Kia ora whanau
Nga mihi nui ki a koutou
Incredibly, we are half way through Term 3 already. It has been pleasing to evidence the hard work of our students and staff through an analysis of our students’ academic achievement to this point. The overwhelming majority of our students are on target to achieve academic success this year, while those who require support and acceleration are being supported as we seek equity and excellence in student outcomes for all. Your continued support as parents and caregivers is invaluable for your child(ren) and I thank you for everything you do.
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 26th of August
St Mary’s Immaculate Church Mass at 10.30 am, Sunday, 2nd 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 is my expectation that all of 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 also asking students 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 44 teams across five main sporting codes. This level of participation is fantastic 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 of 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 premier teams who will represent us at the Winter Tournament Week (Week 7) and then in the AIMS Games (Week 8). We will track your progress with interest and know that you will put your best effort forward.
Family Zone Web Filtering
This week we are initiating the new web filtering policy for Yrs. 7-9 as has been communicated through numerous emails. Next week this will take affect for Yrs. 10-12. We are confident that this move will reduce risks for our students while also improving productivity through more effective filtering. While our school provides a safe network, we need your support to ensure safe internet access when students are off the school network, at home, or on mobile data. That’s why we’ve partnered with New Zealand’s leading provider of cyber safety and digital-awareness services to school communities: Family Zone. Keeping our children safe online is a challenge that requires our entire school community to work together, and Family Zone is the right platform to enable us to do so. I urge all of our college community to engage with us in this initiative. If you have not already done so, we need you to take the following steps as soon as you can:
I would like to advise of the following staff changes for Term 3:
Ms. Donna Jarden was recently appointed recently as the Director of International Students following the resignation of Mrs. Cathie Fourie. Ms Jarden transitions into this position from her current position as the Communications, Website and Grant Funding Facilitator. It has been a furious start for Ms. Jarden and the International Students Department with the several groups of visiting international students this term.
Mrs Annette White, teacher of ESOL, has tendered her resignation following 7.5 years of service to the College. We thank Mrs White for her wonderful service and wish her well.
Mrs Noelene Taylor has been appointed to this position vacated by Mrs White for the remainder of the year. Mrs Taylor is well known to our students and staff having acted as a relief teacher in the International Department and in the Languages Faculty for some time.
Mr Paul Mahon, the College’s Property Manager, has resigned from his position. We thank Mr Mahon for his two years of fine service to the College.
We welcome Mr Jason Yorke, who has been appointed as the new Property Manager. Mr Yorke is a qualified builder and experienced manager. I am confident his skills and experience will be an asset to our college’s operation.
May God’s Blessings be upon you all.
M R Dalton
On Wednesday the 15th of August we celebrated Mass for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the patronal feast of Catholics throughout Aotearoa. Bishop Pompallier, who was the first Catholic Bishop of New Zealand, celebrated our first Mass on the 13th of January 1838, at Hokianga. At the end of the Mass, he dedicated our country to Mary. In 1988, a Pastoral Letter from the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference reminded us of this.
“In dedicating New Zealand to Mary in her Assumption, Bishop Pompallier placed our country under the protection of Mary as she is now – alive, body and soul, rejoicing in the happiness of God’s kingdom.”
The Mass was a wonderful occasion for the school and the parish community to come together. Many students served as Readers, Eucharistic Ministers or as part of the Choir. Special thanks to Yr. 11 student Ihakara Tawa who read the Second Reading in Te Reo and to Fr. Mark for celebrating Mass.
The Chanel Shield was held at John Paul College in Rotorua. This annual event is named in honour of the Patron Saint of the Diocese, Peter Chanel. He was a French-born missionary priest who worked in the Pacific Region in the 19th century. The competition involves five secondary schools from the Diocese of Hamilton; Campion College, St Johns College, Sacred Heart College, John Paul College, and Aquinas College.
Yr. 12 student Bailey Berntsen shared this reflection on why she takes part in Project Full Stop.
“Being able to go out and feed the tummies of children is such an amazing thing. Knowing that what you are doing is helping to change the lives of others makes you feel so good. Every two weeks I get the opportunity to go out with Project Full Stop to deliver sandwiches, provide a hot drink or just be a friendly face to younger children and their parents. Something as small as delivering food or being there to have a chat to can make such a big difference in someone else’s life. It is a privilege to be part of Project Full Stop as I am able to do my bit to help the lives of others”.
Any students interested in taking part in Project Full Stop should e-mail Mr. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Yr 12. student Laura Smith took part in the ‘Road to Emmaus’ experience earlier this term. It was a great weekend full of beautiful people, amazing food, adventure, leadership, worship and inspiring talks. The weekend consisted of a youth and young adult camp at the Hoatu Lodge in the Kaimais. The camp was for young people who are interested in becoming a Youth Minister. The camp was a great experience and an opportunity to meet other young Christians, share ideas about Jesus and learn valuable leadership skills.
The senior school (and Yr. 10 students sitting Level 1 Science) will be sitting examinations from 18th – 20th of September. During this period, senior students do not attend school unless they have an assessment or subject session planned. All students coming into school during the exam period are expected to be in full school uniform. These examinations are extremely important for students as they provide the evidence used by the school in the event that a student misses their final NCEA examinations. Please be respectful of students sitting exams. We wish them all the best in their studies.
Term Three started with the Yr. 7 and 8 Student Led Conferences. Thanks to the many parents who attended. During these conferences information regarding the academic progress for each student was handed out. With National Standards no longer a requirement, we are now measuring students against the curriculum levels.
Aquinas College now has a Beekeeping Club. Beekeeping is worth an estimated $5 billion to the New Zealand economy and is currently on the Skills Shortage List with Immigration New Zealand.
The Club will begin meeting weekly from Week 6. Students will learn about the life cycle of the honey-bee, how to inspect a hive, how to extract honey and make reusable beeswax wraps. In addition to being an interesting and unique activity offered as a club, it is also able to be counted as a skill under the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.
If you wish to join or just find out more information, please see Mr Synge in Room 12 or e-mail email@example.com.
It has been a busy term for the International Department. We have welcomed groups of students from China and Japan, joining our Yr 7, 8 and 9 classes. Our Aquinas College students proved wonderful ambassadors for their school, helping these guests to make friends and find their way around. Thanks to these students and to the host families.
Yr. 11 students Yuka Sawada and Tom Han represented the College at the Mayor’s Welcome held on August 13th. There were over 100 students from all around the world welcomed to the Bay of Plenty by Mayor Brownless.
After months of hard work, and expert advice and mentoring by Mrs. Livingston, Aquinas College’s Young Innovators have been recognised for their creativity, imagination and problem solving abilities. Voting is open now for the People Choice Award. Place your vote here for one of the eight Aquinas College teams who have made the final:
Hayman Strawinski – Zoe Sherlock, Callum Robertson, Phoebe Watson, Claire Ma, Stevie Shaw, Mia Knowles, Mila Laurie, Isaac Schuler – A machine that looks like a scarecrow that pops a balloon when a bird lands on it.
The Gender Vender – Chloe Davidson, Lachlan Stott, Myscha Barry, Marcus Tupou, Caitlin Farrell, Tayte Marsh, Sarah Edwards, Finley Jones – A machine that pops a balloon filled with pink or blue confetti to reveal the gender of the baby.
The Smarter Starter – Jake Bayly, Eric Shin, Maddie Kerr, Keisha Abrau, Asa Banbury, Ella Hill, Sara Szulakowski, Erin Moore – A machine to start races at athletics by popping a balloon.
The Ring Master – Sylvester Green, Julia Coenraads, Kate Dekker, Dawn Villegas, Kaia Hopkinson, Maxwell Stringer, Amy Trott, Stanley Watson – A machine that pops a balloon to mimic a gunshot.
Coathanger – Charlotte Watson – An app to view online garments on their body before buying.
No Fret – Lily Hodgson and Lily Richards – A convenient practice tool for guitarist.
reLEAF – India Jarden and Isaac Jarden – Sustainable paper made from leaves to lessen global warming and deforestation.
Ultra Buggy – Elise Oxenham – A wheelchair suitable for rough terrain with a bike attachment.
Winter Sports are soon coming to an end with some great results for our Aquinas College teams. Netball is into their finishing rounds now, with 13 of 18 teams making it through to the Semi Finals. Within the next month, Basketball will also complete quarter, semi and finals rounds.
It has also been a busy season for our four Rugby Teams. The 1st XV moved into Division 1 after the first round of games, the U15 team remained unbeaten during the season prior to the semi-final, our new U14 AC/TWOM team played consistently in the Championship League and the Amazons Year 7/8 girls are now playing in their second Seven’s competition, building confidences and numbers. Eight Aquinas boys across the Rugby Club have been selected for the main training squads for BOP Rep teams. Congratulations to these boys; U18 – Ben Lee, Sam O’Connor, Marshall Baker. U16 – Taine Rush, Darcy Hoskins. U15 – Toby Talyor, Trevel Gardiner Hano.
The Campion College Sports Exchange was a fabulous weekend full of sporting events hosted by Aquinas College. Campion College Year 9 and 10’s came up from Gisborne to compete in six different codes against some of Aquinas College’s best junior teams.
Campion arrived on midday Sunday 12 August and were greeted with a Powhiri at Aquinas College. After afternoon tea, we all boarded buses to head to the ASB Arena to compete in Basketball and Volleyball. Both games were dominated by Aquinas College, taking out convincing wins across both codes; Volleyball 3 – 0 and Basketball 83 – 15. After this the Campion College students departed with their host families for the night.
It has been a busy term for GymSport at Aquinas College with students attending several competitions over the last couple of months.
On Friday 6 July, Aquinas College students competed in the Yr. 7 and 8 Gymsport Championships at ARGOS in Tauranga. It was a great day with many students competing and receiving one or more medals.
The annual school chess tournament was well supported, with around 70 students competing during lunchtimes in Term Two. Some games were short and others were tense and exciting, taking several sessions to reach a conclusion. It was great to see students come and have a go, gaining points for their house.
Congratulations to Elise Oxenham who came second in the Secondary Section and Ella Hill who came third in the Intermediate Section in the Bay of Plenty Girls’ Chess Tournament. Both girls were awarded their certificate and medal during a recent school assembly.
At the end of July, Kieran Death (Yr. 7) and Antony Death (Yr. 9) competed in the National Lead Climbing Champs in Auckland. It was an incredibly successful day for the two brothers. Kieran won the Youth D Male National Lead Champs and Antony came second in Youth C Male Division. Well done boys!
A special congratulations also to Yr. 8 student Briar Davie who has been selected to attend the 2019 Under 14 Girls Basketball Pacific Koru Tour to Australia. This is a great achievement for Briar and an inspiration for all our students taking part in Basketball.
It’s now getting to the business end of the hockey season for our players at Aquinas Hockey Club. This year we have 85 players across our Intermediate and Secondary School teams. Congratulations to our Girls 2 XI team in winning the 3rd Division of Tauranga Hockey’s competition in the 1st round and they now move up to Division 2 for the 2nd round. Good luck team.
We started the 3rd term with some exciting news with Lysaght, a local Survey, Engineering and Planning company, sponsoring new jackets for the Coaches and managers of our all our Aquinas Hockey teams. Special thanks to Mike Stott for arranging this sponsorship. Our Coaches and Mangers look very smart and warm on the side of the turf. (see photo of 1st XI girls Coaches and Managers wearing the new jackets)
If you need a surveying, planning or engineering advise please give Lysaght a call. – www.lysaght.net.nz . Thanks, Lysaght for your support of Aquinas Hockey Club.
We are preparing for our Annual Sports Prize Giving which will be held on Thursday November 1st. Sports Representative Forms are available for students to complete to record their sporting achievements in the past year. Please ensure your child has completed one of these forms to ensure that their sporting success can be acknowledged and celebrated. Forms can be downloaded from the Aquinas College Website here or collected from the Sports Office. Forms must be returned to the Sports Office by Wednesday 12 September.
The Aquinas College Concert Band and Jazz Band will be performing at the Waikato ITM Band and Orchestra Festival on Friday 24 August, at the University of Waikato. The ITM Band and Orchestra Festival is an exciting festival where approximately 1000 high school students and their orchestras and other instrumental ensembles from 28 schools across the Region (Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki) meet to perform.
The event embraces a wide range of groups and musical traditions, and students work towards this Festival throughout the year, setting performance goals, building repertoire, and practising their stagecraft. Adjudicators provide constructive feedback and give out awards for outstanding performances.
ARTS AND CULTURE
All NCEA Music students will be sitting their NCEA Performance Assessments on Wednesday 12 September. These assessments are the culmination of all the work the students have put in through their instrument lessons and personal practise. We wish each of them the very best.
ARTS AND CULTURE
The Tauranga Primary School Music Festival is on Monday 3 September, from 7.00 – 9.00 pm at Baycourt Theatre. This year’s theme is ‘It’s About Time’.
Allocated tickets go on sale Monday 6 August (2 per family). Our school has a specific allocation so please mention this when you book. General sale of tickets to the public are from Monday 27 August. Tickets can be purchased from Baycourt – Phone: 577 7188. Ticket cost: $14.00 per person plus $1.00 booking fee per ticket (Baycourt charges). Please note that other charges are added if tickets are booked over the phone or paid for by credit card. The cheapest way to book the tickets is to go to Baycourt and pay there.
If you have any queries please call Mrs Cooney at school on 5432400 extension 227 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
ARTS AND CULTURE
Some of our talented Music students will be attending the Big Music Day in Taupo on Thursday 13 September. Students are given four pieces of music to learn and then will perform them in a concert at the end of the day as one large orchestra. This event has now become an annual event with the combined orchestra consisting of around 150 students, which will no doubt sound impressive!
Did you know there are vibrant, fun and inspiring parish Youth Groups open to all Aquinas College students.
Click here for the details.
Tickets are now on sale for The Night Is Young, showing at Baycourt Addison Theatre on Wednesday 22 August at 7.30 pm. These are available at the ticket counter at Baycourt or through Ticketek online, or by phone. Tickets purchased online or by phone can be collected at Baycourt on the night of the event. Ticket prices: Students $9.50, Adults $15.00 and FOB $9.50. A service charge will apply to tickets purchased at the Baycourt or through Ticketek. Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to see and support some of our talented local youth!
Mrs Skelton is starting a new service project at Aquinas College. We’re going to knit squares, then stitch them together to make blankets for the homeless. We need your help please – do you have any spare 3.75 mm needles (which is UK size 9, US size 5). We also need double knitting wool, of any colour. If you have unused wool please drop it in at the office, or to Mrs Skelton in Room 37.