School Newsletter 3rd March 2020

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Principal's Desk

Greetinga to all of our St Michael's families and the wider Parish community,

This week we begin to look at the strategic goals of St Michael's 

PLANNING FOR SUCCESS - Strategic goal 2 - Students and parents are  collaboratively involved in the learning process. 

Catherine McAuley is quoted as having said "Good today, better tomorrow".
This quote fits well with our school's motto "Sriving for Excellence".
One of our strategic aims this year is for children to know what they are learning, why they are learning it and be able to communicate this with their family.
It is our ambition that they commit themselves to improvement through their studies, their relationship with Jesus as well as their attitude and behaviours towards other members of the community. Striving to improve is the pursuit of excellence and what makes St Michael's Children, Mercy Children.  
The actions you will see as a parent

1) Teachers are regularly communicating what your child is learning via the school SeeSaw app
2) Students are more involved in the school wide events such as liturgies, Mass and school assemblies
3) Teachers are ensuring children understand how and why we wear our uniform with pride
4) Teachers are working with children to ensure they are safe and care for each other in the playground (insisiting on helmets, including others in play, participating in organised sport)
5) Prayer bags will begin to come home. Children can lead a prayer focus with their family
6) Students at all levels of the school can talk about what they are learning about
7) More experiences outside of the classroom that make the curriculum "come alive"
8) More opportunities for parents and grandparents to connect over their child's learning and have their say

We are beginning our "Coffee and Cake Morning teas. These will happen once a month in the school's Staff Room.
The first scheduled for Wednesday the 11th of March. This is a casual meet and greet. If new to our school it's a nice opportunity to meet
other Mum's and Dad's, ask questions of school staff and just get to know St Michael's a wee bit more. We hope to see you there

The season of Lent is unique in that as well as making changes to the Sunday Mass – no Gloria or Alleluia and a shifting from green vestments to purple – we also attempt to make changes to our everyday lives.
We attempt to do this by making small sacrifices, making more of an effort with prayer and by practically helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

The Ash Wednesday gospel cautions us, however, that sometimes the practices we adopt – prayer, fasting and giving alms – which are meant to orient our lives towards God and others, can end up being focused in on ourselves.
I particularly like the Lenten preface prayed at Mass (below) which reminds us to ensure all our Lenten activities are outwardly
 focused so that we reflect God’s kindness in our everyday lives.

“You will that our self-denial should give you thanks,
humble our sinful pride,
contribute to the feeding of the poor,
and so help us imitate you in your kindness.”
This Lent in collaboration with Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa we bring you #Meatless Mondays - A simple way for us all to care for our planet through lessening our food consumption.  This week's recipe and blurb is below


The school is working alongside the Rotorua District Council, the Board of Trustees Property Committee and the diocese of Hamilton to make some changes to the flow of traffic at St Michael's School. In order to ensure the safety of all children Please DO NOT PARK ON THE GRASS OR CONCRETE VERGE at the May Road gate. You can park on the opposite side of the road. Your children MUST wait for a teacher to cross them.As of Monday the 16th of March the May Road convent gate will be inaccessible for ALL cars. Children will have to be dropped off at the Clayton Road Carpark or Lisa Crescent Pedestrian Gate. If you have mobility needs then a space
is available for you close to the reception and can be accessed via the Lisa Crescent gate. 


This term we review seperated parents, day to day care and guardianship of our learners. As life happens, we know that many children are living within a blended family situation spending time at one home and time in other places. Our school policy states the following:

St Michael's School aims to ensure the safety, wellbeing, and security of all students by practising open and accountable child-centred decision-making. Internal link icon See Child Protection.

Parents are responsible for informing the school of the day-to-day care, pick-up, and contact arrangements in place for their child, whether agreed informally, recorded in an agreement, or provided for in court orders.

Usually, a child's parents are joint guardians of their child from birth (often referred to as natural guardians) if they are both recorded on the child's birth certificate, and/or are in a legally recognised relationship (i.e. marriage, civil union, de facto relationship).

  • Separated parents remain guardians of their children, subject to any court orders that are in place.
  • Guardians have a responsibility for the child’s care, development, and upbringing. Guardians are responsible for making education decisions about their child, and have a duty to consult with each other.

The Family Court can appoint other adults, such as a new partner or grandparents, as guardians. A child can have more than two guardians.

The Family or High Court may appoint itself as a child's legal guardian, and may appoint the Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children to act as its agent.

Any dispute over the rights of separated parents regarding their child’s education, day-to-day care arrangements, and communication should be resolved by the parents, or through the courts. It is not the principal's job to adjudicate.

Agreements and court orders

Day-to-day care arrangements for children can be agreed informally, recorded in a formal agreement, or determined by a parenting order from the Family Court. St Michael's School asks that parents and guardians provide the school with a copy of any agreement or court order related to the care of their child as soon as possible. This makes it easier for the school to support the family in following such agreements/orders. It is also very important that family contact details are kept up to date. This information will be shared with the student’s main teacher, and any other key staff, as considered necessary by the principal. All personal information is managed according to our Internal link icon Privacy policy.

When custody arrangements are unclear

If a parent or guardian has not given the school reasonable notice of a change in custody/care arrangements for their child, the school may choose to follow the arrangement already in place. If the school has concerns about a change, it will follow the steps outlined below in Contact Rights and the School.

We ask that if you have a current court order in place that it is given to Bronwyn in the office or, if there are specific shared care arrangements that we need to know about
please do let Bronwyn know so that she can update the school's student management system. Thank you to those families who consistently update their emails, address
and phone details.


Two of our student's scooters were left at school overnight. While we try very hard to lock them away if they are left behind, on this occassion our staff missed them and subsequently they have gone missing. Now, it might be a long shot however, I would like to share images of them in the hope that perhaps, you may know of anyone from our neighbourhood who may have "borrowed" these from our school. If you have any information about the scooter's whereabouts please contact the school office.


St Michael's School is serious about the care and protection of your children. We are reminding our community to practice good hygiene at school and at home. If a child is feeling unwell please do keep them at home.Our school is having hand sanitiser dispensers and tissues installed into every learning space this week. You can help us by teaching your children how to cover their mouths when they sneeze and cough and how to blow their nose independently, disposing of used tissues responsibly.


Week 5 Galilee News

- The senior students of St Michael's School would like to share what they have been learning in the classroom.  We are rapt that our green room and team of creative teachers is providing the students with opportunities to be creative and take charge of their learning.  Enjoy.

This term our big question is "How do cultures select, prepare, cook, and serve kai" To help learn the process of inquiry (research), we will be learning about hangi as a whole class.  Once the class has learnt the process, they will be selecting a culture to research and inquire relating to our big question. For example, they could learn about Mexican food or Tokelauan food. Wednesday April 1, we will be putting down a hangi at school.  As well as a hangi at school, we are planning to also take baskets down to Whakawerawera to the steam boxes, as well as a trip to Maketu to collect pipi (Tuesday 31 March via private transport).  We will be preparing this for the whole school. 

If you are able to donate pallets of wood, trays/baskets, sacks, stones, vegetables, or chicken please contact Matua Peri. 


Wed 4/3 Chess Practice in the Hall 1pm to 1.45pm -every Wednesday
Thurs 5/3 Class Mass for Ark departing school at 8.30am
Fri 6/3 Whole School Assembly at 2pm - Eden 7 children leading
Mon 9/3 PTA Meeting 5.30pm
Wed 11/3 Coffee and Cake - Parents meeting - staff room
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
Fri  20/3 Whole School Assembly at 2pm - Eden 6 children leading
Fri 20/3 PTA DiSCO 5.30 - 6.30pm
Wed 25/3 Cricket Training 9-11am Y4 upwards
Thurs 26/3 BOT Meeting 6pm - staffroom
Fri 27/3 Whole School Assembly at 2pm - The Ark children leading
Tues 31/2 Rice Day
Wed 8/4 Stations of the Cross Liturgy 11am to 11.45 led by Galilee
Thurs 9/4 Amazing Race / liturgy 9.15 / last day of Term 1

Special Catholic Character 

It was wonderful to see so many parents and children participate in our Pancake Breakfast last week on Shrove Tuesday.  The following day was Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. Many thanks to Deacon John who joined us for our liturgy in the hall and to the parents and grandparents who were able to join us. St Michael's teachers have asked for their children to become more involved in the preparation and delivery of our liturgies. You will see on our calendar of events that more liturgies are scheduled and we invite you to come along and share in the Good News as your children lead us in Faith.

Classes will be spending time working on our Caritas Unit which is done every year during this time.  The information that follows gives some information about the topic and special time of the church's liturgical year is taken directly from the introduction of the Caritas Unit.

Lent is the period of preparation for Easter – a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to those in need. During this time, we have an opportunity to draw nearer to God and be transformed by the Holy Spirit. The theme for Lent 2020 is Renewed by the Spirit. Pope Francis says, ’Let yourself be transformed. Let yourself be renewed by the Spirit… do not abandon the path of love but remain ever open to his supernatural grace, which purifies and enlightens.’ (Gaudete et Exsultate #24)

 Life is a journey, with mountains, valleys, and unexpected challenges. We all need time to be renewed and transformed. God is the ultimate source of truth and love. Through this season of Lent, let us reconcile with God and encounter the Spirit anew so that we can continue on the ‘path of love’.

As Pope Francis reminds us, ‘God wants to speak to the world by your life.’ (#24) Our own personal renewal should be the catalyst to bring further renewal in the lives of the people we meet. We can be the hands and feet of God, as his very ambassadors, on Earth through our words and actions.

Next week, we will be having a Mission team in our school on Thursday 12 March.  They will spend time with each class during the morning. They come from Wellington and are visiting different parishes in the North Island.  They will also be presenting talks for adults. Please feel welcome to attend their 90 minute talks on Tuesday 10th at 2.30 or 7pm (God), Wednesday 11th at 2.30 or 7pm (Jesus) or Thursday 12th at 2.30 or 7pm (Holy Spirit).  These will be at St Mary’s Church.

This week, the Ark children will be attending Mass on Thursday morning.  Please remember that the bus leaves soon after 8.30pm so that the children can be in time for when Mass starts at 9am. Children are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to share with the Parish Food bank.

Marion Brits (Director of Religious Studies)

Church News

Training for Altar Servers

Deacon John and Sheila Limrick will be training children who wish to become Altars Server for St Mary’s and St Michael’s. If you wish your child to become an Altar Server email Deacon John: A Parent is also required to be present during Altar Serving Training.


Our next Alpha beings this Tuesday the 3rd of March, this is a day-time Alpha Programme. To register, please fill out the

registration form in the back of both churches. For those who are able, I would encourage you all to consider doing Alpha or to invite family and friends to do it. It is a wonderful programme.  We will also be running an evening-time Alpha beginning in September. 

Catholics Returning Home

Besides Alpha and the Parish Mission, the Parish will be running another Catholics Returning Home Programme also beginning this Tuesday the 3rd March at 7.00 pm. Please take note of the advert in the newsletter, there is also an A5 information sheet in the back of both churches for interested persons, your family and friends.

As always everyone is invited to attend this refresher course in the Catholic faith. 



Friday February 28th –Leaders, Maori Community

Friday March 6th – Leaders, Youth Group

Friday March 13th – Leaders, C.W.L.

Friday March 20th – Leaders, St Vincent de Paul

Friday March 27th – Leaders, Filipino Community

Friday April 3rd – Leaders, John Paul College

Welcome to all parishioners.


Community News

Rotorua Motorcycle Club 2020 Interschool’s MX Challenge 20th & 21st March.  

A copy of the entry form and it can be entered online through .  Track is open for practice Wednesdays from 3pm and Sundays from 9am (outside these hours by negotiation only)

Track is open for practice Wednesdays from 3pm and Sundays from 9am (outside these hours by negotiation only)

Children’s Weekend - Te Mutunga Wiki Tamariki

A wonderful array of free family activities hosted in various venues around Rotorua over two fun-filled days.

Celebrating Children Around the World

Ngā Tamariki Huri I Te Ao

Sat 14 March, 10am – 3pm

Central Rotorua

Redwoods Children’s Day

Te Rā o Ngā Tamariki Ki Titokorangi
Sun 15 March, 1.30pm – 4.30pm
Redwood Forest, Long Mile Road
Link for more information

Kahukura Junior Rugby Registration Day

Kahukura JAB are holding their registration days for all current and new players who wish to play rugby this coming 2020 season at the Clubrooms on Pukuatua Street on the following dates and times:

Saturday 7th March 9am to 12 noon / Saturday 14th March 9am to 12 noon.  Registration fees are $40 per player; $35 per subsequent family member.  If you require any further information please contact Julian 021 810 005.  FREE mouthguards for players that attend muster!

Rotorua Youth Festival Saturday 14th March 

Time: 10am to 7.30pm held at Puketahero Park, Rotorua.  FREE! Featuring Fran Kora and Friends.  Sports: Rugby League; Maori games; Basketball; Carving and Weaving; Mau Rakau & Poi; LIve local music, Performances, Food Stalls and More


Sport News

Touch Results:

18th Feb: St Michael's Touch Stars played their first game 8 - 7 to Selwyn.   Congratulations to Hunter who was player of the day.

24th Feb: St Michael's All Stars won their game and Congratulations to Rani Patel and Matthew Selwyn who shared player of the day.

25th Feb: St Michael's Touch Stars played against St Mary's and congratulations to Ricoh Amotawa for player of the day.

Flippa Ball Results:

St Michael's Starfish won their game against Otonga Dolphins and Congratulations to Tamzyn Aitchison for player of the day.


Assembly Awards:  

Please join us for our whole school assembly every Friday from 2pm in the Mercy Hall.
Share our children's successes, pray with us and give thanks for our community

The Awards for Week 5 were

Principal Award:

Alex Wilson-Hill (The Ark) for being a great learner

Fruits of the Spirit Awards:

Galilee: Gianna Simon & Tamzyn Aitchison

Eden Rm6: Anthea Tran

Eden Rm7: Kahlil Madrid

The Ark: Eden Tucker

Duffy Book 'Caught being good award':

Amelia Knight (The Ark)

Roxanne Coker (Eden Rm6)

Luckyna Sang (Eden Rm7)

Jose Riosa and Matthew Selwyn (Galilee)

Posted: Mon 02 Mar 2020


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