Last week I signaled to the college and community my intention to finish in my role as Principal of Aquinas College at the end of this year. It has not been an easy decision but I believe it is a good time for the next Principal to step into the role. There is a great deal of thinking and planning occurring at Board and Diocese level around the future development of the college, in terms of roll growth and facilities. The Steering Group established by the Diocese has carried out meetings to get opinions and feedback from our different stakeholders. The group will now use this feedback to establish a plan that will be recommended to the Diocese.
As is always the case this is a very busy term and one in which all of our students have to manage a number of different commitments in their school lives and beyond. I commend them for the way in which they have managed themselves in the first half of the term. My thanks also go to the staff for their continuing work and support of our students in their different activities.
Winter sports competitions have begun and we wish all those involved the very best for the season – players, coaches, managers, referees, parents and supporters. As we move from autumn into winter it is important also to maintain good routines in terms of nutrition & adequate sleep, along with effective study & homework habits. Winter ailments are appearing and we want to minimise the impact they have on all of us.
Aquinas College Service Day – On Thursday 25th May the college held its annual ‘Service Day’ in the community. This continues to be a significant part of our service ethic in the college and my thanks go to the students and staff for the significant service they are able to give to a wide range of organisations and individuals on the day. Feedback from the community is very positive, with many messages, e-mails and letters coming to the school to say thank you for the work that students and staff do on the day.
College Ball – On Saturday 27th May the college ball was held at Eagle Ridge. It was a wonderful venue enjoyed by the large number of students who attended. Our thanks go to the staff at Eagle Ridge and the college staff who attended during the evening.
Jesus asks us to be His hands and feet in our world. As part of our special Catholic character, our students are committed to using their talents for the good of others. A great demonstration of this was the Service Project Launch by Year 12 students, where patients at Tauranga hospital were assisted to attend an ecumenical service held in the chapel. Another service is scheduled for the 18th of June and all our community are warmly invited to attend.
We look forward to seeing great attendance from our students and their families at the 3 important masses coming up this month.
In May the Year 12 students attended a retreat, presented by relationship expert, Brendan Malone from Christchurch.
The topic of healthy relationships was explored with students given the opportunity to talk with married couples about their relationships and about the joys and challenges of married life.
The programme also included the Explore Programme, organised by Joe Hogan, the Marriage and Family life Activator for Hamilton Diocese.
Service Day is a school wide event when the students and staff of Aquinas College donate their time and talents to serve in our community. As a Catholic school, one of our touchstones is Service; our commitment to use our talents for the good of others.
Matthew’s Gospel reminds us that being of service to others is fundamental to what it means to follow Christ. “For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you took me in, naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came unto me”.
Note for your calendar 2 important masses this month.
We invite all students and their families to attend a parish-school mass at St Thomas More on June 11th at 9.30am or at St Mary’s Immaculate on June 18th at 10.30am.
Our first whole school Mass was celebrated by Fr. Mark and Fr. Darren on the Feast of Pentecost. This was a joyful service marking the birthday of our church.
National Standards and Student Portfolios (Years 7 and 8) – Student portfolios are again being completed this year in Years 7 and 8. These provide a comprehensive record of each student’s learning accompanied by teacher feedback. Portfolios help to provide students, parents, and teachers with the right sort of information to help set goals and improve the learning that is occurring both at school and at home. The portfolios will be sent home with students at the end of Term Two for parents to see. Please note that the mid-year report on National Standards will be included with the student portfolios.
Year 12 and 13 students have been planning future study and vocational training by attending several events in the last few weeks. 18 students are active on the Gateway Programme for 2017 which provides work experience to assist students to clarify career choices.
Every Gateway Student also has the opportunity to complete a Health and Safety Course, in preparation for the work place. Students gain NCEA credits and employers are always looking for students with this qualification. We have courses running on 8th, 9th and 15th June for anyone who is interested. We are looking for businesses that can provide 8–10 days work experience, at no cost to the employer. Contact Mrs Consedine on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
VOICE FROM THE BLEACHERS
Don’t be a flake, be a snowflake. ‘You are unique like a snowflake – no two are like’.
Despite this often recited cliche, for many of us it can be hard to concede to these differences.
Recently Aquinas College celebrated Pink Shirt Day with overwhelming success. A day dedicated to raising awareness of bullying and an incredible fundraising effort of $1,133.00 for The Mental Health Foundation.
This success indicates the innate need for events like this and the discussion they spark within our high school age bracket.
Aquinas College has an excellent Languages Faculty, offering Te Reo, French and English options for students. Read more about this part of our school and the awesome teaching team. Get more involved by taking part in Mooting or Debating.
Karen Guise – Head of Faculty for English and Languages. Teaches English Y9-13. One of two Scholarship English leaders, co-ordinator of debating, mooting and external speech comps. Staff Social Committee co-ordinator!
Sue de Lautour – 2IC English and Languages. Teaches Y11-13 English. Specialist Classroom Teacher for the College. Strong focus on ICT for Learning. Sue is learning tikanga and te Reo Maori, she leads the rock-climbing group, and organises ICAS English, Linguistics and the book club.
Aquinas College winter sports teams are achieving some incredible results while demonstrating good sportsmanship. Many teams are now looking ahead to Term 3 which features 2 important sporting events. On Friday 30 June we will announce who has been selected to represent the college at the New Zealand AIMS Games for Year Seven and Eight students . Senior students will also be taking part in the New Zealand Secondary School’s Tournament.
Our college sports photos will be held on Friday 28 July in the sports gym for all athletes, coaches and managers who would like to join their team for the photos. Look out for a timetable closer to the time. In August several codes will be representing the school at our annual sports exchange with Campion College in Gisborne.
Congratulations to Reece McCarthy, Tom McCarroll and Brayden Dew on their wonderful achievements at the Waikato / Bay of Plenty Cross Country Championships, placing 2nd, 3rd and 6th place as well as 1st overall in the 3-man race. Well done boys!
Lachlan Dillan, a Year Nine student ended his sailing season with the Optimist Nationals in Napier during the Easter break where he placed 13th in New Zealand. His placings during the season gave him an overall ranking of 14th (out of 173 sailors).
Well done to Year Eleven student, Aimee Watene who recently passed the Zone Theory Umpires Netball exam held in May. Aimee is also a player in the Premier 2 school netball team and has been playing for 8 years.
Congratulations to Josef Schuler and Kiahi Horan for being selected into the New Zealand Junior Men’s Water polo Team for the European Tour to Montenegro and Croatia from 17 July to 5 August 2017.
Bugsy Malone was a great showcase of talent over 5 performances at Baycourt Theatre in May. The 83 students, staff and crew presented a professional show which was enjoyed by all. Special thanks go to all our sponsors; Legacy Trust, Aquinas College PTA, Creative Tauranaga, Pub Charity, Helloworld Travel, Kate Barry Piceno Law and Hollister Jones Lellman Law. Many of our teachers and support staff gave hours of assistance to make the show such a success. A special mention also to our parents who supported the production in so many ways including donating props, doing makeup, transport, pack-out and by supplying food. It is only with your generous support that we are able to present shows of this nature. A huge thank you to all who were involved in this incredible experience for the students of Aquinas.
The Aquinas College Performing Arts Night is held at Otumoetai Baptist Church on Otumoetai Road from 7pm – 9.15pm on Wednesday June 21st. This night celebrates a smorgasbord of talent including band performances, singing and drama. Come along to support our students as they own the stage. $5 door charge.
The Waikato / Bay of Plenty Regional Big Sing Choral competition is held on Friday 9 June at St. Peters in Cambridge. This whole all day event is the Bay of Plenty finals showcasing choirs from around our region. As part of their preparation, Voci Celesti participated in a ‘fine tuning’ workshop facilitated by external choir director, Peter Watts. The Big Sing Finale will be held at Auckland’s ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre from Thursday 24 to Saturday 26 August 2017.
The Tauranga Primary Schools’ Music Festival 2017 brings together 28 choirs over five nights from local Primary and Intermediate Schools embracing a unique theme each year. All Year 7 and 8 students will be given the opportunity to represent the school at this fun and joyful event. The Festival will be held at Baycourt on 4 September. Stay tuned for more information.
It’s Bingo but not as your Nanna knew it! Join us this Saturday 10th of June at the Aquinas Colleg Retro Bingo Night. Come in your best Retro dress (60s – 90s) and help us raise funds for the school’s clubs and codes. $30 per ticket, tables of 8-10 with corporate tables available. Enjoy highly entertaining comedy bingo, the lip sync competition and silent auctions. Complimentary drink and a light supper provided. Adults only, no students please. Tickets and table bookings at the school office and through school sports clubs and groups.
A huge thank you to those who have paid their school donation this year. To those of you that may be struggling to pay the school donation we understand that you all have varying financial situations. This year the income received from the school donations is down by 15% ($60,000) on the same time last year. The school donation is voluntary but it is a sum of money that the school relies on to provide the high level of education success, cultural & sporting activities that all our students currently enjoy. The school donation is used in many areas within the school.
A recent proposal has been put forward by Tauranga Council to remove most school bus services and encourage use of the extended public transport system. Aquinas College has voiced its concerns around students catching multiple buses in terms of cost and time.
Safety at bus exchanges and also at the bus organization at school at the start and end of the day. Also concern with students if buses overcrowded. Some will have to walk longer distances to buses.
Congratulations to the new Mrs Nicolaas (formally Miss Reymer, our Year 12 Dean) on her wedding last month. We are sure you will agree that she looked both delighted and beautiful on her special day. Your Aquinas family wish you and your new husband Mark every happiness.