Issue No. 166

From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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At the next Christ’s College Parents’ Association (CCPA) and Christ’s College Old Boys’ Association meetings, I will present and seek feedback on our proposed strategic themes and emphasis for the next five years.

The latest draft iteration of our plans can be found here. I encourage parents and Old Boys who cannot attend these meetings but who wish to comment to email College staff are currently providing feedback on these themes and the College board will finalise and endorse our aspirations at its October meeting. There is much to look forward to in the years ahead, as College strives to achieve its vision through mission-focused projects. Your input is valued – so, please, if you have some thoughts and ideas, let us know.

In recent times, the importance of mental health has been more widely discussed and acknowledged in New Zealand and within our College community. At College, we place a strong emphasis on health and wellbeing and provide a variety of resources relating to different aspects of mental health on our website. Of particular value is SchoolTV. College was the first school in New Zealand to make this resource available to parents. Its cost is covered by a contribution from the CCPA, and we are extremely grateful for their support. We provide these resources in the knowledge that school will forever be secondary to parents and family in supporting and developing our boys’ mental health – and therefore parents have a responsibility to take charge of their own education concerning mental health issues young people may face.

College is perhaps better served than most, especially through our proactive preventative initiatives delivered through our pastoral care (Housemasters and mentors), health and wellbeing, and MINDfit and MANifesto programmes, and supported by our counselling and psychological services. Such education, guidance and support is still limited, however, as there are only so many teaching periods or so much capacity for reactive solution-focused counselling. When an individual’s needs become more serious, College relies on community mental health resources and parents or guardians. Adolescence can be difficult and fraught, and parents need to be prepared for this, just as they are for other challenges parenting – and the adolescent journey – brings.

Over the last few weeks, I have been discussing group behaviour with the boys, and particularly some of the almost counter-cultural expectations we have at College. I have talked about our expectation that the boys wear suits and ties on Monday, Friday and Sunday (and that we wear ties at all given they are seemingly going out of style), our expectation that we should only cheer and applaud positively and appropriately – no matter what the context, and that we must always consider first the other and the impact of our behaviour, rather than ourselves and what we might want. As community standards change, at College we strive to set a tone and attitude that is our own and serves as an example for the wider community of our virtues. As much as we reflect the community we serve, at times we must stand apart and stand up for what we believe ... no easy task, but a challenge to overcome.


9–13 September
Our much anticipated College–Rangi Ruru co-production of Evita is set to run from Wednesday 9–Sunday 13 September. The cast and crew are working hard to bring everything together and create another outstanding show – but one element they can’t control is the coronavirus.

As we are currently in alert level 2, we have put ticket sales on hold and are working out contingency plans for how to manage the production if the country remains at this level.

The show will still go on – and we hope Christchurch will be back at alert level 1 in time for opening night on Wednesday 9 September. If we remain at alert level 2, we will be in touch about what happens next for us all.

Grandparents' Day

Friday 11 September, 10.15am–12pm
One of our favourite days of the year is Grandparents’ Day – when our boys invite their grandparents to come to College and see what they get up to.

This event has already been postponed once this year, and now we are in alert level 2 we are keeping a close eye on what happens next. If you haven’t already done so, please register here to attend as we would love to see you ... but with this caveat:

We hope Christchurch moves back to alert level 1 in time for Grandparents’ Day to go ahead as planned on Friday 11 September – but if not, and we remain in alert level 2, it will have to be rescheduled.

Thank you for your support. We will be in touch again soon.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Darrell Thatcher

Darrell Thatcher
Deputy Principal – Planning & Co-curricular

Reflect and improve

Being back at alert level 2 means many of our boarding practices continue as normal, but with an increased lens on hygiene, physical distancing and contact tracing. If there is a positive from the Covid-19 situation, it has been the opportunity to reflect on some of the processes and policies we have in place and adjust them as required. This is especially relevant to our processes around health, which come into play for any health issues – such as, the annual flu season – and not just Covid-19. Moving forward, I would like to think that boys, staff and parents are clearer in terms of expectations.

Boarding community activities

In all areas of life in recent times there have had to be changes made to planned activities, and this has certainly been the case in boarding. Please see below some boarding community activities which might be of interest to you.

Friends of Boarding

Sunday 11 October, 4pm
A meeting with a small group of boarding parents earlier in the term was productive in terms of looking at how Friends of Boarding can move forward. The next Friends of Boarding session will be held on Sunday 11 October (the day before the start of Term 4). It will be based around boys’ health – especially relating to common injuries and medical ailments. College physiotherapist Marion Meates will discuss common injuries, including concussion protocols, and growth issues faced by teenage boys, and a general practitioner from Doctors on Cashel will give a medical perspective on things such as vaping, the legalities of prescribed medicines, and other common ailments afflicting teenagers. This will be followed by a round table discussion.

Parent survey

By the end of term we will invite you to complete a brief survey (similar to that sent last year) to enable us to gather the views of boarding parents. Your perspective on boarding and your ideas and suggestions are important to us.

Online Q&A with Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education John Quinn

Monday 7 September, 7.30pm
As a follow-up to the parent education evening “Parenting through Uncertainty – supporting yourself and your children" on Thursday 27 August, we will run an online Q&A with John on Monday 7 September. This will give boarding parents who could not attend the live session an opportunity to raise any questions they may have.

Boarding Mothers Morning Tea

Friday 23 October, 10.30am
We invite our boarding mothers to this special event at The George on Friday 23 October, from 10.30am. It will be a great opportunity to meet up prior to the Pink Lunch later in the day. Click here to book.

Year 13 boarders and parents – House shoot and lunch

Sunday 11 October, 9am
As our Year 13 boarders begin their final term at College, the House shoot and lunch gives the boys and their parents the opportunity to compete within and across the Houses and enjoy lunch together before the boys return to school. It will take place at the North Canterbury Clay Target Association, 269 Boundary Road, Fernside.

Weekend transport

Atomic Travel is researching the demand for providing transport after school on Fridays and returning on Sundays at approximately 8pm. This service would be for all Christchurch boarding schools and for students heading home to various towns around the South Island. Atomic would appreciate if you could take the time to complete this short survey (click here) by Friday 28 August.

Boarding programme

As we are at alert level 2, there have been a few changes to the boarding programme in the last two weeks. Despite the disruptions, the boys have still enjoyed trips to Ferrymead Golf and to Hoyts EntX, as well as a mystery activity, which was a visit to the International Antarctic Centre. The full boarding programme can be viewed here.

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Curriculum News

Staff Nicole Billante

Nicole Billante
Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

The power of professional growth

The Teaching Council this week announced a development in teacher registration that is not likely to be known to many outside the profession. It is, however, a particularly exciting and bold step that deserves wider recognition, so I thought it timely to highlight it here and note how this will be of benefit to our boys at College.

The council has announced it will be removing the formal appraisal requirement that has been associated with teacher registration. Now, having had corporate experience myself in my much younger days, this can sound alarming from a pure business model, but it is in fact empowering teachers and schools to focus on development without it becoming a tick box, minimum standard mentality. The Council has asked schools to focus on a professional growth cycle – and this is exactly in line with the journey our teachers have been on for the last three school years.

When the Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research was formed in 2018, its first priority was to establish a coaching model for performance development. Each teacher is supported in developing personal goals, receiving feedback on their teaching, and working through a reflective process with one of the Heads of Teaching & Learning. The Thursday morning professional learning sessions that replace Period 1 classes have been invaluable in helping build this culture. Many of our sessions are dedicated to building a shared understanding of best practices, such as looking at research on fostering high performance relationships, or supporting teachers to feel more confident in their understanding of tikanga and use of te reo Māori.

By creating a process that makes us all take a moment to reflect and gives us the scope to focus on individual development, the teacher as a lifelong learner is brought to the fore. We are in this job because we value knowledge and learning. The endorsement on a national scale that this is now to be the norm is a great step forward for education. Here at College, it reinforces that we were already on the right track and the time is ripe to deepen this even further as each year’s growth cycle builds on the one before. And for our boys, it means they have teachers in front of them who are spending their time discussing how best to hone their craft and how better to meet their students’ needs. We are grateful to our parent community who have supported the use of our precious time in this way and we are confident that it helps us go from strength to strength.

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Wellbeing & Positive Education

John Quinn IBW

John Quinn
Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education

Parenting through Uncertainty

As we navigate the ups and downs of this coronavirus year and as alert levels change, it is important that we not only be aware of our own wellbeing, but also of the wellbeing of the young people who share our lives. This month SchoolTV turns the spotlight on Riding the Corona Coaster.

The wellbeing team is certainly seeing an increase in students' feelings of being overwhelmed – not just with academic work, but also with the uncertainty of their futures and goals for this year and next. The SchoolTV analogy of a roller coaster could not be more apt, as this is what it feels like for many people. Your children are looking for some certainty and guidance during this time, so I encourage you to watch this SchoolTV special report and have conversations with your children about how they are going.

This is a great time to build resilience – both for you and your children – by harnessing your character strengths, being more mindful, and by using a growth mindset.

The wellbeing team is running a parent education evening this Thursday, looking at ways you can support yourself and your children, and learn how to thrive in these uncertain times. This event is going ahead, as seating is limited to 100. There are still a few places available – please book through our Upcoming Events page on the website or click on the banner below. We hope to see you there.

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From the Chaplain


This year’s new students are receiving their Bibles given to them from College’s Bible Presentation Fund. There are various translations from Hebrew and Greek into English. We use one of the best, most scholarly translations into English, The New Revised Standard Version. The edition we get has the pagination continuing from the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) through into the New Testament. Many Bibles start the pagination afresh at that point, which makes it more difficult to find one’s way if new to this library of 66 books bound together. We hope students will treasure this gift and be enriched by it.

We have been using a class set of Bibles as well as an online edition. Let me give an insight into the sort of things we discuss in class. In Year 9, we are looking at the Ten Commandments. We might notice they are addressed to men – religion (and other contexts) can be quite male focused. We discuss how these commandments form the basis of our ethical and legal thinking. We try to translate the negative form of them into a positive – for example, “You shall not commit adultery” can become, “Be faithful to your partner.” We note that the commandments address not just what we do, but what happens in our heads (“You shall not covet ...”). There are a lot of connections we can make to wellbeing and positive psychology, and being happy with and grateful for what we have. We note there aren’t really ten commandments – hence the different lists attempting to make them into the nice, round number of ten. We imagine what ten commandments might be appropriate in our Third Millennium context, and the students usually note instructions around digital and drug use would be necessary if we were to receive the commandments today.

World War II Anniversary

It is the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II on Wednesday 2 September and, to mark the occasion, St Barnabas Church, Fendalton Road, is holding a WWII miniatures display in the church hall on Saturday 5 September. Half the hall will be filled with exhibits, memorabilia, and miniature displays of famous WWII events. The display will be open to the public from 11am–3pm. There will also be a sausage sizzle.


Once again, we hope the community rallies together and we get on top of Covid-19. Under alert level 2, College is not having Chapel services or assemblies.

Research highlights that New Zealand has used the coronavirus outbreak to build public trust in experts and in good leadership. Many other countries have wasted or weakened trust in leadership and in scientific expertise. There is much here worth reflecting on – about leadership, and the value of science. This continues what I reflected on in the last issue of In Black & White: and to science and faith we can add the importance of leadership.

Yours in Christ.

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Staff Chris Sellars

Chris Sellars
Careers Advisor

Upcoming careers dates
25–27 AugustUniversity of Auckland Open Day Online
27 AugustUC Open Day
29 AugustUniversity of Auckland Open Day – CANCELLED
1 SeptemberVictoria University school-leaver scholarship applications close
1 SeptemberCommon Confidential Reference Form (CCRF) to have been requested
2 SeptemberLincoln University course planning
2 SeptemberUniversity of Auckland scholarship applications close
10 SeptemberCareers Expo, Year 12, depart College 8.30am
11 SeptemberCareers Expo, Year 11, depart College 8.30am
15 SeptemberCCRF due at universities
30 SeptemberUniversity accommodation applications close
1 OctoberVictoria University online enrolment opens and accommodation applications close
3 OctoberAUT (Auckland) Open Day

Christ's College CareerWise

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University of Auckland

Open Day Online
Tuesday 25–Thursday 27 August, 6–9pm. Go online and register for a series of webinars and panel discussions, see links below.

Open Day On Campus
Saturday 29 August – CANCELLED

I received this email from the University of Auckland, which has useful information about registering for Auckland Open Day Online activities.

With Auckland at Alert Level 3, the University of Auckland has made the decision to cancel this year’s Open Day On Campus event that was scheduled for Saturday 29 August. This is in line with Government guidelines around gatherings, and ensures the safety and wellbeing of our community. We are aware that many students were planning to join us for Open Day On Campus and we are disappointed to not be able to welcome them on campus in person but look forward to engaging with students and their families from the comfort of their own home.

We will be offering our planned Open Day Online which will run for three evenings on the 25, 26 and 27 August. We encourage students and their families to register on our Open Day Online registration page where they will be able to create a timetable of sessions to attend, learn about the extensive range of programmes we offer and hear from many of our students, academics and professional staff. You will also be able to see some familiar faces from the Schools Partnership Office presenting our University 101 session, MCing a conjoint panel, and hosting a session aimed at Year 9–11 students.

Applications for the University of Auckland school-leaver and first-year scholarships now close on Wednesday 2 September. Click here for more information.

Summer School
Summer school is a great way to boost your study skills and achieve your goals. The University of Auckland offers a range of summer school programmes that provide additional preparation for entry into the university. Click here for more information, or contact the schools partnership office at

AUT (Auckland University of Technology) Open Day

The AUT Open Day – AUT Live – will now be a series of online events from Tuesday 29 September–Thursday 1 October, as well as an on-campus event on Saturday 3 October. For more information and to register, go to

University Accommodation and CCRF

The New Zealand Common Confidential Reference Form (CCRF) is an online university accommodation reference form. Students should be requesting this now. The student registration for the CCRF can be found at

Subject Options

Boys in Years 9–12 should now be well into the process of choosing their subject options for 2021. Useful resources include our Subject Options – Career Pathways booklet and the Curriculum Studies Guide.

Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae (CV) shows who you are, what you have done and what you are good at, outlining personal details, academic qualifications, community service, achievements and interests. Our online flip book Preparing for the workforce has information on writing and designing a CV, and includes information about identifying skills, writing a cover letter and interview techniques.

Student Job Guide

Many students will be looking for a summer job. MoneyHub has produced a comprehensive student jobs guide, with tips on how to make an application and where to look for student jobs. For more information, go to

Combine your passions

Most universities offer conjoint programmes or double degrees. A combined degree – for example, a Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc), Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) – allows you to follow your passions and expand your career opportunities.

The BComSc is for anyone whose interests span science and business, encompassing technical expertise along with transferable and problem-solving skills. Students choose two majors, one from business and one from science or applied science subjects. There are many combinations of subjects available – for example, food science and marketing, zoology and accounting, energy studies and economics, agricultural innovation and tourism, sport development and management and marketing, psychology and marketing, psychology and philosophy, politics and economics (PPE)

Careers for Arts Graduates

Digital disruption, and globalisation have transformed the world of work as we know it. New opportunities and industries have emerged while others have been replaced by technology and innovation. Arts graduates will be prepared for the future of work due to the “human” skills employers need that technology can’t replace. These future-focused skills are: creative and critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and adaptability.

The Auckland University publication Future Focus – Careers for Arts Graduates outlines some of the opportunities available for people who study the arts.

University Course Planning

To date, Victoria University, the University of Otago, and UC have come to College for course planning sessions. This reinforces the work and ideas we have discussed in our career interviews. Most boys have now decided on the degree they intend to pursue and have chosen the subjects they will study in semesters 1 and 2 next year.

Lincoln University will be at College on Wednesday 2 September. Auckland University is not coming to Christchurch in the near future, so boys are encouraged to read the news section on the College Careers Website or in In Black & White.

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From the Archives

Jane Teal


I wonder how many Christ’s College boaters flew into the Avon River or under the wheels of a Model T Ford? We will never know the answer, and it seems that even the history of this item of clothing is somewhat enigmatic.

There are three possibilities and two of them involve sailors – either the flat-topped caps of varnished straw worn by French sailors, or the midshipmen of the Royal Navy.i Others make a link with the hats worn by Venetian gondoliers. However, straw hats had been made in England possibly as early as the 1680s, and there was a thriving straw plaiting cottage industry based around women and children in the 18th and 19th centuries in Luton, Bedfordshire. Initially it involved splitting the straw with the teeth, until the development of a straw splitter in the early 19th century and the importation of cheaper plait from China.ii

Creating a boater is a complicated process that involves blocking, stiffening, finishing, polishing, trimming and lining. And so, J Ballantyne & Co imported their College stock from Lincoln Bennett & Co of Saville Street, Piccadilly, Tress and Co of Southwark, and The York Hat Company of Selby, Yorkshire. As time progressed, these boaters also included the innovative Bon Ton Ivy sweatband, which enabled the hat to sit more comfortably on the head.iii

Boat Hats

L–R: The York Hat, undated; hat with a Bon Ton Ivy sweatband, manufacturer unknown, worn by Charles Gordon Buchanan (3633) 1925–1929

Why did College boys start wearing boaters and when did they start wearing boaters? The answer to either question is not clear. Perhaps they marked the beginning of a College uniform – a way of distinguishing boys from Christ’s College in their day-to-day suits from the rest of the community? The earliest College photograph in which boaters appear is that of the prefects of 1883. If you look at the ribbons on the hats, you see they alternate between light and dark. As the College colours were settled in 1874, the presumption must be that they are black and white.

Prefects 1883

Christ's College Prefects 1883

Back row L–R: Walter Herbert Hargreaves (629), George Edward Rhodes (791), Arthur Paul Harper (877), Frederick John Millton (819), Reginald Fortescue Cook (913)
Sitting L–R: George Harris (903), William Bedell Stanford (1075), Thomas Forsaith Macdonald (863)
Front row L–R: Edward Rogers Webb (722), Charles Coleridge Harper (959), Arthur Gladstone Cox (887)

A series of photographs published in 1895, however, indicate the order of the colours was not settled until 25 August 1897, when the Games Committee Minute Book records that, on the presentation of an order from the Headmaster “the new colours, a broad hat ribbon had arrived and could be bought from Ballantynes”.iv This is probably the standardised ribbon shown in a photograph taken on the day of the Christchurch Boys’ High School football game held at College in 1908, and that continued unchanged until 1977, when both caps and boaters were no longer part of the uniform.

CCPAL 4 1 1 001

5 August 1908: No names provided for the image
CS Thomas Album CCPAL4/1/1

One puzzle remains, however. Did staff and Old Boys have their own boater ribbon? Two photographs provide a clue. The first is this detail from a photograph of staff in 1912. Some of them are wearing boaters with a single black ribbon.

CCPAL19 36b008

Extract from Beadel Album CCPAL19/36

While in this photograph recent Old Boy Arthur William Macdonald (2452, at College 1909–1911) wears a boater with a clearly distinguishable cross, the detail of which can be seen in the Harper window.

CCPAL19 35 2010

L–R: Arthur Nattle Grigg (2444), Douglas Matthew Stitt (2532), A Macdonald, Robertson Anderson (2425)
Beadel Album CCPAL19/35/2. Additional names from the Stitt Album CCPAL26

The research continues …

i Loved and Loathed: The Straw Boater Hat, a history
iii see Lincoln Bennett & Co
see Tress & Co vinten/tress-co-hat-factory-southwalk-london/
see Bon Ton Ivy and Inwards, Harry,
Straw Hats: Their history and manufacture Bon Ton Ivy was a brand name used by Hat Manufacturers Supply Co Ltd, Stockport, England
iv Games Committee Minutes, 27 August 1897, Christ’s College Archives
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Latest News & Events

Max Calvert boxing 1

Don’t meddle with Max

For the second year in a row Year 9 Harper House student Max Calvert has won the South Island U50kg novice boxing championship.

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Chess students

College off to chess nationals

For the first time in years College will compete in the finals of the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Chess Competition being held in Tauranga next month.

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IMG 5815 edit

Tom on top

After a couple of stellar runs, Year 10 student Tom Picton-Warlow had blitzed the competition, taking 1st place in the Canterbury secondary school ski championships held at Mount Hutt on...

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By Tomorrow

Ready to launch ... By Tomorrow

After winning the Canterbury 1 regional competition, College rock band By Tomorrow have made it through to the national final selection round of SmokefreeRockquest 2020.

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Edible Insects 1

Locusts for morning tea, anyone?

Locusts, shallow pan fried with herbs and spices, were a popular morning tea choice on Thursday 13 August when the Year 12 Agribusiness students offered free samples of edible insects.

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Upcoming Events

27 AugustParenting through Uncertainty – supporting yourself and your children
7pm, Chapman Room (limited seating available)
9–13 SeptemberEvita
Wednesday 9 – Saturday 12 September, 7pm
Sunday 13 September, 4pm
Christ's College Assembly Hall


11 September

Grandparents' Day – 10.15am–12pm

We hope Christchurch moves back to alert level 1 in time for Grandparents’ Day to go ahead as planned on Friday 11 September – but if not, and we remain in alert level 2, it will have to be rescheduled.

23 OctoberBoarding Mothers Morning Tea
Friday 23 October, 10.30–11.30am
The George Hotel
2 OctoberCCOBA Annual Golf Tournament – BOOK HERE
20 October65 Years On Reunion Dinner – BOOK HERE
21 October65 & 75 Years On Reunion – Gentlemen's Lunch
or fill out a form below
65 Years On Reunion Form
75 Years On Reunion Form
and email them to
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