For over one hundred years boys have enjoyed a remarkable education here in the heart of beautiful South Canterbury. The boys of today are no different, living, growing and learning in our very special school. The pages of our website www.waihi.school.nz will give you a snapshot of our wonderful environment however there is no better way of appreciating this than to pay us a visit, and I hope that you will do so soon.

The sign over the gate claims that Waihi is “A Boy’s Education for Life”, and it is indeed the big picture that we look at when designing an experience that will help the Waihi Boy to grow and develop. The formative years of your son's education are extremely important. The experiences, values and challenges presented to him at this stage are fundamental in helping to shape and determine his views, attitudes, dispositions and ultimate success for his future years.

Over the past 25 years I have been privileged to have the opportunity to work in some excellent schools in both New Zealand and the UK. I arrived at Waihi a year ago from the position as Principal at Victoria Avenue School in Auckland. Prior to this I was Headmaster of Hunter Hall, a co-educational 3-11 Independent School in Penrith, England for six years where I was appointed after being Deputy Headmaster at St. George’s Prep School in Wanganui.

I have a particular interest in cognitive education and a passion for boys education. I believe that is important to provide a nurturing environment that encourages and extends learning; that is never more important than in a boarding school. In short means getting the ethos in and out of the classroom right so that the boys feel safe and secure and are willing to take the risks which we all understand they need to do in order to grow.

Waihi is an Anglican School and in a world where traditional values are being constantly challenged and eroded, an education rooted in a solid Christian values system is as relevant now as it ever has been. The week starts with Chapel setting the tone for our week ahead, placing emphasis on good manners, courtesy, considerate behaviour, graciousness and respect. 

Waihi has high expectations of the boys in terms of academic achievement. Small class sizes, together with high quality, committed staff, many of whom are residential, ensure that we know our boys extremely well and they receive close attention and care.

Whilst achievement in the classroom is crucial, the education the boys receive is broad, balanced and we seek to find exactly what presses the buttons of every boy, allowing them to discover their talents and fulfil their potential. Our challenge is to blend the best of our traditions with the needs of our boys today; education in the 21st century is presenting a very different challenge to our schools. Prep schools need to be about giving boys a breadth of experience; sports, arts, cultural, spiritual activities alongside the traditional academics.  The rule is that every boy tries everything be it swimming, learning French, singing or giving a speech!

We understand how boys, think and learn.  They are presented with opportunities and challenges that seek to inspire and motivate them. We believe in allowing boys to be boys and our unique rural environment gives them many opportunities to play and learn together.

Boarding is at the heart of Waihi life. My wife, Kendra and I both have previous experience in boys’ boarding school and together with our four young children we live in the very heart of the School. We are fully involved in all aspects of its life, as are the many other residential staff. We believe that boarding helps boys develop self-management skills, independence, increase in confidence and above all learn the value and importance of being members of a community. Our dayboys too benefit from many aspects of the routines and experiences of a boarding school and all live and work together harmoniously.

Outside of the family and school, sport is my great passion. However like all of us who are parents our personal interests often get overtaken by those of our children and now less time is spent participating and more time enjoying watching them play sport, occasionally as the team coach or referee, frequently as the unpaid bowling machine!

A visit to Waihi will reveal the school's happy, purposeful atmosphere. Kendra, and I would be delighted to welcome you and your sons and introduce you to our students. You can explore our wonderful school setting, listen to the boys tell you for themselves about their lives here and discover just how Waihi is really making a difference for yet another generation of young boys.

Allan Short

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