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Term 2 Friday Mail Out

Ronald McDonald House Dinner

Ronald McDonald House is a home for families of sick children who are receiving treatment at Starship Hospital.

This week 13FHS23 prepared, cooked and served dinner for the families staying there. We served dinner at 6pm with the help of Kiwanis (an International service group who focus on children). We organised and prepared the dinner – Kiwanis fund it and help with the service.

The families enjoyed the meal and expressed their gratitude.
 
We had a great time and enjoyed helping others.

Charlotte, Nita, Tabby, Sini and Ngawai
26 May 2017

Language Perfect World Champs

Language Perfect World Championships – 15-25 May 2017

Mount Roskill Grammar School gained impressive results in this International Languages competition. MRGS pupils answered over 1.2 million questions, gaining 541,615 points, which represents 1,575 hours spent learning languages.
   
Special school achievements:

  • MRGS was 3rd school in New Zealand
  • 11th in the World (over 1,300 schools)
  • 1st in New Zealand for 250-500 languages students Category
  • 2nd in French in New Zealand (out of 225 schools)
  • 2nd in Chinese in New Zealand (out of 171 schools)
  • 7th in Japanese in New Zealand (out of 185 schools)

Special student achievements:

  • Tessa Brown – TOP Elite Award & Badge pupil at MRGS with 20,423 points!
  • ELITE Award + Badge (10,000+ points) gained by 17 students: Tessa Brown, Anna Brown, Huthaifa Ibrahim, Ellen Peng, Halym Smith, Amy Roscoe, Zainab Iqbal, Bhavya Jasti, Rebecca Ferguson, Persia Gharekhanian, Siva Sivaraman, Amisha Prasad, Zainab Aktar, Mariano Mackenzie, Euan McDougall, Leon Li, Benjamin Zhang
  • GOLD Award (3,000+ points) gained by 26 students: Ellie Zou, Lisanke Gowsigan, Eurodias Yong, Jaspher Villanueva, Shirley Chan, Emily Bayldon, Jiahui Huang, Kate Bonnici, Rejishal Sen, Sabrina Von, Sarah McKenzie, Ian Busby, Max Chen, Emily Huang, Lillian Huo, Taisei Hayashi, Neigalo Lavea, Kenny Yu, Karen Huang, Olivia Chessum, Sheng-Ya Wang, Raeesah Mustahib, Keerat Marwah, Ano Chitando, Shivasha Kishun, Lojanan Sivanantharuban
  • SILVER Award (2,000+ points) = 25 students
  • BRONZE Award (1,000+ points) = 66 students
  • CREDIT Award (500+ points) = 55 students

Chess Success

Our school chess teams did exceptionally well in the Auckland Central Championships. Our Premier Team took the silver medals; congratulations to Daniel Morrin, Euan McDougall, Elvin Zhang and William Lesiak, Our old rivals used to be Mt Albert Grammar – we left them in the dust. Now only Auckland Grammar can match us, with their top two, internationally titled players, being from Mt Roskill. A shout-out to Daniel Morrin for drawing with FIDE Master Daniel Gong – the top player from Auckland Grammar. Also well-done to our B Team, placing 3rd equal - a great job by Gaurav Pahuja, Neil Mario, Kirushni Suthakaran, and Daniel Balderrama.

2017 Language Perfect World Champs

MRGS is making excellent progress in this worldwide competition and is currently one of the very top schools out of 1,670 schools worldwide. MRGS is currently 12th in the World and 3rd in New Zealand! Special ELITE Award students so far with over 10,000 points are:

Tessa Brown, Huthaifa Ibrahim, Zainab Iqbal, Bhavya Jasti, Leon Li, Amy Roscoe, Siva Sivaraman, Amisha Prasad, Zainab Aktar, Benjamin Zhang, Persia Gharekhanian, Mariano Mackenzie, Ellen Peng, Rebecca Ferguson, Halym Smith.

The Competition finished at 6pm NZST, Thursday 25 May, and full results will follow.

Representing NZ in Badminton

Congratulations to Ian Busby (year 9) who has been selected to play for the New Zealand Under 15 Badminton team. Ian has been playing badminton since 2012 and currently plays for the Mount Roskill Grammar School A team as well as club badminton for Balmoral. On learning of his selection Ian said “The competition for
places was very strong and so I am excited to be selected and representing New Zealand
”. Despite his relatively short time in the sport, this is the second time that Ian has gone to selections but the first time he has been chosen for the national team.
Good luck to Ian in the upcoming test series against Australia which will take place in Sydney in June.

Dragon Boating

Straight into Term 1, back into school and the start of the six week Dragon boating season. Off to Westhaven Marina twice a week training up the new and excited Year 11, 12 and 13 girls who are just keen to get out onto the water. In mid-March, a group of about 20 girls travelled out to Lake Pupuke for an all day tournament. The girls gave it their all in both the 500m and 200m races and although we didn’t come out with any medals, we came out with smiling faces knowing we had tried our best. A few special acknowledgements to Miss Mackinlay who kept this sport going after Mr Williams left, and to the many other teachers who gave up their evening driving vans full of girls into the city and back.

Gibbs Farm Dance Performance

This year we were overwhelmed with pride to be invited by Pah Homestead to perform as part of their repertoire at Gibbs Farm Sculpture Art trail. We took eight selected students to the park in Makarau on the 27th of April to perform pieces they had choreographed in collaboration with Dance teacher, Miss Thompson. The pieces explored the idea of oceans, waves and the movement and dynamicity of water. The student work was of such a high quality and really challenged the students to perform in a new way seeing as at the Art trail there was no ability to play music so the students had to rely on their ensemble awareness and the use of breath and rhythm to perform the piece in cohesion. This was a great opportunity for many of the students involved to earn credits at high levels of achievement and in a context which makes authentic Performance a real possibility - we look forward to finding more opportunities for these assessment contexts.

Sheilah Winn Regional Festival

On the 6th of April, Mt Roskill Grammar entered two pieces to the Sheilah Winn Regional Festival for 2017 – Romeo and Juliet (set in the present day at Club Capulet) and A Midsummer Nights Dream players scene (also set in a modern context, at a Mt Roskill Community Hall begging amateur actors to join in
on a local performance). Our pieces challenged the audience and showcased the immense talent Mt Roskill has to offer. Although we did not place this year, we were so happy with our performances and look forward to the festival next year. We would like to thank Hobsonville Point Secondary School for their hospitality during the day.

Polyfest - Diversity Stage

This year our school entered three groups to the Diversity stage, Indian (which our
school annually enters) as well as Jamaican and African groups, which were new entries for the school, as well as Jamaican being a first ever entry to the Diversity
stage at Polyfest. The students involved had a wonderful day and loved the experience of learning about a new culture through the medium of Dance. Our results
for the day were really pleasing; Jamaican group won 2nd place in the America’s section, and the African group came 2nd in the African section as well as 2nd in the
interpretation of theme award which was a stage-wide award. A very good outcome for these groups and for the Performing Arts Department. We would like to thank the tutors, teachers and students involved for their commitment and enthusiasm this year.

Indian Dance Group

Polyfest - Indian Dance Group: from a students perspective

Our Indian dance performance at Polyfest has been enjoyable not only for me but the entire Indian Dance group members. This year the talent brought in by the students from Year 9 to Year 13 was outstanding. A highlight of this year’s group was watching everyone coming closer together as we spent a month and half together practicing and forming new friendships. We didn’t just make new friends, we became a family. The group helped each other learn the choreography, gave constructive criticism, and looked out for one another.

Overall the Indian group was very successful and we are thankful for the experience, and the opportunity that this has given us to learn more about our culture. We would like to thank the team of brilliant dancers for turning up to as many practices as they could, being so dedicated, committed and for never giving up! Big thanks to the parents and teachers involved with the Indian Group especially Ms Gillies, Ms Thompson, Mrs Patel and Mr Tuiali’i for supporting, guiding and organising everything. I would also like to thank Chernade, who was our tutor, for all the support and guidance. We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support. All the best to next year’s group, I’m sure you will continue to
strive and keep our standard high.

Shivika Sharma, STHJ

Pop-Up Globe

Learning in the Performing Arts Department is always fun, but on days such as this - it is pure joy! Mt Roskill Grammar Senior Drama students had the absolute privilege to go back in time to the 16th century to watch the play ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ by Will Shakespeare at the world-famous Pop Up Globe in Ellerslie. The students didn’t know what to expect but many said they were expecting stuffy, hard to understand language, old fashioned costumes and acting, but boy were they wrong, and very impressed! The play was hilarious and the students were smiling the whole way through - this production of Much Ado was more modernised with a Pasifika feel to it - in fact, the teachers loved watching our students watch the play almost more than watching the play; their engagement with the play was so
wonderful to see. Our students were a mix of groundlings (standing at the edge of the stage) and gallery seated patrons; our Year 12s (who are learning about Elizabethan theatre) particularly enjoyed the chance to feel as if they were back in
time and learning about the Globe theatre from a first-person standpoint. I think that this would have to be one of the best field trips we have ever experienced - even teeming rain didn’t get our spirits down - and students returned with such
wonderful opinions on one of the greatest playwrights the world has ever known, as well as some great Shakespearean quips to use with the friends and whanau!

Splendid Devising Workshop

Year 13 Drama and Year 12 Drama students had such a unique opportunity in the first week back of Term 2 to learn from a world-renowned theatre practitioner Kerry Frampton of Splendid Theatre Co based in the UK. Frampton has come to New Zealand to visit only a handful of Auckland schools on her first ever trip abroad to Aotearoa and was very keen on visiting Mt Roskill Grammar in particular.

The workshop focused on using Brechtian and Epic devising skills in preparation for their upcoming assessments in Year 13 - which focuses on alienation techniques in structuring and performance of theatre. The students had a wonderful time and were so grateful for the specialist advice and enthusiasm from Frampton and look forward to putting their knowledge into practise for their devising internal starting later this term. We hope she will visit again, perhaps with the whole Splendid team, fingers
crossed.

Chinese Music and Art

In April, Liu Lao Shi invited Ms Gander to MRGS as a guest to showcase her performance of Guzheng (an ancient Chinese string instrument) and the art of Sugar Painting (Tang Painting). Ms Gander has performed for the Corner of Chinese Culture Group at lunch time and for Year 10 Chinese in Period 5. Her exquisite technique in playing Guzheng and making sugar painting have attracted a big group of students
who came to Corner of Chinese Culture and enjoyed the music pieces named ‘ High Mountain and Flowing Waters’ and ‘Night with a Moon above the Spring River’. Each one of them was given a piece of sugar painting as a gift of appreciation for attending.

Street Dance NZ

Street Dance NZ is Aotearoa’s premiere hip hop dance competition held in April annually. Mt Roskill Grammar students featured this year in a range of hip hop crews and had some impressive success. Myke Davis Hoeft (alumni 2013) and current student Isla Mayo performed in crews which received first placings in their respective categories which qualifies them for the World Hip Hip Championships which are in Arizona in August! Neil Mohan and Victoria Medina Villapol also performed well on the evening and were a credit to the school.

Hip Hop Crews

Our PFA department has been busy this term - with two new hip hop groups added to the ever-growing list of performance opportunities. This year we have decided to split the crews to a separate Junior and Senior crew which allows for our junior students to participate in greater numbers and afford more students an opportunity for leadership. The senior and junior crews will participate in Stand Up Stand Out which happens in Term 3, as well as other performance opportunities in the school and community. We also have a fusion crew (Indian Dance and Hip Hop) rehearsing for the upcoming High School Rockerz Competition which is mid Term 2. These students have worked hard throughout the holidays to prepare for the show, led by student choreographers. We have had such a great response at auditions and some great rehearsals so far - we look forward to updating you with the progress of our groups.

An Evening of Dance

On the evening of Wednesday 1st of March, 27 students from Senior Dance classes attended a performance of Mea Tau at the Basement Theatre. Mt Roskill Grammar School benefits from our relationship with Basement Theatre’s Schools Partnership Programme which provides free tickets and transport to selected Basement shows, courtesy of generous Basement patrons. Mea Tau was created by choreographer
and dancer Elijah Kenner who was inspired by the idea of weaponry and it’s reference in the bible. It explored themes of objectification, manipulation and the relationship between toys and weaponry. The students seemed to really enjoy the show and were very vocal in the bus on the way home asking questions about the meaning of the work and how they may use the show’s work to influence their own choreography. Thanks to the students for being so well behaved on the trip and thanks again to Basement Theatre for your generosity.

Japanese Success

Tessa Brown in Year 12 travelled to Japan from 20th April to 30th April for a one-week homestay in Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu. In 2016, Tessa 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 in 2017 as a youth ambassador, enhancing the special connection between Auckland City and Fukuoka City. She received this award in the Auckland Town Hall during the 2016 Fukuoka Day. Stephen Duxfield, President of the NZJS, presented the award and Tessa also met the Mayor of Fukuoka City, Mr Takashima. 2016 was 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. Also, as part of the competition process, Tessa was interviewed by five council members both in Japanese and English.

We wish Tessa all the best for this amazing trip during which she will be staying with a host family in Fukuoka, doing sightseeing, visiting schools and being an Ambassador for New Zealand.

New Scoreboard

It was a pleasure to unveil the new MRGS score boards for both Rugby and Football on Friday 19th May. In particular it was a great occasion to have two important people to unveil the Hall-Tuialii Rugby Score Board in honour of the work Mr Keith Hall and Mr Nick Tuialii have done for the rugby community over many years. The students sung a hymn after a karakia from 1st XV player Daeton Potaka-Hogg followed by a rousing haka as a sign of respect for Mr Hall and Mr Tuialii. It was fitting that the U15 Rugby team coached by Mr Tuailii had a 34-19 win against Avondale College and the 1st XV which is managed by Mr Hall also won 23-0 against Otahuhu College. Hopefully the first of many great results in the years ahead.

Man Kaur Visit to MRGS

Man Kaur, 101, and her son, Gurdev Singh, 79, who competed in the World Games held in Auckland over the term one holidays, also paid a visit to our school. We were fortunate to have these athletes (escorted by Ella Kumar) come and talk to P.E. scholarship group students, Junior Sports Academies, and Year 12 P.E. classes about  their involvement in the World Masters games . They discussed the importance of life long physical activity for one's wellbeing. 

She credits her good health to healthy food and regular exercise. Kaur says she runs every second day at an outdoor sports grounds and goes to a gym to work on her upper body every other day. Man  Kaur won both the 100m and 200m sprints in her age category at the World Masters Games, making her the oldest to join a select group of athletes, that includes elite competitors like Usain Bolt, who have managed to win in both categories at a single international sporting event.

photos

Year 13 Classical Studies

Year 13 Classical Studies students watched one of their own - Srishti Toora - undergo a life face cast.  In ancient Rome, photographs did not exist for families to hang on their walls and remember their dead loved ones so they would have a wax mask made of their dead beloveds face and then display them in their homes to honour their memory.  The masks were very life-like and showed all the minute details of ones face, such as wrinkles, large nose, full lips, bags under the eyes and so on.  We had a mask made of Srishti’s youthful face to highlight the process of mask making and be able to look at how life-like sculpture could be. Srishti says “who would've thought that only being able to breathe through one nostril for an hour while cold gloopy cottage cheese was slapped on my face would be a thoroughly enjoyable experience” and it was most definitely for the rest of us too whilst watching it all take place. Other lucky students like Neeral also had the opportunity to have a life-like impression of the their thumbs made.

Mt Roskill Campus Fia Fia Night

Talofa lava - Malo e lelei - Fakaalofa atu - Kia Orana - Malo Ni - Bula Vinaka

You are warmly invited to the Mt Roskill Campus Fiafia Night - Celebrating Pasifika Learners on the Roskill Campus

  • Wednesday 31st May 2017
  • 6:30-8:30pm
  • Mt Roskill Primary School Quad

6:00 - 6:30pm
Sausage sizzle, music and slideshow of previous fiafia nights and Polyfest
performances of 2017.
View learning displays from the Campus schools.

6:30 - 8:00pm
Official start to the programme, with performances by our Pasifika groups.

8:00pm - 8:30pm
Supper (please bring a plate to share)
View learning displays from the Campus schools.

Fencing News

Fencing has started at Mount Roskill Grammar. This Olympic sword fighting sport takes place in gym one on Mondays and Thursdays from 3.30- 4.30. The squad is limited to 20 fencers but there are still spaces available. It is a sport that requires precision, balance and cunning as opposed to brute force.  All fencing equipment is provided for the year and students just need to bring a keen ‘can-do’ commitment, a t-shirt, track pants, non-marking sports shoes, a towel and a drink bottle. If you would like to join please see Mr Thompson in P6 during break times to learn more.

Rockers Dance Competition

Our school is entered in the High School Rockerz - Bollywood Dance Competition.  This is a well-known competition in the local community and a challenging one. We have a group of 11 performing this year and we would love it if you can come along on the night to support us. Saturday 27th May 7.30pm at the ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane. Tickets are on sale for $20 from the school accounts office and you can use the ticket on the night to vote for our school. 

Visit this Facebook page and vote for the MRGS group by liking their photo.

Punctuality Strategy Reminder

To support students learning a life skill of punctuality, the following process exists:

  1. 4+ minutes late to Period 1 students go to Deans’ Centre
  2. Conversation with student had by dean on duty regarding attendance expectations
  3. Make up time done after school
  4. Ongoing patterns of lateness or make up time not done will result in being referred to house dean or house DP

Reporting and Mentoring

REPORTING & MENTORING
MRGS REPORTING VISION:

To share information on students’ progress to strengthen achievement

  1. Progress reports will be distributed in the second to last week of term for all students.
  2. JUNIOR subject report night for year 9 and 10 students only 4-7pm Tuesday 11th April. Please book through www.schoolinterviews.co.nz code y8p4c - We look forward to meeting with you to discuss progress and next steps for our year 9 and 10 learners.
  3. Mentoring our year 11, 12 and 13 students is an ongoing process.

Mentors will meet with learners over the next three weeks to check their progress towards their academic, attendance and co-curricular goals.

Attendance Reminder

Congratulations to all students who are in class, on time, for every lesson.
Form teachers and deans are tracking each student’s attendance and we appreciate the support you also offer from home.

If your child is going to be away, please report their absence to:

You can check your student’s attendance:

February/March Sports Update

The year of sport has well and truly started for our summer sports. This year at MRGS we have Athletics, Archery, Cricket, Cross country, Dragon boat, Lawn bowls, Orienteering, Rowing, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Touch, Tag, Volleyball.

Teams that have played in Auckland wide competitions so far include Cricket, Orienteering, Rowing, Touch and Volleyball.

The boys 1st XI Cricket team have played two games to date with two losses. Some very promising touches shown throughout both of these games and the team are looking forward to that first W. The girls 1st XI have had a great start to their season with two wins from two games. Strong showings with the ball have made it difficult for their opposition to score runs and the batters have been able to chase with ease. The junior boys have their first game soon,  a team mainly made up of year 9 students so looking forward to seeing how they go.

The senior girls volleyball team have made an exceptional start to their season having played six games and coming away with five solid wins. Their only loss coming at the hands of the league favourites EGGS. Great team work shown early on in the season by all the girls.

The mixed touch have started their season with a win and a loss. The win came over Avondale and the team will be looking to secure a few more wins as the season goes on.

The first round of the orienteering got underway with a strong showing from all involved. Interest in this sport is growing with some good talent coming through.

In Rowing we had four representatives at the College sport head of the Harbour regatta. For such a small team they all did remarkably well placing in finals or just out of. These students row for local clubs so we are very fortunate to have them representing the school.

On the representative front we had two students representing Auckland at the touch nationals recently. Bianca Bryan and Fritz Tuiavii Solomona placed 3rd and 5th in their respective grades.

I would like to thank the many coaches and teachers who dedicate their time to making it possible for all the students to participate in the various sports on offer here at MRGS.

Nga mihi

Kyle Rika
Director of Sport.

Information about Typhoid - the symptoms and prevention

Dear Students and Parents

As you will no doubt be aware there have been a number of cases of typhoid in the Mount Roskill area.

Below is a link to the Auckland Regional Public Health Service website where there are information sheets about the disease, the symptoms and how to minimise risk. These are also available in Samoan and some tips in Maori at the bottom of the page.

http://www.arphs.govt.nz/health-information/communicable-disease/typhoid-fever

The best way to reduce risk of infection is to wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and water (minimum 20 seconds) and then to dry them completely.

MRGS Leadership Team

Punctuality Strategy

If a student has a valid reason for absence or lateness please contact attendance@mrgs.school.nz - If a student is more than 4 minutes late to period 1 they will have a 10 minute make-up session after school. If they do not attend that session the dean will contact you regarding the need to make up 1 hour of time on a Wednesday or Friday after school. Learning time lost is learning time that we expect to work with your child to catch up.

Attendance

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 the 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.

Athletics Carnival

The house competition got off to a great start this year with the Athletics Carnival. Students from Hillary, Sheppard, Ngata, Cooper and Rutherford House competed in tug of war, shot put and 4X100m relay events to try to secure an early lead in the House competition. The level of competition, support and camraderie matched the superb weather for the event.

photos

NZQA Fees Collection 2017

All Year 10 accelerated students and all senior students must pay their NZQA Fees (compulsory) to the accounts office between Wednesday 10th May – Friday 12th 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.

On Being Head Prefects for 2017

Over my four and a bit years at Mount Roskill Grammar, I’ve been involved in a lot of co-curricular activities, making the most of what the school has to offer. I started off playing Netball in the junior academies, but really found my passion for sport in Lacrosse in Year 10. Through this, I’ve been able to compete in Australia and around New Zealand for Auckland and the National Team. I’ve also been privileged to represent MRGS by coaching and playing in the Senior Girls Team. Lacrosse has been a stepping stone for me to become more of a leader. It has taught me how to interact and co-operate with other people, no matter of their abilities, age or culture.

From Year 9 it has been my goal to become a prefect, and along the way, my parents developed a code “T.P.P”, standing for “The Prefect Project” which they would refer to whenever they needed to pick me up from out of school practises or go with me to get end of year presents for teachers.

In the last few days of this school year, a group of about 40 of us were called into the office and were announced as the prefects for 2017. This announcement had been much awaited on my behalf, and so I was very relieved and happy when I found out that I had been offered the role. Next came the Prefect Camp. Three hot days in the beginning of December, spent at Ambury Farm just over in Mangere Bridge. For me, this was a time to detox from all the stress of the year and have fun with my mates. Throughout the camp, we really bonded as a unit, doing an Amazing Race, leadership workshops and team building activities. This camp was also the time were the students got to vote for who they thought would be good Head Prefects, though this did make situations quite tense at times. However, we all still came out of the camp knowing more people and being more sunburnt.

From that, five girls and five boys met with a group of the Senior Management Team just before school started where we had group interviews for the Head Prefect positions. I had heard about this from previous years and had always been hesitant about the thought of us being in the same room, answering the same questions. Luckily, it was not as bad as I had originally thought, with the four other girls, the senior leadership team and I all being at ease.

After the long Waitangi weekend, we were greeted back into school with another slip calling us into the conference room. The days leading up to this had been filled with anxious thoughts and so, to say the least, I was pleased to just know they had reached a decision. Mr Watson congratulated us and said that we would be the Head Prefect team for this year. The next few minutes for me were a complete rollercoaster of emotions, going from being so nervous my heart was about to blow out of my chest, to absolutely tingling with joy. This was where he said that Ojas and I would be the Head Girl and Boy for this year. The rest of the day was a blur of congratulations and hugs and then once I got home, off to training where there were more congratulations and hugs. That night, after telling
my parents, they came to the conclusion that now “The Prefect Project” was officially closing and it was time to use all the things I’d learnt throughout that project in my Head Girl duties this year.

Emma Thompson

Prefect Team for 2017

In an early assembly this term the 2017 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. Emma Thompson and Ojas Shukla are the Head
Prefects for 2017 and Meleana Puloka, Siosaia Tuitupou, Caera Judge and TJ Apulu are the Deputy Head Prefects.

Mentoring Update

Thank you to the large majority of families who attended our first conference on the 16th of February. Mentors will meet with the students twice a term in addition to family conferences (June and August dates tbc).
Our mentoring programme for year 11, 12 and 13 students involves conversations between mentors, students and the students’ families establishing and monitoring goal-setting. The goals set this month relate to academic achievement, attendance and co-curricular involvement.
To support students’ goal setting for 2017 we will be sending information about homework centres and assessment information, including deadlines for internal assessments, shortly.
The mentoring programme is a powerful context within which we can work together, with students and their families, to set SMART goals and for our students to strive to achieve them.

New Polyfest Groups

This year Mt Roskill Grammar School is entering 2 new groups to the Diversity Stage, alongside the annually competing Indian Group. The Southern African group is a team of over a dozen students from years 9-13, led by Bostwana-native tutor, Phodiso Dintwe. Dintwe is a contemporary and traditional African dancer who has made practise so much fun for our very lucky students. Ex-MRGS student Randy Sjafrie has returned this year to choreograph for our new Jamaican group, expertly guided by Diane Dunchie-Coley from the ESOL Dept who will be teaching students about the history and culture of the dances from the Caribbean nation. Chernade Prasad, also ex-MRGS, has returned to tutor the Indian group and we are excited to see her effective leadership style influence our students. So far, the engagement within the Indian, Jamaican and African groups has been very impressive, as well as the growing bond between the groups as a whole. Whilst performing on the Diversity Stage at Polyfest is not as competitive as the Pasifika and Maori stages, most of the students performing at Polyfest will be assessed against Dance and PE standards which is an exciting prospect for our learners, and they will definitely be having a lot of fun while doing it!

Meet the New Members of the SLT

Principal, Greg Watson (2nd left) welcomes Ms Janine Tupaea (far left), Mr Terry Storer (2nd right) and Mr Desmond Pemerika (far right) to the MRGS senior leadership team.

Mr Terry Storer

Mr Terry Storer joins Mount Roskill Grammar School as Associate Principal after over 25 years in education. His career has taken him all over the world and he has worked in some of the most prestigious International schools in South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Currently studying for a Doctoral degree, Terry is passionate about student leadership, providing opportunities and pathways for every student and holistic education.
In reflecting on his first few weeks at Mount Roskill Grammar School Terry said “Schools are often externally measured by exam results. These are already good at Mount Roskill Grammar and continue to improve. There is an underlying intangible for why students perform at these levels however; it is the heart and soul of the school – is the school a place where people want to come, are happy, feel safe and valued? Mount Roskill Grammar is all of those things and more. The diversity of the student body is a strength in a globalising world and is embraced and celebrated; it has become as much part of the fabric of the school as the buildings themselves. It is a fantastic place to come to every day and I am excited to get to know and understand the students, staff, parents and community even more over the coming weeks and months.”
Terry is married and has two sons in year 8 and 10.

Mrs Janine Tupaea

Mrs Janine Tupaea moved with her husband, 10 year old daughter and six year old son from the Wairarapa to take up the Associate Principal position at Mount Roskill Grammar. Both of her children are now attending Mount Roskill Primary School and are enjoying living nearby the college in the suburb of Hillsborough.
Janine’s teaching background is in Art and Design, and although this has predominantly been within secondary schools she spent some time working within an Intermediate School. Before transitioning into senior leadership Janine had been a Head of Department Art experience within three schools, including Tereora College in the Cook Islands. Her most recent position was Deputy Principal at Makoura College in Masterton, where she spent over 8 years.
Janine believes it is essential that we focus on teaching students how to think, as opposed to what to think, in order to prepare them for their future, and life long learning beyond their last day of secondary school. She commented “Education is student’s passport to travel in any direction that they so wish. Any destination is possible, regardless of the place that they are departing from, providing that we can help them to envision that it is achievable”.
When asked about her first impressions of MRGS Janine noted “I came to Mount Roskill Grammar School because I had been told about what a diverse and dynamic place it was. I have found this information accurate, and feel that our community is extremely fortunate to have such a passionate and dedicated team of staff who are continually reflecting on ways in which we can improve what we do, in order to maximise opportunities and achievement for every individual learner. Our students are a delight - and every student interaction that I come across thus far reaffirms what a unique and exciting place this is to be a part of. I am excited about what this chapter of my career involves and I look forward to working alongside students and caregivers to ensure that we are doing all that we possibly can, to ensure that every single learner succeeds to their potential”.

Mr Desmond Pemerika

Mr Desmond Pemerika comes to MRGS with a teaching background in Biology and Science. Before transitioning into senior leadership Desmond was a Dean and had Head of Department Science experience within two schools. His most recent position was Deputy Principal at Michael Park  School, where he spent over 9 years. When asked about what drives him as an educator Desmond listed the following things as keys to his beliefs.

  1. Education is an opportunity not a hinderance.
  2. We must provide an education that maintains student interest by helping them see how what they are learning prepares them for life in the real world.
  3. We must instil curiosity which is fundamental to lifelong learning.
  4. We must excite our students to become even more resourceful so that they will continue to learn outside a normal school day.

Desmond grew up on Richardson Road. When asked about his first impressions of joining the school he remarked. “Mount Roskill Grammar School feels like I am coming back home. Our students are honest, positive and I have thoroughly enjoyed the interactions I have had since starting at the beginning of the year. The staff I have found to be committed and genuinely wanting what's best for our students. I am very fortunate to be in a school with passionate colleagues who are continually looking at what can be done to help the students in their class to succeed to their potential. I am very fortunate to be part of this wonderful school and wider community”.
Desmond’s wife is a secondary school teacher; they initially met 20 years ago when they were teaching together at Avondale College. They have been together for 18 years and have two daughters, Aria (16) and Rosa (9).

New Staff at MRGS

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!

PFA ´Showsage Sizzle´

On Thursday 2nd of March, the Performing Arts Committee put on what they called a ‘Showsage Sizzle’ – a show and sausage sizzle fundraiser to raise money for their projects for the year. Yusuf Guessous, Isope ‘Akau’ola, Josephine Mavaega, Ella Mavaega and Tafadzwa Chikomba performed outside the PFA room and thanks to their beautiful performances, crowds snapped up every last sausage we had. The PFA Committee is a new student-led group, who are focused on promoting the Performing Arts, supporting student-directed work and creating Dance and Drama events for our school and community. We are particularly looking forward to preparing for Open Day and Arts Week for our very quickly growing department. Thanks to all the students who helped out and have worked so hard to organise this committee.

Senior Dance Trip

On the evening of Wednesday 1st of March, 27 students from Senior Dance classes attended a performance of Mea Tau at the Basement Theatre. Mt Roskill Grammar School benefits from our relationship with Basement Theatre’s Schools Partnership Programme which provides free tickets and transport to selected Basement shows, courtesy of generous Basement patrons. Mea Tau was created by choreographer and dancer Elijah Kenner who was inspired by the idea of weaponry and it’s reference in the bible.  It explored themes of objectification, manipulation and the relationship between toys and weaponry. The students seemed to really enjoy the show and were very vocal in the bus on the way home asking questions about the meaning of the work and how they may use the show’s work to influence their own choreography. Thanks to the students for being so well behaved on the trip and thanks again to Basement Theatre for your generosity.

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!

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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.

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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


Enrolments
– 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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