Preparatory School Annual Report 2023

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Preparatory School ANNUAL REPORT 2023


The end-of-year 2023 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 1 Student-centred Learning Approach 4 Curriculum / Teaching and Learning 5 Assessment and Reporting 8 Well-being and Pastoral Care 10 Gifted and Talented 12 Junior Department 16 Middle Syndicate 20 Year 7 Team 22 Year 8 Team 24 Sport 27 Learning Support 32 Visual Arts 36 Music 38 Dance and Drama 40 Physical Education 42 eLearning 45 Religious Education 46 Library 48 Te Reo Māori 50

2023 was a Year of High-level Academic Achievement

Advancement in Literacy and Numeracy continued during the year, as did the children’s ongoing development of strategies and tools for learning. The children performed well against national benchmarks.

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 continues to be acknowledged and recognised as a showcase and 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.

Academic Achievements in 2023


Children at or above national averages



Children at or above national averages 91.2%


Children at or above national averages



Children within or above their year level standard 96.1%


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 their 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 being 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.

During the year, the children enjoyed high levels of success – there were many outstanding academic, sporting, and cultural achievements.

Some of the highlights were:

• several students won competitions –Writing, Poetry, Speech and Drama, Future Problem Solving (individual category), and in teams – Future Problem Solving;

• most children played and enjoyed more than one sport, and many achieved regional and national success;

• there was ongoing development of coding and robotics, and the 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 2024, we will have a targeted Annual Plan which will continue to support the ongoing development of the school’s Student-centred Learning Approach (page 4). 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 2024 school year is set to be an exciting and productive year for students and staff.


Student-centred Learning Approach




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Key Competencies

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 per cent of the weekly timetable. Numeracy (Mathematics), Enrichment (specialist areas), and Units of Inquiry make up most of the remaining time in the timetable.

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.

2023 saw the launch of Te Mātaiaho: the refreshed New Zealand Curriculum. Te Mātaiaho has been developed over

the last three years in collaboration with the education sector, students, whānau, communities, and a wide range of interested organisations and communities.

Te Mātaiaho is framed within a whakapapa that connects all its components. Each learning area draws on the components of the whakapapa and uses the same structure so that the curriculum is coherent as a whole and easy to use.

‘Mātai’ means to study deliberately, examine, and observe, and ‘aho’ describes the many strands and threads of learning.

Te Mātaiaho is designed to give practical effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and be inclusive, clear, and easy to use. Within the framework the key changes include:

• the whakapapa of Te Mātaiaho;

• Mātaitipu – a vision for young people, which was written by young people;

• a purpose statement to ensure equity and inclusion for students;

• Mātauranga Māori will sit at the heart of the learning areas, with key competencies, literacy, and numeracy explicitly woven into each learning area;

• the refreshed curriculum will be progression-focused, rather than outcomes-focused;

• curriculum levels and achievement objectives will be replaced with five phases of learning: Years 1–3, Years 4–6, Years 7–8, Years 9–10 and Years 11–13;

• as each Learning Area is rewritten it will follow the Understand, Know, and Do format of the current Histories Curriculum.


Staff in the Preparatory School have attended two sessions in 2023 with the curriculum leads from the Ministry of Education. The sessions covered the why of refresh, what the major changes are and delved into the deeper whakapapa of the document. In 2024 this learning will continue with the learning areas of English and Mathematics able to be explored and used in schools.

In Term 1 of 2023, staff across Years 1–6 completed their training in Structured Literacy. Structured Literacy is a highly explicit and systematic way of teaching all important components of literacy and is based on The Science of Reading. These components include both foundational skills (e.g. decoding, spelling, handwriting and letter formation) and higher-level literacy skills (e.g. reading comprehension, written expression). It has gained considerable

traction in New Zealand Education circles in recent years, particularly as an approach for our youngest learners and those with learning differences. All staff in Years 1–6 embedded this approach into their classroom practice and saw the considerable benefits of doing so amongst students. A structured literacy approach is also used by our learning support team and it has been beneficial to have a cohesive approach across classrooms and learning support teams.

A student-centred learning approach where learning is visible, has continued to underpin and drive teaching in the Preparatory School. In 2023, the focus has continued to be on teacher clarity, which according to Professor John Hattie, is one of the most important learning interventions available. Specifically, the following areas were a focus:

• learning intentions and success criteria are visible to students. Students know what they are learning and what success looks like;

• students have opportunities to self-assess their work;

• formative feedback is given to students;

• feedback is related to the learning intentions;

• NEXT STEP: feedback incorporates listening to the children explain their thinking.

The teaching of Aotearoa New Zealand

Histories as part of the Social Sciences learning area continued to grow in 2023. Through the Social Sciences, students explore “how societies work and how they themselves can participate and take action as critical, informed, and responsible citizens” (the New Zealand Curriculum,


page 17). Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories (ANZH) curriculum content supports this focus on critical citizenship – understanding the past to make sense of the present and to inform future decisions and actions. It focuses on stories of interactions across time that connect us to one another and to place. There are three elements to the histories curriculum content: understand, know, and do. Teachers design learning experiences that weave these elements together so that student learning is deep and meaningful.

In 2023 the Preparatory School was fortunate to have the knowledge and expertise of teacher Mary Leota working part-time implementing the ANZH curriculum in classrooms across Years 3–8. Mary taught a lesson once a week or fortnight to classes, and teachers participated as learners for these classes. Lessons covered a mix of learning and inquiry into our local history as well as basic te reo language development.

In 2023, there continued to be a focus on the use of te reo Māori in classrooms. Te reo Māori is one of New Zealand’s three official languages and providing our students with a basic understanding of te reo Māori and tikanga has had many benefits for them. All teachers attended short professional development sessions run by Mary Leota and implemented this learning in their classrooms. These sessions had a dual focus of actively encouraging staff to develop confidence in their own speaking while providing practical activities for use in the classroom. Mary has also been involved in the teaching of te reo to classes across Years 3–8, with teachers taking part in these lessons too as learners.

During Terms 2 and 3 staff, along with their classes, have taken part in monthly te reo challenges. These have involved new learning in the following areas; numbers, dates, the weather, Matariki, topic vocabulary, waiata and karakia and treaty principles. Staff have embraced the new learning and in particular the opportunity to work with a buddy staff member and class in a tuakana/teina role. Students have displayed an increasing 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.

In 2023 there has been a new role in the Preparatory School in the area of Practical Science. This position has been filled by Christina Fitzgerald whose considerable passion for Science has flowed through into an exciting and dynamic programme. Students across Years 4–8 attend once a week with their homeroom teacher in the Preparatory School Science lab. Year 4–6 students have been focusing on scientific method and design, and the concept of fair testing to develop controlled experiments. In Years 7–8, classes took part in the dynamic and competitive Power Challenge, which taught them about electricity, how it is generated, moved, and used across Aotearoa. The Power Challenge was part of a wider programme called the Wonder Project. This programme partners schools with engineering and STEM professionals who work directly with teachers and students to grow their skills and confidence. Another highlight of the Years 7–8 programme was the teaching of biology and adaptation through dissection.


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.

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 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. Teacher clarity formed part of the appraisal process for classroom teachers in 2023 and will continue to be an area of focus in 2024. Teacher clarity is about helping students gauge their own progress using success criteria and intentional and deliberate feedback.

There are five essential practices for teacher clarity that over time will result in a greater ability for students to manage their own learning. These are:

• crafting learning intentions and success criteria;

• co-constructing learning intentions and success criteria with learners;

• creating opportunities for students to respond (i.e. formative assessment);

• providing effective feedback on and for learning;

• sharing learning and progress between students and teachers.

Informal assessment opportunities such as peer and self-assessment, when added to learning conversations and more formal assessment tools allow both teacher and student to better understanding what learning has been achieved and to then set realistic goals for where to next.

Formal Assessment Tools and Online Testing

e-asTTle continued to be our main tool for assessing Year 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. e-asTTle provided information to teachers, students, and parents about levels of achievement relative to the curriculum achievement outcomes for Levels 2–6. 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. Running Records were used as one of the primary assessment tools across


all levels. In 2023, staff in the Junior Department and Learning Support trialled using decodable texts as a better way of assessing whether students are responding to instruction and what the next steps for learning are. During the year staff embedded use of ‘The Code – A Structured Literacy’ approach to teaching spelling. It includes the phonological assessment screening tool, a scope and sequence, word checks to place students on appropriate year levels, progressions for each year level with lists that have an explanation/ definition to support explicit teaching, a lesson sequence and supporting activities. This programme gives highly detailed assessment information and forms part of a wider change to the teaching of Literacy, particularly in the early years.

Reporting to Parents

The use of the Community Portal as the means to view reports was continued in 2023 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);

• 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. Minor changes to the timing of reports for our new entrants occurred to align with changes to legislation which has meant children can only start school after their fifth birthday.

The change to a Structured Literacy approach in 2023 have necessitated a change in how we report student progress, initially in Reading and Spelling in Years 1–3. Student progress is now aligned with the stages contained in the Little Learners Love Literacy resource. Once students complete the seven stages, typically over the first two to three years of their schooling, reporting shifts to the colour wheel (Year 3) and curriculum levels (Year 4–8).

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 Preparatory School the portfolio continued to be digital in 2023 using the online platform Seesaw. Students in Years 7–8 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.


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.

Well-being in the Preparatory School encompasses the following key aspects:

• Bounce Back: An evidence-informed programme that provides teachers with practical strategies to teach well-being, resilience, and socialemotional skills;

• StAC-UP: Explicit expectations for students underpinned by the College Values of Truth, Excellence, Faith, Creativity and Inclusivity;

• House Token Rewards: Student recognition for following StAC-UP values and expectations;

• Restorative Practice and StAC-UP Steps: Provides clear pathways and protocols for any behavioural issues that occur;

• Survey Tools and Referral Systems: provide a communication link between students and staff and assist students to access support when needed;

• Pastoral Support and counselling: counselling is available as needs arise.

Primary aged children in New Zealand experience a range of challenging

circumstances that highlight the need for the kind of support that dedicated counselling and pastoral care can offer. Some of the issues facing young people in this age group include anxiety, low selfesteem, managing grief, parental divorce, friendship difficulties, suicidal thoughts and self-harm. In the Preparatory School we are lucky to have the services of an equivalent full-time counsellor, covered by two staff, who are part of a wider Preparatory School Pastoral team.

The Pastoral and Well-being team had a very busy time supporting students in 2023. The team consists of two counsellors; Kate Scott and Mike Coleman, who work alongside the Deputy Principal (Well-being) Vicki Pettit, Head of Learning Support Irene Cronan and Preparatory School Chaplin Jillian Fenton. The team meet weekly to discuss current students receiving support and the allocation of any new referrals. Typically, students are supported by the two counsellors with weekly or fortnightly sessions. Parents are involved through regular communication and outside agencies recommended when necessary. Team leaders attend twice a term and provide a vital link between what’s happening in the classroom and the pastoral team. In 2023 our two counsellors have mentored several thirdyear counselling students who, as part of their studies take on students within the Preparatory School.

In 2023 all classes across Years 4–8 used the survey tool Komodo to track well-being. Komodo is designed to help students understand their own well-being and provide a bridge between staff and students. The tool consists of a short survey that students fill in on a fortnightly basis. The questions are chosen by staff


and cover topics such as device use and bullying, as well as social and emotional well-being. Student responses are tracked and consistently low scores across several surveys flags a student for a ‘check in’. Students can, at any time, also request a ‘check-in’ with a staff member. During Term 2 staff attended an afternoon session with a trainer from Komodo to enhance their knowledge and understanding of this web-based programme.

The whole staff attended a two-hour professional development session with Sharon Gousmett. Sharon is an educational psychologist who specialises in diagnosing neurodiversity in children. Her session covered a range of topics including what to expect when teaching students who may present with different neurodiversity differences and how to cater for these in the classroom. Specifics covered autism spectrum, sensory issues, ADHD and behaviour/impulse issues. Students who are neurodiverse are much more likely to struggle with anxiety and

this session provided practical ideas on how to best support this growing population in our school.

The Deputy Principal (Well-being) also attended two online sessions run by Life Education. The two-part series was on the topic of helping students with anxiety and the facilitator imparted many practical tips and tools for helping students, which were shared with the Pastoral team.

The Pastoral team again facilitated and added to an extensive Clubs Programme in the Preparatory School. This year the following clubs were offered: Minecraft, Robotics, Chess, Book Club, Glee Club, Crafts, Games and LEGO. Clubs provided students with a more diverse range of options for break times. As we recognise and welcome a range of students in our school, it has been important to provide a place where all feel welcome and able to connect with their peers who have similar interests.


Gifted and Talented

The purpose of defining and identifying giftedness is to recognise individual and group abilities, qualities, and interests. Gifted education is about ensuring gifted potential is realised, gifted learners discover their strengths and follow their passions, and 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

Definition and Identification

Defining and recognising giftedness serves the essential goal of acknowledging both individual and collective talents, attributes, and interests.

Education for gifted students in the Preparatory School involves tailored programmes and strategies to support their unique needs and talents. These

programmes are designed to help gifted students fully develop their abilities and thrive academically and personally. Our approach to gifted education typically includes:

• Identification and assessment: Schools use various methods to identify gifted students, such as standardised tests, teacher recommendations, and assessments of their abilities and potential;

• Differentiated curriculum: Gifted students often receive a differentiated curriculum that challenges them at an appropriate level, allowing them to delve deeper into subjects and explore more advanced concepts;

• Enrichment activities: The Preparatory School offers a range of enrichment activities, including extracurricular clubs, competitions, and projects that cater to gifted students’ interests and abilities;

• Individualised education plans for gifted students involves tailored


programmes and strategies to support their unique needs and talents, help them fully develop their abilities and thrive academically and personally;

• Support for social and emotional needs through our pastoral care system: Gifted students may receive support to address the social and emotional challenges they may face, such as perfectionism, underachievement, and peer relationships.

Curriculum enrichment is taught by specialist teachers and includes Physical Education, Religious Education, Spanish (Years 1–7), French (Year 8), Music, Dance and Drama, Art, Practical Science, Food and Materials Technology (Years 7–8).

In 2023 the following areas were provided:

Future Problem Solving (FPS)

For our students, Future Problem Solving equips them with a wide range of problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills that are valuable not only in academic settings but also in their future careers and personal lives. It encourages a holistic approach to addressing complex challenges and fosters a sense of responsibility for creating a better future.

Not only do the children explore relevant global topics, but they develop ‘Innovation Skills’ in class.

The Four C’s

• Creativity and Innovation – Problem solving situations are set in the future to encourage inventive thinking. Students learn to look at situations from a variety of perspectives;

• Creativity is essential as they generate challenges and develop multiple ideas for solutions to pressing problems;

• Critical Thinking and Problem Solving – Students use analysis to gain an understanding of issues in today’s world and to comprehend the significant aspects of complex situations set in the future. Problem solving skills are applied as they focus on possible solutions and develop Action Plans for those situations;

• Communication and Collaboration –Students collaborate in teams while learning about the issues and while applying their problem-solving skills. Clear and articulate communication is developed while working with a team, an essential skill for our future leaders.

After researching the topic, students are presented with a one-page futuristic scenario, the ‘future scene’ which extrapolates existing trends and adds futuristic elements. They research the topic in depth, then learn and apply the six-step future problem-solving process.

We had 40 students take part in FPS in 2023 across Years 5–8.

The children were engaged and excited about this year’s topics. Study booklets provided for each new topic included video links, research articles and topic terminology. We had fun in class competing with one another around terms and definitions, and how we could include as many new ‘intellectual’ words into our creative challenges.


The students enjoyed using the virtual reality headsets when we were exploring the topic of Digital Realities. The children loved the hands-on discovery time. A highlight was seeing the excitement, enthusiasm, and dedication that the children put into the topics. Students would often invite themselves to lead the class on new and interesting facts and findings. This is a chance for gifted and talented students to shine. It is also a platform for discussion among likeminded students.

National Champions:

• Year 8 Team: Maja Clark, Alexa Collis, Alyssa Geddes, Sophie Schouten;

• Year 8 Individual: Genevieve Bainbridge-Smith;

• Year 7 Team – Presentation of Action Plan: Alice Glover, Tasmin Wingfield, Benjamin Yu, Joy Zuo;

• Runner Up – Year 7 Team: Benjamin Edward, Cong (Zilong) Chen, Louis Hyland, Emmett Lawler;

• Third Place – Year 8 Individual: William Nicholls.

Writing Enrichment

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.

2023 saw the Writers’ Enrichment programme in the Preparatory School continue to grow from strength to strength with an increase in classes and two writers’ master classes running from Years 3–8. The purpose of these classes was not only for the students who require

extension in Literacy, but also for those students who have a passion for writing. Kerrin’s 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 Wednesday lunchtime, with a variety of competitions entered including New Zealand Poetry Box, Seaweek Competition, Royal Commonwealth Queen’s Essay Competition, New Zealand Poetry Society International Competition, Vancouver International Competition, Gifted Association Competition, and the Otago Daily Times competition.

The following students had their writing published in 2023.

• Georgia Blyde– Highly Commended Seaweek Canterbury, Runner Up Think Kind Vegetarian Society, Silver Royal Commonwealth Queen’s Essay Competition, also published in ToiToi and New Zealand Poetry Box;

• Alfred Lash – Top 30 Elsie Locke Prize, Commendation Never Such Innocence Competition (UK), Commended Junior Haiku New Zealand Poetry Society, also published in Given Words and ToiToi;

• Mabel Hart – Bronze Royal Commonwealth Queen’s Essay Competition;

• Aneel Bartlett published in Given Words;

• Isabelle Harrison published in New Zealand Poetry Box;

• Radha Gamble published in Rattle Young Poets Anthology



A chess club was run each week by teacher Leanne Gilray. In Term 3, the Preparatory School Chess Championships were held.


• Year 5: First Jack Blyde, Second Samuel Rijpma, Third Alfred Lash;

• Year 6: First Jacob Wang, Second Max Schouten, Third XiaoYa (Cynthia) Zhou;

• Year 7: First Jonathan Armstrong, Second Hudson Blyde, Third Louis Hyland.

Some students also competed at the Canterbury Chess Championships, where Samuel Rijpma was the Year Champion.

Other enrichment opportunities offered in 2023:

• 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;

• D-Squared Drama Group;

• VEX IQ Robotics Club (Year 7–8);

• ICAS Examinations;

• Australian Mathematics Examinations;

• Speech and Drama.


Junior Department

Another exciting year with our department functioning at full capacity, ensured opportunities for children to fully explore the Key Competencies by: working in teams across the department, engaging in activities that acknowledged their thinking and the ideas of others, prioritising communication skills through professional learning and explicit teaching of self-management skills using programmes such as the Mindful Movers.

Appraisal Connector

An ongoing indicator of the dedication and commitment to self-improvement of the teaching team, was evident throughout the year as teaching inquiries were recorded and shared with peers using the Appraisal Connector platform. Our shared theme this year was a focus on Structured Literacy. All Junior Department staff have completed professional learning, provided by Literacy Connections, ensuring full integration of the Structured Literacy programme across the department. New learning and student success has been shared and discussed across the team using Appraisal Connector

Embedding our Learning Culture

A common theme across the Preparatory School is the school wide StAC-UP programme. The Junior team have been creative in linking StAC-UP to class programmes and inquiries. The language of StAC-UP was shared through acts of explicit teaching to ensure our young students developed successful learning and behaviour strategies. Students have

been reflecting on their actions around three key areas: Be Ready, Be Safe, and Be Respectful. This cycle of reflecting and linking actions to StAC-UP through guided conversation and implementing change, has become part of our daily practice.

The highly successful Restorative Practice approach to conflict resolution, supported our StAC-UP programme. Restorative Practice conversations in the classroom and the playground ensured the children were supported in developing the necessary language skills to reflect on and resolve the issues at hand. Links were always made to the key elements of StAC-UP: Be Ready, Be Safe, and Be Respectful.

Te Reo Māori

Teacher Mary Leota has had a very successful year teaching the Year 3 classes and supporting ongoing staff development on the use of te reo in everyday conversation. Her availability and resourcefulness have benefited us all making sure that the use of te reo is commonplace in all classrooms and department events and celebrations. A strong focus has been shifting from single words to simple phrases. A highlight of the year was our Matariki celebrations which encompassed a full week and included our Pre-school friends.

Structured Literacy

Teaching and training in Structured Literacy was a highlight for all staff in our department, including the Learning Support teachers. The Junior Department Reading results are not of concern, but we have been professionally interested in the benefits of this approach to teaching. After


considerable time spent in investigating its merits, we were unanimous regarding the need to retrain and adapt.

Literacy changes our brains, and that changes the lives and trajectory of an individual, which changes a society, which changes the future of our species.

Science of Reading Works to Improve Students’ Lives

We are excited about the benefits of this explicit practice with its excellent scope and sequence guaranteeing complete coverage of the students’ needs. During Term 1 we ran a parent information evening to make certain that everyone understood the changes to our teaching practice and the benefits to our learners. This evening was a great success as many parents came to the presentation and then enjoyed sample lessons in the various classrooms.

Liz Kane’s ‘Little Learners Love Literacy’ programme has been the approach used by our Year 1–2 classes while the Year 3 students step up to using her ‘Code’ resource once they are ready. A highly valued outcome has been the expectation around Reading and Writing skills developing together and enriching each other. This contrasts with the previous approach of teaching them separately. Another welcomed focus was the emphasis on developing correct letter formations and fluency in handwriting. Automaticity in handwriting has been linked to more successful Expressive Writing as the mechanics are no longer a barrier.

We have welcomed opportunities to share our progress with our colleagues from other schools as they have observed lessons.

Peer observations and professional sharing through journals and conversations have contributed to a successful first year of Structured Literacy in our department. We look forward to continuing to build on this in 2024.


Prime Mathematics was the core of our teaching and learning programmes and will remain so in 2024. Our Prime programmes guaranteed a balanced exposure to the three dimensions of Mathematics: Procedural and Computational Skills, Conceptual Understanding, and Problem Solving. Our team of passionate teachers willingly shared their knowledge with others.

This is also evident during Mathematics interchanges undertaken across some year levels providing an opportunity for


in-depth, targeted teaching and meeting the learning needs of small groups of children. The Prime Mathematics review chapters have provided evidence of progress and next learning steps. We look forward to using the new Prime books in 2024 and engaging in opportunities for professional learning.

Transition to School Programme

Full New Entrant classrooms with happy and settled children reflected the successful Transition to School programme operating in 2023. Strong connections and an inclusive relationship between the Pre-school and our Junior Department ensured the children’s needs were the first consideration in all planning. Children who came in from other preschools benefited from this wealth of knowledge, crucial for

a student arriving without a network of friends. We continue to be proud of the programme and its positive results.

Digital Technology

Digital Technology presented some exciting learning opportunities under the expertise of teacher Anneke Kamo. The students in Year 1 began the semester with a coding focus. They started with unplugged coding activities, before moving on to coding the BeeBots. The Year 2 students consolidated their skills by advancing to using the BlueBots, which are coded using an iPad. Stop Motion projects were a highlight in these year groups. The students created both 2D and 3D projects, with Year 1 students showing huge enthusiasm through independently creating their own movies.

The Year 3 students began with lessons centred around digital literacy and cybersafety. As they began using laptops for the first time in Year 3, it was important to teach the children the skills they will need to be safe and responsible online. Later in the year, the Year 3 students completed a range of learning experiences from developing digital literacy skills, using digital inking and learning to code using an online programme called ‘Scratch’. They also made PowerPoint presentations to support their Inquiry about bees, which they shared with their parents at a celebration afternoon.


2023 was a busy and stimulating year for our young learners. One of the highlights was the whole team coming together to investigate and celebrate ‘Busy Bees.’ Following our St Andrew’s College Inquiry


Pathway, the department worked together to understand the life cycle of bees and their crucial impact on our planet. It was the perfect topic to inspire awe and wonder across the department age groups, teachers included. An unexpected outcome was an addition to the Junior Department Duty Teachers’ role. The heightened awareness of bees resulted in children directing the duty teacher to many bee rescues! Depositing stranded bees over the fence into the garden is part of the job description now!

Added depth to this inquiry, came with the inclusion of Kathryn Jer from Clever Little Bees. Kathryn visited each class at least twice to share her knowledge. These visits included: opportunities for the students to try on beekeeping suits; taste pollen and honey; experience bees in a safe and supportive environment with an observational hive; explore hiveware; hold frames to closely examine wax and propolis; and finally question and answer sessions. A step up for the Year 3 students was to visit Kathryn and her hives at the Climate Action Campus in Avonside. The students put on full PPE (beekeeping safety gear) and in small groups entered the hive enclosure and observed the bees and their hives up close. Kathryn taught the students some of the basics of beekeeping and reminded them about the importance of bees in nature and the role they play in a sustainable future. The students were respectful and calm, consequently they appreciated a very special experience few people are privileged to enjoy.

Discovery Time

Each Friday the students in the Junior Department have traditionally participated

in Tūhura Time (Discovery Time), which encourages active engagement from students, promotes motivation, autonomy, responsibility, independence and develops creativity and problem-solving skills. For many students it has been a highlight of the week. By the end of a busy week following a full timetable the Year 1–2 students are ready for the opportunity to move freely, following their individual choices.

The Year 3 students have continued to participate in Tūhura time with the rest of the Junior Department. They have had the opportunity to extend their learning with more teamwork and project-based experiences. Early in the year, some of the students had the idea of making costumes and armour. This was developed into creating recyclable wearable arts, culminating in a Wearable Arts show, performed to family members and the Junior Department. The children were responsible for the planning, creating and modelling of their art, as well as the planning of the show.

Influenced by the successful 2022 Year 3 Film Festival, it was requested once again. All students have created their own Stop Motion film including title, background, sound effects, music and credits. These premiered in the last week of Term 4 to a very appreciative and delighted Junior Department.


Middle Syndicate

During 2023, the Middle Syndicate continued to embed the elements of StAC-UP: Be Safe – inside, outside, and online; Be Ready – to learn in all situations; and Be Respectful –towards others and yourself.


Manaakitanga was a highly valued aspect of our team. We set the expectations for the development of this in our students from our Year 3 transition meetings during Term 4 and continued to strongly encourage, model and make this a non-negotiable in our classrooms, the playground, team gatherings and in the wider school community. At the beginning of the year, we welcomed fourteen new students to our school and the Year 4 students to our team. The team came together for assemblies, fitness, kapa haka and singing to work on further establishing a shared understanding of what Manaakitanga means for us. Year level classes had weekly Aotearoa Studies with teacher Mary Leota.


2023 has been the third year of StAC-UP. It is now embedded in our practice and expectations. StAC-UP was explicitly taught each week and actively promoted daily in our classrooms and team. We used a range of resources for our StAC-UP lessons to meet the particularly needs of our students. Students were invested in the StAC-UP tokens they could earn for demonstrating our StAC-UP values in and out of the

classroom. StAC-UP values are also our point of reference when having conversations with students whose behaviour was not aligning with our shared expectations.

Appraisal Connector

Teachers used Appraisal Connector to record and share their professional learning and appraisals throughout the year. Images, documents, and reflections were uploaded to Appraisal Connector for Class Descriptions, self-appraisal, leadership appraisal and student voice.


All Year 4–6 teachers used the Prime resource, Maths Buddy (online) and exercise books. Mathematics classes were ability grouped at each year level, with Mathematics being taught every day. Groupings were fluid and reviewed regularly to ensure individual needs were attended to throughout the year. Shared assessment practices enabled teachers to communicate progress for all students for the purpose of parent interviews and reporting. Maths Buddy was used for diagnostic tests, weekly revision tasks, individualised lessons and extension. This learning supported whole class and group lessons and paper-based tasks.

Reading: Core 5 (Years 4–5) and Reading Plus (Year 6)

Integration of Core 5 (Years 4–5) and Reading Plus (Year 6) into the classroom reading programme contributed to excellent progress in vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension for Year 4–6 students. Integrating Core 5 and Reading Plus into our Reading lessons has supported


student progress with students making up to 24 months progress. Comprehension textbooks were used in Year 4 and Year 6 classrooms. This resource provided a broad and varied range of text types to engage students, facilitate reading skills and strategies, and targeted comprehension at each student’s targeted level.

Structured Literacy

Year 4–5 teachers attended the end of year 2022 and beginning of year 2023 Structured Literacy professional learning programme. Teachers have developed Structured Literacy expertise in the planning, teaching and assessment of this approach. With the constraints of our timetable, it has proven difficult to teach Structured Literacy daily, as recommended. We will continue to integrate this approach in a manner that works in our school setting. Teachers are looking forward to continuing to further develop their knowledge and expertise in the planning, teaching and assessment of Structured Literacy.

Kapa Haka, Aotearoa Studies and Te Reo Māori

Mary Leota, our specialist teacher in Aotearoa Studies, has taught weekly lessons in our classes. This was an opportunity to build on knowledge and understanding for teachers and students. Teachers were provided with ideas, practical resources, PowerPoints and online tools to use in their daily classroom programmes. Kapa haka was taught by Matua Steve and Mary Leota every Friday morning. One Year 4–6 class attended kapa haka each week, with the other three classes having lessons with a focus on Matariki, Maramataka and Myths and Legends. This was on a

fortnightly rotation. This has broadened student understanding of kapa haka, te reo and Aotearoa Studies in our team. A performance group of ninety students performed at the Arts in Action Showcase, Tūhono 2023 in the Christchurch Town Hall and opened the College’s Years 7–13 Prizegiving at Wolfbrook Arena. This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to perform on stage and share their knowledge and skill with friends, family and the school community.


All students received two terms of Science lessons in the Science Lab with teacher Christina Fitzgerald. Students engaged in hands-on experiments and practical activities in a controlled environment where theoretical knowledge and learning was applied explored during experiments. The students observed, hypothesised, collected data, analysed results and drew conclusions. This hands-on approach enhanced their understanding of scientific concepts and fostered critical thinking and problem-solving skills.


Seesaw has continued to be invaluable tool for communicating and sharing learning with parents. The flexibility of using Seesaw to send messages, share photos and video, give feedback, assign lessons, and assess student work was well utilised.


Year 7 Team

The Year 7 students of 2023 have been focused, enthusiastic, and high achieving, both inside and outside the classroom. It has been exciting to see their continued growth and development into positive young adults.

The year began with a successful transition to Year 7 programme. Students participated in a surfing day at Sumner and a high ropes course at Adrenalin Forest. They also had a morning of Top Team, which is run by Sport Canterbury and is a series of interactive team building challenges designed to promote problem-solving, communication and teamwork while being active and fun. Top Team is unique in that it is designed with all abilities in mind. This helps takes away the ‘intimidation’ factor of physical activity and increases confidence amongst non-participating rangatahi to take part in future events. Top Team encourages maximum participation and fun. These initiatives are important in helping new

students feel comfortable and integrated into the school community. They foster a sense of belonging and provide opportunities for social interaction and skill development, all of which contribute to a positive educational experience.

Throughout the year there has been a significant amount of high-level student success in Year 7. In the ICAS examinations, which are one of the largest and prestigious global competitions for school students we had a large number of high distinctions across all subjects. We also had two ICAS medals awarded which are for students who achieve the highest mark in their year group. Cong (Zilong) Chen was awarded a medal for Spelling and Hudson Blyde achieved the same result in Writing.

In the Australian Mathematics examination, two of our Year 7 students, Cong (Zilong) Chen and Benjamin Yu were awarded the Peter O’Hallaran Award for a perfect score. This is exceedingly rare and an outstanding achievement from both of these talented students.

In October, two Year 7 teams represented St Andrew’s College in the Future Problem Solving National Finals in Auckland. Both teams work exceptionally hard and came away with excellent results. First place – Year 7 Future Problem Solvers team for ‘Presentation of Action Plan’. The members of the winning Year 7 team were: Alice Glover, Tasmin Wingfield, Benjamin Yu, and Joy Zuo. Second Place – Year 7 Future Problem Solvers team for ‘Global Issues Problem Solving’. The members of the team were: Benjamin Edward, Cong (Zilong) Chen, Louis Hyland, and Emmett Lawler. This team have now qualified for the international final which will be held at the University of Indianapolis in June 2024.


Integrated inquiry is a major focus in the Year 7 programme, as it can provide a holistic and engaging approach to education. Integrated inquiry is a teaching and learning method that combines different subject areas and skills to explore and understand complex topics. Here are some key points about the Year 7 programme in 2023:

• Curriculum Integration: By integrating various subjects into the inquiry process, students have the opportunity to explore a topic from different angles. This can help them see the interconnectedness of knowledge and skills, making learning more meaningful and relevant;

• Thinking Skills: Integrated inquiry promotes the development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. These are essential skills for students to apply in various aspects of their education and later in life;

• Information Literacy: Teaching information literacy skills is crucial in today’s information-rich world. Students need to learn how to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively. Integrated inquiry can help students develop these skills as they research and explore topics;

• Information Technology: Incorporating information technology is essential in the 21st century. It allows students to access a wealth of information and communicate their findings. Integrating technology into the curriculum ensures that students are prepared for the digital age;

• Collaboration: Collaboration between Year 7 staff and specialist teachers is beneficial as it enables the sharing of expertise and resources. It also

shows students the importance of working together and learning from various perspectives;

• Varied Topics: The topics covered in 2023, such as St Andrew’s College histories, Aotearoa New Zealand histories, Jean Batten’s flight, and Genius Hour inquiries provide a diverse range of content and allow students to explore different aspects of history, culture, and individual interests.

In Term 3, all Year 7 classes took part in the dynamic and competitive Power Challenge which taught them about the wonderful world of electricity. During the six-week Power Challenge, the students learned about electricity; how it is generated, moved, and used across Aotearoa. Their task was to design and build a wind turbine and use the electricity it generated to light up a mini town, which featured on an LED board. The programme was run by Science specialist, Christina Fitzgerald.

In 2023, there continued to be a focus on the use of te reo Māori in classrooms, recognising its significance as one of New Zealand’s official languages. Across the Preparatory School teachers have been providing students with a basic understanding of te reo Māori and tikanga (Māori customs and traditions). All Year 7 staff have been participating in a range of Professional Learning opportunities. In May, staff attended a one-day workshop at the Tuahiwi Marae. They also attend short fortnightly professional development sessions to enhance their knowledge and skills related to te reo Māori.


There have been several opportunities for students this year. A highlight for many students were sports trips to Australia in the July holidays and to the AIMS Games in Tauranga in September. The year ended on a high for students when they attended a three-day camp at Castle Hill. Students were challenged with many activities including rock climbing, rafting, kayaking, and an overnight tramp.

2023 has been a successful year for both students and staff on many levels. The continued implementation of the StAC-UP programme provides clear behavioural expectations and this transfers to calm and respectful students who are able to perform to the best of their abilities. The staff have enjoyed the cohort of 2023 immensely and we wish them all the best for Year 8.

Year 8 Team

The Year 8 syndicate began the year with a team building trip to Velocity Karts. Students flew around the racetrack on these land-based windsurfers at high speed while teachers were able to observe teamwork and collaborative skills in a series of challenges. Drift carting was also a popular event and when it came to the parents versus teachers, race the gloves really came off. This was a great way to begin the year and an opportunity for teachers and students to get to know one another.

Year 8 teachers spent the first four to five weeks of Term 1 setting up classroom routines and programmes and it was great to hold a meet the teacher evening without the COVID-19 restrictions imposed in the previous two years.

Early in the year students were encouraged to apply for leadership positions throughout the school. We had a large group successfully apply for Prefect, Sacristan, House Captain and Sports Captain roles. These outstanding young people have led from the front all year and have fully justified the faith put in them by their teachers. Our excellent Prefect group also fulfilled peer mediator duties and helped to maintain harmony in the playground. Prefects were also lucky to attend the National Young Leaders’ Day held at the Christchurch Town Hall in Term 2, where they learned the importance of effective leadership and heard from a range of inspiring speakers.

At the beginning of Term 2, the Year 8 syndicate took part in action-packed


camps to Castle Hill. Students enjoyed outdoor activities like abseiling, orienteering and the ever-popular outdoor tramps. The weather had certainly turned autumnal and there was an equal mixture of blazing sun and pouring rain. A particular highlight was the overnight camps outdoors. Sleeping under rock overhangs, bright moonlight and inside bivvy bags was challenging for some students, but there was a real sense of achievement the following morning as sleep deprived 12-year-olds began to stumble back into camp. Hot drinks and bacon croissants were gratefully accepted and devoured. Castle Hill Outdoor Education Centre Operations Manager, Jo Parsons and her team were unrelenting in their positivity and kindness and an enjoyable time was had by all.

Term 3 began with a trip to Mt Hutt ski field for a day of action and fun. It was hugely satisfying to see our students enjoying themselves and interacting with children they did not normally work with. We had excellent, albeit freezing skiing conditions and students took full advantage of beautifully groomed runs, expert guidance from instructors and the chance to be together outside of the school environment.

Some Year 8 students were lucky to attend the AIMs Games in Tauranga in Term 3 and our teams performed outstandingly, often competing against schools with much larger rolls and resources. The girls’ hockey team took third place, a remarkable achievement considering the size of the schools they competed against. Similarly, our netball team placed in the top quarter of what is a fiercely contested competition of around 120 teams.

2023 has been a successful year for learning within the Year 8 team. Literacy rich learning programmes have ensured continued success in Reading and Writing and Year 8 Mathematics interchange, with an extra teacher and small class sizes, has gone from strength to strength. Digital literacy has been well-supported by our terrific ICT team. The expert support of teacher Anneke Kamo and the use of online learning platforms have greatly enhanced the effectiveness of teaching programmes. Students have enjoyed the benefits of specialist teaching, both in the Preparatory and Secondary School, and the connections between both campuses have been strengthened. Mary Leota has again been tireless in her support of students and staff with the continued implementation of the Aotearoa New Zealand histories curriculum and


Te Ao Māori. Furthermore, Christina Fitzgerald, in her new role of Science Specialist, has inspired children across the Preparatory School, and particularly in Year 8. Year 8 students have taken part in STEM challenges, dissected fish and locusts, written, and carried out their own science experiments and been on several Science field trips. The variety across the curriculum has benefitted Year 8 students hugely over the year.

In Year 8 we continued to build on the Preparatory School pastoral care and values system. We have continued to use the online tool Komodo for our Year 4–8 students. Komodo is a well-being platform for students where they complete a survey once a fortnight on specific areas of well-being. Through carefully developed questions we are then able to identify individuals or groups who may require pastoral support. Komodo also helps us to identify year group, or school wide trends that we can address with wider strategies. We also continued to work with students around engaging core values of being safe, being respectful and being ready. StAC-UP, combined with the St Andrew’s College school wide values of Truth, Excellence, Faith, Creativity, and Inclusivity helped to ensure positive relationships amongst students.

Year 8 students participated in a number of physical development activities throughout the year, including swimming and gymnastics. Students had six weeks of gymnastics sessions at the Christchurch School of Gymnastics. They also had swimming lessons at Kings Swim School to help improve swimming levels in preparation for summer. A number of sports exchanges and events also provided

students with an opportunity to test their athletic abilities and interact with students from other schools.

The Year 8 Transition to Year 9 programme was effective and well-run this year. Communication between the Preparatory School and Middle School was fluid, and the process will ensure a smooth transition for Year 8 students into the Secondary School in 2024.

Term 4 has been very busy and we have had a successful Science trip to Orana Park and also utilised the Strowan stream for a water investigation. We also returned to the New Zealand Agriculture Show, where the Year 8 students represented the school beautifully and enjoyed a busy day of discovery. These experiences further highlight the importance of education outside the classroom opportunities. Students were able to make connections between the classroom and the ‘real world’ and it was nice to see the understanding and knowledge of every student enhanced.

The Year 8 group of 2023 have met challenges with great enthusiasm and have maintained their good humour, and importantly, their kindness and respect throughout the year. It has been a great privilege to be a part of the Year 8 syndicate and an even greater honour to be able to lead such an outstanding group of young people and teachers. I wish each and every child all the very best for the future and congratulate them all for the completion of the Preparatory School.



The Preparatory School provides a wide range of sporting opportunities for our students. The emphasis is on opportunity, giving our students the opportunity to participate and the opportunity to 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 be transferred 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, selfconfidence, and general well-being;

• improved ability to concentrate;

• self-discipline, commitment, and responsibility;

• organisational skills.

There were strong participation numbers in Years 4-8 and students embraced the sports options on offer.

Thirty-two students were appreciative that the Australian Tour returned in 2023. Football, rugby and basketball teams


travelled to Queensland, Australia in the July holiday, playing against Anglican Church Grammar School, The Southport School and John Paul College. The tour aims to not only provide high level competition in sport, but also to help develop skills in independence for our students and provide the opportunity to represent the school overseas. The tour was very successful, and hockey and netball will look to return in 2024, playing some co-educational schools in the Sunshine Coast. Netball and hockey also represented the College at the 2023 AIMS Games, the hockey team winning a bronze medal and the netball team finishing in their highest ever placing, 35 out of 148 schools. In 2024, football and rugby will attend the 2024 AIMS Games, alongside either Boys or Mixed hockey. This will be the first time that our rugby players have attended the AIMS Games.

Several school Exchanges (games in basketball, rugby, football, netball, cricket, tennis and hockey) were played during the year. In addition to the schools that we regularly play, King’s School was also part of the school exchange programme. The Preparatory A netball team defeated all the other independent schools, also finishing third in the top section of Year 8 netball in Christchurch.

Many of our students represented their region in a variety of sports and were successful in the ISSA and CPSSA competitions in triathlon, cross country, swimming, and athletics. The school won several Canterbury Primary Schools titles including Girls’ basketball, skiing, and the Girls’ Year 7 4×100m relay.

Leadership opportunities continued to be very important for our Year 8 students.


Sport Captains applied for positions and were 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 coordinators, and fulfill other tasks. The students embraced the opportunities and provided coaching to junior students from Year 1–3. The House Captains not only supported their Houses and developed House spirit within their respective teams, but they successfully ran the sports shed and ensured plenty of lunchtime sports equipment for the Year 4–8 students. The Year 8 leadership programme will be changed in 2024 to provide more meaningful opportunities to those who gain the positions, operating under a general ‘School Leader’ title before being given specific responsibilities alongside those traditionally given to Preparatory School Prefects.

StAC-UP values and the House token system continued to be used in the co-curriculum programme in 2023. Further to this, coaches were encouraged to use language associated to StAC-UP with students and this will be included in the online induction programme that will be introduced in Term 1, 2024.

Coaching is an area that is essential to a successful sporting programme at St Andrew’s. Last year, I met with Year 13 students regarding the opportunity to coach Preparatory School teams in 2024. Several students, who will study in Canterbury, expressed an interest in coaching which will bring considerable skill-based expertise to the coaching team. Sport coaching Professional Development opportunities will be made available to staff

in 2024. We are fortunate to have several very able teacher coaches at the school. Coaching Solutions, Motivationz and Epic Sports Project will again provide quality coaching support with Profile Academy coaches also used. The expansion of the use of professional coaches has improved the quality of coaching for Preparatory School students.

Core Sports continued to go from strength to strength. Once again, the Core sports programme was used in Term 1 for winter team selections, and this gave the students a more substantial opportunity to impress. More professional coaches were used to support better student/ coach ratios, and this also provided more effective quality coaching. In Term 1, students selected their winter sports and had a variety of high-performance coaches in their field. This year the core sport programme continued to be extended to Year 5–6 students for winter sports only. Again in 2024, Core Sports will begin at the start of Term 1. This will allow the preparation for winter sports to start early in the year. Year 4 will be included in 2024. Trials will be replaced with four or five weeks of player identification sessions to select teams during the school day with no disruption to Summer sports. As it stands, the Core Sport programme is currently being used for winter sport only, due to the majority of students selecting social sports or skill development only opportunities for their summer sport options.

Badminton was included in summer sport options again in 2023. Due to the delay in the Theatre, and lack of indoor space, we were unable to provide badminton as an option in Term 4. This issue should alleviate once the Theatre is finished.


Chess has seen great growth in 2023 under the leadership of teacher Leanne Gilray. Students took part in the Canterbury Schools competitions for the first time and are completing skills based badges as they learn and develop their chess skills. Mainly played during the winter season, the programme was extended to Term 4 due to its popularity.

We currently have 15 summer sports and seven winter sports on offer, including an extended Snow Sport programme.

Due to the reduced level of swimming ability identified in the preliminary swim timing and school championships at the beginning of the year, the leadership team determined there was a need to reintroduce Year 4–8 swimming lessons. Team Leaders organised the timing of the programme and each student received five to six lessons. Years 1–3 complete a two-week block in Term 4. This programme had mixed results and is being reviewed for 2024. Years 1–4 will continue with swimming lessons, as will Year 7, aiming to meet the needs of new students to school, particularly those with limited exposure to swimming lessons. Year 8 students who are unable to swim 200m independently will be provided with swimming lessons as a co-curriculum activity.

Sports uniforms are generally in good condition and the strong St Andrew’s brand is represented proudly through the uniforms that students wear. New uniforms have been ordered for 1st XI cricket, 1st XI football, and dresses for Girls’ hockey and netball.

Communication in the Preparatory School for sport is very good. Through

Synergetic, the weekly Preparatory School newsletter, and the StAC App, the community is kept well informed of upcoming events and student achievement.

Coach Induction Online began to spring roots in 2021, with consultation between myself, Director of Sport and Co-curricular Activities Mark Lane, and Chief Information Officer Dave Hart. I provided a current system used at The Southport School in Australia and it was determined that this could be adapted for use at St Andrew’s College. It had been hoped that this would be ready to administer for Winter sports in Term 1, 2023, however reliant on ICT support and development, and due to projects given higher priority, this has taken a back seat until Term 4 2023. It is anticipated that this will go online in Term 1 2024, with a new health and safety section, provided by Health and Safety Manager, Art Preuss. Upon appointment, HR will be able to send online induction and contracts to new contractors. Relevant school policies and information will be available for coaches to read to confirm their understanding alongside any relevant information. The links will be incorporated in SchoolDocs ensuring information is relevant and up to date. Part of the process will ensure all coaches, managers and volunteers are Police vetted.


Learning Support

Learning Support Programmes

The Learning Support Department had a very successful year. We have six Learning Support teacher aides, Patsy Barry, Heather Wilson, Hamish Ramsden, Catherine Henderson-Hughes, Michelle Adair and Hen Hilgendorf who provide Literacy, Mathematics and in-class support. In addition to this, Mary Leota provided intervention in the junior area of the Preparatory School and Annabelle Kerr in the Year 7 team. Alongside this team a new Head of Learning Support, Irene Cronan, was appointed in Term 2 and has been inducted into the role.

Three tiers of support are provided to aide our learners:

• Tier 1: Provides a universal level of support which includes class observations, recommendations, meetings with staff and children and adaptations to programmes within the classroom;

• Tier 2: Provides small group intervention for a selection of students around a targeted need;

• Tier 3: Support is targeted 1:1 support. Some children who have Tier 3 support may have an Individual Education Plan if their needs are across a range of curriculum areas.

The priority for intervention has been Reading. The focus of our practice was to learn and imbed a Structured Literacy approach. Structured Literacy is based on the science of reading and is considered best evidence-based practice around reading, especially important for struggling readers.

The Learning Support Team have worked closely with classroom teachers to ensure that learning and assessment is shared to support success for our students. Many children also have targeted support from external providers. Several of these providers work from the Preparatory School which enables us to collaborate and provide cohesive support for our learners.


Four of our Teacher Aides attended training, from Literacy Connections, at the beginning of the year. This professional development is based on the Science of Reading. The team found this incredibly valuable and have worked hard applying their new knowledge in their teaching. During our weekly team meetings, we share practice, discuss teaching challenges and problem solve together. This provides opportunities for the Head of Learning Support to provide professional development relating to these topics. All teacher aides show evidence within their planning, assessment, and teaching of using The Code and a Structured Literacy approach to teaching reading and spelling.

Phonological awareness skills are considered essential foundation skills for reading and writing. These skills include isolating, blending, segmenting, and manipulating sounds in spoken language. The ‘phonological awareness screener’ was implemented with all students on the learning support roll at the beginning of the year. This aided learning support staff to identify areas of need around skills such as rhyme, alliteration, syllabification, auditory discrimination, blending and segmenting sounds, and onset and rime. These are all important predictors of


reading success and must be addressed. Phonological awareness skills are taught using the Heggerty curriculum, “Equipped for Reading Success” by David Kilpatrick, and Elkonin boxes.

During 2023 we purchased several sets of decodable readers intended for older students, and two sets of games. We also received a range of new decodable texts and games from the Ministry of Education’s Ready to Read Phonics Plus series. The children have responded well to these, and the learning support staff have enjoyed having these to support their teaching.

Our mantra has become, ‘teach as fast as you can, but as slow as you must.’ Ensuring the children master the skills before moving on is crucial. This process is proving effective with many of our children exceeding one year’s progress in reading across the school year.

The Head of Learning Support is trialling several ways to ensure communication around teaching and learning is shared with classroom teachers including a shared document to track progress, emails and Seesaw

Learning Support Register

The Learning Support Register is a living document that reflects the ongoing learning support needs of our students. Each term, the Head of Learning Support, Deputy Principal (Well-being), and team leaders met to discuss students on the roll and any new needs that arose. The Head of Learning Support also attended team meetings once a term to gain feedback from classroom teachers around the support they are receiving and to ensure needs are being

met. Feedback has been extremely positive. The Learning Support Register is regularly updated during learning support team meetings. Records are kept using a shared online notebook around students discussed in each team. These records are made accessible to team leaders.

To ensure the system for allocation of learning support is fair, a flow chart has been created in consultation with learning support staff, senior management, and team leaders. It is currently in draft format as feedback is still being sought. The document has been shared with the teaching team and its use will be discussed in team meetings and trialled in 2024.

Assessments used for the learning support register are being investigated to ensure they align with the structured literacy approach. The Deputy Principal (Well-being), Years 1–3 Team Leader and Head of Learning Support have met to discuss this and plan to consult with Literacy Connections early in 2024. Current assessments used are SSPA spelling assessment, running records, the Burt Word reading and a phonological awareness screening tool. Assessments being investigated are Little Learners Love Literacy assessment package, Reading Skills Records from Ideal Literacy, and online tools from GL Education such as the New Group Reading Test.

Individual Education Plans

Individual plans are considered Tier 3 support and have been written for six students this year. These were developed and implemented in conjunction with class teachers, teacher aides and professionals.


Individual plans are for students who require extra support to access the curriculum, manage their behaviour, or increase their independence with health needs. End of year review meetings have taken place with staff and each family. Input was also sought from the children either through attendance at meetings or discussion prior to meeting to ensure their voice is reflected within the plan. All students on individual plans have shown pleasing progress and parent feedback has been extremely positive.

Supporting Diverse Learners

We have several students enrolled in the school with diverse learning needs. Many children have diagnoses of dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, neurodivergence or ADHD. These children can present with a range of behavioural, social emotional, communication or learning difficulties and deserve to be understood and have barrier free access to the curriculum. We also have many students without diagnoses who may present with similar challenges. A range of evidence-based supports are put in place to support these students in collaboration with classroom teachers, teacher aides, children and families.

This year the Learning Support and teaching staff have worked collaboratively with Ministry of Education’s Learning Support staff, Educational Psychologists, Speech Language Therapists, Specific Learning Difference specialists, Teacher of Deaf and Hearing Impaired (Ko Taku Reo – previously Van Asch), Behaviour Specialist (ABC Behavioural Consultants), Socially Speaking (Occupational Therapy and Speech Language Therapy), parents, and the College psychologists to identify individual student needs and plan to

cater for these. We value working closely together and appreciate the professional support provided to our staff and students.

Many of these specialists provide reports containing valuable learning information (strengths and challenges), diagnosis and recommendations. When reports are received, these are summarised by the Head of Learning Support and then a meeting is arranged with parents and teaching staff. This meeting provides an opportunity to discuss the report in detail and plan how we will work together to provide the recommendations suggested.

The Head of Learning Support attended Pastoral Care meetings each week with the aim of strengthening and promoting the emotional well-being of the students. Observations of students were carried out as required and resulting interventions put in place where applicable.

Zones of Regulation is a programme that supports self-regulation by naming emotions, describing how they make us feel and grouping feelings into colours. Being in the ‘red zone’ means you are not ready for learning; your brain is in its fight or flight state and adults may need to support you and others to be safe. Being in the ‘orange zone’ might mean you feel nervous, anxious, over-excited or are becoming frustrated. It’s important that children know what this feels like and have strategies they and their teachers can use to support them to StAC-UP (be calm and ready for learning). The ‘orange zone’ can be helpful if you are in the middle of a rugby or netball game but the ‘green zone’ is what we are aiming for in the classroom. Although the Zones of Regulation programme is not being taught specifically, the language is being


used and modelled by staff (red, orange or green brain). This language is used to support children who have goals to improve their self-management. Many of the strategies identified to support students to ‘get back to green’ are selected from the strategies provided by Mindful Movers (in the Junior School) and Occupational Therapists.

During Terms 2–3 a Stitch Club was held during lunch time on Fridays. This provided an opportunity for students to learn new skills, make new friends, connect with different adults, and have meaningful interactions.


Often Educational Psychologists will recommend a range of technology supports for students diagnosed with Specific Learning Differences. St Andrew’s College provides access on all devices to Immersive Reader. This programme allows ‘speech to text’ and ‘text reading’, converts PDFs to written text and a range of other essential tools for students who find their literacy difficulties impact their access to the curriculum. This, year the Head of Learning Support has shared this tool with some students in Years 7–8, their teachers, parents and the learning support team.

Teacher Aides have become more familiar with the ‘All Staff Help’ electronic files and are accessing resources within this to support their teaching, store their timetables and access relevant documents. OneNote is used by the Head of Learning Support to record information and meeting minutes in a range of meetings including those

with her team, the Deputy Principals, the Principal of Preparatory School, Team Leaders and their teams. Teacher Aides are not accessing OneNote at this stage, so minutes are sent to them by email. At this stage they prefer to focus their attention on structured literacy.


Learning Support staff have posters relating to StAC-UP in their learning spaces. This language is also referred to in learning plans, social stories and self-management plans. It would be useful to unpack what it means to StAC-UP in Learning Support. Several members of the Learning Support team have had positive feedback from teachers and parents about the increased selfesteem and confidence of students experiencing success in their learning.


During team meetings a high level of reflective practices is evident. Learning Support team members, itinerant staff and the Head of Learning Support have regular, conversations focusing on shared students, seeking advice and guidance, and sharing success. All teacher aides have completed their appraisal documents in collaboration with the Head of Learning Support. These appraisals have shown some excellent practice and a clear path for next steps in 2024.


Visual Arts

2023 began with the continuation of established art room routines.

Curriculum objectives were achieved through units of study across a range of genres including drawing, design, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Special emphasis was given to developing lessons which improved skills and processes within real contexts for learning focusing on improving understanding of traditional and contemporary New Zealand and international art and artists and identification/recognition of them in the real-world setting.

In 2023, the StAC-UP programme for all Preparatory School students was easily applied in the Art room. Specific ways to Be Ready, Be Safe, and Be Respectful were readily achieved and accepted by the students.

A wide offering of media and materials allowed learners to experience many different means of expressing themselves visually. All year levels completed printmaking, painting, drawing, design and ceramics and Years 1–3 learnt some ‘hands on’ colour theory, while Years 5–8 enjoyed an additional sculpture and design unit using paper mache in term four. Year 7–8 learners studied contemporary New Zealand Pasifika artist Ana Teofilo as part of their printmaking unit. Senior students learnt how to use woodcutting tools, and each designed their own woodcut based on her work.

Visual Arts linked to school wide themes and celebrations during the year, such as Matariki and the Junior Department

Cultural Week which further connected the art programme to class learning. An assortment of children completed Matariki artworks that were displayed throughout the Preparatory School.

In Term 2, Art Specialist Kathryn Meyers attended an eight-week evening course ‘Glaze the Clae.’ This was a professional development opportunity to build on prior glazing knowledge and learn how to test glazes, make a glaze from a recipe as well as understanding new glazing techniques. The knowledge gained from this course has already proved invaluable in improving the outcomes for student ceramic pieces.


The St Andrew’s College Pre-school have visited the art room on two occasions in 2023 to do some collaborative art with the Preparatory School students. These visits have been rewarding for everyone and have shown great Manaakitanga.

This year has seen the inaugural Arts in Action event, in both June and November. Held in the Centennial Chapel, this has been a tremendous showcase of the learning in the Arts from our Year 7–8 students. Ceramic works, self portraits and prints were on display in the foyer. These were well received.

Seesaw was used throughout the year to share the children’s experiences and artworks with their parents.

School displays and exhibitions of current artworks were updated regularly throughout the school, including the Preparatory School Foyer for the enjoyment of all.



2023 has been a lively year for music in the Preparatory School. Moving forward from the COVID-19 pandemic has meant a return to being able to interact and fully engage in all aspects of music. The children have been enthusiastic to once again be able to sing and play the recorder in classroom music programmes. The full orchestra including woodwind and brass instruments have been able to rehearse, and the two choirs (Junior and Cantare Choir) have actively rehearsed without restrictions. School performances have also resumed, as have outside school performance groups.

At the start of the year, the children in Years 4–8 attended an instrument demonstration concert in the Centennial Chapel. The concert was an opportunity for the children to hear and see the range of instrumental and vocal programmes that are taught at St Andrew’s. The itinerant music programme is a vital part of the music fabric of our programme, supporting, enriching, and extending our students both individually and in group lessons. Running alongside the curriculum class Music programme, we offer the Violin Project at Year 4, and at Year 6 we offer the Trumpet Project. These two programmes offer group tuition for selected children.

Mark Hodgkinson, who tutors the Trumpet Project, has also tutored two Year 7–8 chamber groups in the Preparatory School this year. Both Preparatory groups won awards in the regional chamber music competitions. Best Newcomers Award went to ‘Pickle’ – Hao Bo (Terence) Yang, Cong (Zilong) Chen, Alexander Allan,

while the Adjudicators’ Award went to ‘Hidin’ In Strowan’ – Baizhen (Tony) Chen, Lexie Dong, and Ethan Waines. This was an outstanding achievement for two primary school chamber groups to be placed in the predominately secondary school competition.

Students are exposed to a range of musical genres through viewing and listening to live performances. During March of this year, the New Zealand Opera visited our school to perform the classic fairytale of Sleeping Beauty. This was a wonderfully animated performance, introducing students to the world of opera in a very approachable and entertaining way.

After a two-year break, music performance concerts for individual performance were reinstated. These occasions give the individual students an opportunity to perform to family members in a supportive and nurturing environment. The concerts are popular events with students performing on a wide range of instruments and demonstrating a range of musical skill and experience. Many of the same students feature regularly in these performances. In turn, these same students have become notably more confident and skilled on their instrument over time. It is encouraging to see and hear the musical growth of individual students.

A performance highlight of this year has been reinstating the annual Preparatory School Music Concert in the Centennial Chapel. The concert featured the Junior School Choir (Years 3–5), Cantare Choir (Years 6–8), the Preparatory School Orchestra, two chamber groups, and solo items by our three Year 8 music scholars. This concert is a celebration of music


making in the Preparatory School. It is hoped to develop this concert in future years by combining groups and adding ensembles and publicising this event more widely.

A strength of our school programme is that all students receive a Music programme taught by Music specialist teachers. New Entrant to Year 6 classes attend a weekly music curriculum class, whilst at the Years 7–8 level students have two music lessons a week for two terms. The New Entrant to Year 6 are taught through the Kodaly musical pedagogy. This is now well established at these levels, and the benefits of this musicianship-based pedagogy and sequential programme are apparent. In the time that this pedagogy has been taught, children have developed the ability to sing perfectly in tune without musical accompaniment. Each song in the music lesson is pitched entirely from a tuning fork so that the child’s optimum pitch range is accessed. The development of the children’s pitch memory has been remarkable, demonstrating the ability to sing a given pitch with 100% accuracy without referring to the tuning fork. It has been exciting to see how this pedagogy has transformed the children’s ability to hear music in much deeper detail, including the ability to make rhythmic and melodic dictation, and analyse the music they sing or play.

The Year 7–8 Music classes have all participated in an evening performance to parents, showcasing their learning in the arts. This has involved the students performing as an ensemble, using ukuleles to accompany their own singing. They also learned to play on

mallet instruments (xylophones and glockenspiels) and percussion instruments. Instrumental items using xylophones and glockenspiels demonstrated student’s ability to play in parts (canon) whilst keeping in time. In the music class, students have taken part in creating and developing their musical literacy skills through learning the craft of writing music notation. Students have shared their music learning and compositions in a supportive class performance.

Curriculum Music and Music performance groups in the Preparatory School are well resourced and are supported by skilled and experienced staff. Our children are most fortunate and benefit greatly from this positive musical environment.


Dance and Drama

It has been a busy year in Dance and Drama. The Dance and Drama room is a wonderful space for students to develop ways to express their ideas, creativity and understanding of the Arts.

Years 2–3

The children participated in a range of experiences in both Dance and Drama.

They explored creating characters through story-based drama and would journey into an imagined world and weave their ideas into a collective story. This process also developed their key competencies.

In Dance, they explored the elements of body awareness, space and relationships in order to create movement to express an idea. The Year 3 children created their own winter dances, and they also learned a Christmas dance to share at the end of the year.

Years 4–6

These children worked with choreographic practices to further shape their developing ideas. They focused on body awareness and relationships to create meaning.

In Drama, the children worked extensively with stories as a framework to explore real world experiences. All students worked in role as much as possible to solve problems and explore real life issues or imagined roles. Using process drama, Year 5 students worked with ‘The Magnificent Thing’ and towards the end of the year they incorporated scenes of Christmas which brought a lot of laughter to the room.

Years 7–8

Year 7 and 8 students had a double period of drama and dance for half a semester. This allowed extended work with the arts curriculum, and time to fully explore and develop ideas.

This year there was an end of semester Arts sharing. The year 8 classes wrote, rehearsed, and created original films. With a baking show, a royal heist, a test, and banana bandits there was something for everyone. Two year 7 classes worked with fairy tales and the other two worked on learning either a solo Charleston or Christmas dance.

D –Squared Club

D-Squared started the year with a record number of 75 students auditioning. Once


the final 28 were selected, the group met one period a week for the year. The group shared a musical theatre dance at the first Arts sharing and for many this was their first time performing. They developed their skills in writing scripts, theatre sports, puppetry and devising new theatre work. A highlight was having the senior theatre sports team spend time with the group teaching games and techniques.

The Little Mermaid

This year, six Preparatory School children were offered the opportunity to be part of the Middle School production of The Little Mermaid. These students played two roles each and work very hard. They gained skills and confidence through this work. The Year 9–10 students were a great support to the junior cast.

Production 2024

With the new Theatre, the biennial Years 7–8 Production will return. Finding a show for 200 students is a huge undertaking. During 2023, a small group of 20 students worked very hard to write the production script for 2024. The students created the setting, characters, plot and song lyrics for the show. The group were full of ideas and suggestions and through practical work and playmaking structures, a strong story emerged. We look forward to sharing this next year.


Physical Education

In the Preparatory School, students received an inclusive and energetic Physical Education programme. This involved a variety of challenging contexts and catered to varying needs and abilities. Links to general classroom content were explored, world sporting events followed, and school-wide sport was used to complement the programme in 2023.

The programme provided the students with a safe but challenging environment to practice, develop and demonstrate a range of skills, techniques, and cognitive thinking processes.

Physical Education is learning in, through, and about movement. The core of a successful Physical Education programme is to nurture and build the self-worth of our tamariki. Through learning, students build resilience and confidence in themselves.

The aim of the programme is to inspire, motivate, and educate students in the physical environment to be healthy, work as a team and to improve all aspects of their hauora.

Physical Education lessons consisted of a warm-up, skill practice/development and games where students used skills they had developed. This scaffold builds the students’ confidence, provides effective and clear visible learning, and builds understanding before the children are placed in game situations.

This year, the Fifa Womens’ World Cup was used as one mode of learning. Students from Years 2–8 learnt a range of basic football skills such as passing and dribbling. Fifty two girls were selected to represent our school at the ISSA Football Festival. During the month of doing the programme there was an increase in participation and at lunch time. The bicultural focus of the programme connected the Aotearoa New Zealand histories curriculum to the Physical Education curriculum. Myths and legends were analysed through football which was an amazing experience for all.

Another aspect covered this year were new modes of sport: european handball, kickball and kī-o-rahi. European handball increased participation with students who normally wouldn’t enjoy the traditional ball sport games, and links were made to professional athletes in Europe which increased interest and inquiry. Kickball was introduced due to the lack of knowledge and understanding of t-ball and softball and provided the classes with a solid foundation to understand running to bases. This learning also tied in nicely with cricket skills. It was noticeable that the fielding and catching games needed more exposure and the idea of working hard as the fielding team needed to be discussed during Physical Education classes.

A Bicultural Unit was introduced thanks to teacher Mary Leota and her connections to the high school. Students began to learn the game of ki ō rahi and make links to the land. Lastly, a cricket unit was introduced and thoroughly enjoyed through non-stop cricket, french cricket and bats down which was both surprising and encouraging.


The use of technology was embedded into the Physical Education programme in 2023. This mode of learning was used to inspire students and provide an emphasis on professional athletes who excel in their respective fields. As a class we unpacked small parts of Athletics technique, and how to run correctly through biomechanics. We also, spent some time following athletes we look up to in their chosen fields.

The integration of literacy continued throughout 2023 and a collection of sports books was added to the Physical Education Room and was often used to calm groups through transition. Tracey Hull organised this collection during the year.

The Junior Department focus was to improve basic ball to hand motor skill development, teamwork and understand the concept of attack vs defence. Students were very tired by the

end of the year due to swimming and other events which detracted from the Physical Education programme.

The Perceptual Motor Programme (PMP) continued to successfully transition students from Year 0 to Year 1. A small ball aspect was added to the rotation this year. This included jumping to improve hand-to eye coordination. This is a school wide focus.

A development phase was used for the Middle Syndicate team (Years 4–6). The students became more efficient and refined in movement through repetition in a variety of contexts. Students started to develop an awareness of team strategies and game tactics as well as learning to negotiate and communicate when disagreeing with others.

In the Senior Syndicate (Years 7–8), 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 naturally transferring skills from one context to another. Being a leader and leadership is a focus that still needs to be developed.

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. Last year there were groups within each class who were still developing their sense of fairness and inclusivity. This year, this has decreased which is pleasing and encouraging. This may be due to discussing ‘how to be a good sport’ with the Year 3–4 cohorts before starting classes.

Recommendations for 2024

• students need more time on their athletics component, especially at the Year 4–5 level. 2023, more time was spent but events such as long jump and sprinting needs a new focus;

• volleyball – strengthen this mode of learning and skill development;

• develop leadership through discussion and group work and add this to wall displays for reference;

• Invasion Games – Years 1–6;

• professional development needed to connect with others in the field.



This year specialist teacher Anneke Kamo worked alongside the Preparatory School teachers to teach weekly lessons for a semester per year group, incorporating a range of digital learning experiences.

Junior Department Team

eLearning in the Junior Department this year began with coding and robotics for the Years 1–2 children. The students learnt unplugged coding skills before putting these skills into practice with the use of the Beebot and BlueBot robots. The students also became confident in using QR codes to source information and to create stop motion projects using the iPads. The Year 3 students were introduced to using laptops at the start of the year. As many have never used a laptop before, this is a new and exciting challenge. They quickly became confident in using programmes such as Teams, OneDrive and Word. The also completed a coding unit using Scratch, which they thoroughly enjoyed.

Middle Syndicate Team

All students in the Middle Syndicate took part in robotics lessons this year. The Year 6 students enjoyed creating Minecraft eBooks which were then presented to children in the Junior Department. They also created an Election campaign, designing digital logos, billboards and filming TV interviews. In Term 4, the Year 5 students were able to experience virtual reality goggles to support their lessons around marine mammals.

Year 7–8 Teams

eLearning and Robotics became a part of the Year 8 technology rotation with the high school this year. These lessons included Digital Literacy lessons with a focus on cybersafety. The eSafetyHQ online programme was incorporated into both the Year 7 and 8 lessons. A highlight of the year was when the Year 8 students used the skills they had learnt about staying safe online, to create stop motion movies.


Robotics remains a highlight of the eLearning programme. This year we purchased 12 new LEGO Spike robots for the Year 4–8 Robotics programme. The students completed a range of activities including coding their robots to be selfdriving cars and robots in a factory.

In 2024, we are beginning a new VEX IQ Robotics programme in Year 7. 26 VEX robots have been purchased and work is underway to create a programme of learning. Students will learn to build, code and drive their robots in class. They will also have the opportunity to compete in challenges against each other in class, and to enter competitions against other schools in Canterbury.


Religious Education

Kotahi te aho ka whati, ki te kapuia e kore e whati One strand is easy to break, but many strands will hold together

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. – King Solomon, Ecclesiastes Chapter 4:12

Our school values of Truth, Excellence, Faith, Creativity, and Inclusivity were supported by the Preparatory School staff throughout the year. The StAC-UP weekly focus continues to give students specific goals and expectations to follow.

The Preparatory School Chaplain is part of the Pastoral Team. This team meets weekly to ensure students, who are identified as requiring pastoral support, are given the care needed for their ongoing well-being.

As part of the Professional Development for Staff, Pip Dinsenbacher shared a thoroughly researched presentation describing the important Cultural Narrative of our College. She wove the strands of the Presbyterian values, with the values of Te Rūnunga o Ngāi Tahu. This narrative will continue to underpin the values at St Andrew’s College into the future.

The Chapel team consisted of Rev. Paul Morrow, Jillian Fenton, Ben Hughes and Bridget Roth who provided weekly chapel messages connecting biblical stories with the children’s contemporary experiences.

The specific values focused in chapel services this year were; Honesty, Faith, and Hope. Nearing the end of the year, Ben Hughes shared a timely message of Peace.

Generosity was again shown from our school community by the giving of many Christmas gifts for the Christchurch City Mission.

The dedicated Year 8 Sacristan team gave faithful service to the school during chapel on Tuesday mornings throughout the year.

There were four Sunday Services held throughout the year. The Year 8 Communion Service in Term 3 is now a valued annual event. The Advent Service was particularly well supported by our wider school community.


Increasingly, te reo Māori is incorporated into chapel services with the inclusion of waiata and karakia.

Religious Education is taught to all year levels in the Preparatory School and the Learning Intentions are specific to the various year groups. Students are encouraged to make relevant links with the Religious Education Curriculum, the school values, and their own life experiences and to then connect these to relevant success criteria.

The Religious Education curriculum utilises digital technology in a variety of ways. Examples of this are the video and photo apps used to record and share student learning with families through Seesaw. In addition, student voice gives valuable feedback to the Religious

Education teacher who then adapts teaching programmes to suit the needs of all students.

Specific professional development opportunities for the Chaplain this year:

• being a member of the learning discussion group covering the “Theory and Practice of Spiritual Formation in Children”;

• attending the Religious Education teachers and Chaplain’s Conference where the biblical narrative of caring and protection of the earth, which is referenced in the Ti Tiriti o Waitangi, connected well with the recent reset of the New Zealand curriculum;

• personal te reo Māori was support given by teacher Mary Leota to develop pronunciation skills.


Library Overview

Throughout 2023 the library continued to be a vibrant hub for the Preparatory School. The library is greatly valued by both students and staff as a centre for reading and learning, as well as a refuge from the normal bustle of a busy school environment.

Total circulation figures remain high at 25,000 items. This represents a slight drop on previous years, reflecting the continuing move towards digital resources for teaching and research, rather than a move away from print material for recreational reading.

Readership of eBooks and audiobooks through the school’s digital library facility SORA remains almost the same as that observed in 2022.

The number of students who regularly choose to visit the Preparatory Library at lunchtime is evidence of how much the facility is valued, especially by those who can find the playground a little overwhelming. Art activities, and board and card games ensure the library is a lively space at lunchtime, with many opportunities for socialising.

Collection Development

In 2023, 600 new books were added to the Preparatory School Library collection, including the latest releases from popular series, and plenty of new and exciting books from both local and international authors. This year two thirds of new resources were

fiction books, supporting the Preparatory School’s reading for pleasure focus.

Comprehensive audits of the Picture Book, General Fiction and Non-Fiction collections were conducted during 2023, weeding out less popular and damaged books to make way for new titles. This investment in our collection ensures elevated levels of reading engagement among students.

Library Instruction Programme

Throughout 2023 the Preparatory Library continued to deliver a varied programme of Reading Engagement and Information Literacy instruction and activities including book talks, book tastings, and story times, along with a structured programme of instructional sessions for accessing, evaluating and using non-fiction resources.

Reading Engagement Initiatives

1. Wide Reading: The Wide Reading programme continued to be popular. Over 40 students achieved Wide Reading Awards in 2023, 30 of whom received the highest achievement, the Gold Award.

2. Summer Reading Photo Competition: This initiative continues to grow with many staff and students participating in 2023, resulting in a great display and lots of excitement in the library at the start of the year.

3. Kids’ Lit Quiz: During Term 1 St Andrew’s College Preparatory School gained first place in the Canterbury Kids’ Lit Quiz, progressing on to compete in the National Finals held in Wellington. The National Finals


were challenging, with the Preparatory School team performing extremely well, achieving fifth place overall, the highest placing from a St Andrew’s College team ever in this competition.

4. Book Club: The Tuesday Book Club has now been running for two years and comprises a small but select group of avid readers. Lively analysis and debate of books, authors and genres dominated meetings and the Tuesday Book Club Lunch during Book Week was a great success.

5. Te Wiki o Ngā Pukapuka/Book Week: At the end of Term 3, staff and students spent a fantastic week celebrating the joys of children’s literature. This year the theme was ‘Who’s Your Hero’, focusing on those book characters admired for courage, strength, leadership and kindness. Events included the annual Book Parade, the inter-class Battle of the Books Quiz

and a visit from the award-winning creative non-fiction author Maria Gill.

6. Book Fair: Our annual Scholastic Book Fair was successful selling over $5,600 worth of books; this provided our school with over $2,000 worth of credit with Scholastic New Zealand. These funds will be used to support the Wide Reading programme in 2024.


A sustainability audit was conducted at the start of 2023 and areas of concern identified. As a direct result of this audit a number of measures were implemented including waste reduction measures and reducing the volume of plastics used in covering books. A decision was also taken to opt for a ‘books only’ Scholastic book fair, effectively removing most of the non-recyclable items from sale.


Te Reo Maori


During 2023 te reo Māori was integrated into classrooms by teachers in various ways. Students were seeing, hearing and speaking simple phrases as well as karakia and waiata everyday in Preparatory School classrooms. Many kaiako can now give simple instructions in te reo Māori and include tikanga Māori concepts such as manaaki (respect), atawhai (kindness) and kaitiaki (caring) in class discussions and throughout a variety of curriculum areas.

In Years 3–6, Te Reo Māori was delivered using an oral approach. Tamariki hear, sing and speak their new learning and practise in small group and game situations to develop their confidence and fluency. Some tamariki were able to confidently share their pepeha and ask and answer simple questions with correct pronunciation and fluency.

In Year 7, akonga learned to read and write a variety of active and descriptive sentences as well as describe their whānau and their whakapapa. They also played simple games and sang waiata to develop their pronunciation skills. The school haka was taught as well as opportunities for traditional Māori activities such as poi and titi torea (stick games).

In Year 8, classes developed their written sentence structures to include a wider variety of vocabulary. Both online and partner games were played and enjoyed, developing confidence when using new words. Students are now able to answer

questions about their whakapapa, their whānau and their school. Students learned to introduce visitors and speak about jobs that people do.

During Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori several activities and events occurred. The whole Preparatory School learned a local waiata; Te Taukaea o te Aroha and joined together as a whole kura to sing for our Mahuru Moment. This was a nationwide moment where over a million people came together to share te reo Māori. We also had a theme of Tuakana/ Teina where older classes buddied with younger classes to work together sharing their te reo Māori activities. Many special whanaungatanga moments were shared, observed and celebrated. Daily quizzes


and competitions were eagerly contested and throughout the week new relationships were formed. New kupu (words) were added to the school environment and students are encouraged to add these words to their conversations. There was a large display of bi-lingual books in the library and many kaiako spent time immersing their students in te reo Māori games and activites.

Kapa Haka

In Term 1, all students from Years 4–8 participated in kapa haka sessions with teacher Mary Leota and Matua Steve Reid. A variety of traditional and modern waiata were sung and the actions learned. Simple stick games and Te Haka o Hato Ānaru (St Andrew’s haka) were taught and all the boys who were in the touring team to Australia worked hard to learn waiata to share with our Australian friends.

In Term 4, students opted into the performance group. This group trained to perfect their waiata Pōkarekare Ana, waiata/haka Toia Mai, their waiata poi Whiti te Marama and the school haka. They performed with distinction in the Tūhono Cultural Festival in the Town Hall and opened the proceedings at the annual College’s Years 7–13 Prizegiving at Wolfbrook Arena. Throughout the year the kapa performed in school assemblies and for special occasions.

Aotearoa New Zealand Histories (ANZH)

Throughout 2023 Aotearoa New Zealand Histories was integrated through our Aotearoa Studies sessions.

In 2023, our akonga started the year answering the questions, ‘Who are we?’ and ‘What’s our story?’. Building on from previous learning about personal pepeha, students learned about the history of Hato Ānaru – St Andrew’s College, from what the whenua was like and the animals that lived here before the arrival of humans, to how the whenua was used by māori, to what changed with the arrival of the first Canterbury settlers. All classes explored the people and places of St Andrew’s that led to them being well versed in school history in time for Founders’ Day and the Highland Games. Staff and students learned the school haka – not just the sound that it makes, but the background to the actions and the words so that they can perform it with mana.

In Years 3–4, students studied some interesting native animals – ngaro huruhuru (native bees), wētā, pepeketua (frogs) and kiwi. We learned about how māori valued and used these animals and what we need to know about them for their survival. Mike Seaward from the Maintenance Team built a wētā motel and the children were excited to see if we found any wētā living in it at the end of the winter. As well as learning about the natural history, students looked at the people at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and learned vocabulary around whnaungatanga (relationships), pepeha and mihi – introductions and words we can use to talk about kai (food) we use for celebrating who we are. Sharing pūrakau (traditional stories) was included to reinforce the principle that Māori history is the foundational history of Aotearoa. Our history has grown from these, with the arrival of our ancestors and new arrivals from all over the world.


Year 5 learned about famous New Zealanders throughout history and Year 6 investigated Polynesian navigation methods, pre-European life and culture as well as individual inquiries into early cultural practices. Sharing of stories such as Maui, Kupe, Hui Te Rangiora and Moana have guided learning and understanding of the deliberate and skillful exploration of Te-Moana-nui-a-Kiwa; the Pacific Ocean. Students completed in-depth learning about manu (birds) in Year 5 and taniwha in Year 6. They investigated how these beings were integrated in pūrakau (stories) to explain natural phenomena. All classes investigated Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the importance of this founding document, as well as hearing the stories of what happened before and after the signing of the treaty including some of the early conflicts between settlers, government and tangata whenua Māori.

Year 7 classroom teachers led inquiries into places and stories of significance within their inquiry programmes.

Year 8 learned about the history of early New Zealand and completed a major inquiry in Term 1 on the Treaty of Waitangi including Te Whakaputunga o Te Rangatiratanga (Declaration of Independence). They explored the historical role of Aotearoa New Zealand in relation to the use of its power in the Pacific area, especially focussing on the events leading to the development of nuclear weapons and testing, protests, and responses to continued French Nuclear Testing, New Zealand’s first terrorist attack; the bombing of The Rainbow Warrior, and what lead to Nuclear Free New Zealand. The overriding question was about power and the role that our

nation has had to play in the Pacific past, and what that role might look like in the future. They also enjoyed learning some traditional games including ki ō rahi.

Throughout the whole school Matariki was explored and celebrated in a variety of ways. Buddy classes worked together to understand the meaning behind the traditions of Matariki and why it is an important day in the Aotearoa/NZ maramataka (calendar). Individual stars were identified and the relationships to the land and people explored through both waiata, craft and research activities.

Our Year 5 students have sown native grass seeds, and the Year 8 classes have transplanted seedlings that we will nurture until they are ready for planting in the community in 2024. Sustainability concepts are discussed throughout our class lessons, focusing on traditional practices from pre-European times and how we have adapted that knowledge over time, particularly looking at the land around us and how it is cared for.

In 2024 there will be opportunities for the wider school community to be involved in planting our seedlings into the new native forest areas in the Christchurch Red Zone. Caring for the whenua and our unique animals is a focus at all levels.

He rangi tā matawhāiti, he rangi tā matawhānui – is a whakatauki that means a person with narrow vision has a restricted horizon, a person with a wide vision has plentiful opportunities. This reminds us that we need to think big, to achieve big things.



347 Papanui Road, Christchurch 8052, New Zealand P +64 3 940 2000 W
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