November 2020 Newsletter


In today’s newsletter we have the following:

  • News from the Principal and DPs
  • Upcoming Events for November
  • The Grand Gifting – ANI is Gifted a Máori Name
  • ANI Cultural Festival
  • Chelsea Sugar Works Trips for Year 7 Students
  • Board of Trustees Mid-Term Election
  • Student Congratulations
  • Psychologist and Counsellor’s Spot
  • PTA News
  • ANI Sports-Pro Programme
  • House/Whanau Points – Term 4
  • Facebook
  • Community News

NEWS from the PRINCIPAL and DPs 

The November newsletter signals that we have only six weeks of the school year remaining so let’s make the days count instead of counting the days. Looking forward is important especially when there is so much to look forward to!

In today’s newsletter you will see that there are a number of events and activities planned for the remainder of the term. We urge you to support us in keeping your young person engaged and enthusiastic about school with positive attendance levels. Education remains important in these last few weeks of school as it continues to be a stable platform for students while providing an emotional and social safety net. As the emerging adolescent navigates their way through this phase of schooling the strong foundations built in the last few weeks at Intermediate School will position them well for what’s ahead. 

It’s interesting to note that the word ‘education’ in Mandarin has two characters. One character means ‘to teach’ and the other ‘to nurture’.  The two together make the word ‘education’.  If we reflect on the upheaval of the last few months and the fact that our lives have changed in immeasurable ways for the foreseeable future it’s obvious that the role of schooling has changed too. Schools are more than just physical buildings that provide academic content, and teachers do more than just stimulate minds. A huge part of the role of schooling is to develop and nurture our young people, and this is such an integral part of the safety net we provide our students. The following strategies are used regularly at ANI to support our students – you may also find them useful to use at home: 

Get active. Physically demanding tasks like running up stairs or climbing on the jungle gym can help calm and centre your young person.

Make a plan. Taking specific actions can help students understand and tolerate stress. 

Name it to tame it. We often ask our students to tell a story about what they’re worried or upset about and why. 

Narrow the focus. Meditating, colouring or focusing on a specific feeling, activity, sight or conversation can produce relaxation. 

Laugh. Humour can distract, reframe, relax muscles and release endorphins. Try playing a goofy game, watch a cartoon or tell some jokes.

Reflect. After dealing successfully with a difficult situation or event, try walking your young  person through what worked: On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard was it? What is one thing that helped you get through it?

Take deep breaths.  Inhaling for three seconds from the abdomen, holding it for three seconds and exhaling through pursed lips for three seconds can induce relaxation. 

As educators and parents of emerging adolescents, we never stop learning!

Kia ngatahi ai te tu

E pakari ai te tuara

Together we are Strong

From Jill, Shane and Bryce


Put these dates in your diary so you don’t miss a beat.

Friday 30 October – Sunday 1 November – Tim Sonderer Memorial Waterpolo Tournament in Auckland

Sunday 1 – Board of Trustee Parent Election – Nominations close at midday (these can be dropped into the school office or, if on the weekend/after hours, into our locked letterbox on Disraeli Street)

Monday 2 – Auckland Grammar School testing for Year 8 boys (ANI will bus students to AGS and they can make their own way home from AGS at approximately 3.00pm) – ANI uniform MUST be worn; Rooms 23/24/25/26 trip to Stardome

Monday 2 – Friday 6 – PTA Mufti Week (tickets on sale each morning from the SLT Office window)

Tuesday 3 – International Student Parents’ morning tea in the Library from 9.30-11.30am; Central Zone Girls Touch Rugby at Cox’s Bay Reserve

Wednesday 4 – French Day; Girls Football friendly game with Balmoral at ANI (Game 1 of 2); Board of Trustees meeting at 6.00pm in the Library

Thursday 5 – Open Day for 2021 Prospective Students at 9.00am; Rooms 19/20 trip to Chelsea Sugar Works (NOTE: Dress code for this trip); Central Zone Boys & MIxed Touch Rugby at Cox’s Bay Reserve; Parent Information Evening for 2021 Prospective Student Families at 6.00pm

Friday 6 – ANI Cultural Day; Cultural Festival dress rehearsal in the Barn

Monday 9 – Cultural Festival tech rehearsal; Out of Zone Entrance testing at 9.30am in the Library; Rooms 25/26 trip to Chelsea Sugar Works (NOTE: Dress code for this trip); Knowledge-Athon Prizegiving Assembly at 11.45am

Tuesday 10 – 2021 Enrolment Interviews from 1.00-5.00pm; Cultural Festival at 6.00-8.00pm at Centennial Theatre, Auckland Grammar, 55-87 Mountain Road, Epsom

Wednesday 11 – 2021 Enrolment Interviews from 9.00am-1.00pm; Central Zone Badminton; Cultural Festival at 6.00-8.00pm at Centennial Theatre, Auckland Grammar, 55-87 Mountain Road, Epsom

Wednesday 11 – Sunday 15 – North Island Waterpolo Championships in Tauranga

Thursday 12 – 2021 Enrolment Interviews from 9.00am-1.00pm; National Young Leaders Day at Vodafone Events Centre; EPro8 at Stanhope Road School from 5.00-8.00pm; Bandquest final at Auckland Girls Grammar

Friday 13 – Girls Football friendly game with Balmoral at ANI (Game 2 of 2)

Monday 16 – Out of Zone Entrance Testing at 9.30am; Rooms 23/24 trip to Chelsea Sugar Works (NOTE: Dress code for this trip); Rooms 27/28/29/30 trip to Stardome

Tuesday 17 – 2021 Enrolment Interviews from 1.00-5.00pm; End of year Hui/Fono at 6.00-7.30pm

Wednesday 18 – 2021 Enrolment Interviews from 9.00am-1.00pm; Central Zone Athletics; Netball Coaches/ Managers Social at 5.00pm (TBC)

Thursday 19 – ANI Cross Country (TBC)

Friday 20 – Rooms 21/22 trip to Chelsea Sugar Works (NOTE: Dress code for this trip)

Monday 23 – Rooms 29/30 trip to Chelsea Sugar Works (NOTE: Dress code for this trip); 2021 Student Leaders announced at Assembly

Tuesday 24 – Exhibition 3.00-7.00pm

Wednesday 25 – Exhibition 9.00am-12.00noon

Thursday 26 – Rooms 27/28 trip to Chelsea Sugar Works (NOTE: Dress code for this trip); Auckland Grammar Orientation Day; Interzone Athletics

Monday 30 – PTA Meeting/2021 Planning at 7.00pm

Monday 30 – Thursday 3 December – Year 7 Kauri Team EOTC


What a great night with our head boy, Andrew Eldridge, head girl, Anna Thorp, and our special guest David Seymour officially opening the new Maker Spaces.  

Four new spaces allow our students and teachers to learn new skills and create products from hard to soft materials to art, music and drama, including Science and STEM, in the one learning space. 

It was great to have families attend and then get involved in some learning activities. 

Thanks to all involved, including Mr Carlos, the team leaders, Kowhai team and especially David Seymour for his continued support of the ANI learning community.

Shane Devery


On Friday the 18th of September four very important guests came to our school, to gift us our new Māori name, Te Ipukura O Mataaho. Amongst the four guests we had – Matua Hare and Matua Poroto. Matua Pouroto shared with us the narrative that comes with our new Māori name and the origin story of Maungawhau. 

Our new name will be shared with the rest of the school and wider community in a range of ways. The school community will learn more about the name during Matua Mauri’s weekly Te Reo lessons in classrooms and also during school assemblies. Our Māori and Pasifika community will be invited to our End of Year Hui/ Fono that the school holds on 17 November, which is an opportunity to hear and learn about our new name. We are also in the process of setting the date for a formal unveiling of our Māori name with special signage and a carving placed in and around the school in the new year which we will also invite our wider community to. 

Kueni Schaumkel

Room 5 Teacher and Cultural Leader 


The ANI Cultural Festival is on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 November, 6.00-8.00pm at the Centennial Theatre, Auckland Grammar School, 55-87 Mountain Road, Epsom 1023.

 Refreshments available for sale on the night

Limited ticket sales at the door – $7.50 each (children aged under 5 free if held by an adult)

Irish dance | Kapa Haka | Indian Dance | K-Pop | Wearable Art | Pasifika | Mexican | and more

Tickets can be purchased through google form below.  You will need to select which evening you would like to attend by clicking on the appropriate link below: 



Alternatively, tickets may be purchased at school in the Eden Room, beside reception, from 8.15am from 19th October until 6th November depending on availability as we have limited space on both evenings.


The following classes will be visiting Chelsea Sugar Works on the dates below:

  • Rooms 19/20 – Thursday 5 November
  • Rooms 25/26 – Monday 9 November
  • Rooms 23/24 – Monday 16 November
  • Rooms 21/22 – Friday 20 November
  • Rooms 29/30 – Monday 23 November
  • Rooms 27/28 – Thursday 26 November

Please note there is a Health & Safety Dress Code for this trip:  All students, teachers and supervisors must observe the factory tour dress code: closed-in, flat-soled shoes; long sleeved top; full length trousers.  We want all students to wear their school polo, school sweatshirt or jumper, trainers and then long pants (i.e. jeans, tracksuit bottoms or leggings). Students MUST be in this dress or they will not be allowed on site.


Nominations for the Board of Trustees mid-term election close at noon on Sunday 1st November. You may provide a signed candidate statement and photograph with your nomination.  If you are wanting to hand deliver your nomination form after school hours, you can drop into the locked school letterbox on Disraeli Street.

The electoral roll is held at the school and can be viewed during normal school hours.

As nominations are received, there will be a list of candidates’ names kept at the school up until election day, which you can view.  

Voting closes at 4pm on Friday 4 December 2020.

Signed: Deidre Merriott – Returning Officer


Interschool Chess Finals

On the first weekend of the school holidays, five of our students travelled to Tauranga to take part in the Interschool Chess Finals –  ANI won the silver medal in the Intermediate section and Oscar won the perfect score 7/7 on Board 1!

Pictured are Jacob Yuan, Oscar Qin, Michael Ma, Jerry Dai and Zi Hao Lin

Chae-Yeon Park

ICAS Mathematics Medal Winner
Congratulations to Jerry Dai (Year 8) who is a medal winner after sitting the ICAS Mathematics test – this is a significant achievement and we are very proud of Jerry.

Shane Devery


On Thursday 29th October, four teams from ANI competed in the Auckland Mathex Competition.  Although we didn’t make the top 3, the students still worked extremely hard together and we finished with the following results: 

Year 7A: 75/100

Year 7B: 55/100

Year 8A: 85/100

Year 8B: 65/100

Congratulations to all of the students who competed. 

Pictured are Jerry Dai, Lucas An, Jacob Yuan and Abdurrahman Mohammad

Abby Cavanagh

Principal’s Awards

Congratulations to Poppy Sawyer (Room 10) and Sophie Chandler (Room 15) who both received Principal’s awards for showing the IB learner profiles of being principled and having integrity by finding a large amount of money on the school grounds and handing it in to the office.


Recently, cyber-safety expert John Parsons visited ANI to share his wisdom regarding all things technology. He helped us think about device usage and how to safeguard ourselves against complacency, negativity and cyber-crime. John presented to students, staff and parents separately, cleverly tailoring the message for each audience. 

Without a doubt, the subject of technology and youth is ever-changing and always important. Following is a summary of John’s key messages with links to his short videos as well as our thoughts on the need for critical thinking. Our aim is to help you navigate tricky parental decisions and open up a conversation with your child. 

Tip 1: Bedroom, bathroom, pyjamas

John highlighted how easy it is for young people to lose sight of boundaries. They won’t give away personal details to a stranger on the street but once inside the safety and comfort of home, it’s easy to do so online. The ‘bedroom, bathroom, pyjamas’ rule is a great piece of advice – don’t allow them to post pictures from their bedroom, bathroom or in their pyjamas as this projects an image of vulnerability and loneliness which catches the attention of the wrong kind of people. Instead, encourage photos of them with family and friends which proves they are well connected and supported. 

Watch John speak about this here: Bedroom, bathroom, pyjamas 

Tip 2: Online gaming

We often refer to the ‘real world’ and the ‘online world’ separately, however John warns against this. Doing so implies being online is less real and minimises consequences for young people. When gaming online, encourage your child to follow these three rules: 

  1. Only answer questions related to the game. If your child is playing fortnite and is asked about what food they like, they should refrain from answering. 
  2. Never go from a game to another location, for example clicking on a link sent by a fellow gamer. Often these lead to inappropriate sites. 
  3. Live streaming is a no-no. Practice and save videos for an adult to check before posting. 

Watch John speak about this here: Children and Online Games 

Tip 3: Anti-social behaviour online

Sometimes children come across hurtful words, comments or images directed at them or their friendship group. John has a clear process for dealing with this. 

Firstly, don’t reply. Take the power away from the poster by refusing to engage. 

Secondly, take screenshots of the anti-social activity for evidence. 

Thirdly, place the screenshots in a folder and talk to someone you trust. 

Following these three rules takes the child out of victim mode and gives them the power and control to deal with technology effectively. 

Watch John speak about this here: How to Deal with Anti-Social Behaviour Online

The above tips act as boundaries, or ‘fences’ that adults put in place to protect children. However, we know we can only do so much. As they grow and gain independence it is their questioning and critical thinking which maximises gains and minimises harm. 

At ANI critical thinking and media literacy are embedded in all learning areas. Students are taught to be discerning consumers of information. Questions teachers encourage their students to ask are: Is this fact, fiction or an opinion? Who wrote this and what is their purpose? What questions do I have? We encourage students to think of themselves as movie critics, analysing the information at hand to form their own ideas. 

An additional challenge for intermediate-age students is continuing to use these skills in informal and social circumstances including the use of social media. Peer approval and fitting in socially can dominate young people’s thinking at this age.  They can find it difficult to understand the perspective of other people.  While they may understand the problem with someone else’s post but not realise how their own posts may be perceived.  Parents have a valuable role in supporting their children to think about what they put on online and how that might be received by others. As adolescence includes more impulsivity and risk-taking, checking before posting is imperative. 

John’s final piece of wisdom is timely for us all – trust your gut. If it feels ‘off’ or uncomfortable then step away and ask for advice. 

Keeping Your Children Safe Online: A Guide for New Zealand Parents – John Parsons

Click the link above for more information on John and his work.

Robyn Stead & Gina Speedy

Educational Psychologist and School Counsellor


Knowledge-athon Sponsorship Money Due in Now

With the Knowledge-Athon quiz completed – it is now time to gather all that sponsorship money. The last day to be in the draw for some great prizes is FRIDAY 30th October at 5pm! From next week, please deposit any outstanding sponsorship money directly into the PTA account: 12 3048 0259939 00.  Please put your child’s name, room number, and “Athon” as a reference. We are looking forward to announcing the prize winners on the 9th November and then moving ahead to create the new Outdoor learning Spaces. Thanks to everyone for your support with this event.

Earthware Fundraiser

We know that you will love the eco-friendly fruit and vegetable produce bags available to order through Earthware. These drawstring bags are made of recycled plastic and a set of 3 bags costs just $10. Earthware produce bags are the reusable alternative to single use fruit and vegetable bags. They’re light weight and can be conveniently carried in your pocket, handbag or car. You can wash your produce straight from the bag and the bag itself can be thrown into the washing machine – easy! The mesh fabric allows your fruit and vegetables to breath, making them perfect for storing produce in the fridge or pantry and helping your produce to last much longer than it would in plastic bags. The PTA is offering parents the opportunity to purchase this great product while also raising funds for the school. Every item purchased Earthware will give funds straight back to our school. Look out for the PTA display table at the Cultural Festival. You can check out a sample of the bags and place an order at the same time. You have the option to pay by cash or bank transfer to the PTA account. The bags will be delivered to the school and distributed to students to bring home. If you cannot be at the Cultural Festival, please email us: by the 13 November to be added to the bulk order.

PTA Meeting

The next PTA meeting will be on Monday 30th November from 7.00-8.30pm in the Information Centre. This is our annual planning meeting where we decide on the fundraising events for 2021. Everyone is most welcome to join us! Find out about the PTA and have your say about how we should raise funds for the school next year. We would love to see you there. RSVP to:

PTA Term 4 Social

What great turn up for our last social for the year on Thursday 29 October. Over 160 students danced away the night and more importantly got into the theme of Halloween, to make it an enjoyable occasion.

Thanks to the DJ’s and also the PTA members for their support on the night.


We are immensely proud of the ANI Sports-Pro Programme. This sports academy is multi-faceted and meets the needs of a wide range of students. Topics and lessons range from high-performance sport and nutrition, to working with learners who find learning challenging. This programme digs beneath the surface and looks at the various components of sport. Have a look at the website dedicated to this programme HERE.  For more information, contact Mr Carlos on

ANI Athletics Day

Our annual Athletics Day took place at Mt Smart Stadium on Tuesday 27 October – the weather was shining on us all day and lots of fun was had by all.

Carlos Kucera

Boys Rugby 7s

Our Rugby 7’s boys did extremely well on Tuesday 27 October, playing in different conditions than normal. A few eventful moments and a lot of heart ended up with excellent results. Our U55kg team experienced a win and made the best of a low-numbered team. The U45kg came back from an initial loss to WIN the entire competition by only 2 points in the final match. Spirits are high and smiles can be seen all round.

Andy Lawrence

Girls Central Zone Basketball

The girls had a tough start to the day on Thursday 15 October with a couple of drummings from a much more physical Royal Oak and a more practiced Kowhai. Happy to get a couple of baskets in each game to avoid the goose egg. 

A more evenly matched game against Marist, saw the girls come out victorious and more than happy. This photo shows us enjoying our only break in a hectic schedule. Massive props to the girls for supporting each other and staying positive. 

Jacob Markham


ANI runs a house/whanau system – your son or daughter will tell you which house they belong to.  They can earn points by displaying the school values and any other positive behaviours. 

So far in Term 4, Wai is leading the race.  Come on Whenua – a bit of catching up to do!


Like us on Facebook for all our recent events and photos.


Click here to view what is going on in our community.

The Auckland Grammar School Foundation Trust Art House Tour is back on Saturday 21st November.   

The event offers a gallery viewing experience in some of Auckland’s most beautiful homes. Each home is carefully curated to display the works from a variety of individual artists and each piece of work available to purchase on the day. 

Funds raised go towards the Auckland Grammar School Foundation Trust Academic Endowment Fund to assist the School to recruit, reward and retain the very best teachers.

Purchase tickets on the Auckland Grammar School website – tickets cost $75 per person.