Pasifika Festival 25 October 2017

The St Mary’s and Aquinas Pasifika Group performed four items.  Our theme was about the Catholic faith arriving to the Pacific Islands.

1st Item Samoa Hymn Song – We wanted to showcase the Word of the Lord coming to the Islands

2nd Item Tonga Entrance dance – Here we wanted to showcase missionaries preaching the Word of the Lord.

3rd Item Samoa Sasa floor Dance – Here we showed the Pacific people sharing the faith and spreading the word through the churches

4th Item Cook Island Dance – Here we are celebrating our faith, church communities and GOD!

There were 19 schools who performed and we enjoyed being part of the day.

Whakapono Marae Visits

A visit to the Marae written by Nina Young Room 5

Last Thursday at 9:15 Rooms 1,2,3,4,5 and 10 travelled to the Wairoa Marae for a visit because we wanted to find out what a marae was like.

When we stood outside the gate girls at the front, boys at the back, and all the teachers dotted around us I felt so amazed because I had never seen a marae before. It was just like Whaea Tamoe and Matua Iwi had described it. The angry tekoteko wasn’t scary at all!!!

And then I heard this beautiful wailing cry and it made me feel so calm, and we started to oh so slowly walk forwards until we reached the steps of the Wharenui which means ‘meeting house’ in Maori.

Next we had to pull off our sandals and stuffed them in our bags and then place our bags on either side of the Wharenui, girls on the right boys on the left. After we got seated it was time for the powhiri.

I think after the powhiri we had morning tea and for morning tea we had banana, oranges, sausage rolls, biscuits and a packet of chips. I had everything there!!!!

After that we were let out to play and Jules, Zac and I did skipping. Not very long after that we all had to split into 2 groups. My group Rooms 5, 4 and 10 did Kapa Haka with Matua Iwi and we also learnt about a weapon.

Half an hour later we switched groups and we learnt about carvings. But all too soon we had to pack up and trudge to the bus to go back to school. It was a wonderful day and I’ve learnt a lot!

Marae written by George Holmberg Room 5

Yesterday all the middle school went to Wairoa Marae.

When we arrived at the Marae, we got in line, girls at the front, boys at the back. Then we had a few moments in silence until we heard the faint cry of the Kuia, whaea Tamoe’s mum. Soon we started waddling through the gateway to the Marae ground. We didn’t stop until we were right in front of the Marae. Then the Kuia said a few words and pointed to the toilets.

Afterwards, we entered the wharenui for the speeches. The boys were flanked around the girls, so the boys could protect the girls. Whaea’s uncle’s speech was so long I thought it would last forever. After it was done Whaea’s uncle and mum sang a waiata. Later Mr Fuller stood up and did a speech too. Then we exited the wharenui and entered the wharekai.

Our lunch was served by the marae people and it was delicious. I had a sausage roll, a piece of apple, a cookie and a bag of twisties. The water there had a hint of lemon in it.  At playtime me and my friends played ball tiggy. After lunch we got separated into two groups for activities. I was in Matua Iwi’s group. We did some Kapa Haka and learning about the taiaha. It was extremely fun and I learnt heaps about the taiaha. Suddenly Whaea Tamoe opened the door. It was time to swap.

Inside, Whaea’s mum told us about the carvings. It was so interesting I learnt a lot about the maori war, the maori culture and heaps of things like that. Finally the Kuia sang a farewell waiata and we left.

What a lovely trip and I hope to go again.


Year 6 Camp

Our Year 5 and 6 team had a fantastic start to the term, venturing to Totara Springs camp in Matamata for three days during Week One.  There they experienced a variety of outdoor learning activities, supported by our very capable parent helpers.  This year, the weather was on our side and we were fortunate to be able to maximise the outdoors and the excellent facilities the camp provides us with.  We are blessed to be apart of such a wonderful community, and we wish to thank all the parents who accompanied us on another memorable Aroha experience.

Foam slide at camp - written by Sara Szulakowski Room 8

I saw people face-planting into the foam at the end of the slide.

I felt my heart hammering in my chest as I dived onto the tarpaulin. 

I saw a blur of white stuff (which was probably the foam) as I skimmed across the slide.

I heard a shriek of excitement as another person slid down.

I felt the foam sticking to my face as I landed in the pile of  bubbly substance face-first.

I heard the water dancing around me as a wave of snow white foam flew into the air.

I wondered if we would have enough time for another turn.

Nathan Mikaere Wallis

This weekending 2 November 2017, a large number of St Mary’s staff attended a presentation by Nathan Mikaere Wallis. Nathan is a well known, gifted educator.  He has been a lecturer at Canterbury University, a neuroscience presenter for Brainwave and a child protection trainer.  He is a dynamic and inspiring presenter.  

He spoke passionately about the importance of the first 1000 days of a child’s life and the development of the brain from conception to 32 years, with an emphasis on the early years of childhood and schooling.  He spoke about the importance for children to develop positive dispositions towards their learning and their culture, and to develop their creative and thinking skills.  

It is great to affirm the implementation of our ‘Learning Through Play’ philosophy that we have been developing over the last couple of years at St Mary’s, based on research and practice.  It also verifies the importance of the ‘Key Competencies’ that are the basis of the New Zealand Curriculum.   

I highly recommend that you spend 40 minutes of your time listening to the following interviews with Nathan on Radio New Zealand:

What 3 - 7 Year olds Need to Learn - 26 mins

Kids With Interpersonal Skills Come From Homes Where There Are Rich Conversations - 17 mins

Anna MacKinnon
Deputy Principal

Sacramental Programme for 2018

The Sacramental Programme for next year will begin in 2018 – all classes (Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist) will take place at St Mary Immaculate Church on Monday afternoons, 4pm – 5.30pm. None of the programme will be taught at St Mary’s School. Confirmation with Bishop Steve is booked for Pentecost Sunday, May 20th.

The programme will be for children who are in Year 5 and older in 2018.

The full programme will be published before the end of this school year – but Enrolment Sunday will be on February 11th and classes will begin on Monday 5th March.

We will need teachers and parents to help with the teaching of the programme (in small groups) – if you are interested, please contact Margie Cooper at the Parish Office (578 6209). Training will be given.

Thank you all.
May God bless you and your families

Father Mark
Parish Priest

Special Character 2 November 2017

Communion of Saints - Classroom learning

Over the next month the students will be learning about the ‘Communion of Saints’

Year 1: In the classroom

Lesson Focus: Mary As a Church one of the ways we honour Mary, the greatest of the Saints, is as the Mother of Jesus. We reflect on how Mary’s holiness was magnified by her encounters with the holiness and power, the Tapu and Mana, of God.

As a family:

Take time to – make a special place at home with an image of Mary in it to use at family prayer time – read the Mary stories from a Children’s Bible at bedtime.

Plan to – leave a message of love under someone’s pillow – tell children a story about something your mother did to show you she loved you

Year 2: In the classroom

Lesson Focus: Saints and Inspiring People Those officially declared by the Church to be Saints because of their virtues, the holiness – tapu and mana of their lives, are now with God. They act as models for the members of the Church on earth, and are linked to them through prayer. The saintliness of ordinary people can also inspire others and lead them to God.

As a family:

Take time to– make a family “Saints’ Place” at home with books, pictures and statues of saints and use this as a focus for family prayer – talking about inspiring people you know or have read about.

Plan to – decide on a few simple things you can do which can help you to become saintly, eg * say something encouraging to each other everyday, * work hard at something you are not good at – buy a book about Saints for your family.

Year 3 and 4: In the classroom

Lesson Focus: Life, Death and Christian Hope Suffering and death are part of life. Catholic beliefs about the resurrection of the body and life after death provide meaning and a reason for hope. The rituals of Catholic funerals and tangi provide consolation for the bereaved. The Church encourages people to remember those who have died and to pray for them.

Lesson Focus: Choices Our life journey – Te Wa, is a journey towards God. The choices we make on that journey have significance in terms of our final destination, our life after death. Traditionally the Church has spoken of life after death in terms of heaven, hell and purgatory.

As a family:

Talk together about – what Christians believe about death, eg * in death, life is changed not ended, * people undergo Purgatory so they will be able to be with God in Heaven – how different cultures have differing burial rituals – how we should support and care for people who experience death in the family

- how life is a journey and how we can all help each other achieve our goals in life by sharing our gifts to help others and by encouragement. Emphasise that effort and persistence are always needed to achieve goals – how you achieved a goal and who helped you to do it.

Plan to  – include in family prayer prayers for people who have died

Year 5 and 6: In the classroom

Lesson Focus: Saints and Inspiring People Catholics believe in the Communion of Saints – the unity or community of all members of the Church, those now living, those who are with God in heaven, and those undergoing purification before entering into the fullness of life with God. The living may pray to the saints for their intercession, and for those in Purgatory. The living and the dead are all joined in praise of God.

Lesson Focus: Mary. From the New Testament we learn that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is a model of faith and discipleship. Catholics honour Mary as the Mother of God, Mother of the Church, and patroness of Aotearoa, New Zealand. This honour is expressed in various forms of devotion to Mary.

As a family:

Talk together– talk about how the Communion of Saints is the bond of friendship between all who have been baptised whether they are living or dead – make a family list of relations and friends who have died and keep it in a place which reminds you to pray for them, include photographs as well if you have them – tell your children stories of their relatives who have died and the good things they did while they were on earth.

Take time to – share ideas about Mary’s life on earth including the sort of person she was – find and discuss various images of Mary.

Pope Francis’  Monthly Intention for November

Christians in Asia

That Christians in Asia, bearing witness to the Gospel in word and deed, may promote dialogue, peace, and  mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions.

Teresa Rush

Sursum Corda's visit to St Patrick's School and Church in Taupo 27 October 2017

Last Friday Sursum Corda travelled to Taupo to sing at the midday Mass at St Patrick’s Church which was attended by St Patrick’s School students,their families and parishioners.

We were warmly welcomed by Monsignor Trevor Murray and St Patrick’s School. We were made to feel very much at home.

Sursum Corda sang absolutely beautifully and did St Mary’s proud. On the way home we visited Mind Junction, a learning and discovery centre.

It was the most wonderful and beneficial day. Not only did the students have a really enjoyable day but it highlighted what our Special Character is all about.

A special and very grateful thank you to Mr Fuller and the parents who came with us.

We have also  really appreciated the support of our own parent community for our fundraising activities which helped make the day possible and so successful.

Sally Washer 

Inspirational Teachers

Mrs Fay Warnock - Waitomo 22km Trail Run - April 2017

An action packed trail run with narrow tracks, caves, streams and plenty of mud. The wet weather leading up to the event helped make it a little more slippery and adventurous than I expected. There was never a dull moment, but a great atmosphere of runners who love new challenges. It was an amazing experience to be able to run through the eerie caves, scale the muddy climbs and feel a great sense of achievement being pushed out of my comfort zone! 

Mrs Teresa Rush - Nugget Multisport Festival - 13 March & Paeroa to Waihi 21km - September 2017 

13th May - The Nugget Multisport Festival. A tough 21km trail run which will take you on an unforgettable adventure from Waihi’s charming town centre out to the spectacular harbour and coast at Waihi Beach, before returning to Waihi via breathtaking trails to the rim of the mighty Martha Gold Mine and our iconic finish line under the shadow of the Cornish Pumphouse.  Lots of mud, streams, cow pats and uphill then more uphill!!  Enjoyable but really tough.

12th Sept - Trail Trilogy.  A scenic 21km along the Hauraki Rail trail from Paeroa to Waihi.  A tough run when I had not gone for a run for four weeks!!- Lucky it was flat with only little hills (felt really big at the time) near the end.  The scenic Karangahake gorge was great and the tunnel was as always a highlight. For the really keen there is also 100k, 50k, 42k and a 10k run. 

Mrs Heidi Pink -  Taupo Ultra 50km 

The Ultra 50km was an awesome run from Kawakawa Bay along an airstrip, down some steep farmland before joining the wonderful Great Lakes K2K and W2K trails to the finish line at Whakaipo Bay. It was an epic day out that showed off the very best of the Lake Taupo region: lake views, mountain ranges, rivers, waterfalls, and native forest - and a few more hills and blisters than we had anticipated! I loved (nearly) every minute and felt an amazing sense of achievement running over that finish line.

New Gold Group Sponsor - Smart Business Centre

At Smart Business Centre, we pride ourselves on not being your ordinary Accountants, let me explain why.

We have fixed fees so you know your costs before we have completed your work, we don’t charge for phone calls, emails and quick chats about your business. We offer an open family friendly environment.  We help our clients succeed by applying our three step Smart Business Model:

Step 1: Smart Accounting

We take care of your accounting & tax work, make sure you are not paying more tax than you need to, and make sure your assets are protected. You will have better information, faster, and you won’t have to deal with the IRD. Once your books are in order, we will recommend tools for you to make your life easier, and your business more efficient.

Step 2: Smart Biz Tools

Every business needs tools to make their business more efficient and less hassle. Having the right tools for the job means business owners and their staff can spend more time doing the things that will grow your cash flow and bottom line. Having smart tools is smart business. We have spent a great deal of time selecting the best APPS and online tools available today. Whatever your challenge (stock control, cloud based invoicing, portfolio management) we will have a tool for the job.

Step 3: Smart Thinking

Once your books are in order and you have the information you need to make good decisions quickly, and you have the tools to make your business run efficiently, we can then apply some smart business thinking and strategy. We can benchmark your business against your competitors so you know how you are doing, or it may be you need a 12-month Smart Business Plan, or a succession plan to put the business in the best possible position before selling or transferring the business to a family member.

Property Management

We launch Smart Property Management on the 1st of November 2017, Smart property investors use Smart Property Managers to look after their investment and maximise their returns. It’s the smart thing to do because not only are the management fees less than you would expect, but the service is second to none. 

Our management fee is all inclusive so you know exactly how much our service will cost. There are no extra charges for property inspections and we don’t charge a management fee for organising contractors to do repairs.

Be smart. Take the hassle out of your residential property investment and maximise the returns. Contact Mark Fantham at Smart Property Managers. 

Ph. 07 578 0228 or 022 0597490

Tauranga Office 20 Park Street Tauranga 

Ph. 07 5776600 or Anthea Fantham 027 7466204

Mount Maunganui Office 1/314 Maunganui Road 

Ph. 07 5756559 or Tony Ryan 021 0407020