St Mary's Catholic School Tauranga

Newsletter 11th February 2021 - Term 1 Week 2

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Gospel Reading

Mark 1:29-39
Jesus cures Simon’s mother-in-law and many others as well.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today we continue to read from Mark’s Gospel, learning more about the ministry of Jesus. Jesus cured Simon’s mother-in-law, and she immediately began to serve Jesus and his disciples. Jesus also cured many others who were brought to him, healing their illnesses and driving out demons. As we will see throughout Mark’s Gospel, Jesus did not permit the demons to speak because they knew his identity and would have revealed it to those who were present.

On the morning after this busy day, Jesus retreated in prayer but was pursued by Simon and others who brought news that many people were looking for him. At this point in Mark’s Gospel, we begin to see a distinct role for the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples—they act as intermediaries between Jesus and the people. Jesus reports to his disciples that they need to leave Capernaum to preach in other places.

Today’s Gospel completes a picture of Jesus’ ministry: preaching, curing the sick, driving out demons, and then moving on to continue this work in another place. Mark's Gospel tells us that Jesus did this throughout Galilee.

Jesus’ compassion and healing of the sick is a sign of the Kingdom of God. The Church continues to extend Christ’s healing presence to others in its ministry to the sick. In the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, the Church prays for spiritual and physical healing, the forgiveness of sins, and comfort for those who are suffering from illness.

In today’s Gospel, we also notice the importance of prayer in Jesus’ daily life. Jesus rose early in the morning, removed himself from the crowds, and went to a deserted place to pray. When the disciples found him, he told them that it was time to move on. We believe that in his prayers Jesus found guidance and direction from God. We also bring our decision-making to God in prayer, asking for his guidance and direction in our lives.

Principal's Message

Tēnā koutou kātoa e te whānau,

Tihei mauri ora, nau mai, haere mai, tena koutou katoa, E nga whanau, e nga kaiako, e nga tamariki, e nga manuhiri, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

Welcome back to school and I hope everyone had a restful break with their families. A very special welcome to those families who are new to our school.

School accounts

These will be sent out in the next few weeks and there are a number of activity items for certain Year groups, your attention to these is much appreciated. If this becomes too much please let Karen or myself know and we can work out a plan to support you and the payments required during the year.

Make sure you keep up to date by checking out our school app and website as they will have all the latest information. We will also be sharing information and learning through HERO.

We have another big year planned for the children and their learning and we will be working with parents to achieve the best outcomes for our children. We will be trialling some new initiatives around sharing your child's learning with you on a regular basis, we hope you will be able to enjoy this way of communicating and seeing what your child is up to regularly. More to come later this term.

No Hat No Play

All children will need their hat to be outside. No Hat No Play. Children are asked to keep sunscreen in their bag and apply it when necessary during the day. We ask for your help and support with these requests. We also have sunscreen available in the classrooms and at 3 stations throughout the school during break times.

We will be keeping a close eye on school uniform this term, so please make sure your child/ren are wearing the correct uniform and if they haven't, they need a note for the teacher. Please check with your child's teacher if you have any questions.

BOT update

The board alongside the staff will be reviewing the school’s vision, mission and values and strategic planning for the next 3 years. We will set time aside to consult with our community. Tony Lenton has been re-appointed as Chairperson and Tania Wilson as the Deputy Chairperson. Over the next 2-3 newsletters, our BOT will introduce themselves with a blurb.

Working in partnership

School and home are a partnership and we want to work together for each child to reach their potential. If there are any concerns throughout the year with your child, please contact your child's classroom teacher first. If you are not satisfied, then you should make contact with the Team Leader. If you are still not satisfied with this, then make a time to come in and see Lisa Broadmore, Deputy Principal and then the Principal. It is imperative to follow this process. The teacher should always be the first port of call. There are many things that happen for children in their day and if you are concerned it is best to come in and see the teacher or email them with a time to meet to discuss your concern. We need to make sure we have all the information before we discuss the concern. We need to work in partnership to grow the capacity of our children


This year spelling is a major focus for us here at St Mary’s’ we have been undertaking Professional Learning in regards to this. This term children will be receiving a new programme of spelling lessons that are relevant to their learning needs. Each Team has allocated time for this teaching to take place. We believe this is key to unlocking the cognitive neuroscience component of a child's learning. We forget as adults how hard it was and is to learn to read, it requires letter processing, slow serial letter by letter decoding, recognising the visual system of the shapes of letters and connecting them to the sounds. Staff at St Mary’s are undertaking this new learning with some different methods of teaching spelling this term. We will share this with parents towards the end of this term as we move through our teaching sessions.

Learning sharing for Term 1

At the end of Term 1 parents will view information regarding goals achieved and a point on the graph to show where your child is at. There will be a learning story in relation to spelling that has been learned. We will also have face to Face - Kanohi ki te kanohi - Term 1 Week 11 Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th April to discuss the HERO report and the spelling assessment.

Phones/Social media

Again in 2021 if your child needs to bring a phone could you please write a letter to me outlining the reason. Your child will then be able to power off and drop the phone into the office. They will then collect it from the office at the end of the day.

We are urging parents to regularly check your child's social media activity as this is your right to do so. We are hearing that we have a significant amount of children who have access to various social media accounts.

Before School Care

We are running a before school care programme which started on Tuesday the 9th February. The times will be 7.15 am - 8.30 am and is a flat fee of $6.00. This includes breakfast. Please contact Shelley for more information

Logging in to HERO

Use this link to login through your browser or follow the steps below to download the app.

Term Dates

Term 1 - Ends Friday 16 April

Friday 2 April, Monday 5 April, Tuesday 6 April - Easter holidays

Term 2 - Monday 3 May - Thursday 8 July

Monday 7 June - Queens Birthday

Friday 9 July - Kahui Ako Teacher Only Day

Term 3 - Monday 26 July - Friday 1 October

Term 4 - Monday 18 October - Friday 17 December (12 noon)

Monday 25 October - Labour Day

Catholic Character

We ask God to be with us on our school journey this year and to always be at our side. Welcome to the school year of 2021 we pray that we make the best of all the possibilities we encounter this year. If you have any queries in regards to the School’s Special Character or the Religious Education Programme please do not hesitate to contact me.


This week in class students have written Lent promises, ask your child what they have written so you can support them on their Lent journey.

If you would like family Lent ideas please follow this link

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent in preparation for Easter. It is also the start of the Caritas Lenten Program. The theme for Lent 2021 is “A New Way Forward” – taken from Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’. This theme reminds us that God provides everything we need to overcome obstacles and push through the walls of fear and uncertainty throughout our life’s journey.

The school will have an Ash Wednesday Liturgy on Wednesday 17th February, 10 am in BAMJC. We extend the invite to all our families. Students will receive Ashes on their foreheads which will be gifted to the school at the Parish Mass earlier in the day.

Parish School Mass Saturday 13th March, 5 pm

On Saturday 13th March, 5 pm we will have our first Parish School Mass for the year at St Mary Immaculate Church. This year we thought we would try something a bit different, so, after Mass, we invite the parish and school community to join us for a picnic from 6:30 pm - 8 pm on the school grounds. Bring your picnic dinner, blanket, chairs etc and spend time together.

All ages and year levels. If you are considering your child/children being Baptised into the Catholic faith, we are now beginning preparation for Baptism of school-aged children at the school.

As a parish school, we are able to offer students classes during the school day. The required parent preparation for your child’s Baptism will be done through the parish.

If you would like to find out more information about the lessons and preparation please contact Mrs Teresa Rush.

Parish dates for 2021 Parent Baptism courses:

3rd March, 5th May, 7th July, 1st September, 3rd November from 7pm to 9pm at St Mary Immaculate Church. Please contact the Parish office to enrol.

Commissioning Mass Thursday 18 February 6pm

Come and join Bishop Steve at this years commissioning Mass to bless the 2021 school year.

St Mary Immaculate 6pm.

2021 Sacramental Programme

Reconciliation, Confirmation, Eucharist: for children who are in Year 5 or above, in the year they are enrolling in the programme all lessons are held mainly on Monday afternoons, 4 pm to 5.30pm at St Mary Immaculate Church.

The online enrolment form will be available from Friday, 12th February 2021 using this link.

The full Sacramental Programme timetable will also be made available in due course.

The first lesson will begin on Monday, 8th March 2021.

Confirmation will be held on Sunday, 23rd May 2021 (Pentecost Sunday), 2pm at St Mary Immaculate Church with Bishop Steve.

From the Parish

Little Church / Children's Liturgy We need more adults to assist with the Little Church at the 10.30am Masses, St Mary Immaculate. Any guidance for new volunteers will be provided. If you think you can help out with the children’s liturgy please contact the Parish office, Ph. 578 6209, or email:

Whole School Upcoming Events

  • Ash Wednesday - Wednesday 17 February - 10am
  • Aroha Swimming Sports - Thursday 18 February - 9am - 1pm
  • Commissioning Mass - Thursday 18 February 6pm
  • Family Movie Night - Friday 19 February - 5.30pm - 7.30pm
  • PTA Outdoor Adventure Day - Friday 26 February
  • Parent Meeting - KOS - Wednesday 3 March - 2pm
  • Outdoor Adventure Day pp date - Friday 5 March
  • Newsletters - Every 2nd Wednesday starting from 10th February

Atrium Team for 2021

We are very excited to welcome our new Atrium team for 2021. This year we are very lucky to have Rhonda Armstrong, Mary Pat Kengmana, Liz Driver (pictured), Fenella Wilson and Desiree Osterman giving their time and sharing their expertise so generously to work alongside our children in our Atrium following The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) Program is a Montessori based Catholic religious education program which nurtures the child’s relationship with God, and educates the child in the faith. Dr. Maria Montessori’s approach follows St. Thomas Aquinas’ understanding that “all our knowledge has its origin in the senses.” The “Atrium” is a place of prayer, prepared especially for children to contemplate the life of Jesus and the liturgy of the Church with the use of many sensorial materials, including infancy narrative figures, a raised surface map of the Land of Israel, a model altar and a model baptismal font.

PTA and Night Owl Cinema Friday 19 February 2021

St Mary's School PTA and Night Owl Cinema are putting on a family friendly movie night on Friday 19 February 2021. Keep an eye on your email for ticket details.

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Junior Art Awards

Entries are now OPEN for Tauranga Art Gallery’s inaugural Acorn Foundation Junior Art Awards with the Exhibition held in April!

The Acorn Foundation Junior Art Awards is open to all young people between 4 – 14 years of age who live in the Bay of Plenty region. The theme for the 2021 Art Awards is Te Taiao | Nature.

Learn more about the entry criteria here

To submit an entry visit here

Entries close: 4pm, Friday 26 February 2021