Melbourne Study Tour

Growing Leader and Teacher Capacity

Our Board of Trustees is committed to supporting quality professional learning opportunities for our staff so that our learners are well equipped for the future.  This year our board allocated significant funding to the exploration of various learning environments.  All of our staff have had opportunities to both visit classes within our school and in other learning contexts to help develop our pedagogy (how we teach).  

In Week 5 this Term, eight of our staff had the exciting opportunity to visit Victoria, Australia.  Victoria is considered a leading state in innovation, research and pedagogy.  

We worked with Andrew Jones (former Principal, current PhD Student and researcher at the University of Melbourne) visiting seven schools that are considered leaders in innovative and creative curriculum.  

One of the big ideas from our week away was to ‘be the learner we want our learners to be’.  To be a learner we need to be curious, develop relationships, work collaboratively, develop creativity and be problem solvers.  We need to be open to challenge, inquire into our own practice and utilise research to support innovation.  We need to show agency and take responsibility for our own learning.  

So how does this relate to our students? 

We expect the same dispositions and attitudes from our learners.  We want them to be curious, develop relationships, work collaboratively, develop creativity and be problem solvers.  We want them to question, show responsibility and take ownership of their own learning.  They have to have the courage and conviction to take risks along the way.   “Children grow into the intellectual life that surrounds them” (Vygotsky).

Our visit to Victoria involved lots of risk-taking for us.  The schools we visited and the dialogue that we engaged in challenged our thinking, affirmed our journey to date, and provided lots of opportunities to test our beliefs about learning.  

As leaders at St Mary’s we need to understand the climate, create the conditions and lead our learning journey.  As a successful learning organisation we are dedicated to achieving our potential and fulfilling our goals. 

Anna MacKinnon
Deputy Principal


Rippa Rugby results 2017

St Mary’s played under the flag of Canada at the recent Rippa Rugby World Cup held at Blake Park.  Our year 3/4 team and our year 5/6 team were joined by 62 other teams in the Western Bay regional tournament.  Each team consisted of five boys and five girls.

Our teams represented their school and Canada with pride and excellent sportsmanship.  The year 3/4 team had a very successful day.  Despite winning all their games in pool play, they were unlucky not to finish top of their pool and ended up second on a count back.  They were unstoppable and didn’t lose a game all day and finished up 5th, winning the Shield divison and missing out by one spot on moving on to the Bay of Plenty competition.

The year 5/6 team also finished second in their pool on a count back.  They meet some tough competition in the subsequent rounds but were up to the challenge and finished a well placed 8th.  A highlight for the children was having black ferns captain Sarah Goss and Kelly Brazier watching and supporting them.  The senior team were particularly lucky and got to have a photo with them and also touch and have a photo with Kelly’s Olympic Silver medal.

It was a terrific day with our teams showcasing some amazing speed and skills.  A big thank you to Mr Barry and Mr Greaves for coaching and sharing their knowledge with the teams.

A letter from Pa Yvan

Pa Yvan recently sent the following letter:

"Ka'oha nui,

Hello my dear friends,

Just before Pentecost, I want to wish you a great feast with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God that also lives in our heart.

And I also want to send you some news about my health situation.

I am still alive, happy and in deep peace despite my MND sickness. What helps me a lot, is to try to have a look at my sickness through the Stations of the Cross, which is a very nice and deep meditating prayer. I have always loved it since my young age.

Nowadays, I can say I am around the 8th and 9th Station. I haven't calculated how many times I have fallen, but it seems to me, I understand it is rather like three stages.

The first one is like not be able to walk without a stick.

The second fall, like second stage, where a stick is not enough anymore and you need to use crutches.

The third fall is when even the crutches aren't helpful anymore and you will be having to use the wheelchair because you can't stand anymore. Well I am about to fall the third time one of these days...

It's going to lead me to the 10th station where Jesus has been prepared to be crucified and this for me is the stage where I will be totally dependent from the health people and home nurse. 

I really try to celebrate Mass every day and so far it's still with standing at the altar, which is good.

The difficulty nowadays is that my pelvis is almost totally disconnected and that makes I struggle to turn around on myself and lift my legs, and in the bed, it becomes difficult to turn too, but so far I still can do it, since my upper body is not weak so far.

Every morning, I see how I can stand up and this tells me how weak I am. I am really living one day after the other, like Jesus proposed in the Good News.

Beside that, I have also some weaknesses in my throat, which makes me start to talk slowly and sometimes not very clearly. I hope and pray the Lord I can still say Mass until my last breath.

My arms are also starting to change a little bit, but I can still write and carry stuff...

Well all my dear friends, there are some news about my humble situation. I try to accept it and to offer it to the Lord for my parishioners and for all my friends like you too.

I am happy to send you this message with my love and prayers and a big hug

Happy Pentecost

Yours in Christ

Motua Yvan+

Diocesan chancellor "


Please keep praying for Father Yvan.

PTA AGM - Notice of Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of St Mary’s Catholic School PTA will be held:

At: Talk of India
On: Tuesday, 4 July 2017
At: 7.00pm

As per our Constitution, the officers of the association are elected at each AGM. Nomination forms are available at the school office or by contacting the Secretary, Kim Sherlock, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Officer Nominations:


Nominations Close: Monday, 3rd July 2017, 3.00pm

Nominations are to be addressed to: The Secretary, St Mary’s Catholic School PTA, 13th Avenue, Tauranga

Please leave at the school office for collection.

PTA AGM Agenda

1. Opening Prayer/Welcome

2. Minutes of previous AGM

3. Annual Report from Chairperson

4. Annual Financial Statements of the Year

5. Officers resignations

6. Election of Officers and executive committee

7. Appointment of an Auditor

8. General Business.

School / Parish Mass 11 June 2017

There is to be a Parish/School Mass on Sunday 11 June at 10.30am in St Mary’s Church, Cameron Road.

We warmly invite and encourage all families to attend this Mass.  This is an opportunity to show your support and commitment to the Special Character of our school. 

Students are asked to wear their correct school uniform and to sit with their families.  Our Sursum Corda Choir will be singing.

School Mass 1 June 2017

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

You are warmly invited to our School Mass tomorrow at 9.30am to celebrate Pentecost in St Mary’s Church Cameron Road. 
Father Danny will be celebrating this Mass for us and we would love as many parents as possible to be there to meet and welcome him.

PTA Quiz Night - Thank You

Well the St Mary's 2017 Quiz night has now been and gone. And like any event, it takes a team of people to make it a success.

I would like to thank the following people who helped out with...

-pre-event tasks and organising
-set up on the day
-working on the night
-clean up the day after
-donating your time, expertise, product or services

and for those of you who came on the night and spent lots of money - the event was, as always, an outstanding success!

A special thanks goes to our Corporate Table sponsors:

-O'Connor Warren Insurance Brokers
-Craigs Investment Partners
-Property Managers Group
-Face and Beauty Academy
-Red Security and Electrical Ltd

The winners of the coveted Quiz Night trophy in 1st place (with bought points) went to Statue Bro and the winners of 1st place (without bought points) went to Tour de Farse.

As always, there were some fabulous costumes, but there can only be one Best Dressed winner and that went to the roller skating team, Let's Get Quizzical. I must admit, I think this team were also the most entertaining on the night!

Congratulations to all of the winning teams.

Our Live and Silent Auctions went off with some amazing items up for grab! Thank you to those of you who opened your wallets - we managed to raise approximately $7,000 on our auctions alone!

This year we also changed the format of the night and shortened the actual quiz, which meant everyone had time to have a boogie at the end of the night, which was great to see.

You can see what a fun night it was by checking out our photos on the St Mary's PTA Facebook pages.

As with all of our events, we are more than happy to receive feedback. If you would like to provide us with some feedback, please send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Once again, thanks for supporting the St Mary's Quiz Night and don't forget to book your table/ticket early next year - you won't want to miss out!

Michelle Pine
PTA Quiz Team

Home Baking and Stationery Sale for Whakapono Team - Thursday 1 June

Here's an exciting project that has been happening in Whakapono Team in Room 3.

Two very innovative children have spent a lot of their own time recently making home baking and stationery.

They wish to sell the baking and stationery to the children in Year 3 and 4 this Thursday 1 June at lunch time.

Where: BAMJC foyer if it is raining, or from the tennis courts if it is fine.

All proceeds will go to charity. Money that they make will be donated to Caritas which is their charity of choice.

Your child is invited to bring some gold coins to purchase the baking or stationery if they wish to at this time.

Thank you

Special Character - 15 May 2017

Holy Week: Last term ended with students, staff and whanau reflecting on the last days of Jesus life and we started back this term with the joy and love of the Resurrection. 

Holy Week liturgies started with a reenactment of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey.  Students dressed in ‘Jesus’ clothes and then processed from the liturgy to the field for a donkey procession. On Monday our liturgy focused on Washing of the feet and the Last Supper. Tuesday we reenacted the scenes at the Garden of Gethsemane. To follow on Wednesday we had a very reflective Good Friday liturgy.  On a very wet Thursday we prayed the stations of the cross. It was a very moving week as we journeyed with Jesus during his final hours.  Upon our return to school we were able to have a very joyful Resurrection liturgy. 

We are now in the season of Easter, students are being encouraged to become Easter people in three ways. 

Live with Joy

Joy is a deep-down gladness that cannot be taken away, even in the midst of sorrow. The suffering of Jesus was transformed through faith in the Risen Christ. With this faith, we are able to hold on to an enduring sense of joy even in the midst of the sadness we experience from the loss of a loved one, a failure to achieve an important goal, or a setback during recovery from an illness. We need to live each day joyfully.

Live without Fear

The Resurrection teaches us that God can overcome anything, even death. When the Risen Christ appears to the women at the tomb and later to his disciples, his first words are “Do not be afraid!” (Mt 28:5,10) These words speak to our hearts, helping us cope with the fear from the loss of a job, a serious illness, or a crumbling relationship. Our faith allows us to trust that God can overcome our most serious problems.

Live with New Eyes

Easter means to live with a sense of newness.  Just as the return of spring lifts our spirits and makes us feel like the whole world is new, the Resurrection of Jesus makes “all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) The Easter spirit is a spirit of renewal that enables us to show up at work with a positive attitude, to renew relationships that have been taken for granted, and to express appreciation and affection to those closest to us. It means to see the world through new eyes—God´s eyes.

We can use these 50 days to cultivate an Easter spirit that enables us to be truly Christian: embracing joy, living without fear, and seeing the world again—as if for the first time.

This term teaching will focus on the God strand.  Leading students to know God better and further developing their relationship with God.  A major focus is on God in our lives today, what can we learn from Scripture to bring us closer to God in today’s world.  Ask your child to share with you what they are learning at school.  Help them build their links between school and home and family life; What is your family’s relationship with God? How can that be developed?

Farewell Father Santey

Last week we thanked and farewelled Father Santey.  We wish him all the best at the Tyburn Monastery which I am sure he will really appreciate the spirituality and beauty the Tyburn Monastery offers.  We look forward to welcoming Fr Danny and getting to know him.  

Mothers Day

We wish all the Mothers/ Grandmothers/ Aunties and those who are spiritual mothers a very blessed Mothers Day.

May Mary shine her love on you all. 
Thank you, Lord, that you fill a mother’s heart with love,
That you have instilled in her very being the need to protect her children if at all possible,
Thank you for giving her the gift of nurturing her children, of teaching them, of comforting them, 
or feeding them and making a safe place for them.
For guiding them to be all that God has created them to be.
We pray for those women who are not mothers
But still love and shape us with their motherly care and compassion.
Fill every mother with love, wisdom and endurance, 
with strength and patience and joy.
Give them ability to forgive again and again.
Enable her to rely on You and  call upon You, because You will give her all she needs.
In Your precious and all powerful name, Amen

Teresa Rush
Director of Religious Studies