Headmaster’s welcome

As a parent, choosing a secondary school for your son or daughter can be a daunting task. Assessing and choosing a school is one of the most important challenges we have. As parents we have a responsibility to look for the best fit for our children.

You have to consider if, as a family, you share the same educational philosophy as the school. Will my child be challenged without being overwhelmed? Is there a committed, capable set of teachers? Will he or she be supported, encouraged and nurtured during their time at high school? And, ultimately, will I get value for my investment?

To assist you in making your decision, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to our unique and extraordinary school.

St Paul’s Collegiate School is one of New Zealand’s leading independent day and boarding secondary schools for Year 9-13 boys and Year 11-13 girls. Located in Hamilton, our school has a reputation for providing personalised education that focuses on academic excellence.

You only need to spend a short time on the campus to quickly sense the spirit of excitement, the breadth of opportunity and the aspiration to achieve that characterises St Paul’s. An average class size of 20 students allows for individualised attention. St Paul’s prides itself on the personalised nature of the educational experience; our school is small enough for each student to be known by everyone and for each student to be an integral part of our community.

In pursuing academic excellence, we are committed to a culture that encourages – and expects – each pupil to achieve the very best they can. In encouraging young people to explore their strengths, we believe that the learning process is as important as the results it produces. The fear of failure should never block the freedom to learn. At St Paul’s we aim to equip our students with a level of confidence that is matched by a respect for the abilities and attributes of others.

Our students are pushed to learn academically and to grow emotionally and socially. Year 10 boys experience Tihoi Venture School, an 18-week residential outdoor programme. Students are stripped of modern technology, such as television and mobile phones, and are placed into communal living, regular schooling and outdoor experiences. Here, they develop into young men who are independent, responsible and contributing members of society.

The values instilled in our Year 10 boys during their Tihoi experience are also strongly encouraged in students throughout their entirety at St Paul’s. Our community knows instinctively that we expect our young men and women to be first and foremost, good people; then successful students and scholars who strive to embrace our strong academic tradition; and finally, individuals who learn to work together; to cooperate with one another in spiritual, cultural and sporting activities.

Last, I believe the most intriguing aspect of St Paul’s is our community. We have close relationships with all of our students and know each pupil by name and we also have long lasting relationships with Collegians. This sense of community brings with it loyalty, goodwill and camaraderie among students, staff, parents and Collegians.

Thank you for considering our school and we look forward to meeting your family and introducing them, first-hand, to the special nature of St Paul’s.

Ben Skeen

Headmaster’s prizegiving speech 2022