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Ben Murray 2017 Head of Boarding

Ben MurrayQ. What do you consider is your main goal as Head of Boarding this year?
A. My main goal is to lead by example in the boarding community. I would also like to extend the number of role models for younger boys, with all boarding prefects and senior leaders showing juniors how it is to live in the College boarding community. Another goal would be to have the three boarding Houses together running with similar systems, while still retaining their unique cultures.

Q. Why?
A. The reason for having seniors lead by example is because when I was in my junior years I aspired to be like a few of the seniors, and this has influenced my attitude towards College life and being in the boarding community.

Q. The current boarding programme is great for Years 9 and 10. How do you think College can provide for senior boarders? What plans do you have to find out the interests of senior boys and build a programme for them?
A. I am talking with seniors in each of the Houses to see what activities they would like to do. It could be a simple swim at the beach for the day, fishing trips, or weekend hunting trips. We want to get the boys out of their Houses.

Q. What ways can you think of to make sure every boarder has a voice that can be heard?
A. I believe having a boy, and maybe a parent or other adult, designated as a main point of contact for each year group in a House, would be one way to improve communication. If everyone knows who they can talk to, and that their ideas or concerns will be taken seriously and treated with respect, they will know they have a voice in the boarding community. 

Q. What are the good things about boarding?
A. My favourites at College are the three House systems, the cubes, the facilities available, prep times and academic staff available and the food (my personal favourite is breakfast).

Q. If you had the chance, what things about boarding do you think College should keep, what should College get rid of and what changes should College implement?
A. Because our boarding system is already one of the best, if not the best, in the country, there is nothing to get rid of so everything should be kept! However, being involved in sport and being a rower, I would like to see if we could provide the boys with afternoon tea, as it is a long time between lunch and dinner!

Q. What plans do you have to make new Year 9 boarders feel at home?
A. A major one is for the older boys to build relationships between the year groups to bind the House together – having seniors as the "big brothers" in the House.

Q. Not all new boarders are Year 9. How can College integrate new boarders from other age groups into the boarding houses?
A. Have a couple of assigned boys from their year group to show them the ropes and give them an extra hand.

Q. Tell me about your background. Your family connections to College and your experience of boarding here.
A. I have lived all my life in the Scargill Valley, an hour north of Christchurch, on a sheep and beef farm, where my dad was also brought up. I have a twin brother and we went to Greta Valley Primary School. That school had around 30 students, so moving to College was quite a change – where one class can have more kids in it than we had at our entire school! On my Dad's side of the family, I had a lot of connections with College. My dad, cousins, uncles, grandad and even my great-grandad were all Old Boys and had all lived in School House. I have enjoyed boarding at College from day one. It was a new experience for my brother and I, but a good one. I admired the Year 13s when I was in Year 9, and I felt like it was going to be about a century until we reached that time ... But now, being in this position and being the role model I aspired to become, I cannot wait for the rest of 2017.

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