St Mary's School

Thursday 2nd March 2023

‘... all of you are one in Christ Jesus.’ - Galatians 3:28

Dear whānau,

It's the 2nd of March already, time is flying by. Room Piwakawaka kicked off week 5 of the term with their Monday Prayers which focused on the Catholic Social Teaching principle of Solidarity. Being in solidarity is recognising others as our brothers and sisters and actively working for their good. In our connected humanity, we are invited to build relationships to understand what life is like for others who are different from us.

The children shared lots of caring ideas of how they show solidarity - giving mission money for our sponsored child, caring for everyone not just our friends, bringing cans of food for our local St Vincent de Paul, bringing a gold coin donation to mufti days, inviting children to play our games. They also used the parable of the Good Samaritan as a really good example of someone showing solidarity. Talk about kids who are onto it, Justine from Caritas would be super impressed!

This afternoon our staff join the staff of St Peter's College in the Chapel for our 2023 Commissioning Mass. The Mass is celebrated by Bishop Michael Dooley and our Parish Priests Father Jaime and Father Elie. As catholic educators, we are not only leaders in learning, but more importantly, we are leaders in faith. We have the great privilege of working with children, their whānau and our wider parish and community. We share in the Bishop's ministry and strive to hand on and nurture the faith of our children and their families.

This Sunday we celebrate the beginning of our school year with Mass at 10am in the Church. We ask that children wear their uniform and meet their teachers in the school quad at 9.45am. We understand that it is a busy time of the year for many of our families, but when you start thinking you're too busy to make it, please think back to your enrolment meeting when you agreed to support the special catholic character of our school. We know everyone loves our vision, values and what a fantastic school we have but these things only exist because of Jesus and our Church. If you are unable to make Mass on Sunday, please let your child's teacher know.

'Coin or Can' Donation - We are asking families to bring a coin in support of the schools and communities that have been devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle in the East Cape and Hawkes Bay or bring along a can to support our local St Vincent de Paul Society helping local families in need.

If you've got something exciting to share, feel free to email me a photo(s) and a short blurb by Thursday 9am each week and I'll pop in the newsletter for us all to celebrate together -

God bless.



Acting Principal

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Welcome Connor

Connor Thomson started his learning journey in Room Pukeko and at St Mary's this week. Connor is the son of Michelle and Andrew and he has his big sister Piper at school already, and what a great job she is doing of looking out for him.

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Date Set - Farewell Assembly for Mrs. Nelson

On Friday 24th March we will have a special afternoon farewelling Mrs. Nelson who left us at the end of 2022 and is now working for the Ministry of Education as an advisor. Mrs Nelson has been our super dedicated and incredibly kind Principal for the last ten years, and we want to make sure we give her the perfect send off.

We thought we would start with a shared lunch at school in the quad/playground area. Come along and join your child(ren) for lunch and have a chat to Mrs Nelson (I know she would love that). We will then head over to our Church where we have a few items and words that the students and staff would like to share.

Shared lunch: I remember there was a bit of confusion about what a shared lunch entailed at the end of last year, and I'm also now aware that it means different things in different cultures. We're so lucky to be part of a diverse community, full of different cultures so I'm hoping that the following covers all of us ...

- send your child(ren) with their usual lunch and bring something for yourself to eat

- send your child(ren) with their usual lunch, and if you were unable to come, the sharing part would be them sitting with their friends (sharing a yarn and a laugh)

- bring kai for you and your child(ren) to share

- bring food to share with other children and whānau

Whatever you choose to do, it can't be wrong.

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Kind and Caring Cuda

The Catholic Social Teaching principle of human dignity is about understanding that each of us is made in God’s image. Every person has an innate human dignity no one can take away. Human dignity is given freely to all human beings; whether saint or sinner, imprisoned or freed, powerful or marginalised. Christ died for all, so all can have fullness of life and therefore every human life is considered sacred. Miss S and the Room Tui kids have been learning lots about the CST principle of human dignity and I think Cuda has shown a great understanding of what it means.

He wrote (with finger spaces and all) 'I can uphold a person's dignity by being kind and showing love.' How clever and caring is he? Ka pai Cuda!

Antlers Up

Yesterday we sent this bunch down to Rugby Park for the Southland Rippa Rugby Carnival. They played 5 hard games and managed to win 2 of them against some tricky competition. I've been told they showed fantastic sportsmanship (no surprises there) and the free sausage sizzle and Stags poster was a real hit.

Thank you to our coaches and parent supporters, Dennis, Hayden and Kelly for making sure our kids got to experience this great opportunity. Thanks also to (from the left) Emma Kitto, Sophie Smit, Sophie Kubala, Cecilia Ryan, Harry Moore, Ryan Stevenson, Leo Chamberlain, Lachie Moriarty, Jackson White, Mason Smith and Preston Byars for 'putting their whole confidence in God' and proudly representing St Mary's.

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Great Ideas Tyler!

Look at this amazing writing of Tyler Coyle's. He's got some great ideas, I'm almost convinced that the Amazon would be a great place to go ... although the army of snakes puts me off a bit!

Artic vs Amazon

'Today I was asked to choose between living in the Arctic and living in the Amazon jungle. I think the Amazon is the best. Why you ask? Well here's three reasons why.

You can ride gorillas, you can train an army of snakes and climb trees to see the whole place. Here's one reason why the Arctic isn't the best, you could get attacked by a polar bear.'

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Principal Appointment

Tēnā koutou St Mary’s whānau

As you will be aware at the end of last year our principal, Mrs Annie Nelson, resigned. For the best part of a decade, St Mary’s has been blessed by Mrs Nelson’s leadership. We are grateful for Annie’s dedication and service to St Mary’s and wish her all the best with her future endeavours with the Ministry of Education.

The Board is now beginning the process of finding a new principal who will continue to lead and uphold the vision of St Mary's School. To ensure a thorough and fair process, we will have engaged with the New Zealand School Trustees Association and the Dunedin Diocese Catholic Education Office to help guide us with the appointment process.

We believe it is important to involve the wider school community in this process, and as such, the Board will shortly be consulting with a range of groups such as parents, teachers, and students. Your input will be essential in helping us to identify the skills and attributes we should be looking for in appointing our next principal.

In the meantime, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and senior leadership team for ensuring the smooth running of St Mary’s during this transition period. We deeply admire the ongoing māhi and aroha you generously provide to all our students

We will provide further updates as the process unfolds, but in the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

On behalf of the St Mary’s Board

Brendan Terry

Presiding Member

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We want to hear more Te Reo Māori around our place...

Miss S is going to be at the front gate every Wednesday morning and is listening out for your best greetings in Te Reo Māori. There will even be a few prizes for your efforts!

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Church Cleaning and Ministry Rosters

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Upcoming Events Calendar

Week 5 (27th - 3rd March)

Monday Prayers and Friday Gospel - Mrs Christie and Room Piwakawaka

Monday Prayers - 8.50am in the Church

Tuesday - Paid Union Meeting - school will remain open

Thursday - Commissioning Mass for Teachers - 4pm

Friday - Assembly - 2.20pm in the Church

Sunday - Whole School Beginning of year Mass - kids in quad at 9.45am

Week 6 (6th - 10th March)

Monday Prayers and Friday Gospel - Mrs Knowler and Room Kereru

Monday Prayers - 8.50am in the Church

Tuesday - Eastern Athletics

Thursday - Eastern Athletics Postponement Date

Friday - Assembly - 2.20pm in the Church

Week 7 (13th - 17th March)

Monday Prayers and Friday Gospel - Miss McRae and Room Ruru

Tuesday - Years 5 and 6 heading up East Peak

Monday Prayers - 8.50am in the Church

Friday - St Patrick's Day - games and activities

Friday - Assembly - 2.20pm in the Church

Week 8 (20th - 24th March)

Monday Prayers and Friday Gospel - Miss Bond and Room Takahe

Monday Prayers - 8.50am in the Church

Monday - Friday - Swimming for Pukeko, Kereru, Tui and Kea (more info to come)

Friday - Shared lunch and Mrs Nelson's Farewell (lunch 1pm, farewell 2pm in the Church)

Week 9 (27th - 31st March)

Monday Prayers and Friday Gospel - Mrs Cruickshank and Mrs Thacker and Room Pukeko

Monday Prayers - 8.50am in the Church

Monday - Friday - Swimming for Ruru, Piwakawaka, Moa, Takahe and Kiwi (more info to come)

Friday - Mr Yipadee in for junior school

Friday - Welcome Liturgy - 2pm in the Church

Week 10 (3rd - 7th April)

Monday Prayers - 8.50am in the Church - Miss Hood and Room Moa

Thursday 2pm - Holy Week Liturgy in the Church

Thursday - last day for term 1

Friday - Good Friday, the beginning of Easter

Confirmed Teacher Only Day - Friday 5th May