Helping your child have the best mathematical start to life

One of the very best things that parents can do to help develop their child’s mathematical interest is to provide mathematical experiences using materials. Playing, measuring, talking with your child about their discoveries and ideas are the basis of mathematical ideas being formed. Play with building blocks, interlocking cubes, or kits for making objects is fantastically helpful in the development of spatial reasoning. Jigsaw puzzles, rubic cubes and anything that involves moving objects around, fitting objects together or rotating objects are beneficial. Noticing number all around us, on letterboxes, signs etc offers an opportunity to pose mathematical questions. When exploring mathematical ideas with your child, it is always good to ask lots of questions.  Children who take risks to answer questions need great encouragement. The focus is not on getting every answer correct but rather talking about their ideas, so that the child can reason their way through problems. When you are working with your child on maths it is important to be as enthusiastic as possible. Mathematical conversations should be relaxed and free from pressure. Make your interactions with your child as much fun as possible as attitudes towards maths are so quickly sensed by young children. Have fun learning with your child playing with numbers to develop their number sense.

Janet McCarroll, Deputy Principal

Special Character - 9 March 2015

We are now well into the season of Lent and our Liturgies and class Masses have helped us gain a deeper understanding  of what this special season of the church is all about as we journey towards the great feast of Easter.


This Thursday 12 March there will be a special Reconciliation Liturgy for our year 5 and 6 students in the Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey Centre at 9am  which you are all very welcome to attend.

School Parish Mass

Sunday 15 March is our first Parish/School Mass for 2015 at 10.30am in St Mary’s Church Cameron Road. We encourage all families to attend this Mass to show support of the special Catholic Character of our school. Children are asked to wear their school uniform and sit with their families. Members of Sursum Corda will sit together as a choir.

School Mass Thursday 19 March

We will be having a special School Mass to celebrate the feast of St Joseph on Thursday 19 March at 9.30am in St Mary Immaculate Church.

This feast day has a special significance for our school as St Joseph is the Patron Saint of our Cluny Sisters who began our school. At this Mass we will be praying for and remembering the Cluny Sisters, many who came from Ireland who worked so hard establishing our school and who are now with God.

Again we warmly invite you and encourage you to join us for this Mass.

Prayer Group and Prayer Book

Every Friday morning a group of parents meet in our school chapel to pray the Rosary. All parents are welcome to join this group at any time.

We also have a prayer book which is placed by the Statue of Our Lady in the chapel. If you have anyone you would like this prayer group to pray for please write their names in this book.

Sally Washer, DRS

Senior Swimming Champions

Hi to our fabulous senior students, senior teachers and parent helpers

Thank you sooo much for being part of the St Mary's Swimming Sports.  It was wonderful seeing our school community spirit alive and kicking!!

My job was made infinitely easier by the Recording crew - Tammy, Leanne, Lee and Charly....thanks for collating such a lot of information over the day.

To the timekeepers, marshals, photographers, supervisors - thank you so much for sharing the load today.  Your help with, and support of, our senior students was incredible.

Certificates for the races have been awarded, along with the newsletters (via email) for those swimmers who have qualified for the next level competition - South Cluster Champs on Tuesday 17th March.

St Mary’s Swimming Champions for 2015 are;

Year 6 Girls
1st Jess Carey 81 points
2nd Jaime Hammerich 58 points
3rd Paige McKay 19 points

Year 6 Boys
1st Corbin Mackay  69 points
2nd Jackson Roper  66 points
3rd Connor Delaney 36 points

Year 5 Girls
1st Georgia Verhoeven 87 points
2nd Kate Dekker 54 points   
3rd Cara Butler 21 points

Year 5 Boys
1st Zach Quin 90 points
2nd Jack McClutchie  29 points
3rd Steve Fonohema  23 points

The winning House overall was Cluny.  The House points are;
1st Cluny 383 points
2nd Pompallier 262 points
3rd Ryan 206 points
4th Viard 188 points

Thanks again, and well done, everyone…….a great first senior school event for 2015.  

Kellie Low
Sports Coordinator

175 Years of the Catholic Faith in Tauranga Moana

This Saturday, 7 March, marks 175 years since Bishop Pompallier arrived on the Tauranga Harbour foreshore and established the Catholic Mission here in Tauranga Moana under the patronage of St Thomas Aquinas. We need to celebrate!

To mark this special day, we will have 8am Mass at both St Mary Immaculate and Bethlehem (Hangarau Marae, Bethlehem Rd), followed by a hikoi (pilgrimage walk) to the site of the original Mission Station in Beach Rd (below Ranui St). When the two groups have arrived, at about 10.30am, we will have a time of prayer together, and then a BYO picnic morning tea (or brunch).

The two groups, coming from the two Masses, symbolize the two parishes of St Joseph’s (Te Puna and Bethlehem) and St Mary Immaculate (Tauranga) coming together this year, to form our new parish. It’s a good walk from both places:

  • 4.9km from St Mary Immaculate (at a brisk pace, about 50 minutes)
  • 6.2km from Hangarau Marae (at a brisk pace, at least one hour) If the walk is too much, you might want to park your car at one of the Beach Rd reserves and simply walk along the harbourside path.

AND bring your flags (or T-shirts) – maybe the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, or flag of the country you came from, or from which your ancestors came to this land. I hope that St Mary’s flag will be flying also.

Maps will be provided on the day and there will be marshals to guide us. (If the weather is wet or otherwise inclement, and we need to cancel the hikoi and picnic, we will tell you at the Mass.)

During the course of this year, a “Transitions Group” will be planning other events for us to celebrate the rich inheritance of faith we received from those who have gone before us.

Kia kaha tonu ki nga mahi tapu o te Reneti

Father Mark

Parish Priest

Reporting Schedule 2015

At St Mary’s we place the highest value on students being able to articulate where they are with their learning, where to next and how they will get there. Assessment and Reporting practices ensure the student is both actively involved and benefits from these processes.

Students are ‘making their learning visible’ when they can articulate their progress and achievement. During 2015, St Mary’s students will self report in on line ‘Learning Stories’ to report the Interim National Standards in Reading ( Term 1), Mathematics ( Term 2) , Writing ( Term 3). See  Reporting schedule below.

Critical Conversations’ take place between a student and teacher, when a student reports back to the teacher where their learning is at and where to next or their next learning goal,supported by the St Mary’s Learning Progressions.

Prayer Group every Friday morning at 9.00am

Every Friday morning at 9am a group of our parents pray the Rosary in our school chapel. All parents are welcome to join this group on any Friday. If you have someone  you would like the prayer group to pray for please enter their name in our prayer book which is placed by the statue of Our Lady in the Chapel or let me know. 

New children and new families Liturgy 

There will be a Liturgy on Tuesday 24 February at 10.00 am to welcome all the new students and their families who have joined us this year. ALL members of our school community are invited and very welcome to attend. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the new members of our community and make them feel very welcome.  After the Liturgy you are invited to stay for morning tea kindly served by our hardworking PTA.

Ash Wednesday

On Wednesday 18 February was Ash Wednesday, the day that marks the beginning of Lent.  Father Edwin led a very special Liturgy for us which included the distribution of ashes.

As Father Mark wrote in our Parish newsletter “Pope Francis reminds us in his Lenten message this year that Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each community and for every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace.”, a time to turn from absorption with self to a deeper listening and responsiveness to God and a greater concern for the other.”

In classes we have been discussing with the children how we can show concern for others  by “doing a little good every day.” Each student has made a Lenten goal  striving to do some small action/deed that will make a difference to others.

Senior School Waimarino

The five senior school classes were lucky enough to spend a fantastic day at Waimarino Adventure park last week.
The students experienced various water activities that challenged many and, in particular, spent time learning how to kayak.
The day was extremely successful allowing students to connect with new classmates and giving real opportunities to encourage and motivate one another.
We had wonderful support from our parents, and would like to thank them all very much for their time in helping us proved quality outdoor education opportunities.