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St Cuthbert's College, Auckland

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St Cuthbert's College, Auckland

St Cuthbert's College
122 Market Road
Auckland 1051
New Zealand

Motto By Love, Serve[1]
Established 1915[2]
Ministry of Education Institution no. 68
Principal Lynda Reid
Years offered 1–13
Gender Girls
School roll 1398[3] (October 2014)
Socio-economic decile 10

St Cuthbert's College is a private (independent) Presbyterian day and boarding school for girls, located in Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand.

The school, named after Scottish monk Saint Cuthbert, serves Years 1 to 13 (ages 5 to 18). As of November 2012, it has a roll of 1432 students,[4] including around 135 boarders from Years 7 to 13.[5]

St Cuthbert's is regarded as one of the best performing schools in New Zealand, with Metro magazine placing it first in its controversial ranking of Auckland's top 25 schools in 2006.[6] It has regularly topped the academic ranking table based on Year Eleven (NCEA Level 1/School Certificate) and Year Thirteen (NCEA Level 3/Bursary) examinations and performs strongly in sporting and cultural encounters.[7][8][9]

The school is affiliated with the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia (AGSA),[10] the New Zealand Boarding Schools' Association (NZBSA)[11] Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ),[5] and is an overseas member of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA).[12]

The school offers both the International Baccalaureate diplomas and the national NCEA qualification.


  • History 1
  • School motto 2
  • Boarding 3
  • Curriculum 4
    • Academic 4.1
    • Physical education 4.2
  • House system 5
  • Notable alumnae 6
  • Cultural references 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The College was established as the Auckland Presbyterian College for Ladies Ltd in 1915, when a group of Presbyterian fathers purchased Mt Eden Collegiate, a private school for girls, and appointed Miss Isobel Macdonald as the school's first Principal. Miss Macdonald chose the motto, "By Love, Serve", and renamed the school St Cuthbert's College as the Trust Board has suggested that a shorter and more distinctive name was required. Since 1918 the College has celebrated St Cuthbert's Day annually in March.[2]

In 1925, the College moved to its present site in Epsom, and subsequently a development of the school's facilities began. In 1932, three school houses were established, Dunblane, Elgin and Melrose, each named after places of significance in the life of St Cuthbert.[2]

In 1936, the winter uniform was changed to Black Watch tartan, after the then principal, Lavinia Clouston, had seen the uniform at the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney. Black Watch tartan also has been the summer uniform since 1966.[13]

School motto

The St Cuthbert's College motto is "By Love, Serve". The motto was chosen to encourage students to share, respect the needs of others, accept different viewpoints and to live peacefully.

The school verse comes from 1 Corinthians 13 chapters 1–13 and is consistent with "By Love, Serve", and students are constantly reminded to be "By Love, Serve".


St Cuthbert's College accepts both day students and boarding students. Boarding students from Years 7 to 13 live in one of St. Cuthbert's three boarding houses: Dunblane, Elgin or Melrose. The boarding community at St Cuthbert's College is very diverse. Boarders come from Asia, the Pacific Islands and a range of other overseas locations, as well as from both urban and rural New Zealand. An increasing number of boarders are local students living between Karaka and the North Shore.[14]



The senior curriculum is based on mainstream academic subjects. At Year 9 and Year 10, core subjects such as English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science are compulsory and are complemented by optional language and business subjects. At Year 11 a student may drop Social Studies and may choose from three optional subjects. By Year 12, only English is compulsory, and at Year 13 a student may take five subjects of her choosing.

The college offers both the NCEA and the IB qualifications.

Optional languages include French, Latin, Spanish and Maori. In the social sciences, Social Studies is compulsory at Years 9 and 10, and is split into the optional subjects of History and Geography at Year 11. Classical studies, Art History, Web Design and Media Studies are also available from Year 12. Similarly, Business Studies is optional at years nine and ten and is split into Economics and Accounting at Year 11. Science subjects available are Chemistry, Physics, and Biology, Plant and Horticultural Science, and Psychology (at Year 12 only). At Year 11, students may choose between Mathematics or Alternative Mathematics. At Year 13, Mathematics is split into Calculus and Statistics and Modelling.

In 1999 a Thinking Skills programme was introduced based on Art Costa's Habits of Mind. Senior Management credit this programme for the College's continuing ranking as one of New Zealand's top schools.[15]

Physical education

Physical education is compulsory for all students from Years one to Eleven.

In Year 10, the students take part in a four week experience at Kahunui, a large outdoor living space in the Bay of Plenty bush, where the girls participate in physical activities and school work.

Over 90 per cent of senior students participate in extra-curricular sporting activities.[14]

House system

The college houses are named after British monasteries and other notable religious places:

Notable alumnae

Alumnae of St Cuthbert's College are commonly referred to as Old Girls, and may elect to join the school's alumnae association, the Old Girls' Association. Some notable St Cuthbert's Old Girls include:

Cultural references

In the bro'Town première episode "The Weakest Link" (2004), one of the school competing in the high school quiz challenge is named "Saint Cuthersan's College", a combination of both St Cuthbert's and the nearby Diocesan School for Girls.[21]

See also


  1. ^ "Mission Statement". Our College. St Cuthbert's College. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  2. ^ a b c "History of the College". Campus Life. St Cuthbert's College. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  3. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 5 November 2014". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2014-12-06. 
  4. ^ "New Zealand Schools - Education Counts". Ministry of Education (New Zealand). Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "St Cuthbert's College". ISNZ Member Schools. Independent Schools of New Zealand. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  6. ^ Erwin, Miles (2006-07-30). "Principals angry at top-25 list". National (The New Zealand Herald). Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  7. ^ "Two Auckland schools top in country". New Zealand Herald. 2000-05-04. 
  8. ^ De Boni, Dita (2002-04-18). "A-plus attitude keeps school top of the tree". New Zealand Herald. 
  9. ^ Corbett, Jan (2002-09-03). "Top of the class, bottom of the pay ladder". New Zealand Herald. 
  10. ^ "Member Schools". New Zealand. The Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  11. ^ "New Zealand Boarding Schools - Northland/Auckland Region". Directory. The New Zealand Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  12. ^ "Overseas". AHISA Schools. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  13. ^ "Blackwatch Tartan". Campus Life. St Cuthbert's College. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  14. ^ a b Smith, Jacqueline (2008-08-31). "Boarding at nearby schools a new trend". New Zealand Herald. 
  15. ^ De Bondi, Dita (2002-04-29). "Thinking skills break patterns". New Zealand Herald. 
  16. ^ a b c d "St Cuthbert's Olympians". East and Bays Courier (via 27 June 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Willow Macky Q.S.M.". The Ballad of Captain Cook. New Zealand Folk Song. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  18. ^ 
  19. ^ Erwin, Miles (2006-08-26). "Obituary: Margaret Orbell". National (The New Zealand Herald). Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  20. ^ "Rhodes Scholars Selected" (Press release). Scoop. 
  21. ^ "bro'Town - The Weakest Link". NZ on Screen. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 

External links

  • St Cuthbert's College Website
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