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Middle School

Year 7-10

From Year 7, Columba College becomes a girls’ only school. As our students work through the challenges of adolescence in middle school, they are doing so in a learning environment dedicated to girls. Students benefit from having classes with specialist teachers and contact with older students while still maintaining their own identity. Our Middle School aims to:

Provide a unified and purposeful curriculum that prioritises literacy and numeracy

Offer stimulating, rich and relevant learning experiences which engage intellectual curiosity and extend all students’ capacity and capability

Develop confident, responsible citizens and users of technology who have the agency and capacity to make good choices

Columba College Middle School Student

Enhance the family spirit of the school and the students’ sense of belonging to a caring, nurturing, supportive environment

Develop students into compassionate and resilient young women of character by providing varied leadership, service, co-curricular and well-being opportunities

Inspire and challenge students through specialist teaching in all subjects

Student Life and Learning

Our approach to teaching and learning continues to be underpinned by a desire to promote life-long learners. Our Middle School students are encouraged to strive for personal excellence and be responsible members of Columba College and the wider community. They are encouraged to explore the possibilities available to them in learning and co-curricular activities in an environment which tries to maintain the balance between offering support and structure while also ensuring students feel confident and challenged to try new approaches.

Students from Years 7 to 10 are able to study:


  • Commerce (commences Year 9)
  • Careers
  • English
  • Health
  • Languages – Te Reo, Chinese, French, German (modules in Years 7 & 8 and electives in Years 9 & 10)
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Studies
  • Science
  • Social Sciences including a Global Citizenship component at Years 9 & 10
  • Technology
  • The Arts – Art, Drama, Music (modules in Years 7 & 8 and electives in Years 9 & 10)

In Middle School we encourage students to try as many different sports as they realistically fit into their schedule. This helps them met new people and enables them to try new things.

A wide range of sports are available to select from including:

Summer Sports
  • Athletics
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Diving
  • Elite Fitness
  • Equestrian
  • Futsal
  • Golf
  • Handball
  • Multisport
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Touch
  • Volleyball
  • Waterpolo
  • Yoga
Winter Sports
  • Aerobics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Curling Football
  • Hockey
  • Ice Hockey
  • Netball
  • Rugby
  • Sevens
  • Skiing
  • Weight Lifting

In addition to curriculum subjects, Columba College offers a number of co-curricular Arts opportunities. Such opportunities extend and enrich learning beyond the classroom and enhance socialisation across year levels.

Girls can choose to be involved in a wide variety of groups which include:

  • Annual Otago Shakespeare Festival
  • Art and Design Workshops
  • “Big Sing”
  • Book Clubs
  • Chamber Music Competition
  • Choirs – Junior School, Intermediate Choir and Madrigal Choir (“Cantus Columba”)
  • Creative Writing
  • Dance Workshops
  • Drama Clubs, Senior and Junior
  • Drama Productions
  • Hip-Hop
  • Instrumental Ensembles
  • Instrumental Tuition
  • Kapa Haka
  • Music Theory Tuition
  • Music Concerts
  • Orchestras – Junior School and Intermediate Orchestras and Chamber Orchestra
  • School Musical Productions (staged biennially at the Mayfair Theatre)
  • Spanish Club
  • Speech and Drama Tuition
  • Rock Quest
  • Wind Symphonia

An opportunity for Students to discover more about the Christian Faith

In the Middle School, we cover a range of key stories and themes from the Bible. Students are encouraged to reflect on and discuss this material, and to consider how it relates to our lives today. All students participate in age-appropriate service projects and seasonal activities around Easter and Christmas.

Education Outside the Classroom

Year 7

Four-day outdoor education camp at Camp Columba, near Gore, participating in Adventure activities.

Year 8 

Four-day outdoor education camp at Doubtful Sound in the heart of one of New Zealand’s national parks.

Year 9 

Five-day skiing/snowboarding camp at Coronet Peak, Queenstown. Staying in ski huts on the mountain, and students have daily tuition in skiing or snowboarding.

Year 10 

Five-day trip to central Wellington participating in various activities such as Paddle a Waka, Te Papa Museum, Circus School, Weta Workshops and visiting Parliament.

Student Support

All staff contribute to the pastoral care of Middle School students who at each level have the support and guidance of a form-teacher and the Middle School Dean. Students in Years 12 and 13 also enjoy the leadership opportunity provided by being a Class Senior to a Year 7 or 8 class or delivering the Peer Support programme in Year 9.

Activities and Clubs

Through participation in school clubs and activities students enhance not only their own experiences and social development, but contribute to and enhance school life as well. Girls can choose to be involved in a wide variety of groups which include: Amnesty International Group, Christian Group, Computer Club, Cooking Club, Debating Clubs,Defensive Driving, Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award Scheme, Enterprise Studies (Year 10 Market Day), EnviroSchools Club, First Aid Courses, International Club and Committee, Laboratory Monitor, LGBTQ+, Librarians, Peer Tutoring, Public Speaking Competition, Road Patrol, RoboCup, SADD (Students against Driving Drunk), Service opportunities in the community, “Talking Points” lunch-hour lecture series, Tech Angels, Teen Ag, Volunteer Otago, Young Enterprise Scheme.


Middle School leadership development is designed to provide students with opportunities to increase self-confidence and independence, to develop personal strengths and capabilities and to provide students with ways to give back to their school through leadership and service.

1:1 Student Laptop Programme

On entry to the College all students from Year 7 up are expected to have a MacBook Pro 13” or MacBook Air 13” laptop with a specified software bundle.

For the purchase of a laptop and accessories we recommend our IT partner Cyclone Computers http://www.cyclone.co.nz/ .

Cyclone Computers is a licensed Apple Education Retailer and is using its collective relationship with other New Zealand schools to provide parents with an easy online ordering service along with the advantages of bulk buying.

Student Handbook

The Student Handbook can be found here.