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Message from the Headmaster – June 2022

Dear Parents,

It has been heartening to see young men in normal classroom and extracurricular routines this term. Like you, we do not underestimate the value in our young men being able to learn, play and practice in stable and structured home and School settings.

The partnership between home and School is essential to the quality of education our young men receive. At a time when the Government is redesigning a nationwide attendance service, with what is being described as “an ambitious target of 70% attendance by 2024”, we take the opportunity to acknowledge the place that a stable home environment plays in any young person’s development.

Attendance rates at Auckland Grammar School have averaged 91% to date this term (against a reported national average of 60%). While there has been significant sickness affecting attendance, this level reinforces students’ preparedness to engage and means they have had every opportunity to progress their learning, develop social skills, build positive relationships and receive extra support for their personal well-being. 

The value of strong 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.  

The best reference point to reinforce the benefits of high levels of attendance is the School’s 2021 student achievement data. This has been previously shared with you, but in short, NCEA and CAIE results exceeded the School’s comparative achievement data in recent years. This was through a period of online learning, campus closures and significant disruption to the School year. The value of attendance, (whether online or in person) and active engagement with the School had a direct impact on such high-quality outcomes.

It is no secret that there is a direct comparison between attendance and engagement levels and the success students experience. Our aim is to repeat or exceed the level of success students experienced last year, in 2022.

We know how important attendance is. Together with this, we cannot stress how vital a self-disciplined and dedicated approach is to succeeding in any or all aspects of School life.

We have passed the halfway mark of Term 2 and the second set of examinations are just three weeks away. Following our basic expectations at this time of the term will influence the success students can experience. These expectations include:

  • Meeting commitments and honing the skills required to work independently without excuse: in the classroom, with homework and study. This includes being on time, ready to focus in each 40-minute lesson
  • Being involved outside the classroom and committed to practices, match or performance obligations. A student not involved with extracurricular activities will not get the best out of Auckland Grammar School
  • Being a standard setter who reflects this through his attitude and demeanour. It begins with an outward expression of respect and pride through the way his uniform is worn and how his grooming is maintained. Meeting or exceeding what we describe as ‘above the line’ behaviours have a direct impact on a student’s mindset and his readiness to learn and grow

We look forward to supporting your son build his knowledge base this term. If he accepts the challenge of being a contributing member of our community with a self-disciplined approach he has every opportunity to set new personal bests by the end of Term 2.