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From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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Since the beginning of term, I have been conducting enrolment conversations with families who hope to enter College next year. This is the final phase for many families of a process that began some years ago. These 20-minute interviews – this year being conducted online rather than in-person – reveal so much about what boys are interested in and what parents value in education for their son(s).

The boys are all about friendship and fun. When asked “What was your favourite part of school today?”, the most popular answer falls to playing and/or learning with friends – be that at lunchtime or in the classroom. They talk of doing things, being active and ‘hanging out’. When asked “Why College?”, they simply reply with ”more opportunities to do stuff, be active and hang out”. These boys have lives full of activity in families who seem to be genuinely finding ways to enjoy life in a New Zealand sort of way – outside and into it.

Parents are, of course, a little more circumspect. It has been encouraging over the years to see how most parents have let their sons speak to their own aspirations. Few now seem to feel the need to tell me of their son’s ‘credentials’ but rather let their boy speak for himself. Some, I can see, find themselves surprised by the answers but always with genuine love and concern. It is this love that always comes through the parents’ expectations of a College experience. They want their sons to be known and loved at school and enabled to grow in a caring and nurturing environment. Their son’s health and wellbeing through the journey of adolescence are the highest priority and they see College as a lead partner in achieving that outcome.

I sense, quite rightly, that they know our academic programme will be ‘first amongst equals’ and our co-curricular programme comprehensive and well-conducted and that our ‘classrooms’ will be leading edge. At times, they ask about specific elements, but it is the culture of the school where their interest most lies, for they are first and foremost looking for a school that will see their son happy (most of the time) and, therefore, able to learn (most of the time).

I am fortunate in these conversations to be able to lean on our College mission and our faith-inspired core virtues. The clarity of our culture speaks to our structure of support for our students. I am also able to reinforce how secondary school is such a time of growth in identity for each boy and how we, the school, promises to walk alongside parents as 13 turns into 18 in the ‘blink of an eye’.

As I look into the eyes of the College of the future – through these conversations – I am both excited by the energy and enthusiasm of the young people and motivated by the trust and expectation that lie inherent with the next step.

Christ’s College Old Boys’ Association and Christ’s College Parents’ Association transitions

In recent years, College has never been more closely aligned with two of its key stakeholder groups, the Christ’s College Old Boys’ Association (CCOBA) and the Christ’s College Parents’ Association (CCPA). Both organisations have recently conducted their annual general meetings where this alignment in purpose has been celebrated and further embraced. The past few pandemic years have challenged the connection and actions of both organisations, yet both have continued to thrive as they have served the needs of their members and supported College as the primary part of their stated purpose.

I take this opportunity to particularly thank immediate past Presidents Richard Polson (CCOBA) and Catherine McClean (CCPA), who have both been such wonderful servants in their leadership. They have, like us all, been forced to compromise plans at times but have always responded with such positivity, knowing that ‘this too shall pass’. As I farewell and celebrate the contributions of Richard and Catherine, I thank their committees for their exceptional work over the past two years and wish both the new Presidents, Angus Dysart-Paul and Megan Lamberg, well.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

Adaptable approach to boarding life

Once again, I would like to thank you as a boarding parent community for the way you have supported our staff throughout the Covid-19 Omicron wave. It has been pleasing that we have had little spread from student to student within our boarding community. Rather, it has primarily been students bringing the virus in from outside the community. We have relaxed the ‘bubble’ system utilised in Phase 2. However, the students have often maintained it as they have seen the value.

Staffing of the Houses has been challenging as staff contract Covid-19, while others have had to go into isolation as family members or flatmates have contracted the virus. I want to thank our staff for their adaptability and willingness. You may have spoken with unfamiliar voices on the House duty phones as staff move from House to House. We have also trained our non-residential tutors so that they can help when needed. They have done a wonderful job of filling the gaps in the evenings and weekends.

We will continue to provide updates so that you have advanced warning of any decisions. For example, we explained to School House last week that we would be unable to operate the House on a Saturday night because we were down to one staff member. In the end, that did not need to happen. However, like everyone around the country, we need to be adaptable.

Zipping into adventure

On a positive note, our boarders were still able to get out and about at the weekend, enjoying a day of ziplining at the Christchurch Adventure Park. Enjoy the photos.

Ziplining 1
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Ziplining 4
Ziplining 6

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

Boys step up despite trying times

It would be fair to say that this has been a trying period for some students as we work through this Covid-19 Omicron outbreak. Many boys have been sick or have had to isolate as household contacts and this is naturally disruptive to their learning. We have been very fortunate that few staff have been affected, but week-long absences of teachers can also be unsettling for students.

Despite this, the boys are doing a fantastic job at prioritising what they can and making the most of their learning. I am very proud of their approach to their schooling. I am thankful that, at present, we have been able to operate as normal as possible in this environment. And I am grateful for the whole school community supporting each other to make this happen.

Learning Logs continue to be our main mechanisms for students to keep up. If boys have not had to use them yet, we encourage them to ensure that they are aware of how to find them in case they are away from school in the coming weeks.

And, among all the changes caused by Covid-19, we are also navigating our changes in Years 10–11 with the Christ’s College Diploma. Now that classes have started, all boys have been updated on the non-academic elements and further information for you as parents is provided below. We will be working with the boys on the ‘bidding’ process (how they apply for their awards) throughout next term and are excited to see how their current commitments reflect Ngā Miha Mātauranga.

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Ngā Miha Mātauranga – Christ’s College Diploma

Arthur Wood 7603 SQ

Arthur Wood
Diploma Awards Co-ordinator

Christs College Diploma Master Diagram RGB screen

The start of this year has heralded the exciting launch of the Christ’s College Diploma – Ngā Miha Mātauranga, with the academic change well received by Years 10–11 boys.

In terms of the six non-academic elements – Character and Leadership, Community and Service, Discovery and Challenge, Global Citizenship, Sustainable Future, and Taha Māori – we met the Years 10–11 boys to provide an overview of Ngā Miha Mātauranga. We explained that their first priority was academic engagement, so we would not push any other Diploma messaging in the first four weeks so that they could settle into College.

Launching Schoolbox pages

Over the past two weeks, we have gathered the boys in small groups to explain the Schoolbox launch of the Christ’s College Diploma page for students, and the individual year group pages. We urge you to sit down with your son so that he can show you his year group page and the College Diploma page. There, your son can find the requirements for each level within the six non-academic elements. The examples for each element are just that, examples. We encourage boys to consider any present activities that fit the spirit of each.

Your son can access this page through each of the Year 10 and Year 11 Diploma pages.

Explaining levels

As a student-driven awards programme, parents are encouraged to support their sons but not do their work. We want this to be a successful process, and not stressful for the boys. That is why we emphasise that we want to recognise all their current College activities.

Diploma levels:

  • Black and White – Experience – Embracing the College experience
  • Silver – Initiative – Extending those College opportunities and oneself
  • Gold – Impact – Having a wider impact on the community.

Our boys are busy and will find that most of what they already do ‘above and beyond’ can be recognised under the College Diploma. Now, the exciting challenge begins.

If you have any queries, please contact me via email at

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Wellbeing & Positive Education

John Quinn IBW

John Quinn
Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education

BTB – be better than before

Finding purpose and meaning to life is something that we often do not spend a lot of time thinking about or putting a value on. It often takes something to happen in our lives – or in the world – for us to stop, pause and reflect on what is actually important. Often, when we do this, we do it for a few days and then get back to our normal.

As we come out of the pandemic, we often hear that everyone is looking forward to “going back to normal”. However, what if the old normal was not that good? What is the rush to go back to normal when we can go forward to something that is better than before?

In a sporting context, we often use BTB – better than before – and I think this is something that we can all reflect on as we move along the traffic light system. What will “better than before” look like for you and your family?

Take some time to really reflect on:

  • What is actually important to you?
  • What have you learnt from the challenges of the past few years to be able to live your “best life”?
  • What does this mean for your family, your relationships, and your work?
  • What do you need to be focusing your attention and energy on now?
  • What are your children learning from you about what is actually important?

These are great reflections for you and your family to start unpacking what is important. Whatever that is – are we putting our energy and focus into these?

Parent Education Evening

In case you missed the Parent Education Evening – High-performance lessons for better living – presented by John Quinn, here is a link to the presentation.

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From the Chapel

Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

A place of salam (peace) and aroha for all

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

In settling into the role of College Chaplain this term, I have been greatly assisted on many levels by our Chapel Prefects, Harry Vincent and Yusef Elnahas. This week, Yusef – College’s first Muslim Chapel Prefect – reflects three years on from the 2019 Mosque attacks.

Assalamu alaikum,

March 15 2019, our city was shaken from normality in a span of 19 painful minutes. Tragically, the lives of 51 peaceful worshippers were taken as they attended Friday prayers – the victims coming from all walks of life in the Muslim community.

What soon followed was a wave of unity and solidarity shown by the people of Ōtautahi. Messages saying ‘Kia Kaha Christchurch!’ and ‘We are one’. These and other tributes made are a show of support for peace and prosperity for everyone – no matter what race, colour or creed. Three years have come and gone, yet shows of the same hatred have struck communities elsewhere in the world, showing that in order to fight the hate and division that attacks like March 15 seek to sow, we need to go further than simply acknowledging diversity.

The saying is true that every act of hatred should be met with love, but perhaps this love could not have been explained better than by Farid Ahmed, a survivor of the attacks who tragically lost his wife at An-Nur Mosque in Deans Avenue. At a remembrance event held two weeks after the fateful day, he delivered an impassioned speech, which he concluded by saying, “This is Christchurch city, called ‘Garden city’. In a garden, we see different types of flowers standing together in peace, but together they make a beautiful garden. I may come from one culture and one faith, you may come from another culture and faith. But together we are a beautiful garden”.

The words ‘assalamu alaikum’ make up the standard Arabic greeting for Muslims and Christians alike. It translates in English to ‘peace be upon you’. The message of peaceful co-existence in the greeting, which can be used at any time of the day, reflects Farid Ahmed’s words and tell us that to be a more united community and a sanctum of peace, we need to not just acknowledge the different languages and cultures in our society, but embrace and celebrate our multiculturalism. As we remember the legacies of the 51 Muslim Kiwis we lost, we honour them by marching together towards a better world – a place of salam (peace) and aroha for all.

Ko tātou tātou, assalamu alaikum

Yusef Elnahas

JA13 Y Elna Ja 39244 3097
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Latest News & Events

Informatics Olylmpiad Bruce Chen

Bruce Chen secures Olympiad spot

Bruce Chen has been selected for New Zealand’s International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) team for the second successive year.

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HA13 I Heap H 38953 3017

Isaac Heap wins Biology Olympiad Camp place

Isaac Heap has been selected to attend the Biology Olympiad Camp in April in Dunedin – one of only 26 students chosen from across the country and the recipient of a Silver Award.

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South Island Secondary School Rowing Champs 2022

Medal haul for College rowers

College has claimed eight medals at the South Island Secondary School Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel.

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Jani King rowing sponsor fb

Rowing committee steers clean, green approach

College’s rowing parents committee is embarking on an inclusive environmental policy designed to ensure everyone connected with the sport is aware “that every little bit counts”.

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Michael Endres chamber music 1

Masterclass for College trio

Renowned pianist Professor Michael Endres has been working at Christ’s College today with one of our chamber music groups – featuring Joshua Hooker, Ryan Gu and Jasmine Hooker – on its Mendelssohn Piano Trio.

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Staff Shelley Keach 6322 edited

Shelley Keach
Senior Development Manager

Winter sports sponsorship banner 1a

Calling all sponsors

We are looking for College sponsors to support our winter sports teams and Drama productions.

If you want to be involved, we are looking for winter sports sponsors and supporters for upcoming productions. We offer significant branding opportunities on clothing and signage throughout the winter sports season, and in programmes for productions, 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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Staff Chris Sellars

Chris Sellars
Careers Advisor

Upcoming careers dates

4 AprilVictoria University of Wellington, Year 13, 1.05pm
MayUniversity of Canterbury Information Evenings
26 May

Careers Expo

29 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.

Know your computer degrees

There are key differences between three computing areas:

Computer Engineering (CE) – Designing, developing, and operating computer systems (hardware and processors).
Concentrates on digital hardware devices and computers, and the software that controls them. In contrast to CS and SE, Computer Engineering emphasises solving problems in digital hardware and at the hardware-software interface.

Computer Science (CS) – Understanding, designing, and developing programmes and computers.
Concentrates on data, data transformation, algorithms and specialised programming techniques. Less structured than Computer or Software Engineering, giving students more flexibility to build depth or breadth in a variety of application domains or in the fundamentals of Computer Science.

Software Engineering (SE) – Building and maintaining software systems.
Greater emphasis on large software applications than Computer Engineering. More applied than Computer Science, placing greater emphasis on the entire software development process, from idea to final product. Also, more disciplined than Computer Science, applying more systematic practices to help ensure that products are reliable and safe.

Otago Tertiary Open Day

University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic Open Days are held on Sunday and Monday, 29–30 May. There is still space on the bus for Year 13 boys. Boys cannot drive their own vehicles to Dunedin, but parents can travel to Dunedin with their sons, independently, if they choose. Anyone interested must contact Mr Sellars.

Career Convos

Building and Construction conversation

Our first Career Convos event – focusing on Building and Construction – will be held this Thursday at 8.30am. College will host many conversations throughout the year with Old Boys or sponsors, covering a range of career options – from medicine and engineering to trades.

This Thursday, representatives from Naylor Love will discuss building and construction, trades, project management, and pre-trade courses. Parents are asked to please remind the boys to notify me at if they plan to attend.

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.

University Scholarships for Year 13 students

MoneyHub, a consumer finance website, has published a guide to scholarships for any student planning to start university in 2023. The comprehensive list includes scholarships offered by every university, as well as those specifically available to local students. Applications close throughout the year. MoneyHub has also published a list of tips for scholarship success. For more details and to find suitable scholarships, visit the MoneyHub Scholarship page.

Experience Ara

Experience the environment of tertiary-level study with hands-on taster days, holiday programmes and workshops in a wide range of subjects at Ara. Events are held throughout the school year and most are free. Click the following link for information and registration – Taster Courses at Ara.

Ara newsletter

You can subscribe to Ara's Youth & Community Fortnightly Newsletter.

Yoobee College of Creative Innovation

Have a look at Yoobee College’s short courses and holiday programmes.

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From the Archives

Jane Teal

Cricket and Rugby teams, 120 years ago

In 1902, the 1st XV and 1st XI went to a studioi to have their photographs taken.ii For the 1st XV, this meant taking a football, carrying their flag, and attaching it to a studio prop that resembled goal posts and putting on their jerseys, shorts, long socks, boots, and caps.

For the 1st XI, it meant taking bats, balls, and wicketkeeper’s pads and gloves to the studio. Team members who had been awarded colours needed to make sure they had their cricket blazer. Everyone took their boots and ties with various stripes. With no studio backdrop, they perched on seats or lay on the same rustic floor covering that appears beneath the boots of the 1st XV.

What happened to these 19 boys in the years that followed?

Many of them were in New Zealand or overseas regiments during World War I.

Alfred Stewart Lindsay (1818), Louis Bruce Stringer (1901), Roger Ingram Dansey (1975), and Drummond Holderness (1648) survived to become, respectively, an insurance inspector, doctor, engineer, and superintendent of the Auckland Harbour Board.

Guy Stanley Overton (1662), George Augustus King (1884), Alfred Wedderburn Bishop (1872), Frederick Andrew Anderson (1695), John Alexander Huntley Holmes (1965), James Home Aitken (1728), and James Wilfrid Crichton (1916) were either killed in action or died of wounds.

Charles Godfrey Cracroft Harper (1751), Bernard Bedingfield Wood (1719), Charles Leslie Orbell (1794), and Sydney Harvey Townend (1772) became farmers. Thomas Overbury Fox (1936) and Charles Waring Somes Saxton (2064) became engineers, Frank Cunningham Fryer (1744) a dentist, and Noel Mackenzie Phillips Gibson (1706) a headmaster.

What of the coaches? John Ulrich (Jock) Collins, who coached the 1st XV, does not appear in this photograph, nor is he named in the accounts of the 1902 games that appear in the September Register of that year.iii He did coach them to a 20–6 win against Christchurch Boys’ High School and 13–12 in College’s favour against Otago Boys’ High School, but lost 0–25 against a heavier Wanganui Collegiate School.

Jock Collins
Jock Collins

On the other hand, Charles Bannerman, the coach of the 1st XI, receives two full pages in the same Register.iv Employed as College’s first exclusive cricket coach, he was a former member of the Australian Cricket XI. He was responsible for not only the improvement in the 1st XI, but also in the 2nd XI and the various junior teams. Local clubs provided the most opposition. However, a win by an innings and 158 runs against Christchurch Boys’ High School was a notable achievement, largely brought about by Harper’s 102 runs and Stringer’s 9 for 39, Harper’s 6 for 27 and Lindsay’s 2 for 32.v

i The name of the studio is not known. There were several photographic studios in Christchurch at this time.

ii Both photographs have been digitised to ensure their longevity. The photograph of the 1st XI has already deteriorated, probably a combination of poor initial fixing and then long exposure to heat and light. The initials and spelling of surnames that appear on the photographs are not necessarily those which appear in full in the School List 1850–1950. The information in the List has been used to clarify information.

iii Christ’s College Register, September 1902 pages 174–184. Collins is named as the coach in the 1850–1950 School List.

iv Christ’s College Register, September 1902 pp 167–169. See also Forbes, M.Z. 2006 (online) Bannerman, Charles (1851-1930) Australian Dictionary of Biography

v Christ’s College Register, December 1902 pages 219–229. See also Press 27 November 1902.

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