Forward to a Friend
10 March 2017
Dear Parents and St Mary’s Community,
You will be aware by now that our Mercy value for 2017 is "EXCELLENCE - creating Hauora for one and all". We have a sequential calendar of Mercy Values that we focus on year by year but I decided to promote this one in 2017 for a number of reasons, including the pastoral focus we have on building resilience.

Levels of anxiety in our young people are widely acknowledged to be a significant health issue. There are a number of theories as to why but according to "The Teenage Brain', published in 2015 by Jensen and Nutt, “Teens don’t have the same tolerance for stress as  ... [we] see in adults”. They react more strongly. There is nothing more stressful for many girls than wanting to achieve highly and of course we wish them to be academically successful as well - that goes without saying. BUT it is important to provide a healthy perspective.

Disappointment is one of the strongest emotions we experience. Part of really living is making mistakes and recovering from them.  We see students distraught because they received a merit grade rather than an excellence, students withdrawing from sport because they didn’t make the top team and students upset when failing to meet deadlines.

The job description for teachers has changed, it used to be to deliver content. Now relationship building and strengthening students Hauora is integral. But the job description of parents has not changed, and building great children is your first responsibility -  and building resiliency and a healthy perspective of excellence is just as much in your court.

When your daughter faces disappointment try sitting with her and calmly go through these questions?
1. What happened?
2. How are you feeling?
3. What have you learned?
4. What can you change next time?
5. So how are you feeling now?

Building resilience helps with the ability to recover quickly from difficulties. We are here to assist you in building this resilience. Our teachers are taking seriously this business of building a healthy relationship with ‘excellence’, through promoting realistic perspectives and developing resilience.

Work with us, and TOGETHER we can build excellent, resilient, great young women!

 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 16 March  -  10ACX is organising the class Mass this week.

Marianne Bray,
Director of Religious Studies


Students are starting now to complete some NCEA internal assessments to gain credits towards their NCEA certificates.
We often get asked questions about the difference between a Reassessment or a Resubmission opportunity.  The information below covers this. It is in the Student NCEA handbook given to the students at the start of the year. A copy is also on the Office 365 Students’ NZQA site.
NCEA Assessment Opportunities
Type of Assessment
Assessment will be different for different standards and will vary between subjects. Assessment may involve:
  • A single event eg a test, a task to be completed under test conditions in class, an assignment to be submitted on a specific date
  • Assessment over time eg a portfolio of work in Art
  • Work completed outside the classroom eg performance in Music or Drama, Geography field trip
Further opportunities for gathering evidence
  1. Reassessment
When it is practicable, each subject may provide one further assessment opportunity, often called a reassessment. Further opportunities may not be provided for standards which are difficult to repeat eg field trips, off site assessments, practical work eg science experiments, assessments that require more than one period of class time or provide heavy marking loads for a single teacher. It is a complete new assessment.
Note: Some standards may not have a further assessment opportunity.
Where a further assessment opportunity is provided, all students (not just those who had Not Achieved) will be eligible and may be awarded the highest grade based on all the evidence collected. This grade is reported to NZQA.
Every subject area
  • will decide which standards may have further opportunities for collecting evidence and what strategies are most appropriate for providing them
  • will inform students of further assessment opportunities in their course outline prior to any assessment taking place
  1. Resubmission
Resubmission is usually done where a student is on a grade boundary eg N/A, A/M or M/E and involves only a minor change to part of the assessment. It does not involve complete rewriting of large parts of the assessment. It does not involve any further teaching. It is not for the whole class, only individual students as determined by the teacher after they have marked the student work.
Students may not request a reassessment or a re-submission
Christine Barlow, Deputy Principal             

smart watches

Just to update you on some IT ProceduresSmart watches are great for the weekend but not at school.  If your daughter has a smart watch please ensure that she keeps it at home.  We want all students focussed on their learning and not distracted by a smart watch in class and in the playground.
Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

NO taking of photos & videos at school

Students take photos of families and friends and post it on social media. It is part of life today which is great. It’s a great way to keep in contact, especially when family and friends are out of town or overseas.

However when the students are at school in their school uniform, at breaks, with no permission from teachers,  taking photos and filming other students on their phones and then using those images to post on social media is not permitted. This will be clarified to the students this week. Thank you for your support in this.

Elena Grant, Deputy Principal

Year 7 to 10 reports

For all Years 7 to 10 students a report will be sent out at the end of this month. This will then be followed up with a parent interview  afternoon. The days set aside for this are Wednesday 5 April & Thursday 6 April.

On Wednesday interviews will be for Years 7 & 10.
On Thursday the interviews will be for Years 8 & 9.

School closes at 1.20pm.  Interviews will start at 2.30pm in the afternoon and will be held in the CM classroom block.

Interviews are 5 minutes in length and you will book these interviews through the website: when the site is open. The site is NOT ready to go at this stage but more information about how to book will be coming to you through the newsletter and a personal e-mail which will contain the necessary codes. School will be finishing early that day at 1.20pm and buses will be there.

Brian Nolan, Deputy Principal

new staff

A very warm welcome to the following new staff members.
Jacob Sheehan – Development Manager
In recognition of the increasing size of St Mary's College a new role of Development Manager was created.  We welcome Jacob Sheehan into this role.  Jacob holds a Diploma in PR & Communications Management as well as an Events Management Diploma.  Having worked in community development since 2002, Jacob comes to us from a similar role held at Massey High School. Jacob can be contacted on
Tony Robinson – Property Manager/Caretaker
After serving with the Ministry of Justice for 7 years Tony then worked as Property Manager at Kowhai Intermediate.  Their loss is our gain, and although filling huge shoes left by Peter Townend, we are now very fortunate to have this multi-skilled individual in the employ of St Mary's College.  Tony can be contacted on
Nicola Demaine – Director of Sports
A growing school roll demanded acknowledgement of the increasing involvement in Sports and as a consequence we welcome Nicola Demaine as our new Director of Sports.  Nicola holds an Honours degree in Sports Sciences and was previously working for Oceania Football Confederation.  We are now blessed that she brings her expertise to St Mary's College. Nicola can be contacted on

VISITORS must sign in

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's classroom. 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

9JFY Pi Reciting Competition

Congratulations to Liane Gao for memorising Pi to 79 decimal places and taking out the 9JFY Pi Reciting Competition.  As far as we know that makes her the St Mary's College Pi Champion – if you think you can beat this see Mrs Singh!
Special Mention to Cynthia Zhang, Bethany Yates and Ela Telequido who also memorised Pi to over 70 decimal places
Andrea Singh, Teacher of Mathematics

Young Enterprise Scheme CEO Day

On Tuesday 8 March, Hannah Solomon, Emma Furnell, Chelsea Wilson and I, attended the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme CEO Day.  As CEO's of our in-class companies this was a great opportunity for the four of us to gain knowledge about what it is like to be a CEO in the real world. The day consisted of many inspiring talks from different CEO's of successful businesses such as Rob Fyfe- former CEO of Air NZ and current CEO of Icebreaker Merino, Helene and Jenny-May- Northern Mystics Head Coaches, and Councillor Richard Hills. From these inspirational talks we were able to learn about the many different factors of being a successful leader and how to deal with situations/obstacles that come with running a business. One thing that has stuck with me from CEO Day is that "if you're going to fail, fail fast and fail hard but get back up, learn from it and try again." Overall it was a great and rewarding experience for us.

Ma’ata Finekifolau, CEO – E Mana

St Mary's student selected for the 2017 Top Art Show

This year, St Mary's College student Lilian Merrifield's Level 3 Painting portfolio has been selected to tour New Zealand in 2017 Top Art! 
Top Art is an annual touring exhibition featuring a selection of the NCEA Level 3 portfolios that achieved Excellence in Visual Art in the previous year. Five streams are covered: design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
Top Art provides an opportunity for secondary students and teachers to gain an understanding of what is required to achieve Excellence at Level 3. It also allows members of the public to see the high quality art being created in schools.
Lilian’s highly successful Painting portfolio explores Insomnia - it includes photographic and sculptural works as well as paintings. It can be seen online on the NZQA website. Please click here.  Lili also received a 2016 NZQA Scholarship in Painting. 

Tanya Gilbert, Faculty Leader Arts

technology department news

The Technology Faculty staff were excited during Open Day to test their new 3D printer. They will be using the 3D printer in a range of courses across the Faculty for students to use.
It was well worthwhile getting into school early to not only beat the traffic but to view the beautiful sunrise across the school and CBD on Tuesday 7 March. This photo was taken from the 3rd floor of the MB block.
Debbie Morrow, Faculty Leader Technology


The International Department was well represented at the recent Twilight Picnic by our International students who offered facepainting, origami, Japanese Kanji (as well as Thai and Chinese versions too!) to the many visitors.  The students all wanted to participate to show their support of the ‘Mercy Spirit’ and money raised will be going to the Mercy Hospice.  This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to give back to the St Mary’s community and to be part of a school event where there was no language barrier to participation. Well done girls!

L-R – Back – Sakura, Kaho Front – Rinna, Karin, Thien (Thailand)
L-R – Hiroka, Hibiki, Natsume, Wakana, (Rinna – standing) and Natsumi
The International department has a number of students coming to St Mary’s College.  We are looking for expressions of interest as follows:
Single Homestays
  • Thai student – Year 10 - (15 years) – Homestay required from approx. Mon. 20 March – 13 May 201.  (8 weeks) - This includes the school holidays from Friday 14 April – Sunday 30 April.  This student is coming to see St Mary’s for a short visit with potential to return in Term 3, 2017 as a long-term student.
(NB: We have another Thai student staying in West Auckland and there is a possibility that the girls may like to get together)
Term 3
  • ChinaSun 23 July for five weeks (1 student – Year 8)
  • Japan – Sun 23 July – 26 August – 5 week single homestays (Approx. 5 students)
  • Japan – Wed 26 July – Sun 6 August (leave in the evening) – 11 nights - $500 per student - (7 homestays required)
  • Japan - Sat 29 July – Sat 19 Aug – 3 week single homestays (Approx. 3 students)
Double Homestays
  • Japan – Wed 26 July – Sun 6 August (leave in the evening) – 11 nights - $,1000 for two students - (5 homestays required)
  • China  - Sun 30 July – Sat 26 August –– Double homestays (8 homestays required). 
Long term Homestays – URGENT REQUEST!
Term 2
  • Chinese student – Year 12 - Fantastic student looking for a Homestay, preferably close to St Mary’s College OR, on St Mary’s bus route.  Interests include Piano, Basketball , Biology and Archaeology. 
To register your interest please contact Suey Bignall, Homestay Co-ordinator email: or Ph: (09) 376 6568 Ext. 817.    
Suey Bignall, International Student Support/Homestay Co-ordinator


Year 13 students attended a Women in Leadership Breakfast hosted by the University of Canterbury celebrating International Women’s Day, where they heard an inspirational address from UC alumna Justine Ross, entrepreneur and co-founder of 42 Below Vodka.

Our Year 13 students are now in their final year of school, preparing to make decisions about their “next step”, whether it be into the world of work, further learning, training or other possibilities. Throughout the year there will be many events and opportunities available for them to gather information about what that next step might look like for them. Students are encouraged to be proactive in researching possibilities for their future pathways. Good self-knowledge coupled with occupational knowledge is empowering and will help students discover the best “fit” for them once they leave secondary school.

Start the process of gathering information and researching “what’s out there” early! Having career conversations with parents, family members, teachers, deans, industry professionals etc is important and a good way for students to get started with thinking about their possible future(s) and the steps they may need to take in order to get there.

Students are welcome to book appointments with me if they would like help clarifying or understanding their possible future options or need help with the decision-making process.     Ph 376 6568 extn 726.

In Terms 1 and 2 universities and tertiary providers are invited to deliver an overview presentation to students here at school. The first of these took place this week with a presentation from the University of Auckland and was attended by 80% of our Year 13 students. In Term 3 they are invited back to assist students with degree course planning for those who need it. Throughout the year there will be many opportunities available to help students decide their best options for next year. These are advertised through the Careers site on Platform 365 which is regularly updated with information about events that are happening both inside and outside of school, along with other career related resources students my find helpful.  Career related events and opportunities are also posted in the daily notices. The Careers area in the Dean’s Suite is well resourced with up-to date information.

Judith Adams, Careers

international department

Rotary Youth Exchange - Have you thought about a Student Exchange?

Every year Rotary International offers students the chance to go on a 12 month exchange to countries like France, Germany, Canada, Argentina, plus more.
It is not as hard as it might sound because Rotary gives you a lot of support and you will have your own support person in your exchange country while you are away. You don’t have to know the language before you go.  One of the highlights is a summer trip around Europe or your host country. Students who have been on exchange tell Rotary that it is the best thing they have ever done and they come back with greater confidence and independence and really ready to get on with university or whatever they are doing next.
Applications for 2018 will close at the end of April, please visit our website to apply:
For more details with and from previous students come along to our information evenings:

Tuesday 28th March, Parnell at Hobson Room, Jubilee Building, 545 Parnell Rd, at 7.30pm
Thursday 30th March, Pakuranga at Social Room, Te Tuhi Arts Centre, 13 Reeves Rd at 7.30pm
Wednesday 5th April, Papakura at Long Tan Room, Papakura RSA, 40 Elliot Street at 7.30pm
 Sue King, International Director


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

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


Congratulations to Samantha Stock, 11MNN who competed in the Secondary Schools Sailing Regatta.  Samantha placed 7th in the Starling and 1st in the Girls race.  Well done Samantha!
Congratulations also to Ella Whitcombe, 8RLY who came 2nd in high jump at the Auckland Champs held in the weekend with a jump of 1.41m.  Well done Ella!

Year 7/8 Central Zone Swimming
On Wednesday a team of 8 swimmers represented St Mary’s at the Central Zone Swim meet day.  The team was;  Liv Peebles, Anna Lepua, Molly Rodger, Mia Elsmore, Scarlett Goldsworthy, Breana Schmid, Olive Keely and Maia D’Souza.  All the girls were a credit to the school and to themselves.  Special mention to:

Liv Peebles Year 7                   -           1st Freestyle, 2nd Breaststroke, 3rd Backstroke, 4th Butterfly
Anna Lepua Year 7                  -           1st Backstroke, 3rd Breaststroke, 5th Freestyle
Scarlett Goldsworthy Year 8   -           6th Breaststroke
Year 7 Relay Team                 -           3rd Freestyle Relay
Open Relay Team                   -           4th Medley Relay

Pesio Matiseni, Sports Co-ordinator

sport at st mary's in term 1


There are two more trials remaining.  Reminder that fees must be paid before a player can be named in a team.
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.
Premier Results: 
24 February     - St Mary’s 4 - St Cuth's 13
26 February     - St Mary’s 4 – Rangitoto 3
3 March           - St Mary’s 1 – Diocesan 10                               
Cycling Introductory Programme runs on Mondays 6.30am, outside the PK Gym.  Please email the Sports Coordinator if you would like to give it a go.

Pesio Matiseni, Sports Co-ordinator

twilight picnic - thanks~!

Annual Twilight Picnic – a big thanks & raffle winners
We celebrated our second Twilight Picnic last Friday night on the field, and we were blessed with the most perfect summer afternoon for it. A warm thank you to all the girls, parents and teachers who made the event so enjoyable! Our buskers, bake sale, face painting, calligraphy, origami, food stalls, Smiths Coffee, raffle donations, bouncy castle and the games were such a huge hit.
The picnic is a community event, with stalls run by teachers, Missions, student fundraising groups, parents of the multicultural groups, and co-ordinated by the PTFA. If you would like to get involved next year, please contact
The raffle ticket winners were:
Red Food Hamper: JESSICA BUGG
Blue Food Hamper: PETER ASSAF
Hair Brushes Set (1): KATRINA/AMANDA LO, 7SBL
Hair Brushes Set (2): ANNA-MARIE
Many thanks and see you next year!

Genevieve Abbot, Teacher rep PTFA, Andrea Stevens & Andrea Phillips, Parent reps PTFA


A reminder that the next PTFA meeting is an AGM being held on Tuesday 4 April, 7.15pm in the staffroom. All welcome.


open day - st pauls' college

art mart - ptfa 

SAVE THE DATE -  29 April 2017 - SMC PTFA will 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

Catholic Caring Foundation - Annual grants round open

The Catholic Caring Foundation has an annual funding round for community groups and agencies throughout the diocese to apply for funding for their vital work in the community assisting those who are affected by poverty.
The Catholic Caring Foundation is now accepting grant applications for 2017. The Bishop’s Foundation disperses grants to agencies and community groups throughout the diocese that work with the most vulnerable in our community. If you know suitable agencies who might be interested in applying, our grant application form is available on our website:
Applications close on April 14, 2017.
Ann-Marie Parker, Fundraising Manager Catholic Caring Foundation


Follow Caritas - website -
Twitter -

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




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?
*3D Printer 
*Homestays needed

*Smart Watches
*Pi day
*Board Vacancies
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