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Principal's Report term 1

Steve Hart —

It is difficult to believe we are nearing the end of Term 1 as it seems we have only just started the new term! This is a reaction to the fullness of school life, I am in awe of the wide variety of opportunities afforded the young men at St Thomas. It is in the variety of opportunities both inside and outside the classroom where our students take experiences and learnings with them for the rest of their lives. As we near the next election we often hear our politicians discussing what is best for our young people - is it a back to basics approach or is it a widening of the curriculum? Everyone seems to have an opinion. As someone who has worked with young people for 25 years, I believe it is the human approach that works best. Our young people deserve more than the basics - they are capable of far more than the basics. While teenagers make teenager mistakes, I believe they will always rise to the expectations of the adults in their lives. How the older generations view our young people is often how they respond. I believe it is time to not allow the actions of a small minority of young people dictate the decisions for the majority who, in my opinion, are doing a fantastic job developing and growing into reputable adults.

I would like to congratulate our Bishop Lyons team on their success of winning the Bishop Lyons Shield, the last time we achieved this was in 2010. A massive congratulations to all members of the team and coaches who helped prepare our young men. You can read all the details in this newsletter.

I would also like to congratulate our Polyfest group who performed with pride, mana, and perfection last weekend. The performance was of the highest standard - our students did themselves, their families and our school, proud.

Over the last two weeks we have had several outdoor camps, athletics and swimming championships, Bishop Lyons Shield, Noho Marae, Polyfest, biology camp, a fantastic unity week assembly, a wide variety of sport, and alongside this, lots of teaching and learning! To make all of these events happen, we have a hard working and committed staff. Our staff are constantly giving of their personal time to create extra opportunities for our students outside of school time, I am very thankful to work alongside our hard working staff.

As has been well documented in the media, we are in the middle of a period of industrial action as the government and teacher unions attempt to mediate towards a collective agreement that values our teachers, as well as making teaching a valuable occupation for young people that they stick with. The last strike day opened up dialogue. Today I have received notice of an impending strike on Wednesday 29th March. As has been the case in previous strike action, we will be closed for instruction on this day. I will receive notice of confirmation on Monday.

I would like to wish all of our sports teams the best of luck as they travel around the country for summer tournament week. The best of luck goes to our rowers, futsal, touch, basketball and bowls teams.