Sports News - 30 August 2017

Bay of Plenty Steamers Squad
Thirty students were lucky enough to have some time with the Bay of Plenty Steamers Squad at The Adams High Performance Centre this week.  A massive thank you must go to Hobec Lawyers who organised this event for us.  We were lucky enough to have a look around the gym, spend some time watching the Steamers train, talk with various staff and hear about the culture and discipline that the Steamers have bought into their training (pictured).  Unfortunately due to the weather we were unable to do any drills with the team, however being able to announce the team to play this week on Facebook was a definite highlight.

Rugby 7’s
Our Year 6 Rugby 7’s team finished third in the Bay of Plenty Rugby 7’s tournament.  Coaches Mr Schuler and Mr. Broadmore were proud of the great team effort.  The team played 5 games, won 4 (lost in the semi-final to the eventual winners) scoring 24 tries and only let in 11.  

New Zealand Marist Colts
We recently had a visit from the New Zealand Marist Colts team (pictured).  The team spoke about the New Zealand Marist concept, individual players spoke about the importance of each of our school values and the session was finished with a small game and some drills on the field.  A particular highlight was the lineout lifting!!!  With teachers and students being hoisted high into the air by the players causing great excitement and laughter in the Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey Centre.

St Mary’s students continue to have outstanding success at gymnastics.  At a recent Midlands (Mid-North Island) Gymnastic competition in Hamilton.  In Step One Olivia Williamson (Year 4) had a fantastic competition, helping her team finish third.  Cleo Sands (Year 3) placed second on uneven bars and her team finished second overall.  Liae Yang (Year 3) had a number of placings over several apparatus and finished as the third placed individual overall.  Addison Sands (Year 2) finished first on vault, second on uneven bars, third on floor and second overall for the competition.  She had the highest overall score for the step twos, so was named the 2017 Step Two Midlands Champion!!!

So all in all, another fantastic term of sport of St Mary’s. I am looking forward to updating you all in the next newsletter, about our sports exchange with St Thomas More, which will take place before the end of the term.

Steven Finlayson
Sports Coordinator

St Mary's School Speech Finals 2017

At St Mary’s School we recognise that oral language (both listening and speaking) is vital for students to be able to communicate effectively.  In Tika and Maramatanga Teams we use poetry as a basis to recite and read aloud. We talk about voice projection, good expression, modulation and pace. With the students we identify ‘what good listeners do’ and discuss eye contact and the use of body language. 

As the students progress through to Whakapono Team, they are encouraged to take on more challenging types of public speaking with the main aim of writing a simple speech to present.  

All students in Aroha Team are supported to prepare and deliver a 3-5 minute formal speech around a topic of their choice. This process includes defining the purpose of the speech and constructing an effective introduction, body and sound conclusion. Original and thought-provoking ideas are encouraged. 

This year’s judges were Dee Ellwood (Private Speech and Drama tutor), Miss Millie Burton and Miss Abigail Speight  (students from Aquinas College). The judges used set criteria that are also used in the South Cluster Finals at the next level. This ensures consistency for all.

We are extremely proud of the standard of speeches this year.  Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists:

Tika Team
First Place - Dominic Leitch
Second Place - Maddie Mear
Third Place - Coco Jacobs
Highly Commended - Sadie Frank
Finalist - Regan Dobbs, Keegan Murphy, Vienna Vale, Arielle Duytshoff and Manaia Brazendale

Maramatanga Team - Year 2
First Place - Tommy Mason
Second Place - Milli Banbury
Third Place - Jake Swanson
Highly Commended- Lucy Greaves
Finalist - Harin Kum and Saoirse Williamson

Whakapono Team - Year 3 
First Place - Peter Chang
Second Place - George Hopkins
Third Place -  Hugo Palairet
Highly Commended - Ivy Hodgson- Barrett
Finalist - Liae Yang and Indie-Rose Scholes

Whakapono Team - Year 4 
First Place - Eva Jeffries
Second Place - Gia Dumbleton
Third Place - Sam Waylen
Highly Commended - Ciaran Manning
Finalist - Georgia Abernethy and Kate O’ Halloran

Aroha Team - Year 5 
First Place - Nathan Holmberg
Second Place - Finn Richards
Third Place - Briar Grace
Highly Commended - Tallulah Clark and Isla Wills

Aroha Team - Year 6 
First Place - Mila Laurie
Second Place - Niamh Manning
Third Equal- Henry Scholes
Third equal - Ferlyn Wijaya
Highly Commended - Jaime Lock and Jorja Smart

Good luck to Nathan Holmberg, Finn Richards, Mila Laurie and Niamh Manning who are representing St Mary’s at the South Cluster finals on Thursday 7 September.  

Anna MacKinnon
Deputy Principal

Special Character 30 August 2017

Thank You
Thank you to the families who returned the community survey for the Catholic Character review and for those who were able to make it to the parent meeting.

Church Strand - Religious Education Program

Currently in Religious Education the learning focus is on the Church. 

Year 0-1 learning:
Belonging. We belong to and participate and celebrate in communities such as our family-wha¯nau, our school and our parish. The Church is a community of Christ’s followers or disciples called together by the Holy Spirit to carry on Christ’s mission in life today.

Home learning ideas:

  • attend a parish function as a family
  • draw children’s attention to other people who belong to your parish

Year 2 learning:
Gathering, Celebrating, Living God’s Presence. Our local parish as it gathers, celebrates, lives and prays as a community, is a part of the Church which Jesus founded and is a sign which brings about God’s presence and love in the world. Belonging to a parish is both a privilege and a responsibility.

Home learning ideas:

  • identify the people who live nearby who belong to your parish and introduce your children to them
  • praise each other for responsible behaviour

Year 3 and 4 learning:
Called to be like Jesus.  The Scriptures record how Jesus called his disciples and apostles to follow him. Those who have been initiated into the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are also called to carry on the mission of Jesus. They do this by worshipping God and serving and loving others and always acting with tika and pono.

Called to Service. Through Baptism all are called to holiness, lived out through various vocations; single life, marriage, religious life or priesthood. As members of the Church, they are called to carry out its mission of service. 

Home learning ideas:

  • discuss the ways the Church carries on the mission of Jesus in the world today – caring, loving, helping, being with people in their times of need, showing respect for everyone especially those whose tapu has been violated or hurt
  •  have a box for family members to collect clothing, toys, etc which can be passed on to the St Vincent de Paul outlet


Year 5 and 6 learning:
The Church Celebrates.  Central to the life of the Church is worship of God through prayer, proclamation of the Word and celebration of sacraments. Central to this worship is the weekly celebration of the Eucharist on the Lord’s Day.

The Church as a Pilgrim People.  The Church is a Pilgrim People on a life journey – Te Wa towards God. Since the time of the early Church, Christians have used their different gifts to spread the Good News. Within the Church people follow different vocations such as the Religious Life, the Single Life or Marriage.

Home learning ideas:

  • pray together that each member of your family will recognise and respond to God’s call 
  • include single people in your family or parish in your family celebrations

Father’s Day Prayer
God of Abraham, Moses and Aaron;
of Zachary, father of John the Baptist,
of Joseph, foster-father of Jesus,
listen to our prayer:
Bless all who ‘father’ and protect new life in any way,
these ‘fathers’ who teach and guide,
who encourage and lead.

Invite them to the table of your eternal feast,
these ‘fathers’ who work hard to provide for the life
that has been entrusted to them.

Embrace them warmly in the intimacy of your love,
these ‘fathers’ who lift up with strength
those who are helpless and dependent.

Bless them today with all good things:
with health, with laughter, with joy and with love,
with pride in their ‘children’
and with the support of many friends.

May all ‘fathers’ who have protected and guided the life of others be themselves held securely one day in your strong embrace, there, for all eternity, to rejoice with their families and friends.

Playgroup at St Mary Immaculate 
Thursdays, 9am to 11am. Contact Anna 027 427 9921 or Pam 027 238 3092. 

Bishop Denis’ Jubilee
Bishop Steve Lowe and the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton invite you to join us for the celebration of Mass on Friday, 8 September 2017 at 6.00 pm for the Most Rev Denis Browne, Bishop Emeritus of Hamilton as he reaches the combined milestones of his 80th birthday, 55 years ordained a priest and 40 years as Bishop to be held at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Hamilton East. A light supper will be served in the church foyer after the Mass. 

Maori Spirituality – He Rau Toroa Workshop 
Tauranga 29 - 30 September & 13 - 14 October (2 Friday evenings and 2 Saturdays).  For more information, phone Cynthia Piper: 07 856 6989, or 0800 217 411. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Teresa Rush 

Sister Gabrielle Innovative Learning Environment

We are truly blessed in every sense of the word. We are all happily moved into our new innovative learning environment and settling into life in our Maramatanga hub. We wrote some awesome letters to thank Bishop Steve for our new classroom and the children have also been reflecting on our new space.

Donna Vincent
Maramatanga Team Leader 

On Friday Bishop Steve came to bless our new Sister Gabrielle learning environment. We gathered up in  the centre for a liturgy first. Then the Bishop and the rest of the school came down to our classroom. Maramatanga team got to sit in front of the classroom. The rest of the school sat on the tennis courts.

After that Bishop Steve blessed the water and it turned into holy water and it turned it into holy water. Then he sprinkled holy water all over the classroom so God can be with us. I felt really happy because it was a special day.  
Maebh Manning

Dear Bishop Steve

Thank you for our new classroom and also thank you for the oven. And lastly thank you for the shiny blue trays. I am also grateful for our blue and orange chairs, Last I love that we have got three teachers.
Love from Nelson Santos

2018 Term Dates and Holidays

Term 1  

Wednesday 7 February to Friday 13 April (date change)

* Good Friday - Friday 30 March (school closed)

* Easter Monday - Monday 2 April (school closed)

* Easter Tuesday - Tuesday 3 April (school closed)


Term 2

Monday 30 April to Friday 6 July

* Queens Birthday - Monday 4 June (school closed)


Term 3

Monday 23 July to Friday 28 September


Term 4

Monday 15 October to Thursday 20 December (date change)

* Labour Day - Monday 22 October (school closed)





New Gold Group Sponsor - Harveys Rural Property

Richard Greaves offers a focused, results - based real estate service across theBay of Plenty and in particular Tauranga Central and Rural Bay of Plenty.

A proven property deal maker, Richard easily forms trusted working relationships with his clients and leverage off the market advantages that the respected

Harveys brand offers to streamline the sale of your property. With strong family values, a well-developed sense of community spirit and extensive networks,

Richard is making his mark in the Bay.

Through Harveys in Schools, we can offer a range of skill sets and resources to extend the reach you have in your community and to bolster fundraising initiatives.

• The Harveys Photo Booth – a great attraction at school galas, fun days, quiz night, school dances/ socials (subject to availability)

• A Harveys Master of Ceremonies

• Our charity Auctions bring fun and a touch of theatre to your school event; we know what works, how to source items for the auction and how to coordinate a memorable experience.

• Individual agents with specialist sports knowledge/ interest could sponsor school teams and assist with branded gear.

• We pledge to donate $1000 from each successful sale of a property referred to us via the schools parents, neighbours and supporters network.

A little about myself..... I moved to Tauranga at the beginning of 2017 with my wife Joanna and our three children who attend St Mary’s School, Hannah, Jack and Lucy.  We have enjoyed our first six months at St Mary’s and look forward to getting to know the St Mary’s School Community better.

Congratulations to the Chang brothers

At our Prizegiving last year, and more recently during Arts Week you may have had the privilege to hear Pilgyu Chang play the piano.  Pilgyu recently competed at the Tauranga Performing Arts Competition held at Baycourt during the school holidays.

Pilgyu won all the prizes for his age and above. He won 5 scholarships, 4 cups, 2 trophies along with four first prizes. Below is the outstanding list of accomplishment Pilgu received.  

First in Piano Scholarship own selection
First in Piano Scholarship Classical
First in Piano Scholarship Baroque
First in Piano Pop, Rock and Blues

Mrs P Macdonald Scholarship
TPACS (age 9-12years) Own Selection Scholarship
TPACS (all classes) Classical Classes Scholarship
N Guy (age 9-12years) Baroque Classes Scholarship
D Hull (age 9-18years) Pop, Rock and Blues scholarship

President Cycle Works Cup
Hull Trophy
Leica Studios Cup
Kidd Cup
Knight Trophy
Katherine Hart Cup

What a gifted pianist you are Pilgyu. Congratulations!

Pilgyu’s brother, Peter also competed in the competition.  Peter received 3 second places and one third place and received a young classical scholarship as well.  Congratulations Peter!


Classroom Writing from Room 13 and 16

Room 13, Year 1

Today we were writing independently about going to space, stretching out all our words!  This is Dominic’s fantastic writing and drawing:

I am going around Earth and I stopped on Earth and I put on the flag to tell people the astronauts have been here.  
      by Dominic Leitch 

Room 16, Year 2

Inspired by the recent frosty weather Room 16 have written acrostic poems about Winter. An acrostic poem uses the first letters in a topic word to begin each line. They did an awesome job!

Winter is really cold
In freezing winter we play
Nice cold snow
Try to get warm
Eat warm foods
Read books by the fire.
      by Matthew Rogers

Winter is windy
I love to ski on the mountain
No going beyond the mountain
Talking frost freezing the world
Evil ice emerges
Ravaging ice takes over the world
      by Sam Lock

Wild waving winds
Icy cold snow glistening in the sunlight
New freezing cold snow falls out from the blue sky
Time for going ice skating - cold and fun
Everyone outside playing with the shiny snow
Resting after a big freezing cold icy day
      by Lotte Jones

Catholic Character 11 August 2017

The Assumption
New Zealand Catholic Patronal Feast - The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

The Feast of the Assumption on 15 August celebrates the Blessed Virgin Mary’s assumption into heaven body and soul. It is also the patronal feast of the Catholic people in New Zealand. It is one of two Holy Days of Obligation for New Zealand Catholics. The other is Christmas Day. 

Pompallier Madonna
The depiction of the Blessed Virgin Mary is called the Pompallier Madonna and is of special significance to Catholics in Aotearoa New Zealand.  

On 13 September 2004 the New Zealand bishops on their ad limina visit to Rome met with Pope John Paul II. Bishop Denis Browne... presented the Holy Father with a copy of the “Pompallier Madonna”. In his address to the Holy Father Bishop Browne said the following: 

“Dear Holy Father,

We come as bishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand to visit you from that far distant land. We come to offer you our affection and love as well as our loyalty and appreciation for your dynamic leadership of the Church. ... we wish to present to you a gift of a Madonna which has become an important expression of the links between the Holy See and the Church in New Zealand. This Madonna was presented to Pius IX in the 1840s by the Benedictine Nuns of Campus Martius. In turn, this Madonna was given to Bishop Pompallier by Pope Pius IX on Pompallier’s visit to Rome in April 1847. He brought the Madonna back to Aotearoa New Zealand and had copies distributed widely. This work has now become known in New Zealand as “the Pompallier Madonna”.

Visit the site to read the full article and about the art mystery!!!

First Holy Communion
Congratulations to our many students who made their First Holy Communion in the last few weeks. It was a very special occasion for all the students and their families. We give thanks to the teachers who prepared the students and to those who ran practises and attended the very special occasion. 

“May they always know the peace of Jesus, the light of His love and the joy of His life within them.”

It was very special this week during class mass where two student were able to receive communion for their first time. 

New Families Liturgy
This week during our welcome liturgy we welcomed 25 new students and their families. We were also able to officially welcome Father Danny to our school family. During the liturgy the Cluny Postulants Ana Maria and Vaviola were welcomed as well. 

Cluny Sisters
This coming week the Cluny Sisters are hosting their official Chapter, where worldwide appointed Sisters gather and discuss the direction the Cluny order is going to take in the future. Please keep them in your prayers as they travel, pray and plan.

School Song - Be love, Be love, Be aroha
Last year the school commissioned Andrew Chinn to write a hymn for our school. At the New families Liturgy students sang it for the first time, we look forward to making this part of our school. It reflects our values and charism. 

Bishop Steves Visit

On Friday 25 August at 9.30am we look forward to welcoming Bishop Steve to bless our new Innovative Learning Environment. Blessing buildings is an important part of our Catholic faith and is a sacramental. 

“A constitutive blessing, invoked by a bishop, priest or deacon, signifies the permanent sanctification and dedication of a person or thing for some sacred purpose….dedicated solely to sacred usage.” (

Teresa Rush