Dear Parents, Caregivers, students and supporters of the College,
NCEA & Scholarship Exams
Our congratulations go to the senior students for their efforts during the exam time. Also our thanks go to the junior students who assisted by keeping quiet around the exam rooms, thus giving the seniors the best environment to do well. We trust that the results which come out in mid-January for our senior students will be positive and provide great incentive for the 2018 year.
As we rapidly head to the end of the term and the end of the school year there are several final thanks and messages that I need to express to everybody in the Aquinas College community. Firstly my thanks go to all of our students who contribute so fully to the life of the college, for their passion and enthusiasm whether it is in their classwork or activities outside the classroom. A school is only as good as the students make it each day and we are fortunate indeed to have such positive students who live our “touchstones” during the year.
Our thanks as a College go to all our parents and supporters who have assisted and supported the students in their activities. There is a vast range of activities that go on each year in the College and without the willing support of our wider community it would not be possible to sustain all of them. So whether it is as a transporter, coach, manager, parent help or general supporter we extend our grateful thanks.
In a similar vein our thanks also go to all of the staff at the college who have supported our students in their academic work. The guidance and encouragement given to the students to strive to reach their potential is crucial.
We extend a warm invitation to parents and family members to attend the final prize givings at the end of the year. These are special times that allow us to acknowledge and celebrate the success and achievement of our students:
The Junior Attitude, Effort and Excellence assembly will occur on Monday 11th December beginning at 11.45 am in the Gymnasium
The final full school Academic Prize Giving will occur on Tuesday 12th December beginning at 10.00 am in the Gymnasium.
Advent and Christmas
As we enter the season of Advent we are reminded that life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfil. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfilment are all part of our Advent experience. The coming of Christ and his presence among us, as one of us, gives us reason to live in hope: hope that light will shatter the darkness, hope that we can be liberated from our fears and prejudices & hope that we are never alone or abandoned. So I pray that this Advent season be a time for bringing hope, transformation and fulfilment into the Advent of all our lives.
My best wishes go to all our families in the wider community over the Christmas holiday. I trust that your time together with family and friends is safe, relaxing and enjoyable. May God bless you all now and in the future.
Principal, Aquinas College
This term Yr. 10 students are involved in Encounter Days. Students undertake a bush walk and climb a mountain while reflecting on various aspects of their relationship with God. They also are encouraged to meditate upon the connection between God, humankind and creation. This is a timely response to the encyclical Laudato Si, a letter by Pope Francis on our responsibilities to care for our environment.
We hope it will enable our young people to connect with their Creator in a new way. The Encounter Days are run by the Diocesan Youth Team and supported by our teaching staff.
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
Over 200 people gathered at St Mary’s Immaculate Church on Wednesday 22 November 2017 to celebrate the career of Mr Ray Scott, retiring Principal of Aquinas College.
“I’ve always called it a vocation, rather than a career” reflected Ray in his farewell speech, thanking his wife Kris, and his family for their support over the past 7 years at Aquinas, and prior, as Principal at St. John’s College in Hamilton.
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
“You did not choose me, but I chose you…” John 15:16
· Interested in learning more about the Catholic faith?
· Keen to go deeper in your relationship with God?
· Wanting to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation or Eucharist?
Register for Chosen: This Is Your Catholic Faith – a weekly faith formation programme that will be run on Fridays after school-time during Term 1, 2018.
SPECIAL CATHOLIC CHARACTER
Please note the following times for Christmas services at our local parishes.
All Saints by the Sea – Christmas Eve (Sunday 24th December): 6pm @ St Thomas More, 6pm @ Maketu, 9pm @ St Thomas More. Christmas Day: 9am @ St Patrick’s, Te Puke, 9.30am @St Thomas More.
Parish of St Thomas Aquinas, Tauranga: Christmas Eve (Sunday 24th December) 5 pm @ St Mary Immaculate, 6 pm @ St Therese Bethlehem, 7 pm @ St Mary Immaculate, 10 pm St Mary Immaculate (9.45pm carols). Christmas Day: 12 am St Joseph’s Te Puna. 9 am @ St Marys.
We look forward to celebrating students’ success in our two Prize Giving Ceremonies coming up next week:
Junior Attitude, Effort and Excellence: Parents are welcome to attend this assembly which commences at 11.45 am in the College Gymnasium on Monday 11th of December. Please be seated by 11.30 am. This ceremony recognises students who have shown a consistently positive approach to their study and for those who have achieved Excellence (top 7% of the faculty) for one subject area. Students from Yr. 7 – 10 who are receiving an award have been advised via e-mail.
Final School Prize Giving – This ceremony commences at 10am on Tuesday 12th of December in the College Gymnasium. Please be seated by 9.45 am. We anticipate this will conclude by 12.30 pm. Students from all year levels who are receiving an award have been advised via e-mail.
On the 31st October, seven of our students were selected to take part in the Bay of Plenty Junior French Speech Competition. The event took place at Bethlehem College where each student had to deliver a 3- 5 minute speech and then respond to questions about what they had said, all in French!
All seven of our speakers did a fantastic job and Aquinas College came away with two prizes. Isaac Jarden gained 3rd Place for the Year 9 category and Daniel Nirmalaraj placed 2nd for Year 10. Bravo!
Gifted and talented students from Year 7 – 9, who participated in the Autonomous Learners’ Programme this year showcased their learning at a Presentation Evening on Tuesday 28th of November.
Since gifted students are provided with accelerated learning opportunities by their subject teachers throughout the school, the Autonomous Learners’ Programme is aimed at empowering the students to become self-motivated, self-managed learners who are equipped with the skills to become responsible global citizens and future leaders.
During Term 4 our Yr. 8 students have completed a film unit based around the short film ‘Falling Sparrows’. This is a film that looks into war and how it is often portrayed as a game.
The students’ final task is to develop their own short film using a variety of filming techniques. The film we use as a basis of this is ‘Careful with that Axe Eugene’ which is a 2 minute film where a child starts playing with an axe. The Yr. 8 students were given the brief to create a short silent film drawing on similar themes, visuals and audio techniques.
A big thank you to the Aquinas College community for supporting us in many ways including with lunchtime sausage sizzles, Entertainment Book sales, attending our functions and events and sponsoring us. Without you we would not be able to support our school in the ways we do.
The Aquinas Twilight Festival was successful in fundraising around $10,000 and we are delighted with the feedback we had regarding how enjoyable the evening was. The Business Directory had 80 supporting businesses raised close to $10,000 and our mid-winter event was also a great success.
Aquinas College offers many summer sporting codes including Cricket, Volleyball, Rugby 7’s, Touch and Water Polo. Registration forms and information about trials for the 2018 season will be sent to all families before the end of Term 4. Please also check the respective pages on the school website for updates here.
Congratulations to the Aquinas College Girl’s Cricket Team who recorded their first win of the season vs Papamoa College. Well done!
The Bay of Plenty Zone Athletics were held last week at Papamoa Reserve.
Aquinas College was represented by a good team of athletes who participated with great endeavour throughout the day.
The standard of this meeting has certainly risen over the last few years and the talent, size and skill of many competitors needs to be seen to be believed.
Kia Ora Aquinas College Rugby Families. You are warmly invited to attend the last committee meeting of the year which is also the AGM of the Aquinas College Rugby Club. This is a great time for all parents to come along for a chat about rugby at our school. Time 5.30 – 7 pm, Tuesday 5th December in the School Boardroom.
Topics for discussion include team plans for next year, the development of players in Year 7/8 and an international trip. We would appreciate attendance from parents of Yr. 9 players to assist the Committee to plan for U 14’s and U 15 players for next season.
Four Aquinas students headed off to the sunny Hawkes Bay on the first weekend in December, for the NZSS Athletics and Road Race Championships.
With 210 schools from all around the country present, competition was always going to be red hot! Our students represented us with great pride and determination.
The best performance came on Saturday morning, when Hannah McGregor in the Junior Girls Shot, pushed the steel ball out to 12.13 m. This outstanding effort gained her 4th place overall and demonstrated once again, how technical and skill based this event is.
Please note that that school bus service will begin on January 31st. This is the same day that our Yr. 7 and Yr. 11 peer support leaders start school.
Bus cards can be purchased from Tauranga i-site, cnr. Wharf and Willow St, Tauranga.
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 January is a Teacher and Staff only day, Wednesday 31 January is for Yr. 7 & other new students, Student Executive and Yr. 11 peer mentors. Thursday 01 February is for all students.
Please click here for 2018 stationery lists.
With performances from StarJam, IDEA Services Kapa Haka Group, Mount Dance School, a lolly scramble, sausage sizzle, music and much more, come along and join in to support disability awareness. Open to people of all abilities. Bring all your family and celebrate International Day for Persons with Disabilities on Saturday December 9th, Saturday 9th, 10am – 2pm, Tauranga City
Waterfront, next to Hairy Maclary Park.