Philosophy of Care
When you join the St Andrew’s College boarding family, you gain the support and friendship of an entire network of people who take an active interest in your welfare. We do everything possible to ensure your academic, co-curricular and social interactions here are as rewarding as possible.
Boarding life fosters a sense of inclusion, confidence and co-operation, while helping you to develop independence and maturity. Friends made among our boarding family often last a lifetime.
Close supervision by our boarding staff ensures you live comfortably and securely, and our structured daily schedule helps to create a warm, friendly and disciplined living atmosphere. A key advantage of boarding is that you have on-site academic support at prep times, and easy access to the College Library and computer suite. Sporting and recreational facilities are also readily available.
We work in partnership with families, and encourage them to attend as many school events and functions as possible. Extended family and friends are always welcome to join us for meals in the dining room, and a lounge is provided as a meeting room for students and their families.
Our boarding staff are united in their belief that students must be nurtured in a caring, safe and happy environment in order to develop to their full potential. St Andrew’s College is proud to have a committed, enthusiastic and energetic team who work passionately to achieve just that.
The Health Centre is staffed by a registered nurse during school hours, with support from boarding staff outside of school hours.
The Health Centre can refer students to a General Practitioner and physiotherapist, and arrange other specialist appointments when necessary, in consultation with parents or caregivers.
Who looks after the students?
With two PhD students, a top representative rugby player and netball player and several teachers in the mix, the house tutors at St Andrew’s bring a distinctive dimension to the College’s boarding establishment.
“The tutors make a huge difference because of what they have to offer in terms of personalities and day-to-day skills,” says Director of Boarding Dianne MacDonald. “They are valuable role models for our boarders because they help the students see where hard work and commitment can take you.”
Dianne says over the years the culture within the boarding establishment has evolved to create a network of high achieving, vibrant and reliable tutors. “They have such a strong sense of character and firm principles, which makes them an incredible asset for St Andrew’s. To know that there is someone close by who has the best interests of the children at heart, and will be there to support them, is tremendously reassuring.”
The 14 tutors help Dianne and her management team care for 167 boarders and perform a range of duties. “They are there to oversee the daily running of the house,” says House Manager Ian White. “The day begins with wake up, morning inspection and greeting and then in the evening it’s dinner and supervising prep.” By the time it’s lights out at 10:30pm the tutors would have eaten meals with the students, had them outside being active, helped with homework and dealt with all their burning issues.
As a regular member of the New Zealand U21 rugby team “in my younger days”, as well as playing rugby for Canterbury and Northland and in the Blues Development squad, MacGibbon house tutor Mikae Tuu’u says he is always thinking of ways to keep the Years 9–11 boys busy. “We don’t want to see students sitting in their rooms in front of their computer screens so we plan a lot of things, such as going to footy games, that we believe will add value to the boys’ development. It’s about finding that balance between working hard at school and co-curricular activities.”
Mikae, who teaches PE and Health at Lincoln High School, says he does find the students use him as a sounding board if they have issues. “It’s a privilege to have that trust and I will give them my opinion. I suppose I’m not that much older than them so they are pretty open about what’s happening in their lives.” As an Old Collegian he believes being a tutor gives him the opportunity to help instil some old school traditions. “I’m pretty passionate about the values of the school because they meant a lot to me when I was a student here. Being able to pass them on is important.”
University of Canterbury PhD Civil Engineering student Merrick Taylor says being a house tutor allows him to share with students the best ways to approach their studies. “My role really is about providing guidance, so it’s about encouraging them to progress by providing a good environment for them to study. I can help them maintain focus and develop skills for learning.”
Ian White says the dynamic between the students and tutors is a positive and nurturing one because it is based on relationships, not discipline. “As individuals who are achieving their goals, these tutors absolutely inspire the students. Children are very perceptive so if a tutor doesn’t present with mana, they recognise that and the job becomes so much harder. Our boarding tutors are very well rounded with a range of interests and skills and the students appreciate that.”
The tutors are involved with student life in all its different forms whether it is managing the prep programme and helping students academically or encouraging them to grow their sense of school and community spirit. They also take the students to support College teams at various sporting fixtures and other events around Christchurch. “If students are to not just achieve, but to also be happy at school during the day, they have to be happy in the boarding environment,” says Dianne. “It’s our job to create a happy, caring environment and the tutors are a key part of achieving that.”
The College Boarding team: (front from left) Hamish Bell, Victoria Steele, Bid McLean, Caroline Wehner, Celeste Claridge, Rachael Hart, Helen Geary (now Retired) and Ian White. (middle row from left) Paul Morrow, Jo Morrow, Daniel O’Reilly, Head of Boarding Dianne Mac Donald, Mary Leota, Jo Ah Kuoi, Sandra McCarthy, (back row from left) Telusa Veainu, Cameron Pickering, Diarmuid McMahon and Mikae Tuu’u, Joe Leota and Merrick Taylor.