College – Issue 33



ISSUE 33 Contents



It is rocket science

04 06 09 11

Winter sport wrap 2017


Robotics builds connections New thinking about Mathematics Teaching Art History in the visual world

Hockey on fire 69 Strength and conditioning for better performances 72 Passion for rowing rekindled 75

Inspiring, enthralling Classics 12 The Cathedral Grammar School comes to College 14 Cogmed – a new addition to the Learning Centre's toolbox 16 Using literature to promote a love of learning 18 Newshounds on campus 19 Resources to help boys thrive 21


Examinations – the way they were


News & Events

Harry aims high, gets gold Amazing, inspiring jazz A rising rugby star A stellar achievement Teeing off in Las Vegas

80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87


Boarding Matters Ben looks back

22 24

Oceania medals for Sam and Cody

Problem solved


John Adcock retires

Make them laugh – Singin' in the Rain 

26 31 33 36 38 40

Development Office

A star is born Run77's Quest Arts Week 2017

Annual Appeal 2017 Reunited with the past

88 88

A treasured taonga, our College Waiata Bronze Award for Chapel Choir in Big Sing

A significant gift 89 Sporting, Excellence, Health & Wellbeing Breakfasts  89 Sponsorship 90 Fundraising travels in Hawke's Bay 92 Welcome return to the Development Office 93


Revolutionary Education Sowing the seeds of change

43 45 46 48 51 52 54 56 59 60 61

The Quadrangle

A cunning plan ...

A truly "Awesome" experience

From the President The Harris Collection

94 95 96 98 99

Strength in teamwork My house is your house

Seizing his chance – and making it Embracing the possibilities of life

Max Goodwin attends international forum in Baltimore

CCOBA Art Collection Nick Speight Shield Mentoring programme

Words of wisdom and experience

100 101 102 104 105 105 106 106

A helping hand

Stimulus for thought and discussion

Reunion Reports

Drawn from experience

Branch & Community Events

Senior Honours Tie

Queens Birthday Honours

What's On


GARTH WYNNE From our Executive Principal

The stories and articles in this edition of College reflect the wide range of opportunities available at College, highlighting some of our recent successes as well as demonstrating the eclectic nature of our boys and their talents. It is a joy to think that in recent months College students have – among other things – become the national secondary schools’ Rankin Cup hockey champions, represented New Zealand at the Oceania Athletics Area Championships, won the schools’ category of the 2017 New Zealand Programming Contest, made it to the final of SmokefreeRockquest, tested new educational initiatives and produced a wonderful school musical. All of this, while also managing the demands of more traditional classroom work and assessments. Such activities and successes reflect the aspirational culture that has always been a part of the College experience. They also underscore the wonderful collaboration of staff and students in so many different ways. To win, however, is not our sole focus, but rather to participate in a manner which reflects high expectations balanced with humility – and this has been the case in so

many of the activities reported in the following pages. The breadth of this offering continues to be the challenge both to College in its capacity to offer so much and to the boys to step forward and become engaged. In recent weeks, we have finalised our Strategy 2020 document (see enclosed). It is good to see this project come to fruition; its outcome is a refined approach to College development that rests comfortably on the past while being mindful of meeting future needs. The College community has been significant in helping to formulate this strategy and I thank everyone who has been involved in this process, which began part way through 2015 prior to my arrival. Within this strategy we identify the characteristics of the ideal College graduate and how, through their College experience, we can encourage our boys to aspire to that ideal. We will continue to review and improve, and always seek to offer new and innovative programmes that will add value to the already rich experience College provides.

Garth Wynne Christ’s College Executive Principal

Please enjoy College .

Christ’s College Magazine Issue 33, Winter 2017

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

College Magazine Writers: Catherine Hurley

Kristi Gray

Change of Address: Admissions Registrar

Graphic Designer: Melissa Hogan +64 3 364 8655

Sarah Fechney +64 3 364 6836

Printing: Caxton

ACADEMIC It is rocket science

With one small step for man, Year 11 Applied Science and Technology students have taken a giant leap into the space age, by designing, building, testing and launching their own rockets.

Teacher Arthur McGregor says studying rockets is a great way for the students to learn the basics of forces, including weight, thrust and aerodynamics. “There’s a load of physics behind it and this module links up nicely with the external examination at the end of the year. It’s more interesting teaching this content in a more authentic hands-on context. The boys are learning by doing; it’s both fun and educational.” The module began with the boys building kitset rockets and balloon- powered cars, which allowed them to get familiar with parts of the rocket and launch procedures, as well as look at the physics behind height, speed, thrust and drag. From there, they looked more closely at the science behind building rockets – including structural, payload, guidance and propulsion systems – and, using the programme Open Rocket, launched into making their own. While the basic components for each rocket were much the same – a stiff cardboard cylinder for the body, a 3D-printed nose cone, laser cut corflute fins for stability and centring rings to hold the motor in place, a paper or plastic parachute, plus a motor and propellant – it is all in the detail, and things did not always go according to plan. Working in teams of two or three, at each stage in the process the boys tested and refined their work, sometimes having to go back to the drawing board and rebuild a

particular component, in order to have their best shot at reaching for the skies. “It’s very precise work, the measurements and dimensions have to be exact. We make our own parts and then put them together to make the rocket we designed, which is easier said than done!” says student George Lamb. Friday 22 September was overcast with light showers but not too much

wind when these intrepid rocket scientists gathered on Upper for the launch. One group at a time, the boys brought their rocket out to the launch stand, fitted the igniter to the motor, attached the wires to the igniter and then stepped back to start the countdown … 3, 2, 1 … and their rockets were up and away.

All the rockets had successful launches. A couple flew high,


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smooth, fast. One was caught by the wind, which took it over the fence and into the Botanic Gardens, where it landed at the top of a very tall tree and could not be recovered. Others quickly tumbled back to earth, unstable as a result of design flaws or parachute failures. But, all in all, it was a stellar start for the College space race. To finish the module, the boys had to analyse the data collected to determine the speed, identify the forces that were acting on it, and explain the motion of the rocket. Rocket science is a great way to promote learning by stealth. As student Jack Elvy says, “It’s been fun, very enjoyable. I never knew much about rockets or the science behind them before this and have definitely learned a lot. It’s great to be part of such a good practical class.”


College Issue 33 2017

ACADEMIC Robotics builds connection

Technology is irresistible and the drive to create is strong, as the boys who took part in an intensive robotics workshop soon discovered.

Nine boys – three Year 11 students, three Year 9 students and three international guests – bonded over their enthusiasm for robotics and the opportunity to spend uninterrupted time building their own arduino rovers. With the older College boys acting as mentors and helping out with some of the trickier aspects of engineering, and the younger College boys each buddied with a visitor, all the boys happily focused on the task at hand.“Robotics is so much fun,” says Year 9 student William Picton-Warlow. “It’s hands-on, you’ve got to use your brain, and it’s creative. You

have to find a solution for all aspects of design, know where you’ll use all the components, build the rover, and code everything so it works the way you want it to.” His comments were echoed by Chinese student You Jie (Jerry) Li, who says he has loved visiting College and mixing with and learning alongside the older boys. The programme ended with a presentation on Friday 28 July where, despite a few technical hitches, the audience watched several games of “robotics football” and the rovers ranging round the room.


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College Issue 33 2017

The idea for the robotics workshop originated from a discussion between future College parent and travel agent Mei Staples and International Student Manager Deanne Gath. Director of ICT Paul Rodley and HOD Design & Technology Kevin Harris came on board and, along with Science teacher Arthur McGregor, devised and ran the programme, which took place on Thursay 27 and Friday 28 July. Participants included Year 11 students Will Hammond, James Criglington and Mark Ma, Year 9 students William Picton-Warlow, Sam Pinckney and Dominic Kerr, and Zhan Mo (Tiger) Ren, Yi Xuan (Kimi) Deng and You Jie (Jerry) Li from Dong Feng Dong Primary School in Guangzhou, China.

“It’s hands-on, you’ve got to use your brain,and it’s creative.You have to find a solution for all aspects of design,know where you’ll use all the components, build the rover,and code everything so it works theway youwant it to.” William Picton-Warlow


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ACADEMIC New thinking about Mathematics

Level Up is an online mathematics challenge for Year 9 and 10 students, designed to develop their problem solving, creative thinking and communication skills.

Each week while at College, tutor Andrew Macarthur devised a mathematics problem that needed a creative solution, and posted it online for the boys to discuss and submit their response. “Level Up questions are about finding creative strategies to solve unfamiliar problems that boys won’t necessarily have been shown how to approach before,” says Andrew. “It is for those boys who are doing well in mathematics, who like a challenge, and want to extend their skills.” Level Up was formulated by HoD Mathematics Lars Thomsen and Andrew, to encourage self-directed learning and get boys thinking about mathematics in a way that goes beyond their classroom work. It is open to all junior students, “Mathematics is asmuch

but will particularly benefit mathematically-able students in mixed ability classes, and is designed to develop students’ communication and higher-level thinking skills needed to achieve the highest grades in NCEA. Boys who take part in Level Up can only see other people’s comments when they have made a comment themselves. Results are published on a leader board and students earn points based on their contribution to the discussion and solution to the problem. There is plenty of interest in seeing who has made it to the top of the leader board each week.

“Mathematics is as much about problem solving, creative thinking and communication, as it is about technique,” says Andrew. “Level Up gives students the opportunity to develop these skills in a practical and fun way.” Lars and Andrew hope parents will encourage their sons to participate, as Level Up adds value to College mathematics and builds skills for future success.

about problem solving,creative thinking and communication, as it is about technique.” Andrew Macarthur


College Issue 33 2017

“Teaching Art History in the digital age is an exciting opportunity. My classroompractice has changed completely.’’ Robyn Peers


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ACADEMIC Teaching Art History in the visual world

When Robyn Peers began teaching Art History, her main tool was a set of slides sent out by the Ministry of Education – with a very limited number of images on which to base learning.

“I’ve had boys with dyslexia who find written material difficult to access, but who have exceptional visual learning skills. They find the Khan Academy video lectures in front of significant artworks the best way to revise and supplement the work we do in class. “Teaching Art History in the digital age is an exciting opportunity. My classroom practice has changed completely with the incredible wealth of images available and these resources allow boys to be in control of their own learning.

Google Docs allow the boys to work together, sharing insights, research and ideas. Rather than images being chosen by me, the boys can choose the ones they want to illustrate the information they are learning about. “Altogether, it’s an exciting time to be working in the visual field. We’re now living in a time where visual information is becoming increasingly important, and analysis and interpretation of visual material is a vital skill for all of us.”

But the advent of the Internet has changed all that. “It has completely opened up what we can now study,’’ says Robyn. “Apps such as Google Images have meant so many works are available online. Google Art means we can get a close-up of the brushwork and painting much better than we would get if we were looking at the real thing in a gallery. Louvre, visit MOMA, and keep up to date with current exhibitions and read reviews from all over the world. We can use Google Earth to visit architectural sites and are not just restricted to one view – we can start with a street view and move around the whole site. With sculptures, we can also move around and view all aspects of the work. “Having a group of technologically- savvy boys in my class around eight years ago really opened my mind to what was possible in terms of accessing information. The boys would regularly find articles and YouTube footage relating to the topics we were studying. The Khan Academy from the United States is also a phenomenal educational resource for Art History classes, as well as other areas. “We can take a virtual tour of famous galleries such as the


College Issue 33 2017

ACADEMIC Inspiring,enthralling Classics

“To have this resource right on our doorstep is the best thing,” says Classics teacher Chloe Harland.

“We don’t have the luxury of popping over to Italy or Greece, but we do have access to this amazing and inspiring collection, and I want to utilise it as much as I can, whenever I can.” Chloe is talking about the James Logie Memorial Collection, one of the University of Canterbury’s great treasures, which is now housed in the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities in the Arts Centre. The Logie Collection serves as a teaching and research collection and features some priceless works of art and artefacts from the ancient world. Each piece tells a story of

life in societies long gone, but not forgotten. There is much we can learn from ancient civilisations that is still relevant to our lives today. The Teece Museum opened in May 2017. Its inaugural exhibition – We Could Be Heroes – celebrates the gods and heroes of the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is a theme reflected in an internal assessment devised by Chloe for her Year 13 students. A dedicated research day is a rare treat in a busy school schedule, but on Tuesday 8 August Year 13 Classics students took a break from

their usual routines to visit the Teece Museum and focus on the task at hand. “The boys are looking at hero culture, comparing some of today’s fictional and real heroes with the stories of Hercules, Odysseus and Achilles, looking at similarities and differences, and studying them in terms of the prevailing social context,” says Chloe. “Heroes are a reflection of the time in which they’re born, but they’re so much more than that. Their stories are timeless because, at heart, the myths of gods and heroes are about the human condition – our hopes, our fears, and how we view and understand the world.” Chloe says she is constantly looking for opportunities to bring Classics to life and was keen to create an assessment specifically so the boys could engage with the Logie Collection, to learn how to use primary source material,

“I try and teach Classics as a story. It’s compelling and fascinating and there’s somuch to learn.” Chloe Harland


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gather evidence for their ideas and, ultimately, present a cogent argument on their chosen topic. Classics is a varied and multidisciplinary subject, drawing on art and art history, literature, philosophy and history, and helping students develop intellectual rigour, and research, analytical and critical thinking skills. “I want to make sure the boys have the confidence to access information, synthesise their ideas and form an opinion,” says Chloe. With more behind-the-scenes than there is ever room to display at any one time, the Logie Collection will prove a ready source of information and inspiration for years to come. Chloe intends to make the most of it, to mine this rich resource, inspire her students, foster their love of learning and teach them how enthralling Classics can be. “I try and teach Classics as a story. It’s compelling and fascinating and there’s so much to learn. Every day I feel like I’m telling an amazing and utterly engaging story.”


College Issue 33 2017

ACADEMIC The Cathedral Grammar School comes to College

The Design and Technology workshop is always a hive of activity, but this year the ring of young female voices has been added to the mix.

Year 7 and 8 students from nearby The Cathedral Grammar School have come to College to take part in technology classes run by Kevin Harris and Gavin Love. The school approached College to run the classes because it currently does not have the resources to meet the technology curriculum requirements. Design and Technology HoD Kevin Harris says College has top facilities, resources and teaching staff, so they were pleased to accommodate the students who come for an hour and a half for a 16-week block. “It is particularly good for the Year 7 students who will return next year, so we can extend the knowledge they have gained this year.’’

Much of the focus this year has been on workshop safety. As Gavin Love says, “We can’t stress enough the importance of workplace safety. In New Zealand, on average one person a month is killed and 30 people are injured, so understanding the rules around safety is a basic foundation for future learning.’’ Kevin Harris says the students come in with a lot of enthusiasm, especially the girls, who seem motivated and keen to learn and this tends to rub off on the boys. “We know that not every child is going to go into a career in a technology workshop, but there are a lot of skills we teach that are used in crafts and arts, as well as DIY. It’s all about learning practical

skills and we are the ones who plant the seed. They learn a little bit of everything, including digital technology, and next year we will be incorporating design.’’ The Cathedral Grammar School Deputy Principal Nicola Church says the classes have been a great experience for the students. “Since the earthquakes, our technology classes have been rather piecemeal, so it has been good to be well set up in such great facilities within close walking distance. It has been good for our boys too, as they can see what College has to offer and feel comfortable finding their way around. They have found the classes fun with lots of learning and problem solving.’’


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Give me knowledge and I can change the world.

At Christ’s College, every boy is encouraged to have an academic sense of purpose. This is what has motivated me to reach my potential. Our teachers encourage us to push ourselves further, providing us with opportunities to take part in a wide range of examinations. It’s helped many of us win scholarships at some of the world’s top universities. I think it’s all down to the way teachers work closely with each of us, working out how they can best help us as individuals strive to achieve our very best.


College Issue 33 2017

Each boy at hi b st.

LEARNING CENTRE Cogmed – a new addition to the Learning Centre’s toolbox

A new initiative which aims to help College boys improve their working memory has proven to be a real learning “game changer” for Year 11 student Luke Hamilton.

Educationalists know how important working memory is for effective learning. So for boys such as Luke, who have experienced difficulties in remembering things and listening to instructions, the five-week Cogmed programme has given them a real improvement in their retention and retrieval of information. College’s Learning Centre is the only one in the South Island using the programme, which works to form and strengthen new neural pathways. Learning Centre HoD Lesley Anderson-McKenna says they are thrilled with the outcomes of the Cogmed programme, the efficacy of which has been consistently shown in numerous independent peer-reviewed academic journals. Boys who have been identified as having deficits in their working memory come to the Learning Centre for an hour each morning before school for a period of five weeks. Each training group consists of 10–12 boys and the programme is offered to students at all year levels. After discovering Cogmed, Learning Centre staff soon realised the possibilities of the programme and contacted Working Memory New Zealand to find out more.

They have had extensive training as Cogmed coaches to act as mentors to the boys. “The exercises are repetitive and it is an intensive programme, so our challenge is to keep the boys motivated,” says Lesley. “We meet with them individually once a week for a coaching session

to help them see the progress they are making. After five weeks, we have a final wrap-up session where we go through the data and the boys discuss their personal experiences. There is no doubt the majority of boys who complete the programme have noticed an improvement in several facets of their life.’’


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“Cogmed is a wonderful addition to our existing toolbox. It is great for students who have specific difficulties with their workingmemory,which is so critical in all the work they do.” Lesley Anderson-McKenna

Research has shown participants continue to make gains for six months after finishing the programme. The boys are re- interviewed after six months to see what ongoing improvements they have noticed. Luke Hamilton says when he first started the programme, he could not see how it could improve things for him. “However, once I got stuck in, things really seemed to be improving without me even trying. It helped with remembering things

like a set of numbers, a set of instructions, and even things that people had told me. My girlfriend was amazed because I even remembered to ask her how her hockey game had gone, something I wouldn’t have done previously.’’ Lesley Anderson-McKenna is convinced of the programme’s merit. “Cogmed is a wonderful addition to our existing toolbox. It is great for students who have specific difficulties with their working memory, which is so critical in

all the work they do. Those who complete the programme also notice a significant improvement in their organisational skills, are better able to listen to verbal instructions, have better focus and can hold and manipulate more information in their short-term memory.’’ More information about Cogmed can be found at


College Issue 33 2017

ADVANCED LEARNING Using literature to promote a love of learning

To inspire a love of learning was the fundamental aim of English tutor Leanne Greenfield’s English literature study group.

“I took a small group of learners and looked at ways to extend their thinking,’’ she says. “The study group was not assessment-based or designed to test them; it was about giving the boys the opportunity to find something they were interested in, and to explore it in depth for themselves.” The study started with an overview of English throughout history, then looked at the skills required to analyse texts in depth. The boys chose a topic they wished to study further, choosing different texts or books to represent their area of interest. They worked on producing a presentation of their research to a group of interested parents and friends. “Itwassonice to workwithagroup of studentswho activelywanted to learn.Theywere all keen to think about their place in theworldand toexplore this through literature.” Leanne Greenfield

had a big impact on society: 1984 , To Kill a Mockingbird and The Feminine Mystique . Nazi war propaganda interested Matthew Gibb. Leanne Greenfield has nothing but praise for the boys and the way they responded to the research tasks. “It was great. The boys were so engaged. They all interacted, complemented each other’s interests and respected each other’s abilities. It was so nice to work with a group of students who actively wanted to learn. They were all keen to think about their place in the world and to explore this through literature. It was amazing to see such high level sophisticated thinking.’’

The result was an interesting range of topics. Year 10 student Angad Vraich chose to study the Romantic period, answering an English Scholarship question using two poems and a play. He was enthusiastic about the opportunity to do such a detailed literature study, saying they did not often have the chance to dive so deeply into a text. Owen Short researched archetypal evil characters, especially those from Nazi Germany, using texts since the Second World War. He used Harry Potter, two short stories and the Charlie Chaplin movie The Great Dictator . Protest literature was Tom Jones’ choice. He chose three books that


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ACADEMIC Newshounds on campus

Get the scoop on the Student Inquirer , the latest College publication – the first issue, published online in Term 3, is available now.

The student-run Student Inquirer is the brainchild of Year 12 students and editorial staff Harry Robson, George Murray, Cameron Knight, Han-Young Kim, Wills Wynn Thomas, Tobias Brooker-Haines and William Hadden, inspired and supported by former Mathematics tutor Andrew Macarthur and former English tutor Leanne Greenfield. Its eclectic mix of articles provides a fresh perspective on a wide range of topics, reflecting the interests of the authors.

College life. “A student-run newspaper provides a meaningful representation of students’ views. It gives students an outlet for talking about what’s important to them, and keeps administration and teaching staff in touch with what the students are thinking. That’s got to be a positive thing.” The editorial team worked hard to put the first issue together, always mindful of the need to balance the Inquirer with the demands of academic and other commitments. “We met on a regular basis to ensure everyone was on the same page. It was really exciting, coming up with themes and ideas,

thinking creatively, designing the look, finding images, editing and formatting the text, and getting the newspaper out.” Harry says they hope to publish one issue each term, depending on student uptake – so newshounds on campus, movers and shakers and opinion makers, now have a place where their voices will be heard. Discover the Student Inquirer online at www.studentinquirer.

Editor-in-chief Harry Robson believes such a publication is an important addition to

Password: Rising Sun


College Issue 33 2017


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ACADEMIC Resources to help boys thrive

We live in a complicated, highly-connected world. Life – and, in particular, adolescence – is not always easy. The Student Welfare committee, led by Year 13 student Jono Raymond, is dedicated to helping our students navigate these often turbulent years.

Launched at the start of Term 2, the new Student Wellbeing Page on Schoolbox is a student-run initiative devised by webmasters Year 13 student Caelan Murch and Year 12 student Harry Robson. The page provides links to a range of practical ideas and a rich trove of resources designed to help students in need and raise awareness of the importance of good mental health. “I’ve always been interested in helping people and this seemed a natural fit for my skills,” says Harry. “A lot of students can feel isolated and afraid to seek help. We want them to know they’re not on their own, many people share similar problems, and it’s always okay to reach out. Ultimately, our aim is to ensure the students can be at their best. Having a good sense of wellbeing, a healthy

mind and healthy body, is a good prerequisite for success.” Along with the web page, the committee has also come up with other ways to get the health and wellbeing message out, including a series of mental health awareness posters created by College art students, electronic messaging where appropriate, and the introduction of a peer support programme in 2018. They are planning an information blitz. It might take a cultural shift, but change is possible. “We’ve grown up in a society that says you have to be tough, can’t show weakness – and that’s one of the biggest problems, because people don’t want to appear to be weak. But some of the stats, especially New Zealand’s high youth suicide rate, are really distressing, and

depression, anxiety, stress, self- harm, and issues around drinking, drugs and sexuality are all very real,” says Caelan. By creating resources that engage with, educate and attract the attention of the students, the committee hopes to open a meaningful discussion around health and wellbeing and give all boys the tools to thrive. College Counsellor and Director of Positive Education & Wellbeing John Quinn has been working closely with the Student Welfare committee to support and drive these projects forwards.

“Ultimately, our aim is to ensure the students can be at their best.Having a good sense of wellbeing, a healthymind and healthy body, is a good prerequisite for success.” Harry Robson


College Issue 33 2017

BOARDING Boarding Matters

Boarding is a constant work in progress, a partnership between the students, their parents and the school. Some of the changes introduced as a result of last year’s review of boarding are already having a positive impact on boarding life.

An additional non-residential tutor has started in each House as part of the weekly duty roster, from 7am–3pm on Saturday and 8am–3pm on Sunday; four new academic tutors come in at prep time from Monday to Thursday, which means there are now two tutors available across all subjects, as well as the regular staff on duty; a cohesive and consistent discipline model has been introduced; on Monday and Wednesday a “fuelling station”

has been set up in the Dining Hall after school, so the boys can have a snack prior to heading to sports; and a supervisor has been employed to oversee activities in the Gymnasium and Weights Room in the evenings and at times during the weekends. Director of Boarding Darrell Thatcher says he has been impressed by the ease with which these changes have been implemented. “I’ve been really pleased by the response of the boys and boarding staff, and believe we now offer a more proactive level of care.”

The concept of care as part of the College boarding experience also includes listening to the students and opening up opportunities for younger boys to step up and take leadership roles. In Term 2, all Year 12 boarders took over Prefect on Duty responsibilities in their respective Houses and a group composed of representatives from each boarding House met to discuss the purpose of these roles. “As a result, we have created a document outlining the expectations of being a boarding House Prefect,” says Darrell. “By being part of this discussion, the


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boys could see the purpose of these roles as more than just a duty. They saw an opportunity to become a leader, to get to know and be able to work with boys in all year groups.” With long-serving Housemasters Chris Sellars and Andrew Levenger standing down at the end of the year, changes are afoot in both Richards and Flower’s Houses. As a result, we have recently appointed two new boarding Housemasters. Kevin Harris will join the team at Richards House, while Ben Vink will join Flower’s House, with both men bringing a considerable amount of pastoral care experience to the roles.

As we endeavour to create a supportive and positive experience for all boarders, we also aim to maintain the unique feel and culture of each House. As Darrell says, “Part of the long-term boarding plan is to have common systems in place across all Houses and a cohesive and integrated boarding curriculum that will provide boarders with a more comprehensive range of activities. While we want them to enjoy their boarding experience, we must always keep in mind the boys are being educated and prepared for life after College.’’


College Issue 33 2017

BOARDING Ben looks back

As both Head of Boarding and Head of School House, Year 13 student Ben Murray has learned a lot about leadership and responsibility in his final year.

“I think it’s helped me become a better person, I’m now more confident and understand how important it is to be a positive role model. Senior students set the standard, they’re the ones the younger boys look up to and they influence the whole feel of the House.” He has enjoyed working with Director of Boarding Darrell Thatcher to improve the boarding experience, and says the introduction of extended opening hours in the Gymnasium and Weights Room, the pre-sport fuelling station, and seeing greater interaction between boys across all

boarding Houses were highlights of his time at the top. According to Ben, the boarders have been privileged to hear from some inspirational guest speakers this year, including Jeremy Scott, author of The Long Road from a Broken Heart , and Old Boys Tomo Harada and Andrew Mills. “Jeremy really connected with the boys, talking about his adventures, the countries he’s visited and the people he’s met, whereas Tomo and Andrew talked about what boarding was like when they were at College and how it affected them. Tomo, being an international student, was especially relevant. It

was good for the boys to hear what it was like and it really made them think about how they treat other people.” The opportunity to attend the New Zealand Boarding Schools’ Association student conference and meet Heads of Boarding from schools all over the country was another high point. “It was a bit of an eye-opener. We all had to do a presentation and it was very interesting to see how other boarding schools are set up. It made me realise things at College are good, our systems work and we have a wide range of activities available.” A student-driven Christchurch boarding schools’ initiative emerged from that conference and Ben has been part of a group that plans to foster more collegial relationships, as well as a bit of healthy competition, amongst the city’s boarding schools. “We’re starting with a quiz night at Rangi and a touch tournament at College. It’s good to get something underway this year, so next year they can hit the ground running.” That is part of his legacy and now Ben feels ready to pass the baton on. “It’s been cool to be one of the leaders in the school and, although it feels like the end of the year is coming up fast and there’s still so much to do, I’m ready to leave and looking forward to the next stage of my life.”


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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 33 2017

SENIOR PRODUCTION Make them laugh – Singin’ in the Rain


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College Issue 32 2017

This year’s senior production Singin’ in the Rain was an extraordinary performance full of fun, energy and gob-smacking technical wizardry, says Director of Drama David Chambers.

“It’s always a big ask at first, but we were blown away by the perseverance and effort the boys put in, especially Simon Brown, Hugo Beale, Angus Mossman, Charlie Horncastle, Robert Rolleston and Dion Houston. They brought such joy, vibrancy and energy to the production and to their roles. “It’s also great to have senior boys who are not usually known for their

singing and dancing abilities, such as Jono Raymond, Luke Zydenbos and Paddy Coates, who took on cameo roles and brought great credibility to the characters they played. It has given a depth of talent to our Years 11 and 12.’’ Technology played an important part in the visual impact of the production and staging Singin’ in the Rain created some interesting technical challenges, says David.

The show ran with full houses over four nights and was seen by nearly 3000 people who were enthusiastic in their praise for the production. Exuberant, witty, effervescent, glamorous, starstruck fans and lovestruck stars, and an all-singing all-dancing ensemble tip-tip- tapping their way into our hearts – the production of the classic musical comedy transported the audience to late-1920s Hollywood, where a story about the game- changing impact of new technology unspooled alongside a timeless tale about love. “We chose this production because it gave the two schools involved the chance to take part in a feel-good musical the whole audience could enjoy, firstly for the story, secondly for singing and dancing and thirdly for the technical expertise we could use to create the radiant rain-filled finale,’’ says David. The first challenge was getting the boys to dance, he says.


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“You can’t do Singin’ without the rain, so a lot of planning went into constructing a safe and efficient system to achieve the effect. “There is no doubt that the absolute showpiece was the finale, with the radiant rain sequence and the rainbow lighting, which the audience absolutely loved.’’ The whole process relied on the technical wizardry and design flair of technical director and set designer Grant Bennett, who says it was a puzzle he enjoyed working on. The floor had to be waterproofed and sloped so the “rain” could run to a central point, and then be siphoned out of the building. Members of the audience who chose to sit in the splash zone were relieved to discover the water was warmed through a gas califont before being pumped to the sprinkler delivery system. David Chambers says lead roles in this production were not just played onstage.

“Our technical crew stepped into the management of the show and, at one time, our stage manager Brent Criglington appeared to be doing the work of three stage managers. He was supported by deputy stage manager Henry Seaton, who coordinated the lighting and sound. “Special mention must also go to Peter Hewson and Elayne Butler, who cleverly crafted the five silent movies which were then converted to talking movies. These underlined the major theme of the show – that the ‘talkies’ were the monumental change in film technology.”

As with all musicals, the strength of the show is its music and Nick Sutcliffe’s musical direction was a fitting farewell to his time at College. “Nick trained the singers and drew an exciting performance from them,’’ says David. “He also managed the 18-piece orchestra, who were perched high in the rigging above the rain. It was a fantastic effort by everyone, but especially Nick who will be greatly missed.’’

“There is no doubt that the absolute showpiece was the finale with the radiant rain sequence and the rainbow lighting, which the audience absolutely loved.” David Chambers


College Issue 33 2017

DRAMA A star is born


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Simon Brown is a young man who typifies the College ethos – stepping out of your comfort zone, seizing an opportunity, taking a risk, then soaring to new heights. Simon won an important role in the senior production Singin’ in the Rain as Cosmo, the affable, enthusiastic, quirky sidekick to the lead, who charms the audience with his humour, quick wit and physicality. It is a pivotal role, which requires plenty of dancing while singing, as well as lots of fast- paced highly complex moves. But Simon was a rookie, a newcomer to acting and singing, who had never taken part in a production in front of an audience and certainly had never danced a step. He knew it was going to be a big challenge for him. “I was in Year 13 and realised I had never put myself out there, never been involved in the pointy side of theatre, so I decided this was my last chance to take the opportunity. I have to say, I was scared and embarrassed that I would make a fool of myself, but after I had watched the film of Singin’ in the Rain , I was determined to make myself give it a go. “I identified with the character of Cosmo, so at the audition did an impression of him, acting goofy and talking fast. I couldn’t believe it when the director saw my potential and gave me the role, which gave me the chance to learn to act, sing and dance. At first, I panicked and felt guilty as I was a newcomer who hadn’t made my way up through other productions. However, although I felt a huge amount of pressure, I was really excited.’’ Mastering a fast-paced American accent seemed to come easily to

proud. It’s been such a confidence boost. “While I may never again take part in such a production where I sing, dance and act, I absolutely know that, in the future, it will give me the courage to take on things and to believe I can do them. “I seriously want to encourage people to have faith in themselves and to have the courage to step out of their comfort zone. I was so close to not going to the audition, so close, but if I hadn’t done it, I would never have known I could do this or understand how much I can achieve if I really give it a go. You have to say that’s a great lesson to learn in life.’’ And the appreciative audience definitely thought so, too.

Simon and his voice never seemed forced or unnatural.

“I have always been good at impressions and I just kept listening and copying until it

became reasonably easy. Then I had to learn to tap dance and that was another huge step and a lot of work, but we had a few sessions with a teacher to learn the basics and it got easier over time. It was just a matter of persistence and a bucket load of practice.’’ Simon says he has learned so much from the experience. “I am blown away by how much I have picked up. At the beginning, I had so little faith in myself to carry it all off, but I just kept pushing forward, improving all the time. The positive feedback I’ve received as a result has made me really

“At the beginning, I had so little faith in myself to carry it all off, but I just kept pushing forward, improving all the time.” Simon Brown


College Issue 33 2017

Run77’s Quest


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looking for the whole package and, from start to finish, they played with consistent quality, their songs were well structured, well edited and commercially viable.” From that point, they had to build their repertoire and focus on musicianship as well as stage presence. For the next stage of the competition they had to submit a 15-minute performance video and, after being announced as one of the eight national finalists, had a day in recording studio The Sitting Room on Southwark Street to record one of their songs. “It’s a really cool experience, the studio has a good vibe,” says George Murray. “You have to be really focused, as it can be hard to maintain the level of intensity needed to get the perfect sound. It’s given us a huge insight into what it takes to be a good recording as well as performing band – how you have to be able to work with producers and sound engineers, but also be able to get on stage and perform.”

Throughout the year, the motivated musicians of Run77 have spent hours practising, performing, proving their talent and demonstrating the ability, the star quality, to get them to the national final of SmokefreeRockquest. Many successful Kiwi musicians have launched their careers at SmokefreeRockquest, the biggest live, original music, youth event in New Zealand – and of the hundreds of bands, soloists and duos to enter the regional heats, it is an outstanding achievement to make the final. Although they did not come away with a major prize, they still feel like winners. “It was such an amazing journey, just awesome,” says guitarist and lead singer, Year 12 student Angus Mossman. “We were stoked to make it through the heats and win the regional final, very very happy to be in the Top 30, blown away when we made it to the Top

8 ... just to get so far, we felt like winners regardless of the result.” Run77 is composed of Angus, along with his fellow Year 12 students Robert Rolleston on bass guitar and George Murray on keyboard, Year 13 student Henry Phelps on lead guitar, and Year 11 student Angus Murray on drums. Music is an all- consuming passion and Run77’s quest, working together to hone their song-writing and performance skills, began long before the Canterbury heats held in May. In the lead-up to and throughout the competition, they arrived at school every morning at 7am to rehearse, fuelled by enthusiasm, their drive to make original music, and good coffee. They were thrilled to simply get through that first stage and go on to win the regional final. Angus recalls, “We felt pretty good, we’d been putting a lot of work in and it was sweet to get the result we were looking for. When we heard we’d won, we went mental!” Rock band tutor Nolan Hungerford says the band played incredibly well. “The judges said they were

For Run77, performance is what it is about. Wearing hard hats and high vis


College Issue 33 2017

vests, they gave an impromptu concert for the Mayor, councillors and other dignitaries, so experts could monitor the acoustics in the newly-rebuilt auditorium at the Christchurch Town Hall. Then, the evening before the final, they performed at The Big Bash 8 boxing event. Their quest reached its climax – and ended – at the SmokefreeRockquest national final, held in Auckland on Saturday 2 September. Angus says they did their absolute best, doing exactly as they had planned, if not more. “The atmosphere was electric. There were hundreds of people there and the crowd loved it. It was so cool to see so many people lost in, feeling our music.” And, although they admit to a smidgen of disappointment, Angus says the band is determined to come back stronger. They already have plans to play more gigs and get back in the studio to record more songs. “Rockquest has taken up so much of our time this year, we’ve learned so much about the music industry ... of course we want to keep on, and do everything we can to get the Run77 sound out there.”


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“The atmosphere was electric.There were hundreds of people there and the crowd loved it. It was so cool to see somany people lost in, feeling our music.” Angus Mossman


College Issue 33 2017

CULTURE Arts Week 2017

The second annual celebration of creativity, imagination and culture was back on campus for Arts Week 2017, with a wide range of arts-inspired antics and activities providing entertainment for all comers.

arts technician Grant Bennett and Classics teacher Chloe Harland all had their say, entertaining a crowd of Year 12 and 13 students, before Nick was given the right to reply. Meanwhile, junior students could have a go at karaoke, taking to the stage in a lip-sync battle. Winning accolades for their effort were Flower’s House with their performance of “The Gumboot Song”, Harper with “The Chicken Song” and Jacobs House taking on “Let It Go”, from the perennially popular Disney hit Frozen . Thursday 18 May Film festival time! Over the course of the week, students from each House were invited to make a short

Monday 15 May First up, rock band Illegal Bass (Fearghus Bratten, Max Thomas, Kynan Salt, Eddie Priest, Tim Ward) tested their live act and performed two original songs in anticipation of their upcoming appearance at RockQuest. At lunchtime, the Houses battled it out on the Quad for the Wearable Arts crown. Corfe placed third, Harper second, and School House flew to the top of the pack with their winning birdman creation. And in a packed OBT Year 13 students Hugo Beale, Hugh Marshall, Nick Stevens and Finn Sziranyi demonstrated the strength of wit and wordplay in five Theatresports games. Tuesday 16 May On the Round Square Adventure Day, boys arrived at school wearing themed mufti – each House selected a country’s flag that could relate to their House colours and asked students to wear the same colours. Some of Condell’s students let their creativity fly, dressing up as members of a Colombian cartel. Money raised from the mufti day supported the charity Beyond Water. At lunchtime, three food trucks – 5-Foot Way, Transylvanian Delight and Tommy Taco – set up on the Upham Quad, serving delicious food to the hungry hordes. A rotation of College rock bands provided a backdrop of sound

to events taking place on Upper. In a nod to the street art style of Banksy, Spray Paint challenged teams from each House to create an original work of art designed to depict or reflect an aspect of their House, with Jacobs House coming first with their colourful rendition of their House emblem. At the same time, the Round Square Adventure Relay pitted teams from each House against each other in various challenges. Wednesday 17 May A celebrity roast teetered on the brink of becoming a fond farewell in anticipation of the departure of music teacher and all-round good guy, Nick Sutcliffe. Year 13 student Nick Stevens, performing


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