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The Influencers: Scott Thelning


Principal Cathedral Grammar

In challenging times it is often the things that bring us a sense of comfort, stability and normality that we fall back to support and guide us through the ups and downs.

For me it was getting back into my early morning gym routine, on my bike in the Port Hills, and supporting my kids on the sidelines on Saturday mornings. Structure, routine and enjoyment – it all feels normal and a part of daily/weekly life.

As a school, it was critically important after lockdown that we returned back to our site with all of our students and staff in order to provide this sense of normality, routine, structure and connectedness.

We had supported our school community very well with a strong remote learning programme, and it was vital we then settled everyone back into school and work in a manner that met the requirements of the Ministries of Health and Education, but resembled school as ‘normal’ as much as possible.

We chose to adopt a simple, safe and sensible approach and not twist ourselves in knots creating unnecessary processes, systems and compliance headaches that would in turn create an unrecognisable environment for our students and staff.

Structure, routine, normality.

Conversely, through these challenging times we are being encouraged to innovate, adapt and evolve so as to meet the new demands of our communities and customers.

The Cathedral Grammar School and Christ Church Cathedral have recently broken the glass ceiling on a 139 year old tradition and introduced girl choristers.

Equality in action and creating a new normality.


 

Meet the Principal: Cathedral Grammar


‘Every child. Every day.’ This simple yet powerful statement is the esence of my educational philosophy. It seems so obvious, yet in a school setting, can get lost in the pursuit of greatness, narrow measures of success and the desires of adults. At The Cathedral Grammar School your child is truly at the heart of the matter as we set about nurturing them, knowing them and growing them in a holistic and heart-focused manner. Of course, academic performance and high expectations are key, but not at the expense of their wellbeing and the development of skills and qualities to thrive in a challenging and evolving world.

 

Scott Thelning – Principal

 

The Cathedral Grammar School is an independent school providing high-quality education for pre-school, primary school and intermediate aged girls and boys.

This is a place of ambition alongside preparation where students learn from the best right from the start. Every year level benefits from the expertise of our high-calibre specialist teachers across multiple subjects, and small class sizes mean learning is amplified, ensuring every child’s strengths are identified and built on, with support provided where and when needed.

The prime inner city location provides the school with the most wonderful nearby resources.

As an example, the Year 7 and 8 students head to Ara Institute for Engineering and Food Technology, Christ’s College to study Hard Materials and selected students are involved in an Enrichment Programme at Tūranga, the new central city library.

This is an exciting opportunity and aims to enrich and extend the school’s current learning programmes inside and outside the classroom.

The school structure is unique and designed to ensure students have the opportunity to make the most of their formative school years.

Teachers understand that learning happens in different ways at different ages; their students work in both co-educational and single-sex learning environments at times when this best suits their learning journey.

In Pre-School and the Junior School, children learn in a co-educational environment.

Students in Years 4 to 8 attend either the Boys’ or Girls’ School.

Allowing students the best of both worlds, single sex classes offer the opportunity to target and deliver the curriculum in the most effective and interesting style possible, while social skills are developed by sharing mixed-environment break times, specialist classes and activities.

Ultimately, The Cathedral Grammar School is committed to providing a balance of tradition and rigour, while being curious and adventurous every day.

All in an environment that values your child’s heart as well as their head. It’s the Grammar Way.


 

The Influencers: Scott Thelning


 

Principal Cathedral Grammar

Foresight and fortitude – sowing the seeds of hard work and reaping the fruits of success.

COVID-19 has created, once again, challenging times for our city, and this brings with it a mix of emotions.

For me, I am grateful for the foresight held by a team of governors whom some years ago set the pathway forward for our school to evolve, adapt and embrace a way of thinking that would prepare our students and staff for an ever changing world.

Through this transition period as a school, there were, as there inevitably will be, challengers and challenges to this way of thinking.

I am thankful for the fortitude of our staff for staying to the course and ensuring what is best for students, their learning, and their future was at the heart of the matter.

When the lockdown was announced, our team was ready and delivered superbly in a time of need.

The vision and strategy developed, coupled with a great team of skilled, open minded and solution focussed teachers, enabled our school to respond quickly and create and deliver a high quality and structured remote learning programme for our community.

It is through these difficult times, that as organisations our business models and cultures are truly tested.

All aspects are placed under the spotlight as we grapple with the financial and employment implications, together with the wellbeing of our people and the ability to adapt and innovate.

Success comes in many forms. For us, foresight, fortitude and agility have been key.


 

Scott Thelning: The Influencers


The new face of Christchurch city has prompted many of us to look at the CBD afresh and appreciate all it now has to offer.

 

Principal Cathedral Grammar

I’m certainly aware that my own family and I spend much more time in the city on the weekends than previously to take advantage of the rapidly improving facilities and the ever-increasing array of shops and cafés.

The re-energised city has also made me appreciate anew the foresight of the founders of Cathedral Grammar. Our school truly is part of the fabric of Christchurch’s central city. As our roll grows, many parents tell us that the CBD location is a key part of the appeal.

Far from being closeted behind school gates, our boys and girls are out in the city, enjoying the wonderful nearby resources.

The fantastic new central library, Tūranga, where some students are involved in an Enrichment Programme, is a focal point, together with our art offering at the Museum and the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. Students also head to Ara Institute for Engineering and Food Technology, and Christ’s College to study Hard Materials.

Whether it be training for a duathlon, having rugby practice, going for a run or playing bullrush, we too, like so many people in the CBD, enjoy the wonderful resource that is Hagley Park.

These are all exciting opportunities to enrich and extend our current learning programmes inside and outside the classroom. Better still, they’re all within walking distance.

We love introducing a new generation to the new generation Christchurch.

 

 


 

Scott Thelning: The Influencers


Everyone matters, every day. This simple, yet powerful and poignant statement is one of the guiding pillars at The Cathedral Grammar School.

 

The Cathedral Grammar School Principal

It ensures we are a part of the conversations and actions towards improving the truly disheartening mental health and suicide record of our country.

As we have evolved as a school in recent times, we are proud to have deliberately adopted a ‘heart as well as head’ approach that promises to nurture, to know and to grow every student, every day in a holistic and meaningful way. This ensures that the pursuit for academic success, which is clearly important, does not narrow the focus in a manner which diminishes self-worth, happiness and the ability to celebrate diverse strengths.

Within the last few weeks, we have had the Government announce its 2019 Wellbeing Budget, and New Zealander of the Year and founder of The Key To Life Charitable Trust, Mike King, was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his work as a mental health advocate.

We are blessed to live in this wonderful country of ours full of beauty and opportunity, yet something within our system and psyche goes so badly wrong for more of our teenagers than anywhere else in the world. Sadly, despite knowing this, we keep the same societal expectations, systems, processes and pressures in place, and then expect that somehow things are going to improve; the definition of madness at play.

At Cathedral Grammar we encourage personal growth and development, while providing clear, heart-focused pathways for our students. Everyone matters, every day.

 

 

 

 


 

Meet the Principal 2019: Scott Thelning of The Cathedral Grammar School


PRINCIPAL SCOTT THELNING

 

‘Every child. Every day.’ This simple yet powerful statement is the essence of my educational philosophy. It seems so obvious, yet in a school setting, can get lost in the pursuit of greatness, narrow measures of success and the needs of adults. At The Cathedral Grammar School your child is truly at the heart of the matter as we set about nurturing them, knowing them and growing them in a holistic and heart focused manner. Of course, academic performance and high expectations are key, but not at the expense of their wellbeing and the development of skills and qualities to thrive in a challenging and evolving world.

 

 

At The Cathedral Grammar School your child is in an environment that values their heart as well as their head. It’s the Grammar Way. The girls at our school enjoy the best of both worlds. In the Preschool and Junior School, girls receive the benefit of all that co-education has to offer. As they get older, their learning styles can start to differ from the boys. So, for Years 4-8, they are split into two separate schools. Based in their own respective classrooms within the school grounds, the girls and boys schools work independently but are closely aligned. This means the school can specifically tailor learning.

The Head Girl, Lucy, is the third of three girls in the Vance family to attend Cathedral Grammar and relishes the unique Cathedral Grammar culture. “The whole Girls’ School is basically a big family and everyone supports each other and they know everyone.” The prime inner city position means they make the most of the wonderful nearby resources. The girls head to Ara Institute for Engineering and Food Technology, Christ’s College to study Hard Materials and some students are involved in an Enrichment Programme at Tūranga, the new central city library. This is an exciting opportunity and aims to enrich and extend the school’s current learning programmes inside and outside the classroom.

Every week the girls and boys come together for what we call an Hour of Power, where they’ll study a myriad of subjects such as Robotics, Coding, Electronic Music 101, Collage Fabric and Food Art and French. They also join forces for extension classes in Maths and English, for chapel, assemblies, sport and fitness. Recognising that a well-rounded character is just as important as academic success, all students are involved in community service, helping to enrich the lives of others. “We would love your daughter or son to be part of our community, our family.”