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From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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As usual, the term began with great intensity across all aspects of College life. 

You will receive this newsletter as the cast of our senior production, Anything Goes, treads the boards amid the start of the winter sports season, while Round Square student exchanges and academic extension opportunities are also taking place. We are also hosting student leaders from around the country this week as part of the Association of Boys’ Schools in New Zealand's annual Heads and Head Boys conference, which Christ’s College is facilitating.

At the first Assembly of the term, we also celebrated sports success with the awarding of Colours for achievement in various summer sports. You can see our special Colours Assembly here

The ‘busyness’ of life at College is not just a flurry of activities, but a testament to our thriving and vibrant school community. It is the perfect blend of opportunity and our boys’ needs and intentions that makes all the difference. Our campus is a hub of activity, and it is invigorating to witness the achievements that come from the collaborative efforts of our dedicated staff and students.

You can keep in touch with what is happening by following our various social media feeds and, of course, I encourage parents to come along and be as engaged as they can. With this in mind, I look forward to catching up with many on the sidelines or in Chapel during the term.

Welcome to Joe Eccleton

​I am delighted that Joe Eccleton will return to College as Executive Principal later in the year. Having appointed Joe in 2016 to an Assistant Principal position, seeing him return to the school now provides me with a wonderful sense of fulfilment and has given comfort to many staff. It was fantastic that Joe was able to join me at the opening fixture in our new Upper West facility and I look forward to catching up with Joe further in the coming weeks.

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Staff Darrell Thatcher

Darrell Thatcher
Deputy Principal – Planning & Co-curricular

Annual Christ’s College vs Christchurch Boys’ High School rugby game

This year, the annual Christ’s College vs Christchurch Boys’ High School rugby game will be held on Tuesday 4 June at the Linwood Rugby Club ground, Linfield Park, with kick-off at 1pm.

Routine for the day

  • 8.15am – House Assembly
  • 8.30–9.10am – Period 1
  • 9.15–9.55am – Period 2
  • 9.55–10.15am – Break
  • 10.15–10.55am – Period 3
  • 11–11.40am – Period 4
  • 11.50am – Students attending the game meet in the Assembly Hall
  • 3.30pm – Students are back at school following the game, ready to complete after-school co-curricular commitments (including training and games)

Options for boys on the day

  • Attend the game (boys travel to and from the game by buses – no private transport)
  • Remain at College in supervised study (from 12pm)
  • Go home at 11.40am

Please note:

  • I will go through this information with the boys at this week’s Assembly. They will then be sent a Google form to complete regarding their options for the day. Please discuss this with your son. This form must be completed by Friday 24 May
  • ALL normal after-school co-curricular commitments are expected to be fulfilled by students, including training and games

CCPA House Music Festival

Due to demand in recent years, every family will have the option of securing two seats for the 2024 Christ’s College Parents’ Association House Music Festival on Thursday 13 June in the Christchurch Town Hall. However, each family MUST register here to secure those seats. If there are any spare tickets, priority will be given to Year 13 families. Families can also register to join the waitlist for any extra tickets. All tickets will be emailed to families nearer to the festival date.

Christ’s College Blood Drive

The Christ’s College Blood Drive will be held on Thursday 6 June in the Chapman Room. Vicente Contreras from the New Zealand Blood Service will be speaking to the boys at Assembly about the huge difference donating blood can make to many people around New Zealand. To donate blood, students need to be aged 16 or older. Students will be sent an email providing information and including a link so that they can sign up to donate blood. Please discuss this with your son.


Christ’s College has introduced a new software system called EdSmart. It provides a more efficient and consistent way to communicate information relating to field trips and co-curricular activities, and to obtain parent permission for such activities. Those with daughters at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School will be familiar with the system. Further information on how the system works can be found here.

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Curriculum News

Staff Nicole Billante

Nicole Billante
Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

Studied approach to doing your homework

It has been great to see the boys start Term 2 with focus. The Year 9 students finish their first trimesters this week, rotating to new art, technology, and science classes the following week. Diploma students are in the latter part of their courses, with six weeks remaining before they change courses. Importantly, NCEA students face their biggest term of internal assessments. There is a lot for students to focus on.

This week, I will meet with Year 12 students to talk about ways to manage this workload and implement study techniques to help. As well, I, along with Dr Graeme Swanson, will work with the Year 10 Immerse & Inspire students on ways to reinforce their learning and build their study habits early. These are conversations we have regularly, both at the whole-year level and in classrooms. I know, for example, that Core Biology includes the teaching of using flashcards for key subject vocabulary. However, as is normal with the teenage brain, the connections are not always made about how to apply this work. I encourage discussions at home about spaced practice, retrieval practice, and dual coding. I know that the phrase “I have no homework” is often used, but spending half an hour creating dual coded notes or testing what they can retrieve is always on the 'to-do' list for our boys.

Artificial Intelligence intensive

St Margaret’s College will host a five-day workshop during the next holidays on the exciting field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Run by Inspirit AI from the United States, students will learn the fundamental concepts of AI and gain a deeper understanding of how AI is used to build ChatGPT and generative AI, fight the Covid-19 pandemic, power self-driving cars, and more. Students will learn to program AI using Python, discuss ethics and bias within AI, and complete a group project applying AI to a discipline like healthcare, astronomy, and finance.

This is open to students from Years 9–13. No prior computer science experience is required to participate. Click here for further information on content, tutors, dates, and costs. 

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Advanced Learning

Staff Emma Bracken 0899 SQ

Emma Bracken
Head of Advanced Learning

Opportunities on offer

Advanced Learning offers students a range of opportunities this term. However, boys must monitor Schoolbox notices as events and competitions are posted as they become available.

Kiwi Competitions
Kiwi Competitions offer students in Years 9–10 the opportunities to test themselves against their peers around the country in English, Maths, and Science. Students can enter for one paper or all three. Registrations close soon and the competitions will be held over three weeks, from late in the term.

Sir David Levene Essay Competition
How do we break down barriers between communities to improve social cohesion in New Zealand at this crucial time in history? That is the question Years 12–13 students are invited to answer in an essay competition to acknowledge the immense contribution of the late Sir David Levene. The Sir David Levene Essay Competition is an opportunity for students to develop and showcase independent study and writing skills. Additionally, College students have the opportunity to talk with the chief judge in Term 2. Any interested students can contact Ms Bracken if they wish to be involved.

Senior Stretch and Junior Stretch conferences
The Senior Stretch and Junior Stretch conferences are designed for able students who want to explore their passions, embrace challenges, and connect with like-minded peers from around the region. The conferences will be held in late August. Students can register through Schoolbox notices shortly.

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From the Chaplain

Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

The values of service remain strong today

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Christ is risen, alleluia alleluia.

The first frost on the Quad for 2024 marked the dawn of our Commemoration of the Fallen service. From there, it was a faultless Canterbury morning where Old Boy Major Michael Lawry RNZE gave a fitting tribute, linking the values of College with those of the New Zealand Defence Force. As we remember those who have, and continue to serve, we need to remember also what comes of conflict, and strive for peace in our world.

Later that evening, we formally inducted our 26 new choristers into the Christ’s College Chapel Choir. As we prepared for the service, boys arrived from 1st XV rugby practice, senior production rehearsals, instrumental music practices – almost every field of co-curricular endeavour. In a community of so many and varied opportunities, we are fortunate that our boys can be together in the making of music – to their own and everyone’s wellbeing, which is the very Glory of God, a person and community fully alive.

I hope parents, caregivers, and members of the wider community can join us for Chapel this term. Our first service of Choral Evensong will be held this Sunday 19 May at 7pm. A reminder to our boys that during Term 2 they wear the College suit for Chapel.

So let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify Our Father in heaven.

Yours in Eastertide,

The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

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Staff Emma Stilwell 1600 SQ 2023 05 16 000200

Emma Stilwell

Stack the shelves for House Reading

What better way is there to spend the cold winter evenings than curled up with a good book?

For the library, Term 2 signals that the House Reading competition is under way and the points are already coming in. House Reading is not just for those students who naturally gravitate towards books. For a House to do well, most boys must take part. A few strong readers cannot compete with 70 or 80 boys reading one book each.

This year, different types of books are worth different amounts, and audiobooks are ranked highly. Audiobooks are a great way for busy students – or those who find reading difficult – to still enjoy amazing stories. Our audiobooks can be downloaded from our College ePlatform.

If you think some extra encouragement is needed, you can join our parent-student book group. Nothing says ‘I truly believe reading is valuable’ more than reading alongside your son. Our next meeting is on Monday 20 May, and you can RSVP here. No preparation is required. Just come along with your son and an open mind about what you may like to read together.

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International & Round Square

Staff Sarah Davidson SQ

Sarah Davidson
International Student Manager & Round Square Representative

A global approach to leadership and having fun

Fun activities and a trip to China are among the end-of-term and holiday highlights for students.

Junior Round Square committee members organised a fun GeoGuessr competition in the last week of Term 1. Two boys from each House – a junior and a senior – battled it out across the globe in the online geography game, with Julius House taking the honours (and vouchers from Shaka Bros) in this show of internationalism and adventure.

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Meanwhile, College students Seann Zhao, Raziel Zhao, Benson Geng-Wang, and Jeffrey Jiang – accompanied by Digital Technologies Teacher-in-Charge Craig Walker – headed to a Round Square conference at the Shenzhen (Nanshan) Concord College of Sino-Canada (SCCSC) in China. The conference – with the theme ‘Utmost Tactical Pioneer – Build Your Utopia’ – was aimed at fostering youth leadership. It drew 63 students and 14 adults from countries across the globe, including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, the UAE, and the United States.

Over four days, delegates engaged in Chinese cultural activities, themed lunches and dinners that included dumpling, zongzi, and mooncake-making experiences, and learnt more about the culture through exploring the Splendid China Folk Village and Nantou Ancient City. They also participated in team-building and leadership development through a scavenger hunt, interviews at OH Bay, a hike around Yangmeikang, and activities at Xichong Beach. They shared their understanding and approach to leadership in their baraza groups and delivered presentations on the final day. The keynote speakers included Liu Genping, supervisor of the People’s Government of Guangdong Province and a former director of the Nanshan Education Bureau, and SCCSC alumna Sissi Li. Both discussed cultivating student leadership.

Check out the trip photo album here

Shenzehn 2

In Christchurch, international students enjoyed an afternoon of multi-sport fun, followed by pizza and dessert, with students from host Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, St Margaret's College, and St Andrew's College. An ice-skating expedition was also arranged by St Margaret’s College and College students organised 10-pin bowling and laser strike activities for the last week of the school holidays.

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Latest News & Events

Colours reduced

In the field, on the courts, and in the water – sports Colours

Three athletes, eight cricketers, three sailors, one surfer, one swimmer, three tennis players, one volleyball player, and one water polo player have been awarded ‘Colours’ for their “outstanding performances” in summer sport.

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2024 02 anzac service

Lest we forget – a time to remember fallen Old Boys

Our College community gathered on the Quad to remember those Old Boys and staff who lost their lives in wars.

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College swimmers nab age-group medals

College student Luke Manderson has won gold and a national age group title while Rylind Wheeler has won three silver medals at the 2024 National Age Group Swimming Championships at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatics Centre in Hastings.

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2024 09 holly lea april

Christ’s College in harmony with Holly Lea audience

High notes from the younger vocalists, a glorious concerto by one of New Zealand’s finest young pianists, and a suite of musical treats from impressive classical instrumentalists have filled the lovely Music Room at Holly Lea Village.

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Upcoming Events

Wednesday 15–Saturday 18 MayAnything Goes – joint senior production with Rangi Ruru Girls' School
Book now.
Wednesday 29 May, 1.10pmWednesday at One – College students' music performance
Wednesday 29 May, 7pmCombined Concert with St Margaret's College
Thursday 30 May, 6–8pmThailand Community Visit
Register now.
Wednesday 5 June, 6–8pmGreytown Community Visit
Register now.
Thursday 6 June, 6–8pmWellington Community Visit
Register now.
Saturday 29 June, 3–5pmLondon Community Visit
Register now.
Friday 5 July, 6–9pmChrist's College Parents' Association Midwinter Drinks
Book now.
14–16 February 2025175 Years Celebratory Weekend & CCOBA Reunion
Book now.
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IBW combined concert 2024


Upcoming careers dates
16 MaySt Margaret’s College (halls) University of Otago visit, 8.15am
27 MayUniversity of Otago Open Day
30 MayCareer Convos – aviation
6 JuneUC Year 12 Discovery Day (optional, need to register)
7 JuneUniversity of Melbourne liaison visit, 8.15am 
18 JuneVictoria University of Wellington Information Evening, 5.30–8pm,    Christchurch Town Hall  
19 JuneUniversity of Otago Information Evening
21 JuneUniversity of Otago DARE Day (medical careers), Christchurch Hospital
25 JuneUniversity of Auckland Open Evening, 6–9pm
27 JuneCareer Convos – engineering
4 JulyCareer Convos – sport management/coaching 
4 JulyUniversity of Auckland Information Evening, Novotel
1 AugustCareer Convos – law
23 AugustVictoria University of Wellington Open Day
24 AugustUniversity of Auckland Open Day
24 AugustAUT Open Day

Christ's College CareerWise

The Christs's College careers website, CareerWise is a rich source of information about all things related to career information. You can subscribe here.

University of Auckland – upcoming events and key dates 

UC Year 12 Discovery Day

This is a good opportunity for students to experience a day at UC. It is a voluntary event, and boys must register and find their own way to the university.

Victoria University of Wellington scholarships

Applications for the Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington school-leaver scholarships open in June. Seven scholarships are available:

  • Tangiwai Scholarship – celebrating excellence, both academic and outside the classroom, worth $5,000 or $10,000
  • Totoweka Scholarship – focused on equity and support for students who are Māori or Pasifika, come from socio-economically disadvantaged or refugee backgrounds, identify as LGBTQIA+ and takatāpu, or who have a disability, worth $5,000 or $10,000
  • Raukaraka Scholarship – for leadership outside and inside the classroom, worth $5,000 or $10,000
  • Kahotea Scholarship – for outstanding achievement, worth up to $35,000 over three years.
  • Pakohe Scholarship – for sustainability, worth $5,000 or $10,000 for the first year
  • Kahurangi Scholarship – for exceptional Māori students, worth up to $30,000 over three years, including full accommodation costs for the first year in a university hall of residence, plus $5,000 in both the second and third years of study
  • Mana Pasifika Scholarship – for exceptional Pasifika Students, worth up to $30,000 over three years, including full accommodation costs for the first year in a university hall of residence, plus $5,000 in both the second and third years of study.

Full details are available here.

Māori Year 13 Health Sciences Scholarship

Applications for the University of Otago’s Māori Health Workforce Development Unit REACH (Realising Educational Aspirations for Careers in Health) scholarship programme close on Saturday 15 June. This scholarship is for Year 13 Māori students who are interested in health-related study at the University of Otago.

Massey University, Wellington – creative arts experience

Massey University, Wellington, invites Years 12–13 students to the College of Creative Arts Experience Day at the Wellington campus. During the one-day workshop, students can delve into various facets of creative expression at the Massey University campus in Wellington on Friday, 14 June. Register here.

Victoria University of Wellington

Students can book one-on-one Zoom or phone calls for university course advice and stay up to date with events and open days, including the Christchurch Information Evening on Tuesday 18 June and the Open Day on Friday 23 August.

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From the Archives

Jane Teal

May is Music Month

Music has been part of Christ’s College since its beginning. Vocal music is named in both the Scheme to Establish the College and in the March 1851 Lyttelton Times advertisements. Singing teachers were among the early part-time appointments.

In the Service Register at the back of School Records, there is mention of music as part of the opening of the Chapel in 1867. The newspapers of the time indicate that it was the Te Deum, Venite, and Jubilate that were sung. A choir that included Bishop Harper’s grandchildren were present at his and Emily Harper’s Golden Wedding celebrations.

Evidence of the planned teaching of vocal music can be found in Robert Parker’s handwriting.i A single, undated page pasted into School Recordsii indicates that it was based on Hullah’s Manual. John Pyke Hullahiii taught singing by the sol-far method and the most likely version used by him was called Wilhem’s Method of Teaching Singing, revised and reconstructed in 1849.

The decision to record some of the music sung in Chapel was first made in the early 1960s with A School Makes Music.iv Eight items appear on the record, including settings by Vaughan Williams of the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis.v Dr Craig Sellar Lang’s setting of Psalm 8 – ‘O Lord, Our Governor how excellent is They name in all the Earth’, also appears on the two subsequent records. Lang, a New Zealander, was Director of Music at Christ’s Hospital in Sussex and where Harry Reginald Hornsby, the College Headmaster, had been a Housemaster. viFrom 1952, when ER Field-Dodgson was appointed to the staff, the music of Christ’s Hospital influenced Christ’s College for a considerable period.

Lift the Strain of High Thanksgiving and Hail Gladdening Light were also recorded for Music from Christ’s College while Lang’s Jubilate Deo appears for the first time. Sung in Canon at the Sports Weekend service in ChristChurch Cathedral by the school and Old Boys, it reappears in Christ’s College Sings. This record also includes the Glee Club, with Richard Neale (7599) as a soloist in Der Kleine Rekrut.

Side two of this 33 1/3 long play record by Kiwi Records, and once more distributed by AH & AW Reed, features Christmas carols. Among them are two Basque carols, Gabriel’s Message, and I Saw a Maiden, arranged by Edgar Pettman, while Ding Dong Merrily on High is still part of the Chapel Choir repertoire.

Christ’s College Sings, Music from the Chapel was recorded in 1982 when David Grigg (9583) was Head of Chapel Choir. Side one begins with The College Song, written by William Pember Reeves (289) and set to music by Alfred James Merton (383), choirmaster and organist from 1875–1919.

It continues with Psalm 8, Vernon Griffiths’ Magnificat, Jubilate Deo, Hail Gladdening Light, and Jerusalem. The Chapel Choir alone is recorded on side two, with music almost entirely from the 16th and 17th centuries. Two exceptions, God is gone up with a Merry Noise composed by Arthur Hutchings in 1939 and the 1936 Lift the Strain of High Thanksgiving, appear again and were sung at the Chapel Centenary Service.

Then there was recording silence until the CD Music was completed in 1997. Continuity with the past is clear with Jerusalem, Psalm 8, and Hail Gladdening Light. Walmisley’s settings of the Magnificat in D minor can be found in the 1960s recording and this later one includes his Nunc Dimittis. Patrick Shepherd’s setting of In Flanders Fields, John Rutter’s God Be in My Head, and Ken Naylor’s How Shall we Sing? bring the music clearly into the 20th century.

In 2009–2010, the Chapel Choir and Schola Cantorum recorded Flying High. The blurb that accompanies the recording indicates that it shows “diversity and versatility” and there is a distinct move to New Zealand music. Two traditional waiata, Philip Norman’s canticles and David Hamilton’s Nunc Dimittis, are included, as well as more contemporary music such as Elton John’s Can you feel the love tonight?. Yet, there are links to the past. Oculi Omnium is sung on both recent CDs and continues a connection made earlier to Charles Wood’s Ding Dong Merrily on High.

That is not the whole story about vocal music at Christ’s College. There are Congers, House Music, Carols on the Quad, and the links to Drama and Big Band to be acknowledged in another In Black & White.

ii School Records, page 51 Christ’s College Archives
ivThe National Library holds two recordings with the same title. Naenae College in 1962 and Christchurch Girls’ High School in 1964 Both, like the Christ’s College Record, were produced by Monogram Records and distributed by AH & AW Reed, Wellington
vThe Magnificat (Song of Mary) and the Nunc Dimittis (Song of Simeon) are sung after the first and second lessons, respectively, at Evensong 

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