Anglican Identity

Anglican Identity

Our Anglican Identity is the grounding on which Diocesan School is built.  It permeates every aspect of our school life and the Christian principles of love, compassion, hope, justice and diversity are present in every area of the school.  Our Anglican Identity is explicitly expressed through Chaplaincy, Service Learning and Religious Studies.  


Students are strengthened and nourished by Christian worship and pastoral care, encouraged to value serving others as the ultimate achievement, and to explore Christian teaching plus their own and others’ belief systems.  We aim to ensure that, through these programmes, our students are well rounded and compassionate human beings who go on to make a difference in the world.

Senior School Chapel

Senior School Chapel

Students in Years 11-13 come to chapel once every seven school days.
The themes covered in chapel are usually related to the lectionary readings of the Anglican Church for the Sunday closest to the chapel service. We also cover topical themes depending on what needs there are in each year group. Usual chapel services include singing, praying, scripture reading, and a homily. Students can be involved in chapel services as readers and servers by signing up with the Chaplains.

Sunday Chapel Services

Sunday Chapel Services

All students at Diocesan School are expected to attend some Sunday and other occasional chapel services. Students in the Senior School attend their year level service in Term 1 and their house service in Term 2. Students are also invited to attend the Carol Service in the second to last week of the year, which is held in Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Religious Studies

Religious Studies

The essence of our philosophy is that we are spiritual beings and we all yearn for connection. Becoming more fully human is about acknowledging our desire for connection and nurturing our connection in three areas of our lives – our connection with our core selves, our connection with others in relationship, and our connection with the numinous.

Religious Studies is one of the keys to developing young people who:

Religious Studies is one of the keys to developing young people who:

  • are curious about the world
  • have empathy for the belief and values systems of others
  • understand the diversity of humanity
  • make thoughtful and principled decisions
  • are reflective and self-aware
  • are confident in their own belief systems

Religious Studies Programme in Senior School:

Year 11

In Year 11 students have only one lesson of Religious Studies every seven day cycle.

The units covered are:

  • Christian History and the development of Denominations
  • Introduction to Ethical Theory 
  • The Death Penalty and Christian Ethics
  • Christian Lifestyle
  • The Problem of Evil

Year 12

In Year 12 students have three lessons of Religious Studies every seven day cycle.

The units covered are:

  • Year 12: Introduction to Islam
  • Philosophy of God
  • Religious Extremism
  • The Theory of Knowledge Part One
  • Soul Food – Living a Wonderful Life

Year 13

In Year 13 students have three lessons of Religious Studies every seven day cycle.

The units covered are:

  • Year 13: The Theory of Knowledge Part Two
  • Ethical Theory and Bioethical Issues
  • The Biblical Prophets
  • Sexual Ethics

 Religious Studies is also taught at Level 2 and Level 3 as an NCEA option subject.  
This is additional to core Religious Studies.

Classroom Climate of Respect

We aim to have a classroom climate of respect and acceptance but also where beliefs and opinions can be challenged.  We expect statements to be justified with evidence and encourage prejudice to be exposed and explored.  It is our desire that our students feel safe, respected and valued in the Religious Studies classroom, that they are challenged and supported in their learning, that our programme is stimulating and up-to-date, and that we address critical issues relevant to life in the 21st Century.  Our Religious Studies programme is based on the Five Strand Approach.

The 5 Strands are as follows:
Christianity and the Bible
Ethics and Morality
Philosophy of Religion
World Religions
Stillness and Reflection