The Junior School

Click here to read and download the booklet with all the information you need for the new year.


Click here for information if you wish to enrol your child at Mount Albert Grammar School.

Junior School Contacts
Academic Institute Junior Graduation
The MAGS Way Single-Sex Education Peer Support Programme
Curriculum Information
Inter-form class competition
Parent Portal
School Calendar
Uniform MAGS Parents
Stationery School Rules The First Day

Year 9 Parents' Evening 2015

The Albertian Quad was full as several hundred parents and students gathered for the annual Year 9 Parents' Evening Tuesday, 10 February.

Drinks and nibbles were followed by an introduction to the Friends of MAGS parents' group by Chairwoman Ms Nealie Barker.

Parents then moved into the hall for a welcome from Associate Principal Mr Paul McKinley, who explained how the Junior School worked and the structure of Form Classes.

Year 13 Peer Support Leaders, who helped throughout the evening, guided parents to their children's Form classes, where Form Teachers spoke about the curriculum and school procedures.

Many parents who already have older children at the school had returned for the evening, showing how much they value contact with MAGS and updates on the school's progress.

More photos here

First day at MAGS for Year 9s of 2015

Year 9 students and new staff were welcomed to Mount Albert Grammar School with a powhiri on Monday, 2 February.

Held in the FW Gamble Hall, the ceremony was led by the Head of Te Puna o Wairaka, Mr Tahau Thompson. His speech, accompanied by a waita sung by the Te Puna o Wairaka students, was responded to by new teacher Mr Zach Beard, after which the new teacher group also offered a waiata.

Headmaster Mr Dale Burden (left) welcomed the new Year 9 students to the school, and urged them to make the most of the opportunities presented to them.

Associate Principal Mr Paul McKinley, who is charge of Junior Boys, and Deputy Principal Ms Jo Williams, in charge of Junior Girls, introduced the Year 9 Boys' and Girls' Deans, Mr Gareth Hodges and Ms Shelley Mckinlay-Milne. They read out the students' Form Classes, and their Form Teachers then took them to show them their Form Rooms and meet their Year 13 Peer Support leaders.

The Peer Support leaders then spent the rest of the day helping the students get to know their classmates, showing them around the school and helping them understand their timetable.

The leaders will keep in touch with their Form Classes throughout the year to help the Year 9 students settle into MAGS.

More photos here

Information PowerPoints

Please click on the links below to find out more about subjects and extra-curricular activities in the Junior School.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Dance Drama Music


Internet Services


Learning Support


PE and Health


Social Studies


Visual Art

Inter-form Class Competition





The Junior Inter-form Class Competition is a fun series of challenges that runs throughout the year, with classes gaining points depending on their placings in each event. The competition includes both academic and sporting challenges, and aims to help junior students settle into high school life and get to know each other and the school, while having a go new skills and games.

In 2014 challenges included Touch Rugby, Ultimate Vortex, Athletics, Social Studies Quiz, Design a class banner competition, Tug of War, Cross Country, Science Challenge, Rowing Machine competition, Dodgeball and Basketball Shooting.

At the end of Term 4 the winning boys' and girls' classes are treated to lunch and a movie.

Final points and places as at 3 December, 2014

Year 9 Girls

Year 9 Boys

Year 10 Girls

Year 10 Boys









Junior Sports Awards

Year 9 and 10 students were awarded a variety of Junior sports awards at assemblies in the last week of school.

Back row: Jack Soffe (Most Improved Boys' Squash), Manu Dorcil (Most Improved Y9 Boys' Basketball), Ivan Velickovic (Junior Boys' Tennis Champion), Sharn Ashford (Best Junior Boys' Squash), Max Mata (Most Improved Junior Footballer), Terrell Peita (Most Promising Junior Rugby), Kayne Mave ( Spirit of MAGS Rugby). Front row: Silia Siaki (Best Junior Girls' Volleyball), Maisy Simpson (Best Junior Girls' Hockey), Amelia Jack (Junior Girls' Tennis Champion), Isobel Welsford-Ackroyd (Best Senior Cyclist).

From left, Eamon Sadler (Most Improved Junior Badminton), Julia Robinson (Best Junior Girls' Squash), Jonty Vink (Most Improved Boys' Basketball), Grace Jale (Most Promising Junior Girls' Football), Patrick Pati (Best Junior Rugby).

Year 10 students hear about financial literacy

The Chairman of the MAGS Board of Trustees, Mr Greg Moyle, gave Year 10 students an introduction to financial planning in a series of talks in the Murray Nairn Library on 18-19 November.

Mr Moyle is the Director of 1Plan Financial Planning, and was happy to share some of his knowledge about setting financial goals, how to reach them, and the importance of saving.

Some students will carry these concepts into future studies in Business, but Mr Moyle was keen to reach all Year 10 students and give them some pointers about the life skill of managing their money well.

Year 9 trip to Stardome

Year 9 students had a break from their classrooms on 20-21 November to instead travel to Stardome in One Tree Hill Domain to learn about space.

The trip was part of the Year 9 Science topic of Space Science. Teacher in charge Ms Alex Green said each class had two sessions at Stardome: "The first session was in the Planetarium where we watched ‘Passport to the Universe’ - a presentation showing the wonders of the universe with realistic, close-up views of star fields and planets, and where we felt like we were exploring different galaxies in the solar system. An educator also led a night sky presentation, identifying the different constellations."

After a break to study the foyer exhibits, each class then attended a lecture in the "Space Room".

"An educator led a curriculum-based session on human and unmanned space exploration – we heard all about moon landings, space shuttles, the International Space Station, satellites, probes and rovers. There was some discussion around the recent satellite landing on the comet, which the students enjoyed," said Ms Green.

Online science quiz a hit with junior students

An online science competition proved so popular with Year 9 and 10 classes that members of the top two battled for points in their own time as well as in class.

Science teacher Ms Paula Calver organised the competition with online provider Education Perfect, and all Year 9 and 10 classes took part. First place was taken by 9ASH with 1593 points, with 9WHD second with 1394.

The top individual student was Zar Ni Thaw of 9PLG with 338 points (pictured at far right). For every 30 points won the students could go into a draw for an iPod - this was won by Seli Fuimaono of 10PRY (second from left). Both boys says science is their favourite subject - Zar wants to be doctor, and Seli, who is in the MAGS Cricket First XI, is aiming for sports science.

Also pictured are representatives of the winning class, from left, Julius Lafaele Petelo, Shiv Om and Tom Barrand.

Ms Calver said the competition was a great way to get young students engaged with science. The more competitive they became, the more they learned.

Have a look at

Science Form Class competition

How many ways can you make a plastic bag fly? And how can you make it float longer than others? These were science questions posed to Year 9 and 10 form classes on Tuesday and Thursday 27 and 29 May in the latest Inter-Form Class Competition.

Each class was given a plastic bag, string and a weight. Once they rigged up their bag, three members from each class were nominated to take turns throwing it up in the air so its descent could be timed by science teachers. The bags that took the longest to come to earth were the 'winners'. 

See the table above for the latest standings in this year long competition, in which form classes compete in a variety of sports and activities to find a winner at the end of Term 4.

Touch Rugby Junior Form Class Competition

Year 9 Girls' Form classes had a fun week from February 24-28, taking part in a touch rugby competition during three lunchtimes.

Many students dressed up in their Form Class's signature colour, and Year 13 Peer Support Leaders came along to help referee, or dress up as mascots.

The top three classes gain points that go towards an end-of-year total.

Presenters with Attitude

It's a tough ask keeping a hall full of Year 9 and 10 students captivated for 45 minutes, but two young speakers achieved that, and a few laughs, on Thursday, 13 February.

Paula and Allenzo visited from Attitude, a youth education division of The Parenting Place, which works with Health teachers to deliver messages that help teenagers make life-enhancing choices.

They visited MAGS to talk to the Junior School about using technology in a positive way, and being positive in their day to day interactions with their peers.

The MAGS theme for the week was being a good digital citizen, and the Paula and Allenzo used humour, language and stories the young people could relate to as a way of encouraging them to think about how technology influences their lives, how to stay safe when building relationships online and how to handle text and cyber-bullying.  They were encouraged to be people of character in their use of technology - respectful and considerate - and how to be supportive of their classmates and friends.

Humour helped get the good messages through to the young students.

Year 9 student Matthew Adye thanked Paula and Allenzo for their presentation.

Junior Graduation

On Friday, 7 February , a diploma ceremony was held in the FW Gamble Hall to mark the graduation of last year's Year 10 students to the senior school.

Attended by about 200 parents, Headmaster Mr Dale Burden and Board of Trustees Chairman Mr Greg Moyle, students who gained a Junior Graduation Diploma with Excellence were recognised in being called to the stage to receive their diploma.

This is the third group of junior students to experience MAGS' two year Junior Graduation programme and it continues to go from strength to strength. Deputy Headmaster Mr Paul McKinley, who oversees the Junior School, say students track their own academic achievement in each subject, identifying clear goals of what they hope to achieve and receive academic counselling from subject teachers, form teachers and Deans. "The feedback from the students has been one of overwhelming support as they are enjoying the opportunity to strive for something that is tangible in the Junior School," says Mr McKinley.

Year 9 orientation 2014

Year 13 Peer Support Leaders spent the first day of term helping Year 9 students settle into the school, and get to know each other.

Beginning of the year

To all our new Year 9 families, welcome to Mount Albert Grammar School. To our Year 10 families, welcome back. Below is some information to help you and your child settle in.

Students are expected to be in correct uniform from the first day of school. There is also important information regarding student arrival and departure from school each day. Click here for a letter from the Associate Principal on these matters.

More than 100 Year 13 students volunteer as peer support leaders to assist the new Year 9 students settle into their new school.

Year 9 student orientation includes activities which help students get to know each other their new class.

Peer Support Leaders also give new students a tour of the school, including the MAGS Farm.

The first day of a new year

Students new to MAGS

Year 9 & 10 Testing - Catch-up information

Students new to Mount Albert Grammar at Year 9 & Year 10 sit academic testing to assist with class placement. This is to ensure that, as a school, we can identify academic abilities.

These tests were held in November 2014 and most Year 9 students have sat these already.

If, for any reason, your child has not sat these tests they are able to do so on Wednesday 28 January, 2015.

Please have your child be at the school by 9.45 and report to the main office and you will be directed from there. The tests will start at 10am and take approximately three hours, allowing for a short break. Please arrange to collect your child from about 1.15pm.

NB: It is recommended that your child sits the testing prior to the first day so they can participate fully in the peer support programme.


It's time to start school

Monday 2 February, 2015

All Year 9 students to arrive by 8:45am. Assemble in the Albertian quadrangle.

Tuesday 3 February, 2015

All Year 10 students to arrive by 9.30am. Assemble outside Gym 1.

What should I wear? The correct school uniform.
What should I bring? Paper, pens, lunch and a drink.
What time will I finish school on my first day? 3.10pm
What will happen during the first day?

Click here to download the Starting at MAGS booklet, with all the info you need for the new school year.

YEAR 9 students

You will be put into a form class. You and the rest of your class will begin an orientation programme to help you understand life at Mount Albert Grammar School. Your Year 13 Peer Support Leaders will help you get to know some of your classmates on the first day.

During the day you will:

· Get to know the routines of the school.

· Get to know other students in your form class.

· Meet your teachers.

· Settle into the routines of secondary school life.

What happens during orientation?

Students will:

· Be introduced to life at Mount Albert Grammar School

· Learn about the school procedures

· Get to know their way around the school

· Find out where to go if they require assistance

· Have time to ask any questions that may arise

· Receive their timetable

· Set goals for the year

· Meet with Senior Peer Support Leaders

YEAR 10 students

You will be put into a form class,options will be checked, timetables issued and general adminstration issues dealt with. Timetabled classes will run from Period 3 so you will need to bring suitable stationery, eg, pens and paper.

The Junior Graduation Programme

Junior Graduation Ceremony for Year 9 students from 2010

Programme Details

The junior graduation programme is for Year 9 and 10 students.

The aim of this programme is to:

  • encourage students to work to achieve their best.
  • Actively reward both achievement and effort at all ability levels.
  • Better track student performance and achievement.
  • Provide more timely and indicative snap shots of progress and achievement.

What will it look like?

  • Students will graduate from Year 10 into Year 11. (Year 10 Mount Albert Grammar School Junior Graduation Diploma)
  • Year 9 students work towards a certificate to recognise achievement. (Mount Albert Grammar School Junior Certificate of Achievement)
  • Data for each year is stand-alone and thus only contributes to that year's award.

Click on the link below to download two pdfs which explain the Junior Graduation Programme in more detail.


Single-Sex Education

At Mount Albert Grammar school students have the best of co-education and single-sex education. Year 9 and 10 classes are single sex and streamed according to academic ability.   This is because, at this age, boys and girls have quite different learning needs that are best addressed in single sex classes. Option classes in the junior school, however, are co-educational classes as allows for a more comprehensive option choice for students

In Year 11 the classes are  generally co-educational and in Years 12 and 13 all classes are co-educational. This is a unique arrangement and designed to get the best out of both settings at the time when it is most appropriate.

Individual departments modify content and teaching styles to meet the needs of the single sex classes. The students, staff and parents have all commented on the model as ideal.  It is the best of both worlds. A number of co-educational schools have visited Mount Albert Grammar School in order to gain information to assist them in deciding about making the change in their school. After the very successful ERO review, the School is now moving on to its next 3-5 year Development Plan. The teaching and learning in the junior school is a major focus as the school continues to improve and develop teacher pedagogy. Years 9 and 10 students at Mount Albert Grammar School will continue to benefit from excellent teaching in single-sex classes in a co-educational environment. 

Year 9 Students: Their Views on Single-Sex Classes

Learning in single sex classes in great because we can concentrate well and focus on getting a great education at the best of our abilities, with no distractions.  Junior girls and boys learn in separate ways.  With different strengths, interests and at different paces, although we can look forward to learning in co-ed classes when we're in Yr 11.

  • I prefer single sex classes because they are comfortable learning environments.  Girls and boys learn in different ways so we learn the way that suits us best.  Settling in to a big new school was easier for me with a class of friendly and supportive girls.

  • Single sex classes make you feel more confident and comfortable.  Everyone is very supportive and it is easier to make friends coming into an all girls class at the beginning of the year.  You are more able to concentrate and there are fewer distractions but still an opportunity to interact with the opposite sex outside the classroom.

  • I am enjoying being in a boys' class in Year 9.  The competitive nature of my class is challenging yet fun.  I still get to catch up with girl friends during the breaks and in the weekends.  Another year of single-sex classes will help my learning.

  • The single sex classes are good because there are less distractions which means that we can learn faster.

  • Single sex classes have some advantages.  One is there are less distractions for boys and girls and the concentration level becomes higher. Also there is always enough time during the breaks to see each other.  I am looking forward to Year 11 where there are co-ed classes.

Peer Support Programme

Each year, Year 13 students act as peer support leaders and assist our new students settle into their new school.

The Peer Support Programme has been in operation for several years now and each time we need to acknowledge the excellent work done by those Year 13 students who give their time and abilities to make such a significant contribution to the newcomers to the School community.
Over 100 young people give up some holiday time to train for, and then facilitate, an excellent orientation programme in the first week of the school year, and continued weekly contact during Term One.
Year 13 students are a valuable resource within the School community, and their ability to establish supportive and positive relationships with their Year 9 charges, their ongoing interaction with them over the year, and the leadership skills gained as a result of the programme ensures that the peer support experience continues to be a positive one for all concerned.

Junior School Contacts

Parents and caregivers are most welcome to contact their child's form teacher, Dean or the senior management team members below if they have any queries.

Contact Details

Paul McKinley
Associate Principal
Responsible for Junior Boys
Phone: 815 4031
Jo Williams
Deputy Principal
Responsible for Junior Girls
Director of the Academic Institute
Phone: 815 4036

Shelley Mackinlay-Milne
Dean, Year 9 Girls
Phone: 846 2044, ext 8111

Gareth Hodges
Dean, Year 9 Boys
Phone: 846 2044, ext 8110

Natalie Absolum
Dean, Year 10 Girls
Phone: 846 2044, ext 8113

Gordon Smith
Dean, Year 10 Boys
Phone: 846 2044, ext 8112

Form Teachers

Class Teacher Email
Year 9 Girls
9BVD Ms Haana Bovaird
9GRN Miss Alex Green
9HIL Mrs Kim Hill
9NHA Ms Robina Nisha
9NTL Mr Malcolm Nuttall
9PUL Ms Alayna Pulham
9VZW Ms Laura Van der Zouwe
9WSN Ms Jess Wilson
Year 9 Boys
9ASH Mr Michael Ashby
9CLN Mr Michael Collins
9FLM Mr Richie Folomu
9GIB Mr Warwick Gibbs
9HUN Mr Mathew Huang
9KNW Mr Jason Knowles
9MKE Mr Elliot Moka
9PNE Mr Joseph Payne
9STW Mr Glenn Stewart
9WKS Mr Richard Watkinson

Year 10 Girls
10DUN Ms Helen Dunham
10LBY Ms Hannah Lasenby
10MBT Ms Anya Mabbott
10MRE Mrs Marian Moore
10ROB Ms Sharne Roberts
10VTR Ms Debbie Venter
10WTN Ms Nikki Weston
Year 10 Boys
10BRT Mr Pat Barrett
10COU Mr Aubrey Coup
10DWS Mr Brandon Dewes
10FNK Mr Gregory Frank
10GDE Mr John Goodier
10MLC Mrs Sarah Mulcahy
Ms Mary Niulesa
10PLG Mr Reuben Ploeg
Mr Elizabeth Quinn Casey
10SAL Mr Tony Sail
10SRN Mr Brett Sorrenson
10STO Miss Margaret Sutton

The Academic Institute - Acceleration & Extension

Flynn Letford and Alexandra Chaptynova
Junior Duxes and Best All Round Students in Year 10

Mount Albert Grammar School offers the most academically able Year 9 and 10 classes the opportunity for acceleration and/or extension. These students experience programmes designed to extend their abilities and challenge them to reach, and maintain, their best results. This students who participate in accelerate programmes collectively form the Academic Institute, and their progress is monitored to ensure they are able maintain top results. It is important to emphasise that participation in acceleration or extension programmes should be challenging for students, but manageable, and should not negatively impact on performance in other areas.

In Mathematics, two accelerate programmes are offered - 'accelerate' and 'super-accelerate' to meet the varying levels of advanced mathematical ability in the junior cohort. Accelerate students are working one year ahead of their cohort and aim to achieve NCEA Level 1 Mathematics at the end of Year 10. Super-Accelerate students are working two years ahead of their cohort, aiming to achieve NCEA Level 1 Mathematics at the end of Year 9. This means students are able to specialise sooner rather than later, choosing calculus and statistics, and/or opting for scholarship.

English offers extension, as opposed to acceleration, to the top students. Previous experience offering accelerate programmes has proved that students need opportunity, direction and time to develop the depth of understanding, and the maturity required to achieve Excellence levels of achievement in English. The aim of extension is exposure to a broad range of literature, both traditional and modern, that challenges with regard to both use of language and ideas presented.

Science currently offers a condensed junior programme, at Year 9 and at Year 10, which introduces the NCEA Level 1 Science curriculum, with the most able invited to sit Level 1 Science standards at the end of Year 10. This prepares these students to progress to the three specialist disciplines - biology, chemistry and physics - with accelerate specialist programmes offered at both Years 11 and 12. In response to the recent realignment of the NCEA Level 1 and Level 2 achievement standards this programme is under review for 2013. As previously stated, the aim is for students to be challenged but to also have the opportunity to achieve their best possible results and the realigned standards demand an ability for, and application of, great depth and independent scientific thought under assessment conditions. An extension programme, focussed on developing the capacity of our young scientists to do this is being designed.

Exceptional talent or ability demonstrated in language or arts subjects is also recognised with such students being given the opportunity to participate in accelerate programmes or work with Senior students at the appropriate curriculum levels that match their ability.

It must be emphasised that across any of the subjects offering acceleration, only those students consistently achieving at Merit and/or excellence level are invited to sit Level 1 NCEA examinations, as opposed to automatically being entered. While these students are recognised as able, it is important that they be given the opportunity to achieve their best as it can be presumed that they would in due course, were they not accelerated.

The advent of certificate endorsement and more recently individual course endorsement means it has become more important for students to be able to consolidate their best performances. Certificate Endorsements reward student achievement and can be awarded at Level 1, 2 or 3 with Merit or Excellence. More recently Course Endorsements recognise and reward consistent levels of achievement, at Merit or Excellence, for a course of study. It is important to maintain consistent efforts to do ones best is across all subject areas and not concentrated on one or two.

Comments from Year 10 students currently in these programmes reflect a level of confidence that is developing from the students facing and overcoming the challenges of extension study.

  • ....really enjoy ..... challenging and pushes me to my limits. It is sometimes difficult & stressful, but the results are rewarding ....
  • ....I enjoy the advanced programme .... it is challenging.... what is the fun it being easy?
  • gives me a taste of NCEA and I've learnt various skills and techniques to help me in maths....
  • A lot more challenging than I'm used to .... learning a lot and finding school more interesting.
  • The accelerate maths is hard but I enjoy constantly learning new things and figuring things out.
  • I enjoy the challenge because my teacher makes maths fun & enjoyable......
  • Learned heaps ..... feel like I'm reaching my potential.....

Ultimately, student experience and enjoyment of learning and achievement underpins accelerate and extension opportunities.