Issue. 198 hero image

From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

MG 8711 1500x1000

Over the past 10 years or so, the Association of Boys’ Schools of New Zealand (ABSNZ) has facilitated research to analyse the academic performance of schools for boys when compared to co-ed schools. Why? Because that which is anecdotal and self-evident – that boys perform better in schools for boys – is often not enough when one comes to the argument about the value of such schools for the community and boys. More ‘evidence’ is needed.

The latest report presented to an international audience at the recent International Boys’ Schools Coalition (IBSC) conference in Auckland included the following summary.

Male school leavers from single-sex schools had higher attainment rates than those from co-educational schools at all levels across every disaggregation considered in this report. The existence of the single-sex advantage in NZ secondary schools is irrefutable.

And concluded ...

From the results obtained, we can claim that school leavers did have higher achievement rates at single-sex schools than at co-educational schools from 2017–2021. Additionally, because the number of students sampled is so large (n = 155 630), we can assert that this difference is statistically significant.

The full report can be found here.

At Christ’s College, we know this to be true, but, pleasingly, there is more. When our school type – being a school for boys – is combined with our culture founded on our faith-based inspiration and our special focus on character and virtue as outcomes of the educational experience, we know our boys are given every opportunity to graduate with many more benefits enabled by their unique school experience, not just proven better academic success.

Why then a school for boys? The International Boys’ Schools Coalition has this to say in answer to that question. These are statements we here at Christ’s College totally endorse and pursue in our own special way. Further explanation can be found here.

  1. Schools for boys understand and celebrate boys
    Schools that make the intentional choice to focus on the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional lives of boys and young men share an appreciation for the intensity and complexity of boyhood. Educators at boys’ schools celebrate and value all that it means to be a boy.
  2. Schools for boys seek first to build good men
    In addition to pursuing high academic achievement, schools for boys share many broad goals: to promote wellbeing, to develop resilience and empathy, and to see that each student achieves his potential. But none is more important than the essential goal of building good character and, by extension, of helping each boy and young man make responsible choices and live an honourable life.
  3. Schools for boys know that boys develop and learn in different ways
    It’s a simple fact that boys and girls grow at a different pace. Boys’ strengths are different from those of girls. While girls generally develop earlier physically and socially, refining their reading and writing skills sooner, boys are more spatial and visual by nature, and they demonstrate a natural affinity for areas like abstract mathematics. They are also hard-wired to learn more easily through action than words.
  4. Schools for boys teach in ways that boys learn best
    Each faculty member in an all-boys school has made a conscious choice to teach boys. They enjoy boys’ irreverent humour and draw energy from their natural exuberance. Their passion to teach boys requires a commitment to build relationships, craft a curriculum, and lead a classroom that engages each student in the way he learns best.
  5. Schools for boys help students discover and explore their full potential
    Without the social pressures of a co-ed environment, students in an all-boys school can explore the full range of their personalities and potential. Eschewing stereotypes, they discover they have many roles to play as a scholar, athlete, artist, musician, and friend.
  6. Schools for boys foster brotherhood and lifelong friendships
    Working together in the classroom, on the playing field, or in the performance hall, students are united by a special bond of brotherhood. Many boys’ school graduates say the friendships they developed with their peers and with faculty are among the most important benefits they carry with them from their schools.

Rob Donaldson retirement

A consummate schoolmaster and educational leader and a taonga of our community, Rob Donaldson will retire at the end of the year after 35 years of service to Christ’s College.

Rob immigrated from South Africa to New Zealand early in his teaching career in 1988 to join the staff of College as a full-time English teacher. He was appointed as the inaugural Housemaster of Somes House from 2000–2004, before joining the senior management team as Deputy Headmaster (now Deputy Principal), a position he has held for the past 19 years. Since being appointed to this role, he has continually sought to ensure that all processes and practices associated with his position have been delivered to the highest standard and in a manner which reflects the needs of students and families at the core. He has navigated the tricky world of social media as a norm, the Canterbury earthquakes, and the challenge of Covid-19 and its impact on educational delivery. Through his core role of all things pastoral care, behavioural standards, and discipline, Rob has always acted with fairness and justice being at the centre of his considerations, and by doing so, has gained extraordinary respect and ‘mana’ from generations of College boys and families.

In March 2018, through an involved application process led by Rob, Christ’s College was accepted as the second member school in New Zealand of Round Square International, an organisation that links together a network of more than 240 schools worldwide focused on the IDEALS of Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership, and Service. As Round Square Coordinator for College, Rob has enabled students and staff to participate in events, service initiatives, and conferences in South Africa, Vietnam, China, Canada, and Australia. Later this year, he will lead a contingent to Kenya for the organisation's international annual conference. It is unsurprising that several schools (both national and international) have visited Rob to discuss the significance and impact of Round Square membership – he has clearly set the benchmark.

Consequent of the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care, Rob has led and managed a two-year review, consideration, and implementation phase to address all matters of Child Protection and wellbeing. This project has required a huge complexity of skills, balancing attention to detail with empathy, sensitivity, and an understanding of the matters brought to attention, coupled with instilling a greater awareness for both staff and students in these matters. Noticeable cultural shifts in behaviour, attitude, and acceptance are where we have witnessed the impact of Rob’s work. Christ’s College is now a much safer and inclusive environment for students and staff – in both a physical and emotional sense.

Rob has been an outstanding, inspiring, and innovative member of staff over an extensive period. Consequent of his work, influence, and vision in his role as Deputy Principal, Christ’s College in 2023 is a caring, supportive, solutions-focused school with an environment that puts the boy at the centre of all that we do. He has been unique in his dedication to work above and beyond his job description as a matter of course, setting a wonderful example for the students and staff of College in striving for improvement and excellence in all that he does.

We wish Rob and Shelley all the very best in their next phase of life.

Read on

Boarding Matters

Staff Ben Vink 8793 2222 SQ

Ben Vink
Deputy Principal – Student Care

Extra optional tutoring for boarders

After interest in an independent tutoring service, please find more information below.

An opportunity has arisen for boarders to take part in a specialist one-on-one tutoring programme offered by the Hazlett Tutoring Centre.

This is an optional service for any boy wanting extra help with subjects beyond what our College staff and residential tutors already provide. College will provide the facilities and the supervision for this extra tutoring in the evening during the students’ prep time. College does not benefit from this relationship and all arrangements – including costs – are made directly with the Hazlett Tutoring Centre. Tutoring will be available from Term 3.

To learn more about the tutoring programme, please click here.

Immerse & Inspire 2023

This term, the third group of Immerse & Inspire has joined us in Jacobs House and has settled in well. We have been delighted with the response of the first two groups to the programme.

We have continued to evolve the programme, with Director of Sport Benn McBrearty introducing a course on Body Image, Sports, and Nutrition and Assistant Principal – Curriculum Nicole Billante reintroducing her Study Skills course. These courses join the Global Citizenship, Eco-Action, Careers, and Duke of Edinburgh aspects of the internal course.

The old Lab5 programme has been renamed Kōhititia (The rising). It has been led by by Paiheretia, who have fully engaged the first two groups with their three-day course on Social Entrepreneurship. Once again, thanks to the staff who have taken groups to the Ōnuku Marae and to The Rev’d Cameron Pickering for leading the Places of Worship component of the three-day breakout session.

2023 01 immerse inspire
2023 02 immerse inspire
2023 03 immerse inspire
2023 04 immerse inspire

What's for dinner?

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

Read on

Curriculum News

Staff Nicole Billante

Nicole Billante
Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

Taking the best course to consider all options

Term 3 is undoubtedly a demanding term in many ways for our students. NCEA has both internal assessments and derived grades while our Year 11 students are making final Diploma bids and tackling the demands of numerous Prep courses. There are also the co-curricular demands of House Plays and Tournament Week. I want to stress the importance of starting out with a long-term view. Consider what the key milestones are, what demands there will be on time, and what support needs to be sought from teachers, mentors, and Housemasters.

And, among all that, we also need to consider option choices for next year. As a school, our timetable is driven by student choice. We start with their selections and build from that point. As a result, the boys must have a firm idea of what they plan to study to allow for the necessary staffing allocations and consequent processes. While there will always be some last minute changes, it is important that they truly consider the subjects they wish to take as it impacts on decisions regarding what courses will run and how the timetable is built.

With that in mind, we have two option evenings coming up. While I will provide a brief introduction, the main format provides an opportunity to speak to the respective department representatives about their courses. The main local tertiary providers will also be available at the NCEA Options Evening to understand what courses are useful for different study pathways. We look forward to seeing many of you on the nights listed below.

NCEA Options Evening for parents and boys of Years 11 & 12
Monday 31 July, 7–8.30pm – Register here

Diploma Options Evening for parents and boys of Years 9 & 10
Monday 14 August, 7–8.30pm – Register here

Read on

From the Chaplain

Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

Sowing the seeds of essential care

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Peace to you all in the name of God.

It has been so warming over a cooler weekend to see the boys’ response to a request for City Mission Foodbank contributions. This past Sunday, more than 200 items of non-perishable food were brought to Chapel, and delivered to the City Mission Foodbank this week. We will continue to collect these essential foodstuffs at Sunday Chapel services throughout the term. Thank you to everyone for caring about the needs of others.

In two weeks – Sunday 6 August – we welcome back The Rev’d Peter Beck as our preacher for Evensong. Peter was Dean of Christ Church Cathedral for nine years from 2002–2011. He is an excellent communicator, and a man full of the Love of God for others. Evensong will begin at 7pm. (Please bring non-perishable foods for the City Mission Foodbank.)

Next week, I will attend two conferences for Anglican schools. The opportunity to touch base with other chaplains and Religious Education teachers presents itself each year. I look forward to sharing the good news stories of what we are doing here at College, and hearing from colleagues from across the country and the Pacific.

At the start of the term – drawing on the parable of the sower – the boys and staff were subjected to a gardening lesson, entitled ‘When not to plant a lemon tree’. One keen gardener on our staff has offered his help by way of grafting his perfectly (frost-free) stock onto the remnants of my own poorly potted shrub.

One of the great Collects of the Church takes us into the week ahead and speaks of how God might take our shortcomings, and have us persevere in hope:

Lord of power and might,
The author and giver of all good things:
Graft in our hearts the love of your name,
Increase in us true religion,
Nourish us with goodness,
And of your great mercy keep us in the same:
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
alive and reigning with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Yours in Christ,
The Rev'd Cameron Pickering

Read on

Health Centre

Nicky Taylor IBW

Nicky Taylor
Health Centre Nurse

Rachel Trengrove IBW

Rachel Trengrove
Health Centre Nurse

Ward off winter illness

We are halfway through the school year and feeling the winter chill, so it is timely to share a few tips for keeping bugs at bay.

Wash hands (20–30 seconds)

Identify any symptoms (temperature, runny nose, sore throat, cough, fatigue)

Notify the school if you are sick (Attendance line: 03 364 8676)

Treat your symptoms (paracetamol, lozenges, adequate nutrition and fluids)

Engage in good hygiene practices (cough/sneeze into your elbow; wash/sanitise your hands)

Rest and avoid contact with others, remaining at home until 48 hours symptom-free

We encourage parents to update any medical information regarding your son via the parent portal on the College website, or by emailing the Health Centre at This ensures that we have the most current information, should your son require our services.

    Read on

    Latest News & Events

    Aaron Kwak

    Aaron Kwak packs a trunk for Thailand

    Aaron Kwak has been awarded a Round Square (RS) bursary, enabling the Year 11 student to take part in the RS International Service Project in Thailand in December.

    Read full article
    2023 01 aon U15 nationals

    College trio on basketball title target

    College basketballers have made a big impression on the title court, helping to power the Canterbury U15 side to a National Tournament final win in Auckland.

    Read full article
    SISS champs 02

    Kieran Christey lifts SI clay target trophy

    Year 12 student Kieran Christey has lined up two titles after claiming the top spot in both the single rise and single barrel at the South Island Secondary Schools Clay Target Shooting Championships in Dunedin.

    Read full article
    815682b6 18a5 4bbd bc14 b35219205063

    Lucas Evans serves up tennis title winner

    Tennis talent Lucas Evans has won both the singles and doubles titles at the Rod Laver Lead-in 16 and Under Tier 1 championships at the Brisbane Tennis Centre in Queensland.

    Read full article

    Upcoming Events


    Friday 28 July, 12pm

    Wellington Long Lunch
    Register now.
    Monday 31 July, 7–8.30pmNCEA Options Evening for parents and boys of Years 11 & 12
    Register now.
    Wednesday 2 August, 6pmAkaroa Community Visit
    Register now
    Saturday 5 August, 6–7pmBig Band and Schola Cantorum in concert, Assembly Hall

    Tuesday 8 August, 6pm

    Hawke's Bay Community Visit
    Register now.
    Tuesday 8 August, 6.30–9pmREACTION House Plays Festival – Night One, Assembly Hall
    (Condell's, Jacobs, Julius, Harper, Somes)
    Thursday 10 August, 5–6pmCombined Boarding Houses Parents' Function
    Book now
    Thursday 10 August, 6.30–9pmREACTION House Plays Festival – Night Two, Assembly Hall
    (School, Flower's, Richards, Corfe, Rolleston)
    Monday 14 August, 7–8.30pmDiploma Options Evening for parents and boys of Years 9 & 10
    Register now.
    Thursday 17 August, 5.30–7.30pmBusiness Banter with ANZ Chief Economist Sharon Zollner
    Book now
    Wednesday 6 September, 7.30–9pmChrist’s College & Rangi Ruru Girls' School Contemporary Music Evening, Assembly Hall
    Thursday 7 September, 7pmCombined Orchestra Concert with St Margaret's College
    Friday 8 September, 10.15am–12pmGrandparents' Day
    Book now
    Friday 8 September, 7–10.30pmChrist's College Parents' Association Spring Bling
    Book now.
    Saturday 9 September, 8–9.30amYear 9 Father and Son Breakfast
    Book now.
    Saturday 9 September, 7.30–11pmCollege Senior Ball, Te Pae

    Book now.

    Wednesday 13 September, 7–8pmIndependent Schools Encore Choral Festival, Assembly Hall
    Friday 15 September, 3–4pmDiploma Q&A for boarding parents
    Register now.

    Wednesday 4 October, 6pm

    Tokyo Community Visit
    Register now.

    Saturday 7 October, 6pm

    Thailand Community Visit
    Register now.
    Wednesday 29 November, 6pmChristchurch Young Old Boys (YOBs) Event
    Register now
    Read on


    Staff Chris Sellars

    Chris Sellars
    Careers Advisor

    Upcoming careers dates

    27 JulyUC Information Evening (repeat of 9 May)
    31 JulyNCEA Options Evening
    1 AugustOtago residential colleges, applications open online
    1 AugustUC residential colleges, applications open online
    3 AugustLincoln University course planning, 8.15am, Fine Arts
    3 AugustAmerican University presentation, Platform Sports, College
    8 AugustUniversity of Otago course planning, 8.15am
    9 AugustUC information session for Year 12, 10.20–10.50am
    10 AugustUniversity of Otago course planning, 8.15am
    15 AugustUniversity of Otago, closing date for entrance scholarships
    15 AugustUC scholarship applications due
    15 AugustLincoln University, scholarship applications close
    17 AugustUniversity of Otago course planning, 8.15am
    24 AugustAra-specific dual enrolment event, 5.30–7pm
    25 AugustMassey University (Wellington) Open Day (TBC)
    25 AugustVictoria University of Wellington Open Day
    26 AugustAUT Live Open Day
    26 AugustUniversity of Auckland Open Day
    31 AugustUC course planning, Fine Arts block, 8.15am
    AugustUniversity of Auckland scholarships applications close
    8 SeptemberUC Open Day
    15 SeptemberCommon Confidential Reference Forms (CCRF) due
    27 SeptemberUC accommodation applications close
    29 SeptemberLincoln University Open Day (school holidays)
    30 SeptemberUniversity of Otago, residential colleges applications due
    30 SeptemberUniversity of Auckland, first-round accommodation applications close
    OctoberHalls and scholarship offers made
    1 OctoberUC applications to enrol open
    1 OctoberUniversity of Auckland, applications to study open
    DecemberStudyLink applications due
    10 DecemberUniversity of Otago and UC enrolments due
    10 DecemberUniversity of Auckland applications to study close
    JanuaryFormal offers of places to universities

    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:

    School subject selection – Term 3

    Boys choosing their subjects this term – for 2024 – can check out these best preparation links to aid their decisions regarding university and polytechnic study.

    CCRF – Term 3

    The New Zealand Common Confidential Reference Form (CCRF) is an online university accommodation reference form. Students fill in the form at the same time as they apply to the halls of residence for their chosen university (or universities). Applications for halls of residence open on 1 August and close about 27 September. Go to the student registration for the CCRF.

    Lincoln University – application to enrol

    Create your MyLinc account and submit your application in MyLinc.

    Victoria University of Wellington – admission and enrolment from 2024

    Students have to register for a Pūaha account to apply for admission, scholarships, and accommodation. Read the steps to apply and enrol.

    UC scholarships

    To submit a scholarship application online, you will first need to register for myUC. Applications for 2024 UC scholarships are now open and due by 15 August. There is also a video online with tips and advice.

    University of Otago scholarships and eVision

    All applications must be completed via eVision. Applicants should use a personal email when using eVision. For more information, go to Otago scholarships.

    AUT – Auckland University of Technology

    Register for the AUT LIVE Open Day on 26 August at AUT LIVE 2023.

    The 2024 AUT Find Your Greatness and AUT Welcome to Auckland scholarships are now open, with applications closing on 1 September. Find out more at School Leaver Scholarships – AUT.

    Work experience link
    At AUT, the study programmes include a workplace experience: Workplace Experience – Work Integrated Learning – AUT

    Accommodation applications for the AUT Wellesley Student Apartments and Akoranga Student Village open at the end of August: Student Accommodation (

    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.

    Read on

    From the Archives

    Jane Teal

    Out and about from 1863–1868

    Although In Black & White has used photographs from the Lyttelton Album before, they have related specifically to Christ’s College. This album – taken to England in 1868 and returned through the kind auspices of the Lyttelton family in the 1990s – contains photographs from a much wider area.

    The originals were all glass plate negatives, produced by Alfred Charles Barker, a Fellow of Christ’s College, and the architect of the original buildings in the south-east corner of the Quad.

    A wide selection of photographs taken by Barker, which provide very important visual images of early Canterbury, can be seen on the Canterbury Museum website.

    The first two images from the album have been chosen because they show locations 'just down the road' from College.

    The Provincial Chambers. CCPAL42/43/1 Lyttelton Album, Christ’s College Archives
    Cathedral Square, 1866. CCPAL/29/2 Lyttelton Album, Christ’s College Archives

    Barker also took his mobile darkroom, known as ‘The Travelling Medium’, further afield.

    The home of Mr Potts in Governors Bay, 1867. Known as Ōhinetahi, and more latterly the home of Sir Miles Warren. CCPAL42/55/1, Lyttelton Album, Christ’s College Archives
    Shag Rock (Rapanui), 1867 CCPAL42/45/1, Lyttelton Album, Christ’s College Archives
    Malvern Hills Station, 1861. CCPAL42/41/2, Lyttelton Album, Christ’s College Archives

    Barker also took the opportunity to photograph visitors and events.

    Bishop Selwyn and Sir William Martin, photographed when they were in Christchurch for the General Synod of the Anglican Church in April 1865. CCPAL42/12/1, Lyttelton Album, Christ’s College Archives
    The unveiling of the Godley Statue on 8 August 1867. CCPAL42/33/1, Lyttelton Album, Christ’s College Archives
    Read on