Newsletter 30 November, 2022

Marian Catholic School

Principal's Reflection

Tena koutou katoa e te whānau

A flying month

As we begin the season of Advent we enter a time of waiting and preparation. I thought I would share my last month with you.

Just over a month ago I attended a two day Master Coaching course in Auckland on Solutions Focussed coaching. The course was filled with similar minded school leaders all wanting to hone our coaching skills in order to bring the best out in our staff. A week later I returned to Auckland in my role on the National Executive for the NZ Catholic Primary Principals Association. Looking outward is a vital skill in leadership and this group provides a national perspective on Catholic Education. This term we met for three days in Auckland liaising with various national bodies within Catholic Education. Our role is to advocate on behalf of all Catholic principals at government policy level. I had a week back in school, and during this time we hosted over 100 leaders from schools from the far North through to Motueka all implementing the same Relationship Based Learning we are working on. I had the privilege of visiting some of these schools during my sabbatical. We had a great two days celebrating our school’s journey while forming invaluable links to continue professional growth and development.

The following week I travelled to Gisborne to meet with the Hamilton Catholic Principals. This is a chance to support and network with our local Catholic Principals and ensure all are fully informed to maximise Catholic Education. All in all, a very full month.

While I am away our magnificent Marian Catholic School team continues to carry out all the amazing work they do. We have had many outstanding highlights and events which celebrate the special school we are. I would like to acknowledge the outstanding leadership team we have here who are all exemplary in their roles. Special thank you to Louise Graafhuis and Toni Walters-Freke our two Deputy Principals.

With these significant events completed I now settle into the last three weeks of the school year enjoying the many events celebrating this special time with our community.


Farewell and God’s blessings to Mrs Rose Brycki who is retiring at the end of this year. Rose is a valuable long standing staff member - working here for almost 30 years starting as a Teacher Aide before taking on the Librarian role. Rose has made a huge contribution to Marian in her work as librarian which involves working with every class - nurturing a love of reading. She opens the library at lunchtime which provides a quiet sanctuary for many of our students. Rose runs our weekly Kid's Lit Club, which has enjoyed excellent success. Rose makes a huge contribution to our Special Character, living our school charism in everything she does. On behalf of our school community we wish Rose a long, healthy, happy retirement filled with much love, laughter and joy.


While this is with sadness, it is indeed great news to share with you all.

Louise Graafhuis has won a Principal Position at St Anthony's Catholic School Huntly. She is very excited and grateful for the experience she has had here at Marian to develop her leadership in a Catholic School. Louise will begin her principalship at the beginning of 2023. Louise has been one of our Deputy Principals for the past two years. Louise took on the Acting principal role during my sabbatical earlier this year. We enjoy great collegiality within the Catholic School network and Louise will always be a special colleague with a close connection to Marian School.

Welcome to New Staff

We welcome Mrs Sarah Doohan and Miss Crystal Withey to our teaching team next year. Mrs Sarah Doohan will be teaching in LC4 and Miss Crystal Withey will be teaching in LC5.

Celebrating Success

Congratulations to Brigid Casey who has completed her provisional registration and is now a fully registered teacher.

We also celebrated Brigid and Marion McKoy who have both completed their Better Start Literacy Approach Microcredential.

Ma te Atua koutou e manaaki

Debra White

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Gospel Reflection -

Matthew 24: 37-40,44

1st Sunday of ADVENT

In this gospel story , Jesus warns his disciples, "Be Watchful! Be alert!" He reminds us that we must be ready when he comes again, but that we cannot be exactly sure when that will be. We must try to be ready all the time.

During this time of Advent as we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ at Christmas, we are reminded to keep our eyes open for what is happening around us - begin to notice things … notice people who need our help, people who are sad, people who are lonely.

We know that the Lord is coming, we pray for patience as we wait. Watchful and ready we say, “Come Lord Jesus”.

Charism Focus

LIVE MISSION - Manawaitia te Mihana

Our Charism focus for this term is LIVE MISSION. This week we are focusing on how we can serve. During the season of Advent when we are preparing ourselves for the coming of Jesus, we are reminded of the example that Jesus gave us : As it is written in Mark’s gospel, Jesus did not come to be served but to serve...

In this term’s focus on Live Mission we have so many examples of people we look to, who serve others. Our founders Euphraise Barbier and Marcellin Champagnat are the models that we look to who followed Jesus’ example. People in our parish community who support others. Today we are reminded of those people in our parish who prepare and serve lunch every Tuesday for the hungry in our city.

The people at Hamilton Christian Food bank who organise for donations of food to be given to people in our city is another example of people who serve our community. So what actions can we show service in our school and in our homes?

So what does that mean to us at Marian School? How do we serve - being the hands, face and voice of Jesus?

So what actions can we show service in our school and in our homes. How can we serve one another?

DRS news


15th December : End of Year MASS

Parish School Mass

Last Sunday, on the First Sunday of Advent, we celebrated a Parish School Mass at 10.30am.

Congratulations to the Pasifika Cultural group, led by Mrs Agatha Soagia and Ms Cathrine Kaur. The Cultural group led the singing and played special roles in the Mass. They all did an amazing job and looked so proud in their cultural outfits. It was so lovely having the whanau to support the students with the Prayers of the Faithful and the processions of the gospel at the Offertory.

Pai mutunga, koutou! Ma te Atua koutou e manaaki


This week we begin the season of ADVENT which marks the beginning of the Church’s Liturgical Year.

There are four weeks in Advent. There are four candles on the Advent wreath , symbolising hope, love, joy and peace. The candles are lit in that order.

The season of ADVENT is a time we prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus - Emmanuel

  • First Advent Candle - Hope

  • Second Advent Candle - Love

  • Third Advent Candle - Joy

  • Fourth Advent Candle - Peace

When we look at the Advent wreath, the circle of the wreath and the evergreens both remind us of God’s endless love for us.

In lighting the candles each week, as the light grows brighter, we are reminded that the Light of the World will soon arrive in glory.

Advent is a time of preparing ourselves: what we can do better, who can we help, how we can show God’s love as we prepare for Christmas.

Feed the Hungry

During our Monday Liturgy, a presentation was made to Mrs Betty Ann Kamp who is the co-ordinator of the Feed the Hungry Programme which is run by the Cathedral parish. As part of our Marian School Mission Day, money was raised by our students to support this programme - feeding the people in the city a nourishing meal each Tuesday at lunchtime. It was great for the students to hear how our donation will benefit the people in need in our city.

A wonderful example of our School Charism of Live Christ - being the hands, face and voice of Jesus.

Board of Trustees News

During our Parish School Mass on Sunday Fr Darren blessed the members of our School Board of Trustees.

Our Board has twelve trustees made up of:

Proprietors Reps: Wayne Bates (Chair/ Presiding member), Andrea Savage, Sue O’Brien (Treasurer) and Malcolm Barr (Deputy Chair).

Staff Trustee: Nicole Higby

Parent Elected: Ben Palmer, Megan West, Sasha Thomson, Aaron Scott, Mark Edmondson and Nelson Medina.

Principal: Debra White

Our last meeting for the year is Wednesday 14 December 2023 @ 5.30pm.

Reports and Classes for 2023

Reports will be published on Hero during Week 8 and a paper copy will be sent home on Friday 9th December.

The teachers have been working hard placing the students into classes for next year. Class lists will be available to view on Hero on Thursday afternoon 8th December.

On Monday the 12th of December students will visit their new classroom to meet the teacher and the other students in the class.

School Organisation for 2023

We have two new teachers, and a little bit of movement of levels among our current staff in 2023.

We will have a new New Entrant class starting in Term 3, so to minimise disruption a Year 7 and 8 class will start the year in the Whare leaving the hall and ASC lounge free.

We have taken this opportunity to renumber our classes to remove Room 7a and to keep the classes for each Learning Community in order:

  • Room 7a will become Room 8. The current Room 8 will become Room 9 , Room 9 will be Room 10, etc.
  • Rooms 19 and 20 will become Rooms 18 and 19.
  • The rooms inside the atrium will become Rooms 20 to 23.
  • The Whare will be known as Room 24.
  • Patricia Avenue Classes will be Rooms 25 and 26.

LC1 - NE / Year 1

Room 3 - Brigid Casey

Room 4 - Marion McKoy (Leader of Learning)

Room 5 - Janice Bullen

Room 1 - New class from Term 3

LC2 - Year 1 and 2

Room 2 - Nicki Whyte

Room 6 - Delwyn McNamara

Room 7 - Brooke Goodwin

Room 8 - Mariette Els (Leader of Learning)

LC3 - Year 3 and 4

Room 9 - Ryan Jordan

Room 10 - Suzanne D'Cruz (Leader of Learning)

Room 11 - Sarah Hill

Room 12 - Dael Cullingworth

Room 13 - Caitlen Parry

LC4 - Year 5 and 6

Room 14 - Caitlin Oakes

Room 15 - David Pierson

Room 16 - Jenna Lord

Room 17 - Shyla Goundar

Room 18 - Maria Maarhuis (Leader of Learning)

Room 19 - Sarah Doohan

LC5 - Year 7 and 8

Room 20 - Cathrine Kaur

Room 21 - Agatha Soagia

Room 22 - Crystal Withey

Room 23 - Nicola Cook

Room 24 - Nicole Higby (Leader of Learning)


We warmly welcome into our school community the following children and their families; Alexander Nibin Thomas (Rm1), Sophia Yang (Rm3) and Ethan Aji (Rm3)

Junior Nativity Production

A reminder that the LC1 and LC2 children will hold their Nativity Production on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 December at 2pm in the GSEC.

All parents welcome.

Cost is a gold coin to help cover the costs.


Prizegiving for our Year 5 to 8 pupils will be held in the Cathedral on Friday 9 December at 9.15am. Parents of students from LC4 and LC5 and are welcome to attend.

Ham Orders

A reminder to please order and pay for your Christmas Hams by 3pm on 7 December.

Cost for these is $65.00 each.

Delivery is Tuesday 13 December

Hits Toy Run

A reminder that the Bus will be at school between 1.30 and 2pm on 7 December to collect Christmas toys.


We offer our deepest sympathies to Joanna Joseph and her family whose much loved grandfather passed away in India. May he rest in peace.

Summer Uniform

Children are now expected to now be wearing their full summer school uniform.

Hats are compulsory this term. Children without their hats will have to sit in the shaded areas.

Sandals are black Roman type, preferably leather. Please check the school website for further information.

Celebrating Success


Congratulations to all of our Bible reading finalists this year - Laura, Gabriel, Noah, Isaac, Hudson, Mary Elise, (Olivia - sick), Saskia, Gabrielle, Lizzie and Chloe. Everyone spoke beautifully and represented their school and classes with pride. Monsignor Frank was very impressed with the high calibre.

Special congratulations to the following

1st place - Chloe Hilario

2nd place - Lizzie Barr

3rd place - Hudson Clarke

Mons Frank Particularly mentioned the pace of Chloe's reading. He commented on the time she gave for people to hear God’s word.

Helmet Design Competition

The Hamilton City Council announced 8 winners in the Helmet Design Competition.

Out of 1650 entries, two were chosen from Marian Catholic School.

Congratulations to Luke and Jeuel.


A brand new size 8 tunic named Evelyn Joseph (missing for a couple of weeks). Please return to Room 11.

Enrolments 2023

If you have a child due to start in 2023, please ensure you have filled out an enrolment form and returned it to the school office.

If you know that your child is not returning to Marian School next year, please let the office know urgently.

Dates for 2023

Term 1: Thurs 2 Feb to Thurs 6 April

Term 2: Mon 24 April to Fri 30 June

Term 3: Mon17 Jul to Fri 22 Sept

Term 4: Mon 9 Oct to Tues 19 Dec


Dates to Remember

  • Junior Nativity Show - 1st and 2nd December - 1.30pm in the GSEC

  • Community Thank You Morning Tea - 8 December 10.45am

  • Senior Prizegiving - 9 December at 9.15am

  • Final School Mass for 2022 - 15 December at 9.45am

  • School finishes at 12.30pm - 16 December

Marian School Holiday Programme

The programme will be open on the following dates:

December: 19th to 22nd from 8am to 5pm

January: 16th to 20th, 23rd to 27th

Cost is $35.00 per day.

Please register to

First Credit Union Banking

Just to remind you and your school community, our School Banking Team will have their last school banking pick up for 2022 the week of 5th December!

Our school banking will resume the week beginning 6th February 2023.

We thank you for your support over the year and look forward to seeing you all in 2023.

From our team to yours we wish you all a very Merry Christmas
& a Happy New Year!


Sports Notices

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Kids Tryathlon

The Sanitarium Weet-BixTM Kids TRYathlon is BACK for 2022/23. This season will feature 12 amazing events throughout New Zealand.

The Hamilton event is on Sunday 4th December at Waikato University Fields.

Host Families Needed

Sacred Heart Girls’ College are looking for caring host families in Waikato to welcome oInternational students into their homes.

Excellent remuneration is offered ($290) per week)

For more details, contact Lisa Cowen 021 195 3268 or email

Looking for a fun ‘experience' to give as a Christmas gift?

January school holiday time is….Disney time! Suitable for all the family, Hamilton Musical Theatre’s annual family production this year is the much-loved and much-anticipated Disney Frozen JR.

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Hamilton Civic Choir


World Premier of ‘Mi Burrito Sabanero’ by Cristian Grases and

‘Fantasia on Christmas Carols’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams

Conducted by Elise Bradley MNZM

Venue: Waikato University - John Gallagher Concert Chamber

Time: 7pm

Date: 10 December

Cost: Adults $25, Concession/students $15, School student $5

Tickets from:

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