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From the Head of Secondary School

On Strowan - Volume 13 // Issue 7 // 20 September 2018

More news for Secondary School

The Secondary School covers Years 9–13. Head of Secondary School is Evert van Florenstein.

I cannot believe that we are at the end of another term. Once again, it has been an incredibly busy and successful term for many of our students, both in the classroom and in co-curricular activities.

The new venue for the parent/teacher evenings was well received by both the parents and the teachers. It appeared less noisy and far more spacious. I am truly grateful for the enormous number of parents who came to the parent/teacher interviews. The interviews are so important as they allow the school to give direct feedback to the parents, and/or the student, on what the student is doing well and what they could be working on. These evenings also provide us with further opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the school and the home.

Congratulations to the Heads of Dance, Isabella Pringle (Year 12) and Ariel Wei Chien (Ariel) Tan (Year 13), and their support team who organised and led the Dance Revue in Week 6. The performances were of a very high standard and what was remarkable was that in nearly all instances the items were completely student led.

Film Fest was a huge hit. Well done to Leo Noordanus and Jackson Page (both Year 13), with the support of Miss Liz Gormack, on running such a successful and entertaining event. Well done on the number and quality of the short films screened. 

At the end of last season’s winter competitions, I thought it would be a long time before we would see another season as successful. However, it appears that we have done it again. The Girls’ A football team won the Premier Grade final 8–0 against Marian College, the Girls’ A basketball team also won the Premier Grade final in style, with a 73–59 win against Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, and the Boys’ A hockey team won the Canterbury final against Christ’s College in a nail-biting shootout. Honourable mention must also go to the Girls’ A netball team who lost the SuperNet final, the Boys’ football who lost in the semis, and the Boys’ basketball team who made it to the quarter-finals of their respective premier competitions.

I had the good fortune to visit many of our sports teams in Winter Tournament Week. I was in a different city every day for nearly a week. I was so impressed by the conduct and focus of all our teams both on and off the field. Probably the most memorable game that I saw was between our St Andrew’s College football team against Otumoetai College from Tauranga, our girls were magnificent in fighting hard to win a very close match to earn the right to play for fifth and sixth in the country, a remarkable achievement for such a young team.

Congratulations to all the teams who attended their national tournaments, all of whom qualified for Tier 1 status (top 16 nationally), quite an achievement. Congratulations also to the teams who attended the South Island tournaments. Special mention to the Girls’ A and Boys’ A basketball teams who gained first and fifth respectively and thereby qualifying for their respective Tier 1 national tournaments in the September holidays. A special mention also to the Girls’ A netball team who gained eighth place in the South Island competition.

There were a several notable wins for our academic teams this term. The Year 10 Cantamath team, who competed at the Horncastle Arena against the other schools in the region, were the overall winners of the mathematics competition after extra time. An honourable mention should also go to the Year 9 team who were placed second in Canterbury. The Year 11 Geography team won the regional Geography competition and was then announced as the fifth best team in the country.

Congratulations to all the NCEA students on how they have conducted themselves in the preliminary examinations. I hope that this has been a useful exercise and an opportunity for them to identify gaps in their knowledge and understanding that need attending to before the November NCEA examinations. Teachers will be making the results available either at the end of this term or early next term.

Many parents have been asking about our progress of our Family Zone app ‘Mobile Zone’ – click here for more details, including an FAQ. Happily, we have finally completed our work with Family Zone regarding our concerns over the lack of clarity of their privacy policy and terms of service. We will therefore be able to offer this application to families of all Year 7–10 students, and plan to do so at the end of the term. This will involve gathering consent from our community to our own Family Zone Privacy Policy (available to read – click here). Sign up to this service is optional, but only those students in Years 7–10 with the app installed will be permitted to use their smartphones at College during the school day or otherwise while in the care of St Andrew’s College.

We will also be engaging all our students and parents requiring consent to our updated student cybersafety use agreements. This document, previously only signed upon entry to St Andrew’s College, will now be required to be consented to upon an annual basis. 

For those choosing to take up the Family Zone service, consent to all the above will trigger a process by which a link will be sent out to parents which will enable registration completion.

We would like to thank you for your patience while we have progressed this project through to this point, it has certainly taken longer than we envisaged, but we do feel the journey will ultimately have been worthwhile.


Evert van Florenstein
Head of Secondary School
Deputy for Rector

On Strowan - Volume 13 //  Issue 7 // 20 September 2018