Issue No. 166

From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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The last two weekends in Canterbury have brought tragedy to our door. A traffic accident resulted in the deaths of five young boys just over a week ago while last weekend, a party – seemingly out of control – led to three boys being injured through violent action, with one losing his life.

Our hearts go out to the families, and to the boys’ friends who will have felt the impact of this trauma. On both occasions, our school community would have initially been praying that none of our boys were killed or injured. For me, it is a strange waiting game at these times as I contemplate what might need to be the school’s response. I find myself harbouring the emotions of a parent, as well as the expectations of a principal.

In Chapel on both following Mondays, we paused and prayed for the people involved and reminded our boys that if they had been affected, College staff could provide support. Like you, I shake my head with anger and frustration that these tragic, preventable events still occur, despite all the efforts to educate boys to make good decisions that place their safety and wellbeing at the forefront of their actions – both in the immediate and longer term. However, we are reminded that there are no guarantees, only the best of intentions. I hope families have taken the opportunity to speak to their boys about what preceded these events and how they can protect themselves from random, ill-considered action that puts them and others at risk. While these are difficult conversations, they must continue and be updated.

With our College programmes, we do all we can to help boys learn how to make good decisions and reflect on past actions and consequences to develop dispositions that demonstrate self-regulation, courage and leadership when tested. We also work hard to empower boys to have the strength to speak up when their voice is most needed.

In a similar vein, this week we have added to our child protection processes by introducing Stymie. An anonymous online reporting system, Stymie lets boys speak up in support of others who may be suffering in any capacity by empowering the bystander and adding a deterrent for potentially inappropriate behaviour. Stymie helps boys consider the consequences of their actions and, in doing so, makes them stop and think before they act. It has proven to cut levels of such behaviour between students in schools. I am pleased that this initiative adds another layer to the protective behaviours of our boys towards each other.

1st XV rugby final in Nelson

We know that boys, family and our wider College community will want to support our 1st XV team in the Miles Toyota Trophy final against Nelson College on Saturday. However, we strongly advise against driving in wintry conditions to the game and we do not want boys to compromise their own co-curricular commitments. The 1st XV boys know that you will be with them in spirit on the day. Instead, we suggest that you gather friends and family together to watch the game on Sky Sport 3 from noon on Saturday in the comfort of your own home.

A wonderful opportunity to contribute to the College community

The Christ’s College Old Boys’ Association is seeking to appoint a Board member onto the Christ’s College Board of Governors. If you are interested, you can learn more here.

Giving Day 2021 – your chance to give the lifelong gift of opportunity

We have all had moments in our lives that on reflection make us think, “I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today if not for that.” For our boys, many of these defining moments happen at Christ’s College. That’s why this year’s Annual Appeal takes the form of a special ‘Giving Day’ fundraising event, with donations used to add to our scholarship funds specifically for boys who may not otherwise be able to attend College.

As you know, a College education is a life-changing opportunity for these boys, and, in turn, College benefits by enriching our community with the perspectives and experiences of people from all walks of life. The College website features video stories from such people.

Jeremy Johnson (Peer Year 2002) earned a full scholarship for general academic excellence.

He says his time at College allowed him to fully explore his passions and talents – including debating – which, ultimately, helped him along the path to becoming one of New Zealand’s brightest young lawyers today.

Likewise, Dr Uddaka Wijesinghe (Peer Year 2010) was always a high achiever, but College also gave him values he still holds strong today. His story covers his commitment to serving the good of others.

Vaughan Smith (Peer Year 1984) talks about how his College years were pivotal steps in reaching his potential. Now a technology and global impact specialist, and a former vice president at Facebook, he was a recent recipient of a Senior Honours Tie.

And Lee Nicolson, a past College parent, shares a story of how despite a family tragedy, new beginnings opened up. Attending Christ’s College was her son’s dream and being able to make it happen through our scholarship funds was like “winning Lotto”.

Watch the videos here to see what your generosity on Giving Day means to not only our boys, but their families too.

Giving Day takes place on Wednesday 25 August online via a dedicated giving page. What is special about this one-off event is that all donations made on the day will be tripled thanks to contributions already pledged by matching donors. If you are in a position to help, we hope you will choose to support this scholarship fund and future students.

Your gift will make a world of difference.

We are also seeking volunteers to help out on the day. If you would like to be involved, click here.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

Fresh approach to boarders’ routine

A new approach to our evening routine for boarders is proving popular, prompting the extension of our timetable trial until the end of the term.

The move followed recent Professional Learning by boarding staff, focusing on adolescents and sleep, and feedback from parents. In the past, the boys would go from dinner to House roll call and then to prep. After prep, the boys would have free time where they would – understandably – get ‘hyped up’ before going to bed.

Under our new evening routine, the boys have ‘free time’ after dinner until 7.30pm. During this time, the weights room and gym are open for the boys. At 7.30pm, the boys gather for House roll calls and then have an hour of prep. If the juniors have a lot of prep, they can begin earlier while the seniors can continue prep until later in the evening. At 8.30pm, the Years 9–10 prepare for bedtime while the seniors can relax in the House or use the gym and weights room.

We have found that this approach is better for our juniors as they move from one quiet activity to another while the seniors have more flexibility with the time before prep. We will also consider the timing around dinner. Both boys and staff have been very positive about the changes.

Boys spring into action for mystery trip

Eagerly anticipating an adventurous day out, many boarders excitedly boarded a bus for our mystery trip on Sunday. Our junior students were joined by several Year 12 boys as we headed toward Culverden for a tasty morning tea before travelling to Hanmer Springs. First stop was mini golf before the boys navigated a fun maze. After all that activity, it was time for fish and chips. After lunch, the boys took the plunge at the hot pools and powered along the thrill ride and hydroslide.

Boarding Mystery Trip1
Boarding Mystery Trip2

Whats for dinner?

Click here to view the Dining Hall menu produced by the talented team at Spotless.

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Curriculum News

Staff Nicole Billante

Nicole Billante
Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

Making the grade in exam week

We will release our derived grade examinations timetable for students this week. Last year, we had to adapt because of remote learning. However, this year we will return to a traditional examination week, with Years 11–13 students on study leave and coming to College for their respective assessments. While we always stress the importance of these examinations, the boys need to understand they may carry even more weight than normal this year.

While we have been fortunate in New Zealand to carry on with much of our lives in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, it is naive to think we have no cause for concern. The situation in New South Wales shows that Covid-19 variants can have a wide-reaching impact on everyone. In New Zealand, the Covid-19 Response Minister has indicated that a Level 4 lockdown is likely if the Delta variant is found in the community. If that happens, derived grades will be extremely important for our students.

Should we be in Level 4 in November, we will have to supply emergency grades to NZQA. These will largely come from our practice examinations in Week 7 and Week 8 this term. We hope this will not be necessary but the boys must put their best foot forward this term to have that safety net in place.

Irrespective of the lockdown risk, practice external exams are real predictors of final results. The time between derived grades and the real thing should be spent on embedding skills and knowledge. These practice tests show whether the base knowledge is there to build on. We are only three weeks away from the first day of assessments and teachers are starting to focus on revision. The boys should be under way. Spaced practice and retrieval practice are good first steps, with YouTube a useful starting point to help learn these techniques.

While these assessments are good predictors, they also show what still needs to be done. If the school year is uninterrupted, they offer rich learning experiences where students can identify their strengths and areas that require greater study efforts.

With a good plan and steady effort, our boys will make the most of the time ahead.

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Wellbeing & Positive Education

John Quinn IBW

John Quinn
Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education

Positive approach to body image and healthy eating

Like young women, young men are exposed to negative messages and standards about their own bodies. However, boys are often left out of vital conversations about unrealistic body expectations and the value of self-care and healthy body image. By including boys in these conversations, we can help develop a healthy acceptance of their own bodies and cultivate a respectful and positive ethic in their interactions with others.

You can register here to find out more at our Parent Education Evening – Promoting positive body image in boys.

This month, SchoolTV @ College turns the spotlight on Eating Disorders.

Body positive

When fostering a healthy body image and a broader body-positive perspective in your sons, parents can:

Prioritise your relationship and connection Engage in regular and open conversations with your children about what it means to live a healthy life. Focus on multiple aspects of health – physical, emotional and mental – and discuss how to practice balanced and positive self-care in each area.

Focus on body education
– When it comes to eating and exercise, detail the value of fuelling their body and mind so that they can live their best life and help develop a sense of understanding and pride in all that their body can do.

Dispel body myths
– Rather than defining health in terms of size or weight, discuss how we are all responsible for taking care of our bodies through exercise, eating well, and looking after our mind and feelings.

Challenge unhealthy expectations
– Health is not defined by muscle mass or a six-pack, countless hours in a gym, or the amount of protein powder consumed. Having bigger muscles does not make one worthier of love or respect.

Seek body-positive content
– Learn about your children’s social media viewing to better understand the messages they receive about their bodies. By ensuring your sons see a range of body shapes and sizes in media content, you normalise body diversity and nurture realistic expectations.

Speak respectfully about others
– Avoid questions about appearance and encourage your sons to reflect more deeply on what they value in other people. Similarly, if you observe your son commenting negatively (or watching negative media content) on weight, eating habits, or appearance, explain that these comments are not acceptable or appropriate and are disrespectful.

Model these values – Show your sons the value of living healthy, balanced lives. Try not to make negative comments about your appearance, weight, or size in front of your children. Showing your sons that you love and accept yourself – and those around you – is the most important place to start.

If your son is preoccupied with his appearance, restricts his food intake, uses supplements, or exercises excessively, please talk to him and seek professional advice.

Prevention is key to the wellbeing of our young people.

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Christ's College Old Boys' Association

Lizzie Dyer The Quad

Lizzie Dyer
Alumni Manager

College hits the mark with opera

For the first time, College is hosting a ground-breaking opera in the Assembly Hall.

In collaboration with Old Boy Haydn Rawstron and The Cathedral Grammar School, College presents a free performance of Carl Maria von Weber’s The Devil’s Marksman (Der Freischütz) on Tuesday 14 September at 7pm.

First performed 200 years ago, it is the most performed German Romantic opera in history, introducing new generations to a lifelong love of opera.

Based on a Brothers Grimm-like folktale about good and evil, magic bullets and supernatural events, the story grips the imagination while the pulsating, tuneful music delights the ear.

The opera will be presented as a 75-minute narrative musical tale – known as narropera – by just three performers. The Narropera Trio features soprano Dorothee Jansen, violinist Cathy Irons and pianist/narrator Haydn Rawstron.

The performance is open – and free – to the wider College community. Any donation on the night will go to the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement fund.

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From the Chaplain

A shared experience

I was recently part of the conference of Religious Education teachers and school chaplains. It was a good opportunity for sharing, and seeing what others do – including participating in school chapel services. Our own singing, responding, and participation in Chapel is second to none. And the academic rigour and breadth of our Religious Education programme here is exemplary. These are good traditions we maintain and enhance in our school.

International Languages Chapel Service

The International Languages Chapel Service in our Round Square International Week has highlighted the shared contribution and participation of staff and students in all we do. College Head of Round Square Claude Tellick addressed Chapel about the value of openness to other languages and cultures. Our thanks to Head of Modern Languages Susan Harding for her meticulous planning for the service. Thanks also to Warren Lidstone for addressing Chapel on Friday, and Andrew Taylor for leading the service. In Round Square International Week, I connected the Feast of the Transfiguration to World Peace Day. This is very pertinent as we try to help young people respond to difference with delight rather than fear and violence.

We continue to use the Strategic Themes – heading towards 2025 – as starters for reflection in Chapel.

In class

In Year 9, we continue with the story of Moses – including, how the Ten Commandments remain relevant, and how we might reinterpret and supplement these in our own time while in Year 10, we are discussing philosophy in its essential understanding: the love of wisdom. In Year 11, we are well under way in our study of the Reformation. Our world, our city, and our school make less sense if we do not know and understand this watershed moment in human history.

Centre for Ethics & Spirituality

On Thursday 16 September, from 7.30–9pm, the Centre for Ethics & Spirituality hosts Old Boy Jim Goodwin for a conversation about abuse – what it is, who does it, and what to do about it. Jim is a mental health specialist and abuse survivor.

Yours in Christ,

Bosco Peters

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Staff Chris Sellars

Chris Sellars
Careers Advisor

Upcoming careers dates

  • Lincoln University halls of residence open (first-in, first-served basis)
  • Common Confidential Reference Forms (CCRF) – apply now
18 AugustQueenstown Resort College Information Night, Rydges Latimer Square 6.30pm
19 AugustUniversity of Auckland course planning, Chapman Block, 8.15am
19 AugustAUT course planning, 10–10.45am
20 AugustVictoria University Open Day – register here and see timetable
20 AugustMassey University scholarships, accommodation, excellence, and sport close
24 AugustBeca Engineering Information Day, 8.45am-3.15pm
26 AugustUniversity of Otago course planning, 8.15am (not HSFY)
25 AugustWanaka Helicopters information session, 12.30pm
26 AugustUniversity of Otago course planning, 8.15am (not HSFY)
28 AugustUniversity of Auckland Open Day on campus – register now
28 AugustAUT Open Day, Wellesley Street, Auckland
1 SeptemberSchool-leaver scholarship applications due
1 SeptemberCommon Confidential Reference Forms (CCRF) due
9 SeptemberUC Open Day
9 SeptemberUniversity of Otago course planning, 8.15am (HSFY-only)
10 SeptemberVictoria University online enrolment open
14 SeptemberLincoln University course planning
15 SeptemberUC accommodation applications due
15 SeptemberUC Common Confidential Reference Forms (CCRF) due, Wellington
15 SeptemberUC course planning, 2.30–3.30pm
15 SeptemberVictoria University accommodation offers start
22 SeptemberUC accommodation applications close
1 OctoberVictoria University accommodation applications close
1 OctoberUC enrolment applications open
1 OctoberAUT accommodation opens (first-in, first-served basis)
10 DecemberUC applications to enrol due
10 December

Victoria University applications due

Christ's College CareerWise

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

UC Stay in Touch

Click here to ensure you have the latest key dates and important information.

School subject selection

When it comes to subject selection for next year, it is good to look ahead at the best subjects for Years 12–13 and university courses. Click here for our university and polytechnic pathways booklet. Check out the CareerWise website.

Curriculum Vitae

Discover how to prepare CVs and cover letters – flipbook


The New Zealand Common Confidential Reference Form (CCRF) is an online university accommodation reference form. Boys should fill in the form at the same time as they apply to the halls of residence for their chosen university (or universities). Applications for halls of residence opened on 1 August and close on 22 September. Go to the student registration for the CCRF.


Programme closing dates:

Bachelor of Performing Arts (NASDA) – 27 August
Bachelor of Medical Imaging – 1 September
Bachelor of Midwifery – 1 September
Bachelor of Nursing – 30 September
Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications (NZBS) – 30 September
Bachelor of Musculoskeletal Health – 1 October
Certificate in Animal Management – 30 October
Certificate in Animal Technology – 30 October

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From the Archives

Jane Teal


The 10th edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines graffiti as “unauthorized writing or drawings on a surface in a public place”.

The Christ’s College definition would perhaps go something like this: “Unauthorized writings or drawings in a place where you hope no one will find them.” However, found they always are, whether they are on a desk, in the Assembly Hall or even in Big School.

The earliest evidence may be the name “Ollivier” on two desks gifted to Ferrymead Heritage Park and now in its schoolroom. Members of this family have attended College since 1859.

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The Old Workshop, in this 1933 photograph, appeared to be a location where it was acceptable to add names to the walls.

Workshop 1933

In 1990, when alterations were made to Big School, the removal of panels uncovered a group of names, including William James Vesey Hamilton (2354), who was in South Town from 1907–1914. He was a Prefect, and captain of the 1st XI in 1914.

Big School names on walls Ch 27 copy

After the 2011 earthquakes, repairs were made to the Assembly Hall, which uncovered the names of actors over many years.

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The Archivist now asks – where else should I look to record the past for the present?

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Latest News & Events

Music honours ties

All about the music

The scale of College’s musical talent was on stage for all to see in today’s special Music Honours’ Ties assembly.

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Boots for Bags SQ

Boot bag kicks off in style

It’s in the bag! Year 13 students Anton Marshall and Sean Rutherford-Bradford are marketing a waterproof boot bag to keep sports gear safe and dry.

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Oscar nott limited edition print morning fog

School of fine art for four College boys

Four College artists – Jake Abbiss, Oli Aikawa, Oscar Nott and Reis Azlan – will be among the Art Stars at an exhibition of Ōtautahi’s future creatives in September.

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College carves up Mount Hutt to take titles

Christ’s College has landed the double at the 2021 Canterbury Secondary School Ski and Snowboard Championships at Mount Hutt, winning both the team and individual titles.

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Southern JAM Jazz festival 1

College delivers winning beat at Southern Jam

College has claimed an overall Gold Award at the Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival in Blenheim, with both the Big Band and Jazz Combo in the spotlight.

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Upcoming Events

17 & 19 AugustReaction House Plays Festival – Tuesday 6.30pm and Thursday 6pm

4 September

Year 9 Father & Son Breakfast


7 SeptemberParent Education Evening – Promoting positive body image in boys


11 September Year 11 Mother & Son Breakfast


15 September

Business Banter – The Bostock Brothers story


16 SeptemberCentre for Ethics & Spirituality – Abuse – what is it and what to do about it
26 AugustChristchurch Tuis


14 September

College hits the mark with opera – The Devil’s Marksman (Der Freischütz)


17 SeptemberWellington AGM and Long Lunch


23 SeptemberQueenstown, Wanaka and Arrowtown Long Lunch


1 October Auckland AGM and Long Lunch


9 October

Wairarapa AGM and Long Lunch

15 OctoberCCOBA Golf Tournament


20 October

Gentlemen's Lunch


65 Years On Reunion

75 Years On Reunion

19 NOVEMBERChristchurch Long Lunch


25 NOVEMBERChristchurch YOBs


Reaction House Plays Facebook Banner
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