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Message from the Headmaster – August 2023

Dear Parents/Guardians,

In the first two weeks of Term 3, your son will have received feedback from each of his subject teachers about his performance in the mid-year examinations. Such feedback is critical for your son’s academic progress. The teaching of content followed by regular assessment to confirm whether your son has retained knowledge and then the provision of feedback on his performance are integral to Grammar’s educational philosophy.

This afternoon, you will receive a copy of your son’s mid-year report, which will provide you with direct feedback on his performance and attitude for the year to date. I encourage you to discuss the contents of the report with your son, so that he can use it to maintain or develop a growth mindset towards his studies this term.

The process of setting clear goals will help your son’s motivation and thinking, as we progress teaching programmes that aim to support him to learn new subject content, while building in him the confidence and resilience to have his understanding internally and externally assessed.

Putting time aside now to set short and longer-term goals may also help your son with his subject selections for 2024; a process that began this week with Option Briefings for Forms 4 – 6, followed by the Options Evening next Tuesday 8 August. For Form 7 students, having clear goals and aspirations will help their motivation as they set their sights studying at a tertiary level domestically or internationally next year.

We are looking forward to the Prefects’ Ball on Saturday 12 August; an annual highlight on the School calendar for Form 7 students. Following the Ball, I will be undertaking further study of my own through an Executive Leadership Programme at Harvard University, before embarking on further travel which will involve attending the UK Friends of Grammar AGM in London and the US Friends of Grammar AGM in New York. I look forward to returning for the start of Term 4 prepared to share insights from my studies, travel and reconnection with Old Boys living abroad.

In advance, I extend my thanks to Sam McNaughton who will be the Acting Headmaster and will be ably supported by the rest of the Leadership Team. During my absence we also welcome Adrienne Birtwistle to the Leadership Team as Acting Deputy Headmaster – Junior School, as David Askew fulfils the duties of Acting Associate Headmaster – Operations.

Finally, my best wishes are extended to the many sporting teams and performing arts groups who will be vying for places in Auckland, regional or national finals in the coming weeks. It is a pleasure and a privilege to support teams and groups on sidelines or in theatres as they represent our School in exemplary fashion.

Per Angusta Ad Augusta

Tim O’Connor