2 March 2018

We’re celebrating stellar academic results for 2017. Xanthe Copeland credits our Personalised Learning Centre for helping her on her journey to gain top marks in the NZQA Design Scholarship.


Xanthe missed her mock exams catching up on her Design portfolio after being in China competing in the Youth Sailing World Championships.


But despite her heavy workload and sporting commitments, Xanthe gained full marks, 24/24, in the NZQA Design Scholarships, finishing top in the country.


Xanthe’s Design project was close to her heart because it depicted her journey of learning to learn with dyslexia supported by the Personalised Learning Centre at St Cuthbert’s College.


Xanthe, 18, said: “I live with dyslexia and my art boards were all about the background to that, so to be recognised for something that is so important to me is overwhelming.”

Classmate Lydia Harden-Bull also gained high marks in Design Scholarship scoring 22/24.


Lydia, 18, said: “You don’t expect to do so well because you know there are so many talented Design students.”


Both students benefited from staff at the Personalised Learning Centre who embraced their diverse learning needs and encouraged them to progress in their own way.


Xanthe said: “I came to the College in Year 7 and went through The Cottage and benefited from having extra help whenever I needed it.”


Lydia, who has mild dyslexia, said: “My parents saw I was struggling in the early years and sent me to St Cuthbert’s in Year 1. A got a lot of support and extra help which really set me up for Years 7 and 8 and High School. At The Cottage, we supported each other and the teachers celebrated our achievement. The teachers encouraged me and I pushed myself to step and try my best.”


Xanthe is now studying for a Design and Business Degree at Victoria University. Lydia is at AUT doing a Communication Design degree. Both also gained NZQA Scholarships in Painting.


Xanthe plans to continue sailing at top level in a bid for Olympic glory. Meanwhile, she proud that her Design boards have been recognised as a platform to champion and celebrate dyslexia. She said: “I have always thought that I have an obligation to show those who aren’t as fortunate as me to realise they have potential. The teaching at St Cuth’s is incredible; the teachers have a real passion for what they do and for the students.”


Lydia, who directed Shakespeare Soiree and was a key organiser for Stage Challenge, advises diverse learners to choose subjects they are passion about. She chose pottery for her Design project.


Xanthe said: “I did Visual English and had an incredible teacher and did really well. I then realised I could do the thing I was worse at. Once I could turn my weakness into a strengthen, I viewed things in a different way.”


She advises fellow diverse learners: “You should embrace your way of learning. Figure out what works for you and do that.”