30 Mar 2022

Wednesday 30 March 2022

A massive year for transitioning boarders in 2021, with studies impacted by COVID and online teaching has still seen Middlemore House’s Janaye Burns achieve the IGCSE academic title of “Top In New Zealand” and Selwyn House’s Callum Murray achieve the AS academic title of “Top of the World” in last Novembers CIE examinations for Physical Education. 

Roving Boarder reporter, Mckenzie Heatley, caught up with Callum and Janaye to discuss these incredible achievements.
220330Callum Murray

Callum Murray (Year 13, Selwyn)

Callum, why did you choose to transition to boarding in 2021?

Initially, my interest in boarding piqued since being a member of the First XV Rugby. This is due to many early morning trainings, where transport became difficult. After hearing great things from my boarding friends, I decided to give it a go! Both convenient and supportive of my sporting and academic journeys, boarding has been the best decision I could have made for my schooling at King’s. It also has helped prepare for life after King’s, teaching me how to live in a shared environment.

How has boarding supported you?

The pastoral care system, consisting of housemasters, tutors and mentors, has been my biggest support these past two years. In boarding, you have access to so many resources, and having different subject tutors on duty provides emotional and academic support outside of school hours.

Over time, students are able to build relationships with the house tutor teachers, gaining a sense of trust and stability. With two hours dedicated to prep each night, students are able to complete all their homework and develop important study habits, to which I owe my academic success. My motivation has increased greatly since boarding, and this prep was a huge aide in preparing for the lockdowns.

A big lockdown surprised us at the beginning of Term 3, lasting until the end of the school year. What strategies and study habits did you implement during this time?

Upgrading from my normal two hours of prep, I aimed to spend around 6-7 hours a day studying. I had high expectations for myself last year, and worked very hard to achieve the goals I had set. Wanting to open up opportunities for my future, I am stoked with both my perseverance and results, and believe I have successfully done this. I made sure to keep in contact with my mentor teachers and friends, keeping my mental health stable. This resulted in a steady routine, where I found balance between study, exercise and rest. Though it was difficult being away from a classroom, I believe I took advantage of this unsupervised schooling in the best manner.

As Selwyn’s Academic Prefect, what are you hoping to achieve in both this role and your personal academia?

This year I’m hoping to get A* across the board. I understand this is a very high bar, but a goal I’m willing to work towards. I am currently looking at enrolling in medicine at Otago University, however due to my success last year, I have the ability to go overseas for further study opportunities. As head of academics, I’ve started a tutoring program within the house. This carries on from previous tutoring programs, however comes with a new passion to provide my Selwyn boys the learning foundations they need. I aim to be available for students in need of both academic guidance and general wellbeing support. 

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Mckenzie also met with Janaye to discuss her national success and boarding experience as a student new to the school.

300322Janaye Burns

Janaye Burns (Year 12, Middlemore)

What made you decide to join boarding at Kings?

King’s had always been a school my family and I had looked at, due to the values and opportunities it posesses. When I received an all-round scholarship, I was revving to go. I chose to board, opposed to being a day student, to become more independent. I saw it as a great opportunity to get to know girls in my year on a deeper level; as it is quite intimidating moving to a school, but less so when everybody is in the same boat. Due to living with the same girls over the 3 years, boarding strengthens relationships in a way nothing else can. Also far more convenient, living on site is helpful for keeping on top of school work and attending morning trainings for sport, both of which I am hugely involved in. The Middlemore environment is so welcoming, and has become my second home.

How has boarding been valuable in supporting your academic journey?

By having prep every night, I am able to keep on top of my school work while still being able to attend any co-circulars. Having time dedicated to homework has taught me to be accountable for my own academics. It helps keep a routine, which overall improves performance in all areas of schooling and personal life. I am able to receive help from the tutors on duty, as well as other girls in the house who specialise in different subjects, which have both contributed to my academic excellence. Not only this, but the overall wellbeing support system has been vital in assisting and encouraging me to achieve highly without burning out.

What strategies and study habits did you implement during Term 3 and 4 lockdown?

I found keeping on top of my school work and studying for exams fairly easy throughout last years lockdown period, due to having already experienced it at my previous school. King’s was ready for the lockdown, and already had easy-to-understand protocols to assist the transition from directed to self-directed study. When I started at King’s, I made a conscious decision to work hard every day, completing all homework, notes and studying for common tests. This was vital, so come the end of year, studying for exams was easier. The motivation I had for this was raised purely from my passion for the subjects I selected.


Janaye and Callum are both en route to achieving highly in the 2022 CIE exams, and we are looking forward to celebrating their success. 

By Mckenzie Heatley (Year 13, Middlemore)

Mckenzie Heatley

Mckenzie Heatley (Year 13, Middlemore)