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Weekly News Bulletin Term 1, 2017

Weekly News Bulletin Term 4, 2016

Ship for World Youth Leaders

“Ship for World Youth Leaders” visit Mt Roskill Grammar

On Valentine’s day, 50 delegates from all over the world from the “Ship for World Youth Leaders” (SWY) visited MRGS to hear about MRGS’s Peer Mediation Service and NZ’s peace initiatives. This programme (SWY) is operated by the Japanese Government involving youth from Japan and many countries around the world.

It was an honour for MRGS Mediators to host this visit where we had presentations from the Peace Foundation, SOUL (Save Our Unique Landscape campaign) and the MRGS Mediators past and present. The room was a buzz of conversations about peace, respect and social justice.

 As one Advanced Mediator, Bhavisha Punja says:

It was an amazing experience where we were encouraged to ‘BLOOM’ by Matt Renata, which stands for: “Be a Leader that Opens Others Minds”. That we can lead from the front, the back and the side. That we are today’s Leaders, and that everyone and anyone can make a change if you put your heart, mind and soul into it.... The event was like being with family where we all wanted the same things of peace and love for the world. It was also great hearing from the Ex MRGS Mediators as we learnt how mediation had changed their lives and how they still use the skills in their careers and life”.

Ajay Ravindran who was a MRGS mediator in 2010 brought the delegates to MRGS. He states:

The powhiri was beautiful, and definitely served as the perfect introduction to Aotearoa, to Tamaki Makaurau, and to Mt Roskill Grammar. The mihi by Mr Watson on behalf of the school and by Matt Renata on behalf of the manuhiri and participants also set the tone for the rest of the visit...
I think the biggest round of applause has to be given to the MRGS students. I loved how open and eager they were with the participants. I know some of the Japanese participants especially were a little shy at first, but they (and others) couldn't stop talking to me about how awesome the students were...Thank you all again from the bottom of my heart, it was a huge privilege to be able to bring this group to MRGS and to have these conversations shared with them

A big thank you to the Kapa Haka group and Whaea Lee for the beautiful powhiri; The Peace Foundation presentations from Chris Le Breton, Lyndon Burford and Christina Barruel; Presentation from SOUL Pania Newton and Farrell Cleary;  our amazing ex MRGS Mediators : Naima Ali, Jonjon Cowley- Lupo, MaryKate Fonua, Nancy Gafa, ,Diana Qiu and Ajay Ravindran and last but never least to our wonderful Mediators who did MRGS proud once again!


New Parents' Evening

We welcome families of new students from all year levels. Come and learn about our school’s vision, curriculum and support network. The senior leadership team, house deans and academic deans will be present.

  • Date: 14th February 2017
  • Time: 7pm
  • Venue:  Hall

Mentoring Conference - Thursday 16th February

All year 11, 12 and 13 families meet their child’s mentor. It is an opportunity to set goals for 2017 with our learners. Mentors will contact families to arrange a time to meet for 15 minutes between 4pm and 8pm. Our mentoring programme is well supported by our community and reflects the value we place on face-to-face reporting.

First Day Powhiri 2017

Once again the school proudly welcomed its new members in the school hall on Thursday 2nd February. The class of 2017 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 which included the first Peer Support sessions.


2017 Startup Info

Welcome to the 2017 school year at MRGS – details of start-up dates for all students are detailed below.

Returning Students – 2017 course changes only
Students must attend in uniform in the school hall

  • Year 13 – Wednesday 25th January 9.00am
  • Year 12 – Wednesday 25th January 11.00am
  • Year 11 – Wednesday 25th January 1.00pm
  • Peer Support Leaders - Wednesday 25th January 1.00pm in the Hodge Learning Commons.

First School day:

Thursday 2nd February 2017, 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 3rd February = All students

  • 9.00 am ( all students to form classes)

School closed Anniversary Day – Monday 30th January
School closed Waitangi Day – Monday 6th February

– All new enrolments must be completed by Tuesday 24th January for students wishing to start on 2nd February.

Uniform and Stationery Shop – on Campus (access Frost Road Gate 4)
Opening hours:   

  • January 23rd - 26th 8.00am to 6.00pm
  • Fri Jan 27th 8.00am to 12.00 midday
  • Closed Monday January 30th
  • January 31st - February 2nd 8.00am to 6.00pm
  • Fri Feb 3rd 8.00 to 12.00 midday
  • Closed Monday February 6th
  • February 7th 8.00am to 12.00midday and 3.00pm to 5.00pm. 
  • February 8th 8.00am to 9.00am
  • February 9th 8.00 to 9.00am and 3.00pm to 5.00pm.
  • Closed Friday February 10th
  • Then the shop will return to normal term time hours:
  • Mondays & Thursdays – 8.00 to 9.00am and 3.00 to 4.00pm

Farewells to Associate Principals

At the end of this term we have farewelled  two of our Senior Leadership Team – Associate Principals, Julie Small and John Wilkinson. Ms Small is moving on to an exciting new position as Associate Principal at St Peter’s Cambridge while Mr Wilkinson is taking a well-earned retirement after 21 years at Roskill. Our school has been blessed with two leaders of outstanding quality and integrity in John and Julie. As part of our appreciation they were presented with taonga at Junior prize-iving by our BoT chair Marjet Pot who paid tribute to their service in her speech: “You are both very proud of MRGS and you deserve to be. You have given your heart and soul to the community. You have never turned away from the challenges of school life and you know that you have made a huge difference to the educational outcomes of students
and the professional development of staff.”
Our community wishes them both the best in their respective futures. Below we include a brief tribute to each and their service at Roskill.

Ms Julie Small

Julie began her teaching in Waikato and  taught at both co-educational and single sex schools, experienced being a Head of Department and Faculty, Deputy Principal and spent 10 years in two different schools as a Principal. She joined MRGS in 2011 bringing a wealth of experience in curriculum and exceptional leadership skills. She has made a difference at Roskill: a difference in the professional thinking of many teachers and middle leaders in the school, in the leadership capabilities of many teachers and most importantly, in the leadership and career aspirations of many students. She has worked tirelessly in the re-design of our curriculum, in the development of our Roskill Effective Teacher Profile, in the leadership of restorative practice, in school tone, and in using data sharply to understand problems and progress practice.
She has done this through an extraordinary ability to not only design big picture thinking but to track this through to what a big idea could look like in the work of each teacher and each student. In doing this with determination she has raised the educational achievement of the students of our school at all levels. As a leader pastorally, academically and operationally, she has left no stone unturned in her quest to ensure that all students are catered for and reach their potential. We thank her for her commitment and exceptional service.

Mr John Wilkinson

Before emigrating to New Zealand from England in 1989, John was a teacher and HOD English in a variety of schools. He first taught at Auckland Grammar School and joined  Roskill in 1995 as HOD English. He  became a Deputy Principal in 2003 and later Associate Principal. In addition to developing teaching in his subject and managing a successful Department he has been a national leader in English curriculum development, NCEA assessment and the New Zealand Scholarship English examination. As a community we have been lucky to have such a wise and able leader guiding our school for 21 years.

John has been instrumental in strategic planning, policy development and the school gaining its double 5 year ERO reviews. His work in shaping and presenting the work of the school has been outstanding. He has been our event planner, developing the NCEA Awards Evening, running the Diamond Jubilee, being the most amazing MC at the campus music event, quite at home amongst the primary school ukele band; absolute calm in a sea of excited musicians.

In later years John has worked alongside the Board and is the wordsmith and the thinking power force for the strategic planning and policy development. He has brought  his wisdom and clarity of thought to the role of being responsible for the tone of the school. He is seen as our 'gentleman and scholar’; empathetic, always treating people graciously and thoughtfully, highly educated, widely and richly read.
He is fiercely proud of Roskill, when he speaks to students about Roskill they listen because they sense the depth of his convictions about a school community he loves.

He has led the school adeptly as Acting Principal on a number of occasions, always bringing sound judgment, attention to detail, and regard for each person to the role. He leaves Roskill with our thanks, having been an outstanding and most respected leader.

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