Newsletter Week 3, Term 2

St Michael's Catholic School Rotorua, Wednesday 18th May


Tēnā koutou kātoa e te whānau,

Term 2 already feels like it is getting away from us with so much going on, the calendar is filling up fast. This week is testing week for the Year 3 - 6 students with data being collected in reading, writing and maths. So far, our data is looking very positive and I look forward to sharing it with you in our next newsletter.

I am incredibly proud of our staff who are working so very hard to plan meaningful learning experiences for the children.

For the past three weeks, the senior children have had the opportunity to work with Paul Billing from JPC. Paul has been preparing the children for our internal Epro 8 competition. The EPro8 Challenge is the inter-school science and engineering competition. Every year over 22,000 students from throughout New Zealand take part. Students participate in a series of events: firstly within their school and then inter-school. These events are designed to promote science and engineering. Our Epro 8 Challenge is on Friday, two teams will be selected from our competition to participate in the Inter school competition later in the year. The children have very much enjoyed their sessions with Paul and are excited to participate in the competition on Friday. This is the first year that we have held a school competition, so there has been a lot of new learning in order to prepare all seniors to participate.

As we are heading into winter, it is very important that parents are vigilant about keeping their children home if they are unwell. Schools are beginning to see a second wave of Covid and we do not want to be in a position whereby we are unable to staff our school. We were extremely lucky last term to avoid an outbreak but as winter approaches we all need to take responsibility, look after each other and stay home if unwell.

Have a great week whanau,

Ma te Atua koutou e manaaki,

Rachael McLanachan

Te tumuaki o te kura Hato Mikaere

Classroom News

The Ark

We have had a busy start to the term in the Ark getting straight into learning and following our same routines. The children are so happy to be back together as a school and have loved hanging out with the other children at break times. They have all particularly enjoyed getting involved in the new lunchtime activities we have on offer! We have welcomed some new students into the Ark this term who have started and fitted in well with Mrs Keaney.

The children have loved learning about our new concept this term “Kaitiakitanga”. They are buzzing with ideas about how they can be kaitiaki of God’s creation. We have started learning about animals to begin with and how we can protect and take care of them in anticipation for our trip to the Hamilton Zoo. They are learning about the categories of animals, the habitats they live in and what natural and unnatural events can do to their habitats. We have also incorporated the Arts curriculum and they have created gorgeous animal art and will continue to create art with Miss O'Neill and Mrs Owen on Fridays.

In Religious Education we have been learning about prayer and different types of prayer. We have also begun learning how to pray the Rosary for the month of May. We are also diving into the Holy Spirit strand this term.

The students are working hard in numeracy. At this level they are learning number knowledge and how this knowledge can support them to start adding and subtracting numbers. Our strand this term is measurement which has linked nicely into the kaitiakitanga theme! We have been looking at the weight and length of huge animals.

We are moving along nicely in our BSLA programme. We are seeing significant progress in the students' foundational literacy skills. Miss O'Neil is at week twenty next week with her class and Mrs Keaney is almost at week ten. Miss O'Neill has been running a Tier two group in the mornings for the last eight weeks. This Tier two group was identified from last year's assessment data. The Tier two programme is a thirty minute daily lesson designed to accelerate their progress and understanding of the foundational literacy skills. We will both be completing ten and twenty week assessments on the children to see their progress after the ten and twenty weeks of teaching this structured literacy approach and the Tier 2 approach. We will both then continue to teach the approach until we get to week thirty. We are excited to see the assessment results from this programme.

We also have our amazing teacher aide Ra running oral language programmes, early words and six bricks to support our learners.

Shayla O’Neill

Eden 7

Our theme for this term is Kaitiakitanga - Kaitiakitanga - guardianship or protection. Our Wonderful World. The students are learning to understand that scientists ask questions about our world and that this leads to investigations. They are also becoming aware that we need to listen, question and observe. There might be more than one explanation to our questions. They are so involved in their bug studies and they are finding some very interesting facts about the bugs they have chosen to research. The bug hunt was a huge success and triggered their fascination with bugs. They also learned that an entomologist is a person who studies insects. They are increasing their vocabulary knowledge.

The students are learning how to use google slides to present their findings and report about their bugs. They have learned how to add new slides, images from the web, headings, background colours and searching for new information. Once we have completed our presentations we will, as a whole class, design a bug hotel.

The excitement for the week was when we found a tiny dead mouse on our steps in the morning and used him (it) as a discussion point about vertebrates and invertebrates. We had a burial for the mouse and they even had flowers on the grave in the flower bed.

Our reading lessons have been filled with discovering extra information about N.Z. bugs.

We are doing Descriptive writing and Report writing which fits in very well with our topic.

For Maths we are covering Multiplication and Division, Number Knowledge and Measurement.

I contacted our Sports B.O.P. Healthy Active Learning Advisor and he will be coming in to teach the year 5 and 6 students Ki-o-Rahi. This is a game based on a Maori legend. He will also work with the year 3 and 4 students to teach them a similar but simplified game called Tapu - Ae.

Thank you for taking the time to read about our exciting learning adventures.

Zenobia Knox

Eden 6

Whilst the end of Term 1 was a little messy due to covid absences, Term 2 has dawned brightly with almost all children present since the beginning of the new term. This has meant that we have been able to really get into our learning without leaving anyone behind.

We started the term with an author visit, albeit, via Zoom. This is a great exercise to share with children as it shows that authors and other community leaders are accessible and just normal people like themselves. Helen Griffiths used her book Treasure Beyond Measure to promote the message of kaitiakitanga or conservation, our focus for Term 2. Additionally it was great for using rich language as it is a book about collective nouns - a murder of crows!

As mentioned above, our term focus is kaitiakitanga and within Eden we are using bugs for the first half of the term to convey the message that we are guardians of our environment. The children were so captivated with our bug hunt last week, and we saw lots of great cooperation, sharing of their finds, encouraging others to participate and generally joy at being outside amongst nature.

The topic of bugs feeds beautifully into our writing focus this term which is report writing. In Eden 6, Jo is concentrating on teaching report writing, whilst Ruth is addressing writing skills and language features. Our maths focus this term for Number is multiplication and division and for Strand is measurement. RE has been all about prayer and the Holy Spirit, in the lead up to Pentecost.

Differentiation and Universal Design for Learning continue to be an important part of our planning and delivery in our classroom, as we have a significant number of children in our class who are priority learners, neurodiverse or ESOL. Those children are also being catered to with programmes such as Lexia, PMP, ESOL and BSLA.

With the beautiful weather we have been having, we have been able to get outside each day for fitness. The children are loving our morning skipping sessions.

We continue to love being in our class, building and maintaining strong learning focused relationships with the children. We have welcomed a new boy into our class and it has been lovely to see our children welcome him in, and make a real effort to ensure that he is included. This shows a lovely, inclusive, friendly class culture.

Ruth O’Leary and Jo Fleet

Special Character


Dear Loving Parishioners and Friends, Kia Ora!

Fr Prakash is going home for his holidays next Sunday. Let us pray for his safe travels and happy holidays with parents and family.

Priestly Ordination of Michael Guthrie: Michael, son of our parishioner Pat Guthrie will be ordained a priest on 25th June 2022 in Westminster Cathedral UK. Deacon Michael is the son of our parish family, a blessing and gift from God. Let us start praying for our beloved deacon, and his priestly ordination. He will be coming to celebrate his First Mass here in St Mary’s on 17th July.

Confirmation and First Holy Communion (June 4th and 5th): As the children are getting ready for this great day in their lives, as a parish we need to pray and prepare for a new Pentecostal experience in our Christian life. We thank Fr Prakash in advance for preparing the students and their parents with dedication and commitment and already arranging everything meticulously.

Family Visit/ House blessing and praying together: Only by visiting the families the priest will be able to know the people. Pope Francis says, “the shepherd should know the smell of the sheep”. So please book your date through the office/priests to visit and bless your home. All families and single parishioners are welcome to book a date.

‘House visit’ by the parish clergy is to pray together, bless the house, anoint the sick and to cast out the evil powers in the powerful name of Jesus’. Lk9:1-2

Thanking you dear parishioners for your presence and support in different capacities to run our parish, keeping Jesus at the centre, and praying for success in your lives, we the parish clergy love you.

Yours in the Heart of Mary,

Fr Thomas cmf

St Michael's Church Holy Mass Timetable

Holy Mass

Saturday Vigil 5pm

Sunday 8am

Tuesday 5:30pm

Thursday 9am

St Mary's Church Holy Mass Timetable

Holy Mass

Sunday 10am & 5pm

Monday 9am

Wednesday 12:05pm

Friday 9am

Saturday 9am


MIHA MAORI - First Saturday of the month, 5pm Vigil Mass at St Michael’s. All are welcome.

TOKELAUAN COMMUNITY - Third Saturday of the month, 5pm Vigil Mass at St Michael’s. All are welcome.

FILIPINO COMMUNITY - Third Friday of the month, 6pm at St Michael’s. All are welcome. INDIAN COMMUNITY - Fourth Friday of the month, 6pm at St Michael’s. All are welcome

Parish Priest: Fr. Thomas Thanniyanickal cmf

Email: Phone: 022 565 9017

Assistant Priest: Fr. Prakash Somu cmf


Secretary: Andrea Tuki

Office Hours: Monday: Closed - Tues. - Friday.: 8am - 2.30pm

Phone: (07) 348 0289 ext. 2


Face Book: Saint Mary of the Cross Mackillop, Rotorua

Postal Address: 40-44 Seddon St, Glenholme, Rotorua 3010

Goal Setting Whanau Meetings - Teacher Only Day

Parent/ Teacher Goal Setting Meetings are scheduled for Wednesday 8 June. School will be closed for instruction for that day but please let us know if this causes issues for your whanau.

Parents can book for this event by clicking on the link below and entering the event code wwdvt

2023 John Paul College Enrolment Interviews / Open Evening

Interviews are being held here at St Michael's School on Monday the 13th of June. Confirmation of interview times will be sent home before the interviews.

The JPC Open Evening will be held on Thursday 2 June 2022. Tours will start at 4 pm and the last tour will leave the front entrance of the school at 5.15pm. There will be a cup of tea available in the ERC and Leaders of Teaching and Learning will be there if you would like further information about the curriculum areas.

Sport News

Players of the day

Miniball Juniors 9th May: Jean Whiteside-Hewitt

Miniball Juniors 16th May: Milan Geyer

Soccer ( Football) 14th May

Grade 9 (Seniors) : Arin Simpkins

Grade 6 (Juniors) : Milan Geyer and Zaiden Sleet

Maxi Hockey starts on Saturday 28th May with 10 weeks of competition games, then semi finals & finals.

Mini Hockey starts on Saturday 28th May with 12 weeks of games.

Funsticks Starts on Saturday 18th June

Health and Safety

Children with colds or flu-like symptoms are not permitted to attend school. Any children displaying these symptoms will be sent home. They must then get a COVID test and return a negative test before returning to school.

Please remember that if someone in your household has tested positive, your child needs to isolate with you. Please do not send your child to school if there is a close contact at home with Covid. We thank you for all doing your part to keep our school community safe.

Helpful Link:

Caring for a child with Covid

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Board of Trustees

Next board meeting Date: Thursday 19th of May

At each BOT meeting - twice a term - policies are reviewed. If you would like to communicate with the BOT, you are welcome to email our independent e-mail address; or alternatively, send letters to the school in an envelope marked "Board of Trustees."

You are also welcome to attend any meeting, however, if you would like to have speaking rights, you need to request this from the chair using the email address. This email address can be accessed by Nick Horton (Chair)

Upcoming Events For Term 2

  • EPro 8 Internal School Event Friday 20 May
  • BOT Meeting - Thursday 19 May
  • Class Photo Day - Monday 23 May
  • Year 3 - 6 Swimming Programme - Monday 30 May - Friday 3 June
  • Queens Birthday - Monday 6 June
  • Teacher Only Day / Goal Setting Whanau Meetings - Wednesday 8 June
  • JPC Year 6 Interviews - Monday 13 June
  • Hamilton Zoo Trip - Wednesday 15 June
  • BOT Meeting - Thursday 23 June
  • Matariki Week - Monday 20 June
  • Matariki Public Holiday - Friday 24 June
  • End of Term 2 - Friday 8 July

Lunchtime Activities

Our teachers are offering a variety of lunchtime activities this term. Encourage your child to get involved and learn something new.

Monday - Gymnastics/ Chess/ Juggling

Tuesday - Lego/ Miniball practice for Mrs Keaney's team

Wednesday - Ukulele (Year 3 - 6)/ Dance

Thursday - Young Vinnies / Enviro Club

Friday - Skate Club/ Bucket Drumming

PTA News

If you have any concerns or issues please email


PTA Committee

Friday Sausage Sizzle

During Term 2 the children will be able to purchase a BBQ sausage and bread for $2.

All orders will be taken in the classroom at 9am.

School Lunches Available Monday & Wednesday

To order lunches for Monday or Wednesday, please go online using the link Lunch orders can be done in advance using Monday or Wednesday calendar days. On the day you want lunch the order must be done by the 8am cut off. No lunch orders can be taken from the school office.

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Lucky Book Club Orders- Issue 3

All orders must be handed into the school office or done online via the loop app or website by Thursday May the 19th.

Yummy Apple Stickers

The Yummy sticker promotion is set to go again for 2022, time to get crunching and collecting stickers.Shop at your local New World, Pak’n Save and participating Four Square stores. Purchase Yummy apples, either bags with cut-out labels or individual apples with Yummy stickers. Gather up the stickers and send them into the school office. Remember the more we collect the more money we get to spend on sports equipment!

Bread on Wednesday

Bread will be available on Wednesdays between 8.30am-9.00am. Please collect your bread from outside the main office. Please bring something suitable to put your tasty treats in upon collection.

Community News

MATARIKI GLOW SHOW! coming to Rotorua! Saturday June 18th - one day only at Energy Events Centre!

Kia Ora

Please come and celebrate MATARIKI with us! Please find attached PDF with all information to pass on to whanau! So many of you have requested a SATURDAY show, for MATARIKI GLOW SHOW and for the first time, here we go!

Ngã mihi Mahana

Sarah Burren

The Glow Show Company

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