Newsletter No 18, 20 June 2018 A.

Kia Ora,

It was our fourth Matariki Cultural Dinner on Tuesday evening. Thanks to Sylvia Dunkley, Athlene Wallbank and our Whanau Roopu for organising a very successful evening. It was very enjoyable and I have only heard positive comments from you, our parents, about the night. We had a good crowd there and I just want to say thanks for coming and making it an enjoyable night. The food you brought to share was delicious too. Sadly I didn’t get to taste everything, so will make that my goal for next year! I think we must have had over 250 there. It was great to see 37 flags on the walls of the hall - even more next year hopefully.

Matariki was launched last week at our assembly and the classes have been busy this week doing many great activities around Matariki. Thanks to those who were able to join us at our Matariki Liturgy today.

Today is the shortest day; Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. The good news is that now the days will start getting longer again. Bring on Spring……

Yesterday our students competed in the Interschool Cross Country. Congratulations to all our runners, but particularly these students who were placed in the top ten place-getters: Leah Field, Madeleine Keaney, Maiah Ngawhika and Anaia O'Connell. Thanks to the parents who helped with transport, marshalling and supporting our children. Thanks to Trudy James for coordinating our team and the parents who accompanied the team.

Last Friday we had a group of gymnasts at Te Puke competing at a Gymnastic Competition. These competitions are a lot of fun and our students performed particularly well. These are some of the results: Thanks to Robyn Hall, Shanelle McCashin, Kelley Kemp and the parents who helped with transporting our gymnasts to Te Puke.

Congratulations too, to our squash players, Ryan and Jacob Eggers and Ashton Hyde, who finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the squash tournament. Well done.

Sadly, it is Trudy’s (our Sports’ Coordinator) last week this week. She has been an exceptional Sports’ Coordinator and is a top class organiser. Our sport programme has been running very smoothly, thanks to Trudy. She has also been instrumental in getting our sports’ uniforms revamped and modernised; we are going to miss her. Thanks Trudy and I wish you well in your exciting new job.

Next week we have a Special Character Review team at our school to look at all the awesome things we do here at St Mary’s. The review team is Sister Anne Sklenas, James Murray (Principal St Joseph’s Fairfield) and John Coulam (Catholic Schools Manager). The team would like to meet a group of parents to discuss with them what we are doing in the special character area from a parent’s perspective. The meeting is next Tuesday at 2.30pm in the staffroom. We welcome your attendance at this time.

Next Thursday 28 June is our Junior Cross Country. Children from Years 0, 1 and 2 will be participating. It starts at 11.30 and you can take your child home after the event, as the school will be finishing anyway at 1.30pm to enable teachers to attend the stop work meeting. If you have a child/ren in the middle or senior school you will be able to take them home at the same time as your child in the junior team.

So just more detailed information about the NZEI meeting:
* On Thursday 28th June, the teachers will be attending a NZEI Te Riu Roa paid union meeting regarding the Kua Tae Te Wā - It’s Time campaign. The meetings will allow our teachers to discuss how the Ministry of Education has responded to changes that the union is seeking.
* The teachers need to leave school at the end of lunchtime in order to get to their union meeting which starts at 2pm. You will be able to pick your child up from his/her classroom at 1.30pm.
* I strongly encourage all our parents to make arrangements to pick up their child(ren) from school at 1.30pm on Thursday 28 June. If, for any reason, you are unable to do so, then you need to advise us please so we can make arrangements for their supervision at school.
Contact the school office: 3481 701
Thank you for your support with this.

David Macmillan, Principal.

Our school website and app now have a more user friendly calendar where you can see what is coming up at school. Be sure to check it out to stay informed. Click here for link

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July School Holidays Animation Workshop for Year 5 and 6 students
See St Mary's website for full details/cost of this exciting workshop coming up in the holidays.

Homework Club – Every Thursday
The Homework Club is specifically set up to offer extra learning time and support for our Pasifika students after school.
Every Thursday from 3.00pm-4.00pm students can meet in room 15 to complete any home reading or homework they would like support with. Parents are also welcome to attend, to gain tips and ideas on how to support learning at home.
*If you would like your child to attend but they are not Pasifika, they are still welcome to attend.

School lunches are available from Pita Pit, Rotorua on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Lunches need to be ordered online via Children need to come to the School Office at lunchtime to collect their ordered lunch.

On Fridays the children are able to buy a sausage and a juicie. This is an initiative of the PTA. Children place their orders with their own class teacher and orders are delivered to their class at lunchtime.
Sausages $1.50 - Juicies $1.50

From Our Director of Religious Studies:

Hello Everyone,

The 2018 NZ Catholic Convention was a great exchange of information, inspiration and an opportunity to get excited about the future of Catholic teaching for today’s children. Many of the international and local speakers were congratulatory of the important work teachers in Catholic schools are doing. The way Teachers work to inspire and include this generation to think beyond themselves and be part of a bigger whole. Indeed two of the key phrases I heard were:

“I am what I am because we are...” and “ In the end it turns out to be about service”...

The knowing that we all have a key role in shaping young people in their Catholic faith. Many of the practice we do here at St Mary’s School does help lead our students to be more like this. We give students opportunity for leadership, key parts in Mass and at liturgies, and make our RE lessons interactive and participative. These are the ways we will help to keep the Church real and inviting for our youngest citizens. Another highlight for many of us was to visit the places of Suzanne Aubert and the House of Compassion she established. This community of women is still heavily involved in the Wellington community today. A truly remarkable woman ahead of her time. Read more here: Suzanne Aubert
I would also like to thank Deacon Mike for making himself available to visit classes each week and to get to know our students. Thanks also to Sister Carina another real presence in our school, for being actively involved with our school and our students.


Bernie Hall-Director of Religious Studies

Catholics Returning Home
You are invited to attend a refresher course for Catholics wanting to return to the practice of their Catholic faith. This will run weekly at 7.00 pm on Tuesday nights commencing 3rd July 2018 for four weeks until 24th July at St. Mary's, corner of Seddon and Ranolf Street. For further enquiries, please email Fr. Eamon Kennedy at


Arts in Motion
Arts in Motion practice is on Wednesdays. Lyrical and Jazz are at 7.30am until 8.30am. Hip hop is after school until 4pm. Check out our Arts in Motion blog to keep up to date. Follow the blog so the messages get sent straight to your email. Any further information please contact Shanelle McCashin Ph 021 02657995

School Absences:
If your child is away from school for any reason, please notify our office staff using one of these options :
Phone 3481 701
Link to website:
See quicklink on website (top of page) on website

Change of Address/Contact Phone numbers:
We always appreciate notification if your personal contact details have changed. Please notify the office or email :
The school newsletter is available on Wednesday afternoons. A hard copy is always available from front reception if required - otherwise you will be emailed a copy.

KAPA HAKA has begun for the year with our nationally recognised tutor, Matua Koro Tini. Notices have been sent home with children who wish to participate.
If you have any queries about Kapa Haka please come and see Mrs Dunkley in Room 3, or email

Sports News

Kia Ora Sports Parents,

This being my last newsletter entry, I would first of all like to take this opportunity to thank a few of the people who are the reason for making my decision to leave this workplace such a hard one.

SM Students – The pride in your school and your respect for one another is amazing. I will always carry this with me, along with the friendships we have created.

Parents – Thank you for all the times you have helped me look good by assisting in the varying tasks over the years - whether it be transport for the ample school trips, practices during school and after hours' trainings, and the time, effort and passion that you have brought to our sports teams, and ultimately our school. On a personal note, this is a great chance to say thank you for the many meals I received this time last year. I am going to miss so many of you, and I do hope to see you all at some point over the near future.

Teachers – To some of the most creative passionate and good people I have ever encountered. I consider myself privileged to have met and spent time with you. I appreciate everything that you do for our children everyday and will really miss all of you.

The Office/Admin Crew – Maggie Girl, Margo & Dorothy. The trust and understanding you extended to me when I arrived was incredible. My personality can often dominate a room and I know my infectious laugh may create moments of mayhem, but when I work (occasionally) it’s on like donkey kong. The friendships that have developed over the years are true and I will forever hold them dearly.

Anne – You are so sweet with your nurturing ways. Your visits always make me feel a wee bit special. I am thankful for all you have taught me over the years and glad to have you as a colleague and friend.

Dave – I am still in awe at your passion, drive and empathy, especially for those in the St Mary’s whanau. You are the reason that the school feels the way it does. I will miss you crashing our office conversations and will miss the mess that you leave around ... yeah right!

Well from me to you all - Trudy Out!!

Cross Country 2018

Wow what a team, well done to all the kids that took part in the 2018 Interschool Cross Country yesterday. Please read below 'A Special Mention' and click here for results

Tough Gal and Tough Guy

It's that time again for our kids to get dirty!

The Junior Tough Guy and Gal Challenge at Lakes Ranch in Rotorua on Wednesday, 15 August 2018. This is a chance for our school kids to get involved in New Zealand's biggest mud run series.

The Junior Tough Guy and Gal Challenge will include many of the same amazing perks as adult version, such as outstanding goodie bags, challenging obstacles, incredible venues, hot showers and spot prizes. There is a 1.5km course for school years 3 to 4 and 3km course for years 5 & 6's.

Click here for the registration form, hardcopies have been sent out with the kids today. Details are also on the school's website.

Please note that the cost for Early Birds is $25 (until 3rd August) and after this is $30. Closing date is 10th August 2018.

There has been a copy of prices sent out saying $20 early bird and $25 after. PLEASE note this is incorrect!!!

St Mary's App - Download Now

Parents, if you don't have the School App please make sure you download this so you do not miss out on sports updates. With winter sports here and the rain that is expected over winter months it pays to know when there are cancellations. Please ensure you click (under settings) the sports your children are participating in. Winter Sports are Football, Netball, Miniball and Hockey.


Check on the website for your child's team.

Games / Grades 5 - 8 are up on the website the remaining grades are to come.

Football Uniform is:
Maroon PE Shorts
St Mary's Sports Socks (Blue and Maroon)
Football Top (to be collected from the Front Office) I have 30 kids who have not collected their top yet
Child's own Football Shoes

I have a range of football boots that have been donated. If your child needs boots, please let Trudy (Sports Coordinator) know.


Draw is up on the website.

Netball Uniform is:
St Mary's Netball Dress
Navy Socks
Child's own court shoes / sneakers

Your child can most definately wear warm clothing before and after a game, but please stick to the uniform when playing.


Miniball Teams are up on the St Mary's website, please check what team your child is in.

Miniball Uniform is:
St Mary's Maroon PE Shorts
St Mary's Singlet (to be collected from the Front Office) if you played touch then you will be playing in the same singlet.
Child's own court shoes / Sneakers

This year Juniors will play on a Monday and Middles and Seniors will play on the Friday. Please check website for teams and draws.


Games in this Mini grade will run from 11:00am to 12:00pm. We have four pools of seven. This means seven weeks in Round 1. Six of the weeks they will play teams in their own pool and one week they will play a cross-over games with a team from another pool. The draw will be up on the BOP Website today.

Games in the Maxi grade run from 8:30am to 11:00am. To move through the grading pools a bit faster and make sure for the first three weeks all our keen maxi beans are playing hockey we are going to run 20 minute games with a 5 minute change over. This means we can get through two games on May 12th, May 19th and May 26th. There will be no byes. If you are in Pool A you will have two games each week. The other pools will have two weeks of two games an one week where there is only one game. We have blocked the games so teams may have one game right after the other but they will not be waiting around for ages to play a second game. The draw will be available on the BOP Hockey Website today:

Hockey Uniform is:
St Mary's Maroon PE Shorts
St Mary's Hockey Sock (same as Football socks) Must have to hold shin pads in place.
St Mary's Hockey Top (to be collected from the Front Office)
Child's own hockey shoes / sneakers
Shin pads
Hockey Stick (Belly High)


Tuesday & Thursday Lunchtime in the school hall

A Special Mention

To Kaia Joyce and Ariel Muchirahondo. They both participated in Taupo XLR8 swim meet a couple of weekends ago. Kaia took home 2 gold and 4 silvers, Ariel taking home 6 medals, one being gold for the 200m backstroke.

BOP Squash 2018

1st to Ryan Eggers, 2nd to Jacob Eggers and 3rd to Ashton Hyde - BOP Squash Tournament. Great stuff boys, can't wait to read about more wins in the near future.

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Gymnastics - Te Puke

Ashton Hyde, Sterling Stevens-McNabb, Francis Larkin, Sophie Kemp, Rosa Hingston, Jaime Davies, Kymani Waititi, Hazel Ward, Kyrah Johns, Makenna Hall and Annie Neilson-Annett

Well done team, these guys all walked away with medals.

Cross Country 2018

To our 2018 Cross-Country Team that represented our school - you gals & guys were awesome. Below is a list of the students who made this exceptional team.

Leah Field, Florence (Flossy) Smith, Harrison Roberts-Brake, Bryll Bagulo, Adam Dinniss, Madeleine Keaney, Maiah Ngawhika, KJ Waititi, Sofia Keeling, Josh Richardson, Carter Gale, Cyris McDonald, Liam Nicholson, DJ Katipa, Richard Hawker, Briar Rotherham, Abigail Sims, Darcy Ferguson, Persia Waiomio, Mya Elmiger, Sahr Korteqee, Jacob Eggers, Ariel Muchirahondo, Thornton Smart, Anaia O'Connell, Danni Coleman, Isabel McCashin, Olivia Orbell, Chloe Jarmey, Samuel James, Zak Bye, Hiwa Warbrick, Christian Waititi, Jett Jensen.

BOP Cross Country 2018

To our qualifiers from yesterday, great yards of running has paid off and now you are off to represent the mighty Bay of Plenty in the BOP Cross Country, next Tuesday at Kaharoa School.

Our St Mary's BOP Team for 2018 are: Leah Field 5th Place, Madeleine Keaney 1st place, Maiah Ngawhika 4th Place, and Anaia O'Connell 5th place. Go the Girls. Parents I will have info out later today, but Sara Field has offered to take the girls next Tuesday. Many thanks Sara.

St Mary's - Good Sorts

Another special mention to Cyris McDonald and DJ Katipa for stopping to help a fellow rugby player out last Tuesday at Cross Country. They both thought it was better to stop for their mate who was finding it very difficult to breathe than to continue racing.

Edventure Outdoors- School Holiday Camps
These July school holidays we are running 2 awesome camps.
Tramping, rock climbing, possum trapping, team building challenges, hot pools and much more
Edventure Outdoors Camp, Mt Pirongia, July 9-13th
Edventure Winter Camp, Aongatete lodge, July 16-20th
- 8-14 yr olds
- OSCAR available
- Pick up/drop off AKL, BOP, Waikato
Book at or email


Term 1: 7 February to 13 April
Term 2: 30 April to 6 July
Term 3: 23 July to 28 September
Term 4: 15 October to 19 December
Teacher Only days : 2 February, 5 February