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Important Notices from the Headmaster – September 2022

The 1st XI Football team


Last week, a number of our Premier and Development sports teams competed in regional or national tournaments throughout New Zealand. In summary, our teams performed as follows:

  • 1st XI Football – 26th at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships
  • 1st XI Hockey – 8th at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rankin Cup Tournament
  • Fencing – 2nd in the Foils and 5th and 6th respectively in the Team Sabre at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships
  • Junior Premier Basketball – winners of the National Zone 1 Tournament
  • Premier Badminton – 2nd at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships
  • Premier Basketball – 3rd at the National Qualifying Tournament
  • Premier Table Tennis – winners of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships
  • Under 15 Rugby – 4th at the National Invitational Tournament
  • Weightlifting – 2nd at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships

There are a number of sports teams still to compete in their National Championship competitions over the coming weeks and the Term 3 holidays; we wish them well with their preparation and performances.

Thank you

In order to achieve at the level we do in a variety of extracurricular activities, we rely on the goodwill of teachers, parents and Old Boys to assist us in a variety of ways. Our sincere thanks are extended to all who have coached, managed and supported our young men throughout this winter season. The value of such support is immeasurable.

Senior School Internal Examinations

The Term 3 School examinations will take place from Friday 16 – Friday 23 September. These examinations are held for all Form 6 and 7 students, and for a select number of Form 5 students who are sitting NCEA Level 1 assessments.

All Form 6 and 7 students will be on study leave during the Term 3 School examination period, when they do not have scheduled exams. Form 5 parents have already received information via email outlining any applicable leave for Form 5 students. The majority of Form 5 students are unaffected by this examination period and will be in their regular teaching classes.

Please refer to the Examination Timetable that has been posted on GrammarNet and the School website for details.

Cambridge Examinations and End-of Term Arrangements

The Cambridge Examination Timetable for October/November 2022 is available on GrammarNet and the School website. Note that this timetable will be updated with rooming schedules and exam clash arrangements by the end of Term 3 and it will also be handed out to students at their examination briefing.

It is important to note that there are a small number of Cambridge examinations on in the holidays (AS and A Level French and Further Mathematics) and several large examinations early in Week 1 of Term 4 (namely – AS Mathematics, Accounting, Business Studies, Chemistry, Economics, French, History, Japanese, Physics and Spanish, and A Level French, Mathematics and Spanish).

In order to have students better prepared for these exams, the entire Term 3 School examinations are scheduled predominantly in Week 9 so that students can have the papers marked and returned for review and feedback during Week 10 of this term.

Examination briefings will also be held in the Centennial Theatre for all students sitting Cambridge AS and A Level examinations on the afternoon of Friday 30 September (the last day of Term 3).

These examination briefings are compulsory for all students studying Cambridge AS and A Level courses, as it is essential that all students are fully informed about examination procedures. Students will also receive their official Cambridge Statements of Entry, which are required to gain entry to each examination room. Importantly, there will be no other opportunities to pick up this documentation, unless your son is absent on 30 September for an approved reason.

Briefing times are as follows:

  • Period 6 – students in 7A-7H
  • Period 7 – students in 6A-6I (and Form 5 students doing AS Mathematics)

Students in these Form 6 and 7 Cambridge classes will be released for Study Leave following their Examination Briefing. Students studying Pre-Q and NCEA courses will attend their examination briefings in Term 4 prior to going on study leave.

Student Attendance – Notification of Absences

A reminder that if your son is absent, we ask you to promptly 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 longer a requirement to phone the School or to provide a written note on the day of your son’s return.

Students leaving our campus during School hours

Parents are reminded students are not allowed to leave the School grounds during school hours unless:

  • Your son has brought a letter or an appointment card to the Deputy Headmaster on the front steps after assembly. Your son will then be provided with an approval slip, allowing him to formally sign out at the Student Office prior to leaving the campus; or
  • For medical reasons, whereby your son must have permission from the Deputy Headmaster or from the School Nurse. In such cases, the School Nurse will contact you before your son leaves the School grounds.

Our thanks are extended to over 65% of parents who have paid the donation already. This provides genuine and much needed financial support for our young men and teachers.

While parents will be aware the donation is voluntary, many parents may not understand where these funds are used and how important they are to maintaining our educational standards. 

One specific area the School donation goes is to directly fund an additional seven teachers, to what the government provides, so that we can maintain as many curriculum pathways through to Form 7 as is practical.

We appreciate your support.

Message from the Headmaster – September 2022

Headmaster Tim O'Connor

Dear Parents / Guardians,

We have recently had some 10 teams representing the School at regional or national tournaments around the country. We were proud of the way students represented the School, and their results are shared with you in this Bulletin. 

It was refreshing to be part of School Sport New Zealand’s Winter Tournament Week once again. Regional and national competitions have not been held since 2019, because of COVID-related interruptions and school closures.

We can all learn from observing sport or being an active member of a team. The on-field competitive focus and the off-field attention to detail of teams who perform to their potential is impressive. The Grammar teams who experience considerable success typically prepare in purposeful fashion and understand the responsibilities associated with representing their School.

We also know that just earning the right to represent the School on regional or national stage is a privilege. This year, being able to attend a tournament or compete in an end of season grade final has made that privilege palpable.

Many lessons can also be learnt from competing in grade finals, or at regional and national competitions. More than anything, if preparations have been sound, we learn to trust in the processes and game plans, to have self-belief, and then to play or compete with no regrets; in approach, attitude and performance. At game’s end, it is how we react having won or lost that defines us, not the result itself.  Your sons know that it is winning with humility and losing with dignity is part of ‘The Grammar Way’. 

Finally, some of the lessons from engagement in extracurricular activities, such as sport, should be transferrable to your son’s primary reason for being a member of Auckland Grammar School – to acquire new curricular knowledge and in being able to share it, earn a national or international qualification.

At this stage of Term 3, Form 6 and 7 students are building to their final internal examinations followed by their external examinations. Just as our sportsmen have prepared for their respective end-of-season competitions, it is time for all seniors to turn their attention to putting time into effective and regular study. Examination deadlines will quickly follow for Form 3-5 students and thus they too should put into place a study regime and begin following it.

Commitment to academic studies in the weeks and months ahead cannot be underestimated.  Those who make sacrifices to prepare thoroughly for assessments, and those with self-belief and ready access to support have every opportunity to achieve their potential.

Like when preparing for any test or competition, there may be some pre-event nerves. It is important that young men believe in themselves and the work they have done to date, to have faith in their teachers and to continue surrounding themselves with good people for support. The resilience they have learnt will aid their performances.

We thank parents who continue to work with us, across a myriad of contexts, including curricular and extracurricular areas, to grow your sons’ resilience and independence. Through your support and ours, they will reap the short and long-term personal benefits.

Per Angusta Ad Augusta

Tim O’Connor

Key information for Term 4

Junior School Activities Week

The final term of the year is one that requires students to make sacrifices in order to give their studies, assessments and external examinations a primary focus. It is a very short term at only eight weeks long.

While we will communicate with all parents as Term 4 begins, I do want to remind parents of some key dates and commitments in advance:

  • Friday 28 October: Students sitting NCEA and Pre-Q examinations are released on study leave
  • Monday 31 October – Friday 11 November: Pre-Q Examinations
  • Monday 7 November: NCEA External Examinations start
  • Monday 14 – Friday 18 November: Form 3 and 4 School Examinations
  • Thursday 24 – Wednesday 30 November: Form 3 and 4 Activities Week Programme
  • Monday 5 December: Form 5-7 students return to School
  • Monday 5 December: Colours and Performing Arts Assembly
  • Tuesday 6 December: Leavers Dinner
  • Wednesday 7 December: Prizegiving, beginning at 9am. After Prizegiving, the 2022 School year will conclude

As Colours Awards and Prizegiving awards are prepared months in advance, all young men should understand that accolades will only be awarded to those who continue to embrace our standards and requirements.

Please also remember we will not grant exemptions for students to go on holiday before Wednesday 7 December. It is expected that all students will attend Prizegiving and collect School reports, and other year-end materials after Prizegiving.

Junior School Activities Week

After junior examinations, Form 3 and Form 4 have an organised activities ‘week’ programme. Parents of Form 3 and 4 students will be sent specific information about this year’s activities as Term 4 starts.

This year’s programme is once again aligned with a number of curriculum areas and the activities run will be practical and focused on areas of the curriculum that are not easily managed in a standard classroom environment.

We see this week as a key part of our programme for Form 3 and 4 students and attendance is compulsory.

Report: Scholastic Surfing Championships

Ziggy Neely, Christian Fougere, Will Hardie and Ben Fougere at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Surfing Championships

2022 has seen the Auckland Grammar School Surfing team achieve some outstanding team and individual results.

National Scholastic Surfing Championships

The National Scholastic Surfing Championships are the pinnacle of junior surfing in New Zealand. The Auckland Champions were held over three events and concluded on Sunday 14 August with four students representing the School. Form 6 student B. E. Fougere was crowned the Under 18 Auckland champion, Form 6 student W. J. Hardie took out the Under 16 title and Form 5 student Z. W. D. B. Neely was third in both the Under 16 Shortboard and the Under 18 Longboard divisions.

Even more impressive was the Grammar representation in the 12 person Co-ed team selected to represent Auckland at the regional Nationals in Taranaki later this year with Ben Fougere, Will Hardie and Christian Fougere being selected in the team and Ziggy Neely down as first reserve.

Below are the individual results from each of the three events that made up this year’s Auckland Scholastics Surfing Championships:

Event 1 held at Maori Bay on Sunday 29 May:

Under 18 Boys Shortboard – B. E. Fougere was first

Under 18 Boys Longboard – Z. W. D. B. Neely was third

Under 16 Boys Shortboard – W. J. Hardie was first, Form 4 student C. P. Fougere was fourth and Z. W. D. B. Neely was fifth

Event 2 held at Piha on Sunday 19 June:

Under 18 Boys Shortboard – B. E. Fougere was first

Under 18 Boys Longboard – Z. W. D. B. Neely was second

Under 16 Boys Shortboard – Z. W. D. B. Neely was first, W. J. Hardie was second and C. P. Fougere was fourth

Event 3 held at Piha on Sunday 14 August:

Under 18 Boys Longboard – Z. W. D. B. Neely was fourth

Under 16 Boys Shortboard – W. J. Hardie was second and Z. W. D. B. Neely was third

National Secondary Schools Surfing Championships

The National Secondary School Championships have been held in Raglan for over 25 years and this year over 30 Secondary Schools from throughout New Zealand competed for the converted national and individual titles.

The School’s Surfing team performed well, placing fourth overall out of the Boys Schools with B. E. Fougere coming fourth in the Under 18 division and W. J. Hardie coming third in the Under 16 category.

A full wrap-up from Winter Tournament Week

Badminton photo

At the New Zealand Secondary Schools Badminton Championships, the Premier team placed second after playing top seeds St Patrick’s College (Silverstream) on the last day of the tournament. The team won the fixture 5-1 and earned second place (Silver).

At the Junior Basketball Northern Regional Championships, the Under 15 Basketball team were named Northern Regional Champions on Tuesday after defeating St Peter’s College 92-82 in a hard fought final.

On Saturday, the Premier Basketball team played Westlake Boys’ High School in the semi-final of the Regional Qualifying Tournament, losing 71-69 in an exceptionally close contest. In the bronze medal match, the team played Rangitoto College. Rangitoto rode their momentum in the final quarter to lead by 10 points with only four minutes to go. However, the Premier team showed character and determination to overcome this deficit and take the win 71-69 to place third in the Northern Regional Championships. This result also saw the team qualify for the National Championships in Palmerston North in the Term 3 holiday break.

Over the course of the Northern Tour this past weekend, the Cycling team competed exceptionally well to record seven general classification podium places across all groups. The riders competed across an individual time trial, a hill climb, and criterium. Form 5 students J. A. J. Barclay and L. R. Bhimy each won both the individual time trial and the individual hill climb titles for their respective age groups. The team will now be turning their attention to Nationals, which will be held in the Manawatu in the first weekend of October.

At the National Fencing Championships, the team made a strong start to the individual foil competition with three members making the Top 16 in the country out of 60 competitors. In the foil competition on Saturday, individuals performed extremely well to improve on their qualification seeding to place second overall in the teams event.

On Sunday, the Sabre classification of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Fencing Championships took place. The team put in a strong showing with Form 5 student O. L Hannaford and captain J. S. Double reaching the top 16 in the country, with Double claiming a bronze medal in the competition. In the sabre teams event, the two Grammar teams earned fifth and sixth places respectively to round out the national tournament.

At the New Zealand Secondary Schools Football Championships, the team played St Bede’s College in their final match of the tournament. The team created a number of scoring chances against their opponents, but couldn’t convert any of these, leaving the scores locked at 0-0 at the full-time whistle. As this was a playoff match, the game went to penalties. Both teams traded goals and misses to start the shootout, with the contest eventually a sudden death scenario. On this occasion St Bede’s won 3-2 on penalties, meaning the 1st XI team finished 26th overall.

On Saturday, the 1st XI Hockey team played St Kentigern College for seventh place at the Rankin Cup National Tournament. The team conceded a first quarter goal and a second goal midway through the third quarter, which spurred the team into action to score in the last minute of the third quarter. The team pushed hard for an equaliser throughout the final quarter and came close on a number of occasions, but unfortunately it was not to be for the 1st XI, who lost 2-1 to finish eighth at the Rankin Cup.

The Under 15 Rugby team lost their semi-final to Christchurch Boys’ High School 23-12 and against Hastings Boys’ High School 24-20 in extra time, to finish fourth overall at the National Invitational Tournament. The match was an incredibly close contest with and the team were leading 17-10 with time up on the clock. Hastings scored a converted try in the final play of the game to force extra time. The team put the first points on the board through a penalty before a try to Hastings gave the opposition a four-point lead and the win.

The Premier Table Tennis team was named National Team Champions. The team had dominant wins over both Macleans College and Botany Downs Secondary College in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, before playing top seeds, Westlake Boys High school, in the final. The team performed exceptionally well win 4-2 against their favoured opponents and claim the national team title.

In the Individual Championships on yesterday, Form 6 student T. Choi won the National Under 15 title defeating fellow team member and Form 4 student P. Jajal in four sets in the final. In the Under 19 division, Form 5 student H. Han finished the tournament well to earn the bronze medal, and the School’s fourth medal overall, in a tense, four-set third and fourth playoff match.

The Weightlifting team had an extremely successful competition at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Weightlifting Championships in Porirua. All six Grammar lifters podiumed in their respective age and weight classifications, earning three gold medals (for Form 3 student D. E. Boyd, Form 6 student A. D. Lipscombe and Form 7 student F. J. M. Duncan) and three silver medals, meaning the team finished second overall to claim a national silver medal.

Congratulations are extended to all students who represented the School at regional and national championships, the first of their kind since 2019. Thanks also to the many staff members who gave of their time to coach, manage and mentor teams and individuals during these championship events, and in the seasons that led to the opportunity to compete regionally or nationally.

Report: Winter Tournament Week (Day 4)

The 1st XI Hockey team vs Westlake Boys High School

The Premier Badminton team won their final match of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships on Thursday morning to place second overall in the Division 1 Boys’ category. The team beat St Patrick’s College 5-1, which was a strong finish to this year’s tournament. The team return to Auckland as national runners up and deserve to be proud of their efforts and the way they represented the School.

In their Regional Championships competition, the Premier Basketball team secured two further wins yesterday against Howick College (102-45) and Mount Albert Grammar School (71-59). These impressive results saw the Premier team top their pool and qualify for the quarter-finals, where they will play St Peter’s College tomorrow (Saturday).

The 1st XI Football team had a second consecutive win on Thursday morning, beating Waimea College 6-0 in a very one-sided affair. Today, the team will play St Bede’s College in their final match of the national tournament. The team will be looking to use this fixture to show their potential and return having represented the School with pride.

The 1st XI Hockey team lost their Rankin Cup quarter-final 2-1 to St Paul’s Collegiate School yesterday. The team created good opportunities and scored from a well-taken penalty corner to take an early lead. In reply, St Paul’s converted a penalty corner to level the scores before half time. St Paul’s scored a second goal late in the fourth quarter from a counter attack and, despite their best efforts, the 1st XI was not able to convert from the chances they created in their attacking circle. The team will play Timaru Boys’ High School today for the opportunity to play for fifth place on Saturday. 

The Under 15 Rugby team played Christchurch Boys’ High School on their home ground in a semi-final yesterday.  They were beaten 23-12 by the tournament hosts. The team performed well, but defensively they were unable to withstand the opposition’s attack. The team now has the opportunity to finish their tournament well with a strong performance against Hastings Boys’ High School today as both teams vie for third place.

The School wishes the Cycling, Fencing and Weightlifting teams well for their respective Secondary Schools Championships over the weekend. 

Report: Winter Tournament Week (Day 3)

The Premier Basketball team in fine form

The Premier Badminton team won both of their matches on Wednesday. The first was hard-fought against highly ranked Macleans College(4-2) and the second was a more comfortable victory over Palmerston North Boys High School (6-0). These two wins put the team in a good position of earning a medal at nationals, with only one game remaining in the round-robin competition format, which concludes today (Thursday).

The Premier Basketball team began their Regional Championship run with comfortable wins over Pakuranga College (75-42) and Northcote College (89-25). The team play Howick College and Mount Albert Grammar School today.

The 1st XI Football team only had one game on Wednesday where they managed to bounce back from the disappointment of Tuesday to win well (5-2) against Rathkeale College. The team plays Waimea College today (Thursday).

On Wednesday afternoon, the 1st XI Hockey team beat Hamilton Boys High School in a penalty shoot-out to progress to the top eight and the quarter-finals of the Rankin Cup. In a close game, the team conceded in the third quarter but struck two goals midway through the fourth quarter to take a 2-1 lead. In the dying seconds of the game, Hamilton equalised via a penalty stroke, to send the game to penalties, which the team won. The team will now play St Paul’s Collegiate School in the quarter-finals today (Thursday).

The Under Rugby team continued their good form yesterday to win their quarter-final (23-13) against Rotorua Boys’ High School. The team progresses to the semi-finals today where they will play tournament hosts Christchurch Boys’ High School, in what promises to be an exciting encounter.

Following their success in claiming the National Teams Title, the Premier Table Tennis team continued their strong form in the Individual Championships yesterday (Wednesday). Form 6 student T. Choi won the National U15 title defeating fellow team member Form 4 student P. Jajal in four sets in the final. In the Under 19 division, Form 4 student H. Han finished the tournament well to earn the bronze medal, and the School’s fourth medal overall, in a tense, four-set third and fourth playoff match.

Report: Winter Tournament Week (Day 2)

The Junior Premier Basketball team crowned as Northern Regional Champions

Winter Tournament Week Day 2 (Tuesday 30 August):

The Under 15 Basketball team were named Northern Regional Champions on Tuesday after defeating St Peter’s College 92-83 in a hard-fought final. This is a fantastic result for the team after narrowly losing in the Auckland Championship final last week, and was a great way for the team to cap off their season.

The Premier Badminton team played two matches yesterday. They began with a strong 5-1 win over Rangitoto College, but lost 5-1 to Westlake Boys’ High School in their afternoon game. Today (Wednesday) the team play highly ranked Macleans College in what will be a key fixture in deciding their final national placing, before playing Palmerston North Boys’ High School this afternoon. The team will then finish their national campaign with two further games on Thursday.

The 1st XI Football team began their final pool match against Scot’s College poorly, conceding three goals in the first 20 minutes of the match. The team recovered and played much better in the second half, but were only able to claw back two goals to lose 3-2. This meant the 1st XI missed out on the top 16 by goal difference. On Tuesday afternoon the team played St Patrick’s Silverstream and failed to bounce back from missing the Round of 16, losing 2-1 after failing to capitalise on a number of chances. Today the team play Rathkeale College and have further games on Thursday and Friday.

The 1st XI Hockey team put on a dominant performance against St Peter’s College to win 7-0 and in doing so guaranteed themselves a place in the Round of 16. In their final pool game against Westlake Boys’ High School yesterday afternoon, the team were soundly beaten 5-0 and were unfortunately unable to take any of the chances they created. Today the team play a round of 16 game against Hamilton Boys’ High School and will continue with one playoff match per day through to the end of the tournament on Saturday.

The Under 15 Rugby team had one game yesterday, securing a convincing 29-8 win over Wesley College. This result saw the team finish top of their pool and they will play Rotorua Boys’ High School in a quarter-final this afternoon (Wednesday). Their competition continues with playoff matches on Thursday and Friday.

The Premier Table Tennis team was named the National Team Champions after a strong second day of play. The team started the day with dominant 4-0 wins over both Macleans College and Botany Downs Secondary College in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, before playing top seeds Westlake Boys’ High School in the final. The team performed exceptionally well win 4-2 against their highly favoured opponents and claim the national team title. Today (Wednesday) the team continues their tournament in the Individual National Championship competition.

Today sees the Premier Basketball team begin their Regional Championships with games against Pakuranga and Northcote Colleges. This tournament runs through until Saturday and doubles as a qualifying event for the upcoming National Championships, so the team are focussed and determined to do well.

The Fencing, Weightlifting, and Cycling individual time trial national championships will begin over the long weekend and we wish all teams well who are competing.

Report: Winter Tournament Week (Day 1)

The Premier 1 and 2 Table Tennis teams take on each other

Teams representing Auckland Grammar School at regional and national tournaments around the country started in positive fashion yesterday (Monday 29 August) A summary of their performances includes:

The Under 15 Basketball team played superbly to defeat Rosmini College in their Regional Championship semi-final 120-68. They take on St Peter’s College in the final at 4pm on Tuesday afternoon.

The Premier Table Tennis team began their national title campaign with three wins from three matches against Wellington College, Tauranga Boys’ College, and St Paul’s Collegiate School. With these results, they won their pool and are in the favoured position of playing Macleans College’s second team to start the 1-8 playoff phase of the competition today (Tuesday).

The Premier Badminton team started their national championship competition well in Wellington, with three strong wins against Kristin School, Wellington College, and King’s College. They are currently first equal as they move into an important second day of competition, where they expect the level of competition to grow.

The Under 15 Rugby team started the national invitational tournament in Christchurch with a sound 18-10 win over Hastings Boys’ High School. They followed this up with a 34-12 win over St Patrick’s College. They are currently top of their pool with one further pool game against Wesley College today (Tuesday).

The 1st XI Hockey team started well moving to a 4-0 lead against Wairarapa College to hold on for the win after conceding three late goals. They play a must-win game against St Peter’s College this morning before facing Westlake Boys’ High School later this afternoon in a rematch of the recent Supercity Final.

The 1st XI Football team also started strongly in their first pool play match leading Timaru Boys’ High School 2-0 at half time. However, the team let the lead slip to draw the match 2-2. Their second game of the day was against St Paul’s Collegiate which they won 2-1. This result has set up a Pool B decider against Scot’s College this morning (Tuesday).

Report: Premier Basketball team vs Rosmini College

Premier Basketball team vs Rosmini College

The end of the Premier Basketball team’s regular season concluded on Thursday 25 August with the Premier SuperCity competition final against Rosmini College.

Played at Eventfinda Stadium on the North Shore, both teams displayed an impressive defensive effort through the first two quarters, and it was Rosmini who took the early advantage to lead 31-22 at half-time.

Through considerable determination, the momentum shifted in the Premier team’s favour by the end of the third quarter to lead 49-46 as the team took every opportunity to chip away, gain a small lead and in doing so frustrate their opposition.

The teams traded baskets throughout the fourth quarter, but unfortunately the game came down to a pair of turnovers which Rosmini took advantage of in the final minutes. The final score was 60-54 to Rosmini College, meaning the Premier Basketball team finished second overall.

Congratulations to the team and to their coaches and managers for their ongoing support. The team will now look to regroup as they head into their National Qualifying Tournament beginning on Wednesday 31 August as part of Winter Tournament Week.