Kia ora koutou katoa, Talofa Lava and Nimen hào to our whole school community.  This week is Chinese language week so a special time for our three students at St Mary’s who identify as Chinese.  I love this Chinese proverb that I came across this week, which epitomises the collaboration that we are striving to achieve at St Mary’s -


A special welcome to Liam Rhind, Sophia Ferdinando and Vivian Pham.  Eli Murie and Leila Cafer who have recently joined our St Mary’s whanau.

Open Day

We had a great turn out of parents and whanau at our open day last week.  It was awesome to see the children sharing their learning.  We will do this again next term! 


This week we sadly farewell Mr Bryan Crowe, who is moving to Korea with his family.  We thank Bryan for his contribution to our school and wish him and his family well for their future endeavours.  We are very lucky to have Louisa Strange and Christelle High joining our staff for Term 4.  Louisa will be starting our new New Entrant class in Room 3 and Christelle will be working in Whakpono Tahi in place of Bryan.  

Key Competencies

At St Mary’s we understand the importance of the Key Competencies.  This week I am focusing on the final Key Competency of ‘Thinking’.  

The Key Competency of thinking really weaves it’s way through all of the other Key Competencies.  Without thinking we couldn’t ‘Manage Self’, ‘Relate to Others’, ‘Participate and Contribute’ or ‘Use Language, Symbols and Texts’.   Having said that, we do need to focus solely on thinking to grow this competency. 

 At St Mary’s we are developing our students thinking skills by giving them opportunities to reflect, problem solve, ask questions and draw from the knowledge they already have.  

“Thinking is about using creative, critical, and metacognitive processes to make sense of information, experiences, and ideas. These processes can be applied to purposes such as developing understanding, making decisions, shaping actions, or constructing knowledge. Intellectual curiosity is at the heart of this competency.”  TKI Online.

Now for a skite!  Recently we participated in the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA), conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Education.  This involved an external teacher working with a number of Year 4 students.  The study looked at children’s learning in mathematics and social studies.  Although we don’t get the results, we are extremely proud to say that all of the children that participated showed amazing thinking and collaboration skills.  I think that is a great testament to the teaching and learning here at St Mary’s.  

Learning Through Play

You may have noticed that I am very passionate about play!  Next term I will be focusing on play in the newsletters.  I will also be running a ‘play’ workshop for those of you who may want to know more about the importance of play and the research that supports this.  Watch this space for dates for this workshop.  

Newsletter online

We are very pleased to announce a trial of our newsletter as an online document.  This is one step that we can make towards taking care of our environment and streamlining the workload of our office administrators.  We will have a small amount of paper copies available in the office for those who prefer to read hard copies.  Our newsletter will be emailed and available on our website and official facebook page.

Summer Uniform

Just a reminder that we change to our summer uniform next term.  We move from wearing shoes and socks to wearing sandals.  The St Mary’s School hat is compulsory for the whole of Term 4.  There will be disignated play areas for children who do not come to school with a hat.

Music Scholarship

Thank you to everyone who applied for the Music Scholarship for guitar lessons in Term 4, 2018.  

Congratulations to Vani Panchal and Maddie Parry who will receive tutoring from Michael Nicholson. Thank you to Suzuki Bay of Plenty.  We are excited to be able to provide this opportunity and we are sure that both girls will really benefit from these lessons.  Look out for the Coding/Computer Scholarship notice coming home soon.

 We hope you have a safe and happy term break and look forward to an exciting final term of the year.  


Anna MacKinnon

Acting Principal