Cultural Opportunities


Itinerant tutors offer private lessons in brass, drumming, guitar, strings and woodwind.
The Itinerant staff for Music are: Mr William Dixon (brass) Ms Fiona Oudshoorn (woodwind), Ms Nicola Fogden-Smith (strings), Mr Stephen McDaid (guitar), Mrs Helen Hinson (piano), Ms Kate Chamberlain (piano).

Students who are learning music have the opportunity to take part in the following:

• The New Zealand Chamber Music Competition
• The Strike, Strum and Blow Festival in Christchurch
• The Christchurch Schools Music Festival - Year 7 and 8 students are able to participate either in the massed choir or else by auditioning for the Special Choir or Special Orchestra.
• The Ellesmere College Orchestra - various ensembles and the biennial Musical Productions are a strong showcase for singers and instrumentalists.
• Country High Schools Music Festival
• Rock Quest



Every second year a Musical Production is produced and in the alternative year the College competes in Stage Challenge against competition from Christchurch city schools.


Public SpeakingLauraHeslopPNG300

Students from Ellesmere College continue to show their strength in the area of Public Speaking, both within the College and in external competitions. Public Speaking is not only an important life skill, but is part of the English curriculum from Years 7 to 13. In recent years, students from Ellesmere College have successfully competed in speech competitions at Junior, Middle and Senior school levels. Coaching is provided for speakers so that they can refine their skills and perform at their best.
In 2014, Ellesmere College won the regional competitions for ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition (for the top half of the South Island) the Lions Young Speechmaker competition (Canterbury, West Coast and Marlborough) and the Race Unity Speech Awards competition (Christchurch). Ellesmere College also placed 1st at the Ellesmere Rotary Year 9 and 10 Speech Competition (Selwyn District) and 2nd in the Ellesmere Principals Association Speech Competition for Years 7 and 8 (Selwyn District). Ellesmere College competes annually at the Manu Korero regional competitions and presented a speech at a high standard.
In 2015, Ellesmere College placed 2nd in the Race Unity Speech Awards, 1st and 3rd in the Lions Emerging Speakers Competition for Selwyn District and 3rd in the Ellesmere Principals Association Speech Competition. Once again, the College was represented well at the Manu Korero regional speeches.
Clubs for Debating and Public Speaking are available to foster the interest of students in these areas.


Stage Challenge

Stage Challenge is an international event in which schools compete in a dance, drama and design based competition. In New Zealand alone there are approximately 200 schools competing against each other annually, compromised of over 16,000 participants. Each performance takes place over five to eight minutes whereby groups must express an evocative and meaningful message to the audience. Ellesmere College competes in the competition every other year in alternation with a school production. In 2014 we composed our first entirely student lead performance which resulted in our school being awarded with the prize for best performance under this category. An excellent prospect of Stage Challenge is that anyone who is willing to put in the time, effort and enthusiasm required in rehearsals, from Years 7 to 13, is able to participate. The event brings students out of their shells and allows them to excel in an encouraging, competitive and driven environment.