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24 March 2017
Dear Parents and St Mary’s Community,
We all need help to navigate the paths our girls are taking and though my daughters are now adults, believe me ‘it doesn’t ever end’ but rather morphs into a new adventure every step of the way.  I have recommended some reading and sites for parents in the past. Today I want to recommend a Facebook site I have recently started following and wanted to pass it on as a resource. It is called ‘A Mighty Girl’. Click here for the link.

While it contains many inspiring examples of successful women, both past and present it also recommends reading material. The latest post contains book titles that may be of interest to you.

Today I wanted to give you an update on progress with the new Science Block. This building will contain 8 science classrooms, including specialist rooms for senior Chemistry and Physics, as well as a staff area.  Excellent progress is being made and the construction company is on track to hand over the building towards the end of Term 3. We hope to occupy classrooms in Term 4.

This term has been very busy with trips and activities. We work hard to try and get all curriculum related trips over this term so that we can settle into academic work in Term 2. The biggest strain this creates is the need for students to manage their time well and make sure they keep up. Teachers are currently preparing Junior Reports in anticipation of Parents interviews. You are reminded that your daughter should attend the interview with you as this helps build our three way partnership, essential for success.

As we head into the final three weeks of term and Lent, let us be mindful of our value of creating hauora for one and all – the students are getting tired as are the teachers, an 11 week term is a challenge.

Let us be mindful of others, treat each other with mercy and patience and be prepared to just make a little more effort to be generous of heart and quick to forgive.

My favourite quote of the moment is from the movie 'The Light between Oceans' that I watched recently...
“You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day.”

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
Message for Lent (1 March - 13 April) - Pope Francis
'Lent is a favourable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognising in them the face of Christ. Each of us meets people like this every day. Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love...Lent is the favorable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbour... and thus to favour the culture of encounter in our one human family.

Let us pray for one another so that, by sharing in the victory of Christ, we may open our doors to the weak and poor. Then we will be able to experience and share to the full the joy of Easter.'

water for life

Our Year 9 Religious Education programme for this term explores our responsibility for 'Creation', in light of Pope Francis’ letter Laudato Si’- Care for Our Common Home. In the letter he expresses his deep concerns for our planet and especially for the poorest of the poor who are now gravely at risk because of climate change. Access to clean water has been a key theme of our unit.

The Year 9 students experienced a slice of life for girls in the Third World, who are often prevented from accessing an education because they need to collect water for their families. Some girls walk up to 3km each way to their nearest water source. So this week has seen students carrying buckets of water over a 0.5km course around the school. We made it fun by adding in a competitive element – but the girls were still somewhat sobered by what they learned. Here are some comments about the experience:

"When we carried water it was very tiring but interesting to know what it felt like for those girls and women who do it every day. I think New Zealanders don’t realise how fortunate we are to have access to clean water. People in the third world use about 10L of water each day for all their needs. New Zealanders use up to 15 times that amount."  Ana Collett

"During the water run I learned that girls our age, and even younger, carry water buckets more than 3km and that everyday children die from drinking dirty water. In New Zealand we take clean water for granted, by taking long showers, leaving the tap on when we brush our teeth etc." Lisa Faaesea

"I really think we had it easy because we were just walking 500m with a bucket half full with water but, even so, I was dying on the inside. Women and girls in third world countries miss out on an education so they have no real future but we are lucky enough to be in education here at SMC learning about them." Lily Cunningham Gerbich

Water for Life
God of Creation,
On the third day you caused water to fall from the heavens.
And it was good.
Ever since, water has been essential to our life,
to our health and to our very existence.
Our rivers and streams teem with life.
Our forests, and farms and meadows,
even the cracks in the sidewalk,
are rich in vegetation because of the rain you send down
and the springs that you raise up.
We are grateful for this gift.
We are humbled by it.
And sometimes we are fearful of it.
We acknowledge water’s strength,
its ability to flood, to devastate,
to drown, even as we praise you for water’s gift of life,
and sustenance and growth.
Help us to be worthy stewards of this great gift,
to make sure that none go thirsty.
Help us to safeguard its purity, accessibility and beauty.
We pray in Jesus’ name.

Clare McGivern, Teacher of Religious Education


Thursday 30 March  -  9JFY is organising the class Mass this week.

Marianne Bray, Director of Religious Studies

St Mary's College Sacramental Programme           

Registrations are closing Thursday 30 March for the 2017
 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

teaching and learning news

NZQA Scholarship is a challenging examination sat with the NCEA examinations in November and December by Year 13 (and some Year 12) students requiring consistent work throughout the year. It provides money towards tertiary study. Any girls who are interested in entering a scholarship subject should discuss their suitability with their subject teachers, find out about what is needed in terms of preparation for the examination and consider the extra work that is needed, in addition to their current workload. This may include after school tutorials and individual study. There is a significant commitment but this preparation can enhance your overall NCEA results.  We encourage girls who have NCEA Level 2 Endorsed with Excellence to sit at least 1 Scholarship Exam.
Scholarship Club is a bi-termly meeting for students preparing to sit the Scholarship examinations at the end of the year. The purpose of the meetings is to provide support to the girls, help keep them focused and help them to reach their goal of achieving Scholarship in their chosen subject/s. The first session is 17 May when Jacinda Ardern is our inspirational guest speaker. Other sessions will include past students returning to talk about their experience with Scholarship.
Girls interested in Scholarship need to return the expression of interest form by 5 April. Further information can be found on the NZQA website - please click here or from Mrs Fawcett or Mrs Barlow.
Below is the timetable for the 2017 NCEA exams this year.
Christine Barlow, Deputy Principal             

cyber saftety

Netsafe has a variety of resources for parents on Cybersafety on their Netsafe website. If you are struggling with this issue and you and your daughter would just like some more information, we would recommend logging onto this site and accessing their resources.

We also encourage all parents to get involved in the digital lives of their daughters. It is great to hear when there are clear guidelines at home around IT use. Some ideas may include...

*Giving a time when phones get switched off and put on the dining room table at night rather than taking them to a bedroom is a good start. *Charging devices overnight in another room in the house rather than the bedroom.
*Talking to your daughter about unsafe online behaviour.

The website offers suggestions if you you have concerns around online safety. Click here for the netsafe website link.

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

tots to teens parenting resources

Parenting is not an easy job so it’s great to have some support. The below link will take you to the Tots to Teens website. There is a range of information including friendships, raising with respect, a parents’ guide to media marketing and body image and grateful living. It’s worth a look!  - click here for the website.    

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

travellers survey for year 9 students

St Mary’s College is pleased to be able to offer the 'Travellers' programme again to Year 9 students.  Travellers is a small-group programme about life’s journey and how young people can be supported early in their development to embrace the challenges that this journey offers.
Travellers has been used with considerable success at St Mary’s College and it is devised by “Skylight” in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. It is aimed at helping students aged 12-14 years to build up life skills that enable them to cope with their thoughts and feelings associated with change, loss and transition situations.

All Year 9 students will compete a confidential Travellers survey during the next week and following this some students will be offered the opportunity to take part in the programme.  When a student is invited to take part in Travellers, parents or caregivers will receive further information about the programme. The programme is part of our school’s ongoing commitment to supporting the mental and emotional wellbeing of our students, which in turn builds resilience.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our counsellors, Maree Underhill, or Sally Burrows,
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 on 30 March.
Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

HOW can i see how much i have paid?

Parents are able to access information such as their daughter’s timetable, academic record, attendance, events calendar and fees/contributions through Kamar, our Student Management Portal - click here for the St Mary’s College Parent Portal.

All parents have been issued their Parent Portal user name and password.  If you have problems logging on, please email  me on together with your daughter’s name and Form Class.

Brian Nolan, 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.

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

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 

Interview Website
Year 7-10 parents will be able to logon the school interview website  to book interviews from Tuesday 28 March. The site is currently closed and will open for bookings at 3.10pm on Tuesday 28 March for one week.

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

11 LOST HOP CARDS - they need an owner!

There are 11 HOP cards in lost property! - If your daughter has lost a HOP card, please let Linda McKinney know the 16 digit number by emailing  It would be lovely to find their rightful owners.

Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

INTERNATIONAL - welcome to our sister school St Joseph's, Japan

This week has been a busy week in the International Department where we welcomed 58 students from our Sister School in Tsu, Japan.  This is the 4th year this study group has been with us and it has been a great experience for both our St Mary’s students and our Japanese guests.  Thanks to all the host families, teachers and enthusiastic buddies who have helped make it all possible.
Further to our amazing face painting and calligraphy efforts at the recent Twilight Picnic, the International Department has embraced the Mercy spirit by using the money raised at the picnic to buy essential items to help the Frances DePaul Community House.  Some of the students have brought in clothes and others have donated items but overall it was a great success where the students felt they could give back to a worthwhile cause. 
 Sue King, International Student Director

Year 10 ambury farm trip

This week the Year 10 students went to Ambury Farm as an introduction to their Genetics Unit in Science. Some student feedback includes:
“Ambury farm was a great experience. It was really interesting to learn about selective breeding in sheep and cattle and about how farmers could select specific animals to create an animal that would fit the environment and the market.” Olivia Gordon 10ACX
“Ambury farm was a great way to learn about Genetics, as we could learn about the topic in a real life environment with real life examples. The trip really improved my knowledge”. Milla Hughes 10ACX
“Ambury farm was a really good way to view real life genetic modification. I learnt heaps about cattle and sheep breeding and the effort that goes into constructing the perfect stock” Georgia Nemaia 10ACX
Kirsten Robertson, Teacher of Science

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

Alliance Française Film Festival

An excited group of Year 12 and 13 French students crossed the Harbour Bridge to see "Le Voyage de Fanny" at Takapuna on Wednesday.  This film was screening as part of the Alliance Française Film Festival.
The film was a gripping true account of a 12 year old girl called Fanny who led a group of Jewish children across the border to Switzerland during the Second World War.  Our hearts were beating, adrenalin was pumping and by the end there were few dry eyes in the cinema.
This is such a wonderful opportunity for our students to hear and see French in an authentic context
Priscilla Lynch, Faculty Leader Languages

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


A reminder to parents that the attendance email can be used for student absences.

Email stating the students name, class and the reason for their absence.
Desiree Allan, Attendance Officer

duke of edinburgh trip

On 15 March, 22 girls including myself hopped on the 8.00am ferry to Great Barrier Island. We tramped for three days straight with the weather being fantastic throughout the whole tramp. Out of the three days, the second was the most difficult and draining as it consisted of a climb up Mount Hobson. Despite this, all groups stayed positive and energetic throughout, making it a very enjoyable experience that without a doubt I would do again.

Isabella Vesty, Year 11 student

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

Dragon Boating Regional Championship

Nuns with Guns (second from the left) winning the 500m race

Mitochondria with their medals

Some of the great parents that helped out on Sunday and were integral to the girls' success

Last Sunday our three dragon boating teams competed at the Regional Championship Competition at Lake Pupuke in Takapuna. After months of training and exercising, the teams were raring to go. It was an early start for all, but everyone turned up bright eyed and bushy tailed (well, most). The sun came and the paddling was hot.

The competition, like every other year, was tough but the girls proved their mettle and pulled through with some great results. The social team “Scary Mary’s” came 4th in both the 200 and 500m. The development squad aptly named “Nun’s with Guns” (referring to the hulking arms) came first in the 500m and second in the 200m. The high performance team “Mitochondria” put in a massive for their final year and came 3rd in both the 200 and 500m taking home medals for their efforts.

Regardless of placings the girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves and showed true sportsmanship throughout the event. A huge thank you to coaches/sweeps Chris Stone and Deb Camplian for dedicating their time and expertise to the teams. Their knowledge and experience of Dragon Boating have allowed our teams to develop hugely over the last few years. Another huge thank you to Fiona O’Kane and all the parents that not only came to support the girls but kept them extremely well fed and hydrated.

Adrian Cox, Teacher in Charge


Congratulations to Mellata Tatola who achieved the following at the NZ Athletics Championships in the weekend; 
1st U20 Hammer (48m with 4kg)
1st U18 Hammer (56m with 3kg)
1st U18 Shot put (14.47 with 3kg)
2nd U18 discus (41.77 with 1kg)
2nd U20 shot put (13.67 with 4kg)  
3rd U20 discus (40.77 with 1kg)  
Mellata also competed at the Auckland Secondary Schools Championships on Tuesday.
1st Open 3kg Hammer – breaking the record at 54.7m
2nd Senior 3kg Shot Put
2nd Senior 1kg Discus
Well done Mellata!

Pesio Matiseni, Sports Co-ordinator

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 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. 
Results:  Year 7/8 team vs Kristin won 34-6

Premier results
Friday 3 March v Dio 10- 1 to Dio
Friday 10 March v Baradene 4-3 to Dio
Sunday 12 March v Carmel 11-3 to Dio
Friday 17 March v Westlake 4-2 to Westlake
Sunday 19 March v Kristin 7-0 to Kristin
Open Registrations
We are currently accepting registrations for Year 7/8 Badminton in Term 2 and Senior Lacrosse.  Registrations close Wednesday 29 March.
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

youth group pt chevalier parish

choral mass




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


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 - 16.10.17-8.12.17

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

Whats in the newsletter this week?
*Kamar Parent Portal
*Water Challenge
*Dragon boating
*2017 NZQA timetable
*Entertainment books
*Our sister school in Japan
*Junior 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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