Junior School Update

It’s been encouraging to see students make such a positive start to the year. Students have returned to school for 2023 with positive mind sets and ready to learn. 

Goal Setting: To ensure that students continue to strive to be the best they can be and work towards personal excellence all students in Years 7-10 students have been encouraged and provided with time and support to set SMART goals (short, medium and long term) during homeroom. 

  • Goals give you direction 
  • Goal setting helps you identify what’s important to you 
  • Setting goals helps us measure progress towards success 
  • Goals help you stay motivated 
  • Setting goals keeps you accountable 

Goals won’t necessarily be academic, we want students participating in all areas of school life – sporting, cultural, service leadership and academic. I would encourage you to take some time to discuss with your child what their goals are and the plan they have developed to ensure they are successful in achieving them.  There is a strong correlation between student success and home involvement. 

Transition: It has been brilliant to be able to welcome our new students to Sancta Maria without the restriction of Covid protocols for the first time in a couple of years. All new students we welcomed with a pōwhiri and a range of transition activities taken place. We want all students to feel comfortable learning and socialising at School. Our transition units are based on the Education Review Office’s “Successful Transition from Primary to Secondary School” recommendations. The aim of our transition programme is to ensure that students will feel a sense of belonging and are involved in a range of school activities and programmes. We have designed learning tasks for in the classroom and activities outside the classroom that will help students to feel positively connected to their peers and to their teachers. 

One of these beyond the classroom opportunities was the Year 7 Adventure Day which was facilitated by outside providers Bigfoot. Students were divided into class teams or ‘tribes’, came up with team names, pennant banners and donned bandanas that reflected their team identity. Over the course of the day they were challenged to work together to build and race bikes, complete a frisbee challenge, build towers, hit the target with archery! The activities had students bonding as they worked together but they also provided valuable learning opportunities for students as they learned new skills and overcame challenges – demonstrating resilience and persistence! 

Curriculum Update: Sancta Maria College provides students with a dynamic learning environment, we are constantly reviewing our curriculum and adapting it to meet the needs of our learners. The New Zealand Curriculum is currently undergoing a refresh and our teachers are busy working away on changes that reflect this. We are excited to launch new units of learning in Term 2 that reflect some of the key changes, getting student voice and sharing the learning outcomes with whanau.


Enrolments for 2024 – Open: Enrolments for 2024 open on 15 March 2023. ‘Open Day’ will also be happening with presentations and tours of the college taking place at 9.30am and 1.30pm.  

I know there are plenty of great learning opportunities in store for our rangitahi in the later part of the term, including immersing students in our Special Character through year level retreats.

God Bless,
Courtenay Kilpatrick
Tumuaki Tuarua/Deputy Principal Years 7-10