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A sound foundation in literacy and numeracy

The girls receive a rounded education with a focus on high quality programmes in numeracy and literacy.  Literacy skills are reinforced across all programmes and learning support is provided for those who need extra help/extension but the skills and knowledge required in these areas are still taught explicitly, especially in the junior school.  These are the basics and are very important for future learning.

Although we are proud of our past, we aim to prepare students for the future.  We use a cross curricular model so learning is not delivered in isolated boxes but is linked to real life contexts, making it more relevant for the girls.  For example a study of water may include learning from the health, science and social science curriculum. These units may be taught using the inquiry method or may be teacher directed.  We encourage students to take increasing responsibility for their own learning.  Our focus is on developing higher order thinking, problem solving, creative thinking, and communication and information skills as well as relationship skills through the use of cooperative teaching strategies.

The girls have literacy, numeracy and theme (science, social science, health, technology) in their homeroom.  Specialist teachers take each class for dance, speech/drama, music, art, Christian Education and physical education.  The specialist programme generally operates in the afternoons.  The senior students have regular foreign language lessons and years 5 – 8 have Food and Material Technology lessons.

Academic Challenges

Programmes are geared to individual needs.  Extension opportunities are provided to challenge the more able.

Examples include: maths and science badges, participation in the University Maths Problem Challenge, speech and dance exams, science fair, the Invercargill Schools’ Speech Competition, being part of a team for Smac maths and  Kids Lit quiz.


We encourage participation.  Most of the senior girls are in the choir which performs for the community.  During her eight years at St John’s a student will learn how to play the basics of three instruments as part of the weekly music programme.  As well she will participate in weekly school singing.  Each alternate year, the school puts on a production to show case the girls’ talents.

As part of the weekly speech/drama programme, Years 3 – 8 undertake an oral assessment examination.   A professional dance teacher takes the girls for a weekly dance lesson.  As part of this programme, the year 3 – 8 girls sit a dance examination and prepare for the school aerobics competition prior to the Southland aerobics competition.

The girls are exposed to many different styles of art while at St John’s.  All girls achieve success in their art.  The Arts are an important venue for self expression and for developing the imagination.


Everyone is expected to participate.  St John’s girls are renowned for their fitness and sporting prowess.

They participate in many extra curricular sports such as:

  • Water Polo
  • Basketball
  • Miniball
  • Touch
  • Orienteering
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Tennis
  • Squash
  • Badminton
  • Table Tennis
  • Football

Annual School Sports Events

  • Aerobics
  • Cross Country
  • Junior Gym Festival
  • Senior Gym Festival
  • Swimming Sports
  • Tabloids

Points from these are awarded and go towards a House competition.

Outdoor Education

Years 6 – 8 have an annual camp.

Year 6 have an adventure camp at Camp Columba where they try new things and move outside their comfort zone in a controlled environment.

Year 7 have a cultural camp in Dunedin. They visit many of the tourist attractions such as the albatross colony, Olveston and the Art Gallery.

Year 8 attend a camp at Deep Cove.