St Mary's School Term 1 Week 3 2023

Te Kura O Hato Mere

Pānui/Newsletter - Thursday 16 February 2023


Kia ora koutou, kumusta, talofa lava

The recent weather events in New Zealand have certainly reminded us that as much as we have developed as a society in terms of sophistication and advances in technology we are still vulnerable to mother nature. Cyclone Gabrielle has caused an immense amount of damage to people's homes and the infrastructure across large areas of the North Island. Several lives have been lost and the cleanup will take months. Throughout the devastation, I have been encouraged and full of admiration for the many professionals and volunteers who have often risked their lives to help others. This spirit of loving your neighbour as Jesus asked us to do is alive and well in Aotearoa. I often speak to our students about how they can show their love for others through acts of respect, generosity and kindness.

It is so good to see this being demonstrated by so many people in times of hardship. You may like to talk to your child/ren about some great role models of this and further explain that this is what being a Christian is all about.

Mā te Atua koe e manaaki, e tiaki

May God bless you and protect you

David O’Neill


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We welcome the following students to St Mary's School:

Dylan- Room 1

Oisin- Room 1


16/02 Thursday
19/02 Sunday
22/02 Wednesday
25/02 Saturday
27/02 Monday
28/02 Tuesday


The school has been advised by the NZEI Te Riu Roa that it is holding a Paid Union Meeting at 2pm on Thursday 2 March at the Town Hall. Accordingly, the majority of the school’s teaching staff will be unavailable after 1.30pm on that date.

NZEI is the union that represents primary teachers, primary principals and support staff. Under the Employment Relations Act, paid union meetings are a legal entitlement to discuss union business. In this case, NZEI has advised that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss the current teachers’ collective contract.

In light of the fact that the majority of teaching staff will be attending this meeting, I encourage you to pick up your child/ren anytime after 12.35 pm (start of lunchtime) on this date. There will be limited supervision available after 1.30pm. We apologise for any potential disruption to you and your child's routine on the day of the meeting.

Thank you for your cooperation and assistance.


Our staff will be working with teachers from another school on Monday 24th April as part of the Ministry of Education's NZ Curriculum refresh. Please note there is no school on this day.

Waitangi Day / Culture Day Celebration Last week

Takeaway Night- To Be Rescheduled

This event was postponed due to the weather.

Dental Van Visit 2023

The dental van will visit our school this month to begin checking our students' teeth.
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First Holy Communion June 25th 2023

Year 4 students and above who have not yet made their First Holy Communion are invited to enrol now.

Please click the link below to enrol. Your child must be baptised before they can receive their First Holy Communion.

Registration closes 3 March and lessons begin on 7 March.

Our Catholic Faith Fact

Next Wednesday 22nd February is Ash Wednesday. This is a very important day of the year for Catholics. It marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 day preparation for Easter. Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence. This means the church asks us to refrain from eating meat on this day and to eat less than we otherwise might. Lent is a time of penance when we try to make a little sacrifice and put God first in our daily lives. There are four ways the Church says we can do penance:

  • Give something up
  • Give money to the poor
  • Sacrifice our time for others e.g. helping whanau or other members of the community
  • Pray for a set purpose or at a regular time each day/week

As a school we will attend Mass at 9.15am in the morning to receive the ashes. Each of us will have an ash cross traced on our forehead which is a practice dating back a thousand years in the catholic church.

Free School Swimming Lessons: 6th - 17th March

Graham Condon Pool, Papanui

Swimming will begin on Monday 6th March for two weeks. This is a compulsory component of our school curriculum. Students will travel to and from the pool each day by bus. If your child is unable to swim for any reason can you please inform us by emailing the school via our school app.

Please make sure your child has their togs, towel and goggles each day during the two weeks of swimming. Lessons last for 25 minutes per group.

Year 8 2023 School Based Vaccination Programme

The School Based Vaccination programme will offer the two dose HPV vaccinations to

protect against genital warts, cervical cancer, throat and mouth cancers, and other types

of cancers later in life. The programme also includes a one dose Boostrix vaccination to

provide protection against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Whooping Cough.

To enable students to receive the vaccinations at school a vaccination pack will be

provided to students who have not completed their vaccinations in General Practice in

term one 2023 to take home for the parent/caregivers to complete and return the

consent form to school. Consent to the school based programme can be withdrawn at

any time during the programme by contacting the vaccinating team directly

Term Dates For 2023

Term 1: Tuesday 31 Jan 2023 - Thurs 6 April

Term 2: Mon 24 April – Fri 30 June

Term 3: Mon 17 July – Fri 22 Sept

Term 4: Mon 9 October – Friday 15 December

Upcoming Events


  • Ash Wednesday- 22 February - 9.15 am
  • Arataki Team Mass- 23 February - 9.15am


  • Swimming lessons- 6th -17th March
  • Kotahitanga Team Mass- 2 March - 9.15am
  • Arataki Team Mass- 23 March - 9.15am
  • Benediction- 23 March - 2.30pm
  • Kotahitanga Team Mass- 30 March - 9.15am


  • End of Term One- 6th April - 3pm
  • Teacher Only Day- Monday 24 April
  • ANZAC Day Public Holiday- No School - Tuesday 25 April
  • Term 2 Classes Begin- Wednesday 26 April - 9am

Teacher Professional Development

Our teachers are learners too. They are undertaking a variety of professional development opportunities this year to increase their learning so as to increase our students' learning.

  • UC Early Writing Success: Focus for Teaching and Assessment for Years 1-2
  • Religious Education- New curriculum workshop- Year 1-2

School Polar Fleece

Our school polar fleece can be purchased from the school office at a cost of $50.00. Payment can be made with cash or via internet banking (Use your child's name and polar fleece as reference).

School Bank Account number is: 03 0855 0436803 00


The number of spaces remaining on our school roll in the upcoming years is limited. If you have a child that you would like to attend St Mary’s that you haven’t already advised us about can you please make sure you talk to Mr O’Neill or Mrs Odams otherwise there may be no space for your child.

Closing of School Gate

Please ensure that when you enter and leave the school grounds you shut the school gate properly after you. This is to ensure the safety of all of our students.

Carpark Safety

A reminder to all parents/caregivers to reduce speed in our driveway and carpark areas to ensure the safety of our students as they walk down the drive or across the carpark.

Student Absence

Please remember to send the office a notification via the school app if your child is away from school. If your child is going to be away for a planned reason such as an appointment or holiday during term time you can advise us in advance with the dates and reason for their absence.

Lunchonline - Sushi (Wednesdays) and Subway (Fridays)

If you would like to order your child’s lunch for delivery on Wednesday or Friday this can be done via Lunchonline. You can click on the lunchonline image or link below to take you directly to their website or login to . Follow the instructions to create an account if you don’t already have one. Food must be ordered before 8.30am on the day of delivery. If you already have an account you can update your child’s classroom by logging on and clicking on Members.
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Attendance Dues Increase for 2023- See Below

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Attendance Dues Debt Recovery

Please be advised that at the May 2022 Cathedral Parish Finance Committee, the committee signed off on a new Attendance Dues Debt Recovery Policy. This enables the parish to engage an external debt recovery company (Under Control Collections). This will always be used as a last resort, when we have been unable to get a family to engage with us in relation to their outstanding Attendance Dues.

Any queries should be directed to Kirsten Tester – Attendance Dues Administrator - Ph (03) 595 1053 or

Sports Club Opportunities

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School App

If you haven’t downloaded our school app it is very important you do so as this is our primary means of communication with our school community and you may miss out on important information.

Please email the school office to obtain a secure link to download the app.