St. Andrew's College, Christchurch

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St. Andrew's College
St Andrews College Logo.png
Strowan House and Field.jpg
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)
Motto Fides et Patria
"Faith and Country"
Established 1917
Ministry of Education Institution no. 318
Rector Christine Leighton[1]
School roll 1450[2] (February 2017)
Socio-economic decile 10

St. Andrew's College Christchurch, New Zealand is a private, co-educational school that enrolls from pre-school to secondary 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 College, (known as StAC)'s current rector is Rector Mrs Christine Leighton.


St Andrew’s College was founded by Rev. Alexander Thomas Thompson in 1917 in the Scottish Presbyterian tradition of the Christian faith.

St. Andrew's College gate column

The school began in a humble fashion with 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 College has four houses: Rutherford, MacGibbon, Thompson and Erwin.

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 2017, St Andrew's College celebrated its 100th year anniversary.


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 6 March 2017". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "St Andrew's to go fully co-ed". The Press. 2 November 1996. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Gadd, David (27 February 2011). "Spirits 'will not be crushed'". Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Wilson, Hugh D. (2002). Hinewai : the journal of a New Zealand naturalist. Christchurch: Shoal Bay Press Ltd. p. 1. ISBN 1-877251-20-8.