St Mary's Catholic School, Papakura
Newsletter 2nd March 2021 - Term 1 Week 5
Kia ora e te whānau
We are very excited to present to you our new digital newsletter! We hope you will find that it is more accessible, but also much more engaging. We want to be able to share as many school events and celebrations with our school community as possible. A digital newsletter gives us a great opportunity to do so in a more interactive way.
We have already reached Week 5 of Term 1 of our new school year. By now, the summer holidays do feel like a distant memory, especially facing the second Level 3 lockdown in Auckland within 2 weeks! We are praying that all our families and students remain safe and well and that we will all cope, even excel in spite of the difficulties we experience as we adjust to this "new normal".
Our digital/ online learning programme was rolled out by our teachers this morning. We urge all parents to please keep in mind that children will be experiencing a sense of displacement and some level of anxiety about this lockdown situation, just as you all might be feeling as well. Frustration, impatience and anxiety are normal feelings at a time like this. Please approach the online learning in a non-confrontational way. Allow your children to complete tasks as you feel they are able to, as well as at a pace and intensity that works for you and your family. Approach the tasks from a weekly point of view, rather than trying to coerce children to work at pace or under pressure. Do as much or as little as is comfortable for you and your family to cope. Outdoor play and exploration, with engaging discussions about the world around you, prayer time, enjoying music and exercise, water play, quiet journal writing, arts and crafts are all activities that present a lower level of pressure, but are very valuable learning opportunities for your children. I have shared below, some of the exciting learning being done via our distance learning programmes this week. Thank you to all teachers, parents and students for the effort made to keep the learning going from home.
We urge all parents to please keep your children home through level 3, to ensure their safety. However, our school is open throughout level 3, to accommodate students who have no alternative supervision for the day. Please feel free to make contact via our school office, if you need support or advice. We are functioning on limited staff, with only our management team, one teacher and two learning support teachers on-site daily.
Let's keep the faith and continue to pray for our leaders and our country, that our God will guide the decision making and protect us all in these difficult times.
Morning Prayers during Level 3 Lockdown
Family Prayer Bags
Last week we provided each family at our school with a special Family Prayer Bag. We hope that your child safely delivered yours home on Friday 26 February.
Please take some time to share the daily reading and a prayer with your family each day. Children have been asked to prompt you to set aside time for this special part of your day and to take special care of your prayer bag and its contents.
The booklet enclosed in the bag will support you to engage with these resources and hopefully encourage and enrich your family prayer and devotion time.
Paea Hafoka - Unveiling of Remembrance Plaque
On Thursday afternoon we unveiled Paea Hafoka's name on our Remembrance Plaque in our Garden of Remembrance.
A beautiful liturgy was held to honour Paea and her contributions as a student and a leader at our school. The event was attended by members of Paea's family, as well as our whole student body. Thank you to Father James for his support of this liturgy and for leading the blessing of the plaque.
This event provided some sense of closure for our students and staff who have been on a painful journey of mourning for the loss our our dear Paea.
Paea will always be fondly remembered and honoured by all of us. May she continue to rest in peace, in the arms of Jesus.
The Season of Lent - Ash Wednesday
Due to the February Level 3 Lockdown, we were unable to hold our Ash Wednesday liturgy as we normally would, with our whole student body, our parishioners and our families present on site. However, we were able to hold a small gathering of staff and students who were on site and were able to share the liturgy live on our school Facebook page. Thank you to Mrs Paulse (our Director of Religious Studies) and Father James who supported us all to make this happen.
We wish all our families, staff and students a time of deep reflection over this very special season in our Church calendar. May this season of Lent bring you closer to God as you shed the shackles of daily life which distract us from God's purpose for us. May each day bring you a fresh and close encounter with Christ.
2021 Swimming Sports
It is with great disappointment that we have had to cancel our Swimming Sports for 2021, which was scheduled for 2 March. After a postponement due to the first February Level 3 lockdown, we now find ourselves having to cancel this event, due to the second Level 3 lockdown which begun on 28 February. At this stage, a further postponement will have a big impact on our school calendar, making other planned events for term 1 more difficult to manage.
We are hoping that we will be able to give our students another opportunity to go down to the pools later in the year. We have made an application to take our Year 3 to Year 6 students to the Massey Park Pools for Aquatic Safety Lessons next term. This event is dependent on funding, so we will let parents know if this application is successful.
Meet our Student Leaders for 2021!
Congratulations and blessings to:
We look forward to the new ideas and skills that they will bring to their leadership of our student body for 2021.
Travelwise and Road Safety
As always, the safety of our students and staff is paramount at
St Mary's Catholic School, Papakura.
We are pleased to continue our association with Travelwise (with the support of Auckland Transport) and Road Patrol (with the support of the New Zealand Police Service). These two programmes are very important to ensuring the safety of our students out on the road, and travelling to and from school.
We appeal to all parents to please consider the safety of our students when parking outside our school and when dropping off and picking up your children at both the Manse Road (Gate 2) and Clark Road (Gate 1) entrances of our school.
Also please respect the property of our neighbours, by not parking in or across driveways. We do have a 5 minute drop off/ pick up zone at the Clark Road entrance. Please note that this is for quick pick-ups and drop-offs - not for parking or leaving your vehicle.
Our Travelwise Team will be running various promotions and safety campaigns at our gates through the year. Please show your support to them when you see them out there.
A huge thanks to Mrs Anneke Walker for her excellent work with the Travelwise and Road Safety Teams.
Upcoming Events - Term 1, 2021
- Swimming Sports - Tuesday 2nd - March - Cancelled
- Bethlehem Mass at Church - Thursday 4th - March - Cancelled
- Family Picnic "Island Time" - Thursday 4th March - Cancelled
- Beginning of Year Pōwhiri - Friday 5th - March - Cancelled
- St Peter's Open Day Year 7s - Tuesday 9th - March - 9.30am or 1pm in College Hall
- Sacred Heart College Open Day - Wednesday 10th - March - 10am and 1pm Tours
- Summer Sports Field Day Year 5 and 6 - Wednesday 10th - March - TBC
- Nazareth Mass at Church - Thursday 11th - March - 9.30am - TBC
- School Assembly - Friday 12th - March - 2pm - TBC
Beginning of Year Mass 2021
Given the present gathering restrictions as a result of COVID-19 Level 3 Regulations, we are grateful to have had the chance to celebrate our beginning of Year Mass for 2021.
This is an important Mass which begins our school year with a blessing on our school community, staff and students. At this Mass, our staff and student leaders are commissioned into their roles for the year.
This year's Mass was very special as we have new leadership appointed to our school - our new Deputy Principal, Mrs Anna Buckley and our new Principal, Mrs Audrey Kippen, who were both commissioned into their new roles.
We thank our parents and parishioners who were able to attend this Mass and we look forward to higher attendance next year. A huge thanks also to Father James, who celebrated this Mass with us.
Board of Trustees 2021
The following members were voted into office as :
Chairman - Mr George Khoury + Parent Representative
Deputy Chairman - Mr Evan Jensen + Proprietor's Representative
Secretary - Ms Catherine Venu + Proprietor's Representative
Other members are :
Mrs Audrey Kippen - Principal
Mrs Anna Buckley - Staff Representative
Father James Mulligan - Proprietor's Representative
Mr Chris Butler - Proprietor's Representative
Mr Greg Howarth - Parent Representative
Mr Damian Williams - Parent Representative
Mrs Wendy Peoples - Parent Representative
Mrs Judy Zanzottera - Parent Representative
We have a wonderfully skilled and supportive Board of Trustees who provide great stewardship for our little gem of a school.
Term 1 Concept Learning - Whakapapa ki te tangata - Identity and Belonging
At St Mary's, we learn through our experiences of the world around us. Our teachers create and craft learning experiences and activities to encourage the natural inquisitiveness and curiosity that children instinctively have. This leads students to inquire about the world around them and to naturally follow inquiry or discovery of their new learning. Our very capable teachers craft these experiences in order to link the learning to the various curriculum areas, providing reading, writing and mathematical support through the daily activities planned for students. Children are full participants in their learning, rather than just viewers of the learning.
This term we are learning about our identity and belonging, starting with our identity as children of God and our belonging to God's Kingdom.
Conceptual Understanding :
A child educated in their own identity, stands with confidence in their community.
The individual characteristics, style or manner that is fundamental to a person.
While we want children to be proud of their identity, they must also respect others as well as develop the skills and ability to understand, talk to and effectively interact with people across different cultures.
It is important for St Mary’s students to know their ‘identity’ within their family group and in the school environment. Building a greater understanding of the history and significant symbols of St Mary’s will contribute to students' identity and belonging.
We want our children to show kindness, care and concern for others, our community and the environment. With the current global political climate, these skills and attributes are needed now more than ever.
Conceptual Understanding :
Whakapapa provides a continuum of life from the spiritual world to the physical world, from the creation of the universe to people – past, present and future. Not only does whakapapa permit Māori to trace descent through past generations, it also allows movement and growth into the future. Identity – past, present and future – comes from whakapapa links to the past through ancestors, to the present through whānau.
Ina Kei te mohio koe ko wai koe. I anga mai koe i hea, kei te mahia koe. Kei te anga atu ki hea.
If you know who you are and you know where you are from, then you will know where you are going.
He kākano ahau - I am a seed born of greatness
SAS Sport Ltd / The Uniform Shoppe
MusIQhub Music Lessons
At St Mary's Catholic School - SIGN UP NOW for Term One 2021! Our friends at MusIQhub are happy to announce that there will be new spaces available this term for Drum, Piano/Keyboard, Guitar and Ukulele lessons during school hours! Also, there will be Singing, Recorder and Flute lessons available! Please enquire now to book in spaces for quality music lessons taught by experienced professional musicians.
Drums, Piano/Keyboard, Singing, Recorder and Flute - Paul Barry 022 198 0044
Guitar and Ukulele - Lih Foo 021 2076 231
Term Dates 2021 - PLEASE ADD TO YOUR CALENDAR
Term One - Wednesday 3rd February to Friday 16th April 2021
Term Two - Monday 3rd May to Friday 9th July 2021
Term Three - Monday 26th July to Friday 1st October 2021
Term Four - Monday 18th October to Wednesday 15th December 2021
Scholastic Book Ordering On-Line - Easy Step-By-Step Instructions
Renee practising the Haka Powhiri while in Level 3 Lockdown
We look forward to getting to know you and making you welcome at our school.