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

I have been very impressed with the work ethic of our students this week. Numerous times I have visited classes and noticed a high level of engagement and productivity. We have had a clear focus during the first four weeks on connection and belonging which enables our students to have success once we turn our focus to achievement in the classroom, it has been fantastic to see this in action.

It was fantastic to see so many of our community come together on our mentoring day. The shared goal setting and connection between whanau and St Thomas’ is a very important relationship in the success of our rangitahi. If, for some reason, you were unable to attend yesterday, please feel free to connect with your son’s mentor teacher and arrange an alternative meeting date/time.

Next week we farewell a long serving teacher Mr Paul McCarthy, as he takes a career promotion as a Director of International Students at Christs College. Paul will be dearly missed, he has left a lasting legacy at St Thomas’ as a teacher, leader and also an old boy.

Last week we appointed Mr Tony Mullally who will join us from the start of Term 2. Tony is a very experienced and well respected Leader of Learning RE and Director of Religious Studies at St Kevins College in Oamaru. Tony understands our Edmund Rice Charism and has lived this throughout his time at St Kevins. We look forward to warmly welcoming Tony next term.

We wish our Year 9 students all the best as they embark on their camps next week. This experience is an important part of the formation of our students and an important part of the relationship building that occurs at the start of the year.

Life at St Thomas’ continues to be fast paced and full of activity, most days we have students here on site from 7.00am to 5.00pm in a variety of activities including sport, culture and academic opportunities. I would like to thank our staff for all the extra time they give for the development of our students. As we often say to gain a full experience here at St Thomas’ we encourage our students to go “all in” and make sure they represent our Kura in as many activities as possible. This helps build a strong sense of belonging.

Next week, 13th of March, we wish our Pasifika students all the best for the culmination of hours and hours of preparation as they perform at Polyfest. It is often a big highlight of the year.

I would like to thank all our community in working alongside us in complying to our Alert Level 2 guidelines, hopefully we will hear this weekend a return to Level 1.