Mount Albert Grammar School

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Mount Albert Grammar School
Mount Albert Grammar School logo.png
Alberton Avenue,
Mt Albert,
New Zealand
Coordinates 36°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
Type State, co-educational, secondary (Year 9-13) with boarding facilities
Motto Per Angusta Ad Augusta
"Through Hardship to Glory"
Established 1922
Ministry of Education Institution no. 69
Headmaster Dale Burden
School roll 2728[1] (March 2015)
Socio-economic decile 7O[2]

Mount Albert Grammar School (MAGS) is a semi co-educational state secondary school in Mount Albert in central Auckland, New Zealand. It teaches from year 9 to year 13. Mount Albert Grammar is one of the largest secondary schools in the country. It is also one of the most multi-cultural schools in New Zealand.[citation needed] Mount Albert Grammar is now 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 in 2000 opened its doors to girls as well. 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) and, since 2006, Dale Burden.

The school has a boys' boarding hostel called School House on site. It has full-time accommodation for up to 107 students during school terms. The school house was opened in 1927 and has been running as a full time hostel since then.

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.[3]


Mt Albert Grammar School pupils enjoy broad and comprehensive educational opportunities, from year 9 to year 13. There is a wide range of individual subjects available, all of which fit into their respective departments: Agricultural Science, Horticulture, Art, Commerce, Dance and Drama, English, ESOL, Languages, Mathematics, Media Studies, Music, Physical Education, Science, Social Science and Technology.

The New Zealand Education Review Office has consistently commended the school on its outstanding academic achievements: “Student achievement in NCEA is higher than national averages and is considerably higher than the averages for other similar schools.”[citation needed] In 2013, 93.1 percent of students leaving Mount Albert Grammar held at least NCEA Level 1, 88.4 percent held at least NCEA Level 2, and 67.4 percent held at least University Entrance standard. This is compared to 85.2%, 74.2%, and 49.0% respectively for all students nationally.[4]

In Scholarship, New Zealand’s top secondary school academic award, MAGS has regularly placed in the top 10 schools in the country.[citation needed]


Sport is a strong tradition at Mount Albert Grammar, and school regularly wins Auckland and New Zealand titles. So far in 2014 MAGS has defended its National Championship titles in Boys' Softball and Girls' Futsal, and aims to defend its other National titles in Premier Netball, First XI Girls' Football, Girls' Lacrosse and Girls' Touch.

MAGS also holds Auckland titles in First XI Boys' Cricket, First XI Boys' and Girls' Football, Boys' Softball, Canoe Polo, Baseball, Premier Netball, Girls' Touch, Girls' Lacrosse, and a number of Athletics records. In 2007 and 2009 MAGS won all the major Auckland titles in Rugby, Soccer and Netball. The First XI girls football and the Premier Girls Basketball also won their first Auckland Championships in 2009.[5]

The Boys' First XI Football team has a record unequalled by any school in New Zealand, winning the Auckland Premier League championship 38 times since 1928, most recently in 2013.

The First XV Rugby team has played since 1922 when it joined the Auckland Secondary Schools Rugby competition, winning the Championship in 1924 and 1925 . Since then it has won the Auckland title 19 times, most recently in 2010. MAGS also won the New Zealand Championship in 1938, 1982 and 2010.

The Premier Netball team has a record unequalled in New Zealand, winning the National Championship in 2012 and 2013, the Auckland Championship for the past five years in a row (2009-2013), has been unbeaten since 2012 and lost only three games since 2009.

MAGS also offers a variety of other sports, and is experiencing a resurgence in its rowing programme. Once the top rowing school in the country and an eight-time winner of the Maadi Cup through the 1950s and 1960s, the sport disappeared from the school for nearly 30 years until 2009, when it was revived by group of the school's former rowers. In 2014 MAGS won its first Maadi medal of its modern rowing era, a bronze in the Girls' U16 Double.

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.[6][7] As a result, the school implemented a strong sporting Code of Conduct for all students, staff and coaches. This ultimately led to the dismissal of Director of Football, Kevin Fallon.[8]

Mt Albert Aquatic Centre[edit]

The Mt Albert Aquatic Centre was developed as a joint venture 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 variable depth, and a leisure pool that features wave motion and a water slide. The complex also features two spa pools, a sauna and a steam room. It is open 7days a week and the public regularly visit this recreation centre

Mount Albert Grammar School Farm[edit]

Since 1933 Mount Albert Grammar School has boasted a 10.8 ha farm adjacent to its school site in the middle of Auckland city. It is a fully working model farm, home to sheep, pigs, rabbits, goats, 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 for 99 years at a peppercorn rental.

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 help in the agricultural area of the Auckland Easter Show. Courses are designed to prepare students for tertiary study and careers in the rural sector.

As well as a classroom the farm has a one-stand wool shed with full wool-handling facilities, sufficient 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 the few schools in New Zealand with an active observatory and possesses the largest and most advanced telescope of any school in New Zealand. Completed in 2008, the observatory has a Meade Instruments LX200R 12" 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.

Notable alumni[3][edit]



  • Sir Peter Siddell





  • Sir John Scott, KBE, former Professor of Medicine, The University of Auckland


Public Service[edit]


  • Reverend Brother Michael J. Foran (1948-2000) founder of a Catholic religious community, the Mother of God Brothers[11]


  • E.G. (Ted) Bollard - former Research scientist at DSIR 1948-1980 and director of the horticulture and processing division. Pro-chancellor of The University of Auckland, 1989-1991
  • Sir Alan Stewart, KBE, CBE - former vice-chancellor of Massey University 1964
  • Richard Matthews, Order of New Zealand (1988), Hector Medal of Royal Society of New Zealand, FRSNZ, FNZIC, FRS - Former Chairman of Toxic Substances Board, Health Department. Former President NZ Microbiological Society.
  • Professor Jeff Tallon, awarded New Zealand’s Rutherford Medal in 2002


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 7 April 2015". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Notable Albertians". Mount Albert Grammar School. 
  4. ^ "School Qualifications -- Mount Albert Grammar School". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "School Thrilled by Clean Sweep". NZ Herald 26 August 2009. 26 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "Schools sin-binned over sport poaching". NZ Herald 10 May 2008. 10 May 2008. 
  7. ^ "Schools' anti-poaching rule lands stars in limbo". NZ Herald 26 February 2008. 26 February 2008. 
  8. ^ "Star Coach sacked". NZ Herald 29 July 2014. 29 July 2014. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ / Mother of God Brothers ; / Wagga Wagga Catholic diocese

External links[edit]