With the change in our approach to Covid-19 confirmed by the Prime Minister on Monday afternoon, we can all pause to reflect on how the next steps seem to be taking us towards a new normal which may feel a lot like 2019. It is easy to be complacent and so I encourage our community to be conscious of what is still best practice when it comes to those who are most vulnerable or if a new variant requires us to be ready to act.
Thank you all for your support of all that we have done here at College to support community expectations and, by doing so, be a good ‘corporate citizen’. I know that at times individuals have felt compromised and I respect, despite their reservations, their willingness to act for the greater good. Like you, I hope we are now very much out of the woods.
Following an extremely successful national Winter Tournament Week, last weekend was an eclectic mix of engagement for me and one of the reasons I find my role such a joy. Saturday began with the Year 9 Father & Son Breakfast and concluded with the annual alumni clash for our basketballers. On Sunday, I visited the Flower’s House claybird shoot for the first time and then caught the entertainment of our Senior Theatresports team that afternoon in the regional final. Seeing so many boys (and families) engaged with the opportunities provided by the school has been rewarding and encouraging for all that we hope to achieve in all that we do.
Staying on the ball with Upper West
By way of an update, I am pleased to let everyone know that Upper West – our new, multi-functional sports centre – is progressing well. Despite having lost a few days because of the weather, it has been wonderful to see plenty of action on the site. The final part of this multi-generational project will be the refurbishment of the Upper playing precinct. It is our aspiration that this will become a world-class facility, available all-year round consequent of significant works as to the turf quality and its surroundings. With this in mind, you can view drawings here of what is envisaged. The extent to which this can be achieved will rely on fundraising, which will be the focus of our 2022 Annual Giving Day on 24 November.
More details will follow in the next few months.
The demand for places at Christ’s College continues to climb, and we will be interviewing siblings of present students – for 2024 entry – in November this year. If you have not enrolled your son, please make immediate contact with our Admissions Registrar, Sarah Fechney.
If your son does not plan to return to College in 2023, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know by the end of Week 1, Term 4. Later notice will likely incur fees for Term 1, 2023.
Assistant Principal – Boarding and Immerse & Inspire
Child safety at College
At College, child safety/protection is our top priority, along with student wellbeing/hauora. We aspire to create an environment in which students are protected from abuse.
In 2022, we established a constructive working relationship with Child Matters and engaged the organisation to conduct a rigorous audit of our child safety practices. The Child Matters audit report has been given to us and we have been working to implement all its recommendations.
Here is the key recommendation:
All staff – both teaching and non-teaching – need to receive comprehensive child safety training and this will be refreshed regularly. We have engaged a Child Matters expert to provide child safety training for Housemasters, matrons, counsellors, and nurses in Term 2. All other staff will be trained on 14 October this year. I also provide training, in consultation with Child Matters, to all staff who join the boarding team during the year.
Training focuses on identifying and responding to child abuse. Abuse can include physical, sexual, neglect, and emotional.
Our ultimate aim is to create a safe environment for students at College by educating staff.
As part of a trial programme initiated by our Librarian, Emma Stilwell, College boarders will be able to get library cards to Christchurch City Libraries, enabling boys to access the array of opportunities at Tūranga. They will also be able to order audiobooks and eBooks, and take out library books. However, boys will incur replacement fees if any books are lost. We will trial this initiative with Richards House students.
Just a reminder that Housemasters are placing all key information on their House Schoolbox pages and this is the first point of contact.
See what our boarders have been up to over the past few weeks.
We are reaching the final day of our Derived Grade exams for Years 12–13. Boys will begin to receive their results through Schoolbox and a summary of the week’s grades will be posted under Academic Reports at the end of term. The time left in class is minimal and boys need to heed the message of these exams. They all need to rest and recharge during the three-week break. However, they must also consider if their results are the best they can be, and what they need to focus on between now and November. The answer to that will determine where the balance lies between relaxation and revision in the coming weeks. If in doubt, seeking teacher guidance is always their starting point.
Sharing our NCEA journey
Last week, we hosted senior leaders from a North Island boys’ school who have decided to cease NCEA Level 1 in 2024. They want to speak to schools that have already made this decision. It is the sixth school this year that has asked to learn more about the Christ’s College Diploma. As part of our commitment to leading teaching and learning in New Zealand, we are always happy to share our journey.
It is a testament to the strong educational foundations that underpin the Diploma that fellow educators from private and public, single-sex and co-ed schools have reached out after reviewing our online material as they have identified the focus on learning over assessment and the clear intention of empowering our boys in this process. Many schools have talked about our use of learning progressions and the part this plays in developing a growth mindset towards learning.
Continual improvement is at the core of our teaching and learning philosophy and we continue to refine our curriculum. While we learn and grow based on student and parent feedback, these discussions have reminded me of how far we have come, and to see through others’ eyes the ways in which we have been successful in our desired outcomes.
Another element that has reinforced our right path with the Diploma is the queries this week from boys about their Academic Engagement element of Ngā Miha Mātauranga.
Schoolbox has enhanced the functions we use for tracking the Diploma. As such, we were able to award the first ‘progress badge’ last week. This indicates where their IPGs – to date – place boys in the Black & White, Silver, and Gold areas, and it has certainly helped focus several boys on expectations around attention in class.
As Academic Engagement is based on a rolling average of Effort and Respect IPGs across the two years of the Diploma, boys are able to reflect and easily reach the highest levels with improvement in these areas. (This is also why Year 11s are only required to reach Silver Academic Engagement for either a Silver or Gold Diploma as they have fewer IPG entries to lift their averages.) The goal of this element is to ensure that boys are developing good work habits and trying their best to focus and participate in learning. Now that we have the means to provide feedback, I am confident this is a tool to guide them in this development.
As Ngā Miha Mātauranga is translated to ‘the fronds of knowledge’, Academic Engagement is the main frond from which all other parts of holistic engagement can flourish and unfurl.
Sleep remains a prominent topic of class discussion in MINDfit and MANifesto. While we all know that sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our bodies, it still seems to be the aspect of our lives that we are willing to compromise on.
Students have found learning about the science of sleep enlightening and helpful in terms of understanding their own sleep cycles and patterns. Our brains do not simply switch off when we are sleeping. Instead, a host of incredible processes takes place. Our brains are able to do this by moving through a series of sleep stages or cycles which run 90–110 minutes throughout the night. Each sleep cycle includes light sleep (N1 and N2), deep sleep (N3), and dreaming sleep (R or REM). While we are constantly learning more about sleep and the impact it has on us, it is thought that during deep sleep, our bodies physically repair and regenerate. This is also where our rangatahi (young people) produce hormones to help them grow.
Most of us will wake at least four to five times every night but we are conscious so briefly that we often think we have slept through the night. Interestingly, how we feel the moment we wake up has more to do with the stage of sleep we have awoken from rather than our length or quality of sleep.
Learning about the sleep cycles has provided a platform for class discussions and a means of reflection for students to consider how they are sleeping. One of the most important elements is highlighting to students that sleep is a spectrum and what works for one person may not work for someone else. What is not helpful to our wellbeing is to stress about getting the recommended number of hours of sleep, as there can be huge variation in sleep needs.
In the coming weeks, we will explore tips and tricks for a more restful sleep as well as things that may have an unhealthy impact on our sleep.
If you’d like to hear 300 student voices singing en masse, plan to attend the 2022 Encore Independent Schools Choral Festival tonight, Wednesday 14 September in the Assembly Hall.
Everyone’s welcome at 7pm to hear Years 7–11 choristers from College, Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, St Margaret’s College, St Andrew’s College, Selwyn House and The Cathedral Grammar School in a return of this fantastic choral festival.
Hay fever (mate hei) – an inflammation of the lining of the nose and eyes because of an allergy – is common in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Also known as allergic rhinitis, it is caused when cells in the lining of your nose and eyes come into contact with an allergen, and histamine is released causing inflammation. The most common trigger is grass pollen. However, other allergens can also cause hay fever.
Seasonal – Symptoms at certain times of the year, e.g. spring, when wind-borne pollen is prevalent.
Perennial – Symptoms at any time, with dust mites and domestic pets the common causes.
Symptoms – These can be annoying and may include sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, watery, itchy, red and puffy eyes, an itchy throat, mouth or nose, blocked, itchy or aching ears, an irritated or itchy throat, loss of smell, a headache, and lethargy and fatigue.
Management – Avoid allergens, if possible.
Treatment – Medicines and allergen immunotherapy (AIT).
If your son suffers from hay fever, medicines to treat and/or help prevent the condition are available from your doctor or pharmacy. These can reduce symptoms and may include antihistamines such as Loratadine or Cetirizine, antihistamine nasal sprays, medicated or non-medicated eye drops and combination products such as an antihistamine and a decongestant.
If your son requires any of these medicines, please ensure that he takes the recommended/prescribed dose for the best results.
Tēnā koutou katoa. Peace to you all in the name of God.
We rose on Friday to the sad news from Balmoral of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Since then, there has been widespread coverage, and reflection on what the Queen has meant to many, and who she was as a servant leader. By her own admission, she leant heavily on – and was inspired by – Christ.
Our Chapel on Friday reflected the sudden shock of the news, where – standing to – the Years 9–11 boys were read the press release from Buckingham Palace. Plainly and with dignity, it reported the passing of the Queen. During a time of silence, the Chapel bell tolled seven times – once for each decade of Her Majesty’s remarkable and steadfast reign. We concluded with our national anthem and the commendation to God’s keeping of all who grieve at this time.
Several boys returned after the service to acknowledge what this significant moment meant to them. Across our Diocese, several parishes and The Transitional Cathedral will offer opportunities for reflection and memorial. The details can be found here.
As a community, I am pleased we came together earlier this year to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty with a special Choral Evensong. Our Chapel is our fulcrum in celebration and sorrow, with the former illuminating the latter at times like these.
While I never met the Queen, for me, and many others, there was something familial in my reaction to her passing. I think we did know who we had before she was gone.
May God grant those who grieve consolation, and, to us all, the peace, unity, and concord exemplified in the person of our late Sovereign Lady, who modelled herself on Christ – whose name we bear.
Old Boy Michael Donaldson (13848) has won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Nonfiction Or Reality Programme at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles for his work on Peter Jackson’s documentary, "The Beatles: Get Back".
Year 10 students Ryan Gu, James Johnson, David Wayne, and Noah Williams have successfully navigated the EPro8 Challenge to secure a top-three finish in the junior regional inter-school science and engineering competition.
James Kelly is following in his farmer father’s footsteps, having gained a select spot at the Smedley Station and Cadet Training Farm in Hawke’s Bay. Along with Year 13 student – and fellow boarder – Hamish Grigg, James will start a fully funded, two-year agricultural cadetship in January next year.
Hall applications and CCRF applications to be completed
Accommodation applications due
Victoria University – halls of residence offers
Victoria University – enrolments open for 2023 study (course selection)
University 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.
University of Canterbury (UC) Open Day
The recent UC Open Day proved popular and extremely useful, with boys required to register for information sessions. I attended the following sessions: Software Engineering and Computer Science; Mathematics, Statistics, Data Science; Bachelor of Music; and Bachelor of Product Design (Industrial). There were excellent static and hands-on displays in the different departments. I found the Engineering Department particularly interesting. I encourage all boys to attend Open Days “to try before you buy”. There have also been excellent Open Days at Lincoln University and Ara while Open Days at Otago, Victoria and Auckland have been well attended. It is worth considering all options.
University of Otago information
4–7 October – Notification of halls and scholarships for 2023
23 October (approx) – $800–$1500 payment required for hall deposit
10 October – Apply to StudyLink for student loans and allowances
November – Apply for “free fees” on the website
November – Boys need to sit external exams, regardless of credits already gained
10 December – Must have submitted subjects for study in 2023
1 February (approx) – Further accommodation payment, $4000–$8000
10 February – Tuition fees required
18 February – Travel to Otago
20 February – O Week
24 February – Preliminary lectures
Mainfreight – Summer Work Experience Programme
Mainfreight offers a paid Summer Work Experience Programme for people seeking practical skills and opportunities. This can lead to a new career and may suit those studying Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Mathematics or Statistics. For more information, go to the Mainfreight website to apply.
University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne liaison team recently visited College to talk to Years 11–12 students, aware that some Year 13 boys had travelled to Victoria for the Open Day. Among the presentation points, all boys need to take Level 3 English, and, for those wanting to study either Biomedicine, or Science or Commerce, they must take Mathematics Calculus at Level 3. The university does not accept other English-rich subjects from Level 3.
Students can take a three-year undergraduate degree and, in some cases, complete a graduate degree leading to professional careers.
Architecture – Bachelor of Design (major in architecture), leading to Master of Architecture (two years), leading to architect.
Law – Any undergraduate degree, leading to Juris Doctor (three years), leading to lawyer.
Medicine – Any undergraduate degree, leading to Doctor of Medicine (four years), leading to doctor.
College Diploma Year 11
College will hold a six-day, career-focused programme for Year 11 students in the last two weeks of Term 4. It will include visits to Lincoln University, Ara, and UC, along with industry site visits and guest speakers at College. It is a great way to end their 2022 Diploma programme, in readiness for Year 12.
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.
Check out the NCEA resources to help attain the best grades and prepare for upcoming internals and externals – resources for NCEA.
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.
When Christ’s College officially obtained a portion of the Government Domain in 1857i, the first changes to the land were buildings. Buildings that would house classrooms and accommodation for boarders and staff. There appears to have been little immediate concern about out-of-classroom activities as there were Raven’s Paddock and Hagley Park nearby for these to take place. Christ’s College was indeed the school in the country.
In 1862, Silas James Stedman (130), a member of the Games Committee, proposed: “That the town surveyor be respectfully requested to come & look over the ground, & see what would be the best plan of setting to work on it.” This motion lapsed for want of a seconder.
Meanwhile, it appears that the Headmaster, Reginald Broughton, had built a shed and pigsty in the area, because on 29 December 1864, he asked the Board for permission to remove them prior to his leaving College.
Five years later, in 1869, the Games Committee agreed that a portion of the land that had been used to tether horses was levelled and sown with grass seed for a football ground.ii In 1870, a further portion behind the schoolroom was levelled, and it was proposed to borrow £50 for the job. Throughout 1871–1879, there is the occasional mention of grass and gorse being cut, as well as a record that a 5/- penalty would be paid for any horse loose on the paddock.iii
Searching for clear evidence for when the paddock was first used for school events is not easily forthcoming. The programme for the Annual Sports held on Michaelmas Day (29 September) 1868 indicates that after the main races had been held at the United Cricket Club Ground in the morning, the fives matches, round swing jump, high jump and long jump were held at the College in the afternoon. The complete Athletic Sports in October 1871 were definitely held at College.iv
Exactly when footballv matches were first played on the paddock is also not clear. The Chairmen who wrote up the minutes of the Games Committee were not expecting the future to need this information. There is the added complication that there was also a “College Ground” in Hagley Park.
A search of the newspapers mentions the “Old College Ground” in 1872 in respect to a game of cricket, so there was clearly a known differentiation by this date.vi
The first definitive description of the College ground, as it is today, was in the Lyttelton Times in June 1876.
“The College ground, though rather small, is well adapted for football, as it is perfectly level and of a sandy formation. There is consequently no mud, but the inconvenience of wet grass cannot be avoided, and it was felt in the present occasion.”vii
The present occasion was the loss by the Christchurch Football Club in its black and red colours to College’s black and white by 5–0.
The often-repeated involvement of Herbert Brown and the whole College in 1877 with their shovels and wheelbarrows levelling the ground and planting willow sticks on the bank does not appear until the 1921 4th Edition of the School List.viii However, a photograph of the high jump in the 1877 sports shows that at least a portion of the ground had been cleared.
The photograph below from 1878ix coincides with a decision of the Games Committee to accept Napier’s tender of £13.10.0 to “lay down the ground at the top of the paddock”,x as well as a unanimous decision “not to play on the Square”xi and a negative response to the Christchurch Football Club request to be allowed to practice on the College ground after 4pm.xii
More definite clues about the use of the ground appear in 1880, for on 2 April it was agreed not only that football would start on 5 April, but also that a new set of goal posts would be ordered. On this same date there is the first mention of the Upper Football Club. The Committee decided to get five footballs, two small ones for the Lower Club and three large ones for the Upper Club.xiii
That did not yet signal a change of name. On 6 April 1881, 40 loads of earth at 1/6 per load were ordered for the paddock.xiv In 1883 and 1884, further references were made to having the grass on the paddock cutxv and, as late as April 1936, there is a photograph of cricket on “the Paddock”.xvi
The first use of the terms Upper and Lower may date back further than football. In 1862, the Lower Cricket Club played the Caledonian Clubxvii and again in 1873 when they played a team from Charles Turrell’s school.xviii Surprisingly, there is no written record of an Upper Club.xix By 1869, the terms were applied to divisions within Mathematics and then regularly used to split large classes at the same level.
Can there be a definitive date when the “Paddock” became Upper? Not really. In the same way the ground was colloquially known as the “Paddock”, so it gradually became known colloquially as “Upper”.
i See http://www.nzlii.org/nz/legis/hist_act/cca192819gv1928n1435.pdf and https://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Heritage/Digitised/Ordinances/Ordinances_238-246.pdf ii Games Committee minutes 15 June 1869 and July 16 1869 iii Games Committee Minutes 4 April 1873, 30 March 1874, 25 Feb 1879, 3 February 1880 iv Annual Sports Programme for 1868, Webb Scrapbook, page 13; Annual Sports Programme for 1871 Games Committee Minute Book opposite entry 134 v The term football is used in this article to refer to both the Christ’s College Game and to the game that evolved into rugby. vi Press 27 January 1872 vii Lyttelton Times 12 June 1876. The College Team are not all named in the Lyttelton Times account that provided few initials, so it has been extrapolated that the team included Henry Duncan Crawford (454), William Varnham Millton (362), Frank Nelson Robinson (484), Richard Malone Hamilton (365), Arthur Edgar Gravenor Rhodes (341), John Mortimer Davie (364), FitzGerald George Westenra (404), James Strickland Field (415), John Dothie Millton (363), Herbert Brown (413) viii The School List of the Christ’s College Grammar School from 1850–1921 4th edition p331 ix The date because the building that would ultimately become Selwyn is under construction. x Games Committee Minutes April 16 and April 19 1879. xi Games Committee Minutes June 14, 1878 xii Games Committee Minutes July 8 1878. xiii The Games Committee used the terms Upper and Lower club to refer to cricket teams in the previous meeting 23 February 1880 xiv Games Committee Minutes 6 April 1881 xv Games Committee Minutes 5 February 1883, 22 April 1884 xvi Christ’s College Register April 1936 opp page 240 xvii Cricket Scorebook CCSB/1/1 xviii Lyttelton Times 18 February 1873 xix The term Upper Club was used at Eton to refer to the 1st XI