Macleans College

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Macleans College
2 Macleans Road, Bucklands Beach, Auckland
Coordinates 36°53′00″S 174°54′55″E / 36.8833°S 174.9152°E / -36.8833; 174.9152Coordinates: 36°53′00″S 174°54′55″E / 36.8833°S 174.9152°E / -36.8833; 174.9152
Type State co-educational
Motto Virtue mine honour
Established 1980
Ministry of Education Institution no. 41
Principal Byron J Bentley
Grades Secondary
Enrolment 2557[1] (July 2014)
Socio-economic decile 10
The main sign of Macleans College as seen from the road

Macleans College is a co-educational secondary school located in Bucklands Beach, Auckland, New Zealand. The school has a reputation for academic success. Metro magazine placed Macleans College as the number one CIE (Cambridge International Examinations) Auckland high school in 2010.[2]

The school emblem contains the castle from the Macleans family crest along with six waves which symbolise the seaside location of the school.[3]


The school was opened in 1980 by then Governor General Sir David Beattie with an initial roll of 199 students.[3] The first principal was Colin Prentice, who later became director of World Vision in New Zealand, followed by his deputy Allan McDonald in 1989. On McDonald's retirement, Byron J Bentley, who holds a Master of Arts,[4] became principal in 2000.[5]

The school is named after the Maclean family. Robert and Every Maclean immigrated to New Zealand from Cornwall, England, and they owned the land in Howick.The family farmed the ares of land that the school's current location. [6][7]

Whanau House system[edit]

Upon admission, pupils are placed into one of the eight houses in Macleans College. The selection is random, unless the student currently has any sibling attending the school wherein the student has an option to be enrolled in the same house, or be randomly placed in any of the other seven.

The Whanau House system at Macleans divides the school into houses of about 300 students each, with two form classes of 30 or so students for each year level, all from the same house. The Whanau system had previously been trialled at Penrose High School (now One Tree Hill College) by modifying existing buildings, but Macleans College was the first state school in New Zealand to be purpose-built around the system. All eight whanau houses are named after famous New Zealanders.

House name House mascot House colour Year opened[5]
Hillary Yeti Green 1980
Kupe Kiwi Gold 1981
Rutherford Elephant Red 1982
Mansfield 'Dog' from Footrot Flats Purple 1984
Te Kanawa Taniwha Dark Blue 1987
Batten Buzzy Bee White 1998
Snell Black panther Black 2001
Upham Lion Light Blue 2003

The original houses were Kupe, Hillary and Te Kanawa, although Hillary was rebuilt and reopened on 29 October 1992 after it burnt down in October 13, 1991.[3] Te Kanawa house was opened by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa herself. More houses have been added as the roll has increased, with the latest addition being Upham, which was opened in 2003. The school has a roll of over 2,500 students.


The school uniform has undergone many changes since its founding. Currently, junior and senior students are distinguished by the pale blue shirts worn by juniors, and the navy and white striped shirts worn by senior students.

The junior summer uniform, of which Years 9 to 10 are required to wear, consists of a pale blue long or short sleeved polycotton shirt and a knee-length navy skirt for girls or long trousers, or navy shorts or trousers for boys, and brown sandals for shoes or black leather lace-up shoes with white ankle socks for girls and navy socks with garters for boys. The junior winter uniform consists of pale blue long or short sleeved shirts with a knee-length tartan kilt or long trousers for girls and navy shorts or trousers for boys. Black leather lace-up shoes are worn with either white ankle socks and navy tights for girls or navy socks for boys.

Senior students in Years 11, 12 and 13 are able to mix any combination of summer and winter uniforms throughout the year, with the exception of sandals are not allowed to be worn during the winter uniform period or with the ankle-length skirt or trousers. Senior uniform alike the junior uniforms, except that girls are not required to wear the kilt, and the navy and blue shirts are to be worn.

The Physical Education uniform consists of royal blue shorts and a polo shirts in a student's respective house colour.

The school jersey is navy blue, v-necked with the school emblem on the left hand side, in either a short sleeved or long sleeved variation. Girls are also permitted to wear a zippered cardigan. For formal events, a blue striped blazer is worn with the senior shirts, and a long skirt or trousers. A jacket, scarf, and raincoat is also worn. Senior students are also allowed to wear the school tie and blazer during the winter terms.

Setting and buildings[edit]

Macleans College is located in Macleans Park, the largest passive reserve in the Howick/Pakuranga district.[8] Due to its sloping terrain, the school has wide views of the adjacent Eastern Beach.

Each Whanau House has a one-storey building (with the exception of Batten, which has two) containing classrooms and science labs, and often several associated prefabs. Each Whanau House building also has a large central indoor commons area, which, along with being a general purpose socialising space, is used for house assemblies, lunch eating, and various co-curricular activities. Hillary, Kupe, Rutherford and Te Kanawa were built to a common design plan, known as the Whanau plan or S80 plan. Classroom blocks nearly identical to these were also built at Penrose High School and at Mountainview High School in Timaru.

The school also contains specialised non-house associated Science and Home Economics, Music, and Engineering buildings, along with the large Barbara Kendall gymnasiums and a smaller auditorium for productions and performance.


International students[edit]

The college takes in fee paying foreign students, mainly of Asian ethnicity. As they pay more than NZ$14,000 each per year, they constitute a significant part of the school's income.[9]

Gifted and Talented Extension Studies[edit]

Traditionally, Macleans College offered student to apply for entry into their 'A class' system, [10] with each extension class accelerating in Mathematics, English, Science and Social Studies in Years 9 and 10 in preparation to sit the Mathmematics, English Literature, Combined Science and Global Perspectives IGCSE exams at the end of Year 10. From 2011, two classes split into a better and lower class (an "A" and "B" class) both sat the four IGCSE courses a the end of year 10. Though in 2013, the two accelerate classes were split equally in terms of academic ability and so formed only two "A classes". As of 2014, each student enrolling into the school is required to sit the extension studies rather than only those wishing to be selected into the accelerate class taking a placement test. Also, in addition, extension classes are now grouped according to their respective abilities in science, math, and English. One class (the "A class") that has strengths in all three subjects are accelerated in mathematics, English, science and social studies, while two other classes ("B class") are accelerated in mathematics and science and another "C class" is accelerated only in mathematics. Extension classes are randomly placed in the various houses, so as to disperse the classes all around the school. Extension classes take all their IGCSE core subjects together as a class, and are not placed in a Year 11 senior class of equal level.

Co-curricular activities[edit]

The school's unofficial co-curricular guide for students, although not extensive and slightly outdated, includes 28 sporting codes, 13 academic activities, 6 drama activities, 14 musical activities, 18 cultural activities and 24 clubs as part of the larger 'Intercultural Club'.[11] Each student is required to participate in at least one long term co-curricular activity.[12]


Instrumental groups[edit]

In the annual KBB Music Festival which is held for secondary schools in the greater Auckland district, the Symphony Orchestra has consistently gained Outstanding awards, making them the number one secondary school orchestra for the years of 2008 to 2014 inclusive. They have also gained a gold award since 2007. The Concert Band has been ranked number one for the years of 2009 to 2013 inclusive, having gained gold since 2008, while the Chamber Orchestra was ranked number one for the years of 2010 and 2011.[13][14][15][16][17][18]

Singing groups[edit]

The choir has qualified on a national level, gaining a silver in 2010 and 2011 and a gold in 2012 at the Big Sing National Finale.[19][20][21] In 2011, the barbershop quartet gained second place nationwide while the girls' chorus placed fourth.[22] In 2012, the barbershop quartet were placed first, winning the national title.[23]

Representative badge system[edit]

The school also operates a representative badge system. Top tier co-curricular groups, such as the premier teams for many sports codes, debating teams, music groups, the tech crew, stage challenge, the Intercultural Club, and drama, annually give out badges to their members or leaders after they have contributed significantly to that co-curricular. Three badges are available for each group: blue, silver, and gold, in ascending rank.


For senior students, two qualification pathways are offered: NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement), and CIE (Cambridge International Examinations).[24] CIE is offered as an alternative; the principal has stated that he has "major concerns about where the new qualification [NCEA] was going", one of which he said was that NCEA "breaks down subjects into units", which he believes is incoherent and could lead to students "cherry-picking parts of subjects they want to do". However he has also stated that the school has "no intention of disestablishing NCEA"; instead, they "have got to make it work".[25]

High-achieving pupils can sit New Zealand Scholarship exams, which Macleans considers as "the prime qualification in this school”.[25] Many students in Year 13 and Year 12 sit these examinations, which lead to monetary rewards and prestige for successful scholars. A further incentive for students to undertake multiple scholarship examinations is the elite card pass system which the school grants their top scholars.[26]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 30 July 2014". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  2. ^ Metro Magazine (July 2010). "Metro names the best schools in Auckland". Scoop. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  3. ^ a b c "About Hillary House". Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  4. ^ Bentley, Byron. "Principal's Message". Macleans College. Retrieved 13 November 2011. "B J Bentley MA" 
  5. ^ a b "General Information Booklet (English)". Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  6. ^ "Maclean Family History". Macleans College. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Cyclopedia Company Limited (1902). "The Hon. Every Maclean". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Auckland Provincial District. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "MacLeans Park". Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  9. ^ Macleans College International Student Fee Structure
  10. ^ The School Prospectus
  11. ^ "Co-curricular Groups" (PDF). Macleans College. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  12. ^ "Co-curricular". Macleans College. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  13. ^ "Outstanding Awards at Music Competition". Macleans College. August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  14. ^ "Gold Plus Outstanding Awards - KBB Music Festival". Macleans College. August 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  15. ^ "Four Gold Plus Three Outstanding Awards - KBB Music Festival". Macleans College. August 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  16. ^ "Gold and Outstanding Awards at Music Festival". Macleans College. August 2009. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  17. ^ "Top Secondary School in Auckland - Macleans Orchestra Outstanding". Macleans College. August 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  18. ^ "Macleans Orchestra Wins Gold at Festival". Macleans College. August 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  19. ^ "The Big Sing Finale 2012 Awards". New Zealand Choral Federation. August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  20. ^ "Silver at Big Sing". Macleans College. August 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  21. ^ "Silver to Choir". Macleans College. August 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  22. ^ "Barbershops Perform in Wellington". Macleans College. August 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  23. ^ "Barbershop National Title". Macleans College. September 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  24. ^ Macleans College NCEA and Cambridge
  25. ^ a b Rebecca Gardiner (January 2011). "Principal denies NCEA rumours". Howick and Pakuranga Times. Archived from the original on 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  26. ^ "Financial Awards + Other Benefits". Macleans College. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  27. ^ "Howick Pakurage Cricket Club - November Newsletter Vol 5 Issue 2". Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  28. ^ "Scott Campbell Makes US Baseball Team". Macleans College. June 2006. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  29. ^ "30 March 2001 Newsletter" (PDF). Macleans College. March 2001. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  30. ^ "Kirsten Hellier: Top New Zealand Coach". Macleans College. February 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  31. ^ "Hillary House Prizegiving 2003". Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  32. ^ "Barbara Kendall Opens Macleans College Gymnasium". Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  33. ^ "Football Opportunity". Macleans College. February 2009. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  34. ^ "Athlete Profile - Aaron McIntosh". New Zealand Olympic Museum. Retrieved 14 September 2012. "McIntosh, a product of Macleans College, Auckland" 
  35. ^ "Kyle Mills at Rugby". Macleans College. June 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  36. ^ "Rhona Robertson". NamesDatabase. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  37. ^ "Pupils Prize Performance". Macleans College. November 1994. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  38. ^ "Dream Come True". Macleans College. June 2012. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  39. ^ "Mark Weldon Guest Speaker at Macleans Senior Prizegiving". Macleans College. November 2005. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 

External links[edit]