Creative Shirley


Shirley Boys’ High Schools Creative Shirley is charged with the responsibility of making a quality creative programme available to our students.  Creative activities provide an opportunity for students to:

  • have FUN
  • pursue aims of excellence, personal achievement and self-discipline
  • improve self-esteem and confidence
  • enhance cultural skills
  • establish friendship with other students within the school and beyond
  • meet and get to know teachers beyond the classroom
  • develop leadership and ‘followship’ skills

Opportunities will be available in a diverse range of activities for all to participate, enjoy and achieve at a level appropriate to their development, skill and potential.

Aim for maximisation of the resources available in the school and our immediate community, in order to increase opportunities for participation at all levels while providing transition into SBHS from contributing schools and into community groups for school leavers.

Provide provision of the best possible facilities and resources for the effective delivery of our creative programmes.

The music, art, drama, performance technology, dance and cultural groups all come under the banner of the Creative Shirley Committee.

We aim to offer all students the opportunity to experience a wide range of activities whether at the highest skill level or just starting out. This guide outlines the opportunities in the Performing Arts, Music and Clubs and Activities that are available to students as well as expectations of participants and selection policies.

Clubs and Activity Group are created all the time during the school year. Look on the daily notices for more information.

A highlight of the year is the annual Cultural Concert in Term 2 and the major Drama production which is a collaboration between Shirley and Avonside.


At Shirley Boys’ High School we believe that education involves learning and citizenship both inside and outside the classroom. Supporting our extensive Spartans Sport programme is Creative Shirley. Shirley Boys’ High School students will achieve personal growth and success through involvement in our Creative Shirley programmes. We will achieve this vision by:


  • providing opportunities for students to be involved in a broad range of music, art, drama, performance technology, dance, cultural groups and clubs;
  • establishing and maintaining facilities, technology and equipment that are suitable for developing a diverse range of creative activities;
  • encouraging students to strive toward BtB (Better than Before);
  • fostering lifelong friendships, developing leadership skills and experiencing education outside the classroom;
  • putting the student at the centre of the decision making process;
  • providing pathways from our contributing schools and to our community groups and organisations;
  • actively promoting the principles and philosophy of the Shirley Man.


All students representing Shirley Boys’ High School are expected to abide by the rules and regulations within the Creative Shirley code and the school rules.

Students are required to attend rehearsals and pay all fees (where applicable).  If unable to attend they must notify the leader or manager in advance of rehearsal or performance.

Students are expected to give total commitment to the Creative Shirley code they have selected to be involved in.

Students will show that it is an honour to represent Shirley Boys’ High School and will treat all performers with respect and courtesy.



This exciting band comprising boys of all ages from Year 9 – Year 13. The group regularly play at school and are involved each year with CPIT Jazz Quest and also the Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival based in Blenheim. Any boys learning brass or saxophone and wanting to be part of a tight knit group should check this out.

  • Teacher in charge – Mr B Banks
  • Terms – All year round
  • Competition – CPIT Jazz Quest, Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival
  • Rehearsal Times – Fridays 2.00-3.00pm
  • Where – Music Department
  • Tutor – Mr Ian Thorpe


A newly formed group that perform at a variety of different events, the main ones being prize-givings, assemblies, and special events such as Anzac Day. They play a variety of pipe tunes including both the traditional as well as some modern. They hope one day to emulate the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. New pipers and drummers always welcome.

  • Teacher in charge – Mrs K Hays
  • Terms – All year round
  • Competition – NA
  • Rehearsal Times – Mondays 8.00-9.00am
  • Where – Music Department
  • Tutor – Mr John McTainsh


Usually formed in class time and then carried on into their own time, these groups get to practice at times organized by themselves and the Music Department staff. These groups get to play in assemblies and concerts generally their main goal is to get to Smoke-free Rockquest in Term 2. In 2013 we were fortunate enough to have all three of our bands reach the Canterbury Finals with one group, Nomad, going on to compete in the National Finals.

  • Teacher in charge – Mr B Banks
  • Terms – All year round
  • Competition – Smoke-free Rockquest
  • Rehearsal Times – By arrangement
  • Where – Music Department
  • Tutor – Mr Brad Banks


Calling all singers! We are a group of students who meet twice a week to rehearse material for The Big Sing Choral Competition which is held in June each year. We rehearse and perform a variety of material from Maori waiata to Latin pieces and modern arrangements of popular songs. In 2013 we won the best performance at The Big Sing in the Maori/Pasifika category for the Canterbury region. The group members range from Years 9-13. Boys who enjoy singing or who would like to try being part of a vocal group are very welcome.

  • Teacher in charge – Mrs K Hays
  • Terms –All year round
  • Competition – Big Sing
  • Rehearsal Times -Mondays 1.00-2.00pm and Fridays 9.30-11.00am
  • Where -Room M1
  • Accompanist – Ms A Cameron


A group of the most talented guitarists in the school. Entry into this group is through audition only. These students rehearse weekly to create layered guitar arrangements of everything from Spanish guitar music to popular music. Students have the opportunity to learn to play in an ensemble with other like-minded musicians, and they perform in assemblies and concerts throughout the year. See Music Department staff if you are interested in auditioning for this group.

  • Teacher in charge – Mr B Banks
  • Terms – All year round
  • Competition – NA
  • Rehearsal Times – Tuesdays 1.15-2.00pm
  • Where – Room M1


In the fashion of Whose Line is it anywhere?, theatre sports is a team based activity where they must create a scene out of a ‘theme’ or ‘idea’ given to them only a few seconds prior to beginning. Theatre sports is improvisation based. Within those few seconds prior to performing, players must create a scene with a beginning a middle and an end.

Various mini competitions occur throughout the year as well as Canterbury regional competition in Terms 3 & 4 and South Island championships in Term 4.

  • Teacher in charge – TBA
  • Terms – All year round
  • Competition – Canterbury Theatre Sports
  • Where – TBA
  • Equipment – a great sense of humour


Shirley Boys’ High School has a proud tradition in Chess fielding many strong teams in all divisions over many years. The more serious chess players have the opportunity to represent the school in the Canterbury Inter-School Chess Competition.

A band of keen players meet one lunchtime each week to play chess. From this group, a team of four is selected and they play in the inter-school competition which runs from May until July. Victorious in the B grade, one of our current teams has recently been promoted to the A grade competition.

  • Teacher in charge – Mr L Dann
  • Terms – All year round
  • Competition – Canterbury Inter-school Chess Competition
  • When – Lunchtime on Fridays
  • Where – TBA


Debating teaches critical thinking, effective communication, independent research and teamwork; crucial aspects of being a well-rounded, educated student. Students of all year levels are able to improve their speaking skills and gain confidence by participating in Debating. Students from Year 9 to Year 13 are able to join the Debating Club where they are taught the skills of debating and have opportunities to practise these in a variety of settings.

Students are able to compete at the Canterbury Schools Debating Competition and standalone weekend competitions which are held from time to time. Debating workshops are held in Term One with Mr Cooper.

  • Teacher in charge – Mr C Humphreys
  • Terms – All year round
  • Competition – Canterbury Inter-school Debating Competition
  • When – By arrangement
  • Where – TBA
  • Coaches – Ms K Liddell, Mr A Smith, Mr J Thurston


During the cold winter terms a group of enthusiastic pupils meets at lunchtime to increase their knowledge of various books or movies.

  • Teacher in charge – TBA
  • Terms – Term 2 and 3
  • When – Lunchtime on Wednesdays
  • Where – TBA


A lunchtime club whose aim is to examine ideas and conundrums through free-wheeling discussion and passionate argument. Agreement is seldom achieved but ideas are tested. Socrates would have approved.)

  • Teacher in charge – Mr L Dann
  • Terms – Term 2 and 3
  • When – Lunchtime on Wednesdays
  • Where – TBA


A lunchtime club that develops and programs the school’s VEX Robotics resources with intentions to engage in external workshops and competitions.

  • Teacher in charge – Mr A Calder
  • Terms – All year round
  • Competition – Internal and Kiwibots
  • When – Lunchtime (TBA)
  • Where – TBA


Students of all year levels who wish to be involved with specific Visual Art projects in and around our community may join the Art Club. Projects can occur at any time during the year and could include creating a mural, painting or digital imagery.

  • Teacher in charge – Mr G Murray
  • Terms – All year round
  • When – Fridays 2.00-3.00pm
  • Where – TBA


Would you like to write creative fiction? Are you considering a career in journalism, advertising, law or teaching, then this could be the club for you. We will be running writing competitions and coordinating with writers groups in other schools.

  • Teacher in charge – Mr C Humphries
  • Terms – All year round
  • When – Lunchtime on Tuesdays
  • Where – TBA


Kapa Haka offers students an opportunity to be involved in Māori performing arts. They will learn a whole range of Kapa Haka skills, including a variety of haka and waiata, choreography, as well as mau rākau (weaponry) and taonga puoro (musical instruments).

  • Teachers in charge – Mr Hone Rask & Ms Cook
  • Terms – All year round
  • Competition – Waitaha Sec Kapa Haka Competition, Ngā Manu Kōrero Speech Competition
  • Rehearsal times – Monday lunchtime
  • Where – The Cultural Space
  • Equipment – Rākau and Patu


Shirley Boys’ High School strongly encourage Pasifika students to maintain their cultural links. Christchurch Polyfest Festival is the main focus of the Shirley Boys’ High School Pasifika Cultural group. Practices are two times per week to start with, increasing as we get closer to the event. The festival involves dances such as the Sasa and slapdance, mixing traditional with modern approaches.

Senior students have the opportunity to have their dance assessed under the NCEA Dance subject and a number of credits may be available. All students prepared to commit are welcome to join.

  • Teacher in charge – Mr J Houghton
  • Terms – All year round
  • Competition – Christchurch Polyfest Festival
  • Rehearsal Times – Lunchtimes
  • Where – TBA


Shirley Boys’ High School experience has been enriched by numerous Productions, Musicals Performances throughout its history. Every two years (often in conjunction with Avonside Girls’ High School) students from all areas of the school audition to become part of this long tradition of performance magic. Don’t worry if you cannot sing or act, there is still a place for other enthusiastic members of the production team. Become a backstage helper – set, costume, stage management and other technical areas are always needed. The School’s Production creates friendship and memories that last forever. All students are welcome to audition in Term 2.

  • Teacher in charge – Mr N Munn
  • Terms – TBA
  • Rehearsal Times – TBA
  • Where – TBA


Have you a desire to perform some truly challenging theatre? Are you interested in the stories of Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet? The Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival is a nationwide event in which high school students perform five to fifteen minute scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, set in any time, place, dress – though definitely in Shakespeare’s words.

The Canterbury Regional Festival takes place at the end of Term 1, and is the culmination of many hours of work from student director and their enthusiastic cast. The Festival scope is wide as students act, direct, serve as crew, compose music, create costumes and posters for their performances.

  • Teacher in charge – Mr N Munn
  • Terms – TBA
  • Competition – TBA
  • Rehearsal Times – TBA
  • Where – TBA

Tuition is offered in various instruments (including voice), however lessons

(20-30 minutes) are only available to boys who choose music as one of their option subjects. There are currently half-year and full-year options available. Further information – there is a link to Music Information on the Enrolments/General Information page of the school website

Choosing the right instrument is a most important factor in musical success. Your son’s preferred instrument may not necessarily be the most suitable. If you would like help in choosing an instrument or have any queries, please email Kate Hays, HOD Music at 

  • Terms – Full and half year options
  • Times – By arrangement
  • Cost – $80 fee applies to any or all instrumental classes
  • Equipment – Instrument hire fees range from $100-$140 per year

Itinerant music teachers:

  • Guitar – Hanifi Machirus, Jeremy Hardman
  • Bass guitar – Mike Fudakowski
  • Classical guitar – Alan Dixon
  • Brass – Antonio Dimitrov
  • Drums – Mark La Roche
  • Piano – TBA
  • Strings – Gerald Oliver
  • Voice – Helen Charlton
  • Woodwind – Ian Thorpe


Gold Awards – these are awarded to senior members of the school who have attained a standard of performance which, in the opinion of the teacher in charge, is outstanding and warrants the award of a Gold, participated over a substantial period, been a worthy representative of the school, shown a satisfactory attitude to school work (including 80% attendance), displayed a quality setting him apart from others, e.g. leadership, willingness and inspiration.

Supreme Award – the Demaine and Robertson Tray for Outstanding Contribution to Culture. “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”. Edgar Degas

The arts and cultural activities of any country represent a high mark of their society, and their identity. They underpin how we see ourselves; our past, the present and our globalised future. The impact that culture and the arts play in our life is clear; they stimulate us, educate us, challenge and entertain us. An English philosopher Alan Watts is famously quoted as saying: ‘’Wonder, and its expression in poetry and the arts, are among the most important things which seem to distinguish men from other animals’’; ultimately, it is our appreciation and devotion to the arts that make us better people. Consequently those who are involved in the arts, need to be congratulated for their contribution to society, citizenship and our values are great.

In recognition of the artistic and cultural contributions to Shirley Boys High School, the Demaine and Robertson Tray is an award that recognises a student’s outstanding contribution, leadership and skill in the cultural arts of Shirley Boys High School. This award, will not necessary be given out annually but will presented to a student whose contribution to culture has been vast; across a number of years and disciplines.

In 2015 the award was presented to the band ‘Nomad’ who now have a music video and two soundtracks playing on the radio – Oh My My and Love Will Call.

Luke Longworth, whose contribution to culture at Shirley Boys High School has spanned five years (across debating, theatre sports, public speaking, creative writing and music) won the award in 2014. As well as Luke’s talent and involvement in culture, it is his leadership and integrity to culture that will leave a lasting footprint in our school.