Teacher and children doing crafts in the pre-school.


Kura Kōhungahunga

Our Pre-school is nestled within the expansive St Andrew's College campus, offering a modern, nurturing environment where each child's uniqueness is celebrated. We believe that each child is unique and possesses their own set of talents, interests, and strengths. Our programme is designed to encourage exploration, creativity, and problem-solving, allowing children to make sense of their world at their own pace.

Meet our team

Our focus on team consistency, small team size, and low student to teacher ratio makes us an excellent choice for your child. Our dedicated and fully registered teachers are the Pre-school’s biggest asset and provide endless support and encouragement to our children. With a genuine love for the children, they are committed to providing a nurturing, safe environment where children can thrive and achieve excellence in a wide range of activities and endeavours. Our dedicated teachers foster exploration, creativity, and problem-solving, allowing children to understand their world at their own pace.

Mandy Jenkins

Head of Pre-school (Since 2022)

  • Master of Science majoring in Psychology (MSc)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching majoring in Early Childhood Education (PGDipTch)

Jan Marshall

Team Leader (Since 2000)

  • Diploma of Teaching (ECE)

Joanna Gregg

Teacher (Since 2000)

  • Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (ECE)
  • Diploma of Teaching (ECE)
  • Graduate Certificate in Management (ECE)

Emma Richards

Teacher (Since 2011)

  • Bachelor of Performing Arts
  • Diploma of Teaching (ECE)

Ashleigh Gargiulo

Teacher (Since 2018)

  • Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (ECE)
  • Diploma of Teaching (ECE)

Nadine Freeborn

Teacher (Since 2017)

  • Diploma of Teaching (ECE)

"Every child’s individuality is acknowledged and celebrated. Our Pre-school programme ensures that all children are encouraged to explore their world, knowing their curiosity and wonder is valued and nurtured."

Mandy Jenkins Head of Pre-school

Why StAC Pre-school

In our bright, modern learning environment children can freely explore their individual interests with lots of support and encouragement. Smaller ratios of teachers to children provide more one-on-one support and care. Our Pre-school’s biggest asset is our warm, friendly, fully registered teachers, who have a genuine love for the children, and are dedicated to providing a nurturing, safe environment in which the children can thrive.

A vibrant classroom area provides a colourful backdrop for inquiry-based learning, imaginative play and creative pursuits. A love of the natural world is encouraged, with the philosophy that supporting the children to care for plants and animals (such as a vegetable garden, life cycles of butterflies and frogs, and tropical fish) helps them to discover things about themselves and to develop their sense of Wairua, or spirit.

Children playing with a water table in the Pre-school playground.

Our Pre-school values

At the heart of all learning is the need for children to have a sense of self and connection as a capable and confident learner.

Compassion – love, respect and honesty.
Connection – trust, community and relationships.
Inquiry – reflections, exploration and learning.
Inspiration – Self-expression, creativity and fun.

St Andrew's College Pre-school values
Children playing in the sandpit at pre-school.

Our vision

Create a beautiful learning environment where children are guided to direct their own learning alongside professional teachers, family and whānau, and the local community.

Children playing with bubbles in the pre-school playground.

Our philosophy

At the heart of learning is the need for children to have a sense of self and connection as a capable and confident learner. The principles of the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum (Te Whāriki) our embodied in our philosophy, celebrating each child’s potential. The relationship between the Pre-school and the wider St Andrew’s College community further enriches our curriculum and gives us the opportunity to work in partnership to support your child’s ongoing learning journey. By fostering a strong foundation based on our Four Priorities for Learning, we empower children to explore, collaborate, and problem-solve.

Our children engage in experiences that promote mindfulness, peace, and joy. Playing alongside each other in a beautiful environment, they work collaboratively, problem-solve, and develop social competence skills. Sustainability and cultural diversity are integral to our philosophy, and we celebrate the bicultural partnership of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Relationships are at the heart of our programme, and we embrace all cultures and beliefs our families encompass.

Interior of the pre-school.

Modern facilities

Connection with the wider St Andrew’s College community is one of our Pre-school’s unique strengths and gives us access to many exciting facilities on the wider St Andrew’s campus, such as the gymnasiums, sports fields, libraries, Ballet and Dance Studios, Science laboratories, Art suites, theatre, and the Centennial Chapel.

Our light-filled Pre-school facilities, garden and outdoor play area provides an environment for the children to engage in inquiry-based learning, imaginative play, and creative pursuits. Inside, the large open plan area is divided into separate rooms for different curriculum areas, such as building and construction, a family area complete with a kitchen and dining room, a snug with tiered seating for reading and quiet activities, and a dedicated Art Studio. Our transition room is available for older children to have their own space or do extension activities. It also provides a sleeping area, with individual beds and bedding for children who require a sleep during the daytime.

A child drawing in the pre-school.

Our curriculum

Our four priorities for learning are respectful relationships, communication, independence and resilience, and creativity. Our curriculum has been developed in consultation with the Junior Department at the St Andrew’s College Preparatory School to provide our children with a wide range of experiences to prepare for their primary school years. The children are supported on a unique journey of investigation and discovery, as they undertake inquiry-based learning in literacy, numeracy, science, art, cultural studies, physical education and music.

We regularly assess and enhance our environment in response to the needs and interests of the children. Each child is placed in an age-appropriate group with a key teacher who is responsible for the documentation of their learning and development. Other specialist staff and teachers in the St Andrew’s College community are called on as required, in areas including Learning Support, extension, and evaluation.

Child making a rice ball in the pre-school.

Learning through enrichment

During the week, the children participate in one of our exciting enrichment activities. These support the Pre-school’s learning curriculum and extend each child’s experiences and learning. Activities include:

• yoga and mindfulness;
• cooking;
• drama;
• Spanish;
• te reo Māori.

Our on-campus Ballet Academy caters for dancers from the Pre-school through to Year 13. Click here for more information.

Children playing with Lego.

Social Competency

Our Pre-school provides a nurturing physical and emotional environment, in which the children are encouraged to develop a broad set of skills in social competency, including the ability to form close, secure relationships, engage in positive interactions with others, problem-solve, be persistent, develop strategies for conflict resolution, understand, express, and regulate their emotions, and develop an understanding of positive behaviours for learning.

Children in the new entrant Preparatory School classroom.

Smooth transition to school

We also collaborate with the Preparatory School to develop our curriculum, share resources, and implement a range of transition-to- school initiatives. This ensures that our Pre-school children are well-prepared for the next stage of their education. Numeracy and literacy skills are enhanced in the Pre-school’s extension room, which is equipped with Montessori resources.

Exterior of the pre-school building.

Hours of operation

The Pre-school is located on the St Andrew's College campus on Normans Road off Papanui Road, Christchurch. Our hours of operation are 8.00am–4.30pm Monday to Friday. We also continue to operate during state school term breaks and attendance during these breaks is optional.

Children playing in the pre-school.

Our fees

We accept children aged from two to five years and offer 20 hours of Early Childhood Education (ECE) funding.

Child holding up a craft project.

ERO report

The latest ERO Report for the St Andrew's Pre-school was published in 2020.

Children gardening in the pre-school.

Pre-school prospectus

To learn more about our wonderful Pre-school please read our prospectus.

Contact Information


For any further enquiries, please contact Head of Pre-school, Mandy Jenkins.