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From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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The unique nature of the College experience cannot be taken for granted and must be nurtured by all who gain benefit from being involved.

A key factor within this relationship is trust. With this understanding, honesty and respect become keys to how we act and behave. If trust breaks down, then the learning experience is compromised and we question the value of the core relationship. It is this ongoing balance of expectation and understanding that impacts on me at various times as we help boys through the journey of adolescence and the same reality, of course, sits within the challenge of parenting.

The alignment between College and parental values/virtues and expectations, too, cannot be taken for granted as dissonance leads to confusion and conflict at times. Then, in this triangle of influence, there is the boy himself who needs to look ahead and make good decisions based on what will bring him to his best in the moment and into the future.

We are fortunate that all we do at College is supported by the simplest expectations and, that is, we communicate between each other with openness based on three core elements of trust, honesty and respect. It is worth a reminder that understandings of how we will live and work alongside each other set our culture and enable us to face our life with security and confidence.

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Staff Darrell Thatcher

Darrell Thatcher
Deputy Principal – Planning & Co-curricular

Notification of Student Absences

With a higher than normal number of boys away from school because of illness, it is important that we are notified of these absences. A reminder to please call the absence line – 03 364 8676 – and leave a message with the following details:

  • Your son’s name
  • Your son’s year group
  • Your son’s House
  • The reason for your son’s absence

As an alternative, you can complete an absence notification form. (You may find this more convenient.) Both notification systems can be found at the top of your Schoolbox page as shown below.

If your son is absent for more than one day, you must notify us daily (unless you have specified in your message the number of days he is intending to be away).

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Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

House Music – it’s a date

Please make a note of Thursday 30 June in your calendars for an evening of House Music. We will meet as a boarding community for drinks and nibbles from 5.30–6.30pm in the Dining Hall. It is a great night and a wonderful chance to catch up with the wider boarding community. Please RSVP for the drinks and nibbles and also secure your FREE House Music seats.

Boarding Facebook page

We have set up a boarding-wide, private Facebook page. It has been created in conjunction with Sarah Davidson (Friends of Boarding), with the aim of a providing a ‘one-stop shop’ platform where events – such as the House Music drinks – will be promoted, school dates can be found and Houses can share their photos. The Schoolbox House pages will be the main points of information and the platform used by House staff to connect with you.

Managing Homesickness – Tune into SchoolTV

As a Housemaster and now overseeing the Boarding Houses, there is one constant for boarding students – homesickness. Children will experience varying degrees of homesickness, no matter their age. Helping your child cope with homesickness starts with acknowledging how they feel, and supporting them as they learn new strategies to make them feel better and enjoy their time at boarding school. I encourage parents to click on SchoolTV to explore the range of resources.

Immerse & Inspire

Following a Covid-19 delay, it has been wonderful to welcome boys and parents of the first Immerse & Inspire group to Jacobs House. The boys have already completed their Adventurous Journey, with thanks to Graeme Christey for all his organisation and time.

During the next three weeks, the boys will get to know each other through their boarding experience and the challenge that brings. They will be guided by me, our new tutor in charge of Immerse & Inspire, Liam O’Leary, and George Blake. It has been great to have Benji Ward and Ben Breitmeyer join us at the Prefects in residence.

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What's for dinner?

View the Dining Hall menu produced by the talented team at Spotless.

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Ngā Miha Mātauranga – Christ’s College Diploma

Arthur Wood 7603 SQ

Arthur Wood
Diploma Awards Co-ordinator

College Diploma update

Tēnā koutou College whānau,

Since our last update at the end of Term 1, we have met College staff and Years 10–11 groups to explain and discuss the bidding process.

The key presentation messages have been:

  • Ngā Miha Mātauranga – College Diploma has been designed to recognise what a College student does in his everyday life.
  • The three award levels:
  1. Black and White – Experience – the College experience
  2. Silver – Initiative – extending oneself
  3. Gold – Impact – impacting on the community
    • The bidding process is the last step. It is the opportunity for boys to put forward what they have done to meet the elements of the Diploma. For example, a student who has been volunteering at an organisation outside school could bid for Community and Service, or if he has been challenging himself as part of this, Discovery and Challenge.

    The bidding is set up through Schoolbox and follows a familiar process that the students already use to submit due work for their academic subjects. We have provided a template to help them through the format of presenting their evidence and an explanation of how this meets Silver or Gold criteria.

    All information discussed and shared with staff and students is accessible through each Years 10 and 11 Ngā Miha Mātauranga College Diploma page. Again, you are encouraged to sit with your son and have him show you his Year Group Page and the Diploma page.

    We are emphasising to the boys that this is a student-driven awards programme. We know parents are keen to support their son, but it is important that this does not extend to doing the work for them. And, more importantly, we want this to be a successful and not a stressful process for the students. Hence the reason we are stressing to the boys that we want to recognise all the activities they currently do at College.

    Our boys are busy young men and will find that most of what they do ‘above and beyond’ will be able to be recognised under the Diploma.

    As always, should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me via email at

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    Curriculum News

    Staff Nicole Billante

    Nicole Billante
    Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

    Purpose to Prep

    In the last curriculum update, I shared the work of the Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research in looking at student motivation and lifelong learning. Our research analyst, Amanda Lester, has recently been reviewing educational literature about best practices with regard to homework. As you may imagine, this is a topic with numerous opinions and even the academics who study this for a living have not reached a consensus.

    However, there are some clear key points, given our context, and these will guide our refreshed Prep Policy. Most importantly, homework for homework’s sake has little educational value. Work set for Prep needs to have a purpose, whether to assess understanding or reinforce a skill done in class. We know from other work on student motivation that having a sense of purpose to learning is important for student engagement. In speaking with a variety of students, they can say why they are set the Prep they are.

    However, a recurring theme in the literature and from the boys is about timing. How much is enough? How much is too much? What should boys do if they don’t have set Prep? How do they manage competing demands of different subjects among busy co-curricular loads?

    The points that stand out in the research – when considering the life of a College student – are around the flexibility needed in Prep. Differentiating options with Prep to allow it to meet the needs of the student – both in terms of academic outcomes and around the competing demands for time – is a key component that we will be focusing on developing as teachers. Also, how a student reinforces learning independently – not relying on a traditional textbook ‘set tasks’, like many of us grew up with – is a development we need to work on with our boys. This will also tie into the work around reading that I will highlight in my next update.

    Educational research is evolving and that means our practice does too, and we look forward to continuing to share how this informs our work.

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    Advanced Learning

    Staff Emma Bracken 0899 SQ

    Emma Bracken
    Head of Advanced Learning

    Thinking ahead – Thriving Minds and Ethics Olympiad

    We have two fantastic opportunities – designed to foster collaboration and critical-thinking skills – open to Years 9–10 students.

    Thriving Minds – 9 August

    Thriving Minds is designed to stimulate discussion and develop students’ thinking skills by addressing a range of relevant, modern-day issues. Students – aged 14 or under – work collaboratively with students from across Christchurch.

    Middle School Ethics Olympiad – 16 November

    Following the success of the Ethics Olympiad in the senior school, we are expanding the programme to include Years 9–10 students (aged 15 or under). The event is competitive yet collaborative and fosters the development of critical-thinking skills. Teams compete in friendly discussion on the ethics of contemporary issues with schools from around the South Island.

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    Wellbeing Education

    Staff Caroline Black 6072 SQ

    Caroline Black
    Director of Wellbeing Education

    Cultivating a culture of gratitude

    Week 5 is the midpoint in another busy term at College. The arrival of the autumn chill combined with more frequent grey days can add a layer of melancholy to our very active lives. Boys are navigating classroom learning with NCEA internals, learning assessments, Diploma check-ins, production rehearsals, sports practices, choir practices, House Music preparation and all within limited daylight hours and often time pressures.

    Personally, I find leaving home in the morning in the dark, and returning home in the evening in the dark, can erode even my abundantly full kete of joy and happiness. So often, it is in these moments that we can feel overwhelmed and, as a Year 10 boy aptly has described it, a little bit “meh”.

    Recognising this in several MINDfit classes this week, I approached these lessons with the need to create moments for gratitude and joy. In one class, this was recognising the need to share in a boy’s enjoyment and passion for basketball. The courage he showed in sharing the emotions he experienced when his favourite team won or lost was an insight for all of us. He was incredibly grateful in being able to watch the last 10 minutes of this game but there was also the gratitude we felt as a collective that we got to know each other a little better and through that created a special memory, but also a moment of joy that we were all able to share in.

    For another class, the need to get outside the classroom led us to go for a walk and share in my favourite pastime, coffee. While the boys indulged in hot chocolates and chai lattes, all devices were away and we engaged in genuine conversations. Yes, the boys were grateful for their hot drinks and I also shared my gratitude that as a group we could have this moment together, talking and laughing over a shared experience, but it was a student who commented: “When we hit challenges this week, we can all think back to this moment drinking hot chocolates together and be grateful.” And that is what it is all about.

    Gratitude is strongly related to our wellbeing and it is very hard to experience wellbeing if we can’t see the good in our lives and gain a sense of satisfaction from these moments.

    Dr Lucy Hone – on School TV – talks about happiness and the role gratitude plays. Paul Tupou-Vea also shares his ideas – on School TV (refer to the video tile How do you bring more gratitude into your family's life? – on how we can bring more gratitude into our daily lives and encourage our children to do the same. Both Dr Lucy Hone and Paul Tupou-Vea talk about creating a language of gratitude that fits with your family culture.

    There is a need to create an environment where, as adults, we model gratitude practices and give space for our children to do the same. For me and my family, this is asking each other around the dinner table what is the best part of our days and sharing what we are grateful for.

    In celebrating the good stuff with each other, we build connections and create moments of happiness to reflect on when times get busy and stressful and cold as the chill southerlies set in.

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    From the Chaplain

    Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

    The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

    God Save the Queen

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

    We return to school this week having enjoyed a long weekend – for many, celebrating the official birthday of our longest-reigning monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Last week in Chapel, we have looked at how the Christian faith has anchored the Queen through an extraordinary 70 years of service. Not everyone is a monarchist, but most agree in the person of Her Majesty there is a constancy and steadfastness to be admired. In the world today of flux, novelty and not a little angst, the reign of Elizabeth stands for something beyond the immediate and material.

    There are many ‘influencers’ for our students. Some are famous for fortune, skill, and/or what they have achieved. While a queen is certainly fortunate, our monarch has been an influence for good in a way she herself has said is based on the teachings of Christ. Thankfully, she has been far too busy to write a book on servant leadership. Stuffy, anachronistic? Whatever the detractors may say, character strengths such as those displayed by the Queen over 70 years point to her legacy as a life lived for others – as Christ himself did, so has she.

    In the course of our regular worship this Sunday, we will celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of The Queen. The Rev. Peter Beck, former Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, is our guest preacher, and our College Warden, and Old Boy, The Right Rev. Dr Peter Carrell, Bishop of Christchurch, will also join us. I extend a warm invitation to parents and caregivers, supporters and friends of the College community to join us at 7pm. Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer exhorts us to pray for the Queen. For me, it is no challenge to do so thankfully.

    Yours in Christ,
    Rev. Cameron Pickering

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    Latest News & Events

    Richard Turpie and Chase

    Heartfelt marathon raises more than $40,000

    Old Boy Richard Turpie (15212) has raised nearly $42,000 after undertaking a marathon mission to support the journey to a new heart for five-year-old Chase Porter.

    Read full article
    Arthur Mahon BLAKE sailing 2

    Setting sail for a better world

    Year 13 student and sailor Arthur Mahon shares his voyage of discovery as a member of a special crew focusing on sailing, marine conservation and environmental protection.

    Read full article
    Career Convos3 Comuputer Science

    Gateway to Computer Science career via Stanford

    Georgia Tech graduate Chris Jung has taken a slight detour, returning to College to share his American university experience with students before heading back to the United States to undertake a Master’s Degree in Computer Science at Stanford.

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    Team Rugby Reunion 70 Years On 2

    Formidable forwards play on – 70 years on

    Seventy years on – and at age 87 – both Tom Tothill (5712) and John Clayton (5652) are back in play for the Christ’s College Rugby Reunion on Friday.

    Read full article
    Honours Tie 1

    Senior Honours Tie – the Right Hon Sir Andrew Tipping

    A former Supreme Court Judge, the Right Hon Sir Andrew Tipping (6706), has been awarded a Senior Honours Tie at Assembly by College Old Boys’ Association President Angus Dysart-Paul.

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    Boarding Dinner 1

    Taste of home at Flower’s House dinner

    Year 12 boarder Joshua Peckitt shares tasty titbits about the evolution of the much lauded Flower’s House Year Group Dinner.

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    Rugby Reunion 14a

    Old Boys team up to kick off Rugby Reunion

    More than 30 former 1st XV players have lined up at College on Friday to celebrate their Rugby heydays during an action-packed reunion, culminating in a sideline seat for the big clash with Christchurch Boys’ High School at Orangetheory Stadium.

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    Upcoming Events


    Thursday 30 June, 7–9pm

    Parents’ Association House Music Festival, Christchurch Town Hall, Lilburn Auditorium
    Book here.

    Tuesday 5 July–Thursday 7 July, 7pmSenior Production – Light at the End of the Tunnel, Assembly Hall.

    Book now.

    Wednesday 6 July, 7pmParent Education and Community Evening with Paul Dillon, Charles Luney Auditorium, St Margaret’s College.
    Book now.
    Friday 8 July, 6–9pmParents’ Association Midwinter Drinks, Dining Hall.
    Book now.
    Monday 25 July, 5.30–7.30pmYear 10 Parent Gathering hosted by the Christ's College Parents' Association.
    Book now.

    Wednesday 3 August, 6pm

    Auckland Community Visit, The Northern Club.

    Book now.

    Thursday 4 August, 7pm

    Centre for Ethics & Spirituality – The Climate Emergency presented by David Newton.
    Book now

    Wednesday 10 August, 6pmHawke’s Bay Community Visit, Brookfields Vineyards.

    Book now.

    Thursday 18 August, 6pmWellington Community Visit combined with Young Old Boys (YOBs) Gathering.

    Book now.


    31 October, 5pm

    Nelson Community Visit, The Boathouse

    1 November, 6pmBlenheim Community Visit, Raupo Cafe
    7 November, 6pmAshburton Community Visit, Somerset Grocer
    15 November, 6pmWanaka Community Visit, Bistro Gentil
    7 January 2023London Community Visit, TBC


    Thursday 21 July, 6pm

    Dunedin Young Old Boys (YOBs) Gathering
    Book now.

    Thursday 4 August, 6pmAuckland Young Old Boys (YOBs) Gathering

    Book now.


    30 September, 12pmCCOBA Golf

    The Christchurch Golf Club

    19 October, 10am

    CCOBA 65, 66, 75 & 76 Years On Reunion and Gentlemen's Lunch
    Christ's College

    18 November, 12pmCCOBA Christchurch Long Lunch

    The Christchurch Club

    7 January 2023London Community Visit
    17 - 19 February 2023CCOBA Reunion Weekend
    Christ’s College

    26 February 2023, 10am

    CCOBA Joe Studholme Car Rally

    Christ’s College

    4 March 2023

    CCOBA Yacht Race


    Read on


    Staff Chris Sellars

    Chris Sellars
    Careers Advisor

    Upcoming careers dates

    9 June

    University of Otago liaison visit, Year 12, OBT, 8.30am

    9 JuneAra Open Day, 3–6pm
    17 JuneWaikato University Open Day, Tauranga campus
    28 JuneUniversity of Auckland Information Evening, online
    29 JuneVictoria University Information Evening, Christchurch Town Hall
    30 JuneUniversity of Otago Information Evening, Addington Events Centre
    JulyUniversity of Canterbury (UC) Scholarship webinars
    5 JulyUniversity of Otago Radiation Therapy Information Evening, online
    10 JulyColeridge Downs Training Farm Open Day, 1pm
    11 JulyAgri-Ventures, two-day field tour
    22 JulyLincoln University Open Day, Lincoln, 10am–4pm
    31 July–1 AugustOtago Tertiary Open Days, Sunday–Monday
    15 AugustUC Scholarship applications close
    17 AugustWaikato University Virtual Open Day
    18 AugustVictoria University, course planning, 8.30am
    25 AugustLincoln University, course planning, 8.30am
    27 AugustUniversity of Auckland Open Day
    27 AugustAUT (Auckland University of Technology) Open Day
    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. For those who have signed up to College CareerWise, I will create a newsletter from published posts.

    Career communication

    Just a reminder that I am also emailing – via Schoolbox – parents about various events that you or your son may be interested in attending.

    Career Convos

    Our Career Convos breakfast sessions are proving very successful, with the 8.30am events on Thursdays suiting both boys and presenters. So far, we have benefited from three sessions: Building & Construction; Medical School entry – University of Sydney and University of Otago; and, most recently, Computer Science and study in the United States. The boys not only learn about people’s journeys, but can contact presenters with queries.

    Careers Expo

    Year 12 boys have enjoyed the recent Career Expo, engaging with exhibitors in areas ranging from universities and polytechnics to trades, defence forces and other tertiary providers. In Year 11, the boys have some ideas about future plans. In Year 12, they undertake more research on courses and, in Year 13, they do course planning with help from universities and polytechnics.

    CVs and cover letters

    Some boys want help with their CVs. In the Year 10 Immerse & Inspire Programme, the boys prepared a simple CV using the MyMahi programme. Christ’s College has put some information on preparing to enter the workforce which includes templates.

    UC Engineering

    Boys studying NCEA Level 3 Calculus – whether in Years 12 or 13 – need to understand the ramifications of entry into the Maths programme at UC for Engineering. EMTH118 Engineering Mathematics 1A requires the following: NCEA Level 3 Mathematics, 14 credits (18 strongly recommended), including the standards Differentiation (91578), and Integration Methods (91579). If they do not have these prerequisites, students must take MATH101 at university. In the past, some Year 12 boys doing NCEA Level 3 Maths have opted not to sit one of these standards.

    Otago REACH

    The REACH Scholarship Programme – hosted by the University of Otago – offers Year 13 Māori students, who aim to have a career in health, the opportunity to spend three nights and days at the Dunedin campus and experience university life first-hand. For further information, visit the Otago REACH website. Applications close on 15 June.

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      From the Archives

      Jane Teal

      The Football Cap

      If you have looked at the photographs of the 1st XV in the College history, you will have noticed that the clothing that is worn has changed over time.i This includes the caps.ii

      The earliest photograph in which caps can be seen is dated 1887, and the earliest cap in the collection can be dated to 1892. It belonged to Arthur Edward Flower (1301). It is plain black velvet with silver braid.

      Arthur Edward Flower’s 1st XV cap [CCCAP/15 1999/63]

      The next step in the evolution of the cap is the addition of the dates played in the 1st XV. They first appeared in photographs in 1894. However, this photograph of the 1895 team showed a tradition that endured for many years – the captain did not wear his cap in the photograph.

      That did not mean that the captain did not possess one. This cap belonged to CCM Ollivier (1560), who was captain in both 1895 and 1896.

      Cecil Claude Morton Ollivier’s 1st XV cap [CCCPA/16 :1999/64]

      The next question to be answered is when was the metallic tassel added to the cap? The short answer to that is 1922. IM Ollivier (3481), son of the 1895 and 1896 captain, wore this cap when he was in the 1st XV in 1927.

      Ian Morton Ollivier’s 1st XV Cap [CCCAP/29: 1999/69]

      Black and white photographs make it difficult to clarify exactly when the tassel and the braid became cream cotton. The Archives Collection does not have any items between 1943 and 1947, when the change has clearly occurred.

      1947 1st XV

      David James Bransgrove’s (5180) 1947 1st XV cap [CCCAP/69: 1997/19]

      Today, the short peak that has always characterised the Christ’s College 1st XV cap remains, but the tassel and braiding has become white. There are two ways in which a player can earn his cap. Either by making eight starts for the 1st XV team and this can be in one year or over several years. The cap is presented on the day he makes his 8th start. Or a Year 13 student who has made four starts and eight other appearances off the bench (over any number of years) will receive his cap before the last game of the season.iii

      Current 1st XV cap [CCCAP/101: 2007/34]

      i. See Hamilton, D. G 1996. College! A History of Christ’s College. Christ’s College Board of Governors; Teal, F.J. 2006. Photographs – what can they tell us? in College 33, pp60-62

      ii. There has been a change in the use of the word football over the years. Originally, it was used to describe the game that became rugby. Today, it refers to the game that was formerly known as soccer.

      iii. Porter, N. 2022

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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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