Academic successes 2023

30 November 2023

Two St Andrew's College students, James Hart and Luke Wylie, holding the Canterbury Impromptu Debating Cup.


Academic House Competition

There was fierce competition in the Cantamath-style Academic House Competition. Academic Captain, Daniel Robertson (Year 13), was emcee for the event which he organised alongside fellow Academic Captains, Annika MacDonald and Gemma Lewis (both Year 13). The event was a huge success and was won by Erwin House.

Brain Bee

James Anthony and Daniel Officer (both Year 11) were part of a composite team that placed third at the 2023 South Island Brain Bee at Otago University.


Three Year 9 and three Year 10 teams competed in the prestigious Cantamath competition. The Year 9 StAC1 team finished third and was one of only three teams to be awarded a golden ticket for answering all 20 questions correctly. In the Year 10 competition, StAC1 finished second and also won a golden ticket.


Samuel Rijpma (Year 5) won the Year 5 category at the Canterbury Individual Interschool Chess Competitions.

Creative Writing

Drew Castles and Jonah Cropp (both Year 13) were named as finalists in the National Schools’ Poetry Award 2023, placing them in the top ten Year 12 and 13 writers in the country. Drew and Jonah travelled to Wellington to claim their prizes and attend a poetry masterclass at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University.

The following students have had their work selected for publication in the New Zealand Poetry Society 2023 anthology:

  • Charlotte Galvan (Year 10), with her poem Tangaroa;

  • Luke Manson (Year 10), with his poem The Game Goes On;

  • Charlotte Bull (Year 11), with her poem Strange Symphony;

  • Xanthe Ward (Year 10), with her poem Painting with Tangaroa;

  • Cherry Zhou (Year 12), with her poem The Mouse and the Lion;

  • Freddy Todhunter (Year 13), with her haiku earthquake;

  • Bede Miller (Year 13) with his haiku the river flows fast.

In the New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition 2023, the following students were awarded in the Haiku Junior Section:

  • Runner-Up: Jenna Howell (Year 12), with stage lights blind;

  • Highly Commended: Cameron Scott (Year 13) with almost sundown; Rylee McBride (Year 11) with one last breath;

  • Commended: Amy Hughes (Year 13) with flower to flower; Charlize Smith (Year 11) with walking home; Daniel Dolan (Year 13) with phone battery low; Alfred Lash (Year 5) with a flit and a flot;

  • Commended in Open Junior Section Primary/Intermediate: Heidi Smith (Year 9) with Medusa.

The following students had writing accepted for publication in Toitoi. Sam Wilton (Year 9) for Rugby Practice, Katrina Wallis (Year 9) for Dad, and Georgia Blyde (Year 3) for her poem Lake Benmore.

Thomas Butterfield (Year 13) and Luke Manson (Year 10) had poems published in the National Poetry Day Given Words Competition. Tom’s poem, rainbow like the trout, was judged in the Adult category, while Luke’s poem, Non-Euclidean Geometry was judged in the Youth section.

Radha Gamble (Year 9) had a haiku published in Rattle Young Poets Anthology, the most prestigious American publication for children’s writing.

Taylor Gordon (Year 10), Hanxi (Cicy) Chen (Year 9) and Georgia Blyde (Year 3) won silver awards in The Royal Commonwealth Society’s prestigious Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2023. Luke Manson, Charlotte Galvan, Katie Chan, Liam Symes, Alice Howard and Oliver Barker (all Year 10) won bronze awards in the same competition.


At the Canterbury Impromptu Debating Competition, StAC1 comprising Luke Wylie (Year 13) and James Hart (Year 12) were undefeated, beating Riccarton High School in the final. This is the fifth year in a row St Andrew’s has won this tournament.

At the Canterbury Junior Regionals Tournament, StAC 1, comprised of Joshua Adams, Olivia Bloom and Cameron Aldridge (all Year 11) finished an impressive third, narrowly losing in the semi-finals. Joshua Adams was named a top-five speaker at the tournament.

At the Canterbury Secondary Schools’ Debating Competition, the StAC White team of Luke Wylie, Emily Keith (both Year 13) and James Hart (Year 12) beat StAC Blue (Harry Anderson, Mia Fraser (both Year 13) and Liam Hackston (Year 12) in the semi-final to qualify for the final against St Margaret’s College, which was eventually won by
St Margaret’s.


A team of Year 13 Economics students, Lachlan Odlin, Finlay Fairweather-Logie, Jedd Bright, Luke Wylie and Thomas MacLean, won second place at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s 2023 Monetary Policy Challenge, which asked students to suggest what the next direction of the Official Cash Rate (OCR) should be, and when that should take place.


Isobel Forsey (Year 12) won the Alliance Française Year 12 French Speaking Competition for Canterbury.


Alex and Luke Manson (both Year 10) competed in the South Island Finals of the New Zealand Physics and Mathematics Competition (NZPMC). In the Junior category (Years 9–11), Luke came first, and Alex came fourth.
Joshua Exon (Year 10) achieved a top 30 placing in New Zealand in the University of Otago Junior Mathematics Competition, out of 4800 Year 9–11 students throughout New Zealand.

The StAC A team of Bryan Cooper, James Hart, Aaron Moore and Chantelle Xiong (all Year 12) won the CMA Year 12 Mathematics Competition.

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