What I often say to some who suggest there is too much pressure on the boys when expectations in the co-curricular and the academic coincide, is drawn from the founder of the Round Square organisation, Kurt Hahn who suggested that ‘there is more in you than you think’. Engagement in the opportunities a Christ’s College education provides, is the key to broadening experience and discovering passion. It is true that at times some boys may falter in the organisational challenge that such involvement demands, but that in itself is a life lesson of particular relevance.
At times, a part of this same conversation moves to the need for compulsion of some activities here at College. This is always a contentious one for parents, boys and staff, but again my sense is that although there might be an easier path, it is appreciated that the school’s expectations are high. Rudyard Kipling expressed this well when he commented… “the tiger chased me up the tree and then I enjoyed the view.”
This term has been a difficult one for schools. Illness and then periods of recovery by both staff and students have affected us in many ways. These disruptions have significantly impacted normal classroom operation, and beyond. We have needed to rely on periods of independent direction in a way that has been very differently challenging to the first two years of the pandemic. The staff have been exceptional as have the boys and I thank them for their commitment to each other and the programme that has continued to move on as one would expect. The two-week term break cannot come soon enough!
Flippers, lycra, sequins, dance numbers, harmonies, drama — for an antidote to winter, flu and Covid, we’re serving up our season of Light at the End of the Tunnel.
It opened last night, and with just two performances to go – tonight, Wednesday 6 July and tomorrow, Thursday 7 July – it’s a musical show you don’t want to miss. The good news is, there are still tickets left, so get yours today.
You can be sure of stand-out performances from the 30 College boys and 30 Rangi Ruru Girls’ School students, in stunning extracts from SIX, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Starlight Express, Grease, The Rocky Horror Show, Hamilton and many more.
Assistant Principal – Boarding and Immerse & Inspire
Head Knocks and Concussion
As is often the case in life, incidents happen that make you aware of weaknesses within systems. A situation unfolded last weekend where one of our boy’s suffered a knock to the head through sport. Protocols were followed as the boy was signed out to his parents on leave and they were notified of the incident. The weakness in the system occurred when the boy returned to the Boarding House on the Sunday evening. The Boarding House staff weren’t made aware of the situation from an adult perspective. In future, can all parents and guardians please let the Boarding House staff know that their son has suffered a head knock or concussion, even if it is minor, so that we can monitor them closely while they are under our care. Thank you.
We have noticed some discrepancies between the College’s expectations of the weekend leave procedure and what is actually taking place by some of our senior boys. Our leave procedure has been created, based upon the guidelines and expectations that we are obligated to meet under the Education Hostels Regulations. As part of the conditions of this Act, we are required to receive permission from the parent/guardian of the College student leaving our Boarding Houses. We are also required to be satisfied with the host of where our students are staying. The Act states that we are obligated to know the “...suitability of the places where, and people with whom, each period of leave is to be spent.” Therefore, please do not be offended if House staff discover that a student has not been supervised by the assigned host. They are, in fact, following the due diligence expected of them.
Once again it has been a busy and challenging Term. However, it has been great that we have seen a lot more of our regular sport and co-curricular experiences return to College life. Thank you for your support of the boys, and for us, in boarding. We know that it is not easy with Covid, and all of the variations of colds and flu circulating just now. Have a great break with your sons. We are looking forward to seeing you all again next term.
Immerse and Inspire breakout day at LAB 5
Our Year 10 boys spent three days at Ministry of Awesome on the LAB 5 Sustainable Entrepreneurship project. It was a chance for the boys to fully engage with the Christ's College Diploma outside of the classroom and academic setting.
I am writing this update, with immense gratitude, from the beautiful campus of St Mark’s School of Texas, which has been hosting the International Boys’ Schools Coalition Annual Conference, with the theme ‘Path to Manhood’.
The conference is a wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals, but also to take stock and reflect on our work as educators of boys. In this sense, the conference has helped to both affirm and inspire me and our Head of English, Chris Waugh (who is here starting his year-long action research project).
The numerous workshops on best practices in teaching aligns with the work we have been undertaking over the past few years. I was particularly heartened by the story of Harrow School’s curriculum review, which led to the implementation of The Harrow Diploma, designed to recognise character and wider learning – a very familiar story. To hear of a school with a 450-year history designing – simultaneously – a like-minded diploma to ours has reinforced the key research of boys’ education that guides our curriculum.
Inspiration has been abundant, and two main ideas from the keynote speakers stand out to share with our community.
The first came from Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult, who talked about boys needing to be helped through the ‘ARC’ to set them up for success. A = Agency, R= Resilience, C= Character. Qualifications and results are, of course, important, but they are not the measure of our young men. Their paths to manhood require that they can have agency of the journey, resilience in the tough times, and the moral character to guide them. We would be remiss as educators if knowledge and content were not coupled with these things, too. I have come away from her talk knowing – and being proud – that so much of what College teaches helps build this.
The other idea came from the Mayor of Dallas, Eric Johnson, who talked about leadership being a generational relay race. The current generation of teachers – the leaders of our boys’ development – are simply holding the baton and we need to train our boys to be the next generation of leaders. By taking them through the ARC, they will be able to carry the baton for the next generation. Any type of leadership is a temporary place holding; doing what we can for the next person to go further is an image that will stay with me as I bring the learning from this conference back to College next term.
It’s fair to say my relationship with sleep hasn’t always been a healthy one. For a long time I believed that less is more, when it came to sleep. I wore it as a Badge of Honour, proud of all that I could achieve with 3-4 hours sleep (not to mention 8-10 cups of coffee a day, but that’s a different blog post!) The “less is more” idea bottomed out in my late twenties and early thirties. It was at this point that I realised my attitude and relationship with sleep needed some work.
So why do so many of us dismiss the importance of sleep so easily? The average person will spend 36% of their life sleeping. If that person lives to 90 years of age, that would be 32 years spent entirely asleep. These numbers would indicate that sleep is indeed important and yet, like me, many of us don’t really give sleep a second thought. When you look at successful people, it is interesting to consider their sleeping habits. Bill Gates went from “pulling all-nighters” to regularly sleeping 7 hours per night. While serving as the President of the United States, Barack Obama routinely slept between 5-7 hours a night. Arianna Huffington, one of the most prominent advocates for work-life balance and getting enough sleep, has 8 hours sleep every night. For Allyson Felix, the only female track and field athlete to ever win six Olympic gold medals, there’s nothing more important to her success than getting a good night’s sleep. To make sure she’s able to recover from her intense training routine, Felix makes sure she gets at least 7-8 hours sleep every day. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has a typical wake up time of 3.30am only sleeping 3-5 hours each night; at the other end of the scale, LeBron James typically sleeps 12 hours a day, waking at 5am after 8-9 hours sleep, and will nap throughout the day.
So, where does that leave us? For our boys, the research shows that 14-17-year-olds need 8-10 hours of sleep each night and yet, in talking with the MINDfit and MANifesto classes, it is very clear that many of our boys are not getting this much sleep daily. Their attitude and notion of sleep is more in keeping with my old thinking, but perhaps a little more balanced, as one of the most regularly asked questions in classes is “how do I sleep more”? This is not an easy question to answer in one blog post. I will be writing a Sleep Series in the coming weeks exploring the science of sleep, teens and sleep, screens and sleep as well as strategies for better sleep.
As we head into the Term 2 holidays, it is a great opportunity for our boys and us to reset. Many boys need time to wind down and sleep. Note the hours your sons are sleeping and talk to them about the quality of the sleep they are having each night. Encourage healthy eating and movement during the day, as these are both contributing factors to a better night’s sleep – as well as puting our devices away at least 30 minutes before sleep. The holidays also provide a great opportunity for a spring clean of the bedroom! Creating an environment where we feel comfortable is also key to a good night’s sleep.
Tēnā koutou katoa, Peace to you all in the name of God.
What complex does this floor plan represent? If I could shade in green the area marked 5, would that help?
If you have attended the Christchurch International Buskers’ Festival in The Cloisters of the Arts Centre, you might have been here. More obviously walking through our campus, you may have been here…
It is, in fact the floor plan of Kirkstall Abbey West Yorkshire – a Cistercian Monastery founded c. 1152 and disestablished during the reign of that disestablisher of monasteries himself, good King Henry VIII. Cistercians are a Religious Order following the rule (way of life) of Benedict of Nursia. The church calls him St Benedict and remembers him on Monday 11 July.
The history of our city is one rinsed thoroughly with Benedictine (not the drink) monasticism. The great religious houses of the British Isles, the colleges of the ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge are Benedictine in layout. In Christchurch, which until the earthquakes purported to boast the single largest grouping of Neo-Gothic architecture outside Europe, we see the Benedictine floor plan continued. The Arts Centre was originally the University – and closely resembles the Cambridge and Oxford Colleges from which some of the settlers came. Christ’s College, as an Anglican institution, was set out and grew along Benedictine lines.
By their nature and design, monasteries are supposed to witness to something other than prim lawns and cloistered walks. The Church, refectory, dormitories, cloisters, and gardens, were designed so that monasteries might be spiritual wells from which the communities about them drew living and life-giving water. St Benedict had more in mind than an appealing vista.
Hospitality – quenching the thirst of others physically and spiritually – are Benedictine traits we at Christ’s College might all look to nurture through service, worship and community engagement.
The Rule of Benedict continues architecturally at least 1500 years after it was first developed. In hospitality might his influence, and that of the One for whom we are named, be as obvious as the buildings about us.
Yours in Christ, Rev. Cameron Pickering
Rev. Bosco Peters appointment
Recently retired College Chaplain Rev. Bosco Peters has been appointed by the Bishop of Christchurch as Priest in Charge of St Michael and All Angels Anglican Church in the central city. He will take up the role from 15 August until a new vicar is appointed.
Rev. Peters spent 24 years supporting the College community, retiring in 2021.
Otto Church and Jasper Moss have produced superb runs at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross-Country Championships and the Regional Cross-Country Team Relay Championships at the Saxton Field Sports Complex in Nelson.
College Hoops Big Night Out at the Commodore Hotel. Fundraising for tiered retractable seating in the Upper West sports centre. Ticket price includes welcome drink, three-course dinner with wine, guest speaker, fundraising auction, and plenty of dancing. Cash bar available. Semi-formal attire.
University of Canterbury (UC) Scholarship webinars
University of Otago Radiation Therapy Information Evening, online
Coleridge Downs Training Farm Open Day, 1pm
Agri-Ventures, two-day field tour
Nelson Aviation Open Day
Lincoln University Open Day, Lincoln, 10am–4pm
Lincoln University – Scholarship presentation, 1–1.45pm
31 July–1 August
Otago Tertiary Open Days, Sunday–Monday
Victoria University, Accommodation Opens
University of Otago, Course Planning, 8.30am, Warren building
UC Scholarship applications close
Waikato University Virtual Open Day
Victoria University of Wellintgon, course planning, 8.30am
University of Otago, course planning, 8.30am, W102
Lincoln University, course planning, 8.30am
University of Auckland Open Day
AUT (Auckland University of Technology) Open Day
Victoria University of Wellintgon, closing date for Scholarships
UC Open Day
UC accommodation applications due
Christ's College CareerWise – new format
All Year 12 and 13 boys should subscribe to the College CareerWise site. Regular posts are put up for News and Events. Click here to subscribe. Hopefully parents are subscribing to this as well.
Career Convos – Architecture
Old Boy Ben Russell talked to Year 12–13 boys interested in studying architecture. He outlined his pathway into architecture, which included study at Ara, Victoria University and Unitec. He emphasised that there is a lot of work required as one works towards gaining a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS). Two further years are required to gain a Master’s degree. Ben emphasised the advantage of experiencing aspects of design and building, such as working on a building site, or in a store working with building products. He gave a good insight into the need to be able to work in a team on larger design projects. He thought it a good idea for anyone interested in architecture to have a look at what Ara has to offer as well as considering other tertiary providers. You can read the full article on our website.
CVs and cover letters
Some boys want help with CVs. In the Year 10 Immerse & Inspire Programme, the boys prepared a simple CV using the MyMahi programme. Christ’s College has put together information on preparing to enter the workforce, which includes templates.
A guide for students, parents and whanau, Thinking about University?
provides information on university entry, application, study, accommodation and scholarships, along with university life, choice and support.
University scholarships for Year 13 students
Boys can start researching the different scholarships available. Most scholarship applications close about 1 September. MoneyHub, a consumer finance website, has published an extensive guide to university scholarships.
Otago University scholarships
Students no longer select a specific scholarship for Otago. They now answer a series of questions, and based on information they provide during the applications assessment proess, the best scholarship fit is discovered. Students will be asked if they wish to be considered for scholarships focussing on specific attributes, such as leadership experience, co-curricular activities or financial and family circumstances, and taha Māori or Pacific Island community involvement. All applications must be completed via eVision. They should also use a personal email when completing eVision. For more information, go to Otago Scholarships.
CCRF – Term 3
The New Zealand Common Confidential Reference Form (CCRF) is an online university accommodation reference form. Students should fill in the form at the same time as they apply to the halls of residence for their chosen university (or universities). They can register for accommodation at several universities on the one form. Once boys have completed and submitted the form, their Housemaster will complete the school’s section of the CCRF. Applications for halls of residence open on 1 August and close on 22 September. Go to the student registration for the CCRF.
The earliest mention of boxing at Christ’s College is in the Games Committee Minute Book in 1881. It was agreed to purchase four sets of boxing gloves, one for each House and one for the dayboys.i
Boxing took place in English Master Robert Jardine Browning’s classroom before a platform was added in 1882 to the first gymnasium, according to Albert John Webb (731).ii
The 1876 gymnasium, with the later addition of the fives courts.
Webb recalled sparring bouts between Browning and Charles Carteret Corfe. The instructor, George Belcher, told the boys that it was a “gentlemanly exercise which taught us to take reverses and not to lose our tempers”.iii
Webb names the original members of the Boxing Club:
William Paul Studholme (717), Hugh Henry Mathias (566), William Herbert Langdown (858), Richard Orme Dixon (715), Harold Rolleston Mathias (624), Thomas Maude (924), Henry Walter Bridge (704), Gilbert Montgomerie Hutton (917), Reginald Fortescue Cook (913), Alfred Henry Williams (742), Albert John Webb (721), Frederick Ansell Tiffen (856), Gordon Maitland (774) and James Stoddart (907).
The second (1886) gymnasium included a floored space at the end of one room for boxing.iv
The 1886 gymnasium and groundsman’s cottage from the river.
By June 1887, boxing was included in the Gymnastic Examination. There were nine exercises: the wall, parallel bars, bridge and ladder, vaulting, elastic ladder, horizontal bar, Indian clubs, rings, and boxing.v
The gymnasium with the boxing ring, 1918–1920. Christ’s College Archives CCPAL21/25/2
In 1890, 60 boys were chosen to demonstrate the gymnastic work that had been achieved during the year. Two boys, who can be identified as Edward Francis Joseph Grigg (1237) and Cecil Cleave Cox (1182), stepped into the ring. Their hitting was straight and clean, and Grigg was judged to slightly have the better of the encounter.vi
In 1908, the Games Committee was obviously concerned about the fitness of the 1st XV for it proposed a boxing class for the team. Two amendments followed, extending the class to the whole of the Upper Club and those not able to box “shall indulge in strenuous training in the gym while the boxing is going on”.vii
In 1908, it was also the first year of competition for the House Cup presented by George Helmore.
The Helmore Challenge Cup, inscribed from 1908–1981.
Won by the Headmaster’s House (School House), points were accumulated by the winners and runners-up in the various weight divisions:vii
7st 6lb and under
Snow beat Barnett i
9 stone and under
Deacon beat Hayter
10st 4lb and under
Norton i beat Haines
Murchison beat Moore i
In 1946, the Arthur Grigg Memorial Cup was boxed for in the 8 stone 12lb and under class.ix
Kenneth John Patrick Cooper’s (5288) name appears first after a close fight with Geoffrey James Stokes (5531). The following year, the result was reversed in the 9 stone 12lb and under class when Stokes gave a “good display of cool judgement and clean hitting”.x
Pewter mugs were instituted in 1953–1954. There were cups for Bantamweight, Lightweight, Light heavyweight, Heavyweight, and the Most Scientific Boxer in the Finals.
Examples of Pewter Mugs. Left, Light Heavyweight, Right, Most Scientific Boxer in the Finals.
Hamilton records that by 1971, Christ’s College was the only school in the South Island that still boxed. The report of the Captain of Boxing, Thomas De Renzy Harman (9977), in 1986 is the last record of a College Boxing Tournament,xi as the sport was discontinued in 1987 on medical advice.xii
The final results were:
Under 6 stone David Macdonald Raymond (10343) defeated Scott Alexander Nimmo (10610)
Under 6st 12lb Thomas John Hazlett (10285) defeated Stephen William Moorhead (10606)
Under 7st 12lb Thomas Haggitt Stronach (10511) defeated Michael William Brandt (10242)
Under 8st 12lb Hamish James Menzies (10001) defeated Paul Richard Crump (10556)
Under 9st 12lb William Michael Paley Oborne (10008) defeated Simon Routledge Dale (10105)
Under 10st 12lb Thomas De Renzy Harman (9977) defeated Jonathon Paul Sinclair Hughes (10146)
Under 11st 12lb Thomas Charles Foster (9963) defeated Alan Wray Wilson (10061)
Open James Edgar Hazlett (10227) defeated Nicholas Bernardus Gerhard Winters (10062)
i. Games Committee Minute Book, June 14th
1881, Number 98.
ii. Webb, ER The workshop building in Christ’s College Register, August 1929, pp106–108.
iii. George Belcher set up an Athletic School in Christchurch that contained a boxing ring. He was described as no stranger to boxing and had taken part in several scientific boxing displays. Lyttelton Times 15 May 1884. See also Christ’s College School List 1850-1950 and Christ’s College Register August 1929.
iv. Christ’s College Sports Register, June 1886. EVH can be identified as Edward Vesey Hamilton (315).
v. Christ’s College Sports Register, June 1887.
vi. Christ’s College Sports Register, April 1891.
vii. Games Committee Minute Book, 3 April 1908, Number 16.
viii. Identifications of the winners and runners-up are: Reginald Nicholas Snow (2154), Geoffrey Michael Fulton Barnett (2305), Jack Mervyn Deacon (2199), Chilton Hayter (2165), Sydney Grantley Norton (2098), Lancelot Nigel Haines (2353), Donald Sinclair Murchison (2183), Douglas Gifford Moore (2215). Deacon, Hayter and Haines all died on active service in 1915.
ix. Arthur Nattle Grigg (2444) was awarded a MC for his actions in WWII. He was gravely wounded when the Brigade HQ at Sidi Azeiz was attacked on 11 November 1941.
x. Christ’s College Register, December 1946, p 174 and Christ’s College Register December, 1947, p284.