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Athletics Sports Day

Athletics Sports Day

While the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions closed the possibility of using external venues, it opened up the chance to bring back a piece of school history. And so, for the first time in 22 years, the Athletics Sports Championships returned to school grounds on Wednesday 23 February 2022, with a few events taking place over the rest of the week.

Weather conditions were splendid across all days, and the athletes faced manageable levels of wind and sunshine. Despite these conditions and the cheering on of athletes by fellow students, no new records were set during these days – access to a full tartan track was clearly missed.   

In the junior grade, the 1500m saw a head-to-head race between Form 3 student C. A. S. Forsyth and Form 4 student A. A. Abdul-Razack, who was able to outsprint his competitor in the last 30m. In turn, Forsyth managed to win the 3000m in 11.10 seconds. Form 3 student L. C. R. Thomson came first in the 100m with 12.86 seconds, while the 200m and the 300m were won by Form 3 student J. T. Braun and Form 4 student J. A. Pritchard, respectively.

It was Pritchard who claimed the overall junior championship by winning a close 800m race, and by achieving second place in the 100m and third in the triple jump. The throws were dominated by Form 4 students S. F. Openshaw with a fine 31.07m in javelin, and S. T. F. R. Naufahu in both the shot put and discus. 80m hurdles, high jump, and triple jump were won by Form 3 students D. Yu, A. K. Sharma and B. M. Armstrong. 

Form 5 student J. A. Thomson achieved some outstanding results in the intermediate grade, placing first in both the 100m (11.57 seconds) and the 200m (24.5 seconds). To top it all off, he scored another three wins in the three throws, earning him the title of Intermediate champion with a full 25 points. He was followed by Form 6 student H. G. Waldegrave who won the hurdle, high jump, and triple jump.

In the 3000m, Form 4 student C. P. Wagener ran a tactical race which allowed him to outrun his fellow competitors to first place without quite reaching his record set in the previous year. Wagener also won the 1500m, whereas the 800m were won by Form 5 student R. W. Fitzpatrick and the 400m by Form 4 student C. E. Howlett.

One of most anticipated events of the senior grade – the 100m – took place just at the beginning of lunch, drawing a sizeable crowd of students and staff. The spectators witnessed a close finish that Form 7 student J. P. Young managed to decide for himself in 11.61s, followed by classmates E. W. Chaytor and C. H. Davidson, who went on to win the 400m and the 110m hurdles, respectively.

The senior school champion, however, was decided elsewhere; Form 6 student J. A. Mora achieved a trifecta of wins in the 800m, 1500m, and 3000m, a feat that Form 7 student E. J. Botha replicated for javelin, discus, and shot put. With both athletes on 15 points, they will share the 2022 senior championship. A special mention goes to Form 7 student J. G. P. Fuafiva who won the long jump (5.85m) and triple jump (11.17m).

Due to the current situation, the athletes are now preparing to advance straight into the Greater Auckland Championships held later this month. We wish the team well and are looking forward to their representation of the School’s proud Athletic Sports tradition.

Message from the Headmaster – March 2022

Message from the Headmaster - March 2022

Dear Parents

As the term progresses, changing Public Health requirements and the impact of COVID-19 have dominated many aspects of our lives.  As you have responded to the health needs of those in your households, our priorities have been to provide well-being support, along with academic and health structures that have helped maintain a safe and stable school environment for your sons.

Last year I reminded our young men that: We want to grow in them the ability to act with resilience, so they can manage the difficulties or discomfort associated with online learning. If you do, you will put yourself into an advantaged rather than disadvantaged position with your learning and general wellbeing.”

In normal times, acting with self-discipline and growing in resilience are not necessarily attributes that produce immediate benefits. Rather, it is often only after young men leave School that they understand the worth of such lessons they may have learnt at Grammar.

2021 was different. The benefit for the young men who accepted the challenges presented to them and grew in resiliency paid off through their 2021 external examination results. 

This was visible through phenomenal Cambridge results, with our students receiving a record number of Top of the World and Top of New Zealand awards, and students completing NCEA qualifications surpassing their Unexpected Event Grades (UEG) by an average of 10%.

Moreover, in a cohort of 462 Form 7 students, 86% earned University Entrance across NCEA and Cambridge pathways. This figure is much higher than the overall national average (50.8%) and far exceeds national averages for male students in Decile 8-10 schools (59%) and for all boys (44%) and girls (56%) nationally.

Please be aware that the Ministry of Education and NZQA will soon publish results for secondary schools around the country. The statistics these agencies publish, do not include 55% of our senior students (those following a Cambridge pathway) and present a false picture of just how well our young men achieved overall in 2021.

I raise students’ results and the resilience they showed last year to achieve their potential or exceed their goals, as a reminder for all cohorts. If your sons use the lessons learnt from online learning through 2021 and they apply these to the way they approach School life this year, the benefits should grow exponentially. Our guarantee is that we will do everything we can to be on campus to avoid the need for School-wide online learning.

While we all respond in different ways to the trials and tribulations of COVID-19, it is a combination of the consistent implementation and communication of systems, alongside our collective words, actions and intentions that will ensure our campus remains open for all students. 

Like you as parents, we can lead young men to act in a manner that will provide them with considerable advantage, but they have to accept the challenge to act with independence and self-discipline, while asking for help when required.

It is through your sons committed involvement in and out of classrooms that they gain the full benefit of being on campus at Auckland Grammar School. It is their involvement in sport, the performing arts, in clubs, committees and their impromptu interactions with their peers, including the longer-term relationships they forge, that they come to understand and implement ‘The Grammar Way’. While we can measure results, much that happens here is immeasurable.

That model remains our preference. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Per Angusta Ad Augusta

Tim O’Connor

Student Services Update

Students on their first day of School

Dear Parents,

We have completed six weeks of teaching and learning, with the achievements of many young men recognised at assembly each morning.

Daily assemblies not only provide a setting to celebrate school successes, they also offer an opportunity to communicate to young men important messages regarding the School’s expectations, culture and the myriad of support systems available.

At the heart of our support structure is the Student Services team; a staff of professional counsellors dedicated to providing guidance, subject and career advice to students of all form levels. I would encourage you to visit the Student Services section of the School’s website where a wealth of resources, expert advice and further links can be found.

One such resource loaded in this section of the website is what we would describe as a common-sense article listing advice to young people. It has been published by educational author Daniel Wong (40 Ways to Be Successful in School – Even If You’re Not Smart). As a parent and an educator, I have found the article to be refreshingly simple, whilst also containing extremely useful insights. I would recommend you read it and discuss the advice with your sons.

The digital platform, Grammar SchoolTV, is another valuable resource we have recently highlighted to you, and one that is made available to all parents and students because of the funds we receive through payment of the school donation. The platform contains a wealth of interviews from pastoral experts throughout Australasia which you can access through the Parent Portal. A current topic within the SchoolTV database is focused on dealing with disappointment and is highly recommended.

Parents of senior students should be aware that our Student Services staff are communicating regularly with Form 6 and 7 students regarding a range of opportunities to meet with industry and tertiary providers. The presentations on offer provide important information such as course and enrolment details, and can provide further clarity for our senior students about educational pathways beyond Grammar.

The presentations, to be held at lunchtime either in person or online (depending on current COVID-19 restrictions) and from a range of academics commence in Term 2 and will include information sessions with representatives from Massey, Victoria and Auckland universities over the upcoming fortnight. Senior students are strongly encouraged to listen to the Daily Notices and attend such seminars.

  • Monday 9 May – overview presentation from AUT
  • Tuesday 10 May – overview presentation from the University of Waikato
  • Wednesday 11 May – overview presentation from the University of Auckland
  • Thursday 12 May – overview presentation from Manukau Institute of Technology
  • Friday 13 May – overview presentation from Unitec
  • Monday 23 May – overview presentation from Victoria University of Wellington
  • Tuesday 24 May – overview presentation from the University of Canterbury
  • Wednesday 25 May – overview presentation from Massey University
  • Thursday 26 May – overview presentation from the University of Otago
  • Friday 27 May – overview presentation (online) from Lincoln University

As a school, we are acutely aware that growing up in the 21st century presents complexities for young men that are varied and at times challenging.

Consequently, I do encourage you and your son to feel free to access the expertise of our Student Services team at any stage of the year by contacting the Student Services Office Manager on 09 623 5400 extn 445 or via email at

2021 Academic Results

Scholars' Assembly

The 2021 academic results are outstanding, and our young men have continued to perform at a high level in the Cambridge and NCEA pathways, and also in the NZQA Scholarship Examinations.

Cambridge Assessment International Education

Our students continued to gain exceptional overall results in Cambridge examinations at rates which far exceeded international grade averages and are among the Schools’ best in recent years.

The A Level pass rates sit at 99.3% of all papers sat. The percentage of A*/A grades was a very pleasing 42.0% (that is, 42.9% of all papers sat by Grammar students gained marks of at least 80%). This represents exceptionally strong performance in what is arguably the world’s most academically demanding secondary school qualification.

The 2021 AS Level results are even more impressive than the strong A Level results, superseding the best performances by Auckland Grammar in recent years. The percentage of papers graded A was 37.6% (compared against the School’s previous best of 34.3% in 2020) and the overall pass rate of 93.8% is also ahead of the previous highest rate.

Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards

Auckland Grammar School students performed well in the 2021 Cambridge examinations, gaining 26 awards for performance at the highest level in specific Cambridge subjects. Their achievements were recognised at an online Outstanding Learner Awards Ceremony recently. The awards include:

  • 8 Top in the World Award
  • 9 Top in New Zealand Awards
  • 8 High Achievement Awards (Top in NZ but in subjects with limited entries)
  • 1 Top in New Zealand across 4 AS subjects
Level and Subject Student Award received Series
AS Accounting Justin Yu Mo High Achievement June 2021
AS Economics Jack Woodfield High Achievement June 2021
AS Economics Richard Gan High Achievement June 2021
AS Geography Mingxuan Nan High Achievement June 2021
AS Literature in English Phillip Han High Achievement June 2021
AS Japanese Jeremy Okada High Achievement November 2021
A Level Physical Education Timothy Johnson High Achievement November 2021
A Level Spanish Oliver Craddock High Achievement November 2021
AS Chemistry Eashan Garg Top in New Zealand June 2021
AS Mathematics Aaron Wang Top in New Zealand June 2021
AS Accounting Zhiyuan Chen Top in New Zealand November 2021
AS Chemistry Ryaan Sidhu Top in New Zealand November 2021
AS Classical Studies Rawad Eldik Top in New Zealand November 2021
AS Economics Daniel Johnston Top in New Zealand November 2021
AS History Shenning Zhang Top in New Zealand November 2021
A Level Business Studies Jack Sandelin Top in New Zealand November 2021
A Level Music James Tang Top in New Zealand November 2021
AS History Jack Sandelin Top in the World June 2021
AS Business Studies Oliver Worker Top in the World November 2021
AS Geography Roberto Pennington Top in the World November 2021
AS Mathematics Hao Li Top in the World November 2021
AS Mathematics Zhengxiao Song Top in the World November 2021
A Level Economics Isaac Mellis-Glynn Top in the World November 2021
A Level History Jack Sandelin Top in the World November 2021
A Level Literature in English Evan Manning Top in the World November 2021
AS First place in New Zealand Ryaan Sidhu Top in the World November 2021


Our students continued to perform well on the NCEA pathway, with 88% of Form 7 NCEA students gaining NCEA Level 3. This represents the strongest Level 3 performance in recent years. Our Form 6 NCEA students pass rate for NCEA Level 2 of 80% was the highest for five years.

The NCEA students’ performance is particularly impressive given that our students pursue predominantly rigorous, academic subjects and standards which lead to comparatively high University Entrance rates for this cohort.

University Entrance

University Entrance pass rates for NCEA students remain high and continue to track upwards with the 2021 cohort achieving 70%. This figure is much higher than overall national averages and also exceeds national averages for male students in Decile 8-10 schools, which currently stands at 59.2%.  This result, when combined with the Form 7 Cambridge cohort’s University Entrance pass rate of 99.2%, saw the School’s overall Form 7 Leavers’ University Entrance pass rate reach 86%.

NZQA Scholarship

NZQA Scholarship results remain steady, with a pleasing 160 individual subject scholarships earned in 2021. This result means the School has maintained its place in the top three schools in New Zealand for NZQA Scholarship for the past ten years in a row.

Standout performances included Samuel Blyth (six Scholarships, including five at Outstanding Level), Ryaan Sidhu (eight Scholarships, including four at Outstanding Level), Steven Lin and Xueyang Tao (both receiving four Scholarships, including two at Outstanding Level), Isaac Mellis-Glynn (six Scholarships, including one at Outstanding Level), Evan Manning (eight Scholarships) and Yash Bhatia (six Scholarships).

Samuel and Ryaan were also Premier Award winners for NZQA Scholarship, two of only twelve in New Zealand. Steven Xueyang and Isaac won Outstanding Scholarship Awards, and a further 13 students gained a Scholarship Award (gaining three or more subject Scholarships).

NZQA Scholarships were gained in an impressive range of subjects, including:

  • Accounting
  • Agriculture and Horticulture
  • Biology
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Studies
  • Earth and Space Science
  • Economics
  • English
  • Geography
  • Health and Physical Education
  • History
  • Latin
  • Media Studies
  • Physics
  • Religious Studies
  • Spanish
  • Statistics; and
  • Technology

#SportSpotlight – Volleyball

The Senior Premier Volleyball team in action against Rangitoto College

Volleyball is a technical game where students play in teams of six on either side of a 1.15m high net.

Competitive teams master six basic skills: serve, pass, set, attack, block and dig. Each of these skills comprises a number of specific techniques that have been introduced over the years and are now considered standard practice in high-level volleyball.

Volleyball is essentially a game of transition from one of the above skills to the next, with choreographed team movement between plays on the ball.

At Auckland Grammar School, there are currently 45 senior competitive players who play in the Central or Central-West interschool zone competition on Thursday afternoons., with an additional 80 students who play in the social competition on after school on Fridays.

Recent game report – Friday 18 February

The Premier Volleyball team played their second round of the Premier competition at home on Friday 18 February, playing two games back-to-back in hot and humid conditions.

The first game against Rangitoto, the team took an early lead in the first set due to high energy and precision throughout the rallies. However, a series of service errors saw our side lose the set 23-25. The second set saw the team lingering on errors, and while we managed to trade point for point in the last set with the final score being 25-27, team finished with an overall 0-3 loss.

After three gruelling sets against the reigning national champions, the team played long-time rivals Kelston Boys’ High School. After a convincing first set win, fatigue set in and saw our side plagued with a series of service errors and net touches, ultimately losing the game 1-4.

Unfortunately the team’s next two games have been deferred due to the current COVID-19 restrictions and will look to compete later in the term.

The Premier Volleyball team is captained by Form 6 student M. W. Tyler – click here to read more about him.

Auckland Secondary Schools Aquathon Championships

Auckland Secondary Schools Aquathon Championships

On Wednesday 16 February, six members of the School’s Aquathon squad travelled to St Kentigern College to compete in the Auckland Secondary Schools Aquathon Championships.

The weather made for favourable race conditions. In particular, the water conditions were near perfect for the swim leg. The run course was flat and mostly straight, making for quick times and an exciting day of racing.

All races saw fierce competition from other schools this year, but Auckland Grammar students held their own to finish respectably throughout the day.

Congratulations to all students who took part, but credit especially to Form 3 student C. A. S. Forsyth who placed first overall as an individual in the Junior race and Form 4 student K. J. Moyle who was seventh in the Junior race.

Congratulations also to the following students on their top 10 placings – Form 5 students L. S. Gibson (fourth), H. P. Klouwens (seventh) and Form 4 student Y. C. Y. Chan (ninth) in the Intermediate race and Form 7 student C. J. Stewart was seventh in the Senior race.

Recent Rowing Regattas

Head of Harbour Regatta

Aon Junior Rowing Regatta

On Sunday 27 February, the School’s Rowing squad competed in the Aon Junior Regatta at Lake Karapiro against other schools from around the North Island. The squad aimed to work with intensity and precision as they were racing over 2000m for the first time this season.

Conditions were fast, with a strong tailwind throughout the day leading to quick times, and all age groups had to contend with a number of crew changes, with many rowers stepping up to fill the gaps. The junior crews, the Under 15 Octuple and the Under 16 Eight finished second in close racing, with the Novice Four finishing third. The Senior squad’s highlights were the heats of the Under 18 Pair finishing first and the Under 17 Eight coming in third after Westlake and Hamilton Boys High Schools.

The day’s final race was the Under 18 Eight race; they focused on a strong start and then rowed long and aggressive through the middle of the race. However, they were outpaced and finished fourth in a competitive final.

The squad now looks towards maximising training time as they build for the North Islands Secondary Schools Championships in a fortnight and for those who selected the Maadi cup at Lake Ruataniwha in four weeks.

Annual Head of Harbour Regatta

On Saturday 12 February the Auckland Grammar School Rowing Squad competed at the Auckland Secondary School Championships, otherwise known as the Head of Harbour regatta out at Lake Pupuke.

Normally run over one day, this year the regatta was meant to be run over two days due to the current COVID-19 restrictions. The seniors and the Under 18 Novice crews raced on the Saturday and had to manage strong winds and wet weather, which produced poor racing conditions, especially at the start line.

Fortunately, all of Saturday’s racing was completed, but all races on the Sunday (for the junior crews) were postponed due to high winds.

This was the first opportunity to provide racing, even if it was only over a 900m course instead of the normal 2km race. 

This regatta also acted as the inaugural race for the Novice squad, who secured solid results with the Novice Eight winning gold, the Novice Quad winning silver and the Novice Four winning bronze.

The Under 17 squad secured bronze in the Four and silver in the Quad. These results were superseded by what was the highlight of the day – first placing for the Under 17 Eight crew over Westlake Boys’ High School and King’s College.

For the Under 18 squad, the Pairs racing faced rough lake conditions, thus lending a mixture of results and a new-found appreciation for the value of coxswains. The Under 18 Double and Quad had strong results both finishing in second place.

The Under 18 Four crew saw an incredibly hard-fought battle between the First and Second Fours and Mount Albert Grammar School, with the top Grammar Four securing silver behind Mount Albert.

The final race of the day – the Under 18 Eight – was punctuated with a heavy head-wind. Off the start, Mount Albert Grammar School and Westlake Boys’ High School took an early lead, with the lighter-weight and technical Grammar crew struggling with the conditions. Although showing an impressive work-ethic and managing to pull back on the crews in front, the Under 18 Eight were able to secure third place.

Congratulations to the entire crew and to Masters in Charge Mr Campbell Lowe and Ms Marie Gaspar for their continued efforts.

‘Two for Twosday’

Two for Twosday

On Tuesday 22 February 2022 (colloquially known as ‘Twosday’), a group of our Prefects, led by Form 7 student R. J. Maguire, visited classes collecting donations for ‘Two for Twosday’, raising money for the Cameron Wilson Trust.

The trust was set up in honour of Old Boy Cameron Wilson ’08. Born in 1994, Cameron was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer at just 12 months old. After prolonged treatment, Cameron was in remission for a decade, and started his journey at Auckland Grammar School in 2008, where he was in 3E. Tragically, Cameron passed away in June 2008 at just 14 years old.

All proceeds from staff and students will go towards the Cameron Wilson Trust, providing financial assistance to help meet the day-to-day expenses of families with children suffering from cancer.

We are very proud of our students donating to such a worthy cause. If parents or members of the wider Grammar community wish to know more or donate, visit the Cameron Wilson Trust website.

Scholars’ Assembly

Scholars' Assembly for 2022

On Friday 18 February, the School acknowledged and celebrated our top students with our annual Scholars’ Assembly.

With students in classroom bubbles and those in attendance maintaining social distancing, it was a privilege to have guest speaker Professor Sir Peter Gluckman ’61 address our top scholars.

A total of 18 students’ names will be added to the Scholars’ Honours Board for 2021, including 2022 Prefect Ryaan Sidhu who was named this year’s Top Scholar, with an overall average of 96.8%, receiving 4 Scholarships with 4 Outstanding.

Click here to read the full list of students who crossed stage at our Scholars’ Assembly, including their final results, list of 2021 extracurricular activities and what they plan to study in 2022.

Old Boys address from the Head Prefect

A message from 2022 Head Prefect Louis Eglinton

Hello to all our Old Boys – from the most recent leavers, to the oldest living Old Boy of 106, this community stretches far and wide. Despite being separated across various areas of New Zealand and the world, we are all bonded by the collective experience of being a student at Auckland Grammar School.

As I enter my last year as a student here, the true extent of this community has become increasingly apparent to me. Auckland Grammar is far more than just a school; it is a place where lifelong bonds and connections are made, as highlighted by this extensive Old Boys network that we have. 

Being named as Head Prefect for 2022 was an exciting experience and I feel privileged to be able to lead the student cohort through this uncertain year. Hopefully we are able to stay on campus for the majority of this year – COVID-permitting – and be able to fully experience what Grammar has to offer. Although some events such as the 30, 40, 50 and 60 year reunions have been postponed, I look forward to meeting some of you throughout this year. 

As a student body, I wish to see us be able to adapt to whatever 2022 may bring. With semi-remote learning, the absence of assemblies in the Great Hall and still various limitations on gatherings, it is challenging to try and get back to some sense of normalcy. However, we are adapting to these challenges; assemblies on the ‘Great Field’ enable us to still congregate as a school which is a big positive, as maintaining traditions like these are essential to the Grammar experience. 

As a Prefect team, this year we wish to be heavily involved with students of all year levels, and give back to this community. We have begun implementing ideas already, from fundraisers for The Cameron Wilson Trust, to the inaugural lunchtime Touch Rugby competition, we are looking to have an active presence at Grammar. The Touch Rugby competition will have 16 teams taking part on a weekly basis to ascend to the championship, with the winning team to play the teachers side (which may be a somewhat lopsided affair).

Once I finish up my tenure at Auckland Grammar, I am largely undecided as to what I would like to do, with possibilities of studying at either Sydney, Christchurch or Otago. Regardless of what I decide upon, in the short term I wish to fully immerse myself in my last year at Auckland Grammar, and continue the legacy that this School has built. 

Per Angusta Ad Augusta

Louis Eglinton
2022 Head Prefect