Marcellin College Newsletter – Monday 8 March 2021

Marcellin College
School Newsletter
Seek the Best – Rapu I Te Pai.
Wairua o te Whānau – Family Spirit

Message from the Principal

Kia Ora, Malo e lelei, Talofa lava, Taloha ni, Ni sa bula, Kamonaso, Kia Orana, Ni Hao, Namaste, Ram-Ram, Salām, Sanibona, Olla, warm greetings to all.

It was great to welcome all students back to school this morning. Hopefully last week’s lockdown was the last interruption of the school year and we can now look forward to the many events and activities we have planned in the coming weeks. We look forward to getting back to face-to-face learning and making excellent progress in lessons. Most importantly, we look forward to time spent in school as a whānau, growing towards our Loving Lord together.

A reminder for families new to our whānau this year and families with siblings planning to come to our school next year, please join us at school on March 18th, 4pm-7pm. This is our re-arranged new whānau event, where students new to the school this year can show their family around to get a feel of the school and meet staff. Please come to the Library where you will be issued with a map of the school and location of teachers to visit.

Next week is also ‘Love of Work Week’. This is a week where we ask students to be more mindful of serving others and go out of their way to serve more at school, in the community and at home. Look out for students bringing their service cards home for your sign-off when they have completed some service at home above and beyond their normal chores.

Lord Jesus, guide us to follow in your footsteps, especially during the Lenten season. May your actions and words inspire us to serve others at home, at school and in the wider community. Help us to make the lives of others easier in little and big ways, so we may imitate you and grow closer to you. Inspire us to do your work. We ask this in your name. Amen.


Ngā mihi nui whānau,

Dean Wearmouth


Important Dates 

2021 Important Dates

Term 1

  • Wednesday 10 March                Year 12 Biology Trip
  • Monday 15 March                     Year 9 Retreat
  • Monday 15 – Friday 19 March     Love of Work Week
  • Wednsday 17 March                  11.30am Immunisation Year 7 & 8
  • Thursday 18th March                4pm-7pm Meet the Teacher Open Evening
  • Saturday 20 March                    Community Sports Fair
  • Friday 2 April                            Good Friday (school Closed)
  • Monday 5 & Tuesday 6 April       Easter Weekend (school Closed)
  • Wednesday 7 April                    Year 11 SCE Trip
  • Monday 12 April                        Athletics Day
  • Tuesday 13 April                       13Bio Trip
  • Wednesday 14 April                   6.30pm to 8pm Senior Music Asessment
  • Wednesday 14 – Friday 16 April  Polyfest
  • Friday 16 April                          Last day of Term 1 2021

2021 Term Dates

Term 1

Wednesday 3 February to Friday 16 April

Term 2

Monday 3 May to Friday 8 July 

Term 3

Monday 26 July to Friday 1 October

Term 4

Monday 18 October to Friday 10 December



Polyfest Practice for Samoan and Tongan Groups

We are delighted that our ākonga have shown such a keen interest in Polyfest again this year and that we have wonderful staff and whānau working together to ensure that our ākonga are able to deepen their understanding of their cultural heritage and share it with the community. Pride in one’s heritage helps to build the foundation for a sense of identity and belonging which is so essential to a person’s wellbeing. We are deeply grateful that our ākonga have this very important opportunity and for the support of members of our community.

Practice times for the Samoan group are:
– Tuesday 3:30pm-5pm
– Thursday 3:30pm-5pm (only for this week, due to Friday being Teacher only day)

-Friday 3:30pm-5pm
– Saturday 9am-3pm

Information slips will be given at practice this week.

Practice time for the Tongan group are:
Tuesday 3.30pm-5pm (starting next week Tuesday 23rd February)

– Thursday 3.30pm-5pm

Parents of the students who are involved this year please add yourself into the Tongan Facebook Page called “Marcellin College Tongan Group 2021”. This is where updates are made frequently.

Marcellin College Board 

Student Representative Election results

Congratulations to Lesley Sasalu, he has been elected as the Board student representative.

New Bell Times

The College operates a two-week timetable.  There are five periods in a day with periods being one hour long.  



Staff Prayer and Briefing (Monday and Thursday)

8.15 am – 8.40 am

Warning bell 

8.40 am


8.45 am – 9.05 am

Period 1

9.05 am – 10.05 am

Period 2

10.05 am – 11.05 am


11.05 am – 11.30 am

Warning bell

11.25 am

Period 3  

11.30 am -12.30 pm

Period 4

12.30 pm – 1.30 pm


1.30 pm – 2.15 pm

Warning bell

2.10 pm

Period 5

2.15 pm – 3.15 pm


Safety Driving into the School Site

For families who drop off and pick up, please find a place to stop within the school site. You can also park at the Warehouse on Pah Road ( a few of our parents do this) and students can meet you there. 

School Website and Facebook Page

For all our new families, please keep an eye out on our website: for news and information, you can also access our official Facebook page by clicking here Marcellin College Facebook Page. There is where we put up photographs of events happening at our school.

Download School App

To all parents/caregivers, please download the school app, see below for instructions. Via the school app, you can report absences, see the school calendar, receive newsletters and contact details for the school and our website.
Here is a QR code and link to the app. 
To download the app please go to the App/Play store and search for KiwiSchools Connect. Once downloaded you can select Marcellin and choose Subscribe to all.
Alternatively, you can scan the QR code or click this  link


Reporting Student Absences

Reporting student absences are to be done via the school app, website, email or calling the school office. Students can not explain absences for siblings or themselves. A written note is to be provided or a phone call on (09) 625 6509 (ext705), if you are wanting to report directly to our Attendance Officer Courtney Todd. 

It is also required by the ministry that student absence for 3 days or more for any medical reason, will need to provide a medical certificate from your doctor.

Please do not reply to previous texts or emails sent from the school about any past correspondences,  with your child/ren absences. These messages does not go directly to the Attendance Officer.

For all future absences, follow the current school procedure’s of calling the office via the absence line or via the website (Report an absence).


Students are expected to be in full uniform at all times. This includes black leather shoes, white socks for girls and school socks for boys, the Marcellin jumper and the Marcellin jacket. Please ensure students uniform is labelled. Thank you for your support with this.

Events Coming Up

Meet the Teacher Open Evening – Thursday 18 March, 4pm-7pm

Meet the Teacher Evening is on Thursday 18 March from 4pm-7pm, all families new to the school in 2021 are invited to attend the event to put faces to names and get a feel of the school. This is also our open evening for 2022 enrolments. All are welcome to attend. Please see the flyer for more details.

We look forward to meeting new families and seeing many members of our Marcellin whānau at the combined open evening and meet the teacher event on March 18. It will be wonderful to meet you and to see those we have met before.

A reminder to all parents and families attending to please park at the front courts and then make your way to the Library to collect a map.

Athletics Sports Day – Monday 12th April

Our Athletics Day is a wonderful celebration of community as well as sporting participation and achievement. We look forward to the sporting prowess we will see, the participation of our ākonga in many events, seeing younger students try out new events and the fun, laughter and powerful sense of community that pervades the day in the form of cheering, congratulating and very enthusiastic chanting as the whānau seek to obtain points. Despite the competition the sense of unity is paramount. The new date for our Athletics Sports is Monday 12th April.

Special Character:

Our Lenten Journey continues together:

It was a real blessing to see so many of our Marcellin whānau gathering once more to pray together online for the Stations of the Cross. We continue to be blessed to be a community that prays together even while circumstances keep us physically apart. Our spiritual connection to God and one another remains strong. 

We are proud of the confidence with which our ākonga are able to participate in prayer and liturgy. We will continue to pray the remaining Stations of the Cross during Lent.

There are 14 stations of the cross in total and these are:

The Stations of the Cross are a reminder of Christ’s suffering and death and, while it is important to remember all that Christ has done for us, it is also essential that we reflect on the great gift of love that the cross is and the fact that the cross is not the entire story. 

As Catholics we are resurrection people and we know that the cross is only relevant when considered in relation to the resurrection. Jesus dies so that as the gospel of Saint John tells us we ‘might have life to the fullest’. That is life in the kingdom of God both now in our relationship with God and others and in the eternal life which he has promised us.

There is a lot of material on the Auckland Catholic Diocesan Website that is useful for families to share together. 

You can view Bishop Michael’s reflections on Lent here:

Bishop Michael reflects on Lent.2

There are many great resources put out by Caritas to help us with our Lenten journey too. Here are some of the resources for Week Three of Lent:


Third Sunday of Lent 

“Every true conversion is oriented toward a new future, a new life, a beautiful life, a life free from sin, a generous life. Let us not be afraid to ask Jesus for forgiveness because he opens the door to this new life for us.” 

  • Pope Francis, Angelus in St Peter’s Square, 7 April 2019


E te Ariki, Lord Jesus, you are the shepherd, gathering us and guiding us. We are your sheep, and we do not always understand where you lead. Grant us the grace to trust in you and to open our hearts to a new way. 


Responsorial: Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11 

Response: Lord, you have the words of everlasting life. 

The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; 

The commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes. (Response)

The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; 

The ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. (Response) 

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; 

Sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb. (Response) 

Moreover by them is your servant warned; 

In keeping them there is great reward. (Response)


Take a moment to reflect on the last week: in what ways have we practiced listening to Jesus? 

Think of a time in your life when you had to step out of your comfort zone. 

How did it feel? How did you respond?


Mass at Alert Level 2:

Although we are all hopeful that we won’t need to participate in online masses for too much longer, for those of us who belong to parishes that are too big to manage masses under Alert Level 2 and for those who are concerned about attending mass, the Shine TV masses are back. 


As part of our return to school after the restrictions of Alert Level Three the following prayer will be prayed in all Kaitiaki classes:

Loving God,

We thank you for the safety of this country in which we live. We thank you for the freedoms we enjoy and the opportunity we have to return to learning in our school environment with its very special wairua o te whānau. We acknowledge your presence in our lives and the wonder of your great love for us. We ask you to bless the rest of this term that we might use our gifts and talents to serve you and our Marcellin community. May we enjoy our learning together and support one another to deepen our knowledge and understanding. May we be people of courage, reaching out to all in need and to all who feel uncertain or alone both in our families and in our school community. May we shine your light into the lives of all whom we meet and may you continue to journey with us so that we can keep our light shining brightly. 


The Kaitiaki liturgies and whānau chapel sessions will continue to focus on Lent as we prepare for the beautiful Easter celebrations.

We pray that all of our Lenten observances may draw us ever closer to the person of Jesus Christ and to one another.



Our Remar members wanted to serve the community during the Alert Level 3 restrictions and so they decided to provide opportunities for the newest and youngest members of the Marcellin community to connect with one another and to feel a sense of belonging to our College. 

Therefore, the Year 13 Remar members invited the Year 7 and 8 students to join with them online for a prayer, a chat and some games. The Year 12 Remar members invited the Year 9 students to do the same. 

There was a lot of laughter and fun and a wonderful sense of wairua o te whanau! The teachers had a great time too! It really showed just how much joy our students give us! One of the games we played which was enjoyed by all and which was really an online version of Pictionary can be found at the following website and could be played as a family too!

Gift Zoom

GIFT (Growth in Faith Together) is a residence for people with disabilities where the Remar members assist fortnightly on Saturday afternoons. It was wonderful to see some of our Year 13 Remar members at the GIFT zoom on Saturday sharing in a Lenten reflection about Reconciliation. It was especially lovely to be joined by Asmeret’s six and three-year-old brothers! Our GIFT friends loved seeing you all online as their residence has been operating at Alert Level 4 to keep them safe.


Our ākonga and their tutors began practising for Polyfest in the week before we went to Alert Level 3. It’s great to see their focus and determination to learn the moves needed for the performances. 

Below are photos of the Tongan and Samoan groups at practice:

Academic Assembly

Our academic assembly was a time to celebrate the achievements of our ākonga who achieved NCEA Levels One, Two and Three with Merit or Excellence endorsements. It was 

This assembly acknowledged all the mahi that these ākonga put in throughout 2020 and showed them to be resilient individuals who gave their best to their studies in an incredibly challenging year. 

It was wonderful to have so many whānau members present at the assembly to support their sons and daughters. We are blessed to have a community that really values excellence in education and is so supportive of the learning and success of our ākonga.

It was also wonderful for the community to hear from Mr Leki Jackson-Bourke and Ms Ana Vete, past students of Marcellin College, who have returned to our community as teachers and who were very inspiring when they addressed the College at the academic assembly.

Service Opportunities

Our Year 12 Service Programme includes opportunities to do the following:

  • Mentoring, coaching sport and reading support with Catholic feeder primary schools
  • Visits to nearby rest homes such as Catherine Lodge, Selwyn Heights and the Royal Oak Rest home
  • Assisting in the Year 7 and 8 classes to support learning
  • Assisting in Science labs with students visiting from the feeder primaries in need of the experience of a Science Lab prior to attending high school
  • Assisting people to the car with their groceries

All students are completing service journals in which they write about the ways in which they have served the community, at school or at home. Some opportunities to serve might be:

  • Assisting in the classroom
  • Year 7 and 8 students making lunches and filling fruit bowls for Kaitiaki groups
  • Year 13 students assisting in Year 7-10 classes during study periods
  • Joining committees (coming up in the next couple of weeks)
  • Leading liturgies in the chapel and/or Kaitiaki classes
  • Helping at home
  • Taking care of younger brothers and sisters

Please note: all service opportunities are dependent upon being in an alert level in which it is appropriate to be involved in these activities.


While many of our co-curricular activities will resume at school under Alert Level Two, it is also interesting to note many of the co-curricular activities that have been offered to students as part of our Distance Learning programme. Below are the activities that students have been invited to participate in while at home and which they may choose to continue to participate and compete in throughout the coming weeks:




Things you’ll need

Easy Friendship bracelet 

Thick Cardboard (old box)

Small amount of wool (ideally few different colours)




These turned out really well – my daughter was able to do on her own (after I helped make the cardboard loom). 

Toilet Roll faces 

Empty toilet rolls

Paint (optional)

Bonus points if you can make one that resembles a teacher  🤣

Pop up card

Paper or thin card




Old t-shirt (check with caregivers first before cutting)

Sharp scissors

Needle and thread

There are heaps of other tutorials available for ways you can use t-shirt yarn. This is a fantastic way of upcycling old t-shirts that you might otherwise throw  away. 

Here’s another upcycling idea:

Grow a Rainbow experiment 

Felt pens

Paper towel

2 glasses


Yarn Sticks

Sticks – pick up sticks as you walk around your neighbourhood (don’t break them off trees though!)


Paint (optional)

Simply wrap wool around your stick (overlap the end to secure or you can glue ends down). 

You can add pom-poms or paint if you want too. 

No sew face mask tutorials


Old clothes or bandana

Elastic/hair ties/old t-shirt

Stress ball





The Hetet School of Maori Art are offering free access to their online course on how to weave Kono baskets


Plant an apple seed and see what happens – my daughter asked to do this last week and gets a thrill out of checking it each day! You could try other fruits or vegetables also.

Old cup

Little soil or potting mix

Apple – after eating we saved 3 seeds to plant


Cheese puffs – this is my go-to easy-peasy recipe for a yummy morning or afternoon tea. Super quick and easy to make with a few simple ingredients.

Pikelet recipe

Basic scone recipe

Master Chef Competition:Send Ms O’Neil photos of your culinary creations (cooking, baking etc) and Ms O’Neil and her panel will judge the winning dish. Please note: Dishes will only be judged based on presentation so make them look really good! The winning dish will receive 20 Whanau points and all entries receive 5 points! Get cooking!


March is World Hearing Awareness Month. There is a World Hearing Day event planned (online activity). Students can find out further information at the bottom of the webpage. However, there are other activities that students can get involved in as well. More info can be found here.


Calling all young writers! Have a look at the Write On Magazine website. You could choose to submit a piece of writing for the magazine.

Year 7-10 students could work towards entering the next Write On Magazine Competition which is a poetry writing competition called: Matariki: Reach For the Stars Poetry Competition with a deadline of 14 May 2021.

Look at the website here:

Another poetry challenge for everyone:

Using the Caritas theme for Lent: A new way forward to write a poem or song, or spoken word. You could include some of the following words:

Life, journey, prayer, reflection, action, challenge, bible, community, time, space, presence, gentleness, love, giving, sharing, promise, faith, faithfulness, call, being, generosity, freedom, change.

The English teachers will include the poems on the Poet-Tree in the Hermitage building and there will be prizes for the best three poems! Please email poems to Ms Roberson on

Social Sciences:



Activity (subject, year level)

Relevant Links or Information

Year 9 & 10 Social Studies

The Aotearoa History Show: The animated story of New Zealand and its people from its geological origins to modern day.

The Citizen’s Handbook: Become a better New Zealand citizen! A comedy Video and Podcast civics series that tackles NZ history & issues.

Learn more about the history of epidemics and pandemics in Aotearoa.

Test your knowledge of countries, capitals, flags, history etc.


Test your knowledge of countries, capitals, flags etc.

Interactive animated quiz where you locate countries and flags in the world

Quizzes about countries of the world


The Aotearoa History Show: The animated story of New Zealand and its people from its geological origins to modern day.

The Citizen’s Handbook: Become a better New Zealand citizen! A comedy Video and Podcast civics series that tackles NZ history & issues.

Learn more about the history of the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Test your knowledge of historical events, leaders, inventions etc.


Have a go at this Maths Challenge:



There are many sports available to students at all times throughout the school year. We recommend that ākonga, especially those new to the College, visit the sports department in the gym and speak to the staff there. Otherwise, ākonga can listen for sports notices during assemblies to see all the wonderful opportunities there are to go out on the field or court and have a go.

2021 Sport Coaches

Calling all coaches! Marcellin College is in need of coaches for the following sporting codes in 2021: Kilikiti, Lawn Bowls, Tag, Touch, Rugby Union, Badminton, Basketball, Netball, and Futsal. If you are interested in coaching any of these sports, please email the Director of Sport, Cameron Bitchener at We would love to have more people in our community getting involved with the Marcellin College Sports programme to develop our students


Pompallier Catholic College Jubilee

Tena koutou katoa,

Pompallier Catholic College in Whangarei is celebrating 50 years at Queen’s Birthday weekend this year. They have asked if you would be able to place the attached notice in your school newsletters, and/or communicate it to your parent community in an appropriate way.

Thank you on their behalf.

Nga mihi nui

Philip Mahoney


Catholic Education Services Auckland

Ph 09 360 3079

Mob: 029 200 7993


University Scholarships for Year 13 students

MoneyHub, a consumer finance website, has published a guide to hundreds of scholarships for any student planning to start university in 2022. The comprehensive list includes scholarships offered by every university as well as those specifically available to local students. A list of privately-funded, Maori, Pacific and International university scholarships completes the list.

Applications close throughout the year, with tens of millions of dollars available. MoneyHub has also published a list of tips for scholarship success. 

For more details and to find suitable scholarships, visit the MoneyHub Scholarship page

Garden Sheds

Garden sheds for $100 koha.

Last year the BCATs students made these sheds as part of their project work.
We have four of these sheds up for grabs.
Each is 1200 x 600 wide with a door opening of 2000 x 600.
We have two sheds with doors and two sheds with no doors, (ran out of time to get these made).
One of these sheds is on the deck of technology for viewing.
If you think you’d like to have one of these, let me know, and we can negotiate a deal.
Mr. Weijermars

Pathways to Manhood

Pathways to Manhood offers a 4 day programme for 13–15 year old boys accompanied by their father or mentor. Navigating the transition from boyhood to manhood can become a powerful one for your son when learning from his father or mentor and other good men in an intentional environment. At the event, manhood in its truest sense is explored and celebrated, and your whole family will benefit from this rite of passage experience. If you wish to attend and have financial obstacles, please contact Pathways to Manhood to see if you are eligible for a subsidy. Also, if you would like to help fund someone in your school community to attend, please contact us to donate, and we will tag the funds for a student from your school.


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