Preparatory School Annual Report 2019

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St Andrew’s College Preparatory School Annual Report 2019

S T A N D R E W ’ S C O L L E G E

Introduction The end-of-year 2019 Preparatory School Annual Report aims to inform the school community about pertinent areas of operation during the year. In particular, it provides information on areas of learning focus and development.

CONTENTS Principal’s Comment


Student-centred Learning Approach


Curriculum/Teaching and Learning


Assessment and Reporting


Well-being and Pastoral Care


Gifted and Talented


Junior Department


Middle Syndicate


Senior Syndicate






Learning Support


Visual Arts




Dance and Drama


Physical Education


Religious Education





Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

2019 was a Year of High-level Academic Achievement Literacy and numeracy advancement was significant, as was the children’s ongoing development of strategies and tools for learning. The children performed well against national benchmarks. Reading

Children at or above national averages – 92.0%


Children at or above national averages – 94.1%


Children at or above national averages – 90.6%

Key Competencies

Children within or above their year level standard – 95.1%

Advances in learning and curriculum approach continued during the year. The Preparatory School is committed to enhancing strategies and skills for learning. The children need to be able to make meaningful connections, and to apply knowledge to a range of situations and contexts. The Preparatory School continued to be visited by teachers, parents, and Board members from other schools. It is considered a showcase and a working example of what a 21st century learning environment looks like. Enjoyment, engagement, personalised learning, and achievement is readily seen at any time during the day.


The school’s learning environment caters for all learning styles and

abilities, and offers a level of diversity, which nurtures and expands all children’s development. The children’s learning is personalised through differentiation; the focus becomes each child’s genuine next steps. This allows each child to work at his or her appropriate level irrespective of year level. Working with small groups, the teacher can scaffold, mentor, and guide the learning. The teacher can also stimulate deeper thinking and understanding through quality questioning. Differentiation also caters for the learning needs of able children. It allows them to work at an extended level but remain in their learning environment with their peer group. This approach also assists the development of their Key Competencies (KCs) or Emotional Intelligence (EQ).

The KCs are considered integral to be a well-rounded and successful learner. A person’s EQ is expected to be a significant factor in securing employment in the future. The primary years are the foundation years for the development of this skill set.

In the Preparatory School we are fortunate to have:

• • • • • •

the ability to implement the New Zealand Curriculum as intended; clarity within the school around effective pedagogy; strong curriculum leadership; competent teachers; enrichment experiences taken   by specialist staff; a rigorous yet supportive teacher performance review process;

• • • •

a physical environment which supports the school’s approach   to learning; the flexibility of large shared areas   as well as smaller (class) rooms.  Either or both can be used depending on the learning environment required at the time; one teacher with one class of children. This ensures that the crucial connections made between the teacher and child (and family) can be maintained, and there is no loss of learning flow; indoor/outdoor flow and connectivity; availability of a range of learning technologies; opportunities for innovation   and creativity; forward looking and timely   future planning. 3

Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

During the year, the children enjoyed high levels of success – there were many outstanding academic, sporting, and cultural achievements. Some of highlights were: • a record number of students won competitions – Writing, Poetry, Speech and Drama, Rotary speeches, Christchurch Music competitions,   and in teams – World Scholar’s Cup, Kapa Haka Festival, and Future Problem Solving; • a greater number of children played and enjoyed more than one sport,   and many achieved regional and national success; • there was significant progress with coding and robotics, and there was opportunity to work in the world of virtual reality; • the gender balance continues to   be evenly balanced; • we continued to be a school in   demand for places.

The Preparatory School’s all-round quality is consistently acknowledged by parents, staff, and students in ongoing surveys. The high level of support for the Preparatory School in all key areas is very pleasing   and affirming. As we look towards 2020, we will have   a targeted Annual Plan which will continue to support the ongoing development of the school’s Student-centred Learning Approach (page 5). This model incorporates the intention and emphasis of the New Zealand Curriculum. All staff professional learning next year will link to the Annual Plan targets and expected outcomes. The 2020 school year is set to be an exciting and productive year for students and staff.

Jonathan Bierwirth Principal of Preparatory School Deputy for Rector


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Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

Curriculum/Teaching and Learning

The Preparatory School curriculum is developed under the guidelines and philosophy of the New Zealand Curriculum and takes into consideration the special nature of St Andrew’s College. It takes, as its starting point, a vision of our young people as lifelong learners who are confident and creative, connected, and actively involved. It includes a clear set of principles on which to base curriculum decision making. It sets out values that are to be encouraged, modelled, and explored. It defines five Key Competencies that are critical to sustained learning and effective participation in society,   and that underline the emphasis on lifelong learning. Literacy remains the largest and most important learning area (includes Reading, Writing, Spelling, Visual and Oral Language). Literacy accounts for 60–65 percent of the weekly timetable. Numeracy (Mathematics), Enrichment (specialist areas), and Units of Inquiry make up most of the remaining time in the timetable. 6

The school is committed to enhancing strategies and skills for learning and high levels of understanding. A quality learning environment encourages discussion and questioning, and for the student is engaging, differentiated, and meaningful. It also develops interpersonal skills. During 2019, the Preparatory School continued to spend time unpacking the ‘Visible Learning’ model, which formed part of a College-wide goal around the implementation of John Hattie’s research into what works best in teaching and learning. Staff reviewed and extended their understanding around the use of learning intentions and success criteria. Considerable time was also spent delving into feedback research and a model of feedback through targeted professional development sessions with experts in this area. Staff developed a next step action plan for their own practice, which saw significant improvements for learners in how feedback was given and received.

The gathering of Student Voice feedback was further developed in 2019. This was done in two ways. During Terms 2 and 4 staff used an online tool, Appraisal Connector, to gather specific feedback   on the following areas: • Safety and Well-being; • Standards and Expectations; • Teaching and Learning – Relationships; • Teaching and Learning – Communication; • Teaching and Learning – Motivation. Appraisal Connector provides an anonymous survey for students to complete while allowing teachers to see   a detailed summary of their strengths and ‘next steps’ for teaching. Students then re-do the same survey in Term 4, allowing the teachers to reflect on changes they have made through the course of the year. The second tool used in Year 4–8 is the NZCER ‘Me and My School Survey’. Again, this is an anonymous survey that offers a snapshot of the learning culture in a school and standardised data to track progress over time, as well as nationally referenced gender, ethnicity, and year level comparison. The quality of the teaching and learning in the Preparatory School was reinforced through both surveys. The school will continue to use these two tools in future years to gauge the quality of teaching and learning.

A new focus for professional learning in 2019 was all full-time staff committing to professional development in the use of Te Reo in their classrooms. Te Reo is one of New Zealand’s three official languages, and providing our students with a basic understanding of Te Reo and Tikanga has had many benefits for them. Staff attended three to four lunchtime sessions per term with a Te Reo tutor. These sessions were held during lunchtime with a dual focus of actively encouraging staff to develop in confidence in their own speaking while providing practical activities for use in the classroom. It has been encouraging to see an increased use of Te Reo throughout the Preparatory School as a result of this initiative. Students have displayed an increasing 7

Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

The Mathematics group spent significant time exploring the key resource used in the Junior Department and applying a critical eye to this. This involved comparing with the New Zealand Curriculum, looking for gaps, and questioning assumptions. The outcome has been an expanded understanding of the resource, and a significant increase in confidence across the Junior team. Staff enjoyed the interactive aspects of the resource, and used their newly gained knowledge to strengthen the consistency of reporting across the team.

sense of pride in the New Zealand Māori culture, as well as an understanding of how languages work and how these   skills can be transferred to other areas   of learning. During 2019, professional learning groups operated in the areas of Health and   Well-being, Mathematics, Digital Portfolios (using Seesaw), and Spelling. PLGs provide teachers with the opportunity to pursue areas of passion with like-minded educators across levels. 2019 PLG groups were all syndicate based. Using the ‘Teaching as Inquiry’ model, groups have engaged in collaboratively seeking out new and innovative practices and trialling these in classrooms. 8

Well-being was an area of strategic focus throughout the whole College in 2019 and it was particularly useful to have several Preparatory School staff focused on exploring and implementing school wide strategies for our staff and students. This professional learning group consisted of Years 7–8 staff and explored new resources specific to this age group.   Staff in this group highlighted the changing nature of society and the difficulties students of this age group are facing, in particular managing access to social media, online material, and cyber safety. Going forward these staff are working on a whole school approach to Health and Well-being programmes to support our learners. The Digital Portfolio group successfully explored and implemented the use of Seesaw through specialist classes.

Staff involved in this professional   learning group span Years 1–8 and included specialists in Art, Religious Education, Music, Spanish, and PE. Seesaw is an online platform that allows students and staff to easily share and reflect on learning, and to create a portfolio that they are proud to show others. The benefits to specialist teachers included the ability to capture and share student work that showcased both the process and product. The Preparatory School programme is greatly enhanced by our specialist staff, and Seesaw has provided an opportunity for teachers and students to connect with parents in a way not previously possible. Spelling was the focus for our teachers in the Middle Syndicate’s professional learning group in 2019. This involved a two-pronged approach. The first part involved working together to best implement the current spelling programme, while also critically evaluating this programme and exploring other resource options. Significant gains included: the development of a resource bank for staff, linking assessment to teaching and learning, including at school and home, and providing a true differentiated programme to all students in this area. In 2020 the Ministry of Education expects that schools will be using the revised Technology Curriculum, to provide students with opportunities to learn in and about technologies. More specifically utilising new content around

computational thinking, and designing and developing digital outcomes. Targeted professional development sessions and targeted teaching through two in-school specialists have seen significant progress around this area. Anneke Kamo has spent time in classes in the Junior and Middle Syndicates while Wilj Dekkers has spent time with Year 7–8 classes helping teachers to develop units of work in this area. Staff in the Senior Syndicate have completed professional development in using Minecraft Education and Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots in the classroom. Across the school the children and teachers are well prepared for the introduction of the Digital Technology curriculum in 2020. The team of specialist teachers have continued to provide significant enrichment to students across the Preparatory School, and are an asset to the Teaching and Learning programme. During 2019 all staff teaching specialist subjects (Art, Music, Religious Education, Spanish, Physical Education, and Drama) engaged in personal inquiries into ‘best practice’ teaching in their subject area. This process involved trialling of new ideas and gaining students feedback into how new programmes were received. Inquiries of this nature provide an opportunity to reflect what works well for our students and areas for future development.


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

Assessment and Reporting



Assessment is described as the process of gathering, analysing, interpreting, and using information about students’ progress and achievement to improve teaching and learning. Assessment plays a significant part in our education system and should strive to involve all children in knowing how successful   they have been in their learning. This   is an integral part of developing lifelong learning skills.

linked, as each informs the other. Students feel involved in the process and can describe where they are at with their learning and what their next steps are. Quality and timely feedback from teacher to student, student to teacher, and student to student are an important part of this. Quality conversations and feedback formed part of the appraisal process for classroom teachers in 2019 and will continue to be an area to grow in 2020.

Teaching and learning in the Preparatory School continues to show many strengths. A considerable part of this is the ability to reflect modern learning pedagogy in teaching as well as through our approach to assessment. As this shift in education continues so has our view of assessment. Visible Learning assessment practices continue to be a focus in the Preparatory School. This is where assessed information is used by teachers to adjust their teaching strategies, and by students to adjust their learning strategies. Assessment, teaching, and learning are inextricably

Areas of improvement in 2019   have included: • consistent approach to using the same curriculum levels and language as the Secondary School to provide consistency; • modification to feedback given to students to be more meaningful   and timelier; • clarification with students around understanding feedback; • unpacking assessment information with students to develop greater understanding; • developing teacher, peer, and   self-assessment (feedback) of   student work.

E-ASSESSMENT AND ONLINE TESTING e-asTTle continues to be our main tool for assessing Years 4–8 students in reading and writing. As well as being used for whole school cohort testing, individual teachers also used the shorter tests with small groups to inform next steps in the learning process. In 2019, minor changes were made to the test structure and length to better reflect current pedagogy around testing. e-asTTle provided information to teachers, students, and parents about levels of achievement relative to the Curriculum achievement outcomes for Levels 2 to 6. Staff found e-asTTle to be a great tool for helping students understand their progress, and a useful way to involve parents in discussions about their children’s progress. Classes also used the e-asTTle writing rubric   to self-assess their writing as part of class work. In Mathematics, teachers used PAT Maths online to assess students   learning at both the beginning and   end of year. Several staff also trialled   the use of the PAT Adaptive Mathematics test with groups of students. Adaptive testing accurately assesses a student during the test by continuously adapting the assessment to give them questions which best fit their overall level of achievement. The student is given an initial question and if they get it right, they’re given a harder one, or if they

get it wrong, they’re given an easier one. Adaptive technology means everyone gets the test which is right for them, from students at the lower levels to those who need additional challenge.

REPORTING TO PARENTS The use of the Community Portal as the means to view reports was continued in 2019 and is now the accepted means for viewing and comparing student reports over time. Students received reports comprising of: • a summary of initial testing and Curriculum Level placement (Term 1); • individual next learning steps for key subject areas (Term 1); 11

Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

• individual Key Competency related goals (Term 1); • specialist staff assessment of skills, knowledge, and behaviour during specialist lessons (Terms 2 and 4); • teacher comment around Key Competencies (Terms 2 and 4); • a summary of student progress towards goals and further testing results (Terms 2 and 4). Parents were able to access results and comments in a timely manner and discuss with teachers and students at learning conferences. Learning conferences continued to provide another forum for teachers, students, and parents to discuss learning and set goals for the future. The Preparatory School has an open-door policy and has continued to encourage parents to contact staff whenever they   feel a need. 12

STUDENT PORTFOLIOS AND E-PORTFOLIOS Student portfolios are a valued and integral part of the children’s learning   and achievement, they provide a format   for students to record their work, goals, and achievements, reflect on their learning, and share their learning with   a wider audience. For students in the Junior and Middle Syndicates of the school the portfolio continued to be digital in 2019 using the online platform Seesaw. Students in Year 7 also began using this online tool to share learning with parents. Seesaw allows teachers and students to upload current examples of work, and for parents and family to view and comment. In 2020, the final step in transition to using Seesaw will be completed when Year 8 moves to using this platform.

Well-being and Pastoral Care

Looking after the well-being of our students is a vital part of the school day. The Preparatory School has made a deliberate decision to continue to offer one teacher to one class of children.   This is counter to the current trend in New Zealand state schools whereby two or more classes and teachers are together in one large teaching space. It is this conscious decision which allows our classroom teachers to develop an in-depth understanding and empathy for the small group of students in their care. For the students who require additional or more specialised support, the Pastoral Care team provides an important service. This team meets once a week to discuss and allocate students to a variety of services, including in-school counselling and guidance, and referral to outside agencies. In 2019 several initiatives were introduced to improve the recording and tracking of pastoral information. The introduction of Power BI has allowed classroom teachers to view vital

information regarding the students in their direct care, both current and historical. The addition of an administration support person to the Pastoral team has also assisted in improved systems and communication in this area. The Chaplaincy and Well-being teams continued to provide support and development for staff in understanding their own well-being and managing the complexities of work and home life in the 21st century. The College also continues to provide the services of Workplace Support who provide independent employee assistance in addressing personal and work-related issues.


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

Gifted and Talented

Definition and Identification The purpose of defining and identifying giftedness is to recognise individual and group abilities, qualities and interests. Gifted education is about ensuring that gifted potential is realised, that gifted learners discover their strengths and follow their passions, and that barriers to success are minimised. Students in the Preparatory School who have been identified as gifted and talented are monitored and placed on the Learner Needs Register on the school’s student management system, Synergetic.

Differentiation In the Preparatory School staff provide responsive learning environments in which students are encouraged to become adaptive, creative, and resilient. Curriculum differentiation is a strategy used by staff to cater for the wide range of abilities in classrooms. Differentiation greatly enhances the educational experiences of gifted and talented 14

students. When gifted learners are active participants in their learning and experience appropriately differentiated teaching and learning, well-being is promoted, and achievement and progress is accelerated. The underlying principles guiding differentiation for gifted and talented students are to: • present content that is related   to broad based issues, themes,   or problems; • integrate multiple disciplines; • present comprehensive, related, and mutually reinforcing experiences; • develop independent or self-directed study skills; • develop productive, complex, abstract and/or higher order thinking skills; • focus on open-ended tasks; • develop research skills and methods; • evaluate student outcomes by using appropriate and specific criteria through self-appraisal.

Curriculum enrichment is also used widely across all year levels of the Preparatory School. Curriculum enrichment refers to “learning activities providing depth and breadth to regular teaching according to the child’s abilities and needs” (Townsend, 1996). Curriculum enrichment is taught by specialist teachers and include Physical Education, Religious Education, Spanish (Years 1–7), French (Years 7–8), Japanese (Year 8), Music, Dance and Drama,   Art, Food, and Materials Technology   (Years 7–8). The provision of appropriate opportunities for all students is at the heart of learning in the Preparatory School.

classes provided an open-ended platform for students to write creatively with no barriers. She encouraged all students and guided them positively in their learning. Sessions were run on a Monday and Thursday afternoon, as well as Friday lunchtime, with a variety of competitions entered including Japan Airlines Haiku, New Zealand Poetry Society, Australian Writers’ Competition, New Zealand Gifted Association Competition, and the Otago Daily Times Competition. Over 20 Preparatory School students had works published both nationally and internationally. The year concluded with a Creative Writing Competition held in the Preparatory School for Years 3–5 and Years 6–8. Winners received a cup at the end-of-year assembly.

In 2019 the following areas were provided:

Writing Enrichment During 2019 Kerrin Davidson worked in the Preparatory School as part of a Writing Enrichment programme. Kerrin is a published author and was Victoria University’s Creative Writing Teacher of the Year 2008. 2019 saw the Writing Enrichment programme in the Preparatory School continue to grow from strength to strength with an increase in classes and three writers’ master classes running from Years 3–6. The purpose of these classes was not only for the students who required extension in literacy but also for those students who have a passion for writing. Kerrin’s

Robotics The Preparatory School Robotics programme sees students building and programming robotic devices to help them make sense of the dimensions of light, sound, and motion. At the same time, the course places an exciting and highly engaging new spin on core learning areas such as Mathematics, Literacy, Science, and Social Studies. In 2019, students used the LEGO ‘Mindstorms’ robot construction system to devise solutions to specific technological challenges. The system included planned projects that could be built, but also allowed participants to bring their own ideas to life. Light, sound, 15

Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

and motion sensors invite students to think carefully and creatively about how their robot might function and what tasks it might perform. All Year 7–8 classes completed a term of robotics using EV3 robots, running alongside the Digital Technology curriculum. The Middle Syndicate used ‘FlipBots’ in their programmes and the Junior Department experimented with ‘Bee-Bots’. A Years 5–8 Thursday afterschool club was established and ran throughout the year it focused on weekly challenges. This club was run by a Mechatronics student from the University of Canterbury. In August, five Preparatory School teams from Years 6–8 competed in the regional round of LEGO EV3 RoboCup Junior at the Spreydon Baptist Church. Our teams competed in the Robot Rescue Division. Created in a true co-operative spirit, the RoboCup Junior Educational Competition encompasses not only engineering and IT skills, but extends right across a school curriculum. RoboCup Junior also addresses social development by encouraging sportsmanship, sharing, teamwork, understanding of differences between individuals and nations,   co-operation, and organisational skills. Our Year 6 team achieved first equal placing. Three teams then headed   to Dunedin for the national final   in September. 16

The PTA have kindly donated funding to purchase two VEX Robotic kits for 2020 which opens different programming and competition options.

Future Problem Solving

To dream and to plan, to be curious about the future and to wonder how much it can be influenced by our efforts are important aspects of being human. Dr E Paul Torrance, founder of FPSNZ

Future Problem Solving (FPS) is a highly regarded and well-researched international educational programme that develops creative, critical, and caring thinking skills in students. Students grapple with global and community issues, identify underlying problems, and create positive solutions to those issues. Above all, it aims to give young people the skills to design and promote positive futures as citizens of the 21st century. In 2019, the FPS programme was successfully coached by Julie Rogers, who has over 13 years’ experience. There were 10 teams across Years 5–8 with more than 80 students involved in the Preparatory School programme. In 2019 a squad of 13 students travelled to the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Four Year 8 students from St Andrew’s College proved their critical thinking skills were up there with the best in the world, finishing

second in the Junior Division (Year 8 and Below), at the Future Problem Solving International Final. Megan Simpson (captain), Isobel Forsey, Tama Connelly and Olivia Burdon competed in the Global Issues Problem Solving section and had to consider   a scenario set some 30 years into the future, based on the topic of   de-extinction, or the process of resurrecting a species which had become extinct. The students were among more than 2500 problem-solvers from over 13 countries at the competition, in which critical thinking and problem-solving skills are applied to hypothetical future situations. A second Year 8 team from St Andrew’s finished 11th in the Junior Division at the competition, while the Year 9 team placed 14th in the Middle Division. All three teams made the final round of marking, which is difficult to achieve. At the national final this year we had one team qualify and two individuals. The students again achieved amazing success winning the Global Issues Dramatic Presentation and placing second in the booklet. Our two   individual competitors were placed   first and second. In 2020 we head back   to the University of Massachusetts to attend the International Final.

In the Middle Syndicate a Years 5–6 group attended FPS sessions twice a week in the Stepping Stones – Non-Competitive Division. This division was particularly suitable for students and coaches who were attempting Future Problem Solving for the first time. Students spent time each week learning about the FPS process and researching various topics. Our teams worked very effectively together, developed critical thinking skills, and built strong foundation for 2019’s programme. The students ran a feedback session and included the following about their FPS time: learnt to work more efficiently with greater time management, more effective research skills, strategies to solve world issues, enjoyed futuristic thinking opportunity, developed effective team building skills. 17

Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

World Scholars’ Cup In May 2019, St Andrew’s College hosted the regional round of the World Scholar’s Cup for the second time. The World Scholars’ Cup values and vision is to provide an academic competition that aims to be: • encouraging; • interdisciplinary; • discussion-based; • forward-looking; • team-oriented; • whimsical. The goal is to: • motivate students of all backgrounds to discover new strengths and practise new skills; • inspire a global community of future scholars and leaders. A group of 20 Preparatory School   students competed in the regional   round and went on to qualify for the   global round in Sydney, where the students achieved excellent results   with all teams qualifying for the international final at Yale University.

EPro8 The EPro8 Challenge is an engineering and problem-solving race. In 2019 over 7000 students from 700 schools from throughout New Zealand took part. It is a three-hour event that begins with a tutorial on the equipment teams will 18

be using. Teams will choose which challenges they wish to undertake. The harder the challenge, the more points it is worth. There is not enough time to finish all the challenges – so strategy is required to know which ones to go for. Teams compete to: • build large sized structures; • solve practical problems; • engineer using pulleys, motors, gears, wheels, and axles; • invent machines that can complete simple tasks; • undertake unusual and fun experiments; • construct basic electronic circuits; • solve interesting problems using practical mathematics. Our teams competed very strongly with a Years 7–8 team coming top in their heats and progressing to the semi-finals.

Other Enrichment Opportunities Other enrichment opportunities offered   in 2019 were: • Rotary Speech Competition; • Kids Lit Quiz; • Extension Mathematics class   Years 7–8; • Otago Problem Solving Years 7–8; • Code Club; • 3D Design and Printing Club; • Chess Club Terms 2–3; • D-squared Drama Group.

Junior Department

We completed our second year in our new building which continues to delight us with its calm atmosphere and flexible learning spaces. It has been further enhanced by the Year 3 students as they have placed a variety of trees and ferns around the building, and native trees in the garden. These additions offered the students opportunities to nurture living plants in and around our department.

Professional Learning Staff continued to share their professional learning by journaling inquiries using Appraisal Connector. A key question in this process was, ‘How is this going to change your teaching practice?’ Exploration of this as a team, and as an individual, ensured reflective practice. Refinements were made such as our new lunch break routine. The sixty minutes lunch hour was broken into three sets of twenty minutes. The first twenty minutes for play followed by

eating, then twenty more minutes of play. Our observations concluded that most of our children ate more of their lunch, were less likely to be overwhelmed by the lunch hour, and welcomed the change of direction during the play session. This will be an area of ongoing focus. Selena Hitcho provided excellent professional learning that built on the previous year’s learning. Transfer from teacher to classroom was evident during appraisal visits throughout the year.

Te Reo Māori Regular professional learning has considerably lifted the use of classroom Te Reo Māori. Teachers and students displayed more confidence and embraced opportunities to engage with an audience. Junior Assemblies provided the venue for children to share karakia, waiata, and individuals shared their pepeha. Inclusive practice has become part of the classroom routines.


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

Celebrating Matariki with our students and their families is a Junior Department tradition, which has developed more depth with each passing year. Celebrations this year were enhanced by working alongside our colleagues and their children from the Pre-school. Tahu Loper from the Pre-school was integral in planning and educating all, sharing his deep understanding of Matariki. The culmination of our learning was a celebration in the Junior Department involving the   Pre-school, our senior kapa haka students, our Library Manager, Tracey Hull, and finally all students and their families. Waiata, kapa haka performances, creative and cultural activities, Māori legends, making soup, and a shared lunch were all features of the wonderful day.

Oral Language Our young learners continued to display strength in presenting clearly and confidently. Many opportunities were provided, further developing their skills. Student-led Junior Assemblies provided an excellent venue for strategic focus on presenting and audience behaviours. This was a challenging environment due to high numbers of adults who attended each week. This opportunity was welcomed by students looking for an audience to share their extension activities such as poetry writing, and the Speech and Drama award winning children enjoyed presenting to their peers. 20

Writing In-depth feedback regarding Sheena Cameron’s course was provided during syndicate meeting time. Valuable notes and resources were shared which resulted in a collection of ‘feedback’ related stamps and icons being purchased for classroom use. Professional development around Visible Learning was reflected in the learning intentions and the success criteria used ensured the children understood the writing process. Feedback linked directly to these and next steps were shared. Poetry appreciation and writing were given considerable focus. New vibrant resources were purchased which included quality teaching notes. Year 3 children working with our Writer-in-residence, Kerrin Davidson, experienced success by having their work published.

Mathematics A successful team focus for professional learning was developing a deeper understanding of the Prime Mathematics programme and its many resources. The year-long team inquiry was discussed during appraisal visits and regular meetings including specialist guests. We met our goal of ensuring alignment with the New Zealand Curriculum, exploring more resources, and confirming

Inquiry Pathway Successful use of the St Andrew’s Inquiry Pathway started with the Year 1 children working through the immersion phase, developing sound questioning skills. Year 2 completed an inquiry about celebrations. This involved many child-led activities and learning tasks related to the new Digital Technology curriculum. It included introducing the thinking tools such as the Venn diagram. The children were required to transfer their knowledge from one celebration to another describing similarities   and differences.

consistency across the team regarding tracking and reporting procedures.

Reading Classroom reading programmes were supported by the addition of Cengage’s PM Collection. This subscription enabled each child access to a digital bookshelf at home and at school. Books were selected by the teacher at appropriate reading levels to meet the needs of the children. Cengage books provide highly valued teaching resources, so this new digital application is consistent with department resources. The Junior Department teachers highlighted reading as a focus for professional learning in 2020.

The Year 3 students were involved in an integrated learning unit called ‘Our Trees, Our Treasure’. They followed the St Andrew’s College Inquiry Pathway and worked through all four stages of the inquiry process. During the immersion phase of the inquiry, the children explored their immediate school environment and then moved further afield with visits to Riccarton Bush. The children read about tree planting projects in which other schools had been involved and decided they could do the same. This posed several areas for investigation: where they could plant, what they should plant, who could help them, and where to access plants – a true inquiry with problems being posed and solved by the students. 21

Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

The tree planting took place at the end of August. The two classes, plus many parents and friends helped on planting day. Over 100 native trees were planted.   In November, the children returned to Mary Duncan Park to weed around their trees and look at some of the planting that has taken place in the past. By the end of the inquiry, we were all hopeful   a Zealandia could be recreated on the   Port Hills.

Transition Programme The ever-changing requirements of new entrant enrolments was met by our flexible child-centred Transition to School programme. We focused on how the programme aligned with the first few weeks in the new entrant classroom. Discussions with our colleagues in the Pre-school resulted in some valuable refinements. One significant change was new entrant children no longer going to specialist lessons in period one as it was   an unsettling start to the day. Our continued close relationship with the   Pre-school allowed us to make changes that considered all viewpoints.

Discovery Time The Discovery programme continued to flourish. The Year 1–2 students made a huge contribution by sharing their expertise with their peers. It was rewarding for all involved, and very special seeing parents working alongside 22

their children to facilitate the completion of high interest activities, for example, superhero shields, spring pictures, puppets, and cupcake decorations. A new addition was offering the choice of working through Science investigations   in the Discovery Room.

Science During the year, the Discovery Room was well utilised each Monday, as the children participated in weekly Science lessons with former team member, Helen King. The year started with a sun safety focus, which included experimenting with UV beads. Following on from this, a focus on solids, liquids, and gases involved some exciting experiments which included making ice cream in a bag, inflating balloons through a chemical reaction, and making gloop! The students learnt all about our digestive system and which foods would sustain us for longer periods of time. The Year 3 students experimented with the best conditions for growing plants and made their own light maze for seedlings to navigate. The Year 1–2 students had the opportunity to learn about a range of high interest topics during Discovery Time. The children were active participants in all lessons and loved the opportunity to ask questions and perform investigations to find the answers for themselves.

Middle Syndicate

In order to establish a strong foundation   of mutual respect and positive relationships in our Middle Syndicate team, a core focus throughout 2019 was our Developing Positive Relationships (DPR) values of Faith, Hope, Compassion, Respect, Honesty, Generosity, and Responsibility. Our teaching team were committed to developing a shared understanding of the way we wanted our teachers and students to think and act in our school.

Manaakitanga At the beginning of the year our focus was ‘Identity’ (self, family, class, team, school, community, national and international). Students shared their family culture and identity through a range of discussions, multimedia platforms, learning experiences, and presentations. All students contributed to developing the class and team identity by running assemblies, team singing, weekly Growth Mindset Persistence Awards,

sustainability projects, shared inquiries, friendship programmes at each year level, a Year 5–6 speech competition, and the introduction of Key Competency Awards.

e-Portfolios Seesaw was used as an effective platform to share learning at class, group, and individual level. Families connected to Seesaw to keep up to date with daily happenings and learning in the classroom. Extended family members also accessed the Seesaw app to have conversations about learning at St Andrew’s with their family members. Seesaw was also used effectively to send out reminders and messages to support families and ensure they were up to date.

Mathematics All Year 4–6 teachers undertook professional learning to integrate the newly introduced Prime Maths Interactive Suite. Year levels had Mathematics in the same 23

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period each day to allow for cross year level groupings, that were fluid and meeting individual needs throughout the year. The shared assessment practices and reporting allowed teachers to communicate learning progress for all students throughout the year. The students used the Prime Maths practise book, a maths exercise book, and online links for learning and consolidating mathematical concepts.

Writing – Spelling The assessment practices in our spelling programmes were robust, extensive, and provided effective direction for the spelling focus for each student. In response to reviewing our spelling programme and effectiveness in Term 4, we will be implementing the ‘Spelling Matters’ resource for our Year 4–6 students in 2020. ‘Spelling Matters’ is a highly successful spelling series incorporating stimulating and proven activities to teach spelling skills and strategies.

Reading The Integration of Core 5 (Years 4–5) and Reading Plus (Year 6) into the classroom reading programme contributed to exceptional progress in vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension for Year 4–6 students. The RBL (Reading Between


the Lines) textbooks were introduced from Year 4. This resource contains a broad and varied range of text types to engage students and facilitate reading skills and strategies at each student’s level.

Inquiry Questioning techniques and being able to verbalise the inquiry process were a focus during 2019. We believe developing questioning skills in our students promotes increased motivation, critical thinking skills, and links to prior learning. In 2020 we will further explore the classification of questions into lower and higher cognitive questions. Lower cognitive questions (fact, closed, direct, recall, and knowledge questions) involve the recall of information. Higher cognitive questions (open-ended, interpretive, evaluative, inquiry, inferential, and synthesis questions) involve the mental manipulation of information to produce   or support an answer.

Sustainability The ‘Sustainability’ focus was facilitated by the Year 5 teachers and was integrated into classroom programmes. A school garden, a flourishing tunnel house, and a hydroponics unit were established in 2019. In 2020 developing connections with College Science students, and waste free initiatives will be priorities.

Te Reo Our Kapa Haka Group of over 100 students took part in the Tūhono Kapa Haka Festival in September. Our group was one of the largest kapa haka groups to perform. The group was awarded Best Uniform, second place for Waiata, Best Use of Traditional Instrument (with the inclusion a Year 5 student on the

bagpipes) and Tikanga. The Tikanga award was the award we were most proud of, as it strongly aligned with our DPR values. All teachers took part in Te Reo professional learning during Terms 1–3. The impact of this learning on the classroom programme was evident in all rooms and will continue to be a focus in 2020. 25

Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

Self-Efficacy Through engaging classroom programmes, shared expectations, and acknowledgment of success our students have a deeper understanding of the meaning and importance of self-efficacy. In consultation with their teacher, students have set goals, been immersed in learning experiences, practised skills, completed assessment tasks, reflected   on their learning, and made links to growth mindset habits.

Technology The integration of devices increased in all classrooms. In 2019 each year level had access to 16 laptops and several desktop computers. Devices were used to engage, enhance, and promote quality learning opportunities. The integration of Minecraft Education engaged learners and enabled them to share knowledge and understanding. Our Year 4 class were one of the first in the world to use an Antarctica server to recreate Antarctica and share their research. Our Year 6 students accessed the Ngā Motu (The Islands) server to share their learning about Māori language, culture, and people. For two terms each class in our team had a computer science focus using Flipbots. This was an engaging project and promoted computational thinking skills as we head into implementing the new Digital Technologies curriculum


in 2020. OneDrive is now being used confidently and efficiently by all Year 4–6 teachers.

Junior/Middle Team Transition In Term 4, the Year 3–4 teachers developed a transition programme for our Year 3 students. We acknowledged moving from the junior block to the middle/ senior block is a significant event in their schooling. During the final six weeks of the school year the Year 3 students spent time with a Year 4 buddy reading, enjoying morning tea and lunch together, joining the Years 4–6 assembly, fitness, and becoming familiar with the new block that will become home for them in 2020.

Senior Syndicate

The Senior Reading programme was improved during the year with a better balance achieved between Reading Plus and the other instructional reading programmes. The benchmark tests were very useful alongside e-asTTle, running records and other in-house tests that were used to quantify achievement. There was a very pleasing level of collaboration between the Secondary School Mathematics and Science Departments. This led to some effective in-service courses as well as the development of units of work. These units will need to be ‘bedded-in’ but the teaching and learning programmes were enhanced at the Senior Syndicate level consequently. With the valued support of the ICT Department, student problems with one-to-one computing were significantly minimised. Correspondingly, the student management of their devices and subsequent storage of data was significantly enhanced. The filing structure for student machines was standardised across Year 8, leading to very few losses of work during the year.

‘Microsoft Teams’ became the organisational and communication hub for the Senior Syndicate during the year; this was a steep learning curve, however, student learning communications, presentations, and shared resources were significantly enhanced, particularly in the 1:1 computing domain. The Senior Syndicate has agreed formats for the structure of OneNote which means students have a consistent approach across year groups irrespective of   the teacher. The highly structured writing approach of Stephen Graham is now well established in the Senior Syndicate and produced pleasing results during the year, both in the measured gains in student writing, but also improved outcomes. Wilj Dekkers continued to work with the Year 7–8 classes on computational and algorithmic thinking. His workload shortened the extent of this involvement during 2019 but there is a planned continuation of this focus for 2020 in   order to embed the new Digital Technologies curriculum. 27

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conversations. These areas were part of the appraisal process. The Academy Philosophy Conference was again a useful adjunct to the Year 8 programme, and the challenging forum provided the opportunity to interact with a wide range of schools across the Canterbury region. The Ethics Olympiad was also entered for the first time and involved students from Years 7–10.

Student leadership continued to expand in the syndicate, particularly at the Year 8 level with 80 per cent of the year group holding leadership roles. Mary Leota, in Year 8, has become a lead teacher of Te Reo in the Preparatory School, and along with Pip Dinsenbacher they promote kapa haka and Te Reo school wide. All Senior Syndicate classes had Te Reo tuition and incorporated the language into their daily programmes. The Joy Alcock method of teaching spelling has been embedded across the syndicate as a consistent and structured approach. Along with the Learning Support Department this produced more consistent results, particularly for those students who have difficulty in this area.


Development of the students critical thinking was a focus for the Year 8 teachers during the year as well as   the quality of student/teacher

The Senior Syndicate production was another unqualified success – Stories from The Stage involved all the classes from Years 7–8 and played over four nights to full houses creating powerful memories for many students. Finally, as the retiring Senior Syndicate leader I can only add what a privilege it has been to work with such a team of dedicated and hardworking teachers over the years, which has in large part established St Andrew’s College Preparatory School as one of the most desirable schools in the country. The students have been a delight to teach: their attitudes, friendliness, courtesy, individual achievements and progress makes St Andrew’s College such a rewarding school to be part of. It is gratifying to retire from a school in such good heart and with the honoured name of St Andrew’s College.

David Farmer Head of Senior Syndicate


Mathematics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in quantities, space, and time. Statistics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in data. These two disciplines are related but have different ways of thinking and of solving problems. Both equip students with effective means for investigating, interpreting, explaining,   and making sense of the world in which they live. By learning Mathematics and Statistics, students develop other important thinking skills. They learn to create models and predict outcomes, to conjecture, to justify and verify, and to seek patterns and generalisations. They learn to estimate with reasonableness, calculate with precision, and understand when results are precise and when they must be interpreted with uncertainty. These situations are drawn from a wide range   of social, cultural, scientific, technological, health, environmental, and economic contexts.

Mathematics is broken up into three main areas, Number and Algebra, Geometry and Measurement, and Statistics, but as seen through the teaching and planning of our school, these all go hand in hand, and become integrated across the curriculum. Number involves calculating and estimating, using appropriate mental, written, using estimation, and justifying our understanding. Algebra involves generalising and representing the patterns and relationships found in numbers, symbols, or patterns. Geometry involves recognising and using the properties and symmetries of shapes, and describing position and movement. Measurement involves quantifying the attributes of objects, using appropriate units, and instruments. Statistics involves identifying problems that can be explored using appropriate data, designing investigations, collecting data, exploring and using patterns and relationships in data, solving problems, and communicating findings. 29

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Problem-solving is another integral skill in our Mathematics curriculum. We believe that by solving problems students understand better what mathematics entails, what it can do, and how it comes to its conclusion. It builds their resilience, and confidence, in becoming more independent in their thinking and skills. Mathematics and statistics have a broad range of practical applications in everyday life, in other learning areas, and in workplaces. Effective Mathematic practices continued to be evident at all levels of the school. Teachers utilised the growing range of tools and resources to ensure our students continued to be well-rounded mathematicians, not only in Number, Geometry, and Statistics, but also Problem Solving. The skills and resources adopted by our teachers continued to be beneficial as shown by end-of-year results. The children understand that mathematics surrounds them, and they can look at life from a mathematical point of view. Sport, food, technology, and the arts all involve mathematics. The focus in the Senior Syndicate was exploring ‘Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities (DMIC)’ and implementing this in the classroom. There was also an increased focus on rich tasks, and finding real life examples 30

where mathematics is required, to make a connection with our learners. Some examples include the ever popular   ‘Dream Trip’ activities, as well as design tasks, where students either designed   a playground, a house, a dragon enclosure, etc. Prime Mathematics is in its third year of full integration in both the Junior Department and Middle Syndicate. The students remain engaged and focused with the programme, and we are seeing pleasing results as students enter the Senior Syndicate with confidence and effective mathematic skills. The staff also committed to further exploration of resources to supplement and enhance their lessons, looking to increase the variety of examples and rich tasks   being used. Education Perfect was used once again as an assessment tool, and to increase engagement and individualised learning programmes. The diagnostic assessments created individual and personalised learning programmes that accurately   met the needs of each student. The progress seen in assessments was outstanding, helped teachers to guide their lessons, and ensured targeted remediation where required. Problem Solving in the Years 7–8 syndicate was well received along with some outstanding results within the school,

and in national and international competitions — Otago Problem Solving, Australian Mathematics Olympiad, Australian Mathematics examinations, and ICAS Mathematics examinations. As in previous years, there was a   focus on keeping the assessment and reporting of students in line with not   only the Preparatory School, but also   the Secondary School requirements.   The use of moderation of Overall Teacher Judgement (OTJs) Levelled Number   tests, and constant discussions ensured   close alignment. Links with the Secondary School Mathematics Department continued during 2019. Together, the relevant staff attended Canterbury Mathematics Association events, and this had the added benefit of increased professional learning. This included attending courses on e-Learning in Mathematics, as well as Geometry, Numicon, and DMIC programmes hosted at the College. The Canterbury Mathematics Association provided further professional development opportunities. Our staff   have been fortunate to attend many   after school sessions, with the hope   of participating in more of these events   in 2020.


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019


The Preparatory School provides a wide range of sporting opportunities for our students. The emphasis is on opportunity, giving the students the chance to participate and compete. Sport is a very important co-curricular area as in many cases it allows students to be part of a team and develop several important skills that may transfer into other areas of their lives. The Preparatory School sports programme aims to provide:

Physical Benefits • improved fitness, strength, flexibility, and co-ordination; • increased range of motor skills.


Social Benefits • improved communication and interpersonal skills; • improved leadership and   co-operation skills; • opportunity for lasting friendships; • increased interest in accepting responsibility; • ability to assume responsible   risk-taking.

Personal Benefits • enjoyment; • increased self-esteem, self-  confidence, and general well-being; • improved ability to concentrate; • self-discipline, commitment,   and responsibility; • organisational skills. Cricket continued to be a popular summer sport option at St Andrew’s College. There were strong participation numbers in Years 5–8. The First XI was very competitive in the CJCA Saturday Premier Competition and was a top four team. The team did not progress beyond the pool stages of the Christchurch leg of the New Zealand Cup. We also fielded a girls’ team in the New Zealand Shield for a second year running. This year the team finished runners-up in both the Christchurch tournament and the Canterbury tournament, one game from making the top six in New Zealand. A great achievement, and already there are several girls wishing to play in 2020. We have a strong cohort of Year 5–6 players

coming through. An area for further development is our Year 1–4 students. The 2019 Australian tour was another big success, the games were competitive, the whole tour ran very smoothly, and we were supported by a large parent group of over 40 parents and siblings. The students conducted themselves with distinction. It was our first tour to the Sunshine Coast, and this ensures we can provide a varied experience for students who tour in both Years 7–8. All four rugby games were separated by less than a try and we made positive connections with three new schools who are keen to host us again in the future. We will return to the Gold Coast in 2020. We also sent students to the AIMS Games in Tauranga. 2019 was our biggest team of athletes. As well as boys’ and girls’ hockey teams, and netball, we also entered golf, tennis, and swimming. Over 11,000 athletes, 350+ schools competed. The Girls’ First XI hockey won a bronze medal, our first at the games, and Hayden Lam won a bronze medal for golf. Our tennis players also all finished in the top 32, with our top finish at eighth. In the doubles our Year 7 pairing in the girls’ doubles finished fourth. Already we have confirmed the teams again for 2020, however, it is unlikely we will have a Boys’ 11 a-side team, instead we may send a 6 a-side team. Another remarkable experience, and the students were very well supported by the seven staff that accompanied and took care of them.

The relationship with Heaton Normal Intermediate School continued to be productive during 2019 and we shared resources effectively. We provided training facilities for cricket and hockey and in turn Heaton allowed us to use their grounds for rugby and athletics training. We also provided teams to help prepare their students for tournaments. This relationship is essential to ensure we can offer enough training facilities and preparation games for our students   and teams. Several school exchange games in basketball, rugby, football, netball, 33

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cricket, and hockey were played during the year including the visit of Anglican Church Grammar School (Brisbane), The Southport School (Gold Coast), Wellesley College (Wellington), Medbury School, Waihi School, Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, St Margaret’s College, and Selwyn House School. School exchanges are limited to Year 7–8 students and are generally played during Core Skills on Wednesday. This has vastly reduced the disruption of academic classes and the cost of organising relief teachers. Many of our students represented their region in a variety of sports and were successful in the ISSA and CPSSA competitions in triathlon, duathlon, cross country, swimming, and athletics. There were also several students who represented both zones and Canterbury   in cricket, basketball, hockey, and tennis. Football, rugby, and netball no longer offer representative games for intermediate aged students. Our Senior Preparatory School netball team won the ISSA Winter Tournament and were the CPSSA champions for 2019. The football team finished second in the ISSA Tournament and third in the CPSSA Football Tournament. The boys’ tennis team and the girls’ tennis team were also crowned CPSSA champions for 2019.   Our mixed A ski team won the ISSA ski race. Our second team, who finished second, included a student from Year 1, Luke Russell. 34

Leadership opportunities are very important for our Year 8 students. Sport captains must apply for positions and are then interviewed for the role. It is a great opportunity for students to become familiar with an interview process. The role as a sport captain is important as they report back to the community,   make speeches, support the sport   co-ordinators, and fulfil other tasks. The students embraced the opportunity. The role of House captain is also an important role as House captains organise House events and help to create a positive environment for their House. House captains are selected by Year 8 teachers and the aim in 2020 is to do this promptly to enable better planning for the   year ahead. In 2019, Year 8 coaches were well utilised in both netball and cricket. Many students offered to support Mrs Fitzgerald’s Years 1–3 netball programme. A number of First XI cricket players were assigned to support coaches of the other year groups. This was successful and the Year 8 student support was effective. Further coach development options for Year 8 students will be made available in 2020 including some onsite development   with professional coaches from the various codes. Coaching is an area that is essential to a successful sporting programme at St Andrew’s College. During 2019, we presented to Year 13 students regarding

the opportunities available to them in 2020, particularly coaching Preparatory School teams. Several students, who will study in Canterbury, expressed an interest in coaching. This involvement will support the staff coaches at the school. We also engaged Coaching Solutions and Motivationz who provided excellent coaching support. Some of our coaches were involved in the Core Sport programme. Sport coaching development opportunities will be made available to staff in 2020. Core Sports continued to go from strength to strength. The Core Sport programme was used in Term 1 for team selections, giving students more opportunity to impress. More professional coaches were also used to support better student/coach ratios and therefore a more effective quality of coaching. In Term 1, students selected their winter sports and had a variety of high-performance coaches in their field. From Term 3, summer sports were selected, and high-performance training provided. This was integral to   the success of the Girls’ hockey team   at the AIMS Games, and the First XI cricket team. A survey for students was conducted at the end of the year and the general feedback was very positive. In Term 3, Year 1–3 students travelled to Olympia for the gymnastics programme. This provided an improved programme 35

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and was not weather dependent. However, the programme was not as differentiated as expected and therefore in 2020 the gymnastics programme will head to the new Christchurch School of Gymnastics facility. The Year 4–6 students will travel to Christchurch School of Gymnastics for their five-week gymnastics programme in Term 2. Year 7 students will also have a five-week programme in Term 2 and Year 8 students, a four-week programme in Term 4. Sport selection for 2020 has been further improved with parents being contacted via an online options selection platform to make their selections prior to Term 1 commencing. There have been some requests for mountain biking, horse riding, and   sailing as future Preparatory School   co-curricular options. We currently have 11 summer sports and five winter sports on offer. At this stage these options are not popular enough to warrant a Preparatory School Sport option. Students can receive dispensation from school sport to follow these sports. We will look to advertise and support the Primary School mountain biking events as this is popular with students. The Preparatory School used the StAC App effectively for Preparatory Sport in 2019. Draws for each code were initially sent to students and families via Synergetic. However, once venues were 36

confirmed on the Friday prior to games, the draw was re-sent through the StAC App. The community appreciated having the relevant information surrounding draws on hand. It was also used for reorganisation surrounding wet weather, keeping the community informed as   to where their student may be at a   given time should the normal practice   venue change. New uniforms for the First XI football have been ordered for 2020. Other uniforms are currently in good condition and the strong St Andrew’s brand is represented proudly through the uniforms that students wear. The replacement of uniforms is meeting the required schedule and will ensure we can update uniform as and when required. A continuing challenge is the lack of undercover space available for Preparatory School sport teams. In wet weather there is simply no option. Preparatory School basketball is allocated indoors one time after school and a couple of lunchtimes. A better option would be to put a roof over the current basketball area of the Preparatory   School turf. Goals continue to be set for 2020 to ensure that we work towards providing the best primary sports programme.

Learning Support

The Learning Support Department had a very successful year. The team worked closely with class teachers to ensure the students in the programmes obtained the necessary skills and knowledge to close deficits and to reach their potential. Intevention programmes were implemented to meet the specific needs of students on the register. The specialist services of professionals were beneficial to the students, and we appreciated   their input.

because of their strong research-based credentials.

The diversity of needs continued; students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, behavioural needs, and   those with social communication disorders deserve to be understood and their needs catered for. Over 70 students were placed in programmes to support their learning. Programmes included Literacy, Reading, Spelling, Writing, Numeracy, Social and Emotional, personal and behavioural development. Resources used were selected

Learning Support worked collaboratively during the year with educational psychologists, Special Education Services, Department of Health, Hearing Impaired Association, Speech Language Therapist, Specific Learning Difference teachers, parents, and the College counsellors to identify individual student needs, and to ensure learning goals and outcomes were the most appropriate for everyone. We appreciated the expert support and guidance of the College counsellors and

The tier system provided an appropriate method for the allocation of resources for each individual or group. The communication between learning support staff, private tutors, specialists, parents, class teachers, and specialist teaching staff ensured the right resourcing was in place. Collaboration with team members is essential and continued during 2019.


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

the wonderful support they provided   to our students. Intervention programmes were mostly academic remediation, but personal self-management and social skills were also taught along with strategies to cope with anxiety and stress. It was a highlight to have co-facilitated the Travellers Programme for Resilience and Well-being during 2019. Two groups of Year 7 students completed the programme and a Year 8 group continued to meet throughout the year. The group started with 10 students and this quickly increased to 12. In Term 4, the two Year 7 groups combined and continued to meet regularly. Head of Learning Support regularly attended the Pastoral Care meetings with the aim of strengthening and promoting the emotional well-being of the students. Most of our students require a holistic approach to their learning. The services of Socially Speaking continued to support students with social communication requirements. In 2019 we continued to enlist the support of a behavioural specialist to assist some students to develop selfregulation and self-management skills. For three students, an across curriculum IEP (Individual Learning Plan) was implemented. The modification of class programmes   38

and individual lessons enabled success with personal goals. It was exciting to have included some life skills and creative activities to support learning. Department staff met weekly for support and professional development. The topics covered included knowledge of selected programmes, assessments, and how to plan relevant and achievable goals. Electronic reading programmes were used, which supported class reading programmes. The Head of Learning Support attended the Christchurch Independent Schools’ Support Group meeting during the year. This was both valuable and motivating. The department aims to continue to use the best researched resources and teaching methods for our students, and to provide them with every chance to reach their potential and experience success. 2020 will bring many new and exciting developments to enhance learning opportunities for our students. It is with anticipation that we look forward to implementing some new initiatives and continue to provide very personal programmes to meet individual needs.

Visual Arts

2019 in the Preparatory School artroom was busy, engaging all students in exploring the huge range of media and skill-building processes to create artworks to treasure. The students readily set to work and consolidated previous learning and applied new skills. The Preparatory School Visual Arts programme in 2019 was further refined and designed to specifically meet the key aim of integrating Te Reo Māori and Tikanga Māori seamlessly into weekly art classes. This integration worked well at all levels, from simple actions such as greeting all students in Te Reo Māori and using the language in a natural manner within everyday situations, to extending the focus on Māori traditional and contemporary art practices as a primary context for learning new skills and techniques. Given the cyclic nature of the established programme, it was possible to build on students’ previous learning and find new ways of applying newly acquired skills and techniques within the context of Te Reo Māori.

Advice and encouragement from Te Reo Māori teacher, Marcelle Leo’o, and fellow members of the Te Reo Māori PLG who met three times per term in the Art classroom for language lessons, also added a positive dimension to this year’s initative. It was noticeable that as classroom teachers introduced more Te Reo into their own programmes, the students were more fluent and relaxed in using Te Reo in everyday situations. They were proud to have their language knowledge. Art units trialled in 2018 were revised and reviewed to meet the needs of students and refine the methods and processes used. Incidental learning can sometimes be generated by real-life experiences, hence the opportunity for some senior classes to explore Islamic art as a means of responding to 15 March in an expression of unity through art. A large unit of work focusing on Matariki saw a school wide exhibition of artwork, mainly in three dimensions, celebrating this special time of year. Students incorporated harakeke weaving, kite making, kete 39

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making, and Māori traditional patterns and designs into their art. Junior students were introduced to many different types of media, in order to explore new materials and processes. Keeping their work in a large visual art diary provided a good record of their progress in Visual Arts. Accessing art outside the classroom has become a feature of the Senior Art programme. In both semesters, Years 7–8 Art classes engaged with art within our city centre, looking at the way art is encountered on the street and comparing that experience with art displayed in galleries. Meetings with artist and gallery owners enhanced the students’ learning and gave them the opportunity to discuss art making with people from a variety of backgrounds and approaches to visual expression. This year the students encounted the street art of Ruby Jones, the young artist whose work so poignantly captured the spirit of our city after 15 March. Once more, students engaged enthusiastically with clay and the pottery process. All students were able to produce pottery through every stage of the process including glazing and firing. It was beneficial to take time over these pieces, to understand the firing process, and use glazes effectively.


Students’ artworks continued to dominate the interior environment of the Preparatory School. All students have contributed artworks to these displays in many media. Ongoing projects like the memorial poppies by Year 5 were maintained. Popular activities such as building with the architectural LEGO saw further development in the students’ understanding of how to evolve an idea visually and take new directions. The excellent resourcing of the Art programme ensured that all students worked with high quality equipment and materials.


2019 saw the implementation of the Kodaly pedagogy at the Year 3 level. The children developed their understanding of the moveable ‘doh’. This enabled them to not only sing songs using solfa, but transfer the solfa pitches for a given song to pitched instruments. The children played the given piece in various transpositions. The children demonstrated their understanding of moveable doh on   pitched instruments, playing a given   piece of music in a range of keys. Likewise, the children were able to make pitch dictations on the music stave (of a given song) and demonstrate they could transpose the melody on the stave using solfa. Grasping the concept of moveable doh has provided the children with a much deeper learning experience and in turn further developed their aural skills. A wonderful bonus of teaching this pedagogy has been the development and the strengthening of the Year 3 singing skills. As a result, the vocal contribution

that the Year 3 students made to the 2019 Junior Choir was very strong. The Seesaw programme was used to report on children’s music learning from Years 1–6. Most of the posts were video recordings of class performance activities. This provided a valuable tool for both the children and their teachers to reflect upon classroom learning. The children loved sharing their learning through this medium, and the accessibility was appreciated by the parent community. This year the children enjoyed the performance of the adapted opera   The Barber of Seville put on by the   New Zealand Opera. The opportunity to enjoy the performance of live music makes up the performance component of the Music curriculum. Once again, we were entertained by a superb performance. New Zealand Opera provided detailed resource material   that was able to be used to prepare   the audience in advance of the   41

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performance, thus deepening the   students understanding and appreciation of this opera. In August, the two Year 6 classes participated in the Strum Strike Blow Festival at the Horncastle Arena, alongside 1000 children from other Christchurch schools. One of the classes learnt recorder pieces for the event, while the other played pieces on the mallet instruments. A feature of the chosen pieces of music was the provision of multi-level music parts, thus catering to the range of music abilities, and extending children who were more musically able. A highlight for the children was being part of 1000 children playing massed items of music together. The performance of the James Bond Theme was voted as their favourite piece by the children. This is always a popular event and a positive   way for the children to perform to a   live audience. In June, the Years 6–8 Cantare Choir took part in a new choral venture, the Encore Festival, which was held at Christ’s College. The event was a day-long choral festival for students in Years 6–10 from Christchurch independent schools. The students gathered in the morning to combine with other schools to learn massed item pieces. During the evening concert, each school choir presented an item. The evening concluded with three massed items. This was enormously successful and a lot of fun. It was great 42

working with music colleagues from other schools, and for our students to combine with other school choirs. Another highlight for the choir was singing in the 80th Primary Schools’ Music Festival. This year saw the festival return to the Christchurch Town Hall. It was a very special evening being back in the Town Hall with its wonderful acoustics, and a first being in the Town Hall for many of our students. At the end of Term 3, the Junior Choir and Cantare Choir were invited to sing in the St Andrew’s College Choral Extravaganza Concert. The choirs each sung two pieces. The choirs were able to listen to music performed by a range of choral groups and a range of musical genres. Our unique setup of having our Preparatory School choirs sing alongside our Secondary School groups provides our students with an opportunity to listen to groups that they might join later in their time at school. This year was a particularly strong year for the Junior Orchestra with a very secure string section. This was the result of the superb string teaching from Ginnie Goldstein onsite in our school. A performance aim for the year was to raise the profile of this group within the College. The orchestra performed on four occasions, at the St Andrew’s College classical concert early in the second term, an afternoon concert to students in the Preparatory School, and twice at Tuesday morning chapel services. The

final performance was of the Ukrainian Bell Carol, showing off the orchestra’s ability to play pianissimo (very quiet) right through to fortissimo (very loud). The Junior School Christmas Carol Concert in the Chapel featured music items from each of the Years 1–3 year groups. The Year 2 children used one of their Kodaly repertoire songs and composed their own Christmas themed lyrics. They then played this piece on resonator bells and glockenspiels. The children learnt a lot about performing together on their instruments, and the skill of staying together playing in time. The Year 3 children sung a setting of Away in a Manger that had been put forward by one of the children. It has been a rewarding to see the Preparatory School children continue to develop their music skills in both the classroom and in performance groups, and in turn share this in performance settings in the classroom programme, school, and community settings.


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

Dance and Drama

The Preparatory School provides opportunity for students to develop literacies in Dance and Drama. Students have one class a week for two terms.

Dance The focus of Dance education is for students to use this genre as a creative form of expression. Student-led choreography is the primary focus of the programme at St Andrew’s College. Students in Years 1–6 continued to develop their skill in Dance with a focus on the elements of movement. They shared their class work informally with each other. There were no opportunities for sharing Dance formally during the year for these groups, except for Year 3, who created Dance to share as part of their inquiries. Students in Years 7–8 focused on musical theatre; using Dance to communicate a message within the context of a wider 44

story. Some of the choreography was student-led and some used learnt choreography. The work created was shared formally in the setting of the production.

Drama All students from Years 1–8 experienced Drama during the year. Junior students created imagined worlds and worked in role to become experts based on picture book contexts. Placing students in a role as an expert allows them to apply thinking skills to solve problems rather than rely on an adult for the answers. Students in Years 4–6 developed work using picture books and common human themes in a range of contexts, and focused on ways to develop a role. The students used space and facial

expressions to create meaning and learnt how to create tension within a scene. Year 7–8 students worked with short scripts for the production. These were co-constructed and developed within class, with editing completed by Ginnie Thorner. The students used these scripts to explore the ways role can come alive using voice, body, movement, and space. Each class had students take on leading roles.

Production The biennial production was performed at the end of Term 2. All Year 7–8 students participated in creating and performing the work. The work was created as short pieces for each class. Each class produced a review-styled piece rather than an over-arching story. Six students took on technical roles. These students were mentored by a crew of senior students from the Secondary School. This was a positive aspect of the production process, and many of the mentors had been in technical roles as students in the Preparatory School.

D-squared For 15 years, the lunchtime group, D-squared, has met the needs of students wishing to do more Drama. In the first semester, the group was the largest it has been with 45 students involved each week. The students worked on a specific musical theatre piece that

was performed as part of the production. In the second semester, the group number settled at 25 regular students. There were many interruptions to the work which included the teacher being on medical leave (following an accident), and many sport and ballet clashes. This made the work difficult to sustain. The students benefited from working with the Head of Theatresports during Term 4. The connection between classroom inquiry and Dance and Drama worked well for some classes. Going into 2020, it will be important to ensure that students have opportunities to perform their work in a formal setting. Dance and Drama continued to provide an aesthetic opportunity for students to express thoughts and ideas. This was an important way for students to apply thinking skills, work collaboratively   with others, and learn about the   human experience. 45

Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

Physical Education

In the Preparatory School students received an interactive and enjoyable Physical Education programme involving a variety of sport options to cater for all needs and abilities. This provided the opportunity to develop skills and to identify sporting codes of interest to pursue in the future. Physical Education is learning in, through, and about movement. It is not about creating elite athletes, and its prime focus is to develop interpersonal skills and enjoyment in participating in physical activities to create a healthy way of living. The aim of the programme is to inspire, motivate, and educate students in the physical environment to be healthy in all aspects of hauora. This was done successfully and was evident through student achievement in a variety of school events and activities and linking in with the school’s focus on well-being. Little tweaks were made from the previous year. 46

The focus area for the Junior Syndicate was to discover movement through non-sport specific activities. Activities for this stage enabled children to explore and discover for themselves what is involved in performing a movement or skill. Students also developed the skills to work successfully in a small group or team. This enabled them to be a productive participant and to manage their behaviour in Physical Education lessons. A perceptual movement programme was also offered twice a week to the Year 1 students which helped not only with their physical literacy but also classroombased activities such as writing. A development phase occurred in the Middle Syndicate curriculum. The students became more efficient and refined in movement through repetition in a variety of contexts. This included an introduction to basic game play of

mainstream sports. Students also started to experience a leadership role within the class and started to involve themselves more in team strategies and game tactics. They were exposed to a variety of sporting contexts, so they were able to find one that suited them and was enjoyable. The aim was not to make elite athletes but to make them want to have a lifelong relationship with physical activity. Through the Senior Syndicate the students consolidated the skills developed in earlier years. They applied movement skills in a variety of ways and combined other movements in more complex games and activities. Skills became more automatic and the focus was on being able to naturally transfer skills from one context to another. There was also a greater focus on tactical and strategic game play. Students were confident in taking on the role as a leader and be able to have the respect of their peers to do this. Most students were able to manage themselves in all lessons with limited teacher direction. Physical Education does not only focus on movement, it also focuses on interpersonal skills such as teamwork, co-operation, listening, managing self, and relating to others. These are the skills that have been identified in the New Zealand Curriculum as Key Competencies. The Physical

Education programme gives students the opportunity to learn, develop, and fine-tune these skills in an energetic and motivating environment which they can then apply to all facets of life. Many new activities were implemented in 2019 to keep up with the latest trends and technology. These activities came from numerous PD opportunities during the year, professional conversations with colleagues, as well as social media websites where teaching practices are shared and developed with other educators all around the world. The Physical Education programme benefited from these new ideas which in turn correlated to successful student learning opportunities no matter the ability. Such things included golf, skate school, and wheelchair basketball. Unfortunately, the programme was compromised at times with the lack of facilities available. The College facilities are amazing, but with Elite Sports, Secondary School, Preparatory School, and various dance options all competing for space, this can be an issue and needs to be addressed.


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

Religious Education

Many years ago, two brothers, Saint Peter and Saint Andrew, encountered a leader and friend in the form of a man named Jesus. These two men were the first recorded names of the followers of Jesus, commonly known as disciples. Jesus’s model of leadership was that of a Shepherd, one who guides the ones in his or her care. Throughout the year, the Preparatory School students heard stories of men and women who strove to lead people peacefully through challenging life experiences. During chapel services, students were encouraged to learn the power of silence as a way of being calm and peaceful. The 2019 Sacristans were a team of seventeen enthusiastic students who modelled servant leadership throughout the year, while developing their areas of strengths. Our school values, where we strive to Develop Positive Relationships (DPR Values), transcend time and place. This year, the three areas of focus were Hope, Compassion, and Respect. Each of these values are required to enable people to 48

flourish. The Pastoral team, teachers, management, and support staff all work together to support students with these values. Students attend one Religious Education lesson per week throughout the school year. In Years 1–3 the use of the online programme Seesaw was successfully used to share learning with family members. Year 5 students were given the opportunity to give feedback via Student Voice as a part of Appraisal Connector. Information gathered from students, together with regular reflective practice by teaching staff produced useful data to amend and add to the Religious Education programme. There were four Sunday Preparatory School chapel services throughout the year. Term 2 saw the introduction of a Year 8 Communion Service, which was a new initiative for this year group and was led by Rev. Paul Morrow. On 24 November, the annual Advent Service was attended by students from Years 1–8 together with

their families and friends. The service was in the form of carols and readings and was overseen by Jillian Fenton. Jillian spoke about the history and significance of gift giving at Christmas time, and the school community responded by giving suitable gifts to be distributed to needy families in the community by the Christchurch City Mission.

To conclude, in order to signify the end of chapel the following waiata is usually sung by all present. Te aroha (Love) Te whakapono (Faith) Me te Rangimarie (And Peace) TÄ tou tÄ tou (Be amongst us all).

The school community also supported Christian World Service, who support children internationally. 49

Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019


2019 was a successful year in the Preparatory School Library. In addition to a full programme of reading engagement activities and information literacy lessons, the year saw a variety of initiatives introduced to further develop the library service, ensuring high levels of student engagement.

Collection Development The most significant initiative in 2019 was the major reorganisation or genrefication of the General Fiction collection. This reorganisation brought the Preparatory School Library collection in line with modern library practice in both the education and public sector, and perhaps more importantly, the collection now mirrors that in The Green Library and Innovation Centre. Student feedback was extremely positive, and all indications are that the new system has improved access to the fiction collection. The importance of maintaining a relevant and vibrant collection is critical to the success of the Preparatory School 50

Library. Approximately 700 new resources were added to our collection in 2019, and in addition to general updating and maintenance, the purchasing plan targeted three key areas: • The development and launch of a new Te Reo collection, focusing at this stage on Picture Book titles from New Zealand authors, along with popular overseas titles that have been translated. This collection has been very popular with our Pre-school and Junior School and will continue to develop as our Te Reo skills grow. • An expansion of the Graphic Novel collection. These books have proved extremely popular with all students across a range of ages and reading abilities. Graphic Novels were the most requested item from the 2018 Student Survey, and the most common request from our suggestion box. • The development and launch of a Wicked Reads collection, targeting resources for our less able readers with some accessible high interest novels.

Borrowing statistics for the 2019 academic year remained encouraging. Circulation numbers indicated that over 26,000 books were borrowed from the Preparatory School Library during the period. In addition, a further 1400 eBooks and audiobooks were issued to Preparatory School students through our digital library provider. These results indicate that despite the great demands and distractions for students today, the school library remains a relevant part of student life at St Andrew’s College Preparatory School.

Reading Engagement The promotion of reading for both learning and pleasure continued throughout 2019. All students took part in a variety of reading engagement activities including story time, the annual Wide Reading Award challenge, Simultaneous Story-times, Book Talks, and for our older students Speed Dating Books and the Kids’ Lit Quiz. The introduction of a House competition increased the level of commitment to our already popular Wide Reading programme, with an almost 50 per cent improvement in the number of Gold Wide Reading Awards gained this year, compared to 2018. As always, Book Week was the highlight of the year. The theme for 2019 was Better Together: a celebration of 51

Preparatory School Annual Report | 2019

the great families and friendships of children’s literature. The students enjoyed a whole week packed with literary entertainment, including scavenger hunts, craft activities and fun competitions, and the annual inter-class Battle of the Books. Bestselling New Zealand author, James Russell, visited the school and entertained us all with his Dragon Brother and Dragon Defenders stories, along with many stories from his own life. James is a natural storyteller and had all students from Years 1–8 engrossed in his tales. The week ended with our annual Book Week Parade where we all dressed up as some of our favourite characters from children’s literature. Many students worked with the Better Together theme and teamed up with friends for the parade.

Information Literacy The Information Literacy programme, developed in 2018, continued through   into 2019 and provided students from Years 4–8 with the skills to navigate the ever-expanding information highway.

Environment Early in 2019 a decision was made to lower the Library shelving and put the freestanding shelves on wheels. This investment had a significant impact on   the Library space creating a less cluttered, more open and modern feel.


The ability to move shelving around easily also created a more flexible space which was then used to host a variety of events throughout 2019. Additionally, a generous donation of new couches from the PTA improved the overall look and comfort of the Library. A further change was the introduction   of ‘Friday Unplugged’. Friday lunchtime the Preparatory School Library became   a device free zone. Students were encouraged to read, play board games, socialise with friends, and engage in arts/crafts activities. This was a successful initiative; many students enjoyed the different atmosphere in the Library on a Friday lunchtime and this initiative will continue in 2020.


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