Our Founding Ethos

St Peter’s is an Anglican-affiliated school that is accepting of all religions and denominations.

St Peter’s was founded in 1936 with the stated aim of educating the whole person. Our founder, Mr Arthur Broadhurst, was convinced that holistic development of body, mind and spirit laid the foundation for a life of service, ready leadership and clear thinking. We have not wavered from our founding ethos. Today St Peter’s still strives to develop well-rounded people with strength of character, a positive mind-set, and eagerness to serve their communities.

Our founder’s vision of education was shaped by his Christian principles and values. This heritage is symbolised by our beautiful chapel, which still plays a central role in life at St Peter’s. We continue to advocate the principles and values of our founder, encouraging all students to respect themselves, others, and their environment.

From the beginning our school motto has been structa saxo, built on a rock. It comes from the words Jesus said to St Peter: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). At St Peter’s we aim to give all our students a solid foundation for life, educating body, mind and spirit, so that they can enter life after St Peter’s with confidence in themselves and their values.

Our original school crest drawn in 1935

Our school crest symbolises what a St Peter’s education is all about. It was created by Mr Broadhurst and Mr Beaufort, a founding staff member and the first chaplain. It features an owl with keys in its beak and the St Peter’s motto beneath.

The owl is a traditional symbol of wisdom. Wisdom is a virtue and a disposition of character, equipping a person for life (Proverbs 3:15-17). It is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.

The keys represent the ‘keys of the kingdom’ which were given by Jesus to St Peter (Matthew 16:19) when Peter recognised Jesus as God’s Saviour for the world. ‘The kingdom’ means God’s transformation of the individual, the community, and all of creation.

St Peter’s honours its history and traditions, yet is innovative and creative. Chapel services, Flag Day, School productions, and camps in Te Urewera ranges are experiences shared by all students through the years. Alongside these traditions are new initiatives such as Junior Sports Academies and our Business and Enterprise Centre. We aim to stay at the cutting edge of teaching and learning by balancing tradition and innovation to produce the best possible outcomes for our students. St Peter’s is a student-centred learning community where we all work together to grow great people.

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