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From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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We all appreciate just how different our world has been since January 2020. Interestingly, our start-of-year routines were not overly affected until this year when several of our regular activities were compromised by crowd limitations and the wearing of masks under the Red Traffic Light setting.

It certainly has been a little different but there has definitely been a glint in the eyes of all our boys and staff. I sense that they like being back at College and those whānau who would normally join us have had the opportunity to do so online for special events and some educational programmes. We are fortunate to find ourselves at school and essentially participating in a complete programme.

Adaptability has already come to the fore. The Open Air Block is exactly that, with the principle being extended to other classrooms and Houses across the campus. As a consequence of being a secondary school and our attention to mask wearing and keeping classrooms well-aired, we will find ourselves in a very strong position as it relates to close or casual contact when we have a Covid-19 case on-site.

Like many within the community, we are just getting on with it – that being said with a sense of underlying anxiousness as to what the future may hold. Our approach has been to do what we can, when we can and while we can. The best example of this was the way our rowers participated in the Canterbury Championships this year where they found themselves in their bubbles unless they were racing and, by doing so, allowed the racing to proceed.

Our annual MMG Survey

Last year, the entire parent and student community was asked to participate in our annual MMG Survey. The 2021 survey allowed direct comparison with 2016 in a variety of key areas as it involved all year groups. This feedback provides significant insight into our programmes and helps the school reflect and plan. You will find here an extract from the full Parent Report. It was presented and discussed with the College Board at the end of 2021. Our results were generally very encouraging and we were also grateful to receive honest and open commentary on areas for improvement. As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have thoughts on how College can better achieve its mission and strategic intent.

Positive steps

I am pleased and excited about where College is heading in 2022. Our enrolment is at record levels. We are also introducing our much lauded College Diploma programme for boys in Years 10–11 and our Wellbeing programmes are embedded in our curriculum across all year levels. We are also on the wave of exceptional co-curricular outcomes in both sport and cultural activities. We have so much to celebrate and look forward to while we kick Covid-19 to the corner!

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School Updates

Staff Darrell Thatcher

Darrell Thatcher
Deputy Principal – Planning & Co-curricular

Timetable change

Having reflected on the timetable after the first week – with many boys in and around their Houses having their lunch – it is proving difficult to maintain physical distancing and mask wearing.

As a result, from Monday 14 February, we will shorten lunchtime from an hour to 35 minutes. Period 6 will finish at 3.10pm, followed by a 40-minute session where normal lunchtime activities (athletics heats, music rehearsals, strength and conditioning etc) will be held. Co-curricular activities (sports training, cultural activities etc) will start at 3.50pm. This timetable will operate for two weeks, until the end of Week 4 (Friday 25 February). We will then reconsider the changes.

External trips

Under the Red Traffic Light setting, any external trips – such as sports exchanges, winter sports preseason trips in the April holidays, field trips, cultural trips etc – will only take place within Canterbury. This means there will be no travel to areas where the boys and staff cannot return home in a timely manner. Trips that could still take place (as long as Red Traffic Light requirements are met) include planned rowing camps and regattas in Twizel and Year 12 geography and biology field trips. Activities that will no longer take place include the 1st XI Cricket Exchange with Whanganui Collegiate and the 1st XV preseason trip to Auckland.

Parents on-site

A reminder to parents and caregivers that they can only come on-site for essential purposes, and only visit if invited. Face masks must be worn at all times.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

Welcome to new members of our boarding community

I want to thank the Year 9 families and boys for the way in which they have started their Christ’s College journey.

Day one was disrupted following the move to a Red Traffic Light setting. However, it was pleasing to see how the boys and their families came into their new environment and quickly adapted. I was also delighted by the way the three House staff teams – led by their Housemasters – made the boys and their families feel special and comfortable on arrival.

The Year 9s, along with our many new boys at various levels, have had a positive experience this week. We have been focusing on making these boys feel comfortable in their new boarding homes and helping them understand our values and what we – as the Christ’s College boarding community – are all about.

Boarders weekend

We had a great first weekend together as a boarding community and a House. While the older boys had a chance to catch up after the holidays with their friends, all the boys were involved in activities within their Houses and together as a community. Those activities included coasteering, high ropes, paintball, orienteering, a treasure hunt, a radical run, mechanical surfboard, bumper balls, gladiators, quizzes, and in-House competitions. These were well led by the House staff who all contributed throughout the Waitangi weekend in various ways.

We were particularly pleased with the leadership shown by our Year 13s and the senior leaders. The Year 13 leaders paired up with the Year 9s on Monday’s activity day and did a fantastic job of mentoring the younger boys.


What's for dinner?

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

Masks no barrier to energetic start

I love the first week of school – watching the boys pile in all refreshed and excited to see each other. They are keen to suss out their classes and as I wander through the corridors they have an energy about their attention in classes that is unique to the newness of the school year. What has been so heartening this week is to see that this is the same as ever. Masks, open classroom doors and windows, and efforts of physical distancing have not changed the heart of things.

However, the start of year also means a reflection on how we ended last year. In late January, the NCEA results were released. We can take heart with continued success overall. There have many individual success stories, and we will celebrate many of these in our Academic Assembly in a few weeks. Years 11 and 12 achievement was in line with our great results of previous years, outperforming the national averages across all criteria. Our current Year 13s should be particularly congratulated for an Excellence endorsement rate at roughly double the national rate, 15% higher than Decile 10 boys schools, and 6% higher than all Decile 10 schools nationwide.

For those students who have been disappointed with some individual results – whether returning to school this year or moving on to tertiary education – the new academic year is a wonderful opportunity to take stock of what has gone well and use learnings to ensure this year is a better one. We look forward to seeing that come to fruition in our classrooms over the coming weeks.

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Te Taha Māori

Staff Keri Campbell 1915 SQ

Keri Campbell
Te Reo Māori teacher and Bicultural Co-ordinator

Engage and enhance through Te Reo Māori

Kia ora koutou katoa. Ko Patangata te maunga, Ko Wharekahika me Waikohu ngā awa, Ko Horouta te waka, Ko Hinemaurea ki Wharekahika te marae, Ko Te Aotaki te tangata, Nō Ngāti porou me Ngāti Koterani ngā iwi, Nō Te whanau a Tuwhakairiora te hapu, Ko Keri Campbell tōku ingoa.

I am excited to begin my journey at College as Te Reo Māori teacher. I have 18 years’ experience teaching boys, and, in that time, have worked with several schools in a Community of Learning role to enhance Māori and Pasifika relationships and achievement.

I have a degree in Physical Education and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning. Early in my teaching career, my secondary subject, te reo Māori, became my primary focus. I further developed my language skills, completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Māori and Bilingual Education in 2009, and spent the first term of 2021 studying in a Full Immersion Teaching Programme through Mātauraka Mahaanui.

When I am not teaching, I enjoy staying active by swimming, going to the gym, and spending time in the great outdoors with my wife and two children.

I am really excited to be joining the team at College and look forward to supporting staff and students to develop their understanding of culturally responsive practice – in and out of the classroom. I am passionate about working with students’ character strengths and feel privileged to have the opportunity to help our young men at College reach their full potential and build their capacity in Te reo Māori me ōna Tikanga (Māori language and protocols).

I am available if any parents wish to contact me regarding any of the above kaupapa (topics/subjects) at

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Wellbeing & Positive Education

John Quinn IBW

John Quinn
Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education

Age of ‘uncertainty’

Welcome back to a new year and the start of Term 1. I hope everyone has had a great holiday and the chance to unwind and relax after a challenging year for most people. I am sure we have all tired of hearing about Covid-19 but, unfortunately, it is still here. With Omicron now in New Zealand, we not only have to be physically aware to keep ourselves safe, but also mentally aware of the impact this is having on ourselves and our children.

Those in Christchurch during the earthquakes in 2010–11 would remember a much-used word – ‘munted’ – that quickly became part of our vocabulary. Now the word for this phase is ‘uncertainty’, and this is one we have to get used to and learn to manage. Our young people face a lot of uncertainty. It is important as parents that we provide them with as much certainty as we can in uncertain times. Ensure that you take some time to reassure your children as they head into Term 1 as some may be worried about what may happen, while others may be more worried about missing out on some events or fixtures.

VIA Character Strengths

All the boys will be doing the VIA Character Strengths. You can find more on the VIA Character Strengths website. You can ask the boys about this and discuss the one strength they can use to manage the start of the year and the strength they want to develop during the term. This creates a great discussion as a family as you consider the strengths you can all use to navigate the uncertainty of our world at present.

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Health Centre

Nicky Taylor IBW

Nicky Taylor
Health Centre Nurse

Rachel Trengrove IBW

Rachel Trengrove
Health Centre Nurse

A message from the Health Centre

A warm welcome to Term 1, 2022, especially to our new families. It has been a busy start to this year, preparing as best we can for Omicron and the impact on our school community.

If your son becomes unwell with cold and flu symptoms (however mild) and is at home, please do not send him to school. With Covid-19 being transmitted in the community, it has become more complex to manage unwell students at school.

If you are contacted to collect your son, please do so as soon as possible. Many thanks for your support.

Rachel and Nicky
Health Centre Registered Nurses

Phone: 364 8601 or 027 500 3357

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From the Chaplain

Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering


A new year and a new Chaplain

Tēnā koutou katoa,
Peace to you all in the name of God.

It really is not my place to offer a welcome at this stage, having myself – along with the new boys to College, and new staff members – been formally welcomed only last week. No doubt, like the boys, new beginnings are naturally a time of expectation, animation and not a little disquiet. Thank you to all who have welcomed us and already in our first week have given us space to belong to this community.

Waitangi weekend is a time of celebration and reflection on what it means to live in Aotearoa New Zealand, globally connected in the 21st century. It gives us pause to consider how we intend to positively contribute to future generations by our words and actions in what is our unique context.

As far as possible, my future comments will reflect our core business – our boys, and the Chaplain’s role in encouraging the formation of character through the virtues of Christ, who, as the Executive Principal has reminded us, seems to have claimed the naming rights for College.

However, this week I also want introduce myself and outline my background. I come to College from my role as Assistant Priest at the Christ Church Transitional (Cardboard) Cathedral. I previously taught History, Geography and Religious Education – from 2006–2017 – at St Andrew’s College. In that time, I was also the Assistant Housemaster, residential boys’ boarding Years 9–11.

After being called to the Anglican Seminary in Auckland at the end of 2017, I undertook a Postgraduate Diploma in Chaplaincy at the University of Otago and a Certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education through the New Zealand Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. In 2020, I was Assistant Curate at the Parish of Merivale in St Albans, Christchurch.

Gaining my Bachelor of Theology through the University of Otago in 2003, and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) at the Christchurch College of Education the following year, I have continued studying at tertiary level in New Zealand and England.

My wife, Victoria, who is also a teacher, and I live in West Melton, but we are looking forward to moving onto the campus in Term 2.

I firmly believe people are at the heart of God’s agenda, and it is with this inclusive love in mind that I minister with people at the heart of mine.

College’s vision for each boy – encouraged and challenged to be aspirational in all they do – and the school’s learning community for character formation resonate with my own vocation as a priest and educator.

I look forward to seeing students (present and past), parents and the family of Christ’s College about the school. Do say ‘hello’ – that’s me without the tie.

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Staff Chris Sellars

Chris Sellars
Careers Advisor

Upcoming careers dates

11 FebruaryLincoln University liaison, Year 13, Friday 1.05pm
18 February

Ara Institute of Canterbury, Year 13, Friday 1.05pm

5 March

University of Canterbury, Year 13, Friday 1.05pm

4 AprilVictoria University of Wellington, Year 13, Monday 1.05pm
29–30 May

Dunedin Tertiary Open Days

Christ's College CareerWise

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

School subjects and career opportunities

Discover where your school subjects can take you. Careers NZ has put together posters featuring career opportunities. Boys can learn more about career options based on subjects they enjoy.

Career interviews

One-on-one career talks with Year 13 students are under way, starting with Condell’s House. I will work through all the Houses, seeing boys during study periods. If your son (in any year group) needs immediate help, please ask him to contact me. I will find a time as soon as possible and will follow-up with you by phone. Year 12 interviews will start in Term 2, and Year 11 interviews in Term 3.

Careers sessions

There will be careers sessions for boys in Years 12 and 13 on various Fridays and other days throughout the year, with liaison officers from different tertiary providers talking to the boys.

Career view

I recommend that all students and parents – regardless of their future university of choice – look at the Career View resources published by Victoria University of Wellington. Career View provides detailed information regarding where different subjects can take you in terms of skills and career pathways. See more on the Victoria University of Wellington careers website.

In Black & White – Careers

I aim to present information in In Black & White that I feel is relevant to College boys and their parents. However, I am aware not all boys read it, so I hope parents will use the information provided as a springboard for investigation, discussion, and inspiration, to help their sons as they consider their future. Thank you for your interest. Do not hesitate to get in touch with any suggestions, or if you need advice.

Chris Sellars

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From the Archives

Jane Teal

2022 Anniversaries

At the beginning of each year, I always look at the list of building anniversaries. This year, there are not as many in some years, but they are none the less significant and include some we have lost.

It is 170 years since College moved from Lyttelton and teaching continued at St Michael and All Angels.

CCPAL51 1 001

The X marks the spot of the schoolroom according to George Henry Merton, who was the original owner of the photograph album. Christ’s College Archives CCPAL51/1/1

The X marks the spot of the schoolroom according to George Henry Merton, who was the original owner of the photograph album. Christ’s College Archives CCPAL51/1/1

It is 165 years since the foundation stone of the Sub Warden’s House was laid at Rolleston Avenue.

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The building consisted of a schoolroom, dormitory, and the house where Henry Jacobs lived and took boarders. Merton Album CCPAL 51/1/3

The building consisted of a schoolroom, dormitory, and the house where Henry Jacobs lived and took boarders. Merton Album CCPAL 51/1/3

It is 155 years since the Chapel was opened.

Chapel under construction

The Chapel under construction. Robert Speechly, the architect, may be the first person to the left.

The Chapel under construction. Robert Speechly, the architect, may be the first person to the left.

It is 145 years since the Chaplain’s House was built. The first Chaplain to live there was Francis Augustus Hare when he was also the Principal of the Upper Department. About four students boarded with him.

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The Chaplain’s House is in the centre of the photograph. Canterbury Museum and the Synod Hall can be seen to the left, and the Chapel to the right. Christ’s College Archives CCPAL43/17/1

The Chaplain’s House is in the centre of the photograph. Canterbury Museum and the Synod Hall can be seen to the left, and the Chapel to the right. Christ’s College Archives CCPAL43/17/1

It is 140 years since the Principal’s House was completed.

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William Bedell Stanford was appointed the first full-time Principal of the Upper Department. He resided on the site of the Assembly Hall. Francis Augustus Hare later moved into this house.

William Bedell Stanford was appointed the first full-time Principal of the Upper Department. He resided on the site of the Assembly Hall. Francis Augustus Hare later moved into this house.

It is 60 years since the Chapman Block took its place on the southern edge of the Upham Quad.

Chapman Block Ch 23

This building was named for Thomas Chapman, who donated the squash court which can be seen on the left of the photograph. He continues to be recognised in the Chapman Room in the Miles Warren Building.

This building was named for Thomas Chapman, who donated the squash court which can be seen on the left of the photograph. He continues to be recognised in the Chapman Room in the Miles Warren Building.

It is 20 years since Fine Arts and Technology was completed and it is five years since the building that was initially known as the West Wing, and subsequently the Miles Warren Building, was first inhabited.

Jan2 2014

The Miles Warren Building under construction. FJT Christ’s College Archives

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Latest News & Events

Mihi Whakatau 059 3663

Mihi whakatau for manuhiri

Wearing their korowai (cloak), Executive Principal Garth Wynne and Head Prefect Benji Ward have welcomed new boys and new staff to College with a traditional mihi whakatau (official welcome speech) – featuring a powerful karanga (call), whaikōrerō (formal speech), haka, and waiata (song) – on The Quad.

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Year 9 Induction 1342

Carabiner connection but space to climb

First steps in new shoes and the vital link of a College carabiner have been the focus of the Chapel Service welcoming Year 9 boys.

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Assembly Prefects 3 Feb 36

Inducting the Prefects, licensing the Chaplain

Adaptable, resilient and good-humoured – the Prefects showed all those characteristics and more as they were sworn in today at a special service and received their Prefect’s tie, in the Christ’s College Assembly Hall.

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College Convo 4

College Convo podcast for 2022

They’re a trio of podcast enthusiasts, so it was only natural that Oli Aikawa, Thimeth Wijesinghe and Ed Davidson should want to establish their own.

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Community Business Directory

Staff Shelley Keach 6322 edited

Shelley Keach
Senior Development Manager

Community Business Directory IBW banner narrow

We want to support our families and their businesses by encouraging our whole community to "think local" when they make a purchase, are looking for hospitality or need a service or supplier.

We hope we can help make a difference to your business.

To add your business to the directory, please fill in this form. You can view the Community Business Directory on our website.

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