Black & White – Black & Blue – We are looking forward to this Thursday’s annual 1st XV rugby game between Christ’s College and Christchurch Boys’ High School.
It has, at times, brought out the best and the worst of the two schools involved – both on and off the field. However, in recent years, the games have been hard fought and a spectacle of all we expect of grassroots rugby.
Recently, because of a range of circumstances, CBHS Headmaster Nic Hill has committed to shifting the culture in that school, represented by an open change in expectations regarding spectator and supporter behaviour. This includes chants and the tone of the wider community in their support for the players. In particular, the issue of homophobic, sexist, derogatory or racist comments and actions has been highlighted. Sadly, Christ’s College supporters, at times, have also been disrespectful of our opponents and a wider community standard. We support the efforts of the CBHS Headmaster to align everyone with the expectations of both schools. The opportunity to behave as a boorish mob and lose individual accountability is enabled by the attendance at the game.
In support, the Head Prefect of Christ’s College, Jack Belcher, and the Senior Monitor of CBHS, Henry Allott, have spoken at each other’s assemblies, highlighting the importance of adhering to the highest standards of behaviour and respect this Thursday – and every day. Both have spoken about the expectation from each school to represent your school – and, equally importantly, yourself – well.
I hope that you will all support us in ensuring this year’s spectacle makes Christ’s College proud.
During the Christmas break, I read a new book, titled Think Again, by organisational psychologist Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The book became my gift of thanks – and provocation – to staff as I released our new strategy for the period to 2025.
As an institution that values the past but recognises the need to be relevant and ever-changing, it is within Think Again that I have found this paragraph that encapsulates the essence of how we step forward:
Research shows that when people are resistant to change, it helps to reinforce what will stay the same. Visions for change are more compelling when they include visions of continuity. Although our strategy might evolve, our identity will endure.
A copy of our over-arching strategic direction is included with the latest copy of College Magazine and can be found here. In the near future, strategic projects associated with our four themes of Motivation, Connection, Philanthropy and Sustainability will evolve in a strategic environment of change and continuity.
Vaping ... again
We are concerned about vaping within the wider and our own community and seek your support to target this issue. At College, we are treating vaping as a health and wellbeing concern. Arguments that vaping is healthy, relative to smoking, are extremely dubious and counterproductive to the health of our young people. The marketing of vaping devices is pervasive and driven by powerful business interests, including the tobacco industry. Some students vape because it is perceived as cool and they are encouraged to post images of themselves – vaping at school and in other environments – on social media. Others are probably now addicted to the high-nicotine content of these vapes, which is one of the insidious – almost hidden – realities of this habit.
Then, there is the potential for the vaping of narcotics.
We do not want our students to vape and will continue to educate students and parents. Students will be punished for vaping but we do not assume this will solve the problem. Like smoking, it is a community health concern.
At College, the possession or use of vaping/e-cigarette devices at school, in uniform or in association with a school activity is prohibited. First offenders receive three detentions and a letter is sent home to parents. Second offenders are suspended internally and, again, parents are notified. A third offence would be a serious matter, warranting external suspension and constituting continual disobedience. Put simply, they face exclusion from College.
Some advice for parents:
- It is best to know what your sons are spending their money on. It is easy to buy vaping devices online
- Please do not buy vaping devices for your sons or condone the practice, and note that vaping devices have an age restriction of 18 years
- If you think that your son is addicted to nicotine, consult a health professional.
Thank you for your support.
School-managed international travel
We have been operating in a new and unusual environment when it comes to school-managed international travel in the present pandemic.
Following a recent review of our current policy by the College Executive, in consultation with key staff and our Board Chair, we have agreed to maintain our current position of NO international travel until June 2022.
As a result of the current Melbourne outbreak and uncertainty over the vaccine rollout in New Zealand, this includes any Australasian or Pacific 'bubble'. Our policy reflects the uncertainty of our times and provides clarity.
College exceeded all expectations on Thursday 27 May by providing more than 60 units of blood when the New Zealand Blood Service came to school. More than 70 College staff and students signed up to give blood. My thanks to all involved, especially Assistant Principal – Community Engagement and Special Projects Neil Porter, who acted as our go-between with the Blood Service in this excellent endeavour.Read on