It has been another busy and successful term at Sancta Maria College, and we thank all of our parents, caregivers and whānau for your support.

As you will see in this first digital edition of our Newsletter, the term has been full of notable achievements in areas of sport, culture and academia.

Our remarkable NCEA pass rates for 2020 were celebrated at our Academic Honours assembly, in which we also formally recognised our new prefect leaders.  Leadership, along with its inherent Catholic principle of service, is essential to our school’s culture, and we have every confidence that our prefect team for 2021 has the talents, expertise and personality to build on the foundation of excellence laid before them, to maintain the highest standards, and to leave their own mark and legacy on our school.

We have been particularly delighted with the successful transition of our new Year 7 students into the culture and expectations of Sancta Maria College.  The exciting junior curriculum started with Turangawaewae, which focused on the personal and learning principles of knowing oneself, building resilience, and making connections.  I know all of our new students now feel part of the Sancta Maria College whānau.

It has been a busy term for our pastoral care team, as we saw the revision of the House System in order to give this important aspect of our school a stronger profile.  Identity and shared connection strengthen bonds and a sense of belonging, which are so vital to the foundation of successful learning and personal growth.

We thank all of the parents who attended the significant Light Project presentation.  Its messages about the digital landscape our children navigate were both powerful and sobering.  For those who were unable to attend, the key message was to stay connected to our children, and to be prepared to have open and honest conversations.  We will invite Jo Robertson back to school in 2022.

As ever, the Special Character Team – Cedric Piggin, Verna Oliver and our wonderful chaplain, Father Kevin Murphy – have led with energy and inspiration, demonstrating that a heart of faith is the foundation and fabric of Sancta Maria College.  We look forward to Term 2, when we will celebrate our annual Feast Day Mass on 26th May, the centrepiece of our Special Character Week of faith-based activities.

In this newsletter you will read about the outstanding achievements of our students in both sport and music.  It is so gratifying that Sancta Maria College is gaining national recognition in these important areas.  Well done to all those involved!

Our students grasp opportunities to extend themselves in new and challenging areas, and I would like to thank our dedicated staff, both teachers and support staff, for the hard work and commitment which enables our students to participate in these enriching curricular and co-curricular activities.

Term 2 promises to be another great opportunity for our students to express themselves as we offer our high-quality production of the 80s-based musical Footloose.  And using the 1980s as a neat segue, we will also be providing the opportunity to parents of experiencing modern education as we hold our Back to the Future III event which was postponed earlier in the year!

Finally, we wish Janette Vercoe well in her new role at De La Salle College and thank her for her 14 years of loyal service to our school.  Congratulations to Makayla Samaeli who takes over as Dean of Year 10, and a special welcome to our new Head of Department for Religious Education, Sarah Maddison, who joins us from Baradene College.

Have a wonderful, relaxing and safe break.

Ngā mihi nui

Ray Green
Acting Principal