Last week, Head Prefect Jack Belcher and I attended the Association of Boys’ Schools of New Zealand Conference in Auckland.
It brings together the heads of boys’ schools at a staff and student level, creating an environment where we can learn from each other about programmes and practices that best serve the needs of boys. We are fortunate at College to also have a close affinity with the International Boys’ School Coalition that serves the same intent.
Sometimes, schools for boys (along with schools for girls) are challenged regarding their relevance compared to co-educational schools. The conference focused on that issue. Jack and I both agreed that the idea of brotherhood was at the core of what made our school special. We further agreed that this concept needed to be interpreted in a modern way. So rather than being about tribe, difference and hierarchy, it must be about love, care and support to enable young men to grow together in a way that develops emotional confidence and, in the College context, enables our College Graduate to emerge.
We both wanted College to be a brotherhood that was constructive and inspiring for each boy, allowing them to be protected by the ‘cloak’ of our faith-inspired virtues of respect, compassion and justice. We left the conference knowing we have more to do in our College culture to lift our collective aspirations as it relates to this brotherhood, and how it is reflected within – and projected beyond – the Rolleston gates.
Seen and heard
Winter activities tend to draw a supportive crowd and I want to reaffirm the code of conduct for all our supporters, including current boys, parents or Old Boys. I remind everyone that College is judged by what we do and say when we are identified by where we are and often what we are wearing. Please be respectful and considerate and do what is right and reasonably expected.
I want to share the latest drawings from Architectus for our wonderful gym project, Upper West. These preliminary designs are the result of a Project Control Group, including College staff and professional consultants, working to achieve the best outcome within our financial constraints. It is an exciting project that has some unique complications, not least the actual site. It is anticipated that work will get under way later this year, and it is hoped to be completed in the latter part of 2022.
At the centre of all practice at Christ’s College is keeping children safe from harm. Through our health and safety protocols, a mindset that looks to avoid risk, the clear and appropriate expectations of all staff and volunteers and clear reporting frameworks, parents can be assured that College is doing all it can to ensure child safety. At our most recent Board of Governors meeting, our current Child Protection Policy was approved. A range of other policies that support this safety focus can be found via the Schoolbox parent portal.