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Well-being at StAC

Te Hauora ki StAC

“At St Andrew’s College our focus is not only academic, sporting and cultural achievement, but also building the character, backbone, and self-respect that will support our Collegians through life’s ups and downs.”
Kerry Larby, Head of Positive Education and Well-being

At St Andrew’s College, we not only want our students to flourish in their learning but also to establish a strong foundation for ongoing success in their lives beyond school. 

Our teachers understand well-being is central to all we do, and we believe developing character is as important as cultivating intellect. We appreciate that learning is a social, emotional and cognitive process, and it is our focus to inspire and engage the whole child.

Since 2017, St Andrew’s College has committed to a whole school strategic goal to embrace evidence-based research related to well-being and positive psychology. Staff professional development focuses on integrating research related to building positive relationships, promoting emotional intelligence and resilience, enhancing self-efficacy and fostering motivation, engagement, and purpose.

A well-being focus is integrated into our curricular, co-curricular and pastoral programmes. Our school culture strongly supports student well-being by valuing the importance of positive relationships and celebrating diversity.

We aspire for our Collegians to be:

  • resilient and confident;
  • able to relate well to others;
  • critical thinkers and informed decision-makers;
  • contributors to a purpose greater than themselves.

Our well-being models and frameworks

Well-being is defined to be about feeling good and functioning well (Huppert and So, 2013). At St Andrew’s, students develop their understanding of well-being through the lens of several models.


Firstly, our community has developed a shared understanding of well-being as a complex and holistic concept using a modified version of Martin Seligman’s (2011) evidence-based model PERMA: PERMA-V.

PERMA-V Framework


PERMA-V comprises of six key pillars that contribute to psychological well-being and are particularly relevant to a school context. These include positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose, accomplishment, and vitality.

Click here for more information about how we use PERMVA-V to support our well-being approach.

Te Whare Tapa Whā model

Hauora and Te Whare Tapa Whā

Within our Physical Education and Health curriculum, students learn and apply the Māori philosophy of Hauora using Sir Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā (1984) model. Unique to New Zealand, Hauora acknowledges the interdependence of taha hinengaro (mental and emotional well-being), taha tinana (physical well-being), taha whānau (social well-being) and taha wairua (spiritual well-being).

In chapel, students explore well-being through a Christian lens reflecting on themes such as Faith, Hope, Compassion, Respect, Honesty, Generosity and Responsibility.

VIA Character Strengths

At St Andrew's College, we believe that character development is just as important as intellectual growth. Our goal is to help students discover and develop their own unique character strengths, including resilience, empathy, curiosity, self-control, emotional and social intelligence, and conscientiousness.

We prioritise character development in all our experiences, whether it's through our co-curricular programme or in the classroom. For example, our co-curricular programme helps students develop skills like perseverance, creativity, and self-regulation, while community service teaches kindness, and overnight camps encourage bravery and teamwork.

To ensure that character development is a central focus of our curriculum, we use the Values in Action (VIA) Classification of Character developed by Peterson and Seligman (2005). This framework helps us identify, explore, and apply our students' signature character strengths. By prioritising character development, we believe that we are fulfilling the overarching purpose of education: to prepare our students to find engagement and meaningfully contribute to the world.

Click here for more information about VIA Character Strengths.

Our health and well-being programmes

We understand that creating a culture that values well-being is far broader than any specific programme and includes experiential learning and interaction with positive role models.

With this in mind, we have developed comprehensive well-being programmes in both the Preparatory School and the Secondary School to best support our students' health and well-being. These lessons build upon our traditional pastoral system. Click here to read an outline of topics covered in a structured way in our curriculum.

To find out more about well-being at St Andrew's, read our blog by clicking here.

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