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

I trust you all had a great holiday period, and are well rested and ready for another busy school term. I spoke at length to our students on Monday at assembly around having a clear focus and understanding around priorities during Term 3. This term our focus is clearly on our academic performance, for our senior students this will be the last full term before they finish for study leave early in Term 4. Our staff will be offering feedback next week to our senior students regarding their predicted NCEA grades – this gives our young men an opportunity to make the appropriate changes to improve their academic performance. I would like to remind families of our senior students that our young men have to earn the right to go on study leave throughout the year otherwise they will be expected to be in full attendance throughout Term 4. We, unashamedly, expect our students to have high academic expectations – it is this term that our students can turn these expectations into a reality.

I have included some quite telling data above, around the impact of attendance, you will be able to see the impact of lateness or unnecessary absences over longer periods of time. I believe that when we get to the end of a term our students are absolutely exhausted and we see the importance of our students recovering during holiday periods, however this also needs to be offset by a strong commitment by our community to do our best to ensure our students are attending regularly during term times.

I have spent the last three weeks interviewing our prospective families for 2020. We have had an overwhelming response in enrolments which will see a sizeable preference wait list. Due to this response, we will be using our enrolment scheme to ensure transparent process. One key aspect in our enrolment scheme is “date of application” which means those who have enrolled earliest gain preference of enrolment. If you know of any families that are potential enrolments for 2021, I would advise enrolling as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. When I ask families why they would like their son to attend St Thomas’, it has become very clear, in most cases, it is based on feedback from a current parent. I thank you for your support and the way we are able to work so closely together to help grow good men.

I would like to congratulate the coaches and players of our 1st XI Football team who have won the Canterbury Secondary Schools 1st XI Minor premiership by defeating Christs College 3-0 with two games to spare.

The 1st XV take on Nelson College on Saturday in a must win game, in their conquest to make the top 4 of the UC Championship. We wish them luck and look forward to the result next week.

Our Kapa Haka group have been preparing well over the last term in preparation for the regional competition next week. They have a dress rehearsal on Sunday at Riccarton High School at 6.00pm. I look forward to watching them compete next Saturday.