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2016 News Archive

2016 College Sport Wellington Sportsperson of the Year


EPRO8 Challenge

Cohen Greaves, Fraser Waugh, Cassandra Mansfield and Oliver Hurst participated in the regional EPRO8 challenge at Papakowhai School on 2 November. This competition had a range of challenges which also included building bridges and testing their integrity, constructing a laser light and measuring heights, and creating a 'dog' that can wag its tail. The students faced strong competition but gave it their best finishing 5th place out of 9 teams. They were pleased with the outcome and enjoyed the learning experience which covered areas of science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Please see all photos in gallery opposite.

Bronte Johnston (Y13) has had a busy October starting with the Solway College Interschool, then Brontë competed at the North Island Champs at the National Equestrian Centre in Taupo and the Central Districts Festival of Dressage at Manfeild. Bronte and her horse Kiwi Buddy won a second, third and sixth placing (personal best of 67.8%) at the North Island Champs. Brontë won a class with a personal best of 68.9% and placed fourth in one other class at the Central Districts.

Week 2 was Random Acts of Kindness week and involved lots of small activities throughout the week to remind people that a small act of kindness can go a long way. It reminded us just how great our small community is! On Monday the Year 13s handed out free mini cupcakes and on Wednesday they spread the joy handing out lollipops with positive notes on them. Friday brought the best surprise of all with the SPCA bringing two puppies and two rabbits for students to pet, for a small donation. In total we raised $373.90 for the SPCA! It has been a wonderful week, spreading positivity at this busy time of year and students even had the chance to nominate fellow students for small acts of kindness that often go unrecognised. We'd also like to thank Food For U for their generous donation to the SPCA.

Olivia Levens (Y10) attended the North Island Titles held in Cambridge over Labour weekend.  Olivia competed with other girls her own age.  There were a number of NZ and Oceana ranked riders and most had been competing from a young age.  Olivia placed 11th which was a great result as she has only been riding for just on a year, and it was her first time on the Cambridge track which has a 8 metre gate (international standard). Cambridge is home to Sarah Walker (New Zealand's first Olympic BMX medallist) who Olivia managed to chat with between racers and have her photo taken.   


Arran Pavelich (Y11) attended the 2016 Inline Hockey Nationals over the October break.  

Footnote Dance Dress Rehearsal Performance of “Lifeworld (in five parts)” 2016

A group of avid Y10 dancers had the opportunity of a lifetime to see Footnote Dance’s Dress Rehearsal of their current work Lifeworld (in five parts) at the Wellington Opera House on Wednesday 19 October. Commissioned by Aucklander Claire O’Neill. The show was divided into five parts (but secretly there are actually six!) but transitioned smoothly into each piece with incredibly intriguing backdrops of projected images and videos that set the scene for the contemporary style of dancing. Issues of ‘day to day’ living & routines, decision making, relationships, joy, sadness, madness and the perception of time in our lives; were represented among many more in their energetic and memorising movement. It was absolutely compelling!! Miss Morrison & Ms Petrowski were thrilled to be able to give our students this wonderful opportunity.

Solway Equestrian Event


For the third year in a row the Marsden Whitby Equestrian teams competed very successfully over the hill in Masterton. The Solway College competition is aimed at encouraging school age riders to represent their schools in the sport of dressage. Schools from Manawatu, Kapiti, Wellington and the Wairarapa all took part with 16 senior teams and 12 junior teams. In all about 120 students took part.

Marsden Whitby was represented by: Senior: Brontë Johnston who rode in the combined Whitby/Karori senior team Marsden Majors. Juniors: Marsden Green Sophie Green, Lauren Hunt, Madeline Leslie.Marsden Blue Rose Hurst, Emma Smith, Maxine Taylor. Both senior teams won their divisions, with Magic Marsden taking the overall trophy for the competition. Both junior teams came second in their respective divisions, so all of the Whitby riders took home lots of ribbons and prizes. However more importantly, all the students showed excellent team spirit and represented Samuel Marsden Collegiate School Whitby with great credit and pride. Special thanks to Sandi Johnston for all her hard work and organisation for this event. Please see gallery opposite for all photos.

Hayley Thompson (Y12) and her Cheer Team “Big Air Reign” attended the Asia Pacific Grand International Cheer Competition in the Gold Coast recently, coming first for their level and taking home the trophy.  Their team of 27 have their final competition for the season in Auckland on 29th and 30th October – the New Zealand Cheer Union Nationals.  Hayley will be competing with Reign and also two Dance Teams.  This is the biggest competition of the year.

Jessica Eagle (Y12)
participated in the Gymnastics Wellington A team for nationals recently. Congratulations to Jessica as she came 3rd on beam, 8th on vault and 9th overall in Step 8 overs.

Maddie Leslie (Y9) has been nominated as a representative of Marsden Whitby at the 2016 College Sport Wellington's Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) Awards. This nomination has been made in recognition of Madeleine's exceptional commitment, attitude and performance in equestrian events. The Awards Evening will be held on Sunday 6th November.

Katie Daly (Y12) and Lily Marsh (Marsden Karori) dropped off 100 Hygiene for Homeless packs at the Free Store Wellington last week.

Congratulations to Gabrielle Embury who last night received a Porirua Youth Award for her services to the Community and Environment. The award was presented by the Honourable Hekia Parata and Gabrielle also received a cheque for $1000. This is wonderful recognition of not only the terrific work Gabrielle is doing but also of similar marvellous young people from all over the Porirua area.

Y9 Food & Nutrition Programme
As part of the Year 9 Health Programme we have welcomed Lynda Corcoran, professional chef /caterer back to Marsden Whitby on Fridays. Lynda is passionate about the importance of healthy food and enthusiastic about imparting some of her knowledge. The objective is to teach our students about the benefits of healthy food in both a theoretical and practical sense. Y9 are enjoying the course and have so far covered health, safety and hygiene in the kitchen; the importance of breakfast and lunch; good oils; healthy afternoon tea options and where sugar is hiding in our foods. Y9 have made their own homestyle muesli, cheese busters and fresh spring rolls.  


Y7/8 Stepping Out
This year for dance our Year 7 and 8 classes participated in 3 x 2 hour dance sessions taken by Stepping Out’s Ezra Bush. It was a fantastic way to be introduced to dance and threw our students straight into the belly of body movement, body awareness and working with others. Students learned the traditional aspects of partner dancing through the Jive and were challenged early on to step out of their comfort zone and hold hands with the opposite gender! Surviving this they learned and combined the modern elements of Hip Hop to create an impressive and funky three and a half minute dance. The students were so creative and original in interpreting these fantastic movements and it was great to see the effort and enthusiasm they brought to the final performance.  Year 7 and 8 were encouraged to consider the movements of others, were inspired by the difficulty of the dance moves they were performing and most of all had lots of fun living in the moment.  
Miss Petrowski and Miss Morrison


Robotics Club 

The Year 8 students of Samuel Marsden Whitby visited Postgate School to display the robots which they had constructed and programmed as a class activity. The students were paired up and learnt the basics of programming before learning its applications in robotics. Robots ranged from model puppies (which moved in the direction of a clapping sound), a line following robot, a robot that danced to music and a snake, which slithered along the ground while hissing at anyone in its way! The Postgate students were really excited and enjoyed the visit. We will be planning another trip in the near future as a collaborative activity to construct robots together. 

Y10 Imaginarium Challenge

The Imaginarium Challenge was a 2 day technology conference for the Year 10 students of Whitby and Karori. This programme is in its second year of running and organised in collaboration with Victoria University, Google and New Zealand School of Music. Students learn the basics of the Arduino Microchip, which is a tiny module that can be programmed to run motors, LEDs and a variety of sensors. Following the basics, the students are then given the challenge to complete a project of their choice using the Arduino chip and loads of other resources that they can choose from. On the second day Josh Bailey, from Google, also displayed one of the Tesla coils that he built. Presenters from Victoria University's School of Design also spoke about their courses and the future of wearable technologies. The students presented their projects at the end of day two and learnt a lot. Some of the students have planned to use the Arduino for the personal projects. 

Congratulations to Thomas Lee (Y11) and Phoebe Lee (Y9) who have made it through and qualified for the Swimming Nationals in America. Thomas Lee in 50 & 100m Breaststroke and Phoebe Lee in 100 & 200m Breaststroke.

Madeleine Leslie (9)
succeeded in attaining her latest goal on Classic Beauty today winning Champion under 17 in the Horowhenua Winter Dressage Series level 1. This series ran over May, June, July and the final day of competition was today.

Congratulations to
Hayley Thompson (Y12) and her Cheer Team – Big Air Reign - who competed last weekend and came 1st for Senior Level 2, won the Grand Champions for Level 2 Division, with the highest score overall, and a bid to Compete in Hawaii next year.

Samuel Marsden Whitby Debating Club celebrated the end of our involvement in the Wellington Speaking Union competition for 2016 with a morning tea in the sun on Thursday during morning tea. Mrs Balasingam commended and thanked the students for their fantastic commitment and courage in facing some formidable opponents when they were all relatively inexperienced debaters at the start of the season. She also thanked Mr Williams (in absentia) for coaching the Year 9 team, and Reverend Darnell for his generous support with the Senior Certificate team and with adjudicating.

Toby Kelly
has been added to the New Zealand Barefoot Junior Waterski Team for Wisconsin USA as his effort and commitment to training since the team was announced in March, has shown improvement in his scores to the extent, that the selectors see potential for him to earn points for the team.  Congratulations Toby on joining your sister Meg as a full member of the NZ Junior Team.

Over the break Maddie Leslie and Classic Beauty won Reserve Champion in Hand Pony and Champion Show Pleasure Pony, qualifying her for Horse Of The Year 2017. Sophie Green also had great success, winning Champion Recreational Pleasure Pony on Rocky Horror.

Year 7 & 8 Jump Rope for Heart

After training for Cross Country Year 7 & 8 took to skipping to continue developing and improving their cardiovascular fitness. After two weeks of learning a variety of skipping skills the Year 7 & 8 took part in a “Jump Off”.  During the “Jump Off” students took part in different circuit activities.  These included skills in pair skipping, double dutch, egg beater and a long rope group challenge.  Rest stations were also incorporated -  drawing with chalk outside the gym in the sun was a well-deserved rest.  The multi-colour chalk collage gave the whole school a real buzz about importance of a healthy heart! Our Senior SHAPE classes also joined in the action and it was fantastic to see all our students developing their co-ordination and fitness whilst having fun as well. Gold coin donations from Y7 & 8 went to The National Heart Foundation. A lot of fun was had by all.

Miss Morrison

Y13 Geography Trip to Rotorua

This week the year 13 Geographers went to Rotorua for their Tourism topic. This involved having to understand how and what affects the tourism industry has on New Zealand. They went to the Polynesian SPA’s, OGO, Luge,  Agrodome, Mitai Maori village, Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland and to the Rotorua Museum, some of which they had speakers come in for them to get a further understanding of the effects tourists had on their businesses. They participated in fun tourist activities such the Sheep Show that agrodome held for tourists to show off their 19 breeds of sheep, afterwards the tourists were allowed to get up close with the animals. There was a Hangi that was made and cooked by the people from the Mitai village, they also walked through the Thermal Wonderland attractions such as Lady Knox geyser, relaxed at the Polynesian SPA’s that had wonderful natural minerals for skin care and meditation.

Chandnee Patel


House Debating

This House Debating competition was as lively and competitive as ever this year ending with the discovery of the advantages of creating a car-free Wellington CBD environment. While the opposing team was resolved to negate this idea successfully, in the end the strengths were seen by the adjudicator, Mr Ian Baigent, to outweigh the disadvantages. Congratulations to Discovery House (affirming the moot) and Resolution House (negating) for making it through to the final and special congratulations to Katie Daly and her team for winning the competition. It was mandatory for each team this year to include a representative from the 3 sections of the school (Years7/8; Years 9/10 and Years 11 to13). The juniors, helped by the seniors in their House, stepped up to this challenge admirably and are to be commended for their fortitude. 

Well done everyone. It was a pleasure to organise this year's House Debating competition and I am already looking forward to next year's. Please feel free Parents and Students if you have a good moot to suggest between now and then. I am always happy to receive support and good ideas.

Mrs Balasingam

CREST Award Judging

Year 10 students Jack Field, Ilyas Rosslan, Alexander Walker and Brinn Robinson were quizzed by the judges from the Royal Society CREST award this week. The students have been working in digital technology on making a team building game for year 9 students. Results of judging will be declared later next week.

Parumoana Cross Country Results

We had a wonderful group of Y7 & 8 students represent Marsden Whitby at the Parumoana Cross Country Champs on Wednesday. A new venue at Queen Elizabeth 11 Park McKays Crossing bought about new courses and some great running that was certainly fast paced and competitive. The new venue also meant viewing the runners was better. All the local Parumoana Schools were in attendance and it is a greatly supported event. It was a great day for running and our students represented Marsden Whitby brilliantly, with some outstanding results.  Our Year 7 Team consisted of Toby Kelly, Mathew Bird, Meg Kelly, Charlotte Broomhead and Vashti Hardy.  The Year 8 Team of Oliver Hurst, Andy Zhu, Thomas Taylor, Cohen Greaves and Jorja-Mae Knight all enjoyed the morning. Special mention goes to Meg Kelly who was placed 10th in the Year 7 Girls and will now go onto represent the Parumoana Schools at the Wellington Zone Cross Country.

A huge thanks to our wonderful Y10 Students who acted as Marshalls on the course for the day.  They were supportive and encouraging of all the runners and a real credit to the school. Please see more photos in the Photo Gallery opposite.

Year 7 Boys - Toby Kelly 13th , Mathew Bird 18th
Year 7 Girls  - Meg Kelly 10th, Charlotte Broomhead 11th, Vashti Hardy 26th
Year 8 Boys - Oliver Hurst 14th, Andy Zhu 17th, Cohen Greaves 36th , Thomas Taylor 37th
Year 8 Girls - Jorja-Mae Knight 17th

NCEA PE First Aid Course

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, PE and Duke of Edinburgh students from Years 11 and 12 completed a Red Cross course in Essential First Aid. The course covered a number of topics including CPR, choking, trauma, heart attacks and many more. A big thanks to Mrs Bradley for setting up and supervising the course. It was really enjoyed by all and we all feel safer at school knowing that we now have the skills to potentially deal with various emergencies, if they were to arise. It was an awesome experience learning some great life skills.

NCEA Level 2 PE Risk Management: Sea kayaking

As part of the Level 2 Physical Education course ‘Analyse the application of risk management strategies to a challenging outdoor activity’. Our Y12 NCEA PE students have applied risk management strategies to sea kayaking. Students learnt the safety techniques of the wet exit, how to re-enter an upturned kayak, how to use a paddle float, use of pumps before heading out with two mornings kayaking the river and then out to the inlet. The standard finished with an Expedition out to Whitireia & towards Titahi Bay heads.  The last day saw Y12s out in choppy, windy conditions with decent swells and a good head wind.  The strong currents also made of some tricky paddling but excellent use of their newly learnt skills. Well done Y12 PE students - you showed excellent leadership and safety management skills and were fantastic at kayaking.

Ms Vanessa Petrowski


Whitby Worlds

On Wednesday this week we got the whole school together to participate in some fun old fashioned festival games, such as egg and spoon races and three legged races. There were prizes for participation and everyone got involved and was enthusiastic about being a part of the schoolwide event. It was a great team building exercise for the house groups, especially when it came to house tug of war. The competition was intense and it was a battle to the end with Endeavour coming out on top and winning the Superbowl, closely followed by Adventure. Overall everyone seemed to enjoy the day and hopefully this event becomes an annual event. You will find photos on the News & Events page.
Becky Hawthorne

Year 9/10 Social Media Roadshow

On Thursday the 26th of May, the year 9 and 10 students went to St Orans school, Lower Hutt for a Social Media Roadshow organised by the Center of Science and Citizenship. It was an amazing experience for the students to discover the intricacies of Social Media and to work side-by-side with students from Scots College, St Orans and Sacred Heart. There was some really intimidating information that came across through use of social media which most of the times are taken for granted. we watched a few videos based on Social Media and how it affects our relationships with each other. During the event we got split up in mixed groups with students of other schools and had discussions on friendships and relationships in this day and age. Students came up with very promising outcomes like ‘Life won’t be complete without your friends’ and how could we fix current friendship issues through conversing in person rather than over social media. It was a very valuable and memorable session for me and my friends and I feel that I have a role to play in being an active digital citizen.                                     Kiriani McKenna


Jack Davies

Jack Davies has been sharing his passion for, and success in, rockets with local schools recently. Here he is with students at Discovery School assembly.


Y13 Level 3 NCEA Physical Education Performance Standard - Badminton


Cross Country

Well done to all students who competed in the Marsden Whitby Cross Country this year. The Cross Country started in the rain, but this did not deter some of our senior runners from travelling at lightning speed across the football field up toward Adventure Park. By the time our intermediate runners started the showers had set in and the puddles came into play as one of the star attractions of the course. Our junior runners were the last to start. Students chose different motivations in which to compete. Some practised their running paces learnt in Physical Education sessions and set personal challenges to complete the course without walking. Those who walked sang, and I watched as every student motivated the next with a high five, an encouraging voice and a helping hand. R
esults will be announced in assembly next week. Ms Petrowski & Miss Morrison (more photos available in photo gallery opposite).

Photo Competition
Kaitlyn Payne (Y9) entered the Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet Photo Competition and won the Youth Recreation prize for her photo entitled 'Capturing the Capturers'. The judge said there was a high standard of images entered this year, so it's quite an achievement for her print to have been well placed. The judge's comments on 'Capturing the Capturers' are: "An effective use of low side lighting.  The low angle emphasizes the mud flats and the Inlet".

Running Man Challenge
Marsden Whitby staff have thrown down the gauntlet in the Running Man Challenge! Interesting what happens at lunchtime!

Space Camp
Jack Davies (Y13) has been selected by the Royal Society of New Zealand to attend the European Space Camp at Andoya Space Centre in northern Norway in late June. The first Space Camp took place at the Centre in 1996 and has since attracted over 500 participants from over 20 countries across the world.  Some of the best lecturers from across Europe speak on topics as diverse as rocket physics, the work of CERN and the northern lights. Group work enables participants to spend a week in the life of a scientist and tackle a problem relating to the rocket launch at the end of the week.  There are five groups in total: Rocket System Design, Experimental Instrumentation, Payload, Rocket Telemetry and Rocket Physics. The highlight of the week is the rocket launch, which takes place near the end of the week, with just enough time to analyse the results of the launch before the students depart.

The Year 9 team debated against Bishop Viard College on Wednesday and won their debate, negating the motion ‘THAT WE SHOULD BAN DOMESTIC CATS’. Best Speaker was Roman Avery. The Year 10 team negated the same motion against Paraparaumu College on Thursday and also won their debate. Edward Couchman was the Best Speaker, for the second time this season. Mr Williams and I are very proud of our students. Suzanne Balasingam

Coaching at Discovery School 2016

At the end of term 1, the Level 2 PE students ran a fantastic Volleyball tournament for the Year 5 and 6 students at Discovery School.  The tournament was run as part of the Level 2 NCEA Physical Education course and followed a 5 week course to improve students’ skills and participation in Volleyball.  The Year 12 PE students headed to Discovery School each week and focussed on using different leadership strategies to contribute to the effective functioning of a group. The student leaders wrote lesson plans, prepared gear and worked on skills, tactics, fair play and encouraging others in the team.  They have gained valuable confidence, organisational, management, communication and motivation skills and built great relationships with the students they have been coaching. The Volleyball tournament they ran at the end of the unit was a fantastic success. It combined all their learnt skills and included group warm ups, chants, draws, certificates and prizes. The feedback from the students at Discovery School was the tournament was ‘awesome!!!’

Well done to the Year 12 PE students, I am sure you will go onto furthering your coaching skills in the future.  Ms Vanessa Petrowski

Equestrian Wanganui 2016

I am very pleased to report that the Samuel Marsden Collegiate School Whitby has enjoyed another successful outing despite another encounter with rather less than perfect competition conditions. The team performed extremely well both as individuals and as a team. Perhaps most importantly to note is how well the girls represented the school; not just in how well they were presented or how successfully they performed, but in how they supported each other and the other competitors and how cheerful they all remained despite the conditions. As the only team from outside the Wanganui Region, the Marsden Whitby team was very conspicuous and really represented the school beautifully in every way. They had a success straight away by winning the best presented school team. This is judged on horse grooming and rider presentation and how cohesively they looked as a team. Following this the team split off into different competitions with Emma Smith, Y9 (Indiana Skulati) in the red ring and Bronte Johnston, Y13 (Kiwi Buddy), Lauren Hunt, Y9 (Phoebe - 4 - Million), Maddie Leslie, Y9 (Classic Beauty) and Sophie Green, Y9 (Rocky Horror) in the green ring. Each of these riders and their mounts were very successful in their individual events. Emma Smith came fourth overall in the red ring. Lauren Hunt was overall champion in the green ring with Maddie Leslie reserve, and the team as a whole was second or reserve champions in the overall team championship. Sandi Johnston (Parent)

House Drama
Please see photos in Media Gallery on this page.

Inter-school Debating 

Last Thursday our Senior Certificate Team, coached by Reverend Darnell, competed in Round Two of the completion run by the Wellington Speaking Union. They were up against Tawa College and debating the motion “That we should tax sugar sweetened beverages.” We were affirming the motion and the team comprised Edward Dundon-Smith, Callum Munro and Brianna Dickinson. We narrowly lost the debate but the students had fun with the motion and learnt a lot more about debating skills. Our top speaker was Edward.

On Tuesday evening this week the Senior Premier B team debated in their Round Two against Wellington High School. The team comprised Qiyun Goh, Nico Hackner and Stephen Jamieson. This was an absolutely stunning debate on the motion that “This House believes the USA should send combat troops to fight ISIS in Iraq.” Senior Premier debating demands advanced skills from our students; they must not only prepare and deliver 8 minute speeches but must also cope in an unflustered way with POIs (Points of Information) requested spontaneously by the opposing team whilst they are in mid-flight with their speeches. Our students are impressive already and we will go on this season to develop our debating skills to a very high standard, I have no doubt. As the negating team we failed to impress the adjudicator sufficiently this time but she gave us extensive feedback, so watch this space - we are on the rise.            Mrs Balasingam      

Junior Certificate Year 10 Debating
It was Marsden Whitby's turn to host the debating in the Wellington Speaking Union's Certificate grade competition this week. For Round Two Year 10 was up against against Paraparaumu College on Wednesday afternoon. The team was comprised of Joe Walker, Edward Couchman and Lauren Rosner. While Paraparaumu were the victors this round, once again our students did us all proud, with Edward again scoring the highest of our students for his contribution. For two of the three students in the team it was their first ever opportunity to be in a debate, so all are on a steep learning curve as you can imagine. Our Chairperson excelled in her role and once again, this was her first ever time chairing a debate. The Marsden Whitby time-keeper, Alex Walker, also fulfilled his role flawlessly.                                                Mrs Balasingam

Level 3 PE: Snorkeling & Mountain Biking

As part of the Level 3 Physical Education course ‘The Journey over the destination’. Students have to analyse issues in safety management for outdoor activities and devise safety management strategies to combat these.  This has been an excellent standard for our students as they worked at planning, competing all the Risk Analysis whilst also getting the opportunity to take part in the outdoor activity and manage themselves whilst doing it!The Level 3 Physical Education students worked firstly in groups to analyse the risks associated with Snorkeling & Mountain biking.  Along with the support of Miss Morrison our students not only gained valuable snorkelling, water safety and marine biology knowledge they also gained an insight into how diverse the Porirua Harbour coast & catchment area is and the importance of protecting it. The second group organised a great Mountain biking trip in the Makara Peak Mountain Bike park/area out the back of Karori.  After working on breaking, skidding and extreme turning techniques we hit the hills for some exciting riding. Our students enjoyed the skills area & the tricky seesaw bench on their bikes. The tracks were certainly narrow with plenty of gnarly turns, & switchbacks.  There certainly were plenty of heavy falls, crashes, scrapes & bruises.                             Ms Morrison


Level 1 NCEA Physical Education Activities Days

As part of the Level 1 NCEA Physical Education course students have to demonstrate and show understanding of, responsible behavior for safety during outdoor education activities.  On 9 & 10 of March this class of 15, along with Miss Morrison & Ms Petrowski embarked on 2 full days of Outdoor Education.

Day one : Was in based at Ferg’s on Wellington Waterfront.  Students learned to belay, rockclimb and challenge themselves on the wall faces.  They then participated went inline skating around Wellington waterfront.  After that it was straight into the Sea Kayaks in calm waters to the fountain out the front of Oriental Bay.   Lastly we finished with our annual & compulsory wharf jump. Day two:  Tramp Battle Hill to Puketiro round trip and Adrenalin Forest.  Unfortunately due to the high winds the Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) on Pauatahanui inlet had to be cancelled so we ‘hit the hills’ at Battle Hill instead.

Students had two fun-filled but tiring days where they climbed, paddled, skated and tramped with energy and enthusiasm. There were challenges for all levels of ability and some true stars rose out of each activity. Many students were trying activities for the first time, but everyone worked hard to overcome some of their fears and achieve individual goals that they set for themselves.  Their demonstrations of their responsible behaviours in an outdoor environment were exemplary. It was such a delight to take this group of students out  as they worked extremely well with each other, represented the school with pride and integrity and supported each other to be the best they could at each activity.                       Ms Morrison



Marsden Whitby Debating Club

This year the reconvened Marsden Whitby Debating Club has got off to a flying start with 4 teams entered in the Wellington Speaking Union inter-schools debating competition. Three of the four teams are new to competitive debating. The Senior Certificate team coached by Rev Chris Darnell, won their first debate against Tawa College last week, debating the motion “That Online Voting Should be Introduced”. The team was comprised of Todd Bishop, Brianna Dickinson and Edward Dundon-Smith. This was a wonderful start for these Year 11 and 12 students new to the competition. The Year 9 team comprised of Chris Bowman, Roman Avery, Siobhan McKay-Freeman and coached by Mr Williams, lost narrowly in their first debate at Tawa College against a junior certificate Tawa college team negating the motion “That New Zealand Should Change Its Flag”. These students will undoubtedly learn and grow from this first experience as their performance last Wednesday was very promising. The Year 10 junior certificate team, which was comprised of Shabila Watkinson, Edward Couchman and Alexander Walker, debated the same motion on the flag change, and also negated it. The team lost against a Kapiti College junior certificate team, but only by 1 point, so likewise, theirs was a highly creditable inaugural performance. Edward Couchman received the Speaker of the Debate accolade which was the icing on the cake for the two junior teams.

Mrs Balasingam

Swimming Sports

What a marvellous Swimming Sports we had yesterday! Some absolutely record-breaking participation and individual results. Huge thanks to everyone for such an enjoyable, spirited and supportive day. See more photos in the photo gallery opposite.

International Women's Day/Hygiene for the Homeless Mufti Day


Horse of Year 2016
Congratulations to Madeleine Leslie (Y9) and her horse Classic Beauty for winning Pleasure Pony of the Year at Horse of the Year, and also Winner of Rider 13-16 years.


Horse of Year 2016
Sophie Scott (Y10) competed at Horse of The Year this week. Sophie placed 3rd and 4th in the 1.25m class out of 80 riders and was placed on both her ponies. Sophie and Benrose Rockstar also WON Thoroughbred Show Hunter of the Year.  Ms Methorst attended this year also.


Congratulations to Phoebe Lee (Y9) who placed 2nd for the U16 age group in the Kapiti Women's Triathlon.

Athletics Day, Wednesday 24 February, Adventure Park

It was a blustery day at Adventure Park for our annual Marsden Whitby students Athletics Day. Whilst the wind was a little bothersome that certainly didn’t deter from some amazing achievements by our students. The day starts with the March Past.  Each house, led by their House Captain, does a lap of the track to music and House chants.  This year’s winner, Resolution, displayed plenty of red & impressive gymnastic talents from some very talented gymnasts out front.

A very determined group of athletes then set to prove some long-standing records could be broken. In the Juniors Jorja-Mae Knight broke the 100m record. In the Intermediate age group Campbell Taylor beat his own record from last year in the shot put, throwing 8.97m.  Sophie Scott broke a 2010 record in the 100m running 14.48s and Lupe Aitogi-Paese broke the 2011 record by a whole 2 metres in the shot put throwing a mighty 9.32m! Two Senior girls’ records were broken this year, with Becky Hawthorne running 1500m in 6.05.09 and Jessica Eagle breaking her own record in the High Jump from 2015 by 1 cm to a new height of 1.43m. It certainly proved to be a day of fun and excitement and showcased some of Marsden Whitby’s top athletic talents. Times were set, challenges met and bodies pushed to their limits.

Highlights included some impressive sprinting by our Senior boys, in particular Callum Wilson and a very tight triple jump competition that Jack Davies took out.

Miss Morrison


Level 3 NCEA Physical Education – City Fitness Porirua

As part of the Level 3 NCEA Physical Education class went to City fitness Porirua to take part in back to back classes of “Fight” (a kickboxing class) & “Centergy” (a yoga & Pilates class). We upper cut, hooked and kicked our way through the Fight class and the students had plenty of good questions for Liesel the Fight instructor at the end of class.  The second class in contrast was stretching, Yoga & Pilates.  The boys in particular have gained a new found respect for this type of class and the strength needed. The idea was for students to learn about and participate in physical activity experiences that might help contribute to strategies for lifelong well-being. But also to challenge some of the stereotypes and assumptions about gym members and group fitness activities.It was also wonderful to see old boy Nick Boyce who was remembered by our students who has gone on to become a Personal Trainer at Cityfitness. A big thanks to Cityfitness Porirua for all allowing our students to join in.

Miss Morrison

Year 13 Leavers’ Gift to School 2015

This week we had the chance to run a brand new flag up the flagpole so kindly donated by our 2015 Y13 students. It is a very thoughtful gift and stands proudly in the centre of the school, visible to all.


Hygiene for the Homeless

Year 12 student Katie Daly, along with Karori student Lily Marsh, is currently co-ordinating a campaign that supplies hygiene products including sanitary items, deodorant, socks, underwear, toothpaste and toothbrushes to homeless women in the Wellington region. She is working with the Wellington City Council, the Bishop of Wellington, and the Wellington City Mission, with sponsorship from companies including Whittaker's Chocolate, U By Kotex, Cool Charm, Change To Green, HangDog Rock Climbing Centre and Trilogy Skincare. Within the Hygiene For Homeless campaign, Katie and Lily have created several fundraisers over the next few weeks. The first is a registered walk along Queen's Wharf on March 6, the Hygiene For Homeless Walk. The walk will feature a performance from a group of talented barbershop singers from the Wellington City Chorus, as well as prizes to be won from Whittaker's Chocolate, Change To Green, Trilogy, The Body Shop, and HangDog. The walk gets underway at 11am.

Mufti Day

The second fundraiser is a school mufti day on March 8th (International Women's Day!). On this day, all students are encouraged to come dressed as an influential, positive woman and bring a gold coin donation. If possible, they are also encouraged to bring any items to be contributed to the hygiene packs - a spare bar of soap, a pack of tissues, etc. More information about the campaign can be found on its Facebook page (Hygiene For Homeless), the Facebook event of the walk (Hygiene For Homeless Walk 2016), by email (hygieneforhomeless@gmail.com), its Instagram page (@hygieneforhomeless). Alternatively you could visit their Givealittle page www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/hygieneforhomeless.

Jack Davies (Year 12) broke his own record at last weekend’s NZ Rocketry Association. The Marsden reached a speed of Mach 1 and a height of 14,000m.  Impressive stuff Jack! This link will take you to the TV3 News story.


Congratulations to Madeleine Leslie (Y9) and her Border Collie Jess who won the Vitapet competition last month with a prize of $500 worth of products and to star in the Vitapet TV commercial which is to be aired in New Zealand and Australia. Madeleine and Jess travelled to Auckland earlier this week for filming from 10am to 6.30pm on Wednesday. Madeleine was Jess's trainer, working all day alongside Maree - one of Mark Vette’s trainers. Maree is one of two NZ trainers to sign off trick certification which is recognised worldwide. Jess is now registered with a talent agency.


Superb 2015 NCEA Results

Year 11 students performed exceptionally well in their first year of NCEA with a 100% pass rate and 88% of results endorsed with Merit or Excellence. It was the same overall result for Level 2 (Year 12) students with yet again a 100% pass rate and 47% endorsed with Merit or Excellence. Level 3 was a 92% pass rate and 48% endorsed with Merit or Excellence. 

The measure of 'success' is different for each individual but all our students can rightly be very proud of their efforts and their attitude to learning. They also get superb support from their teachers and we are very fortunate to have such outstanding staff who put in  wonderful work throughout 2015. Ad summa!

For previous news see our 2015 News Archives page

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