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

Today we prepared for Easter with a well led Stations of the Cross. As we enter our Easter period, it is an important time for us to reflect and connect our faith with what this means for us. I feel this is best expressed with this message I read recently from Pope Francis “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34). That is the commandment our Lord gave to the Apostles at the Last Supper. The Lord loves us so greatly. Today, the day before Good Friday, let’s try in a special way to love as He does. Give generously in support of those most in need of our love and support. Put your money where your heart is, and bring food, comfort, and medicine to those in need in the Pope’s missions, especially those affected by COVID-19.”

I have also included a wonderful reflection from Dr Craig Wattam, Executive Director of EREA. This is included in the newsletter and well worth a read.

I have been very impressed with the level of engagement in our classes in my many visits to classes this week. It is very pleasing to see our students working hard and achieving. Many of our senior students will be in the process of handing in assessments as we get to the end of term – these assessments will help our staff build a picture of capability and produce our first round of “predicted grades” at the start of Term 2. Alongside this feedback our Bi-weekly grades are an important link between whanau and school. If you have any questions about any comments or grades, don’t hesitate to contact your son’s mentor teacher.

Included in this newsletter is a survey for parents to complete. We would be very appreciative if you could take the time to complete, your voice is very important and helps shape the many decisions we make about your son’s education.

I would like to acknowledge the huge amount of work in planning the Bishop Lyons Shield competition that we are hosting next weekend. Stephen Kennedy, our DRS, has spent a considerable amount of time alongside his team in planning and preparing for this wonderful celebration. I would also like to wish all our coaches and students all the best and look forward to reporting the results in our next newsletter. Good luck, we are all looking forward to a weekend of camaraderie and competition.

I would like to commend our athletes, rowers and futsal teams who competed with pride and skill during summer tournament week. We are all very proud of you.

As summer sport comes to an end, winter sport starts. Our fields have been a hive of activity as our students prepare, practice and trial for their favourite winter codes. Good luck to all coaches and athletes in this very important phase.

I hope all in our St Thomas’ whanau get some quality time together with family and friends during Easter, and you are all able to push pause on life and enjoy the presence of those we love the most.