by St Paul's Collegiate School

A look at the year ahead

Headmaster Grant Lander outlines the school's focus for 2020.


Hauora Classes / Life Skills

We have reviewed the content and the delivery of the Hauora classes as a result of the first-year trial and from feedback gained have shifted down a number of key topics – around the areas of pornography, alcohol and peer relationships while consolidating the rest of the programme. These Hauora groups will meet around midday on twenty of the Wednesday slots (i.e. between 12.15 pm and 1.00 pm), specifically five times in the second half of Term One, seven times between Weeks 4-10 in Term Two, five times between Weeks 2-6 in Term Three and for the first three weeks of Term 4. Each Hauora grouping will have two staff (i.e. 50 teaching and support staff have been paired up for each group) that will work with them on age-specific topics.

Mr Paul Wilson, Mr Garth Littlejohn and Mrs Trish Ure will take over the oversight of the Life Skills programme for Year 13 students in 2020. This programme runs during the same time slot as the Hauora classes and will look at topics such as managing money, through to career guidance.

Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Mrs Jackie Lock has been appointed as the EI Coordinator and as part of this role, will also be a member of the SLG. Jackie, along with four other members of staff (i.e. Mrs Bradford, Mr Cameron, Ms Stapleton and Mr Riggs [Tihoi]), will take part in the Yale University ‘Ruler’ Programme, which is about raising awareness and building strategies in how we can deliver EI in our school. Staff will undertake a six-week distance learning course of study in March.

We still maintain a strong relationship with Swinburne University but will spend the year investigating the best way forward as far as the wider spread of implementation of EI. To this end, Mrs Lock and Mr Riggs undertook a week-long visit to Swinburne University early in February to gain a better understanding of what the University has to offer, and we will be sending a couple of staff members to an EI conference that Swinburne is running in Term 3. There will be a greater emphasis on raising staff awareness of how to interpret and use the EI results of students.

Aspiring Leaders

Miss Nicole Schollum, Mr Keegan Stewart, Mr Kelvin Hogg and Mr Brad Emslie have been selected as the initial group of staff to take part in the Aspiring Leaders Pastoral Programme for 2020. The purpose of the course is to grow the capacity of leadership within our school. Looking at principles of leadership, visioning, pastoral care (2020) and with another group of staff, curriculum design (2021).

Wellbeing Toolkit

A wealth of information in the area of wellbeing for our students is now available via the Landing Page, and new resources will be added as they become available. We are also reviewing its current best practice when dealing with bullying practices. Mr Ainsley Robson will be investigating approaches by other schools and undertaking a pastoral inquiry on this topic as part of the completion of his Masters.

Komodo Software Package

Komodo is a wellbeing platform that we will implement across Year 9 boys and initially Year 11 boarding girls. Komodo helps to track how students are feeling and assists staff to timely flag any interventions. The new initiative will be monitored by Housemasters in 2020.

Academic Mentoring

2020 will see the implementation of a new academic coaching programme. We hope that the individual needs of students are recognised and nurtured through this programme which aims to help students achieve their full academic potential. Every student will be assigned with an academic coach. The coach will meet with their students during the scheduled House period times on calendared Thursdays. This will be a vertical form grouping, similar to our old Mentor system. At these meetings, students can discuss their academic goals, set aspirational targets in relation to their academic achievement and talk about pathway options and support measures that will ensure students can maximise their potential. All House affiliated staff will be involved in this programme, along with members of the Senior Leadership Team.

Electronic Sign-in and Sign-out

We are looking to formalise electronically the student leave process and the monitoring of visitors to the school by implementing a sign-in and sign-out system.


‘Write that Essay’

The national launch of ‘Write that Essay’ version 2.0 led by Dr Ian Hunter, will take place at St Paul’s on 25 February 2020. We strongly believe that ‘Write that Essay’ has had a transformational impact on both the quality of our student writing and overall academic performance. This cross-curricular writing software has proven transformational to writing and academic success within our school. New teachers will undertake a PD programme led by Mr Jeremy Coley on ‘Write that Essay’ in the early part of 2020.

ERO Visit

This year we are due for an ERO visit, which will most probably be in the first half of 2020. From our fact-finding visits to schools that have recently had such ERO reviews, we have been able to establish that they are focussed on how teachers track and add value to all learners, but particularly to Maori and other priority learners. In 2020 we want to strengthen the use of student data in teacher planning and delivery of curriculum.

Student Engagement Initiatives

All staff will be required to use a range of different engagement methodologies such as the use of Nearpod, Education Perfect or other practices aligned with their subject area. All senior assessments which are predominantly written work will need to be submitted to Google Classroom for plagiarism checking, to encourage our seniors to be well-prepared for best practice at tertiary institutions.


We are working towards the implementation in 2021 of a STEAM/Robotics subject option in the senior school, as well as the opportunity of an extra-curricular club in this area.

NCEA and Cambridge

With the proposed NZQA changes to NCEA over the next five years, the government has allocated a number of days to allow schools within regions to ready themselves for the potential changes. We are fortunate to have a number of staff who have been selected by the MOE to be in Subject Expert Groups (SEG): Angela Bromwich, Kerry Allen, Sarah Cantlon, Melanie Simmons. The SEGs will work with a Ministry facilitator and a technical writer to develop new NCEA Level 1 achievement standards and associated assessment resources for their subject, based on the intent of the NCEA Change Package. Each SEG will have eight members who will at various stages of the year be required to have leave to take part in this process. We will be able to tap into the learnings of this group of St Paul’s staff in undertaking our own preparation as a school.

To ensure though that we are open to considering the widest possible options for our Year 11 students, teachers in charge of subjects nominated will be undertaking visits to Auckland schools who have embraced the opportunity of taking up Cambridge IGCSE as a subject option.

Tighter management of senior assessment

In order to better coordinate the workload pressures on our senior students, we want staff to keep up to date an online senior assessment schedule to minimise the impact of any clashes. We are also looking to streamline data recording of assessments. Students will be required to sign and confirm their grades at the start of November to avoid any subject data entry errors.


Integration and support of new staff to St Paul’s

With the significant number of new teaching and support staff in 2020, we are very conscious that these new people need to be successfully integrated into our St Paul’s team and to this end, we have chosen to buddy them up with existing staff members and have the whole teaching staff involved in a team-building programme at the Tihoi Venture campus. Those existing staff who are buddying up with new staff will be asked to accompany their buddy to the ‘New Staff Morning Teas’ that will be scheduled at regular intervals throughout the year.

Appraisal Connector

St Paul’s is committed to the use of reflective practice to enhance teaching and learning outcomes for the benefit of all. We have been impressed by the way a significant number of our staff have engaged in reflective practice through Appraisal Connector, which strengthens a culture of professionalism. In 2020, the Appraisal Connector will be compulsory for all teaching staff to use. Ongoing professional development will occur through LOCs and outside facilitator, Tony Burkin.

Te Reo and Tikanga Maaori

Our aim for 2020 is to maintain the momentum that we had last year as far as the uptake of staff involved in professional development opportunities such as the He Papa Tikanga and the more advanced course Te Ara Reo Maaori. This year we would like staff to develop the confidence to incorporate Maaori language phrases into their classes.


Digital Improvements

All of our server infrastructure has been updated in early January. At a cost of $60k, we have state-of-the-art new servers. We are also in the process of replacing our hardware firewall. In keeping with our policy to ensure that equipment is up-to-date, we will in 2020 replace a further 20 of our laptops for staff.


Funding for Learning Hub

Given that the new Learning Hub is one of the most ambitious projects that the school has undertaken, we have set a target to raise over $1m towards its cost. Part of the process of gaining funds is the selling of the naming rights to the Chapel chairs. While another focus is seeking the financial support of donors for the project, particularly through the naming of the breakout spaces in this very exciting facility. We were fortunate, towards the end of 2019, to receive notice of a significant pledge, with the donor indicating that they would double the amount if it were matched by other donors.


Minor Capital Works

  • Sargood Year 12 dormitory upgrade

We have upgraded the eight single rooms in the wing closest to the Chapel, with painting the walls, installing new beds and wardrobes.

  • Senior Art Room

Has had the concrete floor ground and sealed and the walls and desks repainted over the holiday break.

Later this term, we plan to undertake minor capital works as follows:

  • Hospital accommodation for sick male students

With the completion of the new Nurse’s residence as part of the 2019 Construction class project, we have relocated the hospital accommodation to the previous residence of Joan and Defyd Williams. Morning physiotherapy sessions will be in the lounge area of the residence, with beds for sick male students located in the upstairs bedrooms. We intend to see how this works in the first term before making any substantial longer-term decisions with regards to the layout and refurbishment of that area of the Health Clinic. The beds for female students will continue to be above the existing surgery within the Health Clinic.

  • Female Counsellor’s office

Up until this year, our female counsellor’s office has been located on the first floor of the Health Clinic. In 2020 we want to centralise all our counselling and career guidance in the same area within the Student Centre. To this end, we have created a new storage area for the School Shop by taking part of the counselling annex area. This has freed up a third office for Mrs Leah Gillanders to work out of.

Major Capital Works in Progress

  • Football/Hockey Pavilion

This new facility is close to completion with work expected to finish by the end of February. Most recently, the floor tiles for the two ground level changing rooms and the internal lift have been installed. On the first floor, painting has been completed, rimu panelling added to the lower wall levels and the kitchen installed. Carpet has been laid, the glass installed on the balustrades for the viewing gallery along with the outside steps on each of the wings. We are looking to host an official opening later in the term on 27 March, which will celebrate 60 years of hockey and football at St Paul’s and includes girls and boys games against past Collegians. The complex is an impressive building and will prove a real asset for sporting activities in the school.

  • Harington Boarding Extension

The expansion to the Harington Boarding capacity is expected to be completed by mid-March. The extension will provide accommodation for a tutor/Residential Assistant, a meeting room, lounge for the girls in the southern wing of the complex, and extension to the shower and toilet facilities and seven extra single rooms which will enable the Harington Boarding to accommodate a total of 60 girls.

Currently work on the outside of the building has been completed with the roof; windows and brickwork installed, the internal walls lined, and the bathroom fit-out undertaken. We are just putting the paint finish on and soon will install carpet and floor coverings. For at least the first six weeks of Term 1, the extra girls will be accommodated by putting two girls in each of the bedrooms in the HULA houses.

  • Learning Hub

Work is on schedule on this huge project. The groundwork has been completed and the concrete pads of the ground floor have been laid. The footings have been dug and concrete poured to support the large tilt panels. Over the next few months, the number of tradespeople onsite will increase. This $6.5m project is predicted to be completed by the end of November. The building process will involve a bit of inconvenience and noise for those moving around or working in rooms around this section of the main quad. We will see how things progress and try and mitigate issues as they arise. The end result will be well worth the disruptions.

Capital Works in Planning

  • Covered Tennis Courts / Strength and Conditioning

Around Term 4 we hope to have installed a covered structure over the three tennis courts closest to the dining room. This will provide us with an all-weather teaching area for Physical Education classes, equivalent to twice the floor space in the Sports Centre. The covered structure has been engineered, so at some point in the future it can have drop down sides to fully protect it from the influence of poor weather. The project includes LED lighting so it can be utilised by co-curricular activities (earlier in the morning and in the evening). As a result of this initiative the old gymnasium will be converted to a much enlarged strength and conditioning facility. We have engaged an outside consultant to commission a feasibility study which we will take to funding bodies to see if we can secure financial support. The total cost of the project is $1.3m.