• Emilly Fan
  • Team 5 pauses work for a photo at 'E-day'.
  • The winning team of the timed challenge at 'E-day'.

Heading to Harvard

Harvard University has long been regarded as the world’s most prestigious Ivy League university, with one of the lowest acceptance rates. At the beginning of March, local scholar Emilly Fan received notification of her acceptance into Harvard.

With approximately 40,000 exceptional applicants every year, Harvard accepts about 5%. Successful applicants typically receive letters of admission at the end of March, with an early positive indication sent only to the most outstanding students, further acknowledging Emilly’s calibre.

During her time at Takapuna Grammar, Emilly was heavily involved in all aspects of the school, as a prefect, an environmental group leader, Amnesty International group founder, on the Sports Council, a volunteer maths tutor, and orchestra concertmaster. Her commitment, energy and leadership over such a wide range of activities culminated in her being awarded the White Cup, for School Spirit and Best All-Round Student in Year 12. 

Emilly is a young woman of many talents; she is not only a top academic but also a national piano contest prize-winner ,and gained DipABRSM performance qualifications in both piano and violin at the age of 14. Last year, she obtained her LTCL qualification in piano performance with High Distinction. 

On top of her academic, musical and sporting pursuits, Emilly places a strong emphasis on giving back to the community, through her extensive volunteer work outside of school time.

“I am particularly passionate about environmental protection and social justice, and I hope to pursue a career in sustainable development in the future,” she says. In 2017, she was recognised with not only a New Zealand Youth Award but also an international Zonta Young Women in Public Affairs award, “for active commitment to volunteerism, extraordinary volunteer leadership achievements and a dedication to empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.”

 While Emilly does not need to declare her major at Harvard until her second year, and is excited to experience the unique liberal arts curriculum in the first yea, she is currently leaning towards an Environmental Science and Public Policy specialisation.

Born and raised on the North Shore but fluent in Mandarin, Emilly has two siblings: an older brother currently studying at New York University Stern School of Business, ranked as the number one undergraduate business school in the US, and a younger sister, Kate, who is a prefect, at Takapuna Grammar. 

Harvard commences in late August and in the meantime, Emilly is dedicating her time to various volunteer pursuits as well as part-time work. She is also looking for relevant internships or other part-time jobs. The TGS community is very proud of her incredible achievement and wishes her all the best for her very bright future. 


Say YES to Success

A large contingent of TGS students attend the The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise day at Massey University, recently. Commonly known as ‘YES’, the programme encourages students to set up and run a real business, alongside their NCEA Business Studies course. Each YES company creates its own product or service to bring to market. 

This ‘Kickstart’ course was the first of many chapters for this year’s programme, giving the opportunity for students to learn more about business planning and operations in preparation for the yearly competitive element of the course, where a $25,000 national prize pool is up for grabs, as well as other regional awards, cash prizes, and tertiary scholarships.


The YES course also helps students develop a range of business skills, and helps enhance business knowledge for NCEA studies. At this event students were able to consult with professional business ‘mentors’, and receive valuable feedback about their business plan. Concluding with a tour of the Massey University Campus grounds, the day was a success for business students, and an enjoyable experience for many, including student Shannon Blackhall who said “It was a fun day and I would definitely recommend this event to all business students.”

By Nelly Farmiloe (Year 13)


Developing future ready students

All 304 Year 9 students came off timetable for a day, in late March, for “E-day as a part of the school’s support of students, in developing "future ready" skills as we recognize that students need to be digitally fluent to be attractive to employers and informed as citizens. 

At the same time, as educators, teachers cannot make the assumption that because a student knows how to use a smartphone or a social media app that they inherently understand how best to use digital tools in a way that effectively supports and deepens their learning. There is a need for digital fluency to be carefully nurtured. 

The goal of "e day" was to help meet that need. The day itself was a great success. Students engaged in seminars, workshops and tutorials relating to the various Google Apps for Education and how they can be used in the classroom to support their learning. All things Google – search, docs, sheets, forms, sites, Drive, charts – and KAMAR, the school’s student management system, plus Library resources were covered in the rotation of workshops. 

The library work was a timed challenge to complete a series of tasks that used all the aspects of library search and organisation. Phones, lap tops, finding clues on the shelves, QR codes, and padlocked mystery boxes were utilised by the Teacher Librarian, Mrs Annie White, to find the fastest team. 



Issue 86 April 2018