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From the Head of Senior College

On Strowan – Volume 14 // Issue 3 // 4 April 2019

More news for Senior College

The Senior College covers Years 12–13. Head of Senior College is John Ruge.

The last few weeks of this term have been difficult ones in the life of the Senior College, with the end of an extremely busy period overlaid with the events in the city on Friday 15 March, there have been some amazing acts of kindness and support amongst our student body, and I’d like to highlight some of these so that you can appreciate (with us) the strong sense of community that we have experienced.

  • Ella Clearwater, Manaia Butler, and Marshall Setu (all Year 12) organised the March for Love on Saturday 23 March. What began as an idea to gather a few hundred people via Facebook for a demonstration of love and community solidarity, soon snowballed to an event involving 5000 people, the unused stage from the Bryan Adams concert, and a range of speakers including the Mayor of Christchurch! The students were interviewed by a range of media organisations and proved very adept at fronting for cameras with a powerful message of reconciliation and love.
  • The Senior College Council have organised a combined tutor groups event to mix Year 12 and 13 students, and will have run an apple bobbing competition this week as the second challenge for the Common Room Cup (a Year 12 vs Year 13 trophy which will be competed for throughout this year).
  • Shea Laws (Year 13) was instrumental in organising a wall of flowers here in our quad on the Monday after the mosque attacks. Students and staff were encouraged to bring a flower and place it in the wall as an act of remembrance.
  • Our Academic Captains, Tony Zhou and Charles Zhang, have worked extremely hard this term to organise a large peer tutoring programme which will run across the Secondary School, along with the LEAP reading programme and an additional Mathematics programme in the Preparatory School. These programmes will all commence in Term 2, and students are going through training in the final weeks of this term. There are dozens of senior students who have signed up to help others through these programmes.
  • Our Head of Guidance, Tom Matthews, reported the other day that a student had come to see him with concerns about a staff member who was upset by recent events. The student wanted to make sure that counselling staff would touch base with the teacher to make sure they were looked after.
  • The Peer Support programme wrapped up its first term activities on Monday of this week. The team have worked very hard this term to welcome and support our Year 9s as they have integrated into the Secondary School culture, and there has been a huge amount of positive feedback about the work they have done.
  • In an act of enormous kindness, Year 10 students grouped together in tutor groups to provide morning tea for Senior College students every day last week. The food came with cheery handmade flags and encouraging messages like ‘when you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine’.

We really do work together in an amazing community at St Andrew’s.

I hope the holidays will provide you with an opportunity for some rest and reflection after a long and busy term. Safe travels for those of you who are going places around New Zealand or overseas, and I look forward to seeing all our amazing young people back at school on Tuesday 30 April.


John Ruge 
Head of Senior College

On Strowan – Volume 14 // Issue 3 // 4 April 2019