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Message from the Headmaster – August 2022

Dear Parents/Guardians,

In the first two weeks of this 10-week term, your son will have received feedback from each of his subject teachers about his performance in the mid-year examinations. Such feedback is critical for your son’s academic progress and is a key component of the Auckland Grammar School Teaching Framework.

In the coming days, you will receive a copy of his mid-year report, which will provide you with direct feedback on his performance and attitude for the year to date. I encourage you to discuss the contents of the report with your son, so that he can use it to maintain or develop a growth mindset towards his studies this term.

The teaching of content followed by regular assessment to confirm whether your son has retained knowledge and then the provision of feedback on his performance are integral to Grammar’s educational philosophy.

It is important to us that we provide young men with the opportunity to grow their academic and personal resilience through our curriculum delivery, assessment methodology, extracurricular programmes and personal interactions with their teachers and peers. The School’s deliberate approach aims to encourage and support our young men to become knowledgeable, independent and self-motivated learners and, in time, critical thinkers. Without a secure base of knowledge, it is difficult to establish considered opinions or build sound arguments.

I raise this with you now as this a critical time of the year for young men to be focused on the acquisition of disciplinary knowledge. Through the direct instruction young men receive daily on campus, they have the opportunity to learn in an effective and efficient way. They should also recognise that it is natural for learning to be difficult at times. We remind them regularly that learning content they are not familiar with, and would not just come across in their daily lives, can take time; thus, the importance of retaining a growth mindset.

Our focus now is on supporting young men to learn subject content, building in them confidence and resilience to have their understanding internally and externally assessed, and to provide them with the tools and skills to manage their well-being.

We have also made much of young men being present, on time, and wearing the correct uniform this term. Grooming expectations and meeting attitude and behavioural standards have also been focal points. Each young man can meet these core expectations. In being accountable and meeting clearly articulated standards, they help maintain the tone of the School on a daily basis, which has a positive impact on the opportunity for every young man to achieve.  

All schools across our country should be the foundational institutions for encouraging every kind of human excellence. It begins with the teaching of disciplinary knowledge that will help them to experience success in further learning. It includes the opportunity to grow in independence, self-awareness, self-discipline and resilience.

Your sons can then accept the myriad of challenges before them, knowing they have exemplary support and high expectations around them in an environment where standards in and out of the classroom meet or exceed national and international norms.

Per Angusta Ad Augusta

Tim O’Connor