Issue No. 166

From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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Last week, we awarded scholarships for our 2021 Year 9 students. It is an exciting time for these boys and their families who have been acknowledged for their balance of talent and efforts.

Scholarships at College are awarded across a variety of areas, including academic excellence, skills in the performing arts (drama, instrumental and choral music), sport, regional boarding and general excellence. In addition, each year the Old Boys’ Association funds a general excellence scholarship. Some of our scholarships are for families who might not be able to afford a College education for their son without some financial assistance, plus we aspire to create a diverse community reflecting life beyond the school gates. It is wonderful to enable these boys the opportunity of the College experience. All College scholarships are funded by the College Foundation and have only been made possible by generations of philanthropic support that College has received over time.

As we were unable to host our Open Day earlier in the year, on Sunday 21 June we welcomed more than 120 boys and their families to a special Year 8 College Experience. The boys, both prospective and enrolled dayboys and boarders for 2021, were involved in a range of fun activities led by Harper Housemaster Matt Cortesi, Director of Boarding Darrell Thatcher, and current Year 9 and 13 students. The boarders could also find out more about boarding life by participating in a sleepover in Jacobs House. The boys' parents had the opportunity to hear from me, current parent Graham Duston, and 2020 Head of Boarding Sam Averill. It was a wonderful insight into the College experience for these families and in so many ways affirmed the sense of fellowship and community we have created at our school.

With so many events cancelled in the last few months, I am delighted to be able to promote the Parents’ Association Mid-Winter Drinks. Come and share some mid-winter cheer in the Dining Hall on Friday 3 July from 6–9pm. Tickets available online. I look forward to seeing many of you there. Please also find our amended Key Dates for 2020 here.

Digital behaviour

During the Covid-19 lockdown there was a necessary uptake in the use of digital and social media platforms. We know how valuable that was and how in so many ways these technologies enhance our life. Therefore, it is disappointing that upon our return to school a number of disciplinary matters have arisen around the inappropriate use of this same technology.

A couple of reminders for everyone within our community:

  • We are all subject to the legal ramifications of the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015
  • College has policies covering the appropriate use of digital technologies and social media for all members of our community, which are available for staff, students and parents through our Schoolbox portal
  • A digital footprint lasts a lifetime

Scholarships 2021

Congratulations to the following boys who have been awarded Year 9 scholarships for 2021.

Albert Anderson – The Cathedral Grammar School
Richard Brown – The Cathedral Grammar School
Ihaka Cate – Chisnallwood Intermediate
Logan Connolly – Waihi School
Nikau Davies – Cobham Intermediate School
Wil Donaldson – Waihi School
Edward Elworthy – The Cathedral Grammar School
James Floyd – Medbury School
Jonty Gray – The Cathedral Grammar School
Ryan Gu – St Andrew’s College
Seb Hailey – Holy Family Catholic School, Wanaka
Jack Hansen-Ratter – Redcliffs School
Fynn Harrington – Mt Pleasant School–Te Kura o Paeraki
Jack Hastie – Cobham Intermediate School
Henry Hiatt – Medbury School
Hoani Ifopo-Togia – Chisnallwood Intermediate
Riki Jones – Hanmer Springs School
Aaron Kwak – Cobham Intermediate School
Rico Lemalie – Chisnallwood Intermediate
Alf Markham – Heaton Normal Intermediate School
Euan McVicar – Medbury School
Frank O’Gara – St Mary’s School, Hokitika
James Saunders – Medbury School
Oscar Talbot – Waihi School
Daniel Wilson – Cobham Intermediate School
Ollie Young – Medbury School

We look forward to welcoming these boys and all new students to College next year.

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Scholarship recipients who came to the Year 8 College Experience on Sunday 21 June.

Read on

From the Chaplain

In Chapel

It is wonderful to be back as a full school community in Chapel. Our Chapel services are regular events where we are all together, actively participating. We sing together, respond together, listen together, reflect together, spend time in silence together.

Last week was Wellbeing Week. The Christian tradition of encouraging “life to the full” (John 10:10), expressed in an attitude for gratitude or thanksgiving (the Greek word, Eucharist), caring for one another and for ourselves, contemplative meditation, and having a sense of purpose in life that gets us through the hard times – these, in our secular, post-Christian world, have extended beyond church borders. Our school also builds on our faith-base to facilitate these disciplines in young men with a variety of perspectives.

This week College celebrates Arts Week. Again, we make connections in Chapel from the church’s long history of promoting the arts – both within and beyond the church’s edges.

I have also been speaking about baptism (christening) in Chapel, noting that baptism is accepted across the mainline denominations, and encouraging students to consider this commitment.


Year 13 student and Chapel prefect Ederick He spoke in Chapel about his experience as the school’s lay synod representative. I invited senior boys to consider whether they might be interested in working alongside him, with speaking rights this year at synod, in anticipation of taking over the role next year. Such a student would need to be baptised, have a commitment to the church’s life, and be interested in learning more about and participating in governance following processes akin to parliament.

In class

In Year 9 we continue to apply ancient stories to our present context. Year 10 students are learning about and learning from many world religions and also exploring philosophical questions – how, for example, we know what we think we know. While Year 11 students have begun working towards an assessment in church history, focused on the Reformation and its impact on our present world.

I look forward to seeing many of you at parent–student–teacher interviews at the end of this term or the start of next term.

Chapel services

  • A special Choral Evensong service to celebrate the induction of our new choristers will take place on Friday 26 June at 6.45pm.
  • I am pleased to announce Sunday services will resume next term and look forward to welcoming you in Chapel on 16 July, 9 August, 23 August, and 6 September.
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Curriculum News

Staff Nicole Billante

Nicole Billante
Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

Adaptability in teaching and learning

As I reflect on this term, what a term it has been from an academic point of view. We started in lockdown and, in an amazing space of time, we have navigated remote learning, transitioned back on site, and resumed our fully-fledged normal academic and co-curricular programmes. On the whole, our boys have shown amazing resilience and adaptability – and that gives me great confidence in the life skills as well as academic knowledge they are developing.

I know for some it was a struggle to adjust to the rapid changes in their learning, but I also believe that the upcoming school holidays offer a great opportunity to pause, recharge and start afresh next term. Although it may not always feel like it in the moment, there has not been so much ground lost that we cannot find a way back into learning and achievement.

A recurring theme of my communications this term has been the adaptations NZQA and consequently the school have been making to ensure our students are able to achieve in NCEA. In the last fortnight, our curriculum leaders have been looking at the role of derived grade examinations to this success. Traditionally, we have suspended senior classes for a week in Term 3 and held school examinations. This year, we have decided to move from this model in favour of a more flexible approach, which is also being adopted by many schools across the country.

For 2020, we will be having two weeks with an “assessment focus”. The timetable will be adjusted to have 60-minute rather than 50-minute periods, which equates to the expected time a student spends on any one standard in NCEA exams. That way, should teachers require the class time to run derived grade tests, the students will have sufficient time. If, instead, the teachers need the time to complete internal assessments that were deferred due to remote learning, they do not lose the face-to-face contact time they may need. Of course, teachers will work with our Learning Centre to ensure all assessment assistance, including extra time, is provided to those students who are entitled to this.

Our assessment focus weeks will be Week 6 of Term 3, 24–28 August, and Week 1 of Term 4, 12–16 October.

We believe this approach will ensure learners have credible opportunities that will enable them to try for the best possible derived grades prior to the official examination period. For those who may be unaware what I mean by derived grades, these are the “back up” grades we provide to NZQA in the instance of student illness or larger scale emergencies which prevent the official examinations from being completed.

Finally, to round off the term, we look forward to our student–parent–teacher interviews for Years 11–13 on Friday 3 July. Should you wish to review your son’s live reporting comments prior to this meeting, you can do so via the Schoolbox Parent Portal by clicking the “grades” tab.

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Staff Chris Sellars

Chris Sellars
Careers Advisor

Upcoming careers dates
20 June

UC scholarship applications open

24 June

Yoobee Colleges virtual Open Day

26 JuneOtago University scholarship presentation, W101, 1pm
29 June–3 JulyAra virtual Open Week
1 JulyOtago University scholarship applications open
5 JulyColeridge Downs Training Farm Open Day, 1pm
9 JulyUC online Open Day
17 JulyLincoln University virtual Open Day
23 JulyUniversity of Otago virtual Open Day, 3.30–7.30pm
23 JulyUniversity of Auckland virtual Open Day
29 JulyUniversity of Auckland virtual Open Day
1 AugustUniversity halls of residence applications open
5 AugustVictoria University course planning, 2.30pm
9–10 AugustOtago Tertiary Open Day
15 AugustUniversity of Otago scholarship applications close
19 AugustUC course planning, 2.30pm
21 AugustVictoria University Open Day, plus virtual Open Day
1 SeptemberVictoria University school-leaver scholarship applications close
1 SeptemberCommon Confidential Reference Form (CCRF) to have been requested
2 SeptemberLincoln University course planning
10 SeptemberCareers Expo, Year 12, departing College 8.30am
11 SeptemberCareers Expo, Year 11, departing College 8.30am
15 SeptemberCCRF due at universities
30 SeptemberUniversity of Otago accommodation applications close
1 OctoberVictoria University online enrolment opens and accommodation applications close

Christ's College CareerWise

I encourage all boys and parents to register on the College CareerWise website, which gives weekly updates about events, jobs and news. Go to

Recent posts on CareerWise

Please click on the above link to access information. Add your email in the box provided, and confirm via email if you would like to receive weekly updates. Recent posts include:


• Ara – NASDA career experience
• UC – Zoom sessions
• AUT – Zoom sessions
• Massey University Design Competition
• Yoobee Colleges – virtual Open Day
• Coleridge Downs Training Farm Open Day


• Ara Virtual Open Week
• University of Auckland – support for current or future students affected by Covid-19
• PwC Scholarships – new details for applications
• Massey University information videos
• Keystone Trust Scholarship information

• CV and cover letters – flipbook

Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae (CV) tells a potential employer who you are, what you have done and what you are good at, outlining personal details, academic qualifications, community service, interests and achievements. The aim of a CV is to help you get an interview. The flipbook (link above) has information on writing and designing a CV, and includes information about identifying skills, writing a cover letter, and preparing for an interview.

All Year 12 and 13 boys should create and keep updating their CV, as it is very easy to forget what you have done if you don’t write it down. A CV should include information about subject areas, evidence of leadership (in and outside school), and involvement in sport, cultural activities and community service. Universities will require information, as will Housemasters who will be writing references.

UC Online Open Day

UC will hold its virtual Open Day on Thursday 9 July. For more information about courses, accommodation, scholarships and studying at UC, go to

UC Scholarships

School leavers need to start the scholarship application process early to give themselves the best opportunity. UC offers over $20 million in scholarships and prizes each year. The closing date for UC scholarships is Thursday 15 August.

Students can search for scholarships they might be eligible for at

UC is also running a series of scholarship webinars. For more information and to register, go to

Lincoln University

Lincoln will host its virtual Open Day on Friday 17 July. To select your sessions and register, go to or email

Lincoln University – short video clips

These short clips, presented by Lincoln University academics, are ideal for boys who want to know more about qualifications available at Lincoln.


The New Zealand Common Confidential Reference Form (CCRF) is an online university accommodation reference form. Students should fill in the CCRF at the same time as they apply to the halls of residence for their chosen university (or universities). They have the opportunity to register for accommodation at several universities on the one form. Once the boys have completed and submitted the form, they should tell Mr Sellars and ask their Housemaster to complete the school’s section of the CCRF. Applications for halls open on Saturday 1 August and close Wednesday 30 September. The student registration for the CCRF can be found at

Otago University scholarships

Otago University has made some changes to the application process for its entrance scholarships for 2021. Students no longer select a specific scholarship, instead they answer a series of questions that will filter down to the best scholarship fit for them, based on information they provide during the application assessment process. Students will be asked if they wish to be considered for scholarships that take into account specific attributes, such as leadership experience, co-curricular activities, financial and family circumstances, and taha Māori or Pacific Island community involvement. All applications must be completed via eVision. For more information, go to

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Boarding Matters

Staff Darrell Thatcher

Darrell Thatcher
Deputy Principal – Planning & Co-curricular

Head of Boarding Report

Head of Boarding Sam Averill reports on what has been taking place in and around boarding during and post lockdown.

It is fair to say that the last few months have certainly not been normal for boarding at College, and the boarding community has certainly felt the challenge posed by lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions. After an early end to Term 1 and a quick return home, the lads soon took on the brand new challenge of online learning. It was awesome to see the boys go about College life in a completely new way, a feat made possible by the amazing help offered by staff, who went the extra mile to ensure a smooth transition for the boys into online learning. Also, a huge thank you to our boarding Housemasters who kept House spirit going during lockdown through regular Google Meets and House challenges.

I would particularly like to mention our international students who, due to Covid restrictions, have been unable to get home and see their families. It has been amazing to see the boarding community get around and support these boys, not only since the return to school but also in lockdown itself, with many local boys taking them in and including them in their family bubbles. A special thanks to those families who showed these boys the best of Kiwi life. I am sure they all loved it.

When the boys returned to school, we were quick to adapt to a completely different boarding environment. It has been awesome to see the boys knuckle down and accept this new normal, trying their best to reintegrate back into College and keep a positive attitude around all three Houses.

The recent weeks at College have been the busiest to date, as we all looked to make up for lost time. The boys have been rehearsing their respective House plays, to be performed this week during Arts Week, as well as competing in the first few weekends of sport. We also held a school-wide canned food drive to support the Christchurch City Mission. It was great to see so many families spare a can or two to help those who need it most.

Last weekend we hosted 24 prospective 2021 boarders for the Year 8 College Experience, giving them an opportunity to experience College after our usual open day had to be cancelled. The boys competed in an “amazing race” around College, before staying overnight in Jacobs House and enjoying their first meal in the Dining Hall. A big thank you to the senior and junior boarders in each of the three Houses who helped run this event and give the lads a taste of College life.

We have been coordinating regular meetings with Director of Boarding Darrell Thatcher, the Heads of Houses and the Dining Hall, in which we discuss any issues arising in boarding and look at ways we can improve boarding for all boys. These meetings have been beneficial, with valuable contributions made by staff and boys within the Houses.

I hope everyone stays well, as we all look forward to the last few weeks of term and a fast-paced rest of the year.

Sam Averill
Head of Boarding

Read on

Meet our Team

All in the detail with William Bell

With the subject choices of 675 students, the needs of 78 full-time and part-time teachers, plus availability of particular teaching spaces and room requirements to consider, creating the College timetable is both a triumph of planning and a complex problem to be solved. Thankfully, Commerce teacher William Bell loves a challenge and was happy to take on the role of College timetabler when it became available last year.

“I’m a natural problem solver, and I’ve always been good at maths and numbers and sequences, so the idea of building the timetable appealed to me. I think it helps if you can see the big picture while also managing all the little links, all the things that need to be done to ensure everything works out.”

A well-planned timetable establishes a good rhythm and pattern for learning activities and is vital to the smooth running of the school. The process begins in August, when the students make their subject choices. William inputs all the information into timetable program Timetabling Solutions – et voilà! It puts together the best combination with the least number of clashes and job done, timetable created.

Staff William Bell 35461 2243

If only it was that easy – but in reality, that is just the start.

A viable school timetable needs the human touch.

“The priority is what’s best for the boys, and every aspect of the timetable is geared towards getting the best mix for the students, while also being mindful of the teachers’ loads.”

William works closely with Assistant Principal – Curriculum Nicole Billante and Heads of Departments to look at how many classes for each subject at each year level are required and teacher preferences, before confirming student numbers, staff and room allocations. Any clashes can have a ripple effect, making problems to be solved further down the line.

“It’s a process of negotiation and accommodation, but because we have relatively small class sizes we can run more classes, which results in fewer clashes and gives us more flexibility.”

The bulk of timetabling work is focused at the end of the year and in February, but William constantly keeps an eye on the timetable, ensuring trimester rotations in sciences, art and technology, and semester rotations in history and geography run smoothly, plus fitting in new students or working out what happens when a student changes his mind.

Everything changes from year to year and William is already thinking about how he can refine the process of creating next year’s timetable.

“I kind of jumped in at the deep end, figuring it out as I went along. Now, I understand it more. Building the timetable takes time, but after it’s built I can go back and fix things and find the balance. I’d like to think everyone can be pleased with the outcome.”

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From the Archives

Jane Teal

Ninety-seven years of the Old Boys’ tie

On 26 April 1923, the Christ’s College Old Boys’ Association committee meeting was read letters from William Gordon Weston (1715) regarding the introduction of an Old Boys’ tie.i Discussion ensued about possible colours, with black, white and red suggested, along with black, white, blue and gold. Blue and gold were the colours of the early College shield that appeared in the Harper window in the Chapel. The report and statement of accounts for 1922–23 reiterated this information and the concern that the tie was not to be confused with the school colours or those of regiments and schools in England.ii

As expected a sub-committee was formed, composed of Edward Rogers Webb (722), Arthur Edward E Flower (1301), Richard Strachan De Renzy Harman (2389), Edward Vesey Hamilton (315) and Reginald Tristram Harper (1519), and they reported their decision on 30 May.iii The tie was to be as close to sample E (pictured) as possible.

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More news appears in early 1924.iv Sample ties had been made up and forwarded from Foster & Co in London. The committee proceeded to order three dozen. After receiving orders from Old Boys, however, the order increased to six dozen, and then another six dozen. It was then that local firms became involved. Both Beath & Co Ltd and J Ballantyne & Co Ltd indicated they could import the material and make the ties locally. The sub-committee were empowered to get the best deal.v

The first variation on the tie occurred in 1926, when the knitted tie with horizontal stripes was approved as an alternative to the original

In 1936 Hal Williams (1218) contacted the Old Boys’ committee with the suggestion that the tie not have any colours in it. He submitted a design, and samples from both England and Ballantynes were viewed.vii The minutes do not indicate any further development of this design.viii

Why the “present” tie was not considered satisfactory in 1950 is unclear.ix Nevertheless, the following motion was passed: “That J Ballantyne and Company be officially asked to consider the designing of a new tie of more or less the same colour as the blazer, which incorporates the Tui Head”.x Various designs were viewed throughout 1951.xi A design was approved on a light blue background, with the shield and tui from the College coat of arms and twenty dozen ordered from Messrs Owen Green Ltd of London.xii Finally, on 15 September 1952, the Old Boys’ secretary was able to report the ties had arrived and would be sold for 15/- each.xiii

A meeting of past presidents convened by Tom Tothill (5712) in 2004 queried the possibility of re-introducing the older diagonal tie. After investigation, it was decided to do just that and 500 were ordered.xiv Unfortunately, there was a water leak in the basement where the ties were stored and all the remaining stock was ruined, so an opportunity was taken to redesign the tie.

Working Style was sent examples of both the blue and striped ties with a request to create a new design. In August 2018, they presented a tie to the Old Boys’ committee that combined both previous versions: navy blue with gold and light blue stripes and a small coloured Christ’s College crest at the base of the front blade. The committee meeting of 28 November announced the latest version of the Old Boys’ tie had arrived.xv

Old Boys Ties Updated

Old Boys’ ties across 97 years

L–R: 2018, 2005, 1952, c1950, c1926, c1924, c1923

i Christ’s College Old Boys’ Association minutes 26 April 1923. Hereafter abbreviated to CCOBA
ii CCOBA report and statement of accounts 1922–23
iii CCOBA minutes 30 May 1923
iv CCOBA minutes 24 February 1924
v The ties in the College archives indicate that Ballantyne & Co Ltd were the preferred supplier
vi CCOBA minutes 28 April 1926
vii CCOBA minutes 9 December 1936, 26 May 1937, 12 July 1937
viii There are no ties in the Christ’s College Archives to suggest the design, which was not described in the minutes, was ever proceeded with
ix The minutes do not indicate whether this was the tie with diagonal stripes or horizontal stripes
x CCOBA minutes 6 November 1950. The Old Boys’ blazer was blue at the time, with the College shield, helm and tui head on the pocket
xi CCOBA minutes 12 February 1951, 16 April 1951, 11 June 1951
xii CCOBA minutes 16 April 1951, 11 June 1951, 14 August 1951, 12 May 1952
xiii CCOBA minutes 15 September 1952
xiv CCOBA minutes 4 March 2004, 14 August 2004, 18 November 2004, 12 May 2005
xv CCOBA minutes 28 March 2018, 1 August 2018, 28 November 2018
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Safety first

When it is cold and dark in winter, it is important to think safety first, especially at the start and end of the school day. Please take note of the following:

Morning drop offs

With low levels of visibility on winter mornings, please be mindful of morning drop offs around Rolleston Avenue. There have been some near misses outside Flower’s House, with parents dropping off their sons and then re-entering traffic flow without first ensuring it is safe to do so.

Afternoon pick ups

Please do not double park or block driveways in the vicinity of College when waiting for your son. As we would like to avoid congestion around the school gates, we recommend you park further away and either suggest your son walks to meet you or ask him to text you when he is ready to be picked up.

Be safe, be seen

It is great when students choose to walk or bike to school – better for their health and for the environment. But, when biking, it is important they wear high visibility reflective or fluorescent clothing and have a working front light, rear light and rear red reflector on their bike.

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