St Mary's Catholic School 1 February 2023

Tēnā koutou kātoa e te whānau,

Tihei mauri ora, nau mai, haere mai, tena koutou katoa, E nga whanau, e nga kaiako, e nga tamariki, e nga manuhiri, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

Kia ara whānau

As we begin the new school year, I would like to welcome our new whānau to our school community. We are excited to have your family with us and are looking forward to a successful and productive year. A warm welcome back to all of our existing whānau too.

Hairini Marae

Yesterday our staff came together for a very special Mass in our school chapel followed by a pōwhiri that welcomed our staff onto Hairini Marae. We are blessed to be connected to our mana whenua at Hairini Marae and were incredibly grateful to Matua Josh Te Kani, who after the pōwhiri yesterday told us many fascinating stories of how Hairini and our local iwi and hapū came to be. We were also blessed to have Father Mark Field speak for us as manuhiri at the pōwhiri.

Building Projects

Over the break we have had several building projects happening which will certainly upset the first few days of school. New carpet has been laid through the majority of classrooms and some are still being completed, including the administration block. Warm water is also now in the Junior toilets. We also have new guttering in some areas of the school which will cope better with rainfall. We have fire safety wiring connecting all our buildings and during February the construction of the middle school playground will begin.

Please be patient as these jobs get finished as school begins.

Rā Whānau Mai

A reminder that tomorrow, Thursday the 2nd of February, St Mary’s will open for Rā Whānau Mai. This is a family open day and is a great opportunity for you, as parents and whānau, to share your expectations, your child’s interests, strengths, and learning needs and the knowledge you value, directly with your child’s teacher.

Each time slot (one per child) will be 10 minutes long and can be booked by going to: and using the following code: cpv9d or by using this direct link

It would be very helpful if you could please complete this questionnaire with your child before you meet with the teacher tomorrow. Thank you.

School is closed for instruction tomorrow, Thursday 2nd of February for Rā Whānau Mai. Unfortunately due to weather conditions we have had to cancel our sausage sizzle but you are welcome to purchase and enjoy a coffee before taking your child home again. The coffee cart will be at school from 9am to 12pm, weather permitting.

We are looking forward to continuing to work together in 2023 to provide effective home-school partnerships in which parents and teachers are involved together in our children's learning.

Engaging Communities

I invite you to be an active and engaged member of our school community. We have many opportunities for you to get involved throughout the year and we welcome this. Your participation helps create a positive and supportive learning environment for your child(ren) and for all of our students. Please keep an ear out for how you can support and work alongside us! This term we have the Engaging Communities launch and shared dinner, and our Parish School Mass with a picnic afterwards. Please make sure you come and enjoy and meet some new families along the way.

Welcome to Mrs Nikki Turner who will be teaching in Room 4

I am very excited to be joining the St Mary’s team next year. I have been teaching for many years, mainly in Hamilton and have been at Papamoa Primary for the last 3 years as the New Entrant teacher. I have two adult children, Callum and Sarah and a miniature black schnauzer called Gus. Down time is walking along the beach with Gus, in my garden or just recently I’ve taken up playing golf. Literacy is my strength, followed by a sense of humour. I believe happy kids learn so my classroom is a positive happy place to be. I’m looking forward to meeting you all soon.

Junior and Senior Team Newsletters

Our Junior and Senior newsletters are to inform you of information pertinent to our teams and to give you an overview of the learning they will cover this term. Hero and our school website are the most up to date places to find information, otherwise feel free to email your whānau teacher should you have any questions.

Junior Newsletter and Senior Newsletter.

Before and After School Care for Term 1

Please use this link to make your Before or After School Care booking.

Bookings close at 7am every morning. If bookings are closed and you need care for the day you will need to contact Theresa or Mike on 027 3102090 or 021 0363753 as bookings may be full on the day.

Payments are due at the time of booking. It is important to note that bookings are NOT confirmed unless payment is made.

Price Increase Term 2

We have been fortunate that our Before and After School Care prices have remained the same for many, many years. This is notification that in Term 2 our prices will increase to be similar to other Before and After School Care services locally. More information will be shared during the term.

Last reminder for sports registrations for Term 1 2023

Last day for registrations will be Monday 6 February.

Please see the end of this newsletter for more information on Jump Jam and Gymnastics.

Any questions please email Rachel on

Correct school uniform to be worn at all times

We will be keeping a close eye on the school uniform this term, so please make sure your child/ren are wearing the correct uniform. If you do not have the correct school uniform then please discuss this with your classroom teacher.

Key points to note about our uniform:

  • Black roman sandals or a sandal with a back strap for support are expected.
  • Hair must be off the face and if long tied back with a neutral or school uniform coloured hair tie, or school uniform coloured ribbon.
  • All garments must be clearly named.

Thank you very much for your support with this.

School hats & and our new school caps

The weather has been a bit average but I'm sure it will heat up as the term begins so please remember that all children will need to wear their school hats to play outside. The No Hat No Play rule will apply.

Some children may prefer to wear a cap! Our new school cap can be purchased from the school office for $20.00.

Sports uniforms

There has been a delay from our supplier for our next shipment of size 7-8 and 13-14 sport uniforms. Unfortunately we may be waiting up to 6 weeks for our next delivery. We will let you know once we have a confirmed date of arrival.

The sizes we currently have available are; 5-6, 9-10, and 11-12.


Children are asked to bring sunscreen and keep it in their bag to apply when necessary during the day. We ask for your help and support with these requests. We also have sunscreen available in the classrooms and at 3 stations throughout the school during break times.

Communication - School app, Website, HERO, Seesaw

Make sure you keep up to date by checking out our school app and website as they will have all the latest information. We will also be sharing information and learning through HERO, and Seesaw

School accounts

These will be sent out over the next few weeks. There will be additions to your school account for activities that will occur for certain year levels. If you are in need of financial support please contact myself or Karen

Process for concerns

School and home are a partnership and we want to work together for each child to reach their potential. If there are any concerns throughout the year with your child, please contact your child's classroom teacher first. If you are not satisfied, then you should make contact with the Team Leaders (Mrs Akkerman Whakapono Aroha, (Mrs King Tika Māramatanga. If you are still not satisfied with this, then make time to come in and see Lisa Broadmore, Fay Warnock, Donna Vincent and then myself It is imperative to follow this process. Your child's class teacher should always be the first port of call. There are many things that happen for children in their day and if you are concerned it is best to email your child's teacher with a time to meet to discuss your concern. We need to make sure we have all the information before we discuss the concern. We need to work in partnership to grow the capacity of our children.

2023 Stationery

Stationery can be ordered from Bay Office Products using this link ;

Packs are also available to pick up from the showroom at 20 Christopher Street, Tauranga, or you can use the lists below to purchase stationery from anywhere else.

Please label everything

Naming your child's clothing helps us to return items promptly if they are lost or misplaced within the school grounds.

This year we hope to see every family using labels to name clothing, shoes, bottles, towels, togs, etc. Please check out these affordable labels from Precious Labels.

Using this link find our St Mary's School link which is located towards the bottom of the page. Ordering through this link is a mini fundraiser for the school.

We appreciate your help and support with naming your child's property.

Class compositions

As you can appreciate, class composition is always a challenge. Please know that our efforts in creating the classrooms come from a place of care and understanding.

We appreciate we may not get it right for everyone and that children will need to get along with many different children in their lives. We have some changes to the class make ups as this year we have Yr 2 & 3 and Yr 4 & 5 mixes. This has meant our children have been spread over 5 classrooms not 3 and some friendships may not stay together as we navigate this. I eluded to this throughout Term 4 and I hope our community understands we are trying something different for St Mary’s and need your cooperation. Your children will be awesome and the teams have planned many gatherings and opportunities through the term so the children connect with each other outside of their rooms.


Again in 2023 if your child needs to bring a phone to school could you please write a letter to me outlining the reason. Your child will then be able to power off and drop the phone into the office. They will then collect it from the office at the end of the day.

Emergency supplies

We also ask that each child brings in a box of tissues, a can of food (easy to access or with a ring pull tab) and a bottle of water. The tissues are for use within our classrooms and the food and water are part of our civil defence policy in case of an emergency situation. At the end of the year the cans are collected and donated to the Tauranga Foodbank.

Parent Conferences in 2023

Term 1

Wednesday 15th March, 3.15 pm-6.15 pm

Thursday 16th March 1.00 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 16th March.


Term 3

Wednesday 19th July, 3.15 pm-6.15 pm

Thursday 20th July 1.00 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 20th July.


Term 4

Wednesday 6th December, 3.15 pm-6.15 pm

Thursday 7th December 1.00 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 7th December.


Rural bus routes 6 & 12

You will no doubt be aware that weather events are having an effect on the roading network throughout the district.

This situation places a great deal of pressure on the management team at Uzabus. For each full or partial road closure they need to complete a safety assessment and develop a plan.

Any changes to routes will be communicated to parents via the EasyBus website:

Parents and students should refer to the website to obtain up-to-date information on the status of their bus route.

Please direct any enquiries regarding bus operations to EasyBus.

2023 Term Dates

Term 1 - Thursday 2 February - Thursday 6 April

Monday 6 February - Waitangi Day

Parent Conferences;

Wednesday 15th March, 3.15 pm-6.15 pm

Thursday 16th March 1.00 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 16th March.


Term 2 - Wednesday 26 April - Friday 30 June

Monday 24 April - TEACHER ONLY DAY

Tuesday 25 April - Anzac Day

Monday 5 June - King’s Birthday


Term 3 - Monday 17 July - Friday 22 September

Parent Conferences

Wednesday 19th July, 3.15 pm-6.15 pm

Thursday 20th July 1.00 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 20th July.


Term 4 - Monday 9 October - Wednesday 20 December

Monday 23 October - Labour Day

Friday 10 November-TEACHER ONLY DAY

Parent Conferences

Wednesday 6th December, 3.15 pm-6.15 pm

Thursday 7th December 1.00 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 7th December.


I look forward to seeing you and all the children as I move around the school over the first few days.

Ngā mihi

James Murray



Week 1

Welcome back to Term 1 of 2023. I hope you had a lovely holiday and enjoyed precious family time together. As a staff we are excited about meeting with you on Thursday and welcoming the children back on Friday.

During our Staff only days this week we have focused on what it means to teach in a Catholic School. We began our week with a whole staff Mass on Tuesday morning in our Cluny Chapel. This was a lovely way to celebrate the Eucharist together and connect with one another through our shared vision. Father Mark Field then led our professional development, focusing on the key aspects of teaching and working in a Catholic school. This was a great refreshment and consolidation for existing staff as well as learning for our new staff.

Our Catholic character underpins all learning within the school. We begin each day with prayer as a way of coming together, listening to God’s word and sharing communal and personal prayers. Through Prayer, the RE curriculum, Liturgies and Masses the children learn knowledge about our Catholic faith to help them develop a relationship with Jesus. As Jesus says

Let the little children come to Me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs."

(Matthew 19:14)

We also focus on the importance of our Cluny Sisters as our living Charism and how the school’s Catholicity is seen through the lens of our Charism. We are very fortunate to have our Cluny sisters living next door and having their regular presence within the school. They join us for Class and School Masses, as well as sharing their knowledge about their foundress Blessed Anne-Marie Javouey during special Liturgies. The children are all familiar with Blessed Anne-Marie’s motto “Do a Little Good” as we follow her wonderful example of giving service to others.

We are excited about our new year ahead and look forward to connecting with you all as “Together with Jesus we love, learn and serve in the Cluny Spirit.”

God Bless

Fay Warnock

Director of Religious Studies/Deputy Principal

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