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Nau mai, haere mai, talofa lava, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, kia orana, warm greetings

It has been pleasing to see our senior students working very hard throughout this exam period. We have been very impressed with increased academic focus throughout this year, this has continued right till the end of the exam period. We have noticed a large increase in results already this year especially at Level 1 and Level 2, well done to our students and staff.

As we come to the end of the year, we are in the process of assessing our junior students across a number of measures. We have a key focus on progress, not on end point assessment with our junior students, and this should be taken in consideration when we have discussions with our junior students when discussing end of year reports. We have seen throughout past years that the key to succeeding at NCEA Level 1 is actually demonstrating success of the key competencies rather than results of end point testing of PATs and e-astle, etc. While this data gives us a snap shot of achievement at a point in time, NCEA isn’t assessed in this way and has a longer focus throughout the year across a wider variety of types of assessment. This is one of the reasons we focus our bi-weekly reporting on the key competencies.

Earlier in the week, Marty Taylor (careers advisor) presented to our staff a document (which I have attached to this newsletter) which tracks the earning potential of different pathways that young people may take post school. I found this very interesting and it certainly highlights to me that some of the immense pressure we put on young people to take pathways post school doesn’t in fact equate to earning potential throughout their lifetime. It certainly re-iterates to me our holistic based education here at St Thomas, whereby if we work to help develop good people and help THEM follow their passions in life, our young people are going to lead more successful and well balanced lives as opposed to forcing them into a future based solely on perceived earning potential.

I ask you to keep in your thoughts and prayers, the Tiffen family (Charlie and Alex) who lost their father after a long battle with cancer, and the Swinburn family as they grieve the loss of their son and brother James. James was an oldboy and College Captain (1993) at St Thomas.