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Meet the Principal: St Andrew’s College


Christine Leighton – Rector

Rector Christine Leighton says St Andrew’s College is “strongly committed” to the holistic development of its students. “We recognise each student as an individual and, with a multi-dimensional approach, support their personal development and well-being alongside a growth mindset for learning. We strive to ensure our students leave with not only a world-class education, but also the mental agility, emotional intelligence, and resilience to survive and flourish in life beyond secondary school.”
Christine is the first female Rector at St Andrew’s College and has been in the role since 2007, following a long career as a teacher and in senior leadership roles. She is a great believer in girls and boys being educated alongside one another.

 

 

The St Andrew’s community has great respect for the College’s long history and proud traditions, but is also firmly focused on the future, Christine says.

“Last year we introduced two new core values, Inclusivity and Creativity, to sit alongside our founding values of Truth, Excellence and Faith which inform the direction of our strategic vision, Framing Our Future.”

Excellence in academic, sporting and cultural pursuits are consistently achieved at St Andrew’s – the only independent co-educational boarding school in the South Island.

Christine was delighted with the College’s outstanding academic success in 2019, which place St Andrew’s College as one of the top-performing schools in the country.

“A group of 24 students achieved 39 New Zealand Scholarships between them, with one of our Year 13 students, Mackey Johnstone, achieving the top mark in New Zealand for Technology. Our students also achieved 228 Excellence endorsements across the three NCEA levels.”

St Andrew’s is renowned for offering a wide range of sporting and cultural pursuits, and for the regular success students achieve at a regional and national level.

Students also enjoy exceptional facilities at St Andrew’s College, with more than $110 million invested in the campus over the last decade.

Well-being and Positive Education are also a key focus at St Andrew’s and a Whole School Well-being Strategy supports teachers and students to flourish in all aspects of their lives.

Christine says the College’s goal of preparing students for life beyond secondary school can be neatly summed up by its vision statement, “To be at the leading edge of high-performance educational practice, in a community which values caring for others, tradition and creativity, in order to provide young people with the roots and wings to flourish in an ever-changing world”.


 

Meet the Principal 2019: Christine Leighton of St Andrew’s College


RECTOR CHRISTINE LEIGHTON

 

St Andrew’s College has great respect for its long history and proud traditions, and is also focused on creating new opportunities to inspire future generations, says Christine Leighton, the only female Rector at St Andrew’s throughout its 101 year history. “We have a new strategic direction, Framing our Future, which combines the best of the past with the possibilities of the future. Our vision is to be at the leading edge of high performance educational practice, in a community which values caring for others, tradition, and creativity, in order to provide young people with the roots and wings to flourish in an ever-changing world.”

 

 

Christine is a great believer in girls and boys being educated alongside one another. “I went to a co-educational school myself and believe it is the best way to prepare young people for their future.” She is proud of the response shown by St Andrew’s College students in the wake of the recent terror attack. “Our students showed great compassion and leadership in support of a number of initiatives in Christchurch, with three of our Year 12 students organising the March for Love. We have seen a genuine desire from students to make their world of the future a better place.”

Students at St Andrew’s are encouraged to strive for excellence in their academic, sporting and cultural pursuits, with their successes widely celebrated. Christine was delighted with the College’s outstanding academic success in 2018, which she says is up there with the best schools in the country. “A group of 24 students achieved 43 New Zealand Scholarships between them, including 13 Outstanding Scholarships. Three of our Year 13 students gained a place in the top 50 students nationwide, including College Dux, Russell Boey, who was named as one of the top 11 scholars in New Zealand. ”

St Andrew’s is renowned for the wide range of sporting and cultural pursuits on offer. Its individual athletes and sports teams regularly win South Island and New Zealand titles, and have won recent South Island or National titles in girls’ volleyball, mixed and boys’ tennis, mixed adventure racing, athletics, and rowing. Cultural opportunities on offer include Pipe Band, musical theatre, and 25 different music groups.St Andrew’s College is the only independent school offering co-educational boarding in the South Island, with boarders well catered for in state-of-the art boarding houses. A Positive Education and Well-being programme is in place to support students’ well-being, and to help them flourish and develop a broad set of character strengths, virtues, competencies and a positive mindset, Christine says.


 

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Technological Talents: St Andrew’s College embracing technology

Technological change is sweeping the world and, although many are being overwhelmed by its disruptive nature, St Andrew’s College is taking the technological opportunities with both hands. Rather than simply teaching its students how to be technology users, it is preparing students to control and create future technology, and investing accordingly in this area.

St Andrew's College
Last year St Andrew’s expanded its Technology programme, appointing Wilj Dekkers to the newly created role of Head of Innovation and Information Services. Wilj has been tasked with leading the development of the new Green Library and Innovation Centre, which was officially opened last month.
This has seen the extension of the existing Secondary School Library, which now features innovation, design and construction spaces with access to modern tools such as 3D printers and laser cutters.
Current student projects in the new Green Centre include the development of virtual reality content to help Allanvale School students learn to cross the road safely and
a new, online ordering system for the
St Andrew’s College cafeteria allowing parents to ‘top up’ their child’s account and keep track of their purchases.
St Andrew’s College also has a strong robotics programme and younger students participate in various coding clubs and Lego Mindstorm.
Rector Christine Leighton says the Green Library and Innovation Centre is the College’s response to the changing face of education. “We are mindful technology will bring the inevitable disruption to our educational landscape and are conscious of being adaptable and responsive to change,” she says.
“The new Green Centre provides a space where inspiration, innovation, creativity and collaboration are at the heart of how our students learn.”

Christine Leighton Rector of St Andrew’s College

Meet the Principal 2018: Christine Leighton of St Andrew’s College

Christine Leighton Rector of St Andrew’s College
Christine Leighton Rector of St Andrew’s College

With a wonderful year of Centenary celebrations now behind St Andrew’s College, Rector Christine Leighton says the StAC community has its sights set firmly on the future. “We look forward to new horizons, as we honour many of our old traditions, yet also create new ones which will inspire future generations. The essence of being a St Andrew’s College student, however, remains the same. The pride of wearing the thistle, the stirred emotion in hearing the pipes, the sense of belonging, and the shared values of truth, excellence, faith, honesty, generosity, compassion, hope, respect and responsibility, which underpin everything we do at St Andrew’s College.”

Christine became the first female Rector at St Andrew’s College when she was appointed to the role in 2007. She is proud to lead the only independent co-educational school offering boarding in the South Island, with its vibrant, engaged learning environment. “I was educated in a co-educational school myself and believe it is the best way to prepare young people for their future. After all, life is co-ed.”
Students at St Andrew’s are encouraged to strive for excellence in their academic, sporting and cultural pursuits, with their many successes widely celebrated. However, the students’ well-being and helping them to flourish are equally important at the College, Christine says. “The latest research shows learning is profoundly affected by well-being. We guide our students to not only cultivate their intellectual minds, but to develop a broad set of character strengths, virtues and competencies, which together support their physical and mental well-being.”

St Andrew’s College These values are also part of the High-Performance Sport and Elite Studies programmes at St Andrew’s, which are delivering some great results. “Recent successes include our Senior Boys’ and Girls’ A Volleyball teams both winning Canterbury Championships, our Mixed Tennis team finishing runners-up at national level, our rowers making nine A finals at Maadi Cup, and our athletes winning eight titles at the South Island Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships.”
In the innovation space, Christine says St Andrew’s is looking forward to the opening of The Green Library and Innovation Centre in June, where students will be able to read, research, explore emerging technologies such as 3D printing and robotics, share ideas, and innovate. “This development is one of the exciting new ways we are helping students to embrace, and engage with life in a rapidly changing world,” Christine says.

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Empowering education: St Andrews College is giving kids the tools they need to be happy successful adults

Against a backdrop of delightful bubbles an amazing new asset made its mark at St Andrew’s College in February.

St Andrew's College

While the youngest members of the St Andrew’s delighted in a mass bubble blowing activity, Dame Adrienne Stewart opened their state-of-the-art buildings and bespoke playgrounds, all part of the brand new Stewart Junior Centre. The beautiful contrast between fun and formality set the tone for what the new facility will provide – an environment to excel, learn and thrive while having a great time each and every day.
The new development offers three new junior classrooms in one block for Year 1-3 students with an adjacent new preschool and an impressive outdoor facility that ensures education beyond the four walls of classroom is just as enriching.
All rooms in the Junior School enjoy high spec engineering, construction, insulation, technology and contemporary furniture and equipment. A Discovery Room provides an incredible avenue for diverse learning including art and cooking.
The Stewart family made a significant contribution to the Stewart Junior Centre, designed by Wilkie and Bruce Architects, and built by Armitage Williams. Mark Stewart took a walk down memory lane in his speech saying it was almost exactly 50 years since he started at St Andrew’s as a five-year-old. He said his family was proud of its long association with the college and their support of various projects. His brother Todd and other family members were also in attendance.
Preparatory School Principal, Jonathan Bierwirth says, “There is a natural cohesion and close connection between the Junior School and Pre-school, which is significantly enhanced by having both within the new Stewart Junior Centre. It is wonderful to have the youngest members of the St Andrew’s family learning in such close proximity.”