Newsletter-Week 3 Term One

Newsletter 03 22 February 2023

Principal's Message

Kia ora,

Today is Ash Wednesday and in the Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is one of the most important holy days in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. As a school, we celebrated Ash Wednesday with a liturgy over in the church. Thanks to the parents who joined us for this.

It is devastating to see the families who have suffered so much loss because of Cyclone Gabrielle. They are certainly in our prayers at the moment. The schools in the Hamilton Diocese have adopted Gisborne as the region where we are going to target our fundraising. On Wednesdays, we are selling iceblocks for $2 and tomorrow THURSDAY is a mufti day and children are asked to bring a gold coin. If you want to give more that would be great too.

We are very excited that we are able to have our swimming sports again this year. Please don’t keep your children at home if they are not sick. It is a fun day with lots of Novelty Events for children to participate in. We have adults in the pool during the events too to help children who might need assistance.

Here is some information:

  • The swimming sports are for our Year 4, 5 & 6 children and is on this Friday at the Aquatic Centre, Tarawera Rd, Rotorua.

  • Years 4 – 6 students must be dropped off at the Aquatic Centre on the day to meet their teacher by 8:45 am. As they enter the centre, children are asked to sign in on their class roll. A teacher will be there to help the children.

  • Swimming sports will finish at approximately 2:30 pm. Children need to be collected from the Aquatic Centre by 2.50 pm at the latest.

  • Children may come to swimming sports in their house colours. They may wear their swimming togs under their clothes.

  • Children will need – togs & towels, sunhat, sunblock, warm clothes, lunch and a drink. There will be NO sausage sizzle at the swimming sports. Children need to bring their lunch and a drink.

  • Should the event need to be cancelled, this information will be put on our website by 7:30 am on the day, and a notification will be sent via Facebook, seesaw and the school phone app.

Next week, three of our Senior Classes are heading off to Horohoro for their noho marae stay. A lot of preparation has gone into the planning for this and we have had great support from parents volunteering to come to the camp. The following week the other two classes will have their turn.

Teachers from across Rotorua will be attending an NZEI Paid Union Meeting on Monday 27th February. As a result, we will be closed for instruction at 12.45 pm. At this time we ask that you pick up your child from school.

If you require supervision for your child until 3.00 pm we will be able to accommodate you. Please let us know if your child needs supervision by contacting us at 3481701 or emailing by the 27th of February.

This action will not affect children on camp.

Friday, March 10th is GALA DAY: Prayers please, that we get a beautiful fine evening. Please see our Gala Countdown requests later in this newsletter. Of course, we will accept other things up until Gala Day. We really need your support in bringing items in for the Gala Day. Presently we have received many donations of goods. PLEASE NO damaged or broken second-hand goods.

All gala contributions are to be taken to your child’s class box in the hall foyer as each item received wins 1 point towards their class; the class that receives the most points (pro-rata on the number of children per class) wins a surprise lunch!!! The class that brings in the most cakes also wins a special prize.

Lastly, we had passports drawn from the Korero Mai days we had at the beginning of the year. We drew out the winners at last week’s Assembly. Winners of the New World Vouchers were Tai Filipo and Jamie Rennie.

David Macmillan, Principal.

Director of Religious Studies

This morning we had a beautiful Ash Wednesday Liturgy in St Mary’s Church. Deacon John did a lovely homily about making time in Lent to do something meaningful rather than give up something.

Our Kakano students have been thinking about how they can be like Jesus and follow in his footsteps. These students will be thinking about one of our Golden Rules or Values they can work on at home and at school during Lent.

The Year 3-6 students have been writing their Lenten Promises. They did a wonderful job. We used their spare copies to make our ashes which were blessed by Deacon John and distributed within our Liturgy.

Here is a Lenten prayer which you may choose to say this week with your children:

Heavenly Father, Thank you that you are a generous God and that you give us so many good things. We are sorry that we are not always generous with others. Please help us this week to be kind, to do our very best, and to be generous when we are helping others.

Take care and have a great week.

God bless.

Lorna Dobson

Mufti Day tomorrow, Thursday. Fundraising for cyclone victims. A gold coin donation would be appreciated.


School banking has resumed for 2023 - Banking Day Wednesdays.

If you would like to join up your child for banking please call at the office for an application form.


16 days until the Gala!!!

A reminder, Thursday is Grocery Day!

We are taking donations of

  • Any grocery item

  • Paper bags:)

Please drop them in the school hall foyer on your way into school

There are boxes labelled with classroom numbers.

Thank you for all the donations for Nacho Day, the response was outstanding!

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Chess Club

Welcome to our chess club for 2023.

With so many keen children wanting to play (over 120), I am trying to run a program that gives everyone a chance to give it a go.

Term 1 is about playing, practicing and learning as tournaments for the year start in term 2. (There may be a couple of opportunities for a few children to play in some form of competition this term).

Opportunities for playing at school include :

  1. Sessions for small groups during class time.

  2. Wednesday lunchtimes in the hall (open to all)

  3. Each class will be allocated chess boards so children can learn or practice in their free time.

4. After school practices will commence next term.

There are a number of websites that can be accessed to learn and play but the best one is probably This site has a lot of free lessons suitable for children and also offers the ability for children to play with each other online,

For the keener players there is a monthly tournament - the Rotorua Sarapu Cup, run on Sunday afternoons.. This is run by Nick Gentle, father of Jo who was in our St Mary’s chess team in 2021. This is a Chess Power run event and can be entered via their website.

The tournament caters for all levels of chess ability as it is split into divisions based on the children's ability. Also, I believe there is a weekly chess club run at the Rotorua Public Library

Fundraising is an important part of our Chess Club as this enables us to subsidise tournament entry fees.(thanks to those parents who have helped to raise these funds previously). Offers of help are welcome.

I am still doing metal recycling (raised $400 last year) so any metal can be dropped at school by the caretakers shed for me or let me know if you have some for collection.

Hoping for a great year of fun chess. Thanks Mr G

Pita Pit

Pita Pit school lunches

Phill from Pita Pit has advised the order cut off time for ordering your Pita Pit lunches will be 8:45am on the day of your PP delivery.

Attached is a flyer for any newbies it explains how to open an account with Lunchonline,

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Ka Pai lunches

We have been advised that the Ka Pai Kai Rotorua lunch order service being offered will be suspended until further notice.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and will be in contact with updates as they happen.



Miniball (basketball) registrations are now open for term 3 & 4. Please go to our St Mary's website under sports - Minball. All information is there and the link to register. If you are needing further information please contact Shanelle McCashin in the school office. Registrations close on the 3rd of March!

Summer Sports

Please remember all the information you need is on our St Mary's website under sports. This includes the links to the draws.

Sports Photos

Please take photos of the kids playing sports and their team. Send to

These photos will be used for our school magazine at the end of the year.

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Rotorua Central Scouts

Does your child have an interest in joining a Scout Group?

Our Den is in Peririka Street - Cub section 8 - 11yrs meets Thursdays 6 - 7:30pm. The first 4 nights are free.

Contact 027-490-3124 or 07-348-5853 please leave a message if necessary - all enquiries will be replied to.

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