Newsletter 29th November 2021

Holy Cross Catholic School Papatoetoe

Our Vision: Learning and Growing in Christ

Dear Parents and Caregivers

Kia Ora Koutou Katoa, Talofa Lava, Malo e Lelei, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Kia Orana, Hola como Estas, Marhaba, Greetings to you all.

Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.

For he has looked upon his lowly hand maid, behold from now on all ages will call me blessed.

Luke 1 46:48

Why is it called Christmas?

In medieval England the name of the feast being celebrated was joined to the word ‘Mass’, and this has become the name of the day. For example, the feast of St Michael is called Michaelmas and the feast of the presentation, because candles were blessed on the day, is called Candlemas. In English the feast of the birth of Christ is called Christmas.

Merry Christmas

The English word ‘Merry’ did not originally convey joyful merriment. It was more along the lines of blessed, peaceful, a deep down inner joy rather than revelry. One gets a sense of its original meaning in the well-known carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. As you can see by the comma the word is not used to describe jolly gentlemen but rather it is a blessing from God evoked upon them. “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” Thus Merry Christmas “when spoken to one another is a blessing.”

It is fast approaching the end of the school year and what a successful year it has been despite Covid-19. The children have achieved wonderful success in many fields of education this year including speech competitions, sporting events, artwork, music, Maths and English before having this latest lockdown. I would like to thank all the staff, parents and family members who have helped out in areas of coaching, managing, transporting and supporting the children.

The school would not enjoy as much success as it does without the tireless efforts of the PTFA. I would like to thank Mrs Theresa Turua, Chairperson of the PTFA, and her team for all their hard work and dedication this year. I’m sure I speak for the whole community in acknowledging your fantastic input. I would also like to acknowledge Mrs Carlie Kingham for all the hard work she put into preparing for the school Fair this year even though we had to cancel.

To all the families and parents who have volunteered during the year to help in the many areas of school life, including lunch rosters, sausages sizzles, Field Trips and Sports Events, I would also extend a big thank you from the staff at Holy Cross as their job is made so much easier with your support.

Last but not least I would like to thank the Holy Cross Board of Trustees for their support which is very ably led by Mr Don Siluuga. This is very much appreciated by the staff at Holy Cross. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, holy and restful Christmas break.

All this talk of the end of the year reminds us that Advent is a time of preparation. The Scriptures for the second Sunday of Advent call on us to continue to prepare for the coming of the Lord. “Prepare the way of the Lord” is a cry of John the Baptist. Many hundreds of years before John, the Prophet Isaiah called on the people to prepare for the coming of the Kingdom of God. He was a great prophet of hope. He dared to dream of a world where old hatreds are healed, differences are resolved, weapons of war and destruction are transformed into implements of growth and traditional enemies sit down and talk about finding ways of peace. Isaiah saw peace as God’s desire for all people.

John the Baptist’s call is a reminder to each and every one of us that we have to seek the ways of peace and justice if we want to help to build our world into what God wants it to be. We start with ourselves to bring this about. Advent is a time to stop and look at ourselves, a time to denounce sin, seek forgiveness and turn back to God. Advent is a call to embrace and celebrate God’s love and mercy for all people, a time to heed John’s call and to prepare for the way of the Lord so that Isaiah’s vision might come true.

The words of a modern hymn would seem to be most appropriate here, “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.”

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Let’s welcome the beginning of the Church's Liturgical Year! Yesterday we celebrated the 1st Sunday of Advent. This is a time to reflect and think about the Hope that Christ brings to our world. As we come to the end of November please continue to pray especially for our loved ones who have left this world.

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Staff Farewells & New Staff for 2022

It is with sadness that we farewell four staff members at the end of this year. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mr Brosnon Siluuga, Mr George Latu, Mr Kenneth Wilson and Miss Stephanie Coburn for all the work that they have done for the students and families at Holy Cross Catholic School over the past 3 or 4 years. Each one of them has made a valuable contribution to Holy Cross and we wish them all the best in their future career in teaching.

As a result of this, we have three new staff members who will be joining us in 2022. We welcome Mr Ayzak Bennett, Mrs Tiomai Brown and Mrs Leighton Tuala to Holy Cross. Mr Bennett will teach in Years 5 & 6, Mrs Tuala in Years 3 & 4 and Mrs Brown in Year 2. We also welcome back Mrs Judith Fromont who has been on study leave this year. Mrs Fromont will work with Year 2 children in 2022.

Graduation for Year 6 Boys & Year 8 Girls

On Tuesday 7th December we will hold a Graduation Ceremony for our Years 6 boys and Year 8 girls. We would appreciate it if all Year 6 boys and Year 8 girls can be at school on Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th December for this event. We apologise that NO PARENTS can attend this ceremony at school. We will record this event and it will be available on our school website for parents to view that night. We appreciate your support in this matter.

Requesting the Return of ALL School Chromebooks

Please return ALL Chromebooks to school by Friday 3rd December 2021. Please DO NOT wipe them down.

The devices should be returned in their bubble wrap please with your child's name on the Chromebook. We would appreciate your cooperation in this matter as this is a valuable school resource and will be required for students to use next year.

Please Return Netball Uniforms

Thank you to all the families who have returned their netball uniforms. If you haven’t yet returned a uniform, please do so by Friday 3rd December. Thank you.

School Readers to be Returned by 3rd December 2021

Please return any school readers that you have at home that are stamped with Holy Cross School. Please also check your child’s book bags. Thank you for your support in this matter.

Enrolments for 2022

We ask you to enrol your children at Holy Cross School as soon as they turn three and if you are leaving Holy Cross at the end of the school year please let us know as soon as possible as we have a waiting list of children who want to take these places. Please do not leave it until the last minute to inform us as it is not fair to those children who are waiting.

End of School Year

School will close for the year on Friday 10th December at 1pm. All children must be collected promptly at1pm.

Start of School Year 2022

School will resume on Thursday 3rd of February at 8.45am

Parking in Fairview Road While Dropping Off and Picking Up Children

When you are parking your vehicle in Fairview Road please ensure that you DO NOT PARK ACROSS OR PARTIALLY BLOCK DRIVEWAYS. This is very inconvenient to the residents and is causing problems. You may need to consider parking further away from the school and walking your child to the school gate.

Booklets for Years 0 & 2 Students

A new booklet for students in Years 1 & 2 may be collected from the School Office between 9am – 3pm. The work in the booklet will be enough until the end of this year.

HPV Second Dose and Boostrix – Year 7 & 8 Students

Public Health nurses will be in school at 9am on Tuesday 30th November to vaccinate our Year 7 students with Boostrix and administer the second HPV dose for Year 8 students.

Covid-19 Vaccination Bus

The vaccination bus will be parked in the Church carpark on Tuesday 30th November from 9.15am – 1pm for anyone who wishes to be vaccinated for Covid-19. No appointment is necessary.

Attendance Dues

Thank you to the families who have already paid their Attendance Dues for this Term. If you have not yet paid your Attendance Dues, please do so as soon as possible. We encourage Attendance Dues to be paid by automatic payment. Forms are available at the School Office which will enable you to set up the payments. Please note, Attendance Dues will be increasing to $117.00 per child per term from 4th February 2022.

Children Leaving Holy Cross School

If your child will be leaving Holy Cross School at the end of this year (other than Year 6 boys and Y8 girls), please phone the Office and let us know. Our roll is very full and we have a large number of children on our waiting list. Thank you for your support in this matter.

School Reports

The end of year reports will be sent home with your child on Wednesday 8th December. We ask that you discuss the report with your child and see where you as parents can help your child during the Christmas holiday. Research shows that children who read regularly over the holiday period make greater gains in the following year compared to children who don’t. Maybe a good Christmas present this year could be a book for your child.