Principal’s Message

Tēnā koutou katoa, parents, caregivers and whānau.

We are officially in the season of spring! As I write this message to you from home, I can look out my window and appreciate the ‘wonder and awe’ of creation at this time of the year.  Amidst uncertain times, we can look to the seasonal change and take some time to marvel over new flowers beginning to bloom and new growth on the trees.  As we slowly and safely exit out of higher alert levels in Auckland, it is a welcome sign to have warmer weather to enjoy the outdoors!

I would like to thank our Sancta Maria College school community for putting in such amazing efforts over these past several weeks of lockdown!  The high engagement we have experienced with our online learning programme has been positive.  Each time we experience a lockdown period, we build on learnings from the previous occasion, making changes to the structure and programme we offer.  Feedback is gathered and used as part of our review for improving online learning for the next occasion.  We really appreciate being able to keep in contact and engage with our students and their learning. The Junior School have been exceptionally busy and you can read a full update here. 

It is an especially challenging time for our senior students who have been busy completing key tasks and giving attention towards a study plan to be ready for externals in Term 4.  Teachers have been engaging with students on the best approach and providing support where required.  A reminder, the first person for students to approach for help is their classroom teacher during online learning.  All teacher contact details are available on our website.

Every effort has been made to ensure that senior students have few disruptions at the start of Term 4 until the time they go on study leave.  This means that we will be maximising teaching and learning time and students are expected to be in the classroom engaging with their teacher and other students in the lesson.  Details of this will be communicated during the holiday period so we are all clear of arrangements going forward.

It is likely that gatherings usually held in Term 4 will become virtual due to lockdown restrictions.  There will be more about this communicated to you as we consider our alternative options.  Thank you for your understanding.

Celebrating Catholic Schools Day

This week we celebrated the taonga (precious gift) of Catholic Education for which we are the kaitiaki (guardians).

This year, marks 180 years since the first Catholic School was opened by lay people in Auckland.  It is with gratitude that we honour the past generous contributions and hard work of many religious and lay people in Catholic Parishes and communities across Aotearoa.  This has enabled young people of today the opportunity to access a Catholic school education.  Through baptism we become te whānau (family of) whakapono (faith and trust).  Sancta Maria College is a place where we can feel connected and inspired to discover Christ and become the best possible version God created us all to be – wonderfully and beautifully made, great young men and women of faith.

With ‘Faith as our Compass’, we aspire to love, be compassionate, learn to forgive and always be of service to others throughout our lives.  Pope Francis calls us to be companions on this journey.

Please read more about our Year of Faith 2021 and the celebration of Catholic Schools Day in this article by Mr Cedric Piggin.

Staff News

It is with delight that we congratulate Amy Picot on her new baby, Charles Geoffrey Walker! We wish Amy and Daniel all the best in these first few precious weeks together as a family.  We look forward to welcoming Ms Megan Bryer to teach in Years 7 & 8.

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

It has been a pleasure to see our college embrace Māori Language Week again this year!  Staff and students alike took up the challenge to learn their mihi.  This simple introduction is a great way to strengthen our understanding and use of te Reo Māori, while also establishing links with other people and places. I encourage everyone to have a try.

Science Achievement

A number of our Year 12 students sat the New Zealand International Biology Olympiad (NZIBO) entrance exams earlier in September. Mr Shane Williams tells me that seven Sancta Maria College students have qualified for the next stage, which is a tutorial programme!  I understand that a great amount of preparation was involved and I would like to acknowledge the efforts of all participants. Well done!


Sancta Maria College participated in the student CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) on Monday 27th September. Originally the event was planned to be held at Parliament in Wellington but was adjusted to be an online meeting. Well done to students Stella Cranwell and Minju Kim for representing the college so well and thanks to Ms Sian Redwood our Head of Social Studies for her dedication.

NCEA 2022

As we approach Term 4, many parents will start to think about next year’s learning for their child. If you have a Year 10 student, then they will begin preparing for NCEA from next year. As a college, we try and support students starting NCEA by providing information and making this transition as smooth as possible.

Mrs Anita Heffernan is the Principal’s Nominee for NZQA.  This means that Mrs Heffernan is responsible for all aspects of our school’s qualifications. Her main role is to maintain and monitor the quality assurance practices within our school to ensure the validity and credibility for qualifications in line with NZQA standards and requirements. This includes but is not limited to ensuring our school’s internal and external assessments are carried out and reported correctly.

Ms Heffernan has put together this helpful ‘Starting NCEA’ guide to help those students who will move into the senior school next year. We also plan to have our usual NCEA Parent Evening in Term 1 of 2022.

Pastoral Care

We know that lockdown restrictions have proved challenging for many students and their families. We would like to remind everyone that our school counsellor is available for students to reach out to anytime on the dedicated student phone – 021 246 3545. You can read a full Pastoral Update from Mr Ben Bacon which includes more resources.


Some of our senior students have been working very hard over lockdown creating a ‘Seniors Book’.  This is the first time that the yearbook has been entirely created and developed by our students for students!  The yearbook is going to be printed and distributed to those in Year 12 and Year 13 free of charge in Term 4.  I would like to thank the ‘Seniors Book’ Team who were led by our community prefect leaders Minju Kim and Elijah Rata. I am certain that this book will provide a wonderful memento of their time at Sancta Maria College.

Getting to Know You Series

We are starting a new series of articles where we will highlight a staff member or leader within our school community. The purpose is to get to know one another better across our Sancta Maria College family.

To start things off we have interviewed our very own Father Kevin Murphy SM. I encourage you all to read this interview with Fr Kev. I guarantee you will learn something new!

It has been a long and tough term for everyone!  I wish you all a safe and restful school holiday break. Our wonderful staff and students will be able to recharge from this challenging term and be ready for the term ahead.  Please take care and be kind to yourself, your whanau and those who need us. 

Ngā mihi nui

Louise Moore
Principal (Tumuaki)