Greetings to all parents and members of our school community. It is amazing how quickly a term goes when you throw in a school production in week 5! Trek to the Top was of course the highlight of this busy term and the memories of the experience, I am sure, will remain for some time to come.
Welcome to Teresa Rush
Next term we welcome Mrs Teresa Rush to our staff as Director of Religious Studies. As previously announced to our community, Teresa brings experience as a DRS and a teacher from St Mary’s in Rotorua. We look forward to welcoming her and her family into our school community.
In welcoming Teresa we also thank Gavin Hesqua for the work he has done acting in the role this term. With the support of staff Gavin has ensured our Religious Education programmes and our Liturgical observances have remained to the high standard traditionally displayed at St Mary’s. On behalf of our school community my thanks to you Gavin for the commitment you have shown to the role.
Tauranga Moana Ra Whakangahau Kapa Haka Festival 2016
As previously announced, this year Hato Maria (St Mary’s) will be hosting the 2016 Tauranga Moana Kapa Haka Festival on the 24th and 25th of November. As the first Catholic School to host this event we will be looking to work with our other Catholic Schools and wider Whanau to impart Kaupau o Katorika (aspects Catholic) throughout the festival.
To date we have presented to the combined Whanau of St Mary’s, St Thomas More and Aquinas College and as a combined whanau community have a clear understanding and commitment to staging an amazing festival for our wider Tauranga Moana Community. In moving forward we will be looking for volunteers to form a part of the 100 plus work party required to fulfill a number of tasks and responsibilities over the two days of the festival. If being part of Ra Whakangahau excites you please keep a look out for further information early next term.
PTA Math-a-thon and Disco
This term our PTA has been extremely busy supporting many aspects of our school. Our thanks on behalf of students and whanau for the efforts put into our major fundraising effort of the term, our Math-a-thon and the fun provided through our ‘Crazy Hat’ disco. We are extremely fortunate to have such a hard working group of people supporting our school.
In closing for the term I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the many people who contribute to the success of our school in so many ways. I wish parents and children a safe, fun and (if able) relaxing holiday break.
With a growing demand for places at our school we are now looking at places for 2017. At the time of writing we have approximately 20 new entrant places for students who will turn 5 during 2017 and a number of spaces across other year levels. Our first priority is to ensure all siblings of students currently enrolled are in receipt of a place at our school and Catholic families within our community have the opportunity to attend our school.
Therefore, if you do anticipate having a child start at our school in 2017, please ensure enrolment procedures are completed asap.
75th Jubilee September 2017
2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the commencement of St Mary’s Catholic School in Tauranga.
St Mary’s Catholic School began in September 1942 managed and staffed entirely by the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny, many of whom came to New Zealand from Ireland.
To celebrate this significant event in the life of the school a Jubilee weekend is planned to take place on September 22, 23 and 24 September 2017. A committee, under the chair of Michael Cooney has been formed and planning is underway to make this a very memorable occasion. Registration and programme information will be available on our school website and Facebook page in the next few weeks but in the meantime we ask that you register your interest here http://bit.ly/29lzbz0.
To make the jubilee a success we would be grateful if you would pass on this information to past pupils, parents, staff and friends of the school.
Once you have submitted this form you will be emailed a registration form in the near future.
Greetings to all family and whanau of our school community and welcome to what has started as an extremely busy term. A very warm welcome to Benjamin Wilson, Cora Barrett-Hodgson, Sienna Smart, Sam Lock, Samuel Farrelly, Zachary Good-Vitali, Saoirse Williamson, Chloe Evans, Mackenzie Jury, Emma Fulton, Henry Fulton, Carys Parry and Sophie Ferguson who have joined St Mary’s since our last newsletter
We are one week into our ‘Trek to the Top’ journey and no doubt your children have shared with you how preparations have been progressing. Below is more information regarding ticket sales for this upcoming event.
Term two also signals the start of our winter sporting codes. Many thanks on behalf of all involved to those parent volunteers who have put their hands up to help coach, manage or assist a team. Sport at St Mary’s focuses on providing as many opportunities for as many children as possible in the sporting domain. To further refine how we achieve this I will be focusing on the development of a new Sports Policy in the coming weeks so look forward to sharing this with parents later in the term.
The past weeks have seen a focus on education in our country with reference to OECD findings and comparisons with other OECD countries. It is of course unfortunate to see our achievement slip against other countries and not something the sector as a whole takes lightly. However, a recent OECD report ranked New Zealand teachers fourth out of 35 countries in terms of professionalism and primary teachers among those who complete the highest number of contact teaching hours per week.
Parent Trustee Elections
As you are aware this year we are holding our triennial Board of Trustee Elections. Nomination forms have been posted to all parents current mailing address. If you have not received nomination forms please notify our front office. Nominations close on Friday 20 May at 12pm.
Being a trustee is a vital role within our school community. The board is the employer of all staff in the school and is responsible for setting the school’s strategic direction in consultation with parents, staff and students, and for ensuring that it’s school provides a safe environment and quality education for all its students. Boards are also responsible for overseeing the management of personnel, curriculum, property, finance and administration. http://www.trustee-election.co.nz/
To provide you with more information regarding being a trustee at St Mary’s Catholic School we will be holding two short information sessions on Wednesday 11 May in our school staff room. The first session will start at 2.15pm and the second at 6pm with all interested parties welcome.
If you are unable to make either of the sessions but would like to know more information regarding standing for election to our board then please make contact with me.
Trek to the Top Ticket Sales
It is with great delight that we announce that tickets for this year’s 2016 St Mary’s School Musical are now on sale! Ladies and Gentlemen hold on tightly to your warm furry hats as we prepare to launch up Mt Everest for the very first time on stage. This is the story of Sir Edmund Hillary and his climb to the top of the world and it is coming live, to a stage near you, in a flurry of song, dance and drama! ‘Trek to the Top’ will be showing on Wednesday and Thursday the 1st & 2nd June, 2016 at 7pm in the Bethlehem College Performing Arts Centre, 37 Elder Lane Tauranga. This highly anticipated event is one not to be missed. Tickets are now on sale at the school office and can only be purchased using eftpos.
Term Two Reporting
This term we will be completing interim reports against National Standards. This will occur in the form of a written report with a comment, suggested next steps in learning and a interim overall teacher judgement in regard to progress against National Standards in the Core Curriculum Areas of Reading, Writing and Mathematics.
New Trophy Cabinet
A trip through our front office will highlight a new trophy cabinet that has recently been installed. This item has been crafted to demonstrate and showcase aspects of success at St Mary’s. On behalf of our school community I would like to thank the PTA for their generosity in funding this.
Tauranga Moana Ra Whakangahau Kapa Haka Festival 2016
This year Hato Maria (St Mary’s) will be hosting the 2016 Tauranga Moana Kapa Haka Festival on the 24th and 25th of November. As a Kura we have participated in the festival in the last three years and we now have the privilege to host it. This is an event that provides primary age school children with the opportunity to participate in Kapa Haka performance in a non competitive atmosphere. As the first Catholic School to host this event we will be looking to work with our other Catholic Schools and wider Whanau to impart Kaupau o Katorika (aspects Catholic) throughout the festival.
We anticipate over 40 schools participating, with up to 5000 spectators and performers visiting our school over the two days of the festival. How can we help I hear you say? Stand by for information from our Whanau group regarding invitations to attend related meetings and to be a part of working parties.
The safety of our students on and around our school grounds is paramount. We therefore request that all parents take due care and diligence in respect to parking around our school. Please do not park in the bus stop and if required to park opposite the school on 13th Avenue, we ask that you meet your child/ren on the school side first before escorting them over the road. Do NOT drive your car into the school grounds to drop off a child unless special permission has been granted.
By the end of this week all children should have made the transition to our winter uniform expectations. With our new multi season uniform this is quite simple with the only change being footwear. Black leather shoes with white socks for girls and black leather shoes with school socks for boys. Shoes must be leather lace up for boys, leather lace up or with a buckle for girls and have no other colour than black visible.
In addition to this we also allow a white under garment to be worn under girls dresses should an additional layer be required and a black undergarment that boys can wear under the polo. Both are available from NZ Uniforms. It is expected that the under garment be an additional layer to the fleece or jacket if required and should not be visible above the collar.
As a result of an extremely full rehearsal schedule for Trek to the Top we are not holding our normal Friday afternoon assemblies. We would however like to recognise swimming success from last term after our Monday Liturgy on 16 May. This will include the recognition of all School, South Cluster and WBoP achievements.
Zero Lunchbox Litter at St Mary’s School
Pope Francis has a very clear message about looking after God’s Creation and the need to recycle and reduce the rubbish we create. We all need to take action and be responsible for our own beautiful environment here at St Mary’s School. Therefore, we want a rubbish free school for everyone to enjoy.
Our existing Zero Lunchbox Litter Programme requires all packaging and fruit/vegetable waste that is used in lunchboxes to be taken home to be disposed of.
Initiated in Term 3 of 2015, this one action alone has had an immediate impact on the amount of rubbish on the school site, and Reusing and Recycling at St Mary’s School continues to be a big part of our daily lives.
We encourage you to continue with the commitment you place on teaching children to be responsible and take action for caring for our immediate environment and the world around us.
Thank you for your ongoing support.