Principal and Deputy Principal for the Day

Principal for a day 2016 - Jack Mear – R 10

Being principal for a day is an extremely special day for one lucky child. My parents bid for me to become principal for the day at last years St Mary’s School quiz night and they won!

My amazing day started by traveling to Saint Mary’s Church in Mr Fuller’s car for our special school mass and I was able to greet parents as they entered the church, right next to Mr Fuller. When we got back to school, I was then invited to the staff room to have morning tea with the teachers. This was great as I got to have my favourite – a mince savoury.

I then showed two new families around our school with Mr Fuller. I really enjoyed this as I could tell these families how amazing our school is, especially my classroom. Then we went to Macdonald’s for a very yummy lunch.

At assembly at the end of the day, I handed out the principal’s awards to children in our school, it was great because one of my best buddies got a principals award that day as well as my sister. It was an amazing day I will never forget.

Deputy Principal for a day 2016 - Mikayla R9

In 2016, I had an amazing fun opportunity to spend the day with our deputy principal, Mrs MacKinnon. At the PTA Quiz Night, Mum and Dad bid on “Deputy Principal for the Day” and they won!  I was unsure of when I was going to be Deputy Principal but one morning before assembly Mrs Mackinnon came into my classroom and she tells me that I am being Deputy Principal today. I followed her into her office, and she told me that we were teaching Room 5 and I was going to help! While she was looking after the students, I was preparing what I was going to say at the assembly, I was the first person to speak out of all of us…….. Wow I was so nervous.

The day of being Deputy Principal was so great, I got to eat morning tea with the teachers in the staff room. They had sausage rolls for morning tea – my favourite! I got to chat to some of the teachers in the staff room which was kind of weird but really fun! As it was Bike Safety week Mrs MacKinnon allowed me to join back with my class and do Bike safety At lunch time Jack (Principal of the day) and I were taken to McDonalds for lunch with Mrs MacKinnon and Mr Fuller!  It was great to sit and chat with them!

Assembly was so much fun, I got to help Mrs MacKinnon give out Christ Like certificates and Jack helped Mr Fuller. 

I can totally recommend becoming Deputy Principal of the day, it’s so much fun and you get to see all the things the Principal and Deputy Principal do!

BoP Primary School Marist Tournament

Well done to the St Marys students that turned out for our Marist rugby club at Saturdays BOP Primary schools Marist Tournament. The tournament is played each year between the three Marist clubs in our region, Tauranga – Greerton Marist, Rotorua – Marist St Michaels and Whakatane Marist.

Winners:  U6s - Whakatane, U7s - Whakatane, U8s - Draw Whakatane & Tauranga, U9s - Whakatane, U10s - Tauranga, U11s - Tauranga, U12s - Whakatane U13s - Tauranga

An excellent day was had by all. We now look forward to next year’s tournament and a strong representation from our St Marys students in Marist colours in 2018.  

Taekwondo Success

Joshua (Room 7) and Jazmine Oficial (Room 10)  began Taekwondo in 2016 and are now yellow belts. They have entered two competitions and been successful already. Josh has won one gold and two silver medals and Jazmine has won two gold and one silver medal. They practise twice a week and are training hard for the Nationals later in the year.  Congraulations Joshua and Jazimine.  

Taekwondo Success

Joshua (Room 7) and Jazmine Oficial (Room 10)  began Taekwondo in 2016 and are now yellow belts. They have entered two competitions and been successful already. Josh has won one gold and two silver medals and Jazmine has won two gold and one silver medal. They practise twice a week and are training hard for the Nationals later in the year.  Congraulations Joshua and Jazimine.  

From the Principal - 14 May 2017

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou

A special welcome to our new families and new children; Elia Szulakowski, Sara Szulakowski, Jooyeon Kim, Hugo Kolless, Bryley Raass, Manaia Brazendale, Regan Dobbs, Mali Lawrence, George McKinnon, Oriel Olvina, Oliver Reid, Delilah Smith and Solomin Smith. 

It is great to be into Term 2 and with you look forward to the many opportunities and events within our school community as winter approaches.  It has been great to see some of our winter sports codes starting to prepare for the season.  I wish all players, coaches, managers and parents all the best for your first games and congratulations to Mr Finlayson for the work he has done in getting approximately 300 children involved in sport.

As with any term there are many events and activities on our busy calendar so please take time to look either online or on our website for what’s coming up.  I was in Korea at the same time as our PTA Quiz night last year but looking forward to joining in with you this time.  Make sure you have a table together as it is always a fun night.

Innovative Learning Environments

As you may be aware we have a new Minister of Education, The Honorable Nikki Kaye.  Nikki Kaye comes from and academic background that covers both the sciences and law and is therefore a big supporter of Innovative Learning Environments.  It is important to note that the word innovative refers to what happens within the learning environment, not what the environment looks like.  It is very much learner centred with the learner in control as opposed to the teacher.  The teacher obviously has a role different to that which has been more traditional in nature.

Father Santi gave a great homily on Sunday with a focus on leadership.  He looked at the words efficient vs effective.  Efficient being related to managing and effective being related to leadership.  My view is that the New Zealand Education system and teaching practice developed high levels of efficiency since the time of tomorrow’s schools but is now realising the need to be effective in leading learning.

Those parents who attended the Aroha open afternoons last week and those who regularly help or are in attendance in Room 13 will no doubt make some connections with how we are working towards being effective as a school.  We have some further times to share scheduled with other learning teams this term.  Maramatanga parents are invited to share in the focus on their new learning environment at either 2.20pm or 6pm next Tuesday.

The OECD has published many reports that are guiding educational practice globally a recent one, “Schooling redesigned towards innovative learning systems focuses on 7 ILE learning principles.  The first being ‘Make learning central, encourage engagement and be where learners come to discover themselves as learners’.  This statement indicating that children need the scope to explore and connect with what successful learning looks like for them.  We are examining all 7 ILE principles as a staff and will continue to share them with our community.

Before School Procedures and Punctuality

Thank you to all who have been making an effort with ensuring children are at school on time.  It definitely makes a difference when a child is set up and ready to learn at the start of the day.  Equally, in moving forward to our colder months it is not ideal to have children waiting in the cold for classrooms to open.  All classrooms will be open and supervised from 8.30am which means children who arrive before this will need to wait in an outside area.   Ideally any time from 8.15 - 8.45 is a good time to get to school.

New Build Progress

With a run of recent good weather we have seen some great progress with the construction of our new learning environment.  Early next week we should start to see a roof go on which will of course signal the end of potential weather delays.  The time frame for completion is therefore still the end of the term meaning we will be in a position to welcome our Year 2 students into their new learning space at the beginning of Term 3.

Nga mihi nui

Ben Fuller


Sports Wrap Up - 27 March 2017

After completing our Aroha Swimming Sports we moved onto South Cluster.  St Mary’s had twenty two students competing against the five other schools in our cluster.  Not only did we win all three relays,  but from the twenty two students who competed, seventeen have qualified for the Western Bay of Plenty Swimming Championships.  Giving St Mary’s by far the largest contribution to the South Cluster Team.

The student lead mini-triathlon was great fun.  It was fantastic to see so many students giving it a go.  A massive thank you to Chris Willett and his team who helped organise the morning.  Chris’ teams encouragement of the students to enjoy themselves on the day, went a long way towards making the day a great experience for everyone.  I am looking forward to expanding the event next year to incorporate more year groups.

I am very excited to announce Courtney Smith will be helping me for the remainder of the year.  Courtney is in the third year of her Bachelor of Sport and Recreation at Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology (formerly Bay of Plenty Polytechnic).  In order to gain her degree Courtney will be undertaking a research project.  This will be to establish an evidence based (scientific research) best practice fundamental skills programme with our year 3 and 4 students, focussing on catching, throwing and passing.