Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Tānā koutou kātoa ngā whānau o te kura.
He mihi nui tēnei ki a koutou ngā whānau o mua, me ngā whānau hou, nau mai, hoki mai.
Welcome to the 2019 school year, it has been a positive start and there’s a real feeling that 2019 will be another great year for our College.
In celebrating the start of the new year, I would like to welcome all of our new students and families. I am pleased also to welcome our new staff members for 2019, announce the Student Executive and acknowledge the Board of Trustees.
Mr Richard Cameron – (BEd, BA, Grad Cert RE) – Assistant Leader of Learning – Social Sciences
Mrs Kiely Cummings (BPhEd, GradDip SecTchr) – Specialist Teacher – Learning Support
Mrs Adrienne Danby (Cert Tchr Aide Level 4) -Teacher Aide
Mrs Tanya Gray (BA, PostGrad DipTchg[Sec], MEd) -Teacher of ESOL
Matua Tuwharetoa Hapi (BA Te Reo Māori & English, MTchg and Languages [Sec]) Teacher of Te Reo Māori
Mrs Georgina Harrison – Science Technician
Mr Gavin Hesqua (BTchg) – Teacher of Year 7/8
Mrs Lesley Park (DipTchg, BLeisureStudies, BEd) -Teacher of Health and Physical Education
Mr Alan Syme (BSport&Leiure, GradDip Tchg&Lng(Sec), PostGrad DipEd, MCounselling) – Guidance Counsellor
Mr Kevin Spurr (Registered Electrician) – Caretaker
Mrs Katy Thorne (BMath [1stClassHons], Cert Investment, PostGradCert Ed [Maths]) – Assistant Leader of Learning –
Student Executive 2019:
Head Girl – Lucy Maher
Head Boy – Fergus Lellman
Deputy Head Girl responsible for Special Character – Laura Smith
Deputy Head Boy and BOT Student Representative – Ben Sokimi
Deputy Head Girl and Heni Pore Co-Captain – Elizabeth Hodgson
With responsibility for the Academic Committee – Holly Brittain
With responsibility for the Arts Committee – Michael Graham
With responsibility for the Cultural Committee – Te Ani Solomon
With responsibility for the Environment Committee – Peter Kesner
With responsibility for the Health & Well-Being Committee – Noah van Oudenaaren
With responsibility for the Sports Committee – Ella Phayer
Browne House Co-Captain – Bella Taylor
Browne House Co-Captain – Loui Schuler
Cluny House Co-Captain – Roisin Boyle
Cluny House Co-Captain – Darcy Hoskin
Foy House Co-Captain – Lizzy Skelton
Foy House Co-Captain – Carson Wills
Heni Pore House Co-Captain – Hunter Mortleman
Board of Trustees 2019:
The school this year is pleased to once again have a stable and capable Board made up of the following trustees:
Mr Scott Kahle (Chair)
Mrs Clare Sokimi (Deputy Chair and Proprietor’s Representative)
Fr. Mark Field (Parish Priest)
Ms Therese Ford-Cartwright (Proprietor’s Representative)
Mrs Mary Washer-Merrill (Proprietor’s Representative)
Mrs Cecilia Winters (Proprietor’s Representative)
Ms Colleen Lowe (Elected Parent Representative)
Mr John McKay (Elected Parent Representative)
Mr Chris Phayer (Elected Parent Representative)
Dr James Houghton (Elected Parent Representative)
Mr Matt Dalton (Principal)
Mr Peter Nicholson (Staff Representative)
Mr Ben Sokimi (Student Representative)
Mrs Moira Ramsbottom (Board Secretary)
This year is a tri-ennial election year for our Board and further details regarding this are detailed in this newsletter.
At the start of the school year there are always a number of staff who take up new responsibilities and in this regard I would particularly like to acknowledge:
Mrs Monique Harris: Acting Leader of Learning – Religious Education
Mr Leon Roberson: Acting Assistant Leader of Learning – Religious Education
Mrs Shelley McKay: Year 7 Dean
Ms Jacq Burrell: Year 9 Dean
Lent is approaching
‘So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead’
Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. In the desire to renew the liturgical practices of the Church, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of Vatican Council II stated, “The two elements which are especially characteristic of Lent — the recalling of baptism or the preparation for it, and penance — should be given greater emphasis in the liturgy and in liturgical catechesis.” I ask that as a community we reflect about what this means for each of us and how we can devote time to prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in our lives during this time.
Ash Wednesday (March 6th) marks the beginning of Lent. We will celebrate this Holy Day with a full-school liturgy. Throughout Lent, as a College, we pray the Angelus every day at 12:00pm. The Angelus reminds us of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary with great (if somewhat startling) news! As we read in Chapter One of Luke’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38) God wished Mary, truly a model of humility, to be the mother of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus loved us enough to die for us so that we might live with Him eternally. When we pray the Angelus with humility and love, we are emulating Mary’s faith in His goodness. We are blessed in that we can ask both our Lord God and His Blessed Mother for their assistance on our journey towards Eternal Life!
NCEA Achievement 2018
As is detailed in this newsletter by our Assistant Principal responsible for teaching and learning, Mr. Graham, the results that our students achieved in NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship in 2018 were outstanding! Your role as parents in our College community is essential in providing the support to our teachers and obviously, our students in achieving these wonderful outcomes.
I encourage you to peruse the report provided by Mr Graham. These results underscore the culture of academic excellence Aquinas College has established and continues to maintain. I pay special tribute to the 74 senior students recognised at this year’s Academic Honours Assembly. There is more detail about this assembly within this newsletter.
Ensuring our students maintain a healthy balance of academic achievement with holistic development, grounded in our Catholic faith continues to be our key focus. It is important that we don’t lose sight of this in the pursuit of academic achievement.
Aquinas is now a Water-Only School
Our College has pledged to be a water-only school, during school hours. We have made this pledge because we are aware that sugary drinks negatively impact on student health, behaviour and learning. Sugar-sweetened beverages have no nutritional value, contribute empty calories, replace healthier beverage options, and contribute to poor health outcomes. Children who have too much sugar in their diet have an increased chance of experiencing tooth decay, obesity and diabetes. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health support our pledge and in early 2016, both ministries announced they encourage all schools to become water-only.
This will mean that all fundraisers, musters and exchanges during school time where drinks are provided or sold, will only be able to provide plain water. In support of this pledge, we expect that students will not bring sugar-sweetened drinks into school.
At this stage, community inclusive events such as the Twilight Festival are not included in this pledge as parents can make a determination of drink choices at these times. This will be reviewed at a later date following consultation. We see that we have a responsibility at this stage, during school hours, to promote better choices for our students.
This decision is to take immediate effect. Please help us improve student learning and behaviour by supporting our pledge.
I acknowledge Mr Lee and his team for the wonderful organisation of our Athletics Day held at the Tauranga Domain on Friday 22 February. While this newsletter has more detail about the day, including results, I wanted to acknowledge what was a very positive day that encapsulated the wonderful House spirit that exists in our College. While a number of College records were beaten, it was perhaps more impressive to see the way our students consistently supported and encouraged each other throughout the day. This was so heart-warming to witness our Touchstones in action!
A sincere thanks to all of our students and whanau who supported the College-Parish Mass hosted at the College this past Sunday. A special part of this Mass was the blessings bestowed upon the Student Executive, staff and Board of Trustees. Father Mark prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit over their leadership of the College in support of all of our students and community.
While we had a good attendance for the Mass, it was considerably less than full school attendance. It is a timely reminder to all of the commitment you made to support the Special Character of our College during enrolment of your child(ren). We come together at Mass to celebrate the Eucharist which is the source and summit in the Life and Mission of our Church. These opportunities to celebrate together are essential in the life of our College and I ask for your support in this regard.
It has been a busy and exciting start to the year, and I encourage you to read all about it in this newsletter. I extend best wishes to all students and staff and the wider College community for not only a successful Term 1, but a highly successful 2019.
What does it mean to be part of Aquinas College?
The Feast Day of St Thomas Aquinas reminds us of his example, the reason for Aquinas College and the role of Catholic Education.
Thomas Aquinas was a humble servant, simple, peace loving-man, who contemplated life, loved poetry, displayed self-control and inspired many with his personality and his passion for learning. He influenced Western thought with his belief that faith and reason were complemented in nature and necessary to obtain true knowledge of God. He determined this through the scriptures and traditions of the Catholic Church.
Thomas Aquinas believed everything proceeds from God, such as the distinct virtues of faith, hope and charity. He also believed the goal of human existence was to be in union or in a relationship with God.
Thomas Aquinas insisted that individuals must seek to walk the path of morality in their everyday choices through their actions, words and by exhibiting the virtues of charity, peace and holiness.
St Thomas Aquinas had a great love of the Eucharist and saw the Eucharist as the source and summit of what it means to be in a relationship with God. We have the monstrance at the centre of our school crest to remind us of the reason for this College.
I recently read a book called Tools and Fuels – How Catholic teachers can become Saints, beat burnout and save the world by Jonathan Doyle.
I enjoyed this book, mainly because it calls us to look inwardly and ask why Catholic Education? It highlights the points that before we can guide and shape others we must first know who we are and what it is that we value. What is it that anchors us? We must be true to ourselves and not seek the approval of others to define who we are.
Our mission at Aquinas College is “To educate students in the Catholic tradition of faith and love, recognising the uniqueness of the individual, and challenging them to realise their potential in a multicultural environment that constantly strives for excellence.”
Doyle reminds us that our mission is not something that we do but the mission is something that we are.
As a Catholic College we all should be proud of our professional and academic excellence – our results are outstanding! It is through your dedication and excellence that we undertake the process of formation in our students by recognising their individual gifts and talents, helping them to reach their potential and to encounter Jesus. We need to reflect on the unique and special abilities of each student – a child of God. If we do this then we are developing the whole person.
We put much emphasis on excellence by developing new tools to improve learning but forget to fuel ourselves. Meaning that we need to be in a relationship and dependent upon Jesus – we seek nourishment to sustain us. Just as Jesus speaks to us in John 15 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
We are not as effective when we live apart from Jesus and allow ourselves to be burned up with the pressures of our daily lives. To come to know the person of Jesus and increase our dependence of him we seek the grace of God through the Sacraments.
St Thomas Aquinas loved the Eucharist. We too need to see it as our source and summit. Where our faith flows from and where we encounter Jesus. Just as our school crest has the monstrance at its centre we too need do the same.
As we start the new school year I challenge you all to reflect on St Thomas Aquinas and the mission of our College. If we all do this then the heart of our College community will remain healthy, vibrant and overflowing with joy.
Service Day is to be held on Thursday, 23rd of May.
This is a wonderful opportunity for all students to give their time in service to the community. Service Day has become an important part of what we do as a college, and it has the potential to promote the values that the College stands for, as well as providing an insight into the needs of others in our local community.
Years 7 and 8 will take part an organised programme on that day. The programme will reflect being of service to others so you will not need to find your own service opportunities in the community.
If you know of a community-based activity or organisation that could use our support on this day, please contact email@example.com.
As part of the curriculum at Aquinas College, all students participate in Religious Education. This is what will be covered across the year levels.
Year 7 – 9 Sacramental Programme
“You did not choose me, but I chose you…” John 15:16
Register for Chosen: This Is Your Catholic Faith – a weekly faith formation programme that will begin on Tuesday, the 12th of March. We aim to run the programme within the school day.
Academic Results 2018
An initial look at the NCEA results for 2018 indicates that the senior students at Aquinas College have once again performed exceptionally well and have had outstanding success in their studies. Follow this link to read the results.
It’s all happening in the Languages Department to start the year! But first – Haere mai, welcome to Matua Tuwharetoa Hapi, our new Te Reo teacher. And a big CONGRATS to Issie Dekker, Jess Wylie and Lilli Scott for their English Scholarship success!
See Ms Guise for more info on all of these 😊
It has been a busy start to the year for our International Students as they get used to a new school, a new language, new friends and new host families. Everyone is smiling as they quickly adjust to these changes and get focused on study. Mrs. Tanya Gray, our new ESOL Teacher, has begun specialist English language programmes with each student as well as offering support with mainstream classes.
Highlight on DVC subject –
Design and Visual Communication (DVC) is where students learn about designing and ideation. Design thinking is explored and expressed through visual communication and is informed by design heritage.
We are pleased to announce Aquinas College will be involved in the 2019 CASE (California Association for STEAM Education) Space School International Study Program. Through our partnerships, students have the unique opportunity to join this once in a lifetime, STEAM-based experience at NASA in the USA.
Please note the following Deans who will be over-seeing Pastoral Care and Curriculum issues for their respective Year Groups in 2019:
– Yr. 7 – Mrs. Shelley McKay – firstname.lastname@example.org
– Yr. 8 – Mr. Peter Braid – email@example.com
– Yr. 9 – Ms Jacq Burrell – firstname.lastname@example.org
– Yr. 10 – Mr. Leeon Roberson – email@example.com
– Yr. 11 – Ms Marlise Greyling – firstname.lastname@example.org
– Yr. 12 Mrs. Paula Skelton – email@example.com
– Yr. 13 – Mr. Myles Reid – firstname.lastname@example.org
– International Students – Ms. Donna Jarden – email@example.com
Aquinas College has a number of students who require reader/writer support for assessments. We are looking to increase our pool of volunteers who would be prepared to assist these students several time per term as well as during examinations in September and November.
If you read fluently, with no strong accent, can write legibly and with reasonable speed and would like to help out, please contact Justine Roberts, Special Education Needs Coordinator for more information.
Ph 543 2400 Ext 235
183 Pyes Pa Road
Summer Sports are all now underway. We hope that you are all enjoying your summer season thus far.
Congratulations to everyone who competed in Athletics Day on Friday 22 February. It was a fun day filled with all four seasons of weather. All the results from the day can be found below.
Although it feels the year has just begun, we have now released information regarding Winter Sports Registrations. Please check out the information below to find out about your favourite sports.
Just a reminder that this year AC Sport is streamlining registration processes and all students wishing to register for seasonal sports will be required to do so online. All information about Sports is available on the website under each individual code and important announcements can also be found under the News Section of the website.
Outward Bound are running a Leaps and Bounds Course for 13-15 year olds and a parent/caregiver, over 8 days during the April School Holidays, based at the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound. It is a great opportunity to leave the devices at home and reconnect with your teen in outdoor challenges and adventures. If you are interested in more information, head to outwardbound.co.nz or phone 0800 688 927.
Enjoy getting out in the sun and the rest of Term 1. Keep your eyes on the notices and the school website to find out more information about winter sports trials.
Registrations are now open for winter codes commencing in Term 2, 2019.
It was a brilliant day had by all down at the Tauranga Domain on Friday 22 February for the Annual Aquinas Athletics Championships.
The students should be congratulated on their AC and team spirit on the day. It was wonderful to see the students cheering on their peers at the field events and alongside the track.
Several of our students achieved some fantastic results and 17 School Records were broken over the course of the day!
Jack Egan has had a great start to 2019 competing at the Australian Open and taking out 2nd Overall in the U18 class C1M.
He then headed on to the Oceania Champs in Sydney and had a great week of paddling to gain the title of Oceania Champion U18 C1 Men for the second year running. This is also the first time this trophy has been won twice in a row by the same paddler.
Congratulation Jack, this is a phenomenal achievement.
A very warm welcome to the 2019 school year from the Aquinas College PTA. The committee is committed to both fundraising and to creating memorable and successful school community events.
The goals of the PTA are to work alongside the Principal, the Board and Teachers to build a strong and vibrant school community and to raise funds that benefit the students and the school.
Our first event for the year is our Twilight Festival. On Thursday March 7th the whole school and friends are invited to this event being run from 3pm- 7.30pm. Dress in house colours and complete as many activities as you can! Food and entertainment stalls will be operating and it promises to be a fun evening for all.
Aquinas sports clubs, cultural clubs, charity groups and the Fiddler on the Roof production group will be running food and entertainment stalls as part of their fundraising.
The PTA meets following the Board of Trustees meeting twice per term at 5pm at the school staffroom and we welcome new members in 2019. The next meeting is Tuesday 2nd April. If you are not able to attend meetings you can become a ‘Friend of the PTA’ – we will email you when we need a hand, whether it be a morning tea or setting up for one of our events.
Our Chairperson is Lee Ann Taylor, Treasurer is Cathy Kerr and the Secretary is Robyn Bruce. The Teacher Representative is Shelley McKay.
Please contact us by email with any enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like ‘Aquinas College PTA Friends’ on Facebook to see updates on events
Thursday March 7th
Twilight Festival 3pm – 7.30pm
Upcoming PTA Meetings 5pm
Tuesday 2nd April
Tuesday 4th June
Tuesday 2nd July
Every three years the Board of Trustees (BOT) Parent Representative elections are held. The 2019 election is due to be held in June this year. The BOT is required to appoint a Returning Officer for these elections. This role is critical to a smooth-running election process. It includes preparing the electoral roll(s), calling for and accepting nominations, running the elections (when one is required), counting the votes and declaring the results https://www.trustee-election.co.nz/returning-officers/ .
Further information on this role will be released next month, however if you’re interested email Scott Kahle, current BOT Chair email@example.com
Aquinas College will also be actively seeking nominees to take up five parent representative positions on the Aquinas College BOT. The Board of Trustees is the group responsible for the governance of the school. It oversees matters relating to personnel, curriculum, property, finance, employment of staff, and the College’s strategic direction in consultation with parents, staff and students. Being on the BOT provides you with a unique opportunity to serve and represent your community. BOT members are required to attend eight monthly meetings per year (no BOT meeting in January, April, July, or December) with the option to sit on sub-committees. For more information please visit www.trustee-election.co.nz/ and if you’re interested, email Scott Kahle, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please follow this LINK for the 2019 Term Dates and holidays.
Your Physio is
Appointments available @ school for your injury rehab and injury prevention education
See the school office for appointment requests
Or phone 07 5779798
Twisted ankle? Out of plaster? Pulled muscle?
Sore shoulder? Injured Back?
Your first appointment is at no charge. No referral necessary
Your School Physiotherapist can help you
Aquinas College will be welcoming fifteen Year 7 and 8 International Students from China for a stay of 4 weeks this July. If you have a spare room and would be interested in hosting one of these students, please e-mail email@example.com. You will be paid a weekly board to cover the provision of 3 meals a day, accommodation and expenses.
Our groups for young people with Asperger’s, Autism or general social difficulties start early February and are tailored to suit children and youth with autism.Groups run during term time each Thursday.
Kids+ 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Activities and games to help 5 – 10 year olds develop their social and communication skills.
Teens+ 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Support for 11 – 15 year olds adjusting to the changes of starting intermediate and high school. Self-esteem and confidence is gained!
Youth+ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
A place to meet new people and develop friendships. 16 – 25 year olds learn essential personal and life skills!
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 enrich (367 424)
Little Steamers is back for 2019!
Little Steamers Rugby is about promoting and educating parents/guardians to be active with their children!
8.30am – 9.30am sessions each Saturday for five weeks starting 9th March
Sessions will involve rugby skills and fun rugby related games
Each child will receive a Little Steamers t-shirt
Child must be guided by full parent/caregiver
Registration fee $35 per child
Registrations close Thursday 28th February unless all positions filled prior
At Aquinas College we are extremely fortunate to be able to offer the following Itinerant Music Lessons in school time.
There is no cost for the actual lessons but there will be a $15.00 charge to cover folders and music that students receive and may keep. We do have a small number of instruments available to hire. Please contact email@example.com
If your son/daughter would like to take up this fantastic opportunity they can collect an enrolment form from the school office or from Mrs Cooney
Instruments available include;
Strings: Mrs Gardiner violin, viola, cello, double bass
Woodwind and Saxophone: Ms Martin, Mrs Jones flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, bass, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
Brass: Mr Thomas Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, French Horn, Baritone Horn, Euphonium
Drums and Bass: Mr Barlow
Other instruments may be available upon request. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Out of hours beginner Keyboard lessons are also available Year 7 and 8 students.
Private lessons are also available where fees are paid directly to the tutor for voice, Upton Drum School and guitar.
Guitar Sean Bodley 021 02489460 email@example.com
Voice Glenese Blake 027 4913386 firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact the above tutors directly re lessons. Fees are paid directly to them.
Click this LINK to see the stationery lists for each Year Level for 2019.