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Join us to celebrate 15 years of Villa Education Trust on Saturday, November 11th 2017 at Trust Live 17, featuring acts from each VET school and a performance by the 'Hobson Street Supergroup', featuring Hamish Gee ('The Feelers'), Jason Kerrison ('Opshop'), Daniel Wrightson and Andy Keys.  Victory Convention Centre, Beaumont Street, Auckland.  Doors Open at 5.30 for silent auction and food trucks.  Concert starts at 7.  Tickets just $20 for Adults and $10 for under 16's: trust live jpeg











Villa Education Trust and Matthew Syed, present 'Black Box Thinking in Education - Achieving a Growth Mindset'.combined advert2

Join Villa Education Trust, working with Matthew Syed, for two sessions with international accredited consultant Rob Carpenter (from the UK), presenting Matthew's 'Mindset for Education' and 21C Skills Lab founders Justine Munro and Faye Langdon discussing 'Tomorrows skills for today's students.'  These two events are part of a celebration of 15 years of Villa Education Trust.  We are delighted to be working with 'Matthew Syed Speaking' to make these events happen.  Matthew Syed is the bestselling international author of 'Bounce' and 'Black Box Thinking' and is one of the world's most influential thinkers in the field of high performance and cultural change.  Matthew has worked with some of the world's largest organisations to help build a mindset of continuous improvement.  'Mindset for Education' was created by Matthew and is delivered by his accredited consultant Rob Carpenter, who has over 20 years leadership experience in education.  Rob has supported schools in challenging circumstances including those in special measures.  Rob is passionate about school-to-school support and has developed a range of tools to strengthen the leadership of teaching and learning.  This interactive session will cover what Growth Mindset is, why it is important and the evidence that supports it.  It will give you the tools to build resilience in students and staff to enable them to face challenge in a complex world.

Joining Rob is 21C Skills Lab founders Justine Munro and Faye Langdon to talk about the key skills needed to succeed in a rapidly changing world and give an insight into how they aim to ensure every young New Zealander has the knowledge and skills to succeed in tomorrow's world of work and to navigate a lifelong journey of learning and earning.  21C Skills Lab works in partnership with business, government, schools and parents to ensure that the skills we are teaching young New Zealanders are the skills the 21st century needs.  21C Skills Lab helps students and teachers to understand what these skills are, how to develop them and how to use them to set themselves up for a successful 21C career.

Join us in Wellington, on November 9th, at Macs Function Centre, from 6pm.  Tickets and further information available on Eventfinda -

Join us in Auckland, in partnership with Ormiston Junior College, on Saturday, November 11th, from 10am (doors open at 9.30am for a mini education expo and refreshments), at Ormiston Junior College, 285 Ormiston Road, Flat Bush, Auckland.  Tickets and further information available on Eventfinda -

KidsLink R

Mt Hobson Middle School is working with KidsLink to 'grow great kids'.  

KidsLink is an online resource available to parents to find a range of services that specialise in working with children, teenagers and their families with issues that affect their learning, development and well-being.

Welcome to Educational Specialist Amanda Smith:

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Amanda Smith to the Mt Hobson Support Team for 2017.      
Amanda Smith
Each year we look to improve on the services we provide for our children and families and are delighted to welcome Amanda who will take up the role of Learning Coach from Term 1 2017. Amanda brings a wealth of expertise and will work closely with our students, staff and families, identifing individual needs and areas for develpoment and support.

Amanda has over 25 years of teaching experience with students in Years 1-8 and tutors children of all ages.  She has a special interest in helping students meet their true potential, working in both gifted education and special education. Amanda has worked alongside an Educational Psychologist and combining this with private tutoring has been able to help children fill in gaps in their learning.
Amanda uses Feuerstein (a tool for teaching learning skills) in classrooms, small groups and individual situations.

She said: "I am delighted to be able to join the team at Mt Hobson Middle School and to be able to work alongside them to support your child in their learning journey." 

For more information about Amanda and her skills, please see her website:


The VET Approach - Sunday Star Times October 30th 2016:Trust Statement Poster 1

This is the philosophy behind every Villa Education Trust (VET) school.

The registered Charitable Trust operates threemiddle schools in Auckland (two Charter and one private). It aims is to provide outstanding education for all students, irrespective of background or individual needs, by combining the positive aspects of NZ schooling with outstanding teaching techniques, an improved curriculum model, an innovative day structure and a supportive learning environment.  Each school uses an Integrated Project Based Curriculum and has a strong academic focus to maximise learning and development. 

Mt Hobson MiddleSchool(MHMS) in Remuera is a boutique style private school with a maximum roll of 48 and class sizes restricted to 12.  It aims to keep its costs low (one of the lowest in Auckland) to be affordable to those that need it most.  It ensures success for students of all abilities. Limited places are available. 

South Auckland Middle School (SAMS) is located in Manurewa.  It is a Decile 1 school catering for predominantly Maori and Pacifica children.  Uniform, stationery, and field trips are provided and no donations are asked. Class sizes are kept to a maximum of 15 with a full roll of 180 students.  The roll is currently full with waiting lists in place.

Middle School West Auckland (MSWA) is located across two sites in Henderson.  It includes a TeReo bilingual unit.  Over 80 percent of those enrolled are Maori and Pasifika.  Uniform, stationery, field trips are provided and no donations are asked.  Due to an increase in the roll places are available for 2017.

In addition, the Villa NCEA Academy (VNA), for Years 11-13, is available at MHMS, providing a different approach for children in these crucial school years.  Students attend the academy between 1-6pm. Places are available for 2017.


The VET aims to ensure students attending its schools have access to the same opportunities as kids from wealthier areas/backgrounds.  Students are encouraged to aim high.

Contact us today to see how we can help your child excel.


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Jack Ralston House - Open Day


On Saturday June the 11th, the Villa Education Trust (which officially opened our new campus for Middle School West Auckland, Jack Ralston House, named in honour of a dear friend and kiwi coaching legend who was an inspiration and hero to many.

Friends, family, board members, staff and local, national and international sporting celebrities joined politicians, media personalities and councillors at the event held at the new Henderson campus on Lincoln Road.

As a trust, we were honoured to receive the permission and blessing of Marg Ralston and family to name the building Jack Ralston House in recognition of a family man, outstanding friend, coach and mentor to many as well as an astute businessman whose career took him around the globe. Jack packed ‘life’ into his 64 years and was not only a great inspiration to others, but his passion for excellence and development of youth aligns with the values of the Trust. We were delighted to be joined by Marg and members of Jack’s family at the event. Kerryn Henshaw, Jack’s daughter said: “I’d like to thank Middle School West Auckland on behalf of the Ralston family for this honour in my Dad, Jack Ralston’s name.  We are really pleased to see his legacy continue in such an apt and fitting way. The dedication of this building in Jack’s name is something that means a lot to our family and we hope that through this memorial to him, his inspiring legacy will live on and continue to play a guiding role in young lives, as the children progress through their years at Middle School West Auckland.”

We were also privileged to host guests including Hamish Carter, Bill Baillie, Arch Jelley, Dean Ogilvie, Brent Foster, Shorty Clarke, Alfred Ngaro, Simon O'Connor, Penny Hulse, Linda Cooper and Pita Alatini.

Middle School West Auckland, our third school, opened in February 2015, across two sites – one in Henderson and one in Glendene. Jack Ralston House, which opens at the beginning of Term 3, will replace our current Glendene site and will accommodate up to 180 students in three villas (60 in each), running alongside our Te Reo bilingual unit, Pohutukawa Villa, on Waipareira Avenue.

The new campus has modern classrooms, individual work areas, science facilities, an art, design and technology suit, state of the art I.T. and Whanau area. Middle School West Auckland Principal Alex Metzger said: “I am delighted with the new premises for our largest West Auckland campus and amazed at the building’s transformation – what has been created is a truly superb learning space which will be enjoyed by all who work and study there.”

DSC 6608On behalf of Villa Education Trust, Academic Advisor Alwyn Poole said: “Jack had time for people and all great educators need that. It was a privilege to know him and it is a privilege to have named our site: Middle School West Auckland, Jack Ralston House. We will honour the name and it will be an inspiration to our students, families and staff.”

Visitors are welcome to visit the school anytime, please e:mail: if you would like further information about any of our schools or the work of the Villa Education Trust.

Newshub coverage -

Please see attached Facebook link for more pictures and attached are copies of speeches made at the event and dedications to Jack.

International recognition of our Model

"No matter where you live, we should all only have one goal in education: To improve a young person’s knowledge set and skills. That belief is the foundation for providing an education that genuinely enhances the future prospects of students and society. But how do we go about executing that?"

Read more


Past events

3 July 2015

Exploring the historical significance of Hawaii to Pacific nations will be the focus of a ‘voyage’ by 60 Villa Education Trust students in December, including a number from Mt Hobson Middle School.

The trip also has an aspirational purpose for the young travellers, which is to develop their vision for work and study overseas, says Villa Education Trust founder Alwyn Poole.“If 10 of our students end up going to university overseas as a result of this trip, then we will have achieved a hope that we hold for them,” he says.

The itinerary includes visits to SecoHawaii university to diamond headnd World War amenities including Pearl Harbour, the Arizona Memorial, the Missouri Battleship, Airforce and Army Museums, and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The students will go with knowledge of battles fought in the Pacific and their impact on our society, which they have studied in a Year 9 project focused on war. Students will also tour the University of Hawaii campus, the Dole Pineapple Factory, and the Polynesian Cultural Centre.

The students will be home-stayed with Hawaiian families, and spend time volunteering in a local school. “Through these activities, we aim to deepen their awareness of Hawaiian culture and society in the modern day.”

Mr Poole says the host school in Hawaii is excited about developing a long-term relationship with Villa Education Trust’s three schools, Mt Hobson Middle School, South Auckland Middle School and Middle School West Auckland. “I think this is evidence of the general shift in the American educational system to look outward. We know that the US State Department wants more American students to study abroad, and at the same time it’s become much more possible for New Zealand students to study and work in the US.

”Fundraising activities for the week-long trip include a sponsored run, in which students will run 2km every week of the third term. The students are also keen to provide services in their local communities in cooperative fundraising events.

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26 June 2015

For our Year 10s, Term 3 culminates with a cultural dinner that they prepare and serve to their parents. It develops a range of skills in Food Technology and Languages, as well as teamwork and presentation. The students planned a three-course Spanish themed menu of an entree of prawns and croquetas, a main of paella, and a dessert of churros. Our guests were impressed with the efforts in the kitchen, and in theming of the classrooms. Many weeks of preparation ensured a faultless event.

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 19 June 2015

Freshwater fish expert Paul Woodward at Mt Hobson Middle SchoolPaul Woodward, an expert in native freshwater fish, shared his deep knowledge in Year 9 Community Learning today. In a fascinating talk, he warned us that 75% of our native fish species are in decline or critically endangered.

Paul pioneered the NZ Native Freshwater Fish Society in 1990. Back then about 26 species were known - now there are 44 known species, and only three of them are found elsewhere in the world. So what we have in this country is a global treasure that nee...ds protection.

When Paul is not in the classroom, he rescues freshwater fish whose habitats would be lost by land and housing development. He says it is a great way to make a living, and he has seen much of New Zealand through his work. His techniques include physical fishing and overnight trapping (freshwater fish are nocturnal).

Our Year 9s will continue their monitoring of Portland Stream, where they have been measuring toxicity, as well as evidence of habitats. Sadly, there is more of the former and not much of the latter.


William Pike 6William Pike 1

12 June 2015

Last night we introduced the amazing William Pike to our Year 7 & 8 parents and students. William and his climbing companion James were caught in a hut at the top of Mt Ruapehu, when it erupted. William's legs were trapped under boulders thrown from the volcano, but he told his enthralled audience it was hypothermia that nearly killed him.

Fortunately, William survived and eight years on, with an artificial limb, he has applied his teacher training, knowledge and passion for... the outdoors to the development of an outdoor education programme for intermediate school age students. The William Pike Challenge Award is growing across New Zealand and internationally, as a high-quality programme that brings life to values of courage, teamwork, resilience, compassion, pride and enthusiasm.

Through a combination of eight outdoor activities, trying a new sport or a hobby, and 20 hours of community service, the William Pike Challenge Award inspires our students to live fully, and without fear. As William says: "All passion - no limits".

Jasper Poole and Nekyta Letiu

Jasper Poole and Nekyta Letiu

3 March 2015

Our student leaders for 2015 are Jasper Poole and Nekyta Letiu. Their role is to contribute to a strong community where all students feel welcome.

Both say they are enjoying the responsibilities of being leaders, and are keen to contribute as much as they can.

"Through participating more myself, I hope to be a role model to students and encourage them to be more active within the school," Jasper says.

Nekyta has an external focus among her goals as a leader. "I want us to build relationships with students in other schools," she says. She also aims to introduce cultural initiatives into the school, such as a Pacific performance group.

Mt Hobson Middle School21 January 2015

Our office re-opened on Monday, 19th January. Please contact us by phone (09 523 1241) or email for any uniform enquiries.

School resumes on Tuesday, 3rd February. Further term information is available here.

We look forward to welcoming parents to a number of events in the first term.

Please note in your diaries the lunch-time picnic on Sunday, 1 March for families and friends. We will send further information via the school newsletter in the first week of school.

5 December 2015

It was a pleasure last night to bring together the Mt Hobson Middle School community for our annual celebration of of family, achievement, and friendships. The food was outstanding, and we had a myriad of artistic clocks made by our students to keep proceedings on time.

Mr Poole and Year 10 leader Jack Callaghan shared the formalities. Villa Education Trust board members Anna Ready and Lindsay Faris were special guests, along with parents, grandparents and friends of family of our students.