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John Laurenson
Photo by K Casey

Headmaster's Message

John Laurenson —

Dear Parent and caregivers

As we draw to the end of Term 1, I can report that I am especially delighted by the way the Year 9 entrants have embraced the spirit of what we are about as a school. This is demonstrated in all sorts of ways, but especially in their efforts at our Tabloid Sports Day held this year at Burwood Park and at our Athletics Day held here at Shirley Boys’ High School. The boys at every level participated with great enthusiasm, and therefore a wonderful time was had by all.

NCEA results, (Scholarship and 90’s Club reported in the last newsletter) have now been confirmed and we have again done well.

The school results in NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3 are as follows, and I ask you to note that the base data is different this year, than it was in the past.

In previous years we have used Participation data. This year we are using roll-based data, which is a far more rigorous way of presenting data, as it is less susceptible to misrepresentation.

2015 NCEA Literacy and Numeracy Pass Rates 

Roll Based Data                                                   Year 11            Year 12         Year 13


SBHS                                                                          91.8                    97.6               100

NZ                                                                               91                        95.2               96.1


SBHS                                                                        93.7                      98.1               99.4

NZ                                                                             89.4                     94.3               95.6

NCEA Pass rate Level 1  

Roll Based Data                                                 Level 1 %            NZ Decile 4-7         NZ Males only

SBHS                                                                          80.4                      80.4                              80.4

NZ                                                                               74.4                       76.4                              69.8

NCEA Pass Rate Level 2  

Roll Based data                                                  Level 2 %          NZ Decile 4-7          NZ Males only

SBHS                                                                         79.8                     79.8                                79.8

NZ                                                                              76.5                    78.9                                 72.7

NCEA Pass Rate Level 3

Roll Based Data                                                Level 3 %          NZ Decile 4-7          NZ Male only

SBHS                                                                        70.9                     70.9                               70.9

NZ                                                                             63.1                      62.2                               56.6

Our work on preparation for the new school continues. Regular meetings with AGHS and MOE are occurring and it is my hope that we will have shaped the new Shirley Boys’ and Avonside Girls’ by the end of this year.  If that has been achieved, then we are certainly going to be on track for the first spade of soil to be turned over by the middle of next year.

As always, as we get concrete information on this process, I will pass this on to the community for their information and input.

Associate Headmaster, Tim Grocott, Board Chairperson Tony Deavoll and I attended a recent World Education Leadership Summit in Singapore. The speakers were all of international stature and were, in their own way, truly inspirational. The worth of being able to participate in a conference such as this cannot be underestimated as we in Shirley try and sort out what elements of the traditional Shirley Boys’ we will retain, and what changes we will embrace, all with the intention of producing a truly superb school for the 21st Century.

The full list of presenters were:

Professor Peter Senge. Senior Lecturer MIT Sloan School of Management.  Schools that learn: A radical new relationship between creativity innovation and leadership.  Three systemic Intelligences: Proponents towards a world-class education system.

Sir John Jones, Leader at The Centre for Educational Leadership. Manchester University. Preparing students for a world that does not exist, the good news and the bad news is that schools make the difference.

Professor Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics. Harvard University. Creating The ultimate flipped classroom: Using peer instruction to revolutionise learning. How we can synthesise pedagogy, assessment, curriculum and technology for powerful learning outcomes of future schools

Professor Bonnie Crammond. Professor of Creative Education and Educational Psychology, University of Georgia. Educating the innovators of tomorrow today, creative thinking. Educating the innovators of tomorrow today. Critical thinking.

Dr Douglas Reeves. Founder of Creative Leadership Solutions, Harvard University. Leading to inspire creative schools. High impact leadership: Lessons from Global 1500 CEO’s and World-Class educational leaders.

Dr Ron Ritchhart. Research Associate Harvard Graduate School of Education. Creating cultures of thinking: 8 Forces that truly transform our Schools. Designing powerful learning opportunities for deep understanding.


Elsewhere in this newsletter for April, you will find lots of success stories with an May issue that will follow in due course which will feature the exploits of the Maadi Cup Rowers and the Volleyball and Futsal teams, who are competing in National tournaments as I write.


John Laurenson