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

It has been a very busy start to Term 3. In some ways it is a sign that we appear to have a level of normalcy after what has been a very unpredictable year. It is worth keeping in mind that we shouldn’t take for granted the situation we, as a country, find ourselves in, also preparing for the potential of a second wave that Australia is experiencing. From a school point of view some key preparations would include ensuring that your contact information is all up to date including email addresses, your son’s device is well maintained and that you have access to a secure internet connection, these two tools were invaluable during lockdown.

On Wednesday we held our parent teacher subject interviews. It was a fantastic community event whereby we were all able to come together face to face and discuss the development of our young men. I thoroughly enjoyed the many conversations throughout the day and evening. I would also like to acknowledge the work of our staff who, in most cases, spent 8 hours in discussion with our students and parents. If, for some reason, you were unable to make contact with any of your son’s teachers, please feel free to contact them via email, we would be more than happy to discuss the progress of our students at any time.

On Monday our production begins. A huge congratulations to Angela Smith and her team in creating this year’s production in the short time frame of only 6 weeks. The students from St Thomas’ and Villa Maria are very lucky to have the leadership of Angela in bringing together this incredible feat. I am thoroughly looking forward to watching the performance next week. I wish good luck to both cast and crew.

A huge congratulations to Jarrod Gali, who has won the National title in the Fagasa Samoan Speech Competition. Well done!

I am sure all of our senior students are very excited about the upcoming ball, it is always the highlight of the social calendar here at St Thomas’. The success of this event is always reliant on having a high number of parents attending and celebrating alongside their sons. I would stress to our parent community to come along if you are still undecided.

As mentioned earlier, our community has been incredibly busy providing our young men with a huge variety of opportunities to learn outside the classroom with trips to Orana Park, Hanmer, breakfast lectures, and Porters Pass. All of these and more have been reported on our social media platforms. It is great to see our students enjoying these many wonderful opportunities.

Our sports teams have been performing to very high level to start the term, with our 1st V basketball team earning a hard fought victory over Rangiora with a last minute basket winning 77-76. Our 1st XI football followed up this performance with a 7-0 victory over Rangiora as they build momentum into the season. We will watch in anticipation our 1st XV on Saturday to see whether they can continue their good form and win their 4th game in a row.

It is good to see the future will be bright across our rugby teams with 3 of our teams, U14, U15 and 2nd XV, all holding the challenge shields in their grades well done to all players and coaches.

I would also like to make a special mention of a new initiative between St Thomas’ and Villa Maria College students. We have been able to work together to join our Year 12 students involved in our newly formed Hauoratanga Year 12 class. The idea is to grow connections across our two colleges and give the students an opportunity to practice their communication skills when meeting someone new. Great work!

I thank you for your co-operation in changing our habits at pick up and drop off, both before and after school. We have a much safer environment out the front of school for our students to depart and arrive at school each day.