The German Ambassador, Stefan Krawielicki, presents our Principal with a plaque to mark our status as a Paschschule (Partnership School) by Andrew Moore



At the start of the year, we welcomed back Ella Calder and Allison LeBuffe from the Nordrhein-Westfalen Exchange. But sadly, their stay was curtailed by the pandemic and they had to return to Germany after only a few weeks.

We were also delighted to hear from Lara Seaton. She had had an amazing time on her three-week Goethe-Institut PASCH scholarship trip, to attend an international Jugendkurs in Frankfurt.

Unfortunately, COVID had a significant effect on the usual programme of gatherings and exchanges. The much-anticipated German Talkfest, a combined event with other Dunedin schools, had to be cancelled. Also no applications were taken for the German exchange in 2021. However, all students were able to attend the film 'Amelie rennt', at the Goethe-Institut German film festival, which was very enjoyable.

In addition, there was a lot of fun engaging in online vocabulary games, dressing up for Karneval celebrations and tasting some traditional German food such as Wurst, Kuchen und Brötchen mit Käse und Marmelade!

At the end of the year, we farewelled Ms Riethmaier. We thank her for so many incredible years of teaching German at Columba College.


Unfortunately, no students were able to travel to Germany either on an exchange trip or to attend the Jugendkurs in Frankfurt. However, Jody Syme, from Year 13, thoroughly enjoyed attending a substitute course for students of PASCH schools, which was held over three days in Wellington, and was kindly sponsored by the Goethe-Institut.

At the end of Term 1, Yr 11-13 students joined with their counterparts from four other schools, for two days of activities at the annual German Talkfest at Tirohanga Camp. This is always a keenly anticipated German language immersion experience. Over the two days, students enjoyed many activities including a quiz about Germany, singing German songs, creating their own activities, vocabulary games, and learning the 'Jerusalema' dance, which was choreographed by a German dance teacher who then joined us from Germany via Skype for a chat! Plenty of delicious German food was on offer, including Kaffee und Kuchen and leckeres Eis. The Columba girls came away with most of the prizes for the ‘themed cake’ competition!

The highlight of the year was the visit from the German Ambassador to New Zealand, Herr Stefan Krawielicki, who came to present Mrs Duthie with a plaque to formally recognise Columba's status as a partnership school (Paschschule) with the Goethe-Institut and the German Foreign Ministry. Other guests of honour were Judith Geare from the Goethe-Institut in Wellington and Alexandra Töniges, German National Language Advisor. Students Siena Snow, Caitlin O'Brien, Jody Syme and Lara Seaton all spoke about their experiences of learning German at Columba, and Herr Krawielicki told us about his experiences as an ambassador and the value that the German government places on overseas schools that promote the teaching of German language and culture. After the presentation, the special guests and senior students enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by the dining hall.

All Year 10-13 students were also able to enjoy watching 'Als Hitler das rosa Kaninchen stahl' (When Hitler stole pink rabbit), at the German Film Festival, sponsored by the Goethe-Institut. It was a moving film about a Jewish family who had to flee Germany and ended up in England. The daughter of the family, Judith Kerr, became famous for her children's picture book The Tiger Who Came to Tea.