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From the Head of Secondary School

On Strowan - Volume 13 // Issue 5 // 5 July 2018

More news for Secondary School

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

Despite the very wet and cold weather we have been experiencing, we have once again had a very busy and successful term.

One of the highlights of my day is walking round the College both in class time and lunchtime. I am so heartened by the large number of students involved in activity at interval and during lunchtime; from the hockey and netball courts, to the two gymnasiums and sports fields, boys and girls taking part in fun physical activities. The level of engagement in classes which I am observing would support that students are being provided with courses and learning opportunities which are both relevant and meaningful to them.

As part of our well-being initiative, we are going to introduce ‘Technology Free’ Fridays, starting next term. Students will not be allowed to use their mobile devices or laptops at interval or lunchtime, unless they are in the Library (Middle School students) or upstairs in the Senior College (Senior College students) to complete their school work. Students may however, check their phones for messages in the first or last five minutes of lunchtime. We are also going to ban ‘Gaming’ at all times except during Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday lunchtime in the new Green Library and Innovation Centre. The banning of cellphone use during class time has been a huge success. Thank you for your support on this. Unfortunately, we have had a further delay with the rollout of the ‘Family Zone’ App due to legal compliance. Once we have all the legal issues sorted we will notify you.

At our Single Sex Assemblies held last week, Mike Pero came to speak at the Boys’ Assembly. He spoke about the power of setting ‘SMART’ goals to ensure success in life. He also spoke about taking advantage of the constant opportunities which present themselves in life.

Mike Pero


Police Superintendent, Tusha Penny, spoke at the Girls’ Assembly. Her message was a powerful one which challenged us all to think about our definition of privilege. Privilege is less about the material wealth one has, but more about a feeling of love, connection and safety. Her challenge for our community was to find your passion and believe in the power to make a difference. We all can make a difference from leading from where we stand and speaking out against injustices.

Tusha Penny


 Many of our sports teams are tracking very well so far this season. The boys squash team won the South Island B grade tournament. The boys’ First XI hockey have won the first round of the regional Canterbury competition. The girls’ First XI football team are unbeaten so far in the girl’s’ Premier Grade and the girls’ A netball team are lying in second place. The girls’ A basketball team are currently leading the competition with two excellent wins against Cashmere High School and Ashburton College this week. The boys’ A basketball team are currently in fifth place and the boys’ First XI football beat Christ’s College 9–1 on Wednesday to guarantee qualification into the Premier New Zealand tournament to be held in Winter Tournament Week.

We have also had several students representing New Zealand this term. Georgia Bonne (Year 12) played for the New Zealand U17 volleyball team in the Asian Global Championships in May, Samuel Jenkins (Year 11) and Mac Stodart (Year 12) are currently playing in the New Zealand U17 basketball team in Argentina at the U17 World Cup. In table tennis, Alexander Wilson (Year 13) competed at the recent Oceania Junior Championships as part of the New Zealand team achieving a silver medal. This now qualifies Alexander and the team to compete at the Table Tennis World Championships later this year. Alexander was also awarded a bronze medal in the Oceania Junior Championships doubles event and a bronze for doubles in the Cook Island Junior Open, which is a tournament on the World Junior Circuit.

St Andrew’s College has also enjoyed significant success in cultural endeavours. Our College choirs; Stacchorus, Staccorro and the Chamber Choir competed at the regional ‘Big Sing’ Competition with Staccoro winning three awards. We had seven chamber music groups compete at the NZCT Regional Chamber Music Competition. This was the first year ever that two groups from StAC were recalled to the Christchurch District Final (StACz Quartet and The Hornets). The Hornets won the Woolston Brass Cup for the second year in a row. Further, Samuel Jeon (Year 10) was a member of a trio which was also in the District Final. The College also had eight rock bands entered in the regional ‘Smokefree Rockquest’ Competition. Two of the bands, ‘Uncommon Frequency’ and ‘Black Wired’ (a Preparatory School band) made it to the Regional Finals. The Jazz Combo competed in the Ara Jazzquest – they won a Gold category award with Serge Beaton (Year 12) winning best trombone player. Many other soloists and groups also performed in concerts in our Centennial Chapel, performance evenings, and lunchtime concerts at The Piano and St Mary’s Cathedral.

Congratulations also to our senior debating team who made it to the semi-finals of the Canterbury Competition. Russell Boey (Year 13) has been awarded second place in the Youth Section of the New Zealand Flash Fiction Competition for his short story ‘Pooh Sticks’. Yonni Kepes (Year 13) was at the National Enterprise in Action competition in Wellington, representing Canterbury. He was part of the team which was awarded first prize in this competition for New Zealand. As a result, he has won a trip to Brazil in December and a $7000 scholarship to Massey University.


Evert van Florenstein
Head of Secondary School

On Strowan - Volume 13 //  Issue 5 // 5 July 2018