Dear Parents, Caregivers, students and supporters of the College,
A warm welcome back to the final term of the year. I trust that the students had a restful and relaxing break and returned refreshed and ready for Term 4. This is a short but very busy term.
At the first assembly this term I reminded the students of the importance of the next few weeks and that we have a focus on our Touchstone of Scholarship. For us this means enabling each student to do the very best that they can in whatever academic challenges they may face. In welcoming the students back into class at the start of the term it was important to re-establish routines and expectations for all students. Senior students obviously have their programmes and preparation for external NCEA exams to complete in the first few weeks of the term. Years 9 & 10 students have their internal school exams and assessments to prepare for. These occur around the time NCEA exams get underway. Our Year 7 & 8 students continue with their programmes and the assignments/assessments that are part of this. The completion of their portfolios will continue through the term.
Reports for senior school are currently being completed and will be distributed in Week 4 of the term. Junior reports will be completed and distributed towards the end of the term. We wish our students all the best for the term, and in particular to our NCEA and scholarship candidates.
There are several staff changes that have occurred last term or are occurring this term:
At the end of this year our principal Ray Scott is leaving Aquinas College for a well-deserved retirement. Ray has been principal for seven years and prior to that was principal at St John’s College in Hamilton. On 22 November we will recognise Ray’s outstanding contribution to Catholic education in the diocese at a special mass celebrated by Bishop Steve. The mass will be held at St Mary Immaculate Church in Tauranga at 7pm. This is a special opportunity for the wider parish community to thank Ray for his contribution to Aquinas College. Mass will be followed by refreshments.
Keeping with the theme of leaving, our Yr. 13 students have a mass at St Mary’s on 11 December at 5.30pm, followed by a dinner for them and their parents. At this mass we have a special blessing for the students and present them with an Aquinas candle and a bible along with our heartfelt wish for them to carry forward the Touchstones of the college into this next phase of their lives. God bless, and Hold fast to Truth.
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
The Touchstone of Service was celebrated at the Volunteers Assembly at the start of Term 4. Acts of service included giving technical support at school events, visiting the sick at Tauranga Hospital, coaching & umpiring college sports and even tending the wharenui garden. Congratulations and thanks to the following students;
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
Our Aquinas Community are warmly invited to share in the Sacrament of Eucharist at 10.15, on Wednesday November 1st, in the Action Centre. This Mass celebrates All Saints and All Souls Day.
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
Congratulations to Yr. 13 student, Aileen Harwood who was awarded the TrustPower Youth Community Spirit Award. The Award enabled her to donate $250 to a charity of her choice. As Aileen takes part in various Saint Vincent De Paul initiatives she decided to give the money to Meari Vickers, the co-ordinator of the Fullstop and Loaves & Fishes projects.
As we approach exam time for senior students, please take note of the following dates and information regarding awards and prize giving for 2017.
Senior Attitude and Effort Awards – These awards will be presented during the morning assembly in week 4 of the term (Tuesday 7 November). Students who are receiving an award will be alerted by 31 October. Parents are welcome to attend the assembly.
Congratulations to our 9P and 10P students who have achieved highly in the ICAS Science Competition this year. Listed below are those who achieved Distinction (top 10% in New Zealand). Well done.
Year 9: Thomas Bayly. Lachlan Dillon, Torben Oxenham, Samuel Way, Thomas Wilkinson
Year 10: Adam Fowler, Elise Oxenham, Nic Scott
The New Zealand Economics Quiz is a nationwide competition with 2700 candidates participating.
Hosted by Auckland University, students were required to answer 40 multiple choice questions about the New Zealand economy using macro and micro economic theory.
The following students received Distinction Awards (top 15% of NZ).
Over 6000 students from 153 schools across New Zealand participated in the national University of Otago Junior Maths Competition. We are very proud to announce that Lachlan Dillon and Thomas Wilkinson gained Merit certificates (top 15% in NZ) and three students were placed in the top 200; Elise Oxenham, Xavier Barry and Michael Graham.
Aquinas College runs a blended learning programme which gives the opportunity to use devices where appropriate but maintains the skill of writing. We view the use of these devices as a way to support student centred learning, but not as a replacement for student-teacher and student-student interaction. Note that we do not envisage, or want, students using a device every period, every day. The intention is that technology is used as part of an integrated programme to enhance learning.
As of 2018 we propose that Y11 students will be required to have a device which connects to the internet through WiFi.
Five girls, five boys, five days and one amazing teacher all set out to tackle the Spirit of Adventure Trophy Voyage.
In the first week of Term 4, Team AC Sharkies from Year 10 got the opportunity to go on the Spirit of Adventure. Along side three other schools and fantastic crew members, we set out to sail the Hauraki Golf. Leaving from Auckland Harbour we made our way to Waiheke Island for one night.
While many senior students are working hard towards exams, planning is now complete for most tertiary education courses. All students should have applied for their halls of residence, study link and respective courses. Forty-four students have successfully completed the Gateway Programme this year. Congratulations on this achievement. We are now accepting applications for students who want to join this programme in 2018. Please contact Mrs Consedine or Mrs Boniface for application forms, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great progress has been made on the New House Build Fund Raiser Project. The painters are moving out today ready for the tilers, carpet layers, kitchen installers, plumbers and electricians to come in and complete the finishing touches. Kyle O’Brien of Base Up Construction Limited has sharpened his pencil on the cost of laying the driveway, patio and paths.
An Aquinas College parent, Hamish Brooks, of Hamish Brooks Landscape Design and Build has put together a slick looking design for the landscaping: AQUINAS COLLAGE ST THOMAS LANDSCAPE CONCEPT PLAN.
We have 2 options for the costing of this work; one option is based on Hamish completing the work with his team and the other is based on him overseeing the work with Aquinas College supplying the workforce. If you are willing to give some time on the end of a wheelbarrow or shovel please contact Leanne Mackay on 027 220 8155.
The final step is to complete a sale at the maximum price possible for the best outcome for our students. Please get the word out to your friends and family that if they want to live in a beautiful, brand new G J Gardner home, a stone’s throw from the College, to get in touch today.
The Aquinas College PTA is proud to have recently supported our teachers in their efforts in the New Zealand Teachers Games by assisting with the entry fee for the event. The Teachers Games which were held in the September/October school holidays were an opportunity for teachers and other school staff to have fun with their colleagues, to compete seriously or socially and to enjoy each other’s company on the sports field. Aquinas had an enthusiastic team who joined in the spirit of the event and even brought home some medals – well done team!
ART AND CULTURE
A number of talented students and staff have been wowing audiences with their singing, acting and dancing talents.
Mary Poppins ran for 6 nights at Baycourt in September. Star of previous school productions Bugsy Malone and Oliver, Yr. 11 Michael Graham appeared alongside his father, Fraser Graham, cast as George Banks.
ART AND CULTURE
I know you don’t think you should take a break right now. Why? Because you’re too busy. Your to-do list is likely overflowing and packed with both menial chores and massive assignments.
However did you know that a break is actually what could improve your attitude, learning and productivity.
ART AND CULTURE
On Thursday 14th September, 14 Year 8-13 students spent the day making music in Taupo. They helped create an orchestra of 194 students, from 17 different schools from around New Zealand. The orchestra rehearsed all day then performed four different pieces of music that were played in front of a full house at the Great Lake Centre.
Summer sporting codes are under way with Cricket, Volleyball, Rugby 7’s, Touch and Water polo all fielding teams in local competitions.
Students have achieved national and regional recognition in a number of codes over the winter months.
The annual Aquinas College Sport Prize Giving Awards will be held on Wednesday 1 November in the college Sports Center. It is open to all members of the school community and is a celebration of our students’ sporting performances throughout the year.
The Year 7 & 8 girls water polo team have gained GOLD medal at the North Island Championships held in Auckland over the weekend. They beat Carmel College 8 -2 in the final. This was an outstanding effort by a very determined bunch of girls!
The boys team came up against Mount College in the quarter finals. They finished up 8th overall – also a solid effort.
In Term 3, our students took part in two days of training given by Greg Yelavich, the Common Wealth Games gold medallist. This set them up well for the national McMillan Cup. The McMillan Cup is an annual competition open to secondary school students throughout New Zealand. This year, 73 students took part.
Yr. 8 student Avalee Donovan- Trewhella. Avalee is a member of Tauranga Synchro, Tauranga’s synchronised swimming club. Tauranga Synchro competed in the NZ National Synchronised Swimming Championships that were held in Invercargill from 8-12 October.
Tauranga Police are running a recruiting seminar in a few weeks here in the Bay of Plenty for students who are interested in a career in the New Zealand Police Force.
Please refer to this Recruiting Seminar Flyer 2017 for further information on this event.
Please click here for the 2018 term dates and public holidays. Term 1 runs from Tuesday 30 January until Friday 13 April. Note that Tuesday 30/ 01 is a Teacher and Staff only day, Wednesday 31/01 is for Yr 7 & other new students, Student Exec and Yr 11 peer mentors. Thursday 01 / 02 is for all students.
Please click here for 2018 stationery lists.
The time has come to find those novels lurking under the bed, in the wardrobe, or down the side of the dresser – please return them! Seniors are asked to return books no later than their English exam day. It’s amnesty time – please return all books to the labelled box in the library – no questions asked!
We care about the health and well being of every student at Aquinas College.
As exams approach, please take time to read the attached Exam Stress and Anxiety Booklet for tips on how to cope with stress.
If you are feeling under pressure, make use of the free medical services within our school such as the the Doctor, Nurse and Physiotherapist.
For additional support and guidance, visit the Counsellor Mrs Gilbert, or e-mail email@example.com.
The Aquinas College community is warmly invited to the Taylor Brothers Transport Fireworks Gala from 5 – 9 p,on Saturday 4 November. Tickets on sale at St Mary’s school NOW!
When Aquinas College first opened, there were generous businesses and families who supported our graduating students by providing scholarships and grants. A number of these companies are still contributing however as students have moved on and the immediate connection with these families has ended, some individuals and companies are unable to continue their donations. We are therefore asking if our current community would like to donate funds. This is a wonderful opportunity to support our Yr. 13 students by donating $100 to accompany a ‘Top in Subject’ cup or by providing a $1,000 scholarship for those students looking to enter a trade or nursing career. Contact Mr Graham for more information by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.