Newsletter No 01 10 February 2021

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to all our families and children. I hope you all had a great break with your families over the holiday time. It is great to see our children returning to school rested and ready to go for a new year of learning. Thanks to our fantastic staff who have been working hard over the holidays preparing for the return of our students. I am looking forward to an exciting year. A special thanks to Richard and Chris, our caretakers, and Mr G. who have worked hard to get our school looking tip top for the start of the year.

It was so good to have those two days last week for you and your child to meet this year’s teacher, update your records, download apps, meet oral health people and register for this term’s sports teams. Thank you for supporting this.

A special welcome to our new staff members. Sophie Bowie teaching in Kahikatea Room 14 and Shayla Dixon teaching in Kakano 7. I am sure you will make them feel very welcome.

A special welcome to all our 30 new children and their families. It is great to have you join our large St Mary’s family and I hope you find your time with us rewarding.

Our Kaumatua Rangi Mihaka welcomed our new staff and students prior to our Waitangi Liturgy yesterday.

During the holidays we heard the sad news that a former teacher at St Mary’s, Lynley Schofield passed. It was a medical event while tramping in the South Island. Lynley was the Kahikatea Team Leader and School Literacy Leader in 2012 and 2013. She was an outstanding leader, teacher and a friend to a number of staff here. RIP Lynley.

During the weekend, the Apanui School Community in Whakatane were devastated to see a large part of their school destroyed by fire. I have been in contact with the principal and we have sent all our class mats, bean bags and inflatable play equipment for the school to use over the next few weeks. I would like to plan a mufti Day on Friday and ask that children bring a gold coin. The proceeds of the mufti day will be donated to Apanui School. The theme is House Colours so children come dressed in their House colours.If your child is new to the school or a parent of a child in Kakano you will receive a note in your child’s bag tomorrow letting you know your child’s house colour...Mackillop (blue), Whakaue (yellow), Mill Hill (red) Pompallier (green).

Our ‘start of the year’ Mass is FRIDAY 19TH FEBRUARY and it would be fantastic if you could join us. Mass is at 9.00am in our Parish Church and we particularly welcome parents of new children. For new parents, our Mass normally finishes around 9.45am.

Just to give you plenty of warning: TUESDAY 22nd MARCH is the swimming sports for our Year 3 to 6 children. Whanau support will be needed on the day, especially within the pool. Some of our children are reluctant swimmers and your help would be greatly appreciated.
Please contact Lorna Dobson by email if you are able to help: lornad@stmarysrotorua’

A number of children read lots of books over the holidays and we will be having our lucky log draw this FRIDAY. If you have been reading stories to your child, that counts too. Just write the story on the holiday log. Please continue to support your child/children reading at home.

Summer sports will be starting soon. If you want your child to play, please register TODAY. Registration forms are on our school website. Sports that are available are Cricket (Y2-6) and Touch (all ages). Payment is required at the time of registration.

THE COUNTDOWN IS ON ..... four weeks to our Gala Day, Thursday 4 March. This is the school's major fundraiser for 2021 with the funds raised being allocated to create an outdoor play area for the Year 2 students. This ply area will further enhance the play-based learning environment that already exists in the school.
A newsletter from the PTA will be sent home soon outlining ways you might be able to help.

PTA Meeting/Gala Organisation:
TODAY: Wednesday 10th February, 7pm in the school staffroom. Anyone who is interested in joining the PTA or who would like to help at our upcoming Gala on the 4th March, please come along to our meeting.

GALA SPONSORS - if you are able to help us out with sponsorship - cash donation, donation of products or services, this would be greatly appreciated.Please contact Heidi on 021 911305. Thank you.

10th February Wednesday PTA Mtg 7.00pm Staffroom
11th February Thursday Incredible Years Seminar 6.30pm Staffroom
17th February Ash Wednesday Liturgy
19th February Friday Opening School Mass. 9.00am St Mary’s Church
20th February Saturday Touch Grading Games
4th March Thursday Gala Day
24th March Caritas Rice Day
9th March Tuesday Rats Duathlon
8-17th March. Totara classes on camp
19th March Friday St Joseph’s Mass. 9.00am St Mary’s Church
22 March Swimming Sports
25th March Thurs Annunciation Liturgy
30th March Tuesday Donkey Parade at school
1st April Thursday Washing of the Feet Liturgy
2nd April Good Friday (Holiday)
4th April Easter Sunday
5th April Monday Holiday
6th April Holiday
15th April Thursday Totara Art Exhibition
16th April Last Day of Term 1

Have an awesome week.

David Macmillan, Principal.


Sylvia Dunkley (Team Leader) Room 1
Virginia Nicol Room 1
Liz Macaskill Room 2
Bernie Hall Room 3
Bevan James Room 4
Sheryl Todd Room 5

Jill Dinniss Room 12
Tai Waititi (Team Leader) Room 14
Sophie Bowie Room 15
David Bach Room 16
Lorette Tiedt Room 17

Lorna Dobson. Kakano 1
Michelle Ryan Kakano 2
Karen Tabuteau (Team Leader Year 2) Kakano 3
Sara Mines (Team Leader Yr 0-1) Kakano 4
Lorraine Thompson Kakano 5
Sany-Joy Mareroa Kakano 6
Shayla Dixon. Kakano 7


Hello everyone, and welcome back!
It is great to see everyone again after a restful holiday. A special welcome to all our new families and staff members who have joined us for 2021!
Term one is a busy one in terms of the Liturgical year. Your child’s teacher will be covering a lot in Religious Education this term, so keep asking your child what they are learning in RE at school. This term we look at prayer, celebrate several Liturgies such as Waitangi Day, The Annunciation, The Stations of the Cross. We also focus on Lent and what that means and how it builds up to Holy Week.

Screen Shot 2021-02-10 at 11.22.48 AM

Caritas and the work they do is an ongoing study this term. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is the NZ Catholic Bishops’ agency for justice, peace and development. We are working on behalf of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference for a world free of poverty and injustice through community development, advocacy, education, and emergency relief.

Your child’s RE book will come home at least once a term so you can see what they have been learning in RE. Again a class prayer journal will also be available for your child to take home and add a prayer to it. The prayer could be anything from praying for your family, pets, a local or world event, and special occasions. The journal then becomes a classroom resource students can use at prayer times.

Director of Religious Education


PITA PIT : Tuesday only next week (15th).
orders online via

Screen Shot 2021-02-10 at 12.11.47 PM

FRIDAYS: Sausage Sizzle and Juicies available. $1.50 each item. Order from your classroom teacher. Last Friday for the year.

Online Uniform Sales: Uniforms are available online via our website using paypal.

Uniform Shop volunteers required urgently:
Our uniform shop is open Mondays and Fridays 8.30am and Wednesday afternoon 2.30pm. As some of our volunteers are moving on we would like you to consider this exciting opportunity. Please ring Shanelle in our school office and she will be able to explain what is required. With thanks.

MUDDY FINGERS Holiday Gardening Group:

A big thank you to all the little helpers and Mums and Dads who turned up every Tuesday of the school holidays to help harvest and manage our vege garden.

As well as eating fresh veges 'on the job' and taking some goodies home, we also donated surplus produce to the HUB for the needy.They benefitted from, and appreciated : 9 buckets of potatoes, 5 buckets of carrots, 2 buckets of plums, as well as an assortment of silverbeet, beans, kale, tomatoes, beetroot, courgettes, marrows and swedes.

Screen Shot 2021-02-10 at 12.26.41 PM

First Credit Union School Banking 2021

First Credit Union provides a school banking service to all pupils at St Mary's School. Getting started is easy - just pick up an application pack from the school office, fill in the application form and return it to the school office. If your children are already doing school banking, remember that the school banking is collected on Thursday each week!
Deposits between 12 February and 12 April will put you in the draw to win 1 of 3 bikes available!!!


Tuesday 9th March - RATS Duathlon

As previously mentioned, we are now using our School PE Uniform instead of school issued uniforms for Touch Rugby, Cricket, Football and Hockey.
All players are to wear the newer PE Uniform, this includes YEAR 6 Students.
The PE Uniform is also used for our school Cross Country, Mini Marathon, Athletics Day and inter-school events (where applicable) and can also be worn when children are doing sports at school.

Uniform can be purchased via the School Uniform Shop open Monday & Friday 8.30 - 9.00am and Wednesday 2.30 - 3.00pm and via our School Website HERE
If you have any queries please contact me asap so we can make necessary arrangements.


A reminder that Sports Registrations are open for both Touch Rugby and Cricket for Term 1.
(no Flippaball this term due to the 50m pool still being upgraded).
Registration Forms:
Touch Rugby Registration Form
Cricket Registration Form
All information about sports can be found on our school website

GIRLS CRICKET ‘Have a Go’ Session - this Friday lunchtime on the Turf.
Shane Neilson will be at school on Friday to run a ‘have a go’ session for girls who would like to give cricket a try. The idea is that they would then join the Incrediball Girls team that will play on Thursdays after school. If your child is interested, please encourage them to come and give it a go.

Under 12 WATER POLO ‘Have a go’/Registration Day
Sunday 14th February 4pm
25m indoor pool
Meet under the Large Clock - ask for Slim Potter.
Your child will need to be a competent swimmer as they will not be able to touch the bottom of the pool.

Waiariki Junior Futsal Competition
Futsal is indoor soccer/football. It is great for the development of skills in young
players, and it’s lots of fun too!
What: 5-a-side futsal competition, with rolling substitutions.
When: Sundays afternoons for 6 weeks; March 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, April 4th, 11th
Where: Rotorua Girls’ High School Arena.
Who: School based teams of Year 5 & 6 (boys or mixed and Girls only teams available)
Cost: $20 per player*
Coaches/Managers will be required for each team.
Registrations form:
FUTSAL Registration Form
*Please only make payment once teams are confirmed.

Whaea Leanne - School Sports Coordinator
027 285 7579 or via School Office 07 348 1701

Recommencing Monday 9th February 2021.
ALL Abilities.
To Enrol - Phone Margaret on 027 4599286 or email