St Mary's School

Friday 3rd June 2022

'Put your whole confidence in God' - Catherine McAuley

Dear whānau,

How great it is to be back, the school is humming with activity and enthusiasm for learning. What a week to come back in for - we have Rippa, National Young Leaders Day and Sportsactivator, not to mention what we call our business as usual - full on learning.

The whānau groups continue two days a week and the staff and children all appreciate doing something different with someone new. I don't know about the conversations that are happening at your place but I've heard about making butter and tectonic plates, and that was after only whānau session! The rotations include science, food technology, digital technology, visual art, dance/drama, local history and the history of our school. I love it when learning is diverse, and when we parents can add value to the learning by sharing what we know at home too.

As you all probably know we have two teacher only days coming up so no school for Monday (Queen's birthday), and then two days where all the staff are in school (Tuesday and Wednesday) without children. These days have been planned for about a year, and we have two facilitators coming to work with us from the North Island. These days are a continuation of our work where many families and community members contributed to the review of the school in relation to learning, relationships and faith.

Finally, swimming starts for the younger children next week, and continues into the following week for the older children. A letter was sent home last week, but more details below.

God bless you all, Annie


What a wonderful celebration the Confirmation Mass was last Sunday. Congratulations to Max, Miller, Hannah, Mason, Henry, Jackson, Cecilia, Sophie, Lucy, Preston, Pixie and Ali. Thank you to Bishop Michael, Fr Jaime, Paula Gray and Molly Gray for helping us to prepare and to celebrate.

Big picture

National Young Leaders Day 2022

What an amazing day the Year 6 had on Tuesday For the past 8 years (except during COVID interruptions) the Home and School has sponsored all our year 6 children to attend this amazing leadership opportunity.

Thank you to the Home and School, and thank you to all the parents who generously gave up their time to drive the students there and back. Some pictures are below and I am pretty sure I can add some Year 6 writing in next week :)

Where in the world is Annie Nelson?

In her office of course, and feeling blessed to be back here. What an amazing trip I have had, and who would have thought I needed it? It was absolutely wonderful to see my family and to be able to visit them in so many different places. Alice and I visited York, Paphos, Rome, Assisi, Florence and London to name a few. Sadly the Queen was too tired to be at the Garden Party but Princess Kate (Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge) was there, along with Prince Edward, his wife Sophie the Countess of Wessex and the Queen's cousin Princess Alexandra. It was amazing, and the cakes were yummy.

Visiting the Vatican and the touring the ruins of ancient Rome was amazing, along with the Cathedrals and Churches around Florence, walking in the footsteps of St Francis of Assisi and St Claire was outstanding. I am very grateful to everyone who encouraged me to get away, approved leave and of course led the school in my absence. I know that Mal and the whole team are excellent at living our school vision, and whilst it was hard for me to accept that I needed a bit of space, this is from our vision: We create opportunities to show leadership in a variety of ways, giving everyone the chance to lead. Thanks all of you - parents and whānau included, for holding tight to our vision and the school.

RIppa Tournament

Earlier this week some of excellent sports people were at Rugby Park, Invercargill for the Southland Rugby Rippa Tournament. As you may have heard from Mallory Hood they have worked really hard, and that has paid off with them winning all 3 of the games they played.

This quote has already been shared, but is worth hearing it again... from one of our parents cheering them on from the sideline: 'They represented St Mary's with pride & absolutely demonstrated the core values. They embraced each other & this opportunity. Fab coaching meant a successful event.'

A huge thank you to Al Wilson and Jamie Chittock and to all our parent helpers/transporters who make all things possible for our children.

Big picture

Swimming information

You should already have received a letter home regarding the swimming days. Children in Pūkeko, Tui, Kererū and Kea can wear their PE uniforms in order to speed up the changing time. Older children should be fine, but the woollen tights can also slow the changing process quite a lot! Socks are better than tights, and the classroom heating will certainly be on so they will be cosy when they get back.

Upcoming events

Week 6 starting 6th June

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 starting 13th June

Gospel and prayers - Room Piwakawaka

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

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

Week 8 starting 20th June

Gospel and prayers - Room Tui

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

Thursday - Matariki Celebration

Friday - Matariki, public holiday

Week 9 starting 27th June

Gospel and prayers - Room Ruru

Week 10 starting 4th July

Gospel and prayers - Annie Nelson

School finishes Friday 8th July at the usual time