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From the Executive Principal

Staff Garth Wynne

Garth Wynne
Executive Principal

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Over the past two weekends, I have been supporting various sporting teams as they compete at South Island Secondary Schools’ competition level, specifically our rowers on Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel and our volleyballers and tennis players in Christchurch. The boys have been fantastic ambassadors for College and it is encouraging to see our community so fully engaged.

While catching up with the College community, I was often asked about Upper West. At present, the building will be available from the beginning of Term 2. The Upper field still awaits final shaping and seeding and is most unlikely to be available for proper use until much later in the year.

I was also asked about my future. I just want to let our community know that I am starting a new Brisbane-based role from August as the Schools’ Support Director for the Australasia/East Asia region for Round Square. I am very much looking forward to taking up this role, which supports Round Square schools in this part of the world. I will be helping those schools achieve the Round Square IDEALS in their own context, linked with other schools across this region and the entire globe.

As you are aware, College staff underwent Child Matters training earlier in the term. At that time, one of the areas that came to mind in this media-saturated world was associated with appropriate online safety for students, especially as it related to the use and misuse of social media as platforms for communication. As many will appreciate, this is not a new issue and it is something we should always be mindful of. College works with our boys through both the curriculum and special programmes to educate students as to what is appropriate contact and behaviour when using digital technologies. As our community would recognise, there are clear professional boundaries expected of all teaching and non-teaching staff when it comes to using social media platforms to engage with students. Policies that are relevant in this area can be found by logging in to our Schoolbox Parent Portal, or, for quick access, click here to view our Email and Digital Communications Policies.

Teachers have their own Code of Professional Responsibility. In summary, boys need to be aware that adults who contact them, including College staff, should only be doing so to facilitate educational or co-curricular programmes and, only then, in public – rather than private or temporary (Instagram, Snapchat) – forums and only then those authorised by the school. This is something parents need to make sure they are aware of too. College appreciates the advantages of appropriate and responsible use of technology. However, care and caution should always be exercised.

If boys or parents ever feel concerned or uneasy about any form of contact – whether this be online or in person – they can and should speak to a trusted adult or contact the school for advice. They can also contact Netsafe or the New Zealand Police should their concerns be serious.

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Curriculum News

Staff Nicole Billante

Nicole Billante
Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

Progress with Learning Progressions

In the coming weeks, Years 9–11 parents will begin to receive the first 2024 Learning Progressions (LPs). It is our third year of reporting against LPs, and, as with all significant changes, we have learnings and refinements.

The intention of moving to Learning Progressions was based on research on the feedback model best equipped to help students improve. We want boys to understand where they are, and where they are going. The rubrics attached to LPs on Schoolbox are the primary means of signalling this. However, we found that boys were not taking the time to look at their rubrics but simply reading the ‘average stage’ label attached to their learning feedback. As such, we have decided that any checkpoints will not have that ‘stage label’, but rather just the comment and rubric, with the aim that boys will take the time to understand what the learning feedback is telling them. End-of-course LPs will give a final overall average on the Foundation to Stage 4 scale.

The other reflection the Heads of Department and the Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research (CTER) provided in our review of LPs was that we had been only including the descriptors in our rubrics for the topics/units of work covered during the course to date. However, this could, at times, skew the boys’ understanding of where they were at and what still needed to be focused on. As such, boys and parents will note that all descriptors will appear in rubrics every time they are used. However, if a topic has not been covered, then nothing will be highlighted. This aids transparency in the overall knowledge and skills expected in that subject to reach Stage 4 by the end of a Prep course.

LPs are designed to cover the first three years at Christ’s College. It would be rare to find a student at the higher end of the stages early in his academic career, but rather Stage 4 is the goal in preparation for NCEA in Year 12. If parents wish to read further about Learning Progressions and the expected pathway of stages in expert subjects, please refer to page 8 of A Parents’ Guide to reporting at Christ’s College.

NCEA Information Evening for parents of Years 12–13 students

Remember to register here for our NCEA Information Evening for parents of Years 12–13 students on Thursday 7 March from 7–8.30pm in the Chapman Room. This evening is designed to inform parents new to NCEA about the qualification. Nicole Billante Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning will explain the qualifications framework, assessment types, assessment practice, and other useful information regarding NCEA.

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Wellbeing Education

Staff Caroline Black 6072 SQ

Caroline Black
Director of Wellbeing Education

The power of conversations

Psychologist Nigel Latta has recently addressed our Parent Education Evening, sharing his knowledge on wellbeing in a weird world.

Delving into various topics such as scams, screens, and drugs, he has also offered valuable parenting guidance.

Infused with his wisdom and humour, my key takeaways from the evening have been to focus on the things you can control alongside the impact our conversations can have on our young people.

As parents and whānau, navigating the intricate landscape of raising teenagers can be both rewarding and challenging. One indispensable tool in fostering a resilient and well-adjusted teen is the transformative power of meaningful conversations.

First and foremost, conversations build trust. Creating a safe space where teens feel heard and valued lays the foundation for a strong parent-teen relationship. This trust becomes the cornerstone for discussing sensitive topics and navigating the complexities of adolescence.

Understanding your teen's perspective is essential. Engaging in conversations provides a window into their thoughts, fears, and aspirations. By actively listening without judgement, parents can gain insights that facilitate empathy and strengthen the parent-child bond.

Conversations serve as a vital platform for guidance and support. Adolescence is a time of discovery, and teens often grapple with challenging decisions. Parents can offer wisdom, share personal experiences, and provide emotional support, guiding their teens through the intricacies of growing up.

Emotional wellbeing is nurtured through open dialogue. Teens need a space to express their emotions freely, whether it is joy, frustration, or sadness. By acknowledging and discussing these feelings, parents contribute to the development of emotional intelligence and coping mechanisms in their teens.

Our active involvement in conversations, whether they pose challenges, discomfort, or confrontation, is a critical component in fostering a collaborative and supportive environment for our teens. By actively participating in these conversations, we create a space where our teens feel heard, valued, and empowered, laying the groundwork for their personal development, and overall wellbeing.


Remember to check out SchoolTV here. An online resource providing access to a wide range of information on many different issues, SchoolTV features interviews with leading specialists, articles, fact sheets, and videos.

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    Staff Emma Stilwell 1600 SQ 2023 05 16 000200

    Emma Stilwell

    Read up on supporting your son at our book group

    Wanting to highlight the educational benefits of leading by example, we are encouraging College parents – particularly fathers – to join our inaugural parent-son book group.

    Young people often reflect their parents’ interests and passions. Wanting to support and lift your son’s learning, our book group offers a positive place for connection and growth. It is a special opportunity for boys to come together with a family member to pick a book that they can both read – either in unison or independently – before the next book group meeting. Everyone then has a chance to share books that they have enjoyed with other family pairs and help to spread the word about wonderful books.

    The impact of a father or mother – or both – on a boy and his future success when encouraging their sons to read is wide-ranging and long-standing. By reading alongside our sons, we are being educational role models and facilitating success in study and careers.

    We plan to hold our parent-son book group gathering on six occasions throughout the year in the College Library. Our first gathering is on Monday 25 March at 6.30pm. We would love to see you and your son there, so please RSVP here.

    Discover more about helping your boys read for enjoyment here.

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    From the Chaplain

    Staff Cameron Pickering 1608 SQ

    The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

    Response in a time of conflict

    Tēnā koutou katoa.

    Peace to you all in the name of God.

    Recently, I read this reflection on conflict from the Right Rev’d Justin Duckworth, Bishop of Wellington. I share it here for your interest.

    We, as humanity, tend to follow at least one of three coping mechanisms or behavioural responses when faced with an engulfing tide of threatening or disturbing events.

    1. The first response is that when we are faced with a raft of polarising complex issues, we double down on one issue, becoming the righteous warriors for one cause with sometimes little regard to the consequences for others. In doing so, we become part of the problem. We reconcile the actions of those on ‘our side’ of the issue as justified, even when those actions cause harm to others. We can see this at work for example in some of the responses on both sides of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The challenge with this is, as a friend said to me once, ‘in order to make an omelette you need to break eggs, but people are not eggs, and you shouldn’t break them’.

    2. The second response to overwhelm is where we put our heads in the sand and act like no problems exist; filling our days with distractions and the numbness of entertainment. One of my colleagues calls this ‘bread and circuses’ and apparently it’s from the Roman satirist Juvenal but I wouldn’t know as I’m too busy watching Netflix.

    3. And the third response is in which we become so overwhelmed that we enter a nihilistic depression and see no point in anything. That’s a dangerous place to be in which all moral bets are off.

    But whether spiritual, sociological or something else, there’s a better, more powerful thing above all this, and that is the death and resurrection of Jesus. The creator of the world giving of himself in a self-emptying ethic of love, enthroned to death. – Bishop Duckworth, Wellington.

    Centre for Ethics & Spirituality

    Creator or coincidence – an improbable universe?

    Join us on Tuesday 12 March at 7.30pm in the Chapman Room as the Christ’s College Centre for Ethics & Spirituality hosts a special presentation by renowned astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Luke A Barnes.

    Holder of a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cambridge and now a senior lecturer at Western Sydney University, Dr Barnes explains how the tiniest change in the laws of physics would utterly destroy our universe. No atoms, no structure, nothing. Is a multiverse the answer? What does this imply about the transcendent? Can science prove God’s existence?

    Hear for yourself and put your questions to Dr Barnes.

    Yours in Christ,
    The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

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    International Student Manager

    Staff Sarah Davidson SQ

    Sarah Davidson
    International Student Manager & Round Square Representative

    Round Square Forum

    Christ’s College is the host venue for the Round Square Reps Forum for schools in the Australasia & East Asia Region from Friday 8–Saturday 9 March 2024.

    The forum is largely designed for school heads and Round Square reps, and offers an opportunity for adults involved with Round Square to network and share good practice. The programme includes Round Square’s plans for the year ahead, a carousel of presentations by heads and Round Square reps on initiatives from their schools, ‘how to’ workshops, collaboration planning, and facilitated discussions.

    We are excited to host the first face-to-face regional event since the pandemic, with 16 schools from five different countries represented.

    International student homestays and caregivers

    We are looking for families from our College community to host our international students during the school holidays. This is a wonderful opportunity for your son and family members to welcome a student from another country into your home and potentially establish strong international connections while learning more about a different culture. For our international boys, it is an excellent opportunity to immerse themselves in a Kiwi family's lifestyle at home – be it on a farm, by the beach, or in the city.

    We are also seeking interest from College families who wish to be local caregivers. You would be a boy’s regular – and ongoing – support person, willing to offer occasional weekends at your home, provide transport so that he can get a haircut or visit the dentist, and to have the student stay if a boarding House needs to close for a period.

    If you are interested in supporting our international students in either of these ways, please contact Sarah Davidson at for further information.

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    Health Centre

    Nicky Taylor IBW

    Nicky Taylor
    Health Centre Nurse

    Rachel Trengrove IBW

    Rachel Trengrove
    Health Centre Nurse

    Staff Sarah Matheson 2806 SQ

    Sarah Matheson
    Health Centre Nurse

    Shining a light on nit treatment

    Nits, nymphs, and head lice – always unwelcome but not unknown in a close contact world.

    We want to offer a timely reminder to watch out for any signs of itchy scalps, and also share a different approach to treatment.

    Newshub reports that a Kiwi mother is believed to have created the world’s first biofluorescent nit powder “to improve visibility of head lice during treatment”.

    You can delve into the world of the new nit treatment here.

    Read on

    Latest News & Events

    2024 01 charlie cole

    Charlie and Cole share princely role at Court Theatre

    Setting the scene for their flourishing stage careers, students Charlie Wood and Cole Moffatt have secured their first leading roles for The Court Theatre.

    Read full article
    2024 04 tennis siss

    Game, set, and match – College wins SI title

    Christ’s College has overpowered highly competitive rivals to claim the South Island Secondary Schools Championships tennis title, 4–0, at Wilding Park.

    Read full article
    2024 01 athletics day

    Aston, Harrison, Ben, Otto, and Jake lead the field

    Five impressive Christ’s College athletes – Aston Nijjar, Harrison Laing, Ben Campbell, Otto Church, and Jake Boyd – have been recognised at Assembly for their multiple achievements on Athletics Day at Ngā Puna Wai.

    Read full article
    2024 03 mihi whakatau

    Laying the foundations of College life

    Christ’s College has celebrated the culmination of a four-week foundation programme for Year 9 students with a special Te Whakatakoto te tūāpapa ceremony followed by a powerful mihi whakatau welcoming new students, families, and staff to the school community.

    Read full article
    2024 01 chinese NY festival

    College students help usher in the Year of the Dragon

    Twenty-four College students have joined in the celebrations at the Happy Chinese New Year Festival, volunteering as guides and support crew across the weekend event in North Hagley Park and welcoming the Year of the Dragon.

    Read full article

    Upcoming Events


    Thursday 7 March, 6–8pmSouthern Lakes Community Visit

    Register now.

    Thursday 7 March, 7–8.30pmNCEA Information Evening for parents of Years 12–13

    Register now.

    Friday 8–Saturday 9 March, 8.30am–5pmWanaka A&P Show
    Tuesday 12 March, 7.30pmCentre for Ethics & Spirituality – presented by Dr Luke A Barnes

    Register now.

    Thursday 14 March, 1–4.30pmChrist's College Open Day

    Register now.

    Sunday 17 March, 7pmChapel Service
    Wednesday 27 March, 5–8pmNew parents welcome to Christ's College

    Register now.

    Wednesday 3 April, 7–9pmCombined Schools' Orchestral Extravaganza, Assembly Hall
    Sunday 7 April, 5pmYear 11 Mother and Son Sunday Roast

    Book now.

    Thursday 9 May, 7amAuckland Community Visit – Breakfast

    Register now.

    Read on


    Term 1 tertiary liaison visits for Year 13 students

    Whether your son has decided where he plans to study in 2025 or is still unsure, it is important that he comes and hears what these tertiary providers have to offer and asks any questions that may help him to make a decision.

    7 March – 8.15–9.15am Lincoln University – F201
    14 March – 8.15–9.15am Victoria University of Wellington*
    9 April – 1–2pm University of Otago – F201

    *College venue to be confirmed

    Trimble visit – 22 March – Year 13 students

    Year 13 students are invited to join leading technology company Trimble and the University of Otago at an exhibition of technology in real-world applications, using software, hardware, and augmented reality. This is open to students interested in engineering, computer science, physics, and surveying. Students can discover where these areas of study can take them in their careers. Further details will be provided. Boys should email Ms Cashion as soon as possible if they wish to attend. Only 10 spaces are available.

    Career interviews for Year 13 students

    This term, I will meet your son to discuss his achievements, interests, and experiences – in and out of school. This meeting will also cover his options for 2025 and beyond. I will contact you to confirm that I have met your son and am available to answer any queries.

    Considering career and course options

    If your son is choosing between several career options, it is important that he asks himself these questions:

    • How well does his career fit with his skills, values, and interests?
    • How will this career affect his family, friends, interests, and other commitments?
    • Is this a career he can commit to?
    • How can he progress in this career?

    If your son is considering different course options, it is important that he asks himself these questions:

    • Does he have the right prior learning/entry requirements/subjects?
    • How well does this course fit with his skills and interests?
    • Will this course help him have the career he wants?

    As well as knowing what your son enjoys doing, he needs to consider the following when deciding on a career:

    • The demand for the role. Will there be many jobs that he can apply for?
    • The future income he wishes to earn. Will it be enough for his lifestyle?

    Often, the most successful professionals are the ones who are as happy being at work as they are relaxing on the weekends. They thrive in their workplace because they are doing what they love each day.

      Christ's College CareerWise

      The Christ’s College careers website, CareerWise, is a rich source of information about all things related to career information. You can subscribe here.

      Parents as passengers on their teen’s career journey

      Understand the career process so that you can successfully guide your teenager through the exploration process.

        Read on

        From the Archives

        Jane Teal

        More digitisation

        The summer holidays are always a good time for photographs to leave the archives and travel to New Zealand Micrographic Services for digitisation. The oldest photos were three of the cricket teams of 1883, 1884, and 1885. Clearly, they needed to be digitised as they showed evidence of fading because of the fixing process used in the 19th century when they were produced. The 1885 photo also shows evidence of foxing, which is either because of fungal growth or imperfections in the photographic paper.

        Walter Herbert Hargreaves (629), Henry Walter Bridge (704), Francis Augustus Hare (coach), Frederick James Hamilton (619), Annesley Frederick George Harman (582), Harold Rolleston Mathias (624), George Edward Rhodes (791), Arthur Gladstone Cox (887), Edward Channon Studholme (826), Frederick Stewart Hassal (851), James Cecil Palmer (664), and Hugh Henry Mathias (566).
        George Francis Watson (1133), Derisley Wood (1103,) Edward Channon Studholme (826), Annesley Frederick George Harman (582), Charles Henry Hamilton (620), James Percy Hargreaves (802), Arthur Gladstone Cox (887), Frederick James Hamilton (619), George Harris (903), Walter Herbert Hargreaves (629), and Arthur Hamilton Rowley (883).
        George Upton Slack (1036), Derisley Wood (1103), Francis Augustus Hare (coach), Hugh Maude Reeves (910), Heathcote Beetham Williams (1000), George Francis Watson (1133), Beauchamp Ranald Macdonald (1082), James Percy Hargreaves (802), Arthur Cecil Perry (867), Arthur Gladstone Cox (887), Walter Herbert Hargreaves (629), and Arthur Cecil Rolleston (825).

        The most interesting part of the collage is the reverse, where the photographs of 1884 and 1885 can be seen to be examples of cabinet cards. These were introduced in the 1860s and lingered until World War I.

        In 1884 and 1885, the cricket team visited the studio of Niels Peter Schourup in Colombo Street between Lichfield Street and Cashel Street. Schourup had arrived in Christchurch with his wife, Sophia Louisa, on the S.S. Omeo in January 1875. He originated from Denmark and had spent the previous 12 years in Adelaide and Melbourne, working as a photographer.i

        The reverse of the card was a source of advertising and Schourup certainly made use of it, announcing the Gold Medal that he was awarded at the Christchurch International Exhibition in Hagley Park in 1882 for both plain and coloured photography.ii

        What do we know about these teams? For an answer, we are indebted to the first years of the Christ’s College Sports Register.

        iiiIn a heading, ‘The Cricket Season 1883–84’, there is a pithy summary: “Good steady bowling, very fair fielding, and weak batting were its characteristics.”

        Despite that, the team won against Christchurch Boys’ High School, with Annesley Frederick George Harman (582) top scoring with 31 runs. Other games were played against a Midland XI, the United 2nd XI, Geraldine, the Midland 2nd XI, and the Lancaster Park 2nd XI.

        The report of the 1884–85 season was written by an Old Boy. He describes it as “not disgraceful by any means; still not quite the sort of one which a Christ’s College Eleven should sit down content”, but later comments “taken as a whole the Eleven and its doings have given its friends no cause to be ashamed and good reason to hope for a still greater measure of success next year”.

        Beauchamp Ranald Macdonald (1082) took the prize for the best batting throughout the season over 17 innings (144 runs with an average of nine). Arthur Cecil Perry (867) (medium round) was awarded the prize of the best bowling (758 balls, 28 maidens, 285 runs, 39 wickets with an average of 7.3).

        What do these photographs tell us about the development of the College uniform? The variety of ties is not surprising as various versions of black and white stripes lingered until 1911. What is particularly interesting is the appearance of boaters in both the 1884 and 1885 images. The black and white ribbons were introduced in 1883, and the prefects were photographed wearing them that year. More intriguing is the 1st XI cap balanced on the knee of Arthur Gladstone Cox (887) in 1885. This proves that the cap was in existence prior to the cricket blazer first worn in 1886. That Cox is in the photograph is itself worthy of comment. He had played in the team continuously since 1881 and captained it in 1883 and 1884. He returned as a teacher from 1885–1887.

        i Early New Zealand Photographers and their successors
        ii New Zealand International Exhibition 1882
        iii Christ’s College Sports Register May 1884, February and September 1885
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