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

I trust we are all keeping warm as winter truly bites! I can only describe school life at the moment as full and busy. As we all know, busy teenagers means we have young men fully engaged in all aspects of their lives. Walking around our school this week I have seen students and staff engaged in their passions working alongside each other. We have had our young men representing us in every sport possible, e-sports, production rehearsals, Fiafia and polyfest, kapahaka, Filipino cultural night, whanau hui – we have been a busy place to say the least!

This week we started the week celebrating Samoa Language week. We have a large and vibrant Samoan community, it is through language that culture is born. The theme this year is Fa’aāuāu le Folauga i le Va’a o Tautai – Continue the Voyage with Competent Wayfinders of the Ocean.  The Samoan community chose a theme that would reflect the journey of language revitalisation and maintenance, as well as recognising the importance of having the right tools, good leadership skills, relationships and the correct medium (va’a) that is adaptable to faring the ocean and its elements.

This year’s theme fits so well into the life we are all living in modern times – a time of disruption, of change, of new ways and a time of adaptability.

Our Pasifika community gathered on Thursday night to celebrate Samoan Language Week and to re-connect – it was a funfilled evening and an absolute honour to be involved.

Last week it was announced with great joy that we received confirmation that the Holy Father appointed Bishop Michael Gielen as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Christchurch. Bishop Michael, who is Auxiliary Bishop of Auckland, will take up his post immediately before his Official Installation in coming months. We look forward to not only welcoming Bishop Michael to Christchurch, but into our St Thomas community.

Amongst the many activities of school life, I have been very impressed with the performance of our students towards their study habits in and out of the classroom. 

Like many schools, we also have had large numbers of students and staff suffering the affects of the flu that is impacting our community at the moment. While our Covid numbers have vastly reduced, we are seeing a wave of flu in and around our community. We would ask that if any of our students are unwell, that they rest up at home, and if they are feeling well enough, all of their learning is available to be accessed via their TEAMS class groups.

We have had a number of successes this week, a huge congratulations to Daniel Prescott who won the Canterbury Secondary Schools cross country championships this week – an amazing achievement. Another huge congratulations to our 1st XI who defeated Christs College in a top of the table clash to secure the Connectics shield – a wonderful achievement.

We are receiving very high numbers of enrolments for 2023 – if you have a sibling or wider whanau that you would like to attend St Thomas, could you please remind them to complete the enrolment process to avoid disappointment.

Until next time.