Teaching & Learning at Christ's College

Teaching & Learning at Christ’s College



Strategy 2025 in the Christ’s College Curriculum


Our philosophy


The National Education and Learning Priorities


The Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research


Our classroom environment


The people


The Learning Centre


Advanced Learning


The New Zealand Curriculum


Key competencies


Three phases of learning


Year 9 – the foundation for learning


The Christ’s College Diploma – Choice & Challenge


NCEA – Expertise & Excellence


Assessment and reporting


Wellbeing and character education


Digital literacy and e-Learning


Our Vision – Matawhaˉnui Christ’s College will be a vibrant school community that educates boys to be men of virtuous character who make a positive contribution to society. Our Mission – Whakatakanga Each boy at his best. Tama tu¯ tama ora ki tu¯ i te tu taioreore

Our Motto – Whakapepeha Bene tradita, bene servanda “Good traditions, well maintained”

Strategy 2025 in the Christ’s College Curriculum

Our Strategy 2025 is built on the following themes:

Motivation Manawa hihiko

Connection Tuhonotanga

Philanthropy Ngaˉkau ohaoha

Sustainability Toitu¯tanga

Within our College setting, this is captured in our ongoing work to ensure our curriculum and pedagogy meet the needs of our students. Motivation is a driving force in student engagement and ensuring our courses best meet boys’ needs and interests.

As part of our curriculum, the introduction of the innovative Christ’s College Diploma formalises our investment in wellbeing, sustainability, and service.


Our philosophy

Christ’s College is committed to being a leader in teaching and learning, offering students one of the finest education experiences. Our commitment guides all areas of our academic operations, underpinning our pedagogy, programmes, and procedures.

At Christ’s College, we strive to be innovative in our teaching and learning while maintaining the rich traditions of our past. Our approach to teaching and learning is based on extensive experience in educating boys, supported by the latest research on boys’ learning needs and educational achievement. We strive to engage all our boys so that they can achieve and to create an environment where boys thrive. We are aspirational for our boys’ academic outcomes. We also recognise the rich experiences that contribute to learning both inside and outside the classroom. While academic learning is predominantly gained in a traditional classroom, life learning extends across all experiences at Christ’s College. We believe our curriculum encompasses all these learning experiences and are proud of our commitment to a holistic education, including our significant co-curricular programme.

Our virtues and graduate outcomes remain at the forefront of our curriculum. As a faith- inspired school, boys experience an education embedded with the behavioural expectations of our virtues. These virtues form the framework of our interactions as a community. Our programme nurtures those virtues and the qualities found in a Christ’s College Graduate. Our Round Square International membership contributes to those many College opportunities based on six aspirational themes – the IDEALS that define the common threads in member schools.

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Our Virtues Seven core Christian virtues underpin all aspects of College life: • Honesty – Pono • Spirituality – Wairuatanga • Compassion Ngaˉkau aroha • Learning – Nga akoranga • Respect – Ngaˉkau whakamiha • Stewardship – Kaitiakitanga • Justice – Manatika

The Christ’s College Graduate • A disposition to serve • Compassion & empathy • Confidence & humility

Round Square IDEALS • Internationalism • Democracy • Environmentalism

• Courage & resilience • Enterprise & curiosity • Global & bicultural competence • Interpersonal skills • Personal excellence • Self-awareness • Capacity to lead & follow

• Adventure • Leadership • Service


The National Education and Learning Priorities

Learners at the centre Our mission is Each boy at his best. Our work on curriculum development, relational teaching, and opening future pathways is all student focused.

At Christ’s College, we embed The National Education and Learning Priorities – that guide all New Zealand schools – into our everyday practice.

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Barrier-free access With a well-resourced Learning Centre, ensuring that all boys have access to tailored learning is a priority at Christ’s College. Our work in furthering our understanding of Taha Ma¯ori and providing pastoral support for our Ma¯ori and Pasifika students are key to ensuring an inclusive education for all students.

Quality teaching and learning

Future of learning and working All boys are supported in their future pathways through individual meetings in their senior years with the Careers Advisor. We are also extending our relationships with industry training and dual enrolment providers, with the potential to offer students alternative programmes when best suited to individual needs.

The Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research is designed to focus on continual improvement in teaching and learning. We believe that meeting the needs of all learners starts with supporting teachers to reflect on, and refine, their daily practice.


The Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research

The Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research (CTER) was established in 2018 with the express purpose of supporting excellence in teaching and learning. For our boys, quality education is dependent on quality teaching based on best practice. Just as we aim to enable each boy to be at his best, CTER works to enable each teacher to be at their best. Our CTER work takes several forms.

Coaching and mentoring Teachers at Christ’s College model lifelong learning through their professional growth cycle. All teachers at Christ’s College have a trained professional coach who supports an organic inquiry cycle. Together with their coach, teachers identify personal goals in order to extend their teaching craft (pedagogy). Their coaches support reflective practice through classroom observations, video analysis and individual coaching sessions. Strategic curriculum development Since its inception, CTER has been a driving force of ongoing curriculum review. The curriculum (the framework of what we teach) needs to be dynamic to best prepare our boys for life beyond school. The most tangible review outcome has been the three- year development of the Christ’s College Diploma, which will be introduced in 2022. CTER will be the mechanism for continual self-review of how we implement the curriculum in our classrooms.

Research Pedagogy is always evolving and it is important that our staff base their practice on what educational research identifies as the most effective teaching methods. In order to help our staff keep abreast of the latest research, CTER works to synthesize academic findings into key points that enable teacher development. In addition, CTER is a resource for teachers to request research and information to explore individual professional goals. CTER plans to partner with academics in educational research to make new contributions to the field of academic research. Professional learning delivery Each Thursday morning, teaching staff gather to focus on their professional development. Christ’s College’s commitment to staff development is underpinned by allocating this specific time and resource to teaching and learning. CTER plans and delivers a large number of these professional learning sessions. Using research, student voice and strategic priorities, the sessions focus on how we can work together to improve student experiences and outcomes.

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The people

Nicole Billante Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning

Graeme Swanson Director – Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research

Nikki Bleyendaal Head of Teaching & Learning

Amanda Lester Head of Teaching & Learning

Katie Southworth Head of Teaching & Learning


Our classroom environment

At Christ’s College, a supported, safe space for learning is at the heart of classroom practice. Small class sizes enable teacher and student relationships to develop quickly and provide teachers with the capacity to invest in individual student assistance. Differentiation of teaching styles and assessment methods is a major development focus, ensuring teachers are equipped with the skills to meet varying student needs.

We nurture the ambitions of the brightest scholars, while taking equal pleasure in the outstanding progress of those boys who benefit from our Learning Centre. The boys respect each other’s commitment, whether within or outside the classroom.

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The Learning Centre

The Learning Centre encapsulates a unique and valuable support resource at Christ’s College. We know that some boys learn in a different way and require extra help.

The Learning Centre provides a safe learning environment and a more personalised programme, enabling every boy to grow. It develops individual learning profiles for students, sharing information with classroom teachers to support ongoing success. When a family joins College, we meet and discuss specific learning requirements. We ensure additional testing of literacy and numeracy skills for all Year 9 broad-banded classes, or new boys to the school in older years, at the start of the year to collect as much information as possible about our students. Teachers then have the information to enable a more personalised learning programme, so each boy is able to achieve at his best. The Learning Centre is staffed by five full-time teachers who specialise in assisting students with developing literacy and numeracy skills. They offer the following support: • Literacy and learning support for students at all year levels • Numeracy support for students at all year levels • Individual and small group learning on a weekly basis • Specialist classes in Years 9–10 for literacy skills • ESL tuition.

Learning support sessions can focus on general literacy and numeracy skills or address needs relating to work in class and assessments from various subjects. They are not limited to English or Mathematics, but are applied to any subject that can benefit from help. In addition to specific student sessions, The Learning Centre oversees special assistance for students with diagnosed learning differences. If a student needs diagnostic testing, boys have access to Lucid testing. A specialist software, Lucid can be a first step to extra help for formal assessments. Staff also work with an educational psychologist, who visits College to assess students when a more in- depth profile is required. The Learning Centre is further supported by a specialist administrator for reader/writers for NCEA assessments. All necessary resources are utilised to ensure every student has an equal opportunity to succeed in a way that reflects the best of his ability.

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Advanced Learning

Academic engagement and advancement drives high achievement at Christ’s College. By enhancing boys’ social and emotional learning through advanced learning, students strive to achieve – and this is borne out by our academic results.

Our students consistently outperform boys from other decile 8–10 schools, achieving well beyond national averages in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and gaining a remarkable rate of Merit or Excellence endorsements. Our Excellence endorsements are about double the overall rate nationwide. Our boys are also among the highest achievers in the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) Scholarship across all subjects, including being ranked among individual Premier Award, Outstanding Scholar and Top Subject Scholar winners. Much of this success is powered by our commitment to advanced learning through our tailored enrichment programmes, culminating in opportunities such as the Biology Olympiad, the Ethics Olympiad, the Informatics Olympiad and the Maths Olympiad, along with several high-level maths competitions, the Brain Bee neuroscience competition and the Young Physicists’ Tournament. There are also multiple opportunities for boys in the Model UN programme dealing with real- world issues, extension coding and programming, and advanced history, literature and language competitions.


The New Zealand Curriculum

All courses at Christ’s College are based on the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). We expose boys to all NZC learning areas and have selected key achievement objectives from the national curriculum document that guide our subject development.

As an independent school, Christ’s College takes the best of NZC and extends our teaching to include aspects that support our special character. Our primary qualification framework, NCEA, provides our students with every opportunity to access the best tertiary and other post-school pathways, both in New Zealand and internationally. Christ’s College is committed to developing NZC key competencies through all our programmes and across all year levels.

The capacity to think critically and creatively, to deal effectively with diversity and change, to relate to others and to be active global citizens are the enduring competencies of the Christ’s College Graduate. The Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research ensures curriculum alignment across all year groups (Years 9–13), and enables the consistent development of these competencies.

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Key competencies

Think creatively and critically College students develop and use a wide range of thinking and problem-solving skills, including: • Enquiry-based thinking • Critical thinking • Problem-solving within relationships

Manage themselves and demonstrate good character College students develop self-management skills that enhance lifelong learning, including: • Preparing for class with a positive, ready to learn attitude • Having the correct equipment for each class • Listening and speaking appropriately in class discussions • Following instructions and accepting consequences • Learning the importance of social and community responsibility • Participating to an acceptable level within class • Meeting deadlines through assessment and homework tasks.

• Decision-making • Systems thinking.

Relate to, and collaborate with, others effectively College students learn to work both independently and collaboratively, including: • Learning about appropriate behaviour and

language expected in the classroom • Learning about social responsibility • Developing understanding of different perspectives • Working collaboratively in class • Learning to listen and cooperate in class discussions.

Participate and contribute as a local and global citizen

College students work together and contribute to various groups within the school and in the wider community by: • Accessing research facilities and organisations at school and in the wider community • Valuing and respecting other people’s opinions and perspectives • Developing character and leadership skills in anticipation of serving their community.

Use language symbols and texts to communicate effectively College students develop a wide understanding of languages and symbols, including:

• Using ICT in the classroom • Focusing on literacy skills • Focusing on numeracy skills.


Three phases of learning

NCEA Qualification Expertise and Excellence

Christ’s College Diploma Choice and Challenge

Year 9 Foundation

Year 9 – the foundation for learning

In Year 9, all boys are exposed to all subject areas on offer throughout their time at Christ’s College. By experiencing the breadth that the curriculum offers, boys have the foundational knowledge for academic success. We focus on using academic information to understand each boy’s needs and potential pathways. A data-driven approach to academic strengths and weaknesses allows us to target areas for support and extension throughout a boy’s years at College.



Te Reo | Mathematics | Languages | English PE & Health | Religious Education


Systems and Justice









Design & Visual Communication

Materials Technology

Digital Thinking

The Christ’s College Diploma – Choice & Challenge

The Christ’s College Diploma is a two-year academic programme in Years 10–11, based on educational research on best practice in boys’ education. While there are compulsory subjects, boys can choose the content and context of these subjects in many learning areas.

In addition to compulsory core subjects, boys undertake preparation courses designed to deepen learning in preparation for NCEA Level 2. The Diploma also gives boys the opportunity to be recognised for excellence outside the classroom.

To graduate from the Diploma programme, boys complete a range of opportunities across six character elements that use the Round Square IDEALS to work towards the Christ’s College Graduate outcomes. Students that go above and beyond to show initiative and have an impact in these areas can be awarded Silver and Gold Diplomas to recognise their holistic educational experience.


Elements of the College Diploma • Academic Engagement

• Character and Leadership • Community and Service • Discovery and Challenge

• Global Citizenship • Sustainable Future • Taha Ma¯ori

To recognise academic excellence, the top academic students in the year group who are awarded a Gold Diploma will receive their Diploma with Academic Honours.

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NCEA – Expertise & Excellence

Assessment and reporting

NCEA Levels 2 and 3 are robust qualifications that provide numerous opportunities for depth in academic studies. Years 12–13 courses are designed to explore – in depth – the knowledge base of the given subjects and assess a variety of skills through the NCEA framework. Most courses are Achievement Standards-based, meaning students have opportunities for course and overall endorsements at Achieved, Merit, or Excellence level. NCEA courses prepare students for study at New Zealand or overseas universities. Christ’s College assesses both internally and externally (in-class assignments or tests and national examinations). This benefits boys’ self-management skills and experience in examination settings, better preparing students for study beyond secondary school. We recognise that Each boy at his best means we have students on many different pathways, not just university-bound. Our NCEA courses, which cater to a variety of needs and interests, are growing, providing students with opportunities to achieve qualifications in a learning environment that supports their future directions. NCEA Level 2 is a gateway qualification for most non-degree pathways so students have ample opportunities to ensure all options remain open.

In Years 9–11, assessment is an everyday occurrence. All work in classes contributes to a teacher’s assessment of students’ strengths and areas for improvement. While there will be larger assessment projects or tests – including concluding Year 11 with an examination week to give students this life skill – it is important that boys realise all learning contributes to their outcomes. This helps establish a work ethic, enabling the mastery of skills and content for success in NCEA and tertiary education. Learning progression – a next-step approach to reporting – is the backbone of the Year 9 and Diploma curriculum. It defines what a student can do and where effort is required in order to advance. Clear data comes from learning progressions, enabling better tracking of student achievement than a more traditional grading scale. Ongoing and timely feedback – available to students and parents – is provided through our Learning Management System, Schoolbox. Feedback is then collated into a traditional report. In Years 12–13, assessment and reporting follows the NCEA grading framework – Not Achieved, Achieved, Merit, and Excellence. Students are given feedback and grades on all major assessments through Schoolbox, which is also available to parents. Across all year levels, Interim Progress Grades (IPGs) are published several times a term to give students and parents a quick snapshot of student effort, progress, and attitude.


Wellbeing and character education

MINDfit and MANifesto Our targeted MINDfit and MANifesto programmes – delivered through College’s Centre for Wellbeing & Positive Education – help guide boys through the transition from adolescence to being young men of good character. They provide the tools to manage personal health and wellbeing, build strong relationships and grow in positivity and resilience in order to flourish. Created to complement classroom programmes and delivered by College staff and external experts, MINDfit and MANifesto target the needs of boys at each year level. In Years 9–11, MINDfit addresses a range of issues, covering social and emotional intelligence, respect and responsibility, relationships, mental health and the development of a personal growth mindset. MINDfit encourages boys to develop their self-awareness and identity while constantly considering what it means to become a virtuous young man. In Years 12–13, MANifesto helps prepare senior students for their next stage in life – moving from boys to young men. It digs deeper into enhancing character strengths and the importance of developing mindfulness while highlighting the value of identity. The programme also focuses on consent and relationships, drugs and alcohol, social media and the digital footprint while constantly addressing concerns in a socially responsible manner.

As part of our commitment to holistic education, wellbeing and character education is built into our timetable. The Wellbeing Team develops and supports the delivery of a curriculum designed to equip boys with the skills to thrive both academically and personally. The wellbeing curriculum focuses on: • Character strengths and how to use these • Strategies for resilience • Growth mindset and triggers for fixed thinking • Balancing demands and managing stress • Sleep habits and their impact on wellbeing.

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Digital literacy and e-Learning

Remote learning In the event that Christ’s College is unable to meet in a traditional classroom setting, we will offer a remote learning education. ‘Live’ classrooms have the same purpose, but the nature of teaching and interactions allows us to lead more from the front. Remote learning requires the students to be proactive in initiating learning in between contact with teachers. Our structures and tools maintain connection and ensure guidance.

Christ’s College is a 1-1 laptop school. While teachers rely on a range of communication and work methods in class, the integration of technology into the classroom allows our students to develop their digital literacy in the everyday context. While learning course content, students are also learning how to navigate the online world, including the validity of resources, ways to access facts and opinions, and opportunities to enhance their work in digital tools. Our Digital Services Team supports our teachers and students through our Learning Management System: Schoolbox, Google Workspace for Education, and many other online tools such as Hapara Teacher Dashboard and Exam.net.

E: info@christscollege.com T: +64 3 366 8705 www.christscollege.com

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