We turn to God in times of fear and uncertainty as we do in times of joy and celebration.
Kia ora whānau
Tēnā koutou kātoa ngā whānau o te kura
This has been another challenging term, but one that has to be celebrated! There have been so many wonderful achievements attained by our students this term as you will read in this newsletter. I am so grateful for the way our students, staff and community responded to this most recent elevation in the COVID-19 alert levels. We will have to continue to traverse uncertain times for the foreseeable future, and we must continue to work together effectively as we do this. The rigours of Term 4 will be upon us soon, so we all must put aside a decent chunk of time to recharge the batteries over the term break.
The Feast Day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was on Monday, September 14th. The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates two historical events: the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, in 320 under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem, and the dedication in 335 of the basilica and shrine built on Calvary by Constantine, which mark the site of the Crucifixion. However, the feast, more than anything else, is a celebration and commemoration of God’s greatest work: his salvific death on the Cross and His Resurrection, through which death was defeated, and the doors to Heaven opened. The entrance antiphon for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is: “We should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he is our salvation, our life and our resurrection: through him, we are saved and made free.”
I am sure you were as pleased as I was to hear the Prime Minister’s announcement about moving to Alert Level 1 once again this week. This most recent flare-up has further demonstrated the requirement for us to remain vigilant. As there are no specific public health requirements for schools at Alert Level 1, we are in a position of returning to normal operations. In doing so, we all need to continue dealing cautiously with illness, listening to the authorities and practising good hygiene. Thank you for your patience and understanding over the past six weeks as we traversed this latest phase in the battle against COVID-19.
We turn to God in times of fear and uncertainty as we do in times of joy and celebration. As a faith community, we pray for God’s heart of love, mercy, and truth to dwell in us as we continue to navigate these challenging times.
in this time of uncertainty and distress, sustain and support the anxious and fearful. Lift up all who are brought low; that they may rejoice in your comfort, knowing that nothing can separate us from your love.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Mr Fraser Graham has indicated to the Board of Trustees that he wishes to step down from the Assistant Principal role at the end of this academic year and return to a full-time teaching role. The Board approved this role transition for Mr Graham which will take effect from the beginning of the 2021 academic year. We thank and commend Mr Graham for his outstanding commitment and vision to his senior leadership role for the past 15 years. His leadership of teaching, learning and achievement has been superb, and we are very grateful for his immense contributions over this time. While we will lose his expertise from the Senior Leadership Team, our students will benefit from having such an excellent classroom practitioner working with more classes from next year.
Mrs Joanne Macown has tendered her resignation effective from the end of the 2020 academic year. Mrs Macown was a founding teacher at the College, took a break from 2004 before returning in 2006. Mrs Macown has been an excellent teacher of Science and Biology and was the Assistant Leader of Learning for Science for 10 years. We thank Mrs Macown for her outstanding commitment to our students and her colleagues over many years.
Mrs Heather Ashton has tendered her resignation effective from the end of the 2020 academic year. Mrs Ashton has worked at the College for 17 months and currently holds two roles (Drama Teacher and ESOL Teacher) making a full-time position. Mrs Ashton is relocating to New Plymouth with her family. We will miss her passion, enthusiasm and student-centred approach.
Mrs Monique Harris has been granted 12-months Maternity Leave for 2021. Mrs Harris and her husband, Sam, are expecting their fourth child in January 2021.
Mr Bill Kite has been successful in his application to receive a Secondary Teachers Study Award for 2021 to attend the Te Tohu Paetahi course at Waikato University. This Study Award covers 32 weeks of full-time study. Ka mau te wehi!
Mr Bruce Buckton has been appointed as the Assistant Principal – Middle School from 2021. Bruce will join us from Rotorua Boys’ High School where he has been a Deputy Principal since 2015. As a Deputy Principal, Mr Buckton has led Boys’ High’s Pastoral Care portfolio and their Curriculum and Assessment portfolio at different times in amongst other leadership responsibilities. Mr Buckton recently completed his Master of Education and Learning and is an Apple Distinguished Educator. We will look forward to welcoming him, his wife Roslyn, and their two children, into our College community at the beginning of next year.
I am pleased to advise our community that the Hamilton Catholic Diocese, through the Catholic Schools’ Manager, has encouraged the Aquinas College Board of Trustees to apply for a roll increase. While there are a number of steps that need to be taken, this is a promising indication for growth of the College in the near-medium term. The College cannot increase its roll without the encouragement and support of the Diocese. The Board of Trustees will be seeking a roll increase of 200 students which will grow our capacity to 950 students. If this application is accepted, there will be a building programme to follow to enable the accommodation of more students. An increase of 200 students will enable us many benefits without compromising the advantages we have in being a smaller school that knows all of our students.
As a consequence of the revised NCEA Examination schedule, senior examinations are ongoing through until the end of the school year. As a result, Prizegiving for students in Years 11-13 will take place earlier than is customary this year on Thursday, November 5th at 10:00am. All students will be in attendance in support of our senior students on this day. An end of year prizegiving for junior students will occur on Wednesday, December 9th at 10:00am.
Students are expected to be in the correct College summer uniform from Monday, October 12th, Term 4. You can view the summer uniform on our website. We require your support to ensure your child(ren) leave home in the correct uniform, inclusive of jewellery. The College will unreservedly support any families in need should it be required to ensure your child(ren) has the correct uniform available to them.
This newsletter is full of the rich and varied ways in which our students are achieving and contributing to our College. Our philosophy of holistic education is celebrated in their Special Character, cultural, performing arts and sporting achievements, together with a continued emphasis on every student working to their academic potential. I wish you all a safe and relaxing term break, and I look forward to another successful school term starting on Monday, October 12th, 2020.
Ma te Atua tātou e manaaki
May God’s Blessings be upon us all.
M R Dalton
Our Year 9 and 10 students participated in a Real Talk session,
October, the month of the Rosary, is fast approaching.
Forty students attended this special event at St Thomas More Church.
Scholarship Religious Studies has been pioneered this year by our beginning and very passionate teacher, Mr Andrew Duncanson. He has encouraged students to not only engage and grow in their personal faith but to also see Religious Studies as a highly academic course…
Accurate analysis of samples in the chemistry labs secured a win for four of our Aquinas students
Music from several genres from Classical and Jazz, to Rock was performed by music students for NCEA
Year 10 Business Studies groups held a Market Day with 15 stalls selling a variety of…
Over two days, the Aquinas College Outdoor Education students mountain biked
The Future Pathways team have had a busy term playing catch-up after working around the…
Celebrating Māori New Year coincided with commencement of Term 3…
Senior Pasifika girls celebrated International Culture Week by performing two traditional dances
Our International students had a chance to explore more of what Tauranga has to offer with visits to…
Traditional dress or a nod to your heritage in fun costumes was the order of the day as part of…
Many of our Junior and Senior sports teams experienced winning games to end their seasons
Over 100 year 7 and 8 students from Aquinas participated in the in the Nga Takaro Social Sports Festival
Our Air Pistol Team performed well for the McMillan Cup
Simply purchase as many of the books you wish – to either give as gifts at Christmas or to sell to friends or neighbours. Every book sold means you’ll receive $15 off the fee of your choice! Put it towards sports fees, school trips, shows or attendance fees – it’s a win, win.$15.00will got to the Fundraising project and $15 off your fees.