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Message from the Headmaster – November 2023

Dear Parents/Guardians,

At Auckland Grammar School, Term 4 is known as the ‘examination term’. This is not only because the year concludes with the important and well-known senior school external assessments associated with Cambridge and NZQA, but also because of our Form 5 Pre-Q examinations and the end of year examination series for Form 3 and 4.   

We know that academic growth at all levels of the School is supported by a strong work ethic that includes effective study, a preparedness to make the sacrifices to do so and willingness to ask questions and take advice. This type of self-disciplined approach supports the development of a growth mindset in students. It is that mindset and the ability to apply it that will help them experience success in these final weeks of the year and in the future. 

As a parent or teacher, it is often difficult to explain the value of hard work and sacrifice to young men. This is primarily because it is through practice and experience that students come to understand there is a direct correlation between the quantity and quality of their study and their results. 

With the junior examinations just days away, our daily assemblies are focused on reminders about the impact regular study will have on the success they experience. Following the Rugby World Cup final, it seemed appropriate to share segments of James Kerr’s book, Legacy. He described All Blacks teams through the years focusing on making marginal gains, as they had come to understand that when small gains are added up, they can make a difference to their performance and/or the results of test matches. 

All Blacks Captain Sean Fitzpatrick (1992 – 1997) described success as being modest improvement, consistently done. He also observed that the best sports people in the world practice more than they play. Right now, for our young men, study is their practice. 

We want students to be able to create their own marginal gains in each subject area. Applying the study skill techniques they have been taught (and are available on GrammarNet) and having the self-discipline to revise regularly will help them realise this. 

We have a busy few weeks of the year left, to complete examinations, and conclude Term 4 extracurricular activities, before we join together for Prizegiving where we will celebrate student achievement, resilience and personal growth.

Per Angusta Ad Augusta

Tim O’Connor