Hamilton Boys' High School - Term 2, Edition 1, May 2020

Back to School: Year 10 Adventure-Based Learning Class under Alert Level 2

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Carson Edwards, Ben Parker and Duggie Valler pose proudly after having completed their group bivouac made on the school gully, as part of their lesson with Grove Master and Year 10 ABL teacher, Mr Logan Asplin.
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Johno O'Brien is pleased with the shape of his bivouac.

Two weeks of Alert Level 2 at Argyle House

I thought I would send out a brief newsletter for the start of the long weekend, to show you what our boys have been up to over the past fortnight under Alert Level 2. The boys have been absolutely wonderful in following the changes to our routines and systems to ensure physical distancing occurs, where practicable, as well as the constant sanitising of their hands in all parts of the hostel, including equipment. The staff are very proud of them.

The dining room has the cutlery set for each meal. The three sittings for the evening meal has created a more relaxed environment with less noise! This could be a permanent change.

Thank you for your continued support in remaining with your vehicle when you collect your son or drop him off after weekend leave. It ensures we all remain safe and can contact trace easily. This will continue throughout Alert Level 2.

The boys have all been patient around their daily leave restrictions. These restrictions will continue throughout Alert Level 2, with no town leave for another four weeks, or unless we enter Alert Level 1 earlier than anticipated.

Next week is the final week of taking a packed lunch to school. From Monday 8th June, the boys will return to the dining room to pick up a takeaway, hot lunch. I know they are looking forward to having something hot for lunch in the cooler weather.

Return to Sport

School Sport NZ released an update this morning that outlined the guidelines for schools and community groups to follow, with gathering sizes now increased to 100 from midday today. Now that contact training can resume, while following the strict public health measures, more of our sporting codes will get underway. Some of our winter codes that have large numbers of participants e.g. junior rugby, may take a little longer to get underway, but I know the planning is being done to ensure a safe return for our boys.

Date changes

Due to the revised start date of NCEA exams being pushed back in term 4, there will be numerous changes to the Argyle and school calendar in term 4. I will send them out to you as soon as they are confirmed and available for publication.

We have all been pleased how settled the hostel is and how quickly the boys have returned ready to carry on with their academic programme. The prep room was very settled last night as the juniors went about completing their homework conscientiously within the 90-minute prep session.

I hope you enjoy the long weekend with your son. The hostel will re-open at 5.30pm on Monday 1st June.

As always, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Kind regards

Murray McKenzie

Head of Boarding

021 516 477

Welcome to our New Boarder, Caedin Taumata (Year 13), from Tokoroa

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Welcome to our two new staff members

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Zac Corban, Argyle Assistant Master, is an Old Boy of Hamilton Boys' High School who left school at the end of 2018. Zac spent 12 months in England working at a London prep school in 2019. Zac is an accomplished cricket player who played for the Hamilton BHS 1st XI.
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Mohammad Shahzad, Grove Assistant Master, is an engineer based here in Hamilton. Mohammad has experience working in a hostel as a non-residential tutor at Christ's College in Christchurch.

Relaxing playing a Japanese card game of 'Tycoon', Saturday evening in the TV lounge

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Training gets underway in the Hamilton BHS Fitness Centre, Saturday 23rd May

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Grove Master, Mr Logan Asplin, supervises Argyle House, Grove and senior rugby players as they complete a workout in the school Fitness Centre.

Liam Anderson (Year 11) displays his musical talent on the piano

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Prep for Years 9 and 10, Thursday 28th May

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Physical distancing in the dining room for breakfast, Friday 29th May

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Basketball in Gym 1 on Saturday afternoon, 23rd May

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The boys that remained in last weekend spent 90 minutes playing basketball in Gym 1. What you don't see is the sanitising of hands and equipment used before and after!

Outdoor Education: Year 10 ABL

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Outdoor Education: Year 12 Map Reading

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Year 9 2021 Argyle House Interviews completed

The Headmaster, Mrs Hassall and Senior Master, Mita Graham and I completed our final day of interviews yesterday. 37 families will receive their acceptance letters next week. We are thrilled with the quality of young men that have been accepted into Argyle House for Year 9 in 2021.

School Links Emails to Parents/Caregivers from School:

HBHS Sports Update

Emailed to all Parents/Caregivers by the school on Friday 29 May

Dear Parents/Caregivers

The latest update from School Sport NZ has been received by schools, which outlines the protocols required now that gathering sizes have increased to 100.

These protocols include the ongoing requirements of health and hygiene procedures and contact tracing. To assist in this area, all spectators are prohibited from all practices, trial games until further notice. We understand this is disappointing, especially to parents/caregivers, but presently our priority is to allow our young sportsmen to resume 'preparing to play' safely.

The Waikato Secondary Schools' Sports Association has its own website, administered by Sport Waikato, that has the latest news for all sports. Their website is Go to the 'Sports' tab to find your sporting code and the latest information about Covid 19 and your local WSS competition.

Thank you for your continued support.

Nigel Hotham

Deputy Headmaster

HBHS Boys safety after school

Emailed to all Parents/Caregivers by the school on Friday 29 May

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Recently we have been made aware by members of the public, that some of our boys are acting dangerously and being inconsiderate while on their bikes. This type of behaviour appears to be mainly occurring directly after school.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from a train driver who was very shaken up as he had narrowly missed hitting some of our boys, who decided to cross the railway tracks directly in front of his train. These incidents occurred at the Peachgrove Road railway crossing and then the railway crossing closest to the Hamilton Cosmopolitan Club. We are very lucky not to be dealing with a fatality in our school community today.

Can I please ask you to talk to your son about acting safely on the roads and around any railway crossings. Unfortunately, some of our boys think they are bullet proof, particularly on their bikes.

The boys are receiving these safety messages at school both in tutor group time and from next week, in assemblies, but ultimately we cannot control their behaviour outside of school hours.

Your continued support is much appreciated.

Nick Power
Deputy Headmaster

HBHS Year 9 Father and Son Breakfast

Emailed to all Parents/Caregivers by the school on Thursday 28 May

Dear Parents/Caregivers of Year 9 Boys

Please be advised that all those who have paid for the Father/Son breakfast will receive a refund. We will let you know when we have set a new date for this highly valued event in our school calendar.

Kind regards
Nick Power
Deputy Headmaster

NZ Scholarship

Emailed to all Parents/Caregivers by the school on Tuesday 19 May

Good Afternoon Parents/Caregivers,

Attached is a pdf related to NZ Scholarship. Please discuss this matter with your son.

NZ Scholarship is a premier academic award given to candidates who demonstrate a high level of knowledge application. Further information can be found at

A useful metric to use when considering if a student should be entering scholarship are their Year 12 NCEA/Cambridge results.

Students who gained 60 M/E Level 2 credits overall should strongly consider sitting scholarship in their top subject(s).

Similarly, those who gained A or A* subject grades for Cambridge should consider scholarship for these subjects.

This is not a compulsory pre-requisite, simply a useful gauge.

For every additional 30 M/E credits students should consider adding an additional scholarship paper.

A maximum of 3 scholarships is advised for students to provide an increased likelihood of attainment.

However, students wishing to sit more may choose to do so.

High achieving Year 12 students are advised to attempt NZ Scholarship also.

Please encourage your son to sign up for NZ Scholarship, using the google form emailed to him on his school email address, by Friday, 3 July.

Ngā mihi
Campbell Wood

Hamilton Boys' High School has attached a .pdf file to this email:


HBHS Headmaster's Message Monday, 18 May

Emailed out to all families by the school on Monday 18 May

Dear Parents and caregivers,

I write to you, as we begin lunch on our first day back at school, on a perfect Autumn day in the Waikato. After eight weeks away, I feel very excited, and very grateful, to have this opportunity to write, from our world, where, today, students and staff are all unquestionably happy, settled, and enthusiastic about their return to face to face teaching.

This morning, we welcomed well over 90% of our students back to school. In fact, we have more students onsite today, than is normal in May - a testament to lockdown preventing the spread of normal colds and flus, as well as Covid-19. Thank you for making the transition back to face to face learning so smooth, and so successful.

I spoke to the school this morning about the significance, and the symbolism of today, and the reality that today marks a unique moment in the history of education in New Zealand. As we return to school, we must feel grateful, as a community, both to live in New Zealand, and to have been blessed by having no cases of this terrible virus in our wider school community. I also spoke of the pride we should feel, in the response which has allowed this success, through a country working together, a world in which each individual recognises his responsibility to do the right thing, for the benefit of all.

And also, I spoke of the need to maintain this momentum, to ensure that we can stay safe and well. We must also be a community working together, in which each individual is aware of his responsibility to do the right thing, all of the time. We have put strict guidelines and protocols in place, and the young men in our world have shown their willingness to adhere to these very real guidelines from the first moment of their return. They should be proud of themselves, and you should feel even more proud of them than you already are! Good hygiene practice, safety measures and insistence on good habits will ensure that we can all remain well.

We are working very hard to make the return to school positive and affirming for your son, as well as safe and happy. Our focus through this week is to establish new routines, and to review the academic progress of each young man. Then, we can begin to move forward to ensure that your son is able to succeed this year, in realising his academic goals.

I spoke also, this morning, of the commitment which is essential, from all parts of the “triangle of success”: the home, the school, and the young man himself. We remain grateful to you for your continuing support, and we, the school, are working very hard to ameliorate any gaps left by the distance learning environment. The third part of the triangle is your son. He also needs to make the critical decision to make use of every moment of the rest of the year.

As I moved around the school this morning, classes were focussed, engaged and keen to return to the new normal. So, we have had a wonderful start. The challenge I have given our young men is to sustain that sense of purpose, and use all of the support which is available, through the weeks ahead.

Today, we begin Week 6 of a 12 week term. In the seven weeks which remain,every day counts. We are here to help, and to maintain the progress we have achieved during lockdown. I have absolute faith that the special family of Hamilton Boys’ High School will continue to show strength and resilience, and that our students will achieve the success they deserve.

This morning, I thanked the staff, on behalf of the students, and their families. In difficult, stressful, circumstances, where the future seemed unknown and unsettled, we have remained calm and caring. And that will continue, because this is who we are, as a school, and as a family. I am very proud of the boys, of the staff, and of the world we all share.

Thank you, too, for your support and care over the past eight weeks. I offer my very best wishes to you, for the weeks ahead, in your own wider world of work and home. May your transitions back to your ‘new normal’ be as successful, and as optimistic, as ours has been.

Susan Hassall

A Message from the HBHS School Shop

Emailed out to all families by the school on Saturday 16 May

Dear Parents/Caregivers

As per Covid-19 Alert Level 2 requirements, only one parent/caregiver will be able to accompany a student inside the shop at any given time.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

HBHS School Shop

Our two Argyle House Parent Representatives for you to contact about any hostel matters

Mrs Shay-Lee Wylie (Te Kuiti)

Feel free to contact me by email

Mr Alistair Reeves (Te Akau)

Feel free to contact me by email

Zac Corban, Argyle Assistant Master, reunites with his family in Durban, after a harrowing trip to get back home before lockdown, involving two cancelled flights, one when he arrived in Dubai.