Westlake Boys High School

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Westlake Boys High School
Logo wghs2.jpg
30 Forrest Hill Road
Forrest Hill, Auckland, New Zealand
Coordinates 36°46′36.04″S 174°44′57.98″E / 36.7766778°S 174.7494389°E / -36.7766778; 174.7494389Coordinates: 36°46′36.04″S 174°44′57.98″E / 36.7766778°S 174.7494389°E / -36.7766778; 174.7494389
Type State single-sex boys secondary (Year 9-13)
Motto Virtute Experiamur
Let Courage Be Thy Test
Established 1961; 56 years ago (1961)
Ministry of Education Institution no. 37
Headmaster David Ferguson
School roll 2333[1] (February 2017)
Socio-economic decile 9Q[2]

Westlake Boys High School is a state secondary school for boys located in Forrest Hill, Auckland, New Zealand. The school caters for Form 3 (Year 9) to Form 7 (Year 13). In February 2012, Westlake Boys High School had over 2300 students, making it one of New Zealand's largest schools for boys in terms of student numbers. Its sister school, Westlake Girls High School, is nearby.

Westlake Boys considers itself to follow a 'traditional but progressive' model similar to that in operation at Auckland Grammar School.[3]

Westlake Boys now features recently constructed facilities, including a new administration block, student services centre, and large auditorium capable of holding all of the school's students and staff simultaneously.

Westlake Boys Deputy headmaster David Ferguson took on the role of Headmaster of Westlake Boys High School, taking over from Craig Monaghan, a former Commonwealth Games Judo representative and referee.[4] David Ferguson was appointed by the board to take the position of Headmaster of the school.

Westlake Boys introduced a house system at the end of 2007 where each individual belongs to one of six houses: Pupuke, Ururoto, Hood, Smale, Murchison and Stanley.[5]

View of the school

Westlake Girls and Boys[edit]

Physically only a few hundred metres apart, Westlake Girls and Westlake Boys engage in an annual theatrical production together, several joint musical ensembles (including a joint choir, two orchestras, a concert band and a jazz band), and some social dances, among other things. The two schools share a motto - "Virtute Experiamur" - "Let Courage Be Thy Test" in Latin.

Academic pathways[edit]

Westlake Boys High School offers two academic pathways for students:

  1. National Certificate of Educational Achievement: New Zealand's national qualification, achieved by an aggregation of both unit and achievement standards in the National Qualifications Framework.
  2. Cambridge International Examinations: These examinations has been offered at the school since 2004, and are available to students who meet academic prerequisites. Higher academic performance in years 9 and 10 is required to earn a place in the Cambridge pathway.

Each year, the top six streamed classes (generally around 180 students) study in the Cambridge pathway. The balance of the students study for NCEA examinations. Beginning with the 2016 Year 9 cohort, Westlake Boys High School no longer offers the Cambridge pathway to new students.[6]


Westlake Boys High School has built a tradition of sporting achievement throughout Auckland and New Zealand.[7] The school's teams compete in all Auckland and North Harbour inter-secondary school competitions leading to regional, national and international championships. In 2008/09, Westlake came second in both the Gillette and Maadi Cups in 2009, in both cases, losing to Hamilton Boys'.[citation needed]

Music and performing arts[edit]

The teaching of Performing Arts within the school is assisted by the newly constructed auditorium and administration complex. The educational music programme covers performance, composition, analysis, history and aural skills. Along with the option of taking music as a subject, there is also a compulsory Year 9 course, focusing on the appreciation of music and drama in everyday life through theoretical and practical exercises, which runs for multiple weeks throughout the year.[8]

The school has a number of performing groups: a choir ('Voicemale'), a Barbershop Chorus ('Virtutti'), a Concert Band, Stage Band, and Junior Symphonic band. Orchestral groups include the Westlake Symphony, Chamber Orchestra the junior Taharoto Orchestra and the boys' string groups Conchordia and Camerata. The performing groups regularly win awards at the annual KBB Music Festival (formerly the Auckland Secondary Schools Band and Orchestra Festival or 'ASSBOF'). Some groups, such as the Choralation Choir, which won the platinum award at the Big Sing Finale in 2009, 2010, and 2011 are combined with Westlake Girls High School.[9]

The school also holds (mostly annual) drama productions. Recent productions have included Oliver!, Guys & Dolls, School of Rock, Wind in the Willows, Once on Chunuk Bair, Footloose, Romeo and Juliet, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Little Shop of Horrors and A Midsummer Night's Dream

View of the school quad


The houses of Westlake Boys are:

  • Hood - (Maroon)

It represents Academia. It is named after John Hood who is a vice chancellor of Oxford University.

  • Murchison - (White)

It represents Leadership. It is named after Peter Murchison for his 11 years' loyal service in Westlake Boys High School. He has now gone into retirement.

  • Pupuke - (Blue)

It represents Landmark. The school is at the west of Lake Pupuke.

  • Smale - (Green)

It represents Enterprise. It is named after Bill Smale, a successful property developer, local entrepreneur, and is an owner and director of Smales Farm Technology Office Park Next to Westlake Girls High School.

  • Stanley - (Red)

It represents Sport. It is named after Mike Stanley who is a two time rowing world champion in 1982 and 1983. He was also the head rowing coach for the schools rowing squad.

  • Ururoto - (Black)

It represents Culture. A verbatim Māori translation of Westlake (uru = west, roto = lake).

Notable alumni[edit]


  • John Watson - Auckland Councillor, former local board member and former Head Boy.[10]

The Arts[edit]








Rugby League[edit]

Rugby union[edit]




  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 6 March 2017". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Westlake Boys High School | Virtute Experiamur". Westlake.school.nz. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Headmasters Advice to Parents on 2008 New Initiatives". Westlake Boys High School. 27 November 2007. 
  6. ^ "Curriculum Review 2015 | Westlake Boys High School". www.westlake.school.nz. Archived from the original on 17 May 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  7. ^ [2] Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Arts | Westlake Boys High School". www.westlake.school.nz. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  9. ^ [3] Archived 23 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Meet the Team - John Watson". Putting People First. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Mike Stanley". Westlake Boys High School. Retrieved 5 October 2015.