Tena koutou katoa, kia orana kotou and a very warm welcome back to Term 3.

Grandparents and Grandfriends

We were blessed with a huge turnout for our special celebration liturgy of our grandparents and grandfriends this week.   

It’s our hope that all of our grandparents feel that they are a part of St Mary’s and as I moved around the school on Tuesday morning, the unconditional love that they were sharing with their own grandchildren was evident. 

Education is changing rapidly but something that hasn’t changed, and in fact has become even more important, is the ability to build relationships with and relate to people of all ages.  Relationships is an area that we spend a considerable amount of time on at St Mary’s.  

Grandparents are often the ones who reinforce the values that we are instilling in our students.  The St Mary’s values of Truth (tika), wisdom (maramatanga), Faith (whakapono) and Mercy (aroha).  They are often also the ones that bring our Catholic faith alive.  We never underestimate how important grandparents are for us as a community and to develop that special relationship with their grandchildren.  


A special welcome to Ella Saunders, Vincent Hodgson, Shania Addlington, Francis Morado, Jodi Gilmour, Jules Youn, Sally Ryu and Wonjun Jung who have joined our school family.

Term Three Learning

The term ahead sees the teachers and students inquiring into our brain.  In particular thinking about thinking (metacognition) and having a growth mindset.

Term 3 has historically been our term for the performance of speeches and poetry.  Our finals will be held in Week 6.   

Key Competencies

At St Mary’s we understand the importance of the Key Competencies.  Over the next term, through the newsletter, I will be looking more in depth at each key competency.  Last term I wrote about Managing Self.  This week I am focusing on ‘Relating To Others’.  This is at the forefront of my mind after the Grandparents Liturgy on Tuesday.  

Relating to others is about interacting effectively with a diverse range of people in a variety of contexts. This includes listening, recognising different points of view or being able to ‘walk in another’s shoes’, negotiating, and sharing ideas. Knowing when, and being able to ask for and offer help, is also an important aspect of this key competency.  

Students who relate well to others are open to new learning and can take on different roles in different situations. They are aware of how their words and actions affect others. They can work together with others, collaborate and cooperate.  


August is the final month for first reports to go out to parents and whanau.  If you missed an interview it’s not too late to book one in with your child’s whanau teacher.  


Congratulations to Angela Cochrane who has been appointed to Team Leader for Aroha Team until the end of the year.  

We are very sad to farewell Bryan Crowe from his permanent teaching position and Siyeon Crowe from her ESOL / International teaching position.  Siyeon left at the end of last term and Bryan will be leaving at the end of Term 3.  Bryan and Siyeon are heading back to Korea to teach.  We thank them for all their hard work and wish them all the best.  There will be a more formal farewell for Bryan at the end of the term.  

We welcome Donna Vincent as teacher of our ESOL and International students.  Donna will be working closely with teachers, students and their families to provide an effective English Language Programme to our English as Second Language and our International Students. Donna will work both within the classroom and in small groups to provide this instruction.  

Nuts and Bolts

Lost property: The lost Property bin is getting so full that we can hardly close it each night.  One fine day over the next week, we will be laying out the lost property on the tennis courts.  All un-named remaining clothing will then be washed and kept in the office for spare , to give to families in need, or to resell.  We will alert you by Facebook, app and email so that you have a chance to come in and pick up what belongs to you.  We will also be encouraging the children to have a thorough look.  

After School: We will be encouraging all children to wait inside the gate for parents at the end of the day, in order to keep them safe.

Lunches: Please ensure lunches are healthy options for your children and packaging is kept to a minimum so that we are doing our bit for the environment.  

Health and Safety: We are currently going through the process of practicing our evacuation procedures.  These include lockdown (reverse evacuation), fire, earthquake and tsunami.  If any parents are on site during these drills, it is important that you follow our procedures also.

Fa’amanuia le Atua (God bless)

Anna MacKinnon

Acting Principal