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

I have spent the last two weeks proudly reflecting on the achievement of our students across a wide variety of curricular and extra-curricular activities. I have asked myself the question; how are many of our young men able to take their talents and achieve at the highest level?

When I consider all of the key areas involved in success there are very clear patterns. A lot of positive family support (in good and bad), an “all in” attitude to work ethic from the students involved, and finally, and most importantly, key relationships between students and coaches and/or staff leading the activities.

I have thought very deeply about what these key relationships look like. It is very obvious the best relationships, when attached to achievement, have two aspects. They are, on one hand, very supportive, trusting and caring, while also having a high level of honesty and high expectations connected to performance. In general I find the first part very common – it is often the honest feedback and the high level of expectation that leads our students fulfil their talents.

We are very blessed to have adults, both staff and parents, who are prepared to give so much of their time to help grow and develop our young men. I am in awe at the amount of time our people are prepared to offer all for the purpose of growing good young men.

The final reflection I have been processing is the role our whole community plays in developing our young men. While individuals can have a massive impact at a relational level, it takes a village to raise a child. The hundreds and thousands of interactions (both good and bad) our young men have throughout a day, a week, and a year all form them into the people they become.

As you read of the wonderful success achieved by many across all areas of school life, keep in mind the village sitting in behind these young men. Their success is an outcome – the real win is in all of the people who make up the village in which these young men live.

I would like to congratulate the following groups/teams – our Esports team on gaining qualification to compete in the Nationals, Epro8 junior and senior teams who have qualified for the Grand Final, Ezekiel Paulo (2nd Place), Moni Avia (1st Place) and Atioka Talamatasi (3rd Place) in the National Samoan speech competition, the Jazz band for their wonderful performance at Otautahi Jazz Jam Spectacular.

I would also like to congratulate and wish good luck to the following sports teams – 1st XV who have finished in 1st place in the Crusader region, 1st XV competition and play a semi final vs St Bedes this weekend, 1st XI who have also finished in 1st place and head into knockout football next week, and our 1st V who finished in 2nd place and also move into a semi final next week.

While these wonderful achievements have been happening we have also seen our students meeting the Prime Minister, hitting the ski fields, juniors visiting the Antarctic Centre, and guest speakers from Attitude, to name but a few of the activities this week.

This week we emailed out a draft enrolment scheme that has been proposed in consultation by the Ministry of Education and the CEO (Catholic Education Office) of the Christchurch Diocese. I would strongly recommend you reading and commenting on this draft, as this new scheme will have implications for different groups within our community. Enrolment schemes are put in place to ensure a fair process is in place where there are more enrolments than there are places available. St Thomas of Canterbury College is most definitely in this situation, this enrolment round we currently have a waiting list of 50 preference students. While we have engaged both the Ministry of Education and the CEO of the Christchurch Diocese seeking a maximum roll increase over the last 5 years (our last maximum roll increase was 2010) we have been unsuccessful in gaining this increase. We will continue to seek a maximum roll that reflects the size of the community we have been asked to serve.

With many opportunities at the moment to come together as a community, I look forward to connecting with many of you.