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17 March 2017
Dear Parents and St Mary’s Community,
At the awesome school Community Picnic, two weeks ago, the positive engagement of our International students was noticeable.  They painted faces, created origami treasures and wrote names of students and their families in Korean, Thai, Japanese and Chinese.  Next week we will welcome into the school our first group for the year, 50 students from St Josephs, in Tsu, Japan.  We have had a relationship with this Catholic school for the past 3 years and Sue and I were hosted in the convent by Sister Grace when we visited Japan 2 years ago.
Each year we have students studying from a range of countries, predominantly Pacific Rim, of different ages and levels, for varying lengths of time, in small and large groups and as individuals, from Catholic and non-religious schools.  We cap our numbers of long term students to 35 at any one time and our visiting groups to 4 per year and are guided by Study NZ who suggest a school population of around 4 - 5 % of International students allows for a beneficial experience for all.
Looking after these students provides unique opportunities for reciprocal learning, particularly around widening students' view of the world and this is the basis on which the Board of Trustees supports this programme.  Our policy states that having an International Student Programme will “provide SMC students exposure to, and interaction with, students of other cultures and provide those international students with involvement in the SMC way of life".
The care of these student is a responsibility we take very seriously and as such have an excellent team who go beyond the required requirements of the Code for International students.  Sue King leads the Team as International Director, Suey Bignall, assists her particularly in the area of Homestays and Bev Steward is International Dean and teacher of ESOL.  Of course we couldn’t run this programme without the cooperation of our teaching staff as well and with the buy-in from parents who act as Homestay parents.
Welcoming strangers is of course part of our mercy value of showing hospitality. I love this quote from Hebrews "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it”.  What a wonderful reminder of the light of Christ in everyone we meet.

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
God of our healing and our wholeness, renew and recreate us in your truth.
Let this time of Lent bring nourishment, refreshment, and new life to our
hearts and spirits.
Help us to become more aware of what we need to let go
of and what we need to embrace.
May we come to an ever deeper appreciation of the unique and wonderful work of art which You—the Artist
of each soul—created us to be.
We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus
your Son who died that we might live life to the full. 


Pope Francis: ‘consult the Bible as often as your cellphone’

Speaking to the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square  (5 March 2017) following his weekly Angelus blessing, the Pope urged those present
to give the Bible the same place in daily life as cellphones and asked:

“What would happen if we turned back when we forget it (our Bible), if we opened it more times a day, if we read the message of God contained in the Bible the way we read messages on our cellphones?”

The Bible, he explained, contains the Word of God, the most effective tool in fighting evil and keeping us close to God. 

Clearly, Francis said, the comparison between the Bible and the cellphone is paradoxical, but it induces us to reflect.

class mass  - 10ACX

10ACX were on class Mass this week and the theme was"Living Water".  The class prepared this beautiful focal point under the altar. 
Thank you 10ACX.

Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies


Thursday 23 March  -  9LMT is organising the class Mass this week.

Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies

Year 9 retreat

On Tuesday 14 March, the Year 9’s headed off to the St Columba Centre for their annual Retreat. The theme was Respect and Dignity, one of our core Mercy values. Students took part in team building challenges, creative art showcasing their gifts and talents, parable inspired role plays and guided prayer meditations. They discussed stereotypes and the importance of looking beyond the outer to see the inner beauty of a person. We know that we are all unique masterpieces, deserving of respect and loved unconditionally by God.

"All life has inestimable value. Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”     Pope Francis

Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies

year 13 retreat at willow park


One of the highlights of our school year is the Year 13 Retreat.  This offers a wonderful opportunity for our senior student leaders to take a break from everyday life and enjoy the presence of God in the company of their peers.

"Our Retreat was amazing – the days were packed with team bonding, fun activities as well as quiet and prayerful reflections.  
The trip was an uplifting experience. It was good to see students become closer with their peers and stronger as a year group.
Year 13 Retreat was a great success, one we will always remember". 
Ashley McGregor Year 13 

The facilities at Willow Park, Eastern Beach are second to none: great open spaces, a one minute walk to the beach, plenty of natives trees and of course great food and fellowship. Students enjoyed a range of activities designed to help them strengthen their bonds, think on their feet and problem solve as a team. They also spent time in quiet meditative prayer. There was an opportunity to show their creative side, as seen by their beautiful canvas pieces inspired by the reflection “Footprints”  The Retreat was based on the theme of 'Journey', as they travel through their last year at school, we know that God walks with them. It was heart-warming to see them support each other and grow closer as a year group.
“I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope” - Jeremiah 29:11

Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies

2017 The Sacramental Programme           

Registrations are closing Thursday 30 March for the 2017 The Sacramental Programme & enrolment
forms must be handed in by this date.
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. There will be a compulsory parents’ information evening for all enrolled students on Thursday 6th April at 7pm. For further information or queries, please email
Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies

P.A.T Results for Years 7 - 10

Your daughters PAT results can be found through the Kamar Portal. To help you understand the PAT results for your daughter, there are a few articles in the 2 links below.

Link 1Link 2

Christine Barlow, Deputy Principal             

BUILDING resilience in your daughters

We have a focus as a Pastoral Care team on building resiliency in the students at St Mary’s College. Initially I thought it was going to be a “programme” but I soon realised that it is a mind-set. It underpins all we do.

Resiliency is intentional. If we want to build it, parents and teachers need to work together.

There are key elements in building resiliency. These include learning to see things in a positive light. Seeing pain, which is part of life, as an opportunity to learn. Too often as parents and teachers we jump in and problem solve. Allow your daughter to develop skills in managing life’s disappointments. Support, but don’t take away that valuable learning opportunity.
Receiving and offering kindness helps develop perspective in times of adversity. Looking after ourselves and laughing. These are all things that together, we can teach and develop in your daughter.

Below is an article which addresses some of the above in more detail.

Let’s work together to build resilience.

Ways to build resiliency

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

gratitude diaries

As part of the Resilience Programme in 2017 we have introduced Gratitude Diaries into the school day for the first term. The aim is to actively encourage self-care of students and to encourage them to focus on awareness outside themselves. We want to encourage students to be outward and forward looking and to be bigger picture thinkers. The aim is to improve the mental wellness of students, include it as part of the Resiliency Programme for 2017 and to build this as part of the St Mary’s College Culture of Special Character.

Your daughter has been given a gratitude diary. In the first lesson of the day the students will be led in a prayer and then will be asked to reflect and write down some of the things that they are grateful for. The students will be doing this in a quiet and reflective manner.

We would like to encourage families to support their daughters at home regarding developing the same thinking habits. It is a powerful thing when we stop, reflect and thank God for all He has given us.

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

lost byod devices

If your daughter is in the BYOD programme and finds organisation a challenge you may want to use the below support to help keep track of her device. It’s a good back up if it gets lost.
There are a number of options for finding a lost phone or device. One is through Microsoft, for which we have given the link below, but there are lots of other options. Do a search on the internet.
The service is free. Parents need to sign up using their Microsoft account. The location of the device gets periodically sent so you can see it on a map.

Microsoft find a lost device.  

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

Vaccination Dates

Thank you for the return of the vaccination parent permission forms. Just a reminder about the dates for the vaccinations. The first vaccination for the Year 8 students is coming up soon.
Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

junior parent interviews & REPORTS

For all Years 7 to 10 students a report will be sent out at the end of this month, then followed up with  Junior Parent Interview afternoons.
On Wednesday 5 April  interviews will be held for Years 7 & 10.
On Thursday 6 April the interviews will be held  for Years 8 & 9.

More information about the upcoming Junior Parent Interviews will be e-mailed out next week. This information will contain a list of your daughter's subjects and her teachers. It will also contain the password codes that you need in order to access the school interview website.

The school interview site will open at 3.10pm on Wednesday 29 March so that parents can start booking their appointments. The website is

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.

PLease check on Kamar that your email details are up to date. If you do not receive an e-mail next week then check next week’s newsletter for more information. 
Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal


Just a reminder that ALL parents and visitors to the school MUST sign in at the office first. Please do not go directly to your daughter or arrange to meet her at the gate. If you have any items that need to be taken to your daughter then please come to the office and we will ensure that the item is given to her. This is a Health & Safety issue  as we need to know who all the people are on our campus.
Also if you are collecting your daughter for an appointment, your daughter's Dean needs to be informed beforehand through either a note  or e-mail. Your daughter must present this note to the office when she signs out. Once again this is a Health & Safety issue as we want to be sure that your daughter is leaving early for a legitimate appointment or that the correct person is there to pick her up.

Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

School record broken! - New Pi Champion

Congratulations to Alexandra De Castro from 7LHS  who smashed the school Pi record – 140 decimal places!

Andrea Singh, Teacher of Mathematics

Scholastic Book Fair

Scholastic Book Fair Information

Dates: 27 March to 7 April
Time: 8am 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

twilight picnic...more FABULOUS photos!



Vacancies have arisen on the Board of Directors of St. Mary's College Auckland Limited, through the retirement of long serving existing Directors, and expressions of interest are sought for the position of Director. The Board of Directors represent the Sisters of Mercy, who own the St. Mary's College site. The Board of Directors' areas of responsibility are to provide buildings and facilities for the College, and to protect and enhance the Special Character of the College.
The positions are prestigious and voluntary, and involve one evening meeting per month, on a Monday evening from 5 pm -  7 pm and other Board commitments from time to time.
Applicants are required to be of good character, have an understanding of the Catholic faith, have proven experience in business or professional life, and be able to commit to attending meetings. In return, you will have the satisfaction of working with a committed and dynamic Board, and you will play an important role in shaping and ensuring a vibrant future for students of St. Mary's College.

If you believe that you have a contribution to make and wish to express an interest in this position, in the first instance please contact:-
Carmel Molloy, Secretary Board of Directors
St. Mary's College Auckland Limited

Short courses

Selwyn Community Education is offering 2 two fairly unique short courses over the weekend 1 & 2 April that students may be interested in.  Both are taught by highly regarded and experienced tutors:   For more information please email Anne Cave, Selwyn Community Education,

Debbie Morrow, Faculty Leader Technology

tax rebates on school contributions

Did you know you can apply for a tax rebate from the Inland Revenue Department? You may be able to get a rebate of up to one third of the voluntary school contributions if you have paid:
*General Purposes
*Proprietors contribution
*Buildings contribution
*Special Character contribution
*PTFA contribution
*Compassionate fund contribution
Click here, where you can find out more about this, and apply, by visiting the IRD page about donations.
You will be able to claim your rebate on any contributions you make this year up to 31 March 2017. An annual receipt for the period ending 31 March 2017 will be sent out by email early in April. Your support of St Mary’s College is greatly appreciated and helps us strive for excellence 'creating Hauora for one and all', at St Mary’s College.
 A reminder of our Payment Methods
Direct Bank/Internet Payment to St Mary’s College bank account
Please be sure to include the student's name and ID number or form class in the reference field.  St Mary’s College BNZ 02-02480050618-00
The Office Max/MySchool website will remain open all year in 2017, allowing parents/caregivers to continue to pay for Sports Fees/Trips/Contributions by direct credit or credit card. These payments will automatically flow through to your daughter’s account although there may be a slight delay.
Automatic Payments
Automatic payment forms are available from the school office or by email request (  Please be aware that automatic payments will be processed towards school fees and contributions.  Any other payments should be arranged separately.

Susan Blok, Executive Officer

sport at st mary's in term 1


We are currently recruiting for a Senior A coach.  If you would like a job description please email  If you would like to also coach any of our other teams, please contact us on the same email address.

Our fantastic Senior team is looking for a few more players to join them.  You will receive quality coaching from the NZ Tall Ferns assistant coach and have the opportunity to develop your skills.  If you are in Years 9-13 and would like to give it a go, come and see us in the Sports office. 

Trials for Years 7/8 will be held on Monday 20 March, 7.00am-8.15am at Seddon Fields, Meola Road.  An email has been sent to all who have registered.

Cycling Introductory Programme runs on Mondays 6.30am, outside the PK Gym.  Please email the Sports Coordinator if you would like to trial this.

Waterpolo     The Junior teams competed in a One Day Tournament last weekend.
Junior A:          St Mary's A vs. St Kentigern's Girls A - loss 4-7
                        St Mary's A vs. Rangitoto Girls A - draw 5-5
                        St Mary's A vs. Epsom Girls A - loss 2-3
Junior B:          St Mary's vs St Cuthbert's – loss 3-4
                        St Mary's V Baradene - loss 0-10
                        St Mary's V Rosehill – loss 3-7
Junior A Waterpolo Team
Pesio Matiseni, Sports Co-ordinator


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


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

karekare surf life saving club

As a volunteer lifesaving service patrolling one of the most dangerous beaches in New Zealand we have saved over 5000 lives in the past 80 years.  
We need a new home and are now building a facility to meet our lifesaving and visitor needs for the next 100 years.
Right now The Trusts have a million dollars available and Karekare is looking for $100,000 from this fund. We need you to vote for us now to achieve this.
 Click here for the link below to vote.
You can vote every day from 01 March to 30 April. Only one vote per web address each day. If you do this you will generate $300 in funding for the club building fund. The more people, and more votes the more money the club gets so send this email to a friends, family and your social network. Thank you for your help.

Stephen Pye, SMC Parent, on behalf of the Karekare Surf Lifesaving Club

choral mass

St Mary's, PApakura gala

Sr GAIL WORCELO - workshop

Please note the Auckland Workshop on Sunday 19 March is being held at the Cecilia Maher Room at the convent - 7 New Street.


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


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?
*Meet the Makers info
*Pope Francis & cellphones
*Pi record smashed

*Retreat reports
*Entertainment books
*Junior Parent Interviews
*Scholastic Book Fair

*More Twilight Picnic photos
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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