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John Laurenson
Photo by K Casey

Headmaster's Message

John Laurenson —

Dear Parent and Caregivers

Sport: There have been a number of teams in different codes that made finals, many of which were scheduled for the weekend 20 August.

The First XV qualified for the final as fourth seed after defeating top seeded Christs College in a nail-biter, in a live Sky telecast. This was the second year in a row that they made the finals but sadly with the same result as in 2015 except, that on this occasion, they came within a whisker of upsetting their opponents, CBHS, in a thriller that saw the two teams score the same number of tries.

I think spectators from both sides of the city would agree that the full time the score of 21-20 to CBHS was a close-run thing; a game that could have gone either way.

Father and Son Breakfast: A very successful Father and Son Breakfast was held on 19 August, this annual function featured Mike King who spoke with humour and passion of his journey and of lessons learned on that journey that have relevance for us all. The idea of the Father and Son Breakfast is to give an opportunity for Fathers, Grandfathers, or significant males in a boy’s life to do something together, something which might yield opportunities in the future for further discussion.

Examinations: This term students in all year levels need to be focussed on their classroom work. Examination preparation must be their major goal, as success in this area translates to end-of-year performance in examinations and, for the seniors, that means NCEA and Scholarship. Success in examinations helps put each person into a competitive position as they forge a career pathway after they leave school.

Even though Year 9 and 10 students might say that their call for action is still a long way off, we as adults need to remind them that NCEA Level One is based on work covered in Year 9 and 10, as well as in Year 11, 12 and 13.

Make no mistake, we live in a competitive world and no matter what anyone says, there are fewer opportunities than there are numbers of people competing for these opportunities. Bottom line, only the competitive will be successful; only the disciplined and the hard working. In the world today, despite what we may wish for, there is still failure and there are still many who simply do not do well.

Here we try and prepare our students to avoid these sorts of negative outcomes. What can you do to help in your role as a parent?

Consider this as a minimum in the one month lead-up to examinations:

  • Homework is critically important, Year 11 students need to do two hours a night, Senior students will need even more than that!
  • No TV in the bedroom, or computer distractions; this applies to the area designated for study.
  • Study must be done in a quiet place.
  • All students must talk to their teachers for advice on how to study, how to take notes, how to employ old examination papers as preparation tools.
  • The weekend is a time for revision as well, 3-4 hours a day, Saturday and Sunday for seniors; the most competitive will do more.

Should any parent want to see me, I would happily spend some time with you explaining and reinforcing the above observations. Remember that what I am suggesting is for the 4-week lead in period for examinations.

I will also be continuing to personally interview Year 13 students after their results for the school examinations are made available. My hope here is that I am able to cajole the few indifferent students, to improve their work output, or to focus the hard-working but rather aimless students, to more expertly tackle the tasks ahead of them.

Shirley at Oruapaeroa: The immediate situation as far as the march to our new school is concerned is there are three Consortia biding with MOE for the right to build the plant. It is my expectation that the first action on our new site will occur in April 2017. The Ministry held briefings with the Consortia on Wednesday 20th July and that began a 16 week period with a minimum of 8 to 10 interactive sessions of up to four hours each with Ministry and Consortia meetings. This will be followed by a closure on proposals by 18 November 2016 and a decision on the preferred Consortia by 25 January 2017. The contractual and financial close is scheduled for April 2017 and the first work on the site by the end of that month.

Roll 2017: We are full for next year, having taken in 300 students with a large number on the waiting list.

New Zone: We have begun discussions with the Ministry to sort out our new zone. I expect this will take many meetings, but hope to have something resolved that can be taken to our community before the end of the year.


John Laurenson