School Newsletter 17th March 2020

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Principal's Desk

As-Salam-u-Alaikum, Kia ora and Talofa lava,

Firstly, Sunday marked the one year since the Christchurch mosque attacks.  I want to acknowledge the Christchurch Muslim community and the Muslim  communities in our region affected by this tragedy, my thoughts are with them. 

The situation with COVID-19 is entering uncharted territory and continues to evolve rapidly so I am writing to you today to assure you that as new information comes to light we will communicate with our families using all of our lines of communcation (Seesaw / School App and Facebook).  I want to ensure your students are able to continue learning should our school be closed for a period of time due to COVID 19. Yesterday, I sent out a special bulleting about Covid-19 which contained a link for parents to share their personal circustances should the nation's schools close. Thank you to those parents who have responded swiftly. 

I have been sent emails asking questions or making suggestions about how we improve our safe-guarding practices at school.  One such suggestion was that we prohibit the use of drinking fountains.  This has NOT been a recommendation from either the Minsitry of Health or the Ministry of Education however, should it help to make you feel safer then providing your child with their own water bottle is a simple and effective strategy in order for them to avoid the drinking fountains.

CURRICULUM - Religious Education

Due to the covid-19 outbreak principals have been asked to revise and review any EOTC trips re thinking risks to students.  Part of these considerations reaches to School Masses.  At this time I have asked for our trips to school Mass to be postponed. The reasoning behind this is that our Parish has a lot of visitors from around the country and abroad each weekend.  The Church is not cleaned from top to bottom each time and I feel that in order for us to err on the side of caution we will avoid travelling via bus to worship.  A heavier focus will be placed on ensuring liturgies in classrooms take place, prayer focus continues and that opportunities for families to pray and join in Faith formation is able to continue to take place at home. 

The Bishop has set new guidelines for keeping parishioners safe who are still attending Mass.  These are:

- Nobody will be receiving the host directly onto the tongue

- We will refrain from offering eachother the sign of peace

- Sharing a chalice to receive the blood of Christ will discontinue at this time

There has been an air of controversy over these Health and Safety changes and I encourage Catholics to remain compassionate to Bishop Steve's desire to keep everyone safe during this time of uncertainty.

Board of Trustees - impending by-election

Last Thursdsay the public was invited to attend a public Board Meeting to listen to the Board's intention to reduce the number of trustees at our school. Thank you to our community members who attended. I can confirm that the motion was passed and then moved confirming the change to our constitution from 5 parent reps and 4 proprietor reps to 4 parent reps and 3 proprietors reps. The board has two additional trustees that don't change and this is the staff elect representative and the Principal.

One submission from a parent was shared.  The Board considered the recommendation from our Bishop, the needs of our school community as well as the size.  The change in constitution has meant that we will be holding a by-election in order for parents to identify and select suitable representatives for them at a governance level.  At the meeting last week I had prepared specific statistics about our school highlighting the different groups of children who I believe are currently under represented at governance level.  This information is important if we are serious about maintaining diversity, inclusion and collaboration.  It may also help you to make a decision about who you would like to elect when the candidates are revealed to the public

I share these statistics with all of our families now. 

I have spent a lot of time analysing our attendance data, parent engagement data, the types of learners present in our school as well as their ethnicities, ages of parents and the socio economic makeup of St Michael’s School.  I sought the support from Ministry Advisors in order to make sense of what the data showed and have summarised my findings so far:
I have chosen to group the underrepresented groups of children according to highly specific features.
The groups of students who do not currently have adequate representation at a governance level are:
Low School Attendance and enagagement with early learning centres has a significant impact on student learning and achievement. The cohorts of students who are negatively over represented in this data are:
Year 3 students both boys and girls
Year 5 girls
Pasifika students (2 students in total)
Children who require adaptations, modifications or specific supports to access the curriculum due to mental, social, physical, behavioral or cognitive challenges. (We call this special education)
We have 49/127 students on our needs register. This represents a very high percentage of parents and caregivers who are affected by any board decision making in regards to special education and their financial commitment to fund or not to fund school initiatives. 
Children living with significant financial or resourcing hardship which includes children being raised by grandparents or extended family.
This was harder to measure however, by calculating the amount of families who have applied for a reduction of diocesan fees on the grounds of financial hardship and the information I have gathered from my pre enrolment interviews we currently have approximately 31/127 families who fall into this bracket.  Again, another high percentage of families requiring our careful consideration when changes are made at a governance level.
Asian, indian and pacific ethnicities comprises only 4% of our total roll however, do not currently have any representation at a governance level.
Our community can expect to receive more information about the by-election.  I encourage everyone to think about who they would like to nominate.  The process for this will also be made clear to everyone in time.  A reminder that a simple way you can engage and show support is to participate in the election process. 
We are at the start of Week 7 now and I'm sure that you have noticed how busy and successful your children are becoming in and around the classroom.  I acknowledge our entire teaching team for their commitment and compassion to building St Michael's School as a safe, happy and cooperative learning community. 
Have a lovely week,
Kristina Crouch
Tumuaki / Principal

School Calendar:

Tues 17/3 St Patrick's Day Celebrations -liturgy held  at 2pm
Thurs 19/3 Cricket training Y4 upwards 9am to 11am
Frid 20/3 Whole School Assembly 2pm lead by Eden 6
Mon 23/3 PTA AGM 6pm held in the school staffroom
Tue 24/3 Dental Caravan based at school for rest of the term
Wed 25/3 Cricket training Y4 upwards 9am to 11am
Thurs 26/3 Board of Trustees Meeting 6pm
Frid 27/3 Whole School Assembly 2pm lead by The Ark
Tues 31/3 Rice Day - Children bring NO lunch to school and a gold coin donation for Caritas (Missions)
Tues 7/4 Amazing Race  held 9.15am (date change due to clash with Cricket Training)
Wed 8/4 Stations of the Cross Liturgy 11am to 11.45 led y Galilee
Thurs 9/4 Cricket Training 9am to 11am - Last day of Term 1
Mon 28/4 Start of Term 2 - children back at School

Special Character

Another year has passed and it is time to celebrate St Patrick’s Day on Tuesday 17 March.  Children can dress up in green and it is a ‘free’ mufti day (no gold coin required).  However, the children have hopefully been busy doing little jobs at home to earn some pocket money to buy some cakes from the cake stall at morning tea.  I also hope that they have offered to help during the baking of any cakes and cookies.  Please drop off any baking in the staffroom on Tuesday morning.  The money raised will be going to Caritas.  Please try and avoid giving money in notes.  The food can be distributed more quickly if the children have coins that can be put directly into the money container.

For our new parents and families - we celebrate St Patrick’s Day because our school was started 62 years ago by a group of Irish Sisters of Mercy.  When our children leave our school - they talk about the memories they have of St Patrick’s Day.  It is a fun day but also one where we remember the importance of St Patrick.  He was a missionary who converted a whole country to Christianity.

Our senior students will be leading a liturgy about St Patrick in the afternoon.  Please feel welcome to come and support the Galilee students as they lead us in prayer and knowledge about God and St Patrick.

Many thanks to the Missionary team who spent the morning with us last Thursday.  They were full of love and enthusiasm for Jesus.  This team travels around the country doing small presentations to schools and our children made them feel welcome and responded with good manners and interest.


Parish Priest: Fr Eamon Kennedy


Secretary: Andrea Tuki/ Ph 073480289





Deacon John and Shelia 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 the Altar Serving Training.


MIHA MAORI - First Saturday of the month, 5pm Vigil Mass at St Michael’s.

TOKELAUAN COMMUNITY - Third Saturday of the month, 5pm Vigil Mass at St Michael’s.

FILIPINO COMMUNITY - Third Friday of the month, 6pm at St Michael’s.

INDIAN COMMUNITY - Fourth Friday of the month, 6pm at St Michael’s.

Rite II Reconciliation

Our Rite II Reconciliation this year for Lent is on Tuesday 31st March, 7.00 pm at St Mary’s. It is good to go to Confession at least once a year in preparation for Easter. There is also Confession five times a week, so there are plenty of opportunities to confess our sins. The beauty of Rite II, reminds us that our sins affect others and it is often moving to see people confessing their sins and being humble before the God of mercy and forgiveness. We are all in need of forgiveness, healing and peace. It is also important that the children who have made their first Holy Communion, have the opportunity to go to Confession and get into this important habit.  




Holy Thursday April 9th, 7pm

Good Friday April 10th, 3pm

Good Friday, Way of the Cross Leaving

St Mary’s 10am

Easter Vigil Saturday April 11th, 7pm

Easter Sunday April 12th, 10am & 5pm


Good Friday April 10th, 3pm

Easter Sunday April 12th, 8am



Health & Safety

Hand washing

Wash hands for 20 seconds. Dry hands for 20 seconds.

Steps for clean hands

  1. Wet your hands under clean running water. Use warm water if available.
  2. Put soap on your hands and wash for 20 seconds. Liquid soap is best.
  3. Rub hands together until the soap makes bubbles.
  4. Rub on both sides of both hands ...
  5. and in between fingers and thumbs ...
  6. and round and round both hands.
  7. Rinse all the soap off under clean running water. Use warm water if available.
  8. Dry your hands all over for 20 seconds. Using a paper towel is best (or, if at home, a clean dry towel).

Always wash and dry your hands ...


  • Eating or preparing food.


  • Sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose (or wiping children’s noses)
  • Gardening (or playing outside for children)
  • Having contact with animals
  • Going to the toilet or changing nappies
  • Looking after sick people.

Sport News

Touch: All Stars

We had two awesome games on the 3rd March.  Our first was against St Mary's which we won 4-2.  Our second game was against Waikite FC which is a very strong team. Although we lost 8-0 our team had great fun playing against Rangatahi  & Jack from Galilee who both play for Waikite.

The All Stars did themselves proud in both games.  Blake Hose & Arareina Phillips received players of the day although it was extremely hard to choose as all players gave it their all.  

Player of the day on the 11th March for the Stars was Nathaniel (The Ark)

Flippa Ball:

Congratulations to the following children for receiving player of the day: 3rd March - Tui Stokes-Kaukau; 10th March - Sammy Lyle

Winter Sports Registration

A letter went home a few weeks ago regarding our winter sports registration.  Our Senior Miniball Team is now full but not the other grades.  We are very short of players for Netball and Hockey so it would be great to get some more players.  All registration forms must be returned by the end of next week.  If we do not get sufficient names we cannot enter into these games played  for Netball / Hockey on Saturdays.  For further enquiries please see Tracey Goodrick either in Galilee or the school Library.  Spare registrations forms can be obtained from the school office.


Football Registrations are now open for the 2020 season.

This year we have the option for girls to play in an all-Girls Team.  They will play against other girl’s teams as well as mixed teams.  Girls also have the option to play mixed either at their current age or play a year below if preferred.

Games are played on Saturday mornings at Puarenga Park.

The grades are:

First Kicks Grades 5&6 (born 2014-2015) $45 per player 

Fun Footballers Grades 7-8 (born 2012-2013) $70 per player Mini Footballers Grades 9-12 (2008-2011) $70 per player

Please contact Whaea Leanne, Sports Coordinator if you have any queries. or 027 285 7579 


Click here to register

Enter your MyCOMET username and password and click Sign in 

If unsure of UN or PW click Forgot password/username / or if new to football click Sign up

You’ll need to complete your profile by updating your personal information in MyCOMET (completing all compulsory questions) prior to being able to register. Don’t forget to click SAVE to keep the changes!

Click on Register located in the left-hand menu In the search box labelled Choose Seller, start typing St Mary’s and then select St Mary’s Catholic School - Rotorua from the drop-down options

Select the appropriate registration item for by clicking on the green shopping cart button to the right

If a pop-up window appears, answer the questions in this window

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the green Proceed to checkout button once only

Tick the NZF T’s & C’s checkbox

Click the blue Finish button

Registration complete. You’ll get an email confirming your registration

Having trouble – click here for a detailed help guide, or email

Galilee News

This week one we have been reading about Whitebait and developing our reading skills. We contacted Devon Seafoods to explain our learning and that we were reading about whitebait. David and the team at Devon Seafoods kindly donated a bag of whitebait for us to prepare, cook, and serve whitebait fritters, which we tried for the first time!
Thank you David and Devon Seafoods for supporting our learning! Such a cool experience!

Jade Warner of Galilee, is raising funds to support people who live with a blood cancer or leukemia. Jade has a personal story, which inspired her to participate in the Shave for a Cure. Next Thursday, she will be heading to Reporoa College and alongside students from this school, she will shave her head.

Friday 27th, to support Jade, we will be having a hat day here at school. Students and staff are encouraged to wear a hat to school, crazier the better!

If you wish to donate to Jade's funds click on the link below:


Assembly Awards-

Held every Friday from 2pm in the Mercy Hall. - All Welcome

Fruits of the Spirit

6 March Awards


Year 6  Maddy Layne - for always helping others

Year 5  Trixan Mangalindan - for showing how to be a St Michael’s learner 

Eden -  Hansel Wesley - for always smiling and being joyful

E6  - Maia Hogarth- for being a helpful member of the class

The Ark -  Isaac Graham-Taiapa - displaying joy when you do the right thing in the class

Duffy Book 'Caught being good Awards:

6th March: Jordan Hingston (The Ark); Amy Wilmoth (Eden 6); Chin Auvae-Pio (Eden 7); Raina Patel & Ari Kelly (Galilee)

13th March: Esmee Brooks (The Ark); Maia Hogarth (Eden 6); Oscar Roper (Eden 7); Nikeo Edwardson & Shreshth Tyagi (Galilee)

Posted: Tue 17 Mar 2020


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