St Mary's School Term 1 Week 7 2023

Te Kura O Hato Mere

Pānui/Newsletter - Wednesday 15 March 2023


Kia ora koutou, kumusta, talofa lava

We have almost completed our two week swimming programme. It is important that after the programme finishes that students are given the opportunity in the weekend or in the holidays to continue practising the skills they have learnt in the pool.

Swimming is an important life skill that every child should learn. In New Zealand, where we are surrounded by water, it's crucial that children learn to swim from an early age. Swimming lessons for 5 to 13 year old students are particularly important because they are at a critical stage in their physical and cognitive development. These lessons not only teach children how to swim, but also help them build confidence, improve their fitness and develop social skills. Learning to swim can also be a fun and enjoyable experience, which is important for promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. By enrolling your child in swimming lessons, or just taking your child to the pool, you are investing in their safety and wellbeing, both in and out of the water. Whilst swimming lessons can be expensive for some families, a few visits to the local pool each term does not cost a lot and helps build confidence in the water.

Mā te Atua koe e manaaki, e tiaki

May God bless you and protect you

David O’Neill


Big picture


School will be closed on Thursday 16 March due to the teachers' strike.


17/03 Friday
20/03 Monday
24/03 Friday

St Patrick’s Day- Friday 17th March (Students may wear green)

In New Zealand there are many descendants of Irish migrants who brought with them a wealth of their customs, beliefs and traditions. Every year all over the world on the 17th of March Irish people celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

To honour St Patrick and to celebrate tradition, students are allowed to wear something green to school on Friday 17th March. They may wear green clothing, a green hair tie, or any other item to celebrate. This is entirely optional and students may just wear their school uniform as usual if they want to.

Our Catholic Faith Fact

St. Patrick, feast day March 17, is the patron saint of Ireland, credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. He was born in Roman Britain and when he was fourteen or so, he was captured by Irish pirates during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain and was reunited with his family.

Swimming Lessons Conclude This Friday 17th March

Graham Condon Pool, Papanui

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.

Rāwhiti Kāhui Ako Hākinakina - Catholic Kāhui Ako East Hub Sport

This year our year 5-8 students will be involved in a multi sport competition which will be run over several weeks. Students from St Mary's, St Anne's, St James, and Catholic Cathedral College will compete against each other playing Ki-o-Rahi, touch rugby and hockey. Students will travel by bus to Cathedral College to compete (weather permitting).

Parents are encouraged to come and support our students.


Catholic Cathedral College - Ferry Rd


Year 5-6 (Room 5)

1:00pm - 2:30pm

Friday 24 March

Friday 31 March

Year 7-8 (Room 4)

12:45pm - 2:15pm

Wednesday 22 March

Wednesday 29 March- Cancelled

Wednesday 5 April


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.

Marian College Open Day 2023

You are invited to attend the Marian College Open Day on Monday 1 May between 2.00 pm and 6.30 pm. Bookings for a tour are essential and are to be made via Marian College's website Come and learn about what Marian College has to offer and hear the latest updates about the new school.

There is a Wilsons car park next to Marian College on Moorhouse Avenue and ParkMate (APP required) parking on Barbadoes Street.


Our school S.T.A.R. values are service, teamwork, acceptance and respect. This term our school wide focus is on service and our students have been demonstrating different kinds of service around the school. Service has also been a part of our homework in Room 5.

Students have been cooking for our whānau and doing service to help out around the home such as vacuuming and doing the dishes. Some have even donated clothing and other items we no longer need to charity.

Upcoming Events


  • Swimming lessons- 6th -17th March
  • Arataki Team Mass- Thursday 23 March - 9.15am
  • Benediction- Thursday 23 March - 2.30pm
  • Kotahitanga Team Mass- Thursday 30 March - 9.15am
  • Year 7/8 Sport (R4)- Wednesday 22 March -12.45pm-2.15pm
  • Year 5/6 Sport (R5)- Friday 24 March -1.00pm-2.30pm
  • Year 5/6 Sport (R5)- Friday 31 March -1.00pm-2.30pm


  • Year 7/8 Sport (R4)- Wednesday 5 April -12.45pm-2.15pm
  • End of Term One- Thursday 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

Term Dates For 2023

Term 1: Tuesday 31 Jan 2023 - Thurs 6 April

Term 2: Wednesday 26 April – Fri 30 June

Monday 24 April Teacher Only Day

Tuesday 25 April ANZAC Day - No School

Term 3: Mon 17 July – Fri 22 Sept

Term 4: Mon 9 October – Friday 15 December

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
  • Religious Education Papers- Understanding the Old Testament

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.
Big picture

Attendance Dues Increase for 2023- See Below

Big picture

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

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.