9 November

Our new Headmaster, Trevor Barman, will return to Australia with a good deal more knowledge about the infrastructure of Hereworth and a greater understanding of the New Zealand education system.  He will have much to ponder on and will, no doubt, return in January with greater insight and fresh with his own thoughts on what can be done to take the school forward in the coming years.  We wish him and his wife Jenny well.  In the meantime, for us it is a full on five weeks to the end of the year.

I recently read an article on The Scots College (Sydney) website that I feel is worth sharing – Why boys need to fail to succeed.  I would like to preface this by suggesting that while the reference is about boys, most of what is said applies to girls as well.  All children need to fail to succeed and, arguably, most if not all successful adults have done so.

“Boys have been failing since the day we were born. As babies, we made gurgling sounds until we could say our first words. We rolled, crawled, stumbled and fell before we learnt to walk.

At some point, children develop a fear of failure and forget that it is a natural and necessary part of learning and growing. As a parent of boys, it is important to teach your son not to fear mistakes but learn from them.  Here’s four reasons why boys need to fail in order to to succeed:

ACCEPT SETBACKS AS A PART OF LIFE:  You can’t always get what you want. The rolling stones knew this and we all learn it eventually. The earlier your son learns that setbacks are a part of life, the better. The key is to improve how he deals with them. Can he learn from the experience? Is there another path to success? Perhaps he experienced the setback because he approached the situation in the wrong way. Every obstacle is an opportunity to pause, reflect and learn from the experience.

BUILD RESILIENCE:  The simple act of dusting yourself off and trying again builds resilience. We live in a fast-paced world where competition is fiercer than ever before – your son will need resilience to persevere and be successful. Feeling disappointed and frustrated is normal and shouldn’t be suppressed. Teach your son to first acknowledge those feelings and why he feels that way, then make a plan of action to keep moving forward. Over time, he will develop strong resilience and get up faster when he falls.

LEARN WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN’T:  Thinking outside the box and being innovative inevitably means occasionally failing from the risks that you need to take. Innovators are going into unchartered territory, so of course there will be failures on the way in order to learn what works and what doesn’t. As a parent, you can use everyday problems around the house to get your son to try out different solutions to see which one works. This will also help him build higher level critical thinking skills over time.

UNDERSTAND HIS STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES:  Learning his strengths and weaknesses is another important reason for your son to embrace failure. Encourage him to reflect on failures to work out what he is good at and what areas he could improve on. Self-awareness is key to both professional and personal success. It’s not possible to know your weaknesses unless you experience failure.

CLEARLY DEFINE WHAT SUCCESS REALLY IS:  Sometimes we are misguided with what success really is. There are times when we feel that we can never experience success in certain areas of life – it’s important to consider whether we are being fair in our own definition of success. We can often be our harshest critic. Defining success – in all areas of life – is key to leading a life of fulfilment.
It’s important to reinforce the message that failure is not a step backwards, but a stepping stone to success. If your son doesn’t get used to being outside his comfort zone, then he will never overcome his fear of failure, build resilience or establish his own definition of success.”

Food for thought perhaps.
All the best
Willy Kersten

2 November

For the Year 7 boys, the experience of their first formal academic examination is now behind them and from our perspective, it went well.  By the time they leave, having undertaken a second sitting in Year 8, the boys will certainly be ahead of their counterparts from most schools as they progress into their secondary schooling where examinations are commonplace.  It is the process in and around examinations that is most important at this stage.  Boys have been encouraged to study and been given guidance in the ways of preparing, and it is evident in the results that are emerging that many boys have taken these seriously.  I hope that the boys achieve the results they deserve and that all have gained a good deal from the process.

NCEA:  It may be as well to point out a few realities the boys will face in regard to examinations in any secondary school.  For some families with older children this will already be familiar talk, but for many, the complexities of the New Zealand national assessment system and how one achieves their NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) qualification remains somewhat confusing.

Subjects are not assessed by one examination, but by Achievement Standards which schools and sometimes students choose; usually, four to six per subject.  Each standard is ascribed a certain number of credits and the accumulation of credits sees students gaining their NCEA.  About half the standards are national (external) examination based, others are internally assessed by the school.  However, some subjects have no external assessment.  There are no percentage marks given.  Students either gain the standard or they don’t.  Those who do gain the credits, and, on the basis of their performance, may also receive a Merit or Excellence endorsement.  While, for most boys, NCEA will commence in Year 11, they will in their junior years face parallel type assessments.

New Uniform:  I expect that parents have been aware of the two-year period of transition into the new style Hereworth uniform.  The changeover phase is almost over and by the commencement of 2019 the new style uniform is to be worn by all boys.  If you have yet to change over to the new style uniform, please contact Helen in the uniform shop to make a time to sort out your uniform needs in plenty of time to be ready for 2019.

The school is fully aware that this impacts on families, particularly those who have their son in his last year in 2019, but we have given reasonable notice and the changes need to occur.  I am happy to speak with any parents who feel the need to discuss this further.

Staffing:  We have recently received news that Dan Ball and Harrison Twinn are leaving Hereworth at the end of the year.  Both have reluctantly made this decision for family reasons and we will be sorry to see them go.  We do wish them all the best for their last six weeks at Hereworth and will acknowledge their contribution at the end of the year.

We are in the fortunate position to be able to announce three new appointments.  Max Woodhead, currently at St Heliers School in Auckland and Scott Jensen, formerly from Hereworth and currently at Te Mata School, will be joining us in 2019.  We are also pleased to announce that Mr Christian Pera will be the new Boarding Housemaster and that both he and his wife Anna will be the House Parents.  More on what these people will bring to our school will be forthcoming.

All of this, of course, follows on from the announcement of the new Headmaster.  Mr Trevor Barman and his wife will be at Hereworth next week.  They will be introduced to the boys on Monday morning and he will spend time with staff and student groups during the week.  He is very much looking forward to learning more about his new school in the coming months.  Arrangements will be put in place for him to be welcomed by the wider Hereworth community prior to the commencement of the 2019 academic year.  Having spoken to him today, he will be relieved to not have to endure the 41 degrees temperature he is experiencing in New South Wales at the moment.

18 October

Term 4 has started well for the school and we wish the Year 8 boys all the best as they enter the home straight to completing their intermediate schooling.   The very clear message being expressed is to finish strongly.  In doing so, they will leave with no regrets and a good measure of what they are capable of.

In this regard, I wish the Year 7 and 8 boys all the best for their upcoming examinations.  Study needs to be a priority as gaining familiarity with examinations provides a considerable advantage to students entering their secondary education.  Some important points I have made in the past include the following.  Even with a week to go, it is not too late.

  • Unless you study and revise, you will never know what you are capable of – ‘it is better to have tried and failed than to have never have tried at all.’  You can learn from this experience.
  • Plan thoroughly – schedule everything, including other things one is expected to do – practices, chores, leisure time etc.  Then keep to the plan – usually easier said than done, but try.
  • Make the most of the remaining class time – ask teachers to help you plug the gaps in understanding and complete the revision tasks set.  Teachers can assist boys if they ask.
  • Find a place free from distractions and have the self-discipline to stay away from devices.  Social media, music (in most cases) and study simply do not go together!
  • Do not go over work by simply reading it.  Use pen and paper – make summary notes or mind maps listing essential ideas, facts and keywords.
  • Learn the frameworks for writing essays and the approaches to answering certain types of questions and practice these.
  • Research shows the faster one works the more effective the learning, so focus and don’t procrastinate.

In summary, given the right conditions, the more you focus the quicker you work, the quicker you work the more you learn, the more you learn the better you feel.

This term sees a number of staffing changes.  We have welcomed back Mrs Laura Maloney who has returned to the Technology department after her maternity leave.  We also welcome Mrs Rebecca Bausfield who, along with Mr Gary Exeter will be taking Mr Ball’s class for the next two weeks while he takes parental leave as his family have just welcomed a new baby girl to their family.

Mrs Sue Apperley was farewelled on her last day of work today having given 28 years of sterling service to Hereworth.  We thank her for her unstinting commitment as the school librarian over this time and wish her all the best as she embarks on a new adventure in retirement.  Many boys and staff over a long period of time will remember Sue fondly and will no doubt have been impressed by her knowledge of books, her passion for the job and her superb organisation of a wonderful resource area of the school.

Commencing in an interim role alongside her teaching will be Mrs Ali Kersten for the remainder of the year.  From the start of 2019, Ali will be the full-time Teacher Librarian at Hereworth.  We wish her all the best.

Something for your consideration perhaps.  This week the school received a message from a family describing how much they enjoyed hosting one of our international students during the holidays.  The family found the experience of gaining an awareness of another culture was both enjoyable and beneficial for all members of the family.  They would have others know that their hosting of an international boy was a very positive experience and would thoroughly recommend that other families consider doing so.

I leave that thought with you wishing you all the best for the long weekend and hoping your senior boys manage a little study time.

11 October

Our latest newsletter takes a look back at the second half of Term 3 including winter sport prizegiving, success at the Kids Sing, the biennial House Singing competition, Pet Day, the Year 7 & 8 formal dance and ‘Sandy Lane’ Hereworth’s annual cross country race.  Download a copy below, view it online or call into the office and pick up a hard copy.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 6, Term 3 2018

14 September

What a contrast!  The magnificent weather we have enjoyed this week has provided ideal conditions for a range of activities culminating today in a very successful Pet Day for the junior children and for the Year 7/8 boys the Annual Formal this evening.  While the pets were being put through their paces and judged, an intrepid group of mothers were hard at work transforming the hall into a splendid venue for this evening’s occasion.  Thank you to all involved with the planning and preparation and on the day organisation of these events, especially Roark Zachary and his senior helpers and Kate Howard and her team.  And, thank you to all our parents for making arrangements for your boys to participate.

Lisa Lee had her last day at Hereworth today.  Known as the face of the school to so many on their first encounter with Hereworth, Lisa has endeared herself to all members of the Hereworth community.  After 21½ years of sterling service, she has accepted the challenge of a new role and we wish her all the best on her new journey as the Principal’s PA at Te Aute College.

Lisa has been outstanding in her role and I have valued her immensely.  She possesses enormous institutional knowledge, is highly organised, totally dependable and can be relied on to complete what is required to a high level of accuracy in a timely manner.  Above all this, she makes people feel at ease no matter who they are and what the situation.

We do wish Lisa all the best and I am sure I speak for everybody when we say, thank you for a job extremely well done!

However, we must look forward, and I am very happy to advise that Nicola Pentelow who has been working alongside Lisa for 2½ years in her Marketing role, has accepted a secondment into the EA’s role.  Nicola will combine aspects of her current work and much of Lisa’s work into a modified position and we can look forward to a smooth transition.  Please note that all email communications should be directed to executive.assistant@hereworth.school.nz

Cybersafety is a real concern and sadly our older boys, and some not so old, are not immune from this.  As I indicated in my last newsletter, we have been dealing with concerns at school and we are fully aware of our  responsibilities to ensure boys are kept safe.  However, despite policies and procedures and your expectations, there is no guarantee.

Last week, Detective Sergeant Mark Moorhouse, Head of the Hawkes’s Bay Police Child Protection Team, spoke to the staff.  His presentation was eye-opening in terms of the realities that exist and the challenges faced by our young people.  His empathy was clearly evident as was commitment to dealing with issues and educating those who have the responsibility to care for our children.  He will be invited to speak to our parent and friend community and I hope we can bring a date to you in the Term 4 Calendar.  In the meantime, we will continue our work on our policies and procedures.

For your advice and guidance as you are speaking to your sons and older children, it is as well to inform them that there are clear legal obligations regarding the use of social media.  These are stated as the Ten Communication Principles in the Harmful Digital Communications Act.  Essentially, it is stated that while it is not illegal to receive harmful or objectionable communications, it is illegal to store and or transmit such information.  Any person needs to accept the responsibility to remove such information should they be in the unfortunate position of receiving it.  I implore boys who come across this sort of material to show their parents and discuss any matters of concern with you.

Conversely, if tempted to send such information, ask your sons to ask themselves one question first and think carefully – Will they feel better about themselves after pushing the send button?  Best to delay, think and then make a rational decision rather than act on impulse.  It is just so easy to make a serious mistake and regret the decision.  There is no control over where things end up or what the damage may be.

Having the courage to make the right decision and not being drawn into temptation can be a real test of character.

Kind regards
Willy Kersten

10 September

In the last few weeks school management has been giving thought to its current policies and procedures around Cybersafety; a critical Health and Safety consideration.  Clearly we have a responsibility to provide adequate safeguards and to make our expectations and consequences clear to boys, staff and parents.

Many schools work with Netsafe, a New Zealand based independent, non-profit online safety organisation.  Netsafe is strongly supported by the Ministry of Education and assists people and businesses by providing practical tools, support and advice for managing online challenges.  We have recently become a Netsafe registered school and thereby qualify for their support.  We will continue to use their guidelines as we undertake our review.  We will adopt new guidelines and contracts that the school, parents and boys will be expected to engage in.

Your sons, despite their younger age, are not insulated from the issues that can be brought into their lives through the inappropriate use of social media.  As educators and parents we need to be concerned and we all need to take our responsibility very seriously both to advise and guide our young people as they will undoubtedly face this very real challenge in their lives.

Allied to this, is the interest boys have in using their devices to play games, watch movies and yes, undertake school work.  Regarding the latter, electronic technology is simply one of the tools we use and similarly, interfacing with a screen during downtime can be entirely appropriate.  It is the preoccupation with devices and the impact of too much screen time that is a threat to the health and wellbeing of young people.  It is also the reason why we must continue to advocate that the Hereworth lifestyle, one which encourages a holistic involvement and outlook, serves boys well.

In an upcoming newsletter, I will share further thoughts on this topic.  In the meantime, it might be a good idea to talk to your sons about appropriate device use and the responsibilities they have to keep themselves and others safe.  Hopefully, the weekend sees things drying out so you and your sons can get out and about and away from screens.

All the best.
Willy Kersten

28 August

Our latest newsletter takes a look back at the first half of this term including the choir tour to Auckland, success at the Science Fair, Prep Fixtures, the Interschool Chess Teams Tournament and we turn the spotlight on three more of our students. Enjoy the read! Download a copy below or view it online.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 5, Term 3 2018

24 August

Week 5, Term 3

Today is a significant day in the Hereworth Calendar.  Although not celebrated widely in the recent past, I hope our Founders’ Day afternoon will have sown the seed for the occasion to become more significant in the future.

Below is an extract of my summary sourced from two books held in the school of how Hereworth came into existence.  The name Hereworth came about because two schools merged into one and both books describe how this came to be.

Here came from Heretaunga School and worth from Hurworth School.  The name Hereworth, is unusual in that it is a combination of both Maori and English names, something that was criticised by some at the time.

Heretaunga School started in 1882 with William Rainbow as the first Headmaster.  It was a school built in Hastings close to where Mitre 10 is now.  Sadly, Mr Rainbow died while trying to save a student from drowning in the Ngaruroro river in 1889.  Three Headmasters later, Mr William Gray, saw the school move from Hastings to Havelock North, in fact to where we are today, in 1913.

Hurworth School was established in 1901, built in Wanganui and owned by the first Headmaster Mr William Atkinson.  During its time it had a significant association with Wanganui Collegiate School.

Mr Herbert Sturge bought Hurworth School from Atkinson in 1920 and things seemed to be going quite well.  However, something was up!  For a period of time during the middle of 1926 Mr Sturge went missing; no one knew where he was not even his wife.  Or so it says in Rickard’s book.  However, he was having secret negotiations with the Heretaunga School owners.  He later returned and there wasn’t a true explanation for his absence until 26 August 1926.  On this day he wrote to the Hurworth School parents.

Dear Sir (or Madam),
I beg to inform you of an important change in the history of Hurworth School that is about to be made.
After negotiations I have arranged to amalgamate Hurworth with Heretaunga Preparatory School at Havelock North, in Hawke’s Bay, under the following conditions:
1    The location is to be the present Heretaunga buildings at Havelock North.
2    The name of both schools is to be preserved.
3    The School will continue under my headmastership and will continue on existing lines.
4    The Hurworth colours will be adopted with the addition of a red monogram on the cap.
5    The Hurworth motto (
Non Nobis Solum) will be retained.
6    The amalgamation will date from the first term of 1927.
As this is a far-reaching change, I feel that I owe parents, friends and supporters of Hurworth full reasons for my action.  I have always held (in common with my predecessor, Mr Atkinson), that a country site was the proper place for a preparatory school, and by this
change I have secured one that is exceptionally beautiful and healthy.
1    The encroachment of the town round Hurworth has, in my opinion, and that of many others, been a grave drawback, and the new system of rating on unimproved values has rendered an urban holding of 8 acres of leasehold land an unremunerative factor in the School’s finance.
2    These disadvantages I have been able to avoid by an arrangement mutually satisfactory to both parties.
There will probably be many who will regret or criticise the change, Hurworth has its traditions, reputation and individuality stamped upon it by its founder, and these I have taken care to safeguard.  But it lacked what Heretaunga can give it: Really adequate buildings, a 15-acre country site which it is acknowledged to be ideal for the purpose, and a delightful climate.  To this Hurworth brings, with its contingent of boys, the organisation, tone and discipline for which it is favourably known throughout the country, and which the governing body of Heretaunga has seen fit to make sacrifices to secure.  A really good school, efficient and useful, should be the result, and as an active partner in the transaction, I shall spare no efforts to make it the success that is hoped for.
I am most anxious to carry as large a following as possible of my own boys with me, and sincerely trust that parents will not alter their plans for keeping or entering their sons at Hurworth for the coming year.  Indeed, the continuity and success of the new Hurworth largely depend on their action at this juncture, when I shall gratefully appreciate their continued loyalty to the School.  I should be glad if they would let me know at their earliest convenience what they intend to do.
One of my principal regrets in coming to this decision is severing the ties with day-parents and day-boys.  I am especially sorry as there are many young and promising boys whose preparatory training I should like to see through.  If they cannot follow us to Hawke’s Bay, I hope it will be possible to provide a substitute in this city.
Yours faithfully
H.E. Sturge.

What happened from that point continues to be the history of Hereworth School.

Willy Kersten

17 August
It has been a slightly less intrusive week in terms of intervening activities, but a reasonable number of boys have needed to absent themselves from school due to sickness.  Let’s hope the worst is over as we sense that spring is in the air.  Congratulations to the ski team on their impressive performance this week in the Central Plateau individual competition and all the best to the senior team for the North Island Primary Schools’ championships next week.  The winter sports teams are about to wind up their local winter seasons, but before they do, they take on Wellesley College in our annual exchange at home.  We wish them well.

Next week will see Hereworth represented in the Kids’ Sing competition.  Our choirs are as much a team as any sport and we thank them for their effort and wish them all the best.  Thereafter, things will ramp up for the House Music competition that takes place later in the term.  Many boys will be taking their Trinity Speech examinations at the end of the week and we trust that will go well.

On Thursday evening, we were very fortunate to be able to host Rob Waddell, one of New Zealand’s top sportsman and current Chef de Mission for our Commonwealth Games (2014 and 2018) and Olympic Games (2016 and 2010) teams.  His experiences in these roles and as a champion rower and America’s Cup (Team New Zealand) team member qualifies him to provide some salient advice.  We thank James Nilsson for soliciting many snippets of information from him and many others who set up and assisted before, during and after the evening.  Some key points he made, embellished with a few of my own thoughts, on what parents and teachers need to be mindful of include:

  • For young people, variety is hugely important.  Try things out because while some people might be good at something, they may discover they are brilliant at something else.  Most top sports people have had experience in many disciplines.
  • Do not encourage young people to get caught up in a winning mindset.  The most important thing to focus on is process.  Rob does not ask his children if they won.  Rather, he enquires about what went well.  He stressed the point about focussing on how things went.
  • To achieve in sport, you have to enjoy what you do.  If you don’t, then you will not achieve your goals, so try something else.
  • Work ethic is an equally important determinant.  Nothing comes easy and boys need to practice as they expect to play.
  • Values play a huge role in being successful – respect, tolerance, patience, commitment, determination, trust, resilience and others.
  • Repetition in your mind grows belief you can achieve.  Attitude can be defining and make the difference to personal and team performance.
  • Helicopter parents need to be reminded that process, values and enjoyment all come before winning or being placed in the first team.
  • For our boys as they enter secondary school – sport must not be an excuse to not study hard.  Getting the balance right is hugely important, but,
  • If you are passionate about something, you have no choice – go for it.
To say Rob Waddell was impressive is an understatement.  It was a pleasure to have him with us to hear of his experiences and to hear his thoughts.  A special thank you to James Nilsson, the Old Boys’ and Parents’ Associations and others who made it possible and for arranging the evening.

Enjoy the week ahead.

Willy Kersten

10 August

The choir has returned from a very successful trip.  Thanks must go to Mrs Stevens for her superb effort and it was nice to hear that this was appreciated by the boys during the trip and on their return.  Their performances were very well received, their experiences memorable (9½ out of 10 said one) and their behaviour was superb; bringing credit to themselves and the school.  Well done to your sons who were on the trip and thank you also to Mrs Field, Reverend Alan, Mr Doull and Mrs Curtis for your total involvement.  It appears that all the effort has been worthwhile.  Thanks are also due to the staff at school who covered for those absent.

In the classroom, on the sports field or on the stage, we see a solid effort being made by the greater majority of boys, but we also see and hear of some who are ambivalent about their involvement, perhaps completely disinterested or feel they are not good enough.  Does your son like a challenge or is he worried about failing?  Dr Carol Dweck is a world-renowned psychologist who has been promoting the power of mindset.  Her work describes two mindsets – fixed mindset and growth mindset.  It is probably quite easy to describe the difference between the two, but in summary, the features of each include:

Someone with a fixed mindset:

  • Avoids challenges
  • Gives up easily
  • Sees effort as fruitless
  • Ignores useful negative feedback
  • Feels threatened by the success of others

Someone with a growth mindset:

  • Embraces challenges
  • Sees effort as the path to mastery
  • Persists in the face of failure
  • Learns from criticism
  • Finds inspiration in the success of others

Someone with a fixed mindset will reject learning if it means avoiding failure. Whereas someone with a growth mindset sees failure as a natural part of learning and has a lifelong learner attitude.  So how do you help your son to develop a growth mindset?

Be a good role model:  Children are influenced and learn from those they are closest to.  It makes sense for parents to model a growth mindset attitude.  When you are facing your own challenges, show your son that you can persevere and describe what keeps you going.

Use the word “yet”:  Adding the word yet suggests success needs more effort, but it will come.  For example, “I can’t tie my shoes – yet.” Or “I can’t do my times tables – yet”.  Adding “yet” provides optimism and encouragement.

Mistakes and failure:  Explain what learning from one’s mistakes means and use the opportunity to learn from failure.  A baby does not give up trying to walk is a good example and we were all babies once.

Offer praise in the right way:  Praise effort, not only ability or intelligence. Dweck has stated, “many things we do to motivate our kids saps their desire to learn”.  Being fixated with achievement indicates that failure is not acceptable.  Yes, we want to win, but we can’t all the time.  A growth mindset promotes effort and perseverance to encourage boys to keep going.

Have a good week.

Willy Kersten

3 August

Week 2, Term 3

While the Week 2 calendar may not have described the school as being particularly busy, there have been a number of happenings that have punctuated our normal routines.  I hope the time and energy taken to have the group photographs taken is reflected in the quality of the product.  The entrance testing and performing arts auditions went well and we were delighted to accommodate eleven boys in the boarding house on Wednesday night and meet with some of our current and prospective parents at lunch yesterday. The new boys were a delight to have in our midst and I thank our current students for hosting and interacting with them very well.  Once again, the boys showed themselves to be one of our best marketing tools and I thank them for that.

I often find myself connecting easily with the theme of our chapel messages.  At the Year 7/8 service this week, the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector described the Pharisee obsessed with his own importance whereas the Tax Collector humbly sought forgiveness.  It caused me to think about the way those of us in positions of responsibility have a need to be mindful of how we do things – how we act towards, and interact with, others.  If we are to be effective in developing good relationships, we must be prepared to be vulnerable.  We need to accept that we may not be right all the time and in trying to deal with situations, there may be occasions we need to concede or at least admit that we have made a mistake or could have done things differently ourselves.  Being vulnerable means admitting our own shortcomings and not shielding ourselves behind a façade of authority.

Many boys had an idea of what vulnerable meant in a wider sense and I think they could connect with what I was trying to get across regarding our own vulnerability.  In my own approach to dealing with difficult situations, I would like to think that there have been several times when I have taken one step back to go two steps forward.  This is the advice I gave to the boys – take one step back – listen to what others have to say, admit your own shortcomings or that you may have done things differently.  Having done this, then it will be more likely that a solution can be found and people can move on.  Since the chapel service this is the conversation I have had with one young man.

All the best for the weekend when we will see a good deal of sport at Hereworth and then the Choir Trip departs for their four day trip to Auckland on Monday.

Kind regards,
Willy Kersten

27 July

Term 3, Week 1 2018

The start of term has got off to a smooth, albeit typically busy start.  Congratulations to the boys for their performances against Waihi School and a huge thank you to our parents for hosting our visitors.  It was an interesting day of competition with a very accomplished Waihi team winning the 1st XI Hockey match and our rugby boys taking out the 1st XV encounter in similar fashion.  The football match was more even, with the Hereworth 1st XI winning a tight contest.  Waihi were a wonderful school to host and I hope our boys gained a great deal from getting to know their counterparts off the field.  As was noted on the day, one never knows how a relationship seeded as a result of this exchange may, by design or by fate, develop in the future.

At our opening Chapel Service on Monday, I spoke to the Year 8 boys about the need to finish the year well.  They are about to face a change and perhaps a degree of uncertainty as they transition to secondary school.  It has been said that the only constant is change – such is the world we live in.  If we are to be successful, we need to be able to adapt to new situations.  Charles Darwin said “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.  It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”  To be successful, boys need to be confident, be emotionally intelligent with the knowledge and skills to be able to handle the ever-changing landscape.

Experiential education is promoted at Hereworth and it lends itself well to teaching boys the knowledge and skills necessary as they foray into real-world settings.  I would like to think we offer boys challenging and fulfilling experiences in a well-managed and supportive environment.  This, in turn, develops confidence and trust, especially if we allow boys to make mistakes.  Learning from things that do not go right allows boys to become more confident and critical risk-takers.  A boys’ only environment, safety in numbers has real potential to fuel enthusiasm.  However, we must ensure that that the freedom they have to explore exists within clearly defined boundaries.

Boys who have some experience of successfully navigating the unknown will be better equipped in the face of any future adversity.  In the meantime, I hope the Year 8 boys make the most of what is on offer at Hereworth, take measured risks in all areas of school life, not just when climbing trees or kicking a ball around.

All the best for the week ahead.

Kind regards
Willy Kersten

23 July

Hereworth School, along with our Parents’ and Old Boys’ Associations, are delighted to invite you to join us for an evening with rowing, Olympic and America’s Cup legend, Rob Waddell.

Rob is an inspiring leader who draws on his wealth of sporting challenges and successes to inspire others to achieve.

Drinks and canapes from our Chef, Paolo Pancotti, will be served and it will be an entertaining evening not to miss!

Tickets are limited, so we recommend booking early to secure your place.  To book, email office@hereworth.school.nz with your name and the number of tickets required.

We look forward to seeing you there!

WHEN:      Thursday 16 August, 6.30-8.30pm
WHERE:    Hereworth Dining Room
TICKETS:  $50 per person (18 years and over only) inclusive of canapes and drinks

Download the invitation to An Evening with Rob Waddell

3 July

The latest newsletter from Hereworth School is out now.  Download a copy below or view it online.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 4, Term 2 2018

31 May

The latest Hereworth Highlights newsletter gives you a taste of what our boys have been up to so far this term. Contact us if you’d like a hard copy mailed out to you.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 3, Term 2 2018

23 May

The story run on TV3’s The Project on Monday evening has sparked debate that continued through breakfast TV and radio this week.  The question posed was ‘is it time to scrap cross country in schools?’  Research conducted by Sport New Zealand indicated that 73% of children like cross country at age six, but this goes down to 52% by age 13.  In comparison, 94% liked PE and 92% liked club or weekend sports.

Does the fact that 27% of six-year-olds don’t enjoy cross country mean that we should be talking about changing or removing it from the sports curriculum?  As Jesse Mulligan quite rightly pointed out, it’s likely that a similar number of children would say they don’t like maths, and we’re not talking about dropping that from the curriculum!

The declining activity and fitness levels of children is bound to be a factor.  But the overriding issue appears to be that we don’t like someone having to come last.  One of the arguments given by Karen Laurie, Sport New Zealand’s Young People Consultant, was that for those kids at the back of the race, it can be pretty demoralising.

Why is it that we want to shield our children from competition and the highs and lows of winning and losing?  Doesn’t competition build resilience in our children?  Isn’t facing tough challenges something we think can be beneficial?

At Hereworth, one of the characteristics we strive to bring out in our students is being actively involved.  Another is confidence, of which resilience is a huge part.

Hereworth expects, challenges and encourages every boy to participate fully in all areas of school life – whether that be writing, maths, music, languages, food technology or any one of our multiple curriculum areas.   We also hold the same expectation when it comes to the traditional annual sporting events in our calendar; athletic sports, swimming sports, and Sandy Lane, our cross country event, that has been run since the early 1900s.

Yes, for some, cross-country may not be their favourite day of the school year, but for others it is their time to shine.  We have to look deeper than winners and losers.  The Sandy Lane race is about facing up to challenges, participating in an event with a long history, and each boy meeting his own goals for the race.

We know our boys well, as all schools know their students.  We know that the boy who may come last in cross-country, won the speech competition last week, has been producing some incredible artwork this term or came top in the mid-year maths exam.  Because he is celebrated for those other successes, it doesn’t rock his confidence to come last in cross-country.  Instead, he feels proud to have finished the race.  He has been encouraged the whole way round the course by his peers, parents and staff who all line the course, and his mates give him a huge pat on the back when he crosses the finish line because they know that, for him, this was a massive challenge.  They will expect, and get, the same support from him when they face their own challenges throughout the school year.

If we stop challenging students with a cross-country race because we don’t like picking winners (and therefore creating losers) will we also stop finding winners in other areas of school life?  Should we not pick a soloist for the choir performance because it might make the other boys feel less valued?  Should we drop the spelling bee and speech competitions too?  Absolutely not.  Competition is healthy and encourages our boys to strive to be the best that they can be in all areas of school life, and gives them the chance to shine in their area of strength.

12 April

Our latest newsletter is out now! Take a look at what the boys have achieved in the second half of Term 1.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 2, Term 1 2018

28 February

Take a look at the first newsletter for the 2018 school year, view it online or download a copy using the links below.


Hereworth Highlights, Edition 1, Term 1 2018

19 December

Download our final newsletter for the 2017 school year.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 8, Term 4 2017

16 November

Take a look at our latest newsletter.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 7, Term 4 2017

4 October

View and download the latest edition of our ‘Hereworth Highlights’ newsletter.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 6, Term 3 2017

25 August

View and download the latest edition of our ‘Hereworth Highlights’ newsletter.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 5, Term 3 2017

15 August

It’s that time of year when many parents are considering which intermediate school is the right one for their child.

There’ll be a multitude of questions that families are looking for answers to.  Which school will best meet the child’s academic needs?  Does the sports programme suit him/her?  Where are his/her friends going?  Which gives him/her the most opportunity to try different subjects?  How will the school prepare him/her for high school?  Where will he/she be happiest?

For every family, the priorities will be different.  But common to all families is the desire to choose the school that will bring out the best in their child.

At Hereworth we specialise in boys education and pride ourselves on taking a very tailored approach to each of our students to unleash their full potential. We believe we offer the best schooling for boys in their intermediate years for the following reasons:

Small classes

Most importantly we focus on the individual and helping each boy reach his potential.  With classes capped at 22, our teachers can give more time and attention to each student, monitoring his progress and offering extension or support when needed.

We are a small school with an annual roll of around 200 boys.  This means we are small enough for each boy to be noticed, for his talents to be seen, and for every teacher to get to know him. Boys thrive in this environment where their achievements are seen, and their successes celebrated.

Boys only

We believe that boys learn better in a single sex environment and, in a world so focused on growing up before their time, boys are allowed to be boys at Hereworth.  They climb trees, play bull rush and (surprisingly often) get covered in mud!  They’re kept active throughout the day and after school sport is compulsory because we know that being active helps boys learn.

Being in a boys-only environment takes away all of the social pressures that are prevalent at this age when boys’ hormones start to influence their behaviour.  In a single sex environment, they are free to be boys and navigate their way through puberty in a safe and nurturing environment.


One thing that is consistently noticed by high schools and parents of our year 8 leavers is the attitude of Hereworth boys, and it is often the intangible things that make the most impact.  We teach boys manners, respect and a commitment to learning.  This pays dividends when it comes to preparation for high school.  Having a positive attitude and a willingness to commit to school is vital for their longer-term achievement.

Boys leave Hereworth fully prepared for life at high school and beyond.  They are used to following a timetable, moving between classrooms and seeing different teachers for different subjects.  They know how to organise themselves and manage their time to complete classwork and homework on time.


Hereworth focuses on the whole boy – the academic, the sportsman, the friend, the performer, the individual.  Boys at Hereworth give everything a go, and they do so with enthusiasm because they’re doing it alongside their mates with the support and encouragement of their teachers.

Boys discover their strengths through our unique curriculum.   In addition to literacy and maths, he’ll discover science, music, languages, drama, food technology, art, computer science and robotics, soft and hard materials at Hereworth.  Our specialist teaching team ensures that passions are fuelled by people who know and love their craft.


Hereworth offers a leading performing arts programme.  Nearly a third of 7 and 8 boys join our award winning choir, and they all take to the stage for the biennial musical theatre production.  Boys strive to excel in this area as much as they do in the classroom and on the sports field.

All boys join one of our school teams that play in the local weekend club competition.  Sport is an integral part of school life that promotes team work and leadership.  Boys get the opportunity to compete in the long-standing prep fixtures against other independent schools around New Zealand; an experience unique to Hereworth.

Teaching Staff

We have an incredibly high calibre of teachers who are all passionate about teaching and nurturing our students to love learning.  Our high ratio of male teachers is well above the national average and as role models, this is beneficial for many boys.

Our teachers also coach our sports teams, giving them the chance to see boys in a different environment.  With former professional sportspeople on our staff, the boys also get top level coaching to prepare them for weekend and prep fixtures.

So why choose Hereworth?

As a school, we work with each student to progress him towards his goals.  We recognise academic achievement as much as we do personal, sporting and cultural successes.  We will set him on the path to success at high school with a grounding in sound moral and Christian values.  Above all, we support your son in achieving his potential, giving him the very best all round educational foundation he needs.

Kate Field
Deputy Head & Intermediate School Leader

8 August

In our first newsletter of this year, I touched on the subject of Modern Learning Environments (MLE) – and in this blog post, I would like to further expand on the topic which remains front of mind with parents and the media.

With our current government only contributing funding to new classroom builds that meet their MLE requirements, this has become a hot topic in the education world.  At Hereworth we are not supporters of the current government’s version of the Modern Learning Environment, and I firmly believe this kind of teaching is not the best way in which we can serve our boys and prepare them for the future.  So let me provide you with some more information about MLE and why we don’t endorse the approach.

MLEs are also known around the country as Innovative Learning Environments or Flexible Learning Environments.  Although the name may differ, they all refer to a teaching setting that generally comprises large open, flexible learning spaces that combine small and large areas, a number of class groups, mixed age groups, and involve team teaching methods.  Some MLEs around the country can have up to 100 students in one space.

Proponents of the MLE believe the flexibility of teaching spaces to be one of the real benefits.  Spaces can be expanded or reduced depending on what is being taught.  This is believed to enable personalised learning, socially constructed learning with collaboration, and peer learning.

I believe an important aspect in the design of effective learning environments is whether the space provides a setting that is conducive to learning, and specifically for Hereworth, is beneficial to the way in which boys learn best.

Amalgamating classes and ages leads to exceptionally large groups of children in one space, making it very difficult to tailor individual learning and meet student needs.   As the Principal of Ponsonby Primary School, Anne Malcolm, said on last night’s Seven Sharp “teachers have to really know their kids.”  At Hereworth we share Anne’s opinion.  We know from experience that tailored teaching and an individual approach brings out the best in our students, leading to higher levels of attainment.  Our vision is to provide a small nurturing classroom environment for our boys that is well resourced with modern equipment.

At Hereworth we do take some of the concepts of the MLE, for example, fluidity of space within a classroom and modern resources and technology and combine those with Hereworths nurturing classrooms with small numbers of students.  We are proud of the fact that our small class sizes and personalised learning programmes enable our teaching staff to guide each child on their learning journey.

My colleague and our Deputy Head, Deb Richardson, were only recently discussing that in a MLE with 70 plus students in a classroom, students are highly likely to fall through the cracks.  Here our boys have their own spaces where they learn to be self-managing and organised, and the small class sizes mean they develop a close rapport with their teachers.  As Deb says – “You can have a gorgeous space, but if you do not have the underlying pedagogy based on empirical evidence and best practice, the space is worthless.”

It is not a matter of not being willing to move with the times, rather we are dedicated to taking the best proven methods of education for boys, and combining them with the most up to date resources to ensure our children have the best education and learning environment possible.

As an independent school we are not compelled to adhere to Government initiatives in education and I feel very lucky that we have the ability to choose how we educate our boys.

Steve Fiet


6 July

View and download the latest edition of our ‘Hereworth Highlights’ newsletter.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 4, Term 2 2017

2 June

View and download the latest edition of our ‘Hereworth Highlights’ newsletter.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 3, Term 2 2017

19 April

View and download the latest edition of our ‘Hereworth Highlights’ newsletter.

Hereworth Highlights, Term 1 Edition 2 2017

3 March

View and download the first edition of ‘Hereworth Highlights’ for 2017.

Hereworth Highlights, Term 1 Edition 1 2017

24 February

We’re pleased to announce the launch of a Mobile App for Hereworth. The app is designed to make our parents lives easier, and brings together all notices, newsletters, important information and contacts for the school in one easy to access place. Download the app free on iPhone or Android by clicking on the link below, and view the information sheet on all the app’s features.

Download the App

App Features

15 February

Boarding experience details and dates are now available for 2017.  This year boarding experience is compulsory for boys in Years 7, and optional for boys in Years 6 and 8.

Boarding Experience Details & Dates

19 December

View and download the calendar for Term 1 2017.

Term 1 Calendar

7 December

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

1 December

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

23 November

Download the schedule for the Athletics Sports Day this Friday 25 November. The first event starts at 9.00am with the day finishing at 3.00pm. All families are welcome to attend to support the boys and hopefully see a few records broken!

View the Athletics Sports Programme

21 November

View and download this week’s lunch menu.

View the menu

18 November

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

3 November

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

28 October

View and download this week’s lunch menu.

View the menu

27 October

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

20 October

Summer sports teams for Term 4 2016 can be viewed and downloaded below.

Summer Sports Teams - Term 4 2016

19 October

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

13 October

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

16 September

Calendar - Term 4 2016

15 September

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

11 September

View and download this week’s lunch menu.

View the menu

9 September

House Rugby is now on Wednesday 14 September at 2.30pm instead of Monday 12 September, due to the funeral of ex staff member Mike Lewis.

8 September

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

4 September

View and download this week’s lunch menu.

View the menu

1 September

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

26 August

View and download this week’s lunch menu.

View the menu

25 August

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

18 August

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

18 August

View and download this week’s lunch menu.

View the menu

17 August

With the school closure this week, all sports fixtures are cancelled for this coming weekend 20th and 21st August. For any queries please contact Lincoln Doull, Director of Sport.

17 August

This afternoon, all Havelock North schools met with the District Health Board to discuss the ongoing response to the potential campylobacter outbreak. The District Health Board advice is that primary and intermediate schools should remain closed to reduce the risk of secondary infection and further spread of the illness. Accordingly Hereworth will now reopen on Monday 22nd August and we will be contacting all our parents via email shortly.

Joint statement from Havelock North school Principals

15 August

We have been advised by the Ministry of Education that due to the continued risk of the campylobacter outbreak the school should not remain open. Given the seriousness of the situation we are following their advice and closing the school until Thursday 18 August. Whilst we fully appreciate that this two day closure will cause disruption for our families, our primary concern is for the well-being of the boys and staff, and we thank you for your understanding.

14 August

Hereworth is open today as normal. Robust Health & Safety policies are in place to minimise the spread of any communicable illness within the school including regular sanitising, providing bottled water for our students, and turning off the water fountains. We do not have any unwell students in our Boarding House. More information will be posted as the situation develops.

12 August

The Gastroenteritis bug circling through the school has affected the sports teams for this weekend’s fixtures. With such a shortage of players, the following teams will not play this weekend:
Rugby: 12th Grade, 11th Grade Green, 10th Grade
Hockey: 3rd XI
Many of the available boys have been drafted into other teams as cover, and your son knows if he is one of those boys so please check with him before heading out for your games this weekend.

11 August

We have had several boys unwell with vomiting and diarrhoea over the past few days. To avoid further spread of this illness within the school please follow the Ministry of Health guidelines and keep your boys at home for 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhoea.

11 August

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

5 August

ALL Junior football games have now been cancelled for Saturday 6 August.

5 August

View and download this week’s lunch menu.

View the menu

4 August

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

31 July

View and download this week’s lunch menu.

View the menu

28 July

View and download ‘The Week Ahead’ for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

25 July

School is closed for the day on Tuesday 26 July as a broken water main means that we have no water supply.  Parents, please check your email for more detail.

30 June

The latest Hereworth Highlights is out now. View and download your copy below.

Hereworth Highlights June/July 2016

24 May

The latest Hereworth Highlights is out now. Featuring news on Hereworth’s approach to primary education, introductions to new staff, the 2016 Choir Installation, and of course the achievements of our boys and news from around the school. View and download your copy below.

Hereworth Highlights April/May 2016

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June 2018