Dear members of the Aquinas College community,
The term is moving along very quickly! We have some major events yet to occur including Winter Tournament Week, AIMS Games, Derived Grade Exams and our Year 13 Retreat.
The Tournament Week for many of our senior teams is occurring in the week of the 4th to 8th September. Our teams involved include Netball, Hockey, Football and Basketball and they are being played in different centres – including Whangarei, Auckland and Tauranga. This is a great way to bring their winter sport season to a conclusion. Our thanks go to the coaches, managers and parents for the work they have put in with the teams during the year.
AIMS Games occurs in the week of September 10 – 15. Our thanks go to the families who have offered to billet the students who come from Heaton Intermediate in Christchurch. This is a long standing tradition we have which allows Heaton students to take part in the AIMS Games and the students and their community are very grateful to us for hosting them. The AIMS Games event is the largest intermediate level sports tournament in New Zealand and will involve over 100 of our Year 7 & 8 students in a variety of sports. We wish them all the very best.
September 18, 19 & 20 bring our school Derived Grade Exams for our Year 11 – 13 students. Senior students are expected to attend only for their exams, but there will be places where they can study if they come early or have to wait for buses after an exam. These exams are particularly important. They give a good indication as to where students are placed with respect to their coursework and, if they are ill or unable to sit an external for any reason, the results of these exams are used to give a derived grade. It is important that students prepare well and do the best that they can for these exams.
The Year 13 Retreat will occur on Monday & Tuesday 25 & 26 Sept at the Keswick Centre in Rotorua. This is an important event for our senior students, providing time for them to reflect on their time at Aquinas and prepare for the future.
Amongst all of these activities of course all classes will continue with their work. The senior classes are well aware of the rapidly approaching external exams and the junior school will also have end of year assessments and exams as they come into Term 4. A well organised approach at this time of the year is essential if students are to gain the maximum benefit they can from the school year.
The major Special Character event this term has been our hosting of the Chanel Shield Competition. This year it was a well-contested event and Aquinas College did a marvelous job of providing hospitality to the four visiting schools from around the Hamilton Diocese. A huge vote of thanks to all those families who were able to offer billets for the Friday night – our visitors all report they were really well looked after. Thank you, too, to the many students who, under the expert supervision of Mr Webb, provided food for our visitors over the two days, including a special dinner for over 100 people on Friday evening. Great work, team!
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
The Chanel Shield was a closely-contested event, with just 5 points separating the first and last-placed schools at the end. Aquinas College got off to a great start with wins in both the Senior and the Junior Bible Reading events; congratulations to Jessica Phayer and Dominic Tupou-Pearson. We also won the Drama event on Friday evening, with a great performance by Millie Elliott, Millie Burton, Jake Hynds, Sarah Bridge, Petra Gough and Loretta Knights – you made Mrs Marriner proud!
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
Every Tuesday morning, under the guidance of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, these students are just some of a large group from Aquinas College who help prepare lunches at St Mary Immaculate Church. These are delivered to schools for children who might otherwise go hungry.
The Loaves and Fishes programme has been running for many years, with the need in Tauranga and surrounding areas as great as it has ever been.
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
The Year 13 Retreat is being held on the 25th and 26th September, involving an overnight stay at Keswick Camp near Rotorua.
As our Yr 13 students pass the mid-point of Term 3 it’s time to give some thought to life after college. The Yr 13 Retreat begins with each student reflecting on their time at Aquinas College – the knowledge and competency built up in various subject areas as well as the values and principles adopted while being part of our Catholic school community.
Congratulations to the following students who were recognized at the 2017 Honours Assembly.
These students have made exceptional contributions in the areas of performing arts, special Catholic character and sports.
Tuesday the 8th of August saw the Aquinas Debating team of Jake Hynds, Jess Treanor and Noah van Oudenaaren take on a trio of boys from Sacred Heart in Auckland. The prize up from grabs was the coveted Jane Schollum trophy, which Aquinas had wrestled back in 2016. While fortune favours the brave – and our team were certainly that – the Sacred Heart Boys were just too good on the night and managed to pip us at the post.
It was a hard-fought battle of words and wits – congratulations to Sacred Heart. And next year… we’ll be back!
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.
This is a reminder that the senior school (and Year 10 students sitting Level 1 Science) will be sitting examinations between Monday the 18th of September to Wednesday the 20th of September. During this period, senior students do not attend school unless they have an assessment or subject session planned. Any student who comes in to school during the exam period is 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.
The Year 12 and 13 Sociology classes are looking at taking social action to influence changes to the Aquinas College Uniform policy. To ensure that the ideas reflect the opinion of all stakeholders, they are keen to hear what the parent community thinks. If you would like to share your opinions on this issue, please click on this link to complete the survey. Responses will be collated and presented to the Aquinas Board of Trustees.
This month Aquinas College has been visited by all the Universities and Tertiary Educators. This has been insightful for students who are planning study and career alternatives for next year.
All Year 12 students attended the Canvas Careers Showcase in August. This event gave the students a chance to talk face to face about career and study options with exhibitors from a wide range of industries, tertiary institutes, universities and community groups.
Students enjoyed participating in a variety of activities including daily riddles, treasure hunts and mathsmind competitions during Math Week earlier this term.
Many students also took part in the Australian Maths Competition and the Otago Junior Maths Competition.
Congratulations to the following students who gained Distinction (top 20%) and High Distinction (top 3% of participants) in the Australian Mathematics Competition.
The Board of Trustees is excited to announce a major fundraising project to benefit the students of Aquinas College. Through the generosity of the developers of St Thomas Estate Limited, David & Kathy Goodwin and their gift of a $125,000 discount on Lot 4 St Thomas Estate and the willingness of Shane & Kirsty McConnell of GJ Gardner Homes Tauranga to build a 204 sqm home at a discount of more than $40,000, Aquinas College aims to raise in excess of $200,000 to be applied to a number of short and long term projects for the benefit of the Aquinas College Community.
PTA was proud to be able to support the International Day by providing a story teller, Jody Jackson-Bercerra who wove her magic using Fagogo, a traditional Pacific Island storytelling technique that involves song, actions and audience participation. PTA also assisted with providing food for the international themed lunch on the Thursday where butter chicken and nachos were provided and went down a treat with the students.
Thank you to the parents/whanau who participated in the recent ‘survey monkey’ feedback process that the Board initiated to further inform the Principal appointment process. Parent/whanau feedback was collated, along with feedback from students and College staff.
1. The characteristics or qualities that parents/whanau were looking for in the new leader of Aquinas College helped to inform the advertisement, and more detailed person specification, which formed part of a comprehensive application pack.
The Advertisement can be viewed here: Principal Application Ad
2. The opportunity that parents/whanau would like to see the College explore assisted the Board to determine the next stages in school review, such as the Charter and Strategic Plan, and some of the areas that the new Principal could assist the Board in doing.
ART AND CULTURE
Applications close on the 14th of September 2017 for the Jann Medlicott Creative Arts Award. This scholarship has been set up to enable a young creative to undertake further study in the creative arts. It is an annual award valued at $2,000. This is managed by the Creative Bay of Plenty on behalf of the Acorn Foundation.
Acorn Foundation is a charitable trust operating in Tauranga, New Zealand. It was established in 2003, to encourage people to consider leaving a gift in their will to benefit the western Bay of Plenty community forever. People can also make gifts during their lifetime to build up their fund and maximise the tax rebates now available.
Click here to apply.
ART AND CULTURE
“Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be.
The cliche we have heard and all muttered to reassure ourselves with when awaiting something that scares us. We use it as a cop out or an excuse not to try our hardest.
However coming into exam season, it is vital we ditch this mantra. It is time to hold ourselves accountable to reach our goals. This week we have had our honours assembly where this theme was overwhelmingly present. We as students must take ownership for our future and achieve our goals.
ART AND CULTURE
The Aquinas College auditioned choir, Voci Celesti spent the day up in Auckland on Friday 25th August to watch some of the adjudicated sessions of the Big Sing Choral Finale. Students were inspired by some of the top secondary schools’ choirs in New Zealand and were engaged with how each choir performed with such focus and enthusiasm. It was a great opportunity for students to learn the type of focussed and specific work required to achieve at this level.
Voci Celesti will be singing at the parish-school Mass at St Marys Immaculate church at 10,30am on Sunday September 3rd.
We wish all students the very best of luck at Winter Tournaments and AIMS Games. We know your dedication and training will pay off with sporting success.
Registrations are now open for Term 4 Touch Rugby, Water Polo, Cricket and Volleyball. Any students interested in representing Aquinas College in these sports should complete the registration form by clicking the sport below:
To maintain strong relationships between Catholic youth throughout the Hamilton Diocese, Aquinas College takes part in annual sports exchanges with other Catholic colleges.
Last week we set off on the trek through the Waioeka George and on into Gisborne, to visit Campion College. Some nerves at being billeted were quickly overcome by the friendly welcome we received. The sporting rivalry was strong with neither school being prepared to give an inch on the court, turf or playing field.
Earlier in the year, some of our students took part in the Hamilton Open and Graded, Waipa Open and Graded and national air pistol shooting competitions. Through these events, Loretta Knights (Yr 13) has been selected to represent New Zealand at the Oceania Games, held in Brisbane at the end of October. Loretta will compete in the Junior Women’s Air Pistol event.
Recently some of our respective AIMS Teams met at Aquinas College for some practice before the start of this national tournament.
It was our turn to host our guests from John Paul College in Rotorua. We turned on a fantastic day weather wise, with warm conditions and sunny skies. This year team competed in girls water polo, netball & hockey, boys & girls basketball and boys football.
Celebrating the diverse fruits and family of Catholic Charismatic Renewal in New Zealand! Register now for the Current of Grace Conference by following this link . The Conference is being held from Friday 22 – Sunday 24 September, 2017 at the Distinction Hotel, and the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, in Palmerston North.
2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the commencement of St Mary’s Catholic School in Tauranga. 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.
Students and families are invited to attend 6 pm Mass on Sunday 17 September at the Hamilton Cathedral. The Mass will celebrate the beginning of the ‘With Hearts Burning’ reflection series released by Bishop Steve. This spiritual reflection process for clergy, religious, parishioners, and schools focuses on understanding the Emmaus mystery [Luke 24:13-35] to interpret our present reality.
Synchronised swimming is for everyone – the competitive athlete or the recreational swimmer looking for fitness and fun.
Beginners train every Saturday morning at Baywave.
Call Jo for more information on 027 543 1697 or visit www.taurangasynchro.co.nz.
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Stay up to date with news, events and information about the Catholic community of Aotearoa with an annual subscription for $66 (11 issues). To subscribe call 03 477 1449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more at www.tuimotu.org.
St John’s College invite all parents, past students and associates of the school to a celebration event marking 200 years of Marist education. This will be a wonderful chance to connect with friends in the St John’s community. The celebration starts at 7.30pm on Saturday September the 9th, 2017, at St John’s College – please RSVP at https://marist200.eventbrite.co.nz or contact the school office to register on 07 856 7091.