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From the Rector

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

More news for Rector

"… they understand the role they have to play in making their world a better place, and we will all need to reflect upon how we can best support and guide them to do this."
Christine Leighton, Rector

The last five weeks have brought unexpected challenge and sadness to us all. However, amongst the tragedy have been moments of generosity, compassion, and leadership from our young people. I have been so impressed with the thoughtful care they have shown to others. I believe they understand the role they have to play in making their world a better place, and we will all need to reflect upon how we can best support and guide them to do this.

College life has continued to be busy with the significant Pipe Band Centenary held on Founders’ Weekend. A dedicated team of Pipe Band representatives and staff worked tirelessly to organise a fitting programme of events, which honoured the St Andrew’s College Pipe Band over 100 years. It is quite a story to be told!

Two weeks after the celebrations, the A and B Bands comprising of 56 pipers and drummers, competed at the Pipe Band Nationals in Dunedin. It was a fitting venue for 48 bands to gather and compete. St Andrew’s is always a source of inspiration for the adult bands who are somewhat in awe of the standard achieved by some as young as 10 and 11 years old. For many of the B Band players it was their first competition and they equipped themselves very well – I am sure for many the Street March was a real highlight. The A Band once again won first place in a strong competitive Juvenile Grade against seven other bands. In the highly competitive Grade 2, they took second place to the City of Invercargill, beating many other very reputable adult bands. Richard Hawke and Marcella Bragg (Year 13) with 2018 leavers Louis Newman and Patrick Moran were members of the Canterbury Caledonian who took out the Grade 1 title – congratulations!

Of course, the other focus last week was the culmination of summer sport in Tournament Week. Over 120 students dispersed to various venues from Karapiro in the north, to Christchurch in the south, representing St Andrew’s in rowing, futsal (Senior and Junior Boys, and Senior Girls), tennis (Mixed and Boys), athletics, volleyball (Senior A and B Girls and Boys), adventure racing, sailing, and mountain biking. Standout results were:

  • Senior A Girls’ volleyball – fourth place in New Zealand;
  • Girls’ futsal – ninth place in New Zealand;
  • Junior Boys’ futsal – seventh place in New Zealand;
  • Adventure racing – Mixed team – first place in New Zealand;
  • Rowing – two bronze medals U16 coxed four, U17 pair;
  • Mixed tennis – fourth place in New Zealand;
  • Boys’ tennis – fifth place in New Zealand;
  • South Island athletics – nine titles and 20 placings.

All individuals and teams had trained so hard in the lead-up to these events. Congratulations to those who enjoyed success and met their goals and top placings. However, we also commend the grit, character, and resilience from those who faced adversity and challenge. It is important to remember that just to compete at this level and represent your school at Summer Tournament is a significant achievement in itself.

This week I have been delighted to host the Headmaster of Gordonstoun School in Scotland, Mr Titus Edge, and his wife Marina. Their daughter, Isabel, has been on exchange at St Andrew’s for the last eight weeks along with fellow student, Erin Bell, while Oscar Bloom and Scarlett Rumble have taken the opportunity to spend eight weeks at Gordonstoun.

Gordonstoun is a most interesting school situated in Moray, Scotland near Elgin. Set in a 150 acre estate, the school was established in 1934 and founded by Kurt Hahn. Kurt Hahn also played key roles in the founding of Outward Bound, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and founded the United World Colleges movement. Mr Edge has enjoyed his first trip to New Zealand and Christchurch and was impressed with what he saw at St Andrew’s and the opportunities our students enjoy. While not on such a large nor remote campus as Gordonstoun, St Andrew’s also focuses on preparing students for a productive and successful life beyond school where they make a positive contribution to their communities.

It has been a busy term and I wish everyone a great holiday break with some reflection, family, and rest time over the Easter period. Best wishes to students and staff who are travelling to:

  • Borneo – World Challenge trip;
  • Cambodia – Service trip;
  • Greece/Italy Classics trip;
  • Spanish Languages trip to Spain via Dubai.

Nga mihi nui.

With kind regards, 

Christine Leighton

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