Issue No. 166

From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

Q2 A6750 cropped

This time of year, much of my time is spent on enrolment-focused work as I meet prospective boys and their families in Christchurch and many locations across the country, alongside community events.

Recently, I was at the Wanaka A&P Show, sharing a function and tent site with Waihi School and St Margaret’s College. It was a very successful sojourn for all, with interest in College exceptionally high and competition for places strong.

While at the College stand in Wanaka, I was visited by the local police, seeking advice regarding antisocial and disruptive youth behaviour, particularly by Years 11 and 12, in the local area over the Christmas holiday season. I was very surprised by what they described, as it reminded me of the infamous ‘Schoolies Week’ on the Gold Coast each December in Australia. What worried me most was referred to in my previous article in IBW about the need for us all to know what our children are up to when they are out of sight. As the year progresses, we and other schools in Christchurch will be helping our boys and parents think about the issues raised when a mixture of alcohol, drugs and uncontrolled groups come together during what should be a festive and safe period for everyone.

Royal Commission of Inquiry

As many of you are aware, Christ’s College has again found itself in the media following statements made to the ongoing hearings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care since 1950. We are responding to any Old Boys who contact us and to media inquiries. We are confident that our policies and practice are appropriate and respectful to all involved. These can be viewed here.

Children at the fore

Nowadays, we are very fortunate that the voice of children is at the fore in how we think and act, and we have processes that enable concerns to be dealt with in a respectful and appropriate way by parents, children and staff – with the child’s welfare at the centre of our thinking.

One of the truths we deal with in schools is that we are always looking to help young people grow in a positive way, even though they may make poor behavioural choices and underestimate the impact on others – their families and perhaps College itself – both now and potentially in the future. At times, I am shocked by the actions of some of our boys, in spite of the best programmes and advice. However, I always remind myself that they are growing into adulthood and will make errors that can be addressed as ‘teachable’ moments. When such behaviour occurs, we always try to be restorative, solutions-focused and to ensure all involved have the opportunity to reflect and move forward.

As a school, we are not so much worried by the ‘reputational risk’ that such behaviour brings, because such risk is a core component of the reality of adolescence. Our true risk is if we fail to deal with any matters, in a way that does not allow for the natural justice of all concerned, and if we fail to follow due process.

I am certain that the authority of the College culture rests on the foundations of our Gospel-inspired virtues, appropriate pastoral care and transparent contemporary practice and protocols that see the health, safety and wellbeing of the boys as our highest priority.

As we approach the end of the Term, we do so again forever thankful that we have been able to come to school each day to learn and play when many people abroad are unable to do so.

I take this opportunity to wish all a blessed Easter and for the families and boys within the school, the best for Term break as I thank them for such a great start to the year.

Read on

Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

House rules for visiting boys

Are boys allowed to enter other Houses? In short, “yes”.

We understand that the boys have friends in other Houses and want to “hang out” together. However, we do have a few rules when boys from other Houses visit the respective Boarding Houses. We try and mirror the expectations of a boy bringing a friend home for the first time.

First, they need to introduce their friend to the staff member on duty. As with any home, it would be rare that a new friend would enter without an introduction.

Second, we ask that the friend stay in the common areas. They are welcome to visit in the respective junior or senior common areas, TV rooms and libraries. However, we ask that friends from other Houses do not venture onto the floors housing the bedrooms. This is out of respect to the other boys who live in the communal House, and their belongings.

Last, we ask that the friend lets the staff member know that they are leaving the House. Again, much like the home environment, this is a courtesy. It is also important from a safety point of view that we know the friend has left.

The situation is a little different for Day Houses. While most Day Housemasters do not mind our boys visiting if they are courteous and let the Housemaster know they are there, space is at a premium in some of the Houses and our boys need to be aware of that constraint.

Student representation

Head of Boarding Henry Briscoe has introduced a great initiative this year – a Boarding Student Committee that will align with the other committees already in place at College.

In the past, student representation has tended to centre on the Heads of House. However, Henry’s initiative has expanded student representation to all year levels and all three Houses. All the boys have had the chance to put forward their names. It is hoped the boys will offer House ideas for discussion and then action as a Boarding-wide initiative. The boys meet for the first time next week. Please encourage your sons to speak with their House representatives.

Finally, it was great to meet so many of you from the South on our recent visit to Queenstown and Wanaka. It was fantastic to listen to your stories and ideas on ways to constructively build on and improve our Boarding experience at College.

What's for dinner?

Following parent feedback, we will be sharing in each publication the Dining Hall menu that's produced by the talented team at Spotless. Click here to view. Enjoy!

A fun afternoon out – some of the boys going out to the movies!

IMG 6674
Read on

Curriculum News

Staff Nicole Billante

Nicole Billante
Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

Literacy lesson – taken as read

The Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research was in the very privileged position this past week to travel to Auckland as part of the development of the Christ’s College Diploma.

One of our meetings related to discussing our curriculum change with the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of Auckland. We will be working with the School on an ongoing basis. During our discussion, the role of literacy and numeracy development arose. While our curriculum revision will be looking to strengthen this across all year levels, I left reflecting how the end of term is a great time to remind boys and parents about the number one thing that can be done at home to help with literacy – reading.

The studies are endless regarding the impact reading can have on a child’s development. There are strong correlations between reading for pleasure and learning skills, such as increased vocabulary, stronger cognitive development, and a greater ability to concentrate. Social-emotional skills of empathy and social interactions are also enhanced through reading for enjoyment.

The 2010 PISA data found that students who read more than once a week after the age of 10 generally scored 16 points higher on Maths, spelling, and vocabulary. And one correlation in 2011 found that people who read for pleasure outside of school were more likely to have managerial and professional jobs in later life.

So, with a long break ahead – from Easter to Anzac – the more our students can read for their own pleasure during this time, the more they can set themselves up for academic success during the term. And pleasure is just that. Some students will want to escape into a novel, others will read an autobiography of their favourite sportsman, and others will want to pick up a magazine. It all counts.

Which leads me to audiobooks. While reading text on a page has been shown to be the best overall way to ‘read’, listening to audiobooks still helps with aspects of decoding language and requires comprehension. Many of our students have learning differences that can take away the pleasure of reading and this is a great alternative avenue to developing many of the literacy skills of traditional reading. Don’t let ‘print’ be a barrier to the power of the written word.

I wish the boys all the best for the end of term and the holidays, hopefully filled with many wonderful books and magazines.

Read on


Hannah Clarkson IBW

Hannah Clarkson
Director of Drama

College stages dramatic double

We are excited to announce two drama productions at College this year.

Both plays will be staged from 10–15 May.

Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex
In a joint senior production with Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, College will present a season of Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King).

Regarded by many as the pinnacle of Greek tragedy, most people know the tale of murder, politics and psychological intrigue – even if they have never seen it.

During his journey through life, Oedipus discovers that, even unwittingly, you cannot offend the Gods and hope to survive unscathed.

Featuring a large cast of Year 12 and 13 students, this production of Oedipus Rex is based on an updated version of Sophocles’ play using a modern translation and a mixture of ancient and contemporary conventions.


Shakespeare’s As You Like It
Can one desire too much of a good thing?

Journey with Rosalind into the Forest of Arden as she navigates a new life beyond the dangerous underworld of Duke Frederick, and seeks love and joy with the like-wise banished Orlando. What awaits? Freedom? Foolery and frivolity? Only the swift foot of time will tell.

Join us for the joint junior production of As You Like It by Christ’s College and Rangi Ruru Girls’ School and enjoy a comedic delight for all ages.

Keep an eye on the Upcoming Events page of the College website for ticket sales, which will be live over the coming weeks.

Read on

Wellbeing & Positive Education

John Quinn IBW

John Quinn
Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education

Being mindful of the value of mindfulness

As the end of the term draws near, it is important to stop, pause and breathe to ensure that we are present in what we are doing. One of the tools to do this is mindfulness.

So, what is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of purposefully engaging your attention in the present moment without judging it good or bad and noticing where your attention is caught up in worry, anxious thinking, over-thinking or aimless thinking.

It’s about not wandering off into an imagined future or going over the past, but fully engaging right here, right now.

Mindfulness is grounded in 30 years of scientific study at Oxford, Harvard, Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where it grew out of a programme designed to help people with unmanageable pain and was very successful.

Mindfulness has been shown to:

  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Decrease over-thinking and aimless thinking
  • Encourage impulse control
  • Improve memory, focus and attention
  • Improve overall wellbeing
  • Promote happiness and mental clarity
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve executive function
  • Increase compassion, acceptance and kindness

From morning to night, we are inundated with distractions: emails, social media, advertising, iPhones, computers, iPods, tablets and the never-ending inner dialogue that is very draining.

The ability to focus on one thing at a time is a skill that requires practise. Just as athletes train each day, mindfulness – which is mental training – requires regular practise.

All day, our minds are throwing up thoughts, memories and emotions. Thoughts and emotions come and go like ocean waves. They rise, stay awhile, then dissolve back into the sea. Our thoughts are like this, too, but when we identify with our thoughts and emotions, they overtake us – we give them power over us.

Mindfulness allows us to be reflective rather than reactive. That’s not about running away from feelings and emotions, but it helps us not be overwhelmed.

Many fantastic apps and resources are available – along with material on YouTube. If you want to explore this further or practise mindfulness with your son, go to the below links.

Read on

From the Chaplain


Easter renewal
Thanks to Dr Sarah Anticich and John Quinn (the Directors of Wellbeing & Positive Education), and Steven Everingham (who teaches Māori at College) for presenting with me at the Centre for Ethics & Spirituality event last week. We addressed Fullness of life – Hauora, positive psychology, and healthy Christian spirituality. It was great to see how these three dovetail together, especially to encourage development in our students.

In Year 11 Religious Education classes, we are continuing to learn about the early Christian centuries and how they shaped the world we now know. In Year 10, some classes are moving to explore the teachings of Jesus, while others have started studying Judaism more systematically. In Year 9, we learn about the Christian traditions of our school and continue to understand the Middle East throughout history and its place in today’s world, and the relevancy of the life of Jesus of Nazareth in this context.

In Chapel on 14 March and the next morning, we acknowledged the second anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Christchurch mosques. We stressed that any division into “us” and “them” can lead to terrifying, tragic consequences.

Sunday is Palm Sunday, with the beginning of Holy Week leading to Easter Day and the 50 days of the Easter season. On Palm Sunday, we have a 7pm service in Chapel.

At the start of the Easter season, we have our school holidays. May you find some blessed renewal in that time.

Read on


Staff Chris Sellars

Chris Sellars
Careers Advisor

Upcoming careers dates
13 April

UC Year 12 Discovery Day

7 MayUC liaison visit, Year 13
12 May BCITO Building & Construction Information Evening
13 MayCareers Expo, Year 12
14 MayCareers Expo, Year 11
21 MayUniversity of Otago liaison visit, Year 13
23–24 MayDunedin Tertiary Open Days
9 JuneUC Information Evening
23 July Lincoln University Open Day
9 SeptemberUC Open Day
1 AugustUniversity Halls of residence open
20 AugustVictoria University Open Day
21 AugustAUT Live
10 SeptemberVictoria University Online enrolment open

Christ's College CareerWise

The Christ’s College careers website, CareerWise, is a rich source of information about all things career-related. Check out the website and sign up for weekly alerts here

The postings on the College site last Sunday were:

  • Fastest-growing jobs in four regions
  • UC campus increase in student numbers
  • New for University of Waikato
  • Mount Ruapehu apprenticeship programmes
  • Ararau UC / UC possibilities in Christchurch
  • Bachelor of Criminal Justice

BCITO – Building and Construction

BCITO is running a free information evening – aimed at Years 11 to 13 and their parents/whānau – to showcase the career opportunities in building and construction. It will be held on Wednesday 12 May at Addington Raceway. The doors open at 6pm for the 6.30pm start. To find out more and register, visit here.

Mobile: 027 566 7178
Phone: 0800 422 486

Careers Expo

Careers Expo will be held at Christchurch Arena from Thursday 13 May to Saturday 15 May. Year 12 students will visit the Expo on Thursday from 9am to 10.15am, while Year 11 students will visit on Friday, from 9.30am to 10.30am. Saturday morning may be the best time for parents and their sons to visit the Expo.

MoneyHub – University Scholarships

MoneyHub, a consumer finance website, has published a guide to hundreds of scholarships for students starting university in 2022. It includes scholarships from every university, as well as those specifically available to local students. A list of privately funded scholarships, and Maori, Pacific and International university scholarships completes the guide. Applications close throughout the year.

Employment picks for 2021

In a New Zealand Herald Premium article published in January, Kirsty Wynn spoke to experts about the top jobs in the pandemic-altered future. In summary, these include health, especially nursing; agriculture, especially dairy; e-commerce, online learning and EdTech, creative tech, transport and logistics, trades, engineering and construction, call centres and customer support.

AUT – Auckland University of Technology
Changes to Health Sciences degrees

From 2022, all offers of places for undergraduate Health Science degrees will be made into the endorsed pathway of the BHSc programme. All students will be enrolled in the same four courses, which will be known as ‘intermediate semester’. During this semester, students will have the opportunity to apply for a place in a specific programme pathway.

If you want to check out last year’s open day information, you can browse through our webinars from AUT LIVE online 2020.

Victoria University Dates

  • May/June Information Evenings
  • Mid-June School leaver scholarship applications open
  • 1 August Halls of residence open
  • 20 August Open Day
  • 10 September Online enrolment open

Lincoln University Dates

  • 30 May Lincoln University Scholarship applications open
  • 23 July Open Day
  • 1 August Halls applications open, with rooms assigned on first-in, first-served basis
  • 15 August Lincoln University Scholarship applications close


EdUSA – Student Athlete Information Session
Save the date. We will be hosting an event with the NCAA Eligibility Center on Monday, April 19. Please follow the EducationUSA NZ Facebook page for the event announcement.

EdUSA – Virtual Group Advising (via Zoom)
April 7, 6pm-6.45pm – Overview of sporting opportunities
June 22, 6pm-6.45pm – session topic TBD

EdUSA – About EducationUSA New Zealand
EducationUSA is a US Department of State network that promotes US higher education to students around the world by offering comprehensive information about study opportunities at accredited post-secondary institutions in the US. In New Zealand, EdUSA can be found at the US Consulate General, Auckland and the US Embassy, Wellington.

Website: YouTube:

UC Stay in touch

Complete the online form in the link below to ensure you are kept up to date on key dates and important information.

UC Information Evening, 9 June

Click the link to register –

UC Year 12 Discovery Day

A very worthwhile event for Year 12 boys, UC Discovery Day is held during the school holidays on 13 April. However, I hope many boys will still attend. Click the link for further information Year 12 Discovery Day Information. Registration will be available on Eventbrite in the future.

Read on

From the Archives

Jane Teal

The College Seal

The story of the College Seal dates to 1856.

It was not until an adjourned meeting of the Board of Governors on 24 January 1856 that – on the motion of James Wilson and Octavius Mathias – the Sub Warden was “requested to take measures for procuring a College Seal, and to avail himself of such assistance as he sees fit for that purpose”.i

That “assistance” would require the Sub Warden, Henry Jacobs, to find someone to design the Seal. The minutes of the Annual Meeting on 12 May 1856 indicate that Jacobs “laid before the meeting a design for a College Seal, drawn by Mr B Mountfort”.

However, there is an element of uncertainty about the design, so, in true Anglican fashion, a committee consisting of the Bursar (Mathias), the Librarian (Wilson) and the Sub Warden was appointed, “with full powers to vary the same, and to obtain the execution of such design as they shall determine upon”.ii

It is not until 21 December 1858 that an impression of the Seal appears in the Minute Book. As a result of the Christ’s College Amendment Ordinanceiii – passed by the Canterbury Provincial Council on 1 December 1858 – it became lawful for the Board as a Body Politic and Corporate as instituted by the Christ’s College Ordinance of 1855iv to have a Seal and “from time to time, to alter, vary, break and renew the said seal at their discretion”.

CC 1st seal

However, was it the one designed by Mountfort? The Board Minutes do not provide an answer. There was some dissatisfaction with the result as the Minutes of 16 March 1859 contain the impression of a different seal, but with no information on the source or design.

CC 2nd seal

Alfred Charles Barker moved, and James Wilson seconded the following resolution:

“That the Seal, an impression of which is affixed to this resolution, be adopted henceforth as the Seal of the College and that the Seal adopted by the Governing Body of the College at the Quarterly Meeting of on the Twenty First of December 1858 and which has been used on one occasion only, in executing Mr Heywood’s lease, be broken in the presence of the Bursar, Mr Cotterill & the Sub Warden.”v

The first Seal was duly destroyed and reported to the meeting of 13 June

The physical creation of a Seal requires the engraving of two metal plates that fit exactly against each other, so that when they are pressed, they create an indentation.

Gradually, adhesive labels were affixed to the document, rather than using wax.

Slater seal

The Seal fixed to Henry Slater’s 1870 examination as a Law Student.vii

IMG 0002 1

This same seal continues to be used today in the sealing of official documents. The abbreviated Latin words around the edges of the Seal – Sigillum Colleg Christ Cantuar in Nov Zel Pro Ecclesia Dei – can be translated as Seal of Christ’s College Canterbury New Zealand For the Church.

The seal design was used extensively before the creation of the College Arms in 1927. This example is from the cover of a book prize.

Seal Book prize

More recently – unlike many of the other Houses which have adopted portions of the current College Arms as their symbols – Condell’s House has adopted a stylised version of the Seal. It can be seen on the outside of the House in Gloucester Street and in the reports in the Christ’s College Register.

CC Condells
i Christ’s College Board of Governors Minute Book, 1855-1864: 24 January 1856
ii Christ’s College Board of Governors Minute Book, 1855-1864: 12 May 1856
iii Christ’s College Amendment Ordinance 1858
iv Christ’s College Ordinance 1855
v Christ’s College Board of Governors Minute Book, 1855-1864; 16 March 1859
vi Christ’s College Board of Governors Minute Book, 1855-1864; 13 June 1859
vii Henry Slater was examined in Classics, Mathematics and History by Henry John Chitty Harper, William Wellington Willock and James Wilson, respectively, as examiners for the University of New Zealand. Slater was a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court, Chancellor of the Diocese of Christchurch and Colonel in the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Volunteer Force.

Read on

Latest News & Events

CC Peace Bell 1

Waiata at the Peace Bell

Thirty-five College choir boys sang two waiata on Thursday 11 March at the annual ceremony of remembrance at the World Peace Bell in Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens....

Read full article
Aranui Hoops 1

College basketballers throw their support behind Aranui school

The Christ’s College Senior A Basketball team has jumped into action, raising funds for new basketball hoops for St James School in Aranui....

Read full article

Upcoming Events


2 March–19 May

Community Visits, 6–8pm
8 March–1 AprilYear 9 & 10 College Diploma Consultation Sessions


24 MarchParent Education Evening – Teenagers, sleep and the digital age, 7pm


29 MarchNCEA Information Evening, 7pm


31 MarchOrchestral Extravaganza with St Margaret's College and Rangi Ruru Girls' School, 7.30pm, Christ's College Assembly Hall
31 MarchMelbourne Branch Dinner, 6.30pm


Read on