The Junior School


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

Inter-form Competition Points Table

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.

So far in 2014 challenges have 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.

Points and places as at 17 September, 2014

Year 9 Girls

Year 9 Boys

Year 10 Girls

Year 10 Boys









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.

2013 Junior Prizegiving

Year 10 students Lisa Zhang and Elliot Paton-Simpson were named the Junior Girl and Boy Dux at the Junior Prizegiving ceremonies on 6 December.

Junior Dux Artiums were Celia Hext and Jonathan Buckman, while Caitlin Pritchard and Paul Roache were named Victrix and Victor Ludorum.

The Best All Round students in Year 9 were Theresa Boyd and Jimmy Banks; while the Best Year 10 All Rounders were Claire Liu and Jack Henderson.

2013 News, Awards and Events

Form Class Competition Winners

Year 9 and 10 classes finished the term with some fun, rounding out their year-long Form Class Competition with half a day of ball games played around the school. 

Each class was assigned a colour, and the girls' classes in particular took the chance to dress up and learn chants to support each other. At the end of each half day the classes' points were added to their totals from the rest of the year and the winners were announced. The students from 9GRN, 9MKE, 10WSN and 10GDR enjoyed a prize of lunch at the St Lukes Mall food court and a movie at the Event cinemas.

Year 9 Girls Form Class Winners - 9GRN

Year 9 Boys Form Class Winners - 9MKE

Year 10 Girls Form Class Winners - 10WSN

Year 10 Boys Form Class Winners 10GDR

Inter-Form Competition - Final Places and Points for 2013

Year 9 Girls: Points Totals Year 9 Boys: Points Totals Year 10 Girls: Points Totals Year 10 Boys: Points Totals
Class Place Points Class Place Points Class Place Points Class Place Points
GRN 1 155
MKE 1 184
1 129
GDR 1 136
PNE 2 175
2 99
ROB 3 138
DWS 3 169
3 111
3 98
BVD 4 127
HUN 4 164
4 98
5 =
BRT 5 98
5 107
5 91
5 =
6 85
KNA 6 82
7 111
7 85
8 = 63
8 =
9 69
FNK 8 =
FTN 11 51
CWY 11

Dance and Drama Academies

Mt Albert Grammar offers specialist tuition in dance and drama by teachers who are leaders in their field.

Students selected for the respective academies learn a variety of skills and stage performances to prepare them for tertiary study in the performing arts. More ...

Junior Sports Lions

Athletes in the Junior School have enjoyed an outstanding year across a wide range of sports. They were presented with their Sports Lions at assemblies at the end of Term 3 and beginning of Term 4.

Young leaders recognised

A special assembly was held on 26 September to recognise leaders among the Junior School. Those who had excelled at sport, the arts and as overall leaders among their peers were awarded certificates by prefects and the Headmaster, Mr Burden.

Junior Arts Leaders 2013

Back row from left: William Lever (Arts), Maria Markovich (Arts), Joshua Williams (Dance). Middle row: Fia Jones (Drama), Jonathon Osborn (Dance). Front: Jenna Ackerman (Music). Absent: Franziska Robinson (Drama), Taite Pierson (Music).

Junior Sports Leaders 2013

Back row from left: Dylan Posa (Football 13A Boys), Max Thomson (Cricket Colts), Thomas Gant (cycling), Trent Kimiangatau (Basketball Junior Boys), Ethan Duffin (Cricket Year 10). Middle row: Ruby Johnston (Football Junior A Girls), Claudia Butwell (Lacrosse Junior), Rhyannon Poto (Basketball Junior Girls). Front: Virginia Megson (Hockey Junior Girls), Brodie Fogarty (Cricket Year 9).

Junior Sports Leaders 2013

Back row from left: Connor Bougen (Waterpolo Juniors), Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa (Rugby Colts), Bronson Monk (Rugby U14 Gold), Tyla Love (Netball Year 9), Lahaina-Lee Upu-Toharea (Netball Year 9). Middle row: Jack Soffe (Squash Junior A Boys), Ben Young (Rugby U14 Blue), Leilani Folau (Netball Year 10), Kasey Price (Netball Year 10). Front: Ella Neighbours (Squash Junior A Girls), Aidan Cullen (Tennis Junior A Boys).

Junior Year Level Representatives 2013

From left: Jenna Ackerman (Year 9), Shakthi Singh (Year 9), Kalisha Moore (Year 10), Bryn Tuson (Year 10)

Latest sports champions

Junior assembly on Monday, 16 September, saw a number of students called to the stage to receive certificates or medals for winning achievements in a range of sporting codes.

Netball Intermediate 1: Winners of their division. From left, Monique Kost, Ana Moi, Rhyannon Poto, Chellcey Jones. Absent: Pekaru Arona, Leilani Folau, Skylah Ieriko,Victoria Pone and Kasey Price.

Netball Intermediate 3: Winners of their division. Front row from left, Nailah Akbar, Sharanita Sharma; middle row, Florencia Morris, Josephine Naitoko, Folau Tuinukuafe; back row, Maddison Hargreaves, Mya Alfred, Alexandra Nicholson.

Netball Intermediate 4: Winners of their division. Front, Maria Wrassky-Bulmer; middle row from left, Lili Peneva, Emma Thomas; back row, Sarah Vito Mikaele, Emma Prescott, Maddison McGregor.

Netball Junior 1: Winners of their division. Front, Paige Witehira; middle row from left, Alaimaluloa Toe'utu, Joshlyn Samupo Munokoa; back row, Amelia Gregc, Tyla Love, Jazmin Tamapeau.

Netball Junior 4: Winners of their division. Front row from left, Georgia Houston, Kendall Elson; middle row, Anais Middleton, Nerida Elson, Catherine Khun; back row, Riley King, Sophie Chilcott-Cryer, Beata Krajcer, Lily Pearce.

Girls Basketball U15: Runners Up at the Greater Auckland Basketball Championships. Front row from left, Taimane Roberts, Jasmin Bull; middle row, Tarore Wilson, Elizabeth Beaumont, Mangatalo Taanaki; back row, Aimee Hunt, Trinity Paeu, Rhyannon Poto.

Boys football 13B: Winners of their division, finished the season unbeaten with only three goals conceded.
Front row from left, JakeTinsley, Martin Lyon, Tom Eagles-Smith, Ethan Clarke; middle row, Conor Davson, Amir Afzali, Logan Donoghue, Daniel Watson; back row, Hamin Kim, Tawanda Mabvurira, Tom Crutzen, Tom Day, Aidan Quinlan, Conor Quinlan.

Shae Iswar, Yr 10, Most Valuable Player in the MAGS 1st XI Boys' Hockey team at the India Shield Hockey Tournament in Napier.

Guiting Lu, Yr 10, Winner of the Cathay Pacific Table Tennis Auckland Open Under 18 Girls' singles, and runner up in the Auckland Open Under 15 Girls' division.

Award recipients from junior assembly on Monday, 2 September.


Sharn Ashford, Yr 9, winner of Squash
Premier Division 2.



Agnes Ah Yen and Jessica Middelberg,
winners of Squash Junior Girls Division.


Squash Junior Girls Division runners-up.


Katherine Grozev, Flynn Oberdries and Hana Newnham-McGrath.

Auckland Secondary School swimming champions in Year 9, from left, Katherine Grozev (1st in 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 100m backstroke; 3rd in 100m individual medley); Flynn Oberdries (2nd in 50m backstroke, 3rd in 100m backstroke) and Hana Newnham-McGrath (1st in 50m breaststroke, 2nd in 50m freestyle, 2nd in 100m breaststroke, 3rd in 100m freestyle).


Winners of Girls Football Junior A division
Back row: Gloria Tinney, Kalisha Moore, Jessica Vale, Ruby Johnston, Tarore Wilson. Middle row: Julia Robinson, Nicole Mettam, Alicia Kennedy, Stella Inkpen. Front row: Ella Neighbours, Natasha Baxendale

Winners of Girls Football Junior C division.
Back row: Ami Mundele, Aimee Hunt, Melanie Williamson, Jasmin Hunt. Middle row: Dominque Godfrey, Emma Thomas, Ayla Millham-Lamb. Front row: Mahima Taunk, Kelly Constance.

Peer reading programme

Year 9 and 10 students have the opportunity to have their reading enhanced by meeting with Year 13 students before school.

Erika Anderson (pictured) is one of a number of Year 13 students who volunteer their time to assist younger members of the school with their reading skills.

Junior Form Class representatives

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected by their peers to represent their form class:

Year 9 Form Class Representatives - June Stewart (9OZH), Brooke Harris (9BVD), Kodi Barlow (9ROB), Reiko Yoshida-Wilsash (9MLC), Ria Shon (9FRL), Yohani Simpkin (9JGL), Jenna Ackerman (9GRN), Rosie Peterson (9BVS), Jimmy Banks (9GIB), Connor Grant (9HUN), Thomas Day (9PNE), Martin Lyon (9DWS), Ben Young (9MKE), Josh Williams (9SRN), Shakthi Singh (9FTN), Kenny Hall (9BRT), Toa Anderson (9FNK) and Desmond Petelo (9CVR).

Jenna Ackerman and Shakthi Singh have been chosen as the Year 9 representatives.

Year 10 Form Class Representatives - Hayley Nisbet (10NYN), Mahima Taunk (10PUL), Agnes Ah Yen (10BNF), Kalisha Moore (10KNA), Maria Markovich (10WSN), Skylah Ieriko (10GRG), Kayla Collison Khaine (10CLY), Isabelle Henare (10NHA), Liam Quinlan(10KNW), Bryn Tuson(10GDR), Isaac Coupe(10BOK), Caleb Faleolo(10CVN), Joel Stevens (10CLN), Lachlan Douglas (10SAL), K C Leung (10SMG), Richmond Patea Seve (10HDG), Paris Wikaira (10BGH) and Amol Arora (10PSI).

Kalisha Moore and Bryn Tuson have been chosen as the Year 10 representatives.

Winter Sports Season

Under 15 Colts vs Auckland Grammar

Under 15 Colts in their 24-0 win over Auckland Grammar School on Saturday, 11 May, 2013.

6A vs. Auckland Grammar - 11 May, 2013

Year 9 Parent Evening

The Year 9 Parent Evening in February commenced with drinks and nibbles in the Albertian Quad. Following this, parents were greeted by the Headmaster who introduced the year level senior managers, deans and guidance counsellors.

The Form Classes then met with Form Teachers and peer support leaders. Parents were able to ask any questions and establish links with their child's Form Teacher, who will be their main point of contact throughout the year.

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

 Natalie Absolum
Dean, Year 9 Girls
Phone: 846 2044, ext 8111

 Gordon Smith
Dean, Year 9 Boys
Phone: 846 2044, ext 8110

Katie McColl
Dean, Year 10 Girls
Phone: 846 2044, ext 8113

Adam Simpson
Dean, Year 10 Boys
Phone: 846 2044, ext 8112

Form Teachers

Class Teacher Email
Year 9 Girls
9BVD Ms Haana Bovaird
9BVS Mrs Patricia Bevins
9CVT Ms Carissa Calvert
9GRN Miss Alex Green
9DUN Ms Helen Dunham
9NHA Ms Robina Nisha
9ROB Mrs Sharne Roberts
Year 9 Boys
9ADM Mr Colin Adam
9ASH Mr Michael Ashby
9CLN Mr Michael Collins
9FNK Mr Gregory Frank
9FLM Mr Richie Folomu
9GIB Mr Warwick Gibbs
9RED Miss Sarah Reid
9MKE Mr Elliot Moka
9SMP Ms Michelle Simpson
9WHD Mr Darren Whitehead
 9DWS  Mr Brandon Dewes

Year 10 Girls
10CHA Mrs Han Cham
10LBY Ms Hannah Lasenby
10MSM Miss Lana Marsom
10WLT Mrs Amy Wiltshire
10UYS Mrs Jane Uys
10KNA Miss Henrietta Kajanova
10PUL Ms Alayna Pulham
10WSN Mrs Jessica Wilson
Year 10 Boys
10BOK Mr Brent Booker
10COU Mr Aubrey Coup
10PNE Mr Joseph Payne
10CVN Mr Joe Cavanagh
10PRY Mr Carl Perry
10GDR Mr Paul Gardner
10SHF Mr Anthony Stenhoff
10SRN Mr Brett Sorrenson
10KNW Mr Jason Knowles
10SAL Mr Tony Sail
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.