Issue. 198 hero image

From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

MG 8711 1500x1000

It has been an interesting few weeks for College, and indeed for all organisations and institutions, as we have skipped along the path of managing the Covid-19 Omicron outbreak.

In the space of 15 working days, our obligations to collect long lists of close and casual contacts evaporated to simply informing the Ministry of Education of unidentifiable daily positive case numbers of students and staff. There is no doubt that in the next few weeks the landscape will significantly change, as even over the past weekend we have had more boys having to isolate. We intend to try to keep as many of our programmes fully operational, which, in turn, will possibly mean some unusual and unique decisions, given where we are at the time.

I am extremely grateful for the support of our community and the flexibility of our staff, who have maintained a sense of ‘normality’ for the boys. Let us hope that our second term will be slightly less frenetic. We have been able to use our robust technology to enable boys to follow their academic programme from home, and also enable teachers, who too may be isolating, to be able to provide a ‘Learning Log’. This hybrid approach is more fully explained by our Assistant Principal – Curriculum, Nicole Billante, and I acknowledge her work – and that of all our teachers – in moving to this approach since the start of the term. It is certainly not online learning in the lockdown sense but allows for boys to either be in class or at home and maintain their class progress.

Changes for Centre for Wellbeing

After five years in a part-time capacity leading our Centre for Wellbeing & Positive Education, John Quinn will leave at the end of this term. John’s contribution in bringing wellbeing to the centre of our thinking within College has been significant and we are fortunate to have been influenced by his expertise. He has been especially valued by many within our sporting fraternity as he has helped develop their mental skills. It is this particular passion that leads John to join, more fully, High Performance Sport New Zealand. John’s final public contribution in his College role will be a live-streamed Parent Education Evening. We wish John well. His departure has enabled the amalgamation of several part-time positions into a new role – Director of Wellbeing Education. Given that wellbeing is now taught in each year group – as well as caught across a range of other programmes – this is a logical step within the Centre for Wellbeing. I am pleased that staff member Caroline Black has taken on this role. Caroline’s enthusiasm and energy, balanced by her professional growth in studies associated with wellbeing, will build on the foundations of the past five years.

Welcome to new staff

Staff Brent Anderson 1951 SQ

Brent Anderson

Our new Workshop Technician Brent Anderson has extensive experience as a transport engineer and fitter and welder. He has worked in the transport and engineering industries, including structural, maintenance and quality control roles.

Gill Blackler SQ

Gill Blackler

MSc Hons(Canterbury), PG Cert Tertiary Teaching

Gill Blackler is our new Advancement and Events Coordinator, having been at St Margaret’s College since 2012, most recently as Arts Facilitator. She has held events roles at Christ Church Cathedral and the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland.

Emma Bradley Hudson SQ

Emma Bradley-Hudson

Dipl.-Ing. (Osnabrück), BE(Hons) (Sheffield), GradDipTchLn (Canterbury), MEd (Canterbury)

Emma Bradley-Hudson has joined College as a Technology and Engineering teacher following a technical position with the University of Canterbury. Emma, who previously taught at Linwood College, Riccarton High School and St Andrew’s College, was also a design engineer in New Zealand and Europe.

Staff Keri Campbell 1915 SQ

Keri Campbell

BEd (Physical Education) (Canterbury), GradDipTchLn, PGDipEd (Hōaka Pounamu)

Keri Campbell is our new Te Reo Māori teacher and Bicultural Co-ordinator, having most recently been an Across School Lead Teacher for the Ministry of Education. Keri was previously Head of Department – Languages at St Thomas of Canterbury College.

Staff Travis Dixon 1613 SQ

Travis Dixon

BA(Canterbury), GradDipTchg (NZGSE)

Travis Dixon is our new Teacher in Charge of Psychology. Travis joins us from the Saint Maur International School in Japan. He has also taught at the Abu Dhabi International School as an IB teacher and at Burnside High School. Travis was a tutor in Richards House in 2006–2007.

Staff Kate Kempthorne Smith 3226 SQ

Kate Kempthorne-Smith

BA (Hons) (Canterbury), BFA (Canterbury), DipTchg (NZ Graduate School)

Kate Kempthorne-Smith has returned to College as an Art and Design & Visual Communication teacher following extended maternity leave. We are thrilled to have Kate back on board and supporting our Art and Design students.

Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

Rev. Cameron Pickering

B.Theol, GradDipTchLn, DipGrad, PGDipChap

Our new Chaplain and Head of Department of Religious Education, Rev. Cameron Pickering, has joined College from his role as Assistant Priest at the Transitional Cathedral. He has held several appointments, including Assistant Curate of All Souls, Merivale, and teacher of Religious Education at St Andrew’s College.

Staff Libby Stevens 1611 SQ

Libby Stevens

MBA (Boise, Idaho), BCom (Auckland)

Our new Library Assistant Libby Stevens comes to College with a wealth of experience in libraries, and project and operations management. She has held a variety of senior roles in New Zealand and the United States. Previously, Libby was a Documents Librarian at the University of Idaho.

Staff Emma Stilwell 1600 SQ

Emma Stilwell

BA (Victoria), MIS (Victoria)

Emma Stilwell has joined College as our new Librarian, having moved from Christchurch City Libraries. She has extensive experience in community libraries, including developing partnerships with schools and educational programmes, along with various software skills.

Staff Jessica Tabke 1934 SQ

Jessica Tabke

BFA (Canterbury)

Our new Graphic Designer and Marketing Assistant Jessica Tabke joins College as parental leave cover. She previously spent five years with the Canterbury District Health Board as a graphic designer. Prior to that, she worked as a freelance designer after graduating from the Ilam School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury. Jess is also a creative artist in the fields of photography and letterpress printing.

Staff Sidinei Teixeira 1453 SQ

Sidinei Teixeira

BSc Chemistry (Tubarão), PGChem (Rio de Janeiro)

Sidinei Teixeira joins College as our new Chemistry teacher, moving from her role as Head of Science at Mount Hutt College. She is also a NCEA marker for NZQA. Previously, Sidinei was the junior curriculum leader at Massey High School.

Staff Craig Walker 1625 SQ

Craig Walker

BSc(Hons) Computing Science (Staffordshire), PGCert (Loughborough)

Craig Walker is our new Teacher in Charge of Digital Technologies, having been TiC Digital Technology and Head of Department – Business at Otumoetai College in Tauranga. He has held several senior ICT roles in both New Zealand and Britain.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

Covid-19 – Q&A on our response

Thank you for your understanding regarding the present Covid-19 Phase 3. The Ministry of Health no longer deems that there are ‘household contacts’ in boarding Houses, meaning that we only send home any boys who are symptomatic. This is done through our Health Centre and matrons. If the boys are asymptomatic, they can stay in our boarding Houses.

We have had a few questions from parents regarding procedures.

Q: If my son is symptomatic and tests negative on the RAT test, what do we do?
A: Your son still needs to leave the boarding House as he is symptomatic.

Q: Why is this the case?
A: Our decision-making is based on the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education guidelines. We want to keep as many boys at school and within our Houses for as long as possible.

Friends of Boarding

I met the Friends of Boarding group last Tuesday for a constructive conversation covering several areas, including Covid-19, the Richards House matron role, the boarding programme and a boarding curriculum. We also discussed the continuing of the influenza vaccination and the enabling of a meningitis vaccination. These would be optional.

Richards House matron/nurse

Richards House parents will be aware of the retirement of Matron Jan Kelleher just before Christmas. Giselle Pasten and Jimmy Healy have been fulfilling the role in the interim and I thank them for their contribution in Term 1.

We will advertise for two positions that signal the start of a restructure regarding the role. This will not impact on Flower’s House and School House, which will retain the wonderful services of Karen Adams and Sharon Cryer.

However, our current model is no longer sustainable. We have been researching a new approach, both in New Zealand and Australia, to settle on this particular model. The new role will be split in two. The Richards House matron will live off-site and come in to help wake the boys, get them off to school, and take them to medical appointments, as per usual. During the afternoons, the matron will help the boys get off to co-curricular activities, town leave, and dinner, up until evening roll call. The prep tutors will assist the Master on Duty with junior bedtime to ensure that there are two staff members on duty.

In the second role, a night-time nurse will live on the campus. This role will eventually be rolled out to School House and Flower’s House. The registered nurse will be on call for any medical needs during the evenings and overnight. We have trialled the role this term, and it has worked well in Richards House.

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

Resourceful school of thought

In this update, I want to focus on our key digital learning tool – Schoolbox. Schoolbox – introduced at Christ’s College in 2017 – has become a highly valued resource, including an online learning platform at the ready during both lockdowns. Now that we find ourselves in a very different set of circumstances, Schoolbox is again helping students with their learning (see below for further details).

Schoolbox serves many functions for teachers, students, and parents, too. Each class, sports team, and cultural group has its own homepage. Many learning resources are stored here so that students can access them at any time. Interactive learning tools are also built into many class pages. Teachers continually build their resources and uses of this platform. As our new Diploma courses are taught, we hope boys will notice the increased capability of Schoolbox. Boys also have an assessment diary and a means by which they receive grades and feedback from teachers.

Learn more – Parent Portal

We have several short videos about the Schoolbox Parent Portal. The Parent Portal is the primary means of accessing information about your son’s life at College, so if you have not logged on yet, we encourage you to do so. The introductory video, including log-on instructions, is available to watch here, with further videos available on the Parent Portal homepage. These explain how to navigate Schoolbox, and where to find academic, pastoral, and co-curricular information. As Schoolbox continues to develop, this will be reflected in our Parent Portal. We welcome suggestions on any information you may find useful.

Learning Logs

Last week, we introduced Learning Logs, which are available to boys on every class page. Should a student be off school because of illness or isolation, they can stay up to date with what has been happening in their classes through these Learning Logs. Previously, when students have been sick, they have contacted their teachers for work. Now, through the Learning Logs, boys can be proactive, based on their personal circumstances. Some students may not be well enough to work, while others may be able to stay engaged. It is also likely that several staff members will be away during this outbreak. In these circumstances, Learning Logs become the means for setting work for students. We have already had very positive feedback from boys about the usefulness of the logs.


Under Phase 3, there are fewer reasons to isolate and this is reflected in our approach. For students, the goal is to stay up to date with class content so that boys can more easily re-engage with the class on return. However, this is not intended to be a full remote learning approach, as per lockdown. Teachers are still planning and delivering on-site teaching and, to ensure quality teaching and staff health as much as possible, at-home learning is an adaptation of the work done by the class, rather than specifically designed remote programmes. With finite periods of absence, we are confident students will be able to maintain academic success with the practice of Learning Logs. However, we recognise that circumstances may change, depending on larger-scale absences. If so, we have many scenarios to adapt, if necessary, which will utilise the capabilities of Schoolbox.

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Advanced Learning

Staff Emma Bracken 0899 SQ

Emma Bracken
Head of Advanced Learning

Challenge yourself

Our boys have many opportunities to advance their skills in a range of arenas. To support their aspirations, the boys can take part in various challenges and events, including:

EPro8 Challenge – a fun, hands-on engineering challenge in which boys compete in groups of four against other schools and against the clock to complete practical challenges. Registration is now open for the competition to be held in July. It is open to junior and senior teams.

The Ethics Olympiad – teams discuss interesting ethical cases with students around the country. It provides students with a unique opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking and communication. Training is held in March in preparation for the competition in May. It is open to Years 11–13.

New Zealand Brain Bee Challenge – the online, neuroscience challenge focuses on the brain and its functions, as well as students learning about neuroscience research. It runs from 1 March–9 April, with students able to prepare at their own pace. It is open to Year 11 students.

Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand (RASNZ) – students with a passion for astronomy can apply for scholarships to attend the RASNZ Conference to be held in Whangarei from 3–5 June. Applications close on 11 April. It is open to Years 11–13.

Further details on the events and other opportunities within Advanced Learning can be found on Student Notices. Students can contact to register their interest for any of these events.

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Wellbeing & Positive Education

John Quinn IBW

John Quinn
Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education

Overcome the overwhelm

SchoolTV this month talks about managing the ‘overwhelm’ many of us feel at present. We are living in a world that is so different from the one that many of us have been brought up in. Our children have experienced much more uncertainty and tragic events than we have in our time.

Over the past few years in Christchurch, we have experienced earthquakes, a terrorist attack, Covid-19, and now, more globally, the war in Ukraine. As much as the war is not on our doorstep, it can feel like that with all the media coverage and social media postings. These are confusing and uncertain times for many in New Zealand and around the world. Even the last few weeks with the protest in Wellington is something we have not seen since the 1981 Springbok tour.

Constant worry can lead to other mental health issues, and taking the time to check in with your family is important. We are not out of the woods yet with Covid-19 and we know that the ripple effect will continue. This will also be the case with the invasion of Ukraine. Over the next few weeks, when you ask your children ‘how are you going?’, do not accept ‘OK’ as an answer. Take some time to ask how they are going and what is happening in their worlds. Even with your older children, who may be at university, life has been massively disrupted, especially those flatting and in the halls. However, there are some great resources on SchoolTV to check out.

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.

Let’s ensure we do this.

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Parent Education Evening with John Quinn

High-performance lessons for better living

An evening with our Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education John Quinn focusing on high performance and wellbeing.

Mental skills specialist John Quinn will share the lessons from high-performance sport and explain how these can be applied in our day-to-day life as a parent or in the workplace. With the growing recognition of the need to focus on wellbeing in our society, as well as the sporting world, leading athletes have spoken about the pressures and the challenges of performing at the highest level. We can all take on board these lessons to ensure that we respond and adapt, moving from surviving to thriving.

Tuesday 15 March
Register here.

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Health Centre

Nicky Taylor IBW

Nicky Taylor
Health Centre Nurse

Rachel Trengrove IBW

Rachel Trengrove
Health Centre Nurse

Return to School Check

A reminder to our College families to please keep your son at home if he is unwell, even if he tests negative for Covid-19. This helps us maintain a healthy environment at College, and not spread any illnesses unnecessarily. On returning to College after an illness, every boy must come directly to the Health Centre for a Return to School Check before going to their House. Please do not send your son to school until he has been symptom-free for 24 hours, no matter his type of illness.


If your son takes medication and you want the Health Centre nurses to store this medication and/or assist your son in taking his required doses during the school day, Monday to Friday, please contact the Health Centre via

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From the Chaplain

Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

Place of belonging for all

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

Mid-way through Term 1, we have seen most boys in Chapel. Under the Red Traffic Light setting, Chapel has been organised by House – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Together, reinforcing the Chapel as a place for all of our community to feel welcome, we have explored Jesus’ disposition in challenging who belongs. By including ‘even’ the Samaritan woman at the table of fellowship, Jesus challenges us as beloved of God to see others likewise, to extend hospitality and make room for others. No-one is outside. Here there is a place for anyone who would have it.


Bouquets to the Housemasters of the 10 Houses, who, amid many challenges and extra responsibilities, have had the boys in Chapel. If you move about College during the lunch break and before school, you can appreciate the contribution of Housemasters to the boys’ wellbeing. Their efforts – and those of all staff – in keeping College a vibrant and life-enhancing community, are humbling to witness.

With such examples, I honour the boys for the positivity they bring each day, and the support they offer one another. While we live in a connected global community, and do not especially venerate ostriches, it is refreshing to ‘tune out’ from the constant flow of tension, and ‘tune in’ with the boys who face present challenges gallantly.


Last week, our calendar journey towards Easter started with Ash Wednesday and Lent. I say ‘calendar journey’ for every day in a community of faith is a day to look hopefully towards Resurrection. As each of us navigates challenges, may God grant us Hope and Faith, and continue to direct our hearts in Love to making this a place of belonging for all.

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Staff Chris Sellars

Chris Sellars
Careers Advisor

Upcoming careers dates

14 March

EducationUSA – virtual information session

7 MarchMassey University – virtual, 1pm
4 AprilVictoria University of Wellington, Year 13, 1.05pm
May–July University of Canterbury Information Evenings
26–28 May

Careers Expo

29–30 MayOtago Tertiary Open Day
JulyUniversity of Canterbury (UC) Scholarship webinars
15 AugustUC Scholarship applications close
9 SeptemberUC Open Day
September (TBC)UC Accommodation applications due

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.

Otago Tertiary Open Day

University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic Open Days are held on Sunday and Monday, 29–30 May. It is an opportunity for the boys to see Dunedin, attend lectures or information sessions and look at accommodation options. A reminder that this is a school trip. Boys cannot drive their own vehicles with other students, but parents can travel to Dunedin with their son, independently, if they choose. Anyone interested needs to contact Mr Sellars.

EducationUSA – Studying in the United States

EducationUSA New Zealand offers a virtual student information session for anyone interested in studying in the United States. Whether you plan to head to a US university or are just considering the possibility, EducationUSA NZ can answer any questions. Parents and students can join the information session at 6pm on Monday 14 March. Please register here.

Building and Construction – lunchtime seminar

Our lunchtime seminar – planned for this term – is the first of several this year featuring College Old Boys or sponsors talking about a particular industry. Topics include building and construction, project management, pre-trade courses, trades and other related topics. Any boys who plan to attend are to notify Mr Sellars.

Lincoln University

I recently attended the Lincoln University Careers Advisors Information session. Various speakers spoke about specialist areas at the university, including Business; Agriculture, Horticulture & Viticulture; Environment; Food, Wine, Beer; Landscape Architecture; Property & Valuation; Science; Sport & Recreation; and Tourism. Please click the link to find the diploma and degree courses offered in each area.

University of Canterbury liaison visit

Thirty-one boys attended the UC information session last Friday. For those unable to attend, please register your interest by filling in the form.

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.

Chris Sellars

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Weddings at Christ’s College

Gill Blackler

Gill Blackler
Advancement and Events Co-ordinator

P65945 Weddings Launch Website 1500x1000 FA BW Quad

Looking for a unique venue for your special day? Celebrate amongst some of Christchurch’s most extraordinary architecture. The stunning Chapel is available for ceremonies, and you can have your pick of two reception areas – the impressive, historic Dining Hall or the award-winning Chapman Room. Choose from a range of delicious menus and beverage packages. Plus, we have a designated Wedding Co-ordinator – Kim Chan Events. Kim and her team will look after your wedding and styling requirements, including all your floral needs, for your special day.

Learn more on our website

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From the Archives

Jane Teal

Term 1 1972

Fifty years ago, the College Calendar was a cardboard document that you could put inside your blazer pocket or tuck into your prep diary. It was published each term by the College Press Club. In those days, there were only three terms, so the organisation of the College year was a little different. Yet, when you examine it, there are events which are closely paralleled today.

In February and March, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions were interspersed with field trips, Venture Group courses and orchestra rehearsals. Robert Michael Geoffrey Lovell-Smith (8238), Christopher Douglas Le Cren (8503) and Jonathan Alexander Somers (8668) set records in the Swimming Sports and the House Champion was Condell’s House. Barracks Week ended with the Cadet Ceremonial Parade. There was a variety of preachers at Chapel services, with services each day during Holy Week.

The last weekend before the Easter break was extremely busy. Not only was there the final of the House A Cricket competition, in which Jacobs beat Corfe on the first innings, the House plays were performed over two nights, resulting in a win for Richards House with The Laboratory by David Campton. The Maadi Cup Regatta at Kerr’s Reach resulted in only minor placings for the Senior and Intermediate VIIIs and Senior IVs.

1972 calendar2 009

April and May follow a similar pattern. The Junior Debating Society continued to meet, the Mountaineering Society went on a weekend expedition to Hawdon Valley and the Film Society’s Cast a Giant Shadow starred Kirk Douglas and Frank Sinatra. The Inter-House Rugby Competition resulted in a win for Flower’s House. Anzac Day was observed, the 3rd and 4th Forms (Years 9 and 10) had exams and the Headmaster began his holidays with a conference.

1972 calendar1 008
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Staff Shelley Keach 6322 edited

Shelley Keach
Senior Development Manager

Rugby 1st XV v CBHS 021 2343 logos

We want you

We are looking for College sponsors to support our sports teams.

If you want to be involved, we are looking for rugby, football, basketball and hockey sponsors. We offer significant branding opportunities on clothing and signage throughout the winter sports season, as well as a profile via regular social media posts. You will also be invited to networking events within the Christ's College business community, and be included in the growing Christ’s College business directory.

To find out more, please contact Senior Development Manager Shelley Keach on 027 807 0539 or at

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Community Business Directory

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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Latest News & Events

Assembly T1 W4 Gold awards 22

Time to celebrate our academics

Sports teams receive their Colours, cultural groups have Honours Ties, but today College celebrated the academic realm, awarding 45 students coveted awards for Academic Excellence in Level 1 or Level 2 NCEA.

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Biology Temple Basin 2022 3

Climbing into biology in Temple Basin

Year 12 biology students have reached new study heights, hiking up Temple Basin for a hands-on exploration of ecology.

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Athletics Sports Day 4259

Top throw leaves College records in a spin

Armani Lemalu has spun into the College record books, breaking the school’s intermediate discus record with a 51.85m throw – a huge gain on the previous 45.28m – during the two-day Athletics Championships.

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Otago SSE Day Two v OBHS 22

College bowls over Otago BHS

Christ’s College has taken the honours over Otago Boys’ High School (OBHS) in their first Summer Sports Exchange since 2020.

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Dominicblissett 0007

George Rookes rides towards cycling elite

College cycling standout George Rookes has stepped up a gear, finishing an impressive 7th in his first season at the U19 level at the National Mountain Bike Championships.

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday 15 March, 7–8pm

Parent Education Evening with John Quinn — High-performance lessons for better living. Register here.

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