As the boys across all years face concluding exams, I thought back to the simple advice I used to give my own children at such times and it was this – THINK HARD.
It was a simple play for me on try hard, run hard, swim hard and so on. As an adverb HARD means ‘with a great deal of effort,’ and it always seemed so apt and simple. The THINK part was of course the expectation that when entering the exam context my children ‘used’ their brains and were in fact thinking – this anticipated being creative and considered in the task – not a sponge regurgitating facts, but a dynamic mind representing both knowledge and interpretation. I am confident our boys can and will ‘think hard’ over ensuing weeks and the outcomes will reflect how hard they have thought through the process.
In recent weeks I have been asked by a number of people across the community about the state of the school roll for 2021. At the time of writing we are hovering around a total roll of 696 with 700 as a round target. Waiting lists at several year levels are very much a consequence of House and class size restraints. Of this enrolment just over 100 boys have some degree of financial support provided by the College Foundation reflecting particular talents, socioeconomic needs or a combination of both, and College's desire to embrace diversity through the enrolment process. We can confidently say the inn is very much full, and movement is now as much to do with late withdrawal and replacement, than any other factor. It is apposite at this time to acknowledge the wonderful work of our Admissions’ Team who are the first face of College for our prospective families. Admissions Registrar Sarah Fechney and International Student Manager Deanne Gath have both been in their roles for just under five years, a period that has seen our roll grow by over 10%. As a team Sarah and Deanne do so much to make people feel welcome and this community is indebted to them in many ways.
Part of our message to the boys about this time of year is to finish well. It is with this in mind that I remind parents reading In Black & White that our final prize-givings are compulsory for all boys, as are House events prior to Carols on the Quad, the last service of the year. These are both expectations and celebrations that reflect the best of our community. It also hoped that parents will see this as an opportunity to connect with our community in a real and substantial way.
I am pleased to let the community know of two significant changes in staff. Congratulations to Darrell Thatcher who has been appointed to a different role within the College Executive from the beginning of 2021, as our first Assistant Principal – Planning, Co-Curricular and Administration having most recently been our Director of Boarding and The Centre for Character & Leadership. To our current Head of English, Advanced Learning and Debating, Sian Evans, our very best wishes and further congratulations as she moves to our sister school as the Head of the Senior School at St Margaret’s College.
The final opportunity for the College community to comment on our general Strategy to 2025 reflecting Change and Continuity is now. You can find our latest iteration here and you are asked to comment via email firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m thrilled to announce this year’s 2020 Annual Appeal has raised $92,171. I am so proud of our generous community who gave to support those who have been economically affected by Covid-19. As you may remember this year’s Annual Appeal’s focus was our own community – our families. This money will directly support boys whose families are experiencing significant financial hardship. In the event we are able to meet the immediate needs of our current families, and should we be in the fortunate position of having surplus funds, these gifts will be used to support future students who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to attend College.
Alcohol, Drugs, Parties and Teens
Online masterclass with Maggie Dent and Paul Dillon.
In this special masterclass, parenting author Maggie Dent is joined by one of Australia’s leading alcohol and other drug educators, Paul Dillon to help parents better understand and communicate with their adolescents about alcohol, other drugs, vaping, impact on mental health, identifying problems use, and staying safe at parties. Paul is a previous speaker at one of our Parent Education evenings. To register click here.
As you know, the wellbeing and safety of students and staff at Christ’s College is our highest priority. We do all we can to help ensure the best possible school environment so our boys can reach their potential.
I have previously been in touch with our community and you will no doubt be aware of the Royal Commission’s Inquiry into what happened to children, young people and vulnerable adults in State and faith-based care in Aotearoa New Zealand between the years 1950–1999. The Commission may also listen to survivor experiences before and after these dates.
Christ’s College considers all forms of abuse unacceptable. Our protocols set out best practice for abuse prevention and outline processes to follow should a former or current student come forward with a complaint about abuse.
If you have concerns that you want to share, we have set up a dedicated confidential email email@example.com or you can call me. Alternatively, you can contact the Royal Commission directly here. All discussions will be treated in the utmost confidence.
Whole School Photo
On Wednesday 14 October we gathered all staff and boys for a whole school photo – our once-every-five-years event. Next week your sons (one per family) will be asked to collect their copy via reception. However, if your son is in Year 13, this photo will be supplied in his leavers' pack on the last day of the year. Each boy will be marked as having received his photo; each family will be charged $75 on their College account. Please keep an eye out for this special photograph.
End of year
We know the end of year gets incredibly busy, please ensure you have the below dates locked in your calendar. For a comprehensive list of all activities, please click here.
Monday 16 November–Wednesday 9 December
Wednesday 18 November
Nelson Community Visit
Thursday 19 November
Canterbury Teacher Only Day
Sunday 29 November
Chapel Advent Service (compulsory for Years 9 & 10)
Thursday 3 December
Junior prize-giving, 3pm
Carols on the Quad, 6pm
Friday 4 December
Thank you breakfast for Year 13 boarding parents (Flower’s, School, Richards)
Senior prize-giving, 6pm
Leavers’ service, 7.30pm
Saturday 5 December
Leavers’ Ball (parents and students), 7.30pm