are a fitting reward for everyone’s effort over the term.

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Passing of Treasured Kaumatua

Mount Roskill Campus Schools and the Wider Puketapapa Community Mourn the Passing of a Treasured Kaumatua

Recently the grammar school learned of the death of Tame Cassidy, past Kaumatua and Board of Trustees member. Tame served as a Board member from 1998 to 2007 and throughout that time was a tireless supporter of the school’s values and the development of its whanau to encourage student achievement. He championed the progress of kapa haka at the school and was ever-present at school events to encourage students and the further accomplishments of the campus. Tame was a Roskill taonga - a treasure to us all. In 2012 his service to the community was recognised by the Puketapapa Local Board when he was presented with a Good Citizen Award.

Head of Maori at MRGS Lee Tawhai and the school’s senior leadership paid tributes when he was laid to rest at the Mangere Lawn cemetery, and the grammar school’s Kapa Haka group performed a haka at the graveside. At this term’s Whanau hui the Campus Principals remembered Tame’s contribution to our tamariki over many years. We share with Tame’s family the sadness of his loss but are supported by the knowledge that his spirit, like the Titoki tree we planted on his retirement as Kaumatua, will always rest as a guardian presence over our whare and the grammar school’s continuing contribution to the education of our young men and women.

E Tame, takoto mai i te poho o to whanau, takoto mai, takoto mai

Tame - May you rest in peace in the bosom of your family, rest in peace, rest in peace

Senior Report Evening

Senior Report Evening - 4-7pm Thursday 10 April 2014

You can make an interview time by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the Event Code of 8VZ3E

Bookings close 8.30am Thursday 10 April

Class Act

On the 11th of March students from MRGS were given the chance to experience professional theatre performance first hand when a trio from Class Comedians gave a free stand-up comedy show during the lunch hour. Interested senior students were then invited to join an after school workshop where they were led by Ben Hurley of 7 Days fame. The results were outstanding! From a group of handpicked students offered further development, Ruby Allen-McKee has confirmed her place in the continuation workshops and will be joining Class Comedians this year. As well learning to write and perform a stand up set, she will meet local and international stand ups and performers, industry experts and will also be introduced to various other media options. We wish Ruby the best of luck and for anyone interested in seeing the final performance - the live show is Saturday May 10th, 4PM at Rangatira @ Q Theatre.

Alumni Achievements

Manoj Daji

New Year’s Honours Awards for three former Roskill Students

Our community began 2014 with some excellent news when the New Year’s Honours announcements listed three Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) awards to ex– Roskill students.

Mervyn Ah Chee was given his award for services to hospitality and the community. Mervyn is also a strong supporter of the Sursum Foundation and married to Quieta, also a past pupil of our school.

Manoj Daji received his for services to sport and education. Manoj is a former Headboy ,1st X1 Captain and assists the Sursum Foundation whenever he is able.

Mark Christopher Grantham gained his honour for services to the community. He was an inspiration as a student and has continued that into adulthood. He is a notable presence on Newmarket’s Broadway selling chocolate for his many sponsored World Vision children.

General Information and Reminders

General Information and Reminders for Parents and Students

Uniform

MRGS regulation uniform is the only school uniform that may be worn and the uniform requirements are available here. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact Mrs Collins on 621 0050. For security purposes please ensure your child’s uniform is clearly named.

Second Hand Uniform

Year 11 going in to year 12? Outgrown your uniform? If you have second hand uniform to sell, collect a card from the Deans’ Centre and it will be posted in the Deans’ Centre window for three weeks. Transactions are conducted between buyer and seller, not through the school.

Uniform Shop Hours

The MRGS uniform shop is open Mondays and Thursdays from 8.00 am to 9.00am and 3.00pm to 4.00pm.

Attendance

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. Students are expected to be in every class on time in order to be successful powerful learners.

Bullying

At MRGS we have zero tolerance for bullying.

We use restorative practices to ensure that victims have a voice. We aim to heal the harm while endeavouring to change the wrongdoer’s behaviour. In some cases the senior leadership team will need to extend our response beyond a restorative approach.

We also have a range of staff able to assist students if they have any concerns…

Students should not hesitate to contact their house dean in the Deans’ Centre.

Alternatively they are welcome to make an appointment with one of our counsellors (counsellor appointments can be made before school or at break times through Mrs Pace at student services or via facebook).

Contact Details

If you have a new address, phone number, cellphone number or email address please pass this information through to the school: admin@mrgs.school.nz

Emergency contact details should also be kept current so please update the school when either the person or their contact details change.

Please ensure that you have given the school a current email address which enables us to keep you up to date with information and newsletters.

Junior Report Evening

4-7pm Thursday 27 March 2014

You can make an interview time  by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the Event Code of Z8W8T

Bookings close 8.30am Thursday 27 March

Senior Report Evening

4-7pm Thursday 10 April  – booking details will be advised shortly

11SPS and Richie McCaw

Four students (Aubrey Lasi, William Tupou, Krisney Akeimo and Hayley Gosling), after attending the 11sps Sport Science trip, were selected to meet Richie McCaw.

Comments from the students included “it was an awesome opportunity to meet such a famous professional rugby player who was very humble.” 

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Richie McCaw's charity foundation "For EveryOne" also donated some money to the NZ Sailing Trust. This generous donation made it possible for MRGS students from both year 11 Sport Science classes to do two days sailing on the famous boat Steinlager 2, once capitained by Sir Peter Blake.

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Japanese Restaurant Trip

On Friday 14th March, a group of 8 students who study Japanese along with Kojima Sensei had an outing to the Japanese Restaurant Nishiki. There they ate a mouth watering set meal of authentic Japanese food consisting of Miso Soup, Sushi, Tempura (Fried Shrimp), Edamame (Boiled Soy Beans), Yakitori (Fried Chicken), Tataki (Lighlty Grilled Beef) and a wide range of ice cream where the Green Tea and Sesame flavoured ice cream were the most popular. The food was praised with boat loads of comments such as ii desuyo (It’s good! In Japanese) and totemo oishii (very delicious in Japanese). It was a great experience. Thank you Kojima Sensei for taking us there!

Rachel Fan (12 GFIO)

Physical Education

Physical Education is a compulsory subject at Mt Roskill Grammar from year 9 – 12 where all students have two periods per week. All students are expected to wear correct PE uniform for all lessons. Please ensure your son/daughter has their uniform clearly named in full. No school sports uniforms are to be worn for PE.

We all know the benefits of exercise and eating properly, we have read it, most of us have acted on it, yet we still get many parents signing letters to get their child excused from PE. Please think about what you are doing before signing – there are many things in life we do not feel like doing but most often, once we have done them we are glad we did.

If your child is well enough to be at school then they can still take part in some of the PE lesson. The Physical Education curriculum area is often referred to as having the most valuable skills you can learn for life – by learning; teamwork, sportsmanship, peer friendships, cooperation, leadership, self esteem, self confidence, personal identity and self worth and even though students maybe fully involved in sport outside of school they can still benefit in these areas during PE.

Interpersonal skills: Respect for diversity and cultures, care and concern for others, social justice, communication skills, tolerance. These are some of qualities we want to install in our students as well as being physically active.

Most of these benefits are not measurable but clearly lead to a more pro-duction and healthy life style.

As parents we hope you can help us to help you install these skills in your child while they attend Mt Roskill Grammar so please next time your son/daughter asks for a note to be excused from Physical Education you may think twice Physical Education is no different to any other subject – you wouldn’t think of asking your child to be excused from Maths or English, why PE?

Are you child's medical records with the school up to date, has their PE teacher been informed of any medical issues that might need to be recognised in a PE class?

After trialing a new initiative last year we are asking all students in Health and Physical Education to enrol on our class learning sites on Edmodo. Students have been given all the information needed to enrol in this, and we look forward to sharing parental access in the future.

Please contact Mrs Bennett HOD Physical Education ext 824 if you have any areas in the Physical Education curriculum you would like to discuss.

Gateway Programme 2014

Applications are now open for our 2014 Gateway Programme.

GATEWAY is open to Year 13 students to progress from school to the workplace. It provides students with structured workplace learning, across a wide range of in-dustries and businesses, while they continue to study at school.

We have work placements available including banking, hospitality, nursing, retail, sport and recreation, tourism, engineering, police, education, childcare etc.

GATEWAY is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) so it is FREE to students!

Is GATEWAY for you?

  • Are you a Year 13 Student at Mt Roskill Grammar School?
  • Do you have a good attendance record?
  • Are you ready to enter the working world but want some experience first?
  • Can you keep up to date with academic studies while on placement?
  • Do you have a desire to explore a particular career path?
  • Do you have the approval and support from parents?

For more information on GATEWAY check out our webpage 

Application forms are available from the MRGS website, Facebook, Mrs Payne (Room H4), outside the Deans Centre and Mrs Matthews-Ward in the Computing department. Applications close on Friday 14th March 2014.

For more information on Gateway please see Mrs Payne in H5A, Ms Matthews-Ward in the Computing department or email gateway@mrgs.school.nz

Duke of Edinburgh Award Presentation

In the summer holidays two groups of year 13 students tramped around Lake Waikaremoana as a practice hike toward the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award. Over 4 days the students walked over 46 km, climbed almost 600 metres up to Panekiri Bluff, and practised their map reading skills while carrying heavy packs (the record was 23 kg!) A highlight was the extra hour’s walk to the 22 metre high Korokoro Falls.

The following students displayed resilience, persistence, team spirit and good humour: Mildred Wong, Hanna Davidson, Praveen Krishna, Mark Yep, Shivay Singh, Savi Mohan, Diana Qiu, Dianca Mitchell, Romina Seylani, Juliet Han, Sara Li, Jenny Kim, Nuobelle Fong, Lizanne Gomes, Nicholas Jacques, Venkat Prakash, Theo Loretz and Priyam Varma. Miss Dekker—the Roskill staff member who led the party was very proud of the way the students interacted with members of the public, and a number of fellow trampers complimented the groups on their organisation and hut etiquette.

Young Ambassador Theo Loretz

Our congratulations to Year 13 student Theo Loretz who has been accepted as a Young Ambassador to France. This July he will travel to North Eastern France to participate in WW1 commemoration events, visit historical and cultural sites and make contact with the people of this region. Theo and other students from around the world who have been selected as Young Ambassadors will also have the honour of representing their country during the official parade down the Champs-Élysées in Paris to open the commemorations on Bastille Day.

Shared Histories Project

This year marks 100 years since the beginning of the First World War. To commemorate the involvement of New Zealand in Northern France, Mr Simpson and a team of students from MRGS will be collaborating with our sister school, Lycée Jean XXIII in Normandy, as part of the Shared Histories Project. In November 2013 we were privileged to host French Minister M. Kader Arif, Ambassador M. Laurent Contini and other dignitaries at MRGS to launch this project.

Year 13 Camp

Over a week ago on the 24th of February, about 200 Year 13 students hauled their luggage to Gate 1, ready to embark on their journey to Motutapu Island. With a pleasant ferry ride over to the island, Year 13 students along with their supervising teachers began an adventurous camp that would consist of many challenging activities. These included the high ropes, seal challenge, sailing, kayaking, confidence courses, and rock climbing along with many activities that the students enjoyed and learnt from. Overall, Year 13 Camp was a success and will remain a fond memory and highlight for those who took part in it this year.

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Year 11 Applied Physical Education Camp

Recently this class enjoyed three days of outdoor activities in Tawharanui focusing on teamwork through snorkelling, first aid, and beach activities. The final day was spent snorkelling at Goat Island.

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New Staff

At Roskill the heart of our achievement is the quality of our teachers and it has been pleasing to welcome new staff who have joined us this year. They bring a range of experience and the commitment to teaching and learning of the highest level.

Powhiri for New Students

The school formally welcomed the 2014 year 9 and other new students on the first day of school in January. The ceremony marked the start of their journey of learning and citizenship in our educational community.

The new students assembled on the main field and were then called into the hall where the Kapa Haka group and the year 13s performed a haka powhiri. They then received a mihi by our Kaumatua Ted Ratana who reminded them of the proud educational and social whakapapa of Mount Roskill Grammar School.

The Principal, Mr Watson then spoke to the students welcoming them also to our whanau. After speeches and a reply from the Y9 Manuhiri represented by the Academic Dean Mr Hays, they were directed to their first house assemblies of the year where they met their form teachers and House Deans. Together with the Y13s in their form class the new students then spent the rest of the day becoming acquainted with school systems, buildings and teachers.

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