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From the Head of Senior College

On Strowan - Volume 14 // Issue 2 // 7 March 2019

More news for Senior College

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

Warm greetings to you all from the Senior College. Our year is now well under way and we continue to have students achieving at the very highest levels in New Zealand and internationally, and many more who are consistently giving of their very best and making the most of what we have to offer here at St Andrew’s College.

Thank you to all of you who managed to attend our Parent Information Evening on Wednesday 20 February. It was nice to be able to welcome you to the Senior College and to share some information about this unique part of our school. For those of you who were not able to attend, I thought I would briefly outline what one of the presenters spoke about.

Our guest speaker was Martin Oxley, whose third son, Ben, finished Year 13 at the end of last year. Martin has been involved with St Andrew’s for a number of years, and he shared some of his wisdom about how to survive life as a parent of teenagers. With his typical humour, and ability to recount a great story, Martin offered three key pieces of advice:

1. Life with teenagers is hard work
There are highs and lows, and if you’re finding it tough then you’re not alone. There is a way through, however, and your son/daughter needs you to stay consistent and stay by their side.

2. Pick your battles
Sometimes you need to advocate on behalf of your son/daughter, but it’s less frequently than you might think. In fact, Martin’s advice is that, unless the issue has the potential to affect the health and safety of your child, you might well be better to stay on the sidelines. This is hard to do, but the only way to develop grit and resilience is to face life and learn to deal with the things that are difficult.

3. Life is not fair
There will be times when your child faces an unfair situation. These too are learning opportunities. If we step in and rescue our children, we potentially do them a disservice because the opportunity to learn how to deal with unfairness is lost.

Martin recommended some helpful books if you are keen to pursue these ideas further. I recently sent some titles out to our Senior College community in an email. In case you missed them, two recommended titles are:

  • Celia Lashlie. He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men (2005), HarperCollins, Auckland.
  • Nigel Latta. Before your teenagers drive you crazy, read this (2008), HarperCollins, Auckland. 

All the best as you navigate adolescence with your child. We will do our best to support all of you along the way.


John Ruge 
Head of Senior College

On Strowan - Volume 14 // Issue 2 // 7 March 2019