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From the Rector

Regulus Address // Combined Issue 2 and 3 // November 2020

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This edition of Regulus captures the activity of those associated with St Andrew’s College during a remarkable time in our school’s history.

Over 103 years, the College’s students, staff, and families have faced many challenges which have been marked over time. These have shaped people and progress at certain points in our development and collectively have created our story and culture.

While in Christchurch we have faced our fair share of disaster and tragedy over the last 10 years, the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a rare moment in history of shared experience, the impact of which has not been seen since World War II. At the same time that there is a global response waged against an invisible foe, we must also respond as a localised community and develop our strategy and resilience as we rise to the challenge ahead.

In the stories told here, we see our community which has banded together to help those most in need with an impressive fundraising effort through the St Andrew’s College Community Support Programme.

We see the initiative and positivity of students in the HeadsUp communications from our Head of College, the Scream for Malawi World Vision campaign from Community Service Leaders, and the student conference organised by our Well-being Leaders, to name but a few recent student initiatives.

We see the resilience of our students as they have risen above their disappointments of cancelled sports tournaments, the cancellation of seven overseas trips, and many other student activities. We see the commitment and generosity of teachers and staff who have rapidly learnt new skills and discovered new ways of successfully engaging their students in online learning.

We see the wholeheartedness of people who put aside their feelings and needs to ensure events such as productions, concerts, reunions, and student social activities were rescheduled numerous times so that the student experience was not diminished in this challenging year.

We see the incredible success of a wide range of sports teams, including Senior A netball, 1st XV rugby, Senior Girls’ basketball, Senior A Girls’ badminton and Senior ice hockey, who have all claimed top tier regional titles, and the Senior Boys’ basketball who were runners-up, in a year where determination and resilience have won over frustration, disappointment, and challenge.

We see academic success in national competitions like never before, with a remarkable nine ICAS medals for top marks in New Zealand won by seven students, and a significant number of Gold Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Awards achieved by Year 13 students and recent Old Collegians. Recently nine of these young people received their awards in the presence of the Governor General at a ceremony in our St Andrew’s Centennial Chapel.

We see our talented Music, Drama, production, Dance, and Debating students stepping up to new heights of performance, songwriting and competition, with a top six placing for our talented Jeon brother and sister duo, Samuel (Year 12) and Christine (Year 9), in the Chamber Music Competition national finals, and an incredible display of talent in a variety of concerts and competitions.

It is not surprising that I wonder what made this such a successful year in less than ideal circumstances. With more time may come greater understanding, however, I believe that our St Andrew’s College Well-being programme has strengthened us with a focus on gratitude and hope. Both individually and collectively we have drawn upon the attributes and skills learnt over recent years, which have encouraged us to focus on opportunities and possibility, rather than default to a deficit mindset.

At the end of 2018, we launched our St Andrew’s College strategic vision, Framing Our Future. Of course, we can never reliably predict what the future will hold, however, our vision statement committed ‘to be at the leading edge of high performance educational practice, in a community which values caring for others, tradition, and creativity’. Two years into this five-year strategic cycle we are seeing the fruits of our collective goals, through the resolve of teachers and support staff. This seems to be playing out in this remarkable list of recent achievements.

High performance educational practice currently requires our leaders, like in any other business, to draw upon a mix of innovation and creativity to respond to unexpected events. Our leaders and experts in teaching and learning are attempting to strike the right balance, one eye on the microscope and the other on the telescope, as we pay attention to all our students’ needs, as they navigate their way through these crucial years of learning development.

At the same time, however, we must remain alert to the possibilities of this new educational landscape. This challenge has been embraced by our senior leadership and educational planning team, who will ensure that we not only survive the disruption but revive our community with a new sense of purpose and continue to thrive, even in uncertain times. But most important is that St Andrew’s College is a community of good people. People who are focused on the collective, rather than the individual good. People who are generous of spirit and recognise and celebrate the strengths of others. These kinds of people have always been at the heart of St Andrew’s and are the reason why our school has been able to rise above past challenges in difficult times. 

In this edition of Regulus, we remember these people, whose spirit has inspired us, and we celebrate what we have collectively achieved in 2020.

We sincerely thank all students, staff, parents, extended families, and Old Collegians, who have contributed to this memorable year, where step by step we continue to build upon the
St Andrew’s College story.

Christine Leighton
Rector

The Rector's Address from the combined second and third edition of Regulus for 2020.

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