Mount Albert Grammar School


Mount Albert Grammar School
Mount Albert Grammar School logo.png
36 Alberton Avenue


New Zealand
Coordinates36°53′4.52″S 174°43′31.2″E / 36.8845889°S 174.725333°E / -36.8845889; 174.725333Coordinates: 36°53′4.52″S 174°43′31.2″E / 36.8845889°S 174.725333°E / -36.8845889; 174.725333
TypeState secondary, day and boarding
MottoPer Angusta Ad Augusta
"Through Hardship to Glory"
Established1922; 99 years ago
Ministry of Education Institution no.69
HeadmasterPatrick Drumm
School roll3075[1] (March 2021)
Socio-economic decile7 (2015)[2]

Mount Albert Grammar School, commonly known as MAGS, is a co-educational state secondary school in Mount Albert in Auckland, New Zealand. It teaches students in year levels 9 to 13. As of August 2021, Mount Albert Grammar School is the second largest school in New Zealand, behind Rangitoto College.[3][4]


Mount Albert Grammar was founded in 1922 as a subsidiary of Auckland Grammar School, but now the two schools are governed separately. Mount Albert Grammar School was originally boys only, but became co-educational in 2000.[5] Junior classes (years 9 and 10) are mostly single-sex while senior classes (years 11 to 13) are all co-educational.[6]

There have been a number of headmasters since the opening of the school, Frederick Gamble (1922–1946), William Caradus (1946–1954), Murray Nairn (1954–1969), Maurice Hall (1970–1988), Gregory Taylor (1988–2006, the first Albertian to become Headmaster), Dale Burden (2006–2015), and the current headmaster, Patrick Drumm (2016–).[7]

The school's hall was opened on 11 March 1926 by Sir James Parr after construction during 1925.[8]

After the opening of the school, a need for boarding accommodation for students became apparent. In 1927, the Mount Albert Grammar School Hostel opened for boarders at 807 New North Road. This hostel closed in 1970 and a new one was opened in 1971, built on one of the school's playing fields.[9] This is a boys' boarding hostel called School House. It has full-time accommodation for up to 105 students during school terms.[10]

The School's Latin motto is Per Angusta Ad Augusta, which means "Through Hardship to Glory". The school hymn, sung at all formal assemblies, was written by a student, J. A. W. Bennett, in 1928.[11]

In October 2015, an email containing a pornographic image was sent to all the school's 2,700 students after the school's email database was reportedly hacked by one of the school's students. The email database was immediately shut down and an investigation was started into who was responsible.[12][13] The school laid a complaint with police and sought the assistance of the Department of Internal Affairs.[14]

The school purchased what was meant to be a girls' hostel, but due to the Auckland housing crisis turned into accommodation for teachers.[15] The complex is located 6 minute walk away from MAGS on Lloyd Avenue.[16]

On July 24, 2020, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern officially opened the school's new science block, known as CS block and honouring the school's second headmaster, William Caradus. This was set to take place on March 24, however was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[17] The block has been in use since classes commenced for the 2020 school year.


Mt Albert Grammar School pupils participate in various forms of academia, from year 9 to year 13.

In 2015, 93.8 percent of students leaving Mount Albert Grammar held at least NCEA Level 1, 87.7 percent held at least NCEA Level 2, and 67.8 percent held at least NCEA Level 3. This is compared to 88.4%, 79.1%, and 52.8% respectively for all students nationally.[18]


In 2007 and 2009 MAGS won all the major Auckland titles in rugby, association football and netball. The First XI girls football and the Premier Girls Basketball also won their first Auckland Championships in 2009.[19]

In 2008, one sports staff member and a parent coach were suspended by the schools' sport body College Sport and nine students who had transferred to the school were prevented from playing by rules designed to prevent poaching of young players.[20][21] As a result, the school implemented a sporting Code of Conduct for all students, staff and coaches. This ultimately led to the dismissal of Director of Football, Kevin Fallon.[22]

Mt Albert Aquatic Centre

The Mt Albert Aquatic Centre was developed as a joint project between Mount Albert Grammar School and the Auckland City Council. It was officially opened by the Prime Minister of New Zealand in 1998. The facility contains a 25-metre competition pool with depths measuring from 1.2 metres to 3 metres, and a leisure pool that features wave motion and a water slide.[23] The complex consists of other features visited by the public often. However, in 2016 the pool was noted to be unsafe due to its vulnerability to earthquakes. The pool is set to be either fixed or demolished in the next ten years.[citation needed]

Mount Albert Grammar School Farm

This is a photo of the Mount Albert Grammar School Farm[24] as seen from the upper floor of MH Block, formerly known as D Block.

Since 1933 Mount Albert Grammar School has a 10.8-hectare (27-acre) farm adjacent to its school site in the middle of Auckland city. It is a fully working model farm, home to sheep, pigs, rabbits, cattle and poultry, cared for by a farm manager who lives on site.[citation needed] The land is owned by the ASB Bank, which in 2013 extended the school's lease costing 1 dollar every year for 99 years, taking the ownership through to 2112.[25]

Students are able to study Agricultural Science from Year 10 onwards, and also travel to farms and agricultural training centres for day trips and camps. They attend Field Days at Mystery Creek each year and some students are selected to assist in the agricultural area of the Auckland Easter Show.[citation needed]

As well as a classroom the farm has a one-stand wool shed with wool-handling facilities, pens to hold 150 sheep overnight, a two-stand walk-through milking shed with milking plant, an implement shed and a unit for small animals.[citation needed]


The school is one of a few schools in New Zealand with an active observatory and possesses a telescope open to students and the public occasionally. Completed in 2008, the observatory has a Meade Instruments LX200R 12-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain f/10 telescope. The observatory uses an SBIG ST7XME CCD camera for imaging and photometry.[citation needed]

The observatory is used for both school education and amateur research.[citation needed]

School Hymn

The school hymn is sung at all formal school assemblies, normally accompanied by live piano. It was written by MAGS student Jack A. W. Bennett in 1928.[11] The lyrics to the hymn were analysed in a report written by Brian Murphy, the School Archivist.[26][27]

ERO report

In 2018, the New Zealand Education Review Office carried out a survey, finding that the school uses National Certificate of Educational Achievement and celebrates its students achievements through the Lion Awards programme. Its educational achievement level is above the national average, making Mt Albert Grammar one of the top seven schools in the country. The ethnic minorities of the school have shifted the balance since the 2015 review. By that, 91% of Māori and 85% of Pacific students gained NCEA Level 2 in 2017.[28]

The school enrolls 2991 students, out of which 57% are male and 43% are female. Out of those, 40% are of European descent, 23% are Asian, 19% are identified as Pacific Islanders, 3% are MELAA and 2% are of other ethnicity.[28]

Notable alumni

Notable alumni include:[11]








Public service


  • Reverend Brother Michael J. Foran (1948–2000) – founder of a Catholic religious community, the Mother of God Brothers[34][35]



See also


  1. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Are you in one of NZ's biggest high schools? | School Leaver NZ". Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  4. ^ "About the school". Mount Albert Grammar School. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Mount Albert Grammar School for Girls". Mount Albert Grammar School. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Mount Albert Grammar School Prospectus 2019" (PDF). Mount Albert Grammar School. September 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  7. ^ "History and Archives". Mount Albert Grammar School. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  8. ^ "The Hall" (PDF). Mount Albert Grammar School. June 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  9. ^ "Boarding – Welcome". Mount Albert Grammar School. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Boys - School House". Mount Albert Grammar School. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  11. ^ a b c "Notable Albertians". Mount Albert Grammar School. Archived from the original on 18 October 2005.
  12. ^ "Porn email sent to 2700 students". The New Zealand Herald. NZME. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Porn emailed to Auckland school students". Newshub. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Mount Albert Grammar High lays police complaint over porn email". Radio NZ. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Housing crisis forces school to build cut-price teacher flats instead of student hostel". Stuff. 10 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Mt Albert Grammar School opening girls hostel for first time". Fairfax NZ. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  17. ^ Hepburn, Graham (24 July 2020). "PM Officially Opens William Caradus Building". Mount Albert Grammar School. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  18. ^ "School Qualifications – Mount Albert Grammar School". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  19. ^ Terry Maddaford (26 August 2009). "School Thrilled by Clean Sweep". New Zealand Herald. NZME. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  20. ^ Martha McKenzie-Minifiee (10 May 2008). "Schools sin-binned over sport poaching". New Zealand Herald. NZME. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Schools' anti-poaching rule lands stars in limbo". The New Zealand Herald. NZME. 26 February 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  22. ^ Vaimoana Tapaleao (29 July 2014). "Star Coach sacked". New Zealand Herald. NZME. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  23. ^ "Mt Albert Aquatics Centre :: Aquatic Facilities". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  24. ^ "ASB MAGS Farm". Mount Albert Grammar School. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  25. ^ Pamela Tipa (26 May 2013). "ASB Farm Future secured with new Lease". Rural News Group. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  26. ^ "J. A. W. Bennet and The School Hymn" (PDF). Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  27. ^ "Albertians Association - Welcome". Mount Albert Grammar School. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  28. ^ a b "Mt Albert Grammar School". Education Review Office. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  29. ^ "Robert Muldoon | NZHistory, New Zealand history online". Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  30. ^ "Our History - Fisher & Paykel Appliances NZ". Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  31. ^ Taonga, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. "4. – Classical musicians – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand". Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  32. ^ "Tongan Judiciary farewells Hon. Justice Shuster and welcomes Hon. Justice Cato". 7 May 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  33. ^ "Justice Charles Cato is Tonga's new Supreme Court judge | South Pacific Lawyers' Association". 8 May 2012. Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  34. ^ Called to Lead Others to Jesus Archived 18 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ Catholic Diocese of Wagga Wagga Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Adrian Hyland: Hard graft in high-stakes". New Zealand Herald. NZME. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  37. ^ "100 years of pharmacy in Remuera". Remuera Heritage. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  38. ^ a b c d Michael Burgess (27 January 2013). "College Sport: Price to coach MAGS". New Zealand Herald. NZME. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  39. ^ a b c "Canberra Raiders sign former Junior All Black". Sporting News. 29 January 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  40. ^ Michael Burgess (27 January 2013). "College Sport: Price to coach MAGS". The New Zealand Herald. NZME. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  41. ^ a b Estelle Sarney (15 June 2017). "Albertians against the Lions". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  42. ^ Pete Nichols (28 December 2004). "Arthur Lydiard". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  43. ^ Scott Morgan (21 April 2009). "Juniors get shot at big time". Central Leader. Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  44. ^ a b Mandy Te (11 March 2018). "Housing crisis forces school to build cut-price teacher flats instead of student hostel". Fairfax NZ. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  45. ^ a b "Successful Albertians & Albertian Biographies".
  46. ^ Taylah Hodson-Tomokino (26 April 2018). "Time to stop forcing netball down our girls' throats". Fairfax NZ. Retrieved 10 June 2018.

External links

  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata
  • Te Kete Ipurangi School Profile
  • Education Review Office (ERO) reports for Mount Albert Grammar School