From the Principal 28 March 2018

Tena Koutou Katoa

Welcome to Holy Week.  This week is of course an extremely significant one for our Catholic School.  Holy Week is of course when we follow the last week of Jesus’ life on earth with us and anticipate his resurrection.  However, the lead up to Easter Friday is a solemn one and we hope to reflect this through the daily liturgy and final stations of the cross on Thursday.  It has been great to see the children of several classes involved in the organisation and performance of key liturgy.

A warm welcome to our new students....
Tara Lock, Sumatra Mark and Spencer McIntosh.

Thank you to the PTA for the Outdoor Adventure Day
I am going to throw it out there and suggest that the PTA Outdoor Adventure Day of 2018 would be one of the best yet.  Looking around, watching kids and talking to parents it was clear that the objective of this day was clearly achieved.  A fun event for our children and our community.  It was great to see a full field in the parent and teachers race.  For those of you who were there you would of noted that I was not very close to the front of the field but probably glad I wasn’t given the injuries suffered by the front runners.

Our new Facebook page
We had some issues with our school facebook page earlier in the year but now have it up and running and bullet proof.  I would encourage all to follow the great things that happen at St Mary’s and keep informed through the link below.  

www.facebook.com/stmarystga/

Lateness and Absence
We have concerns about frequent lateness and absence of some students at St Mary’s.

Children are considered to have unsatisfactory attendance at school over the course of the year if they miss 16 days of school or 8% of their time at school. 

This means that if a child has had 4 days off school in a term the school is concerned. 10% of a child’s time at our school (Year 1 – Year 8) is 32 weeks (3 terms), and 20% is 64 weeks (6 terms) Children who are not at school do not learn as easily or with the same rate of progress as other children. Staff, parents, children and the community have responsibilities in this area.

If students experienced more than a day between one opportunity to interact with a new idea and a subsequent opportunity to interact with the new idea, then forgetting occurred and instructional opportunity was wasted.     Alton-Lee, (2003)

Children’s lunches and rubbish
As a parent I know the challenges in trying to ensure children have a good lunch to eat during the school day.  This of course involves packing and wrapping food items.  As you know in an effort to reduce our landfill rubbish as a school we ask that all food related rubbish is taken home.  It is great in theory!  Unfortunately we are finding a lot of zip lock plastic bags around our school site.  If there is an alternative or a way that we can eliminate packaging all together I would encourage you to explore it.

Ben Fuller
Principal

From the Principal 9 March 2018

Tena Koutou Katoa

A special welcome to Soul Clarkin, Austin Day and Olivia Woodhouse who have joined our St Mary’s Whanau recently. Also welcome to Autumn I guess, although the temperature definitely does not feel like winter is on the way.  I suggest we make the most of it and keep the kids swimming for as long as possible.  Hopefully your child has settled well into their learning journey for 2018.  A reminder if you have any concerns your child’s teacher (whanau) should be the first point of contact.

Congratulations Sister Gabrielle
Sister Gabrielle celebrates 70 years of religious profession as a Cluny Sister this weekend. We wish her all the best on her special day. God Bless you Sister Gabrielle. 

Father Mark 10 Years as a Priest
This week I had the opportunity to take a delegation of students along with Teresa Rush to a small celebration of Father Mark’s time as a Priest.  It is 10 years since Father took his vows and I am sure you will all agree we are lucky to have him as our Parish Priest.  

Congratulations Father and thank you for the guidance and leadership you provide within our Parish.

Learning Interviews
It was great to see the majority of parents join in conversation with their child’s whanau teacher as we seek to know more about the children we teach.  The sharing of learning relevant information and involvement of parents and caregivers in the learning process is something that we are focusing on this year.  Our objective, “bring parents into the real conversation”, the actual learning that happens on a daily basis.  It is a challenge but hopefully by utilising our online environment and connecting all stakeholders with that which is current it can be achieved.

School Parish Mass / School Mass
This Sunday at 10.30am we will celebrate our first Parish School Mass of 2018 at St Mary Immaculate.  As always we welcome parents and whanau to help us celebrate this occasion.  Children should be dressed in their school uniform.

Following later in the week, our first school Mass will be held on Friday 16 March, again at St Mary Immaculate Church. On this day we celebrate the feast day of St Joseph.  Again we welcome Parents, Whanau and Family of our school to share in this celebration.

PTA Outdoor Adventure Day
Once again our PTA will be holding a great day of fun for our children.  Our Outdoor Adventure Day will follow our School Mass on Friday 16 March.  I know the true success of this day is dependent on the number of volunteers we get along to assist with activities.  Our PTA do a great job putting this event on for our kids each year and would welcome your support.  

Gobsmacked Productions Presents - ‘Mad Pearce takes Flight’
It is that time again, St Mary’s moves into production season with auditions occurring today.  With memories of ‘Trek to the Top’ still firmly in our children’s minds I am sure Term 2 will be a wave of excitement as we progress to being on stage once again.  

Principal Study Leave
As I communicated late last year I have been lucky enough to receive a study award in order to complete my Masters of Educational Leadership.  I thank all who have wished me well to date, however,  I am still here until the end of this term and will take leave from the beginning of term two.  In the time between then and now leadership will be handed over to Anna MacKinnon who will act as Principal in my absence.

Ben Fuller

Principal

From the Principal - 29 November 2017

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou

A very warm welcome to our last enrolments for the year.  Isaiah Deo, Toby Williams, Charlie Williams, Rylee Jury, Miah Jithin and Caitlin Schofield and Mina Aaifou-Olive.  We finish our school year with 496 students.

With less than three weeks of school remaining the acceleration towards year end is definitely in action.  There are many end of year events, activities and procedures that we all need to be aware of at this time.  Please ensure you take note of dates, times and information as it is distributed by differing means and appears from different sources.  I am definitely looking forward to sharing in the many events to come this end of year.

2018 Parent information evening

My thanks to all those who came along last Thursday evening to share in the presentation of our school organisation for next year.  The key organisational change is of course the move of our year 0-1 students to a class based foundation for 2018 and conversely the opportunity to work with Whakapono within a collaborative, connected space.  For those parents who were unable to attend, the presentation from the evening is on our website under information.

2017 Ra Whakangahau

Also on the Thursday of last week was our opportunity to hand over the Mauri of Tauranga Moana Ra Whakangahau.  The spirit of the event we have held since hosting last year.  This occurred as a part of the Powhiri and was well supported by whanau.

Our Ropu then followed with the opening performance of the festival.  It is was the fifth time in recent years that our school has performed at the Tauranga Moana Ra Whakangahau and having been present each time can honestly say the strength of the group continues to grow each year.  My thanks on behalf of you all to Lisa Broadmore for her leadership, both Iwi and Tamoe Malcolm for their tutorial expertise and all whanau for their continued support.

2018 Appointments

There are quite a few changes in regard to staffing for 2018 due to promotion, retirement and staff opting to take leave.  Though much of the following has already been communicated it doesn’t hurt to summarise.  

  • We congratulate Deanne Willemse for her career as she retires from teaching at the end of this year.
  • We also congratulate Fay Warnock who has won a promotion to the position of Deputy Principal at Papamoa Primary School in 2018.
  • Both Donna Vincent and Pip Berquist have been granted leave for the 2018 academic year.
  • New appointments include the following leaders and teachers
    • Miss Jasmine Maddock - Lead teacher Maramatanga
    • Mrs Tania Yorke - Lead teacher Whakapono
    • Mrs Angela Cochrane - Aroha
    • Miss Adelle Mayhall - Aroha

We are currently within the process of appointing a new Assistant Principal.

2017 School Magazine

As you are aware, we are once again putting together a school magazine which is of course a great collection of our year’s highlights and achievements from classes and the many groups contribute to make our school great.  These are available to purchase from the school office. 

Second Hand Uniforms

If you are in possession of a second hand uniform that is no longer required by your family we will gratefully accept them at our office.  There are a number of families in need within our community who will be extremely accepting of item received.  If your items are of value to you and you would prefer to sell them a good place to do so would be through our parents facebook page (STM’s Parents!).

2018 Enrolments

We are at capacity in most year levels of the school for 2018.  It is important that we are aware of any intentions to leave St Mary’s 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 have started. 

Ben Fuller
Principal  

 

 

 

From the Principal 12 February 2018

Tena Koutou Katoa

Nga mihi nui ki te tau hou

It is exciting to be back at St Mary’s with teachers, students and parents.  May I bid a special word of welcome to any new students and families to our community.  We particularly welcome Adrian Adelaide, Cody Blythe, Nadya Broadbent, William Crowe, Jonathan Dalton, Tohu Edwards, Ngahere Edwards, Adelia Elphick, Dylan Harris, Indee Holden, Summer-Ann Joseph, Reef Joseph, Jacob Kleinsmith, Seung Lee, Sennen Legayada, Kate Levis, Holy McElroy, Emma Mischewski, Rohan Moby, Vanessa Moncreiff, Johaan Paul, Rebecca Ryder, Tayla Setefano, Prince Sobiaco, Evelyn Strange, Lily Te Pairi-Bradshaw, Blair Trow, Elliot Tunney, Frankie Willers and Liwoo Yang.  Greetings to you all. I look forward to sharing in the success of your children as they progress through the coming years.  I also look forward to interacting with you as members of our community.  There are many events within, and involving our community in the coming weeks so please make the most of the opportunity to be informed and a part of our learning here at St Mary’s. 

With the Easter season upon us we will be holding our Ash Wednesday liturgy in our Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey Center, this Wednesday at 10am.  Parents and members of our community are most welcome to join us.

We have two learning related events that I would like to draw your attention to.  Firstly our learning team information afternoon starting from 3.45pm this Thursday and our individual meet the teacher opportunity next Tuesday 20 February.  Please check our website and / or other sources of communication for details of these and other events.

This year proves to be an exciting time within education.  With requirements to assess children against set standards removed by our new government we can focus more on the assessment, growth and reporting of the wider development of our students.  I hope to focus more on aspects such as dispositions to and of learning as well as social interaction skills and growth within future reporting formats.  Our core subjects are still of course a priority, with progress to be mapped against curriculum progressions and expectations.

New Teachers to St Mary’s
Due to retirement, promotion and staff leave we welcome a number of new teachers to our community at this time.  Mrs Ayn Harris has been appointed to the position of Assistant Principal.  Ayn comes from a team leaders position at Arataki.  Mrs Tania Yorke joins the leadership of our Whakapono team having previously taught at Papamoa College, Mount Intermediate School and Tauriko.  Another new leader to our professional team is Miss Jasmine Mattock who returns to New Zealand after experiences in the UK.  Within our Aroha Team we welcome Mrs Angela Cochrane who has come to us from Pyes Pa Primary and Miss Adele Mayall who is both a beginning teacher and an old girl of St Mary’s.  I am sure you will join me in welcoming them to our school.

Absences 
A reminder that if your child is absent from school, please notify the school office by phone or text before 9.00am on the morning of the absence. The school absentee mobile number is:  021 2969437.  

When a child returns to school after an absence please give a written explanation to his/her classroom teacher.

Arriving late to school
If your child has an appointment and is going to be late to school then a call or text to the office is much appreciated.  Then, when you arrive at school you must come through the school office to sign your child in.

Signing in and out - Health and Safety
If, for whatever reason you are going to be on the school grounds, then please come through the school office to digitally sign in and out.  If you are taking your child out of school early then please, also come through the school office to sign out.  

Traffic Safety
The safety or our students is paramount. We therefore request that all parents take due care and diligence in respect to driving and parking around our school.  The best place during summer months to drop off and collect children is our Harvey Street boundary.  If this is not possible please remember that no child should be left to cross roads by themselves after being dropped at school.

Ben Fuller
Principal

From the Principal - 2 November 2017

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