Senior School Update

Term 3 is a busy academic term for all senior students.  Students will be focused on finishing internal assessments for NCEA and preparing for school examinations. Please refer to the NCEA Update for important information.

As we come to terms with this new lockdown, please let me take the opportunity to reassure you that our teachers are experienced, our online academic programme is tried and true, and our students are well supported by both curriculum and pastoral staff.  We are blessed with teachers and support staff who regularly go the ‘extra mile’ and care about their learners.  Ensuring that our connections stay strong is really important when we are learning online.  Please ensure that students have their cameras on during conferences and that students reach out to teachers in the afternoons if they need additional assistance.

I would encourage any seniors without fully functioning devices to contact either myself or Mrs Valk (  It is really important that students can connect to online learning to keep up-to-date with their courses.

Year 11

For our Year 11 students, the school exams toward the end of Term 3 will be the first full examinations they will have experienced.  Study skills are key to effective revision.  To help students develop these skills we contracted Patrick Sherratt to deliver an effective study skills seminar.  Due to lockdown, students will now be able to complete his study skills programme online.  Year 11 students will be introduced to this programme during an assembly on Monday.  You can also access some of Patrick Sherratt’s tips on his website: .  I would also encourage Year 11 students to ensure that they use Education Perfect resources to help with their revision activities.

NCEA Change Programme

The NCEA Change Programme continued this term with a national teacher only day on Tuesday 10th of August.  The NCEA Change Programme is designed to strengthen NCEA by making a series of changes to improve well-being, equity, coherence, pathways and credibility—for students and teachers alike.  There have been a number of schools around the country that have been part of a limited trial, or pilot, of the new standards in English, Religious Education, Visual Arts, and Science.  Although SMC was not part of this pilot, we have been closely following the progress in these four subject areas.  These will help to inform our own changes.

At SMC, our teaching staff spent the day focused on the NCEA changes that are currently under development, exploring the reasons behind the changes and analysing recently released resource material.  Significant work was done in departments on developing an understanding of new standards and beginning to explore what these will look like in our Catholic context.  Teachers in some departments took the opportunity to meet with colleagues in other schools for these discussions.  We are excited about the changes happening and will continue to keep you updated as more information comes available.


Chris Sullivan
Acting Head of  Senior School