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31 March 2017
Dear Parents and St Mary’s Community
What a difference a smile makes”. I know those aren’t the actual words of the song, but for me those words are just as true.  I love to walk, and as I make my way around some of the beautiful areas of Auckland I have a little game I play.  I try to smile at passers-by and have them smilback at me.  I’ve worked out that there’s a bit of a trick to it:

Step 1 - make eye contact
Step 2 - smile
Step 3 - share in the smile that comes back.

I try to do the same around school.  With some students it is as natural as breathing to look others gently in the eye.  With others, it requires a few words first to break the ice.

We could ponder why some students have the confidence to look out upon the world with an open face, while others are more tentative.  But my thought today is that maybe we need to teach some of our young people the social skill of making eye contact - a skill this generation is losing as a symptom of our modern lives, in a world overloaded with technology, where phones and screens get in the way of personal connection and where the individual rules.

Adults need to be role models for the behaviours we want in our children – look them in the eye during conversations, help them understand what it is to make eye contact, practise with them for important occasions like interviews, meeting new people, and teach them that the ability to make eye contact is an asset. It seems to go without saying that smiling helps people bond, because a smile is contagious.

Teach your daughters to make eye contact, and the value of a smile given and received - this will open them up to the possibility of both receiving and giving a smile. 

Also - a smile is an act of Mercy. We show mercy through our eyes, and with the gentlest of smiles when we reach out to another human being. We enter completely into the moment and any apprehensions dissolve, making a connection through a smile. This is another reason why we should teach eye contact, teach smiling, and in doing so provide the skills to show mercy.
In the words of the Bard – (and in a week when students visited the Pop up Globe) “The quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes”. William Shakespeare.
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


Thursday 6 April  -  No school Mass this week as there are Junior Parent Interviews.

Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies

St Mary's College Sacramental Programme           

Sacramental Programme parents’ information evening for all enrolled students on Thursday 6 April, 7.00pm. For further information or queries, please email
Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies

year 11 study skills

On Tuesday 28 March, all Year 11 girls had a study skills session with Paresh Nama a Success Coach from the Australian based company Success Integrated.

For 1.5 hours Paresh and his DJ kept the girls enthralled and entertained whilst delivering a clear message for success in academic work.  He covered systems for success, managing distractions, homework planning, habit formation tracking, time management, mind mapping, study skills and more.  The girls worked through a booklet which they have retained.

We hope that they will use some of the techniques in their subjects and have asked teachers to reinforce this in their lessons. We encourage you to sit down with your daughter and have a conversation with her about what she learnt from the workshop and how she will use this in her learning.

A key focus for all students is to set realistic but challenging goals – ones that are within reach of their capabilities.
Teresa Ogden, Acting Deputy Principal 

new school APP

St Mary’s College now has a School App available for free from the App Store on your Apple or Android device.

Functions include:

  • Report when your daughter is absent - you can notify the school using the App
  • Daily Notices
  • Link to the Parent Portal
  • Latest News posted on St Mary’s College Website
  • Alerts for various Year Groups, Sports Teams and Clubs you may wish to subscribe to
  • Term dates
  • Newsletters, notices and calendar and Kamar Portal can be accessed via the App
**Go to the three bars on the side to access maps, alert subscriptions, and information about the app and to enlarge the text.

**Subscribe to the groups that you would like alerts for e.g. basketball. The sports tab has links to key websites with the draws.

**Access the calendar, then access the particular event. If there is an event that you would like to add to your personal calendar on your phone use the download tab as indicated below.
Additional links are also available for easy access - click here to access additional information.  Click here for more helpful tips and an instructional video.

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

help for students with dyslexia

Students who have dyslexia find some fonts hard to read. Dyslexia Font is a font which is easier for dyslexic students to read. We are in the process of making this available to students on the school computers. Students with BYOD devices will also be shown how to download it onto their devices.
Dyslexia Apps

If your daughter has dyslexia and you would like to access some additional support, there are a number of apps available for her to download. Depending on her age and her learning needs some will be better than others. Parents are encouraged to have a look and trial some. Let us know of any that you find particularly useful and we can promote them to others.

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

byod pass

BYOD students who do not have their devices at school for a genuine reason e.g. being repaired, will be asked to carry a BYOD pass they can get from thier Dean. They will need to show this to their subject teacher. Please provide a note from home so that this can occur. Students will need to have a loan device to use during the day sourced either from Harvey Norman stores or the school library.

Just a reminder that our IT techie is available for students with issues with their devices every interval in the library. There are also student Tech Angels who are the first level of support for students when they are in class.

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

junior parent interviews & REPORTS

Emailed Report
Parents of Junior students, Years 7-10 will receive an e-mail of their daughter's report over the next few days.

Emailed Information sent last week
Parents of Junior students, Years 7-10 received an e-mail last week outlining the details regarding parent interviews. If you have not yet received an e-mail please contact me through my e-mail address

Interview Website
Year 7-10 parents have been able to logon the school interview website  to book interviews from Tuesday 28 March. The site opened last Tuesday afternoon for interview bookings as notified in the last newsletter. Please be mindful that because of the large number of students it is not possible for every teacher to see every child and parent. When booking please choose who you really need to see so as to allow those with pressing needs to see the teachers. If you are unable to see a particular teacher you are welcome to contact the Dean who can arrange another time to discuss your daughter's progress. 

Interviews Pass Codes
On Wednesday 5 April  interviews will be held for Years 7 & 10 & the password is 2hw3q
On Thursday 6 April the interviews will be held  for Years 8 & 9 and the password code is ygxu5 

School closes for all students on both days at 1.20pm and usual buses will run. Interviews will start at 2.30pm and will be held in the CM classroom block.

Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

calendar - planning ahead

Just a little forewarning about the major events at the College for 2017. Please mark in your calendars.

Friday, 2 June 2017 - College Ball
Friday 1 August 2017  Mid-term break - School closed
Tuesday 15 August 2017 - Option Evening for Years 10-12
Thursday 28 September 2017 - Cultural Evening
Thursday 26 October 2017 - Leavers Mass & Dinner
Friday 27 October 2017 - Leavers Assembly
Thursday 2 November 2017 - Senior Prizegiving
Friday 3 November 2017 - Thanksgving Mass
Monday 11 December 2017 - Junior Prizegiving

Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

house fun day

This Monday 4 April the Year 13 students are running a House Fun day at school. There will be a normal Periods 1 & 2  with the rest of the day having students engaged in a variety of activities. This is a House competition and was an initiative proposed by the Year 13 to substitute for the cancelled Athletics day .
Students come to school dressed up in their House colours prepared for a Fun Day of organised activities.

Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

pop up globe visit

On 29 March, the whole of Year 10 went on a trip to the Pop-up Globe theatre to see the play As You Like It. The play was performed by an all-male cast and it was quite confusing at times to keep up with the men playing women playing men! The actors interacted quite a lot with the audience with people being the objects of declarations of love, accusations of lying about the quality of mustard, being chased by men dressed as sheep, and even being pulled up on stage and made to go down on hands and knees to act a goat.

My personal favourite part of the play was – whenever there was a scene where it looked as if there was going to be a kiss – a man in a cape would pop up in a window of the set and play ‘my heart will go on’ from the movie, Titanic on the recorder. It happened about eight times throughout the performance and had everyone in stitches laughing. The sheep were acted very convincingly; and we all ‘helped’ Orlando write a love poem to Rosalind using the lyrics of One Direction songs.

The music and dancing were also very good. Throughout the course of the play, one man played the recorder, viola and bagpipes as well as acting as a sheep. There was also a great percussion section and a trumpet player who stayed at the top of the set hidden in the ‘battlements’. The dancing was all very energetic and well-rehearsed.

Altogether it was a very great experience to watch a Shakespearean play as they would have been originally performed (though with rather different music). I think I can safely say that all of us enjoyed it tremendously and highly recommend going to see a play at The Globe.

Maia O’Connell 10ACX

Scholastic Book Fair

Scholastic Book Fair Information

Dates: 27 March to 7 April
Time: 8.00am to 4.30 daily, report nights to 6.30pm
Where: Daily in the Reading Room and CM corridor on report nights.

This is a fantastic opportunity to engage with stories. Books can be bought for your child or donated to the school library to enhance the collection particularly for the Junior School.
As usual there will be House Points for donated books. Eftpos is available as well as cash.

Kaaren Hirst, Librarian

Nau mai, haere mai!

All are welcome on Saturday 1 April to join us for a whanau BBQ by the St Mary’s College pool from 12.00pm - 3.00pm.  This is an informal opportunity for us to connect for a time of whanaungatanga and kai, and to welcome new families to our community.  Please bring a plate for the BBQ, and any further questions feel free to contact Teresa Hura-O’Connor, (parent) at  or Kristy Burling, (teacher) at

Kristy Burling, Teacher

international news

This week we said goodbye to our Sister School students from St Joseph’s Junior High School from Tsu, Japan.  It was another great success and a huge thanks from the International Department to the homestay families and buddies who helped welcome the students to their homes and at school.
Also leaving over the next few weeks are our Japanese students who have been here for a one term study programme as shown in the picture above.  It was another excuse to wear their kimonos and share in a pizza and L&P lunch with their buddies. Again our thanks go out to everyone for their inclusion in the school and wonderful homestay experiences they have all had. 
Enquiries are always welcome about hosting an International student.   Please contact Suey Bignall for more information
Sue King & Suey Bignall, International Department

MUSIC Practice Push for Year 7-9 students

The Year 7-9 Bands and Orchestras are in full swing, and improving each week. Parents, we'd like to ask you to please encourage your daughter to practice regularly at home.  Playing a musical instrument takes dedication and resilience. Here are a few pictures of the Year 7 band hard at work.

Ben Zilber, HOD Academic Music and Rachel Snelling, HOD Instrumental Music

ST mary's college 2017 ball

We are giving you an early alert regarding the date for the St Mary's College Ball this year which is Friday 2 June.  All Year 12 & 13 students have been given a letter about the Ball this week.

Please ensure you and your daughter read it carefully. All details are contained in the letter - your questions answered, such as  payment options, ticket issue, who can attend, venue and deadlines.  Please click here for a copy of the Ball letter and click here for the ticket application form.

Please note that Friday 2 June is a Teacher Only Day (so appointments for hair, nails and makeup are to be made for that day, no earlier)
Janette Fawcett , Year 13 Assistant Dean

tax rebates on school contributions

A BIG HUGE THANK YOU to all families that have paid Contributions to the College during this term.

If you are reading this Newsletter on Friday 31 March 2017…..IT MAY NOT BE TOO LATE to be able to claim on your tax deductible contributions in this current tax year by making payment by internet bank transfer TODAY!

As different banks have various cut off times for internet payments please print out a record of your transaction to show that you have paid on 31 March 2017.
St Mary’s College BNZ 02-02480050618-00

Please be sure to include the student's name and ID number or form class in the reference You may be able to get a rebate of up to one third of the voluntary school contributions if you have paid:
General Purposes
Proprietor’s contribution
Buildings contribution
Special Character contribution
PTFA contribution
Compassionate fund contribution
An annual receipt for the period 1 April 2016 through to 31 March 2017 will be sent out by email early in April.

Susan Blok, Executive Officer


Waka Ama
Ashley Williams 9MLG represented St Mary’s this week at the Waka Ama National Secondary Schools Nationals in Rotorua.  Ashley made it through to the finals where she placed 8th in the U16 W1 category.  Well done Ashley!
Pesio Matiseni, Sports Co-ordinator

sport at st mary's in term 1


We are still looking for a few more coaches for our Saturday teams.  If you or someone you know is interested, please email

We are holding Year 7 and 8 trials for Futsal on Monday 3 April 3.30pm to take part a competition on the 11 May.
Open Registrations
We are currently accepting registrations for Year 7/8 Badminton in Term 2 and Senior Lacrosse.

Lacrosse trials are on Wednesday 6 April on the school field from 3.30pm-5.00pm
Pesio Matiseni, Sports Co-ordinator


The next PTFA meeting will be the PTFA AGM on Tuesday 4 April 7.15pm.
All are welcome.
Lou Dowd, Chairperson PTFA

event sponsers needed - meet the makers

Become an Event Sponsor at Meet the Makers!

Event Naming Rights, Gold and Silver Sponsorship Packages available.  As a Meet the Makers 2017 Sponsor, you will receive great branding opportunities for your business and the chance to engage with the St Mary’s College community.  For more information, email Jacob Sheehan at or phone (09) 376 6568 ext 733.

Jacob Sheehan, Development Manager


Please click here for the 1st Meet the Makers Newsletter.

ENTERTAINment BOOKS - ORDER early for bonus vouchers

St Mary's College will be selling the new 2017 - 2018 Entertainment Books and Digital Memberships this year to raise funds for the PE Trip to the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in 2018. 

Books and memberships cost $70 this year, with $14 from each sale raising money for the trip.
I have set up a page on our website (click here) with more information.  From here you can transfer through to our secure payment page if you would like to arrange a pre-order.  All pre-orders are also eligible to receive bonus vouchers.
A display book will be in the main office & some books will be for sale on-site from 10 April.
Thank you for your support.  
Jacob Sheehan, Development Manager

youth group pt chevalier parish


good quality curtains wanted

The South Auckland Curtain Bank is looking for good quality clean mould free curtains to pass on to needy families free of charge.
If you have any curtains could you deliver these to Ms OMalley’s room in MB4.
Mary O'Malley, Faculty Leader Social Sciences

School Holiday Programme - national youth theatre company

Get the kids out of the house and on to the stage!  AllStars Television now open for registration in both Belmont and CBD. Sing, dance and act for four days and then put on a show!  Click here for registering.

stabat mater

The grieving Mother stood weeping beside the
cross where her Son was hanging
A Choral Music offering for Good Friday.
7 pm, Good Friday, 14th  April at St Patrick’s
Cathedral. Featuring the Age of Discovery
Vocal Ensemble directed by James Tibbles. 
Entry is free. A retiring collection will be taken.
Validated parking will be available at the Wilson’s Car Parks on Hobson St ($4) and Durham Lane ($2


1 April 12.00 - 3.00pm

4 April

5 & 6 April
Early school finish both days - 1.20pm

2 June 

12 August


Term 1 - 31.1.17-13.4.17
Term 2 - 1.5.17-7.7.17
Term 3 - 24.7.17 - 29.9.17
Term 4 - 16.10.17-11.12.17

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

Whats in the newsletter this week?
*St Mary's new app
*Shakespeare in Auckland
*Welcome to our sister school
*Tax credits
*Dyslexia help
*Study skills
*Music practice
*Parent interviews
Copyright © 2017 St Mary's College, All rights reserved.

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Telephone (09) 376 6568
Facsimile (09) 376 0206

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