Open Day

On the 17th March we held our bi-annual Sancta Maria Open Day.  The afternoon was very popular with over 600 people attending; some familiar faces and lots of new ones.

We opened our session with some short presentations from our senior leadership team in the auditorium.  Then families were led for guided tours of our campus by Prefects and Junior School Leaders. Tours allowed prospective parents and students to see SMC at its best – live learning demonstrations in Science and Technology, Music, Drama, Sport, Languages and more! It was a brilliant afternoon celebrating the college’s strengths and successes.

The decision of where to send your child for secondary-level learning is a very important one.  We know that opening up our college is an important way for future students and their families to come and have a hands-on experience of Sancta Maria College as well as have their questions answered. We look forward to seeing these new families begin in 2022!

Junior Curriculum

It has been an exciting start to the year with lots of high quality and engaging learning taking place across Years 7-10! I’d like to particularly highlight changes to the curriculum with a focus on Transition for our Year 7 students. Their Term 1 learning focus is ‘Turangawaewae’ which means ‘a place to stand’. We want all students to feel comfortable learning and socialising at SMC. This learning context also provides us with an opportunity to get to know our learners and value and acknowledge the skills and experiences they bring with them.

The Turangawaewae unit incorporates a term long transition programme for our new students. It is 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 and compete in a land waka race! 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!

Students have been able to reflect on this learning opportunity and how they learn best as we have unpacked the Learning to Learn principle of the New Zealand curriculum document. Parents enjoyed hearing their children discuss their learning profiles and how learning has gone during Term 1 at three-way conferences on Tuesday 13 and Thursday 15 April.

All together a busy Term 1!

Courtenay Kilpatrick
Deputy Principal