From The Principal's Desk

Mr Scott Thelning —

Kia ora ki te whanau o te Cathedral Grammar

By the time you are reading,  this we would have completed our Athletics Day down at Christ's College. The weather is going to be stunning today - Miss Dowgray made great decisions last week to postpone in amongst the cold and wet few days that came through. I appreciated her doing so early, so that parents had time to make adjustments with work and your busy schedules. 

I always look forward to athletics on Upper. It is a great location for our school community to come together and celebrate effort, achievement, and school and House spirit. I particularly enjoy seeing our Pre-School students, cheered on by our senior students, give it their all on the race track. This day exemplifies our values of 'Everyone Matters' and 'Fearlessly Aim High'.

As we know, this is a busy time of year with a lot of different commitments. Please ensure you keep on top of our school events through the calendar on the school app. We have also included within this edition of Grammar Notes an outline of the dates and times of major school events. 

Please note that on Thursday, 13 December school finishes at 12:45pm after our Leavers Service at the Cathedral. All students are to be picked up from the Cathedral. On Friday, 14 December school finishes at 12:15pm after Prizegiving at Christ's College. All students are to be picked up from Christ's College.

Congratulations to Sam and Daniel who won the Yr 5/6 Canterbury Primary School Lawn Bowls Championships! Outstanding result boys. Another event that The Cathedral Grammar School has entered for the first time and won! It is great to see us expanding our horizons, trying something new and being successful.

As we continue to evolve and add value to The Grammar Way,  we have some new offerings we are close to finalising for 2019 and beyond. The team and I look forward to sharing these with you over the next few weeks and bringing them to reality next year.

Congratulations to the students who performed at the Performers Evening. I thoroughly enjoyed each performance and was so very impressed by all students.  This is the same for the outstanding art on display as a part of our annual Art Exhibition, and is a great reflection of our amazing art programme that stretches right across our school. Make sure you get in to see it. Many thanks to the Friends Association for the drinks and nibbles last night - great idea!

From time to time we get questions about scholarships and the process around these, so I thought I would outline here for you all.


Cathedral Grammar offers Scholarships to Pupils in Years 4 to 7 with academic, musical or choral aptitude. Scholarship offers are made following an academic examination, or an instrumental or singing audition. These scholarships, usually between 25% and 60% of tuition fees, vary in value in accordance with the type of scholarship offered, the abilities of the pupils, and individual circumstances.

As a Choir School, Cathedral Grammar also offers boys the opportunity to obtain a Chorister’s Scholarship. This process is managed by the Cathedral’s Director of Music, along with input from myself, to ensure that boys who are selected from this important role have to ability to succeed as Choristers. These Scholarships are open to both external and internal applicants, and offer scholarships, by way of tuition fees reduction, upwards from 15%. Most of the Chorister’s scholarships are funded by the Choir Educational Trust. Applications for this scholarship may be made at any time throughout the year.

The School’s website outlines the scholarship requirements, especially for external applicants. These are offered in June in conjunction with the other independent schools.

The School also offers some academic and music scholarships, of $1,000 per annum, for pupils who are already at the School. The scholarships (Deamer for academic and Allpress for music) acknowledge the very capable nature of many current pupils and offers them the chance to compete for recognition.


From time to time tuition fee discounts are offered to some families.

For internal pupils, we acknowledge the fact that some families already enrolled in the School do need financial assistance to be able to finish their child’s schooling at Cathedral Grammar. I have the delegated authority to offer these families some assistance by way of tuition fees reduction. As a Christian School, founded on Anglican values, it is essential that we support those families, who have supported us in their good times, in their time of need.

For external pupils, and as is common with other Independent Schools in special circumstances, discounts may also be offered to attract enrollments. To illustrate, it may enable the attendance of two extra pupils in a small class, or having a very capable child with other talents (say sporting, dance or artistic) and who would not otherwise be able to attend the School because of their financial inability to do so. However, it must be noted that this discretion is only exercised when it is in the School’s best interest that the pupil attends Cathedral Grammar.

Any tuition fee reduction must, of necessity, have attached to it a degree of confidentiality. As with all things, there can be no one, hard and fast, inflexible, totally black and white rule that defines eligibility. Suffice to say, whether the tuition reduction is purely a recognition of ability (as in a scholarship), or a recognition of a special circumstance (as in a discount), the decision is made, after much deliberation, with the interests of the child, the family, and the School at its core. 

Thank you for your many and varied contributions to our school culture. It is valued greatly. Have a great fortnight.

Nga mihi

Scott Thelning