St James' School Term 1 Week 5

Newsletter 3rd March 2021

Our Vision: To grow Catholic, Christian young people,

who are confident, connected lifelong learners, inspired by the teachings of Jesus, and who make a positive difference in their community.

Kia ora Koutou

We are all learning how to be flexible and go with the flow as the pandemic and COVID levels change. Please remember to take care of yourself, watch that your thoughts don't lead you to despair and find ways to nurture yourself and whanau. Blessings of Christ to you all.

Please remember to track when you come onsite either using the QR codes or use the school app COVID tracker function. We will not be having a paper system at the gate. The usual school process of coming to the office and signing learners or yourself in and out at other times has not changed.

Andrea and I spent time last week at the Palmerston North Diocesan DRS/Principals Conference. For me one of the most valuable sessions was called 'The Disciples Journey' and focussed on Christian Witness, Encounter with Christ and Growth in Knowledge - this is the school's mission in a sentence - “First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals God's transforming love and truth.”

A big thank you to the Board of Trustees for the purchase of 10 new iPads. These have been installed onto our management system and are deployed for Learning Spaces 7,8,9 and 10. Look out for some Seesaw posts from your Te Mahuri learners.

Kia pai tō rā - Tom Sheehan

Catholic Special Character

Lent - Our Ash Wednesday liturgy and distribution of the ashes was unable to take place on Ash Wednesday itself but we took the opportunity the following Monday. Many thanks to the children and staff for making this such a prayerful celebration.

Pope Francis has shared with us a wonderful message about Lent 2021, that gently reminds us of what we could be focusing on during this time.

“During this season of conversion, let us renew our faith, draw from the ‘living water’ of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God, who makes us brothers and sisters in Christ.”
- Pope Francis, Lenten message 2021

CARITAS Challenge 2021

Date: Thursday 8 April 2021

Time: 9:00am - 2:50pm

What to wear: PE gear and good walking shoes!

Fundraising: Coin Trail

Kiaora St James’ Catholic School Whanau

We as a Catholic school, have a focus on encountering Christ - Te Tutaki kia Te Karaiti. One of the ways we encounter Jesus is through our acts of compassion and charity.

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Yours are the only hands with which he can do his word.

Yours are the only feet with which he can go about the world.

Yours are the only eyes through which his compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world.

Christ has no body on earth but yours” -Saint Teresa of Avila.

The time has come for our annual Caritas challenge! The purpose of the Caritas challenge is to build solidarity with those living with poverty or injustice, through hands-on experiences that are fun and informative, whilst raising funds to help those in need.

In 2021 the Caritas Challenge is supporting communities around the world to find a new way forward despite both existing challenges and those caused by the pandemic. This year every dollar donated will be matched by the New Zealand Aid Programme and become $4.

Here are some examples of how your donations will be used to provide A NEW WAY FORWARD

In Fiji… training youth to become self-sufficient

In Kiribati… nutrition courses for women and youth

In Papua New Guinea… new water system to help access clean drinking water

In Solomon Islands… skills training for unemployed youth

In Tonga… new supplies for future emergencies

In Cambodia… rice mills, tractors, seed stores and training for rural farmers

In Timor-Leste… food processing equipment for rural women

This year for our challenge at St James’ we have chosen to “Move It!” The Move It Challenge focuses on understanding how lack of access contributes to poverty. It highlights the plight of people who have to travel long distances to access basic needs like water, food, safety, health and education.

On Thursday 8 April 2021 we will arrive at school in our PE gear ready to walk and walk! We will begin the day for prayer together out by the track and we will walk as a whole school around the track for five minutes. After this, classes will be rostered on for walking the track, so at all times during the school day the track will have learners walking on it. We will then end the day walking as a whole school again, and will finish with prayer.

Fundraising - Coming home this week is a small coin trail, please attach a coin to each of the pictures on the trail and return to the school office by Thursday 8 April 2021.

We look forward to your support.

God Bless

Andrea Cawood

Lenten Reflection Group - Tuesday's. 9-10.30am at St James' Catholic School Library. All Welcome. Contact Basia 021 0820 3750.

First Reconciliation 2021 - Reconciliation classes continue with Session 2 this Sunday 7 March

RITE 2 Reconciliation Thursday 25 March, feast of the Annunciation to be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. We are joining with the OLOL learners – who will be preparing at the same time.
We will be sending home enrolment forms shortly.
We encourage all our baptised learners to take part in the sacraments - please ask Tom, Andrea or Christine if you have any questions.
Kate Bell from the parish can be contacted at
Big picture


2021 Term Dates & Holidays

Year 3 and 4 Tabloid Sports -Thursday 4 March has been cancelled due to Level 2 protocols however learners are to come to school in their PE uniform as we will be running a sports programme at school. Please bring your togs and towels too!


Swimming - We are grateful for the fine weather enabling us to swim each day and fro the new pool cover which is keeping the pool warm overnight. Also thanks to our swim instructors and teachers who are helping us learn to swim.

Bee Science Kit - we have all been using the What's The Buzz Science Kit these last two weeks learning about Bumblebees.

Key aims: Observe, describe and discuss how living things are suited to their particular habitat and function and how they respond to environmental change both natural and human-induced. Explore, observe and discuss the physical phenomena of light and sound waves.

Please ask your learner about what they have been learning!


No Nut School - We have children with severe and life threatening allergies to nuts attending St James’ Catholic School. If these children come into contact with nuts or nut products, even touch some nut residue left on surfaces, they can have a life threatening allergic reaction. We ask that children do not bring peanuts, peanut butter, muesli bars with peanuts in them, cashew nuts and nutella sandwiches, and other foods containing nuts to school. We request that if your child has consumed these food items before coming to school, that they wash their hands thoroughly before they leave home. We realise that many food products state on their packaging “may contain traces of peanuts or nuts”. Provided that nuts are not the actual ingredient, then there is no problem with your child bringing these food items to school.

Absences - Absences can be notified in several ways:

Parents/caregivers are asked to notify the School Office 357 9719 before 9:00 am to notify us if their child/ren will be absent from school, or late to school that day. You will need to do this each day that your child/ren cannot attend school. A medical certificate is required after THREE consecutive days away sick.

Absences can be reported via the School App.
To download the App: Go to the App Store on your Apple or Android Device and search ‘SchoolAppsNZ’ to download the App to your phone or tablet. Now select St James’ Catholic School from the list of schools.

Select the Absentee button and follow the instructions to call, text or email the Office.

or Text an Absence: 027 343 6518
* must have the parent/caregiver name.
* must have the student's name and Learning Space, e.g. Harry Smith, Learning Space 1.
* must have a brief reason for the absence.

For example Harry Smith, Learning Space 1 will be absent today because he has the flu.

Please note: This number is only used to receive Absence Data.

Absences Due To Family Holidays During Term Time

Family holidays during term time are discouraged by the Principal and School Board of St James' Catholic School. However, if a family wishes to remove a child during term time, they are expected to write a letter (or email) to the Principal, communicating their intentions at least 5 days before the intended absence. Please note MOE Guidelines state that this is an Unjustified Absence and leave will be coded accordingly.

School App Check-In - Just a reminder we encourage all parents/caregivers who come into the school grounds to use the School App and fill out the Check-in/check out form for each visit. Government QR code is available at the Albert St gate.

Sunhats - a reminder to all that sunhats are required each and every day in Term 1. The 'no hat - no play' policy is in place at this time and children without hats are to stay in the sandpit or under the deck areas. It can be a good idea to apply sunscreen in the morning before school.

Lost Property - There is a number of lost property, swimming towels and items of uniform. We encourage you to take the time to look through these items.

St James' School PTFA - Parent and Teachers and Friends Association

  • We are selling Jucies each Friday after school from now on - $2.00
  • Term One disco date is set for Friday 9 April after Easter. Details to follow.
  • There will be a 2021 St James' School GALA MEETING early next term to set up this year's Gala organising team. Please consider supporting this very important work.
  • The PTFA is keen to have new members join them this year. Many of the current organisers are nearing the end of their primary school involvement and it is time to add more members. If you are interested please contact Kelly Hoskins (PTFA
  • Next PTFA meeting is set for 7 April 2021, 6.30-8.00pm in the Staffroom - All Welcome.

Whānau/Fanau Pasifika Hui - Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

Hato Heemi Kura – St James Catholic School whānau/fanau pasifika would like to invite you, especially new whānau/fanau that may have joined us this year, to our first hui for the term:

When: Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

Time: 6.30pm

Where: 127 Fitzherbert Avenue @ Destiny on Fitzherbert Motel


  1. Karakia
  2. Whakawhanaungatanga/Meet & Greet
  3. Discuss why & how often we would like to meet
  4. General Business
  5. Karakia

Please bring some kai to share 😊

Dates for Your Diary

Please keep checking the Events Calendar on the school website. All coming events will continue to be updated here. Add to my Calendar.

2021 Term 1

Week 5

  • Wednesday 3 March - Whānau/Fanau Pasifika Hui 127 Fitzherbert Avenue @ Destiny on Fitzherbert Motel
  • CANCELLED - Wednesday 3 March - PTFA Meeting, Staffroom, 6.30-8pm
  • CANCELLED - Thursday 4 March Year 3 and 4 tabloids hosted by St James' at St James’
  • Friday - 5 March Te Mahuri begin Firewise

Week 6

  • Monday 8 March Board - Meeting 6 pm
  • Tuesday 9 March - Lenten Reflection Group 9-10.30am, Library, All Welcome
  • Wednesday 10 March - Mihi Whakatau 9 am, All Welcome
  • Thursday 11 March - Year 5 and 6 tabloid sports at St Marys
  • Sunday 14 March - First Reconciliation Session 3

Week 7

  • Tuesday 16 March - Year 3-6 Swimming Sports
  • Sunday 21 March - School Mass, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

Week 8

  • Tuesday 16 March - Lenten Reflection Group 9-10.30am, Library, All Welcome
  • Thursday 25 March - 5.30 pm Rite II Reconciliation at OLOL (1st Reconciliation) LuTBC
  • Friday 26 March - PTFA Lunch

Week 9

  • Tuesday 30 March - 12noon Stations of the Cross #1, Hall
  • Wednesday 31 March - 12noon Stations of the Cross #2, Hall
  • Thursday 1 April - Holy Thursday
  • Thursday 1 April - 12noon Washing of the Feet/Last Supper Liturgy, Hall
  • Friday 2 April - Good Friday
  • Sunday 4 April - Easter Sunday

Week 10

  • Monday 5 April - Easter Monday
  • Tuesday 6 April - Ministry of Education Holiday - School Closed
  • Wednesday 7 April - PTFA Meeting, 6 pm in Staffroom
  • Thursday 8 April - Caritas Challenge
  • Friday 9 April - PTFA Disco

Week 11

  • Tuesday 13 April - School Photos
  • Friday 16 April - Last Day of Term 1


Year 3, 4 5 & 6 Swimming Sports - Tuesday 16 March 2021

Buses will depart school at 11.35am. The programme starts at 12 noon and will run consecutively.

Competitive races (for the cups) are:
Year 4 - 25 metres
Year 5 - 50 metres
Year 6 - 50 metres

During these competitive races the following rules apply:

  • No pushing off the ground of the pool during races.
  • In 50 metre races, learners must touch the wall at the end of the first 25 metres before continuing on to swim the second 25 metres.
  • Breaststroke leg action must be used in breaststroke races - no freestyle kicking (our swim instructor and teachers will identify learners who are able to do the breaststroke swim correctly before signing up).
  • Breaststroke wall touches at the 25 and the 50 need to be with two hands.

If your child is wishing to swim in the competitive cup races please talk with them about these rules, we have been doing this at school as well, so that all swimmers can enjoy their competition and all points can stand.

We have a large number of non-competitive races happening also, some with flutter boards, some without, some widths, some lengths, so that those who do not wish to enter the competitive races have plenty to do.

Please refer to the St James' Catholic School Swimming Sports Entry Notes.

Helpers required: If you you are able to assist us on the day please contact me

Tabloid Sports
Thursday 11 March - Year 5 and 6 tabloid sports at St Mary's

Payment Sports Fees - Just a reminder that sports fees must be paid prior to games. If you have any questions please talk to the Sports Coordinator, Tracey Gunn or Office Manager, Tracey Royds.

Big picture

Getting Involved

St Vincent de Paul - Vinnies Shop - Our book supply is really low. We need to replenish our stock of children's and adults books please. We are also in need of clean and tidy double and queen beds. Draws small and large bookshelves. A very special Thank you for Everyone's support.

Cathedral of the Holy Spirit - Welcomers Needed! If you are interested in being a Welcomer at Mass please contact Joan 021 123 2673 or

School App Advertising/Sponsorship - If your business is interested advertising on our School App, please contact our School Office.

Big picture