Newsletter No 02 17 February 2021

Hello Everyone,

We have had an interesting start to the week with Aucklanders going into Level 3 and the rest of us to Level 2. Thank you for your support with the changes that we have had to make in the school.

Today is Ash Wednesday and in the Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is one of the most important Holy days in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. As a school we celebrated Ash Wednesday with a liturgy today in our school hall.

Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday, and is chiefly observed by Catholics, although many other Christians observe it too.

Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us.

This Friday is our Opening School Mass and presently it will be at St Mary's Church at 9.00am. We would love to have you join us. This may change if we are still in Level 2 as we might have to transfer Mass to our hall. If we do have to make the change and have Mass in the hall, we will unfortunately not be able to have you with us.

This week we welcome Jessica Newman, artist and author of the Journey Project, a fun exploration into the importance of health and wellbeing. Jessica is working with our Totara Team students and she will be with us until the end of term. This initiative is a Creative in Schools Project and it is being funded by the Ministry of Education. An exhibition of the children’s work will take place at the end of term.

A number of children read lots of books over the holidays and this was evident with the number of holiday reading logs that have been returned so far for the draw. Thank you for your support with this. On Friday 26 February we have our draw at our school assembly.

And finally … THE COUNTDOWN IS ON .... 16 days to our Gala Day!!!! Thursday March 4th. This is an important date on our calendar and we need EVERYONE to help make the gala a success.

Thanks to all those families who have contributed so far to our Gala. Please see our Gala Countdown requirements later in this newsletter. Of course we will accept other things up until Gala Day.

All gala contributions are to be taken to your child’s class box in the hall foyer. Each item received wins 1 point towards their class; the two classes that receive the most points (pro-rata on number of children per class) wins a surprise lunch!!!

PLEASE NO clothing, damaged or broken second hand goods.

Have an awesome week.

David Macmillan, Principal.


19th February Friday Opening School Mass. 9.00am St Mary’s Church
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
22nd 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

David Macmillan, Principal.


Ash Wednesday is a Christian Holy day of prayer and fasting. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and falls on the first day of Lent, the six weeks of penitence before Easter. Ash Wednesday is traditionally observed by Western Christians.

Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.

The congregation will be invited to receive the ashes on their foreheads. Usually, the priest or pastor will dip his finger into the ashes, spread them in a cross pattern on the forehead, and say, “From dust you came and from dust you will return.”The ashes are prepared by burning palm branches from the previous year's Palm Sunday.

Kia noho te Atua ki a koe kia tutaki ra ano tatou.


Director of Religious Education

G A L A. ...... 4TH MARCH 2021 ...... WEEKLY UPDATE

**The School Gala is going to be fantastic! White Elephant drop starts tomorrow, thank you all for your support. We have received some amazing prizes from local businesses and families that will be up for grabs at our Gala! These include family passes to local attractions, bikes, bean bags, vouchers - and that is only naming a few!

Be in quick to secure a baton for the quick fire draws for $100.00. Email the PTA on to secure a baton, or if you can offer any donations.



WHITE ELEPHANT DAY - books, toys, Baby Elephant - board games, children's sporting equipment, CD's, DVD's, playstation games, jigsaws, homewares


Tinned goods, bags of sweets, tin beetroot, fruit, peaches, Macintosh's, jet planes, licorice allsorts. Any preloved baskets or platters you no longer require would be gratefully accepted for the quickfire raffle. Baby elephant items, soccer boots, books etc.


Mystery Jar Day - a bit like a lucky dip. Fill an empty jar with anything new that children will like. This could include party favours, bubbles, slime, lollies, chocolates, toy cars etc. Bring these in unwrapped so we can sort them into boys and girls.


Nacho Day - Corn chips, tinned tomatyoes, chilli or kidney beans, onions, nacho mince rfecipe sachets


Books, toys and baby elephant - board games, children's sporting equipment, C D's, DVD's, playstation games, jigsaws

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Remember to update your child's class for 2021. Log onto and click on 'members'.


PITA PIT : **Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
orders online via

FRIDAYS: Sausage Sizzle and Juicies available. $1.50 each item. Order from your classroom teacher ON FRIDAY MORNINGS.

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.

CHESS CLUB: Fundraising for the Chess Club - still wanted -
all your scrap metal (even any old car/truck batteries) nuts, bolts, electric wiring etc.
Can be dropped at school by the caretaker's shed any time on Tuesdays./

LUCKY BOOK ORDERS are due back 19 February 2021, at 12 noon. NO late orders please.
Ensure that your child's name and class number are on the order to prevent any mishaps.
If paying by cheque please make payable to Scholastic NZ, otherwise cash is accepted.
The loop system is available online and follow the easy steps.

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

Touch & Cricket registrations have closed.
FUTSAL Registrations Close this FRIDAY 19th FEBRUARY.
Teams have been created and an email has been sent to registered players letting them know which team they are in.
WE NEED COACHES! We have a few Touch Rugby teams without coaches or managers. Our Y0-2 grades especially, require someone to take the team and assist on the field at games. If we do not get coaches or managers for teams, we will have to withdraw them from the competition.

Please make sure you are subscribed to the sports your child is currently playing and would like to play as well as any sports events coming up. Alerts specific to these sports/sports events will be sent to these groups rather than whole school school alerts.

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.


Whaea Leanne - School Sports Coordinator
027 285 7579 or via School Office 07 348 1701
All information about sports can be found on our school website



Last weekend we had Zariah & Noah Lomas attend the 2021 New Zealand Junior Swimming Festival in Hamilton. This is an age group qualifying event for swimmers 12yrs & under, Zariah and Noah qualified & competed in up 7 individual events each with some fantastic results.
Zariah achieved four top 10 placings, 3rd 50m Butterfly and 1st 50m Free Kick.
Noah achieved five top 10 placings and 1st 50m Free Kick.
Both Zariah & Noah were in the Swim Rotorua 6x50m Freestyle relay team, who swam an incredible race to take home the gold.
It was a long 3 days of competing, with early starts and late finishes. Congratulations & well done on your achievements, we are very proud of you.
Congratulations also to our past students who were also at the event, Ariel Muchirahondo, Dylan Greupink & Max Woolford. They all swam well and gained some fantastic personal best times.

Sport BoP is running a community Go By Bike Day next Wednesday, 24 February.
There will be a pit stop on Ranolf Street Shared Pathway opposite Guidough’s similar to last year.
There will be fruit & giveaways for the bike enthusiasts.
The St Marys meeting point is by the Corner of Ranolf & Devon Streets on the Shared Pathway by the golf course.
Helmets will be compulsory.

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Kauria Te Moana – Free Children’s Swim Clinic

When: 13/03/2021
Where: Rotorua Aquatic Centre and Lake Okareka
Cost: Free
Included: Each child will receive:
Entry to the pool & lake swim safety clinic
A free Kauria Te Moana t-shirt
Lunch and snacks on the day of the clinic
Free entry to the Legend of the Lake event taking place on 20/03/2021
Swimming Requirement: Children wanting to attend the clinic must to be able to swim 100m competently in a pool without stopping.
To Register: Alternatively, you can request a paper application form from the School Office. Paper forms need to be returned to the Rotorua Aquatic Centre by Friday 26 February 5pm and placed in the box at reception.

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

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