St Mary's School

Monday 25th July 2022

We need social saints, open, normal, friends, cheerful companions - Pope Francis

Dear whānau,

Welcome to Ivy Duncan who had her first day at St Mary's today. Ivy joins her big brother Miller here. Happy school days Ivy.

Welcome back after a two week break. I am sending out a newsletter today so that you can have a clearer idea of what's going on this term. The parent teacher interviews and the teacher only days are the key dates to pay attention to, and of course class Masses begin again this term.This Friday we have our first Welcome Liturgy of the year - it begins at 2pm on Friday in the Church. We look forward to welcoming all our new families and staff.

Over the holidays we received more advice on mask wearing. I am aware that a number of the children in Year 4 and above have exemptions and we want children in school rather than staying away because of masks. The advice was for schools to tighten up their mask wearing policy for at least the first four weeks of the term. If your child does not have an exemption we have masks available in the classroom for anyone who needs them. Staff will continue to wear masks. Please do not let this put you off coming in for any reason.

Here's to the possibility, and hope, of a less disrupted term!

Ngā manaakitanga (blessings)


Te kupu o te wiki - the word of the week - Māruawai or Maruawai?

Māruawai - you will have seen this word everywhere around town because is is synonymous with Gore. I have seen it written two ways:

Māruawai - the macron on the 'a' makes the sound longer and means the flooded valley, or the valley of water

Maruawai - with no macron sounds like Maru-a-wai which refers more to the power of the water.

Either way is acceptable but each has a different meaning. Thank you Matu (Hokonui Rūnaka) for your help.

Seasons for Growth

A line from our school vision states: We are there for each other, supporting staff and families through good and bad times, always showing hope.

As part of our commitment to working with families our Annual Plan includes the training of all staff and delivery of a programme called Seasons for Growth. This is a programme that supports mental health, promotes resiliency and helps children (and adults) cope with loss and changes that take place in their lives.

This programme is not counselling but rather an opportunity to provide children with out of classroom activities to develop skills for coping, problem solving and decision making through discussion and small group activities. It is known to restore self-confidence and self-esteem by helping children know that they some choice and agency in their lives.

The groups are run by trained companions and are our teachers and support staff and invites for the next round of small group work have been sent out to some families. However, if you have not received an invitation and would like your child to be involved in eight sessions this term please contact Di or Annie and we can arrange a permission slip.

Home and School meeting

There will be a planning meeting for Home & School in the first week of this term. The purpose of this meeting will be to plan out the remaining two terms, including but not limited to:

  • Organising and managing any work associated with holding an AGM
  • The process for picking ideas to spend money on and initiating this
  • Rescheduling school disco

All are welcome Thursday 28th July 7pm at school

Parent teacher interviews 3rd August 2022 1-7pm

Our mid year reporting to parents is on Wednesday 3rd August from 1pm until 7 pm. You can book interviews at this site. It will be a half day at school, but if this is difficult for you please let me, Annie Nelson, know.

If you are unable to make this date please talk to your child's class teacher, I know they will be happy to catch up with you at a time that suits your family and the teacher.

Interviews open tomorrow :)

To book your interviews, go to in your browser, and enter the event code 9sb8t then follow the three simple steps below.

When you have finished, your interview timetable will be emailed to you. And you can return to the site and enter the event code 9sb8t again to change or cancel your interviews.

There will be no parent-teacher interviews for Room Korimako.

If you don't have internet access, please call the school office (phone 2087733). Di will be able to make a booking for you.

School uniform

We are really proud of our uniform, why and how we wear it. Recently the school sport shorts came to the board for review. The maroon shorts have been hard to source, some have found the sizing too large and the cost for getting specially made shorts available to us is expensive for families. The board has changed the school sports shorts to plain black (no markings) so that the shorts can be bought at a reasonable price and kept right through to St Peter's.

There have been a number of occasions where children have come in with the wrong socks, shoes, hoodies etc and we do not create a fuss because we know just how blooming busy everyday family life is, and invariably children don't choose to wear the wrong thing. We do have a big cupboard with spares in and so if a child isn't wearing the right uniform we can lend out spares to make them look and feel the same as everyone else. Please get in touch if you need any help with uniform.

Casual Thursday, for Southland Hospital

Big picture

Upcoming events

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

Week 1 25-29 July

Prayers Annie

Thursday Blair Vining red, white and black mufti day, gold coin donation

Thursday - Home and School meeting 7pm at school

Friday, Welcome Liturgy., Church 2pm

Week 2 1-5 August

Prayers, Gospel and Class Mass - Room Kea, Mrs Butterfield

Tuesday and Wednesday SportsActivator in school (sports shoes will help)

Tuesday 2nd Year 5 and 6 netball festival, Invercargill

Wednesday Parent teacher interviews 1-7pm. If you know this date isn't a possibility for you please have a quick word with your child's class teacher.

Week 3 8 - 12 August

Prayers, Gospel and Class Mass - Room Pūkeko, Mrs Cruickshank and Mrs Thacker

Maths week, all week

Tuesday - Years 5 and 6 Clued Up kids event

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Year 6 children away at camp

Week 4 15- 19 August

Prayers, Gospel and Class Mass - Room Tūī, Miss Sutherland

Monday - whole school Mass to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption 10am, Church

Wednesday to Friday Life Ed caravan here at school

Week 5 22- 26 August

Prayers, Gospel and Class Mass - Room Piwakawaka, Mrs Christie

Monday and Tuesday Life Ed caravan here at school

Tuesday and Wednesday SportsActivator in school (sporty shoes will help)

Friday Daffodil Day mufti - gold coin donation

Week 6 29 August - 2 September

Prayers, Gospel and Class Mass - Room Takahē, Miss Bond

Friday Father's Day breakfast at school

Sunday 4th - First Holy Communion - whole school celebrating at the Mass 10.00

Week 7 5-9 September

Prayers, Gospel and Class Mass - Room Moa, Miss Hood

Social Justice Week

Thursday and Friday Teacher Only Days, no school (the ones that had to be abandoned last term!)

Week 8 12-16 September

Prayers, Gospel and Class Mass - Room Kererū, Mrs Knowler

Tuesday and Wednesday SportsActivator in school (sporty shoes will help)

Wednesday Karla from Using Technology Better in to teach Year 6s about Microsoft 365 in preparation for St Peters

Wednesday 7pm Year 6 parent evening led by Karla to help parents understand Microsoft 365 and Teams in preparation for St Peter's

Week 9 19-23 September

Prayers, Gospel and Class Mass - Room Ruru, Miss Smith

Monday and Tuesday Year 5 children at camp in Dunedin

Week 10 26-30 September

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

Friday 30th September - watch this space :)

TEACHER ONLY DAYS CONFIRMED 8th and 9th September 2022.