St Mary's School Term 1 Week 2


Newsletter 11 February 2021


Tena koutou, kumusta, talofa lava

We have been back nearly two weeks which is unbelievable. It has been a real pleasure to welcome new families to our school community, with new students starting at many different year levels. We have been fortunate to have been funded by the Ministry of Education for 2021 for an additional teacher in our school. Therefore I am very pleased to welcome to our staff Miss Zara Duns, who will be working in the Arataki Team. Zara was a student teacher at our school in 2019 and graduated at the end of last year from the University of Canterbury. She has also assisted as a volunteer on two of our senior camps. Having four teachers within the Arataki Team will benefit our students’ learning and adds another highly skilled educator to this team. Zara is very excited to become part of our school community and I know you will all make her feel very welcome.

A new initiative this year will see every class attend the 9.15am Mass three times each term. Please see our schedule of events for when each teaching team will be attending Mass and we warmly invite as many parents and caregivers to join us as are able. We have a very busy term planned with many exciting learning opportunities for our students.

I look forward to seeing many of you next week at our annual takeaway night on Monday.

Mā te Atua koe e manaaki, e tiaki

May God bless you and protect you

David O’Neill


Waitangi Day / Culture Day Celebrations

On Friday 5 February all students dressed up in clothing from either their own culture or that of another culture. We began the day with a prayer service in Maori and talked about the Treaty of Waitangi and its significance to our country. We also took the opportunity to celebrate the many diverse cultures within our school.


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

Olivia R1

Cian R1

Jackson R1

Ellis R2

Tristan R3

Sumi R3

Trisha R4

Han R4

Venus R4


We welcome Miss Zara Duns to the Arataki teaching team for the 2021 year. Miss Duns will be working across the Arataki team to support learning.


10/02 Wednesday, HAN Rm4

13/02 Saturday, SANTIAGO Rm4

14/02 Sunday, EDITH Rm3

16/02 Tuesday, ZEYA Rm2

19/02 Friday, RACHEL Rm5

22/02 Monday, RON Rm2

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School / Parish Mass - Sunday 21 February - 9.30am

Our school/parish Mass is Sunday 21 February at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral. All students need to be at the church by 9.15am. Special Choir students are to wear school uniform and meet in the choir loft. All other students do not need to wear school uniform and will be seated together at the front of the church.

Takeaway Night Monday 15 February 5pm-7pm

All families are invited to bring their favourite takeaway food to school next Monday evening from 5pm. This is a good opportunity for families to come together and spend some time with friends and meet new families. We hope to see as many of you there as possible.

Library Van Friday 19 February

Our first library van visit for 2021 will be on Friday 19th February.

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


Technology at Christchurch East for our Year 7 & 8 students begins tomorrow, Friday 12 February. Students travel to Christchurch East Technology Centre by bus leaving St Mary's at 12.40pm and returning by 3pm.


A reminder that all students are required to wear hats when outside this term. These are a royal blue Aussie Style hat and can be purchased from Mainland Uniforms or the school office at a cost of $12.00.

Christchurch Symphony Orchestra Residential Week

For the week 22 February - 26 February the CSO will be visiting our school for a residency programme. Each class receives a 20 minute session 3-4 times over the course of the week.

The Residency program is based on the New Zealand arts curriculum and encompasses all four learning strands. Each class works on a unique project with CSO tutors, which is tailored to suit the year level and extend all abilities. Skills developed in the program include: learning to read basic music notation, singing and ensemble playing, expressing ideas through music and words, learning to present and perform in front of an audience, creating their own instruments and learning about instruments of the orchestra.

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.

Faith Fact

Lent begins next week. Lent is a penitential season of prayer, self denial and helping others. Ash Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence. On Wednesday 10 we remember St Scholastica who committed to living a holy life. This commitment inspired her to open a monastery.

Pope Francis, 150 years after Blessed Pius IX proclaimed St Joseph as Patron of the Catholic Church (8 December 1870), shares his personal reflections in this extraordinary figure. He said that his desire to do so increased during the pandemic when we experienced, amid the crisis, how, “our lives are woven together

and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked....Doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests, men and women religious, and so very many others. They understood that no one is saved alone…fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday ways, how to accept and deal with a crisis by adjusting their routines, looking ahead and encouraging the practice of prayer.”

Prayer one of these prayers together as a family.

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Parish Alive Conference Saturday 27th February - Everyone Welcome

This is a chance to come together as a Parish and to understand more what the Bishop is asking of us. We will also be having a programme for children and youth. The cost of the day is $10 which includes lunch and dinner. For more information head to the Parish website

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

Children's Liturgy at Sunday Mass - The Cathedral Parish

Liturgy of the Word to Children starts back on Sunday 14th February at the 9:30am Mass

Upcoming Events

  • TAKEAWAY NIGHT - Monday 15 February 5pm - 7pm
  • ASH WEDNESDAY - Wednesday 17 February
  • KOTAHITANGA TEAM MASS - Thursday 18 February 9.15am

  • LIBRARY VAN - Friday 19 February
  • PARISH AND SCHOOL MASS - SUNDAY 21 February 9.30am
  • CSO RESIDENCY WEEK - Monday 22 - Friday 26 February
  • ARATAKI TEAM MASS - Thursday 25 February 9.15am


  • KOTAHITANGA TEAM MASS - Thursday 4 March 9.15am
  • SWIMMING - Monday 8 March - Friday 19 March
  • ARATAKI 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

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.