Kia ora whanau
Tēnā koutou kātoa ngā whānau o te kura
On Thursday 15th August, Father Mark led our Mass of the Assumption. The Catholic teaching on the Assumption is that, because of her preeminent faith and goodness which was recognised in her being chosen as the mother of God’s Son, Mary was taken up body and soul into heaven at the moment of her death. Pope Francis reminds us that in celebrating this feast, we join together throughout the world in looking to Mary as our Mother of the Church and as our Mother of Hope. We look to her for help to guide us in transforming the world in accordance to God’s plan and to be ever present in our society. She shows us that our hope is real and is an antidote to the spirit of despair that tries to seat itself within our societies. The feast of the Assumption reminds us of the importance of spiritual values, of the reality of the life after death and finally it reminds us of the wonderful eternal future of happiness. May our Lady of the Assumption continue to lead us closer to her Son.
Sadly, this Mass was the last Mass that Father Mark will celebrate with our school community. Father Mark is leaving Tauranga and is moving to the Waikato. Father Mark has not only been a wonderful Parish Priest for our College and Parish, his roots in our College are much deeper. Father Mark was a foundation staff member, member of the Senior Leadership Team and the College’s first Director of Religious Studies. Many of our traditions and practices trace their origins back to Father Mark. In recognition of all his service to our College, we are holding a farewell liturgy for Father Mark on Friday 30th August, at 2:15pm in the College gymnasium. This will be followed by a social gathering in the staff room. You are all warmly invited to attend and pay tribute to Father Mark. For planning and catering purposes, we ask that you RSVP by Monday 26th August.
Thank you to those of you who contributed to the recent rongohia te hau survey. You will find a synopsis of this feedback in this newsletter. We are continuing to reflect on this data and feedback and plan appropriately.
As referenced in the previous newsletter, I now present to you two separate links for consultation. The first link relates to our draft Graduate Profile and the second is a survey that canvasses a range of questions, but particularly pertains to curriculum design, mobile technology and future pathways. Please find the time to contribute to these consultation surveys. Your opinion is important.
Recent College Events
I had the privilege of travelling with our Chanel Shield team to Hamilton this past weekend. The Chanel Shield is an annual event that focuses on Special Character and is competed for by the five secondary schools of our Diocese. Our students did our College proud, and while we placed 5th overall, our team was awarded the Spirit Cup. More detail on the Chanel Shield is captured in this newsletter by Mrs Van Zyl.
Other successful recent events that have showcased the talents of our young people were the Performing Arts Evening held at the Otumoetai Baptist Church and the junior sports exchange with Campion College. The performing arts night showcased an array of student talent in choral, jazz, classical and musical theatre items. The junior sports exchange with Campion College yielded a host of positive results for our teams. You can read about more of these events in this newsletter, but I take the opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of our staff who organised and coordinated these opportunities for our students to shine.
Term 3 College Parish Masses
Students and families are warmly invited to attend our Term Three Aquinas College Mass times in their Parish. It is a wonderful opportunity to come together and celebrate the Mass, which is at the centre of our faith. It is here where we pray as a community and experience Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist.
St Thomas More Church Mass at 9.30 am, Sunday, the 8th of September
St Mary’s Immaculate Church Mass at 10.30 am, Sunday, 15th of September
These Masses are an opportunity for all of us to be authentic to the core of what we are about as a College. It continues to be my expectation that all our students, with their families, attend one of these Masses. This is a commitment you all made through enrolment and is an important part of supporting the Special Character of the College. A key function of these Masses is to connect with our two Parishes. In doing so, we want our students to be visible and the connection to be explicit, therefore, I am reminding students of the expectation to attend in uniform. I look forward to your support of these Masses.
As our winter sports codes are drawing to a close, this is an opportunity to thank our volunteers who have coached and managed our 40+ teams across five main sporting codes. This level of participation is outstanding, and we are blessed to have such support for our students on this scale. Without your passion and commitment, our students wouldn’t enjoy the opportunities and successes they currently enjoy.
Thank you also to all our students for representing our College in an exemplary fashion. I have been filled with pride as I have spent time watching our various teams throughout the season whether it be a junior side, senior side, social side or premier side. Our College’s values are always evident. I also acknowledge the role our parents play in transporting and supporting their children in these endeavours.
Good luck to our senior premier teams who will represent us at the Winter Tournament Week (Week 7) and then to our intermediate aged teams who will represent us in the AIMS Games (Week 8). We will track your progress with interest and know that you will put your best effort forward.
Bay of Plenty Times ‘Report Card’ Article, 3rd August 2019
You may have read the recent article that was reported by the Bay of Plenty Times which outlined NCEA achievement across Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty schools. While we were very proud to see how well our student performed in this report, we were also disappointed that the reporter chose to use a single year analysis instead of a cumulative measure of achievement. In a school like ours, some students are accelerated and therefore achieve a qualification earlier than their chronological age suggests they should. Our results were therefore actually higher than reported. For the purposes of clarity, I share with you what the Bay of Plenty Times reported and what our students actually achieved using the more reflective measure of achievement.
As reported by the Bay of Plenty Times, 3rd August:
Aquinas College actual results, as reported earlier in the year:
Pass Rate 97%
Pass Rate 100%
Pass Rate 88%
For our students, our uniform promotes a sense of pride, both in themselves and in our College, it gives them a sense of identity with the College. We have high standards in this regard and unfortunately some students are not meeting these expectations currently. We require your support to ensure your child(ren) leaves home in the correct uniform, inclusive of jewelry. The College will unreservedly support any families in need should it be required to ensure your child(ren) has the correct uniform.
Kia tau te rangimarie a te Atua ki runga i a tatou katoa
May God’s Blessings be upon us all.
Fiji Service Trip
By Lucy Maher
On Sunday the 7th of July, 24 students and 8 adults embarked upon the Aquinas College Annual Fiji Service Trip. The departure marked the end of 9 months of preparation, organisation and fundraising, and the beginning of an incredible, life changing experience for all involved.
The Aquinas College Annual Fiji Service Trip is an annual 10-day trip undertaken by Aquinas College Year 13 students, teachers and parents. The group travels to Vanuakula, a small Fijian village located an hour’s drive inland from Suva. This year, the services to the village included the building of 4 shower blocks, an outdoor kitchen area, concrete paving within the village, the setup of a library space, repairs to the village water piping system and the painting of various village buildings.
Aquinas College competed in the Chanel Shield competition at St John’s College in Hamilton. The competition is named in honour of the Patron Saint of the Diocese, Peter Chanel, who was a French-born missionary priest who worked in the Pacific region in the 19th century. Chanel Shield is held annually and involves five secondary schools from the Diocese of Hamilton. Campion, St Johns, Sacred Heart, John Paul College, and Aquinas.
The Catholic teaching on the Assumption is that, because of her pre-eminent faith and goodness, which was recognized in her being chosen as the mother of God’s Son, Mary was taken up body and soul into heaven at the moment of her death.
The reading from Revelation recognizes Mary’s immense dignity by describing her as the woman adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, with twelve stars of her head as a crown.
Senior students getting involved in Little Church
Aquinas College Senior students lead ‘Little Church’ at St Mary’s Immaculate Church twice a term. This takes place during the 10.30am Mass with around 40 children participating, who are yet to receive their Sacraments. Students lead with a prayer, the Gospel reading for the day and an activity which compliments their learning. We have been very blessed to have a consistent group of students who are willing to give their time freely to the learning of our youngest Church members. May they continue to journey on with this ministry.
Aquinas College is doing its annual head shave in 2019 on the 20th of September to fundraise to support Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ. Every day 6 New Zealanders are diagnosed with blood cancer or another related condition. Aquinas is proud to have such an incredible community that are willing to donate towards our fundraiser, as well as keen students willing to go under the scissors for this great cause. This year, we have asked those students willing to gather sponsors for themselves and to gather the funds to donate onto the Shave for a Cure webpage. Next week we will introduce all of our incredible students who will join the thousands of great Kiwis that have shaved their heads for this awesome cause.
NCEA – Student Progress
We are now entering the business end of the year for our NCEA students. All students should now have gained credits through the internally assessed component of their courses. Students have been given their National Student Numbers (NSN) by their Deans towards the end of last term. This should allow them to set up their account to log in to the NZQA website. On the NZQA website students can check on their progress, find out how they are faring in relation to course endorsements and overall certificate endorsements, check their examination timetable, and request copies of their qualifications to date. The following links may be useful in finding out about NCEA:
Monitoring Your Own Progress
Former students of Aquinas College graduating from Victoria University of Wellington
It is with pleasure that I enclose a list of your former pupils who have graduated from Victoria University between June
2018 and May 2019. We join with you in acknowledging and celebrating the students’ wonderful success.
Victoria University is very proud of the achievements of the students and I am sure that you and your staff will also be very proud of them.
‘Haere whakamua, titiro whakamuri’ – walk into the future, with our eyes open to the past
Not only are we doing having our eyes open to the past, but here in the History Department our eyes are firmly fixed in the future! We have recently taken possession of a Green Screen to enable our students to create engaging presentations. This enables students to film videos and then edit backgrounds, use accentuated text, manipulate surroundings and consider whole new ways of communicating.
On 7th and 8th August, three teams of four students participated in the BOP Inter-schools’ Chess Championship held at Mount Primary School. Congratulations to Claire Ma, Dylan Tran, Ella Hill and Rhys McFarlane who came first in the Intermediate Division and qualified for the National Chess Championship to be held in Palmerston North in September. Congratulations also to Alex Fourie, Elise Oxenham, Torben Oxenham and Tyler Dunseath who came second in the B team competition in the Secondary division. There were some intense games and fascinating strategies and excellent participation from all who took part, well done!
Opportunity to Double Fundraising Efforts
An exciting new development project has been released for Pre-Sales in Matakokiri Drive, the latest stage in the sought-after Tauriko Business Estate. The fresh, modern, and eco-friendly approach to mid-sized Industrial warehouse and office units, is the vision of Tauranga’s Paul Symes, Director of the developer, Viste Belle Ltd.
Exciting Times Counting Down to the USA 2020 Trip
Our Business and Digital Technology students are well underway with our fundraising campaign for their upcoming trip to the United States in April school holidays in 2020. Check out the website here for more info. (https://sites.google.com/view/aquinasusatour/)
During the trip we will visit multi-million-dollar businesses such as Apple, Google and Facebook to further our knowledge on aspects of business and digital technology.
Many hours of fundraising are required. The PTA Bingo evening was a great evening (thank you PTA!) and silent auctions were a complete success! and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your ongoing support.
Victory for Debating!
Noah van Oudenaaren, Ben Sokimi and Fionn Blackman (the self-proclaimed Backbenchers) – this week reclaimed the coveted Jane Schollum trophy for Aquinas College. Sacred Heart College travelled down from Auckland to battle our boys, and after a fiercely contested clash of wit, intellect and style (of course) – the Backbenchers took out the title. With a moot that allowed our team to draw on their knowledge of politics, current events and historical info, they had it all. As an added bonus, Noah won Best Speaker – congrats to Noah and the team. And all the best for Chanel Shield!
Performing Arts Night
On Wednesday 7TH August, friends and family were entertained at our annual Performing Arts Evening. It was an inspiring evening of music and performances with items to entertain all musical tastes. The Concert band set the evening with Stone Mountain Fantasy. Solo items by many of our students in the bands and individually on stage interspersed the various group performances. The String Ensemble performed two pieces. A combination of new students and more experienced string players blended well to perform Celtica. Some Great Moments from Shakespeare’s Tragedies were performed by our drama students. Jazz band played with style and featured the stunning vocals of Whetumarama Timutimu. Lots of applause from an enthusiastic audience for Jocco’s Groove – a jazz combination of Aquinas College and Tauranga Boys students. The Junior Choir and Voci Celesti Choir brought a most entertaining evening to a close.
It was a wonderful effort by our students including young students who have just started to be learn their instruments. It was awesome to see the mentoring of more experienced musicians and vocalists to these younger performers.
It has been a massive few months of Sports at Aquinas College. Read all about it below.
Term 3 is now bringing us towards the end of the Winter Sports Season. Well done to all of our teams that have completed their seasons and good luck to all teams who are finishing. Once your sports have finished, please remember to return all uniforms and sports gear back to the Sports Office so it can be accounted for.
Look out for Online Summer Sports Registrations coming in the next couple of weeks!
We are now in the lead up to the AIMS GAMES. Please make sure you contact the Sports Office if you are unsure what codes your child is competing in and update us of any changes.
Draws will be released in the coming weeks and will be sent out as they become available. Just a reminder that if adults would like to attend the Opening Ceremony they are able to purchase tickets through Ticketek. We are attending the 3pm ceremony.
On Monday 12 August, a group of 60 Year 9/10 students travelled down to Gisborne to compete against fellow Catholic School, Campion College, in a variety of sporting endeavors.
When we arrived at Campion College we were welcomed with a powhiri from Campion College Students. Once the formalities were completed, students were introduced to their billet families and the games begun.
Coaching Through Powerful Conversations
Discover the confidence to have powerful conversations with athletes around their mental game.
These are scheduled for
Best of luck to all of our teams competing in Winter Tournament Week from Sunday 1 – Friday 6 September.
Prem 1 Netball – Upper North Island Netball Champs, North Shore.
1st XI Boys Football – New Zealand Secondary Schools Champs, Whanganui
1st XI Girls Football – New Zealand Secondary Schools Champs, Rotorua
1st XI Boys Hockey – New Zealand Secondary Schools Champs, Rotorua
1st XI Girls Hockey – New Zealand Secondary Schools Champs, Hamilton
Senior Boys Basketball – New Zealand Secondary Schools Champs, Auckland
Junior Boys and Junior Girls Basketball – Junior Premierships, Rotorua
Jack has had a fantastic last month of paddling coming 7th Overall in the European Cup in Augsburg, Germany and now his penultimate event placing 9th in the U18 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Poland. This is extremely exciting as It was only the ninth time a New Zealander has made the junior final at a world championships and the first in the men’s C1 class.
The Bay of Plenty hosted the 35th New Zealand Secondary Schools Squash Championships from 2 – 4 August. This event is the single largest squash tournament in New Zealand. This year there were 52 teams participating from all over New Zealand, with teams being made up of seven players, as well as coaches, managers and supporters coming to the BOP. The Aquinas Team was made up of Toby Elsom, Josh Lawson, Finn Pryor and Liam Olsen. The boys all competed well against some of the best players in the country and got a few wins under their belt. They are already looking forward to competing next year. Well done boys.
Yarn Bombing to Brighten the Winter
Thank you to all of those who have made the effort to brighten up the college by getting involved in our yarn bombing initiative. We love the result!. The winner will be announced in the next newsletter. Here is one of our colourful installations.
From Our Kitchen
We are excited to be announcing the upcoming production of an Aquinas community cookbook “From Our Kitchen”. We are looking for sponsorship from businesses and involvement from clubs and codes to make this cookbook a treasure of amazing recipes from your family and friends. Clubs and codes – this is a fundraising opportunity for you too so get involved and make the most of the opportunity! We are planning to feature recipes and photos from our community so get in touch with us now with your recipes and ideas for your club’s involvement. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aquinas International Day
PTA is proud to support the AC International Day Thursday 22 August – a celebration of diversity in our community – make sure your family supports the food stalls!
PTA Bingo Beats Night Beats Night Update
As mentioned last month the recent Bingo Beats night was a huge success and a great night out for everyone involved. Together we raised a total of around $19k with $11.6k being raised by a range of clubs and codes. Thank you to the whole community for the support. Without attendees, catering assistance, sponsors and teacher support this would not be possible.
Next PTA Meeting:
The next PTA next meeting is Tuesday 3rd September.
Like us on Facebook: Aquinas College PTA Friends
Please follow this LINK for the 2019 Term Dates and holidays.
Have you or someone you know asked about ‘Becoming Catholic’? Do any of these describe you?
. Are you interested in learning more about Christianity and the Catholic Church?
. Are you a baptised Catholic who has not yet received First Holy Communion or Confirmation?
. Are you married to a Catholic and attend Mass, but just do not know what the next step is in Becoming Catholic?
. Would you like to better support your children at a Catholic school.
Inquiry begins on Thursday 22nd August at 7:00pm in the St Thomas More church centre, 17 Gloucester Rd, Mount Maunganui to begin this journey through RCIA.
Please express your interest by contacting Heidi Nield (RCIA coordinator) 5754807 Ext 6 orEmail: email@example.com
Please follow this LINK for Term Three’s Menu
Every Wednesday lunchtime in Room 13.
Come and get one-on-one support from a Science Teacher 😊
The 2020 term dates are below. We have worked with St. Mary’s School and St. Thomas More School to share a common start of year date.
30th – 31st January – Teacher only days + 2020 Student Executive leadership camp
30th January – Course confirmation for senior students
3rd February – All Students present (College pōwhiri and Mass for new students and families)
Ends Thursday 9th April
Starts Tuesday 28 April
Ends Friday 3 July
Starts Monday 20 July
Ends Friday 25 September
Starts Monday 12 October
Ends Wednesday 9 December*
* Potentially subject to change – dependent on the allocation of teacher only days.
Your Physio is Marijke Sonneveld
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Voice Glenese Blake 027 4913386 email@example.com
Please contact the above tutors directly re lessons. Fees are paid directly to them.