We encourage and develop student leadership at all levels through service and example. Some of the avenues open to students to develop leadership skills are as Prefects, House Captains and captains of teams, as members of the Student Council or House Committees, as sports team and cultural activity coaches, mentors and as Peer Support leaders and Mediators. Once selected the Prefects attend a leadership seminar, leadership evenings and have a range visiting speakers.
Prefects are selected on three main criteria:
Quality of character
Support for the School and participation in School activities.
Prefects are appointed by the Principal, following canvassing of Year 13 opinion and wide consultation with staff and senior staff to help with selection.
MRGS Student Council
The Student Council consists of representatives of the student body, head prefects, students from the 5 houses and the student representative on the Board of Trustees.
The council holds meetings every Tuesday lunchtime, with the aim of discussing issues regarding student welfare and campus projects. Most issues are suggested by school students through various methods. Committee members then try to come up with appropriate solutions to the issues raised and look to act, whether it is by approaching the relevant school leaders, or in some cases, outside agencies for assistance and approval.
The council is also involved in fundraising and supporting a number of worthy causes. For example the Student Council has been involved in organising Mufti Days and the annual support of the Daffodil Day appeal, along with many projects.
This group of students aims to make Mount Roskill Grammar more accessible for students and a time in students’ lives that is enjoyable, friendly and stimulating.
MRGS Health Council
Comprised of twenty elected student representatives, the health council functions to raise awareness and create a positive health culture. The council takes responsibility for organising health promotion within the school. Council-led activities include the annual health expo and health week. Students also participate in a number of inter-school youth health forums throughout the year.
SYNC (Shakti Youth Network for Change)
This a student leadership group who advocate for young people’s human and legal rights. They are focussed on raising awareness of family violence and empowering Middle Eastern, Asian, African migrant (and particularly refugee) students with help seeking skills that will be useful within their community of experience.
They are also into educating themselves and others on family violence issues, forced marriage, honour-based violence as well other issues refugee and migrant youth face growing up in NZ.
Students receive training to support them to be advocates and leaders in their communities by Shakti International. Shakti (strength) is a group that provides immediate help and support to women, children and youth of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin who have experienced sexual abuse, domestic violence and discrimination.
The Peer Sexuality Support Programme was really the first organised group I was interested in joining when I got to MRGS. I was fortunate enough to be accepted, and as a result getting to be trained by the Auckland District Health Board. It has enriched my school experience more than I could’ve ever expected. I was and still am so excited to able to learn, spread knowledge and help normalise an area of life that is usually shied away from and reserved to self-concious whispers between friends.
Through weekly meetings of brainstorms, planning, working on health promotions, and the occasional rant session, I have found an immense sense of unconditional acceptance from my fellow leaders and the staff member who coordinates our group (Margaret).
Margaret also coordinates our diversity group called Skittles. Via weekly lunchtime meetings, our aim with Skittles is to affirm students’ gender and sexual identities by facilitating a safe space for all. With my co-leaders within Skittles and the attendees of the group, we make sure everyone feels welcome, safe, included and comfortable. As a result of being the same age as our peers, it makes connecting and talking bout personal issues much easier. I’ve grown to really love all that I do with these groups and care very deeply about the students that are involved. I have grown so much as an individual, and have been able to connect and work with some of the best people I’ve ever met. At times it has pushed me out of my comfort zone, which certainly is a scary place to be in general, but especially is at this time of our lives. Although, I always felt that I had my teammate’s support and we were doing this together.
– Sonam Bagwe
Body Image Leaders (BILS)
Celebrating all kinds of diversity is a strong value in our MRGS community. One type of diversity that we want to celebrate is body shapes and sizes. Many students in today struggle with their body image for a variety of reasons ranging from social media through to expectations set for themselves. At MRGS, the Body Image Leaders aim to create awareness around positive body image, body acceptance, and body satisfaction.
This student-led group was established in the school in 2001, and since then, have been consistently supporting, educating and informing students who may be dealing with body image issues.
As a group, we aim to educate students about body image by teaching sessions to year 10 health classes, and by making relevant resources available for the whole school, through assemblies and participation in Peace and Health week. We have an Instagram account and we post body positive statements and images.
Every member of the BILS group advocates for positive body image, and the biggest message we aim to share is that we need to accept and appreciate our bodies, and reject negative stereotypes that are presented to us. We refuse to be persuaded by marketing messages to dislike ourselves, and we refuse to spend more consumer dollars on products that supposedly make us more attractive. It’s time to learn to be critical of media messaging about our bodies. It’s time to embrace the idea that every single body is different – and that is great!
If you would like to contact us, you can find Michelle Parkinson at Student Services or you can send us a message on the MRGS BILS instagram page @mrgsbils
“Live For Tomorrow…”
In Year 11 I accessed support from the Counsellors which I really benefitted from. I have joined Live for Tomorrow and SYNC (Shakti Youth Leadership for Change) because I want to make sure that other students also get the help and support they might need. These group destigmatise mental health, challenge stereotypes and encourage honest conversations to build an accepting and health-seeking culture in our school. We also have fun and a sense of family in these groups! – Shameera Mohamed
Hebah Ali (left of picture): “As a Mediator, I am honoured to be a peace advocate for the youth, especially my fellow peers. I’m privileged to participate in events that promote peace and diversity such as peace week, as well as helping my peers overcome conflicts through the mediation programme.“
Aamina Mohamed Azhar (right of picture): “For me being a Mediator at MRGS is a prestige and brings out an incredible and remarkable experience. Our school has offered us many wonderful opportunities for mediation, conflict resolution and advocating for peace and diversity. Throughout Peace Week, we set up splendid stalls with cool activities and ended the week with a sensational peace march throughout the streets of Mt Roskill.
Being a part of this AMAZING whānau, and countless memories, has and will be something I cherish in my heart.”