Register 2020

HISTORY Undoubtedly, 2020 will always be remembered for Covid-19 and the subsequent worldwide pandemic. But, as the Year 11 History students found out, pandemics are not “unprecedented”. In fact, much of the learnings from the 1918–19 influenza pandemic, which, incidentally, meant Christ’s College closed on three separate occasions, were taken on board in New Zealand in 2020. While in 2020 the rhetoric was “go hard” and “be kind”, this was a repeat – an echo – of the sentiments from 1918: “go early” and “be happy”. It is vital we understand history and remember our past. But remembering 2020 should also invoke memories of the protests associated with the Black Lives Matter movement and the distrust of democracy evident in the American presidential election. Likewise, these two issues indicate the inherent value of history. The latter was built around the spectre of fake news, while the former raised the question of how to commemorate controversial events and people from the past. The importance of teaching history at Christ’s College is that understanding these two issues is a daily occurrence. The ability to distinguish fact from opinion, cross referencing of sources, and establishing the credibility or authority of the author are skills taught and used from Year 9. There have been many discussions over the year where the American president was critiqued, and his comments analysed with this frame of reference. And the second issue over remembering was a key feature in the Scholarship preparation classes. Was it appropriate for the immortalising statues and memorials of the past to be demolished as they were incongruent to the values of the 21st century? This was especially applicable in Britain and America, but there is a growing awareness of the disputed New Zealand past and how we deal with this today. Scholars would suggest acknowledging the injustice of the past, or the “warts and all history”, and then move on to

the future. Historical skills are vital in this as we need to be cognisant of the different perspectives people hold on events, judge the validity of claims and be able to draw our own conclusions. History is certainly alive. There may never have been a more important period in history in which we need to understand our past to prepare for a more stable future. I would like to acknowledge the retirement of my fellow social scientist Peter Cooper. The links between the History and Geography departments have been very strong and his steadfast work and friendship has been a pillar of the goodwill and teamwork. The History department wishes him all the best for an enjoyable break from the classroom.

choosing four academic options. This has been a valuable addition to our programme as it has enabled these young men to access more support and time to achieve success. Rotational tuition was also popular with many boys. I am grateful to Assistant Principal – Curriculum Nicole Billante, who is always willing to find a way to accommodate those students who require an alternative path.

The year has been particularly challenging for our international

students, who have been unable to go home to their families. ESOL specialist teacher Alex Robertson has played an important part in supporting these young men through a difficult time. Despite the challenges, the senior ESOL students were proactive in seeking support with their language skills and preparation for assessments. Rotational tuition is of great benefit in this respect. The timetabled senior students were particularly enthusiastic about developing their speaking, listening and vocabulary skills, demonstrating their determination to feel comfortable in communication with their peers in New Zealand. Those timetabled in Years 9 and 10 use ESOL as a support for their curriculum subjects but also in preparation for NCEA. It is always fantastic to see the way our international students adapt and thrive as they settle into what is often a totally different curriculum for them. While we have continued to have Sharyn Gousmett, an educational psychologist, come in to conduct in- depth learning assessments, we have made greater use of our own diagnostic tools this year. This is in response to the NZQA encouraging schools to make applications for examination assistance based on their own knowledge of students. Lucid, the programme we are using for this, is proving invaluable, as it enables us to identify learning needs more quickly. We are also able to test a greater number of students, and we can tailor our teaching to the Lucid results. We have once again had a large number of students making use of examination assistance, and the process by which we apply for this assistance becomes more efficient every year. We chose not to run the Cogmed programme

Warren Lidstone HoD History

LEARNING CENTRE & ESOL It has been another busy year for the Learning Centre & ESOL department, made all the more interesting by Covid-19. Like all departments, we were fully involved in supporting our students with online learning. It became very apparent that navigating Schoolbox in itself was a challenge for many learning support students and was a barrier to their learning. As a result, this became an important part of our teaching, along with supporting them through assessment tasks. Remote learning also provided opportunities to teach important skills around organisation and time management. Many boys rose to the challenge and proved to be more capable and more independent learners than they had thought themselves. I know we were all very pleased to be back in our classrooms sitting side-by-side with our students, however, and I think they were very pleased to see us. The Year 9 and Year 10 literacy classes have been fully subscribed again this year. We also had a group of Year 11 students who opted for a learning support line, rather than


Christ’s College Canterbury

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