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

Welcome back to the start of Term 2! It has been great observing our staff and students reconnecting after the holiday break, refreshed and raring to go! We achieved a great deal in Term 1 which sets our community up to focus on positive habits which will lead to a high level of achievement.

I spoke to our students at assembly on Monday outlining the importance of our students understanding how they are progressing as learners. I challenged our students to “take charge” of their achievement, to be present rather than a spectator. For our senior students this is an awareness of achievement using our Edge portal to track NCEA achievement, and for our junior students a focus on Bi-weekly data which is focused on positive learning habits.

I would like to thank our parent community who completed our Term 1 survey. We were very happy with information we received. It is clear from the survey data and data we gather from our students that our boys feel safe, cared for and connected. This is very pleasing as we pride ourselves on educating hearts as we know that if we achieve this it gives us an opportunity to educate minds. From our survey data we have identified from parent feedback we need to improve our communication pathways about our school events, I am sure you will notice an improvement in this area this term.

A very warm welcome to Tony Mullally who starts with us this term as leader of our Religious Education faculty. Tony is a very experienced educator who has spent 20 years at St Kevins College, Oamaru as the Head of Faculty and the DRS. Tony lives our Edmund Rice Charism. We are very pleased to have Tony join us. I would also like to welcome back Judeena Quinn from maternity leave this term, it is great to have you back Judeena. I would also like to welcome back Keri Campbell who spent Term 1 on study leave.

Next week is the St Thomas and Villa Maria school production, Beauty and the Beast, being held at Villa Maria from Tuesday 11th to Friday 14th May. Best of luck to all students involved, and a big thank you to Angela Smith for her hard work, efforts and enthusiasm.

It is fantastic to watch our boys start the term so engaged. To observe our students working hard in the classroom and deeply engaged in a variety of extra-curricular activities adds to a happy student community.

Next Friday will be a mufti day. We are supporting two worthwhile causes, we would like the boys to bring a can of food to support the City Mission Food Appeal, as well as a gold coin (or more!) to support one of our families (Zac Powell, father of Logan, a Year 8 student) who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Zac’s family and friends are attempting to raise money to fund a non-funded Pharmac drug below is an excerpt from a “give a little” page, the link to this can be found on our Facebook page;

“Zac, loved husband of Angela, father of Haley (Year 10 Villa Maria College), Logan (Year 8 St Thomas of Canterbury College) and a loyal friend to so many has recently received a heart-breaking diagnosis. Last year Zac had a kidney removed due to cancer, things were looking good for his future until very recently. Unfortunately, the family have been given the devastating news that Zac’s cancer has returned with a vengeance, spreading throughout his body, leaving the family with an unknown albeit short time left together. There are some options to help increase his time however no government funding is available and comes at a cost of approximately $9k per month! Together let’s raise funds to ease the financial burden of unfunded chemo (Pembrolizumab and possibly Axitinib), giving this awesome family and friends as much time together as possible while making some special memories along the way.”

Congratulations to both our 1st XV and 1st XI teams who have started their seasons off with victories, well done. Our 1st XV beat Aoraki combined schools 38-8 and the 1st XI 4-1 over Burnside High School.