|Mount Albert Grammar School|
36 Alberton Avenue
|Type||State secondary, day and boarding|
|Motto||Per Angusta Ad Augusta|
"Through Hardship to Glory"
|Established||1922; 99 years ago|
|Ministry of Education Institution no.||69|
|School roll||3075 (March 2021)|
|Socio-economic decile||7 (2015)|
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[update], Mount Albert Grammar School is the second largest school in New Zealand, behind Rangitoto College.
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. Junior classes (years 9 and 10) are mostly single-sex while senior classes (years 11 to 13) are all co-educational.
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–).
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. This is a boys' boarding hostel called School House. It has full-time accommodation for up to 105 students during school terms.
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. The school laid a complaint with police and sought the assistance of the Department of Internal Affairs.
The school purchased what was meant to be a girls' hostel, but due to the Auckland housing crisis turned into accommodation for teachers. The complex is located 6 minute walk away from MAGS on Lloyd Avenue.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
The observatory is used for both school education and amateur research.
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. The lyrics to the hymn were analysed in a report written by Brian Murphy, the School Archivist.
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.
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.
Notable alumni include: