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

School life has been very busy over the last two weeks, as we work our way through the winter months. Throughout the last fortnight I have been so proud watching our students support each other in a wide variety of activities – win, lose, or draw, our young men clearly demonstrate what it is to belong to our whanau. The scenes I witnessed at the conclusion of all three major winter codes – football, basketball and rugby – as our supporters got around their brothers to comfort them is why we celebrate sport at St Thomas. It is never about the sport, it is about the thousands of experiences our young men experience that sets them up for life.

We farewell eight sports teams next week heading to various locations throughout the country for winter tournament week. We wish them well, compete hard and come back safe. I would also like to thank our staff and parents for making all of these opportunities come to life for our young men, whether it be coaching, managing, or the countless hours of fundraising that come together to make these opportunities happen. I know the culture within our community is strong when so many adults are prepared to come together to create memories and experiences for our students.

This week we have had fantastic achievement in our local Cantamaths competition. I would like to thank our maths department for forming our young men into a competitive team for this competition. Congratulations to our E-Sports team who finished in 2nd place at the South Island Championships they now head to the National Championships, good luck! And finally a massive well done to our Epro8 team that competed in the finals and finished a reputable 5th. A great result due to a lot of hard work and fantastic support from staff and parents.

As we venture towards the end of this term, it is worthwhile reminding our senior students, in particular, the importance of indepth conversations with teachers and caregivers regarding their academic achievement. We have many mechanisms to enhance our student achievement at NCEA Level 1-3 – the key is that we have high levels of communication.

We have our College Ball approaching on September 24th. It is timely to share the purpose and function of our school ball. We have always relied on a very high parent attendance, we believe it is a celebration of our senior students in social setting. The high number of parents and grandparents creates a warm atmosphere were we are able to role model to our young men appropriate etiquette in a formal social setting. It is also a wonderful chance for our parent community to come together and socialise while celebrating another wonderful year. We look forward to seeing our parents and wider whanau at our school ball in September.