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Trust Live 17!

Join us on November 11th at Victory Convention Centre, Beaumont Street, for Trust Live 17 featuring performances from each VET school and an hour long set with the 'Hobson St Supergroup' featuring Jason Kerrison ('Opshop'), Hamish Gee ('The Feelers'), Daniel Wrightson and Andy Keys.  Doors open at 5.30 for food trucks and HUGE silent auction.  Tickets $20 Adults and $10 for live jpeg2










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 Collge, 285 Ormiston Road, Flat Bush, Auckland.  Tickets and further information available on Eventfinda -


Click here for a copy of the 2016 Annual Public Report for South Auckland Middle School. 


Coverage of our model in NZ Education HQ: March 2017.

KidsLink R

South Auckland Middle School is delighted to be 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.



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.


Middle School West Auckland, Jack Ralston House - Open Day

image014On Saturday June the 11th, the Villa Education Trust 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


New Zealand Herald on the Villa Education Trust and our model

"Central to his philosophy is smaller class sizes with a maximum of 15 students. He believes learning should be integrated with an element of inquiry learning, where each subject area is linked to an overall theme, such as volcanoes, or architecture, or the Olympic Games. The students' lessons in English, maths, science and other subjects are then related back to this theme. It aims to make learning in each subject more relevant and integrated."

Read more

Flint and Steel Magazine on South Auckland

"It is not simply a matter of knowing things, and being able to use them, or feelings and personal growth. At its best, education shapes us as a people, a form of social self-renewal."

Read more

Please click for an article from Flint and Steel Magazine about our work.

Hawaii university to diamond head
Students head to Hawaii: 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 South Auckland 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 Second 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.

Stories in the media:

Parents explain why charter school suits their kids - Radio New Zealand News 5.6.15

Charter Schools Perception Series: The Students - Whaleoil 16.5.15

Charter Schools Perception Series: The Advocates - Whaleoil 2.5.15

Charter Schools Perception Series:  The Teachers - Whaleoil 11.4.15

The decile drift: how school rolls have changed according to ethnicity - NZ Herald 10.11.14

Charting a success story - Sunday Star Times 9.11.14

Big ticks for first charter schools - Radio New Zealand 23.10.14

Humble hangi's valuable lessons - Manukau Courier 19.6.14