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.

Kia kaha!

Stay safe.

Stay kind.

Audrey Kippen


Morning Prayers during Level 3 Lockdown

4aca335b e39a 40d0 9c85 e5ec9e120b5f

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!

We are very proud to introduce you to our Student Leaders for 2021.

Congratulations and blessings to:

Helina Vakauta

Josh Menasalvas

Carol Nanai

Aliesha Mulder

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
School Website

Please visit our school website for information about our little gem of a school.

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

Our Board of Trustees held their first meeting for the 2021 school year on Thursday 25 February.

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.

Big picture
Big picture

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.

Whakatauki :

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

This waiata supports our learning about the importance of our heritage and culture and how this helps us to understand where we come from and where we are going - in a physical and spiritual sense.
He kākano āhau
Big picture

SAS Sport Ltd / The Uniform Shoppe

Uniforms are available for purchase from the SAS Sport shop located at 28B Wood Street, Papakura. The shop hours are Monday to Friday 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. AND Saturdays 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Shop Telephone: 296 6063 - or visit: and click 'shop online'. WINZ Quotes are available through SAS Sport. Caps ($14) and 'Scrunchies' ($2) are available through the school office. PLEASE ENSURE ALL ITEMS ARE CLEARLY NAMED.
Big picture

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 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

Please check out this link 'getting started' with easy step-by-step instructions on how to order on-line:

Renee practising the Haka Powhiri while in Level 3 Lockdown

93fe3c99 2f07 4dd3 a830 1d6ad75408f8 mp4 1613425737 7776000 wC45YVzLhMFGgL1zK9 19ymAzgn9FMhIyA

Student Welcome

We offer a special welcome to Hayden Thaliath, Haddin Thaliath, Chris Thaliath, Abiel John, Alphyne John, Aabel John, Tutai Ruka, Paul Hafoka, Alyssa Rowe, Solopani Leakona, Ben Fox, Kelais Kala-Heke, Rylee Marnewick, James Kelly and Thea Sheehan who started at St Mary's Catholic School recently.

We look forward to getting to know you and making you welcome at our school.