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From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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Over the past three years, there has been a naturally negative bias with the impact of the world pandemic on many aspects of our lives. In the educational setting, this period has been very disruptive but one could suggest that, ironically, it has pushed all our boys to become slightly more independent and adaptable – especially as it relates to academic outcomes.

Today, we have 22 teaching staff members absent from school. This is a combination of Winter Tournament Week, a normal part of New Zealand school life that culminates each winter season, and, unfortunately, staff illness, which is a combination of both the normal flu season and expectations regarding the management of Covid-19.

I have just supervised a Year 12 History class studying the My Lai Massacre, a dark chapter in the Vietnam War. The boys went to the learning blog created by their absent teacher and, for the 50 minutes of class time, were independently active. It was normal for them to be self-directed through ‘absent’ teacher instruction using online tools.

Self-reliant students

One of the reasons I believe online learning at College has been so successful is because of the fundamentally high-quality relationships forged between our students and teachers while they are together. However, at the same time, our boys have become more self-reliant and more appreciative of the need that their learning is, ultimately, their responsibility. I have suggested to some parents of Year 13 boys that this generation of leavers may well be the best prepared for the nature of contemporary post-school study because of the school life they have experienced.

For better or worse, Covid-19 has been a part of our lives and for students it has created new opportunities through different challenges. I suppose there is a message here that for every cloud, there may just be a silver lining.

Our Anglican identity

Over the past 18 months, the school has been working towards creating a statement of intent and understanding as it relates to our Anglican identity. Being an Anglican school for all is the key foundation of Christ’s College. The statement can be found here. It provides, for us, the pathway in all that we do.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

Boarding communities gather together

Following the winter sports tournaments this week, much of the term involves the Boarding House communities getting together. First up are the House shoots on Sunday 4 September, followed by the House dinners at the end of Term 3 on Thursday 22 September.

Because of Covid-19, it has been some time since we have been able to hold these events, so they take on a far more important role this year. The wonderful aspect of both events is that the House community of boys, parents, and staff get away together, and have a chance to get to know each other, or catch-up, and, of course, have a laugh.

In the past few years, we have had several staff changes, which make these occasions even more meaningful. You can spend time – in an informal setting – with the people who take care of your boys, and get to know those staff better. As parents, it is also a chance to put names to faces and meet the parents of the fellow boarders you hear about when your son returns home.

My thanks to Kevin Harris, Henry Smith, and Lionel Randall for organising these events. I know that they spend a lot of time behind the scenes arranging these occasions. I also want to thank the families and staff who support the Housemasters in the event organisation – particularly the Bethells in School House and the Dormers in Flower’s House, who are hosting the respective shoots on their properties.

While not everyone will be able to attend, if you can, on behalf of the Boarding community it will be wonderful to have you there. The connections and relationships forged as a community during these events are part of what makes the College Boarding experience so special.

Boarding action

Our boarders have roared into action at Supa Karts in Sydenham. Share in their fun.

Supa Karts 1
Supa Karts 2
Supa Karts 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

Exam experience – making the grade

Next Wednesday, our Years 12–13 students will begin a week of Derived Grade exams. The importance of these exams cannot be overstated. They serve three purposes – to give boys an exam experience prior to the real thing, to act as a checkpoint to let the boys know what they still need to work on, and to provide a Derived Grade, in the case of an emergency.

Points two and three may sound slightly contradictory, but if the boys approach these exams seriously, they are, in fact, complementary. If we draw the analogy to a sports season, we can see how. Many sports teams are away at tournament week – the pinnacle of the season. They have trained all winter to reach their peak but every game along the way is a chance to see where they are at and how they can be even better. The aim at each game is to do their best and apply their skills and, sometimes, in a countback, those games can be the difference in a placing. In the same way, a practice exam may not feel like the test that matters, but it may be the result that is used in cases of illness or unexpected events.

Yet again, we are in an environment in which this last point may be more applicable than ever. Over the last two years, the number of our Derived Grade applications has risen exponentially, so no boy can be complacent. They may not be able to ‘make the tournament’ of final exams and, therefore, turning up to do their best in the coming weeks is not only a learning tool but also a good chance for a backup grade.

The Derived Grade examination timetable is on Schoolbox under ‘Routines’.

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Wellbeing Education

Staff Caroline Black 6072 SQ

Caroline Black
Director of Wellbeing Education

Nutrition & Mental Health with Professor Julia Rucklidge

Wednesday 14 September, 7pm, St Andrew’s College Centennial Chapel

We encourage you to attend an evening with Professor Julia Rucklidge – a clinical psychologist responsible for ground-breaking research that focuses on the role of nutrition in the treatment of mental issues, including ADHD, anxiety, and stress.

Co-author of A Better Brain: Overcome Anxiety, Combat Depression, and Reduce ADHD and Stress with Nutrition, Professor Rucklidge will share her insights into the benefits of a strong nutritional foundation and the ongoing impact on the wellbeing of young people.

Please register here by 9am on Tuesday 13 September.

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    Health Centre

    Nicky Taylor IBW

    Nicky Taylor
    Health Centre Nurse

    Rachel Trengrove IBW

    Rachel Trengrove
    Health Centre Nurse

    School nurses professional development day

    On Friday 19 August, we hosted a professional development day for school nurses at College. Twelve nurses – from a range of Christchurch secondary schools – heard from several presenters who focused on a range of topics relating to nursing within a school environment. It was a very successful and informative day, with positive feedback.

    Asthma management

    As we move into spring – and with asthma management among the development day topics – it is timely to remind parents that if your son suffers from asthma, please ensure he has his prescribed medication and inhaler while at College. It is also a good time to check inhaler expiry dates and perhaps have your son’s asthma and treatment reassessed by your GP.

    Asthma can be exacerbated by changes in the weather and, in spring, pollens and grasses may trigger asthma, affecting normal breathing.

    Please update your son’s medical details and any medication changes via the parent portal on the College website. If your son is a boarder, please update Boarding House staff regarding any changes.

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    From the Chaplain

    Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

    The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

    Our Chapel – full of the Spirit of life

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

    Since our last In Black & White, the College Chapel has been a space where our community has gathered to celebrate and remember. The funeral service for celebrated architect and Old Boy Sir Miles Warren has been a testament to what I see every day – a community of care for one another.

    Our Chapel Choir led the service of thanksgiving, and the entire school respectfully accompanied Sir Miles on his final journey through the College gates, paying tribute with a haka and farewell.

    At the weekend, another Old Boy was married in our Chapel. In the coming weeks, we have a wedding, and a memorial service.

    These events – like waymarks on our journey – remind me that our Chapel is much more than a venue for hire. What makes these events so special is that they take place in a living building – a building where the boys and staff gather, bookending our collegial week together, and on every second Sunday.

    The beautiful architecture is obvious, but the spirit that hovers and moves through these various uses is the Spirit of life. In this way, the prayer, worship, and gathered community of today is what builds the special atmosphere that those who come tomorrow will inhabit. A living, breathing legacy every member of our College community bequeaths to those who will gather in this special place in the days and years to come.

    I am profoundly privileged and grateful to be able to join with the many thousands who have given life to our Chapel. To God be the Glory.

    Yours in Christ,
    Rev. Cameron Pickering

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    Latest News & Events

    Thomson Trophy 1

    Thomson Trophy three-peat for College Basketball

    College’s Senior A Basketball team has won the Thomson Trophy for the third year in a row.

    Read full article
    Cantamath 2

    The points add up for Cantamaths’ teams

    Mathematical brains were firing well when College’s teams fronted for this week’s annual Cantamaths’ competition.

    Read full article
    Instrumental Music Honors ties

    Instrumental Music Honours ties awarded

    Eight Honours ties for music were awarded to students in Assembly today.

    Read full article
    CSS Ski 3

    Weather thwarts skiers at Mt Hutt

    Poor conditions and low visibility impacted badly at the annual Canterbury Secondary School ski championships at Mt Hutt.

    Read full article
    Backpack fundraiser a

    Getting youngsters into sport – it’s in the bag

    Inspired by their passion for sport and their commitment to health and wellbeing, five senior College students have created a business plan to fund the production of robust sports bags – packed with special features – to give to those most in need of support.

    Read full article
    E Pro8 semi final 4

    Gearing up for the EPro8 Senior Challenge

    Four College boys have combined their knowledge of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science to develop outstanding robotic devices at the EPro8 Senior Engineering Challenge.

    Read full article
    Tim Wang 1

    Another fencer triumphs

    Another College fencer has had a sterling competitive season – Tim Wang’s successes were celebrated at assembly with him being presented with three medals.

    Read full article
    House Plays Somes 2474

    Somes House wins again

    For the third year running, Somes House has won the Tothill Cup interhouse Drama Trophy.

    Read full article
    Sir Miles Warren Funeral Service

    Significant man, significant legacy

    With his self-designed buildings all around, Sir Frederick Miles Warren, architect and Old Boy, rounded the quad one final time on Thursday as his hearse made its way to the College gates.

    Read full article

    Upcoming Events


    Thursday 1 September, 6pmCCOBA Melbourne Event.

    Book now.

    Saturday 10 September, 8.15–9.30amYear 9 Father & Son Breakfast, Dining Hall – NEW DATE.

    Book now.

    Friday 30 September, 12 noonCCOBA Golf Tournament.

    Book now.

    Wednesday 19 October, 10amCCOBA 65, 66, 75 & 76 Years On Reunion and Gentlemen's Lunch.

    Book now – 65 & 66 Years On; 75 & 76 Years On; Gentlemen's Lunch

    Thursday 27 October, 10.30–11.30amBoarding Mothers' Morning Tea.

    Book now.

    Monday 31 October, 5pmNelson Community Visit, The Boathouse.

    Book now.

    Tuesday 1 November, 6pmBlenheim Community Visit, Raupo Cafe.

    Book now.

    Monday 7 November, 6pmAshburton Community Visit, Somerset Grocer.

    Book now.

    Tuesday 15 November, 6pmWanaka Community Visit, Bistro Gentil.

    Book now.

    Tuesday 10 January, 6pmLondon Community Visit, The Gherkin.

    Book now.


    Thursday 27 October, 12–2pm

    Parents’ Association Pink Lunch

    Friday 28 October, 4–5.30pm

    Years 12–13 Prize-giving
    Friday 28 October, 6pmLeavers’ Chapel Service
    Saturday 29 October, 7.30–10.30pmYear 11 Semi-Formal
    Thursday 1 December, 4–5.30pmYears 9–11 Prize-giving
    Thursday 1 December, 6pmCarols on the Quad
    Friday 18 November, 12pmCCOBA Christchurch Long Lunch, The Christchurch Club
    Friday 17 – Sunday 19 February 2023CCOBA Reunion Weekend
    Christ’s College
    Sunday 26 February 2023, 10amCCOBA Joe Studholme Car Rally

    Christ’s College

    Saturday 4 March 2023CCOBA Yacht Race


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    Staff Chris Sellars

    Chris Sellars
    Careers Advisor

    Upcoming careers dates

    1 SeptemberUC course planning, 8.30am, Miles Warren Building
    1 SeptemberVictoria University of Wellington, closing date for Scholarships
    5 SeptemberMassey University Information Evening, Rydges Latimer, 5.30pm
    7 SeptemberHall applications and CCRF applications to be completed
    9 SeptemberUC Open Day
    15 SeptemberAccommodation applications due
    Victoria University – halls of residence offers
    Victoria University – enrolments open for 2023 study (course selection)
    10 DecemberUniversity of Otago – deadline to submit subjects for 2023 study

    Christ's College CareerWise

    All Years 11–13 boys – along with parents – are urged to subscribe to the College CareerWise site. Regular posts focus on news and events. Click here to subscribe.

    School subject selection – Term 3

    Boys choosing their 2023 subjects this term can check out these best preparation links to aid their decisions regarding university and polytechnic study. Recently, Ara has been added to the list.

    University of Canterbury – Best prep
    Lincoln University – Best prep
    University of Otago – Best prep
    University of Victoria of Wellington – Best prep
    University of Auckland – Best prep
    Massey University – Best prep
    University of Waikato – Best prep
    Ara – Best prep

    Exam preparation

    Check out the NCEA resources to help attain the best grades and prepare for upcoming internals and externals – resources for NCEA.

    University of Otago – new degrees

    Bachelor of Entrepreneurship
    Enterprises that develop new products and services across every sector of the economy require skills of critical evaluation, communication, and fresh ideas. This degree will suit students who have ideas for new ventures, enjoy flexibility, and have a wide range of interests. Learn more about the Bachelor of Entrepreneurship.

    Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science
    There is a global demand for students to be trained to discover and develop new medicines. This degree prepares students for a career in pharmaceutical and related industries and health-related research careers. Learn more about the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science.

    Victoria University – new BSc major in Space Science

    From 2023, Victoria will offer Space Science as a major in the BSc programme.

    Physics – From 2023, Physics courses at Victoria include Novice-entry Physics, Experimental Physics, Calculus-based Physics.

    Chemistry – From 2023, Chemistry courses at Victoria include Novice-entry Chemistry, Intermediate Chemistry, Chemistry of Life (includes Biology) (new course), Chemistry of Matter, Energy and Environment (new course).

    Ara closing dates

    The application closing dates for Ara programmes are detailed below. For other courses, students need to apply as soon as possible.

    University study – having a Plan B

    As boys leave College, they are generally confident about their study or career decisions. However, some may opt to change direction during their study. For example, we recommend that students who enrol in Health Sciences First Year have an alternative plan in place in case they do not get into their preferred degree programme.

    Further, at a university where about 900 students had enrolled for a Bachelor of Engineering, 200 had moved to a different course within the first two weeks. There are many other options, leading in varied directions. A change is understandable and acceptable.

    StudyLink – student loans and allowances

    If boys intend to apply for a student loan or allowance, they need to register and apply online through StudyLink. As this can take time, it is best to get under way sooner rather than later.

    Student Jobs Guide

    For those looking for a summer job, MoneyHub has produced a Student Jobs Guide, with tips on how to make an application and where to look for work. For more information, go to MoneyHub.

    CATE – Careers and Transition Education NZ

    CATE – the professional organisation of careers advisors – offers a link to access parent resources or you can check out the career topics below:

    The High 5 Career Development Principles
    Gen Z and the World of Work

    Parents' as passengers on their teens career journey

    School Leavers’ Tool Kit

    For information on financial support for tertiary education, moving out of home, taking care of yourself and others, or getting a job, click here.

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      From the Archives

      Jane Teal

      ‘Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable’ – Mark Twain

      This fortnight’s In Black & White is all about statistics. These days it is one of the jobs of the College Registrar to make sure that all the boys who are enrolled at Christ’s College receive a College Number. Then, at the beginning of each year, the number of boys present is converted into the College Roll.

      The archivist then turns the numbers into a graph. It is also possible to drill down even further and see what has been happening to the roll at specific times.

      The Christ’s College Board of Governors was rather worried in the early 1880s about the impact that the opening of Christchurch Boys’ High School (CBHS) would have on its opening on 18 May 1881. It was not in the same location as today, in Riccarton, but just across the road on the corner of Worcester Street and Rolleston Avenue.

      There is little difference in the official College Roll numbers for the two years either side of 1881. However, when the yearly total is plotted against the numbers in the Form Lists for Classics, Divinity, English, and Mathematics at the end of the 1881 year, it is clear that there has been a drop in numbers. This would account for the boys whose names are listed as being at both Christ’s College and Christchurch Boys’ High School in 1881.i Yet, it is a surprisingly small number: 17 out of the 92 names in the 1881 Christchurch Boys’ High School list were at College in the same year, that is 18.47%.

      However, there is an even more interesting statistic and suggests that the Christ’s College Board did not really need to worry. Further analysis shows the same number, that is, 17 out of 92 who began at CBHS were enrolled at Christ’s College in subsequent years. Only one boy, Frederick Stewart Hassal (851), spent 1881 at CBHS having previously been at College from 1879, only to return in 1882 and 1883 to be included in the 1st XI cricket team.

      i Campbell, AT et al 1981. The Years Between. Christchurch Boys’ High School 1881–1981 pp420–421

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