Pasifika student group performing

Co-curricular and Cultural Activities

Mahi Marau-Turuki, Mahi Ahurea

We believe co-curricular activity is integral to a young person’s development. We offer an exceptional range of sporting, recreational, musical, and other performance opportunities to our students, ensuring they can discover their potential, explore their interests, express their talents, and strive for excellence in their activity of choice.

Co-curricular and cultural opportunities

At St Andrew’s, students can participate in everything from speech and drama, to dance, Highland dance, ballet and music. Professional tuition in singing and a wide range of instruments is offered, with the opportunity for students to join our jazz and concert bands, choirs, barbershop groups, chamber groups, rock bands, and our internationally acclaimed Pipe Band.

Productions in the Preparatory School, Middle School and Senior College include large numbers of students in performance and behind the scenes roles and are among the many highlights on the cultural calendar, plus StAC Attack, Dance Revue, and Film Fest.

Two female students at Prizegiving kapa haka with poi


Music students thrive at St Andrew’s because their individual needs are always prioritised. Our highly talented teaching staff, state of the art music suites and recording studio, and use of exciting technologies and innovative teaching programmes provides a first class environment in which music students can reach their full potential, no matter the instrument your child plays or the style of music they’re into. In addition to our core NCEA Music programme, St Andrew’s music groups are highly regarded with numerous choral and instrumental groups to choose from in both the Preparatory and Secondary Schools, not to mention our extensive itinerant music tuition programme.

Jazz Club performance at Fat Eddie's

Pipe Band

Formed in 1919 the Pipe Band is an integral part of the College’s heritage and Scottish tradition and remains an important part of the fabric of St Andrew’s. The St Andrew’s College Pipe Band is New Zealand’s premier Secondary School Pipe Band, which regularly wins National and Provincial Championships. Individuals in the band are privately tutored in the College’s purpose built Askin Pipe Band Centre, by world-class international tutors who are the very best in their field. They are developed to be the best they can be, and are given opportunities to meet, learn and compete internationally. Membership of our internationally renowned Pipe Band is a special opportunity open to all students at the College.

Pipers performing in Scotland.

Ballet Academy

St Andrew’s College is the only school in New Zealand offering a co-educational integrated Ballet programme right on campus. Our comprehensive programme from Pre-school to Year 13 offers classes seamlessly transitioning from academic to sessions in the Ballet studio. Here, students receive specialised instruction in classical technique, artistry, musicality, and the joy of performance. Dancers undergo yearly examinations, partake in annual productions, and explore dance genres like jazz, lyrical, national character, and contemporary. Extension classes, including Pilates and Pointe, are also available. Beyond the physical demands of ballet, our StAC Ballet programme cultivates essential character traits such as self-confidence, perseverance, and self-esteem, leaving a lasting impact on each dancer’s life.

Ballet students performing in the production

Performing Arts

The Performing Arts Department at St Andrew’s College offers students exciting opportunities to shine and enhance their performance skills in acting, singing, and dancing. These disciplines are integrated into rehearsals and performances, fostering confident and flexible artists. What sets our Performing Arts programme apart is the collaboration among passionate educators in our Drama, Music, and Dance Departments. Together, they uphold a high standard of performance, nurturing a culture of excellence among students.

Drama has been an integral part of life at St Andrew’s right throughout the College’s long history. Today this legacy continues through our strong creative team, who lead a cohort of enthusiastic, talented students to produce impressive productions across all year levels. The Senior College Production (Years 11–13) is a major event on the cultural calendar, open to students interested in singing, dancing and acting. The annual Middle School Production (Years 9–10) is another popular event, with Preparatory School Productions taking place biennially. Students also have the opportunity to learn about and get involved with behind-the-scenes roles, such as sound, music and lighting, costumes, make-up, set design, props, stage management, directing and producing.

As part of the community of StAC dancers, students perform at assemblies, school events, and work towards the highly successful Dance Revue, a student-led performance initiative. After school classes are available in the Dance Studio, with additional specialist classes for Junior Jazz, Senior Jazz, Junior Hip Hop, Senior Hip Hop and Musical Theatre.

Middle School production, Antoinette's Showstoppers

Television and Film

St Andrew’s College is fortunate to have the only professional production studio and control room complex in a New Zealand secondary school. Here, students can conceive, plan, rehearse, and execute full-fledged television productions without leaving campus. The studio is well-equipped with cameras, lights, editing gear, and a 32-channel sound desk. It provides an outlet for students passionate about the arts or those interested in the practical and technical aspects of production. Many St Andrew’s students, whose passion for TV performance and production was sparked at the College, have gone on to great things within the industry in New Zealand and overseas.

Student filming in the tv studio.
Middle school students performing a haka

Māori & Pasifika Group and Kapa Haka

The Māori and Pasifika group at St Andrew’s College is a wonderful opportunity for students to come together to learn and celebrate Māori and Pasifika performance (song and dance), learn about the different cultures and develop cultural intelligence. Our Kapa Haka performs at several special occasions during the year, including the Mihi Whakatau, various assemblies, prizegivings, opening and blessing ceremonies, at a number of chapel services, and also welcomes new groups or VIPs to the College. The group also take part in the Tūhono Festival each year.

Preparatory speech in the Centennial Chapel

Speech and Drama

Our Speech and Drama lessons cover a wide range of skills, including communication, scripted and impromptu drama, poetry, storytelling, and public speaking. Former students have discovered that these abilities enhance their employability, whether in performing arts or any field requiring effective communication. Students can opt for Speech New Zealand or Trinity Guildhall examinations or simply attend to boost confidence, enjoy themselves, and enhance their drama, speaking, and communication skills alongside their peers.

Students during a debate


Debating is an excellent choice for Secondary School students who like to think on their feet and analyse or evaluate issues. This activity helps student to develop their public speaking, impromptu, analytical, and critical skills. They learn to create a complex argument based on underlying values, principles and flow on effects, and engage with the opposition’s argument. Students compete against other Canterbury schools each term.

Student and teacher performing theatresports


Theatresports is a form of improvisational theatre where opposing teams create scenes on the spot based on audience suggestions. It’s a high-energy activity that encourages quick wit, drama, and comedy. Students learn to listen, think on their feet, and gain confidence speaking in front of an audience. On stage, they can become anyone—singing, dancing, miming, acting out movies, or even Shakespearean roles. Our competitive Secondary School teams participate in the Court Theatre Secondary Schools’ Competition throughout the year.

Co-curricular Clubs

Co-curricular clubs provide our students an opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom, fostering connections with fellow students across the school. Whether social or competitive, these groups accommodate both novices and experts.

  • Preparatory School Clubs

    Preparatory School children can choose to sign up for the following clubs:

    • Art Club

    • Chess Club

    • Games Club

    • Minecraft Club

    • Stitch Club

  • Secondary School Clubs

    Secondary School students can choose to sign up for the following clubs:

    • Chess Club

    • Digitech Club

    • International Club

    • Junior Young Farmers Club

    • Writing for Publication Club

Preparatory student playing chess