Students outside Strowan House.

Middle School

Kura Waenga

The St Andrew’s College Middle School (Years 9, 10 and 11) provides a safe co-ed environment that encourages independent learning through the delivery of engaging experiences that foster high educational achievement and excellence. The academic emphasis is on providing a sound grounding in essential learning areas while expanding the range of subject options and preparing students for NCEA assessments which commence in Year 11. As students transition to the Senior College at St Andrew’s, they leave the Middle School well-prepared for their crucial final two years.

Our vision

We recognise that Years 9–11 are vitally important, as students balance the challenges of adolescence with the skills and values necessary to achieve highly. We want our students to feel confident in their learning ability, both inside and outside the classroom. Our students are encouraged to learn self-discipline and organisational skills, become socially responsible, and take accountability for all actions.

Our philosophy

Our vision for students by the end of Year 11 is to equip them with holistic skills that prepare them for the future. We foster growth across all aspects of their education, including academics, co-curricular activities, spirituality, and social development. Regardless of their current abilities or talents, every child in the Middle School is valued and encouraged to cultivate resilience and dedication to their learning.

Students at a Middle School chapel service.

Our Leadership Team

Director of Boarding Matt Parr.

Matt Parr

Head of Middle School, Director of Boarding

Boarding House Manager Liz Gormack.

Liz Gormack

Assistant Head of Middle School, Year 10 Dean, Thompson House Manager

James Jenkinson, dean.

James Jenkinson

Year 9 Dean, English Teacher

Lucy Curtis, dean.

Lucy Curtis

Year 11 Dean, Physical Education and Health Teacher

Middle School students in the quad.

Joining the Middle School

The St Andrew’s College Middle School begins at Year 9, providing a supportive co-educational environment for new students to pursue academic, cultural, and sporting excellence. Our strong peer support programme ensures that Year 9 students feel welcome, comfortable, and safe from their first day on campus. Additionally, we welcome new Year 11 students who join us for their first year of NCEA. Many are drawn to our Options programme, which offers a wide range of exciting subjects not always available at other schools.

Students studying in the classroom.

Developing lifelong learners

We recognise that the years from ages 13–16 are vitally important, as students balance the challenges of adolescence with the skills and values necessary to develop. We provide opportunities for students of all abilities, interests, and backgrounds to develop fully as life-long learners. We help young people create healthy relationships with their peers and acquire the skills and values necessary to be the best they can be. Our vision is to build better people, for life.

Teacher with a Middle School student.

Tutor group system

Tutors play a pivotal role in the College, acting as primary caregivers for students in their group, overseeing academic progress, co-curricular activities, and well-being programmes while sharing the school's vision. They establish connections with parents, serve as the first point of contact for student concerns, and relay information from other staff. The tutor system emphasises small group dynamics, regular interaction, and fostering a sense of belonging, aiming to connect students with caring adults, promote school values, and maximise their potential.

Teachers with students talking outside of Centennial Chapel

Well-being and pastoral care

Pastoral care at St Andrew’s College integrates academic, social, and religious aspects to cultivate a caring environment. It addresses student needs encompassing well-being, self-esteem, career guidance, spiritual development, moral growth, social skills, and academic progress. The system aims to connect each student with a supportive adult, promote well-being, and empower students to excel in the school community.

Te Waka programme

Te Waka is a distinctive Year 10 educational programme at St Andrew's, integrating existing strands such as The Rite Journey, Health Education, Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award, and Outdoor Education. Central to Te Waka is The Rite Journey, reimagining the traditional rite of passage to foster responsibility and self-awareness through ceremonies, discussions, and reflection. Each core class divides into male and female Te Waka groups, enabling tailored delivery either separately or together, with dedicated time guided by same-gender teachers to cultivate strong student-mentor relationships.

Throughout the year, students delve into themes of consciousness, connection, communication, challenge, and celebration, focusing on understanding self, others, spirit, and the world around them. The programme's objectives include offering a structured life skills curriculum, providing Year 10 students with a unifying purpose, fostering relationships among students, families, mentors, and teachers, enhancing self-awareness and interpersonal skills, and nurturing responsible and resilient individuals poised for long-term success.

Happy students blowing bubbles at the beach.

The Middle School curriculum

The major aims for learning in the Middle School are to give students a sound grounding in the core subjects, give them the opportunity to explore and experience a wide range of other curriculum areas with specialist teachers, and to provide sound preparation in the subjects they are studying for external awards and qualifications. High educational achievement is encouraged at all year levels in the Middle School. We purposefully keep class numbers smaller to enable our dedicated, highly skilled teachers to closely monitor students’ progress, provide optimum teaching and learning support, and extend their abilities.

Co-ed students in the classroom.

Assessment and reporting

Assessment plays a significant part in our education system. The Fortnightly Feedback system allows teachers to regularly inform parents about their child's engagement and effort in learning. Using a simple 1–5 scale, students are rated based on their performance, with explanations provided for each score. This feedback supplements the formal academic reports and teacher meetings, ensuring open communication and addressing any concerns promptly in line with the school's 'no surprises policy'.

A Record of Achievement is an evolving document reflecting students' skill development across various learning experiences, serving as evidence of their competencies applicable to academic pursuits and beyond. It is distributed after the final report of the year, and for Year 11 students, after confirmation of all NCEA results. The document aims to heighten awareness of the learning process, foster reflection on personal growth, provide a platform for independent skill identification, aid in future planning, and serve as a comprehensive record of students' accomplishments, useful for interviews and career endeavours.

Students with a teacher in class.

ACEE Gifted and Talented programme

In the Secondary School, the Years 9–10 ACEE programmes are offered as an elective subject, with academically gifted and/or talented students formally invited to participate. The selection of modules for Year 9–10 ACEE programmes is based on the intellectual and creative abilities of the student cohort, incorporating inquiry-based learning, problem-solving activities, impact projects, and opportunities for showcasing work to the school community. While Year 11–13 ACEE students don't have dedicated classes, they regularly engage in academic and cultural extension activities, including Model United Nations and Model European Union Conferences, Philosophy Conferences, Da Vinci Decathlon, Neuroscience Brain Bee Competition, STAR extension programs through the University of Canterbury, academic mentoring, and Future Problem Solving.

Learning support

Learning Support aims to provide students who have learning challenges with the extra help they need to develop their foundation skills in reading, writing and mathematics. At Years 9 and 10 we have four accelerated learning classes, two at each year level, where students get intensive instruction to help them catch up, so they are ready to tackle Level 1 NCEA. We also provide a literacy option for students who need to improve their reading and writing skills. Intensive one-on-one private tuition is also available for students in any year group with our Seabrook McKenzie tutors. There are also a range of extra tutoring opportunities. At Year 11, the Learning Support Department runs special study groups for students who need help in specific areas.

Teacher with a Middle School class.

Learning with technology

The vision for e-Learning at St Andrew’s College has the student at the centre of all learning and envisions learners who can connect confidently and actively in their community. We aim to produce responsible students who make informed decisions when using ICT in their learning. To support this vision, all students are required to bring their own laptop to school, selected from a range of recommended models. This environment where there is one computer of comparable functionality to each student is known as 1:1 Computing, which is different to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programme.

Students working on VEX robot in a group

Digital literacy

Digital Citizenship at St Andrew’s College comprises four strands which are embedded throughout the curriculum. This is reinforced for Year 9 students who are enrolled in a whole year Digital Literacy Programme.

  • Connected

    Connected – being a connected student at StAC is to have access to various technologies, fluent in basic computer competencies, and has experience with core software to further their learning.

  • Confident

    Confident – being a confident student at StAC is to understand what it means to be a digital citizen – someone who interacts with the digital world responsibly and safely.

  • Active

    Active – students actively use digital tools for learning both in and outside the classroom, making use of the resources on offer and exploring opportunities for new styles of learning through technology.

  • Community

    Community – students will use technology responsibly to connect with diverse learners and experts beyond classrooms, sharing their learning online, while teachers facilitate cross-cultural exchanges and subject expertise through video-conferencing.

Teacher and student working on a laptop in class.

StAC Unplugged

The StAC Unplugged initiative is intended to encourage more purposeful social interactions and the embracing of interpersonal relationships through person-to-person conversations. Introduced in 2020, students are not allowed to use their phones between 8.30am and 3.20pm. We have found that limiting the use of mobile phones in class and during break times minimises opportunities for inappropriate use and reduces the risk of unwarranted distractions. The College is also keenly aware of research that has shown clear links between obsessive social media usage and anxiety and depression. We also provide guidance to students regarding appropriate usage of modern technology and social media, both of which have a place under this initiative as well as in the world beyond the school gates.

Students playing with bubbles in the quad.

Student leadership

In the Middle School, students are offered leadership roles and positions of responsibility, requiring teamwork, effective communication, and reliability. Middle School Leaders, selected from Year 11, undertake various leadership and service tasks, including organising events, charity work, and representing the school. Year 9 and 10 students also have opportunities for leadership, with avenues to propose and pursue initiatives throughout the year, encouraged to consult with their tutors or Deans for guidance.

Middle School Leaders 2024

Sports and Athlete Development Programme

The Secondary School provides an extensive array of sporting opportunities for students. Our sports programme is directed by our Director of Sport and Co-curricular activities, who ensures it reflects current trends, meets the needs of students, and provides a pathway for those students who want to achieve at the highest possible level.

Sport is compulsory in Years 9–12, and is highly encouraged in Year 13, as is participation in our annual athletic sports, swimming, and cross-country events. Students have the opportunity to attend inter-school sports competitions at local, regional and national level, plus take part in our annual sports exchange programme.

The Athlete Sports Development programme for Years 9–10 is an innovative programme designed to cater for young sports people interested in developing their knowledge in what it takes to become a high-performing student athlete. Content is delivered progressively over two years and students involved in this course will learn valuable lessons to assist with all areas of life. Students in Year 11 can take part in the Athlete Sports Performance programme, which is an extension of the Years 9–10 Athlete Sports Development programme, where students involved have the opportunity to continue to apply knowledge with greater independence under the guidance of expert mentors.

Year 9 netball team playing.

Co-curricular culturalactivities and clubs

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 Middle School 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 FilmFest.

Students in the Middle School production, The Little Mermaid.

Castle Hill and beyond the classroom

For over 25 years, our Outdoor Education Programme has provided high-quality outdoor experiences. At the very start of Year 9 we bring students together offsite so they may build positive relationships with their peers and teachers, develop whanaungatanga, establish culture and experience challenge. The Year 10 camp brings together and extends the skills and concepts learnt in previous camps, providing opportunities for students to further develop responsibility, participate and contribute, deal with adversity, and extend personal and interdependent skills. Weather permitting, students participate in activities such as safety above the bush line, skiing, and snow caving. Outdoor programmes for Years 11– 13 are tailored to meet the specific training and leadership requirements of different groups within the College.

Students hiking at Castle Hill.

You may be interested in ...

St Andrew's College students in Middle School uniform.


St Andrew’s College uniform is available exclusively from the College Shop, Thistles, and from our Second-hand Uniform Shop run by the PTA, both located on campus.

St Andrew's College driveway

ERO Report

The latest ERO Report for the St Andrew's College was published in 2021.

Co-ed students talking outside.


Fees are reviewed each year, with careful consideration given to the factors and costs required to deliver the high-quality education the College delivers.

Contact Information


For further information please contact the College Registrar, Lynn Smith.