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Message from the Headmaster – April 2022

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Thank you for the support you have given your sons throughout the first term of the 2022 academic year. It is the longest term and given the tumultuous times, we are pleased with the way young men have responded and grown in resilience.

Our primary focus this term has been on achieving the requirements of teaching programmes, while maintaining a sense of normality for students and staff. Normality has been promoted through the consistent application of school standards, following daily routines such as assembly, holding scheduled annual school championships, and supporting teams competing in College Sport competitions, regional and national championships throughout Summer Tournament Week.

We have been impressed with the way students have met our basic expectations and accepted the changing, but ongoing restrictions that impacted on them and their daily lives. Many have been affected by personal or family sickness and associated periods of home isolation. But, in variable circumstances, we have seen proactive responses to their studies and extracurricular commitments. Likewise, students have responded well to health and safety protocols on campus, including the wearing of face masks while indoors. 

Ultimately, the past 11 weeks aimed to prepare your sons for the assessments that made up the Term 1 Examination Series. I have reminded students in recent assemblies that if we are to advance their understanding of subject specific content, we need to understand what knowledge they have acquired during the term. This best occurs through providing checkpoints for learning and the assessments help your sons’ teachers make judgements about how much has been learned.

Creating and maintaining a stable, high standards environment, and a rigorous teaching framework supported by regular assessment are all essential elements to the fabric and makeup of Auckland Grammar School.  That is because these elements are proven to promote learning and when applied well, they build a positive culture for all. In times of ongoing uncertainty, these have also been the handrail that has helped guide us.

Together with our School values, mission and vision, these elements are part of ‘The Grammar Way’. It has been – and will continue to be – core to how our young men and staff operate. We continue to reinforce The Grammar Way and our educational beliefs for the betterment of your sons education through the messages we give them in assembly, throughout the School day and through external communications like this one.

I have no doubt that the more consistent we are in building a unique School culture, where expectations are clearly articulated, and applied, the more opportunity there is for your sons to be ‘better than before’ and achieve their potential.

As your sons receive their Term 1 raw examination marks back in the next two days, I hope they reflect what they have learned, the effort put in and their attitudes.  

Finally as the term concludes, I wish you a safe and Happy Easter and valuable time with family and friends.

Per Angusta Ad Augusta

Tim O’Connor