College – Issue 35



ISSUE 35 Contents



A fresh look at English

04 06 08 09 10 11 12 13

2018 Winter sport wrap


How do our students make career descisions?

2018 UK and Singapore tour an eye opener for players

College hosts Go9 Conference

70 74

There's nothing static about teaching Highlights in and outside the classroom Julie Harris on reflective practice

Inspiration and aspirations


Importance of the student voice

Accessing and preserving the past


Middle leadership development at College

News & Events


One to watch

78 80 81 82 83

Expanding boarding programme a winner Boyle River camp highlight of Immerse & Inspire programme


A ribbon of green

Know the risks; be prepared


Matters to ponder A perfect ending

Community & Leadership


Sunshine, paint and service in Samoa

24 27 28 30

Worth every moment

2018 Thank you Annual Appeal


How our Houses are serving the community Youth politics provide a buzz for Josh

Campaign update 88 Campaign events – sharing the future with parents 90 Gratitude and giving 91 Sponsorship 92


Turf wars, race relations and star-crossed love Leading role for Dominic in College musical

32 37 39 41 44 48

The Quadrangle

He's cool – and dangerous

From the President It's all about rhythm

94 96 98

Comedy, tragedy and everything in between

A powerful commemoration of WWI Nikki walks the boards in London

Attention, introducing Lieutenant Cosgrove!

Motivation starts here


Emeritus Professor Robin Clark gifts papers to College


101 102

College joins the Harvard Research Project Southern drawls and sophisticated manners in Tennessee


Reunion reports

Branch & community events 104 Former Headmaster Nigel Arthur Holloway Creese (1927–2018) 107 The mighty totara has fallen 108 What's on 110 Deaths 110

52 54 55 56

New horizons

Kayaks, dolphins and volunteering in Perth

Going global

Wellbeing & Positive Education

Chipping away for a flourishing College Counsellor Wiremu Gray walks the talk

59 60

GARTH WYNNE From our Executive Principal

Two core elements underpin my educational philosophy: excellence and inclusivity.

the same but being themselves, boys being different and being willing to accept and celebrate the uniqueness of others. This is the essence of a collaborative culture. Inclusivity and excellence make for a great school – and it is this I see in the pages of this College magazine. Captured in pictures and words is an eclectic look at our inclusive College community, alongside expressions of excellence across the broad sweep of our programme. There is always so much going on at College, and this is but a snapshot of the wide range of activities and opportunities available for our students, and the depth of experience and talent you can find in our school. I am inspired by how so many of our boys embrace the opportunities before them, either as individuals or alongside their friends and College classmates. It is their willingness to get involved, and the support they receive from teachers and families, that creates our vibrant school community.

While I see excellence as both a pursuit and an aspiration, to think individuals or institutions can be always excellent is naïve, but we can aspire to enable the pursuit of excellence as an acceptable and admirable disposition. Indeed, one of the character attributes of the ideal College graduate is personal excellence: the ongoing desire of the individual to develop and empower their character, gifts, talents and relationships to the fullest, achieving a harmony in how they think, feel, believe and behave. I often speak to the boys about how they contribute to an atmosphere of excellence that enables everyone to be at their best. To be a community of equity and excellence for all, inclusivity – in academic, co-curricular and pastoral programmes – is a key part of the College experience. In the College context, inclusivity means embracing diversity of talent, ability and character. Boys not being

Enjoy College – I know I do.

Garth Wynne Christ’s College Executive Principal

Christ’s College Magazine Issue 35, Winter 2018

Director of Admissions, Marketing & Communications: Claire Sparks +64 3 364 6803

College Magazine Writers: Catherine Hurley Jocelyn Johnstone Graphic Designer: Melissa Hogan +64 3 364 8655

Change of Address: Admissions Registrar

Sarah Fechney +64 3 364 6836

Printing : Caxton

ACADEMIC A fresh look at English

New Head of English Sian Evans is bringing a fresh approach to what is being taught in College’s English classrooms.

Working with focus groups, including staff and students, she is determined to get the input of as many voices as possible while developing a new direction for the subject at College. “The feedback I’m getting is that people want more variety in English across the school, so that boys aren’t repeating the same basic course outline each year. Boys are keen to have more say in what they study in English, and for there to be clearer links across the curriculum and to the wider world. I have also had several requests for

more focus on academic rigour, and towards making assessments more interconnected and meaningful.” And among the comments she is hearing is a cry for more Shakespeare. Maligned and disregarded in some educational sectors as being too difficult and too removed, Shakespeare is very accessible via modern movies, and a delight to those who choose to be challenged, says Sian. “What I’ve taken away from all of the discussions I’ve had with

teachers, boys and parents, is that we need to embark on a step-by-step process to focus as a department on the New Zealand curriculum and on our big-picture vision of what we would like a Christ’s College graduate to look like, rather than allowing NCEA assessments to determine our programming decisions. We need to be able to identify what the boys should be able to do, so their learning can be more meaningful and successful, and then work backwards from there.”

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“As we all know there are no laptops in the exam room.” Sian Evans

Other areas will also experience changes. In Year 9 there will be a move to focus on different skills for enhancing reading and writing, and at Year 10 an emphasis on representation, viewing and presenting. Years 11–13 will be centred on critical thinking and interaction with world literature, examining how literature explores what it means to be human, and how it can lead us to enquire more deeply into philosophy, psychology and society. Early in Term 3, English department staff took time to talk through the overarching vision, strategy and course outlines of the revised programme. “We’re conscious about not over assessing as we recognise that not everything has to be assessed to be successful as a learning experience. We have such a wealth of talent and experience and knowledge in our community at College, and we have so much to offer beyond the narrow lens of assessments. NCEA is a tool we use to represent a small part of the learning that has happened in our classrooms, but it should not be allowed to drive the learning itself.” Sian has other plans afoot too, holding more regular poet and author visits; building a richer and more positive reading culture; examining the nature of technology and focusing on getting boys off screens; and rethinking boys’ reliance on laptops in lessons, placing importance on each boy developing a legible, efficient and quick hand writing technique.

Knox Grammar School and Sydney Grammar School, both independent boys’ schools, before returning to College in Term 2 2018.

“As we all know, there are no laptops in the exam room.”

The author of an English textbook widely used in schools through New Zealand and Australia and of many other academic papers, Sian first taught at College as Assistant Head of English in 2008, becoming Head of English in 2010. During this time she also worked as a NZQA examiner and was involved in the revision and redrafting of NCEA Achievement Standards in English. In 2012 she moved to Sydney, where she worked at

College Issue 35 2018


ACADEMIC How do our students make career decisions?

The Careers room, located in the Tower alongside the CCOBA and Development offices, is a busy hub for information and advice.

they have been thinking about, and gives them plenty of ideas to talk about with their parents. It can be difficult for Year 10s, deciding which four subjects to select in addition to English and Mathematics, and parents have a huge influence on their son’s choices at this stage. Chris recommends they keep their options open as much as possible, so any change of direction can be handled seamlessly. He encourages boys to keep at least one science, a preferred commerce course (if only one of Accounting or Economics can be taken), and highlights the importance of a language, particularly if this is already a strength. Increasingly, Chris also encourages boys to consider Digital Technologies. Year 11 boys have a subject options session with Chris where they receive a booklet about “Best Preparation” for tertiary courses at universities and polytechnics. This prompts further discussion and one-on-one interviews when requested. In these meetings, career education from the previous year is discussed and Chris calls the boy’s parents afterwards, to ensure communication between parent, student and school is transparent. Year 12 boys either request a careers interview or Chris will make an appointment to see each one. They discuss current

Careers Advisor Chris Sellars has accumulated a vast range of resources and material about tertiary study, apprenticeship pathways and direct entry into the workforce, to help boys make what can be one of the biggest decisions of their young lives. Although boys at any year level are welcome to seek Chris’s advice, he makes sure he sees all students in Years 11–13, speaking to each one individually and following up with a phone call to parents to provide relevant feedback. As well as individual meetings, Chris organises trips to career expos and industry visits, invites speakers from different organisations in, and arranges informal small group mentor meetings – often with Old Boys who generously give their time and share their experience – to make sure the boys are as well informed as possible as they consider their future options. So how does the Careers office really work? College offers a broad range of subjects in Years 9 and 10 – compulsory “core” subjects, plus a number of optional subjects. These “tasters” give the boys the opportunity to explore different curriculum areas, allowing them to “dip their toes” into different subjects and develop their interests and experience, and ensures they have a sound background of knowledge on which

to build in the following years. Before making any decisions about their study pathway, Year 9 boys also have an introductory careers session with Chris. With Year 9 students Chris follows psychologist John Holland’s model of career choice, which is based on areas of interest. While mindful of their age and stage, the boys are asked to rank their interest in the following areas: Realistic (Practical), Investigative, Enterprising (Business), Social, Artistic, Conventional (Structured). They then use to look at industry groups, within which are lists of jobs. The database outlines skills needed, tasks required, conditions of work, personal qualities, salaries, secondary subjects required and tertiary study. They are also shown College’s Curriculum Studies Guide and made aware of subject options available in Year 10. areas of interest, values, a career investigation and skills required for the future. The John Holland model is again employed, and the boys are encouraged to consider different industry groups and many jobs, and note the recommended or required secondary education subjects. This is a good foundation from which to reinforce what In Year 10, the boys study the topic “About Me”, which includes personal qualities,

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The Careers Department has a very good relationship with tertiary providers, who welcome the opportunity to talk to the boys through the General Studies programme. They are aware the boys may have already made a decision about their future, but there is always something in the presentations for the boys to think about. Chris recently invited career development consultant Grant Paice, from the Tertiary Education Commission, to talk with him and Assistant Principal – Curriculum Joe Eccleton about career development at College and the career benchmarks as outlined by the Ministry of Education. Several themes emerged from this discussion, including the ongoing need for careers information in schools to be talked about in the curriculum, and individual teachers relating their subjects and skills to the future world of work.

subjects, personal qualities or character strengths, areas of interest, hobbies, and paid and voluntary work, before looking at short and possible long-term goals. Chris asks them about their current thoughts and encourages them to be realistic when it comes to certain careers and entry requirements. All Year 13 boys talk to Chris and, in most cases, have a reasonable idea about what they want to do after College, but some need to “go back to basics”. In which case, Chris will talk to them about their areas of interest, a real passion, or ask the question, “what problem would you like to solve in the future?” By Term 3 most boys will be confident with their decision, but also understand a large percentage of students change their courses at tertiary level after the first year of study. Over recent years, there has been an increase in the number of boys deciding to attend Ara Institute of Technology, as its more practical approach with smaller class sizes is more to their

liking. (Of interest, Chris reports hearing of school leavers who completed a degree, but have now enrolled at polytechnic to begin a trade.) The parents of all boys are rung after Chris has interviewed them and this dialogue has been appreciated by all. For the first time this year, the Careers Department has been working with the Old Boys’ Association to arrange for recent and not-so-recent Old Boys to talk with interested boys about their current or previous jobs. This has proven to be most valuable. So far there have been sessions involving law, landscape design and management (from a former Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Australia), a previous Head Prefect now in the army, a jazz/percussion musician, an architect and a pilot. Boys have also been keen to sign up for industry visits, and the General Studies programme invites speakers from universities, polytechnics and the Defence Force to present about and offer various possibilities.

College Issue 35 2018



This year the Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research (CTER) had the good fortune to host the Go9 academic leaders conference at Christ’s College.

The “group of nine” is a collective of independent schools from Australia and New Zealand, who come together annually to discuss “hot topics” in education. This year the focus of the conference was how best to support and empower our teaching staff through coaching frameworks. The conference began with a thought-provoking presentation by former Black Cap, now head coach of Sydney Thunder, Shane Bond. Shane discussed his coaching journey, its highlights and challenges. He talked about the changing nature of his role and the importance of developing a culture in which everyone, including the coaches, is continually trying to challenge their own thinking and perspectives. College’s Director of Positive Education, Health & Wellbeing John Quinn then discussed the importance of language and being able to identify and promote strengths. These presentations set the platform for the CTER to present its ideas and begin a round-table discussion on how coaching could be an effective framework for secondary school teachers. There were several key areas in which we built a strong consensus. Teaching in secondary schools can be a high pressured vocation, compounded by the fact that teachers often spend large amounts of time working in isolation from their peers. There maybe little opportunity to reflect on their teaching practice with their colleagues, which can lead to stress

and anxiety, particularly if there is no pathway of support and guidance. Through coaching, teachers can learn to deal with pressure, because it allows them to think critically and regularly about issues and concerns as they experience them. All too often in schools, reflection is completed at the end of the year, when the passing of time has eroded the problems. Coaching is designed to provide teachers with challenges, critical perspectives, skills and theories to enable them to enhance their teaching and learning. It is often the conduit between theory and practice. It can become transformative, especially if it provides new perspectives and paradigms for teachers to consider. For this to occur, however, a pre-condition for both coaches and teachers is to develop what psychologist Carol Dweck refers to as the “growth mindset”. Coaching is predicated on a core set of principles and values that guide the process. These are “known truths” that underpin decision- making and the way in which the coach and the teacher relate to one another. Coaches need to believe in the underlying principle of human potential and the ability to enhance potential in a collaborative framework. It is belief that does not dwell in past performances, rather it looks to the future and the mechanisms that can fulfil it.

One of the main arguments for introducing coaching at College is that it creates conditions for high performance through experiential learning. A piece of research first carried out by IBM, which has been repeated many times since, demonstrated people could recall information in the long-term far more accurately if they learnt through experience. This would be supported by the 70/20/10 model of learning, which has become part of the educational vernacular. This model ascribes 70% of learning to on the job experience, 20% of learning through others, and just 10% of learning via formal institutions. Through coaching, teachers are given the opportunity to be observed in their teaching, to reflect and analyse their work and then to try and improve their classroom practice. While coaching was the focus of the Go9, discussions ranged from class streaming to differentiated learning. But, like most conferences, the highlight was the opportunity to connect with other colleagues and collaborate as a team. The discussions reaffirmed that we are on the right track at College. I would like to thank the Heads of Teaching & Learning for their input into this conference and I very much look forward to further collaboration with the Go9 in the future. Joe Eccleton Director of the Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research

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There’s nothing static about teaching

College is an organisation based on the motto, “good traditions, well maintained”. It is true that what is successful is maintained. The CTER for has the privilege of observing the maintenance of quality teaching, yet at the same time is witnessing inquiry learning and pushing traditional boundaries to improve the learning and understanding of College boys. Teaching is never a static job. Changes to programmes are made depending on the boys, their interests, and ways in which teachers can improve the boys' learning. A project that reflects tradition, but at the same time looks for ways to improve performance, can be seen in the work of teachers Eloise Nevin and Paul Rodley. Together they are conducting action research, through the International Boys’ School Coalition, with a focus on how the classroom, via digital storytelling, can enhance our College virtue of stewardship. Clearly, an example of innovation attempting to “maintain good traditions”. The motivating factor behind this project with the Year 10 Digital Technologies class is the power of augmented reality to enhance the boys’ appreciation of stewardship. The plan is that this class will develop links to College’s past by retelling historical events, with technology strengthening the boys’ understanding of stewardship. Augmented reality is technology that brings elements of the virtual world into our real world. It has the ability to superimpose computer generated imagery, graphics or video on a user’s environment in real time. To do this, the class is generating images that, when looked at through an app on their phones, will reveal an alternative image. For instance, the class is currently experimenting by using photographs of College buildings to reveal historical video clips of previous generations of College boys. The test will be to see whether the 2018 boys gain a greater emotional attachment to the content. Another desired effect will be to assess whether this activity, combined with technology, will further assist students to recognise the good from the past, so that it can be preserved or enhanced – in other words, recognising the importance of stewardship.

This trial has some lofty goals. But at its core is the idea that there are inherent good traditions worth being celebrated and preserved at College. The challenge for us is to develop ways in which to use the “boyology” of technology to engage with our 21st century students. Augmented reality, or at least the application of it, raises many ideas and possibilities for use in the future. Innovative thought, critique, reflection and wonderings are occurring in our classrooms. And why? It is about providing the best possible environment for our boys, one in which they can learn and advance.

Warren Lidstone Languages, Arts and Technology

College Issue 35 2018


Highlights in and outside the classroom

countries with varying natural resources and grievances or “sins” from a recent conflict. It is up to the boys to create a treaty that satisfies all parties. Experiential education is designed for students to learn by doing, and this experience allows our boys to understand why the Treaty of Versailles was so problematic. Mr Vink even told me that a recent Year 13 class asked to do this simulation again, four years later, because it had been such a strong learning experience for them. It doesn’t get much more experiential than a Geography field trip. In Term 1, I was invited to see the geographers in action and spent the day in the South Island high country with the Year 12s. What a treat to see students I have in my Year 12 English class in such a different context. The boys traversed the landscape, measuring, observing, recording. In a modern context, in which economic interests compete with environmental concerns, in depth knowledge of our landscape and the elements that influence and change it, is highly relevant. The list goes on. What I reflect on is how we, as a learning area, continue to work towards balancing the content knowledge that makes a well-rounded, learned individual with the skills to thrive in the 21st century. A balance we will continue to refine as The CTER develops our work.

When asked about what I most enjoy in the new Head of Teaching and Learning role, undoubtedly it is the chance to see other teachers in action. There is nothing like seeing a class in full flight to truly understand how the boys are learning. Since arriving at College, Executive Principal Garth Wynne has often used the expression “innovation wrapped in tradition”. And, as I reflect on my first six months of watching the marvellous teachers in the English and Humanities area, I can’t help but feel this is a highly appropriate label for what I have witnessed. From the outside, it might appear to be a traditional curriculum: in English we still teach Lord of the Flies and Macbeth ; in History they still learn about World War II and the Middle Ages; and in Geography they are taught about rivers and earthquakes. Some things don’t change, because there is content knowledge that spans generations – but that needn’t come at the expense of innovation. So, what have I been seeing? Here are a few of the highlights. Year 10 History provides one of my favourite examples of a learning activity that moves beyond a traditional model. As one of the most significant events of the 20th century, World World II remains a critical piece of historical knowledge. In Ms Stevenson’s and Mr Vink’s Year 10 classes I observed the boys “playing a game” – but this was no ordinary game. This is a negotiation simulation, with the boys given

Nicole Billante Humanities and English

Christ’s College Canterbury


Julie Harris on reflective practice

The use of observations and feedback in a coaching and mentoring process

processes. Her successes in education have led her, more recently, to working with coaches in high profile NRL teams.

This was an invaluable time for the CTER. Although we have all been involved in observing lessons and giving feedback, this was a rare opportunity to significantly reflect on: • what the purpose of this process is for teachers at College • how we, as a group, carry out this process effectively • how this is going to fit with coaching and mentoring for our school Julie helped us critically evaluate the “journey so far”. She shared her processes and examples of past observations. For us to gain a more “experiential” approach, Joe Eccleton volunteered to have Julie and the four Heads of Teaching and Learning observe his Year 10 History class and engage in a formal feedback review process. We also spent some one-on- one time with Julie in our own learning areas Julie’s insight, successes and challenges have provided the platform for a greater clarity for the CTER, both within the specific observation and feedback area, and in the wider context of coaching and mentoring and working towards our goal of furthering reflective practice and supporting teachers in their development. to utilise her expertise and try out some different methods with College teachers.

Teaching, by its nature is a “people” profession. It may be surprising to some however, that the regularity with which teachers interact with other teachers is not as often as you might think. One of the key goals of the CTER is to build greater capacity for collaboration, reflective practice, and for developing and sharing our strengths and ideas. This is partly done through our regular professional learning mornings, but, moving forward, will also be delivered through coaching and mentoring. As part of this initiative, the CTER invited Julie Harris, Director of Teaching and Learning at Guildford Grammar in Perth, to College for two days in August. Julie has been working for many years in teacher development, and specialises in observation and feedback

Katie Southworth Commerce and Mathematics

College Issue 35 2018


Importance of the student voice

One of the most exciting parts of the formation of the CTER has been the additional learning- focused conversations that have been stimulated by our professional learning programme. We are working through six sessions, each of which aims to develop a shared understanding of one of the Education Council’s teaching standards. Although teachers are rarely in need of much prompting to talk, we have found using the student voice a particularly powerful way of stimulating reflection and meaningful conversation. Our first session dealt with one of College’s recognised strengths, staff–student relationships. Beforehand, we got a fascinating insight to the student’s perspective by interviewing and filming a small number of boys. Excerpts were then shown to the whole staff as part of the session to highlight the importance of these relationships for our students. It was incredibly powerful hearing from the boys and this sparked an important conversation about the various ways we can develop high care relationships that also have high expectations. Our next session progressed this idea by looking at the things we can do to enhance the learning- focused culture in our classes. We revisited the student surveys to further reflect on how we communicate our expectations to all our

students. It was immediately obvious our work involving positive education has a huge overlap with these areas of teaching and learning. Developing a growth mindset in all our boys is a lofty target, but one we must aspire to. Our use of the student voice was taken to another level when we invited some students to join us in the session on biculturalism. In addition, Year 11 student William Koko, talked to the staff about his experiences of being a Maori student at College. William spoke with eloquence and passion, and many staff were clearly moved by his speech. This was a very powerful experience and it has sparked many further conversations and professional development (PD) opportunities that will develop over the next few years. As a group, we recognise the vital role the student voice plays in helping raise awareness and will continue to build this into our PD sessions where appropriate. In combination with our coaching roles, we can all see direct benefits of this work already and it helps provide a platform and language for our continued work in the CTER.

Graeme Swanson Science, PE and Health

Christ’s College Canterbury


CENTRE FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE & RESEARCH Middle leadership development at College

This year the Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research (CTER) has embarked on developing a forum for middle leadership development, in collaboration with Rangi Ruru Girls’ School.

understanding the people you represent and using a common language that they understand. His narratives were filled with humour and interesting insights into the broader political and social situation of New Zealand. Sir Mark, without question, epitomised the service style of leadership many of us aspire to follow. It was a real honour to meet him and share his valuable experiences. The following week we held a workshop focused on some of the key leadership themes raised by Sir Mark. Its purpose was to bring the discussion into an educational

Our first session began with a talk from former chair of Ngai Tahu, Sir Mark Solomon, an engaging and articulate speaker who discussed leadership qualities through the narrative of Ngai Tahu’s settlement claims, and their subsequent efforts in promoting education among their young people. Sir Mark identified the importance of understanding your moral purpose, and “why” you do what you do. He pointed out this understanding would be critical when making decisions that were not popular or when dealing with conflict. He also stressed the importance of

context and to think about how these themes would be relevant in our respective roles. Again, it was a great opportunity to be able to collaborate with our colleagues from Rangi Ruru. The ensuing discussions were engaging and posed more questions for all of us to reflect on. We look forward to working together on the next middle leaders’ workshop. Joe Eccleton Director of the Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research

College Issue 35 2018


BOARDING Expanding boarding programme a winner

Christ’s College Canterbury


Some have to do it because home is far

away, others choose the option for themselves, and now every boy experiences the boarding lifestyle at some point in his College career. Through the Immerse & Inspire programme, all Year 10 boys spend four weeks in the boarding environment. Then they pack up and leave to resume their usual, dayboy roles. The boarding programme, for the 155 boys who live in one of three boarding Houses during term time, has been carefully developed and evolved to ensure that the quality of care equates with the degree of stimulus necessary for teenage boys to thrive. “The big changes for 2018 have been that there have been more outside courses to cater for seniors,” says Scott Franklin, who leads the Boarding Programme at College and is also Assistant Housemaster of Richards House.

“We started by first asking the boys what they wanted to do. It has proven a good move and we may expand it for next year. We’re responsive to their feedback and we’re open to new ideas and we want the boys to be participating in extension activities for seniors, some of which result in credits. “We’ve offered a defensive driving course with the Automobile Association, the chance to get a forklift licence, to do a first aid course, or a PADI deep water diving course, or qualify with a site safe certificate.” Most senior boys have already had the experience of participating in all the weekend boarding programme and enjoying what they do.” Term 3 involved additional

College Issue 35 2018


activites when they were juniors, says Scott. “So what we find is these activities mainly attract the junior boys. “Such things as a trip to the movies, to AMI stadium for rugby, to paintball or ice skating or something similar... Generally, the seniors have done this kind of thing before, so it’s mostly juniors that want to come along. They tend to love physical activities and paintball is very popular with everyone.” Scott says the expanded programme provides the opportunity for boys in the different boarding Houses to get to know one another, to have fun, to get off their computers and phones, and to get out of the House. Year 11 students can participate in a year-long agricultural programme, where they learn skills including the use of agrichemicals, the safe operation of vehicles and equipment, hazard identification, and fencing construction. This progamme is conducted through an external trades academy. The beginning of each year kicks off with some major activities.

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For Year 9 it is a trip to Hanmer Springs, with jet boating and a visit to the hot pools. Year 9 and 10 boarders all go whitewater rafting on the Rangitata River; Year 11 students take part in a Challenge Day, where they compete against each other in a wide range of activities; all seniors go on a paintball expedition, and take part in other bonding activities. “If we have a key theme to this, it is that we want them to mingle between the Houses at weekends, to expand their social circle, to do fun things together, and to be exposed to a wide range of activities.”

“We want them to mingle between the Houses at weekends, to expand their social circle, to do fun things together, and to be exposed to a wide range of

activities.” Scott Franklin

College Issue 35 2018


BOARDING Boyle River camp highlight of Immerse & Inspire programme

Christ’s College Canterbury


College Issue 35 2018


What started as a trial is now deeply embedded in the culture of Christ’s College, and a turning point for many Year 10 boys. Immerse & Inspire, the programme designed to sow the seeds of change, involves all Year 10 boys boarding for three weeks in Jacobs House on the College campus, and spending one week at the Boyle River camp. On a pick and mix system, each group is selected from across the school, with every boy having the advantage of meeting new mates and making good friends. “We’re conscious some boys have been anxious about the thought of living at College for a month and participating in the Immerse & Inspire programme, but it has been a huge success,” says Director of Boarding and Centre for Character & Leadership Darrell Thatcher. “It has been overwhelmingly positively received by the parents and boys who have given us feedback.”

“On two of the Sundays while they are on the Immerse & Inspire programme the boys go to the Mission and do whatever work they can to help out.” Parents are also part of Immerse & Inspire. On the day each new intake arrives, Executive Principal Garth Wynne and Director of Wellbeing and Positive Education John Quinn conduct a session specifically for them. While the boys are engaged in a separate activity, the parents consider the teenage brain – looking at

As well as attending school classes as per usual, the boys on the programme are provided with a special session on study skills, another on gratitude by Director of Wellbeing and Positive Education John Quinn, and a session on community service. New to the programme this year is a session on empathy with College Counsellor Wiremu Gray, a session on career options with Careers Advisor Chris Sellars and a session by the City Mission on its work and College’s strengthening relationship with this important social service agency.

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wellbeing, positive education, character strengths and any other issues, such as cell phone and social media use, that come up. This is followed by everyone having dinner in the Dining Hall, before the parents depart and the boys begin their Immerse & Inspire adventure. The final weeks of Immerse & Inspire is spent at Boyle River. Graeme Christey, the teacher in charge of the Boyle River adventurous journey, says the camp is an absolute highlight. “When I first heard about the concept, I saw the opportunity to

College Issue 35 2018


turn it into a chance for the boys to achieve their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award practice and qualifying adventurous journeys.” With two three-hour evening sessions of instruction prior to leaving for the camp, they know about appropriate gear, how to pack, use cookers, read maps and so on, and they get more instruction on site. The week is split into the practice journey, a two-night tramp in a group of around 10, where the boys are closely monitored by the instructors and shown all the skills they need to ensure they can carry out an independent trip – and the qualifying journey – where the boys are split into groups of four or five, plan a four-hour tramp, camp overnight, and return the following day, independent of instructors. “They are though, shadowed by the instructors and in radio contact, but the decision-making is up to them”, says Graeme.

“While a fewmight struggle, they all get through the week and learn how to dig deep and push themselves when out of their comfort zone.” Graeme Christey

are struggling, plus learn patience when working with a diverse group. This, too, is part of the ethos of both Immerse & Inspire and the Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Awards, and also links to the Round Square ideal of adventure.” Graeme says the Boyle River managers and staff ensure the boys are well looked after and get the most out of their wilderness experience.

The boys invariably rank the week as one of the best on the programme, challenging as can be. “The trips take place over winter and spring, so the ground is wet and boggy in places and temperatures are below zero most nights”, says Graeme. While a few might struggle, they all get through the week and learn how to dig deep and push themselves when out of their comfort zone. “On the other end of the scale, some boys are already experienced outdoors people and they need to take the lead to support those who

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Give a boy a home away from home.

Central to the character of the school, boarding at Christ’s College makes it easy for boys to find their niche and be supported in the choices they make. Boarders can choose from a wide range of co-curricular activities as part of our unique Boarding Programme, developing lifelong friendships along the way.

Everyone’s welcome at Christ’s College.

Each boy at hi b st.

College Issue 35 2018


COMMUNITY & LEADERSHIP Sunshine, paint and service in Samoa

Christ’s College Canterbury


For the third time in five years College boys have made a tangible difference to young children in Samoa.

This time it was a dozen Year 13 boys who spent eight days in Samoa, staying in the village of Lalomanu, completing a major painting and refurbishment project for the nearby Satitoa village pre- school. Special Projects Neil Porter and his wife, Debra, the College team had to adjust to life in Samoa and to working in the tropical climate. “It was an amazing experience, and our boys worked hard during the day, sometimes in very hot temperatures in order to finish the tasks. They sanded down Led by Assistant Principal – Community Engagement and

the outdoor play equipment and repainted it, painted the interior of the pre-school as well as the uprights of a new building which had been constructed to provide shade for the mothers and children. “The pre-school parents provided lunch, which allowed the group to get to know them. It was the local school holidays so on the last day the little kids came to play and test out their newly painted playground,” says Neil. “A new initiative on this trip was the opportunity for the College team to spend a night in the homes of some of the pre-school

community. That was a wonderful experience for them, which has created lasting bonds with their Samoan families.” Throughout their stay the boys were accommodated in open fales at Anita’s Beach Bungalows in Lalomanu and quickly became used to life on the ocean’s edge. Satitoa was badly affected by the 2009 tsunami which devastated parts of Samoa, and large parts of the village were forced to relocate further inland. “A number of homes, the church and community buildings had to be rebuilt and it has proven a major undertaking,” says Neil.

College Issue 35 2018


The boys put their names forward last year, and in the intervening months, raised $1200 each to cover air fares and other costs. Together they also fundraised to meet the costs of accommodation, food and materials – selling ice creams at College productions, running student dances, and selling olive oil. “The whole purpose is about helping people we don’t know, and may never see again, but in the process learning a lot about ourselves,” says Neil. “It’s an example of internationalism, interacting with the local community and having a lot of fun in the process. It’s amazing how strong the bonds are that develop in the time spent there. Members of an earlier group from 2014 have just returned of their own accord, to visit the people they had met previously.”

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Worth every moment

They went equipped with paint and paintbrushes, some toys, books and stationery supplies, and came back entranced by the warmth and generosity of their hosts, and their experience of Samoan culture and way of life. Year 13 students Wilson Murray and Sam Howard had no idea what to expect when they signed up for the Samoa service trip, but were driven by the desire to make a difference. Now, after over a year of planning and fundraising, it is all over – and both boys agree they are the richer for it. “It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Sam. “It feels like we did so little, but it meant so much. It was so cool to see the kids’ faces light up and see how much they enjoyed the new equipment.” “It doesn’t feel like we changed the world, but we definitely changed their day-to-day lives,” says Wilson. “It was fun to work on the project with mates, and to find out how it doesn’t take a lot of work from us to make a big difference to them.” The group was based in Lalomanu and worked at the pre- school in the nearby village of Satitoa, sanding and repainting the outdoor play equipment, and installing shelves in and painting a new school building. Although they worked hard, they both say the trip was a nice balance of work and play. They had time to relax and explore, attending church on Sunday – where they were blown away by the strength of the singing – checking out the Apia market, and enjoying trips to the To-Sua ocean trench, Papase’ea rock slide and Piula cave pool. They took every opportunity to mix with the locals, staying one night with a Samoan family and celebrating the end of the project with a fiafia (community get-together), where they were each given an individually screen-printed lavalava as a thank you present. “Samoa is fantastic. The people are so friendly and welcoming. They have so little and yet are so generous with what they have,” says Wilson. “We were lucky to be able to go and, after such an amazing time, it was so hard to say goodbye,” says Sam. “I’d recommend it to anyone. Start thinking about the next trip now and go for it 100 per cent. It’s well worth it.” The group of 12 College boys, accompanied by Assistant Principal – Community Engagement and Special Projects Neil Porter and his wife Debra, were in Samoa from Wednesday 11 –Thursday 19 July.

“The whole purpose is about helping people we don’t know, and may never see again, but in the process learning a lot about ourselves.” Neil Porter Personal growth, exposure to another culture, connections with another community, are among the benefits for the College boys. “The people of the village love having our boys up there and for the boys themselves it is a very big learning experience. They may or may not know each other very well when they go, but at the end of eight days, they have established another strong bond within their College experiences.” Leaving Samoa is always hard.

College Issue 35 2018


SERVICE PROJECTS AND CHARITY PARTNERSHIPS How our Houses are serving the community

One individual can’t make a wealth of difference, but a whole school can. That’s what College boys are learning as through their Houses they fulfil service projects and charity partnerships which are making a real impact in Christchurch.

Assistant Principal – Community Engagement and Special Projects Neil Porter says slowly and surely the school is building or rebuilding engagement with various groups within the wider community. The concept of service is being deliberately inculcated within the fabric of the school, so every boy can learn its value and the joy it brings, as well as gaining an

understanding of the situations faced by some members of the community. “By the end of the year each House will have at least one charity they support,” says Neil. “It may mean they collect annually for it on its collection day, or they fundraise for it by organising an event.”

In July Harper House held a wig day, with every boy wearing a wig to raise money and build recognition and support for the Child Cancer Foundation; School House is collecting for Aviva, one of College’s identified student-led charities this year; Jacobs House has a long- standing relationship with Anglican Care; and Richards House is forging a relationship with the City Mission,

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where boys will help out at the Mission’s Opportunity Shops; Julius House is rebuilding a relationship with Hohepa Canterbury; Flower’s has a long-standing connection with Ronald McDonald House; and other Houses are in the process of aligning themselves with a charity. “The idea is that we get to a point where each House has its own relationship with and can be seen as a support agency for the charity concerned. We’d love the boys, when they leave College, to have a real understanding of their charity connection, and a sound understanding of the way they work.” Neil sees the City Mission, an Anglican care agency, as a natural fit for College, an Anglican school. Already the City Missioner comes in and speaks to the Immerse & Inspire programme, and boys are able to assist with packing and distributing food parcels as well as gathering contributions to the foodbank.

“The idea is that we get to a point where each House has its own relationship

with and can be seen as a

support agency for, the charity concerned.” Neil Porter

College Issue 35 2018


COMMUNITY & LEADERSHIP Youth politics provide a buzz for Josh

Youth politics are taking Year 12 student Joshua Stevenson on an exciting and intellectually stimulating journey, opening both his eyes and his mind.

The 16-year-old’s growing interest has been rewarded by selection to attend several major New Zealand events. In April he went to the Aotearoa Youth Declaration in Auckland, in July he was at the NZ Model United Nations in Wellington, and in September he attended the first NZ Model Parliament in Christchurch. For Josh, it is all part of the fascination of seeing how issues are raised, how consensus is reached, how decisions are made, how discussions are conducted, and how solutions are formulated. And it is a field he is very keen to further develop in the future. “These experiences have been intellectually stimulating at a really high level. I’ve loved being involved in discussions on such things as the consequences of automation and the incitement of terrorism by the media and learning about the workings of the International Court of Justice. “This kind of thing has influenced the way I see my future. I’m looking at doing a Political Science and Law degree at Victoria University, and then working somewhere like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I got the chance to speak with an MFAT employee during the Aotearoa Youth Declaration and was really impressed.”

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