St Mary's School

Thursday 18th August

'I have great confidence in you to do what you think best. Always act with courage.' Catherine McAuley

Dear whānau,

Prepare yourselves people, there's a fair bit jammed in here today. We've just got so much to celebrate, what a great complaint to have!

We've had another fantastic week full of learning opportunities and fun together. We started our Monday with morning prayers in the church delivered by Room Tūī. Room Tūī shared with us how they show our school value of love through actions and who the people/pets/animals are that they love the most.

From our school vision: 'We create opportunities to show leadership in a variety of ways, giving everyone the chance to lead. At St Mary’s we believe in the concept of tuakana-teina: big people looking after little people.'

We then hopped onto buses (much to the delight of our Pūkeko kids, they were really big buses to be fair) and made our way to our heritage precinct to do some more learning for our topic 'Tūrangawaewae - the place we stand'. We split into two groups, one headed to see Steph Herring at the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and the other went to hang out with Jim Geddes at the Eastern Southland Gallery. As you can see (below) our bigger kids did a fantastic job of being leaders and helped the wee kids to get as much out of the trip as possible. They are outstanding role models in any situation

Steph showed us some really interesting images of Gore from before it was 'Gore' right up to how it looks from afar today. We learnt about what native birds and slimey creatures lived here when it was swampland with cutty grass and tussocks up to 8 feet tall. As you can imagine, our kids nailed all the farming questions they had thrown at them and I bet they were glad to hear how much things have changed over the years - they're not telling porky's when they tell you that some of the first flocks of sheep in the area came from Australia and some of them took a year to get from the boat to their run upwards of Balfour, stopping near the substation here for a few months during lambing (which happened in July).

Jim put his 'whole confidence in God' (while our teachers looked like this 😱) by letting the kids independently explore different parts of the gallery which included the new Ewan McDougall 'Freed Up in Lockdown' exhibition, the John Money Collection and Ralph Hotere Gallery. We learnt that all art tells a story, some stories are sad and some are happy. We also learnt that lots of the art that's in the gallery at the moment connects back to the land, water and food. He also told us the sad but moving story of Weka, who acting on the loss of his wife Nuku and child on a hunting expedition in the northern reaches of the valley, composed a moving lament on the terrace of East Gore (a place known as Onuku).

At St Mary’s we are living our school values (of faith, hope and love,) and we see these in the actions of adults and children.

We finished the day off just as we started it - in the church together, only this time we were joined by some of our lovely parishioners to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Mary is important to our school in many different ways, not only is she the mother of Jesus, who is the reason for our school, she is also our namesake and patroness as well as New Zealand's Patron Saint. Our year 5 students reverently led parts of the Mass working alongside Father Jaime who delivered a great homily reminding us all of Mary's humility, a quality we could all strive for. Big thanks to our Director of Religious Studies and Acting Deputy Principal, Paula Gray for another fantastic celebration.

Remember, if you have something you'd like us to celebrate in the newsletter, send me through a picture and a wee blurb by Thursday 9am each week and I'll make sure it gets in -

God bless,


Acting Principal

Board Elections - Don't forget to vote!

All voting papers for this years School Board Elections have been posted to you. Voting forms can be posted in the envelope provided or put in the secure pink voting box in the office at school. Voting closes on 7th September 2022 at 4 pm. If you'd like another read over the 2022 candidates and their bio's, you can find them in last weeks newsletter.

Happy School Days

Cuteness overload 😍 This week we welcome Isa-Rae Rooijackers and Angus Roberts to Room Pūkeko. Isa-Rae is the first in her family to come to St Mary's, and she is the daughter of Amy-Rae and Bart. Angus has a big brother here, Lachlan and is the son of Lisa and Andrew. We are stoked to have you both at St Mary's.
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Harold is Here!

Pip and Harold the Giraffe arrived on Wednesday and we have the pleasure of their company right through until next Tuesday. You probably remember Harold from when you were at school, he's a real hit! Pip and Harold are part of the Life Education Trust. We're super excited to have them, as last year lockdown meant we missed out.

Hokonui Moonshine Museum and the Eastern Southland Gallery

See, I told ya - role models galore! More pictures on our Facebook page 😊

Tūrangawaewae - The place we stand as Catholics

Our staff also put our learners hats on this week. At our staff meeting we had the privilege of being joined by Bridget Ryan (Cecilia's mum), Deputy Principal of St Peter's College who did a great job of teaching us more about the origins of our Catholic heritage in NZ. We were all left inspired by the story of Bishop Pompallier who not only was the founder of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa, he also had a major hand in ensuring all religions in NZ were protected in the Treaty of Waitangi, shipped the Mercy Sisters over (our founding order) and made very important connections between Māori spirituality and Catholicism. If you'd like to know more about this legend of a man check out

End of Season Awards ...

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Preston Byars, Lachie Moriaty, Mason Smith, Henry Howden and Mitchell Chittock played for Albion as part of a wider team of 10, at the Millers Flat 7’s tournament on Saturday 6th August. They played in the Under 9’s section against teams from Central Otago and beyond. They won their under 9’s age group!…. Winning all pool games on the way! Congratulations boys!

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As cool as Ice

Mahi pai Oscar! Oscar took part in his first ice hockey competition on 6 August. Teams from Alexandra came to Gore and they played a friendly game. Oscar was part of the Gore Grizzlies, at one stage he got to be the goalie against Alexandra Flames. Scores weren’t kept at this age group but they all had a great time and got a certificate at the end.
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Celtic Unleashed

This weekend Gus, Meah and I were all part of the Hokonui Celtic Pipe Band's Celtic Unleashed show at the St James Theatre. Gus is a drummer in the Pipe Band showing lots of skill and promise on the snare while Meah showed off her award winning Highland Dancing moves. I was lucky to be part of the backing band and had a pleasure of watching these two on stage. Proud as punch!
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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 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 Pūkeko and Moa, Mrs Cruickshank and Mrs Thacker and 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.