St Mary's School Term 1 Week 4


Newsletter 25 February 2021


Tena koutou, kumusta, talofa lava

This week we have been very privileged to have the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO) at our school for a residency week. This is funded by the Ministry of Education and encompasses the Arts Curriculum. The aim is to develop practical knowledge, develop ideas in music, communicate and interpret in music and understand music in context. The CSO instructors have been amazed at the high levels of excitement and engagement that our students have demonstrated so far this week. They have also commented on our students ability to listen and follow instructions and the respect they constantly demonstrate. Each day this week around 40 students have chosen to spend the play portion of their lunch break learning the violin. This shows you how keen our students have been to learn music and try something new. At lunchtime today our Room 1, and some Room 2, students performed an item for the residents of Maryville Retirement Village. The residents were enthralled and entertained by our students and loved their performance.

This has been a wonderful opportunity for our students to be exposed to orchestral instruments and music and we are very grateful to the CSO musicians for sharing their time and expertise with us.

Mā te Atua koe e manaaki, e tiaki

May God bless you and protect you

David O’Neill


Christchurch Symphony Orchestra Residency Programme

Concert Invitation - Friday 26 February at 11.15am

As a culmination of our CSO residency this week, there will be a short performance in the learning centre at 11.15am highlighting what our students have been learning. We would like to invite parents and caregivers to join us. Please be aware we only have limited seating available and standing space at the rear of the learning centre, so you may need to stand for the performance.
Welcome to the Violin
Room 3 Music Lesson


We would like to welcome the following students to St Mary’s School:

Ailsa - R1

Kaya - R2


25/02 Thursday, JOSEPH Rm5

26/02 Friday, RUBY Rm4

27/02 Saturday, JAIRUS Rm3, IVANA Rm2

07/03 Sunday, TRISHA Rm4

10/03 Wednesday, CAMERON Rm4

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Religious Education Newsletter

Please click here or on the image to read our latest Religious Education Newsletter from Mr Debenham.

Christchurch Earthquake Remembrance

On Monday 22 February at 12.51pm our school was gathered together by our grotto to remember all the people who lost their lives and families who were affected by the earthquake that hit our city 10 years ago. It was very sobering as Mr O'Neill rang the bell 185 times to commemorate each life that was lost. As a school we pray for all those who were, and are still, affected by this event and remember the effect of this day and the following days on our own lives.
St Mary's School Christchurch Earthquake remembrance

Swimming - Monday 8 March - Friday 19 March

Graham Condon Pool, Papanui

Swimming will begin on Monday 8 March for two weeks. This is a compulsory component of our school curriculum. If your child is unable to swim for any reason can you please inform us by emailing the school via our school app.

Please make sure your child has their togs, towel and goggles each day during the two weeks of swimming.

Year 7 and 8 P.E lesson

Faith Fact

St Polycarp’s feast day is on Tuesday 23 February, Rātu Hui-tanguru. Polycarp learnt directly from St John. He knew that passing on the teachings of Jesus would be a challenge, so he wrote these teachings down. Many of his writings still survive today.

In Patris Corde Pope Francis says:

Saint Joseph has always been venerated as a father by the Christian people. This is shown by the countless churches dedicated to him worldwide, the numerous religious Institutes, Confraternities and ecclesial groups inspired by his spirituality and bearing his name, and the many traditional expressions of piety in his honour. Innumerable holy men and women were passionately devoted to him. Among them was Teresa of Avila...Encouraged by her own experience, Teresa persuaded others to cultivate devotion to Joseph. Every prayer book contains prayers to Saint Joseph. Special prayers are offered to him each Wednesday and especially during the month of March, which is traditionally dedicated to him.

Perhaps you and your family could offer prayers to St Joseph each Wednesday before your evening meal.

Pray one of these prayers together as a family.

Piano/Keyboard Tuition

Piano tuition will be starting for this year in week 5 of this term. There are a limited number of vacancies for new students. Students come out of class for individual lessons of 1/2 hour. If you are interested please contact Diane Coad 0276623544 or email

Pre Enrolment of Siblings

The number of spaces remaining on our school roll in the upcoming years is limited. If you have a child that you would like to attend St Mary’s that you haven’t already advised us about can you please make sure you talk to Mr O’Neill or Mrs Odams otherwise there may be no space for your child.

Closing of School Gate

Please ensure that when you enter and leave the school grounds you shut the school gate properly after you - thank you. This is to ensure the safety of all of our students.

Carpark Safety

A reminder to all parents/caregivers to reduce speed in our driveway and carpark areas to ensure the safety of our students as they walk down the drive or across the carpark.

Student Absence

Please remember to send the office a notification via the school app if your child is away from school. If your child is going to be away for a planned reason such as an appointment or holiday during term time you can advise us in advance with the dates and reason for their absence.
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Attendance Dues

Each term the parish email invoice to families for attendance dues. Please note that the bank account number for making payments has changed. Their new bank account number is: 03-1592-0207236-22.

Attendance dues are compulsory for all students who attend catholic schools in NZ. For 2021 attendance dues have been set at $412 per year or $103 per term. For budgeting purposes families are welcome to pay weekly or monthly.

First Holy Communion Programme for 2021 Begins in Early March.

Parents and Caregivers with children in Year 4 and above who would like their children to make their First Holy Communion this year, please fill in this First Communion Registration. before Friday 26th February to express interest. This programme is for children from both our Parish schools plus those in our Parish who do not attend our Parish schools.

The programme will start in the week beginning March 1st. First Holy Communion Day will be Sunday June 13th. Louise will be in touch with you regarding what the programme involves. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Louise MacKay using

Upcoming Events

  • CSO RESIDENCY WEEK - Monday 22 - Friday 26 February


  • ARATAKI TEAM MASS - Thursday 4 March 9.15am
  • SWIMMING - Monday 8 March - Friday 19 March
  • KOTAHITANGA TEAM MASS - Thursday 18 March 9.15am
  • BENEDICTION - Tuesday 23 March 2.30pm
  • LIBRARY VAN - Wednesday 24 March


  • KOTAHITANGA TEAM MASS - Thursday 1 April 9.15am
  • GOOD FRIDAY - NO SCHOOL - Friday 2 April
  • EASTER MONDAY - NO SCHOOL - Monday 5 April
  • EASTER TUESDAY - NO SCHOOL - Tuesday 6 April
  • SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY - Tuesday 13 April
  • LIBRARY VAN - Wednesday 14 April
  • ARATAKI TEAM MASS - Thursday 15 April 9.15am
  • LAST DAY OF TERM 1 - Friday 16 April


  • FIRST DAY OF TERM 2 - Monday 3 May

Teacher Only Days for 2021

Friday 18 June

Friday 27 August

Monday 15 November

Lunchonline - Subway or Sushi on Fridays

If you would like to order your child’s lunch for delivery on Fridays this can be done via Lunchonline. You can click on the lunchonline image or link below to take you directly to their website or login to . Follow the instructions to create an account if you don’t already have one. Food must be ordered before 8.30am on Friday. If you already have an account you can update your child’s classroom by logging on and clicking on Members.

School App

If you haven’t downloaded our school app please do so as this is our primary means of communication with our school community. This is very important as if you do not have the app downloaded you may miss out on important information. If you require any assistance to download it please ask at the school office.