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10 AUCKLAND CITY HARBOUR NEWS, AUGUST 7, 2013
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Building a bright
future for boys
Creating pathways: King's School headmaster Tony Sissons has been
appointed one of six trustees of the global boys' education 'think tank', the
International Boys Coalition.
PHOTO: SIMON WATTS
Much has been written and spoken
about the needs of boys in education
today, particularly in light of recent
public examination results in which
boys are frequently out-performed by
One of New Zealand's champions of
boys education is King's School
headmaster Tony Sissons.
We unashamedly teach boys at
King's,'' he says, it is what we know.''
Mr Sissons says the focus on
education at the Remuera school is on
making boys feel safe, from an
Boys love the competitive instinct,
and can reach whatever standards you
expect of them. Our boys are
challenged academically to go far and
not feel inhibited.
If you don't have expectations and
set goals, then boys will easily
gravitate to the middle ground. But if
you cater for their needs, provide a
nurturing environment, recognise and
reward success, then you are well on
the way to creating good men.''
Mr Sissons recently returned from
the International Boys Education
Conference in Virginia, which he
describes as a meeting of minds from
around the world about boys
Mr Sissons was invited to sit on the
board as a trustee of the International
Boys Coalition, a three year
appointment. He is the sole primary
school representative of the six
trustees from around the world.
It was an opportunity to get heads
together, talking about research
coming out of boys' learning and a
chance to link in with leading
educators who are committed to boys'
education from a variety of
They are interested in what we are
doing in New Zealand. Tony Little,
headmaster of Eton College and
chairman of the Coalition board, is
interested in our work in the primary
sector, we are developing a
relationship in this area.''
Mr Sissons says a feature of their
findings is that setting parameters
and expectations for success is not
decile related, but teacher competency
related. To that end King's School
engages its staff to a very high level,
with depth and specialisation in all
subject areas as well as extra
King's School also has an early
learning centre for four-year-olds, the
sole boys-only preschool in the country.
We have a responsibility to lead
education and create pathways,'' Mr
Sisson says. The simple regurgitation
of facts is a thing of the past. We create
an environment where teachers allow
good questions, encourage boys to
think and apply information and
It's so important to treat boys as
individuals. We are responsible for
creating good men, so we create an
environment for them to build self-
esteem and do well.
Our mission statement is built on a
truth: Develop the individual talents
of each boy...forlife'.''
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