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From the Head of Secondary School

On Strowan - Volume 13 // Issue 6 // 17 August 2018

More news for Secondary School

The Secondary School covers Years 9–13. Head of Secondary School is Evert van Florenstein.

"...our goal to provide every student with a personalised experience, where they feel engaged and safe, is making very good progress."

The sign that spring is on its way is clearly evident; the warmer weather, the earlier sunrises and the first bulbs breaking into flower. We have certainly hit the ground running this term, with both students and staff having very busy schedules both in and out of the classroom.

The Parent-Student-Tutor Conferences have once again been a huge success. I have had a lot of very positive feedback about them, especially around the opportunity for the tutor, parent and student to be able to have a meaningful conversation about what is going well and what needs to happen next.

The College has just received the results for the ‘Me and My School’ survey, which the Year 7–10 students completed earlier this year. The survey feedback would suggest that our goal to provide every student with a personalised experience, where they feel engaged and safe, is making very good progress.

The survey found:

  • +97% of students feel proud to be part of the St Andrew’s College community;
  • 97% of students feel safe and respected at St Andrew’s;
  • 96% of students have respect for their teachers, and feel that their teachers help them learn;
  • 94% of students feel that they are making progress with their learning.

We have reviewed and strengthened our Religious Education and Health programmes, with a greater focus on relationships and respect for each other. Other initiatives such as the All Boys’ and All Girls’ Assemblies with special guest speakers, themes running through our formal assemblies, and chapel services are all supporting the work we are doing in the classroom around positive relationships and respect.

At the end of the Week 2, the Year 12 and 13 students had their annual Senior College Formal with the theme ‘Las Vegas’. It was indeed a glittering event which was enjoyed by all. The Senior College Council did a marvellous job both with the organisation of the event and decorating the hall. All the students made such an effort to dress up and get into the spirit of the theme.

The International Assembly was a real showcase of the cultural diversity we enjoy here at StAC and was very well received by the students, staff and parents who were in attendance. It was a real privilege for me to be able to welcome everyone in Dutch. We had over 20 flag bearers welcomed in by the song Let It Be in various languages on the stage, with each flag representing a different nationality. Congratulations to all the students who spoke on stage. It is difficult enough to speak in your native tongue in front of a thousand peers, let alone doing so in a foreign language. The assembly was concluded with a wonderful performance from the Pasifika group.

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Our Jazz groups continue to excel. At the Blenheim Southern Jam competition the Jazz group won the Runner Up – Best Jazz Ensemble, and the Jazz Orchestra won a silver award. There were also individual successes with Luca Vinnell (Year 12) winning the Best Improvisation and Best Trumpet award, Serge Beaton (Year 12) winning the Best Trombone award, and the Best Vocals being awarded to Jenna Wells (Year 12), Hana Pearce (Year 12) and Kate Sproule (Year 13).

Our sports teams are really excelling this winter with many of our teams earning the right to take part in semi-finals and finals of their respective competitions. We wish all these teams well for the playoff part of the season. Congratulations to our four hockey players; Harrison Darling, Oscar Nation, Georgia Bonne and Isabella Ambrosius (all Year 12) who have been selected for the New Zealand U18 Hockey Camp.

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I attended the Rugby Club Day last Saturday held on the College grounds, with only the U16 team scheduled to play elsewhere. It was a real festival of rugby with most of our teams enjoying a win on the day. I was incredibly proud with the way our teams played, despite many being considerably smaller than the opposition. To the credit of our players they played with real grit and determination, and never gave up. Thank you to the large number of supporters of parents, extended families and friends, who made this day such an enjoyable one. The day was capped off with the First XV having an excellent win over St Bede’s College.

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Evert van Florenstein
Head of Secondary School
Deputy for Rector

On Strowan - Volume 13 //  Issue 6 // 17 August 2018