John Laurenson by Sandra McKernan

Headmaster's Message

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Greetings, tena koutou katoa, talofa lava and welcome back to Shirley Boys’ High School. For those of you who are new to our family, an especially warm welcome.

2016 will be a memorable year in this school's history. I am certain that it will be a year we will look back on and rejoice that we were privileged to be able to continue our journey to the new school at QE2 (Oruapaeroa).

Over the next few weeks, as more information about this good news story becomes available, I will pass it on to you. Meetings with the people who will oversight the rebuild will be occurring as you read this newsletter. We will also be in close contact with the Christchurch City Council over their plans for The Eastern Sport and Recreation Centre- which will be in close proximity to the school.

How well did we do in 2015?

The answer to that is exceedingly well. The numbers of elite academic performers who entered the exclusive 90’s club for 2015 is again meritorious. I will get the statistics to you, including the way we compared to national averages, when I have confirmed results, but in the meantime let me present to you what is now in the public arena.

The highest achievers enter the 90’s Club. The 2015 number of entries to this exclusive club are again comparable with the excellent achievements in the past five years:

Please click here to read about our student achievements.


The school is in good shape. While a new block (Ngatahi) that will replace the now-demolished L Block is still incomplete, I expect it will be ready to occupy by mid-March. In the meantime we will cope with some temporary class spaces. On the basis of the SNUP upgrade 2014/15, the schools march to become fully BYOD continues with all Year 9 and 10 classes taking the plunge this year. In 2017, I am confident we will be a BYOD school through all year levels.

While we are engaged in planning for our new school, there is no doubt that our current resources will serve us well until then.

Some quick reminders

Remember if you are new to Shirley, you are encouraged to communicate early and often with the school. Click here for details of key people - keep this link handy for future reference throughout the year. If they haven't already, in the next few weeks, your son’s form teacher will call you to introduce themselves to assist you settle into a new year.

For those of you who are with us for the first time, here are some useful ideas to help you transition your son to high school. 

Ask your son to show you what he was doing in school each day, help keep him organised and when he does positive things praise him and let us know so this can be reinforced at school. Remember that if he is doing something like playing a sport, or engaging in school activity such as drama, tabloid sports, music or something else, try and come along and support him in person. He might seem a bit indifferent on the surface, but underneath he will love you for it!

For those of you interested, my Annual Report and Statement of Variance will be available from the school office early in March.

While every effort has been made to ensure a smooth start to the year, we are still tweaking timetable structures involving rooming and class placements. This has arisen because a greater influx than expected has occurred. I am confident however that these will be resolved in the next week or so.

Finally, the student Senior Executive was badged in assembly during the first week, following an extended training camp at Blue Skies Kaiapoi at the end of the holidays. Please click here to read about our Student leaders for 2016.

Regards and Best Wishes

John Laurenson