Education Outside the Classroom

At St Matthew’s Collegiate School, we believe in the benefits of outdoor activity to boost self-confidence and pastoral benefits of uniting year groups. We have identified these major benefits for our girls:

  • Teaches outdoor survival skills
  • Improves problem solving abilities
  • Enhances the ability for girls to work in a team
  • Develops leadership skills
  • Develops an understanding of our unique natural environment and encourages conversations regarding sustainability

At St Matthew’s Collegiate we offer our girls the following:

  • Bi-annual Year 7/8 Camp
  • Annual camps for Year 9
  • Introduction of Duke of Edinburgh Award at Year 10
  • Y11 PE NCEA standards linked to outdoor education (Demonstrate, and show understanding of, responsible behaviour for safety during outdoor education activities)
  • Y12 and 13 outdoor education experiences in Biology, Geography and PE
  • Odyssey programme for Year 12 at the end of the year. This provides them with the ultimate physical and teamwork challenges.


This is led by our Deputy Principal, Mrs Sandie Sherwen. The girls are encouraged when they turn 14 to join this programme and are guided through their Bronze, Silver and aim high for the Gold award. This award has three components, outdoor challenge (tramping), service and skill. They girls are provided with instruction and opportunities to complete this award. This tests their self-management skills, commitment and tenacity. It is the ultimate extra-curricular challenge.

For more information on the award visit:

We encourage and support our girls in their pursuit to complete these challenges.

Teen Ag Programme

This is a student-led activity involving girls from farming backgrounds or those interested in farming. This doubles as an activity to build knowledge and skill in agriculture as well as social contact and attending events.

Teen Ag meetings are held at school during lunchtimes with speakers arranged for after school slots. The Teen Ag girls are in regular contact with representatives from NZ Young Farmers. They attend competitions such as the East Coast Region Stock-Judging Competition.