St Mary's School Term 1 Week 1 2023

Te Kura O Hato Mere

Pānui/Newsletter - Thursday 2 February 2023


Kia ora koutou, kumusta, talofa lava

Welcome to the new school year!

Di Browne- (1961-2023)

This year started off on a sad note for me with the passing of a former Board of Trustees Chairperson, Di Browne. Di was the board chair from 2002 until the beginning of 2012. Her two children attended St Mary's School and during her time on the board, she helped ensure the success and survival of our school.

In 2002 the school had been threatened with closure as the roll had fallen to 48 students. Di led the board with several initiatives to promote roll increase and oversaw the appointment of a new principal, who turned out to be me. I am incredibly thankful for Di's leadership during those difficult times and her support during the earthquakes and the ensuing instability during those times.

Whilst at St Mary's Di became a catholic and her steadfast faith helped sustain her when she was diagnosed with cancer. May God bless Di for all her wonderful service and loyalty to our school.

May she rest in Peace.

Mā te Atua koe e manaaki, e tiaki

May God bless you and protect you

David O’Neill


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We welcome the following students to St Mary's School:

TILLY- Room 3

JAY- Room 1


EZRA- Room 1

ADAM- Room 1


RYAN- Room 1



09/02 Thursday
14/02 Tuesday

Waitangi Day / Culture Day Celebration- Wear Cultural Clothing To School

On Tuesday 7th February all students are asked to dress up in clothing from either their own culture or that of another culture. We will begin the day with a prayer service in Maori and talk about the Treaty of Waitangi and its significance to our country. We will also take the opportunity to celebrate the many diverse cultures within our school.

Students are allowed to wear culturally significant clothing to school for the day on Tuesday next week.

Takeaway Night- Wednesday 15th February 5pm-7pm (weather permitting)

All families are invited to bring their favourite takeaway food to school on Wednesday 15th February from 5pm. This is a good opportunity for families to come together and spend some time with friends and meet new families.

Mrs Anthony will hold a short meeting in Room 1 towards the end of the evening to talk to parents of Room 1 students about the Better Start Literacy Approach and answer questions relating to this.

We hope to see as many of you there as possible.

Dental Van Visit 2023

The dental van will visit our school on the 10th of February to begin checking our students' teeth.
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First Holy Communion June 25th 2023

Year 4 students and above who have not yet made their First Holy Communion are invited to enrol now.

Please click the link below to enrol. Your child must be baptised before they can receive their First Holy Communion.

Our Catholic Faith Fact

On February 2, we observe the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, honoring Jesus Christ’s presentation in the Temple when he was a young child.

World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

On this day, we reflect on the gift of consecrated life. While the momentary satisfaction of selfish living ultimately leads to emptiness, living a life of holiness, dedicated to God’s service, will give true contentment and peace. As Pope Francis has expressed:

Consecrated life is born and reborn of an encounter with Jesus as he is: poor, chaste and obedient… And while worldly life soon leaves our hands and hearts empty, life in Jesus fills us with peace to the very end, as in the Gospel, where Simeon and Anna come happily to the sunset of their lives with the Lord in their arms and joy in their hearts.

Free School Swimming Lessons: 6th - 17th March

Graham Condon Pool, Papanui

Swimming will begin on Monday 6th March for two weeks. This is a compulsory component of our school curriculum. 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.

Piano Lessons

If you would like your child to receive piano lessons during school time, please contact Mrs Di Coad ( for enrolment and cost information. Students must be 7 years old or above.

Sunhats must be worn Term 1

School Sun hats are compulsory during Terms 1 and 4 and are available from the school office at a cost of $15.00.

Royal blue, Aussie style wide brimmed hat.

Please note payment may only be made by cash or internet banking. Our bank account number is: 03 0855 0436803 00

Year 8 2023 School Based Vaccination Programme

The School Based Vaccination programme will offer the two dose HPV vaccinations to

protect against genital warts, cervical cancer, throat and mouth cancers, and other types

of cancers later in life. The programme also includes a one dose Boostrix vaccination to

provide protection against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Whooping Cough.

To enable students to receive the vaccinations at school a vaccination pack will be

provided to students who have not completed their vaccinations in General Practice in

term one 2023 to take home for the parent/caregivers to complete and return the

consent form to school. Consent to the school based programme can be withdrawn at

any time during the programme by contacting the vaccinating team directly

Term Dates For 2023

Term 1: Tuesday 31 Jan 2023 - Thurs 6 April

Term 2: Mon 24 April – Fri 30 June

Term 3: Mon 17 July – Fri 22 Sept

Term 4: Mon 9 October – Friday 15 December

Upcoming Events


  • Waitangi Day Public Holiday- Monday 6th February
  • Cultural Clothing Day-Tuesday 7th February
  • Takeaway Night- Wednesday 15th February 5-7pm


  • Swimming lessons- 6th -17th March


  • End of Term One- 6th April - 3pm

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

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.
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Attendance Dues Increase for 2023- See Below

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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

Sports Club Opportunities

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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.