Boys Junior School
St Paul’s Collegiate School is structured into a boys’ only Junior School and a co-ed Senior School. This structure supports “best for boys” in their formative Year 9 and Year 10 years and the natural socialisation of the sexes in the senior school towards work and/or tertiary education.
On entry into Year 9 each boy is tested to ascertain academic levels and allocated to classes according to ability. This enables teachers to focus on the individual needs of the student and facilitates an environment in which each student has the opportunity reach their academic potential. Students are actively encouraged to strive for their “personal best” in all academic endeavours.
The absence of girls in the class at this level allows a focus on the pace and style of learning of boys in a way that would not be able to be achieved in a co-ed situation.
Learning the Boys Way
Our Year 10 students' experience in the Junior School culminates in an 18-week residential programme at the School’s Tihoi Venture School campus in the Taupo district.
This compulsory Tihoi Venture School programme is a unique school experience in New Zealand and offered at a time when there are great changes in a boy’s life a “fundamental crossing of the bridge …. a moment where he wakes up to the fact that he is on a journey to manhood”.
St Paul’s brings together its Tihoi Programme, the environment and history, to give its boys a sense that they are on an important part of a journey, unique to each of them. This makes the experience an extraordinary life changing experience for him.
The essence of the Tihoi programme is it links action and consequence, in a world where risk, normal healthy risk, has been bred out of the lives of children from early on. They are not allowed to climb trees at early childhood centres’ and health and safety rules surround them.. for good reason in most cases. However, the end result is most boys come to a place where they are dying to risk something and in many cases die because of the risk.
The Tihoi experience is gifted to a boy before he “hit his straps and the testosterone has fully kicked in”. It takes him into a world of action and consequence …simply, if you don’t cook you don’t eat, if you loose your socks you will have no socks to wear for the rest of the day. It provides and environment where all the adolescent stuff of modern life is stripped away; no mobile phone, TV or computer. Tihoi offers an environment in which the pragmatic adolescent boy can take calculated risks and genuinely come face to face with who he is and what he is capable of.