14 February

An Education Worth Having

An education worth having is one that not only grows a boy academically, but also develops his character to allow him to live a productive, fulfilling and flourishing life.

These are cornerstones of life at Hereworth: our curriculum, including our incorporation of thinking, problem solving and self-regulation, our purposeful focus on a boy’s wellbeing, and our broad sporting and cultural programs, all include a focus on developing a particular character trait in boys – that of resilience. It is one of the best attributes to develop for success in life; that ability to push through challenges and bounce back from hard times, adversity, failure or disappointment.

It is also an important component of our camping and excursion program conducted last week. It too included overcoming challenges involving high ropes, caving, abseiling, canoeing, even venturing out onto the rocky shore with waves washing around to examine the diversity of life forms. All of these activities help to broaden a boys’ school experience, building resilience and nourishing the formation of his character.

Many of the staff and parents who attended the camps and excursions commented on the have-a-go attitude and demeanour of our boys who faced and conquered the challenges presented to them even if it meant stepping out of their comfort zones!

When speaking to many of the boys about these outdoor experiences, I was amazed at their positivity – they had gained great enjoyment being away with their mates, getting to know one another better, as well as their teachers and parents. Many commented that there were times when they felt scared, that they were being stretched, but they persevered and showed courage and resilience to work through challenges and adversity. I really enjoyed watching our boys learning from staff and one another, and working together in a field environment.

Clearly our boys benefited enormously from these experiences, especially in terms of building resilience. I commend them for their commitment to the various activities and for having involved themselves so positively.

Thank you to the many staff and parents who accompanied the boys and assisted with the preparation of meals, transport of materials, instruction of activities and general wellbeing.

To experience the extraordinary goodwill of so many parents, the ability and enthusiasm of our great boys, and an amazingly committed staff whose professionalism and dedication extends well beyond school hours, is indeed a great blessing. The support of all is very much appreciated and ensured the success of the camps and excursions for the benefit of the boys.

7 February

Professor Lea Waters from the Centre of Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne spent a day with all teaching staff on Friday 24 January where we began the journey of Visible Well-being training to help us to see more clearly the importance of our own well-being and that of the boys in the School. We used the VWB framework to identify our own character strengths and practised a Harvard University Culture of Thinking routine (See/Think/Feel) for use in class with our boys to draw out their strengths and also their state of well-being, which has such a strong link to their academic progress.

Over these past two weeks, teachers, in particular in the higher year groups, have worked with the boys to determine their character strengths as a way of engaging them in class. I have seen a number of these attributes displayed as posters in classes whilst moving around the School.

Prof Waters will return to Hereworth to work with teachers again later this year to help deepen our understanding of the VWB process.

It is particularly important for us all as teachers to keep learning so we grow in our classroom practice. The real power of effective leadership is in maximising the potential of staff, as the lives of our boys are shaped and influenced by all that we do.

Further to a Curriculum Review undertaken in 2019, I am pleased to inform the School community of the appointment of five new Curriculum Leader positions to drive key aspects of teaching and learning at Hereworth.
Appointments are:

  • Curriculum Leader Literacy – Mrs Gill Unger
  • Curriculum Leader Mathematics – Mr Neil McCorkell
  • Curriculum Leader Digitech: Computational Thinking – Mr Nick Lorentz
  • Curriculum Leader Digitech: Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes – Mrs Laura Maloney
  • Curriculum Leader Digitech: E-Learning and Staff Training – Mr Max Woodhead
  • Curriculum Leader Science – Mrs Tania Potts

In addition to the VWB training of staff during the January professional learning days the Curriculum Leaders met together to plan with Mrs Megs Small, and also with their own respective teams.
I commend all staff for their willingness to collaborate so we continue to build on the collegial and supportive professional teaching and learning and pastoral environment that exists at Hereworth.

31 January
Weekly Memo – Friday 31 January 2020
A New TermA warm welcome back to all boys, staff and families to Term 1 2020. I trust that everyone was able to enjoy a restful break. It has been great to catch up with the boys this week, to listen to them tell me of their holiday adventures and to hear our School full of chatter and energy once again.

The House that Education Builds
At our Commencement Chapel Service last Monday with boys and staff, Rev Alan focused on the five cornerstones of a Hereworth education – academic, sporting, spiritual, cultural and social development. To grow in each of these areas as our boys’ progress through the School is the motivator of any great educator and will prepare them for success both at Hereworth and beyond.

As I listened to Rev Alan’s address, it reminded me of a story – the House that Education Builds. As we start another year together, I felt it appropriate to share it with you.

There once was a wealthy man who called his servant in to say that he was leaving the country for a year and that, while he was gone, he wanted the servant to build him a new house. The wealthy man told his servant to build the house well and, when he returned, he would pay all the bills, whatever it cost.

Shortly after the wealthy man departed, the servant decided it was foolish to work so hard and started to cut corners, spending and squandering all the money saved.
When the wealthy man returned, he paid all the bills and then asked the servant,
“Are you satisfied with the house you have built?”
“Yes, I am” replied the servant.
The wealthy man said, “Good…. because the house is yours. You can live in it for the rest of your life.”

Education is the house our boys are building to live in for the rest of their lives. May they continue to grow in the five cornerstones of a Hereworth education, so each can build the very best house they can!

Staffing News
Mr Lincoln Doull – I wish to inform the School Community that Mr Doull will be leaving Hereworth at the end of Term 1 2020. Mr Doull feels it is time to explore a new venture following some ten and a half years of dedicated service to the School.

Sport is such an important distinctive of the School and an essential part of every boy’s education at Hereworth. Mr Doull’s work has ensured that we do have a diverse and competitive sports program in place for our boys; one that embraces good sportsmanship and fair play, a commitment to developing their skills, along with having fun. The involvement of our boys in practices and games would be one of their fondest memories.

Mr Doull’s commitment to the role has been exemplary. He has invested a great deal of personal energy and effort in Hereworth.

There will be an opportunity to say thank you to Mr Doull later this term for all he has done for the School in relation to our special “cornerstone” of sport and to wish him well for the future.

Parents Welcome Functions – Wonderful community events!
The staff and my wife Jenny and I enjoyed meeting many parents at the Boarding Parents Welcome and New
Parents Welcome functions last Sunday. It was most pleasing to hear that your sons are embracing the start of the school year so enthusiastically and looking forward to the year ahead. Thank you for entrusting us with the education of your sons.
Thank you also to our staff for all the work undertaken to organise the events beforehand and on the evening. They were very positive occasions enjoyed by all.

With every good wish for the term ahead.
24 January

Welcome to 2020 at Hereworth School

A very warm welcome to all members of the Hereworth community as we commence the 2020 school year together! I especially welcome new boys and their parents and our new staff members, Mr Phil Chandler as Finance and Operations Manager, and our two new UK gap students, Mr Harry Yorke from Sutton Valence School and Mr Max Haynes from Shiplake College. I also welcome back continuing staff, boys and parents, and look forward to sharing another busy year of working together to bring out the best in the boys. It will be great to see and hear our classrooms, playgrounds and sporting fields come alive again next week with the return of the boys.

My wife Jenny and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at School events over the weeks ahead, especially the New Parents Welcome on Sunday evening.

13 December

Christmas Greetings

I take this opportunity to extend to members of the Hereworth community, my best wishes for a very Happy Christmas and for a bright and prosperous new year in 2020. 

Our School Community in 2019 has been richly blessed, and we can look back on a School year in which much that is worthwhile has been accomplished.

Thank you to parents, grandparents, Old Boys, boys, Board members and staff for your encouragement and support of Hereworth and making it a special place.

Mrs Barman and I have felt so warmly welcomed into this wonderful community. We look forward to sharing in another amazing year of new experiences and new learning opportunities next year!

May God bless you all and keep you safe!

6 December

Christmas @ Hereworth – From little things, big things grow!
These words resonate with the efforts that so many people made for our Christmas @ Hereworth Celebrations last night. So much planning and hard work was invested by so many willing parents, staff and boys, to make the event the outstanding success it proved to be. The energetic event work-force ensured that many people from within and beyond Hereworth attended the evening.

The proceeds raised will be consolidated with other monies raised by the Hereworth Parents Association and will provide funds for items required for the refurbished Performing Arts Centre.

Thank you to all who contributed to the evening: parents, staff and boys. Thank you also to all who supported the event.

I acknowledge the work of the members of our Hereworth Parents Association Executive led by the President, Mr Rick Kirkland, who has been relentless in his efforts to ensure a most successful event. I particularly acknowledge the members of our HPA, and also Mr Stuart MacIntyre and Mr Jason Brittin, who have supported Rick and worked tirelessly over many weeks to oversee the preparation for this special event.
A special thank you to:

  • Mr Scott Field for the construction of the Christmas tree stand.
  • Diack Bros for donating the use of a semi-trailer to transport the tree.
  • Mr Peter Sutherland who set up the electricals for the Christmas lights.
  • Our Maintenance Team of Dave McCurran, Rob Murray and James Crowther for the fantastic work they did beforehand with the grounds to ensure that everything looked as it needed to and for the time they spent setting up for the day.
  • Our small army of willing parent and student workers volunteering on the day and the evening at the stalls – I have seen the list and remain humbled by the close support of our community. 
  • The Hereworth Orchestra, our Rock Bands, Dance Group, Barbershop Choir and Wizard of Oz performers led by Mrs Joanne Stevens.
  • The guest musicians, M.I.N.K, Naked Gun, Harry Mason from Havelock North High School, and our famous NZ tenor, Patrick Power, whose performances were a special part of the evening.
  • The fantastic dance and Kapa Haka performances from Havelock North Intermediate School, Havelock North High School and the guest performance from Woodford House – Grace Haliburton and Johanna Peterson.

Thank you to each of our sponsors, both large and small, for their wonderful support of the evening:

Gold Sponsors:

Field’s Way Engineering / Freeway Floats & Trailers
Parkhill Joinery
Brittin Builders
Hawthorne Coffee Roasters
The Homegrown Juice Company
Pak ‘n Save
Silver Sponsors:
Talbot Electrical
Turfrey Hawke’s Bay
Forest Management NZ

Bronze Sponsors:
Rocket Scaffolding
M.W. Lisette Ltd
Waipawa Butchery
Scott’s Strawberry Farm


Christmas @ Hereworth was a great success, not only in terms of the proceeds made, but also in terms of the residual goodwill and sense of community which always results from a concerted, committed and collaborative effort such as this!

Hereworth Supporter Sports Day
Congratulations to everyone involved in last Saturday’s Hereworth Supporters Sports Day. It was great to see so many at this event – players, coaches, parents, grandparents, and spectators.
Thank you to Mr Paolo Pancotti, our kitchen staff and parents who worked hard on the day providing meals to bring it to such a marvellous conclusion.

Special thanks to Mr Marcus Peacock, our President of the Hereworth Old Boys Association, for his extraordinary efforts behind the scenes over recent weeks to ensure the success of these games for the boys of the 1st and 2nd Cricket, 1st Tennis and 1st Softball. It was a great day enjoyed by all.

29 November

Mastering the Game of “Golf”

As we approach the final weeks of the year, it is appropriate for us to reflect on the learning process being undertaken by our boys.

Recently I overheard one of our boys outside Wiremu Hall say to his friends that he was “learning to play the violin”. I could detect the excitement in his voice – he relished this opportunity.

As I watched this young boy sharing his enthusiasm, I wondered if he was imagining himself as a great violinist of the future – I hope so! Learning is not finite and has no end point. It progresses, as we continue to challenge ourselves and engage with in-class and out-of-class activities and experiences.

I remember reading an article written by the inspirational author, Steve Goodier, about a golfing enthusiast who was asked how he set about improving his game. He listed three techniques.

Although these apply to the game of golf, they equally apply to learning in life.

  1. Resist the urge to add up your score as you go along. If you anticipate your score, you will be distracted from the task at hand. In other words, live more in the present. Clear your mind of past mistakes and even past successes, and try to think only about the here and now.
  2. Focus. Concentrate on hitting great shots rather than worrying about bad ones, or what others will think if you miss. Visualise the ball going to the target. This is a terrific technique for daily living. Focus. Concentrate on doing the present task well rather than worrying about what others will think if you should ‘mess up.’ And get a picture in your mind’s eye of succeeding at the thing you are doing right now.
  3. Keep your mind on the hole you are playing. Don’t think about how you are going to play your last hole. This is about resisting the urge to think too far ahead. If we pay close attention to the present, the future will take care of itself. Our present moment is full of power and wonder. It deserves our full attention.

These three tips can be applied to our learning – not merely learning to play golf better (although I must keep aspiring to that hole in one!), but learning through our approach to life.

We always hear of a school being a place of learning. For our boys, their experience at Hereworth provides them with learning of two major kinds – academic and the skills of life.

All learning is life long, whether it relates to the academic arena or life’s experiences. Every boy at Hereworth is engaged in this ongoing quest, of learning to play their own “violin” and mastering the “game of golf”.
T. Barman

Acknowledgements: Arnold Palmer (American professional golfer) and Steve Goodier (inspirational author – Life Support System)

22 November

Another Great Week of Sporting Fixtures

T20 New Zealand Schoolboys Knockout Cup Final
Congratulations to members of the First XI Cricket team on their success in the T20 New Zealand Schoolboys Knockout Cup in Christchurch. Three teams tied for first place – Hereworth, Kings and Medbury. The run-rate meant that Hereworth were the runners up – an outstanding result. They also received the Spirit of Cricket Award for exemplifying the way this sport should be played.

Our boys had worked hard frequently practising in the weeks leading up to the tournament, refining their skills and growing in their understanding of the game, however, it was especially pleasing to see them also being rewarded for their conduct both on and off the field.

On many occasions, our parents commented that it was hard to believe they were watching 12 and 13-year-old boys as they performed with maturity, skill and determination beyond their years, encouraging one another, persevering to do their best for themselves and their team mates. The boys can feel justifiably proud of their accomplishments.

Thank you to all parents who travelled to Christchurch to support the players. I know this was very much appreciated by the boys and staff.

Thank you to Mr Paul Unwin as coach of the First XI Cricket team for his commitment to the development of each boy’s skills, and for his encouragement and support of the boys, teaching them the importance of fair play, teamwork, sportsmanship and abiding by the decisions of the umpire.

Thank you to Mr Lincoln Doull, our Director of Sport, for his organisation of these days away. Thank you also to staff who took on extra duties at school during this time to cover for colleagues.

Prep Fixtures v Huntley School and St George’s School
Congratulations to all teams on their respective games of Cricket, Tennis and Softball against Huntley and St George’s Schools on Thursday this week. Our boys participated in these games with a positive spirit earning the respect of the opposing players and spectators not only for their skills but for the sportsmanlike manner in which they played their games.

Whilst moving around and watching the different sports, it was terrific to see quite a number of Hereworth boys from other years and other sports, along with many parents, lending their support. It is that spirit of encouragement that helps make Hereworth such a special place.

Thank you to the many parents who billeted the boys and girls from Huntley. The staff and parents from this school were most appreciative – in fact a number of the parents from Huntley mentioned how much they had enjoyed hosting Hereworth boys earlier this year and that they are a credit to the School.
Thanks also to our staff for their involvement and support, in particular to Mr Lincoln Doull once again, for his excellent organisation of these fixtures.

I commend our boys for the way that they have conducted themselves, for their commitment to their performances and for having represented themselves, their parents and the School so admirably.

Dr Reeve Cricket Match
Thank you to the many parents and Old Boys for their involvement in this cricket game against the 2nd XI last Sunday. The match ended in a win to the 2nd XI who amassed an amazing score of 309 runs. Congratulations to Hugo Mabin and Jack McFetridge on their respective knocks of 56 and 46 and to Archie Absolom with bowling figures of 2 for 12.

Thank you to Mr McCorkell for his participation and organisation of this game and to the parents for preparing lunch and afternoon tea.
Thank you in particular to Mr Patrick Dingemans, Dr Reeve’s son-in-law, who umpired for a large part of the game, and to Mr and Mrs Dingemans son, Robin, who scored 21 runs! He claims this is his highest score on our No. 1 oval! Thank you also to their daughter Sophie for her support of the day.

This game was the 61st Dr Reeve fixture, first instigated by Dr Reeve, the school doctor, in 1958. It was a well contested match played in the right spirit, which would have delighted Mrs Cherry Dingemans, Dr Reeve’s daughter. It was a very special day enjoyed by all.

15 November

Saying Thank You to Our Boys

Last Monday afternoon I had the pleasure of teaching a science lesson on The Structure of the Earth to Mr Unwin’s class. At the end of the lesson, as the boys left the lab, they thanked me for teaching them. As the class had been a delight to teach, this made me think that perhaps it should be me as the teacher thanking the boys as they had been responsive, active and interested in what we were doing.

During this year I have also asked staff from time to time, especially those new to Hereworth, how they are going. A common comment from staff individually is the eagerness with which our boys engage with their learning. This was clearly evident in the lesson I taught last Monday. Whilst the staff play a large part in influencing the culture within the School, the boys, who outnumber us by around 15 to 1, also make a significant impact.

Thank you to our boys for wanting to grow in their learning each day and for the way they appreciate the lessons, pay attention, settle quietly and quickly to work, speak politely and cheerfully to all, and answer questions with thought and care. 

Not every day is an easy one for all of our boys and a thank you from a teacher can go a long way.

If we want our boys to appreciate the hard work we as staff put into each lesson, what better way is there than starting to appreciate and thank them for the hard work they put into each lesson in return?

Our boys crave the same type of attention and reinforcement that all of us do. We need to find ways of thanking our boys. They will thank us for it.

T20 Knockout Cricket Cup Final
Best wishes to our First XI Cricket Team as they compete in the final of the T20 Knockout Cup in Christchurch next week. I am sure they will be marvellous ambassadors for Hereworth once again, giving of their best, not only for themselves, but also for their team-mates and rightly earning the respect of the opposing players and spectators for their skills, and the sportsmanlike manner in which they play the game.

Choir Camp
Congratulations to all boys and staff involved, especially Mrs Joanne Stevens. Listening to the boys perform on Wednesday evening, along with parents, was beautiful and showcased the extensive depth of talent and skill possessed by our boys, parents and staff. I am looking forward to seeing and hearing the performance in St Luke’s Anglican Church in a few weeks’ time.

8 November

Making the most of your time at Hereworth

Last week in Chapel it was mentioned to the boys that their education is like building a house; a house that they are going to live in for the rest of their lives. They were encouraged to build the very best house they can whilst at Hereworth so they are equipped with outcomes for life and thus experience many further successes both at Hereworth and beyond. They need to ensure they are ready for an exciting future in an ever-changing world.

To be able to do this, there are some essential ingredients. To illustrate this the boys were told another story in their Weekly Assembly about a wise old man who was seated on a bench on Te Mata Road outside Hereworth. A young boy new to the area walked past and said to the old man, “I have just moved into the area. Could you tell me please what Hereworth is really like?” The wise old man thought carefully, and, after a moment’s silence replied, “Tell me about your previous school. What was that like?” The young boy replied. “It was pretty boring. Nothing much happened. The teachers weren’t any good. We’d just muck about most of the time. There was nothing to do. Yeah, overall, it was just boring.” The wise old man said, “Well, I think that’s pretty much what you’ll find here.”

A short time later, another new young boy came along and said to the wise old man seated outside Hereworth on Te Mata Road, “I have just moved into the area. Could you tell me please what Hereworth is really like?” Again the wise old man thought carefully, and, after a moment’s silence replied, “Tell me about your previous school. What was that like?” The young boy didn’t hesitate. “It was great. Lots to do all the time. Fantastic teachers. Really good fun. I made strong friends. It was a really great place to be. I absolutely loved it. I didn’t want to leave” The wise old man replied, “Well, I think that’s pretty much what you’ll find here.”

Our boys were then asked about the two different responses with the two boys? Oliver K correctly stated that it was to do with the boy’s attitude and effort – the second boy had a positive approach, valued the opportunities and wanted to do his very best.

Our boys were then asked to consider how each of them will approach their time at Hereworth? Will they be diligent, persevere, plan, organise and set goals to ensure they make the most of their time at Hereworth? Will they be positive and involved, work at forming strong friendships and make the most of the opportunities on offer, so that they will gain the most they can from their time at Hereworth?

In conversations with boys in the playground this past week, a number have mentioned that they want to be the best they can. They want to embrace all the opportunities they are given, to try their hardest in all they do, to be their best self not only for their own benefit but also for the benefit of others around them.

I encourage our boys to take every opportunity to achieve something amazing – don’t be fearful, don’t hold back. Don’t underestimate your potential.

In my ten months at Hereworth I have found the staff wonderfully supportive of all the boys’ endeavours and very keen to grow them as fine young men and to draw out the gifts and talents that each of them possess. So may our boys continue to give it everything they’ve got because the moment may never come again and who knows what they are capable of achieving!

1 November

Educational ‘bang for your buck’

What strategies have the greatest impact on student attainment according to educational research and hence what should be the priorities in teaching and learning at Hereworth?

Summarised below is a list of 25 school initiatives (internationally comparative data) showing the increased average impact on student attainment over a 12-month period, the strength of the evidence to support each of these strategies and their cost to the school’s budget.

For example, research shows that focusing on metacognition (such as thinking dispositions, problem solving ability, etc) and self-regulation (getting students to accept responsibility for their learning) has an average impact of an additional eight months’ growth per annum. This means that students in such a class will make on average 8 months more progress over the course of a year (so 20 months overall) compared to another class of students who were performing at the same level at the start of the year, but were not given this focus.

This educational research can help us to get the maximum ‘educational bang for your buck’, both in terms of making an initial choice between strategies, and in implementing a strategy as effectively as possible. This is all sound justification for the approaches being undertaken at Hereworth with the focus squarely on the top five strategies – metacognition and self-regulation, effective feedback, peer tutoring/peer assisted learning and early intervention from our classroom teachers and learning support team. Note in particular that little is gained from homework in the primary years (the use of readers for improvement in literacy, or undertaking research for work about to commence, or mastering numerical calculations should be the focus). Unfortunately, the research indicates that there is no academic impact gained by wearing a school uniform – however, it definitely promotes a student’s pride, loyalty, identity and sense of belonging, which are also essential facets to focus upon at Hereworth.

Strategies to Improve Learning

  • Note that impact = the average additional months’ progress over the course of a year you might expect pupils to make as a result of an approach being used in school, taking average pupil progress over a year as a benchmark
Strategies to Improve LearningCostEvidenceImpact*
Metacognition and Self-Regulation$$xxxx+8 months
Effective feedback$$xxx+8 months
Peer tutoring / peer assisted learning$$xxxx+6 months
Early intervention$$$$$xxxx+6 months
Collaborative learning$xxxx+5 months
One-to-one tuition$$$$xxxx+5 months
Homework (secondary/high school)$xxx+5 months
Mastery Learning$$xxx+5 months
ICT – Digital Technology$$$$xxxx+4 months
Behaviour interventions$$$xxxx+4 months
Phonics$xxxx+4 months
Social and Emotional Learning$xxxx+4 months
Reducing class size$$$$$xxx+3 months
Outdoor Adventure (Wild Ed) Learning$$$xx+3 months
Parental Involvement$xxx+3 months
Sports Participation$$$xx+2 months
Learning Styles (visual, auditory, logical, kinaesthetic, social, solitary)$xxx+2 months
Homework (primary)$xxx+1 month
Mentoring$$$xxx+1 month
Performance pay for teachers$$x0 months
Teaching assistants$$$$xx0 months
School uniform$$x0 months
Block Scheduling of longer periods$xx0 months
Physical Learning Environment$$xx0 months
Ability grouping/streaming/setting$xxx-1 month

Data extracted from http://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/toolkit

18 October
Escaping the Crab Bucket
Last Sunday just prior to the Boarders Dinner, Mr Unwin mentioned that during the holidays he enjoyed some fishing as well as catching some crays and crabs. This reminded me of a useful analogy to consider as we commence Term 4 together.

The phrase I have heard used before is “crab mentality”, also known as “crabs in a bucket (also barrel, basket, or pot) mentality”. It is a way of thinking best described by the phrase “if I can’t have it, neither can you”. 

This metaphor is derived from a pattern of behaviour noted in crabs when they are trapped in a fisherman’s bucket. The fisherman can leave the bucket without a lid, knowing that every time a crab makes progress towards its escape, the others will go out of their way to pull it back into the bucket [1].

Like crabs, people generally want to be together instead of alone. Human societies are built on collaborative relationships. Even from a young age, we recognise the need to get help from others. We want to have friends and find ways to co-operate so we all benefit. We know the best way is to want the best for others and hope they want the best for us.

Some animals do the same thing. Dogs have been known to adopt orphaned cats. Dolphins support sick or injured mates, swimming under them for hours at a time and pushing them to the surface so they can breathe. Vervet monkeys give alarm calls to warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators, even though in doing so they attract attention to themselves, increasing their chance of being attacked. 

However, there is also the crab bucket. Sometimes it is quite easy for one enterprising crab to climb up to the top of the bucket and be on the verge of getting away. But then the rest of the crabs, rather than following and finding freedom, reach up with their claws and pull the escaping crab back into the bucket so that none of them can get free.

Some people behave in a similar fashion – they want to pull everyone down to the same level. They mock the achievements of others, they try to undermine others by being negative and resentful. Why? Are they jealous? Are they frightened that if they tried they couldn’t do as well?

One of the hardest parts of changing one’s life is first of all escaping the trap other people are trying to keep us in. It can be difficult to be the first person in a group to start working hard at school, to join a team or club, to give up bad habits, to offer friendship to a lonely boy. If we have surrounded ourselves with crabs, they will reach out with their claws and try to pull us back to their level.

The staff at Hereworth gain great satisfaction from seeing and listening to our boys support one another, encouraging their peers on their successes, offering a helping hand when needed, persisting with what they feel is the right course of action, and not being critical or pulling one another down.

As was clearly evident at the sports games last term, The Wizard of Oz performances, the Choir Tour, the inter-school Chess Competition, our boys do exceedingly well as individuals when they co-operate as members of a team or a group and support one another.

TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More – Everyone then does well and experiences success.
Acknowledgement: Spacey, S. 2015. Crab Mentality, Cyberbullying and “Name and Shame” Rankings. In Press, Waikato University, New Zealand 
11 October
Welcome Back

A warm welcome back to all staff, parents and boys to Term 4 2019. I especially welcome the eight new boys and their parents joining us this term. I trust all have had an enjoyable and relaxing break, a time to catch up with family and friends.

A special welcome to Mr Tim Anderson who will be taking Christian Studies classes and Chapels for Rev Alan Burnett whilst he finishes his teaching degree over the first six weeks of this term.
Welcome also to our three new gap students:Thomas Chamberlain who comes to us from Stowe School, Buckinghamshire, UK.Stephanie Derham who comes to us from Burgate School in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, UK.Chrissie Bate, who comes to us from Solihull College near Birmingham, UK. We look forward to the contribution they each will make to Hereworth.
“Education is more like gardening”
Over the holiday period I was able to enjoy a few days working in our garden. Being spring, there are magnificent displays of azaleas, rhododendrons, dogwoods, camellias and other cool climate exotics, as well as flowering annuals, perennials and bulbs. The blaze of springtime colour is so attractive and refreshing to see and a reward for the hours spent working in the garden. There is a lovely analogy by Sir Ken Robinson, an author, speaker and international advisor on education that schooling is like gardening – and the job of the gardener is to create the optimal conditions for growth.

Throughout this year, I have admired the dedication of all teachers at Hereworth to this important work of educating or “growing” the minds and hearts of our young boys and helping to build our authentic, caring and spirited culture. For this I say thank you to each of them. I thank our parents too for working together with staff in the best interests of your sons. We particularly appreciate the respectful and open conversations that have occurred throughout this year at special School occasions such as Parent/Teacher/Son interviews, The Wizard of Oz performances, parent and son gatherings, and on the sidelines of sporting fixtures during the week and on weekends. Like parents, we as teachers, try to create the right environmental conditions for growth so each boy can reach his potential. Like expert gardeners looking after plants, we do not leave development up to chance — we plan carefully for the needs of our boys.

We look forward to participating in, and working together at School activities over the term ahead, both inside and outside the classroom. I am sure they will be uplifting occasions helping our boys to grow and flourish and form stronger connections both between and within the families at Hereworth.
20 September

The Wizard of Oz – What an unbelievable performance!

Following months of rehearsals and with a great sense of anticipation and excitement, The Wizard of Oz premiered on Monday evening in front of a packed Wiremu Hall with a spectacular Opening Night performance.

All who were seated in the audience were mesmerised by the acting, singing and dancing. Not only were the performances of the boys outstanding, but the colour and creativity of the costumes, make-up, set design and lighting, blended perfectly to provide a magnificent production under the direction of our talented Director of Performing Arts and Music, Ms Joanne Stevens. The lion’s share (pun intended!) of thanks for such a splendid outcome must go to her, for her overall creative vision, stage direction, costume, set, lighting and sound design, as well as all of the administrative and scheduling tasks, and the commitment to rehearsals that go along with bringing such a production together.

We must also thank and acknowledge Mrs Natalie Sandbrook, as Ms Stevens key creative collaborator and choreographer. Her commitment to rehearsals over the past few weeks has been of significant assistance to Ms Stevens and we greatly appreciate the energy and enthusiasm of these two teachers.

Special thanks to Mr Neil McCorkell, Mr Scott Jensen and Mr Richard Potts for their many hours of work with the set design and construction. Thank you also to all other teaching and support staff and band members, and the very large number of parents and community members who provided assistance by giving generously of their time and efforts to ensure the show would be such a success.

It was a pleasure to sit back and watch the sparkle and enchantment of one of the world’s most famous musicals that is celebrating its 80th Anniversary, and which has been enjoyed by many generations of movie and theatre goers.

Most deservedly, our Year 7 and 8 boys received a fabulous ovation at the end of each performance. I trust that the participation of our boys in this school production will be one of their fondest memories of their time at Hereworth. A full hearted ‘tin man’ bravo to everyone involved! It was a truly spectacular production. We will all be humming those catchy tunes for weeks to come!

End of Term 3 2019
I wish all students, staff and their families, an enjoyable holiday period. If staying at home, which for many of our boys, is the centre of their world, may it be safe and relaxing. If travelling further afield to “somewhere over the rainbow”, may it too be safe and exciting as you explore new destinations. Whatever the case, may it be a time to catch up with family and friends, and maybe like Dorothy, even make new friends along the way!

13 September

Dads and Lads Breakfast
It was a pleasure to be able to welcome so many fathers, grandfathers and father figures to our Fathers’ Day Breakfast with our Hereworth boys last Wednesday. Over 280 attended including quite a number who had travelled great distances to be at this special occasion with, and for, their sons, and/or grandsons or mentees. I know of one father who managed to coincide this time with a break from work in Dubai, another who flew down the night before from Auckland (and flew back later that morning), and a grandfather who rose at 4:00am and drove all the way from Taupo to be with his son, an old boy, and grandsons.

Fathers, grandfathers and father figures play such a crucial part as role models in the lives of boys. They help our boys play more roughly, foster competition, engender independence and encourage risk-taking. All of this is particularly important for boys. They also provide boys with a broader diversity of social experiences and introduce them to a wider variety of methods of dealing with life. By stressing rules, justice, fairness, and duty in discipline, they teach boys the objectivity and consequences of right and wrong. They give them insight into the world of men, prepare them for the challenges of life, and demonstrate by example the meaning of respect between the sexes. By showing compassion and love, they show boys how to treat others, in particular women, and help them to grasp the importance of appropriate male-female relationships.

Special thanks to Marcus Peacock (HOBA President), Rick Kirkland (HPA President) and Tor Hamilton, (Hereworth Foundation) for their work leading up to and on the day of this event. Thanks also to Duncan (Old Boy) and Annabelle Smith from Waipawa Butchery for graciously supplying the meat, and to Paolo Pancotti and our kitchen staff who arrived early in the morning to arrange a beautiful breakfast that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. It was a most successful Hereworth Community initiative.

6 September

Are you a Puller or a Knocker?

At this week’s assembly with the boys, I used the example of a simple hammer to illustrate an important point about the way we treat others.

A hammer has two main functions – one side, the face, is used to knock in nails; the other side, the claw, is used to pull them out.

With a hammer, you cannot do both at the same time. You can either knock or pull.

I asked the boys to think about the way they interact with one another.

Do they say things to knock or put down one another, or do they say things that pull people up, that encourage the heart, and make others feel good about themselves?

May all who are associated with Hereworth be pullers and not knockers!

30 August

By the early 2030’s, many of our current Hereworth boys will have finished tertiary training and be entering the workforce, starting to earn a living, finding somewhere to live, possibly making plans to travel, maybe even thinking of getting married. Although this is only just over a decade away, it is predicted that the world will face huge shortages of workers, even in countries with enormous populations. There will be even greater shortages of highly-skilled people. As well as these shortages, it is also predicted that many workers will not have the skills needed for the jobs of the future.

What does this mean for our Hereworth boys and their education?
One way of dealing with the crisis is through technology. We are already familiar with self-service in supermarkets and this kind of technology is rapidly increasing and spreading. Technology will replace a lot of jobs, but we will also see a lot of new jobs created requiring new skills.
As an example, automation, especially overseas, has already taken place in the car industry with robots doing the work of human beings. However, new, more complex electronic parts require new skills and have created many jobs.
When looking at an engineering magazine belonging to my youngest son some time ago I came across a position called a cognitive systems engineer – this is the person who develops the interaction between the driver of the car and the electronic system. Back in the mid-1980’s when I was a similar age to my son, most people wouldn’t have had any idea that such a job would ever exist.
As I read on, I found out that in spite of robots and automation, the overall number of people involved in the production of a car has only changed slightly because new, state of the art technology has created new jobs.
The jobs of the future that many of our boys might undertake do not yet exist.
Therefore, it is essential to understand all that we can about how to learn, unlearn and relearn so we are able to grasp these new ideas and technologies.
So what does all this mean for a Hereworth boy’s future?
School-leavers without appropriate skills will find it very difficult to find full-time work with regular hours. Many low-skilled jobs will most likely be replaced by machines.
Two weeks ago, on the way back from the Auckland Prep fixture I stopped at McDonald’s in Taupo. I was intrigued to see this fast-food company taking orders electronically, so not as many counter staff were required. I do not remember seeing this technology in operation when I stopped there back in January. As I reflected on this, I realised that educated, highly-skilled, innovative thinkers and problem solvers will be greatly sought after in an ever-demanding, changing and challenging world. Our boys must aspire to be a part of this group, with these years at Hereworth equipping them each with a passport to a fulfilling and exciting future.
Our young Hereworth boys will see these changes approaching very fast, so what can they do to be ready?

  • Use these important years at Hereworth to qualify for the future.
  • Think about what they are good at and what they could get better at; know what they need to work harder at; think about what they enjoy and what their interests are; make sure they develop their thinking and problem-solving skills; and take every opportunity to learn something new.
  • Start to find out all they can about the demand for different jobs and different skills.
  • Start to prepare their own plan for their education and skills that will continue beyond school because they will need higher education and training.
  • Continue to develop their people skills, learning how to be a good team member, how to get on with others, how to interact, how to be polite, pleasant and likeable (the things we focus upon as part of a boy’s wellbeing nearly every day at Hereworth).

It is their people skills, their talents and the power of their minds and imagination that technology can never replace. For our boys, the workforce may hold enormous challenges in the future, but for now, at Hereworth, it is a place that is safe, caring and with wonderful opportunities.
May our boys make the most of the gift of these years at Hereworth so when leaving us, they are well-equipped for further study and the exciting world that awaits them.

23 August

Medbury Prep Fixture
Congratulations to all boys involved on the way you have represented the School. The Medbury boys, parents and staff were most appreciative of the warm welcome extended to them. Thank you to our boys who acted as hosts and our parents who billeted the boys. Thank you also to Mr Lincoln Doull; the Firsts Coaches, Mr Paul Unwin, Mr Neil McCorkell and Mr Tom Hill; the referees for each game; and Mr Paolo Pancotti and the Kitchen Staff for their efforts to ensure a most successful Prep fixture that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Founders Day – A Most Important Occasion
Founders’ Day this week represented an important occasion in the life of the School.
Several activities were conducted over the course of the day to remember the Founders of the school and to value their legacy. The story of Hereworth is also the story of two other schools: Heretaunga, founded in Hastings in 1882 before moving to our current site in 1913; and Hurworth, founded in Wanganui in 1901. These two schools merged in 1927 to form Hereworth. We are indebted to the Founders, Staff and Board Directors for their vision. We are also indebted to those who have contributed to the leadership of the school and education of boys since that time. The excellent education for which the school has become known would not have happened without the foresight of the Founders of the school. They set out with the express intention of developing a school which would provide a well-rounded education for boys – a school of academic excellence, of quality pastoral care, of exceptional co-curricular opportunities; a school where relationships are an essential part of creating a strong sense of community; a school where every boy can become the best that he can be, irrespective of his varied gifts and talents; a school underpinned by a strong Christian ethos that fosters within each boy a willingness to act ethically, compassionately, with wisdom, and with a desire to serve others. We owe these people a debt of gratitude – without them this fine school simply would not exist – and this is why we honour them on Founders’ Day each year.
From those early years, Hereworth has prevailed, flourished, evolved and thrived, staying true to its original aims.
It is a privilege to be a part of such a special day to acknowledge our great School’s history, the importance of which I am sure is appreciated by every member of our School community.
Hereworth is a special place. It continues to do much to shape a positive future for boys. Our exceptional and committed staff inspire learning that transforms and empowers young lives allowing our boys to develop the skills and attributes for an ever changing world and for life beyond those formative primary and intermediate years.
It was a pleasure to be able to welcome back three former Old Boys from the Year 8 class of 2014 who are now in Year 13 and are the captains of their respective schools – Steven Black from Lindisfarne College; Ben Vautier from Havelock North High School; and Sol Cerson from Napier Boys High. It was most enjoyable and satisfying to hear of their fond and at times humorous reflections of their years at Hereworth: of the impact of the School in their intellectual and character development and of their journeys since leaving. Most importantly, we could see that Hereworth has assisted in shaping young men of conscience, courage, compassion and integrity, who are challenged to make a difference to the community and the world.

Thank you to all staff and parents involved – the day came together very successfully. I particularly acknowledge the efforts of Mrs Tor Hamilton, our Director of the Foundation, for her stewardship of the day.
Founders’ Day was a perfect opportunity to showcase the present and the future, against the backdrop of the past.

16 August

A Busy Couple of Weeks

The past three weeks have been exceedingly busy for many of our boys, families and staff with a Choir Tour to Wellington and the Wairarapa, the Chess Competition at Hastings Sports Park, preparing for and competing in the Kids Sing Competition at Hastings Intermediate, rehearsals for the Wizard of Oz, travelling to Auckland for Prep Fixtures in Rugby, Football and Hockey against King’s, St Kentigern and Dilworth and the Boarders Big Day Out. The Headmaster’s Tour also occurred this week to showcase the many opportunities on offer to prospective parents and their sons.

Congratulations to all boys on the way you have represented the School. I have received emails from host parents in Wellington and Auckland and face to face comments from local parents about the way our boys have conducted themselves at games, at after match functions, performing on the stage, as billets, in class and in other activities in the public arena. I even had some billeting parents say they would like our boys to stay longer with them so that they could have a greater impact upon their own sons!

Thank you to all parents for your support of these activities. I know this is very much appreciated by the boys and staff. That spirit of encouragement helps make Hereworth such a special place.

Thank you to all staff for your involvement and support, in particular to Mr Lincoln Doull, Mrs Joanne Stevens, Mrs Paula Kasper and Mr Christian Pera for the effort and time spent organising these activities. Thank you also to staff that have taken on extra duties at school during this time to cover for colleagues.

Best wishes to our boys competing in the Central Plateau Ski Races today. I look forward to hearing of their achievements tomorrow.

9 August
Making a Masterpiece

Whilst meeting a boy recently to commence at Hereworth next year, along with his parents, I asked the young man about his interests. He remarked that he liked learning the violin and would one day like to play or even own a particular type of violin – one made by the master craftsman, Antonio Stradivari. There was a pause for a moment as I looked at the parents and smiled, thinking such an instrument costs millions. They smiled back at me as though they knew what I was thinking. I replied that this was a great goal to have, and that Antonio Stradivari had an ambitious goal too – to do his best as he made each violin using tools that would be regarded nowadays as pretty simple. This man laboured over each step to create his own personal standard of excellence for his craft and he actually signed his name on each instrument that he made.

I am sure that when Antonio Stradivari worked, he did not know the legacy he would leave behind or the treasures he was creating. He was doing his best, day in and day out, to reach his dream of making the best instrument he possibly could.

He probably didn’t spend the extra time and care to get praise from others or to please them. At a guess, he did it because excellence was part of him and he put his heart and soul into his work.

It is easy to be motivated to do our best work when someone is watching over us such as mum or dad, or when you need good marks to get into a particular secondary school. However, the real test of excellence is what you do when no one is looking or is going to give you praise. Antonio Stradivari worked every day to do his best. He never worked with a poor effort. He never thought to himself that he could cut corners or do less than his finest work. Every violin he made was a masterpiece and his name now lives on for as long as people play his wonderful instruments.

We are not all an Antonio Stradivari but your life is your violin. What do you expect from yourself? What do you want for yourself? What do you want your legacy to be? What are you doing to make your life as fine and beautiful and precious as a Stradivarius violin? It is most gratifying for us as staff, and I am sure for parents, to watch the boys being engaged in this on-going quest at Hereworth to be the best that they can be.
2 August

The Virtues of Optimism and Kindness
In Whole School Chapels this term, the focus for all boys is on the development of character traits, in particular the need to cultivate particular virtues. 

In Week 1, Rev Alan introduced the boys to optimism. Optimists have a tendency to see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. 
Rev Alan illustrated this by way of an experiment using mentos and diet coke. He firstly poured out a portion of the diet coke so it was only half full before placing a number of mentos into the bottle, and ……. woosh …… explosion. The boys watched in amazement! 

Optimism is an admirable quality, when we choose optimism and rejoice in the goodness of life, then we have an overflowing impact on ourselves and those around us. It can positively affect our own mental and physical health, as well as that of others. Optimism means being brave even when things look hard. It means taking care of ourselves, because our future depends on good health. It means making the most of our intelligence and talents. It means trying new things because there is always the chance of a great discovery. It means always thinking you can do better and things will get better.

If you asked the staff at Hereworth why they became teachers they would probably reply because they each feel they can make a difference to young boys, their futures and the world. That is optimism.

This week, the boys looked at the virtue of kindness. The message focused on “Words that Hurt.” A tube of toothpaste and a plate were used for this activity in which some of the contents of a tube of toothpaste were squeezed out onto the plate. Boys were asked to consider how easy it would be to put the toothpaste back in the tube using a knife – scrapping the toothpaste off the plate and trying to get it back into the tube. Not only was the task frustrating, but it was also impossible to achieve.

The toothpaste was a metaphor for the hurtful words we say  sometimes to others. It was emphasised that we can’t easily take words back after they have been said, just like the toothpaste can’t be forced back inside the tube, once it’s squeezed out onto the plate.

This communication reminder is appropriate for all age groups—from pre-schoolers to senior citizens. The lesson applies to every setting where people gather, from school playgrounds to classrooms, to the work environment.

Hurtful words reach us by written memos, e-mails, face to face conversations and text messages. They can also be said in office hallways, in meetings, or behind a colleague’s back. There are many different means of communication, but the four basic forms are writing, reading, talking, and listening. No matter the form used, words are at the core of every message. It is important to think before we say something or before we push the send button. Remember, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube!

Our wellbeing program at Hereworth emphasises these two virtues of optimism (being positive) and kindness. It is important that we as members of the Hereworth community are determined to support and model these virtues to create a caring and inclusive school environment. There is no better teacher than example!

26 July

Cyberbullying Seminars – For Parents and Year 7 and 8 boys

With our society’s increasing reliance on mobile devices and ICT, the seminars run by our local Police Youth Liaison Officers this week were a valuable reminder to all of us as parents, and as educators, that we each need to be continually working to provide ongoing support, guidance and protection for our boys from online harm while still allowing individuals the opportunities to take advantage of the Internet.

The use of the Internet plays an important part in educating our boys. Furthermore, the use of social media platforms nowadays influences the identity formation of our boys. However, the Police mentioned that the use of the Internet, and in particular social media platforms, needs to be mediated more closely by parents and our boys need to monitor their involvement. Whilst these platforms offer independence, the ability to play games, a peer audience for our boys, and provide a place of intense and unrestricted learning, they have their own etiquette, system of rules and morality, and are in constant evolution. In a single generation, there has been a paradigm shift: adolescents inhabit a social context that we, as parents, for the most part did not experience as teenagers. It is a world that many of us as parents still do not really understand. The ramifications can be complex and dangerous.

It was quite revealing to hear of the situations being dealt with locally and further afield by our Police Youth Liaison Officers involving young people. Our Year 7 and 8 boys gained a lot from their involvement in their seminars. Thank you to our staff, especially Mrs Kate Field, for ensuring that we as educators continue to seek to create and maintain a safe online learning environment for our boys where appropriate digital citizenship and wellbeing systems are being included in their daily lives to support the responsible and safe use of technology. 

I am sure the parents at the seminar on Tuesday evening left feeling more empowered to be able to start conversations on these topics that affect their sons, to allow for differences of opinion, and to respond with empathy as they seek to have an influential presence in their son’s lives. 

Staffing News
Mrs Megs Small commenced her role this week as Acting Deputy Head – Teaching & Learning, taking over from Mrs Deb Richardson who is now my EA. Mrs Small relishes this opportunity to lead academic learning at Hereworth and to dedicate the next stage of her professional life to the boys and community of our great school.

19 July

A New Term

A warm welcome back to all boys, staff and families to Term 3 2019. I trust that all have been able to enjoy a restful break.

As always, thank you to our staff for their endeavours and commitment to our boys as many have been in at School over the holiday period preparing for the term ahead.

I look forward to sharing another busy term of progress and achievement with you all.

The House that Education Builds
During the course of the holidays, I came across a lovely little article about the importance of education written by retired Professor Richard Weaver from the Department of Interpersonal Communication at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. As we commence another term at Hereworth together, I felt it appropriate to share it with you.

There once was a wealthy man who called his servant in to say that he was leaving the country for a year and that, while he was gone, he wanted the servant to build him a new house. The wealthy man told his servant to build the house well and, when he returned, he would pay all the bills, whatever it cost.

Shortly after the wealthy man departed, the servant decided it was foolish to work so hard and started to cut corners, spending and squandering all the money saved.

When the wealthy man returned, he paid all the bills and then asked the servant, 

“Are you satisfied with the house you have built?” 

“Yes, I am” replied the servant.

The wealthy man said, “Good…. because the house is yours. You can live in it for the rest of your life.”

Education is the house our boys are building to live in for the rest of their lives. May they continue to build the very best house they can!

Staffing News
Mrs Elspet MacKenzie commences in her role as the Year 1 – 2 class teacher taking over from Mrs Deb Richardson who is now my EA. We thank Mrs Richardson for her outstanding service to Hereworth thus far. We warmly welcome Mrs MacKenzie and look forward to the many contributions she too will undoubtedly make to the school over the next two terms.

New Appointment to Hereworth School Trust Board
The School has received confirmation that Mr Sam Howard has been appointed to the Hereworth School Trust Board. Mr Howard is a Wealth Management Advisor with Jarden Wealth here in Havelock North and brings considerable commercial acumen, investment and strategic planning expertise to the Board and its Committees. He is passionate about supporting his former school and ensuring that all Hereworth boys are provided with opportunities to grow and develop their special talents. Mr Howard and his wife, Kate, will be known to many in the Hereworth Community. Their son, Jasper, is in Year 8.

21 June

When our actions hurt others
There are times when our actions, whether intentionally or unintentionally hurt others. There is no use denying it, we all mess up from time to time. There are occasions when we think, “I wish I had not done that!” On a number of occasions this year I have mentioned to the boys, mostly in Chapel, that there will be times when we fall short – short of our own expectations, those of our family, peers and other parents. We may have not thought through an action properly before enacting it. We may not have thought of the hurt it may cause others. 

As the boys will have heard, I call mistakes, or failure to act in a certain way, “learning curves”. Life is full of twists and turns and at times we do go along the wrong path or roadway.

The important thing is to have the strength to admit when we have “mucked up”. This requires humility, another important leadership attribute, especially if you have to forego privileges and put the good of others before yourself, thus living out the School motto of Non Nobis Solum – Not for Ourselves Alone. The attribute of empathy, to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to try to understand the hurt you have caused them, is also needed. Resilience too is required to recover from such a setback and move on. The person who has been offended and the person who has hurt others may need support, to help them to recover from the incident. Remorse and forgiveness are required, one needs to be sorry when a hurtful action is made, one needs to forgive themselves, but also needs to ask for forgiveness from the person/s they have wronged.

Sometimes parents assume that enrolling their child in a school with a Christian ethos is some kind of guarantee that all other boys will behave appropriately – I wish we could make that happen! A robust and realistic view is that the only behaviour in life we can control is our own, and in a situation of authority, such as administering a school, we can provide incentives and disincentives for correct behaviour.  Disincentives are sanctions such as punishments (from the minor end of the spectrum, such as wipe downs, or light reprimands, through to the ultimate sanctions, such as suspension and expulsion from school), which will deter boys and of course must be considered in certain circumstances.  Incentives are more about creating positive culture, ethos and rewards, and implementing positive, helpful programs, samples of such are seen every day at Hereworth. 

It is very unfortunate when our actions cause hurt to others. It is important that we work through them, take appropriate action, provide support and implement strategies to make things better and educate against them happening again. Boys will unfortunately make mistakes and cause hurt from time to time and how we respond to these situations needs to be considered carefully. Our boys are a work in progress.

Staffing Changes
Mrs. Deb Richardson – our much admired Deputy Head – Teaching & Learning and Junior School teacher feels she needs to commit more time to her family and therefore wants to withdraw from her teaching and leadership role. She will take on the role as my Executive Assistant commencing at the start of Term 3, 2019. Thus Mrs Richardson will finish this term with her 1-2 class and then move into her new role over the holiday period. 
Mrs. Richardson is very conscious of the timing and potential disruption of this decision to the boys’ education, however, she feels the needs of her family are her first priority.

Mrs Elspet Mackenzie, one of our relief teachers and mother of Felix in Year 6, will teach the class for Terms 3 and 4. Mrs Mackenzie is an outstanding educator with over 14 years teaching experience working with infants and primary children in various classroom settings. She is skilled in individualised instruction, reading recovery and extension activities based on students’ needs and interests. 

We welcome Mrs McKenzie and look forward to the contributions that she will undoubtedly make to the learning environment and to the pastoral care and well-being of boys at Hereworth.

The Hereworth Year 7 & 8 Formal 
This was an amazing function – a highlight of the school calendar for Years 7 and 8. It was wonderful to watch boys and girls displaying poise, a sense of the occasion and respect for one another, whilst enjoying a very special evening. They made all the staff very proud. 
Thank you to our many parents, led by Mrs Kate Howard and Mrs Emma Robertson, for their efforts to decorate the Hall so colourfully with lights and flowers everywhere and a sea theme hanging from the ceiling. Special thanks to Ms Kelsey Roderick for teaching the boys and girls dancing lessons over the preceding weeks. It all came together exceptionally well for our boys, and the girls from
Woodford House and Iona College.

Southwell Prep Fixtures
Congratulations to all teams on their respective games of Rugby, Football and Hockey against Southwell on Thursday this week. Unfortunately, I was unable to see the games as I was in Wellington at an Independent Schools meeting, but I have heard that our boys were perfect hosts, enjoyed playing their games, and, as always, displayed great sportsmanship. 

Thank you to the many parents who billeted the boys and girls from Southwell.

Thank you also to our staff for your involvement and support, in particular to Mr Lincoln Doull, our Director of Sport, for his excellent organisation of these fixtures and to Mrs Kate Field for presiding over the day in my absence.

Finally, a special thank you to our kitchen staff for providing lunches to staff, students and supporters.

Junior and Senior School Performance Assemblies 
It has been a pleasure to be able to witness the skills and talents of many of our boys at our performing arts assemblies these past two weeks – part of a program which is, of course, such an integral part of life at Hereworth for all year groups. 

Thank you to all music tutors and especially to Mrs Joanne Stevens, our Head of Performing Arts, for all the time and effort given to assist with the preparation for such events both before and on the day.

Congratulations to all the boys involved who put so much into making the performance assemblies such a success. All can feel very proud of the standard of speaking, singing, dancing and musical performance displayed. You gave us all a great deal of pleasure – they were wonderful events.

14 June

Equipping Our Boys for the 21st Century

Since referring to education as a “passport” to the future at last week’s assembly and in the Hereworth weekly newsletter, a number of boys, parents and staff have asked me about the school I spent some time in a couple of years ago in Suzhou near Shanghai in China that had 4,500 boys and girls, including 500 boarders from farmlands in western China. Note: The lessons for these boys and girls began at 7.00am and did not end till 6.00pm, after which time they still had their homework to complete! 

This time away enabled me to learn more about this amazing country, its culture, history and educational system, and see firsthand how it has undergone one of the most powerful economic transformations in the history of the world. I also came to understand the importance Chinese leaders, teachers and parents place on the education of their young people – a great education is so highly valued; it really is seen as the key to future success. At interviews I conducted for students wishing to come to Australia and New Zealand, the child, the parents and the two sets of grandparents were normally present. The focus was definitely on securing the best educational outcomes for the child/grandchild.

These types of experiences make us as teachers think carefully about the key skills required for the new global economy of the future and which should receive attention in our classrooms with our boys. Those skills include collaboration, accessing, analysing and validating information, effective oral and written communication, the ability to change and readjust one’s thinking, and a deeper understanding of the multi-cultural world in which we live. 

As teachers we need to create learning opportunities for our boys that integrate these skills into their work and thus better prepare them for successful futures. The excursion for many of the boys to the exhibitions on display at MTG Napier with Mrs Kersten and Mrs Kasper, the lesson on growing bonsai trees with Mr McCorkell, the Māori art appreciation lesson with Ms Tuck (Phoenix Preece’s mother from Year 7 KF) and our participation in the Language Perfect Competition this past week with Mrs Kasper are just some examples of the many exceptional and varied learning experiences offered here at Hereworth.

These experiences better equip our boys to be global citizens – young men who are successful learners, are confident and creative individuals, technology literate, emotionally and socially able to cope with the dynamic changes that regularly occur in the world of today. The boys must develop an understanding of people and their cultures so that they can engage professionally, purposefully, meaningfully and respectfully in our own and in other countries in our region. 

There is something quite special learning about other people, their culture and history so we can be a part of the global educational network of the world of today. 

On the wall of that school in Suzhou is written the following Chinese proverb which translated states “If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate a child.” 

Mrs Nicola Pentelow 
– our much admired, dedicated and loyal Executive Assistant will leave Hereworth on Friday 21 June to commence a similar role at Iona College. Mrs Pentelow has invested immense personal effort in the School. We are very grateful for her outstanding work in managing many of the day to day administrative operations of the School, including maintaining the School database and student records, looking after advertising and recruitment, preparing agendas for and minutes to meetings, organising marketing and promotional opportunities, liaising with and looking after special guests, overseeing our student enrolment processes, and providing exceptional support to me as Headmaster. She knows nearly every family of the Hereworth community and has been instrumental in expanding our relationships with families and people within the wider community. She has been a great ambassador for Hereworth. She will be greatly missed by us all.

7 June

Lots of stamps in the passport!
Last weekend, I came across an old passport of mine that had long since expired. I flicked through the pages to see an old picture of myself (hmm …. if only I could grow my hair that way now!) and a number of stamps from passing through customs of various countries visited over the years. It made me reflect firstly that there are probably very few countries nowadays where a stamp is required for entry as we are becoming a global world. Secondly, and more importantly, that the experiences of our boys as they travel through Hereworth is also like obtaining stamps in a passport. 

One of the core responsibilities of the staff at Hereworth is to continue to strengthen our teaching practices and wellbeing structures to improve the outcomes being gained by our boys. We, together with the love and support of parents, need to ensure our boys are “future ready”, that is, resilient, lifelong learners who are as fluent in emotional intelligence as they are in cognitive intelligence, who can think independently, are ethically aware, are growing constantly in their faith, and can approach the world with curiosity, compassion and empathy. For very good reasons, capacity in literacy, numeracy and digital skills are of the utmost importance to high-functioning young people. They are the keys that unlock the doors to knowledge and understanding. Thus education can be seen as a “passport” to the future. An excellent education will give a young boy very strong foundations for independent and successful living and will ensure he is “future ready” to cope with whatever may happen in life up ahead. 

In conversations with parents at recent events in the life of the School, such as sporting fixtures, grandparents’ and parents’ days, and parent-teacher-student evenings, it is very obvious at Hereworth that education resides in more than the “3 R’s”. It was CS Lewis who said: “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” If you will forgive his gender-specific language, Lewis is arguing that there is a great deal more to education than being trained in the technical processes of literacy, numeracy and modern day technology. To be really well equipped to make a contribution to the School and its community we need to educate boys of character.  

Our character, which is being formed all our days, takes its basic shape during our early years at home and at school. So many things that we experience during our lives can be understood against the backdrop of the events that shaped us when we were young. Schools need to be safe places where boys can experience success, feel valued, have fun, and where they also feel safe to have a go, even if things do not always go to plan. As we discussed in chapel this week – our mistakes or failures are really learning curves and we must keep pushing on with determination and perseverance. 

With a Hereworth education, we seek to provide access to many rich and full experiences. Character is shaped through experiences that take place both within and beyond the classroom. As I move around the School each week, I enjoy chatting to boys about their school. Often I hear how much they value their teachers and their friends. When they talk about their friendships, they talk about the things they share together, whether it is time in class, on the sports field, on camp, or performing in music, choir, drama, debating, chess or any of the other activities in which they become involved. They really get to know each other – and, without knowing it, they get to know their own strengths. They enjoy the experience of working with their friends to achieve a common objective and to have fun. With many of the activities in which our boys participate at Hereworth, it may be the only time in their lives they experience them – and that alone, if nothing else, makes them worthy. 

For this reason, we encourage participation in class, in sport, in cultural and performance opportunities, in voluntary acts of care and compassion, in outdoor education and in various camps, so as to broaden experiences and nourish the formation of character. It is amazing to see how some boys shine more in one circumstance than in another. 

Every one of us, no matter how humble or how brilliant, has traits worthy of celebration. The rich curricular and co-curricular life of Hereworth provides the “stamps in the passport” to the future. They are experiences worth celebrating. To be involved, no matter what the activity, is an effort worth making!

31 May

Parents Morning – What a special event!
It was a pleasure to welcome a great number of our parents to Hereworth this week to get a glimpse into what a normal school day is like for their son. Both in the classes I visited and at morning tea in the Hall, many parents expressed their appreciation for this opportunity and commented that “witnessing the skill of the teachers in class was something to behold” – and that they “would like to come back as students themselves!” Such is the passion of the staff for teaching and their devotion to inspire a similar love of learning in the boys whilst also encouraging the boys to take responsibility for their learning. There were several comments that staff have boosted the self-esteem of their son, which has led to improved confidence and self-belief. This consequently is having a significant impact on their engagement in the learning process and thus their progress at Hereworth.

The boys’ faces indicated that they too gained great enjoyment from having parents at the School. It was interesting to see a number of them waiting outside the Hall at the end of break wanting to collect their parents and take them to class again.

Belonging to this community does give us a sense of shared purpose and identity – to educate and inspire boys and young men to believe in themselves and to strive to be their best.

There is something very powerful at work in a school such as Hereworth!

Wellington Prep Fixtures
Congratulations to all teams on their respective games of Rugby, Football and Hockey against Scots College and Wellesley last week.

They were terrific games to watch and it was great that so many parents were able to travel to Wellington to lend their support to the teams. I know this was very much appreciated by the boys.

Thank you to all coaches for your involvement and support, in particular to Mr Lincoln Doull, our Director of Sport, for his organisation of these days away.

Thank you, again, to all boys for the manner in which you have conducted yourselves both in the games, at after match functions and as billets – you were great ambassadors for Hereworth!

Recognition Ceremony and the Official Opening of the Dr A.F. Toogood Dining Hall
On Thursday, the School gathered together to acknowledge the contributions of a Hereworth Old Boy, Dr Alex Toogood, and to name our Dining Hall in his honour. Dr Toogood attended Hereworth from 1950 to 1954. He left part of his estate to the School when he, unfortunately, passed away in 1987. It is of enormous benefit to current and many previous generations of Hereworth boys.

This kind act is a lovely reflection of the School motto: Non Nobis Solum – not for ourselves alone. Whilst Dr Toogood was a Professor of Communications at Ohio State University, he attributed his career success to the educational foundations provided at Hereworth. He was keen for others to benefit in a similar way, just as he had done.

Thank you to Mr Jonathan Hensman, the Chairman of the HSTB, and also to Mr Paul von Dadelszen and Mr Peter Dickenson, who were contemporaries of Dr Toogood, for their addresses to recognise this great contribution to the School.

10 May

The Size of the Game
At last Friday’s assembly, I mentioned that sport is one of the major co-curricular activities at Hereworth. It teaches our boys how to win and lose with grace; to learn about commitment, teamwork, perseverance and courage; to develop their skills; to learn about how to handle disappointment as well as success; to learn about fair play, sportsmanship and to abide by the decisions of the umpire or referee.

In conversations with Old Boys, they too have commented on their time playing for the School, their memories of incidents or successes in particular games, the fun times associated with the long journeys to away Prep fixtures, and of the honour and pride they felt in being able to represent Hereworth in this way. However, the aspect they seem to value most is that sport represented another avenue in the School that allowed them to form strong friendships with other boys, staff and parents which have endured long after leaving Hereworth. 

There is a marvellous quote by the great US basketballer, Michael Jordan, who played for many years with the Chicago Bulls and was a long standing member of the US Olympic Basketball Team, the Dream Team: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”.

Whilst he may have uttered these words of wisdom used nowadays by coaching staff around the world, there is another very different story about Michael told by his mother, Deloris, when he was a young boy. She can remember him coming home from school in tears, running up to his bedroom and slamming the door shut. Like all mothers, she wanted to find out what was worrying her son and followed him up the stairs.

“What on earth is the matter?” she asked her young boy who was sobbing his heart out. “I didn’t make the team. They said I was too small”, he cried.

His mother looked at her broken-hearted son and knew whatever she said next could make all the difference between success and failure for her boy. After a moment’s reflection, she said, “Son, you can never be too small. It is not the size of the player in the game that matters. It is the size of the game in the player.” She quietly left the room.

The next morning, she was woken by her son Michael’s alarm clock and sleepily looked at the time – 4.30am! She heard him get out of bed and go outside into the yard where he began practising. From then on he practised every morning and every evening. Whatever the weather, he kept on practising. And as he practised, he repeated over and over to himself, “It’s not the size of the player in the game. It’s the size of the game in the player”.

And of course, you know the ending. Trials at his school came around again and he played so well and with such focus that he not only made the team that next year but every year after that. Whilst Michael may have initially been considered to be too small for the team, through his mother’s wisdom and his own fighting spirit, he went on to achieve unimaginable success in his chosen sport.

As our winter sports get fully underway, let us remember: “It’s not the size of the player in the game. It’s the size of the game in the player”.

3 May
A new term

A warm welcome back to all boys, staff and families to Term 2, 2019. I trust that everyone was able to enjoy a restful break. It is great to hear our classrooms and hallways full of chatter and energy once again.

Anzac Day – A time to reflect with pride & gratitude
Last week marked 104 years since the first brave, young New Zealand soldiers went ashore at Gallipoli, unaware they would create an enduring legacy so important to this country today. It is a legacy that embodies enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance that will never know defeat. Anzac Day allows us to remember the lives lost and pay tribute to the many who have served their country and fellow man in various wars. It is appropriate we take the time to reflect upon the sacrifice of these men and women.

A number of our boys participated in the service at Havelock North on Anzac Day by handing out programs. Our Head Boy, Harry Huxford, also read out the inscription from within the St James Chapel in memory of J N Williams, an old boy who was killed in action in 1942 while serving in the RNZAF. Community members present were very appreciative of the efforts of all boys involved.

In our own Anzac Service held on Thursday at Hereworth, our Head Boy, Harry Huxford, and our Deputy Head Boys, Monty Field and Micky Peacock, read out the 99 names of those Heretaunga, Hurworth and Hereworth old boys who had served their country in either the Boer War, WWI, the Malabar Rebellion, WWII, or the Korean and Malaysian Wars, and paid the ultimate sacrifice of losing their lives. The white crosses on St James Chapel lawn represent each of these men. They stand as a reminder of the high cost of war. Our boys also listened intently to the reflections of Mr Neil McCorkell about the enormous sacrifices made by men and women whose lives had been tragically cut short defending our way of life and the values we uphold. Rev Alan encouraged each boy to remember that these men and women “gave up their today for our tomorrow”. Mr Graham Ramsden (HOB 1942-1944) spoke to us of his father who had served at Gallipoli. He recounted his emotional visit to the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli invasion in 2005 along with many other New Zealanders and Australians. His father was only a little older than the young boys in the most senior group in our School today.

Thank you to Mr Graham Ramsden and all staff involved, in particular Rev Alan Burnett and Mr Neil McCorkell, Ms Molly Munro, Mrs Joanne Stevens, and our Music tutor Mr Will Darbyshire. The conduct of our boys involved during this important occasion, certainly indicated that they have a respectful appreciation of those sacrifices which have been made by the many servicemen and women from New Zealand and other countries. They expressed their gratitude for the peace and way of life we enjoy today.

Mr Scott Jensen –  is recovering well following a heart operation in the holidays. We wish him a speedy recovery. Mr Jensen is appreciative of the well wishes of boys, parents and staff.

Mrs Kate Watson – our much admired and dedicated Receptionist leaves us on Friday 10 May, to commence a new position at Te Aute College in their Accounts Department. We are very grateful for her outstanding work. She has been of enormous support to all staff. Mrs Watson is the first friendly face that visitors see when they come into the School. In manning the reception area and the main switchboard, she has been the voice of Hereworth! I know Mrs Watson will miss our boys, staff and parents, and undoubtedly she will also be missed by our School community. Mrs Hillary Riches will temporarily start work next Monday 6 May, for a period of 6 weeks, whilst a permanent replacement is found.

Mrs Melissa Christie – has commenced as our Marketing Co-ordinator and will focus on the development of marketing, brand and communication strategies. Mrs Christie is the mother of Finnigan (HOB 2008-2011) and Lachlann (HOB 2008-2016) and is relishing being able to be back and involved with Hereworth once again.

We welcome these new staff and look forward to the contributions that each will undoubtedly make to the school environment at Hereworth.

I look forward to catching up with parents and community members at School and at events over the term ahead.

5 April

The Significance of Good Friday
Watching the recent footage of two young children walking through the damage of their home village in Zimbabwe caused by Cyclone Idai brought home the brutal reality of the trail of destruction caused by a natural hazard. The rising death toll, the vast numbers of people displaced by unprecedented flooding, and the threat of cholera due to contaminated water are impacting heavily not only in Zimbabwe but also in Mozambique and Malawi.

Many would ask: where is God in this suffering from such a human and natural disaster? But God is where He always is – in the midst of it. He suffers alongside us and He weeps with us. This is what the Good Friday experience of Christ is all about.

Good Friday is God reaching out to the world. Good Friday is the sin and grief of the world placed upon the shoulders of Christ.

God entered fully into human life, in the person of Jesus Christ. In His agonising death on the cross, He demonstrated the love of God for all humanity. Christ suffered with us, and suffers with us now, especially in the midst of despair and failure.

However, Good Friday is not the end of the story, just as it isn’t the end of the story in Zimbabwe. On Easter Day we celebrate the central Christian belief that Jesus conquered human frailty and death to bring hope. Now He lives forever.

He sends us into the world to serve Him by offering acts of kindness and love in His name. The crucified and risen Christ gives us a new awareness of the vulnerable and fragile life of many in the world.

Christ is risen from the dead; dying He destroyed sin and death; rising He restored us to God.

The Importance of Our Co-Curricular Program
Over this past week, many of us have had the joy of watching our boys play sport, participate in the Oral English Finals and be installed as Choristers.

Being involved in the many and varied co-curricular opportunities at Hereworth is so important. It opens up a whole new world of experience for the boys that further develops not only their physical co-ordination and skills but also enhances their minds, their creativity and expressive ability.

Furthermore, it is enormously important in building and consolidating character. Our boys learn about commitment, teamwork, collaboration, perseverance and courage; they learn about how to handle disappointment as well as success; they learn about fair play and sportsmanship. It allows them to develop further those skills that they know they already possess and to discover other things about themselves that they did not know previously.

It also gives them a sense of balance to their lives and means we are concentrating on the all-round development of the boy, not just the academic.

It is another avenue at Hereworth that allows the boys to form strong friendships which will endure long after they leave the School.

Participating at Hereworth in a team, a group or as part of a choir or performing cast, is a great honour and, I believe, a source of real pride. It is something to which our boys should aspire!

The End of Term 1
I wish all boys, staff and families a safe, relaxing and enjoyable Easter and holiday period – a time of hope where we can reflect on God’s infinite goodness, grace and love.

Thank you to all boys, staff and parents for the warm welcome extended to Mrs Barman and me. We have thoroughly enjoyed becoming a part of this very special Hereworth community.

We look forward to the start of next term and once again seeing the boys involved in the rich and varied educational and co-curricular life of Hereworth.

29 March

The Horonui Run ………. Our community in action, once again
Last weekend’s Horonui Run was a most successful event, not only in terms of the funds raised to support the School, but also in helping to build further that sense of community, which is so important at Hereworth. This 4WD event held every two years has become firmly entrenched in the life of the School. The atmosphere throughout the weekend was amazing. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Many appreciated the opportunity to tour the properties of current and previous Hereworth families, to witness the outstanding views, and to spend time catching up with members of the School community. I definitely enjoyed listening to all the stories from the Old Boys, hearing of their fondness for the School and the staff who taught and looked after them. There were many laughs and much reminiscing.

Staging such an event depends on the goodwill of members from the Hereworth community. We are fortunate indeed to have students, staff, parents and Old Boys within our community who were prepared to be a part of this opportunity which raises funds to help more young boys experience Hereworth. I especially want to thank the Ritchie family for letting some 250 people camp on their land, Mrs Tor Hamilton, The Foundation Co-ordinator, for her attention to detail, Mr Paolo Pancotti, our Chef for catering for the weekend, and Mr Marcus Peacock, the President of the HOBA, for garnering such strong support from the School, Old Boys and wider community. Thank you also to all who generously provided sponsorship for the weekend and items for auction. I felt very humbled to see the list of so many people and organisations who had helped out in this regard.

Sporting Successes
Congratulations to our Under 9 and Under 7 Hereworth Tee Ball teams who won the finals of their competitions last Saturday! Congratulations also to our Cricket First XI team who won both their games at the Central District Regional Finals of the New Zealand Knock Out Cup at Palmerston North on Wednesday and will now compete in the finals in Christchurch in November later this year. The teachers are very proud of all boys and the way they represented their families and the School.

22 March

When the world outside appears to have fallen apart …
Today we held a mufti day called Colour Your Day where we wore bright, happy colours and raised funds for families and the Muslim community impacted by the tragic events in Christchurch last week.

We also held a minute of silence at 1.32 pm and again at the start of assembly. The deliberate targeting of two mosques in Christchurch in which 50 people lost their lives, with many more being injured, are an assault on the values that New Zealanders hold dear – values such as friendship, tolerance, acceptance, respect, kindness and inclusivity. It has been a testing time that will continue to have an ongoing impact.

Here at Hereworth last Monday morning at squads and the sports assembly, staff reminded boys of their preciousness and value, no matter what their faith or background. We emphasised the need to stick together, continue on, and not let our way of life be affected by the actions of others.

At today’s assembly, I addressed the boys by holding up a single stick. It could be easily broken by bending it, but two were harder to break, as were three, until four sticks held tightly together, were not able to be broken. The point being made was that we all need to stick together and adhere to those special values. We are stronger when we bind together and help each other. That’s what we need to do to move forward from this terrible act.

It has been interesting to see this week that when the world outside appears to have fallen apart, staff have made sure the world inside at Hereworth has remained as reassuringly familiar as possible. Routines this week have carried us through, helping to keep emotions at bay.

However, the senior management team and teachers at Hereworth have allowed discussion of the events of last Friday in Christchurch to occur as necessary. Teachers have allowed boys to express their dismay, their bewilderment. In Chapel, we asked them to pause and to bow their heads in prayer to remember the victims and their families.

It has been a week when the sense of community, of cohesion, which is so important within a school, came to the fore. Staff have mingled with boys, talking to them, asking how they are going. I was very touched when Finn in Year 8 came up to me and asked how I have been faring.

Throughout this week, staff have modelled a civilised, thoughtful response to events that are very hard to comprehend. We have been teaching our boys how we – the adults they look to – navigate through a sometimes difficult and confusing world.

And whilst the events of last Friday in Christchurch have brought home to us that we, in New Zealand, are not free from the threat of horrible acts of terror, there still is an appreciation of how lucky we are to be part of a strong community, to be with people who care, and to be alive with the joy of each day.

Being a teacher, being a school leader – these are not always easy jobs. A lot of the work the staff do within a school goes unnoticed. However, every day, quietly, enthusiastically and without fanfare, staff embrace their work, doing the Hereworth school community proud.

In contrast to these acts of abhorrence, we cannot thank them enough for all they do for our boys.

Our Community In Action
One of the most important aspects of any school revolves around the notion of COMMUNITY. At Hereworth we seek to prepare boys for life in our rapidly changing world equipping them to be courageous, constructive, creative and compassionate citizens with the will to serve, encouraging them to take an active part in the community life of the School.

This week’s Open Day was a great example of the Hereworth community in action with our boys remaining late after normal lessons to participate in class and showcase the many opportunities our wonderful school has on offer. Our Year 8 boys as tour hosts for prospective parents and their sons were also great ambassadors for the School. A number of current and even former parents, together with some Old Boys, and members of the teaching staff, mingled with new parents in the Library or Founders’ Room to discuss the many facets of a Hereworth education designed for boys.

We also received numerous comments from these new parents praising the way our boys conducted themselves. They were particularly impressed by the way the boys introduced themselves, welcomed them, interacted with them and their sons, and demonstrated a depth of understanding about the life of the School.

I thank all who assisted in making the Open Days so special – boys, staff, parents and Old Boys. I particularly thank Mrs Nicola Pentelow and Mrs Kate Field, who oversaw much of the organisation of the day.

The meaning of COMMUNITY was strongly expressed by all who took part.

8 March

Grandparents’ Day – What a great event!
It was a pleasure to welcome grandparents to Hereworth this week, some of whom had travelled long distances to be here. It was great to have so many in attendance.

Grandparents play such an important role in the lives of our boys. Much of this is seen through the support and help provided to parents. The boys benefit too from the unique relationships with their grandparents who are great role models and mentors for our younger generation. Grandparents are also historians and teachers – guiding values, instilling ethnic heritage, and passing on family traditions.

Grandparents’ Day is a very special event in the Hereworth calendar. Those grandparents with whom I spoke really enjoyed the Chapel service, being in a classroom again (some said they found the exercises quite challenging!) and touring the School with their grandsons. I also enjoyed listening to the stories from some of the grandfathers who attended Hereworth as boys many years ago – hearing of their fondness for the School, the staff who taught them and looked after them, and the life-long friendships made.

The expressions on the faces of our boys also revealed that they too gained great enjoyment from having grandparents here.

I commend our boys and staff for their support of this special day. It was so gratifying to see the boys being such excellent ambassadors for the School and their families. It really was a most uplifting occasion helping to foster stronger connections between and within the families at Hereworth.

Parent Afternoon Teas – Another special community event
My wife Jen and I have enjoyed meeting many parents at the two recent afternoon teas prior to the Friday assemblies. It has been most pleasing to hear that your sons are embracing their time at this wonderful School so enthusiastically and making the most of the opportunities on offer, growing in their learning, faith and character, enjoying themselves, making friends and feeling valued as members of our community.

The Horonui 4WD Run – Assistance Required
There is a small army of willing workers coming forward to help Mr Marcus Peacock (President of the Hereworth Old Boys’ Association), Mrs Tor Hamilton (Coordinator of the Hereworth Foundation) and Members of the Hereworth Old Boys’ Association on the weekend of Friday 22 to Sunday 24 March to prepare for the 4WD Horonui Run, but more volunteers are required with preparation at School on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 March for this significant community fundraising event. The proceeds raised will be consolidated with other monies of the Hereworth Old Boys’ Association to provide for various projects within the School.

If you can afford to give a few hours of your time, it would be very much appreciated and will ensure that the weekend is a great success. It will also be an opportunity for parents, especially those new to Hereworth, to get to know other families.

Please contact Mrs Tor Hamilton on (021 467 283 or 877 8138).  Further details are provided in this newsletter.

1 March

Helping and Guiding One Another                             

Last week in Chapel, I mentioned to the boys that I used to spend many school holidays with my parents and three sisters on a large sheep and cattle station (about 7000 hectares) near Tenterfield in Northern New South Wales.

I have very fond memories of those holidays – not only because of spending time with my family working at various activities on the farm, but because the farmer would give me an old ute to drive for the time we were there. It was, in fact, where I learnt to drive and I remember clearly that the gear lever was on the side of the steering column – “three on the tree” was the term they used. The brakes were also in a pretty bad state and had to be pumped to make the ute come to a halt.

The property had a second homestead that we rented from the farmer. Just beside that homestead was a paddock with two horses in it. From a distance, both horses looked the same, apart from one being larger than the other. Close up, you could pass your hand in front of the eyes and around the head of the larger horse and notice something interesting – it would not flinch – this was because it was blind.

The property owner had chosen not to have him put down, a rather rare thing to do on a working farm, but had made the horse a safe and comfortable place to live. This was very compassionate on the farmer’s part.

As you stood nearby and listened, you could hear the sound of a bell. It was coming from the smaller horse in the field which had a bell attached to its halter. The ringing of the bell let the blind horse know where the other horse was in the paddock.

As you watched these two animals you’d see that the smaller horse with the bell was always checking on the larger blind horse, and that the blind horse would listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse was located.

When the smaller horse with the bell returned to the shelter of the barn each evening, he would stop occasionally to look back, making sure that the blind horse wasn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

This simple story illustrates something important. Like the farmer who owned these two horses, we shouldn’t discount others just because they are different from us, or because they have problems or challenges. We can always find a way to help and encourage each other.

Sometimes we are the blind horse, being guided by the little ringing bell of helpful friends. And at other times we are the guide horse, looking after and encouraging others to find their way.

That’s just the type of place that Hereworth is – we help and guide one another.

22 February

The Importance of Manners

During this week, a number of prospective parents and their sons visited Hereworth for a Headmaster’s Tour so they could find out more about our wonderful school. We went into a number of classes to see the teachers and the boys in action. As we entered the classrooms the boys greeted me and our special guests politely and appropriately by standing and saying “good afternoon”. The staff explained the focus of the lesson and the boys elaborated not only upon what they were learning but, more importantly, how they were learning – through the use of laptops for research, through collaborating with one another, by building and constructing jewellery or by performing together. I was interested to watch the interactions of our boys with the guests they were meeting, in particular, their manners, which were exemplary.

It made me reflect on good manners and how they are as important today as in times past. The use of good manners is simply a demonstration of one person’s consideration for another and indicates our awareness of others. It can be as simple as “good afternoon”, “please”, “thank you”, or “may I help you?” – important words that oil the machinery of human interaction.

Exercising good manners is certainly important, but knowing how to acknowledge them is equally important. I well remember as a young university student standing in the aisle of a crowded train. There was a young boy seated nearby in a green uniform, a similar colour to that of Hereworth. He stood up to offer his seat to a woman also standing in the aisle. Her reply was both haughty and abrupt, as she rejected the offer saying she was perfectly capable of standing on her own feet. Fortunately, an elderly lady heard the exchange and graciously commented that she would be very grateful for the seat, and thanked the young boy for his courtesy.

Warmly greeting a member of staff, opening a door for a friend, offering to help carry a heavy bag for a grandparent, or making room for others in a busy school corridor are all acts of consideration; so are comments and gestures which are supportive, helpful and encouraging. As members of the Hereworth community, it is important that we continue to model what it means to be well mannered – there is no better teacher than example!

15 February

Hereworth Parents’ Association Family Picnic on Ritchie Field – A fine community event!
It was great to be able to meet with current and new parents at the HPA’s Family Picnic on Ritchie Field last Tuesday evening. Some had travelled considerable distances to attend – Wairoa, Taupo and Dannevirke. It was most pleasing to hear that your sons have settled in so well and embraced the start of the school year so easily, willingly and enthusiastically.

Thank you to Mrs Sharon Cullwick, the President of the HPA, and other members of the committee for their organisation of the evening. Thank you to all parents for your support. It was a wonderful occasion enjoyed by all.

This week I have had the pleasure of spending time with three Hereworth Old Boys – brothers Mr Bob Logan (1928 to 1932) and Mr Hamilton Logan (1935 to 1937), and Rev Jon Williams (1940 to 1944). It was very special to be able to spend time with Mr Bob Logan at his home near Napier on Monday afternoon, as he turned 100 on Wednesday.

As I listened to the journeys followed by each of these Hereworth men, I kept hearing how grateful they were for their time at this School. It made me reflect on the preciousness of life, the need to make the most of opportunities and the importance of being grateful for life’s experiences and blessings.

One of the things that stuck me on camp last week was the encouragement given by staff to the boys and by the boys to one another as they faced and conquered various challenges. That encouragement was in a number of forms. Sometimes it was a simple gesture from one boy to another – a high-five, a fist bump, a gentle pat on the back, or even just a smile of confirmation. On other occasions, it was the words of a teacher, a parent helper, or even a Headmaster, that had an obvious impact upon the boys – inspiring them to move forward, continue to do their best and to make the most of life’s opportunities.

As the boys arrived back from camp it was great to see them showing their gratitude to their teachers as they got off the bus. Boys valuing the contributions our staff have made to them as learners refreshes the spirits of staff and affirms that what they do for our boys is so worthwhile. This is something very powerful at work in a school such as Hereworth.

As the new term now gets underway, I encourage us all to practise gratitude. Set aside a time each day, maybe at the family mealtime, to think of three things for which you are grateful. They can be the most basic of things like the food we eat, the job we have, the relationships we enjoy, the great school you attend. The practice has several benefits. It is a reminder of how lucky we actually are, but not only that; mindfulness research has shown that this practice can give us perspective and make us happier people! Cultivate an attitude of gratitude!

8 February

The Most Important Asset
In recent years, as boys make their way through formal school education, many of us as parents and educators, have had our view altered about what is important in education.

As the end of the primary and middle years of schooling approaches and decisions have to be made about further education, there is an increased focus on results.

There is an old adage which says “we value what we measure and measure what we value”. However, not all that is good can be measured. All of us would agree that love is the most important thing, but you cannot measure how much love a person has for another.

It is sad that education today is often limited by a number. Talk about “evidence-based” practices abound as if an education worth having is solely about academic performance.

Let me make it clear that academic performance is very important. I believe this strongly and academic results are a key focus of Hereworth’s culture.

However, academic results are not the sole aspect of a great education. One of the best indicators of a person’s success in life is resilience; their ability to push through challenges and bounce back from hard times, adversity, failure or disappointment. The development of resilience is at least as important as academic results. And given the challenges facing our boys over the years ahead due to digital disruption, different job opportunities and changing lifestyles, perhaps resilience is in fact even more important.

Scott Peck’s opening line in his most famous work, The Road Less Travelled, says, “Life is difficult”. He states this as a matter of fact, not as a pessimist. He goes on to say that we only grow and experience what it means to be fully human if we have the courage and resilience to work through challenges and adversity. He is harsher to those who shy away from the tough times, seeking ways to avoid them instead.

An education worth having is one that not only grows a boy academically, but also develops his character allowing him to live a productive, fulfilling and flourishing life. Many aspects of our curriculum, including our incorporation of thinking skills and self-regulation, our purposeful wellbeing programme, our broad sporting and cultural programmes, all include a focus on developing resilience in boys. In particular, our camping and excursion programme conducted over this past week, focusing on overcoming challenges and thus broadening a boy’s school experience, nourishes this important character trait.

The reality is that resilience, like love, cannot be measured. However, this does not mean it is any less important than academic performance. Perhaps what we cannot measure are actually the most important things in life!

Many of the staff and parents who attended the camps and excursions have commented on the positive have-a-go attitude and demeanour of our boys who have faced and conquered the challenges presented to them even if it meant stepping out of their comfort zone!

When speaking to some of the boys about their time away, I received the following comments: “The camp is an amazing experience”. “I really enjoyed the different activities – some were quite challenging”. “I was scared but got there.” “The time together helped us to form stronger friendships”. “Getting to know our teachers better is great”.

I really enjoyed watching our boys learning from staff and one another, and working together in a field environment. Having my first high rope adventure in front of a group of Year 6 boys was also an event for me – helping me to face a challenge!! And I must say I appreciated the boys’ cheers and chants encouraging me to succeed!!!

Clearly, our boys have benefited enormously from these experiences, especially in terms of building resilience. I commend them for their commitment to the various activities and for having involved themselves so positively.

Thank you to the many staff and parents who accompanied the boys and assisted with the preparation of meals, transport of materials, instruction of activities and general wellbeing. To experience the extraordinary goodwill of so many parents, the ability and enthusiasm of our great boys, and an amazingly committed staff whose professionalism and dedication extends well beyond school hours, is indeed a great blessing. The support of all is very much appreciated and ensured the success of the camps and excursions for the benefit of the boys.

Hereworth Parents’ Association Family Picnic
Mrs Barman and I look forward to meeting with parents in a most relaxing way at the Hereworth Parents’ Association Family Picnic next Tuesday evening on Ritchie Field and hearing how your son or sons is/are enjoying their time at Hereworth.

1 February

A New Term

A warm welcome back to all boys, staff and families to Term 1, 2019. I trust that everyone was able to enjoy a restful break. It is great to hear our School full of chatter and energy once again.

Parents Welcome – wonderful community events!
The staff and my wife Jen and I enjoyed meeting many parents at the Boarding Parents Welcome and New Parents Welcome functions last Sunday. It was most pleasing to hear that your sons are embracing the start of the school year so enthusiastically and looking forward to the year ahead.

Thank you to staff for all the work undertaken to organise the events beforehand and on the evening. They were very positive occasions enjoyed by all.

‘I whea koe I te tangihanga o te pipiwharauroa’ – ‘Where were you when the shining cuckoo called?’
During the Christmas holidays of 2014/2015, my family and I enjoyed a lovely holiday touring the North Island of New Zealand. Amazing picturesque mountains, beautiful beaches and bays, and sky blue lakes met us at every turn. It really is a photographer’s paradise. We also enjoyed learning a little of the traditions and culture of the Māori. We came across an interesting Māori saying which I felt was very appropriate to consider as we commence a new year together:

‘I whea koe I te tangihanga o te pipiwharauroa’

‘Where were you when the shining cuckoo called?’

One of the first signs of spring for the Māori people in New Zealand was the return of the shining cuckoo bird – a bird that spends the winter in the island regions near the equator such as Fiji, Samoa and the Solomon Islands, and then migrates southwards to New Zealand at the beginning of spring. The first notes of its call were a signal to the Māori that it was time to begin preparing the land for crops. The work done in spring would determine the amount of food available the following winter. Those who ran short of food were asked, “Where were you when the shining cuckoo called?” because their lack of food showed they had not done their work when it was time to plant.

This is the beginning of a new school year, and the shining cuckoo is calling. There will come a time for our boys to show the results of the work they are beginning now – the seeds for a successful harvest are being sown. Diligence, perseverance, resilience, planning, organisation, goal-setting and being their best selves in all they do will ensure that when our boys hear the question: “Where were you when the shining cuckoo called?” they can be confident knowing that they have done the work and are ready to reap the rewards.

Trevor Barman

7 December

This will be my last “Week Ahead” comment because this time next week we will be looking forward to the holidays.  My time at Hereworth has come to an end, but more on that can be said later – perhaps!

I had intended to write a message around a theme, “you cannot change what you are prepared to tolerate”, but will leave that to fit in at some stage in the coming week.

For now, something that is at least current in that it affects every young person, and in many cases, indirectly their families, and potentially serious if young people don’t get it right.  However, the underlying cause is what adults have done to potentially rob young people of their innocence.

Last week we were pleased to have Detective Sergeant Mark Moorhouse present to a good gathering of parents the realities that exist in regard to what our young people are exposed to through the internet and social media. His message was about the threats to keeping young people safe and the responsibilities we have as parents and educators to protect our children and to support them when issues arise, and for many they will and furthermore, for some they will be life-changing.

While much of Marks ‘detective work is about abuse, his first and main interest is to be an educator.  In this capacity, all of those present though he presented superbly.  So, while we have promoted the evening as keeping our boys safe, we know that many our boys have older brothers and sisters and, arguably, some of what he was talking about is what older children may have permeating their lives and many parents will not know about it.  No child is immune to exposure to inappropriate material and it is about the responses young people themselves have the courage to make and how the adults in their lives can support them.  I could say more from my experiences in secondary schools, but I will simply refer you to Mark’s presentation notes attached.  He is happy for these to be distributed through our community, such is his empathy for young people and mission to keep them safe.

The PDF document below is his presentation. The three video clips are included as links rather than embedded into the presentation.  For me, the Simon Sinek talk is hugely relevant and discusses the addiction of device use.  Check this out after the third slide.

Two other slides may be relevant for use with families dealing with older children. These relate to consent. ‘Cup of Tea Consent‘ and ‘Consent for Kids‘. I will leave these with you.

I am sure that Mark would be pleased to speak to any parent or friend of Hereworth about any concerns you may have.  Please contact me through the school if it is your wish to do so.

One of the main things that we can do as educators and parents is to provide opportunities for young people to be busy and I am pleased to say that the Hereworth lifestyle is one that is very busy.  Yes, devices have their place and we can be enriched for having them, but using them wisely is the challenge.

All the best for the last week of the 2018 school year.


30 November

Yesterday’s exchange with Huntley school was both pleasing and enjoyable. The boys represented themselves and Hereworth School well and competed strongly in all matches across the encounter. Of particular significance was the 1st XI Cricket win against the top Intermediate cricket team in the country. It was a great occasion for the Year 8 boys to end their involvement with our prep-school fixtures and I thank them and all those who have coached and managed them for their contribution to this vital dimension of school life.

Overnight stays are a feature of our prep-school exchanges and we are grateful to Huntley School for hosting us and for their families for taking our boys into their homes. Equally, I am very thankful to our own families who have billeted visiting boys on a number of occasions through the year. Certainly, the trusting relationship that exists between our schools allows us to offer what we do and this is something to be treasured. There is always a chance the boys will meet each other again and that relationships are further cemented. One never knows what an initial chance encounter may lead to in the future.

The common reality is, that those people who become your friends are often those who you meet when you go to school and then later, those who you meet when your own children go to school. As I observe parents supporting their sons at our school events I see many enjoying each other’s company. It is clear to see that in many cases that early associations have become friendships and that for many, these will extend way beyond the time the boys’ school years. So apart from what happens in the classroom, on the sports field and on the stage, what happens around it for parents, many boys and parents there may be something, hitherto unknown, that may impact on your future.

Traditions remain steadfast both because of their former importance and because of their current relevance. One of the traditions of Hereworth is the Annual Old Boys vs Current Boys’ sports matches. Again, sport (tennis, cricket and softball) is the excuse and one part of the encounter, but the real reason is to revisit friendships and continue that association with a school and those that made it special. By the end of the day, many will have come to the realisation that they are going to wake up next morning feeling the aches and strains of their physical exertions the day before, but they will be pleased that they have had the opportunity to rekindle friendships that were seeded at Hereworth.

I thank those responsible for enabling this occasion to come about and I hope it all goes well. It is my hope that this tradition will remain steadfast.

All the best and let’s hope the weather plays its part.

23 November

Many good things happen every day in the life of Hereworth School. A particularly good thing that took place on Wednesday of this week was the visit of the White Ribbon Riders. This group of mainly men, accompanied by a small number of women, riding powerful motorbikes were one of three groups from the organisation who this week are touring the country spreading an anti-violence towards woman message.

They made their presence known by riding en masse (25 riders) up the main drive to be greeted by the school. The junior boys and the Year 6 and 7 boys were spoken to separately by the White Ribbon leaders and both groups received a very well pitched message which they clearly understood. Essentially the message is encapsulated in the RAP (Respect All People) badge that was given to one of the boys who was then encouraged to pass it on. Of course, the boys were told that the best place to practice respecting all people starts at home and at school.

What was said links directly with the consistent message we promote at school. There would hardly be a week go by when we have not spoken to the boys in one way or another about the importance of relationships. It starts with the way we feel about ourselves, the impact we have on others and, ultimately, our success in life, by whatever way you determine it, is dependent on the relationships we form.

Mahatma Gandhi is perhaps considered to be one of history’s most revered people. Like Nelson Mandela, he was one of the most transformative. Both were advocates of non-violence being the way to win hearts and minds campaigned fearlessly for the rights and dignity of all people. One of Gandhi’s more famous quotes perhaps best sums up what both men fought for; Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.

But perhaps for our younger listeners, and increasingly these days, viewers, what they saw at last week’s assembly may be more appealing. Check out this message from Kid President.  The points made are certainly worth taking heed of.

20 November

Our latest newsletter takes a look back at the first half of Term 4 including celebrating our boys’ successes, speech and drama, primary chess tournament, adventure sports trip to Rotorua and new from the Hereworth Foundation.  Download a copy below, view it online or call into the office and pick up a hard copy.

Hereworth Highlights, Edition 7, Term 4 2018

16 November

With only four weeks of the year to go, it is fair to suggest some of the troops are getting restless. The Year 8 boys have been spoken to about finishing well as clearly a small number are not entirely focused on that and variously throughout the school there are minor incidents of boys not adhering to our expectations. The reason to bring this to your notice is not to raise any alarm or concern, but merely to provide a context. In dealing with these situations, boys need to understand that when we are reprimanding, disciplining, issuing consequences or whatever, we do so in the hope that boys assume we do so with positive intent.

I recall reading this commentary by Kevin Francis on Stephen Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust and I think it is worth sharing.

Covey says that we judge ourselves according to our intentions, but we judge other people according to their behaviour and make assumptions about their intentions. Another person’s behaviour towards us impacts considerably on what we think of them and, in turn, determines how we will take their intentions. Assuming positive intent means consciously choosing to assume that the message being given is done so in the best interests of the person receiving it.

The principle of positive intent is that at some level, all behaviour is (or at one time was) positively intended. We should therefore look for the positive in what others are trying to say. If a person offers us advice, we often dissect it to figure out what their ‘real’ agenda is. If someone disagrees with us or identifies an area where we might need improvement, we may become defensive because we feel criticised on both a professional and personal level. Assuming positive intent is to assume that people aren’t out to ‘get us’ that their purpose is to help us. When confronted with a situation in which we feel criticised, it is helpful to take a step back and look at it from a different point of view. Rather than being suspicious of other people’s motives we need to assume that they are doing the best they can and that their intentions are not to attack us but to help us grow and be more successful.

If we assume the other person’s intentions are negative and are directed at attacking us then we are immediately defensive, less likely to trust them and less likely to listen to what they are saying. Assuming positive intent is to believe that the other person doesn’t have a hidden agenda.

It would probably be fair to suggest that as teachers and parents we sometimes find ourselves frustrated that the advice and guidance we impart is not always taken in the way it is intended, or worse, treated with suspicion. It therefore behoves us to be aware of our disposition. Two people may give the same advice but the manner in which it is given determines how it will be received. The degree of acceptance depends on a number of factors. The time, place and context all impact on the outcome of what is intended. So does who is giving the message. I sometimes hear parents saying ‘It will be better if it comes from …..’ (referring to someone other than themselves). While this might be true, the reality is that no matter who is giving the message the intention is the same. Young people make judgements on the basis of how they are spoken to and are more likely to trust those whose intentions are honourable. For those who might have suspicions about our intent, it might be as well to point out that we actually do have their best interests at heart and really want the best for them.

Having our children understand that assuming positive intent means consciously adopting a mindset that assumes that parents and teachers are genuine and well-meaning, even if sometimes the way we approach things could be better. Perhaps unpacking something of what Covey has said may help us explain to our boys why we say what we say in response to their behaviour.

Willy Kersten

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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Weekly Memos


More in depth news is shared with boys and their parents through ‘Hereworth Highlights’, our newsletter that is issued twice each term. In this newsletter our Headmaster and teaching team share happenings in their field and highlight the boys’ successes and sporting achievements, we also cover special events and the activities of the Parents Association making sure that parents are kept up to date and fully informed throughout the school year.

Hereworth Highlights Edition 7 Term 4 2018 Hereworth Highlights Edition 6 Term 3 2018 Hereworth Highlights Edition 5 Term 3 2018 Hereworth Highlights Edition 4 Term 2 2018 Hereworth Highlights Edition 3 Term 2 2018 Hereworth Highlights Edition 2 Term 1 2018 Hereworth Highlights Edition 1 Term 1 2018


For more detailed information about the school, download the annual Parents Handbook.

Hereworth Parent Handbook