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

Last week we farewelled our senior students, in a way that was a lot different than the past. In a lot of ways, when we are forced to change and innovate, we are challenged to question the relevance of rituals and traditions. This was in full witness when I observed the way our Year 13 students received a powerful and emotional haka as a farewell from our school community last Thursday, and in return the way they performed the haka for one last time in a way that is difficult to articulate. It was a true organic St Thomas way to say goodbye to our brothers who have given so much throughout their time here at St Thomas. We wish them the best in their lives, and as I explained to them on Thursday, though they stop being students they never stop being St Thomas men. St Thomas sons they shall remain.

Last week we also had 120 students at Boyle River completing the Rite Journey camp. This opportunity is very challenging for our students but a fantastic step in forming character. So many of Year 13 leavers spoke to me of the influence this camp had in forming them into the men they are, I congratulate all of the students who completed this camp and all staff who provided the boys with this opportunity.

As we move into the last weeks of this year we have a clear focus on our junior students finishing the year well and providing meaningful learning right through to the end of the year. We reminded the students on Monday that the little things matter with a clear focus on personal responsibility.

We look forward to a settled last month of school where we continue to do our normal activities in a different, more innovative, way.