Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Revolutionary new school defies earthquake odds

Revolutionary new school defies earthquake odds

The one year anniversary of the February earthquake finds many Christchurch schools still struggling to cope. Over the last year many have had to share campuses, while others are struggling with demolished buildings and falling rolls.

For St Andrew’s College however, we are fortunate to be able to mark the anniversary with the opening of a brand new school for our years 4 to 8 students.

The new Preparatory School Learning Centre will be opened by His Excellency Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor-General of New Zealand on Thursday February 23 at 10.00am.

Rector Christine Leighton says the new preparatory school was almost ready for use when the February quakes struck, and it survived well with its deep foundations, and strong structure, but adjoining buildings and site damage on the college campus caused delays in the opening of the school.

“St Andrew’s, like many other schools in Christchurch, has faced many challenging moments in the last year, and this new building symbolises our hope for a strong future for independent education in Christchurch,” says Christine.

For Jonathan Bierwirth, Principal of the Preparatory School Learning Centre, the school is the culmination of 15 years of thoughts and dreams about designing a school for the future, with flexible layout and the latest in technologies.

“We’ve been developing a style of learning around the key competencies that we recognise and accept as integral to learning. We have lovely and high achieving students, a hardworking and talented teaching staff, but now we have the environment to match.”

Part of Jonathan’s philosophy was to incorporate wide learning hallways, to replace corridors. These expansive areas provide the opportunity for quality discussion and break out groups. The classrooms have foldaway doors so learning can extend effortlessly into the learning hallways.

The new school includes a café, specialist rooms for food, science and art, tutorial facilities for music and drama.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland