Mihi Whakatau - Welcome for our Year 9 Students by PNBHS

From the Rector

Welcome to the first newsletter for 2021.

Dear Parents,

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all ‘new’ PNBHS parents, and to Old Boys of the school who are now re-joining their old school as parents. For many of our young men, this first newsletter will serve as not only an introduction to the 2021 year but also as an affirmation of our school’s expectations and ethos.

These expectations have been made clear to the young men of the school, Year 9 pupils in particular. For many in Year 9 our school will be quite different to their previous school. That matters little – they are, to a man, expected to get on with life at PNBHS in the manner we expect them to. Most have started well; some are taking just a little bit of time to get to grips with what is expected of them.

Thank you to parents who have supported our intention to maintain high standards of academia, grooming and behaviour from the first day of the 2021 school year. It is clear that there is a direct correlation between basic standards being set and adhered to and the extensive list of successes that our young men and Old Boys achieve.

It is the on-going aspiration of this school to continue to better what we do. Our vision is ‘to develop educated men of outstanding character’ and in order to do this we must have the ability to work as a collective – parents, teachers, young men - in striving to achieve this ideal. We know that young men will have their share of challenges and they cannot shy away from those challenges: Athenian historian and general, Thucydides, said “the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.” The young men of the school must go out to meet those challenges laid before them; they must aim to achieve to their potential.

Our young men are also encouraged to surround themselves with good friends, friends who will be positive and supportive. One can, as the saying goes, tell a lot about a man from the company he keeps, or, as George Washington once said, we should “associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” In these first few weeks of a new school year, new friendships are being formed, and these friends will help guide a young man through his sometimes-turbulent teenage years.

In a recent conversation I found myself speaking about the late Celia Lashlie, whose work with young men in New Zealand, and in particular with boys’ schools, was ground-breaking and influential. Ms Lashlie, a former prison warden, had seen the result of too many young men’s lives going wrong, and she would go on to write “He’ll Be Okay – Growing Gorgeous Boys into Good Men”. It is an excellent look at boys crossing the “bridge of adolescence” to manhood, and it includes some excellent advice for parents, particularly for mums new to the world of teenage boys. It certainly makes for compelling reading and is very much recommended.