Dear members of the Aquinas College community,
Welcome back to Term 3! I trust that all students have had a restful break & return refreshed for the new term. We have had a fair amount of winter illness occurring with both staff and students, so hopefully the brighter weather will help in this regard.
A special mention to the Year 13 Fiji Service trip group who spent much of their break working in the village of Vanuakula. We also had the Year 9 HOEC (Hillary Outdoor Education Centre) group away at Tongariro National Park in the last week of Term 2. Our congratulations go to the students for the way in which they represented the college & themselves. Comments from people involved in these trips reinforced that they were very successful events, so thank you also to the staff and parents involved for the preparation and the work before and during the events. Such opportunities provide students with lasting memories and friendships.
I reminded the students at our first assembly that this is another very busy term and of the actions they can control which will help them to be the best that they can be.
These actions include:
This week we have had our Student Led Conferences at Year 7 & 8. Also on the evenings of Tuesday August 1 and Thursday August 3 we have the Year 9 – 13 report evenings. I have encouraged the students to ensure they attend these meetings so that they can discuss their academic progress and recognise the steps they need to take during the term.
We welcome back Alison Fitzpatrick who returns from leave. Our thanks go to Lis Hanna who has covered Alison’s classes during her absence. Lis will continue with some vocal tuition as well as the Arts Co-ordination hours.
We also have three Year 7/8 staff (Mr Banbury, Mrs Van Zyl and Mrs Swanepoel) involved in the ALiM (Accelerated learning in Mathematics) project during the term. They will be working with selected students on mathematical literacy at certain times each week. We thank & welcome Premila D’Mello who will be covering classes as needed for each of the teachers involved. This is a Ministry funded project and part of our ongoing Community of Learning work.
This term we are studying an excellent new unit in Year 12 Religious Education. You: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body is a unique program which reveals to young people their value as a person: their bodies, their sexuality and their individual call to love. Filmed on location all over the world, the program features teens as well as respected Catholic leaders. It addresses, head on, many of the issues young people are already exposed to via entertainment media, societal pressures, and their own interactions with each other.
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
Service is one of the Touchstones of Aquinas College. This challenges students and staff to look beyond themselves, actively living out the Gospel reflection of “We are His hands here on earth”. We are all encouraged to play our part in providing justice to the most vulnerable in our world.
In the spirit of Francis of Assisi: “The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today.”
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
Sadly, Maria Ngatai passed away on Friday 28th July 2017 after a long illness.
Maria was the wife of Kihi Ngatai, our college Kaumatua, and was an important figure in the establishment of the College and our tikanga.
Together Maria and Kihi campaigned the Hamilton Bishop and local iwi for the founding of our catholic secondary school here in Tauranga.
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
On Tuesday the 15th of August we will celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Holy Mass for the whole school.
On the 18th and 19th of August we are hosting the Chanel Shield Competition. Teams of 15 students from four Catholic secondary school in the Hamilton Diocese meet up for two days of cultural competition and friendship. Students will take part in speeches, debating and poetry reading. E-mail Mr. Smith if you are able to billet a visiting student (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.
2014 graduate Angus Raiman is heading to Montreal this month to pursue his dream of becoming a Diplomat.
The former Aquinas College student has wanted to represent his country overseas ever since his early teens, acknowledging the positive influence the college has played in helping him achieve his goals.
According to the CareersNZ , there are seven essential skills, qualities and attitudes which employers are looking for: Positive attitude, Communication, Teamwork, Self-management, Thinking skills, Willingness to learn and Resilience. How can we prepare our young people for a world which is changing so quickly, that many of the jobs which are currently around may no longer exist in 20 years’ time? Although there is merit in learning subject-based facts, this is no longer going to adequately prepare our students for their futures.
Year 10 Enterprise Studies Market Day is an invaluable learning experience. It gives students the opportunity to apply business principles in a practical setting. Each team makes and sells a food item during lunchtime, then evaluates the profit margins they have earned.
Before the event, students are required to write a business plan and execute this plan in an hour of frantic trading. In subsequent lessons students reflect on and evaluate their experience.
The PTA is delighted that ‘Wave’ Mural was installed at the start of this term. This collaborative beautification project was led by Creative Tauranga artists with the input of Art Teacher Jenny Livingston. The project was supported by Resene Paints.
Other news from the PTA this month include the Cookbook Project, dates for the next PTA lunch and a thank you to sponsors Thai Touch Massage and La Brioche Patisserie.
ART AND CULTURE
Tauranga Primary School Music Festival at Baycourt Theatre is on the 4th of September. This years’ theme is ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. Tickets go on sale Monday 31st of July at Baycourt (Phone: 577 7188). Prices are: Adult $14.00, Child $12.00 (up to 13 years old). PLUS: $1.00 booking fee per ticket (Baycourt charges). Please note that other charges are added if tickets are booked over the phone and paid for by credit card or postal delivered. The cheapest way to book the tickets is to go to Baycourt and pay there. General Sale of Tickets to the public start from Monday 28 August. Our school has a specific allocation. When you phone to book tickets you MUST buy from our school’s allocation.
ART AND CULTURE
It’s ‘Game-Time’ people. The Aquinas World Cup. What am I talking about? Seniors, the make or break term is upon us. We need a recap on attitudes. Not the speech you have heard from every teacher in every classroom, but the tips to get you over the line and onto the podium. Let’s finish off these last internals and start revising for the derived grade exams.
Recently some of our 2016 student leaders returned to Aquinas College to meet with senior students to discuss academic success. Not surprisingly, the clichés we’ve all heard before were reiterated. “Time to bite the bullet and get started.” “Everybody has the exact same amount of time.” “You have the same number of hours in a day as Richie McCaw and as Donald Trump.”
ART AND CULTURE
We are pleased to be able to offer private Classical, Flamenco and fingerpicking guitar lessons at Aquinas College from Term 3 this year.
These will be taught by Matthew Sutton (e-mail email@example.com). Please contact Matthew directly for information on fees and times available.
Matthew offers the following:
• Classical and flamenco guitar
• Pop, folk and fingerpicking
• Nylon and steel string guitars
• Tailored lessons for NCEA music students
• Private examinations through Trinity College
Congratulations to Year 13 student Ella Akkerman for winning a silver medal for New Zealand in Beach Volleyball at the Youth Commonwealth Games.
Term 3 is a very busy term for school sport. Winter Codes are building towards championship finals as well as preparing for end of season prize-giving functions. We are looking forward to some good results in these competitions.
We are also preparing for annual sports exchanges with John Paul College (Year 7 & 8) and Campion College (Year 9 & 10). These traditional fixtures are important for us in maintaining our links with neighbouring Catholic Colleges.
AIMS games is well underway for its 14th year. In 2017 there will be 9,300 competitors representing 275 schools throughout New Zealand, Tonga and the Cook Islands.
Check out this link to the AIMS Games website where you will find all the sports on offer, details of events, times, venues and dates.
Due to the high numbers of athletes taking part, the Opening Ceremony has been broken into 2 sessions.
Congratulations to the following students who have been selected for Representative Hockey Teams:
U13 Hatch Development Boys – Max Perrott
U15 Premier Girls – Amber Sutherland
U15 Championship Girls – Charlotte Watson and Rose Cato
U18 Girls – Ana Sutherland and Meg Johnston.
New Zealand Secondary School Winter Tournament week runs from Monday 4 September – Friday 8 September. Aquinas College will be represented in 5 different codes. Good luck to the following teams attending this year:
Netball Premier Team- Upper North Island- Auckland
Hockey 1st XI girls- Tauranga
Hockey Boys 1st XI North Harbour
Basketball Premier Girls- Tauranga
Basketball Premier Boys- Tauranga
Football 1st XI Girls- Whangarei
Football 1st Boys- Papakura
St Thomas More PTA invite the Aquinas College community to attend an event offering support for parents bringing up teenagers.
Is your Child Moody? Arguing? Shutting Down? Come along and hear Kathryn Berkett explain reasons for this type of behaviour, plus discuss what to do if your child is acting this way. Kathryn has a Masters in Educational Psychology and is a mother of two. You will leave her session with practical tips that you can use immediately.
2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the commencement of St Mary’s Catholic School in Tauranga. The school began in September 1942, managed and staffed by the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny, many of whom came from Ireland.
To celebrate this significant event a reunion weekend is planned for 22 – 24 September 2017. If you know of someone who attended, or had an association with St Mary’s School during these 75 years please let them know about the reunion. Visit www.stmarystga.school.nz to register your interest.
We are concerned at an increasing amount of lateness and poor class attendance by some students.
Parents are asked to support our approach to punctuality by ensuring students leave home in sufficient time to arrive at school prior to 8:45am.
Lateness and attendance is being closely monitored and may result in after-school service if behaviour does not improve. Many thanks for your help with this effort.
The Food Truck sells hot and cold food and beverages every Monday Wednesday and Friday.
Students are encouraged to text their order before 9am to 027 954 8391.
Aquinas College has a proud history of equipping our students for success in ongoing tertiary education.
We have recently received notification from Victoria University congratulating 2017 Graduates across a range of subject areas.
The Holy Eucharist is celebrated at the Aquinas College school chapel every Wednesday at 10am.
Families and members of our community are warmly welcome to attend. The Mass is hosted by a different Tutor class each week, with students leading the prayers and music.