Hero photograph
Photo by Sandra McKernan

Headmasters Message

John Laurenson —

Dear Parent and Caregivers,

Greetings, tena koutou katoa, talofa lava,

I hope that your son has returned from his vacation, determined to put in maximum effort for the critically- important Term Three. 

This is the term when demands will be at their greatest. Work load is high, sporting and cultural endeavours demand much and the weather will not yet be on the move to warmer conditions.

Please make sure he gets enough sleep and that he eats what his body needs, fresh water, plain kai, protein and useful carbohydrates with essential minerals and vitamins. Exercise is important as well.


You will be aware that the Minister of Education is looking to change things for the future and you have been invited to contribute your opinions, please make sure that you do. There is no doubt that we are due for change and, while the current system is sound in many ways, there are areas where change is badly needed.

One example is that  the current national obsession with assessment is not helping to educate young people, while assessment is necessary, it should not get in the way of the development of strong teacher-student learning relationships. Currently, assessment at the levels seen here in New Zealand is doing exactly that!

NCEA is also introducing changes to the way NCEA and University Entrance attainment is reported. The changes provide a more precise picture of this.

It will now count all domestic students in Years 11 to 13 aged less than 19 on 1 January, rather than taking a snapshot of students as at 1st July. It will also count up to three ethnicities students identify with, rather than limiting this to just one.

As a result, NZQA is expecting most schools will see a change in their attainment rates. It is a statistical adjustment that doesn’t reflect school performance, teaching practice or an individual student’s results. “The key thing to remember is that while percentages for NCEA and University Entrance percentages may change, the amount of improvement in student attainment is similar and positive.”

NZQA is consulting with schools in June and July this year, on the way attainment is reported at a school level and will report back in September. The new measure will be used for reporting 2018 NCEA and University Entrance attainment statistics in January 2019.

A summary fact sheet can be found at:


Best Wishes,

John Laurenson.