I am very proud of our whole College community for how we have worked together to support our students during this period of disruption. With God’s love and strength, we will continue to navigate these uncertain times.
Term 3 has been another challenging term! Once again, our students, staff, parents and whānau have had to adjust to the uncertainty of a COVID-19 impacted environment. Thank you once again for your support and understanding during these uncertain times. I am very proud of our whole College community for how we have worked together to support our students during this period of disruption. With God’s love and strength, we will continue to navigate these uncertain times.
I share with you two very significant staffing updates below:
Mr Marty Lee
I recently received Mr Lee’s resignation from his position as Health & PE teacher at Aquinas, effective from the end of the 2021 academic year. Mr Lee’s work as part of the College’s Health & Physical Education team has been significant to the success and growth of Aquinas College. Mr Lee is the College’s was employed in 2003 as the Leader of Learning for Health & Physical Education and is the College’s last foundation teacher. In addition to the Leader of Learning role, Mr Lee has also been the TIC Foy House, a Year Level Dean, and a TIC/Coach of many sporting codes. Mr Lee is a much-loved teacher and colleague who will be greatly missed by staff, students and the wider Aquinas community.
Mr Shem Banbury
I also received Mr Banbury’s resignation, effective from the end of the 2021 academic year. It is with great pride and privilege that I can announce Mr Banbury has been appointed to the position of Deputy Principal at Mount Maunganui Intermediate. This is a tremendous achievement, and we congratulate Mr Banbury on his appointment. It is extremely rewarding to see another member of our staff go on to a senior leadership position. Mr Banbury’s knowledge and experience will be sorely missed at Aquinas College, but he takes a wide professional skillset and outstanding personal attributes to this new position. We will miss Mr Banbury and the many gifts he has blessed the College with since he first began in 2008.
Since the last newsletter, we have welcomed two new members of staff:
Mr Angus Donaldson
I am pleased to announce that we welcomed Mr Donaldson to the permanent position of Assistant Leader of Learning Physical Education, Health and Outdoor Education at the start of this term. Mr Donaldson joined us from Katikati College where he was a HPE teacher for the past six years. His qualifications include Bachelor of Sport & Exercise (Education), and Graduate Diploma of Secondary Teaching (PE & Health). Mr Donaldson has considerable experience as an educator, a Year Level Dean, and in curriculum leadership. In 2010 Mr Donaldson represented New Zealand at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in the sport of boxing. Mr Donaldson has made a fantastic start at the College, making genuine and authentic connections with our students and staff.
Mrs Laura McLennan
We also welcomed Mrs McLennan at the start of Term 3. Mrs McLennan has joined the Learning Support team as a Teacher Aide and she is proving to be a fine addition to our staff. Her friendly disposition has resonated strongly with our College community. Mrs McLennan has significant experience in working and creating opportunities for youth with additional needs and we are fortunate to have her on our team.
Finally, Mr Mat Synge has been successful in his application to receive a Secondary Teachers Study Award for 2022 to attend the Te Tohu Paetahi course at Waikato University. This Study Award covers 32 weeks of full-time study. Ka mau te wehi!
As advised in my email to the community on September 17th, the College is holding Parent-Teacher Conferences for students in Years 7-13 on October 18th (Alert Level permitting). While many families have already shared their gratitude for how our teachers have remained in frequent contact about our students’ progress, we want to enable an opportunity to discuss learning progress kanohi ki te kanohi | face-to-face. The conferences will be held over a full day with 10-minute slots for all year levels. There will be no lessons on this day. The consensus feedback from staff and the community was that this model was most beneficial in promoting genuine learning-focused conversations.
Please note, if we are still in Alert Level 2, this will be cancelled. Our Term 4 Calendar is full, so it isn’t possible to find an alternative date near the start of the term where these conferences will have a meaningful impact.
2021 NCEA Adaptations
The Government announced adaptations to NCEA qualifications relating to Learning Recognition Credits, Certificate and Course Endorsement changes and University Entrance Changes when schools are affected by lockdowns. Our region, having experienced 16 days of lockdown/school closure, entitles our learners to Learning Recognition Credits as follows:
Learning Recognition Credits (when schools are affected by 16-20 days of lockdown)
For every five credits a student earns towards their NCEA through assessment, they would be entitled to one extra Learning Recognition Credit to acknowledge the disruption to their learning. Students undertaking NCEA Level 1 would be eligible for up to a maximum of 10 additional credits. In comparison, those at Levels 2 or 3 would be eligible for up to a maximum of 8 additional credits.
NZQA have provided scenarios to reflect the current understanding of what is permissible under each alert level. A synopsis is below:
NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams for any region at Alert Level 1 or 2
NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams for any region at Alert Level 3 or 4
Term 4 Accord Teacher Only Day
As is published on our school calendar, Thursday, December 2nd, will be an Accord Teacher Only Day. All of the Bay of Plenty High Schools share this Accord Day. Our staff will once again focus on the upcoming changes to NCEA in readiness for their implementation in 2023.
2021 Prizegiving Ceremonies
As a consequence of the revised NCEA Examination schedule, senior examinations are ongoing until the end of the school year. As a result, Prizegiving for students in Years 11-13 will occur earlier, as it did last year. Senior Prizegiving will be held on Thursday, November 11th, at 10:00am. All students will be in attendance in support of our senior students on this day. An end of year prizegiving for our middle school students will occur on Tuesday, December 14th at 10:00am.
Students are expected to be in the correct College summer uniform from Monday, October 18th, Term 4. You can view the summer uniform on our website. We require your support to ensure your child(ren) leaves home in the correct uniform, including 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.
Thank you to all of you for your continued support of your child(ren) ’s education this term. Education is a partnership, and we are all enriched by your active participation. I wish you all a safe and relaxing term break, and I look forward to another successful school term starting on Monday, October 18th.
Ma te Atua tātou e manaaki
May God’s Blessings be upon us all.
M R Dalton