St Mary's School

Thursday 29th September

'Let charity be our badge of honor ... so that it may be truly said , there is in us but one heart and one soul in God.' - Catherine McAuley

Dear whānau,

And just like that ... term 3 is coming to an end! It feels like it has gone in the blink of an eye. I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend and didn't try and fit 5 days worth of work into 4 (yeah right). After enjoying an extra day with our families we spent Tuesday morning in the church, starting our day with Room Kiwi's prayers. They did a great job of sharing facts, thoughts and special prayers for HM Queen Elizabeth ll and her legacy, finishing off with one of our favourite hymns 'Ka Waiata' which is about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her accepting the role as mother of future generations - very fitting. They also celebrated a beautiful class Mass with Father Jaime this afternoon where they did us proud (as per usual) with their reverence and enthusiastic responses throughout.

Thank you for all your support again this term, it's been great being able to run so many events and have you come in and join us without interuptions (well not many). Here's a wee list of what we've managed to fit in this term:

- Blair Vining Black, White and Red Mufti Day for the Southland Charity Hospital

- Our first Welcome Liturgy for the year

- Year 5 and 6 Netball Festival

- Year 5 and 6 Clued Up Kids

- Year 6 Camp at Camp Columba

- Whole school trip to the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and Eastern Art Gallery

- The Assumption of Mary

- Life Education with Pip and Harold

- Sports Activator with Sarah

- Cricket with Jack from Southland Cricket

- Daffodil Day Mufti for the Cancer Society

- Father's Day Barbecue Breakfast

- Whānau Hui

- First Holy Communion

- Social Justice Week

- Year 5 Camp to Dunedin

- Whānau groups - Tūrangawaewae

No wonder the kids and staff look exhausted! Looking ahead to term 4, we have lots more fun learning and social opportunities on their way including Rosary, Mission Day (first Friday back), Eastern Athletics, the Home and School Disco, Armistice Day, Advent, the Junior Nativity Play and our end of year Mass.

Please remember, if you have something you'd like us to celebrate in the newsletter, send me through a picture and a wee blurb by Thursday 9am each week and I'll make sure it gets in -

We hope you enjoy the holidays. We look forward to seeing your kids back on Monday 17th October in one piece.

God bless,


Acting Principal

Book Character Cuties ... and their teachers

Today was Book Character Day in Room Pūkeko. At the back we have Paddington (who even has a marmalade sandwich under his hat), and Thing 1 and Thing 2, who you also may have seen out at the gate this morning. What other characters can you spot?
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Mission Day - Friday week 1 (21st October)

If you haven't been to one of our Mission Day's before, there are photos on Facebook you can check out - although I think due to Covid we were unable to have parents and friends come along last year. So take a look at the photos but picture more of a whānau feel - it's a great afternoon.

White Elephant

We would love some items for our White Elephant Second Hand Stall. If you have games, puzzles, books or toys that you would love other children to enjoy, please send items to Rooms Tui or Kereru during week 1 of next term. You might be using the holidays to have a sort out or clean up, so it would be a great time to think about this. Just put the items to one side and send them in to us after the holidays.

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Whānau Groups (see photos below)

After our trip to the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and Eastern Art Gallery to ignite our topic Tūrangawaewae, the kids brainstormed what they'd like to know more about. Our staff then planned some cool activities around the kids ideas and we have spent an hour a week with our whānau groups getting to know more about things like: the old days (making bread), olden day games, more about St Mary's School and our history, bridges, local people who have gone on to be famous, Ewan McDougall's art, the Clocktower and Hokonui Moonshine. The kids are having a ball and it's been fantastic to see our older kids showing initiative and taking a leadership role. We will carry on with whānau groups next term because they're such a hit!

Te Whare Tapa whā and Whakatauki in Room Kiwi


Last week (hopefully) your child would have come home with a letter from me and a template for their pepeha. We'd love to have these filled out and back to school by the end of week one if possible. If you didn't get one, please feel free to email me and I can send one your way.

From our School Vision: We treat everyone the way we want to be treated, and respect everyone for who they are and their differences. We take time each day to value each person through simple things, e.g. greetings, getting to know each other and showing an interest in the lives of others.

We value each of our children, as well as each of our whānau for what makes them who they are and part of this is made up of 'where you come from' (as this is how some people like to make connections). We see it as getting to know you better and creating strong, equitable relationships which is how we believe we show we value each of you as a person.

We realise family trees/whakapapa are not quite so straight forward for some families and that some of us only have a few branches while others have lots of different branches heading in different directions. We really need you to know that you can't do this wrong, whatever your family looks like is ka pai - we're just stoked to have you as part of our school community!

You also don't need to stick to the templates that came home, e.g. if there are two men in your child's life that they consider to be 'dad' - you don't need to pick between them, just throw them both on the sheet and we can sort the structure side of things at school. I have shared my pepeha below so you can know a little bit more about me and my whānau because the whole process around creating strong, equitable relationships is reciprocal, and I'll take any opportunity to share pictures of my furchild, Gus.

If you have any questions/concerns or you just want to make me aware of a branch in your tree that's a bit rugged, feel free to pop in and see me or you can also email me:

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa

Ko Maruawai (Gore) te whenua e hono nei ki tōku whānau

Maruawai (Gore) is the place my family has a connection to

Ko Mataura te awa e tata ana ki tōku ngākau

Mataura is the river close to my heart

Nō Ireland nō Scotland ōku Tipuna

My ancestors come from Ireland and Scotland

Nō Murihiku, Aotearoa ahau

I am from Southland, New Zealand

Ko Michael Hood tōku papa

My father is Michael Hood

Ko Grace Cavanagh tōku mama

My mother is Grace Cavanagh

Ko Gussy Goodle Labradoodle tāku kuri

My dog is Gus (Gussy Goodle Labradoodle)

Ko Katorika tōku hāhi

I am a Catholic

Ko Mallory Hood tōku ingoa

My name is Mallory Hood

Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou kātoa

Future Ferns Netball

St Mary's Moro’s have had a great season playing Future Ferns Netball. A big thanks to coach Donna Wilkins & manager Erin Wilson.
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Upcoming events

This term Class Masses begin. The Masses are at 2pm on a Thursday in the classroom that is responsible for Gospel and prayers that week

Week 10 26-30 September

Prayers, Gospel and Class Mass - Room Kiwi, Mrs Gray and Mrs Hansen

Monday Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day - publich holiday, no school

School holidays - Saturday 1 October to Sunday 16 October