EPro8 Challenge

Recently some St Mary’s School students took part in the EPro8 Challenge - the engineering and problem solving competition. Our EPro8 students came second at the regional competition. They will now compete at the final for Year 5 and 6 students next Friday 7 July in Rotorua.

So now it’s the adults turn.  On Wednesday 23 August your workplace or organisation can compete against others in the Bay of Plenty region.  You will work as a team to solve a range of fun engineering based challenges.  This is a fantastic team building opportunity.

For details and to register see www.epro8challenge.co.nz/business-events

Sports News - 7 July 2017

It has continued to be a very busy term for sports; once again we have had some fantastic results, from our talented students.  It is extremely pleasing, that so many of our students are performing so well, at such a wide variety of sports.

A massive congratulations to Keiran Death, who won the National Rock Climbing Championship under 12 years old division, in the top rope event.  What makes this result even better, is the fact that Keiran still has another year competing in this division.

Yeva Parshikova had an outstanding North Island Synchronised Swimming Championships, finishing 1st in Group Routine (as part of a group of 10) and 2nd in Individual Figures category.  Yeva is also a very talented swimmer, breaking Bay of Plenty under 8 swimming records in: 50m freestyle, 25m backstroke, 100 Individual Medley and 100m Freestyle

Two of our students represented St Mary’s at the Bay of Plenty Cross Country Championships.  Holly Fausett finished 18th in the Year 5 Girls and Renee Carey finished a magnificent 2nd in the Year 6 Girls.  Both of these results are fantastic when you consider that it took three separate events (School, South Cluster and Western Bay of Plenty) just to qualify for the Bay of Plenty Championships.

Congratulations to the St Mary’s Rebels Netball team of Emma Rogers, Hannah Greaves, Holly Fausett, Jessica Kum, Niamh Byrne, Greer Wakelin, Jessica Taane and Millie Lochore, who won their division of the Year 5 Harbourside Junior Netball Tournament.  A fantastic result that you should all be very proud of.

Recently we had two year 5 & 6 teams represented the school at the Basketball World Cup.  The French team of Harlem Gardiner-Hano, Henry Scholes, Isaiah Barry, William Pepers, Max Broadmore, Jake Bell, Madison Smith, Naimh Manning, Darcy Gilbert, Isaac Schuler and Lokie Aubrey, finished 7th out of 33 teams and won the best dressed competition.  The Year 5 team of Finn Curragh, Jas O’Connor, Jayden Hyland, Benjamin Petrik, Holly Fausett, Emma Rogers, Lia Hesqua, Pateriki Paaka, Caden Lowe and Kiwa Kahura, played as Spain.  They had some very tough games, against some very good Year 6 teams.  I am looking forward to watching them play again next year.

It is great that we can highlight the success of our students, who are involved in so many different sports.  If your child is having success in their chosen sport, please let me know.  I would love the opportunity to help them celebrate their success with the school and our community.

Steven Finlayson

Sports Coordinator

Baking for Merivale School

Thank you for helping make our recent bake sale such a success.  As you know some of the cakes were shared with the Merivale School students.  The baking was so appreciated and it was a great boost for the students that day.  

We are asking each family to bake once a month until the end of the year.  So if you have more than one child at St Marys, do not feel obliged to provide baking for each of their classes.  We would initially like to trial this idea until the end of the year. This is of course, entirely optional but we have experienced first-hand how much it is appreciated.  It is also a very special way we can serve and bless our local community.

Starting Wednesday 26 July we ask Rooms 1, 6 and 13 to please bring baking to your child’s classroom.

Your support will be greatly appreciated by the Merivale community.

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.

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.