Enrolment visit Aquinas College

On Wednesday 6 May Mr Ray Scott, Principal of Aquinas College, will be visiting our school at 1.30 pm.  The purpose of the visit is to speak to students about Aquinas and the ensuing enrolment process.  Should parents wish to be present for this meeting, you are extremely welcome.


I hope the transition to the paid bus service has been relatively smooth for the majority of users.  I am aware that this has not been the case for all but hopefully after some reflection and fine tuning we will all enjoy an extremely efficient service.  A reminder for all bus users to check the school hopper website for updates www.baybus.co.nz/schoolhopper

Asthma.... A message from our Health Nurse

With seasonal temperature changes it’s time to think about your child’s asthma treatment.Consider having your child checked if:

  • They have a persistent night cough or cough after exercise
  • Suffer breathlessness & or wheezing (noisy breathing)
  • They experience a tight feeling in the chest

For asthma sufferers

If they have a preventer – now is the time to ensure regular use.  

Ensure your child has a stock of their asthma medication & that it has not expired!- check the date on the cartridge. 

Administering the inhalers with a spacer is the most effective method- for adults & children.

If your child is using their reliever (blue) inhaler more than 3-4 times a week on a regular basis then the asthma is not under control.

Restart the preventer if you have one, and are not using it, or seek advice from your GP or the Asthma Centre. It may be that technique with the inhaler or that a review of medications is needed.  

Free advice, information & care is available from the Asthma Centre- Ph 577 6738 or your Doctor.  Contact the Public Health Nurse for support of student health and wellbeing. 

Contact can be made through the school office or directly on 07 5773383.

Book Fair

Tomorrow, Wednesday 29 April, we have our book character dress up day to celebrate our book fair week.  We are all looking forward to seeing our children dressed as their favourite pre 1915 book character.  

Don't forget to come and have a look at the books we have on display in the school library.  Parents and children are welcome to buy books, sponsor books, or make a cash donation.  All books are supplied by Scholastic Books. You will find a wonderful variety of books and other products at the fair.  All Book Fair purchases benefit our school and provide new books for our library.  Our goal is to put more books into the hands of children! 

Miss Debbie Nowell, Librarian

Maths and Growth Mindset

Last term we closed the school for a ‘Teachers Only Day’ on March 13th, to enable all our staff to attend a one day conference in Auckland. The theme of the day was ‘Teaching for Intelligent Mindsets’, exploring how a ‘ Growth Mindset’ as opposed to  a ‘Fixed Mindset’ can invigorate students and adults alike  to re- engage with learning, take on challenges and persist in the face of obstacles. Staff were fortunate to hear Professors Carol Dweck and Guy Claxton along with Jamie Fitzgerald as they shared ways to promote a ‘Growth Mindset’ in students, including ways of praising process not ability, strengthening neural connections and growing self belief.

This term we are focussing on developing ‘Growth Mindsets’ in  our students,  with a particular focus on the Maths Curriculum, where often students can bring to the classroom a ‘Fixed Mind Set ‘ of their own ability in Mathematics.

Research shared by Dr Jo Boaler from Stanford University has educators around the world examining effective mathematics teaching. As teachers our role is to encourage students to believe in themselves. There are different parts to this – first we need students to know that they can achieve at any math level, and there is no such thing as a ‘maths person’.We know the brain has great plasticity and that all students can achieve at the highest levels. Second we need them to have a “Growth Mindset” – believing that they can learn anything, and the more work they do the smarter they will get.  

As parents you can significantly help grow your child’s mathematical self belief. Here are some useful tips for parents to help transform your  child’s maths learning.

Encourage your child to play maths puzzles and games. (visit link: http://nzmaths.co.nz/families)

Always be encouraging and never tell children they are wrong when the are working on maths problems. Instead, find the  logic in their thinking because there is always some logic to what the child  says.

Never associate maths with speed. It is not important to work quickly, particularly in the younger years.

Avoid sharing with your children the idea that you were bad at maths at school or that you dislike it. Significant research has identified that when a mother shares that idea with their daughters achievement goes down.

 Encourage ‘number sense’,  i.e. composing and decomposing numbers. For example, when working out 29+ 56, if you take one from 56 and make it 30 + 55, it is much easier to work out.

 Perhaps most important of all, encourage a growth mindset, ie the idea that ability and smartness change as you work and learn more. The opposite to this is a fixed mindset, where the idea is that ability is fixed and you can either do maths or you can’t.

For further information visit Professor Jo Boaler’s blog and website which  contain informative articles and videos. http://joboaler.com/  


Janet McCarroll

Special Character - 28 April 2015

We are currently celebrating Eastertime; the time of the Church year commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

It continues for a period of fifty days, from Easter Sunday to the feast of Pentecost. Pope Francis opened his Easter message, Urbi et Orbi with the words “Jesus Christ is risen” and closed his message with a reminder “Fear not, for I am risen and I shall always be with you.” What comforting and reassuring words for us!

Last week our Monday Liturgy focused on the Resurrection of Jesus and this great message of hope and joy. All classes in their Religious Education lessons for these first weeks of term are exploring ways we can live as Easter people proclaiming this Good News! 

Liturgy to welcome new children and new families

Our liturgy to welcome new families and students who have joined our St Mary’s family during the last term is to take place next Tuesday 5 May. A reminder that all parents and caregivers are very welcome to attend this liturgy and help make our new families feel welcome and part of our very special St Mary’s community.

Sally Washer, DRS

Holy Week and Easter - Service Times

Monday of Holy Week
8.00am - St Mary Immaculate - Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion
8.30am - St Joseph's - Mass

Tuesday of Holy Week
8.00am - St Mary Immaculate - Mass
5.15pm - No Mass
7.00pm - Cathedral, Hamilton - Chrism Mass

Wednesday of Holy Week
8.00am - St Mary Immaculate - Mass
10.15am - Aquinas College - Mass

Holy Thursday
No morning Masses
7.00pm - St Mary Immaculate - Mass of the Lord's Supper*

Good Friday
3.00pm - St Mary Immaculate and St Joseph's - Commemoration of the Lord's Passion

Holy Saturday
No morning Mass or Confessions
5.00pm - No Vigil Mass
7.00pm - St Mary Immaculate - Easter Vigil

Easter Sunday
8.00am - St Mary Immaculate - Mass
9.00am - St Joseph's (not Bethlehem) - Mass
10.30am - St Mary Immaculate - Mass

Easter Monday (6 April)
8.00am - St Mary Immaculate - Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion
8.30am - St Joseph's - Mass

Easter Tuesday (7 April)
8.00am - St Mary Immaculate - Mass
5.15pm - No Mass

Easter Wednesday (8 April)
8.00am - St Mary Immaculate - Mass
10.15am - Aquinas College - No Mass

Easter Thursday (9 April)
8.00am - St Mary Immaculate - Mass
9.00am - St Mary's School - No Mass

Easter Friday (10 April)
8.30am - St Joseph's  - Mass
12.05pm - St Mary Immaculate - (No Holy Hour)

Easter Saturday (11 April)
8.00am - St Mary Immaculate - Mass

* It is traditional to bring an item of food for the poor to the Mass of the Lord's Supper, to be taken up at the Offertory.



Using Schoolhopper in Term 2

If you’re planning on using Schoolhopper to get to school in Term 2 there is an important change to note – you will need to pay a fare.

With a Smartride Card: $1.15
Cash: $1.60

Smartride cards
Using a Smartride Card is the fastest and cheapest way to travel.

All Schoolhopper students will be provided with a Smartride card through the school, which is pre-loaded with $10 credit. Please make sure this card is registered at www.baybus.co.nz as soon as possible, so that if the card is lost you can call 0800 884 880 and any remaining credit on the card can be transferred to a new card. 

Smartride cards with the pre-loaded $10 credit will be sent home with students next week.

Topping up
You can top up your card on the bus (either the Schoolhopper buses from term two or any Bayhopper bus anytime) or at the Tauranga iSite in Willow Street. You can also purchase new cards (the card is free when topping up with a minimum top-up of $10) from the same places.

While we would love to be able to offer online top-ups, unfortunately the technology our regional bus network uses does not allow this just yet, but we are planning a major upgrade in the next couple of years when it will.

For more information about using Schoolhopper, please visit www.baybus.co.nz/schoolhopper