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Corner of Chinese Culture

On the 15th of May, the Corner of Chinese Culture (previously named ‘Chinese Culture Encounter’) has offered MRGS students another opportunity to experience Chinese Culture. A group of professionals from Chinese New Settlers Service Trust were invited by Liu Lao Shi from Languages MRGS. They have given demonstrations in Chinese Calligraphy, Paper Cutting and Kongfu. Students were provided with the authentic Chinese brush and ink to create their unique writing in Chinese. They have learned how to appreciate the art in Chinese Character Writing. In the Hall, a group of students had fantastic experience in practicing Kongfu with a Kongfu champion from China. A lot of others students enjoyed watching the fist and sword dance.

You are welcome to join us every Friday lunch time for a unique Chinese Culture Experience. Bring your own lunch. We will announce weekly activities in Daily Notice. We are currently recruiting talented students with an interest in Kongfu, Chinese song singing and Chinese Dancing. Go on to Eventbrite to register your interest. Details will be provided in Daily Notices.


Hillsborough Heights Performance

On Thursday 14 May the Concert Band & a chamber group, as well as some soloists, performed at the Hillsborough Heights Retirement Village. The residents loved the concert and our students did us all proud – the residents were gratified at the way our students mingled afterwards to talk to them during afternoon tea. It was a lovely occasion and part of a tradition that the residents look forward to each year. Thanks again musicians.


DIY Fun at Art Club

Over the past few weeks Ms Groebar and Mrs Kempster have been teaching stencilling and screen printing so we can print our very own designs on a Tshirt or fabric of our choice. Here is a picture showing an example of our “work in progress”. Art club runs every Wednesday afterschool 3.15pm in A16.


Right Time, Right Place

From Monday, 18th May, 2015, we will have a focus on encouraging students to be on time to period 1. We want all students to experience maximum learning time with as little interruption as possible. When students arrive late into class the learning is disrupted and learning time is lost.

Our school expectation is that all students will arrive to each class on time. If a student is more than 4 minutes late to class he/she will be sent to the Deans centre. Their name will be recorded and the student will be expected to attend a lunchtime or after school session to make up the learning time they have lost. Parents will be informed by email/phone.

Please ensure your son/daughter attends school on time. Students should walk through the school gate at 8.30am as this will allow them to be on time to classes.
The chart below is an example of what learning time can be lost when students do not attend classes on time.
We look forward to your support of our focus on helping students attend school on time.

Julie Small
Associate Principal

Minister Congratulates MRGS on NCEA Achievement

For a second year the BOT and school community received a letter from the Minister of Education Hekia Parata commending MRGS on its improved NCEA achievement. The letter (available below) notes that our school has consistently raised its national examination achievement and makes the point:

“the results being achieved by Mt Roskill Grammar are a clear and valuable example of the positive impact great teachers and great schools can have on the achievement of their students”
In addition to the letter we also received a copy of a specially prepared poster (pictured below) which includes the names of all the schools in recent years who have received this acclamation form the Minister’s Office. A picture of the poster is also attached to this article.

Mt Roskill ANZAC Service

On Saturday 25th April, our prefects and senior leaders of the school joined with the local community to honour the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings at the War Memorial Park in May Road. Our party joined in the march to the memorial and then Head Prefects Glen Lewis and Pearl Lazaro laid a wreath on behalf of the school.

Mentoring Conference Day

Mentoring Conference Day Tuesday 19th May

To parents/caregivers of Year 9, 10 and 13 learners:

  • These students are not required to be at school on this day.
  • Normal school will resume on Wednesday at 9.17am for all students.

To parents/caregivers of Year 11 and 12 learners:

  • The school is open from 8.30am-8pm on Tuesday 19th May for year 11 and 12 mentoring conferences only. Students to attend in uniform.

The conference:

In this half hour conference on Tuesday 19th May you will discuss subject specific feedback, which the mentor will have received from subject teachers. This information will inform part of the ongoing discussion and partnership around your child’s academic, attendance and co-curricular goals and next steps.

Reporting for year 11 and 12 students is through face to face mentoring on Tuesday 19th May (Term 2) and Thursday 20th August (Term 3).

Conference booking:

You will be sent an allocated half hour slot through a letter your child will bring home by the end of week 2 (Friday, 1st May) and a letter for your employer outlining the importance of this conference to your child’s learning progress.

Staff will be meeting with a number of students and families throughout the day, however, if the time you are allocated does not suit please contact the office staff on 621 0050 to arrange an alternative time for the same day.

Thank you for your support of the mentoring programme – it makes a significant difference to students’ engagement and achievement knowing that we are all working with them to help them achieve their goals.

Looking ahead to other dates and events for your diary:

  • Year 11 & 12 Mentoring conference: Tuesday 19th May 8.30am-8pm (Years 9/10/13 do not attend)
  • Queen’s Birthday Holiday: Friday 29th May and Monday 1st June
  • Reports Issued Years 9, 10 & 13: Tuesday 16th June
  • Subject Report Evening Years 9, 10 & 13: Tuesday 30th June 4-7pm

Greg Watson

ICAS Science Competition

Years 9-13 entries now open! The details are as follows:- Entry cost $8.50 and payable at Accounts office. Closing date is Tuesday 5th May and Official Sitting date is Wednesday 3rd June 2015.

Mentoring Information

Mentoring for all Year 11 and 12 students

A goal of the school this year is -To enrich mentoring relationships with students and their families to improve student progress and achievement .

The process for this will be

  • Form teacher and associate staff member allocated to form classes
  • These staff will mentor their learners years 11 and 12 during LCT 2x per term
  • There will be Parent/caregiver conferences with the mentor and student - 19th May ( all day ) 20th August ( all day ) - [ May and August 30 minute appointments ]

Year 11 and 12 mentoring day – 19th May 2015

The reporting for year 11 and 12 students in 2015 will continue as a partnership between mentors and students/their families meeting face to face to consolidate goal setting and look more closely at progress and next steps (academic/attendance/co-curricular).

In this conference on Tuesday 19th May you will be provided with subject specific feedback, which the mentor will have received from subject teachers.

  • What: One half hour mentoring conference.
  • Who: All year 11 and 12 students, their mentor and parents/caregivers (year 9, 10 and 13 do not attend on that day).
  • When: Tuesday 19th May (half hour block) between 8.30am and 8pm.
  • Where: In form classroom.
  • How: Parents/caregivers will receive a letter in week two of term two with a half hour allocated time slot.

The school will also 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 all working with them to help them achieve their goals.

Student Engagement

During the last few weeks of term one many students were faced with a wide range of assessments to complete. It is interesting to note that during these weeks student attendance rates generally increased. While attending for the actual assessment is obviously critical, the lead up to these is just as important. It is the learning done between classes that will help students achieve quality results. To help your son/daughter engage in their ‘between class’ learning - ask yourself - have they got the following conditions which are conducive to effective study?

  • A quiet space
  • A place to put up summary wall charts/learning posters
  • At least two hours of ‘quiet time’ per night
  • 8 hours for sleeping
  • Nutritious ‘study food’ eg. -nuts, berries, bananas, fish, wholegrain breads

Forty Years of Service to MRGS

Mr Glynn Sergeant reached his fortieth year of teaching at Mount Roskill in term 1 and this special event was marked by a morning tea with guest speakers and a presentation. Glynn began his teaching at Roskill in 1975 taking his position straight from teachers’ college. He began his work in the Music Department and over the decades has guided many musicians and music groups on their instrumental education. One of the speakers at the morning tea (now a HOD music herself ) spoke of his inspirational and encouraging teaching. Glynn has served under five Principals at the school and there is also a strong family connection as two of his boys attended Roskill and his wife also teaches here. In the past 15 years Glynn’s teaching has been more in the Computing Department where he has given other students the benefit of his knowledge and enthusiasm. As part of the presentation he received a jade mere representing the strength and endurance he has demonstrated in his teaching career. He has seen Roskill change in many ways over the years as it has continued to lead learning in the community but as he said in his speech of thanks “walking through the grounds and seeing all the smiling faces makes coming to work easy.

Academic Mentoring at MRGS

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our Academic Mentors

On the 26th March our Academic Mentors attended a ceremony organised by Mrs Seetha Singh and Ms Ashmita Gosai. A large number of students made an application to be selected for Academic Mentoring for 2015. Students selected were presented with their badges and congratulated.

Our Academic Mentors offer support to a wide range of students who need additional support with their learning. If your son/daughter needs support please contact Mrs Singh or Ms Gosai so that they can help link your child with an academic mentor.

More information here

Academic Mentors 2015:

  • Alan Jiang
  • Sudarjini Satkunarajah
  • Marium Ahmed
  • Jasleen Kaur
  • Joshua Simmons
  • Mannat Ahuja
  • Aishwarya Kochhar
  • McGregor Small
  • Aishwarya Balasubramanian
  • Mohana Kolli
  • Tanaya Sonar
  • Anirudh Bhatnagar
  • Samuel Langi
  • Daryl Stanley
  • Larissa Bird
  • Sammie Lee
  • Emma Stitt
  • Gareth Brown-Haysom
  • Allanah Leerdam
  • Sakshi Tah
  • Oyishik Chakraborty
  • Lily Li
  • Jenny Ung
  • Jocelyn Choo
  • Yathursan Mohanathas
  • Reval Verghese
  • Nathan Davidson
  • Sai Krupa Narayana
  • Deeksha Vijayakumar
  • Sanaj Deshpande
  • Albert Ou
  • Jessica Walsh
  • Samita Dossa
  • Dhruvil Oza
  • Emily White
  • Janita Fuller
  • Holly Porter
  • Claire Wyeth
  • Connor Gibson
  • Chernade Prasad
  • Nidhi Yellapantula
  • Disha Gomathinayagam
  • Athulya Rathnayake
  • Christina Yuan

Excellence Awards Evening

At a sparkling evening we honoured our NCEA Excellence award winners. Over 400 students and caregivers attended the ceremony and listened to the inspiring words of guest presenter, ex-student and current Sir Peter Blake Trust Ambassador Samantha Collings. After the presentation of certificates and badges families were able to linger over a supper and share in their congratulations with staff and presenters.


Chemistry Olympiad

Certificates for achievement in the Chemistry Olympiad qualifying stages were awarded to 9 Roskill students in a term 1 assembly. The certificates for Hasnain Cheena, Vilia Li, Nathan McDougall, Rayner Rebello, Joyce Wong, Lily Li, Sai Krupa Narayana, Deeksha Vijayakumar and Raymond Wang acknowledged their qualification at the end of 2014 for the term 1 2015 training group. All the students have trained in term 1 via online and paper assignments and sat an entrance exam for the next stage of the Olympiad team selection, an intensive training camp limited to 30 students nationally. We heard recently that Nathan McDougall has been successful in gaining entry to the camp and we wish him the best as he progresses in this final stage of the process which will lead to the selection of the 4 students to represent New Zealand in the International Olympiad.

NZ Secondary Schools´ Symphony Orchestra

Ellen and Mark Bingham have been selected to play in the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra. This selection is widely regarded as a significant training ground for young players aspiring to membership of the New Zealand Youth Orchestra and ultimately to a career as a professional musician. They will participate in an intense six-day orchestral course, run in Christchurch culminating in two public performances.

Informatics (Computer Science) Olympiad

Jonathan Khoo (Year 12) has been selected to represent NZ in the Informatics (Computer Science) Olympiad team. The team is made up of 4 students chosen from around NZ after a rigorous series of exams carried out over the last 6 months. Jonathan is attending a training camp in Sydney in the upcoming April holidays and will then head to Kazakhstan in July to compete in the World Championships.

St Matthews Chamber Orchestra Concert

The campus was privileged to host a concert on Friday 27th March by the St. Matthews Chamber Orchestra. The professional group performed two concerts in the MRGS school hall, one in the morning for Primary and Intermediate students and a second in the afternoon for our Year 9 students. Their programme included Haydn’s Toy Symphony and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with a narration which kept both audiences enthralled. A number of Roskill musicians joined the orchestra and had featured involvement in the toy symphony.

Year 13 Camp

Earlier in term one our year 13 students took part in their annual camp on Motutapu island. The week’s activities give our senior young men and women an invaluable opportunity to challenge their skills and build team relationships in a marvelous environment. Tests of dexterity, ingenuity and even the basic demands of camp living combine with outdoor pursuits in the haven of the Hauraki Gulf. These few days away cement networks and friendships which prepare our seniors and their leaders for a successful year ahead.


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, com-munication skills, tolerance. These are some of qualities we want to install in our students as well as be-ing physically active.

Most of these benefits are not measurable but clearly lead to a more production 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 Ros-kill Grammar so please next time your son/daughter asks for a note to be excused from Physical Educa-tion 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.

Peer Sexuality Support Programme

Five of our students were trained by the Auckland District Health Board as P.S.S.P. leaders in week 3: Jonjon Cowley Lupo, Mary Kate Fonua, Sanaj Deshpande, Josette Xu and Erin Newton. They spent four days at Kiwani’s camp in Huia to learn about a wide range of topics in the area of relationships, wellbeing and sexuality.
They’ve joined returning PSSP-ers Kavish Dharan, Hasiba Zareh and Conor Frencz to make up a new, enthusiastic PSSP team.

These highly trained students give confidential support to their peers, and help with the teaching in sexuality in the Year 10 Health programme. They also will offer optional workshops for Year 13 students. More information about the programme is available here.

Year 9 Anti-Harrassment Workshops

This term all Year 9 students will meet with two members of the counselling team. We will run two Anti-Harassment workshops with all year 9 core classes to explain how we effectively stop harassment in our school. Students will be told that if they tell on harassment, their identity can be kept confidential. We know harassment causes long-term psychological harm, and we will always treat it as unacceptable, even when students say it’s just “friendly mocking”.

Also, all Year 9 students will be asked to fill out a confidential, internet-based “Travellers” questionnaire in class. This helps us identify students who may benefit from extra support. The results are confidential to the counsellors only, and will not be shared with the school.

From Term two onwards, we will run the exciting Year 9 small-group TRAVELLERS programme to help students build resilience and enhance connectedness. From term 3 onwards, we will offer DRUMBEAT, a percussion-based group therapeutic programme.

Counselling Services at Mt Roskill Grammar School

This year we welcome two new, but experienced counsellors to join Donna Hourigan-Johnston and Margaret Hoogendoorn in the Student Services counselling team: Rose Jenkin and Catherine Hawke.

Our four Counsellors are members of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors, and abide by their Code of Ethics. All counselling is confidential, unless there is an imminent risk to safety.

Common issues we deal with include family stresses, traumatic experiences, loss and grief, depression, anxiety and harassment. If your child may benefit from ongoing psychological support, with your consent we can refer them to a psychologist at no cost to you.

If you are concerned about your child’s wellbeing, please feel free to make contact. We are here to help!

You can find us on the school website at the Guidance page.

We also have three counsellors from Auckland Sexual Abuse Help working on our premises part-time. Again, help is confidential and discrete. Teachers in our school will not find out what counselling is about.

NZQA Fees Collection 2015

All senior students must pay their NZQA Fees (compulsory) to the accounts office between Wednesday 6th May – Friday 8th 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.

Student Engagement

One of our annual school goals this year is:

To improve student engagement through a focus on attendance and teaching and learning.

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 90% for 2015. 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 (this can include roll check and LCT) 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 student 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.

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

Ms J Small, Associate Principal Learning

International Student Leaders for 2015

Each year we select a student leader to help new International students by introducing them to friends, showing them to class and interpreting as necessary. Our leaders this year are: Ray Shen, Zara Tang, Sara Lu (China) and Joao Victor de Rego Barros Borba (Brazil).

International Department Orientation Day

On the 18th of February we took our new International Students on an Orientation trip to explore some top attractions of Auckland city. New students have come to our school from China, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Korea and Singapore. We started by walking to the top of Auckland’s highest volcanic cone, Mt Eden to view the city. The students could also see our school from a different perspective.

The next stop was at Mission Bay for lunch. The weather was excellent, and the Brazilian students even took a swim! The last visit was One Tree Hill. Some of the students walked to the top, while others had fun at the playground. We even got a dance lesson from our Brazilian Student leader. All in all we had a great day, and students were able to make new friends while enjoying our beautiful parks and beaches.

MRGS Foundation Year´s Reunion

We recently received news of a reunion lunch organised on Waiheke in November last year for 60 MRGS past pupils from the 1950’s.

Many of these people were foundation pupils in 1953, and as the organizer said “As we are all pensioners we were able to use our Gold Cards to get to Waiheke.” This is the second lunch organised since the 60th Reunion at the school in 2013.

The interest in these reunion lunches is fantastic and organisers anticipate even greater numbers for their next get together. We have included the a photo of the November Lunch and organisers have other photos if there is any interest. (Contact the school for details)

Robotics Academy News

This is the first set of robots created by the new Robotics Academy at year 9. The initial brief was to create a robot which had wheels to enable it to move forwards, backward and rotate. A radar sensor so that it won’t run into objects and a reversing sensor so it wouldn’t reverse into things. A directional sensor to enable directional movement and colour sensor so it can follow a colour. There was a big learning curve in creating, but by working together and solving construction problems the class has produces 20 working robots. The programming has just begun using the on-board micro controller, and this will progress into using the LEGO software on the computer and eventually writing programs in LEGO BASIC. For their extra curricula activity the students will be entering the Robocup nationals during the term 2 holidays with teams designing, building and programming robots for the Soccer, Dance/Drama and the search and rescue competition.

MRGS NCEA Results Continue to Improve

Once again Mount Roskill students demonstrated their powerful learning in the NCEA examinations at the end of 2014. Pass rates increased and there was particularly raised achievement at Level 1, level 2 and year 13 leaving school with NCEA level 2 qualification. The results for Maori and Pasifika students were also pleasing. Maori students gained across all measures and Pasifika student NCEA achievement has increased overall.

MRGS Excellence Endorsements for 2014 Examinations

Once again the school achieved high numbers of Excellence endorsements. At level 2 we surpassed our results in 2013 and continued the outstanding achievement across a range of subjects that the endorsements represent. A students NCEA will be endorsed with Excellence if they gain 50 credits at Excellence. This year a total of 157 MRGS students achieved at this highest level across NCEA 1, 2 and 3. In addition another 278 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 were celebrated at our annual Excellence Awards Evening in the school hall.

New Zealand Scholarship Examination Successes (2014)

The school’s record of achievement in the premier national examination continued with 47 individual scholarships across 13 subject areas with 5 of the scholarships being at Outstanding level.

Victor Xie gained a total of 5 Scholarships and is therefore named as a New Zealand Outstanding Scholar. Diana Qiu was awarded 4 and Alice Ng, Jiantao Shen and Mark Yep all achieved scholarships in 3 subjects. The Commerce department was once again a high achiever with 10 scholarships in Accounting and Science amassed a total of 16 with the combination of achievement in Physics, Biology and Chemistry.

UN Youth

UN Youth is an organization that provides civics education outside the traditional classroom context through fun workshops, Model UN events (which are basically a simulation of the United Nations) and various discussion groups actively engaging the youth of our country in the most pressing affairs of New Zealand and the global community. If that wasn’t exciting enough already by attending these events you will also gain valuable skills such as public speaking, critical thinking, problem solving, negotiating and many more all while interacting with amazing like-minded individuals from all over NZ. UN Youth offers many opportunities throughout the year for students to get involved in such as the Auckland Model United Nations, Aotearoa Youth Declaration, NZ Model UN, and several others. So if any of this sounds exciting to you look out for more information in the notices about upcoming events and how to get involved with UN Youth or see Ms Boudreau in E3.

Shaizan Virani

New Staff Members at Roskill

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!

  • Mr Toe Pune - Senior Leadership Team
  • Mrs Xanthe Sulzberger - Senior Leadership Team
  • Ms Amy Benton - Technology
  • Ms Joanna Cakebread - Music
  • Mr Rowan Johanson - Mathematics
  • Mr Zak Musa - Mathematics
  • Mr Tom Inger - Physical Education
  • Ms Taylor MacKinlay - Physical Education
  • Ms Gillian Holliday - English
  • Mrs Whitney Johanson - English
  • Mrs Catherine Hawke - Guidance
  • Ms Rose Jenkin - Guidance
  • Ms Grace Rissetto - Languages
  • Ms Naressa Gamble - Performing Arts
  • Ms Kerrily Aitchison - Performing Arts
  • Mr Tony Kwok - Science

New Senior Leadership Team Members

We are privileged to welcome three new Deputy Principals at the start of 2015 - the skills, experience and commitment they bring further enhances our community’s leadership.

Mrs Karen Collins

Karen has already been an acting Senior team member and with her permanent appointment brings her wealth of knowledge of Roskill learners and their community. She first began her teaching career here in the English Department and since then has taken up a range of leadership roles. She has been a management unit holder in the English department, a House Dean and for a number of years was senior Academic Dean for year 13 where she guided many of our students through the challenges of their final year at school. She has been influential in the student support area of the school, driving the development of the vision and values in our ‘Roskill Way’. She also has experience in enrolment and the organisation of learning pathway choices for the senior school. As Deputy Principal she will lead the portfolio of Progress with responsibility for such areas as Mentoring &Tracking, Reporting and the Deans Team.

Mr Toe Pune

Toe’s previous school role was as Deputy Principal at Otahuhu College and since that senior role he has worked with the Education Review Office . At Otahuhu he received an AIMHI award for teaching excellence and he also holds a Masters qualification in Professional Language Studies. Earlier in his career he was HOD of Physical Education. He brings a range of experience and as a senior leader has held portfolios in assessment, student engagement/leadership, literacy programmes, sports academies in addition to intermediate school leadership. Together with his curricular expertise he has a particular interest and strength in rugby coaching and promotion - having developed successful programmes and teams at his previous schools. At Roskill he will lead the portfolio of Pathways with responsibility for Sport Academies, Pathways, Maori and Pasifika Achievement.

Mrs Xanthe Sulzberger

Xanthe joins us from Botany Downs Secondary College where she was Head of the Learning area of Health and Physical Education. Prior to that she had a number of roles at Aquinas College where she was a Dean and interim Assistant Principal. In her career she has also been a HOD sport. She holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership. She brings particular expertise in E-Learning and in recent years she has worked alongside the Ministry of Education initiative Best Evidence Synthesis on Electronic Learning Logs. She is acknowledged as a national innovator in 21st century teaching and learning - publishing articles and presenting professional development courses for fellow teachers. At Roskill she takes charge of the Pedagogy portfolio with responsibility for areas such as E learning, Junior Assessment and Junior Curriculum.

Junior Report Evening

Junior Report Evening for Year 9 & 10 - 4-7pm Tuesday 31 March 2015

You can make an interview time by logging onto www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and entering the Event Code of FW9A4 - Bookings close 8.30am Tuesday 31 March.

MRGS Art Club

Our enthusiastic MRGS Art Club’s first commission for 2015 was a poster for the St Matthews Chamber Orchestra campus concert on Friday 27 March in the school hall. With a tight deadline - only two weeks to come up with a printable poster image -  students were taught stencilling by Mrs Kempster and Ms Groeber. Sourcing and cutting out orchestral images, students then chose a vibrant paint colour scheme, and added a text overlay. The results were eye catching and have been circulated around MRI and MRPS in advance of the big day. Well done to all involved!

The MRGS Art Club meets every Wednesday afterschool in the Art Department.


The 40th year of ASB Polyfest started on Wednesday 18th March and our cultural groups have been demonstrating the results of their weeks of hard work and commitment to large crowds at the Manukau Sports Bowl. The Kapa Haka group were the first to perform on Thursday and they were followed by our Samoan and Indian groups on Friday. The last of the groups to appear was the Tongan and they gave two spirited performances on Saturday.

The ASB Polyfest is not only a chance for secondary school students to showcase their culture, but to also participate and share in others. This was clearly seen on the Maori stage as more and more non-Maori were seen performing kapa haka.

MRGS Kapa Haka Te Karere (TVNZ) March 19th video


Year 12 Japanese Restaurant Trip

On a pleasant Thursday (26th February) at 5:00pm, the year 12 Japanese class, with Miss Kojima, met outside Nishiki, keen to experience the Japanese palette. It was all Konnichiwa’s (Hello’s) and Irashaimase’s (Welcome’s) as we entered the restaurant, the aroma of Japanese cuisine surrounding us. With anticipation we all waited as platters of hot, authentic, Japanese food was carried around us until finally plates with at least ten traditional Japanese dishes was placed on our table, steaming. We all dug in, some expertly grasping pieces of rice, meat, and vegetables, others engaging in a great struggle with the chopsticks attempting to fill their eager mouths, myself included. Miso soup, varieties of sushi, Takoyaki and other meat and vegetable dishes were served and quickly eaten before the vanilla, green tea and sesame ice creams were placed in front of us, each more interesting than the first but delicious all the same. Overall the laughs, tasty authentic Japanese delicacies, and the struggles with the chopsticks made an experience to remember. Thank you Miss Kojima!  

(12 CSNR Aditi Ramalingam)

Excellence Awards Evening

At a sparkling evening we honoured our NCEA Excellence award winners. Over 400 students and caregivers attended the ceremony and listened to the inspiring words of guest presenter, ex-student and current Sir Peter Blake Trust Ambassador Samantha Collings.


Year 10 Japanese Lunch

On Wednesday 4th March R3 was filled with overexcited Year 10s impatiently waiting for our lunch to arrive. Our lunch was かつどん (katsudon), battered chicken cutlets served on rice. After a call of “いただきます” (thank you for the food) we all started eating with our “おはし” (chopsticks). The whole class said it was “おいしい” (delicious). However the green tea was greatly believed to be “まずい” (awful). The lunch was a great success, so “ありがとうございます” to Miss Kojima, Carmen and Shara for making it possible.

Tessa Brown (10 NHLG) 

Polyfest Preparation

Our cultural groups are heavily involved in their last weeks of preparation for the upcoming Polyfest. Each evening and at the weekend Maori, Samoan, Tongan and Indian cultural groups can be seen going through their performance sets. The valued support from families and communities is a special part of this build-up to what we hope will be another successful competition entry from the school.

Passing of Ex-Principal Charles Dowdle

It was with sadness that the MRGS community learned early in the week of the death of past Principal Mr Charles Dowdle. He passed away on 21st February after long illness and his funeral was held on Wednesday February 25th. Charlie Dowdle began his career at Mount Roskill Grammar school in 1968, taking up the head of Social Studies role when Jack Kelly became Deputy Principal.

Mr. Dowdle excelled as a teacher of history and geography becoming renowned for his story telling and his interest in the well-being of his students. The Dowdle library, a hub of learning in the school recognizes his mastery of teaching. Mr. Dowdle’s passion for learning across the curriculum found him coaching cricket, rugby and archery, producing several school plays and running inter-form lunchtime sports competitions.

He became Deputy Principal in 1977 and in 1981 was appointed Principal. In all his roles, his will to succeed and commitment were inspirational. Charlie’s wife Verna also taught at MRGS and later became Headmistress at Epsom Girls Grammar School. At one stage both Charlie, Verna and their four children Bruce, Bryan, Keith and Rebecca were all teachers.

Mr Dowdle is fondly remembered and respected by our whole school community. We continue to enjoy the support of the Dowdle family through the Sursum Trust. We offer both our condolences to the family for their loss and our thanks for the legacy of service and achievement that Charlie gave us in his years at Roskill.

Head Prefects 2015

2015 School Prefects have been selected and formally introduced to the school and presented with their badges and ties. These 43 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: Pearl Lazaro and Glen Lewis are Head Girl and Head Boy respectively; they are ably supported by Parneet Kohli and Mandie Galea who will be their deputies.

Alphabetical List of 2015 Prefects:

  • 'Akau'ola, Perpetua
  • Allan, Grace
  • Alphonso, Jonathan
  • Bell, Cameron
  • Bell, Ethan
  • Bingham, Mark
  • Brown, Zoe
  • Busby, Bryan
  • Cao, Alex
  • Dakwale, Ankur
  • Deverell, Ben
  • Dhungel, Salina
  • Edmonds, Luke
  • Ferencz, Conor
  • Fernandes, Ritika
  • Galea, Mandie
  • Haigh, Chloe
  • Haunga, Eddie
  • Havea, 'Aisake
  • Judd, Heidi
  • Kohli, Parneet
  • Lazaro, Pearl
  • Lewis, Glen
  • Lewis, Scott
  • Li, Vilia
  • MacDonald, Usha
  • Mallela, Balu
  • Mascarenhas, Juhaina
  • McDougall, Nathan
  • Pala, Kaaj
  • Parulkar, Aryaman
  • Pillai, Ayushi
  • Power, Josef
  • Puertollano, Pia
  • Raju, Yvette
  • Rosario, Korine
  • Sapoi, Nightingale
  • Smith, Keren
  • Smith, Shaden
  • Varela, Pebble
  • Wang, Raymond
  • Wong, Joyce
  • Zamani, Tamana

Meeting for Parents of New Students

Tuesday February 10th at 7.00pm in the School Hall.

This meeting will be an opportunity to find out about the school organisation, values and the learning opportunities which exist within the school.

Members of the Senior Leadership Team, Academic and Pastoral Leaders, will be present to meet with you and answer any questions. Tea and coffee will be served after the meeting.

The school leadership looks forward to meeting you and welcoming you to the school as part of this evening.

First Day Powhiri 2015

For the first time both new students and staff were welcomed in a combined powhiri. After gathering on the field in their house groups, the new students were led into the hall in the company of the new teaching staff. They were given a haka by the present staff and year 13 students before taking their places in the gathering. After a hymn and karakia, Mr Watson spoke in his welcome of the proud tradition they were joining at Roskill. His words were followed by a waiata and then Y13 student Luke Edmonds spoke. Responding whaikorero and waiata were next delivered by representatives of the newcomers. After the ceremony new students made their way to house meetings and their day of orientation at the school.


E-Learning Update

The school ran a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trial last year. Feedback from this trial has been very positive. The potential for improved learning outcomes for students has led us to roll out student BYOD to all students in 2015. During term 1 we will be issuing access codes and Google Drive accounts to all students starting with Year 10, then the Senior students (Yr11 – 13) and finally our new Year 9 students on the completion of their full digital citizenship course.

The advantages we see for our students from increased access to e-leaning through BYOD include:

  • Anytime, anywhere access to class resources, support and extension activities through 'iLearn';
  • The ability to develop “digital” folders, portfolios and e-books for their classes; (that can’t be lost, and never need replacing) through the use of 'My Portfolio', Google apps and office 365.
  • Greater ability to communicate with teachers, parents and peers to support their learning through instant access to their student e-mail and other online tools;
  • Anytime, anywhere safe access to unlimited resources and information on the internet;
  • The ability to draft, redraft and publish their work at the click of a button;
  • Allowing students to become active participants in their learning, students who manage themselves and are responsible digital citizens.

In 2015 it is optional for students to bring a BYOD capable device.

The ideal device for school use:

  • has built-in wireless capability
  • enables word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, image manipulation, video and audio editing
  • is lightweight, but robust enough to handle daily use
  • has a protective carrying case
  • has 4-8 hours of battery power (or preferably more) and easy options for recharging
  • has a common web browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox).
  • offers sufficient storage for documents, photos and videos
  • has some form of keyboard for typing (built-in or external)
  • has some form of antivirus/anti-spyware protection

If you have any further questions please contact Lorraine Vickery (E-Learning Director – lorraine.vickery@mrgs.school.nz)

First School Day 2015

Thursday 29th January 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 30th January = All students

  • School closed Anniversary Day - Monday 26th January
  • School closed Waitangi Day - Friday 6th February

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