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″S172°36′50″E / 43.5081°S 172.6138°E / -43.5081; 172.6138 Coordinates: 43°30′29″S172°36′50″E / 43.5081°S 172.6138°E / -43.5081; 172.6138
TypePrivate, fully reg. (Years 1–13)
MottoFides et Patria
"Faith and Country"
Ministry of Education Institution no. 318
RectorChristine Leighton [1]
School roll1484 [2] (March 2019)
Socio-economic decile10

St. Andrew's College, also known as StAC, in Christchurch, New Zealand, is a private, co-educational school that enrols 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] The current rector of St Andrew's College is Christine Leighton.

Christchurch City in South Island, New Zealand

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. It is home to 404,500 residents, making it New Zealand's third-most populous city behind Auckland and Wellington. The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park located along its banks.

South Island Southernmost of the two main islands in New Zealand

The South Island, also officially named Te Waipounamu, is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand in surface area; the other being the smaller but more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, and to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. The South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 sq mi), making it the world's 12th-largest island. It has a temperate climate.



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 St. Andrew's College gate column.JPG
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.

2011 Christchurch earthquake February 2011 earthquake in New Zealand

An Mw 6.2 earthquake occurred in Christchurch on 22 February 2011 at 12:51 p.m. local time. The earthquake struck the Canterbury Region in New Zealand's South Island and was centred 6.7 kilometres (4.2 mi) south-east of the centre of Christchurch, at the time New Zealand's second-most populous city. The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, killing 185 people in the nation's fifth-deadliest disaster.

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 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 a new chapel has been built which incorporates design features from the original chapel. In late 2014 Erwin house was demolished to make room for a second gymnasium.

Strowan Place

Strowan is an affluent suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand, located approximately 5km north-west of Christchurch's central business district. It had a population of 3,705 at the 2013 census. It is located between the suburbs of Merivale, Papanui, Bryndwr, Fendalton, and St Albans.

Notable alumni

Albert Anderson is a former New Zealand rugby union player. A lock, Anderson represented Canterbury at a provincial level, and was a member of the New Zealand national side, the All Blacks, between 1983 and 1988. He played 25 matches for the All Blacks including six internationals. He was a member of the victorious New Zealand squad at the 1987 Rugby World Cup, and captained the side in four matches on the 1988 tour of Australia. Played for Sudbury RFC in Suffolk, U.K.

Mark Abbott is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a lock for Coca-Cola Red Sparks in Japan's Top League.

Andrew David Bird is a former New Zealand rowing cox who won an Olympic bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.

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  1. "Board of Governors" . Retrieved 3 November 2007.
  2. "Directory of Schools - as at 3 April 2019". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  3. "St Andrew's to go fully co-ed". The Press . 2 November 1996. Retrieved 23 December 2010.[ dead link ]
  4. Bidwell, Peter (2010). Reflections of Gold. Auckland: HarperCollins. p. 58. ISBN   978-1-86950-808-1.
  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.