Why Choose Craighead?


Craighead Diocesan School (Timaru) has shaped and influenced young women since 1911. As a school of Special Character, Christian values and principles underpin a dynamic learning environment and our girls are given every opportunity to aspire to excellence. Craighead girls excel in academia, sports and culture within a warm and supportive environment. With our strong links to the Anglican Church, our role is to encourage and equip each girl to explore the richness of a spiritual life for themselves, and to make their own decisions. By nurturing the ‘whole person’, we also nourish our spiritual selves, that vital part of us which seeks meaning and connection, hope and purpose. Our world needs wise young women, committed to building healthy and sustainable communities, through justice, mercy, forgiveness and compassion.


Research tells us that single sex schools provide girls with the best opportunity to reach their full academic potential. Girls are more competitive, prepared to take more risks and are more likely to attend University. We are a school that caters specifically for girls, the unique way they learn, the special way they form relationships, and the needs they have as they grow into adults. Learning opportunities are supported by a modern e-learning infrastructure and teaching pedagogy which increasingly allows learning to take place anytime and anywhere through collaboration and innovation. This gives them a distinct advantage for leadership and many careers. Girls do best in Girls’ schools!


With ‘brilliant boarding’ as our philosophy, the two Craighead Boarding Houses offer quality residential accommodation and pastoral care for up to 140 students. Our new Senior Boarding Wing opened in August, 2014 and is a much admired purpose-built facility. A strong feature of our Boarding experience is the “Big Sister, Little Sister” relationships that develop. Students and staff of speak highly of the dynamic and nurturing environment and endorse that it is a “home away from home”. Craighead now offers short term Boarding options for Craighead families.


Craighead consistently exceeds the National Averages for Decile 8-10 Schools and the majority of our students achieve Merit or Excellence endorsements at Levels One, Two and Three NCEA. In 2016, 82% of our Yr 13’s achieved University Entrance, when the National Average was 48%. 


Girls who attend Craighead are known for their grace, spirit, character and high levels of intrinsic motivation. They are confident, connected and caring global citizens. They desire to be the best they can be, yet retain the values of respect, integrity, courtesy, cooperation and kindness. Positive relationships exist between our excellent, committed staff and our students. Craighead is very proud of its students, of the way they conduct themselves, of their sporting, cultural and artistic achievements, of the way they wear their uniform and of the way they have the courage to try new things. We don’t always have to be the best but Craighead has consistently produced remarkable women who have gone on to achieve remarkable things in their lives.