Principal's Blog: Term 2 Week 8
Friday, 9 June 2023
Kia ora whānau
The cornerstone of a Marsden education is our exceptional academic offering. Our innovative programmes are rigorous and grounded in sound foundational learning, and our smaller personalised learning environment and culture of care places the needs of our learners firmly at the centre of all that we do. We are committed to NCEA. We know our students respond incredibly well to our high-stakes, supportive learning environment, and we have a proven track record of maintaining highly successful academic outcomes and preparing our learners for inspiring futures.  

Marsden is currently designing a rigorous future-focused learning programme at Year 11 from 2024 that combines NCEA Level 1 and innovative courses. Our refreshed offering is based on the premise that ‘learning cannot be left to chance’ and ensuring that our students will be fully equipped for NCEA Level 2, NCEA Level 3 and the world of future education and work. Next week we have invited caregivers of current Year 10 students to an NCEA Level 1 information evening on Wednesday 14 June, 6.30pm in Sheppard Wake. Caregivers of students at other year levels are more than welcome to attend if the session holds interest.  Any questions about NCEA Level 1 can be directed to Deputy Principal, Jenny Caldwell, at  

It will be an exciting week for our Year 10 students next week, as they underake the NCEA Literacy and Numeracy co-requisite online testing for the first time, the results of which contribute to NCEA qualifications. We have thoroughly prepared our learners for what to expect, and they have been provided with multiple opportunites to practise answering the types of questions we expect them to encounter. Our strong foundational learning in literacy and numeracy remain hallmarks of a Marsden curriculum at every year level, and will have undoubtably contributed to well-equipping our learners for the experience. Further opportunities to sit the co-requisites will be provided into the future, and the online assessments can be sat by candidates multiple times should they not experience success first time around.  Queries around how your daughter might be feeling about the NCEA Litearcy and Numeracy co-requisite online tests can be directed to Head of Middle School, Dianne Smith, at

Across the past week I have had the immense privilege of meeting students who have been shortlisted for scholarship entry in 2024.  It has been a hugely positive and affirming experience, with the student enagements providing confirmation of just how capable and articulate young people are.  The positivity and optimism these current and prospective Marsden students exuded was nothing short of uplifting and joyful.  It has been a stark reminder of all that is good and hopeful in this world. Our Experience Marsden days have attracted huge interest and are over-subscribed, and although we have had to close registrations for our Experience Year 7 day next week, we are more than happy to arrange individualised visits and days in class at another date.  The Experience Year 9 day, to be held the week following on 21 June, has also attracted unprecedented interest.  Please direct further enrolment queries to our Enrolment Registrar, Leigh McCathie, at

It has been timely at this stage of the term, when the days are getting shorter and the routines might be becoming a little wearisome for some, to be reminded of our core value of whanaungatanga, and the importance of being intentional in forming and forging positive, mutually respectful relationships. Students have been encouraged to take care of their relationships, with one another, with our environment and, perhaps most importantly, with themselves. We look forward to a successful and positive final three weeks of term, and the blessing that is a generous July school holiday break thereafter.

Congratulations to Ad Summa and Altissime for stunning performances at the regional Big Sing.  Our student-led allcomers choir, Ad Summa, filled the Michael Fowler Centre with joy, with the entire audience swooning in support of their popular melody; the Back Street Boys couldn’t have carried it off any better!  Our auditioned choir, Altissime, were hauntingly beautiful, capturing and captivating their audience with a performance that lured us to the edges of our seats and had us holding our breath; such alluring and intriguing art. Thank you for the gift of your talent and relentless pursuit of perfection.