On Strowan - Volume 13 // Issue 4 // 31 May 2018
The Secondary School covers Years 9–13. Head of Secondary School is Evert van Florenstein.
The view of our Centennial Chapel and Strowan Stream from my office tells the story of the beginning of winter. The trees are bare and there are still a few stray rusty coloured leaves being swirled around by the wind.
At the beginning of the term we held our annual Open Day, rather than the usual Term 1. This allowed us to be able to showcase our new ‘Green Library and Innovation Centre’ to prospective families. Our Open Day was an enormous success with a record number of families coming to see what St Andrew’s College has to offer. Our students were the star of our Open Day. The Senior College students had the responsibility of showing our prospective families around the College, and the Middle School students were in class as normal being taught by their teachers. The feedback I received from many of the families who toured the College was that they really enjoyed seeing such engaged learners in the classroom, and being able to talk freely and openly to the student guides about life at St Andrew’s College.
Our Open Day was followed by our Year 9 Information Evening on Wednesday 16 May. I could not be prouder of the way in which our students presented on their personal experiences and opportunities at St Andrew’s College. Student voice can be incredibly powerful, and it was certainly well received by the prospective parents and students who were in attendance. The message of choice and opportunity for every student at the College came through loud and clear, and is highly likely to be a factor for another record number of applications for next year’s Year 9 intake.
As part of our well-being initiative, we invited two high profile speakers to come and address our students and parents of the College. Mr Mike King, a comedian and health advocate, spoke to the Senior College students and staff about mental health. His message was that it was very common to feel unwell mentally, and that it was okay to seek help. He also spoke about the importance of families spending time together.
Mr John Parsons, a cybersafe expert, spoke to Year 7–13 students, teachers and parents about keeping yourself safe online. His main message centred around parents being engaged with their children, and giving them love, affirmation and a strong set of values so they would not have to go looking for this online.
The Senior College production of Blood Brothers was simply stunning. The cast and those who put the show together were incredible. The mastery to create such powerful scenes was well beyond what you would expect from a school production, especially for the last scene.
The winter season of sports has started in a very positive manner. Many of our teams are once again looking as though they have the potential to make the play-off rounds at the end of the season. I had the pleasure of being invited to watch the First XI play at their annual Quadrangular Tournament at Saint Kentigern College in Auckland during the April holidays. We won the first game comfortably against Lindisfarne College, Hastings, however, the final against Saint Kentigern College proved to be quite another challenge. After a tough first half with the team being down 45–0, the team showed real character to win the second half with the final score being 62–21.
I would like to make a special mention of Isabella Ambrosius (Year 12) who has been selected as one of 10 young hockey players in the country for the Pathway to Podium Programme. Isabella is the first female hockey player at the College to win a place in this programme, a just reward for all the dedication and hard work she has put into her hockey. We are very proud of her achievement.
Evert van Florenstein
Head of Secondary School