From the Rector
It is hard for us to judge what the long-term consequences of the Covid-19 situation will have for our young men, for our community, for our country and for the world. We can, as the adherents to stoicism might suggest, only control what our reaction is to our challenges. It has been tough for some, and the disrupted nature of the year has certainly had an impact on the academic progress of some of our young men. But for our young men, particularly those in the senior school with NCEA external examinations looming in term four, it is time to focus on what they can control: their effort and application. They must now ensure work is completed for internally assessed standards and they must prepare thoroughly for the NCEA exams.
The recent school examinations will have provided our young men with the opportunity to measure their progress in each of their subjects. It is hoped that those who did not put in the required effort will not be faced with a derived grade process based on the school exams should anything such as Covid prevent the NCEA exams from going ahead. However, they can’t say they weren’t warned. We, like you, want our young men to achieve to their potential; to achieve academic success that will provide them with more opportunities once they have left our gates.
At the recent ABSNZ (Association of Boys’ Schools) Headmasters’ Conference, updated research was presented from the Faculty of Education at Victoria University which had built on findings from the New Zealand Council for Educational research regarding the academic achievement of boys at boys’ schools in New Zealand. The research findings continue to be compelling:
· School leaver figures show that young men from boys’ schools are more than 20 percentage points more likely to leave with University Entrance than young men from co-ed schools.
· Young men from co-ed schools are more than twice as likely to leave school with no academic qualification than young men from boys’ schools.
· There continues to be a clear achievement difference in favour of boys’ schools at all three levels of NCEA.
· Differences in achievement between boys’ schools and co-ed schools were most notable for Maori and Pacific students.
It has been interesting to note that the research, first compiled using data from 2012-16, continues to be unequivocal in its findings that young men at boys’ schools are more likely to achieve at a higher level academically than young men at co-ed schools.
However, while this research is encouraging, and is an affirmation of teaching practice at boys’ schools throughout the country, I am reminded of the proverb “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”. It’s time for the boys to put the disrupted year behind them and work hard for the rest of the year.
At this stage there are very few vacancies for 2021 and thus far two have been advertised.
At this stage we have reached our limit for Year 9 enrolments for 2021, although in-zone applications will continue to be accepted. We now have a waiting list at Year 9 and at other year levels as young men look to come to PNBHS from elsewhere.
School Fees and Donations
Our thanks are extended to all families who have paid their son’s school fees and donations for 2020. While we understand the year has been a disrupted and challenging one, and while we are aware that the Ministry of Education believes that schools can run entirely on their government funding, they are wrong: the fees and donations are absolutely vital to the school’s continued ability to offer the opportunities available for our young men. Many of the programmes and opportunities the school offers would not be able to be offered without these contributions. The following list outlines just some of what the school donations go towards:
· The Board of Trustees funds nine teachers over the government allocation
· Learning Support Programme
· Teacher Aides
· Accelerate Programme, including the University and Scholarship classes at the senior level
· Recently added or expanded courses, especially at the senior level – Gateway, Maori Performing Arts, Achievement Support Programme
· Cultural and Performing Arts programmes
· Sports Development programme
· Facilities – new gym extension; swimming pool
· The addition of a second Guidance Counsellor, funded by the BOT
· Leadership and Mentoring programmes
The donations are effectively an investment in people, without whom these programmes simply would not be able to run. We certainly appreciate our community support in this regard.
D M Bovey
Student Achievement and Other News from Recent Weeks:
· Football – Callum Kennett has been selected for the NZ Football Regional Training Centre programme, part of the selection process for the NZ U17 squad.
· Music – Taine George finished second, and dancers Jake Maskill & Noah Purcell third at the PNGHS ‘Rock da House’ competition earlier in the term.
· Music – Cameron Giddens won the Musicianship Award at the Smoke Free Rockquest competition following his performance with his band, Prismatic.
· School Concert – the annual concert was, like the production earlier in the year, truncated by Covid-19. Ironically called ‘Out of Lockdown’, the first night went well only to have the second night binned after going back to Alert Level 2.
· Subject Information Evening – held online this year due to Covid.
· Super Eight – the 1st XV had wins over Gisborne and Tauranga with losses to Napier and Rotorua in a match that doubled as a Moascar Cup challenge, lost agonisingly on the last play of the game.
· Polson Banner Exchange – a truncated exchange this year due to Covid with only eight teams competing. Final result was 4-4: wins to the 1st XI hockey, 1st XI football, Clay Target team and Golf team. Losses to 1st XV, 2nd XV, Senior A debating team and Premier A basketball.
· BOT Student Rep – John Hopcroft has been successful in the recent election for the Student Rep spot on the Board.
· Winter Tournament Week – normally this would be the regional and national tournament week, but these had been canned for 2020. In their place, Super Eight tournaments had been organised with the following results: Senior A badminton – winners; Prem A basketball – sixth; 1st XI football – fourth; 1st XI hockey – third; Colts hockey – runners-up; Colts rugby – third; U14 rugby – sixth; Junior A football – third; Junior basketball – fourth.
· Drama – Level 3 drama students performed Foreskin’s Lament as part of their NCEA Level 3 programme.
· St Pat’s, Silverstream Exchange – the 1st XV had a narrow 13-12 win, while the 2nd XV won 24-12.
· Smallbore shooting – David Murphy, Thomas van Stipriaan, Marshall Burn and Ryan Hirst were selected for the Manawatu SS smallbore team.
· Debating – both the Senior A and Junior A teams won their respective Super Eight competitions which were held on “Zoom” this year because of…
· Dance – Zac Maskill, Noah Purcell and Jake Maskill won the regional DanceNZ Made competition, then followed that up by winning the national competition.
· Prefects – Vincent Trasmontero was added to the Prefect group recently.
· Clay Target Shooting – the Senior A team finished the lower North Island circuit recently, winning the competition. Greg Wood was first in the Points Score and Single Rise while Ollie Duncan was the top junior shooter.
· Mental Health Presentation – Sir John Kirwan presented to Year 9 about mental health and depression.