Ko te reo te tuakiri                      Language is my identity

Ko te reo toku ahurei               Language is my uniqueness

Ko te reo te ora               Language is life

Welcome to the students and the families supporting the students who are studying English at Marcellin College. The English Department is delighted to teach your child and we will....

§ Foster a love of learning that will continue into adulthood by providing structured and engaging programmes

§ Prepare the junior students well for studying English in the Senior School

§ Ensure strengths and weaknesses are promptly identified and addressed

§ Focus on literacy – developing students’ skills and interest in the basics of English, namely, reading, writing, listening, speaking, presenting and viewing

§ Ensure the key competencies from the NZ Curriculum are developed: thinking, using language, symbols and texts, managing self, relating to others and participating

§ Provide well-managed classrooms so that every student meets his or her full potential  


Kei hopu tou ringa ki te aka taepa, engari kia mau ki te aka matua.

Cling to the main vine, not the loose one.

The Mathematics Department of Marcellin College will equip students with tools to investigate and interpret the world they live in through:

  • the exploration and use of patterns (Number and Algebra)
  • the exploration and use of data (Statistics)
  • the exploration of relationships in quantities, space and time (Geometry and Measurement).

At Year 9 and 10 there is a focus on numeracy with the purpose of creating sound foundations on which study in the Senior School can be based.    In the Senior School students explore Mathematics and Statistics more deeply and widely building on their understanding and their abilitiy to make connections and think abstractly.  Techonology, particularly graphics calculators and statistical computer packages are widely used throughout the year levels.   The staff in the Mathematics Department are committed to working with students so that they reach their potential and attain the qualifications that reflect their ability.


The Science Department of Marcellin College provides a variety of courses to ensure scientific literacy for every pupil.  Students enrolled in Science faculty are trained to:

  • Be capable of working individually or collaboratively to attain a scientific view
  • Be able to develop hypothesis, to design and implement experimental procedures and then be able to evaluate and analyse the data
  • Value and appreciate the diversity of life and the natural forces that shape our world
  • Integrate information from multiple scientific disciplines and synthesize the information learned
  • Be environmentally responsible citizens

Courses reflect the learning styles of individual students and include study in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and General Science.  Catholic expectations are incorporated in each lesson ensuring that students learn to make responsible decisions and become lifelong learners.  The department emphasises the importance of differentiated instruction, high expectations, interactive approaches and flexible groupings to support student performance.  These instructional approaches are combined with ongoing, systematic assessment of student learning.

Religious Education

Religious Education is a compulsory academic subject that is taught at each Year level.

While our students work hard and obtain above average grades….


We also have fun and express our faith and develop our spirituality.


Religious Education is on the approved list for University and students in the senior classes can also obtain NCEA literacy credits.

Social Sciences / Classical Studies

Ui mai koe ki ahau he aha te mea nui o tea ao,

Maku e ki atu he tangata, he tangata, he tangata!

Ask me, ‘What is the greatest thing in the world?”

I will reply, ‘It is people, people, people!’

The social sciences learning area is concerned with how human societies work. The aim of the social sciences is to enable students to become informed, critical, active and responsible members of the local, national and global communities in which they live and work.

The social sciences are one of the core curriculum areas and at MarcellinCollege all our Year 9 and Year 10 students have 3-4 Social Studies lessons a week.

When our students reach Year 11 they have the option of continuing to study the social sciences from NCEA Level 1 through to NCEA Level 3. The four NCEA social science subjects offered are:

  • Classical Studies (Levels 2-3)
  • Geography (Levels 1-3)
  • History (Levels 1-3)
  • Tourism (Levels 2-3)

The Social Sciences Department places a strong emphasis on developing student’s literacy and communication skills. Students are also encouraged to explore different values and perspectives, to think critically and to reflect on their understandings.   


The Commerce Department offers courses at Y9, Y10, Y11, Y12 and Y13. At Y9, students are introduced to Commerce education in a one term ‘taster’. The Y10 Business Studies programme is a comprehensive one year course which introduces students to Economic Decision-Making, sources of income, money and exchange, insurance, consumer protection laws and elementary personal and business Accounting. Upon the completion of the course, students have a strong foundation on which to make further choices on pursuing their career choices in Accounting and Economics.

The aims of an Accounting programme are:

  • promote knowledge and understanding of accounting as a financial language for individuals, community organisations and businesses
  • develop key competencies in a range of financial contexts
  • apply financial knowledge and key competencies to practical situations.

To achieve these aims, students are encouraged to examine, understand and apply the assumptions on which accounting is based and to process financial data into meaningful information. They prepare financial reports to meet user needs undertake job costings to ensure profitability. Analysis and interpretation of financial reports are carried out to make informed decisions and an appreciation of ethics and values are considered in an Accounting context.

Economics examines the choices people make about the use of limited resources to satisfy unlimited wants. By studying economics, students will consider how New Zealanders are affected by the economic decision-making of individuals, communities, businesses, and government agencies in New Zealand and overseas. They will develop an understanding of the New Zealand economy and the policies that the Government uses to manage it. The significance of connections between New Zealand and the global economy are analysed.

Students are also encouraged to reflect on current macro-economic issues, such as unemployment, poverty, low economic growth, inflation, resource depletion, Auckland’s housing crisis and the impact of significant events such as the Christchurch earthquakes and the Cricket and Rugby World Cups.

Accounting and Economics are recognised subjects for university entrance.


The Art Department offers courses at Year 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13.

In these courses students develop practical Art Skills in a variety of media. Personal expression and creative and analytical thinking are encouraged


Students learn to appreciate how artworks are made, used and valued in New Zealand as well as other cultures. As part of this process a series of talks by well known New Zealand artists takes place each year.


They learn to critique their own Art works and those of others which develops their critical thinking skills.


At the senior level students may choose to specialize in one or more of the following: Painting, Photography and Design.


They will also gain an increased awareness of the further training and career opportunities that are available to them in Art.


Marcellin College Art students have taken an active part in honouring the special character of the school by creating a series of murals around the school and entering into relevant Art Competitions. These have been great learning experiences as well as making a positive and meaningful contribution to the school environment.

Health & Physical Education

Health and Physical Education from Year 9 - 13 focuses on the wellbeing of our students, others and of society through learning in health-related and movement contexts.  Students are encouraged to accept new challenges and reflect on their own wellbeing as well as take responsibility for enhancing the wellbeing of others.  We offer learning through practical and theory as well as outside of the school environment.

The College delivers three lessons of Health and Physical Education per week for Years 9 and 10.  In Junior school Physical Education we offer a range of units that target students physical and interpersonal skills.  In Health our units focus on Hauora, Sexuality, Nutrition and Health Issues in Society.

All Year 11 students take Core Physical Education two periods per week.  Throughout the year, students will take part in one achievement standard where they will participate in a range of physical activities.

At a senior level, we offer two pathways in Physical Education at NCEA.  Students may opt for NCEA Level 1 and then move onto NCEA Level 2 and 3 or take up our Sports Leadership course gaining some credits through MIT at Level 2 and 3.  Both can lead to great career opportunities such as Personal Training, Teaching, Coaching, Physiotherapy, Sport Coordinating/ Directing, Armed Forces.

Attitude Programme for Year 7/8

A presenter comes in to our school from the Attitude Programme to do a presentation to our students about pubertal change, which is followed by an in-class workshop to reinforce the messages from the presentation. Learning about pubertal change is part of your child’s learning and comes under Health and PE in the curriculum.  The content of the presentation and workshop includes major physical changes during puberty, emotional changes, and healthy head messages.

You can find out more about the Attitude Programme here

We feel that this learning is important for our students at this time of their lives, when there are a lot of changes occurring for them. The presenters from Attitude are young and vibrant, and present content in an engaging, age-appropriate manner. Their presentation is aligned with the special Catholic character of Marcellin College.

Parents are advised of this programme and can opt for their son or daughter to be put in other classes for these lessons.

Sexuality in Health Lessons for Year 9/10

The Sexuality Education programme has been designed following a four-day training course undertaken by all PE and Health staff and run by the Catholic Schools Office.  The units have been designed for our students in a Catholic teacher environment and they are in complete accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The students study the following topics:

-       Values of society and Jesus

-       Sexuality in the media

-       Changes and development

-       Human dignity

-       Choices and consequences

-       Love and lust

-       Intimacy, fertility awareness

Parents are advised of this programme and can opt for their son or daughter to be put in other classes for these lessons.

Mates & Dates for Year 11-13

Our school participates in the ACC school-based healthy relationships programme called Mates & Dates.

Attendance in the programme and taking part in the evaluation are not compulsory, and any student can attend the programme lessons without having to take part in the evaluation.  Parents are advised of this programme and can opt for their son or daughter to be put in other classes for these lessons.

ACC has worked with the Ministry of Education to ensure the programme aligns with the curriculum, and has worked with an expert advisory group to develop the content.  The programme has been fully evaluated by an independent research company.

The programme taught in each year will be appropriate for that age group and will be taught by specialist sexual violence prevention programme facilitators over five 50-minute sessions.  Mates & Dates will teach students how to have healthy relationships built on respect, negotiation and consent.  It will teach them how to identify inappropriate behaviour and how to get help if they, or someone they know, are in an unhealthy relationship including how to safely intervene in situations that could lead to harm.

About the Evaluation:  In order to provide continuous improvement to the delivery of the programme, your son or daughter will be asked to provide feedback on the delivery of the programme and what they thought about the course.  At the end of the last session your son or daughter will be given a short survey to complete taking approximately five minutes.  The information they supply in the survey will not identify your child and it will only be used to improve the facilitation and delivery of the programme.

DARE to make a Choice programme

DARE to make a Choice programme is a joint venture between the New Zealand Police Youth Education Service and the DARE Foundation of New Zealand. The programme aims to help young people make responsible choices about their use of drugs and to give them the skills to carry out these choices.

The module will be taught by the student’s teacher and the local Police Education Officer, working together in the classroom. The Police Education Officer has had special training to work with the teacher in this way.


The Music Department offers courses at Years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Courses focus on the four main learning areas in Music: performance, theory, aural and composition. Itinerant lessons are offered in voice, guitar, piano and drums, with experienced tutors during school time.

Students of Music gain invaluable performance experience in both curricular and extra curricular areas. The philosophy of the department is one of inclusion and growth through experience. We encourage student participation in Rockquest, Pacifica Beats, Play It Strange, and Stand Up Stand Out! competitions, as well as in University of Auckland and University of Otago workshops.

The Music Department is also involved in providing music for each of the four major masses per year, as well as for Senior and Junior Prize Giving.   

The College also holds an annual "Performance of the Arts" afternoon for students in Dance, Music, Drama and Art to display work and pieces from the classroom to the rest of the school.


The Dance Department and courses are growing at Marcellin College. We offer Year 9 taster dance for a term, Year 10 option for a year and Year 11 NCEA Dance worth 24 credits, Year 12 NCEA Dance worth 17-20 credits, and Year 13 NCEA Dance worth 20 credits (from 2011).

If opting for Dance, students explore, develop movement vocabulary and understanding in a variety of genres such as Hip Hop, Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Ballroom and a range of Cultural Dances.  

2009 saw the College's first year of entry in the "Bring It On" Dance competition with 43 students involved, both boys and girls from Years 9-13. "Bring It On" is an annual hip hop dance competition held in Auckland.  The aim is to empower the youth of today to become global leaders; this is the message behind the dancing.  Students are challenged to apply these skills used in dance, into their everyday lives.

"We weren’t individuals, we were a team...‘ONE IN, ALL IN!’.We had spirit which was more powerful than anything... we were no longer a "Bring It On" dance group - we had become a family." 

Puleleki Bourke, Year 13 "Bring It On" Leader, 2009  

The College also holds an annual "Performance of the Arts" afternoon for students in Dance, Music, Drama and Art to display work and pieces from the classroom to the rest of the school. 


"Drama expresses human experience through a focus on role, action and tension, played out in time and space. In drama education, students learn to structure these elements and to use dramatic conventions, techniques and technologies to create imagined worlds.” (The New Zealand Curriculum 2007, pg 20)

In Drama students learn to co-operate with others, to respect the ideas and backgrounds of others and to support others. Students who study Drama learn about responsibility and meeting deadlines as well as effective ways of communicating using the written and spoken word in combination with effective body language and non-verbal communication.


The Drama Department offers courses at Years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Courses focus on the four strands of the Drama Curriculum: Understanding Drama in Context, Developing Practical Knowledge, Developing Ideas and Communicating and Interpreting.


Drama students gain invaluable performance experience in both curricular and co-curricular areas. Year 10 students are given an opportunity to perform a short production to an audience of invited peers and teachers. Year 11-13 students have production evenings, during which each class performs a complete play to an audience of friends and family.  The Drama Department is also responsible for Marcellin College’s entries into the country wide Stage Challenge Competition and works together with the Music Department on School Musicals.


The Drama Department provides Education Outside the Classroom opportunities for students which involve visits to Theatres to view live professional theatre and workshops for students with theatre practitioners.


The College also holds an annual “Performance of the Arts” afternoon for students in Drama, Dance, Music and Art to display work and pieces from the classroom to the rest of the school.