At Palmy Boys’

Palmerston North Boys’ High School seeks to provide young men with an intellectual and moral education which will enable them to make a valuable contribution to society. The School aims to develop all students in terms of providing the widest opportunities in academic, sporting and cultural activities in an environment which fosters the awareness of growth in personal and social relationships. The School achieves this by:

  • Offering young men a comprehensive range of educational, vocational and recreational experiences.
  • Emphasising the successful development of the skills of communication, literacy and numeracy.
  • Preparing young men for examinations and NCEA assessments and future career opportunities.
  • Presenting young men with firm and reasonable guidelines to responsible behaviour.
  • Actively encouraging and developing the qualities of reliability, honesty, concern for others and leadership.
  • Offering young men a wide range of sporting and cultural opportunities (recreational and competitive) and encouraging them to assume life-long responsibility for their own fitness and health.
Academic and Vocational


Our academic results in NCEA Level Two exceed the benchmark target of 85% and are well above the achievement rates for both boys in the Manawatū/Whanganui region and boys nationally.

Our academic results in NCEA Level Three are well above the achievement rates for both boys in the Manawatū/Whanganui region and boys nationally.


The Academic Accelerate Programme runs across all year levels and challenges our top academic performers by offering them courses of study in advance of their year level. Young men in the Academic Accelerate Programme will gain University Entrance in Year 12, and in Year 13 have the opportunity to study subjects at an advanced level in preparation for Scholarship examinations. University first year papers are offered in a range of subject areas.


Scholarship is the highest New Zealand qualification available to secondary school students. Young men from Palmerston North Boys’ High School are consistently awarded the majority of Scholarships achieved by boys in the Manawatū/Whanganui region.


Palmerston North Boys’ High School has developed a positive relationship with Canterbury, Massey, Victoria and Waikato Universities and university papers are taught in a number of subject areas at PNBHS by our staff members.


The Learning Support Programme begins at Year 9 with a particular focus on the development of literacy and numeracy skills, a progression continuing into Year 10. At Year 11 the emphasis is on preparing students to gain NCEA Level Two.

At Year 12, the Achievement Support Programme is specifically focused on providing assistance so that young men can gain the benchmark NCEA Level Two qualification.


The school offers a number of options in the senior school for students who want to pursue trade-related career options. The Gateway Programme for Year 13 students offers the chance to learn on the job, while pursuing a trade qualification. Trades Academy offers the opportunity for boys to try out a possible career pathway by undertaking programmes offered jointly by the school and a tertiary provider such as UCOL or the Primary Industry Training Organisation. Star Taster programmes are offered to Year 11-13 students to enable them to explore future career options. The Year 13 Employment Pathways Programme assists young men to find post-secondary school employment in sectors identified in the Manawatū Regional Economic Growth Strategy.

Co-curricular Involvement

At Palmerston North Boys’ High School we are proud that in excess of 90% of our young men are engaged in one or more of our 57 co-curricular activities. In excess of 180 teams and groups are run within the school to provide our young men with a full breadth of opportunities. All teaching staff are directly involved as coaches and/or managers of teams and groups, and we pride ourselves on offering teams or groups to cater for all levels of ability.

The less formal interactions between staff and our young men provide another dimension to their all-round development. Achieving excellence through strong competition with the desire and will to win are goals Palmerston North Boys’ High School strives for in co-curricular activities. The School celebrates individual and team successes at assemblies, in newsletters, in the “Palmerstonian” and on honours boards around the school. We are proud of our tall poppies.

Click here to read more about co-curricular.

Character Development and Leadership

We strongly believe that it is our purpose to develop outstanding young men who can make a positive contribution to New Zealand’s future. In order to do this we focus on not only academic achievement, but character development. Student leadership skills are developed through a structured programme offered at all year levels.

Our school Vision, To Develop Educated Men of Outstanding Character, lies at the heart of all that we do. The Leadership Programme was introduced to Palmerston North Boys’ High School in 2006. This focused and structured programme to develop character has created increased opportunities for student leadership across both curriculum and co-curricular areas, as well as responsibility within programmes such as peer mentoring and tutoring.

The Leadership Programme is linked closely to our school values: Courage, Humility, Industry, Integrity, Pride and Respect. These values are woven into both our curriculum and co-curricular programmes. All young men are encouraged to involve themselves in community service activities. These are organised in conjunction with the Sir Peter Blake Trust, PNBHS Environmental group, Palmerston North RSA, New Zealand Blood Service, Palmerston North Food Bank, Cancer Society (Relay for Life), Ronald McDonald House, Fred Hollows Foundation and World Vision.

Each Tuesday morning our Prefects, under the direction of the Head and Deputy Head Prefect, run a full school assembly. This provides an opportunity for our young men to assist in setting the direction of the school, share ideas important to the student body and showcase the talents of student musicians and other performers.

The junior Barrowclough Programme and senior Barrowclough Award provide us with a platform to weave together our Leadership, Service and Character Development programmes in a coherent framework.

We pride ourselves on the high calibre of young man that leaves our gates at the conclusion of their secondary school education. The contributions that our Old Boys make to the wider community, in their tertiary academic achievements, through their cultural and sporting performances, in the leadership roles they gain in the trades, professions and industries they enter, we believe, reinforce the progress we continue to make in developing educated men of outstanding character.

Click here to read more about Leadership

New Zealand Super Eight Schools

“Competing and co-operating for the benefit of young men”

Formed in 1997, the New Zealand Super Eight group of schools incorporates the eight boys’ high schools from their respective provincial cities in the central North Island. The first sporting competitions commenced in 1998 and involved rugby and cricket. Since that time, the Super Eight concept has grown to include not only 12 sports competitions, but also a cultural festival and professional development programmes for curriculum teachers and school leaders.

Super Eight schools sporting and cultural fixtures provide a level of competition for our young men that is at a higher level than that available in the local region. Consequently, they are able to compare their performance to those of some of the top sportsmen and cultural performers in New Zealand and, as a school, we can compare our achievements to those of some of the strongest boys’ schools in the country. Annually, the Super Eight schools competition provides invaluable preparation for our top teams as they prepare for national tournaments.

As all of the New Zealand Super Eight group of schools are boys’ schools, their focus is solely on the education and achievement of young men. The Super Eight schools meet regularly for teachers to share best practice in effective classroom teaching, and for leaders to share effective leadership strategies and tools – all focused specifically on boys.

Click here for more information on New Zealand Super Eight Schools.

Why Palmerston North Boys’ High School?