Kristin School: A place to belong

by Noted / 05 July, 2018

Kristin School offers world-class education from preschool to Year 13, with student wellbeing and mindfulness built into its curriculum.

As the first school in New Zealand to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a qualification that has since been adopted by leading education providers around the country, Kristin has its roots planted firmly in innovation. Today, Kristin continues to be a forward-thinking school that prioritises experiential learning and, importantly, student wellbeing.

Using the strong platform of traditional pastoral care, Kristin has been able to innovate its approach to the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of its students to meet the needs of today’s young people. The dean structure at Kristin includes dedicated deans for Year 11 students to support their development and academic success. In ‘Learning for Life’ lessons, Year 11 deans teach an Emotional Intelligence unit designed by Swinburne University which helps the students to build personal resilience.

“We have teachers and students practicing mindfulness on a day-to-day basis,” says David Boardman, Senior School Principal at Kristin. “We’re seeing positive results in the classroom around all areas of classroom practice.”

One of those areas is academic achievement. “If students feel comfortable and happy in their environment and under a positive degree of pressure, they’ll be achieving at the best of their abilities,” says Boardman.

David Boardman, Senior School Principal at Kristin.

The “positive degree of pressure” is key. Mental health and rising levels of anxiety are global issues, and the 2017 PISA report showed that 72% of students in New Zealand were anxious about school assessments — even when well prepared for a test. As Senior School Principal, Boardman has become very aware of the rise in anxiety in his students, and was recently awarded a research scholarship to compare assessment-based anxiety in New Zealand schools with that experienced in UK and European schools.

“When you compare New Zealand with students in other countries that statistic is very high,” says Boardman. “I’m trying to delve deeper to see if there are any fundamental differences in the approach to student support and assessment overseas and here in New Zealand that could be contributing to this.”

To offer young people the assessment approach that best suits their learning style and aspirations, Kristin offers a Dual Academic Pathway in the Senior School, which allows students to choose between the International Baccalaureate Diploma or NCEA in Year 12 and 13.

“We place very high value on activities outside the classroom,” says Boardman, “Participation in performing arts, sports, adventure trips or other co-curricular activities from the multitude of opportunities available at Kristin is encouraged and service learning is at the heart of everything we do. We have a dedicated Service Learning Coordinator, because evidence shows that when young people volunteer and contribute to their community in positive ways, they feel more purposeful and connected, which in turn reduces their levels of stress, loneliness and anxiety.”

In the 45 years since Kristin opened its doors, the school has worked hard to provide a community where children of all ages can feel a sense of belonging. Students from preschool to Year 13 are encouraged to think creatively, reason critically, communicate effectively and to enthusiastically embrace learning
— at school and in life.



A big science investment - but where’s the transparency?
99199 2018-11-17 00:00:00Z Tech

A big science investment - but where’s the transpa…

by Peter Griffin

An extra $420m is being pumped into the National Science Challenges - but the reasoning behind the increased investment won't be released.

Read more
NZ music legend Gray Bartlett has a new album – and a wild past
99182 2018-11-16 13:32:58Z Music

NZ music legend Gray Bartlett has a new album – an…

by Donna Chisholm

We revisit this profile on award-winning guitarist Gray Bartlett, who's just released a new album, Platinum!

Read more
Vint Cerf: The father of the Internet reflects on what his creation has become
99178 2018-11-16 13:13:08Z Tech

Vint Cerf: The father of the Internet reflects on …

by Peter Griffin

"We were just a bunch of engineers trying to make it work. It didn't even occur to us that anybody would want to wreck it," says Vint Cerf.

Read more
Win a double pass to the NZ premiere screening of Mary Queen of Scots
99165 2018-11-16 10:51:28Z Win

Win a double pass to the NZ premiere screening of …

by The Listener

Starring Academy Award nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart.

Read more
Goodside: The North Shore’s new food precinct
99155 2018-11-16 09:33:23Z Auckland Eats

Goodside: The North Shore’s new food precinct

by Alex Blackwood

North Shore residents will have plenty to choose from at Goodside.

Read more
The death of Radio Live
99147 2018-11-16 06:54:48Z Radio

The death of Radio Live

by Colin Peacock

14 years after launching “the new voice of talk radio”, MediaWorks will silence Radio Live. Mediawatch looks at what could replace it.

Read more
Should Lime scooters stay or should they go?
99103 2018-11-16 00:00:00Z Social issues

Should Lime scooters stay or should they go?

by The Listener

For every safety warning, there’ll be a righteous uproar about the public good regarding the environment. It's about finding the right balance.

Read more
Kiwi drama Vermilion is hamstrung by a frustrating lack of clarity
98992 2018-11-16 00:00:00Z Movies

Kiwi drama Vermilion is hamstrung by a frustrating…

by James Robins

Academic and film-maker Dorthe Scheffmann has had a hand in some of New Zealand cinema’s most beloved movies. So what went wrong?

Read more