Principal's Pānui

20 May 2024

The last couple of weeks have been busy, as one would expect from Term 2. We’ve had an international sports exchange, an Auckland-wide Prefect Conference, School visits, Parent Teacher Meetings, news on in-school lunches, the commencement of winter sports, we welcomed some more international students, and of course our senior students are now well into their internal assessments. In the past week I’ve had a meeting with the current Minister of Education, Hon. Erica Stanford, and a meeting with the MoE about some exciting developments resulting from our growing roll.

School Visits

We have commenced our visits to our contributing primary schools – the most important aspect of which is the return to their formal schools by our current students – it is their voice that is most effective in telling the story of the transition to secondary school, and the opportunities they’ve been offered in their time here. These are an important supplement to our Year 8 Days (which take place this week) and of course our Open Night (June 10th). Whilst showcasing our school, it is also important to relay the common message from West Auckland secondary schools – that being, go to your local school. Our students on the visits (the most recent being Swanson School) have done an amazing job, they are real ambassadors for our school.

Our Year 8 Days will see nearly 800 Year 8 students experience Massey High School across two days this week. My thanks in advance to Jen Triggs for the organization, and to those teachers and students that will be showcasing what a day in the life at Massey is like.

Enrolments have opened for 2025, and the Board have capped our out of zone enrolments at 45 places.

Auckland Prefect Conference.

Our Prefects organized and ran a day long conference for student leaders from across Auckland on Tuesday 7th May. Head Prefects from more than 20 schools engaged in a Whakatau (thank you to Te Whare Āhuru) before taking part in a range of workshops. Keynote speakers were alumni Judge June Jelaš and Olympic gold medalist Peter Nicholas. My thanks to our speakers for giving their time to share their experience with Auckland’s young leaders, and to our Head Prefects (and their support team) for the organisation of the day.

Whilst on the topic of student leadership – some of our Prefects have made presentations to our SLT that may have a very significant, very positive impact on our students and community moving forward. We have superb student leadership at our school and the presentations were professional, well-considered, and insightful. Watch this space for updates in the wake of these.

Ka Ora, Ka Ako – Healthy Lunches in Schools

As you may be aware, a major announcement was made by the Government with regard to the continuation of this programme beyond this year. There have been significant cuts to the programme, and we have not yet ascertained how it will operate in secondary schools from 2025 onward. We are expecting further detail on what the changes mean to us and other schools. We will keep you updated on this front. To date, the programme has been of huge benefit to students in our school.

Parent Teacher Meetings

My thanks to all parents and caregivers who attended PTM this year (split across two weeks). 2,000 appointments were made across the two days (in-person, and via Teams). Evenings such as these are of huge importance for us as a school, for parents/caregivers, and of course for students. Thanks to Ken Allington for the mahi behind the evenings.

Winter Sport

As mentioned above, we hosted Suva Grammar (Fiji) on Monday 6th May for a game between their Under 16 Team and our Second XV/Development Team. The game was played in great spirit with Massey fighting back to level the scores with only minutes remaining. Joy was short-lived unfortunately, with Suva Grammar scoring the winning try right on full time. However, our boys can be proud of the way they played – after falling behind early in the game, they regrouped and fought back. I was particularly pleased with how some of the senior players in the team spoke to the team at the end. The Massey team also included three of our Japanese students Ritsu, Issa and Hunto, all of whom had the opportunity to showcase their skills.

Our Winter Sports season kicked off in the same week and it was great to see the Massey First XI Girls Football Team start this season as they finished the last (in which they were undefeated) with a big win over Rutherford College. Unfortunately, the result for the First XI Boys against Ormiston Senior College went against us, but it was great to see some new players making the step up on what was a very cold Friday night.

For our students new to the school, it was great to see them represent Massey High School for the first time, I managed to take in our Junior Boys Football and Second XI (again, results didn’t go our way, but it was great to see the numbers involved in the sport). Our U14s (North Harbour Competition) made a welcome return, and they played a great first game against Long Bay College last Saturday. This team also includes one of our visiting Japanese students (Manato) and if the first up performance by the team is an indicator, they will go well this season. The boys produced some great rugby in defeating LBC 34 – 7. These boys have been taking part in our Rugby Academy on Wednesday mornings – training alongside other age grades and our First XV. It is great to see the growth in numbers playing, and investment is being made in nurturing our young talent.

As a footnote – the team narrowly went down to Westlake Boys in their follow up game after taking the lead late in the piece.

I’ve also managed to get out to our First and Second XV’s in the past week – unfortunately our First XV couldn’t follow up their big win over Manurewa and lost to Rangitoto College in the weekend. Our Second XV have been playing well, but just falling short (against Rosmini and Rangitoto), a win is not far away given their growth. The season is young, and we know that both teams will improve markedly.

I am looking forward to seeing more of our teams in action in the weeks ahead.

This week is particularly busy in the school – with the aforementioned Year 8 Days and of course the common assessment tasks for Literacy commencing. A reminder for (predominantly Year 10) to bring their devices (laptop or Chromebook) for these assessments.