Newsletter No 03 26 February 2020

Hello Everyone,

Hello Everyone,
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 the church. Thanks to parents who joined us for this.
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.

Last Friday we had our first school Mass. Thanks to those who joined us for this. We were also able to welcome our new students and families during the Mass. We also had a chance to meet our new priest Father Prakash Somu.

Next Thursday is our GALA DAY. Prayers please that we get a beautiful fine evening. Our Gala Day is a really awesome community night, so I encourage you all to come: invite everyone you possibly can. The Gala starts at 4.00pm and finishes at 7.00pm. 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.
Points to note - No fresh cream items please; cake boxes will be given out to all students for our coffee and cake stall and items will be priced by our PTA.
Baby Elephant includes – children’s toys, sports gear, CD’s, DVD’s, puzzles, games, lego, books.
PLEASE NO damaged or broken second hand goods.

All gala contributions to be taken to your child’s class box in the hall foyer as each item received wins 1 point towards their class; the class that receives the most points (pro-rata on number of children per class) wins a surprise lunch!!! The class that brings in the most cakes also wins a special prize.

The Vodafone Warriors visit our school tomorrow (Thursday). This will be a great occasion for our students.

Here is some information regarding our swimming sports:

The swimming sports is for our middle and senior school students - Years 3, 4, 5 & 6.
Years 3 – 6 students need to be dropped off at the Aquatic Centre on the day to meet their teacher by 8:45am.
Swimming sports will finish at approximately 2:30pm. Children need to be collected from the Aquatic Centre by 3:00pm at the latest.
Children may come to swimming sports in their house colours. They may wear their swimming togs under their clothes.
Children will need – togs & towels, sunhat, sunblock, warm clothes, lunch & a drink.There will be NO sausage sizzle at the swimming sports this year. Children need to bring their lunch and a drink.
Should the event need to be cancelled, this information will be put on our website by 7:30am on the day, and a notification sent via Facebook, EDUCA and the school phone app.
We need lots of helpers: If you are able to help on the day please email Lorna Dobson:

We have a student who has recently come to us from overseas and does not yet have a bike. He would like to compete in the RATS duathlon. Could anyone please loan a bike to this student (Year 5). See Mr Macmillan or Leanne the sports co-ordinator.

Enjoy the busy week ahead, and again, prayers for a fine day for the Gala Day.

We look forward to seeing everyone at our school gala 4pm – 7pm on Thursday 1st March.

Have an awesome week.

David Macmillan, Principal.

St Mary's has a school app and here are some instructions for installing this app

Some people are currently experiencing an issue when notifying an absence via the app. We suggest you try updating the app, or deleting it and reinstalling. If you are still having issues after doing this could you please email [] and provide details of the issue, any error message showing and let us know what device ( make and model) you are using - so we can follow up and try and get this issue resolved. Please note you can also notify absences via the quick links tab on our website.

Sports Teams:
To check sports information or sports draws please visit the School Website. Please note that some phones do not easily allow you to view all tabs under Sports on the website. Maybe try using a different device if you are having any issues. We will try and address this issue but it might take a little time.

Sports coaches have contact details for one parent. If you need both parents to be kept up to date with information for a particular sports team could you please provide the coach of the team with contact details for both parents.


THURSDAY 27 FEBRUARY: Bottle Day - please bring a bottle or jar of something e.g. shampoo, sauce, perfume, jam, oil etc. Please note NO alcohol is allowed to be brought to school by children.

FRIDAY 28 FEBRUARY : Nacho Day - Corn Chips, tinned tomatoes, chilli or kidney beans, onions, nacho mince recipe sachets.

MONDAY 2 MARCH: Grocery Day - packet/boxes day - bring a packet or box of something e.g. biscuits, cereal, flour, crackers, chips, cereals.

TUESDAY 3 MARCH : White Elephant Day - books, toys and baby elephant - board games, children's sporting equipment, CDs DVDs.

WEDNESDAY 4 MARCH : Mystery Jar Day

THURSDAY 5 MARCH: GALA DAY! Homemade cakes, biscuits, sweets, fresh fruit and vegetables.

GALA SPONSORS NEEDED - if you are able to help us out with sponsorship this would be greatly appreciated Please contact Heidi on 021 911305. Thank you.


On sale now at the school office - $ 5 PER ENTRY - CASH ONLY
Wood was split in October 2019, and has been in dry storage since.
It is a mix of eucalyptus and pine and has been donated by a St Mary's family. Approximately 3 cubic metres.

Is a mix of Eucalyptus and pine and donated by a St Mary's family.

Prize includes delivery within 30 minutes of Rotorua.

Limited to 100 tickets only, so the odds of winning are high!
Draw will take place at school on Gala night.
Get in quick to win this awesome prize!


We had our Ash Wednesday Service for the school today. Father Prakash was our priest for this. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Ash Wednesday is important because it marks the start of the Lenten period leading up to Easter, when Christians believe Jesus was resurrected. During this period, Christians show repentance and mourning for their sins, because they believe that Christ died for them. Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities. The Lenten Season

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Bernie Hall-DRS

Invitation to participate in St Mary's Parish Alpha Course - March 2020

This year St Mary's Parish is running a Day-Time Alpha Course beginning on the 3rd March, and an Evening-Time Alpha beginning on the 3rd September.

What is Alpha?
Alpha is an 11-week programme which looks at the meaning of life and faith through a Christian perspective.

Alpha is a good introduction to Jesus, Prayer, the Scriptures and Community.

You may register on the Parish website
OR email your details to
OR you may fill out a registration form found at the back of St Michael’s or St Mary’s Churches.

Catholics Returning Home.
You are invited to attend a refresher course for Catholics wanting to return to the practice of their Catholic faith or for Catholics wanting to renew their faith and their prayer life. Everyone is invited to attend. This will run weekly at 7.00 pm on Tuesday nights commencing 3rd March 2020 for four weeks until 24th March at St. Mary's, corner of Seddon and Ranolf Street. For further enquiries, please email Fr. Eamon Kennedy at

Sports News

We are running low on sports uniform and have children waiting on tops in their size.
Unless you are playing cricket or touch rugby this term, then any sports uniform you have must be returned to the School Office by Friday 28th February 3.15pm. If uniform is not returned you will lose your bond.

No uniform will be issued to children if they haven't got a bond in place or have uniform not returned.

We will be enforcing our Sports Uniform Policy from this term. This can be found on our school website under Our Sports

Please ensure you have our school app and have set up to receive notifications for the sports your tamariki/children are playing. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.

RATS Duathlon
The team at RATS are organizing the 10th off-road duathlon event for Year 3-6 students.

Please note: You will need to drop off your child and their bike at the event by 9am and pick up from the event no later than 12pm.**

When: Tuesday 10th March 2020
Where: Waipa MTB Carpark
Cost: $10 per student
Forms must be returned by: 3.15pm Friday 28th February - no late entries can be entered.
Two distances on offer:
Short Course: 500 m Run – 3 km MTB – 500 m Run (Years 3/4, 5/6)
Long Course: 1.5 km Run – 8 km MTB – 500 m Run (Years 5/6)
Age Groups: Year 3 and 4 children must enter the short course. Year 5 and 6 children can choose which course they would like to enter - short or long.
Entry forms have been handed out to children in class or can be downloaded here or from the School Office.
Completed forms can be returned to your classroom teacher or to the School Office no later than 3.15pm Friday 28th February.

If you have any queries please contact Whaea Leanne, Sports Coordinator at or 027 285 7579 or 07 348 1701 ext 1701.

at Manuka Crescent
Only $50 for the rest of the season. This includes fun matches and games on Friday afternoon plus all the benefits of being a member. Starts Friday Feb 7. Contact Debra.
Primary aged Friday 3.30-4.15
Intermediate and High School Friday 4.15-5.45
Professional Tennis Coaching with Justin Megraw on Wednesday and Thursday at extra cost. Groups start Feb 5th. See website for details

Rotorua United is working collaboratively with Ngongotahā AFC and Eastlake JSC to provide opportunities for girls to play in WaiBOP U13s (those born 07/08/09) and U15s (born 04/05) Saturday all girl competitions.

The aim of establishing of meaningful pathways is to keep young women engaged in football and developing football skills and confidence. Our coaches leading this are taking their C Licence this month and have a solid background in football. As a club we are committed to revitalising the female space and are delighted to once again, and as part of our MOU with Ngongotaha AFC, be fielding senior women’s teams in both the W League and Bay 1 Women’s (which are open to players aged 16 and over)
Please contact Sam on 0210 2500 151 if you have any questions.

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On Sunday 23rd Annie participated in the Generation Homes Women's Triathlon at Mount Maunganui. It's a 400m swim, 10km bike ride and a 4km run. It was windy and the water was choppy, something seasoned athletes may balk at but she swam well. The bike ride was fueled by some soft jellies and resilience. The run was then reasonably smooth sailing and she beat her mum down the finishing chute with a smile from ear to ear to receive her medal with pride and hugs from her sisters.
What a amazing strength and confidence to compete in such a tough event and against adults too. Well done Annie, we are all extremely proud of your fantastic achievement.


If your child has achieved something special, sporting or otherwise, please email Leanne with a blurb and photo

NUMBER WORKS .... Thank you for your gala sponsorship -

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Maryanne from the Glenholme After School Programme is seeking an adult who could assist at the programme - start 3pm Monday to Thursday. If you would like to know more please call Maryane 021 121 5599

School Dates for 2020:

Term 1 Tuesday 4 Feb - Thursday 9 April.
Term 2 Tuesday 28 April - Friday 3 July
Term 3 Monday 20 July - Friday 25 September
Term 4 Monday 12 October - Thursday 17 December