Forward to a Friend
10 February 2017
Dear St Mary's Community

Tena koutou

In these challenging times when the models of leadership are at times in conflict with our traditional perceptions and expectations, it is important that our development of young leaders provides wisdom and guidance and clear value based messages. In assembly this past week I introduced our student leaders to our school community and at our Gathering Mass we will recognise and bless them for this ministry.
When I meet with the new Prefects I challenge them to consider which base of influence they operate from in their various leadership roles.
Positional power - given or earned, rank, role, status
Personal power or influence - earned by who I am
Expert or knowledge power - earned by what you know.
However this is not a message just for our Prefects. All of our senior students possess various degrees of these bases of influence simply by the fact they are seniors in the school. Their role modelling sets up the junior students who follow in their footsteps and their actions are carefully scrutinised. This was clearly evident today at swimming sports where the kindness and caring of the seniors who were organising and marshalling, encouraging and supporting was experienced by the younger ones. It is also clear that all the students who participated gained so much enjoyment and a sense of achievement from their involvement and contribution.
Our students are realising that the way they behave is the model for others and the importance of being a witness to your values and what you believe in. To quote Pope Francis “Every leader, to become a true leader, has to be above all a witness”.  We must stand up for the gospel values we believe in and be a shining light for others to follow.
This begs the question "to whom are our senior students looking at for their modelling"? -  a good question for the dinner table conversation.
 Yours in Mercy

Bernadette Stockman
       EXCELLENCE - creating Hauora for one and all
"The simplest and most practical lesson I know is to resolve to be good today, and better tomorrow" - Catherine McAuley

He Inoi: Prayer
Becoming the change we hope for

E Te Atua atawhai rohekore
God of mercy without limit,
you call us at the threshold
of this new and unfolding year
to be aware of your presence in our lives.

Like Catherine McAuley and her companions,
make us also people of hope,
who believe that it is never too late
to set out on the path to life
as we care for our common home.

Persuade us to begin
not with the planet
but with where we are now.
Let us write a new story,
convinced that if we join
our forces and hearts,
we can start to change the world today.
Tihei mauri ora!

 Produced for He Waka Tiaki mission team,
Tiaki Manatū Sisters of Mercy New Zealand

gathering in mercy mass 2017

On Wednesday 22 February we will be celebrating our Gathering In Mercy Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral. This will be our first whole school Mass of 2017. Our school has grown quite significantly and as a result, we now fill all available seating in the Cathedral. We ask that invited guests only attend this Mass. As parents and supporters of our school community, you are most welcome to join us every Thursday for our lunch time Mass in the school chapel. 

Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies

lunchtime masses on thursdays

Each Religious Education class prepares a Mass throughout the year and these are held every Thursday at lunch time in our school Chapel. This is a wonderful opportunity for families to join us as we celebrate our faith. You are most welcome to attend. We will be encouraging our students to formally invite their parents the week that their class is on mass.

The date for our first lunch time for 2017 will be Thursday 2 March.  We will start at 1.20pm.

Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies

sacramental programme 2017

This programme is available for students who wish to become Catholic and receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation.  If your daughter is already baptised but would like to be Confirmed or make her First Communion she is more than welcome to enrol in the programme. 
It is a ten week course commencing in Term two on Mondays during lunchtime. The rite of Baptism, Reconciliation and Confirmation/Holy Communion will all take place in Term three. 
We welcome all students, though if your daughter is in Year 7 we recommend to wait a year. This would allow her to settle into the liturgical life of our school community before undertaking such a faith and time commitment.
Please contact Mrs Marianne Bray for a registration form.  All registrations need to be handed in by the Thursday 30 March.

There will be a compulsory parents’ information evening for all enrolled students on Thursday 6 April at 7.00pm. For further information or queries, please email

Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies

scholarship results

Scholarship results for 2016.  This year 11 girls gained 14 scholarships.  Each Scholarship is worth $500 towards tertiary study.
Year 13 students in 2016
Josefien Van Dael - Classical Studies
Gabrielle Borne – French
Lilian Merrifield - Painting
Emma Hughes - Dance and Geography
Francesca Day - Biology
Maiya Christini - English
Kate Arnold - English
Ruby Burden - Geography
Sophie Jones - Biology
Amy Lewis - Art History and Painting
Year 12 student in 2016
Maeve Herd - English and Music    

Congratulations to these students!!!          

A big thank you to everyone involved in helping all these students to strive for Excellence.
Christine Barlow, Deputy Principal             

2016 NCEA results for st mary's college

Below is an overview of the results for last year. Congratulations to all the girls who worked to the best of their ability to achieve their personal best and these amazing results – you have done us proud. Also a big thank you to all teachers who supported the girls to achieve their NCEA goals.

Overall pass rate for 2016

Total Merit + Excellence Endorsements

The following graphs show the Merit and Excellence endorsements at Levels 1, 2 and 3 over the past 5 years

In 2016, we increased our Merit Endorsements at L1, L2 and L3 and our Excellence Endorsements at L2 and L3

These graphs show a comparison of St Mary’s College, National and the NZ Decile 8-10 schools. St Mary’s is a Decile 8 school.   The first 3 graphs show pass rate and Merit and Excellence endorsements at Levels 1-3. The 4th graph shows Level 1 Literacy and Numeracy rates and University Entrance. In every category, St Mary’s rates higher than National and the Decile 8 -10 schools group statistics.

Didn't we do well!
Christine Barlow, Deputy Principal

The counselling department
information for parents/guardians

Maree Underhill, Head of Counselling      Monday to Friday           Ph 09 376 6568 ext 819
Sally Burrows,    Counsellor                    Wednesday to Friday              Ph 09 376 6568 ext 818

Betty Lin, Counsellor for International students    Tuesday 9am-12pm 

There are three school counsellors who offer a confidential and professional service.  All are members of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) and are bound by confidentiality.

The Counsellors’ offices are located in the Sister Loreto Block, on the ground floor.  Students are welcome to make a time to see the counsellors by filling in an appointment slip, found in the waiting room opposite the offices. 

Teachers, Deans and Parents may also refer students to see a counsellor.   Participation by students is voluntary.  We work with students individually, as well as with their peers and family, and can act as their advocate with teachers and Deans.  Parents may phone or email and we operate an appointment system.

Maree Underhill, Head Counsellor


BYOD Orientation has been happening this week. By now most devices have been set up so that your daughter can use them in lessons. If there are any IT issues your daughter can come to the library at interval or lunch for help.

Please remind your daughter that her device needs to be kept in her padlocked locker during breaks or when at levels assemblies. Students keep their bags and devices locked in their classrooms during full school assembly. Devices should be shut down each night and charged ready for the school day.
Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

severe nut allergies

Please be aware that we have students at school who have severe allergies to nuts and nut products.   Students should keep this in mind when bringing food products to school containing nuts.

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

bus arrangements on athletics day

With the Athletics Day next Friday those students who take the Coachways and Kiwi buses will be taken directly to Lloyd Elsmore Park. They will also leave from the venue. The buses are full with the regular passengers so there is no room for extra passengers. Buses will also be leaving from St Mary’s in the morning but if you can take your daughter out their directly that will be a great help.
Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

Student mobile numbers

Our administration system is able to text and email all parents. Currently we can email the students but not text as we don’t have the student phone numbers. Having your daughters phone number will help with communication and so we will be asking for their number. This is optional but it will prove useful when we need to get hold of individuals or groups.
Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

2017 - change of start time on friday mornings

Each Friday morning the staff will be engaged in Professional Development. Therefore there will not be a Form Time and the bell will ring at 8.50am for a first period start at 8.55am.  

All students will be expected to arrive at school by 8.40am at the latest. Buses will still be operating at the normal times. There will be teachers supervising the site on morning duty as usual. This will be a perfect time for students to hold interest group meetings.

This will start from next Friday 10 February 2017.

Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

open evening for 2018 students - early close for students

The St Mary's College Open Evening, where new prospective parents and students 2018 visit the school, is set down for Tuesday 7 March. There will be 2 sessions, 2.30pm & 6.30pm.
School will finish early that day at 12.20pm.  Buses will be at the College gate at this time.

Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

student vehicles to school & parking permits - 2017

Year 13 students only, wishing to drive cars to school, need to complete a "Permission to Drive to and from School" form and attach a photocopy of their license to it. Both parents and the student will need to sign this form which is available from the Office.

There is no off - street parking.  A parking zone exists around the area and so if you want to park close to the school you will need to apply for a permit from Auckland Transport. Without the permit you will be ticketed.  The online application will cost you $70 for the year. Auckland Transport has informed us that a letter of support from the College must also be provided with this application form. 

We will update you regarding parking permits when further information is available  from Auckland Transport.

Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

college uniform

All students are reminded that blazers are a compulsory part of the St Mary's College uniform and they are to be worn at all College assemblies and all main College events. In Terms 1 and 4 blazers, or shirts, are to be worn whilst travelling to and from the College (cardigans are for extra warmth and may be worn during the day or under a blazer while travelling ).
During times of extreme weather conditions, such as summer heat, students will be advised of any changes to this requirement.
N.B. The first College assembly is Tuesday 7 February.  Blazers are required.

Normal shop hours for the uniform shop are Wednesdays at lunch times - 1.30pm- 2.10pm.  Eftpos is available for purchases. 

music department buddy system

Music Prefect Hazel Watson-Smith (Year 13) is creating a buddy system for the Music Department in 2017. Several accomplished senior music students will act as mentors for young students as they learn an instrument. On Thursday morning, she spoke to the Year 7 Band and Orchestra about her musical experiences and the joys of playing an instrument.  We look forward to seeing this initiative continue to develop throughout the year.

Ben Zilber, Head of Academic Music and Rachel Snelling, Head Instrumental Music

All Comers choir

Exciting News!
This year on Wednesday at lunch times we will have a choir for everyone - students & staff - who want to come and sing together but don't want to audition. You can eat lunch for 10 minutes & then we will sing!  See you in SM Hall Wednesday lunchtime starting next week!

Carmel Carroll, Choir Director


Welcome back to our returning students and a huge congratulations to the senior students who achieved a record number of Merit and Excellent endorsements and very pleasing academic results.
A very big welcome to our ten new international students who are represented from China, Japan, Korea and Argentina and 12 Japanese students who are studying with us for term one.  We are a big international family this year and I will be sending some photos in next week’s newsletter.
We wish the students well and thank all the homestay families, buddies and teachers for making their time at our school memorable.
We are seeking homestay families for our next group of Japanese students visiting St Mary’s for eight days from 21 – 28 March.  These are double homestays and for both students for the eight days the reimbursement is $640.00.  There are 58 students in this group therefore we need 29 homestays so please can you let us know if your family or any of your friends may be able to help.  Please email Suey Bignall at Thank you very much, as always.
Sue King, International Director 
Suey Bignall, International Student Support/Homestay Co-ordinator

enrolments - 2018

Our St Mary's College Open Evening will be held on Tuesday, 7 March 2017 - 2.30pm & 6.30pm.

Closing Dates for Enrolments for 2018 - Friday, 24 March 2017.

See our website at for more enrolment information
Enquiries to Kim Lockhart -

swimming sports photos!

sport at st mary's in term 1


Registrations: Please refer to the registration form for each sport.  Completed forms must be returned to the Sports Office before the due date.  Payment of fees must also be received before a child can play.

Please note the following important dates:
Hockeyregistrations are due now.

Netballregistrations have now closed
Premier Trials:  Saturday 11 February 10am-3.00pm, Monday 13 February 5.00pm-7.00pm
Pre-Season Trainings:
Year 7 – Monday 13, 20,  27 February 3.30-5:30pm PK Gym
Year 8 – Tuesday 14, 21, 28 February 3.30-5.30pm PK Gym
Year 9/10 & Seniors – Wednesday 15, 22 February, 1 March 3.30pm – 5.30pm PK Gym

Basketballregistrations have closed.
Year 7 & 8       Monday 13 & 20 February lunchtime in PK Gym
                     Tuesday 14 & 21 February lunchtime in PK Gym
Years 9-13       Monday 13 February - 6.30am-8.00am in PK Gym
                     Wednesday 15 February -  3.00-5.30pm in PK Gym
Tennis           Registrations have closed.
Trials:             For Competitive players only Friday 10 February 3.30pm - 4.30pm

KidsFit           Registrations close Tuesday 14 February.  Limited numbers for Thursday session (first in basis)

Waterpolo      Intermediate (Years 7 & 8) registrations close Friday 3 March.  Training will be on Wednesdays commencing 15 February from 3.15pm-5.00pm in the St Mary’s pool.  Monday trainings will resume at a later date.
Junior (Years 9 &10) registrations close 13 February.

Football & Cycling – if you are interested in being involved in these sports, please contact the Sports office.
Pesio Matiseni, Sports Co-ordinator

Swimming Sports and Athletics Day

Athletics Day - 17 February 2017 - Venue - Lloyd Elsmore Park

The school Athletics is held at Lloyd Elsmore in Pakuranga. Students who take the normal Coachways and Kiwi Buses will take them to Pakuranga directly. They will also pick them up from Pakuranga. We will be providing extra buses at St Marys to take the students out to Lloyd Elsmore. However, if you can take your daughter out there directly, this would be a great help. Please join us for the day which is always lots of fun. At the venue there is very little shade so small tents and marquees are encouraged.
 Sarah Bell -  Coordinator for Swimming and Athletics  Events

St. Mary’s college Facebook page

St Mary’s College now has an official Facebook page. Choosing to ‘like’ the page on Facebook will allow you to see photos, videos and news about what is going on in the College.  Click the link below...

Keith Paterson, IT Support


Upcoming events - the team is busy coordinating catering for the school's Year 13 Breakfast on 14 February.
SAVE THE DATE -  29 April 2017 - SMC PTFA to run a pop up cafe at Rotary Westhaven's inaugural Art Mart, to be held at the Freeman's Bay Community Centre.  The Art Mart will be a cross between an art show and a market with a variety of high quality arts and crafts for sale.  More details to follow but in the meantime we need sponsors.  Please contact Rebecca Grbin on 021 398 278 or if you'd like to sponsor the event or you have sponsorship suggestions.

Lou Dowd, PTFA

Past pupils ladies tennis tournament

St Mary's College Past Pupils Association would like to extend an invitation to participate in its Ladies Tennis Tournament.
Friday 24 February 2017
Pompallier Lawn Tennis Club, 11 Green Street, Saint Mary's Bay.
$45 per player (includes morning tea and lunch)
All proceeds will be donated to St Mary's College for purchase of sporting equipment.

All are welcome to enter the tournament and/or join us for lunch. Entries are limited. 
Inquiries to Louise Ryan Ph 846 0643 or 027 270 1770.
Barbara Drumm, Chairperson Past Pupils Association


14 February 2017 - 7.30am

22 February

OPEN DAY for 2018 students
Tuesday 7 March. PK Gym. 
2 sessions - 2.30pm and 6.30pm


Term 1 - 31.1.7-13.4.17
Term 2 - 1.5.17-7.7.17
Term 3 - 24.7.17 - 29.9.17
Term 4 - 16.10.17-8.12.17

11 New Street, Ponsonby,
Auckland, New Zealand Telephone (09) 376 6568 Facsimile (09) 376 0206

Whats in the newsletter this week?
*Year 13 Breakfast
*2017 Mercy Value
*Scholarship & NCEA results
*Swimming photos
*Past Pupils Tennis
*Open Day
*Art Mart - PTFA
*Early Finish 7 March
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11 New Street, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone (09) 376 6568
Facsimile (09) 376 0206

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