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From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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I know everyone associated with schools appreciates that ‘discipline’ is an ongoing, evolving, expected and important element of what we do. Broadly, discipline fits within our understanding, at College, of pastoral care. Given our Christian foundation, this care revolves around our core virtues and is demonstrated in the guidance bestowed on boys by teachers at various times and in different contexts. It is from this premise that one often hears of the ‘teachable moment’.

Boys aged between 13–18 can find themselves being disciplined because of behaviour that compromises the clear expectations of the school. At College, we always focus on the potential of any difficulty to become a teachable moment. In itself, this can be transformative for a boy or indeed, a group of boys. This idea of a teachable moment also applies to other parts of our community as parents, teachers, coaches and the like. Ongoing changes we face, mean we need to take every opportunity to grow and develop in the pursuit of best practice in dealing with that which is often simply described as a ‘discipline matter’. As a school community, learning from our mistakes requires ownership, circumspection and a willingness to do better – not just for ourselves but for others. Powerful within this approach is the strength to forgive, to practise compassion and understanding, and have faith that appropriate interventions will lead to improved outcomes.

Community Engagement

It is definitely the season for College engagement with the community of our school in various parts of the country. Most recently, we have caught up with people in Waimakariri and North Canterbury and, on the weekend, we had the annual CCOBA Yacht Race in Picton. This week, we are off to the Southern Lakes region and Wanaka Show and next week we have our Open Day, the Methven Show and then a boarding sleepover for prospective Year 8 students. It is a vibrant autumnal time for us all!

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Staff Darrell Thatcher

Darrell Thatcher
Deputy Principal – Planning & Co-curricular

Road closures for the NZ Pipe Band Championships – Friday 10 March 2023

With the 2023 NZ Pipe Band Championships featuring a street march on Friday 10 March, roads near Christ’s College will be closed from 1–4pm. You can see the road closures near Christ’s College here.

If you need to collect your son after school on this day, please arrange a meeting place away from the road closures.

Open Day – Tuesday 14 March (change of routine)

This is an important day in our calendar to welcome many families to Christ's College. To accommodate working families and their busy schedules, we have adapted our routine for the day. Please note there is a late start and a late finish, click here for the change of routine.

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Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

Sporting House rivalry

From Head of Boarding Lachie Short:

Over the past two weeks, the Years 9–10 boarders have been competing against each other in House competitions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. So far, we have had boys participating in touch rugby, volleyball, and tug-of-war, with the latter being very popular. The House with the most points in each term will enjoy a pizza shout, acting as an incentive for the boys to get motivated and hyped up. Flower’s House has proved too strong in touch and volleyball so far, but the Richards House Year 9 group has had the better handle on the ropes in our latest round.

It has been a great opportunity for the juniors to promote a sense of House spirit and competitive rivalry between themselves and the other two Houses, as well as being an avenue for boys to interact as a full boarding community in a positive, social environment.

These activities are set to continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the remainder of the year, as the Boarding Committee’s short trial period of games has proved to be successful and a worthwhile initiative. In future, we hope to incorporate other events (such as quizzes or cultural activities) into the evening games to expose the boys to a variety of challenges.

The support from the Housemasters and Heads of Houses, as well as Mr Vink and the Boarding Committee, has been greatly appreciated in helping to get these activities up and running to keep the boys busy and entertained. I hope regular events like these – that bring together Richards, School, and Flower’s – can continue for years to come, as the boarding community is so much better and stronger together.

Check out some of the photos below.

Immerse & Inspire

Last week, College launched Immerse & Inspire 2023. Can parents please check their inboxes and spam folders for correspondence from me. This is the final reminder to let me know of any dates that clash with the Immerse & Inspire programme.

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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

Sound decision on headphones distraction

Many of you will have seen the recent news coverage about boys listening to music in class time. As this was a point of discussion among the boys and the wider community, I felt it appropriate to provide some larger context.

I would like to assure you that there has not been wholesale use of headphones in classrooms during teacher instruction. Simply, at times in class and at teacher discretion, boys might listen to music through headphones during periods of extended individual work, such as essay writing or textbook questions and answers.

This increased during Covid-19 disruptions. Some boys needed to catch up independently or teachers needed to work with parts of a class while the rest got on with tasks.

Our curriculum leaders recently discussed the matter and its impact on the learning environment. I was already aware of the research around the potential negative effects of listening to lyrics while trying to process text and engage in critical thinking, but I kept an open mind to hear the opinion of the teachers. The consensus was that music was a growing distraction for most students. It can be hard to learn the art of writing a fluid argument when you are busy adjusting your playlist. The natural conclusion was to make a clear rule that this was no longer allowed.

There are always exceptions to the rule, such as when students are creating a wonderful piece of art or design. Headphones can serve learning purposes, such as listening tasks in a language class, podcasts or videos used for research, and, of course, in music classes. Many neurodiverse students also have learning strategies that may utilise headphones.

While some boys are disappointed by this decision, we are confident it is the right step in our continual drive to have learning at the forefront for our boys.

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Advanced Learning

Staff Emma Bracken 0899 SQ

Emma Bracken
Head of Advanced Learning

Da Vinci Decathlon

This year, the Advanced Learning department is introducing a New Zealand regional round of the da Vinci Decathlon. This will be hosted by Christ’s College on Tuesday 2 May (Year 9) and Thursday 4 May (Years 10–11). Some of the disciplines covered include Cartography, Science, Poetry, and Art. This is an opportunity for teams to work in groups of eight in a stimulating and challenging competition. Chaos is the theme this year. Sign up will be through Schoolbox.

New Zealand Physics and Mathematics Competition

Registration for the New Zealand Physics and Mathematics Competition will open shortly. This is run through the University of Auckland and the University of Canterbury. The competition aims to encourage and extend students in these subject areas. Open to all year levels. Sign up will be through Schoolbox.

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Wellbeing Education

Staff Caroline Black 6072 SQ

Caroline Black
Director of Wellbeing Education

Our need to belong

Last week, I purchased a school hoodie for my son and daughter, each from their respective schools. It is fair to say that my personal opinion on hoodies is somewhat mixed. When they are new and fitting well, there is definitely an element of comfort that I can appreciate.

Being part of the school ‘kit’, I thought it would be chucked in the sport’s bag for a cold and rainy day. But, to my surprise, both my children appeared wearing said hoodies each evening with casual clothes. Rather than judge, I approached with curiosity and asked them why they were wearing their hoodies out of school time. Both replied that, while they appreciated their formal uniforms, it was the school hoodie that really symbolised to them that they belonged.

Our need to belong is fundamental to us as humans. We have an innate desire to connect with others and form relationships, which provide us with a sense of security, acceptance, and purpose. When we feel a sense of belonging, we are more likely to be happy, healthy, and successful in our lives. This need is not limited to just our families and friends, but it extends to larger groups. At College, this can be the House, our cohorts, and also our wider school community. At its core, belonging represents a deep-seated human need for connection and acceptance, which plays a critical role in shaping our sense of self and overall wellbeing.

One of the primary benefits of belonging is its capacity to foster a positive sense of identity and purpose. When individuals feel that they are part of a group, they are more likely to develop a strong sense of self that is grounded in a shared sense of values, beliefs, and traditions. This can provide a powerful source of motivation and inspiration, fuelling individuals to strive for personal growth and achievement.

Moreover, belonging has a significant impact on our emotional and psychological wellbeing. Research has shown that individuals who feel socially connected and accepted are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. This is because a sense of belonging can provide a buffer against negative emotions and stressors, promoting resilience and adaptive coping strategies.

Beyond its impact on individual wellbeing, belonging also plays a crucial role in fostering collective wellbeing. When we feel that we belong, we are more likely to engage in healthy social behaviours, such as altruism, empathy, and cooperation. This can help to create a culture of mutual support and understanding, which is critical for an environment like school.

I am slowly reconsidering my view on hoodies. There is definitely something that draws our students together when they are wearing them – a collective comfort that clearly symoblises that they belong.

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    From the Chaplain

    Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

    The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

    In praise of the Lord’s Prayer

    Tēnā koutou katoa.

    Lenten greetings to you all.

    In Lent, we have been intentional in our assemblies, and staff meetings – as we are in Chapel services – of praying with the words Jesus himself gave the church. The Lord’s Prayer, Our Father, Te Inoi A Te Ariki, is a short prayer, which, in its few lines, conveys a memorandum of praise, confession, and petition.

    If you have travelled as far as the Trinity of the God of Jesus Christ in your theological wanderings, all to the good. If you are somewhere on the cusp of theism expressed in different terms, then be encouraged to keep travelling. Even if you are an avowed atheist, I still believe there is something in those words of Christ to enlighten your life.

    Petition is an interesting part of prayer. When we ask for something, we do at least two things. We acknowledge our need of the other (we are not self-sufficient), and also become aware as to how we ourselves might better serve the needs of others.

    Classically, we might say prayer does not change God, it changes us. Have we a need to be more forgiving – or forgive in a specific instance? Where in our lives is there still space to help others with the necessities of life, their daily bread?

    The Lord’s Prayer is an almost universal sign and symbol of the Christian witness to truth. Given the various Christian denominations’ inability to agree on whether it should be green milk or blue, it is good to know we have consensus on at least this one taonga of wisdom.

    What might it look like to pray the Lord’s Prayer together as a family, or on your own this Lent?

    May God bless you all this week,

    Yours in Christ,
    The Rev'd Cameron Pickering

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    Latest News & Events

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    Christ’s College claims SI tennis titles

    Christ’s College has won the South Island Secondary Schools (SISS) Tennis Teams Championships and South Island Teams Cup after an unbeaten run at Wilding Park.

    Read full article
    2023 02 rs presentation

    Discovering the wide world of Round Square

    Year 12 student Lucas Maguire has shared details at Assembly of his student exchange to Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School in Western Australia.

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    NZSSO CC musicians

    Christ’s College four pitch perfect for NZSSSO

    Four outstanding Christ’s College musicians feature in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra (NZSSSO) in 2023.

    Read full article
    2023 Do E awards

    Staying the course to win DoE Awards

    Past and present College students have been recognised at Assembly for their Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award achievements.

    Read full article
    2023 pool champions

    School pool champions lap up pressure

    Our pool champions have been recognised at Assembly, with Jordan Astley, Finlay McCullough, Rylind Wheeler, and Jake Boyd taking the College title honours.

    Read full article
    2023 academic awards

    Gold standard in academic excellence

    Outstanding College students have been lauded at the Academic Assembly, with five boys receiving the highest honour – the 2022 Gold Tie.

    Read full article
    2023 08 ash wednesday

    Call to give up social media during Lent

    The Bishop of Christchurch, The Right Reverend Dr Peter Carrell, has spoken at our Ash Wednesday service, highlighting the importance of praying more deeply and giving more generously at this time while also suggesting that the boys give up social media every Wednesday during Lent.

    Read full article

    Upcoming Events


    Thursday 9 March, 6pmSouthern Lakes Community Visit

    Book now.

    Thursday 9 March, 7pmNCEA Information Evening for parents of Years 12–13 students

    Book now.

    Thursday 23 March, 7pmParent Education Evening with Lea Stening – Sports nutrition for teens

    Book now.

    Sunday 26 March, 2pmCCOBA vs College Hockey

    Register here.

    Tuesday 2 May, 6pmAuckland Community Visit

    Register now.

    Tuesday 9 May, 6pmMartinborough Community Visit

    Register now.

    Wednesday 10 May, 6pmWellington Community Visit

    Register now.

    Saturday 20 May, 8amYear 11 Mother and Son Breakfast
    Book now

    Saturday 27 May, 7pm

    A night at the races – Football fundraiser

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    IBW football fundraiser save the date 2023


    Staff Chris Sellars

    Chris Sellars
    Careers Advisor

    Upcoming careers dates

    9 MarchUniversity of Otago liaison visit, 8.15am, Year 13, Fine Arts building
    15 MarchUniversity of Canterbury (UC) liaison visit, 10.15am, Year 12, during Congers
    19 AprilArarau UC | UC Possibilities – Discover the Bachelor of Arts
    7–8 MayOtago Tertiary Open Day – College to take group
    11 MayCareers Expo, 9am, Year 12, Christchurch Arena
    17 MayLincoln University, 10.15am, Year 12, during Congers
    24 MayNZ Defence Force, 10.15am, Year 11, during Congers
    26–27 MayUniversity of Waikato Hamilton Open Day
    8 JuneAra Institute of Canterbury Open Day
    3 AugustMassey University (Manawatu) Campus Taster Day
    25 AugustMassey University (Wellington) Open Day (TBC)
    25 AugustVictoria University of Wellington Open Day
    26 AugustAUT Live Open Day (TBC)
    26 AugustUniversity of Auckland Open Day
    8 SeptemberUniversity of Canterbury (UC) Open Day
    29 SeptemberLincoln University Open Day (during school holidays)

    Christ's College CareerWise

    The Christ’s College careers website, CareerWise, is a rich source of information about all things related to career information. Check it out and sign up for weekly alerts by subscribing here.

    Below are recent postings on the College careers website:

    Otago Tertiary Open Day

    I will take up to 20 boys to Dunedin for the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic Open Days on Sunday and Monday, 7–8 May. It is an opportunity for the boys to see Dunedin, attend lectures or information sessions, and look at accommodation options. This is a school trip. Boys cannot drive their own vehicles with other students, but parents can travel to Dunedin with their son, independently, if they choose. The boys will be given booklets to help plan their day. Boys need to express their interest in attending by 10 March.

    University of Otago podcasts – Young people’s journeys

    Produced by University of Otago school liaison officer Prajesh Chhanabhai, these podcasts cover the journeys that young people have taken to get to where they are, or where they are headed. Find out more here.

    University scholarships for Year 13 students

    MoneyHub, a consumer finance website, has published a guide to scholarships for students planning to start university in 2024. The guide includes scholarships offered by every university, as well as those specifically available to local students. Applications close throughout the year. MoneyHub has included tips for scholarship success. For more details, visit the MoneyHub Scholarship page.

    MoneyHub – apprenticeships

    MoneyHub has published a new guide to help students understand apprenticeships. It will be updated regularly. For more details, visit the apprenticeships section here.

    Korean Scholarship Trust

    The Korean Scholarship Trust is registered with the Charities Commission. It awards scholarships to secondary school students of Korean ethnicity in their final year in the Canterbury region. The scholarship programme has been running for 24 years and the scholarship is called the Canterbury Scholarship. It has been awarded to 124 students to date.

    The scholarship programme has three categories:

    • Academic
    • Leadership
    • Arts, sports, and performing arts

    The scholarship is usually awarded in the following year in the first week of February after NCEA results are announced.

    UC – Open Day

    Visiting the University of Canterbury campus on Rā Tōmene | Open Day provides students with an excellent experience. It is held on Friday 8 September, BEFORE applications to the Halls of Residence are due, therefore, students can submit their accommodation preferences after their campus visit. The closing date for accommodation applications is Wednesday 27 September. If students are unable to attend, they can book a guided campus tour during the year.

    In Black & White – Careers

    I share a range of relevant information with parents and boys via In Black & White. However, I am aware that not all boys read the school newsletter, so I hope parents will use the information provided as a springboard for investigation, discussion, and inspiration to support their sons as they consider their futures. Please contact me with any suggestions regarding careers, or if you require any career-related advice for your son.

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    From the Archives

    Jane Teal

    The East Window, Christ's College Chapel

    The current East Window in the College Chapel is not the one you would have seen before 1895. So where did the original one go? To answer these questions, we need to know about the history of the building of the Chapel.

    The architects were Robert Speechly and William Fitzjohn Crisp. It was completed and opened in 1867, and, at the time, the Lyttelton Times wrote a detailed description of the Chapel’s interior, including: “The five-lighted chancel window is one of the most pleasing features of the building, and will be most effective when filled with stained glass.”i

    Exterior of the Chapel, 1868.

    In December 1867, a letter was received by the Board of Governors from Richard James Strachan Harman (Fellow 1868–1897), indicating that he and his nephew, Thomas De Renzy Condell (123),ii would present a stained-glass window for the east end of the Chapel.iii However, they must have already contacted James Powell & Sons, also known as Whitefriars, as they were able to show the design to the Board.iv

    Although the Chapel was opened in 1867, it was not consecrated until Thursday 10 December 1868, as Bishop Harper was absent at the inaugural Lambeth Conference in England. The service began with Morning Prayer at 10am. The sermon was preached by the Bishop and the service of Holy Communion followed. There was also an evening service at 6.30pm. Once more The Press reported on the occasion, noting: “The effect of the interior of the Chapel has just been very materially enhanced by the insertion of stained glass in the east window, the gift of Messrs Harman and Condell.”v

    East end of the Chapel, about 1868.
    Detail of the Harman/Condell window in the south transept. Christ, the Saviour of the World, is surrounded by the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

    The window was not to remain in situ. Rather, it was transferred to the south transept to make way for another widow. The replacement window commemorates Henry John Chitty Harper, Bishop of the Diocese of Christchurch, and College’s second Warden, who had died in December 1893.

    The Christ’s College Old Boys’ Association formed a committee to decide what form the memorial should take. They decided it would a three-light stained-glass window for the east end and, by September 1895, they were able to report that it was about to be

    The dedication of the window is recorded in several places. Charles Frederick Bourne, the Headmaster, mentions it in a prize-giving speech in the same breath as the re-roofing of Big School and the repairing and improving of the boys’ reading room.vii The Christ’s College Register is slightly more expansive.

    The unveiling by Francis Augustus Hare took place at an early communion service at which the Warden, Bishop Julius, was the celebrant. The transept was filled with boarders and Old Boys, many of whom had contributed to the cost.viii

    However, all these initial accounts only refer to three lights ordered from Lavers & Westlake of London. It was not until 1899 that the outer two lights were ordered from the same firm.ix It is not clear who made the decision about which figures should be represented in the window, but they include St James the Great with his pilgrim staff, St Paul with a book and sword, St John with his gospel and his symbol the eagle, and St Luke, also with a book. Christ is in the central light with the Greek letters Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end.

    From left to right, the shields portrayed in the window are: 1st light Eton (where Harper was tutor); 2nd light Harper arms impaled on those of the Diocese of Christchurch; 4th light the unofficial arms of Christ’s College until 1923; 5th light Queen’s College, Oxford (where Harper took his degree).

    i Lyttelton Times 24 October 1867. See also Press 24 October 1867.
    ii At College 1860–1867. Assistant Master 1867–1893.
    iii Christ’s College Board Minutes 2 December 1867.
    iv Ciaran, F 1992. The Stained Glass Windows of Canterbury. PHD Thesis Art History, University of Canterbury, attributes this window to Michael and Arthur O’Connor on stylistic grounds.
    Star 11 December 1868. See Ciaran, F and J Teal 2013. The Stained Glass Windows of Christ’s College for details about symbolism and the studio.
    Christ’s College Register May 1895 p36, and September 1895 p4.
    Star 19 December 1895.
    viii Christ’s College Register March 1896 p4, 20.
    ix Christ’s College Register December 1899 p 310. See also Ciaran and Teal ibid.
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