Newsletter Term 4 Week 4

St Mary's School Blenheim Monday 7th November 2022

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Kia ora koutou Te Kura O Hato Mere Whānau,

It is great to be back at school and surrounded by the tamariki of all ages. I have had loads of hugs and high 5’s this morning and it has warmed my heart.

I have the very privileged position of being the tumuaki here at Te Kura O Hato Mere. One of the privileges I have is to join the students in Years 5/6 and those in Year 7/8 on camp most years.

This time is all about learning and discovery. Learning about our environment and the impacts we make on it, learning about each other and most of all learning about ourselves. Discovery is key to this learning experience. Discovering new places, allowing our minds and hearts to be open to listen and to engage. In moments of reflection, we discover who we are and learn about our limitations. We discover our passions, our fears and learn that we can drive through them with the support of others. We are all in this together and we all bring special talents to share with each other.

It has been the most wonderful time to see the tamariki out of school in environments some will never return to. The Year 5/6 students' smiling and inquisitive faces as they learned about our local history both Māori and European while sailing on the Tutanekai, as they try things they have never been exposed to before. Going on a boat, driving the boat, cruising the sounds and learning the local history while seeing rare bird life. Wharf jumping and swimming in the sounds. So picturesque, a true natural wonder, one of Aotearoa’s natural treasures. Te Wheke-a-Muturangi and Kupe certainly left their mark for us to enjoy and experience.

The Year 7/8 students pushed their limits as they went rafting with Clarence River Rafting on two separate days. The first time in a raft for many and the first time going down the mighty Waiau Toa (Clarence) River. Putting on the clothes and travelling to the start point was discovery enough without having to overcome the fear and anxiety of getting in the raft.

All students pushed themselves and had a blast. Many jumping into the rapids and swimming for a large portion of the journey allowed others to jump in and give it a go having less fear and more drive to push themselves. Eating lunch on the side of the river, seeing the damage the earthquake caused and the impact on the environment with the river changing its course, becoming raft pirates, riding on the trailer, chilling out on the calm water, all a part of this amazing day. The guides were amazed at the incredible behaviour and culture the children have developed here at this kura.

Pine valley gave a solid base for an activity day and an exploration day with Blair up and above Mill Flat. Water ways, native trees, pest rapping and looking for gold all a part of a day out.

All tamariki in the senior school grew and developed while away in these experiences. The whole time away with these beautiful children I too grew and developed as a person as I learned about them and they me. We grew in faith and experience together. I felt blessed to be with your treasured tamariki and also to be able to have this experience in the spaces during this time. It was just nice to see children have the opportunity to express and be themselves in school time, off site in some of the most stunning scenery Aotearoa and the world is able to provide.

Thank you to all of the parents for providing us with the blessing of your children and encouraging them to put their best foot forward and go into the unknown on camp.

May God Bless you all and those who you have lost. Remembering those on All Souls Day this last weekend. May all of our prayers help us to remember those we have lost and to celebrate their lives with us while they were here.

God Bless,

Yours ‘In Christ’s Light’

Paddy Dowling

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Parish Newsletter - No.41. 6th November 2022

Parish Newsletter - No.40. 30th October 2022


Next week there will be no newsletter from Cardinal John.

The Archdiocesan Offices are in the process of being shifted and there is simply not the time to put this together.

Thank you for your understanding.

Take care, Stay safe and well


  • School Athletics - Wednesday 16th November
  • Marlborough Girls College Orientation Day, year 8's - Thursday 24th November
  • St Mary's Got Talent - Thursday 8th December
  • Year 8 Leavers Dinner - Friday 9th December 5.30pm - 8.30pm
  • Celebration Evening - Thursday 15th Dec 5.30pm - 7.30pm
  • End of Year Liturgy - Friday 16th December 10.45 - 11.45am
  • Last Day of School - Term 4 - Friday 16th December 12.05pm
  • 150th Jubilee - 30th June - 2nd July 2023


Kia ora whanau. Below is the staffing for next year. Mrs Barbara Lormans applied for refreshment leave in 2023 and it was granted by the Board of Trustees. There are a few exciting changes for next year and we look forward to once again looking for a teacher to join us as Room 6 keeps on growing.

Thank you for your continued faith in us and the direction of the school. We are growing rapidly in the junior area as you are all aware and continuing to grow each year in the senior school as we are a great option for those looking for a faith filled alternative in Years 7 and 8.

Year 7/8 - Room 1 Mrs Lamain

Year 5/6 - Room 8 Mrs Sloan

Year 4 - Room 9 Miss Bamford

Year 3 - Room 3 Mrs Lee

Year 2 - Room 4 Miss Gane

Year 0/1 - Room 6 Miss McCone


Building progress report

We have had more movements in the building sector of school. It will take all of next year with contractors struggling to keep up at this point in time however it is exciting for the school as a whole. Below are the areas that will have major and minor works completed next year.

Junior block

  • Door being put in between Room 4 and 5

  • Ceiling replaced in the hallway

  • Girls toilet fully refurbished

  • New carpets throughout all classrooms

  • Painting of the brown beams and window frames to lighten up the rooms

  • New Roof for the entire block

Room 9

  • Painting of the Beams and window frames within the classroom to lighten it up

  • New replacement ceiling

  • New roof for the entire block

Caretakers shed and store rooms

  • New carpet

  • Ceiling replacement

  • Roof repaired

Senior Block - Rooms 1 and 2

  • New Clearlite for the verandah

Outdoor spaces

  • New Sandpit on Maxwell Road side

  • Playground completed

  • New playground for the junior block completed


A huge thank you once again to Mr David Shoemark who came to school last weekend with a digger and truck kindly donated by Findlater Construction and cleared all of the playground space outside the Junior Block ready for the build next year. We now finally have the space to measure out and complete the design for implementation in 2023.

Dave also started to drill the holes for the previous playground to be reinstated on the Maxwell Roadside of the school however we encountered a few problems and will have to move the schools main water line to allow building progress to continue.

Thank you to Mr Mark Palmer for popping in on Saturday and also lending a hand and some great advice to assist us moving forward with the build.

Dave has put in a lot of personal time this year to get us to the point where we can move forward with developments for the tamariki. With his generosity and that of Findlater Construction we are well on our way to complete the projects at hand early next year.

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Lots of fun and learning had by our junior students last week. They learn swimming techniques and aim to develop core swimming competencies, water safety and sports skills.
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St Mary's Friends are fundraising for Te Kura O Hato Mere

Christmas Cookies Time Fundraising event. YUM!!

Students should have brought home forms last Friday; more are available from the office.

All orders must be in at the school office by Friday the 25th of November.

Don't miss out, they are super delicious!

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If you would like to order SUBWAY, please order online Wednesday mornings

Orders must be done before 8.45am on Wednesday mornings.

Online order instructions here

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