Nga mihi nui ki a koutou

Greetings to friends and family with a special word of welcome to any new members of our school community, especially our new students Isaiah Deo, Toby Williams, Charlie Williams, Zainab Syed, Somyeong Chu, Faith Santos, Beau Lock, Jope Veitaladrua, Maunga Kingi, Daya Devin, Henry Collings, Maggie Collings, Sally Collings, Luuka Pink, Marcello Goodin, Layla Brunsden, Eirene Jaswil, Indie McKenzie, Ethan Lowe, Sophie Fitzgerald, Isaac McMah, Yaelim Kim, Richard Salanoa, Meila Butcher, Rufus Rejthar, Tyler Richards, Mason Richards and Tommy Lumsden.  

With our new Sr Gabrielle Learning Environment now in operation we have been able to continue to accept new enrolments this term.  Previously we have had to restrict this due to a lack of classroom space.  The result is a number of new families to our school and a move towards that ever closing roll number of 500 students.  At time of writing we will finish the year with 498 students.

Reasons for Celebration
Our students have been the focus of a number of amazing experiences, performances and achievements in the first few weeks of this term.  Our Aroha team started the term with another great camp experience at Totara Springs.  This experience would not have been possible without the commitment of teachers and the untiring support of parents who accompanied the team.  Thanks to all on behalf of our community.

Our Pasifika Group again participated in the Western Bay of Plenty Pasifika festival, this year held at Tahatai Coast School.  It has been great to see this festival go from strength to strength, as has our own Pasifika group.  The performance on the day of our combined St Mary’s and Aquinas group was definitely a standout and further testament to the work, dedication and commitment of our Pasifika families to the identity and celebration of Pasifika.

Our Jump Jam Teams! This was our best ever Nationals. Such a great effort from everyone involved to make it happen.  

1st: Junior Team  (Y1-4 Open)

2nd: Senior Team (Y4-6 Advanced Open)

3rd: Boys Team  (Y4-8 All Boys)

Excellent peformance:  Girls Team

Some facts that may interest you:

St Mary’s now has 11 titles including 4 National titles. This is the first time three of Kim Artus’ teams have come home with medals from Nationals. St Mary’s was the only school to win three trophies.  We won four distinctions for the seniors, a first for any Yr 4-6 team.  This was also the first time all three of our teams gained distinction for presentation. St Mary’s also received special recognition for having the most students at the Nationals.

I am sure you will all agree this is a superb achievement and one that we all should celebrate.  Congratulations to our coach Kim Artus with the help of Gabby Cardey, and the many parents who worked hard to support the teams.  Check out photos within this newsletter.

Fireworks Gala
I don’t have to tell you how thrilled we are as a school to once again be a few days out from another memorable St Mary’s Fireworks Gala.  There has a been a lot of work go on behind the scenes with the final organisational touches falling into place as I write.  It is testament to the passion within our school community and the support of our PTA to see this event back on our calendar.

I would like to thank our major sponsors, Taylor Bros Ltd, Vegepod, More FM, Willis Towers Watson, Terrace Views Papamoa and Zariba Properties for their support of this event.  We also have a great turnout of community members who have agreed to sponsor the wheelbarrow race.  They include

Lysaght Consultants, Little Sweethearts, Aspect Construction, Pacific Saw Mill Engineering, Harris Tate Lawers, Men’s Shed Charitable Trust, Fulton Hogan, Pero’s Hairtek, Cooney Lees Morgan, Firewatch, Smart Business Centre, Tasman Plumbing, X Span, Sharp Tudhope Lawyers, First National, Forestaire, Immerse Nail and Beauty Therapy, ASB Bank, Wish for Fish, Pacific Sawmills Engineering, Cooney Lees Morgan.

In preparing for the night please be advised that this year, unlike previous years, we have a maximum number of people we are able to grant entry to.  It is therefore important to get your tickets early as we cannot guarantee that there will be gate sales on the night.

If we have to postpone the Fireworks due to bad weather we will notify you via the radio, school website, email, facebook and app alert.

Postponement date Saturday 18 November.

Visit to Cluny Mother House
In the last week of last term I was privileged to be able to stay at our Cluny Mother House in Paris.  This is the house that Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey purchased in 1851, two years before her death, for her growing congregation.  For many, our connection to the order of St Joseph of Cluny is unknown but for those who understand the story of Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey will support me in expressing how extremely fortunate we are to have been established by the order she founded.

My time at the mother house reaffirmed for me the amazing gift and opportunity we have been given here in Tauranga to be apart of this community.  The founding principles on which our school was established are still apparent today and therefore we must continue to recognise them in all that we do.

Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey believed in the sacredness of each individual, be it a child in need of education or a slave she helped emancipate. This was the premise for Catholic Education first applied by our Cluny Sisters here in Tauranga and our continued mantra for education at St Mary’s today. Cluny statements that are pertinent to our vision include;

  • To stand as counter witness to the spirit of our day and age.
  • To search for God’s Will in the challenges of today’s world.

I would like to take the opportunity to present some of the information and findings I encountered during my time in Paris with our school community at an opportune time in the future.  I would also like to thank our Board of Trustees for allowing me the time away from school.

Traffic Management
It is important that we remain aware of our obligations as road users when driving and parking around our school neighbourhood.  As previously communicated please ensure your vehicle is parked appropriately in a designated space before stopping to pick up or drop off children.  Unfortunately complaints from neighbours have increased recently due to parents once again parking on grass verges and across driveways.

2018 Enrolments
As this term draws to a close and next year beckons, it is important that we as a school are aware of any intentions to leave the area and / or our school. Also, if you have children turning 5 next year or know of families whose intention it is to attend St Mary’s at any time during 2018 please ensure enrolment procedures are started now and contact the school office.

New children and new families liturgy
On Tuesday 7 November we invite all new families and welcome 35 new students to St Mary’s since our last welcome in Term 3.  All families are very welcome to attend this very special liturgy.

Sun Safety
Sun block will be available in classes but I would suggest applying sunblock to your child in the morning before school as an additional precaution.  As I am sure you do as parents we encourage children to manage themselves when it comes to sunscreen.  Our teachers will always give reminders but are unable to apply sun block to their entire class.  A reminder also that it is compulsory for students to have a school sun hat.

Ben Fuller
Principal