St Mary's School

Thursday 26th May 2022

'Put your whole confidence in God' - Catherine McAuley

Dear whānau,

This week we had Rose from Active Southland in teaching our tamariki how to play Tapa Ae, a traditional Māori game that requires lots of team work, communication and problem solving. This has been fantastic timing as we also started a new whānau rotation for our inquiry topic 'Tūrangawaewae - the place where we stand' on Wednesday. Miss Bond is going to carry on with a Tapa Ae tournament seeing as the kids were ki tonu i te ngakau nui (full of enthusiasm).

From our school vision 'At St Mary’s we believe in the concept of tuakana-teina: big people looking after little people.' Whānau groups are made up of kids from new entrant up to year 6. Each group moves through different sessions taken by each of the teachers in the school this time with a focus on Tūrangawaewae. Teachers have planned various fun and engaging activities for PE, science, dance, visual arts, music, social studies, technology and digital technology.

This week we also had 15 lucky year 6's head off site to the East Gore Art Centre and Eastern Southland Art Gallery to do some cool work with Jacqui Byars and Janet de Wagt, again hitting our theme of Tūrangawaewae. The kids work reflected the work of Rita Angus whose amazing art is currently being exhibited at the Gallery and 'where they stand.' What a wonderful opportunity, thank you Jacqui for all your work. Also big thanks to our parent helpers who helped make the day possible.

You'll see below that swimming starts up in week 6. More information about this should have come home with your child today.

A reminder that this Sunday (29th May) we have our first whole school Mass to celebrate the children receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. We have one of these per term and this one is extra special because we will be joined by Bishop Michael Dooley. Children are asked to come in their school uniform and meet their teacher in the school quad at 9.45am, we will then head over to the church as a school. Remember, the church is the reason our school exists and therefore, your presence would be very much valued. We look forward to seeing you there.

God bless,


Acting Principal

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Above are the candidates receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation this Sunday. Congratulations Max, Miller, Hannah, Mason, Henry, Jackson, Cecilia, Sophie, Lucy, Preston, Pixie and Ali. Absent: Mia, Cooper and Jack Wilkins. We will also be joined by 4 other children from our parish.

Welcome to St Mary's Reid Tutty. We're stoked to have you join us. Happy school days mate!

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Congratulations Heidi!

Look at this gymnastics star! Heidi placed 1st overall for her Step 3 level out of 26 competitors from across Southland and Otago. Mauri mahi, mauri ora - do the work, get the treats. Awesome work Heidi, congratulations.

Where in the world is Annie Nelson?

You guessed it, she's back in the land of the long white cloud, Aotearoa and looking forward to getting back into school next week - we can't wait to have her back!
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Celebrating Mrs Hickey

On Friday we had a celebration for Eileen to acknowledge her invaluable service to the parish and our school over many-a-year.

In the tablet Eileen was described as the housekeeper for the priests, manager of the parish office, liaison with our school and our families. She also carried out a whole range of other less visible tasks. The less visible tasks like preparing the church for Masses, funerals, weddings and baptisms are the reason why we found it so hard to find photos of Mrs Hickey, she’s always calmly and faithfully working behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly, it doesn’t just happen magically.

The comments our kids made in their cards for Mrs Hickey were things like ‘she always smiles at me when I walk into the church, she opens the doors for us to leave Mass, she makes sure the church is always warm and ready for our Monday prayers and assembly, she comes to our special school events’ and we all know how straight up kids are, they’re not silly, they know who the special people are!

10 years ago Mrs Hickey was awarded the Benemerenti Medal which is a special medal awarded by the Pope to people who go above and beyond to serve the Catholic Church and as far as our parish goes, we all know, you don’t get much better than her.

Now that Eileen (well at the end of the month) has a bit more time on her hands, we’re looking forward to sharing more cups of tea and yarns with her over morning tea at school. Eileen, thank you for everything you have done for our parish and our school over the years. While you’ve done your best to work behind the scenes, your dedication and hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. God bless.

Our Year 6 Artists and their tutors Jacqui Byars and Janet de Wagt

More photos are on their way to Facebook. You can also view these in person, on display at the Muruawai Centre (opposite the Art Gallery in the old Salvation Army building).
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Amazing Art by Room Kiwi - getting their Kandinsky on!

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Thanks Russell and the team at SouthFuels

At assembly a few weeks ago, we were joined by Russell from SouthFuels who generously presented us with a heap of headphones, balls, hoops and play equipment as part of the Fuel for Schools programme. How cool is that? Thanks SouthFuels, we really appreciate it and we know we'll get lots of use out of all the equipment.
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John Parson - Cybersafety

Last week I shared with you all a link from John Parsons called about dealing with anti social behaviour online. This week I'm sharing a link with you for his books - 'Keeping Your Children Safe Online' and 'Romeo the Elephant's Digital Footprint'

Upcoming events

Week 4

Gospel and prayers - Room Kea

Monday and Tuesday - Rose from Active Southland in - teaching Tapa Ae

Tuesday - Home and School Meeting, Staffroom - 7pm

Sunday - whole school Mass - 9.45am in the school quad

Week 5

Gospel and prayers - Room Kereru

Tuesday - National Young Leaders Day - Year 6

Tuesday and Wednesday - Sarah, Sports Activator

Wednesday - Year 5 and 6 Rippa Rugby Tournament - Invercargill

Week 6

Gospel and prayers - Room Moa

Monday - Queen's Birthday

Tuesday and Wednesday - Teacher Only Days

Wednesday - Eastern Cross Country - Waimumu

Thursday and Friday - Swimming (Pukeko, Kereru, Tui, Kea, Ruru and Piwakawaka)

Week 7

Gospel and prayers - Room Piwakawaka

Monday - Wednesday - Swimming (Pukeko, Kereru, Tui, Kea, Ruru and Piwakawaka)

Thursday and Friday - Swimming (Moa, Takahe, Kiwi)

Week 8

Gospel and prayers - Room Tui

Monday - Wednesday - Swimming (Moa, Takahe, Kiwi)

Thursday - Matariki Celebration - Details to be confirmed