Shirley Boys' High School

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Shirley Boys' High School
Shirley Boys' High School Logo.JPG
North Parade,
Christchurch 8013,
New Zealand

Coordinates 43°30′44.11″S 172°39′37.25″E / 43.5122528°S 172.6603472°E / -43.5122528; 172.6603472Coordinates: 43°30′44.11″S 172°39′37.25″E / 43.5122528°S 172.6603472°E / -43.5122528; 172.6603472
Type State Single sex boys secondary (Year 9-13)
Motto Interest Omnium Recte Facere
Established 1957
Ministry of Education Institution no. 321
Principal Mr John Laurenson
School roll 1496
Socio-economic decile 6

Shirley Boys' High School (known as SBHS) is a single sex state (public) secondary school in Christchurch, New Zealand. It is situated on a 6 hectare site in the suburb of Shirley, 3.8 kilometres (13 minutes) from the city centre, but it will be co-located with Avonside Girls' High School at a site in east Christchurch yet to be announced. The school colours are sky blue and gold.

Brief history[edit]

Parents in the eastern and northern suburbs of Christchurch had wanted single-sex education for their sons. In 1957, this finally became available when the school opened under its first Headmaster, Charles Gallagher.

Established on a swampy paddock formerly used for grazing horses to the west of North Parade, the School grew rapidly. Within a few years it became a self-confessed and proud rival to Christchurch Boys' High School as well as to St. Andrew's and St Bede's College.[1]

A detailed satirical portrait of the school as it was in the late 1960s can be found in The Shining City, a novel by former student Stevan Eldred-Grigg. A boy about to begin at the school is told 'The big guys will pull your knob off. The big guys pull the knob off all the little guys'.[2] Charles Vaughan Gallagher, the headmaster of the period, is portrayed as John Vere Coughlan: 'a squat man in a drooping black gown'. The protagonist of the novel decides that the school was 'just a lie, just a blank in the middle of the day'.[3]

On the Easter weekend (April) of 2007, Shirley Boys' High School celebrated its 50th Jubilee. Commemorative events included an Old Boys' XV playing the current 2nd XV and the 1st XV playing in historic uniform against St. Andrew's College; as well as a golf tournament, formal black-tie dinner, staff luncheon and 'meet-and-greet evening'.

2011 earthquake[edit]

During the magnitude 6.3 quake on 22 February the school suffered extensive damage[4] and had to close. At least two classroom blocks were expected to be demolished, and all of the concrete areas of the school, including the new tennis courts, were badly damaged. The students didn't attend school for almost a month, before a decision was reached on what to do with the students.

The decision was made to shift its pupils to Papanui High School[5] - with Papanui High School's students changing to attend classes from 8am until 1pm, while the Shirley Boys' High School students entered the school at 1.15pm and finished at 5.45pm. After about 6 months of this arrangement[6] pupils were able to return to the re-opened school in early September 2011.[7] Education Minister Hekia Parata announced on 16 October 2013 that the school would co-located with Avonside Girls' High School at a site in east Christchurch yet to be announced.[8]


Shirley Boys' High School Houses
Rutherford Named after lord Ernest Rutherford, physicist.
Aoraki Named after Aoraki/Mount Cook, the largest peak in New Zealand.
Mullins Named after Mr. Mullins, Former Deputy Headmaster.
Snell Named after Peter Snell, New Zealand athlete.
Blake Named after Peter Blake, New Zealand sailor and conservationist.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Amodeo, Colin (March 2007). On Parade!: Shirley Boys' High School - The First Fifty Years. Caxton Press. ISBN 1-877303-08-9. 
  2. ^ This referred to the knob on the top of the caps which were then part of the uniform
  3. ^ Eldred-Grigg, Stevan (1991). The Shining City. Penguin Books. ISBN 014014935X. 
  4. ^ Jo Gilbert and Tracey Cooper (1 March 2011). "Minister visits earthquake damaged Christchurch schools". The Press. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Ben Heather, Jo Gilbert and Charley Mann (2 March 2011). "Schools on the move". The Press. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  6. ^ Gilbert, Jo (7 April 2011). "Some schools plan to return to their sites". The Press. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Shirley Boys High back in business", September 12 2011, ONE News
  8. ^ O'Callaghan, Jody (16 October 2013). "Two schools to share site in city's east". The Press. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Men's Volleyball Athlete Profile (Hugh McCutcheon)
  10. ^ New Zealand national rugby league team

External links[edit]