By Richard Hall | Posted: Friday February 5, 2016
We are not 'Best for boys’ by default.
By this I mean the deliberate decisions we all make inside and outside of the classroom have the biggest impact on student learning.
In 2016 I have challenged, myself, our teaching staff and the students with the phrase.
This starts with myself, the decisions I make, such as an average class size in Year 9 of 21, is best for boys. For our teaching staff it is the deliberate and considered teacher actions they make in their lesson preparation and delivery that will improve student outcomes. I passionately believe it is the quality of those teacher decisions that count. For the boys it is their decision to be here and not be a passenger, by making a commitment to their learning. Nothing will happen by default.
This year we have made significant structural changes to our school. The re-ordering of the day, including a later lunch, is taking some getting used to. Already I have had positive feedback from our students about how quickly the one period after lunch seems to go. As we finish every day now at 3.05pm, that consistency will bring a strong sense of order to the school.
Importantly the new Year 9 - 13 form structure has already paid dividends. Our boys have mixed well and the Year 13's have taken the opportunity to buddy up with the juniors. In one form time I was told about one of our tallest Year 13's deliberately sitting near one of our smallest Year 9's and engaging him. The look of real pleasure on the face of the Year 9 told a powerful story - our boys believe in brotherhood.
At Tuesday's Year 13 breakfast, the boys reaffirmed the direction of our school - academically challenging, providing clear pathways for all, encouraging and with a strong school culture. I know they will be fine young men who will lead us well.
Academically all classes are under way and learning is happening. We always aim to be the first to get started.
This year we have two new staff, Mrs Michelle Gilks in Science and Mr Tim Ford in Mathematics and Physical Education. We welcome both of them and we know they will help to make our school better.
It is with real pleasure that I reflect on the fantastic start that we have had this week. The good weather has been symbolic of the high energy beginning, shown by the boys and staff. Enjoy the long weekend, and if you get a moment, reflect on how lucky we are to live in New Zealand.