Experiential learning is a proven way of encouraging young people to develop resilience, independence and teamwork. At St Cuthbert’s we believe the teachings of experience are just as important as the lessons learned inside the classroom.
In the Senior School girls have multiple opportunities to experience learning beyond the College gates through subject field trips, overseas trips, international exchanges and our remote campus Kahunui.
Kahunui has been a great experience for me, it has shown me how to stand on my own two feet and make smart decisions.
Year 10 student
Kahunui is our safety-certified remote campus, located in the Bay of Plenty on a 117 hectare property. Every student will spend 28 days here in Year 10 and we can say without exception that our girls love this facet of their education.
Kahunui has a very special quality – it makes our girls aware of just how resourceful they are, how they can achieve whatever they put their mind to, how they can feel the fear and do it anyway. And it expands friendship groups, creating strong and solid bonds.
Groups of eight students live in and manage their own house, supported by house tutors. This means cleaning, laundry, menu planning, budgeting and cooking. But we do more than just prepare girls for daily responsibilities after school, we challenge and extend them.
Girls make the most of their stunning surroundings with tramping, kayaking, fishing and the learning of basic survival skills, culminating in “solo” which sees girls set up their own individual camp where they spend time by themselves to reflect on and celebrate their achievements at Kahunui.
Girls also protect and preserve Kahunui for future students by contributing to our many sustainability projects which include pest control, produce gardens and enhancing the habitats of native species.
Academic lessons continue while students are at Kahunui, with qualified and registered teachers who take English, Social Sciences, Mathematics and Science.
Every year St Cuthbert’s offers a number of overseas trips designed to build a deeper knowledge and understanding of topics being studied in the classroom. Recently students have embarked on a Commerce trip to Wall Street in New York and a Physics trip to the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. These trips are popular with our Senior Academy students in Year 12 and 13, who are specialising in the relevant area of study.
Girls also have the chance to experience different cultures through trips to China and South America. On these expeditions students are pushed to new limits – appreciating new cultures, new foods and new experiences. These trips also incorporate support for students in schools that have few resources, something our girls find deeply rewarding and memorable.
Language students in particular love our international exchange programme. We have an annual exchange with two Parisian schools that students embark on with much enthusiasm in the Christmas holidays. St Cuthbert’s also hosts students from these schools during June, allowing senior students to make new friends and learn more about the European way of life.