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A bold new initiative

Immerse & Inspire, a unique month-long residential programme for all Year 10 students, was trialled in 2017 and has now been permanently adopted.

This innovative programme does exactly as its name suggests. Groups of boys, approximately three from each of the ten College Houses, come together in Jacobs House to live the boarding experience. They have two weeks in the classroom as per usual, one week learning about social entrepreneurship at the Ministry of Awesome in Christchurch’s innovation precinct, and one week in the wilderness completing the Adventurous Journey component of the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award.

A series of evening workshops, covering topics such as gratitude and empathy, the value of service and study skills, plus the opportunity to take part in the regular activities as part of the College Boarding programme top and tail the experiential programme.

Immerse & Inspire lays the foundation for the boys to start thinking about the type of men they want to become, giving them the tools they need to manage their lives. ‘There’s nothing random about the content of Immerse & Inspire’, says Director of Boarding and the Centre for Character & Leadership, Darrell Thatcher. ‘Every aspect of it is geared to encourage the boys to learn new skills, be open to different ideas, come to understand their strengths, appreciate their lives and environment, and help them develop a growth mindset.’

Feedback from the boys and their parents, who have had the opportunity to participate in special parent engagement activities while their sons take part in Immerse & Inspire, has been overwhelmingly positive. ‘I loved it’, says Harrison Lund, now in Year 11. ‘Being a boarder for a month was great as it gave me an insight into what it was like. The highlight for me was waking up to all my friends and getting to know people that I didn’t have much to do with at the start of the programme.’

Parents say Immerse & Inspire has enhanced family relationships, with most appreciating the changes they have seen in their sons’ behaviour and attitudes following the programme.

‘This has been such a positive addition to our College programme’, says Darrell. ‘We can now give each Year 10 boy the opportunity to have the fun and experience of being a boarder and, in doing so, give them a greater sense of ownership of the school.’

The Immerse & Inspire programme is included in Christ’s College fees. Christ’s College will hold its Information Evening on Tuesday 15 May, 6.30-8.30pm.

christscollege.com / 03 366 8705

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