St Mary's Catholic School 7 September 2022 - Term 3 Week 7

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Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Gospel Reading

Luke 14:25-33

Jesus teaches about the demands of discipleship.

Background on the Gospel Reading

In chapter 14 of Luke's Gospel, Jesus is speaking to people gathered at the table about the difficulties of following him. This group of people is suspicious about Jesus, looking to catch him doing something wrong. Jesus speaks to them in parables, emphasizing that although there is a right way to be a disciple and enter into the kingdom of his Father, it is a difficult path to follow. Many, even some of the guests at the table, reject the invitation. So Jesus turns to the crowds and speaks to them of discipleship. Jesus explains that, when it comes to making a choice for the Kingdom of God, nothing can get in the way. When Jesus describes “hating” one's father and mother, he is not talking about feelings. Rather, he is emphasizing very strongly that choosing to be a disciple means that everything else—family, money, your own life—must come second. In Matthew's version of this story (Matthew 10:37), Jesus refers not to “hating” father or mother, but to loving them more than Jesus. Jesus makes it very clear that being a disciple is not easy. It means to bear one's own cross. These difficult sayings of Jesus are followed by two brief parables (a person constructing a tower and a king marching into battle) that make an obvious point—don't start what you cannot finish. Discipleship is difficult and is something we can commit to only if we are prepared to put the Kingdom of God before everything else.


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

Term 3 is flying by and our children are really coping well with all the new learning happening. Our Structured Literacy is really going well alongside our Zones of Regulation. We do hope your children are talking with you at home about zones. Some good questions to ask your children at the end of the day are: what am I proud of today? What learning from today can I take into tomorrow? These questions promote good discussions and learning for us all.

Can I please also ask our families to consider talking to their children each day about: what am I grateful for? This helps promote positive thinking and for our children to know there are wonderful things and people in their lives.

Our School Vision

Together with Jesus we love, learn and serve in the Cluny spirit.

We have recently had two liturgies discussing the new vision and our RE certificates are reflecting behaviours from children who are living it.

2023 Planning

This year our class sizes may have been considered a little high in some areas of our school. Depending on 2023 enrolments we are hoping to rectify that next year. While we cannot guarantee that some class sizes won’t be large, we are committed to looking at class sizes differently. With this in mind we will be looking at the makeup of our class year groups for 2023. It could mean that we have a mix of Yr 1 and 2, or Yr 2 and 3 classes in our junior school. It could also mean we have Yr 4 and 5 classrooms, as well as some straight Yr 6 classrooms in our senior school. Again, this will all depend on 2023 numbers and trying to spread the load across our two teams. We will keep our community updated as we move through our thinking.

Raising Concerns

A reminder if you have concerns, it is imperative that you speak with your child's teacher in the first instance. After that if you feel you need to go to the team leader then please do so. Mrs Akkerman is the leader for Years 4-6 and Ms Oates is the leader for Yrs 0-3

Mrs Broadmore and I will support the school and families once they have been through these channels. We must role model good behaviours to our children and follow the correct processes.

Communication and posts

I know as a community you will have seen lots of posts on HERO, facebook and through Google classroom, please know that we are trying to keep everyone as up to date as we can. Our website has all the latest newsletters, facebook posts and is a good source of information and you are able to translate it as well. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Sometimes, I know our community feel overwhelmed about the amount of posts on HERO, our apologies for this, we are trying to make sure we communicate as much as we can.

Personalized Photo Sessions

Last month we had class and individual photos of our students in their school uniforms, as well as sports photos.

This year we are also offering optional, personalized photography sessions with children and family photographer Shaun O’Leary. These lifestyle photography sessions are informal portraits taken in outdoor settings within school grounds with children wearing their own choice of clothing and anything they would like to be photographed with, such as a soccer ball or guitar. The experience aims to capture their genuine expressions and personalities. The results are vibrant, playful images with a fine art quality that will be treasured for years to come. The sessions involve small groups of up to 3 children for around 45 minutes and incur a booking fee of $25 per child. (For those interested in ‘out of school’ family sessions, details for booking are on the website.)

With lifestyle photography sessions, you will not just have one photo taken but a number taken in different settings. All the photos are then professionally processed and edited and within a week, you will be sent a link to a slideshow for you to view the full gallery of photos of your child from the session. After seeing the slideshow, you will then have the option to purchase digital images in one of 3 download packages ranging from $75 - $150. There is also an option to purchase prints, and other printed products directly from the image gallery. For more information go to

Sessions will be offered at school in the mornings with the first session next Tuesday, September 13th, for Year 4 students. Initially, sessions will be with Year 4 Students on Tuesdays, Year 5 Students on Wednesdays, and Year 6 Students on Thursdays, and will then be offered to other class levels. Sessions can be booked at Be sure to book early to avoid missing out!

Financial Concerns

If you have any financial concerns or worries with payments please make sure you contact Karen or myself. We can support the Diocesan fees by helping you complete the forms to support payments as well.

Ngā mihi nui

James Murray



Thank you to the parents and family members who were able to join us last Tuesday for our liturgy where we welcomed the new students and their families who had joined us during the last term.

Your presence was greatly appreciated and we certainly appreciate being able to gather as a worshipping community again.

Sister Allison shared a beautiful reflection with us and we remain forever grateful for our Cluny charism and special Catholic character which underpins everything we do here at St Mary’s School.

Social Justice Week

This week is Social Justice Week and our liturgy on Monday focused on Social Justice.The theme for Social Justice Week 2022 is “Say No To Racism. We are One in Christ.”

We shared the Gospel Story of the Good Samaritan with the children.

“In this Gospel we hear Jesus calling us to be a good neighbour, the one who stops and helps the injured, the one who does not hesitate to accept the responsibility of healing. We are called to act like Jesus - to wake up, to stand up and speak when we see racism.We are invited to love our neighbour and write a new parable of racial justice for this time.” Caritas Resource for Primary Schools.

Let us pray

Jesus, you embody love and truth.

Help us to recognise your face in everyone we meet.

Enable us to live out our call to bring love and justice to your people.

Holy Spirit, you inspire us to transform our world.

Empower us to seek the common good for all persons.

Give us a spirit of solidarity and make us one human family.

Through Christ our Lord


End of Term

At the end of this term I officially finish my time as helping out in the DRS role. I have thoroughly enjoyed coming back to my old role, a role I feel very passionate about and committed to.

To be involved and to be able to foster a child’s faith development is a huge privilege .

In our very secular world you as parents are to be commended for sending your children to our school and offering your children the gift of faith.

It is this gift which I believe will enable your child/children to navigate their way through life, to cope with what life throws at them and to live their lives with hope and joy knowing that they are loved by God and are never alone.

I know Mrs Fay Warnock is really looking forward to taking up her position as DP/DRS in our school next term and continuing to lead the Religious Education and Special Character.

I am heading off to Europe with my husband Peter later this week to see the Passion Play in Oberammergau Germany which was rescheduled from 2020 because of Covid. I am grateful to James and our Board for allowing me to finish the term early so I can attend this.

I hope the rest of the term goes well and you have enjoyable and restful holidays at the end of the term.

With kind regards and God bless

Sally Washer


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This week we celebrate Tonga Language Week

Mālō e lelei

This year’s theme for Tonga Language Week - is:

Ke Tu'uloa 'a e lea faka-Tonga 'i Aotearoa,

which means Sustaining the Tonga Language in Aotearoa.

Year 5 & 6 Speech Competition

One of the highlights on our calendar is the annual speech competition. The children shared wonderfully well with an interesting range of topics. Mrs Coryl Baggenstos (W.P.B.O Speech Competition) and Mrs Lisa Broadmore had a difficult job judging as they were all very good. Mrs Baggenstos has provided our students with some helpful feedback and we wish our first and second prize winners of each year group, our best wishes tomorrow at the South Cluster Speech Competition.

Year 6

1st: Sadie Frank

2nd: Vienna Vale

3rd: Baxter Carlin

Highly Commended: Saoirse O'Connor, Vanessa Moncrieff, Madeline Mear

Year 5

1st: Flynn Gardiner

2nd: Bridget Bywater-Lutman

3rd: Clover Palairet

Highly Commended: Molly Gleaves, Eireen Jaswil, Olivia Woodhouse

Year 3 & 4 Speech Competition

Today twelve speech finalists participated in our Year 3 & 4 Speech Competition.

Congratulations to our Year 3 prize winners:

1st: Riki Oliver-Marshall (Further Adventures of Humpty Dumpty)

2nd: Patrick Siron (Trains)

3rd: Francesca Inglis (Poem from the Lord of the Rings)

Highly Commended: Parker Osbaldiston (Pool Shark), Caleb Walter (Self written poem, One Day) Andreena Shaji (That Bold Bee)

Congratulations to our Year 4 prize winners:

1st: Annabelle Talbot (Everyone Should Own an EV Car)

2nd: Gabriel Lewis (Cats Make the Best Pets)

3rd: Maverick Damasco (Why We Should Have Healthy Lunchboxes)

Highly Commended: Alex Carter (Dogs Make the Best Pets), Mieka Sander (Why the St Mary's New Skate Park Should Have Separate Junior and Senior Times)

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Multicultural Tauranga Drawing Competition

Congratulations to Zainab Syed for her 3rd place entry for the Multicultural Tauranga Drawing Competition. She received a presentation that was held at the Historical Village.

This year the theme was, “Nga Matimati no’ te ringa Kotahi - The fingers of one Hand”.

From prehistoric times to our own day, in every society known to science, the hands symbolize cultural behaviours, values, and beliefs. According to Aristotle, the hand is the "tool of tools." In general it is strength, power and protection. However, it can just as easily mean generosity, hospitality and stability; “lend a hand”. The goal was to draw how you see different people of different cultures working together and lending a hand to make our world a better and more inclusive place.

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The Imagineer Virtual Show

Last week we were entertained by Tony Bones from Books to Life. With puppets and props, Tony really brought The Imagineer story to life for us! Our House Leaders also did a fantastic job by using some very interesting props throughout this fun virtual show.

The Imagineer is a story about a young girl Penny who has an incredible imagination. She loves to draw up plans, gather her tools and turn sketches and scribbles into new creations.

One day, she visits her grandpa’s house and is amazed at his gadgets and gizmos. He has a telephone hanging on his wall, an organ with bellows to pump and a contraption with a handle to churn homemade butter.

Then Penny discovers grandpa’s garage …

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P.M.P - Perceptual Motor Programme

Our Tika children began P.M.P this week. The Perceptual Motor Programme (P.M.P) is a physical skills programme that aims to increase children’s fine and gross motor skills, coordination, concentration, eye tracking skills, and memory through a variety of activities and games.

P.M.P enables children to ‘fill the holes in their bucket.’ If parents and teachers pour in the ‘water’ (knowledge & skills), it won’t be retained if there are ‘holes’ (postural & baby reflexes that aren’t fully developed like balancing & crawling, sense development, oral, visual, auditory skills, followed by reading, writing & maths). This programme encourages language in action which will allow children to hear, see, do, improve their fundamental skills, and gain additional body awareness.

Our Year 6 Dynamo Leaders support our Tika children with the sessions. Each Tika class will have two sessions a week. The skills that the children gain or improve on while involved in this programme, will help them physically, mentally, across the various school curriculum areas, and with their concentration in class.

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St Mary's Holiday Programme Term 3

The Term 3 Holiday Programme is confirmed for the first week of the school holidays 3 - 7 October.

Bookings will open on Monday 12 September.



Louis Song, Tyler Richards, Ethan Lowe and Isaac McMah represented St Mary's School at the BOP Primary School Chess competition held in Tauranga.

It was a fantastic day with each of our players having two wins and two losses. Well done team!

Netball - St Mary's Sting

Thanks to coaches Harriet McKee and Rebecca Morell for a their work this year with the team.


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Term 1 - Thursday 3 February - Thursday 14 April

Monday 7 February - Waitangi Day

Term 2 - Monday 2 May - Friday 8 July

Monday 6 June - Queen's Birthday

Tuesday 7 June- TEACHER ONLY DAY, Kahui Ako

Friday 24 June - Matariki

Term 3 - Monday 25 July - Friday 30 September

Friday 2nd September-TEACHER ONLY DAY

Term 4 - Monday 17 October - Friday 16 December

Monday 24 October - Labour Day

Friday 18th November - TEACHER ONLY DAY


Term 4- Wednesday 7th December, 3 pm-6 pm, Thursday 8th December 12.30 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 8th December.


Please support our Gold Group Sponsors

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