Diocesan takes pride in the fact that the Chapel remains at the physical heart of the school, demonstrating the importance of our Anglican heritage. The Chapel complex includes the St Barnabas Chapel, built in 1854. Other historic features include the elegant Victorian school house and school hall.
Our world-class indoor Aquatic Centre has a purpose built fitness centre, separate learner pool and 400-seat spectator gallery. A moveable floor in the main 25 x 20 metre pool can be lowered for deep water sports codes like water polo and raised for learn-to-swim classes.
Multipurpose Sports Turf
Our multipurpose sports turf complex features a full size competition hockey turf, netball and tennis courts. These facilities provide both year-round sports training and another open recreational space on the school campus. Additional tennis and netball courts are available within close proximity.
The four-storey Centennial Building houses academic and administrative offices, the library, the Whare Aka for Te Reo Māori teaching, and departments including languages, mathematics, social sciences, classical and religious studies, the Centre for Enhancement of Learning, our Careers Development Centre, specialist media studies and IT support.
Dawn Jones Sports Centre
The Dawn Jones Sports Centre enables on-site coaching of several sports codes as well as full school assemblies and services, prize-givings and concerts.
Our purpose-built Junior School building has its own hall, library, music suite, science, technology and arts facilities as well as dedicated spaces for specialist teaching, individual and group programmes.
The Patteson Building houses the English department classrooms and a 50-seat theatre. Other facilities include drama and music centres and a specialist science block with chemistry, physics and biology laboratories.
The Shrewsbury Building has specialist facilities for teaching art and design, food studies, fabric studies and materials technology.
Senior Common Rooms
Our senior common rooms are purpose built for Years 11-13, providing kitchen and bathroom facilities, a separate study room and facilities including two modern dance studios.
The next stage of the Campus Development Plan will see the construction of our Centre for the Arts which will include an auditorium that will seat the entire School and have specialist facilities for music, drama and drama and visual arts.
Early in 1903 Bishop Moore Richard Neligan arrived in Auckland to begin his ministry as the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. Having considerable experience in education and eager to rally the Anglican community around a shared project, he decided to establish an Anglican school for girls modelled on the new British ‘high schools’.
Bishop Neligan’s vision was clear:
"To offer, on sound clear simple Anglican lines, in a Diocesan School for Girls, the very best scholarship that can be found throughout the length and breadth of the Colony.”
Today, Bishop Neligan’s vision continues to inspire the holistic educational, spiritual and ethical approach we take to our students’ learning - from our Foundation Class to Year 13.
Our outstanding record of academic excellence is the culmination of a personalised approach to learning that challenges thinking, grows knowledge, develops meaningful relationships and inspires leadership in all students.
While we teach conceptual knowledge and understanding, it is not enough to ‘know’. We want our girls to have insight – to influence others, to show empathy and make a humane difference in the world.
Diocesan and its founders have always considered education as a way of living. We believe that education is the art of human learning, a venture involving creativity, imagination and discovery with a focus on developing individual character, spiritual depth, discipline and resilience in our students. There is no single recipe to drive this vision other than an acute awareness of our changing world and heightened sensitivity to real world issues, contexts and challenges.
We believe that some of the most important yet hard to measure outcomes of education are the essence of a meaningful life. So we place the principles of humanity – empathy, truth, justice, integrity and human rights – at the very centre of our curriculum design.
Excellence is not an exclusive club at Diocesan and we recognise there is no single right way to achieve it. We use a variety of teaching styles tailored to students’ different needs to cultivate strong, attainable work standards and study ethics.
Starting with our Foundation Class for four-year-olds, our teachers nurture curiosity and a sense of wonderment in the world that continues through to Year 13.
With small class ratios in our Junior School for New Entrants to Year 6, we teach a wide variety of specialist subjects and the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme teaches students analytical skills to enhance lifelong learning.
We mentor all students to achieve their personal best across all subjects and to excel in their areas of particular strength. Every Year 7 to 13 student discusses academic goals with her tutor, who mentors her on how she can extend herself.
Diocesan’s dual educational pathway means senior students can study for New Zealand’s National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, both of which allow entry to some of the world’s most prestigious universities. By allowing students to study at different levels in a given year, we create courses that suit their different abilities and can extend their curriculum options.
Our Centre for Enhancement of Learning and Da Vinci and Copernicus programmes foster critical thinking through a wide range of modules to extend gifted and talented students.
Critical thinking, careful reflection and debate are integrated at all curriculum levels through our Centre for Ethics, launched in 2012 by Patron and Old Girl, the Right Honourable Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias.
A first in New Zealand, our Centre for Ethics encourages students to examine values, ideas and beliefs that underpin people’s decision making and perceptions of right and wrong. They learn to understand cultural and social influences and build an understanding of fairness, justice and legality.All girls participate in our leadership programmes which encourages them to recognise their strengths and identify their own capacity to lead. Our girls learn about their personal capability to influence others and develop confidence to see themselves as leaders, rather than typically associating leadership with power and position.
Diocesan’s Foundation Class is designed to offer challenge, stimulus and inquiry in a fun, caring environment for girls from four to five years old.
“Nothing without joy” expresses our approach to the children’s education, balancing focused play with structured group experiences so they are emotionally and intellectually engaged in their learning.
The class establishes foundations for learning by teaching the competencies and routines required to succeed at school. We also help students learn to work together through cooperation, negotiation and collaboration.
The children join the girls in Years 1-6 in Chapel services and assemblies and visit the school library as they get to know Dio. Weekly visits to Mt St John, baking bread and pizzas for their lunch and swimming at the Aquatic Centre are also highlights of their week. The Foundation Class teaches a specialised early childhood programme. It focuses on the development of early mathematical skills and all areas of early language skills – reading, speaking, listening and writing.
A start in our Foundation Class ensures a seamless transition directly into the Year 0 and Year 1 classes.
As your daughter enters Years 1-6 at Diocesan, our vision is to give her an education that will set her up for life.
Teaching and learning philosophy
Diocesan’s Junior School offers your child individualised learning to identify and develop her strengths so she can achieve her full potential. We give students the skills and tools they need to be innovative thinkers and effective leaders in tomorrow’s challenging world, focussing on the growth of the whole child.
Each class has a home-room teacher and we have specialist music, art, physical education, health, drama, French, and science and technology teachers.
Programme of delivery
Our School is accredited to teach the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate. We engage children in learning and inspire them to take risks as they explore new concepts and ideas that deepen their understanding.
PYP addresses each student’s academic development as well as her physical, emotional and cultural needs. Our teachers design their curriculum and learning pathways with students in a collaborative, structured process that caters for their learning styles, passions and strengths.
PYP links to the New Zealand Curriculum and is part of Diocesan’s school-wide approach to unified learning for years 1 to 13. Our Year 1 to 6 students study six learning themes each year which are connected across the curriculum.
PYP is a trans-disciplinary programme of international education designed to foster development of the whole child, encompassing her social, physical, emotional and cultural needs as well as her academic development.
PYP prepares students for Dio’s dual educational pathway where they can choose to study for the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) or the International Baccalaureate Diploma offered in our Senior School.
Our academic programme includes languages, mathematics, science, technology, social sciences, the arts and health and physical wellbeing. Every child is offered specialist French, music, art, physical education and fitness teaching.
Our Copernicus Programme for gifted and talented students at all levels includes creative writing, art, mathematics, video, web and computer skills.Senior School Year 11-13
Diocesan’s strong focus on academic achievement is reflected in our dual educational pathway. This offers students the choice of studying either the NCEA or International Baccalaureate programmes so they can gain the most relevant qualifications to realise their future ambitions. A wide range of sporting and cultural activities complement the academic curriculum.
The Senior School curriculum covers the core subjects of English and Mathematics and four other subjects in Years 11 and 12, and five in Year 13 for NCEA students. IB Diploma students take six subjects over their two-year programme in Years 12 and 13.
High achieving students have the opportunity to study university papers as part of their Year 13 programme. This can be at The University of Auckland as part of the Young Scholars Programme, or selected papers by distance learning through The University of Waikato. Diploma students take six subjects over their two year programme in Year 12 and Year 13.
Girls’ career development and decision making is assisted through career education programmes at different year levels and professional career counselling. In Years 11, 12 and 13, Diocesan students have increased leadership responsibility and are role models for younger students. The leadership opportunities we offer senior students, including our prefect system, buddy system and peer support and community service programmes, help them to learn to manage change, be resilient and work with diversity.
We have a school-wide leadership programme which all girls take part
in. Students are challenged to understand that leadership is not a
position but an attitude and way of being. Everyone gets called upon to
lead at some stage in their life and we want students to have the
confidence and skills for leadership.
Extra curricular activities
Senior students fine-tune their time management skills as they take greater responsibility for managing their involvement in the wide range of extra curricular activities offered at Diocesan. These include sports and performing arts, which give girls the opportunity to stretch their talents.
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