Principal’s Report

Tēnā koutou katoa, parents, caregivers and whānau.

My recent Ministry of Education sabbatical was a time for focus on my personal wellbeing as well as a time for reflection on the big piece of curriculum work being proposed over the next five years.  This NCEA Change Programme is being led by the Ministry of Education and will have a systemic impact for all secondary schools across New Zealand.  It is aimed at strengthening NCEA and will make our senior secondary qualification more robust, consistent, inclusive and accessible for students of all abilities and backgrounds.  I will be keeping you updated on the work being carried out and any changes that will be implemented over time.  This is an ideal time for our school to also consider the design of our curriculum in Years 7 to 10 to ensure ease of transition into the NCEA qualification system and senior school programme while ensuring it is rich and is future-focused.  I also had the opportunity of having professional conversations with leaders in the education sector, catching up on professional reading as well as carrying out some school visits.

Before I went on sabbatical leave, Fr Craig, Parish Priest for St Luke’s Church and I had discussed a planned approach towards moving from the offices that they have been using in the Auditorium area to their new office areas at St Luke’s Church.  We mutually agreed that the move was a big one and would occur following the Opening (May) over the remainder of Term 2.  This was to give time for the set-up of administration functions, equipment and IT functions.  It also enabled Sancta Maria Catholic Primary School to establish routines necessary for using St Luke’s.  We are both pleased the moving has now been completed.  Fr Craig and I have a shared understanding for our integrated ‘Catholic Campus’ which includes the Parish Church being the proper place of worship and prayer for the wider community as well as both the Primary School and the College.  While it is not possible to hold the whole-school all at once, as we are too big, we will be using the Church for other Masses, prayer and the Blessed Sacrament soon.

On returning to this special place for learning, I am reminded of the kindness of all our students and staff and the special Catholic culture here at Sancta Maria College.  The environment for learning really is second to none and I am sure you are as proud as I am of all our students learning to date as we wrap-up Term 2.  I am hugely grateful also to all our hardworking staff who went above and beyond during my time away.  In particular, I acknowledge and thank Mr Ray Green who was Acting Principal and members of the Senior Leadership Team (Mrs Anita Heffernan, Mrs Courtenay Kilpatrick and Mr Ben Bacon) as well as Mrs Margaret Littlejohn (Business Manager; Finance and Property).

Careers Week

It has been a wonderful and busy time at Sancta Maria College over the last few weeks. A real highlight has been Careers Week, which was led by a New Zealand Defence Force talk. Students got to hear from past pupil Sam Munday who is now working as an Aviation Technician in the New Zealand Airforce. It is always a real privilege to engage with former students and see their success out in the world. We understand that Sam played a role in the COVID-19 lockdown for New Zealand last year, ensuring we as civilians were all safe. Well done and thank you, Sam!

The Careers Expo on Tuesday 22nd June was also well attended. Students and parents alike were able to interact with many exhibitors from universities, trades trainers and apprenticeship programmes. Thank you to the Careers Team for all your hard work in planning this event.


There has been much musical success for the college this term. Congratulations to our SMC Big Band who were the overall Best Big Band winners for the Wellington Jazz Project! In addition to this, three of our students received individual awards – Jenna Aspeling (Best Saxophonist), Andrew Choi (Best Guitarist), and Kevin Zeng (Best Big Band Drummer). We are extremely proud of all students for representing the college so well. Thank you to Mr Thomas Cho for your dedication to this group and standard of performance.

As always, our HOD Music, Mr Stuart Gibbs has arranged a full calendar of musical events for our students. Our Sanctus Choir participated in ‘The Big Sing’ at the Auckland Town Hall. Many families and guests were also entertained by the combined Musical Festival which involved outstanding performances with Sancta Maria College, Sancta Maria Primary School and Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School.


Our winter sports season has started with many teams competing at all levels.  Our Y8 Football team represented SMC at the annual South Eastern Zone Football Tournament against 12 other schools where they managed to get to the quarter-finals! Congratulations also to both the Junior A Boys and Girls Basketball teams who have qualified for the Greater Auckland Championships.

Cross Country was held near the end of the term and was a great success with many students taking part. It was great to see the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing the course. Thanks to the Sports Department who organised this event and to all staff that were involved in this event.

I wish to acknowledge and thank Mr Jason Crummer, who leaves our school at the end of this term.  Mr Crummer has established sound systems and grown sport in our school.  He has encouraged students across all sports codes to participate and has expanded the programme offered to students.  The Sports Awards ceremony is a further development that Mr Crummer can be proud of developing to a further level to enable students to be acknowledged for their success. We are also thankful for the many sporting affiliations he has opened-up for our school to access.  Congratulations on your appointment as Relationship Manager for College Sport.  We wish you well and continued success.

Junior School Curriculum

Our Year 7 cohort have been taking their learning outside of the classroom with a focus on healthy waterways. Their trips to the Auckland Botanical Gardens as well as activities with the Tread Lightly team have led them to a better understanding of their environment. Our Year 7s were also fortunate enough to participate in the World of Maths exhibit.


During week 6, Sancta Maria College students were excited to present Father Craig and the St Luke’s Community with a cheque of $10,000. After many months of fundraising the dedicated efforts of our students and the Sancta Maria College community has led to this donation which was put towards the purchase of the piano for the church.

Back to the Future Event

Parents had a great experience our ‘Back to the Future’ event on Wednesday 30th June.  This gave parents the chance to experience a typical learning day in the life of Sancta Maria College. Parents enjoyed interacting in a modern school setting with collaborative learning spaces and digital devices. We received a lot of positive feedback about the day. Thank you to Mr Ray Green for his vision and all the teachers involved in making this day happen.

Online Safeguarding

Last night was our parents’ evening with guest speaker John Parsons. John is New Zealand’s leading authority in safeguarding children online. His talk was very informative and I know many parents walked away with confidence and practical advice on this topic.


On a final note, I wish to pass on the encouragement of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops to our school community on getting the COVID-19 vaccination to protect ourselves, our whānau and our community. As we watch around the world the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, we can see hundreds of millions of people doing their part to bring about a safer world. Through Te Kupenga Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics, the NZ Catholic Bishops have made available a number of resources. Please visit this link for more information.

Ngā mihi
Louise Moore