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In Addition to the Curriculum

Education Outside the Classroom

The College has a staff of professional instructors who operate our Outdoor Education programme at the Alistair Sidey Mountain Lodge at Castle Hill. An Outdoor Education programme is provided to all Year 9–10 students in the form of class camps and year group outings throughout the year.

There is a wide variety of activities available, and these are programmed to suit each group. Weather, individual needs and group enthusiasm and abilities are all taken into consideration when programmes are planned. Students are encouraged to take part in all activities.

The learning outcomes of this involvement are the development of self-esteem, teamwork, co-operation, and communication. Students have fun while acquiring skills and experience in the outdoors.

Year 9
During Term 1, each Year 9 class will attend camp. The camp provides an ideal opportunity for friendships to develop in an outdoor setting. The purpose of this trip is to bring students together off-campus at the beginning of their Secondary School experience so that they may develop positive relationships with their peers and teachers. They will experience community development, trust building and the growth of interpersonal skills in an outdoor educational setting. Students will develop whanaungatanga, build relationships, establish culture and experience challenge. This camp will encourage resilience, build empathy, provide opportunities for students to participate and contribute, interact with their peers and teachers in a different context, and of course, have lots of fun. Activities may include whitewater rafting, bushcraft, camping, climbing, and abseiling, along with an array of individual and team challenges.

Year 10
During Term 3, each Year 10 class will attend winter camp. This camp involves students completing the training requirements for the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award and as well as an overnight alpine expedition. Students develop their campcraft and navigation skills. Kaitiakitanga, sustainability and positive action is interwoven through our pest management activities. Students go to Castle Hill again in Term 4 to complete their Qualifying Journey for the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Years 12–13
Students doing Transition Studies have the opportunity to plan and complete expeditions from a range of activities including, but not limited to; sea kayaking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and tramping, which helps to develop planning and leadership skills.

Supporting Curriculum

The vision of our Learning Support team is to accelerate and support the learning of students experiencing challenges with their studies. Our staff will support every child in a safe, caring and non-judgemental environment.

Learning Support Programme

The Learning Support programme is run by highly qualified teachers whose fields of expertise include special education needs, thinking and learning extension programmes, and student counselling. Our staff aim to build self-esteem and confidence and support students to be independent and resilient learners.

Reading and language support is offered for students experiencing challenges and study support is available to senior students. Support is based on individual student needs and is priority assessed.

Read more about the Learning Support Programme here.

Academic Extension and Enrichment (ACEE)

In the Secondary School, the Years 9 and 10 ACEE programmes operate as an option subject. Where possible, students who are identified as academically gifted and/or talented are formally invited into the programme. Students can also self-select this programme. Although there is no timetabled ACEE class in Years 11–13, students are monitored and provided opportunities to deepen their learning and experiences.

Overarching Statement

The ACEE programme acknowledges both performance and potential and recognises that a student’s gifts and talents will emerge at times and in circumstances which are unique to that student.

ACEE Programme Vision

ACEE students contributing to the creation of a future New Zealand where extraordinary minds do extraordinary things.

Key Themes, Units and Learning Aspects

Year 9 students work with a specialist teacher. This programme includes learning units based on philosophy, anthropology, neuroscience, political science, and sustainable development. Students complete an individual ‘impact project’ over the semester.

Year 10 students also work with a specialist teacher and enjoy a deeper exploration into areas such as philosophy, neuroscience, sustainable development, political science, and psychology. Students typically complete a Level 2 NCEA internal assessment focused on an action that will lead to a more sustainable future. This assessment accrues six NCEA Level 2 credits. Students aim to achieve Excellence in this assessment and valuable learning opportunities are provided around academic writing. Year 10 ACEE is a now a one-semester subject option.

Both Year 9 and Year 10 10 ACEE programmes offer the opportunity for students to display their individual and/or group projects in The Green Centre at a showcase expo later in the academic year.

Year 9–10 ACEE students also have the opportunity to prepare for Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition for Year 11 students, participate in the Model United Nations Conference (MUNA), the Model European Union Conference, compete in the da Vinci Decathlon and the Ethics Olympiad, and attend two philosophy conferences each year.

In addition, St Andrew’s College also offers Chess, Debating, Future Problem Solving, and a writing masterclass as co-curricular activities for students who are academically gifted and talented.

From Year 11, there are opportunities to continue with Philosophy, the Australasian Brain Bee Competition (neuroscience-based), Model United Nations, Model European Union, and Senior Future Problem Solving. Gifted and talented senior students also have the opportunity for extension, enrichment, and acceleration within specific learning areas, such as English, Mathematics and Science. Higher level extension can be gained from enrolment in the University of Canterbury STAR Programmes and/or university papers in Years 12–13.

Course Costs

There is a cost for most of the extra-curricular activities and events such as Future Problem Solving tutoring, conferences, and participation in events such as Brain Bee. There can also be individual costs for expert tutoring in art painting, coding, and electronics to support the development of impact projects.

For further information please contact ACEE Co-ordinator, Ms Hampson.

St Andrew’s College Ballet Company

Dancers in Years 12–13 can enjoy the experience of a Ballet Company. Following on from our Year 11 Ballet and Dance Studies programme, this co-curricular subject (four+ hours/week, outside of academic classes) continues with balletic technique, performance training and productions, specialist guest tutors, and NCEA Dance credits (across the dance genres) each year. Dancers may also take the highest pre-professional examination of Solo Performance Diploma, and it is also possible to gain University Entrance in NCEA Dance over the two–year period in the Company. Year 13 dancers, having completed the five–year Ballet Academy course (if commencing in Year 9), graduate with our St Andrew’s College Ballet Academy Diploma (those with fewer years due to commencing later, may apply for cross-credits from prior study, or alternatively gain the Ballet Academy Certificate). Experienced dancers who are new to the programme are very welcome to apply to join the Company.

Prerequisite: New students, suitable ballet background and a short audition with Artistic Director, Dr Cairns. Current Year 11 student, recent Year 11 examination results at Highly Commended or above, or by Head of Department discretion.

NCEA Dance: 5–6 internals (22–24 credits) across the two years. Course endorsement is not available as there are no external credits.

Course costs: $450 per term (includes in-class guest tutors, repertoire half tutu/character skirt use, and other incidentals).

Additional costs: Examination fees, costume hires and optional classes.

Speech and Drama

There are three speech and drama tutors working in the College. They teach a range of skills including speech, drama and public speaking. Students can have individual, pairs, or small group lessons, depending on requirements. Lessons are organised at a time to suit the student and classroom teachers. Students can sit Speech New Zealand or Trinity examinations and many also participate in the Christchurch Competitions Society Speech and Drama competitions in the July holidays. However, students do not have to sit examinations or enter competitions, some also come just for confidence and for enjoyment.

To sign up for Secondary School Speech and Drama, click here

Instrumental and Vocal Tuition

The Music Department runs an extensive programme of Instrumental and Vocal Tuition. Around 22 tutors come into the College each week, some of them across two or three different days. For private lessons in the Music Suite Studios, tutors charge $35.00–$40.00 per half hour lesson. Approximately 30–33 lessons are taken during the course of the academic year in school time, mostly in the morning and early afternoon, dependent on student and tutor timetables. A number of lessons are also taken after school, especially guitar and drums, however, this is again subject to tutor availability. Lessons are able to be rotated or lesson times changed each term to ensure students do not miss out on the same subject area each week.

Occasionally parents are worried about the impact upon their children’s academic progress by coming out of class for a half-hour music lesson each week. Parents can rest assured that there have been no issues experienced at St Andrew’s College relating to students not keeping up in class due to a music lesson related absence.

Feedback on student progress is provided in a weekly Music diary. Theory and ear training lessons are also available. The College has a supply of instruments for hire at $75.00 per term (prices may be subject to change). Instrument hire is disbursed at the start of each semester.

For further details on our itinerant Music programme and for information about the variety of co-curricular performing groups available, please contact Performing Arts Co-ordinator, Ms Thorner, or Head of Music, Mr Ferguson.

View the Music Department Information Booklet here.

To sign up for Instrumental and Vocal Tuition, click here.