School Newsletter February 2020

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19th February 2019: Term 1 Week 3


Dear St Michael's School Community
Week three already and our children are already enjoying learning how to be active drivers of their learning. Helping our children to know more about what they are learning, why and how to persevere even if things "get tough" are our goals for St Michael's children.
Our Board of Trustees are informed of our current achievement levels and as a team we have crafted targets for continued improvement. The 2019 Principal's report to the Board of Trustees is available on request and shows the achievement data break down. The current achievement data as at the end of 2019 is s follows:





% Achieved At or Above (Expected CL)

Number achieved At or Above expected CL(and total population)

% Achieved At or Above (Expected CL)

Number achieved At or Above expected CL(and total population)

% Achieved At or Above (Expected CL)

Number achieved At or Above expected CL(and total population)

Whole School 





















Maori boys







Maori girls







Pasifika boys







Pasifika girls







Asian Girls







Asian boys







In 2020 we have a number of initiatives planned to ensure that our learning environments set children up to be as successful as possible. We are working on the following areas:
1) Helping our families to become really involved in their child's learning and forming strong partnerships
2) Improving the variety of programs available to support students with special needs whether these or social, emotional, cognitive etc
3) Thinking about how we design learning experiences as teachers and making sure they are engaging, fun and relevant
4) teaching children how to talk about their learning and how to set goals for improvement
5) reviewing and developing a behaviour management plan that is positive and motivates our learners to strive for excellence
Our school's vision for learning is centered around key values of our Mercy Charism.

Motivated and active seekers of knowledge

Energising and enterprising contributors to culture and community

Respectful, reliable, resourceful, resilient life long learners

Critical and creative thinkers, confident and connected communicators

Young people, living their Catholic Faith  
Below you will find the broad topics from our curriculum that our teachers will be covering in 2020. The planned trips and events will center around these themes. 
You will notice that teachers are sending home helpful newsletters via Seesaw at the start of each school week. We encourage you to connect to your child's seesaw so that you can see their learning in action. Feel free to leave comments for our child and their teacher. 
Thank you to the parents who have taken the time to come and learn more about the classroom program at the "meet the teacher" evenings. This is part of our strategy to involve you more in the decision making of what happens in our school. 


Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Major Focus

Building Relationships

Deal positively with conflict interactions


Minor Focus

Artistic Expression

Topic of Interest (NZ)


New Zealand’s creators and inventors


Catholic Character

Jesus - Hehu Karaiti

Jesus showed his love in different ways


St Michael’s Art Exhibition

St Patrick’s Day

Major Focus

Planet Earth and Beyond

Natural Features, “Space” and our environment

Minor Focus

Understanding how everyday technology works

Topic of interest (NZ)


Rocket Lab launches / meteor shower May 7th

Catholic Character

Prayer - Karakia

Learning about prayer



Science Fair


Major Focus

A sense of belonging and



Minor Focus

Speaking and Performing


Topic of Interest (NZ)

Olympic Games - Tokyo


Catholic Character


“Holiness Welcome”






Major Focus

New Zealand Knowledge


Minor Focus

Growing pains


Topic of interest (NZ)

2020 NZ General Elections


Catholic Character

Communion of Saints 

Te Kotahitanga o te hunga tapu

“The Saints and other inspiring people”



Bible Reading

Junior Nativity

Health and Safety

Sun hats are a must in these warm months. We are badgering and constantly reminding our students that if they don't have a hat they must remain in the shade. 
Scooters and bikes are great fun to have at lunch time however children must bring their helmets to school please. No helmet = no ride.
We are getting new school gates at the Lisa Crescent entrance. This means that as the gates are upgraded parents will no longer have access to the May Road entrance. This is simply because the current configuration puts us in breach of our integration agreement with the diocese. Parking will be available along Lisa Crescent and May Road for drop offs and pick ups and Clayton Road will also be open
You may have noticed that the Clayton Road gate is closed during our break times. This is because we have a couple of children who benefit from the gates being closed to ensure their safety.
Rubbish. At eating times our students are encouraged to eat and keep ther packets in their lunchboxes to take home. This helps to minimise the amount of rubbish we have floating around the school and the costs we incur for waste disposal. 
Anthony (Our caretaker) comes to us from time spent within ECE centres and Westbrook Primary. He is currently working to fix and upgrade many of our school's amenities. We are thankful for the enthusiasm and skill he brings to the team


St Michael's School is hosting the principals and senior leaders from seven different schools around Rotorua and Taupo. They are coming to see and hear the great work that is being done in the area of Maori Achievement. I am really proud of the achievement of our Maori akonga and am looking forward to learning more from the other school leaders in our rohe.
St Michael's, St Mary's and John Paul College are combining regularly to share special moments and show support and solidarity. We are working hard to dispel the common myth that we are in direct competition. We are each unique schools part of the same Faith body. We are proud to be not only authentically Catholic but authentically a Mercy school.


The start of the year is a great time to remind our community about the flow of communication.


From time to time things happen that may concern you. It is your right to seek clarification. The process for this is highlighted below
If you find you have a query or concern about your child's learning then the first port of call is their classroom teacher.
If you have met with the classroom teacher and you feel that the problem is still unresolved you can reach out to the team leader
After this the Deputy Principal
If you are still dissatisfied you can arrange a time to meet with the school's Principal
If again, you are feeling that you are still concerned you may write a letter to the Board Chairperson who will investigate your concern.
We endeavor to solve all concerns at the lowest level possible. We do this through regular communication that is based on respect, kindness and compassion. 


We love hearing positive stories about how your child is experiencing school. Their social and emotional experience is important. You can share your positive feedback in a number of ways.
1) Seesaw app
2) emailing a staff member
3) face to face
We are all looking forward to a grand year at St Michael's School. Moving and shaking.
Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa,
Kristina Crouch


Tues25/2 Shrove Tuesday - Family Pancake Breakfast - Whole School - 8am
Thurs 20/2 Class Mass for Eden 6 & 7 departing school at 8.30am
Wed 26/2 Ash Wednesday Liturgy 9am School Mercy Hall
Thurs 27/2 Class Mass for Galilee departing school at 8.30am
Thurs 5/3 Class Mass for Ark departing school at 8.30am
Mon 9/3 PTA Meeting 5.30pm
Tues 11/3 EPRO8 Challenge
Tues 17/3 St Patrick's Day School Celebrations
Thurs 19/3 Whole School Mass, St Michael's Church, buses leave 9am
Thur 19/3 Cricket Training 9-11am Y4 upwards
Mon 20/3 PTA DiSCO 5.30 - 6.30pm
Wed 25/3 Cricket Training 9-11am Y4 upwards
Thurs 26/3 BOT Meeting 6pm - staffroom


A very warm welcome to the following new families we hope you enjoy your time with us:

Simmi & Lijo Marroky (Ayaan-Galilee); Thushara & Ishara Jayawickrama-Vithanage (Pamodya-Ark); Kesi & Amari Tyagi (Shreshth-Galilee / Molly Eden 7); Rosanna Clough (Jordan -Galilee / Maxwell -Ark);  Katherine & Jason O'Connor (Mason -Eden 7);  Alastair Rogers (Nathaniel -Ark);  Alida Assen -Ark (Jerome's sister);  Tai Wesley (Hansel's brother); Prapapan & Ross Hunt (James -Ark); Toni & Barry Uerata (Jaylyn -Ark);  Ethan Gouveia -Ark (Harvey's brother)Wilhelmina Salmon (Heavenly -Eden 6 / Wairua -Eden 7); Anna Parfenova (Taisiia - Ark)


Parish Mission

This year we are also having a Parish Mission from 8th March to 13th March for the Parish and Schools, organised by ICPE Mission New Zealand. This group is from Wellington and they live at St Gerard Monastery. Please take note of the schedule in the newsletter.

Bishop-elect Michael Gielen

Fr Michael’s episcopal ordination is now Saturday 7th March at the Vodafone Arena in Auckland at 11.00 am. 40 seats have been reserved for the parishioners from Rotorua. 

Ash Wednesday 26 February 

This year we are hosting the Combined (ecumenical) Service at St Mary’s at 7.00 pm. Please do come and support this time of prayer with our brothers and sisters from other Christian Churches. 

Catholics Returning Home

You are invited to attend a refresher course for Catholics wanting to return to the practice of their Catholic faith or for Catholics wanting to renew their faith and their prayer life. Everyone is invited to attend.  This will run weekly at 7.00 pm on Tuesday nights commencing 3rd March 2020 for four weeks until 24th March at St. Mary's, corner of Seddon and Ranolf Street. For further enquiries, please email Fr. Eamon Kennedy at:

 Ash Wednesday Time Table - February 26th

St Mary’s School 9.00am, Service at St Mary’s Church
St Michael’s School 9.00am, service at St Michael’s School
Mass at St Mary’s at 12.05pm
JPC at 2.00pm, service at the Edmund Rice Centre
Mass at St Michael’s at 5.30pm
Ecumenical Service at St Mary’s at 7.00pm 
(Please also consider attending the ecumenical service which is a wonderful opportunity to pray with our brothers and sisters from other the Christian Churches)



This term we have teams participating in Flippaball (waterpolo) and Touch after school.  Any queries you have about sports please see Tracey Goodrick our sports co-ordinator.

Special thank you

A massive thank you Melissa from Sports Bay of Plenty and Lyn from One Foundation for their kind donations of sports equipment.


All Stars had a great game against Heights Heros losing 2-1
Lachie Boyd received player of the day for scoring the first try of the season. The whole team played exceptionally well


Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Breakfast)

Next Tuesday, 25 February is the last day before Lent begins.  This day has traditionally been called Shrove Tuesday - a day where eggs, flour and other rich food items were used up prior to the time of Lent.  Lent is the time of getting ready for Easter - a time of preparation with fasting, praying and thinking of others.

Everyone is invited to our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Breakfast in the Mercy Hall at 8am.  Please bring your own pancakes. Some toppings, tea and coffee will be available. It is a lovely way to meet some other families and spend time together as a community.  We look forward to teachers, children and parents enjoying this time together.


The next morning, is the start of Lent and we have an Ash Wednesday Liturgy in the hall at 9.15am.  Please feel free to join us in the hall. Mass times are also located elsewhere in this newsletter.

During an Ash Wednesday Mass or Liturgy, a cross is marked on the forehead, using ashes which have been mixed with holy water or olive oil.  The ashes are made by burning palm leaves on Shrove Tuesday and the leaves will have last been used during the Mass for Palm Sunday the previous year.

The cross on the forehead reminds us that Jesus died on the cross for us.


Week 2 Term1: Congratulations to the following pupils;

 Duffy Award for caught being good:

Grayson Burns (The Ark);  Willow Irwin-Tepania (Eden7); Michaela Benham (Eden 6); Aki Pou (Galilee)

Fruits of the Spirits Awards:

Keita Roper (Y6); Jordan Clough-Moses (Y5); Grace Simon (Y4); James Hunt (Y1); Jacob Sowerby (Y2)

Principal Awards: Walking in the footsteps of Jesus

Alex Jenkins:- Showing compassion and care to a new entrant student who had become overwhelmed during his first days at school


Sustainable Events Backyards March 2020

Sustainable Backyards are back for another year having over 20 events in Rotorua for the month of March.  The events include a Waste Free with Kate Workshops, a pickling jam and chutney workshop, film screenings, beeswax wrap workshops, Lux Organics open day, a talk on the Maramataka (Maori Lunar Calendar) and many more.  For details check out their facebook page .  Handouts are available from the school office.

Rotorua Model Aircraft Club -Model Airshow Sunday, March 15 10am to 3pm

At the club flying field, on Mead Road.  Turn right, 1km past the Green Lake on the way to the Buried Village.  Come and see an amazing display of flying model aircraft.  Gold Coin donation, BBQ and refreshments.  Trail flights on the club trainer and simulator.  Check Facebook for cancellations  For further enquiries phone David Thornley 07 3493719

Posted: Tue 18 Feb 2020


St Michael's Catholic Primary School is a Special Character Catholic School