Latest News

Latest News

  • New Zealand Secondary Schools Squash Championships

    The New Zealand Secondary Schools Squash Championships took place in Tauranga last week.

    The School's Premier Squash team, consisting of Form 3 student E.V. Flynn, Form 4 students F. L. Goodson, J. M. Jones and N. Z. Thomas, Form 5 student A. H. Manivannan and captain, A. S. Fatialofa, began the...

    The New Zealand Secondary Schools Squash Championships took place in Tauranga last week.

    The School's Premier Squash team, consisting of Form 3 student E.V. Flynn, Form 4 students F. L. Goodson, J. M. Jones and N. Z. Thomas, Form 5 student A. H. Manivannan and captain, A. S. Fatialofa, began the tournament with a comfortable 5-0 win over the Premier 2 Squash team, and went on to beat Francis Douglas Memorial College 4-1 in the second round.

    The third round was a very tough match against fifth seeds Hamilton Boys High School, which produced squash of an exceptionally high standard from the Grammar team who went on to record an emphatic 4-1 win.

    The last two rounds were against top seeds, Tauranga Boys College and third seeds, Marlborough Boys College respectively. The Premier team lost both these matches by slim margins to finish on their seeding - fourth - out of 32 teams.

    At the prize-giving ceremony, Fatialofa was named Captain of the N.Z. Secondary Schools' Senior Squash team, and Goodson was named in the New Zealand Secondary Schools' Junior Squash Team; both of which would have played full tests against the Australian equivalents in the up-coming weeks had it not been for COVID-19.

    The team wishes to thank Master in Charge Mr Lassche for his continued encouragement and support.

  • Headmaster's Message - August 2021

    Dear Parents and 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.

    In the coming days you will receive a copy of his mid-year report, which will provide you with direct feedback...

    Dear Parents and 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.

    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 be 'better than before'.

    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.

    The building of academic resilience is also a key part of helping young men to become knowledgeable, independent and self-motivated learners and, in turn, critical thinkers. Without a secure base of knowledge, it is difficult for any of us to formulate considered opinions or be able to build sound arguments.

    Firstly, I raise our approach with you as it is an important time in the academic year for all students. Senior classes have completed over two-thirds of their courses and they will be juggling the demands of extracurricular programmes, including the conclusion of winter sports competitions and music competitions before they begin preparing for the Term 3 examinations and the external examinations in Term 4.

    For our young men to reach their potential in their academic and extracurricular programmes, they need to manage their time well, manage distractions from their peers, in their personal lives and school life, then come to terms with areas that challenge them, including friendships, on-line gaming, social media and peer pressure. I encourage you and/or your son to talk to our Student Services team for advice, guidance and support.

    Secondly, I highlight our approach with you as the Ministry of Education advances their NCEA Change Programme and New Zealand Curriculum Refresh.  While building academic resilience is difficult, we know that the benefits of having foundational knowledge are life-long.

    In contrast to our School's curriculum and assessment pathways, the Ministry of Education are proposing to introduce an NCEA Level 1 qualification that lacks rigour and will not build in students the resilience required to actively engage in NCEA Level 2 and 3 subjects or Cambridge AS and A levels.

    While we will continue to use our own Pre-Q curriculum and assessment system at Form 5, we are concerned at the Ministry's direction with our national qualification. The Ministry's approach will allow students to experience success quickly, but at the cost of challenging their thinking and building in them a knowledge bank of specialised subject content.

    Like New Zealanders across the country, I have been transfixed by the Tokyo Olympics, where human excellence has been evident across multiple sports. We know athletes don't get to the highest evels by accident, and instead have achieved excellence by building on the foundational skills they have learnt in their chosen sport, the sacrifices they have made and the establishment of unparalleled resilience.

    Schools across the country are the foundational institutions for encouraging every kind of human excellence. The first responsibility our schools have is to provide every child with the foundational knowledge that will allow them to experience success in further learning, no matter what school they attend. 

    We need as many voices of reason to advocate for a rigorous assessment system, that has externally assessed examinations and a defined body of disciplinary content knowledge as its cornerstone. I would encourage you to join me in opposing the parts of the Ministry's NCEA change programme (and curriculum refresh) that will lower standards, remove curriculum content and result in an even more inequitable education system; one not focused on the establishment of foundational knowledge. While unprecedented levels of student success will be reported under the proposed new system, what will be lost will be foundational knowledge and skills and the establishment of resilience to be contributing members of our society.

    Auckland Grammar School will continue its provision of quality education in unabated fashion. However, we also have an obligation to defend the credibility of the New Zealand Education System, that includes our national qualification framework.

    Per Angusta Ad Augusta

    Tim O'Connor
    Headmaster

  • Important Notices from the Headmaster - August 2021

    Plunket Annual Appeal
    This term, Auckland Grammar School students are taking part in the nationwide community service of raising funds for The Plunket Foundation in their annual appeal. Students will be selling raffle tickets throughout our community in an effort to raise one million dollars which will go directly to...

    Plunket Annual Appeal
    This term, Auckland Grammar School students are taking part in the nationwide community service of raising funds for The Plunket Foundation in their annual appeal. Students will be selling raffle tickets throughout our community in an effort to raise one million dollars which will go directly to helping mothers and their families across New Zealand. We think this is a unique opportunity for boys across the country to thank Mums.

    Along with many other New Zealand boys' schools who are also selling raffle tickets as part of the Boys Helping Mums initiative, Auckland Grammar School has taken on the ambitious challenge of selling 3,000 raffle booklets on Plunket's behalf. Along with supporting Plunket, all students who sell their allocation of tickets go into the draw for an exciting variety of spot prizes. Please do keep an eye out for these raffle tickets and support this wonderful cause.

    Should you have any questions regarding this community service project, please contact Deputy Headmaster Pastoral - Senior School, Mr Daniel Oram, via email at plunket@ags.school.nz.

    Reporting
    Mid-year reports are in the process of being completed for all year groups. We anticipate these reports will be distributed electronically via the Parent Portal very shortly. Parents will be informed by email when the reports are available.

    We encourage parents to discuss the contents of the report with your son and work with him to review his goals for the remainder of 2021.

    The final report of the year will be in hard copy form, and given to students at the conclusion of prizegiving on Wednesday 8 December.

    2021 Subject Options Selection Process for 2022 Options
    In order to assist you and you son with course planning and subject option selection for 2022, please note the following:

    • Students in Forms 4, 5 and 6 attended an Options Briefing as follows: Form 4 had their briefing on Monday 9 August and Forms 5 and 6 had their briefing on Tuesday 10 August. At these briefings, students were given form-level and cohort-specific information and advice about course planning and selecting their subject options for 2022. At the briefing, students also received a 32-page version of the 2022 Course Handbook.
    • The full 2022 Course Handbook will be available on GrammarNet and the School website from Tuesday 17 August. It contains over 100 pages of detailed information about the curriculum, course planning, subject option selection and descriptors of courses available next year, including all Form 4, Pre-Q, Cambridge and NCEA courses.
    • Students in Form 3 will be given the Form 4 Option Choices for 2022 document and guidance regarding selecting options in class during this week.
    • The Options Evening will be held at School on Tuesday 17 August. This is an opportunity for parents and Forms 4-6 students to meet with staff from all departments to find out about and ask questions regarding the courses and options available next year. There will also be a presentation from Associate Headmaster - Academic, Dr John Etty, on the Pre-Q curriculum and assessment system and the School's Dual Pathway (Cambridge and NCEA) which operates in the Senior School.
    • 2022 Options Selection for students will open online on Wednesday 18 August. An email with details of how to complete this process will be sent to parents of students in Forms 4, 5 and 6 prior to online option selection opening. Online Option Selection will close on Friday 27 August.

    NCEA Internal Assessment Tracking Report
    An NCEA Achievement Tracking Report for all NCEA students is available to parents on the Parent Portal. This has been designed to assist parents in supporting and monitoring their son's progress towards achieving his academic goals and gaining the appropriate NCEA Level 1, 2 or 3 Certificate (for all NCEA students) and University Entrance (for Form 7 NCEA students). The report shows all internally-assessed and externally-assessed Achievement Standards available in their so's chosen subjects, including final internal assessment results and indicative external assessment (NCEA examination) results.

    NCEA students have also been given an Internal Assessment Tracking Sheet so they can track their NCEA achievement and work out the number of credits they have to date and set goals for the number of externally-assessed credits they will need to gain from their NCEA external examinations.

    Cambridge AS Resit Information
    Cambridge May/June AS Resit examination results were released to candidates on the evening of Tuesday 10 August. Students have received a copy of their username and password details to access their results online.

    NZQA Scholarship Examinations
    NZQA Scholarship examinations have now closed. Students in Form 7 and 6A, 6B and 6C attended a briefing on NZQA Scholarship on Thursday 5 August and were given a copy of the 2021 NZQA Scholarship Information Guide and Application Form.

    Payment of Cambridge and NZQA Examination Fees and Pre-Q Donation
    It is School policy that all students studying senior qualification courses will enter for external examinations in all of their timetabled subjects, and students are not able to withdraw from examinations, except on approved serious medical grounds.

    The schedule of examination fees and donations is set out below:

    1. Cambridge AS and A2 Fees: $166 per subject
    2. NZQA Fees for Domestic Students: From 2019 NZQA has removed all fees for NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 and NZQA New Zealand Scholarship for domestic students
    3. NZQA Fees for international (fee-paying) students:
      - NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3: $383.30 (irrespective of number of subjects)
      - NZQA New Zealand Scholarship: $102.20 per subject
    4. Pre-Q Donation (Form 5 students): $100 (irrespective of number of subjects)

    It is important to note that:

    • The final date for payment of Cambridge Examination Fees is Friday 16 August. After this date there is no refund of fees for Cambridge examinations as entries will have been submitted to Cambridge, except on approved medical grounds. Note any amendments to entries will incur a substantial late fee from Cambridge.
    • Entry for NZQA New Zealand Scholarship Examinations is optional.  Entries were taken by the School up to the closing date of Friday 6 August.  Entries will then be uploaded to NZQA and the School will invoice International Students (as above, there is no fee for domestic students).
    • The School would appreciate payment of the Pre-Q Donation as soon as is practicable.

    While we encourage your use of the Parent Portal, other payment options are:

    • Cheque to Auckland Grammar School, Private Bag 99930, Newmarket, Auckland 1149
    • Cash, credit card or EFTPOS at the School Finance Office
    • Internet banking to account number 12-3011-0156506-00 referencing your son's name and form class

    For assistance, please contact the Finance Department on 09 623 5425 or email accounts@ags.school.nz.

    Individual and Form Class Photographs
    In the middle of Term 3, parents will receive by email a shoot key code for their son's portrait and form class photographs. The online system works off each student's name, giving them an individual shoot key code to view and order photographs.

    Students and parents can go online to the PhotoLife website to view and order their photographs. The order will include postage and packaging costs to allow photographs to be delivered directly home. Extracurricular photographs will be uploaded to the same shoot key codes once processed during the year.

    Winter Tournament Week
    During Week 6 (Monday 30 August - Friday 3 September), many of our top sportsmen will be competing at various National tournaments around the country. Please note that the School will be closed for the mid-term break on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 September.

    Leave Requests
    Any special leave requests for a student to have time off School should be emailed directly to the Headmaster's Executive Assistant. Requests for a student to compete at sporting, performing arts or cultural competitions can be considered, alongside requests for family bereavements. Please contact the Headmaster's Executive Assistant, Ms Debbie Watson, via email at ea@ags.school.nz

    As parents begin to make plans for Christmas holidays, please be aware the 2021 School year concludes after prizegiving on Wednesday 8 December. Leave will not be approved for students to go on holiday any earlier than the conclusion of Term 4.

    Traffic and Car Parking
    The School reminds parents to please refrain from entering Gates 1-4 on Mountain Road at the beginning and end of the School day when there is a high volume of pedestrian traffic entering and leaving the School.

  • Ngā Manu Kōrero - Māori Speech Competition

    At the end of the first week of Term 3, three students competed in the Ngā Manu Kōrero Regional Speech Competition. Form 6 student J. T. Murray competed in the Senior Māori section, Form 4 student S. H. A. S. Peita in the Junior English section and Form 3 student...

    At the end of the first week of Term 3, three students competed in the Ngā Manu Kōrero Regional Speech Competition. Form 6 student J. T. Murray competed in the Senior Māori section, Form 4 student S. H. A. S. Peita in the Junior English section and Form 3 student T. R. K. A. G. Edwards in the Junior Māori section.

    The boys' speeches had depth and were delivered with great mana, with all three students gaining placings in their respective categories. Murray placed second, Peita was third, and Edwards won the Junior Māori section. Edwards has also qualified for the National competition later this term, to be held in Palmerston North. His victory is the first time a student at Auckland Grammar School has won a section at the regional competition since 1998.

    All three students crossed stage on Monday 2 August to receive their trophies for the Ngā Manu Kōrero Speech competition and the School's congratulations. A special thank you goes to Head of Te Reo Māori Mr Neitana Lobb for his tireless efforts in supporting the students.