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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

Important Notices from the Headmaster – April 2024

Form 3 Assessment Schedule

End of Term

The Term 1 School Examinations have now concluded and your son will be in the process of receiving examination feedback from his classroom teachers. Alongside this feedback, normal teaching programmes will continue until the end of Period 7 this Friday 12 April.

Please be aware leave will not be granted for students to finish the term early for travel or holiday reasons. We appreciate your support as we aim to maximise teaching time.

Term 1 Reports

The first formal report of the year will be delivered electronically via the Parent Portal. This report focuses on your son’s Term 1 examination results and he will receive an examination mark and an attitude/effort grade for each subject. Please be aware there are no teacher comments on the first set of reports.

We expect reports will be made available on the Portal at the beginning of the second week of the holidays. You will be advised of the availability of the reports via email. 

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 log in and click on the Absence Notification link under Student Information, which is found on the homepage of the Parent Portal. 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. It is important that you do not disclose your Parent Portal login and password details to your son, to ensure the legitimacy of this functionality.

There is no requirement to phone the School nor to provide a written note to notify us of an absence.

Student Office Updates

Please note that the above system for notifying the School of your son’s absence does not apply for exeat requests, where temporary leave is sought to leave the campus for appointments throughout the School day. Your son should bring a note to the Deputy Headmaster on the front steps of the Main Block after assembly to receive approval.

When your son provides this note to the Deputy Headmaster, he will be given a permission slip to allow him to leave his lesson at the appropriate time, at which point he must formally sign out at the Student Office before departing.

If your son is late to school, due to a pre-arranged appointment, please provide him with a written note to be handed to the Student Office staff upon his arrival.

Parents should be aware the Student Office does not accept or distribute any items, including lunches, delivered for your son during the School day.

2023 Cambridge International Examinations Documentation and May/June 2024 Examination Series

Official Cambridge result certificates from the November 2023 Examination Series will be distributed to current students (who did Cambridge exams last year) at a Form Period this Thursday 11 April. Old Boys can collect their certificates from Main Reception on Monday 15 April between 10am-11am and 2pm-3pm.

Senior students who are re-sitting Cambridge AS examinations in the 2024 May/June Series received their Statement of Entry and Examination Timetable and Rooming Guide at an examination briefing on Tuesday this week. The Timetable and Rooming Guide for the May/June Series has been posted on the School website and on GrammarNet. Cambridge Examinations start on Friday 29 April and finish on Friday 10 June. Students and parents should also be reminded that, as per the AS Re-sit Application Form, students are not permitted to have Study Leave, as their regular A Level classes will be operating as usual during the exam period.

Parent Teacher Interviews in Term 2

We begin Parent Interviews in Term 2. Interviews take place between 3pm-6pm from Week 3 in the Great Hall. We would encourage you to take the opportunity to make appointments online to meet with your son’s teachers.

Interview bookings are made electronically and parents will be sent booking information and explanation of the process two weeks prior to your son’s year group interviews. Interview bookings are on a first in, first served basis, so we encourage you to act upon the email when you receive it.

Please be aware that the School day will conclude at 2:30pm on the days of Parent Interviews, as follows:

  • Form 6 and 7 Interviews – Thursday 16 May
  • Form 5 Interviews – Monday 20 May
  • Form 4 Interviews – Tuesday 28 May
  • Form 3 Interviews – Wednesday 19 June

Winter Sport

Trials are well underway for the winter sports season. We strongly encourage all young men to play a winter sport and hope that your son has registered for a winter code by now. If he has not done this he should see Head of Sport B. Richardson for more information or go direct to the Master in Charge of the code he wishes to play. He can find this information on the School website

Please remember full and correct sporting uniform is required from the start of the season, otherwise students will not be permitted to play. It is vital therefore that each player has the correct socks, shorts and shirt or jersey. We encourage parents to purchase the correct sports uniform as soon as possible, as winter sport starts promptly in Term 2.

The School does not allow young men to have compression clothing visible underneath their sports uniform. We appreciate your support as standards are set in all aspects of School life. 

It is always good to see strong School and parental support on our sidelines. We simply ask that Grammar expectations are met or surpassed and that we only share positive or encouraging comments. We really appreciate our parochial supporters, but we ask that actions, attitudes and comments are supportive of ‘The Grammar Way’.

Absences

If a young man is away from School the day prior to, or the day of, a sporting fixture for medical or other reasons, he will be ineligible to play for his School team. It is the School’s view that if a young man is not well enough to be at School prior to a fixture, he is not well enough to represent the School in any extracurricular activity. Please ensure his coach or manager is informed of such an absence before his game.

School Uniform

When Term 2 starts on Monday 29 April, 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.

We remind all students that the only jackets that may be worn to School are the approved School Jacket (available for sale in the School Shop) and the School Rep jacket. Students should not wear the School cap from the beginning of Term 2.

Sandals are only approved for wear in Term 1 and Term 4. All students are expected to wear shoes and socks in Terms 2 and 3, with garters used to ensure their socks are worn to the top of their calf muscles.

Message from the Headmaster – April 2024

Headmaster Tim O'Connor at the lectern

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As we prepare to conclude the term, I want to reiterate the School’s top priority is to provide your sons with sound teaching and rigorous and regular assessments that allow him – and you – to identify his progress and areas for future focus. 

I have reminded the School at daily assemblies leading up to the recent examination series that if we are to advance their acquisition of knowledge, teachers need to understand what subject specific content they have learnt and retained. This best occurs through providing checkpoints for learning in the form of assessments, such as the recent examination series. 

Creating and maintaining a stable, high standards environment, and a rigorous teaching framework supported by regular assessment are all essential to the fabric and makeup of Auckland Grammar School. While some of these elements have fallen to the wayside or have not been prioritised across the wider New Zealand education landscape, what is well-proven is that when applied well, these elements promote learning, and have done so through time. 

You will therefore understand why we continue to reinforce ‘The Grammar Way’ and will stand up for and protect our educational philosophies and ethos. This is because they are for the betterment of your sons’ education.

I have no doubt that the more consistent we are in building a unique School culture; where expectations are clearly articulated, and applied, a prescribed curriculum is taught, learning is regularly measured that this positively impacts on your sons’ development, the more chance there is for your sons to experience success with learning.

While we continue prioritising the requirements to run effective teaching programmes, we also want students to be actively engaged in School-based activities. This term they have included the annual Athletics and Swimming Championships, Auckland-wide summer sport Championships and competitions in the performing arts, including Polyfest and the National Youth Jazz Festival.  

Next term, your sons have the opportunity to be actively involved with winter sporting codes, music performances, productions, and a diverse range of clubs and activity groups. To get the best out of Auckland Grammar School young men need to be more than 9am to 3:15pm students. They need to personally challenge themselves through extracurricular activities. They then have every chance of realising their potential while understanding they are part of something much bigger than themselves.  

As your sons receive their Term 1 raw examination marks back, I hope they reflect on what they have learned this term, what they need to review and whether the marks they received aligned with the effort they put in and the attitudes they displayed in and out of the classroom. 

Thank you for the support you have shown your sons and Auckland Grammar School throughout the first term of the 2024 academic year.

Per Angusta Ad Augusta

Tim O’Connor
Headmaster

Report: Auckland Secondary Schools Athletics Championships

Auckland Secondary Schools Athletics Championships

The Auckland Grammar Athletics team finished the Term 1 School Athletics season at the Auckland Secondary Schools Championships at Mt Smart Stadium on Tuesday 26 March. 49 athletes competed across all events and managed to claim a total of 39 podium finishes, including 17 titles and mostly new personal best times across the board.

Form 3 student D. Overend picked up the first two Silver medals in the Junior category for the 80m and 300m hurdles respectively. Form 4 student T. O. Henderson, who won the 80m hurdles, gain a second gold in the High Jump at 1.71m. Other Gold medals were won by Form 3 students R. C. Davies in the 800m, S. Yushchenko in the 200m and L. J. N. Caffery in the Shot Put, with each athlete gaining at least one further Silver medal, in the 1500m for Davies, two Silvers for Yushchenko for the Long Jump and the Javelin and the Discus for Caffery. Form 3 student Z. L. Stanley won the Javelin after narrowly missing out on podium placings in the Long Jump and High Jump, thus ensuring that Grammar athletes had won six medals out of nine across all age grades, including all the gold. Two further Silver medals were won by Form 3 students Z. J. Johnston in the 2000m Steeplechase and J. L. Martin in the 200m.

In the intermediate grade, Form 4 student R. W. Walker was second in the 300m hurdles, he earned Bronze in the Javelin and teamed up with Form 5 students M. M. Browne, N. J. Stanley and L. C. R. Thomson to gain silver in the 4x100m relay. L. C. R. Thomson went on to win both the 100m and the 200m, while N. J. Stanley won Silver in the Long Jump. Form 4 student H. C. Day won the 800m in 1:59:34s, a repeat of his 2023 success, while Form 5 student M. E. Wilkins was in third. Wilkins also took home Bronze in the 150mm with fellow classmate T. C. L. MacDonald earning Bronze in the 2000m Steeplechase. Form 5 student M. K. Jacobs fell just short of a podium placing in the Shot Put but threw a personal best of 13.28m, A. K. Sharma jumped over 1.80m in the High Jump to secure Gold and O. D. D. B. Neely secured a second consecutive win in the Javelin with a throw of 47.84m.

Captain of Athletics J. A. Thomson won Silver in the Senior hammer throw and the 100m, as well as Gold in the Javelin (with a throw of 49.04m), and in the 4x100m relay together with Form 6 students T. Chu, C. G. Howlett and S. C. Paris in 43.67s. Howlett won two further Gold in the 300m Hurdles in a record-breaking time of 39.31s, and the Open 4x400m relays, alongside Form 5 student L. C. R. Thomson 5G, Form 6 student C. P. Wagener and Form 7 student R.W. Fitzpatrick. C.P. Wagener dominated the senior 3000m, running alone at the front for most of the race and established a new Auckland record of 8:26.73s. He also won the 1500m in 4:02.27s, just three seconds ahead of R. W. Fitzpatrick in second place after an exciting race that was contested to the last bend. Fitzpatrick then went on to claim Bronze in the 800m and Form 6 student M. C. Lindsay 6D was second in the 400m. Fellow classmate H. P. Mossman narrowly missed out on a podium placing in the Triple Jump by a few centimetres, but was selected into the Auckland team for the North Island Secondary Schools Championships. Form 7 student T. C. Fox won Bronze in the Senior Javelin, and the Senior B 4x400m relay team, comprising Form 5 student J. A. Smith and M. E. Wilkins and Form 6 students M. C. Lindsay and S. C. Randerson placed third.

Special thanks to Athletics coaches S. Blackwell and C. Oates and to Master in Charge of Athletics N. Leiseder for their ongoing support of the squad.

A full wrap-up of Summer Tournament Week

The Colts Cricket team against Waitaki Boys' High School

Cricket

Competing at the Junior Secondary Schools Tournament, the Colts Cricket team secured wins against Whanganui College and Waitaki College and losses to Wellington College and Hamilton Boys’ High School. In the play-off for third place, the team played superbly against Christchurch Boys’ High School, restricting the opposition to 228/7 to finish third overall.

Disc Ultimate

The Premier Disc Ultimate team had a mixed start to the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships. With losses to Wellington College and Hutt Valley High School, the team rallied and bounced back with solid wins against Whakatāne High School and Birkenhead College. The team advanced to the semi-finals, then won against Pakuranga College 10-9 to finish third overall.

Mountain Biking

The North Island Secondary Schools Mountain Biking Championships saw 10 Grammar riders compete in four events across three days. The standout performance for Grammar was Form 5 student T. P. Mollison who was third in the Under 17 Cross Country. Other notable performances included the Under 20 Relay Team who were fifth, and Form 4 student W. C. White who was 12th in a large and competitive Under 15 Enduro Race field.

Rowing

The annual Maadi Cup at Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel saw the Under 15 Eight and Octuple crews advance to their respective A finals on the first day of racing. With the competition fierce, most heats meant only the winner to qualify for the A finals. Six crews qualified for A finals on day two, with the Under 18 Eight finishing in second place, just one second behind St Andrew’s College. With more crews competing in repêchages across the tournament, the School had seven crews in A finals and 5 crews in B finals, the best result for the squad since 2021.

Tennis

The Premier Tennis team started off their National Tournament campaign against Hamilton Boys’ High School, winning 4-2 after super tiebreaks. After a straight set win against Tauranga Boys’ College, the team had to rally after the doubles pairings lost in super tiebreakers, before playing Westlake Boys to decide semi-final seeds. Despite some good passages of play against some higher ranked opponents, the team went down 5-1. The team then played Te Kura in the semi-finals playing with grit and determination, before facing Westlake Boys’ High School on the final day to finish fourth overall.

Triathlon

The Triathlon squad competed at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships in Tauranga and achieved some fantastic results despite crashes on the bike legs of the team and individual races. The squad were still able to win both the Under 16 and Under 19 races, with an individual Bronze for Form 6 student Caleb Wagener in the Under 18 race.

Volleyball

During the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships in Palmerston North, the Premier Volleyball team had wins against Freyberg High School, Trinity Catholic College and Bay of Islands College, and losses against St Andrew’s College and St Bernard’s College to finish third in their pool. With wins over Hillmorton High School and Gisborne Boys’ High in the quarter and semi-finals, the team won against Bishop Viard College (the winning point won by an ace serve), securing first place in Division 4.

Water Polo

At the North Island Secondary Schools Championships, the Premier Water Polo team had wins against St Peter’s College and Tauranga Boys’ College, and a loss to Westlake Boys’ High School. Playing Sacred Heart College in the quarter-finals, the team showed great improvement from their previous matchup with Sacred Heart, eventually losing by just a single point. After another loss to Rosmini College, the team played St Kentigern College, winning 13-6 and finishing seventh.

Yachting

The Yachting squad competed at the Auckland Secondary Schools Teams Racing Regatta. Two Grammar teams had a strong start on day one of racing to finish second and third overall. Day two saw light and variable conditions, both teams winning all of their races. There were light winds on the final day of racing meaning no sailing with final placings decided on round robin results. This saw the Grammar Gold team take out the title being top in their round robin table, and the Grammar Blue team placed third. These results showing the depth of young Yachting talent.