Hero photograph
Photo by Blake Wells

Headmaster’s Message

Tim Grocott —

We have made it to the end of a curious term. Once again, we have had our progress interrupted by a Covid lockdown, and our young men have demonstrated incredible resilience to work through the lockdown and return to school in a good frame of mind. These interruptions are frustrating but it is a scenario we may need to get used to as the pandemic affects our everyday lives.

Thank you to our families and whanau who continue to support their sons as they have responded to the lockdown and return to school. The alert levels create challenges for all of us and I know that a number of people in our community are affected through loss of work or income, or needing to look after others in a time of need. We want to support you through that journey so please let your son’s Form Teacher or Dean know if there is anything we can do.

Since returning to school, our teachers have worked with the boys to reinforce learning from the lockdown and ensure their learning is at a high level. This week our Years 11, 12 and 13 have been doing examinations, internal assessments, or coming in for additional lessons. I’ve talked with a number of boys after their exams and have been impressed with their preparation and focus. Over the next couple of weeks, they will get your results back, which will also be their derived grades if we are unable to have NCEA examinations. The teachers are providing feedback about what they need to work on to make improvements. It is important they respond well to that feedback and work hard to make the improvements required.

I want to congratulate everyone for how they have managed the term. It hasn’t been an easy term – poor weather; two-week lockdown; sport and other events postponed or cancelled; we had to shift the exams which caused disruption. All of these things challenge us, but I am really proud of the way we have responded. All of our staff, and our students have demonstrated our value of Character and I am very pleased with their response and proud of how well you have all done.

Finally, I want to encourage people to get vaccinated. I appreciate there are different views about vaccination, but it is a way of keeping us safe and we will be able to live a more normal life once the vaccination rates in Aotearoa are high.

Enjoy your holiday break and we look forward to seeing you all in Term 4. 

Changes to NCEA for 2021

Due to the disruption we have had this term, the Ministry of Education and NZQA have made changes to NCEA for 2021.

  1. The dates for end of year NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams will be moved back by two weeks. Exams will now be held between Monday 22 November and Tuesday 14 December.
  2. NCEA subjects where students prepare a portfolio instead of sitting an exam – like Design and Visual Communication – will have the due date for these portfolios pushed back by two weeks.
  3. Schools that have had 16 days disruption due to Covid are eligible for Learning Recognition Credits (LRCs) to reflect the time spent away from the classroom. Students at Shirley Boys’ High School can earn Learning Recognition Credits at a rate of 1 LRC per 5 credits achieved through assessment, up to a cap of 8 LRCs at NCEA Level 1, and 6 LRCs and Levels 2 and 3.

These are very positive changes for our students and we are pleased that the Ministry of Education is supporting schools. It is important that boys understand the impact of these changes, particularly students who are starting full-time or part-time jobs at the end of exams.