Newsletter No 06 18 March 2020

Kia Ora

What a busy and challenging week this has been! We are very aware of the uncertainty coronavirus has created - not only for us but for everyone around the world. We have had a week of many changes. Be assured we are receiving regular updates from the Ministry of Education and following the advice given. We will keep you informed of any changes to the way we do things as a result.

How have things changed for us? Sadly, we have needed to cancel all Liturgies, School Masses, School Assemblies, and School Singing Practices as from today. That means that we will not be attending the Mass scheduled for this Friday. We are pleased to advise that after careful consideration we decided to proceed with the camps this week. Thanks for all your support. Sports teams have been affected - there will be no Netball until at least May, all Cricket and Touch Rugby are cancelled, At this stage we have not been advised of any changes for FlippaBall, Basketball, Hockey and Football. Sports Bay of Plenty is making decisions on a week by week basis re events they run. We will keep you up to date via our app, the Sports CONVID-19 tab on our website and the Our Sports section of our school website.

We sent out an email yesterday indicating that one of the big questions in the media is about whether schools were closing. Jacinta Ardern has indicated the government was following the models employed by countries that had kept the rate of transmission low. “Not all of those countries have acted to close schools. Young people … haven’t tended to be picking up or demonstrating that they have Covid-19, transmission rates have been low [among young people] We have to keep in mind: if you close schools, where do children go? They go to their grandparents, or other caregivers. So we have to keep all of those wider effects in mind. Continue to have faith that we have made decisive decisions based on evidence when we’ve needed to and we will continue to do so rather than seeing schools take ad hoc action.”

It might be a good time though to think about gathering a few basic pieces of equipment that could be used if students had to do their learning from home instead of school. Teachers at our school have started thinking about what equipment might be useful for a variety of hands-on learning activities that they could provide instructions for. We don't want you to go out and purchase items - but it could be useful if you had, for example, a pack of cards, a tennis ball, six different coloured blocks ( ideally Duplo with 8 knobs on each block - but could be any different coloured blocks of the same size). There are loads of learning activities we can do with these basic items. For example, there is a free App called Six Bricks that you might like to have a look at.

With the media saturating us with coronavirus updates, please keep in mind that children can be very sensitive to what they hear and how others react. Keep this in mind when you are having conversations that children might not need to hear. Please keep in mind those families who are struggling at present - it is certainly a time when we all need to support each other. You might like to share the following comic story with your child/ren - it has been created to help children understand coronavirus and what they need to do to look after themselves. Link to story here.

Our Year 5 and 6 students have been at Camp at Mission Bay, Lake Taupo, this week. Rooms 1,3 and 5 went Mon-Wed and Rooms 2 and 4 headed off today. We are very grateful that every year we many parents who offer to give us their time to come and support our camps. Thanks to those parents who offered help and a special thanks to those who are at camp with our classes this week. Thanks to the teachers involved in camp too - we appreciate the extra time and effort involved to make camps a reality. From all accounts, the students have had a great time this week. Check out our School Facebook page to see some lovely photos.

We are thinking of all our families that are facing challenges at present. Please keep two of our students in your prayers - they have not yet been able to return to school this year as they are still unable to return home from China.

Anne Cato
Assistant Principal

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This term we are reviewing our policy on Recognition of Cultural Diversity Here is a link to the policy being reviewed. Parents/whanau are encouraged to have a look and make any comments via this site. Username: stmarysrotorua Password: 3010


The Lenten Season

Training for Altar Servers:
Deacon John and Sheila Limrick will be training children who wish to become Altar Servers for St Mary's and St Michael's. If you wish your child to become an Altar Server please email Deacon John : . A parent is also required to be present during the Altar Serving Training.

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Pasifika Group:
Any student welcome. Practices held in Kakano 6, Fridays 11am.
If any parents or family members can share some traditional songs, dances, or stories from the Pacific Island please feel free to contact Sany-Joy in K6 or email

Gymnastics :
Held in school hall Fridays at 12.30pm. Your child is welcome to come along and join in.

Chess Club: . Held in school hall with Mr Guildford.
Seniors: Thursday 12.45 to 1.30pm
Middle: Wednesday 12.45 to 1.30pm
Anybody is welcome at these levels. Parents!! you would be welcome too if you can help in any way.

Butterfly Cages:
Students may visit the cages at any break time. Cages situated behind Room 1

Online Uniform Sales: Uniforms are available online via our website using paypal. Parents can also order uniforms from Schooltex ()warehouse) direct at this link.

Change of address/Contact Phone numbers:
For change of personal contact details: Please notify the office or email
The school newsletter is available on Wednesday afternoons via email. If you would like a hardcopy please call the office.
To advise School Absences:
Leave a message on the answerphone
Notify us via the school website (see quick links - absences)
Notify us via the School App - see absentee form
Note: If you are having trouble using the App please update or remove it from your device, and re-install the App.
School Banking available:
On Thursdays with Credit Union. Please contact the office if you would like an application form.
School Lunches: PITA Pit: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays. Order online via
Sausage Sizzle and Juicies for sale Fridays. $1.50 each item. Please order from your classroom teacher.


WINTER SPORTS - Terms 2 & 3

Winter Sports Registrations are now open.
At this stage all winter sports are going ahead, with some postponing their start date/s. We have been asked to continue as normal for registrations, this includes having our teams registered before the cut off dates.

We are are in communication with the varying associations and will inform you of any updates as we receive them. Please ensure you are set up to receive our School App Notifications.

Our Winter Sports at St Mary’s are:
Netball, Hockey, Miniball and Football.

How to Register:
Completed forms must be returned to or the School Office by 3.15pm Tuesday 24th March.

Hard copies of the registration form went home with your child yesterday. Those on Camp will get theirs on Thursday. Spare copies will be available from the School Office if required.

You can also access the registration form and find more information about each sport on our School Website under the "Our Sports" tab click here You can save a copy of the registration form, complete it, then scan/email it to or you can print it and return it to the School Office.

Once registrations close, teams will be created with team lists going to the coach/manager only. They will then contact you to introduce themselves and to let you know when practices and games are. Please let your coaches know if you are unable to make a game or practice.

Creating teams is a time consuming job, if you have any queries or concerns about teams please let me know when you register. Teams are hard to change once they are sorted.

Contact Whaea Leanne, Sports Coordinator if you have any queries at or 027 285 7579 or via the School Office on 07 348 1701.

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.

Sports information can be found on our School Website here - "Our Sports" Tab

Swimming Sports Results
Congratulations to the following tamariki who placed in our 50m swimming events at our School Swimming Sports last week.

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Last weekend the Rotorua Aquatic Centre was a host to the 2020 NZ Junior Festival.
Swim Rotorua had a strong team of 20 athletes and Zariah Lomas from St Marys was one of them.
Zariah had qualified to race in 8 events and achieved personal best times in 7 of them, one of them being the 200m Freestyle in which she smashed 15.11 seconds off her time!!!
What an amazing achievement, well done Zariah.

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

Unfortunately the Waikato/BOP Magic won't have crowd support at their game here in Rotorua or in Tauranga. However we can still show our support by making up posters and letters that will be displayed around the stadium for them to see and read. The team management want to surprise the team so we need them dropped off to the school office by 3.15pm this Friday. They need to have colour and lots of positive words. Please contact Whaea Leanne if you have any queries or 027 285 7579 or via the School Office 07 348 1701.

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Hot Cross Bun Fundraiser - $9.50 for a 6 pack - courtesy of Bakers Delight

There are three flavours to choose from : Traditional, Apple & Cinnamon and Chocolate Chip.

We are taking orders at the office - payment needs to be made with order. Last day for ordering is Friday 27th March. Delivery will be to the school on 6th April.

Funds will go for Mr G for supplies to use in for all the amazing activities he is doing with the children at St Mary's School, such as baking ingredients, gardening supplies, building materials ....

Gala sponsorship: Many, many thanks to those who provided some form of sponsorship towards our Gala. Our profit is in the vicinity of $18,000. Pita Pit was able to donate $310 by discounting lunches (only 155 ordered!) . With thanks to one and all.

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Silent Auctions:

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Rotorua Youth Awards:
Please check link for list of awards available together with categories you may nominate within.
Rotorua Youth Awards 2020 Celebrations;
Saturday 16 May - Youth Week
Energy Events Centre, doors open at 4.30pm
Key-note speaker - K'Lee, NZ singer and MaiFM DJ
Dress theme of "BLACK'n'WHITE
Limited free tickets are available from Friday 17 April at the EEC
Please check link for list of awards available together with categories you may nominate.

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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