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

A warm welcome back to Term 3. The focus of this term for our students, particularly senior students, is on academic studies. I spoke to our students on Monday at assembly reminding the senior students they have 12 school weeks left of timetabled classes, it is most definitely time for a sense of urgency toward school work! Our staff have worked hard in formulating our latest round of predicted grades, we are comfortable with the trends we see at this stage of the year. Parents of our senior students will have received an email from your son’s mentor teacher outlining each predicted grade for each subject. It is important to remember these are predictors based on effort and performance in both Term 1 and 2. The challenge for our young men is to focus on habits and practice to work towards achieving present outcomes, whether that be from not achieved to achieved, or merit to excellence.

We held a very successful parent teacher conference day on Thursday. If, for some reason, you were unable to attend or couldn’t meet with a particular teacher, please don’t hesitate to email that teacher and make an appointment to meet. Strong relationships between home and school are the key to achievement for our young men.

At assembly on Monday we spoke at length about our theme which is based from one of my favourite gospels, John 10:10 – John writes “ The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.” We challenge our students to reflect on their own life and practices, what are the habits and practices that cause heartache, negativity, and pessimism, is it too much time in a virtual world, too much inactivity, too much isolation, or too long focused on individual material gain? Opposed to a life we live to the full, one which is connected via meaningful and respectful relationships with family and friends, one which is practiced through faith, a life that is for others an engaged life where our young man are able to express there talents and passions. I have had many conversations this week with students where we have spoken about how they live their life to the full as John describes in the gospels. 

We are all very excited about our 60th anniversary next weekend! We have a great weekend planned to celebrate the growth or our wonderful community throughout the last 60 years. I would like to remind our community that our alumni, the St Thomas Legacy Network isn’t only limited to old boys, but is a network made of parents, board members, PFA members, past teachers, coaches and all those that have been a part of our community throughout the last 60 years. I regularly remind our students that we are community, no one is anymore or less important than anyone, we all have a role to play in strengthening our community. This is to be celebrated next weekend, not just amongst those who attended but all those who have had an affiliation. I look forward to meeting many of you next weekend, whether it is on the side of a rugby field, at the celebration dinner, during a school tour or at our sacramental mass on Sunday.

We have had some staffing changes at the end of last term, with Jamie Lester resigning to take on new opportunities outside of teaching, and Alexia Cutbush going on maternity leave. We wish you both all the best. We have James Geddes replacing Jamie Lester and Sai Saukuru replacing Alexia Cutbush.

We have a very exciting few weeks ahead. I look forward to celebrating alongside everyone in our community throughout the next fortnight.