Speech and Drama Trinity College Examination Success!

A huge congratulations to Imogen Williams, Eva Jeffries, Olivia Kerr who all passed their Grade 1 Trinity College London Speech and Drama examinations with Distinction. We are so proud of you for all the preparation and hard work you put into perfecting your pieces and developing your vocal and performative skills and technique.

We look forward to watching you showcase one of your pieces at our Speech and Drama Christmas Concert in November!  Watch this space for more details.

Dee Ellwood - Speech and Drama  Teacher

Celebrating different cultures

Ni hào. Two weeks ago in Tauranga our Chinese community celebrated the Chinese Moon Festival. William Wu and his Mum were part of the celebrations and performed in the Lion Dance and the Drum Dance.

Next week we look forward to learning more about the Chinese culture as we celebrate Chinese Language week. 

This is me and my Mum on Moon Festival Day. We were doing the Drum Dance and the Lion Dance for the people of Tauranga. Mrs Vincent and Miss Mayall came to watch me dancing and enjoy the Festival. There was lots of special food to eat and I had some pork dumplings and they were yummy. It was a very happy day. (William)

A reflection from Amy Kim on her year at St Mary’s

Amy leaves us at the end of this term to return to Korea with her family. We wish Amy and her family a safe trip back to Korea and send them many blessings.

I have have really enjoyed my time here at St Mary’s school. I love the school environment, the fresh air, the nature and the estuary - it’s just so different from Korea. I really like that I can go out and enjoy the fresh air so much and eat our lunch, but I do find the seagulls annoying. I love learning in New Zealand because you can choose where you learn. It can be at a table, on a beanbag, on the mat or even outside. I love working in the big classrooms having lots of friends and nice teachers. It also is great when we go to the staffroom after Class Mass and share yummy food with our family and friends. I also really like Kapa Haka and learning the songs and haka - I will be sharing that with my Auntie back in Korea. 

One of the most special things for me and my Mum was when I made my Holy Communion and having some of my teachers as my godparents and sponsor. I love saying my prayers and Church and when I say my prayers it just feels nice.  

The things I have loved about New Zealand is the outdoors, the fresh air and the bush. Some of my favourite places have been Hamilton Gardens, Te Papa, Mount Maunganui and the hot pools, Auckland Sky Tower and the beautiful Hamurana.

I am excited to be going home but I will miss New Zealand and my friends but I hope to come back to study again sometime.

Special Character 6 September 2018

Parish School Mass

St Mary’s Parish / School Mass will be held Sunday 9th September, 10.30am at St Mary Immaculate Church.  Please wear School Uniform.
There will be a bake sale and sausage sizzle after Mass to raise funds for the 2019 Samoa Malaga.

Parish Pot Luck Dinner 

“Build Community” We are having a pot luck dinner to welcome Father Rico.  This will be on Friday 7 September at 6pm, in the Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey Centre. All welcome!

Whakapono Jesus Strand key teaching and learning

Jesus is truly present in special ways in the meal that is the Eucharist. When people receive the Eucharist they grow in holiness tapu. Eucharist is the best way to give praise and thanks to God with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Jesus invites people to grow in holiness by sharing in his life and following his example. Grace is the gift of God’s presence and action in the world that helps people to become holy like God. When Christians live as Jesus did with tika, pono and aroha they help to bring about God’s kingdom on earth Jesus taught people what God was like and how much God loved them and this helped people to be reconciled with God Te Atua.

Teresa Rush


ESOL - English as a second language

Mayoral Visit

Last Monday we went to the council chambers to meet the Mayor Greg Brownlees. There were lots of other students that come from different countries and lots of our friends from Korea were there. We were all in our school uniform and it was nice to be together. We all received a small Tauranga pin from the Mayor to remember our special day. We watched a video all about Tauranga where we live and it reminded us all about just how beautiful Tauranga is. The Mayor said that the people of Tauranga love having international students coming to live in our city because it makes our city interesting and helps us to get to know other cultures. We had lots of photos with the Mayor and our friends. Afterwards we had a lovely morning tea and the sausage rolls and lolly cake were yummy!!

By Jooyeon Kim & Jessica Kum

Why is St Mary’s School Special?

St Mary’s School is very special because it has three playgrounds and a library, a swimming pool, the estuary, a tennis court, the field and the most important thing, it’s got Jesus.

By Rohan Moby ( Maramatanga)

Special Character 17 August 2018

Welcome Father Rico

We would like to welcome Father Rico to our school community. He was officially welcomed at our New Families liturgy. We look forward to getting to know Father Rico. 


Well done to the Young Vinnies who carry out Service. They have been visiting local Rest Homes, playing games, doing yoga, performing magic tricks and performing musical and dance items. 

Monday 6th August -  Hodgson House Rest Home. Monday 13th August - Cedar Manor Retirement and Care.

They plan to visit - Fraser Manor Retirement Home and another Home this term. 

Sacrament of Baptism

If anyone would like to find out more about having their children Baptised please contact Margie at the Church office 578 6209. Or you can email Teresa Rush This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

Senior Jesus Strand key teaching and learning

Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is both fully human he tino tangata and divine he tino Atua like God. People come to know Jesus through reading and reflecting on the stories about him in the New Testament. Through the stories people can get a sense of the people, the times and places Jesus lived in that influenced his life and his work. 

Each gospel writer records Jesus’ life from a different perspective and this enables people to develop a deeper understanding of Jesus’ life, his mission and his death and resurrection. Jesus came to make known to people that God is his Abba, Matua. Jesus’ life was God’s gift of love to the world because God loved people so much. Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit strengthens people to turn away from sin and live as he lived. Jesus lived with faith, hope and love and he invites his followers to do the same. Christians express their faith, hope and love through worshipping God and loving actions.

Teresa Rush


PTA Defibrillator

CONGRATULATIONS to all our students who got in behind the school cross country fundraiser; 

you raised just over $2,000 for the PTA’s defibrillator. 

It is times like this that I am reminded what a fantastic school community we have.  Thank you very much to all of you.      

Steven Finlayson

Special Character 2 August 2018

Please pray for Ben Fuller and his whanau

Ben’s mother, Freda passed away unexpectedly last weekend.  Please pray for Ben, Gen and family during this very sad and difficult time. 

Hehu Karaiti-Jesus -  Term 3 Religious Education

This term our teaching focus is on Jesus- Hehu Karaiti and our school value Truth- Tika

Students will be reflecting on the main question: 

How can I be an excellent follower of Jesus?

The focus for each area of the school is:

Tika and Maramatanga:  Jesus my friend, Jesus showed his love in different ways.

Whakapono: Jesus gives himself in the Eucharist; Jesus came to show people how to live and lead them to God.

Aroha:  The Life of Jesus; Jesus - the fullness of God’s revelation.


This week I would like to highlight the great service provided by the students who run the “Fun Factory” This club is open on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime by room 10.

Milli Banbury, Lottie Mann, Willow Murie, Fenella Price, India Scholes, Niamh O’Connor and Cleo Sands from Whakapono.

“The Fun Factory is where kids who don’t have anyone to play with can come to play games, do art, read books. When they are here we talk to them and see how they are going.” -  Milli Banbury.

“We started it because when I was walking around the school one day we noticed people without friends sitting around trees doing nothing.”  - Willow Murie

“We thought that we should do something to help people make friends.”  - Lottie Mann

Farewell Father Danny

Students, Staff and community farewelled Father Danny last week with a Liturgy. We gave God thanks for Father Danny and all he has done for us. We wish him well in his new appointment as Parish Priest in Melville and Hospital Chaplin. 

Father Danny has done many things for our school. You have taught many students the wonders of God and I have learnt an amount from you too. If you hadn’t have come to St Mary’s, I don’t think I would know much about R.E as I do now. You’ve made a huge contribution to our school in the time you’ve been here. We will all miss you and we wish you the very best in continuing your journey as a priest. 

(Samuel - Aroha)

Dear Fr Danny I’m so sad that today I am writing to say goodbye to you. so, I have decided more to focus on the positive memories you have made at St Marys. 

You are a truly amazing person and you inspire me to love God with all my heart and to continue to do so all my life.

Your beautiful kind spirit has touched the hearts of not just the children but the school staff and the teachers too. 

(Sophia - Aroha)

Thank you Father Danny for your committement and service to St Mary’s School.  We will miss you! 

School Feast Day

Thank you for all your support on the School feast day. All the students had a great day. It was fantastic to see the students interacting with learning in their house groups and the way the seniors helped the junior students. The learning based on Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey was excellent and many students really amazed us with their knowledge and thoughts about how we serve God today.

Teresa Rush


Sports News 2 August 2018

Sports Exchange

After last year’s successful term 3 sports exchange with St Thomas More, we have decided to expand this year’s event.  We are really happy to announce that St Mary’s Rotorua will be joining St Mary’s Tauranga and St Thomas More on the last week of term 3 to compete in Netball, Basketball and Football.  This sports exchange will be open to all our Year 5 and 6 students.   As soon as all the information is finalised we will send more information.

National Taekwondo Champhionships 

Jazmine Oficial competed in the 9 – 12 year old age group at the National Taekwondo Champhionships finishing an amazing 1st in Sparing, 1st Pair Poomsae (forms or defined pattern of attack and defensive movements), 1st Individual Poomsae.  With two more years in this category, I am sure she will continue to have great success. 

Miniball World Cup

In the last week of term 2 a St Mary’s team of Areta Kahura, Louie Gash, Kees Schiphorst, Makae Fuller, Alexander Bayliss, Loimata Paaka, Joshua Fausett, Cormac Gardiner, Kahlia Gardiner-Hano and George Hopkins competed as Russia in the Miniball World Cup.  Out of the 32 teams who competed at the tournament, our St Mary’s team WON THE COMPETITION!!!!! 

To top off what was a fantastic day, they also finished 2nd in the best dressed competition.  On behalf of everybody involved I would like to say a huge thank you to Wayne Fausett, who coached the team for a very full on and long day.

I would also like to congratulate Areta Kahura, who was named in the tournament team from the Miniball World Cup.  This team does not play any games, but is made up of the best players  from every team who competed.

Soccer Success

During the July school holidays, Benjamin Petrik competed in the Christchurch International Cup.  There are over 1,000 players at this football tournament,  for teams from the Asia-Pacific region.  Congratulations to Ben and his team who finished 4th against some very high quality teams.  Ben has also been chosen, as part of the Tauranga All Stars Football Academy to travel to Scotland and England in December this year to play against four academies there (Rangers FC, Kilmarnock FC, Manchester City FC and Burnley FC).