St. Andrew's College, Christchurch

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This article is about the school in New Zealand. For other similarly named institutions, see St. Andrew's College (disambiguation).
St. Andrew's College
St Andrews College Logo.png
Strowan House and Field.jpg
Fides et Patria
"Faith and Country"
347 Papanui Road
Christchurch 8052
New Zealand
Coordinates 43°30′29″S 172°36′50″E / 43.5081°S 172.6138°E / -43.5081; 172.6138Coordinates: 43°30′29″S 172°36′50″E / 43.5081°S 172.6138°E / -43.5081; 172.6138
Type Private, fully reg. (Years 1-13)
Established 1917
Ministry of Education Institution no. 318
Rector Christine Leighton[1]
School roll 1422[2] (July 2016)
Socio-economic decile 10

St. Andrew's College Christchurch, New Zealand is a private, co-educational school that enrolls from Pre School-Year 13. It was founded in 1917 and it is the only independent, co-educational primary and secondary school in New Zealand's South Island. Although now a fully co-educational school, it was formerly an all-boys school. It became fully co-educational in 2001.[3] St Andrew's, (known as StAC for short), is currently headed by Rector Christine Leighton.


St Andrew’s College was founded in 1917 in the Scottish Presbyterian tradition of the Christian faith.

The School began in humble fashion, with just 19 boys and four teachers, driven by the determination of the Reverend Thompson, whose driving ambition was to ‘educate the sons of the Presbyterian and Scottish community of Canterbury.’

StAC had three boarding houses for the 165 boarders of years 9 to 13: MacGibbon (years 9 to 11) and Rutherford (years 11 to 13) for boys, and Thompson (years 9 to 13) for girls. Boarding facilities were damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake; as a result, the boarders have lived in local motels until the new boarding houses were opened at the start of 2013. Thompson and Rutherford houses have been demolished and replaced with brand new state of art boarding facilities while McGibbon House has been refurbished and strengthened. Boarding used to be available for year 7 and 8 students, but is no longer provided.

St Andrew's has a wide range of activities available to the students, including hockey, ice hockey, rugby, cricket, kapahaka, glee, football, netball, freestyle rap battles, advanced breakdancing classes, fencing, canoe polo, basketball, stage band or jazz band, chess, theatre sports, debating, rowing, string ensemble, concert band and Pipe band. The Pipe band are World Champions having won the 2013 World Juvenile Pipe Band Championship in Glasgow, Scotland and consistently win all New Zealand juvenile competitions. The band is currently run by Gold Medalist (Oban, Scotland), Pipe Band Director Richard Hawke MNZM and World Juvenile Champion Solo drummer, Drum Sergeant James Laughlin. The band has won many National titles in Grade 2 and Juvenile.[4] and gained 3rd place in the Juvenile grade at the world championships in Glasgow in 2007.

St. Andrew's College gate column

In addition to the Pipe Band, the St Andrew's College Stage Band has had great success over the past few years, particularly in the Southern Jam Youth Festival, which is held annually in Blenheim. The band first competed in 2003, winning the festival with the Best Big Band Award. In 2004 they were stripped of their victory but came back on top in 2005, winning the festival again, as well as picking up several awards for including Best Vocals and Best Drummer. In 2006, the band picked up 1st place, also gaining Best Bass and Drums. Thomas Eves won Best Trumpet and Best Musician. In 2008 and 2009 the band received gold awards yet again, and both years came a close second in the competition. The Band has also recently recorded another album. It is also worth note that the St Andrew's College Concert Band was awarded a gold award at the Canterbury Schools Concert Band Competition (2007) and a silver award in 2009.

The Theatre Sports team is one of the most valued parts of the College, with the Senior Team coming 2nd in 2005 and 2006 at the Court Theatre Competition. After a narrow loss in 2005's Junior Court Theatre competition, the Junior team took out the title in 2006. The team was also successful in 2007, coming second in a Court Theatre competition. In 2009 the senior team came a close second to Cashmere High in their competition. In 2014 the senior team was in the finals after winning their heat.

At the 2007 Junior Debating Press Cup Tournament held in Christchurch the St Andrew's College A & B teams came in with first and second placements. Numerous awards were presented to team members including best speaker awards and recommendations for the Canterbury Junior team. The following year the team enjoyed similar success, with two students selected to represent Canterbury at a national level. In 2010, the Junior A team placed fourth, while the 2011 Junior A team placed second.

The St Andrew's Senior A Basketball team has a proud history, with such future NBL players attending the college such as Logan van Beek, Rusty Thompson and Hitesh Pratap. Pratap is currently the Canterbury Basketball Association's MVP for both the U23 and Premier competition. Rusty Thompson was named to the All-Star 5 for Canterbury Basketball in 2015, and enjoyed a short but successful stint with the famed PriceWaterhouseHoopers from 2013-16.

The College has a strong rowing programme and a full-time director of rowing. Senior women's and men's teams have won silver and gold medals in the National Secondary School Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

St Andrews also has facilities outside Christchurch, such the Alisatir Sidey mountain lodge, located at Castle Hill in the Canterbury high country, allowing students to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities including abseiling, river trekking, tramping, hunting, fishing, skiing and snowcaving. The college also leases the St Andrews College farm, located near Cave in South Canterbury, which is used to provide students studying agriculture with hands-on experience in farming.

One of the college's sporting highlights of the last few years was the winning of the Rankin Cup in 2001 and 2002. Since then the College has seen its boys' hockey 1st XI remain in the Rankin Cup and in 2006 the team won the local competition. The Rankin Cup victories of 2001/02 are considered as the College's greatest ever sporting achievements.

On 31 October 2008, the students and teachers of St Andrew's College set a world record for the largest school mass dance with a recital of the YMCA.

In the 2013 NZQA Scholarship examinations, St Andrew's College produced three top scholars - in agriculture, music, and drama, the most in the country for this particular year.


The 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake severely damaged the school chapel and forced the closure of the school arts block and Strowan house, which both sustained some structural damage, however most of the schools buildings were relatively undamaged, and the arts block has since been repaired and strengthened. Strowan house has now re-opened, and the chapel is being demolished at some stage in the future with new plans already in place and Architectural designs confirmed. In late 2014 Erwin house was demolished to make room for a second gymnasium.

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Board of Governors". Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  2. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 2 August 2016". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  3. ^ "St Andrew's to go fully co-ed". The Press. 2 November 1996. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  4. ^ "St. Andrew's College Pipe Band". Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  5. ^ Gadd, David (27 February 2011). "Spirits 'will not be crushed'". Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Wilson, Hugh D. (2002). Hinewai : the journal of a New Zealand naturalist. Christchurch: Shoal Bay Press Ltd. p. 1. ISBN 1-877251-20-8.