Newsletter - Week 5 Term 1

Newsletter 05 2 March 2022

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

In the last week we have been notified of 7 children who have tested positive for Covid. Parents with children in each of the affected classes have been notified via the SchoolAPP. We have also had 52 children registered for our Learning Support Centre Learning@Home programme since the beginning of last week - some are now back at school. This programme is for those who are unable to come to school because they have to isolate - due to being a household contact and/or because they have Covid. Anne Cato, Brigitte Holmes and Abby Sorenson are organising the programme and delivering Learning packs to the families involved. Thank you to this team, they are doing a great job.

There are going to be more cases of children at St Mary’s getting COVID, or being close contacts. It is important that you talk to your children that no one is to blame for Covid. It’s a nasty virus and it is very likely that most people at some stage are going to get it. This was some sage advice given in the JPC newsletter this week.

  • If people catch Covid or are close contacts, they deserve our sympathy and understanding, not our judgement or fear.

  • In a Catholic School our expectations are that we demonstrate support, compassion and love to anyone who finds themselves in a difficult situation because of Covid

A reminder to you: What you need to do

  • You and your whānau should watch for symptoms

  • If any develop, get tested immediately

  • Then, stay at home until you receive the result. With RATS it is immediate.

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • A new or worsening cough

  • Sneezing and runny nose

  • A fever

  • Temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste

  • Sore throat

  • Shortness of breath

Less common symptoms include diarrhoea, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, malaise, chest pain, abdominal pain, joint pain, or confusion/irritability.

It was really good to be able to celebrate Mass together as a school on Friday. I heard lots of comments from children saying it was so cool being outside for this celebration. Father Thomas was very accommodating and we had an awesome school Mass.Thanks to our two new DRS' Lorna Dobson and Sara Mines for the work they put into the planning of and set up for the Mass.

Today starts the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. Each team held Liturgies. The ashes from childrens' burnt promises were blessed by Father Thomas and used for blessing their foreheads.

On Thursday a St John's Educator is in school to train this year’s First Aiders. These children do a wonderful job in the playground each lunchtime.

We are still planning on having our Swimming Sports for our Yr 4 to 6 students. The date is Thursday 10th March. Please click on the link below to ensure we have the correct details for all our students. Swimming Sports Form. If we have too many children away we will postpone the sports to the fourth term. A decision will be made on Friday on whether we go ahead with the sports.

Anne Cato is retiring and will leave St Mary’s at the end of Term. While we will be very sorry to see Anne go, we are happy for her as she looks ahead to her well deserved retirement. Anne has been Assistant Principal since 2009 and during this time has taken on a huge number of responsibilities. Anne was appointed here to champion gifted children and to investigate the use of ICT Tools in children’s learning. Over the years this has been more around future-focused learning. Anne has introduced many very worthwhile initiatives in our school for our children. She is going to leave a big hole in our team and will be hugely missed. We will make sure she gets a great farewell.

Have a great week and keep safe.

David Macmillan,



Last Friday we celebrated a beautiful outdoor Mass under a bright blue sky. We feel incredibly blessed to have had such a stunning day to share our faith with one another. Father Thomas had the children dancing and clapping throughout the Mass and I am confident all enjoyed this special time together.

Today is the start of Lent and is known as Ash Wednesday. Each class is having a special Ash Wednesday Liturgy where all children will receive across made of ashes on their foreheads. The cross is a tangible reminder for us all that we are a part of God’s family and remind us to turn our hearts towards God.

Lent is a season of simple living. It is the forty days before Easter, as the entire Church prepares for the great celebration of Christ's resurrection. As Catholics we make special efforts to pray, do penance, and do good works. Every day of the forty-day Lenten season is an opportunity to live simply and prepare for Easter. In class the children have been discussing what they could do during the Lenten season in preparation for Easter. Ask your child how they will be preparing this Lent.

We look forward to sharing this time of simple living with your children as we get ready for the greatest celebration, the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Have a great week and God bless you all.

God bless,

Lorna and Sara DRS St Mary’s School

YEAR 5 & 6 CAMP 2022

Invoices for camp are being sent home with students this week. Many thanks to the parents who have already paid. CAMP is a DONATION and is TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Please remember that by paying your contribution towards camp this year it will enable us to hold another camp next year.

Any concerns or queries about payments etc, please do not hesitate to call / ring the school office or email Margo Mason -


If children are to be away, for whatever reason, could you still please complete an absentee form for each day. You could indicate on that form a range of dates if your child is going to be away for several days. This is a big help for administration purposes. Please also check you have the correct class for your child - it seems some parents may be unaware they are still using last year's room number by mistake. With thanks.

PTA - Our next meeting is Wednesday 30 March at 7pm in the school staffroom.

Please join us - in person - or on zoom.


Please note that our school website has the majority of the information needed for each sport currently being played. Here you will find out when & where games are, costs/fees, cancellations, important links and equipment required (if applicable). Please go to > Sports


All registered players should have received an email regarding their team and coach for Term 1.

  • First round of games starts this Saturday 5th March.

  • The draw & any further information will be emailed to parents once we receive it.

  • Please let your coach know ASAP if your child is unable to attend games.

Players are to wear the school PE uniform and non-marking sole sports shoes.


An email will be sent today to confirm your child’s team and coach. Uniforms will be issued to your child at school.

  • First round of games starts 3.45pm Monday 7th March (Y5/6) & Tuesday 8th March (Y1/2)

  • The draw and any further information will be emailed to parents once we receive it.

  • Please let your coach know ASAP if your child is unable to attend games.


Thank you to everyone that registered for this event. More Information will be sent out this week. Please make sure you have paid the $5 entry fee to the school office.


CAN YOU HELP? We are needing more people to assist in the pool for this event. If you can help or you know someone who can, please contact Whaea Leanne at

All parents of Y4 - 6 students must complete the Permission/Transport form by 3.00pm Friday 4th March. You can complete this form HERE

027 285 7579 or 348 1701

Whaea Leanne

School Sports Coordinator

Community Notices

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