Aroha Team Meeting - using Digital Technologies daily

Dear Aroha Whanau

Next Thursday 23rd June (Week 8), you are all invited to attend an informal meeting with all Aroha teachers in the BAMJC, regarding how we are using digital devices to enhance learning for your children.

We would like the opportunity to share with you how we are specifically using Digital Technologies daily with all of our Aroha students to engage them in class.  One of these initiatives is Blogger, and how blogging allows the students to reflect and share their learning successes safely in an online environment.  We are also using an excellent online Maths initiative called 'Maths Hub', and would like to share how this is also supporting your child and their Mathematics learning.

You are welcome to email your child's classroom teacher with questions you may have around technology use in the Senior School, so we can ensure we build this into our presentation.  All questions are warmly invited!

Following our presentation there will be time for any final questions, should you have any.

The session will begin @ 5.00pm in the BAMJC.

Kindest regards,

Aroha Team

Tauranga Moana Ra Whakangahau Kapa Haka Festival 2016

2 December 2016

Kia ora koutou katoa

It is hard to imagine that this time last week we were immersed in the warm but consistent drizzle that descended on day two of the Tauranga Moana Ra Whakangahau Kapa Haka Festival.  (see photos here)

As you are aware, this is the first time St Mary's has hosted this festival and I certainly hope it is not the last.  I realise we now have a responsibility to hand over the Mauri and present a new school with the challenge of hosting this fantastic event.  In doing so we are able to provide who ever picks up the rakau in 2017 with a fantastic framework for success.

The spirit of the Ra Whakangahau is providing all children with the opportunity to participate in a quality Kapa Haka festival.  In doing so we create memories for these children and grow them as people.  I want to thank you all for the part you had in making this happen for the children of Tauranga Moana in 2016.

At St Mary's we set very high standards for ourselves and many aspects of our organisation were ambitious.  However, in true style, we pulled it off providing our wider community something to be extremely proud of.  Comments from other kura include.

A huge thank you to you and your crew from us at Pillans Point School.  What a fantastic event - so well run, especially in some challenging conditions. 

We loved being a part of it and please pass on to Ben, that we appreciate it hugely what you have done for our community, culture and schools in the area.

On behalf of all the students, staff and parents at Matahui School our thanks for the way in which you hosted us at the festival. Whilst we were unable to stay long, the time we were there your student mentors and support team gave us every assistance possible.

The task of hosting such an event is immense and we do appreciate the lengths the school went to in hosting us all.
Lastly....thank you for the koha. It was a kind and generous thought. We shall display it with a photo of our roopu as a tangible memory of the day.

Congratulations for hosting a tremendous Ra Whakangahau 2017 festival.
Greenpark performed yesterday and were extremely impressed with the organisation, venue and general vibe of the festival.
We are aware it is a huge under taking to host an event of this magnitude and would like to express our gratitude to you personally as well as the organising committee, staff and pupils of St Mary's school.

From this office I am extremely fortunate to be in a position to receive such feedback but am grateful that I can also pass it to all those who made this possible.

To the many volunteers within our community who made it possible, my heartfelt thanks to you all.

Nga mihi kia koutou

Ben Fuller

18 November 2016

Key Times
The festival will start with a Powhiri at 8.30am, this will be closely followed with our school performance at 9.15am.  Both St Thomas More and Aquinas College Kapahaka Students will be present at the powhiri and will follow on from the performance of our school.  The first day will conclude at approximately 2.30pm. Performances start again at 9am Friday morning, with the final performance again at approximately 2.30pm.

School Based Organisation
Classes will run as normal during this time but teachers have been encouraged to spend as much time as possible taking in the unique opportunity the festival presents.  There are a number of food stalls that will be in operation during the day and children will be able to purchase items at interval and lunchtime should they wish to.  More information in regard to this is again available on our school website.

Key Messages for Parents
With over 5000 people expected to visit our school site over the two days there will firstly be a lot of extra people around our school site and surrounding area.  To help manage the traffic in around our school we are operating a park and ride service from Memorial Park however, it would be advisable to take extra care when collecting and dropping off students.  The eastern end of Harvey Street will also be closed to traffic from 8am until 3pm so please make sure you allow plenty of time to park appropriately and accompany students to and from your cars.
As parents we would like to, of course, encourage you to take the time to come down and enjoy the festival.  There is no charge to enter and morning tea and lunch times would present opportunities for you to watch the festival with your children.  As mentioned, food stalls are operating with many options for you to enjoy.
Food available at the Food Stalls
Hangi - $10
Raw Fish - $4
Mussel Fritter with Bread - $4
St Mary’s Maori Burger - $4
Pies - including the famous ‘Boil Up’ Pie - $4
Sausages Rolls & Savouries - $2
Sausage Sizzle - $2
Smoothies - $4
Ice Blocks & Ice Cream - $2 - $4
Fruit Cups - $3
Juice, Bottled Water - $2 - $3
Cakes, slices, muffins - various prices

10 May 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.

Board of Trustee Election Results

St Mary’s Catholic School Board of Trustees’ Election
Declaration of Parent and Staff Election Results

Parent representatives votes:

Banbury, Shem 130
Byrne, Colin     58
Coffin, Antoine 122 
Davie, Rachael 67
Gash, Preston  57
Hulsebosch, Shay   91
Leitch, Ben     43
Lenton, Tony 61
Sands, Lorraine 68
Stott, Claire   141
Tustin, Daniel 33
Wilson, Tania 82
Young, Anne 103
Invalid Votes 10

I hereby declare the following duly elected:

Shem Banbury
Antoine Coffin
Shay Hulsebosch
Claire Stott
Anne Young

Staff representatives votes:

At the close of nominations, as there was only one valid nomination received I hereby declare:

Donna Vincent duly elected:

Theresa Dunston
Returning Officer

Science Extravaganza sponsored by Taylor Brothers Friday 3 June

On Friday 3 June we will be privileged to a Science Extravaganza for our Year 3-6 students led by award winning scientist Dr Siouxsie Wiles.

The Extravaganza has been sponsored by Taylor Bro's and so is of no cost to students. There will also be a morning tea provided.

The presentation will start at 10.30 in our centre where we will be joined by students from other schools and will run for approximately an hour. Parents and family members are also welcome to attend.

Kind Regards

Ben Fuller

Andrew Chinn visits St Mary's School

Andrew Chinn’s visit to our school left it humming tunes for days after. Andrew workshopped with each class group and all of them learned a song or two from his repertoire .  His animated, friendly approach warmed the students to him and he had them doing all sort of actions to songs like Ubuntu, a favourite among teachers as well, Rainbow and many more. 

After spending time with the students he worked with the teachers after school with the idea of creating a school song. This will be further developed with student input via Skype later this term.

Sports News - 10 May 2016

With our Winter Sports kicking off this weekend we wish all those St Mary’s children who are taking part all the best for the season. Our senior Netball girls made a solid start to the season with all 4 teams posting a win on Saturday.

We finished our summer season on a very positive note with division winners across a number of codes. At the end of last term we celebrated the success of our cricketers and today we congratulate our water sport teams.

Flippa Ball
The Year 3/4 teams Flippa Ball teams achieved fantastic results this season.

SM Shooters winners of the A Grade: Donavon Price, Finn Richards, Ethan Ryan, Matthew O’Connor, Roman Rejthar, Aidan Dobbs, Sam Webb and Hunter Sands.

SM Rockets winners of the C grade: Willem Winders, James Whitaker, Lacey Zurcher-Herbert, Ryan Bell, Caitlin Kavanagh, Millie Lochore, Luka Mahy, Jas O’Connor and Chloe Gleaves.

SM Jets third place B Grade: Ben Haydock, Austin Roper, Cole Hulsebosch, Ciaran Manning, Ryder Frank, Theo Shaw, James Whitaker, Xavier Kirk, Eli Banbury, AJ Goodin and Nat Jarden.

Water Polo
The Senior Water Polo Team placed 3rd in the Primary/Intermediate league.

SM Sunfish: Max Broadmore, Cara Butler, Renee Carey, Kate Dekker, Charlie Hammerich, Niamh Manning, Mikayla McGrory, Zach Quin, Stella Roper, Issac Schuler and Georgia Verhoeven.

Swimming Champions
St Mary’s also has a number of very talented swimmers and these children achieved excellent results at School, Cluster and Western Bay level.

The swimming Champions for 2016 are:

Year 6 Girls 
Champion - Georgia Verhoeven
Runner Up -  Maia Kahura

Year 6 Boys 
Champion - Zach Quin
Runner Up - Hugo McCarroll

Year 5 Girls 
Champion - Renee Carey
Runner Up - Niamh Manning

Year 5 Boys 
Champion - Charlie Hammerich
Runner Up - Henry Scholes

We sent a strong team to the Western Bay Swimming Champs where there was some fierce competition. Our team of swimmers competed well and had a fantastic day representing St Mary’s School. All our swimmers placed in the top 10 in their events which is an excellent result with a large number of podium finishes included in this.

Special mention must go to Renee Carey who set a new Meet Record for the 50m Breaststroke.

Other results were:

Year 6 Girls 
Georgia Verhoeven 2nd  Mixed 100m Grand Relay.

Year 6 Boys 
Zach Quin 3rd 50m Breaststroke.

Year 5 Girls 
Renee Carey 1st 50m Breaststroke,1st 25m Breaststroke, 2nd 100m Freestyle,2nd 100m IM, 2nd Girls 100m Relay, 3rd 50m Freestyle.

Niamh Manning 2nd 100m Freestyle, 3rd 25m Freestyle.

Stella Roper 3rd 25m Butterfly.

Year 5 Boys 
Henry Scholes 2nd Mixed 100m Grand Relay and 3rd  100m Freestyle.

Charlie Hammerich 1st 50m Breaststroke and 2nd Boys 100m Relay.

Certificates and trophies for all these children will be handed out after our liturgy on Monday 16 May.

A huge thank you must go to our amazing team of parents who volunteer their time to coach and manage teams throughout the summer. Without them our children would not be able to participate in these extra curricular activities. Thank you.

Best of luck for all those playing a winter sport. Play hard, play fair and have fun.

And finally... thank you all for making me feel so welcome to the St Mary’s School community.  I have appreciated your kind patience and help in my first term as Sports Coordinator.  I look forward to meeting you all in the near future.

Cathy Pini 
Sports Coordinator

Young Vinnies Cup Cake Fundraiser

Thank you for supporting our Cup Cake Fundraiser for the Merivale School Community.  We raised an amazing $714.50.  Thank you for your kind generosity.

Special Character - 10 May 2016

This term we celebrate two feast days. The feast of Ascension of our Lord, where Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father and promised to send the Apostles a gift. This Feast day was on Sunday 8 May.

The gift, as promised, of the Holy Spirit, was given on the feast of Pentecost which is on Sunday 15 May. Our school will celebrate this feast day with a whole school Mass on Friday 13 May at 9.30am at St Mary’s Immaculate Church in Cameron Road. All Parents are welcome to attend and celebrate this feast with us.

The Angelus
As May is the month of Mary our school will be saying The Angelus every Friday at 12.00 noon for the term. The Angelus is an old prayer which started around the 11th Century. It calls us to interrupt our daily, earthly routines and turn to thoughts of God, of the Blessed Mother and of eternity. 

Welcome to new children and new families liturgy
We will be welcoming all new children and new families who started school since 16 February 2016 on Tuesday 10 May at 10.00am in the Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey Centre. All families are warmly invited to attend.

Andrew Chinn
Andrew Chinn’s visit to our school left it humming tunes for days after. Andrew workshopped with each class group and all of them learned a song or two from his repertoire .  His animated, friendly approach warmed the students to him and he had them doing all sort of actions to songs like Ubuntu, a favourite among teachers as well, Rainbow and many more. 

After spending time with the students he worked with the teachers after school with the idea of creating a school song. This will be further developed with student input via Skype later this term.

It was a wonderful day of praise and worship and our students, teachers and parents who attended the afternoon concert sang out loud and proud. 

Sacramental Programme
The programme resumed again on Monday 9 May Please keep all these students who are preparing for the their First Communion and Confirmation in your prayers.  First Communion Mass is on Sunday 29 May at 10.30am at St Mary Immaculate Church.

Religious Education
This term we will continue to learn how Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey spread God’s message through the value of Mercy and the strand we will focus on is the Sacrament.  We will be learning about the Holy Spirit.

Our Year 1 and 2’s will be learning about the Eucharist and how we as people are welcomed at the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Our Year 3’s and 4’s will be learning about the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Our Year 5’s and 6’s will be learning about the Healing sacraments as well as participating in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Gavin Hesqua
Acting DRS

We made it to the top!

May I first convey my thanks for the contribution all made towards the success of our Trek to the Top musical production.  In reflecting on the week of performances there is possibly no better way to bring a school community together in celebration of student achievement. 

The focus of education in New Zealand is very much centred on academic achievement and in the primary sector, achievement specifically in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.  You will not hear me say that this is not important.   However, after witnessing the artistic expression portrayed by our amazing students during Trek to the Top journey, I will definitely continue to advocate for the incorporation of a range of opportunities for children to experience success.

A special mention must go to the outstanding husband and wife Gobsmacked team of Patrice and Dion Williamson.  Congratulations to you both.  My heartfelt thanks to my staff for your passion and support of the production. In particular a special thank you to Pip Berquist for your fantastic leadership in our Trek to the Top.

Check out the Gobsmacked photos here....

Ben Fuller