Skip to main content

Report: Auckland Secondary Schools Team Squash Championships

Auckland Secondary Schools Team Squash Championships

On Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 June, the Premier Squash Team competed in the Auckland Secondary Schools Team Championships, a greater Auckland regional competition.

Competing in the top division, the team’s pool play matches were against Green Bay High School, Lynfield College and Avondale College on day one of competition. The team won all three ties; a combined total of 15 individual matches of which they won 15.

On day two of the competition, the team played Takapuna Grammar School in the semi-final. The team played well to win 5-0, which put the Premier team into the final against Westlake Boys’ High School. The final was an intense and competitive affair but, in the end, Westlake went on to win 3-2, with the Premier team finishing in second place.

Captain of Squash F. L. Goodson crossed stage in assembly to receive the silver medals and the School’s congratulations

Report: 1st XV Rugby fixture vs King’s College

1st XV Rugby team vs King's College

On Saturday 15 June, the 1st XV Rugby team played King’s College in the fifth round of the Auckland 1A competition. Playing into the wind in the first half, the 1st XV made the ideal start scoring two early tries and a drop goal to lead 17-0. However, that lead was short-lived as King’s pounced on an error to score, reducing the lead to 10.

Further territory and possession inside our 22 allowed King’s to apply more pressure and as the rain fell, the 1st XV struggled to exit, allowing King’s to score their second try. At halftime, the score was 17-12 to Grammar.

Once again, the team started the half well, scoring early to extend the lead 24-12. Given the nature of the game, playing at the right end of the field was always going to be important and when the team struggled to deal with kick-off’s, King’s gained free entry into their defensive 22, where they looked dangerous from their lineout maul and narrow attack around the fringes. A yellow card for repeated lineout infringements and two converted tries followed with King’s leading 26-24 for the first time in the match.

With just under 20 minutes remaining, the 1st XV team did not panic, remaining disciplined in their approach and focused on playing at the right end of the field. This led to two further penalties to regain and retain the lead which also ensured King’s could not have another entry into our 22. The team then closed the game out to win 30-26.

Try scorers were Form 6 student S. J. L. D. Sharma and Form 7 students P. J. N. Broadhurst and B. L. O. Krone, with captain R. J. Tasmania kicking a drop goal, two penalties and three conversions.

The fixture includes the Cooper-Greenbank Cup which is played for annually between the two schools and is named after two inspirational Headmasters: Auckland Grammar School’s Sir Henry Cooper (1954-1972 ) and King’s College’s Geoff Greenbank (1947-1973). Since 1869, Auckland Grammar School has now won the trophy 137 times and King’s 62, with 16 draws.

Captain of the 1st XV R. J. Tasmania crossed stage in assembly on Monday 17 June to accept the Cooper-Greenbank Cup on behalf of the team and the School’s congratulations.

Message from the Headmaster – June 2024

Headmaster Tim O'Connor at the lectern

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We have passed the halfway mark of Term 2 and the Term 2 Examination Series is just over three weeks away. There is a lot to achieve throughout the month of June and we look forward to helping your sons reach their potential across a variety of contexts.

Following our basic expectations at this time of the term will positively influence the success your sons can experience. These expectations include:

  • Being present

Before anything can be achieved students need to be on time, ready to focus in each of our 40-minute lessons.  The value of strong regular attendance rates should not be underestimated. 

You will appreciate why we emphasise and re-emphasise how important being present is, and why we monitor attendance in the manner we do.   It is no secret that there is a direct correlation between attendance and engagement levels, then the level of success students can experience.

  • Being committed

Students who are committed to their learning and are prepared to hone the skills required to work independently without excuse – in the classroom, with homework and study.

Committed students avoid a fixed mindset when learning gets difficult.  This is the mode where students make excuses for themselves including assessing they are not bright enough to learn, so give up.  Instead, committed students have a growth mindset, reminding themselves that conquering a difficult task will require questioning and repeated practice. Rather than an attitude of “I can’t do this”, theirs is one of, “I can’t do this – yet.”

  • Being a standard setter

Students who reflect School standards through their attitude and demeanour. This begins with an outward expression of respect and pride in their School, through the way they wear their uniform and how their grooming is maintained.  

It continues with their words and actions, where students meet or exceed what we describe as ‘above the line’ behaviours. These include: 

  • How they show up – accountable, empowered and comfortable being uncomfortable. 
  • What they say and do – accepting personal responsibility and focusing on making things right
  • What they achieve – making progress and getting better
  • Being involved outside the classroom   

Students who are committed to the extracurricular life of the School. They meet their practice, match and performance obligations. These students have the opportunity to develop positive relationships with teachers and their peers in a different context to a classroom. They also learn about competition in a different context and how to win with humility and lose with dignity.

Students not involved with extracurricular activities will not get the best out of Auckland Grammar School.

In recent assemblies, all of these points have been raised with your sons as we ask them how they will respond to the challenges they face, and how they will support our unwritten code of conduct, that starts with being of good character. In true Grammar fashion, your sons should know that the word ‘character’ comes from Ancient Greek, meaning the mark left on a coin during manufacture. Today though, character is the mark left on us from life, and the mark we leave on life. 

We look forward to supporting your sons throughout the remainder of this term as they develop their character.  In our environment they have every opportunity to grow their character daily as they work to meet or exceed our expectations of them.

Thank you for your continued support.

Tim O’Connor
Headmaster

Important Notices from the Headmaster – June 2024

Term 2 examinations

Parent Interviews

Thank you to those who attended the recent Parent Teacher Interview afternoons for Forms 4-7.

The Form 3 Parent Teacher Interviews are scheduled for Wednesday 19 June, commencing at 3pm. An email to Form 3 Parents was sent on Wednesday 5 June, which included the link for parents to book interview times.

Please be aware, as with all Parent Teacher Interview afternoons, the School day will conclude at 2:30pm for all students in order for interviews to begin at 3pm. We would also remind you that if students are attending interviews with you, they are required to be in full School uniform, as has been communicated to students in Assembly.

Donations

As well as paying the donation, we also know that some families would like to be able to help in new ways.  If you are in a position to ‘donate the donation’ for someone else in our community, you would be helping them and in turn, helping the School. 

You can donate $500, $1000 or the full $1,700 annual donation into account 12-3011-0156506-00 and name it ‘Donate the Donation’. We will come back to you with a special thank you and let someone who can’t get there this year know, that the donation on their parent portal account has been paid.

Health Centre

Our Health Centre provides a professional service for students during the School day. In the winter months there is typically an increase in communicable illnesses. Our nurses draw this to your attention so that you can be proactive in prevention (or protecting students from these illnesses) as they are easily spread in a communal environment.

Importantly, if your son is unwell, or he displays symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, headache or temperature we would encourage you to keep him home to fully recover and thereby prevent the spread of infection.

If your son has an important test or assessment, please communicate directly with your son’s Dean who will be able to provide you with advice and guidance. If you are taking your son to the Doctor, do request a medical certificate to show he was unfit for School. If he has missed all or part of an NCEA Internal Assessment, he will need to see Associate Headmaster – Academic Dr Etty within three days of his return to School.

As our nurses are regularly sending students home who are unwell, they do want to be able to communicate with parents promptly and effectively. They can only do so if we have your correct contact and emergency contact details in our Student Management System. You can view these details via the Parent Portal and provide any updated information to enrolment@ags.school.nz.

Remember if your son is injured or ill (particularly after a weekend), please ensure he is taken to the appropriate medical professional for diagnosis and treatment before returning to School. Prompt attention shortens the recovery process and is strongly recommended.

Travelling to and from School 

If you are dropping your son off at School in the morning or picking him up after School, please do not drive onto campus through Gates 1-4. There have been several occasions of serious congestion and blockages around these gates when cars turn in and make entrances and exits unusable. This in turn causes traffic to back up on Mountain Road.   

Absences

If your son is away from School the day prior or the day of a sporting fixture for medical or other reasons, he will be ineligible to play. It is the School’s view that if he is not well enough to be at School prior to a fixture, he is not well enough to represent the School in an extracurricular activity and should be taking the time to fully recover. We appreciate your support and ask you to ensure his coach or manager is informed of such an absence.

Student Attendance – Notification of Absences

A reminder that if your son is absent, we ask you to immediately complete the Absence Notification e-form that is accessed within the Parent Portal on the day of his absence. This is a legal requirement and is part of our duty of care which we cannot fulfil without your co-operation.

Parents should be aware that submitting an e-form verifies your son’s absence and will generate an automatic response to the email address you have provided us.

There is no requirement to phone the School or to provide a written note on the day of your son’s return.

Financial Statements

Each month parents should receive a financial statement. You should also receive information from your son about the invoices on the statement. The most common invoices at this stage of the year will be external examination entry fees and winter sports levies.

Our thanks to parents who have made payments via the Parent Portal or who are communicating with our Finance Team about payments. Should you need assistance, please feel free to contact the Finance Department at accounts@ags.school.nz. If you have lost your password for the Parent Portal, please communicate with our Information Services Team via email at parents.helpdesk@ags.school.nz.

Winter Sports Uniform

Our thanks are extended to all parents for your support in getting students into the correct sporting uniform as the winter sports season started earlier this term.

It is our expectation that young men will only take the field or court if they are wearing the code’s full and correct uniform. All sports uniforms are available from the School Shop.

Please remember we do not allow young men to have ‘skins’ or similar clothing visible underneath their sports uniform. The exception to this is if a student has gained permission from the Director of Sports Development. We have also reminded students that it is our expectation that their socks are pulled up on the sports field.

Sideline Support

It is always good to see strong School and parental support on our sidelines. As young men arrive at School sports fixtures on weekends they are deemed to be ‘under the authority of the School’. As such, School rules apply and our expectations of them need to be met or surpassed.

We have been very proud of those supporting Premier Teams on weekends and thank them for the way they represent their School.

Grammar Jackets

We remind all students that the only jackets that may be worn to School are:

  • Approved School Jacket (available for sale in School Shop)
  • The School Rep Jacket

No student may wear previous versions of the School Jacket such as Lenco jackets and other brands that existed through time.

Students are permitted to wear jackets around School and in classes, however they are not permitted to wear jackets in Science laboratories or Technology workshops for health and safety reasons.

Should you have questions about School uniform items please contact our Shop Manager, Mrs Serra Galuvao, via email at s.galuvao@ags.school.nz.

University and Scholarship Applications and Form 7 Leaver’s Record of Achievement

An email to parents detailing the application process for University and Scholarship Applications and the Leaver’s Record of Achievement (formerly called Testimonial) was sent out on Monday 27 May. Form 7 students are reminded to complete the online application forms that are available on GrammarNet well before the closing date of Friday 5 July, so that staff are able to produce comments, which will form the written summary component of the Leaver’s Record of Achievement.

If your son is applying for university scholarships, university study at local halls of residence, overseas universities or for Private Scholarships, he is reminded to complete the online University and Scholarship Application Intention Form that is available on GrammarNet.

Term 2 School Examinations

The Term 2 School Examinations are held on the following dates:

Seniors (Forms 5, 6 and 7): Thursday 27 June – Friday 5 July (please note, School will be closed on Friday 28 June due to Matariki)

Juniors (Forms 3 and 4): Tuesday 2 – Friday 5 July

There are two examination sessions per day. The morning examinations are from 9.20am-11.20am, while the afternoon examinations run from 12.30pm-2.30pm.

Normal class times operate for Form 3 and 4 students on Thursday 27 June and Monday 1 July, however the School day will conclude at 2:30pm on both afternoons.

As per regulations from NZQA, students will not be permitted to have a watch on their person in addition to not having mobile phones with them during school and external examinations.

It is important that we prepare our students for external examinations by replicating the regulations set by the external providers, NZQA and Cambridge.  This regulation will continue to be applied for School examinations.

External Examination Fees (Cambridge and NZQA/NCEA) 

NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 and New Zealand Scholarship are national qualifications awarded by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). AS Level and A-Level are international qualifications awarded by Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE).

It is School policy that all students studying senior qualification courses will enter for examinations via either the Cambridge or NCEA pathway in all their studied subjects. Entry for NZQA New Zealand Scholarship Examinations is optional. Entries will be taken, and entrants will be invoiced, later in Term 3.

Invoices will shortly be raised and posted on the Parent Portal. Prior to this occurring, parents will receive an email outlining the Cambridge Examination Fees and Pre-Q donation.

Report: Annual Hamilton Boys’ High School Traditional Exchange

Hamilton Boys' High School traditional exchange

On Wednesday 29 May, 17 sports teams represented the School in the annual traditional exchange with Hamilton Boys’ High School. With Auckland Grammar School travelling to Hamilton for the day, the level of play and sportsmanship seen throughout the day from all students was exemplary, despite some inclement weather.

Below is a list of the final results from the exchange.

  • Badminton (Junior): won 6-0
  • Badminton (Senior): won 4-2
  • Basketball: (Junior): won 84-48
  • Basketball (Senior): won 85-59
  • Chess (Junior): won 11-5
  • Chess (Senior): won 10.5-5.5
  • Debating (Junior): lost
  • Debating (Senior): won
  • Football (1st XI): a 2-2 draw
  • Football (14A1): lost 1-3
  • Golf: play was postponed due to the inclement weather
  • Hockey (1st XI): lost 2-4l; the game was played on Monday 27 May
  • Hockey (Under 15): won 2-0
  • Rugby (1st XV): lost 6-8
  • Rugby (2nd XV): lost 12-15
  • Rugby (Under 15): won 7-0
  • Squash (Premier): lost 2-4

Special thanks goes to all the coaches, managers and respective Masters in Charge of the individual teams for such a fantastic exchange.

Report: Auckland Individual Squash Championships

Auckland Individual Squash Championships

Six members of the Premier Squash Team competed on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 May this week in the Auckland Individual Squash Championships, a competition open to Squash players from across the Auckland region. There were nine divisions in the boys’ competition, Grammar having players in each of the top four divisions.

Day one saw teams begin their competition, ending the day with three wins and three losses. On the second day of competition, teams continued with round robin play, including two Grammar v Grammar matches, the day culminating in finals within each division in the afternoon.

Form 7 student J. M. Jones was the best performer in the lower divisions, coming through unbeaten to win Division 3, while Form 3 student S. T. Rouse won the Plate in the same division.

The top division was a very competitive one, combining the best players in the wider Auckland region and reflecting the growth in player numbers and ability. Form 5 student A. N. Kounoudis achieved third place in this division after a superb performance in his final match. Captain of Squash F. L. Goodson made it through to the final and earned a hard-fought victory to win the division; a division that has been won by a member of the premier team in each of the last three years.

F. L. Goodson crossed stage on Thursday 23 May to receive his medal for winning the top division at the Auckland Individual Squash Championships and the School’s congratulations. Special thanks goes to Premier team manager S. Lassche for his continued support and guidance of the team.

Report: Annual New Plymouth Boys’ High School Traditional Exchange

Basketball

On Tuesday 7 May, Auckland Grammar School hosted New Plymouth Boys’ High School in their annual traditional exchange. It was a fantastic day with upwards of 250 students competing across six sporting codes, achieving the following results:

  • Basketball – Junior Premier team won 72-50
  • Basketball – Premier team won 108-70
  • Cross Country – a win for the Juniors, a loss for the Seniors
  • Football – 1st XI draw 3-3 (after being down 3-1 at halftime)
  • Football – 14A1 team won 2-0
  • Golf – Premier team earned a 4-4 draw
  • Hockey – 1st XI won 4-2
  • Hockey – Under 15 team lost 1-7
  • Rugby – 1st XV team won 26-12
  • Rugby – Under 15 won 17-7

A special thanks to the coaches, managers and Masters in Charge who made this fixture possible.

Report: Annual Tauranga Boys’ College Traditional Exchange

The 2nd XV Rugby team vs Tauranga Boys' College

On Saturday 27 April just prior to the start of Term 2, the first of the winter sports exchanges took place with Auckland Grammar School hosting Tauranga Boys’ College. All matches were played in fantastic spirit and the performances of all teams (which included the Premier Basketball, 1st XI Football, 1st XI Hockey, the 1st and 2nd XV Rugby teams) bodes well for their upcoming winter season.

The Premier Basketball team played with confidence and accuracy from the tip off, racing out to a large lead after just the first quarter. From here, they continued to accumulate points and restrict Tauranga to secure a comfortable 97-61 win.

The 1st XI Football team began the exchange on the turf. With the score at 0-0 at half-time, the 1st XI team conceded three goals through the second half, but fought back well to score one of their own. The final score was a 4-1 win to Tauranga.

The 1st XI Hockey team showed promise in many of their early attacks, eventually scoring from a penalty corner to take a 1-0 lead at the half. Tauranga then built some good attacks of their own on the back of a lot of possession, but the 1st XI defended superbly to deny Tauranga an equaliser and win the match 1-0.

The 1st and 2nd XV Rugby teams closed out the exchange, with the 2nd XV team playing at The Cage, and the 1st XV team taking to the No. 1 field for the first time this season. Both games were exceptional contests between evenly matched teams.

The 2nd XV led for long periods of their game and scored to take a 14-10 lead early in the second half. However, they could not quite hold on and conceded a try late in the game to go down 17-14.

The 1st XV trailed 7-5 at half-time, but scored a converted try off a set piece move midway through the second half to take a 12-7 lead. Tauranga camped inside the Grammar 22 for long periods at the end of the game, but the Grammar defence held strong to close out the game by winning a tighthead scrum on their own line in the last play of the match, with the final score 12-7.

All of the teams involved would like to thank the students and staff members that came to support them at the exchange on Saturday.

Report: New Zealand Secondary Schools Yachting Team Racing Championships

Yachting team

During the second week of the Term 1 holidays, the School’s Yachting team, led by captain S. W. Kensington, headed to New Plymouth to compete at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Yachting Team Racing Championships.

Off the back of a fantastic campaign at the Auckland Regional Championships, the team had a fantastic first day of competition, dominating the first round robin without a single defeat, securing a commanding two-win lead amidst brisk conditions. Despite facing challenges in the subsequent round robin with lighter and more variable breezes, the Yachting team maintained their lead, conceding just two races.

On the final day of competition, the team needed just four wins out of seven to secure the title, which they accomplished with two races to spare, to be crowned the 2024 National Champions. The win also earned them a spot in the upcoming Inter Dominion Championships, pitting them against teams from Australia. Their flawless season record also stands as a historic milestone for the team, unparalleled in their history.

Congratulations to the team who crossed stage this morning to receive their trophy and the School’s congratulations – Form 4 student H. G. Smith, Form 5 students A. B. Cooke, T. G. E. Pilkington, O. J. Stone and G. R. J. Turner, Form 6 student M. X. M. Porteous and captain S. W. Kensington, led by Master in Charge L. Sweeney.

A message from the 2024 Head Prefect

Tom Jones receiving his Head Prefect's badge

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It seems like almost yesterday we were welcoming the new Form 3 cohort into Auckland Grammar School and announcing the 2024 Prefect, yet here we are, already the end of Term 1. Before we know it, it will be the end of the year, so it is a great opportunity to take a step back and reflect upon the term it has been.

There has been a lot of success and excellence in and out of the classroom in Term 1. Our annual Scholars’ assembly included the most scholarships in the School’s history and we have experienced multiple regional and national sporting, musical, and cultural successes.

The Prefect cohort has been busy with events such as the annual Parent Welcome Evenings. However, the main spectacle for the term was the opening of the School’s 150th Capital Project, Te Ara Mātauranga, which included a night with the Grammar community in the space outside the Main Block. The completed renovations in that area are finished and really create a grand entrance upon first arriving at the School. I personally have found Te Ara is an amazing space for students to study and has been extremely busy over the first set of exams for the year.

The key aspect that our leadership group wants to bring this year is connection and belonging within the School environment. We have expanded and improved the Augusta Army – the student led supporters crew – and it has been pretty special to see the number of students willing to give up their time to support their mates and the School. This will, no doubt, continue as winter codes begin in a few weeks.

The first term of any year at Auckland Grammar School is always filled with excitement and action. As it draws to a close, I encourage the boys to relax and enjoy their break: work hard, play hard. We have already achieved so much as a school in just a term, I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year has in store.

Per Angusta Ad Augusta

T. C. Jones
2024 Head Prefect