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From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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As the term concludes, we reflect on the unusualness of it all as school life has unfolded. New Zealand has been navigating the uncharted and College has been part of that in our own unique way.

We can be pleased with all we have achieved in the knowledge that it is not a preferred path and one we have been forced to follow, yet our capacity to cope has been admirable. My thanks to all within the community who have adapted to our differing expectations – from classroom to playing field.

I would particularly like to acknowledge some special subsets within our community.

Our new boys and teachers – supported by older boys and experienced colleagues – have been introduced to the school in masks, and that has not been easy, yet there has been positivity and acceptance and a genuine appreciation of all that College is. Our boarding community – led by Assistant Principal Ben Vink – has dealt with ‘living with Covid-19’ in spades, yet has managed to keep so many boys and staff safe, well and in good spirits amid waves of illness and changing expectations. Our Health Centre staff, Rachel Trengrove and Nicky Taylor, have adapted to a different pace and set of expectations in a manner that has been appreciated by so many.

As has been my way of managing these shifting sands of Covid-19, we will play next term’s reality as late as possible, given imminent decisions by the Government. With this in mind, I ask boys and parents, and all members of our community, to check their inbox in the last week of our term break for any updates regarding timings, events and the like for our return.

We can look forward with a great deal of satisfaction, given that we have recently managed so much, so well. Our confidence in accepting and dealing with what comes next is not misplaced. Any term break allows for a change of pace for all connected with school communities and is a blessing valued by those in the education sector. For our boys, families and staff, I encourage a focus on self as we ‘recharge’ for our return.

Return to College Sport Guidelines

As boys return to College sport and training following Covid-19 infection, we ask that they take a gradual approach to physical activity before returning to play. Our Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Kris Miller, has created the Return to College Sport Guidelines for reference. A link to the guidelines – along with more details – is provided below in this In Black & White issue. I strongly recommend that you take the time to read the guidelines.

Parent Education Evening with Dr Nick Penney

I am pleased to announce our upcoming Parent Education Evening with mindfulness specialist Dr Nick Penney on Thursday, 19 May at 7pm. Dr Penney will explore the science and practice of mindfulness in the pursuit of wellbeing. Please click here to register. In Term 2, Dr Penney will also be teaching mindfulness, particularly in Year 9, and working with our staff.

Year 9 Parent Gathering

Hosted by the Christ’s College Parents’ Association, we hope to hold a special Year 9 Parent Gathering, should circumstances allow. This is a ‘save the date’ notice to join us for drinks and canapés on Sunday 1 May from 4–6pm in the Chapman Room and Upper. Please dress warmly and register here. Event confirmation will follow in the last week of the school holidays.

Individual and House photos

This week, your son will bring home his individual and House photos. For those students who are away, the photos will be available from the boys’ Housemasters on their return to school.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

Benefits of influenza vaccination

I realise that we still are thinking about Covid-19 and dealing with the impact of the pandemic. However, as your son heads home for the holidays, we ask that you arrange his flu vaccination while he is home. While this is not compulsory, medical experts have highlighted concerns that New Zealand will be heavily affected by influenza this season. If we can lessen the potential impact on our boarding community by getting the boys vaccinated, that will greatly benefit all boarders. We will also offer a vaccination clinic with The Christchurch Doctors early in Term 2. However, we would prefer that the boys were vaccinated at home by their GPs.

Queen’s Birthday weekend

Queen’s Birthday weekend – from 4–6 June – is an Exeat weekend, meaning that all boys must leave their Houses by 12pm on Saturday 4 June. Houses will reopen on Monday 6 June at 12pm. Any boys unable to return home or to family and friends will move to Jacobs House for the weekend.

Enjoy the holiday break

It has been a disrupted and exhausting term for all of us. I know that several boys have spent a lot more time with their families in isolation than anticipated. Thank you for supporting the boarding community staff. Enjoy a good break – outside isolation – with your families and, hopefully, we can see you all in person at various events throughout next term.

Here's a snapshot of some of our fun activities this term.

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Ziplining 6
Ziplining 7
Ziplining 3

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

Parent feedback integral to best outcomes

It has been great to hear from so many parents about the constructive dialogues via our Years 12–13 students/parent/teacher interviews. Years 10–11 parents will have received their interview booking links for this Friday while Year 9 parent interviews will take place early in Term 2. As educators, we highly value these conversations as we know that feedback is core to improving student outcomes. By including parents, all mechanisms can work together to support our boys’ growth and success. Thank you for being part of these important meetings. We will seek formal feedback in coming weeks.

No classes on Friday

A reminder to all boys and parents and caregivers that there are no classes on Friday 8 April because of our virtual Years 10–11 Christ's College Diploma parent/teacher/student meetings.

Focus on MINDfit

I am fortunate to teach several new MINDfit (aka Wellbeing) classes this year. The focus on the connection between learning, growth, and success has been a key point over the past few lessons and has been particularly timely as boys discover what Learning Progressions mean. I have asked our curriculum leader in this area, and our future Director of Wellbeing Education, Caroline Black, to expand on this important focus with our wider community (see below). We have also shared a short video about Learning Progressions – created for the boys – on Schoolbox.

Caroline Black – growth mindset

American psychologist Carol Dweck’s research into growth mindset is a fundamental element of our MINDfit and MANifesto curricula. The idea that our skills and talents can be developed through focus and effort – that they are not fixed – is something we want to instil in our students. In doing this, we create a school ethos that embraces a love of learning and a resilience that are essential for learning development and achievement.

The shift from NCEA achievement terms to Learning Progressions has provided much discussion in my Years 10–11 MINDfit classes and it is this curiosity from the boys that demonstrates their own love of learning and desire to grow as learners.

The Learning Progressions within the Christ’s College Diploma have been developed to reflect each boy’s learning journey. All journeys take time and can involve easy straights, hidden corners, challenging climbs and speedy downhill runs. Our Learning Progressions are the embodiment of a growth mindset and designed to engage students in their individual learning journey, as well as cultivate the mindset that their skills and talents can be developed through effort, clear learning steps and feedback.

The goal is to grow boys’ learning and understanding, stage by stage. Learning is not linear and, like most journeys, we can find ourselves on different paths from where we started. At times, we can also find ourselves pausing or revisiting a moment. These moments hold value. By showing students that all learning contributes to their growth, we aim to instil work habits and a mindset that prepares them better for NCEA and beyond.

The Learning Progressions outline the skills demonstrated at each learning stage. They also show the path to the next stage and provide information on how to take the next step. This reinforces the concept that learning is a journey, a progression of steps and stages where, ultimately, we end up at the assessment point. However, we all take different paths to get there. With learning the goal – rather than A, M or E – students understand that they can grow as learners and that effort makes them stronger, challenges are opportunities to develop and that life is about life-long learning.

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Wellbeing & Positive Education

John Quinn IBW

John Quinn
Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education

Oscars put banter and beliefs in spotlight

The news always gives us a good opportunity to talk to our children about how they perceive what is happening, and their beliefs. Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine have certainly dominated our news and discussions recently.

However, the recent Oscars gave us some major discussion points with our young men following the situation that unfolded on live TV. Many of you would have seen the incident where actor Will Smith slapped host Chris Rock after he made a joke about Smith’s wife and her health condition, alopecia. This has raised many discussion points that allow you to explore what has happened and your children’s response.

Social media has exploded with everyone having an opinion on who is in the right and who is in the wrong. We don’t want to leave our young people to form their opinions and beliefs via social media.

Over dinner, having a discussion about the issues this raises can help ensure that your children, and, particularly, our young men, have clear values and beliefs around banter, jokes and violence.

Ask your children:

  • What is OK to joke about and what is crossing the line, as many of our young men blur this?
  • How can you defend your family without using violence?
  • Is violence OK at any time?
  • How could Will Smith have reacted in another way to get his point across?
  • Who was in the right? Was there a right or wrong?

This also gives you a chance to discuss managing conflict and managing themselves, even when they do not agree with what has happened.

Meanwhile, I hope you have a great holiday break and enjoy some family time.

I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts and insight over the years, and look forward to welcoming Caroline Black to the role of Director of Wellbeing Education next term.

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From the Chapel

Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

Courage to remain steadfast in our belief

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

With only a few days of term remaining, some will entertain thoughts of holidays. For Christians around the world, thoughts turn to Holy Week and solemn liturgical services underscoring the theological truths that culminate in the Great Vigil of Easter, the new light, and the feast of Easter Sunday.

We read of the countenance of Jesus leading into what we now call Holy Week: “When the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.”

What it meant for Jesus to “steadfastly set his face” to that ancient holy city can resonate down the centuries as we – as individuals and communities – turn to face that which we know (at least, in part) lies ahead of us. We call this courage. Courage will certainly be required in coming months in facing the reality of the national and global world.

At present, war in Ukraine – where the powerful ‘Pilates’ and temple authorities of the present age are being stood up to by the sons and daughters of carpenters – is an awful reminder that Caesar’s realm is not the realm we were fashioned to be subjects of.

We pray for an end to aggression and killing, and for the lives which have been destroyed. We pray, too, for an ever-deeper understanding of our own selves, and those parts of our nature that can be seduced by violent and discordant voices that wish to separate us from the love of God – and our better, truer and more virtuous nature.

Thousands of kilometres away – though shocked, wishful and compassionate – that prayer for our own transformation is the prayer which will take the most courage. We take heart from Christ who, once steadfastly resolved, was to overcome death itself.

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Latest News & Events

Career Convos 1 Building Construction 3 with logo

Career Convos offers a first step on the workplace ladder

College has launched the Career Convos series with a breakfast session on the construction industry featuring Naylor Love Project Manager Tom Pyatt and Quantity Surveyor Sud Sharma.

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College defends shield, takes 1st XI cricket title

College has won the Two-Day Cup Competition following a draw in the annual 1st XI cricket fixture against Christchurch Boys’ High School (CBHS).

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Christ’s College crews race to Maadi medals

Two College crews have lined up in the U18 coxed eight Maadi Cup A Final at Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel on Saturday, with the top boat finishing second in the premier rowing event.

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Graham Duston 2 sky replacement with logo

Hockey ethos attracts Synergy

Hockey enjoys a high profile at Christ’s College and this season it will be teaming up with Synergy Investments in a partnership celebrating youth, vitality, energy and drive.

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Upcoming Events


Sunday 1 May, 4–6pm

Parents’ Association Year 9 Parent Gathering. Register here.

Thursday 19 May, 7–8pmParent Education Evening with Dr Nick Penney – The science and practice of mindfulness in the pursuit of wellbeing. Register here.
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Staff Shelley Keach 6322 edited

Shelley Keach
Senior Development Manager


Calling all Drama lovers

We are looking for College sponsors to support our Drama programme.

If you want to be involved, we need sponsors to help deliver the best in production, design, direction and performance so that we can continue to showcase our talented boys and highly regarded musicals, plays and drama.

In return, we offer significant branding opportunities on signage and in production programmes, as well as during live performances, along with a high 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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Staff Kris Miller 0766 SQ

Kris Miller
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach

Return to College Sport Guidelines

As boys return to College sport and training following Covid-19 infection, they must observe five phases of gradual physical activity and training before returning to play.

This phased timeline represents the minimum requirements for all boys as they prepare – post-illness – to return to training in their sport.

Progress through the following phases must only occur if a boy has fully recovered from activity completed in the previous phase, and does not experience new or further symptoms.

At all times, boys must follow medical advice and stop all activity if feeling unwell.

Boys must self-monitor their health daily to track their progress and watch for symptoms.

Phase 1: A 10-day recovery, which must include a seven-day, symptom-free period prior to moving to Phase 2. At Phase 1, general daily activities and short walks may be undertaken.

Phase 2: Following the seven-day, symptom-free period, boys can introduce low-intensity activity, such as walking, running, cycling, bodyweight strengthening (push-ups, planks, squats), yoga or Pilates, starting with 15-minute sessions and building to 20 minutes.

Phase 3: At day 10, symptom free, boys can gradually increase the length of physical activity, starting at 30 minutes and building up to 45 minutes. Introduce low-intensity, sport-specific skills, and return to restricted training.

Phase 4: At day 12, symptom free, boys can start to increase the intensity of physical activity, gradually working towards pre-Covid-19 training levels. Participate in normal training sessions but monitor the intensity and modify participation, when required. The duration can increase up to 60 minutes.

Phase 5: At day 14, symptom free, boys can return to full participation in normal training.

Return to play should follow once a boy has met the specific training requirements of his sport and team.

Please note that the time frame is indicative, and some boys will require longer periods in each phase before returning fully to activities.

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Staff Chris Sellars

Chris Sellars
Careers Advisor

Career Convos – medicine matters and health sciences

College will host its second Career Convos session this Thursday morning, with two medical students – and Old Boys – sharing their experiences at the University of Sydney and the University of Otago, along with their pathways into medicine.

Both speakers will also answer any questions regarding their journeys during the session in the Jacobs House Leadership Lounge.

The sessions are open to students from Years 11–13. Can parents please remind their sons to email Careers Advisor Chris Sellars at or text 027 268 9437 if the boys wish to attend the 8.30am breakfast session.

The Career Convos sessions give boys the chance to learn more about potential careers across a range of vocations, hear directly from professionals, develop important connections and discover the best ways to start their career journey.

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Upcoming careers dates

4 AprilVictoria University of Wellington, Year 13, 1.05pm
7 AprilCareer Convos – Health Sciences/Medicine
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.

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 available 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.

AUT – Health Sciences degrees changes

From 2022, all offers of places for undergraduate Health Sciences degrees at AUT Auckland will be made into the endorsed pathway of the BHSc programme. All students will be enrolled in the same four courses, known as ‘intermediate semester’. During this semester, students can apply for a place in a specific programme pathway.

University of Melbourne ­– UniMelb 101 online information sessions

The UniMelb 101 online information sessions are designed for students considering moving to Melbourne for study. Each session covers the Melbourne curriculum, accommodation options, exchange and internship opportunities, entry requirements and scholarships, and the special entry access scheme, Access Melbourne. Plus, students will hear from current Melbourne students.

UniMelb 101 for New Zealand students will be held on Thursday, 19 May 2022, from 6–7.30pm – UniMelb 101 for NZ students

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.

MoneyHub – Money in a Nutshell guide

Money in a Nutshell is designed to give students the tools and information to develop a great relationship with money. For more information, go to the MoneyHub website.

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

More Digitisation

Over the summer holidays, another batch of photographs was taken next door to New Zealand Micrographic Services for digitisation. This overhead scanning process, which creates both .tif masters and .jpg access files, will ensure the longevity of the visual images.

The choir was one of the groups that was included. So, we now have photographs, but a lack of names. Please look at these photographs for 1943, 1953, 1963, and 1973 and see if you can recognise yourself or a member of your family.

Contact the archivist,, with any clues as boys can be traced from trebles to bass, and everything in between, over time and, therefore, in other photographs.


This photo includes Music Master RH O’Donel Davis and College Chaplain Rev. OW Williams in the front row.


This photograph includes Music Master Robert (Bob) Field-Dodgson, the College Chaplain, Rev. POC Edwards, and Tommy Tothill in the seated front row.


This photograph includes Robert (Bob) Field Dodgson, and the College Chaplain, Rev. IJ Botting, in the front row.


This photograph includes Robert (Bob) Field-Dodgson and the Chaplain, Rev. IJ Botting, seated in the front row.

For those of you who have an interest in matters historical and millinery, it is fascinating to know that the surplice was originally a garment designed to cover the furs worn in freezing churches by clergy.i The photographs above show a variety of surplices with, and without, gathering at the yoke, as well as degrees of gathering. The construction of the sleeve also varies.

The cassock, originally outdoor wear, was prescribed by the 1604 Canon LXXIV (74)ii as appropriate wear for clergy and has regularly been worn by choirs. However, one mystery remains – when did the Christ’s College Choir first wear red cassocks?

i. from the Old French “surpeliz” and from the Medieval Latin “superpellicium” where super is “over” and pellicium “fur garment” from pellis “skin”

ii. See ”Decency in Apparel enjoyned to Ministers”

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