Headmaster’s Message

Headmaster’s Message

Published on : August 31, 2017 | Category: School News

Greetings, tena koutou katoa, talofa lava to everyone. 

The end to a busy term is in sight, but for all of the students in the school, the need to maintain their workload will continue through to the end of the term and holidays as well. The end of year examinations loom just over the horizon and that reality cannot be ignored. At this time, the most important people in your son’s life are his teachers. They are the ones who will help him prepare successfully for academic success.

Having said that though, the New Zealand curriculum has two parts, the back end focus is on the curriculum and assessments to inform whether successful teaching and learning has occurred. However the front end is just as important.

The front end comprises the Vision, the Principles, the Values and the Key Competencies. The planners of the NZ Curriculum of course had good reason for starting the statement with vision principles, values and key competencies, because these things provide the base for success for life in the 21st Century, through providing a person with what is required to continually learn and grow throughout their life.

Shirley Boys’ High School aims to provide a balanced and supportive environment where young men learn and grow. Growth is commonly and simply expressed by the Students of the school as “BTB” “Better Than Before”. “By providing a balanced and supportive environment at Shirley Boys’ High School, all young men are encouraged to pursue personal success in academic, cultural and sporting endeavours. This culture of leadership and growth aims to empower the boys to set themselves a lifelong goal of continuous improvement, to meet the demands of the world in which they would live.

The focus on developing The Shirley Man, involves conceptualising the following:

A student enters the school as a young boy but emerges after five years, deeply connected to his Kiwi roots. He also emerges with a strong understanding of the greater world, with all its attendant issues and its opportunities for personal growth.

In this light here are some observations that fathers and mothers will identify with.

I once talked to a mother about her son being a hero; a comment that did not sit well with her, her response to me was that she did not like the word very much at all. It turned out that her feelings were strong because she did not want to raise a son to be an action figure or a soldier.

I certainly accepted her view but hastened to point out that it was very important to transcend stereotypes, especially when we place it in a modern context.

In my mind hero lends itself to being purposeful and respectful and having the courage to do the right thing when so much pressure is often mounted on people to do the opposite. Frankly in my experience boys are hungry to become heroes in their parents and their teacher’s eyes and most of all in their own eyes as well.

Heroic for me involves boys of all ages embracing the following

  • Honourable, a moral boy who becomes a man of conscience and duty
  • Enterprising, a busy industrious boy who becomes a man who gets things done
  • Responsible, a boy who cares about others needs and who becomes a man of service
  • Original, a boy who is able to express himself and as a man does so as a unique person
  • Intimate, a boy who learns how to love and as a man, can love as an equal, other people as well
  • Creative, a boy who dreams and who pursues his dreams when he becomes a man.

Regards and best wishes

John Laurenson