Catholic Special Character

Prayer is part of everyday life at Aquinas, and mass is celebrated weekly in our Chapel and throughout the year at a school and parish level. Religious Education is taught from Years 7 to 13. Students take part in liturgies and annual Retreats and celebrate special Catholic feast days and seasons of the Church year. A Sacramental Programme is offered, as is our Intentional Discipleship Pathway for senior students interested in youth ministry.


Our Touchstones of Family, Scholarship, Truth, Service, Prayer and Joy are our founding principles. The Touchstones permeate every facet of our college life. They are visible in our relationships, our curriculum, and our fundamental belief in service. They highlight our focus on restorative practice, cultural responsiveness and social justice.

Family | Whānau
We grow an authentic sense of belonging when we show care, compassion and love to all in our community. We are called to love one another just as God first loved us. As a faith community, we belong to a Family that cares for us and provides us with a nurturing environment to grow.

Scholarship | Mātauranga
We seek personal excellence in all we do, realising that hard work and resilience are necessary to reach our true potential. The Touchstone of Scholarship is connected with our search for Truth. We must develop our ability to think, reason and understand to see God’s fingerprint in creation. St Thomas Aquinas gave us an excellent example of Scholarship in his devotion to faith and reason.

Truth | Pono
Jesus is the Truth we aspire to. He is our Truth and the model for us as disciples. The search for Truth is continuous by seeking a moral way to live our lives and ground ourselves in a set of values upon which we can base our whole being.

Service | Manaaki
Service is central to our mission and ministry as Christians. Jesus calls us to put the needs of others before our own, particularly those most vulnerable in our society. We are encouraged to recognise the face of Christ in others and respond to their needs through our understandings of Catholic social teachings.

Prayer | Karakia
We are called into a personal relationship with Christ through a life of Prayer. Jesus himself took time out to pray before anything he did. Through Prayer, we will grow and develop our personal relationship with our heavenly Father. Our Christian lives are a journey nourished by Prayer to support not just ourselves but those who journey with us.

Joy | Harikoa
Knowing Jesus intimately through a personal encounter is the Joy we all aspire to and connects us to the message of the Gospel. Putting our trust in God and focusing on Christ rather than our circumstances enables us to experience Joy even in times of hardship.

Intentional Discipleship Pathway

Our Intentional Discipleship Pathway is a Year 11 through Year 13 school-based youth ministry programme. It is the first of its kind in New Zealand and is attracting strong, nationwide interest from schools keen to follow suit.

The programme fosters discipleship and encourages a living relationship with Christ through peer-to-peer ministry. Students run retreats and youth nights for younger peers, orchestrate special school liturgies and participate in the Aquinas Easter Cross Walk.

Graduate Profile

Our Graduate Profile guides our goal of developing students into servant leaders. At Aquinas, students have the chance to Belong in a faith community, Believe with Reason and Become Disciples of Christ. This is woven into our learning programmes and broader college experiences.

Social Justice Participation

Aquinas students are active in community social justice causes such as Kura Kai cooking for struggling families, Foodbank appeals, Leos, and Caritas Challenges. All students and staff take part in our annual Service Day to give help where it is needed.

School Crest

The Aquinas crest depicts the monstrance to remind us that Christ is at the centre of all that we do.

School Prayer

Loving God, we gather in your name and ask that your Spirit be with us – a Spirit of wisdom and encouragement, of gentleness and peace. Be with us in all that we do and help us make Aquinas College into a truly Catholic educational community; Supporting Family Life Promoting Scholarship Seeking Truth in all its forms Serving and caring for others Grounded in Prayer And full of Joy We make this prayer in Jesus’ name, and through the intercession of Thomas Aquinas and of all the saints, Amen.