In celebrating the Feast of the Assumption, the Church recalls how Mary’s life on earth ended.
Kia ora whānau
Tēnā koutou kātoa ngā whānau o te kura
The Feast Day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was this past Saturday (August 15th). Unfortunately, our planned Mass at the College to celebrate this Feast Day last Wednesday had to be cancelled due to the escalated COVID-19 alert level. We instead recognised this Holy Day of Obligation through a Liturgy delivered in Tutor classes today (Tuesday, August 18th).
In celebrating the Feast of the Assumption, the Church recalls how Mary’s life on earth ended. Because of her preeminent faith and goodness. Mary was taken up body and soul into heaven at the moment of her death. All Feast days are special, but this one carries extra significance as Catholics in New Zealand. It is a time when we recall the origins of the Catholic Church here in our country, when Bishop Pompallier, as he celebrated the first Mass on New Zealand soil, dedicated this mission to the Assumption of Mary. We recognise this as the Patronal Feast for New Zealand.
Pope Francis reminds us that in celebrating this feast, we join together throughout the world is looking to Mary as our mother of the Church and as our Mother of Hope. Mary understood what it meant to do the will of God. We are particularly called to imitate Mary as we try to spread God’s message and carry His love to all. The feast of the Assumption reminds us of the importance of spiritual values, of the reality of life after death, and finally, it reminds us of the wonderful eternal future of happiness. May our Lady of the Assumption continue to lead us closer to her Son.
Mary teaches us how to be disciples, to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and to do whatever he tells us. As Jesus’ mother, Mary was very practical; she had to adjust to the situations that life laid before her. In the same way, this is what our College must do. Once again, our students, staff, parents and whānau have to adjust to the guidelines and restrictions placed upon us in Alert Level 2. The College’s Alert Level 2 Protocols are designed to keep us all safe. We must all remain agile and vigilant during this uncertain time. Thank you all for your support in this space.
Last Friday, we said farewell to a passionate, committed and positive teacher – Mrs Shelley McKay. Mrs McKay has been a Year 7/8 teacher at Aquinas College for just under five years. We thank Mrs McKay for her outstanding professionalism and service to our Aquinas College students and whānau, along with her additional responsibilities as an Across Schools Kāhui Ako Teacher, TIC Netball and PTA Staff Representative. While we will dearly miss her, we are delighted to support Mrs McKay’s promotion to the position of Deputy Principal at Suzanne Aubert Catholic School in Papamoa.
In farewelling Mrs McKay to her new senior leadership role at Suzanne Aubert Catholic School, we welcome these new staff members to our community and look forward to working with them.
We have been very fortunate that Mr Terry Eggleton (Mr E) has agreed to return to Aquinas College to teach the Year 7 class previously taught by Mrs McKay for Terms 3 and 4 this year. Mr Eggleton was a founding teacher at Aquinas College, retiring in December 2016. His experience and knowledge will provide a seamless classroom culture for 7MKY.
Mrs Laura Grace was one of two Learning Support Coordinators (LSC) appointed in June. Mrs Grace previously taught Art at Aquinas College, returning to fulfil this permanent position to ensure our students with additional learning needs have access to the services they need. Learning Support Coordinator positions are new, fully funded and dedicated roles. Our Learning Support Coordinators will work across our Kahui Ako to build the capability of teachers working with students who have additional needs. They will work to identify and plan for the learning support needs of all children and young people our schools, including those with moderate needs. They will also be available to support learners and their parents and whānau. The intention is that they will simplify the system, so it’s easier for families to access services.
Mrs Lisa Budd is the second Learning Support Coordinator (LSC) appointed in June this year. Mrs Budd’s previous experience includes teaching at Te Akau ki Papamoa School and three years as a Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) in the Western Bay of Plenty.
Mrs Tanya Mocke returned from England to Tauranga with her family in 2018. Mrs Mocke has recently been appointed as the Homestay Coordinator in the College’s International Department. Mrs Mocke has extensive experience working with international families in Sales and Marketing as well as a Homestay Manager.
In recent months, we have been working hard to develop Graduate Profile Progressions and a Vision for Learning. Our Staff Only Day held on August 10th centred on these two areas as we sought their educational expertise to provide feedback on them both. Once adopted, Graduate Profile Progressions and the Vision for Learning will become foundational frameworks in our College to deliver on our Graduate Profile aspirations.
To ensure our Graduate Profile is meaningful, it has to be living. It can’t just be words on a bit of paper in a prospectus or on a wall. It is about connecting it to everything we do in our learning and the wider life of the College. The Graduate Profile Progressions bring clarity to the learning journey of the Graduate Profile, allowing learning experiences to be designed to focus on the development of the aspirational outcomes explicitly. The Vision for Learning will communicate a unified set of values, beliefs and expectations for classroom practice, based on the Graduate Profile, which will continue to enhance the existing high-performance learning culture across our College.
Our students in Years 11-13 have now successfully completed two Self-Determined Learning (SDL) Days. These opportunities are enabling our senior students the opportunity to have concentrated time working on their portfolios in practical subjects, be supported through enrichment and consolidation tutorials or spend time directing their learning. The early reviews of these days have been very positive by students and staff. Students have enjoyed the added agency in, and autonomy over, their learning. We see these days as offering tangible opportunities for students to further develop their independent learning skills and dispositions, which are critical beyond school. Seeking opportunities to facilitate greater agency, independence and resilience in learning was a key theme for senior students and their whānau emerging from our post lockdown survey.
Our uniform promotes a sense of pride, for students individually and in our College, it provides a sense of identity with the College. We have high standards in this regard, and unfortunately, some students are not meeting these expectations currently. 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 proper uniform available to them.
Ma te Atua tātou e manaaki
May God’s Blessings be upon us all.
M R Dalton
Liturgy in Tutor Classes, this year, to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We were very blessed to have the NET Team join us for our Year 11 Retreats.
Ten of our Maori students attended the Ko Maui Hangarau at the ASB Arena in Auckland.
18 Aquinas College entries have been selected as finalists for the 2020 Young Innovator Awards. 28 Aquinas College students are individual or group finalists in one or more of 7 Intermediate, 9 Junior Secondary and 2 Senior Secondary projects. Of note: Claire Ma (Year 9) was selected as a finalist for her individual entry as well as an entry she completed with a group. And Noah Ball (Year 8) is a finalist four times over, with his two individual entries as well working on two group innovations.
Please vote online for your favourite finalists in the Bayfair People’s Choice Award. For a full list of our student finalist in each category and links to voting…
The EPro8 Challenge is an engineering and problem-solving competition.
Nine Aquinas College students completed a 2-day Level 3 Forklift course. At the end of the course, the boys have gained their Accreditation
The Masterlink Trade Tour is coming to Aquinas and it’s open to all Aquinas College students and that also includes their families!
Postponement of the Event 26 August 2010
Try something new – try something that challenges you! That has been the theme in the Health & Physical Education faculty this term.
SPORT DURING LEVEL 2
With the move to Alert Level 2 on Wednesday 12 August, we have once again implemented Alert Level 2 Sports Protocols.
The newly formed Te Taumata (Aquinas College and Te Wharekura o Mauao) Rugby Teams are having a
Wellbeing suggestions relating to COVID 19 Community Transmission.
TRY the new Entertainment Digital Membership Today!
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.
Our Learning Centre is keen to receive your unwanted Lego. Please leave all donations at Reception marked for the attention of Hanna Hobbs. Thank you!
Adolescence is a time of growth and development and can be challenging for some.
Our school nurse Ana McFarlane will be conducting health checks on students over the next two terms using the Ministry of Health’s HEEADSSS Assessment tool.
This includes a range of questions relating to home, school, eating, drugs/alcohol, depression, sexuality and safety.
Any health risks identified will have the appropriate support offered to student and family.
If you wish to opt out from having the check done please contact the Nurse on 543 2400 -Ext 241 or email email@example.com
Your Physio is Marijke Sonneveld
Appointments available @ school for your injury rehab and injury prevention education
See the school office for appt requests or phone 07 5779798
Twisted ankle? Out of plaster? Pulled muscle? Sore shoulder? Injured Back?
First appointment no charge. No referral necessary
Your School Physiotherapist can help you www.bayphysiotherapy.co.nz
The 2020 term dates:
Starts Monday 20 July
Ends Friday 25 September
Starts Monday 12 October
Ends Wednesday 9 December* *Dependent on Staff only days
The Aquinas College International Department is seeking new host families for 2021. Host families receive a weekly payment of $265 in return for providing students with 3 meals per day, their own room and pastoral care. For more information please email
Reader Writers Wanted! We’d love to hear from anyone interested in being a volunteer during the day time as a reader or writer or reader & writer for students sitting assessments. Click here to sign up.
We’re also still accepting donations of Lego. Please leave bag/box at Reception for ‘Learning Centre’.
At Aquinas College we are extremely fortunate to be able to offer the following Itinerant Music Lessons in school time.
There is no cost for the actual lessons but there will be a $15.00 charge to cover folders and music that students receive and may keep. We do have a small number of instruments available to hire. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If your son/daughter would like to take up this fantastic opportunity they can collect an enrolment form from the school office or from Mrs Cooney
Instruments available include;
Strings: Mrs Gardiner Violin, Viola, Cello and Double bass
Woodwind and Saxophone: Ms Martin, Mrs Jones Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
Brass: Mr Thomas Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, French Horn, Baritone Horn, Euphonium
Drums and Bass: Mr Barlow
Out of hours beginner Keyboard lessons are also available for Year 7 and 8
Private lessons are also available where fees are paid directly to the tutor for voice and guitar.