St Mary's School

Year end - 19th December 2022

We belong to God, all in us is His, Good today, better tomorrow, Put your whole confidence in God

Dear whānau,

What a year our children have had. The year began as 2021 finished - COVID was still making its presence known. The school managed and celebrated the year sharing school camps, whole school trips, Matariki, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, ANZAC, Cultural liturgies, the Nativity play and a full house end of year Mass as we celebrated community throughout the year. It's so important to share good times together as a community, which is something that we had always taken for granted previously. Last week's end of year Mass was just another wonderful example of how we all are called to be together, to celebrate our shared virtues and values as a community.

The way the school has managed class placements and end of year reporting has not only been smooth, it has been respectful of our relationship with families/whānau and has taken into account the shared knowledge of our children. What a wonderful end to the year, calm and focused on what matters.

At school we work hard over the holidays to plan how the year ahead may look. It can be easily unsettled, especially when we see COVID, surprise flooding or even individual sickness and family crises having a huge impact. Thanks to our tremendous community, our clear planning and expectations and more importantly our shared vision and values we are able to implement and guide our everyday actions.

For ten years I have been enormously blessed to call myself the principal, the tumuaki, of St Mary's Gore. We have a wonderful reputation as a Catholic Primary School and also play a national role as a school supporting others throughout New Zealand to develop their school-wide assessment and reporting systems. Having had some time out I have been provided an opportunity to look from the outside - I've always known all the staff (office, teachers and teacher aides) are amazing but to see what you have seen as parents has been a genuine gift.

It's never easy to leave anywhere, but as I said to the children over the last weeks, I won't be heading to another school because I have already experienced the best here at St Mary's. One of the benefits of our place is that you, as families, chose St Mary's, and have chosen the school because this is where you would like you and your children to be. We believe in love - All in Us is His - this is our shared belief. We can all choose to be elsewhere - but the secret (and the research) of a great education is found in the strength of the partnership between home and school. Our partnership is deliberate and structured; there is a shared understanding that we all want the same thing; we want our children to be successful, to make progress and to feel a sense of belonging. When this vision is our reality, your children seek to be the best they can be and together we provide the unconditional support and love that helps our children realise they are accepted and loved for who they are.

God bless you all, and thank you for all your love and kindness over the past ten years.

Annie Nelson

Tumuaki April 2013 - December 2022

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Congratulations to our leaving Year 6 - the shared winners of the Mercy Cup 2022

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Thank you to our 5 St Mary's staff commissioned at Mass Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion: Rachael Smith, Amy Thacker, Ashleigh Butterfield, Michelle Christie and Shelley Cruickshank

Christmas Mass Times Blessed Sacrament Church

Saturday 24th December

9.00pm Carols followed by 10.00pm Christmas Vigil Mass

Sunday 25th December

10.00am Christmas morning Mass

Thank you Home and School

Those raffles looked great, thank you for all your support this year Looking forward to seeing what next year brings.

Next year's important dates

School starts 8.50am, 1st February 2023

School Mass for term 1, Sunday 5th March 2023

You should have received a school magnet at the end of term - if you didn't, please pop into the office to pick one up at the start of the year.

If you haven't yet picked up your child's school books for next year the office will be open from 24th January 2023.