Welcome to the Samuel Marsden Collegiate School website

Welcome to the Samuel Marsden Collegiate School website.  I trust that as you browse its pages you will discover and be excited by our unique character and the exceptional, well-rounded education on offer. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to visit one of our four wonderful schools, whether at Karori or Whitby. It’s certainly the best way to experience the Marsden spirit for yourself - and we’d love you to hear directly from our students about their learning experiences.


What I’m discovering, as someone new to the Marsden family, is that our current students’ positive views of the school closely echo those expressed by women who have been graduating from the school for 140 years. There is incredible consensus across almost one and a half centuries that a Marsden education has set young women up for success in their time anywhere across the globe, by remaining innovative. This continues to underpin Marsden’s reputation as the leading independent school in Wellington today.


Beyond our students’ positive testimonies, our academic record speaks for itself. Our students’ National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), Scholarship and Cambridge results are amongst the best in New Zealand. Our students also excel in sport, music and the performing arts thanks to our exceptional tuition, programmes and facilities. But children and families don’t choose a Marsden school just for its academic reputation or broad ranging co-curricular offerings. They choose it because, at Marsden, students are known, genuinely cared for and given individual attention by dedicated, expert staff in small classes; because the practice of Christian values, kindness and giving make it such a special place to be; because progress in all its forms is acknowledged and celebrated; and because they’re confident they’re being well prepared for life – the world of further study and work they will enter when they graduate.


Our families really appreciate the safe contexts and challenging, rigorous 21st century focused learning we provide. At Karori, our co-ed Preschool gives girls and boys the best possible start to their learning journey. Then our girls in the Primary and Upper Schools are given the ideal settings in which to maximise opportunities, express themselves, get plenty of hands-on learning, and aspire to futures worthy of their potential. The co-ed experience our Years 7-13 students enjoy at Whitby is also tailored to meet the unique needs of individuals at every stage of the learning journey.  At Marsden we are delighted to offer local and international parents and students a choice of learning contexts that accommodate a range of preferences.


Both our campuses feature beautiful, extensive, green outdoor spaces and excellent facilities that enhance learning. Marsden Karori is on the edge of Wellington’s city centre, and Marsden Whitby is located 30 kilometres north of Wellington. They are easily accessible by public transport. These settings allow students to enjoy our capital’s cultural richness and history, and all the great outdoors has to offer in New Zealand locally and further afield. This is particularly appealing for our international students who are hosted in school managed family Homestays.


At Marsden, every day we’re engaged together in the work of meeting our purpose: to lay the foundation for lives of meaning, accomplishment and genuine happiness. This is the work I’m absolutely passionate about and thrilled to be leading.


I look forward to meeting you in the near future when you visit for a personal tour, or attend one of our open events to explore the wonderful opportunities we are happy to provide for your son or daughter at Marsden.


Narelle Umbers

Weekly Blog

Read Narelle Umbers' weekly blog to the Marsden Community.