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

Welcome back to a new term. It has been fantastic to see our students refreshed and energised ready for another term. At the end of last term you should have received your son’s school report (Yer 7-10) and for our senior students our staff would have sent home predicted NCEA grades via the edge portal in the Bi-weekly grades section. These two measurements of achievement will be a key discussion point at our Parent and Teacher conferences we have planned on Wednesday August 5th. On this day school will finish at lunchtime to ensure we have enough time for our staff to meet with all of our parents. One of the key learnings during lockdown was of the importance of communication between our students, teachers and parents. This day will be a key tool in having open face to face communication.

The two values we are focusing on this term, school wide, are the values of “engaged” and “hopeful”. As a school community we are supporting our men to remain fully engaged and hopeful in all aspects of school life, particularly in service and relationships. We are continually working with our students on the importance of being aware of those around them and the choices they make. Often young people, due to their age and stage, don’t always make the right decisions. It is our role as parents, teachers and caregivers to walk alongside our young people and help them grow into good young men.

Starting next week, our school, alongside a number of schools throughout the Canterbury region, are going to have a strong focus around transport safety. This will involve in the first instance council staff and police educating our community around our habits at pick and drop off, this will then be followed with enforcement the following week. I would strongly remind and advise our community to pick students up north of the Middlepark Road roundabout and to ensure we are not parking on yellow lines or driveways.

As we start this term, I would like to remind our students of the correct uniform, you will see in the above photograph how our uniform should be worn. I would like to highlight that hoodies are not part of the uniform, we have a school jersey that is available for students to use if they are cold. I would also like to highlight blazers are to be worn every day for (Year 9-13) students and the only school trousers that students are to wear are the navy trousers purchased form the school uniform shop.

At the end of last term we said farewell to some of our staff as they moved onto different stages of their careers. Due to this we have been able to restructure our leadership models in our school which has provided opportunities to several staff to take extra responsibility and continue their leadership growth. These changes include:

· Andrew Auimatagi: Assistant Principal Innovation and Engagement (Senior Curriculum)

· Daniel O’Brien: Assistant Principal Enhancement and Culture (Pastoral and Health and Safety)

· Tim Muir: Leader of Learning Physical Education and Health

· Billy Gulliver: Year 7 & 8 Dean

· Chris Leader: Marlow House Dean

· Yvonne Shield: Academic Administrator

· SeYe Chan: Leader of Learning Social Sciences

We wish these staff all the best in their new roles, and I am sure they will add to the strong culture we have worked hard to create here at St Thomas’.