Senior School Update

Holidays During Term Time
There has been a large number of requests for trips or holidays during term time. This is considered an unjustified absence, as most of these trips should be taken during the twelve weeks of allocated holidays.  You will have heard that the New Zealand Government, and Ministry of Education are concerned about attendance. At Sancta Maria College, one of the major causes of poor attendance is holidays during term time.  Ministry of Education guidelines note that student attendance is considered unacceptable if it falls below 90%. Students are highly unlikely to be able to sit, or complete, NCEA assessments that occur during these unjustified absences.

Growing Senior School Leadership
Sancta Maria College was fortunate to be invited to be involved in the leadership programme, Youthline Leadership Connect, supported by the ASB. It aims to grow leadership, particularly in the wellbeing area. Ten of our students from Years 11-13 are growing their leadership potential in this area throughout the year.  They will be developing new initiatives around the school, in collaboration with our Wellbeing Prefects.

Another group of ten Year 11 and 12 students is participating in the Blues Leadership Course, consisting of four workshops during May at the Blues HQ.  The programme is for learners with a range of different interests, and explores the power of belonging, great leadership, overcoming challenges, and servant leadership, amongst other things.  They are provided with practical tools and advice for developing their leadership skills, while also learning about the importance of self-care. I look forward to seeing our students put their new skills into practice.

Participating students were nominated for both of these courses by their Kaihautū. There are many other opportunities to develop leadership skills at SMC, and the very best way is to be actively involved in leadership of school activities.

The Howick Youth Council
Week Four is Youth Week. Our Howick Youth Councillors, Maree Enricoso and Kathrina Bacay, have been busy working on activities to engage our youth and create awareness of what the HYC does.  There is a Youth Summit coming up soon and this is a great opportunity for some of our Year 11 students to start their leadership journey. Watch this space!

Academic Excellence Evening
We have an Academic Excellence Evening coming up on Tuesday 28 May (Week 5) from 6.30pm-7.30pm for our most capable senior students. It will be hosted by our Academic Prefects, Benjamin Botting and Hyebeen Park.

Year 12 and 13 top scholars (those likely to be undertaking NCEA Scholarship courses now or in the future), and their parents, will be invited to attend this information evening. Students who gained Top Scholar, Excellence Subject Endorsements, or Academic Scholar awards should consider attending. Year 11 students by invitation or inquiry.

We will be discussing our Able and Ambitious Programme and our Academic Excellence Pathway, leading to NCEA Scholarship in either Year 12 or 13. Our HOD team will be on hand to answer any questions that you might have.

If you don’t receive a letter this week, but are keen to attend, please email Mrs Sullivan at

Just a reminder that all NCEA documents can be found on the SMC website Just scroll down.  The Parent Student Handbook can also be found in this location.  For queries about NCEA (non-subject related), please contact our Principal’s Nominee, Mrs Heffernan

Chris Sullivan
Deputy Principal, Year 11-13