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From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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In the second week of Term 2, we are thankful that much of what we have planned across the campus has begun unimpeded by the impact of Covid-19.

However, we have also been affected, with more than 300 students contracting Covid-19, along with a considerable number of staff. We ask that parents advise us – via the Covid-19 email to – if your son has had Covid-19 during the term break, along with the positive test date. This process is ongoing, and consequent to the Ministry of Education notification and our insistence on a safe return to sport for our boys. As with other organisations, an ongoing issue has been staff and students having to isolate with household contacts. While this cannot be avoided, it is a credit to everyone that we continue to make our way forward. Let us hope this continues.

Upper West

It is with great excitement that work is under way on our new sports facility, Upper West. If all goes to plan, we will be using this facility in Term 4 of 2023. However, given the current complexities with building projects, we anticipate Upper West will open at the start of 2024. Here are some images of the new building. Members of our wider community can also view an architect’s model in our reception foyer.

Dr Nick Penney

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Dr Nick Penney to Christ’s College this term for a comprehensive re-emphasis on mindfulness as a part of wellbeing. He will speak to an upcoming Parent Education Evening on Thursday 19 May. (This is a free event, with attendees invited to make a donation to the Mental Health Foundation). To book tickets, please click here. Nick will also hold a session with staff during the term. He will spend a period per week with our Year 9 students throughout Term 2, explaining the science and introducing the practice of mindfulness.

After completing a PhD at the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Queensland, Nick has become a leading proponent of pain management, along with mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). After undertaking extensive training programmes in the United States and Britain, Nick now educates adolescents and adults in overcoming life’s challenges through mindfulness, providing the skills to ‘flow and flourish’ at school and in everyday life. Today, he is one of the most experienced international Mindfulness in Schools Project educators.

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Match day

Staff Darrell Thatcher

Darrell Thatcher
Deputy Principal – Planning & Co-curricular

Christ’s College vs CBHS annual rugby game

This year, the annual Christ’s College vs CBHS rugby game will be held on Friday 27 May at Orangetheory Stadium as a curtain-raiser to the Crusaders vs Queensland Reds game, with kick-off at 4.40pm.

Plan for the day:

  • Normal school routine, finishing at 3.10pm
  • For boys wanting to attend the fixture, buses will leave College at 3.45pm
  • There will be a set seating area for our boys at Orangetheory Stadium. It is a ticketed event and ticket costs will be covered by College, with tickets being issued to the boys when they are on the buses to the game
  • Buses are organised to bring the boys back to school after the game (leaving Orangetheory Stadium about 6pm)
  • Boys will wear blazers and long trousers.

Please note:

  • Normal basketball and hockey matches will also be taking place this evening and take priority for the boys over attendance at the rugby game
  • The match ticket also enables boys to attend the Crusaders vs Reds game. Due to the spacing between the two games, we expect ALL boys to return to College after the College vs CBHS match. They can return for the Crusaders game (under parent responsibility) if they choose
  • Should anyone in the wider community wish to attend the game, they will need to purchase tickets here to the Crusaders match. The parents of boys in the 1st XV will be allocated tickets. Christ's College students will be in the South Stand, so supporters purchasing tickets should select seats in this area
  • Boys will sign up for the game through their Houses this week.
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With kick-off close for the annual Christ's College versus Christchurch Boys' High School game at Orangetheory Stadium, you can grab a College stadium cushion to add an extra layer of comfort for the all-important curtain-raiser to the Crusaders vs Queensland Reds clash.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

Welcome back to Term 2

The move to the Orange setting has meant some welcome changes for boarding, with Houses returning to a more normal state. Parents are welcome to enter our Houses but we ask that you wear masks. Our bubbles for boys have popped, with boys able to move freely around the House and between Houses. At present, mask wearing is optional for students and staff. We reserve the right to change this if large numbers of staff and boys contract Covid-19. We can again host functions, and we know that the boarding community has suffered a lot with the lack of these opportunities. Please watch out for upcoming functions, including boarding drinks before the House singing. Remember to check the College and Boarding calendars for the House Dinners and the House shoots in Term 3.

Stacey James – Richards House

It is my pleasure to announce that we have appointed Stacey James to the new role of Richards House Day Matron/Assistant to the Housemaster.

Stacey joins us from the Red Cross, where she has been managing and training volunteers in the Red Cross refugee resettlement programme. Her career has largely involved staff training and communications. She has three children, aged 24, 16 and 14. Stacey is enjoying getting to know the boys and the Richards House community.

I want to thank Giselle Pasten for all her work while stepping into the Matron role last term.

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

Assessing the right approach to NCEA rules

The boys have started the term with wonderful focus and energy. As I circulate around our classrooms, I can see plenty of productivity, which bodes well for a busy Term 2.

Last week at Assembly, William Bell, as NZQA Principal’s nominee, spoke to Years 11–13 students about NCEA assessment procedures regarding extensions. Last term, we showed leniency in our interpretation of the rules, given that we were all adapting to life with Covid-19 widespread in the community. However, this term we will adhere to policies as we are confident that our rules are manageable with the current health situation. Please note that boys must log their Covid-19 results online with the Ministry of Health ‘My Covid Record’ and that being an isolating household contact is not grounds for extensions. Boys are expected to keep up with their work if at home and well. A summary of medical extension processes – both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19-related – can be viewed via the Schoolbox Parent Portal and/or Student Notices.

At the other end of the spectrum, Year 9s this week will be completing their first trimester of classes. Next Monday, they start their next rotation in the Arts, Humanities, Sciences, and Technologies. The opportunity to engage with new classes and specialist teachers in new subjects is a strength of the College Curriculum. It is an opportunity to explore all College has to offer and discover some potential new interests and passions. I am sure the boys will bring their learnings from Trimester 1 into the new classes in order to start positively and quickly.

Years 10–11 similarly have six-and-a-half weeks left in Semester 1. This will go quickly and it is timely to remind boys in this final push that we are looking at all their work and effort in our judgement of their progress, not just end-of-course assessments. Daily focus is key to making the most of what the courses have to offer. I have every faith that the positive start I have witnessed will continue so that they can do just that.

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Advanced Learning

Staff Emma Bracken 0899 SQ

Emma Bracken
Head of Advanced Learning

Competitive approach to a range of challenges

This term, we have both collaborative and competitive opportunities – appealing to a wide range of interests – available to the boys.

Christchurch Model EU 2022 – 9–10 June

Model EU is open to those who enjoy robust discussion and collaboration with fellow students from across Christchurch. It is held from 9–10 June and set in a relaxed and engaging environment. Years 9–13 students are welcome to attend, with no previous experience or EU knowledge required. The theme of Christchurch Model EU 2022 is ‘News, Fake News and No News – Freedom of Expression and Information in the EU’.

Kiwi Competitions

Test yourself in English, Maths and Science against other Years 9–10 students from around New Zealand. The Kiwi Competitions will be held in the last three weeks of Term 2, with a prize for the top student in each category.

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Wellbeing Education

Staff Caroline Black 6072 SQ

Caroline Black
Director of Wellbeing Education

Helping our young men thrive

I am excited to embark on my new role at College. Having taught English in various roles for the past 20 years, I was drawn to Wellbeing Education when Garth first introduced the work of Dr Lucy Hone and Matthew White to staff in 2016. Since then, this area of study has underpinned my professional learning journey, having recently completed my Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing and now planning to undertake my Master’s Degree in Wellbeing Education.

For decades, boys have been left to find their own way in their emotional and social development. A very clear societal construct, but it is one we, as a school for boys, have been challenging in recent years. Our work this year expands on what has been established at school. We have a strong foundation of wellbeing, and it is now embedded in all aspects of our College life. Looking back at what has been implemented over the past five years is really affirming. Every year, we gain traction in this respect. The introduction of the Years 9–11 MINDfit curriculum this year has built on what started at Years 12–13 with MANifesto. We now have wellbeing education taught across all five year groups, with a natural progression leading to our Graduate Profile.

I believe that by fostering and teaching wellbeing through our curriculum programmes – as well as living wellbeing practices as a community – we can reframe the outdated image of what it is to be a young man in this world. We want our boys to leave College with the emotional and interpersonal skills that enable them to look after themselves, relate well to others and not let internal experiences prevent them from being the best versions of themselves, so that they can move towards living their values and thrive in all aspects of life.

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Health Centre

Nicky Taylor IBW

Nicky Taylor
Health Centre Nurse

Rachel Trengrove IBW

Rachel Trengrove
Health Centre Nurse

Reporting Covid-19 cases

We trust you and your family have enjoyed a refreshing holiday break.

Just a reminder that there are still significant numbers of Covid-19 cases in Canterbury. If your son has had Covid-19 during the school holidays, please report this to This helps us maintain accurate health records. It is also important that all cases are reported using the Covid-19 tracer app to better support the national response, and benefit the wider community.

If your son has had Covid-19 but then becomes unwell at school with the symptoms, he will be required to leave school until he has been symptom-free for 24 hours. This applies to both boarders and dayboys. It is possible to get Covid-19 more than once.

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From the Chapel

Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

Remembrance amid a call for peace

Tēnā koutou katoa,
Christ is risen Alleluia. He is risen indeed Alleluia.

As people of Resurrection, Christians look for signs, and are, in a way, sentinels on the watch tower, scanning for new life and opportunities to express thankfulness, and hopeful in the face of challenge.

Last Friday, the College community gathered for a Service of Remembrance of the Fallen. We will continue to remember those of our community – and all the neighbourhoods and towns of Aotearoa New Zealand – who served and did not return.

Christ’s College Old Boys’ Association President Angus Dysart-Paul gave a fitting and hope-filled address – looking for signs we may not revisit the horror and tragedy of war, but rather live in peace.

At this time – as the world has experienced since the Armistice which brought an end to ‘The War to End all Wars’ – we are not at peace. Christ’s message at the Resurrection is a call to strive for hope and live our lives in peace. May peace rule in our hearts, homes, and world.

This Friday, we surplice (commission) our new Chapel Choristers. These talented, committed boys will lead College in our Sunday worship, which resumes this weekend. We also welcome back singing in Chapel this week, taking precautions with the numbers in the space, and mask wearing. The internet is awash with opinions and remedies for what ails us, yet the evidence is conclusive that communal singing benefits our wellbeing. If, like me, you enjoy it but sing like a chair, it definitely helps us appreciate the talent of those who are gifted.

I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.
Psalm 108:3

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Latest News & Events

Ben Sheat 4

College coach nets top basketball award

Christ’s College Senior A Basketball Coach Ben Sheat has been named Coach of the Year at the Basketball New Zealand Awards.

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ANZAC Service Quad 2022 12

ANZAC service on the Quad

For the first time in three terms the whole College community sang together at today’s service for the Commemoration of the Fallen.

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Bradley Shearer Harvard

It’s Harvard for Brad

Recent Old Boy Bradley Shearer is off to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

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HAGLEY by Oli Aikawa sq

Oli Aikawa’s picture-perfect park scene stars

Year 13 student Oli Aikawa has been awarded The Creators’ Room Scholarship for his colourful oil artwork titled ‘Hagley’.

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Do E awards 2022 21

Boys take Duke of Edinburgh challenge in their stride

Twenty-eight boys have scaled new heights, completing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award tramps in Arthur’s Pass National Park at the start of the school holidays.

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Careers Convos2 Medicine

Different ways to becoming a doctor

Medicine looked very human today when two recent Old Boys and trainee doctors fronted for the latest Career Convos session, outlining how to navigate the path into medical studies.

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Upcoming Events


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

Wednesday 1 June, 7.30pm

Combined Concert with St Margaret’s College, Assembly Hall

Thursday 30 June, 7–9pmParents’ Association House Music Festival, Christchurch Town Hall, Lilburn Auditorium
Tuesday 5 July–Thursday 7 July, 7pmSenior Production – Light at the End of the Tunnel, Assembly Hall
Wednesday 6 July, 7pmParent Education Evening with Paul Dillon, Charles Luney Auditorium, St Margaret’s College
Friday 8 July, 6–9pmParents’ Association Mid-Winter Drinks, Dining Hall

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Staff Chris Sellars

Chris Sellars
Careers Advisor

Upcoming careers dates

17–19 MayUniversity of Auckland Engineering Information Evenings
19 MayUniversity of Melbourne, online webinar, 5.30pm
24 MayLincoln University Information Evening, The Piano, 5pm
26-28 May

Careers Expo

9 JuneAra Open Day
29 JuneVictoria University Information Evening, Christchurch Town Hall
JulyUniversity of Canterbury (UC) Scholarship webinars
31 July – 1 AugustOtago Tertiary Open Day
15 AugustUC Scholarship applications close
9 SeptemberUC Open Day
September (TBC)UC accommodation applications due

Christ's College CareerWise – new format

The Christ’s College careers website, CareerWise, is a rich source of information about all things related to careers. Check out the new site and sign up for weekly alerts by subscribing. From the home page, click on posts to see recent updates.

Otago Tertiary Open Day – date change

The University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic Open Days will now be held from Sunday 31 July – Monday 1 August.


MoneyHub, a consumer finance website, has published various information to help students.

University of Melbourne – Uni Melb 101 Online Webinar for New Zealand students

In mid-May, the University of Melbourne will host an online webinar for Year 13 students. Registration and event details are provided in the link below.

Event name: UniMelb 101 for New Zealand students

Date: Thursday 19 May 2022

Time: 6–7.30pm (NZST)

Location: Online – book now

Careers Expo – 26–28 May

You can view the list of Careers Expo exhibitors, including venue floor plans. Here are some helpful resources to ensure that students make the most of their visit:

Massey University – Future students virtual information evening

19 May, 6pm – register here.

Royal New Zealand Air Force Experience

28 June 2022 at Woodbourne Air Base, Blenheim

During this experience, candidates will tour the Air Force Base, viewing the roles of: Aircraft Systems Technician, Electronic Technician (Aviation), Communications and Information System Technician, Armament Technician and Safety and Surface Technician.

Students will also see the training aircraft, fly an aircraft simulator, set up a military communication suite, and view weapon systems. Apply here to attend.

New Zealand Army Experience

14–15 June 2022 at Waiouru Military Camp, Waiouru

Are you interested in joining the New Zealand Army as an officer, combat specialist or logistics specialist? This experience will expose participants to the initial training period and what it takes to become a member of the New Zealand Army.

During the experience, you will visit a tactical field exercise, tour the Officer Cadet School of New Zealand (Officer Training School), tour the Army Depot (Recruit Training School), experience what it is like to operate in a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV), visit Waiouru Museum, stay in the barracks and eat at the mess, and conduct an army PT session. Apply here to attend.

Note: For both experiences, travel, food and accommodation will be provided. Individuals will be notified if their application has been successful. Applicants must be double vaccinated, comfortable staying overnight, and a minimum of Year 12.

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.

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Christ's College Old Boys' Association

Lizzie Dyer The Quad

Lizzie Dyer
Alumni Manager

10 Houses Gin

We are excited to share our own 10 Houses Gin with the College community. You can read the full story on our website, or buy your own bottle (or bottles). I look forward to enjoying a drink of our new gin with you at one of our upcoming functions.

Members of our Parents’ Association, cocktail designer Sophie Rebbeck and Alumni Manager Lizzie Dyer prepare the 10 Houses Gin cocktails for our Year 9 parent gathering.

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Heartfelt reason for running an ultra-marathon

Old Boys Richard Turpie, left, and Will Duston are on a marathon mission, with Richard running 100 kilometres to raise money to support the journey to a new heart for five-year-old Chase Porter.

Richard aims to raise $25,000 during his mammoth marathon around Hagley Park in Christchurch on Saturday, 4 June, Queen’s Birthday Weekend, and hopes members of the College community will join in. Read more about their mission here.

To support Richard and, most importantly, Chase, please go to:

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Staff Shelley Keach 6322 edited

Shelley Keach
Senior Development Manager

Rowing raffle result

Congratulations to the winners of the rowing raffle draw. A special thank you to our sponsors, rowing families, and everyone who has purchased a ticket. From left, Nick James (representing the rowing parents' group), Blue Henderson (scrutineer) and Executive Principal Garth Wynne.

1st prize: Mason Tolerton

2nd prize: Jan Hales

3rd prize: Katrina Beresford

1st prize: One night’s accommodation and return helicopter transfers from Wanaka for two at the exclusive Minaret Station Alpine Lodge. Includes a multi-course dinner, chef-prepared breakfast, and all beverages. Valued at $7,250
2nd prize: Two nights’ accommodation for two guests, including meals, at Lake Heron Station, scenic plane flight and landing at Milford Sound (or equivalent depending on weather). Valued at $4,200
3rd prize: Four-course dinner for 10, OR four-course dinner for two plus one night’s suite accommodation with breakfast at Otahuna Lodge. Valued at $2,000

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From the Archives

Jane Teal

School House and a mysterious parcel

Recently, the Executive Principal, Garth Wynne, opened a parcel that had no return address. Inside was discovered a crested terracotta ridge tile.i Wrapped around it was a note indicating that it was the result of architectural vandalism of School House in 1981. The practice of acquiring pieces of the ridgeline was known to the archivist, but none had ever been returned. Thank you.

Christ’s College Archives Accession Number 2022/51

A search through the archives photographs quickly found a 1911 image of the ridgeline intact.

School House c 1911. Christ’s College Archives. Lusk Album CCPAL1/47/4

At the time of the 2011 earthquakes, there were only remnants on the ridgeline.

Extract from Earthquake folder/School House & Bricks/80

This photograph shows more clearly that the item that arrived in the parcel was snapped off a larger piece of tile.ii It also shows that there were two types of tiles. The one that arrived in the post is the smaller and less elaborate of the two, so maybe the larger tile was created to produce a decorative effect. It would seem the tiles were locally made, using a template to create the desired shape. We do not have the original specifications for School House. There is no information about which of the many brickmakers in the city and its surrounds are the source.

While searching the Board Minutes for any clues about the ridgeline, some interesting facts about the construction of School House emerged:iii

  • The first tenders were unacceptable and so the architects (CJ Mountfort, JJ Collins and RSD Harman)iiiv had to redraw the plans.
  • The tender of D Scott & Sons was accepted for £9271 and an additional £230 for the east face in stone.v
  • The foundation stone was laid by Lord Plunket on 22 February

Laying the Foundation Stone of School House. Christ’s College Archives C S Thomas Album CCPAL4/10/1

  • It was not a forgone conclusion that the Headmaster would occupy the House. When he indicated his willingness to move, he was formally offered it. He was granted £150 for the move.
  • The final cost of the House increased because there was additional work on the laundry and building a fence.
  • A report on an electric pumping plant for water indicated that there were “radical defects in the construction and pipe laying”. It was solved by laying larger pipes and employing E Ridder at 10/0 per month for oiling it, and “attending to it daily”.

Now, back to the tiles. The archives do not wish to be swamped with tiles – one is enough. However, if anyone has one of those larger, more decorative tiles, then please contact the archives before sending another mysterious package.

i. Thank you to Alec Bruce for supplying the correct name and for his additional comments about local manufacture and decoration.


iii. Christ’s College Board Minutes, various dates 1907–1910

iv. Cyril Julian Mountfort (240), John James Collins (247), Richard Dacre Harman (381)

v. Approximate currency conversion to NZ dollars $1,405,304.70 based on 1910 to 2017 English conversion and then the total to NZ currency.

vi. Sir William Lee Plunket, 5th Baron. Governor of New Zealand 1904–1910

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