St John's College, Hastings

Infobox school
name = St John's College

motto = " _la. Opere et Veritate"
(Latin: "In Action and Truth")
established = 1941
type = State Integrated, Single-sex, Day, Secondary (Year 9-13)
denomination = Catholic
key_people = Mr Neal Swindells (Rector)
Mr Paul Dine (Deputy Principal)
Ms Chanel Hoera (Youth Minister)
Mrs Philippa Lintott (Chairwoman, Board of Trustees)
fees = NZ$708 p.a (classified as "voluntary donation")
city = Hastings
state = Hawkes Bay
country = New Zealand flagicon|New Zealand
coordinates = coord|39|38|22|S|176|51|22|E|display=inline,title
enrolment = ~ 450
num_employ = ~ 35 (full time)
decile = 5 [ [ Decile change 2007 to 2008 for state & state integrated schools] ]
MOE = 226
revenue =
colours = Maroon, Blue and White color box|#800000color box|#000080color box|#FFFFFF
homepage = []

St John's College is a State Integrated, Catholic, Day School for boys, located in Hastings, a provincial city in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

Founded in 1941 by the Marist Fathers, St John's College has a non-selective enrolment policy (although gives preference to students from Catholic families) and currently caters for approximately 450 students from Year 9 (3rd Form) to Year 12 (7th Form).

St John's College has a diverse, multicultural roll. In 2006 its ethnic composition was Pākehā 73%, Māori 23%, and Pacific 4% [cite web|url=$File/226.htm?OpenElement#_Toc128809659|title=Education Review Report|work=Education Review Office|date=February 2006|accessdate=2008-07-18] . The college excels in sporting and cultural activities. Academically, the school offers for senior years the National Certificate of Educational Achievement assessment system (NCEA).


St John's College was established in 1941, on Frederick St, Hastings (the current site of St Mary's Primary School). It was founded by the Marist Fathers in response to the lack of Catholic education for young men in Hawkes Bay. It was also to be a brother school to the already established all girls Sacred Heart College in Napier, some 20 km north.

Enrollment proved so popular that the school needed to expand, so in 1946, with an allotment of donated land, St John's College moved to its present site on Jervios St, Mayfair. Old boys recall that on the day of the move, they carried the school furniture, back and forth to the new premises over 3 km away, and still had to attend afternoon class. The roll grew more slowly after that. Part of the problem was the transportation of students from around the Hawkes Bay region as many students from Napier found it difficult to reach school before school bus lines were established. There were even calls to make both Sacred Heart and St Johns co-ed, to prevent Napier boys traveling to Hastings and Hastings girls traveling to Napier. Today this issue is non existent, although around 40% of St John's College students come from the Napier area.

In 1975, St John's College was "integrated" into the state system under the "Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975" [|title=Education Review Report|work=Education Review Office|date=February 2006|accessdate=2008-07-18] "on a basis which will preserve and safeguard the special character of the education provided by them".

Over time St John's quietly expanded with the addition of new buildings and land. The 1990s saw drastic changes with the completion of 'The Centre' (the school gymnasium), the music suite and geography room, and the purchase of the old firth industrial land to expand the playing fields. This gave St John's an additional rugby field, a new area for cricket nets, and another drive way towards Karamu road with additional car spaces. Since 2000 several remodels have been undertaken and includes the construction of the new technology wing.

St John's College celebrated its 50th Jubilee in 2001 which was easily the colleges biggest event ever. An abundance of old boys returned for the weekend and included several speakers and functions as well as a variety of activities and inter house competitions for the students.


St John's College is situated on Jervois St, Mayfair, in Hastings' northern suburbs. The site layout has all academic buildings close to the main road and are named after former rectors of the school, for example 'The Dowling Block' which contains the Library and Humanities subjects. Behind the buildings are the school playing fields, which separate the swimming pool and the tennis courts from the academic areas.


Current facilities of St John's include:
*'The Centre', which is a gymnasium used for sports, games and physical education (PE) classes. Also used as the venue for weekly wednesday assemblies and other official school occasions such as college masses and the Year 12 Leavers' Mass.
*The Kenneth Guthrie Pool, located at the rear of the school property, next to the tennis courts.
*Playing Fields, which consists of a variety of interconnected fields containing two rugby fields, a cricket pitch and soccer field, field hockey students practice at Park Island Sports Ground in Napier.

t John's Tradition


The school crest incorporates four symbols. The first is the five 5 pointed stars that sits on the upper left side representing the Virgin Mary; originally the star was a 6 pointed Marian Star but quickly evolved in to the current version. The second is the cross that appears on the right side of the crest. It is the Calvary Cross, which represents the place where Jesus was crucified while also representing Christianity. Third directly below the star, is an A imposed over an M, a common symbol for Ave Maria, which is Latin for Hail Mary. The fourth is the Eagle situated across the top section of the shield, which represents St John. In the shield's compartment is the College's motto.


"John knew a lord whose love was real, "felt his power, saw love heal "Love one another was the call, "John remembered, taught us all,

"Trusting, Loyal and Faithful, "Loving in word and deed, "Opere et Viritate "In Love, Deed and Action, Lord We Pray

House system

The current house system was bought into the College in 1999, and was named after early Catholic missionaries who came to New Zealand. All except Redwood are French, and staff and students pronounce them in the traditional ways. The names and colours of the St John's College Houses are:

* Colin - green
* Forest - yellow
* Redwood - red
* Reignier - blue


Every year, the school selects prefects from Year 13 students. This is done through a process of teacher recommendations and voting from Year 13 students at the end of Year 12. There is never a specified amount but 16 is the norm. There are also house captains.

Aspects Unique To The College

*Ranks - A tradition of an outdoor assembly where students are assembled in standing rows aligned by form class. Conducted twice weekly 5 minutes before lunch, St Johns is the only current secondary school in New Zealand to have Ranks on a regular basis.
*Vertical Forms - Introduced in 1999, this system created form classes with students from each year level instead of forms being based on age group. By having four form classes of students form Year 9 - 13 in each house, it is hoped that it will promote unity and peer support throughout a students time at St John's College.
*6 Day Timetable - The six day rotational timetable was bought in to counter balance the lost time from winter sports practice that replaced period 5 on Thursday. This ultimately reduces the impact of classes held at that time as it rotates each week. It is thought that this reduces truancy on particular days also.


Academic results

The number of students achieving national qualifications is well above the national mean for similar decile schools at all levels of NCEA. The percentage of students obtaining NCEA Level 1 increased from 61% in 2003 to 66% in 2004. Levels of attainment in the literacy requirement have recently improved to the current level of over 91%. Achievement in university entrance results has steadily improved over the past three years and is above the national average for schools at this decile level.The percentage of Year 12 Māori students leaving school with qualifications is well above the national rates for schools in this decile. Retention of Māori students to complete their Year 12 studies is high. [cite web|url=$File/226.htm?OpenElement#_Toc128809659|title=Education Review Report|work=Education Review Office|date=February 2006|accessdate=2008-07-18]



Winter sports are compulsory during the first junior students (Year 9 and 10) to encourage social integration into the college environment. Although not compulsory in the senior years, the far majority of students participate in sport with high numbers of competitors in the Summer sports offered.
Rugby is the most popular sport at the college and enjoys a large following from the St John's old boys. There are more than 8 teams, which does not include special teams selected for events like the Under 15s tournament and the Father Fisher trophy.
Soccer is widely played at the college, and with hockey make up the rest of the majority of sport participants. There are also a variety of teams for basketball, badminton, squash, table tennis, athletics, swimming, tennis, orienteering, canoe polo and touch. Cricket is by far the largest sport during the summer and is played by the majority of students. The Cricket teams are usually divided by the Hastings or Napier teams in lower grades.

Many inter school sporting events take place, most notably with Catholic schools around the lower North Island. The main rivalry remains with St Pat's Silverstream and St Pat's Town in Wellington, Hato Paora in the Manawatu, and St Johns in Hamilton.


As a Catholic school, religion plays an important factor in the day to day lives of St John's College students. As well as participating in Masses and Chapel, prayers are formally conducted at staff meetings, in form classes to start the day, at assemblies and at school meetings.

Kapa Haka

St John's College has a long and proud tradition of Kapa Haka. Along with Maori studies, students activley participlate in Maori cultural activities like the inter house Haka competition.

The College Haka is as follows:

"Ko Hoani nei te tangata "Ara he tia, he tia, he tia "Ara hei runea hei raro "Whaka tau ake nei do te mana "Koteihi runga I te toa - e tu nei "Ara pono ki te tika "Kaora, x 2 "Patua hatana "Patua te hoa riri "Ka ao x 2 "Haramai te toki "Whakatau/he tangata "Whakatau/he tipua "Ko wai te tangata ke runga ra "Ko Hoani te tangata kei runga ra, "kei runga ra "Ara he tia, he tia, he tia "Ara hei runga, hei runga, hei runga "Ara whaka tau ake nei ko te mana "Ko te ihi o te Hato "Pona ki te tika "Patua hatana "Patua te hoariri "Ara hi ara hi aramai hi!!

Notable alumni

* Matt Cooper - Former All Black
* Greg Cooper - Former All Black
* Eric Young - Lead News Anchor, Prime News, New Zealand


External links

* [|St John's College School website]
* [ Catholic-hierarchy website]
* [ Catholic Diocese of Palmerston North]
* [ Catholic Church in New Zealand]

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