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

Tena koutou

First world problems - today’s letter highlights the dichotomy of first world problems. Firstly, it was very disappointing to have to cancel the Athletics today, but we had to make a call in the interest of health and safety for the staff and students. It is an opportunity for students to think strategically about the logistics of both organising and then having to cancel such an event. There are numerous costs involved, the hire of the ground and the costs of 9 buses cancelled at the last moment. It is unlikely that we will be able to reschedule as bookings for the grounds are made years ahead. Maybe the Year 13 House Leaders will be able to come up wiht an alternative option to express House Pride. It is disappointing to have to cancel but we must keep our problems in proportion to real world problems.
A heads up that for Gathering Mass next week, students will be walking to and from the Cathedral, rain or shine so please revert to an old fashioned raincoat or umbrella if the weather is doubtful. We will not be using buses.
My second first world problem is a very real problem. App developers are constantly finding new ways to hook in our young people, and bypass security and parents. This issue came to my attention twice yesterday. A number of our students are using an addition to Snapchat called Yellow-make new friends. It has been dubbed by the media as ‘Tinder for teens’. You connect with people, you give your location, you indicate your sexuality, you sign up and have to say you are 13, inappropriate pictures are requested and if you agree then your details are passed on to whoever is asking. We are aware that other schools with strong links to St Mary’s also have students using it. Because it is an App, not a website we cannot block it.
I was also alerted to other worrying app developments by a feed I follow - This is an excellent site to keep up with apps your daughters are likely to come across, providing guides for parents to explain how they work and suggestions as to how parents might manage them. The latest post speaks about 3 that parents need to watch for. The most worrying development is Jott Messenger, an app that allows students to send individual and group messages without a data plan or a WiFi connection. This is a very worrying trend. I highly recommend you subscribe to such a site or our NZ to keep up with such changes.
Please keep the people of Christchurch in your thoughts and prayers this weekend as they pray for rain.
 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

O God, I thank You for this day of life
for eyes to see the sky
for ears to hear the birds
for feet to walk amidst the trees
for hands to pick the flowers from the earth
for a sense of smell to breathe in the sweet 
   perfumes of nature
for a mind to think about and appreciate 
   the magic of everyday miracles
for a spirit to swell in joy at Your mighty presence


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. 

The weather forecast is predicting that it will be fine, however if it is raining the students need to bring an umbrella or raincoat. Blazers are compulsory but a call will be made on the day if the weather is too hot for wearing a blazer i.   

Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies

Year 7 retreat - St Columba centre

The Year 7 students wholeheartedly embraced the ethos of their first St Mary’s Retreat. It was a privilege to share the day with them this Tuesday, and to see new friendships grow. The time was filled with fun, movement, drama, craft and quiet meditation. The students experienced God through prayer and liturgy. Our theme was “Hospitality – Welcome to our College”. As an introduction to our Mercy charism, each of the rotations focused on a specific Mercy value. We were fortunate to have 6 of  the Year 13 Prefects there to help run the rotations. It was wonderful to see the supportive and dynamic interactions between our senior and junior students. Our Year 13 students are committed to being an ongoing pastoral presence for the youngest members of our College.

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 Mass 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

ncea update

The NCEA academic year has already started for our Senior students. I will be giving you regular updates throughout the year in this newsletter to ensure we support the girls to “be the best they can be”  in line with our Mercy Value for 2017 Excellence - creating Hauora for one and all.
By next week All Year 11 – 13 girls will have a short booklet on NCEA and the school procedures for its implementation.   With this booklet is a parent /student assessment procedures form. After signing, your daughter should return it to the main office. The form records that you have received the booklet and that your daughter understands that all work she undertakes for her NCEA is authentic. This booklet and form and other NCEA information can be found on the Office 365 Student NZQA site.
Your daughter has also been given a course outline and an assessment profile for each of her subjects. The assessment profile gives dates for each of her internal assessments. Please take the time to read these with her so that you can assist her with meeting deadlines. Knowing the dates will also help if you are planning to take your daughter out of school at any time during the year. If possible, we encourage you to plan time away around her assessments so that she does not miss out on any credits towards her certificate.
NZQA has developed two Apps, the NCEA Guide and the NCEA Student App, that can be downloaded for free from the Apple and Google Play stores. They are available in English or Te Reo.
If you have any questions regarding our NCEA organisation for this year, please contact me at school - 09 376 6568 ext 701.
Christine Barlow, Deputy Principal             

year 7 dean

Miss Kathryn Jones who is our current Year 7 Dean is leaving St Mary’s College early in March to pursue other career options. We would like to take the opportunity to thank Miss Jones for the great job she has done. A Year 7 Dean requires the special qualities of a caring nature, organisation and an approachable professional ear for parents. Miss Jones has consistently displayed these qualities. We wish her all the best for her future endeavours.

It is with pleasure that we introduce Mr Daniel Ting as the new Year 7 Dean. Mr Ting teaches Chinese and has an integral role in IT support for staff and students. Mr Ting's experience at St Mary’s College will hold him in good stead for this role. We welcome him onto the pastoral care team. His contact details are

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

teddy bears picnic - FRIDAY 24 february

This event is for the Year 7 students. On 24 February the Year 7’s are invited to come to the field for a teddy bears picnic at lunchtime. Their Year 13 Peer Support Leaders will organise some fun games. The students are encouraged to bring some food to share and of course their favourite teddy bear!

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

gratitude diaries

This term the students will be filling in their gratitude diaries. Every day in the afternoon for five minutes one student in the class leads the others in prayer and then the students are asked to write down the  things they are grateful  for. The aim is to encourage students to think positively and to encourage them to be resilient.

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

Changes to Year 8 School Based Immunisation Programme for 2017

Following recent changes to the National Immunisation Schedule the School Based Immunisation Programme will be offering Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to boys as well girls in Year 8. This is a two dose vaccine programme with a 6 month gap between the doses. Information on the vaccine and consent forms will be sent home with your child in early 2017, for you to fill out and return to the school. If you would like more information on this important Immunisation Programme please go to

Our vaccination talks will be happening on Tuesday 21 February 2017 for students in Year 7 and Year 8. Information and consent forms will be given to your daughter. Please read, sign and return. If you decision is a non-consent please still return the form indicating your decision. If you give consent for your daughter to have the vaccinations they will occur on the following days.

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

open evening for 2018 students - early close for students

Our St Mary's College Open Day will be held on Tuesday, 7 March 2017 - 2.30pm & 6.30pm. We welcome prospective parents and students 2018 to visit the school.

School will finish early that day at 12.20pm.  Buses will be at the College gate at this time.

After a welcome, there will be a guided tour of the College with our Year 13 students. All welcome, including prospective students, parents, grandparents and whanau. A Prospectus and Enrolment Forms will also be available. NB There are stairs on the tour route.

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

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

Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

Auckland transport

We are currently working with AT to get some help with the Bus Stops and parking areas outside the school gate. At the end of the school day, 3.10pm this area gets very congested and sometimes difficult to manage. It is important that all vehicles are not parking on yellow lines. We try to fill the buses as quickly as possible to ease the congestion.

The crossing is for everyone’s use and we expect all students to use it. It is a vital safety tool so please remind your daughters not to cross the road anywhere else.

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 daughter's phone number will help with communication and so we will be asking for her number. This is optional but it will prove useful when we need to get hold of individuals or groups.
Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

student absences, sick or late?    email the school!

Please email "" if your daughter is sick or late to school.


The quickest way is to save the St Mary College webiste and click the quick link on bottom right of the home page.

Desiree Allen, Attendance Officer

IT - game development workshop

Students need to register independently for this IT workshop as the event does sell out quickly.


Sarah (Sumin) Nam and Annabel Robertson from Education New Zealand with the certificate for being one of the winners in the video competition.
A warm welcome to our 22 new students. Everyone has settled into our school life really well and we thank everyone who has helped.
A special mention goes out to one of our new students, Sarah (Sumin) Nam, who has just joined us from Korea.  Sarah entered a video for an Education New Zealand competition before arriving about “Why I want to study in New Zealand” and was one of two winners in the School Sector category to receive $6,000.00 towards her tuition fees.
Sarah won’t be able to attend the award ceremony in Seoul on Friday so we filmed her receiving her certificate so that it can be shown at the event hosted by the New Zealand Ambassador to Korea.  A huge congratulations to Sarah.

We are still 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.
Sue King, International Director 
Suey Bignall, International Student Support/Homestay Co-ordinator

year 13 breakfast

On Valentine’s Day this week St Mary’s hosted the Year 13 Breakfast. Each year the breakfast is an excellent opportunity for us to celebrate the Year 13 students and their families. This year we were fortunate enough to have two speakers Sacha Jones and Bridget Hall.

Sacha has been a professional tennis player but now focuses on her well-being website RealYou. Please click here for the link to her website. Her website aims at teaching youth about growing their inner confidence and loving their real authentic self. Her very honest and open speech was emotional and thought provoking for the students and very well-received.

Bridget, a former St Mary’s student, spoke candidly about the years after school and her advice to the girls for their own last year here at St Mary’s. With these fantastic speakers and the Year 13 cohort dining as one, it started their last year off in style.

A big thank you to the PTFA who organised the delicious breakfast for everyone and the constant support that they give the school.
Katherine Curnow, Year 13 Dean

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:

Hockey – The 1st/2nd 11 hockey trials will be on Friday 24 February at AGS turf (Normanby Road). Girls need to be there at 6.20am for a 6.30am start (8.00am finish). They need to have with them (along with all their regular hockey gear), one black top and one white top.
Hockey clinics commence week starting 20 February - please refer to your registration form for details

Netballregistrations have now closed
Premier Trials:  Last trial Thursday 16 February 5.00pm-7.00pm
Pre-Season Trainings:                                                     
Year 7 – Monday 13, 20, 27 February 3.30pm - 5.30pm PK Gym
Year 8 – Tuesday 14, 21, 28 February 3.30pm - 5.30pm PK Gym
Year 9/10 & Seniors – Wednesday 15, 22 Feb, 1 March 3.30-5.30pm 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 3.30pm - 5.30pm in PK Gym

Tennis –          registrations have closed.                                            

KidsFit –          registrations have closed.

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 training will resume at a later date.
Junior (Years 9 & 10) registrations close 13 February.
Premier Results:         10 February - St Mary’s 3 vs St Cuthbert’s 12
                                12 February - St Mary’s 4 vs Westlake 3

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

Pesio Matiseni, Sports Co-ordinator

swimming sports

St Mary's Swimming Sports was held on the 10 February. The day was a huge success, with a large percentage of the school participating. For the first time in over a decade, there was a tie for first place, with both Loreto and Dickson winning 117 points. The new house Leydon came in third, with 99 points, closely followed by Maher with 93, and Leo with 78.

Congratulations to all the House Prefects on their first big House event.
Rachel Budgett, Sports Prefect

annual twilight picnic

An invitation to students, families and friends of St Mary’s College
Annual Twilight Picnic
St Mary’s College field
Friday, 3 March, 4-7pm
Celebrate summer at our annual community picnic with fun games, yummy food and live music.
  • Multicultural food stalls
  • Sausage sizzle
  • Coffee/hot chocolate cart
  • Cold drinks
  • Sweets & treats
  • Face painting
  • Games
  • Bouncy castle
  • Raffles
  • Live music
Friends and family welcome
Food available or BYO
Bring picnic rugs and mozzie repellent!

Please contact if you have questions or would like to be involved.
Brought to you by our PTFA, multicultural groups, Music Department and Junior School Missions.

catholic caring fouNdation - APPEAL FOR HELP - South island fires



If you would like to donate to the Fire AppealFeb 2017 to support the families and children impacted by the devastating fires in the South Island, please make your donation today:

Donate: through direct credit or through our website or
By Phone: (09) 360 3045
By Post: The Fire Appeal, The Catholic Caring Foundation, Private Bag 47904, Auckland 1144 (marked Fire Appeal)
By Direct Credit: BNZ 02-0100-0242648-000
Please include your first and last names as a reference and FIRE as the code. For a receipt, email including your mailing address
Donate securely online:   and write FIRE in the comments section. All donations receipted.

The Catholic Caring Foundation

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

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


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

diocesan youth mass

Diocesan Youth Mass | Hosted by the South Region
All are welcome to the February Diocesan Youth Mass hosted by the South Region on Sunday, 26 February, starting with praise and worship at 6.30pm followed by Mass at 7.00pm at St Patrick's Cathedral. The theme for the Mass is "Lean on the ROCK" and it will be celebrated by Fr Manoj Kunnath. All are welcome.




22 February

Friday March 3

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?
*Open Day
*Twilight Picnic
*Past Pupils Tennis
*Caring Foundation - Fire Appeal
*Art Mart - PTFA
*Attendance/Late email
*International students are welcomed
*Early Finish 7 March
*Teddy Bears Picnic
*SMC Facebook
Copyright © 2017 St Mary's College, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this email because you are a member of the St Mary's College community. If you now longer wish to receive these emails, please unsubscribe

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

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
St Mary's College · 11 New Street · Ponsonby · Auckland, Auk 1011 · New Zealand

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp