2012 National Schools of Character Awards winner


Palmerston North Boys’ High

Palmerston North Boys’ High has a roll of 1,733 students from Year 9 – 15.

In 2006 the school developed a vision to develop educated men of outstanding character.

To achieve this, the school developed an indigenous approach to character formation by designing and implementing a leadership programme and appointing a leadership director to its senior management.

The approach, which the school calls the Scholastic Leadership Model, integrates the development of character, confidence and educational achievement.

The school views each student as a young man on an individual leadership journey and seeks to both support and challenge him in this task.

The school has a high expectation of itself and its students.

The core values that the school seeks to develop in each young man are integrity, courage, respect, pride, humility and industry. There is an expectation that each student will be supported in this task by parents and teachers.

In Years 9 & 10 the programme is delivered through the Learning Leadership series which involves central presentations of relevant topics such as leadership styles, emotional intelligence, bullies and bullying, believing in something, making friends and enemies and optimism and tolerance, and integrating these themes into core subjects.

In Year 11 and 12 the Learning Leadership becomes voluntary through the Barrowclough Programme which is named after a distinguished Old Boy, Major General Sir Howard Barrowclough who was commander of the 3rd New Zealand Division in the Second World War and later the Chief Justice of New Zealand.

This programme brings together academic, cultural and sporting achievement, character development, leadership, and service and challenges young men to strive for excellence and win a Barrowclough Award.

In the senior school student are encouraged to volunteer for such service as peer mentoring and academic tutoring.

The Education Review Office’s latest report on Palmerston North Boys’ High includes the statement:

Young men are highly successful in an extensive range of extra-curricular activities at national level, including individual and team sports and performing arts. Relationships between teachers and students are enhanced through staff involvement in these areas. A planned leadership programme throughout the school provides opportunities for young men to be of service to the community in a range of capacities.

In the 10 years prior to the introduction of the leadership programme Palmerston North Boys” High School gained approximately 372 individual scholarships – an average of 37 per year. In the seven years since the introduction of the leadership and Barrowclough character development programmes, the school gained 448 – an average of 64 per year.

This significant increase and places the Palmerston Boys’ High School in the top performing academic group of schools in New Zealand.

The culture of the school is positive. Character education initiatives have yielded positive results for student behaviour, citizenship, school culture and academic achievement.

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