Rector's message - July 2018

By Nick McIvor | Posted: Saturday July 7, 2018

NCEA is being overhauled. The Ministry of Education is contemplating the future of NCEA right now to an extent not seen since its launch in the early 2000s. Fundamentals are being questioned and are up for change. A national process to determine what should stay and what should go, and how our qualifications can work to help and reward young people is happening.

While it’s ostensibly about NCEA - it’s not. It’s really about what sort of education we want to give our next generation and how NCEA could make it so. If the Government’s resolve is as it portrays, we’re destined for an NCEA that could look utterly different to what it is now over the next 5 years. In the school, the perspective of staff, senior and junior students (via Student Council surveying and focus group work), and Board, is being marshalled. This will gather important ideas for the presentation of a Timaru Boys’ view on NCEA’s future. We need you parents, families, and employers, to be part of what’s happening also; to influence what could be.

On the 25th of July, TBHS is hosting a South Canterbury public forum from 7.00pm – 9.30pm in which suggested changes will be explained and up for scrutiny. Add it to your calendar. Book online at: or text 5811. For this evening, you’ll have six ‘Big Opportunities’ put to you. Each one claims to make NCEA work better for students, families and whanau, teachers, tertiary institutions, and employers. To give an indication of the sorts of significant change being considered there could, for example, be halving of the credits needed for NCEA Level 1 (from 80 to 40), removal of all Level 1 exams, addition of a compulsory student project worth 20 of the 40 credits, and much greater emphasis given to numeracy and literacy than ever before. Consultation finishes in September – arguably too soon for such a large rethink and redesign to be done properly. To find out about the ‘Opportunities’ being discussed locally and nationally go to:

Congratulations to all the boys who’ve done so well this term. Keep up your good work in Term 3 while adapting to new challenges in and out of the classroom, to the best of your ability. Aim to add to what you already know and can do, while pursuing high personal standards. We want the best for you; want the best for yourself. If your term has been below par, when considered honestly and accurately, make the effort to improve where improvement is needed from day one next term.

We farewell two staff. David Mills, who has been a dedicated reliever, Physical Education and Junior Science teacher since August 2017, is moving to the Wairarapa to teach. Greg O’Neill, is transferring to the Discovery School in Christchurch, having taught Physics and Junior Science effectively here since the start of 2015. We wish both of these men well for their new positions. Sonia Everitt and Mark Wagstaff will be teaching Physics from Term 3, with Michael Prentice teaching Junior Science alongside Kurt Rooney who arrives from the UK; combining it with his Physical Education teaching. We will also be welcoming Tony Blackstock to our Mathematics Department in the new term - having relieved in Mathematics and elsewhere in the school already.

Thank you again to everyone in our ‘school beyond the gate’ who contributed to this term in so many ways to make the boys’ education broad, and our school what it is. The time and effort given to young men on the stage, sports ground, trail, turf, road, course or court, or other special locations off site, has been crucial in giving them valuable experiences and education for life.

Nick McIvor
Knowledge is Power.  Scientia Potestas Est.  Mā te Mātauranga te Mana.