Dear Families,

It is hard to believe that this newsletter finds us a mere three and a half weeks away from the end of our academic year. I cannot quite believe that the year is drawing to a close – I have said it before… time flies when you are having fun!

This coming Sunday is the end of the Church year as we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. The following Sunday sees the beginning of the season of Advent, a four week period where we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. It was wonderful to see so many of our school families at Mass last Sunday night as many of our children prepare to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. I know you will join me in praying for these children as they grow in their relationship with Christ.

Please click here for the readings for this Sundays Mass.

Education Review Office External Review

4 ERO reviewers from Hamilton and Napier participated in an external review of our school systems and processes over the course of this week. The process was open and transparent with all involved sharing in the positive process and engagement with the review team. The reviewers spoke with the Leadership Team, Teachers and Board of Trustees. They met with a group of Parents, our Student Council and spent time in classrooms observing and asking lots of questions. 

The feedback session on the final day of the review identified 5 key areas of strength, which ERO call ‘enablers’, promoting learning in our school. These were: our school culture and values, leadership, management and use of data, curriculum review and development, and strategic thinking. 

We are very pleased with the outcomes of the review and have benefited greatly from the discussions with the review team over the review process.

I wish to thank the parents who made themselves available on Wednesday morning of this week to meet with the review team and share about our school from a parent perspective.

I also wish to thank the entire OLSOS team: Our staff, Leadership Team and Board worked tirelessly in preparation for the review and engaged in the process with confidence and openness. Our students were their usual splendid selves and exemplified the strong values base under which we all operate. It was a pleasure to have the review team with us for the week.

The report will be prepared over the next couple of months and is likely to be ready to share at some point in the new school year.

Congratulations Room 4

On Monday of this week, Room 4 held their bake sale as part of their ‘action’ and ‘future focus’ inquiry in the second half of this year, raising money to provide a water filter for a Nepalese village. The class raised $500 which will go towards providing an incredible 6 water filters which is a wonderful effort. Thank you to Mrs Johnston for organising and to all the parents who provided baking and all the children who brought along money to enjoy the treats on offer.

Staffing update

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I can announce the appointment of our new Deputy Principal, Year 4 to 6 for 2020. Congratulations to Mrs Karen Noble Campbell for obtaining this position. Karen is acting in the Deputy Principal role currently and is fulfilling the role with excellence. We are currently advertising for a Senior Team Leader to replace Karen next year. I hope to be able to inform you of this appointment in our near future.

We also congratulate Mrs Joan Stevens who has won a Reading Recovery position at another local school in 2020. We are so happy and proud that she has obtained this position heading into 2020.

At this time I also wish to inform you that Mrs Angela Lim and Mrs Lorraine Duncan who have been teaching together in Room 3 this year will not be re-joining our team next year. We wish them all of God’s blessings as they embark on further adventures.

With just three and a half weeks to go until the end of the school year there are lots of activities on the go – This week our representatives at the HPPA Athletics Competition did us proud (see details later in this newsletter). Please take special note of the ‘events’ sheet which is published each Friday evening in our ‘Online News’ section of the website and emailed out to all families for important dates leading up to the end of this school year.

Wishing you all a very blessed, safe and happy fortnight ahead.

Ngā mihi nui
Louise Campbell


The Mission sisters were the first religious order to teach at ‘Star of the Sea’ parish school from 1904 – 1925. Over that time 20 mission sisters taught at the school. Euphraise Barbier, the founder of the order, showed us that growing in faith, influences how we can make a difference to ourselves and bring some joy to the lives of others. As a Catholic school, we are called to serve. Living out our Mission charism means reaching out to serve those in need. Next Friday, we will celebrate our annual Mission Day. This is a day that the children really look forward to. Children may wear mufti to school. The senior and middle team classes will organise a range of activities and food stalls for the Market Day to be run over the morning tea break. The tuck shop will be closed at morning tea and only open for lunch orders on this day.  Children are encouraged to bring money in small amounts i.e 20c 50c, $1 coins to purchase items at the stalls. Proceeds from the Market Day will go to support St Joesph’s Catholic Primary school in Rarotonga. St Joseph’s is the last remaining Catholic primary school in the islands and is in need of support. We are hoping to send some reading books to the school as well and are investigating ways to transport them there. If you are able to assist with shipping things to Rarotonga, please email me directly. [email protected]

Over 50 of our students are involved in the parish sacramental programme. Friday 27 November, 7pm, in the parish church, these students will celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation. Pope Francis once said, ‘To celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation means to be wrapped in a warm embrace.’ We pray that the students in the group will feel that loving embrace from God at this time.. Please keep them in your prayers.

The season of Advent begins Sunday 1 December. Advent is the season of waiting, of preparation. At this time of the year we experience a lot of waiting. We wait for warmer weather. We wait for the holidays. We wait for family time. Waiting is not something we are generally very good at today as many things, like texts, emails, tweets and of course facebook give us an instantaneous response. Gone are the days of waiting for a letter in the post to bring us news from family and friends. Waiting takes patience. Waiting takes time. When we wait we prepare ourselves, thinking about what is to come, often with great anticipation and expectation. 

There are many things we can do at home with our children during the Advent season.   

Things like …

  •  set up a nativity scene
  •  build a Jesse Tree
  •  organise an Advent Wreath
  •  make an Advent Calendar
  •  play Christmas Carols

… the list is endless.   Each one of these activities helps to build the anticipation and excitement of welcoming Jesus at Christmas time. 

Kia hari koa, ka uru tera wairua ki tena ki tena 

Be cheerful and happy, generating life in those around you

Prayer Intention:  We pray that during the Advent season we prepare to receive Jesus and share his love with all we meet.

Detta Fairweather



As part of our commitment to keep our students safe online, we are running a series of online safety surveys. Thank you to the two people who have so far completed it. It is so important that we get feedback from our community. 

If you attended our Community Dreaming Day in May, you will have come to our Internet Safety and Netsafe workshop. All of the information shared at that workshop can be found on our school website, under ‘Parent Information’, ‘E-Learning’, or here.

This is an opportunity for you to share your knowledge of our and your online safety, citizenship and wellbeing practices, as well as your own online challenges and experiences. 

Please complete the Parent Survey here.



On Friday 15th November.  Tony McClean Nepal Trust.

Today we are having a bake sale so that Room 4 can raise some money to buy a water filter for a family in Nepal.  It will give them fresh water for ten years. This is Tony McClean’s dream. I brought in banana muffins. After the bake sale I think I will feel really good.

Mia Yandell   –   Age 7

Room 4 raised $500.00 to donate towards water filters for the people in Nepal.  A massive thank you to our STAR community for supporting us.

Mrs Johnston    –    Room 4 Teacher




We were very proud of our students yesterday at the Interschool Athletics held at Lloyd Elsmore Park.  They competed, were supportive and were excellent at getting themselves to each event.  Their behaviour was excellent and they were a credit to us.  Thank you to Kendall Evans and Karen Noble-Campbell for the organisation and Ruth Holt, Audrey Maratas, Helen Penney, Marie Brooke and Kendall Evans for support on the day.


9 year old Boys  (70m)        :        Ryan Smeath      1st Place

9 year old Boys  (70m)        :        Liam Martin     3rd Place

9 year old Boys  (100m)      :      Ryan Smeath      2nd Place

9 year old Boys  (100m)     :      Keanu Milne     3rd Place

10 year old Girls  (70m)     :     Paige Beagley     2nd Place

10 year old Girls  (100m)     :     Paige Beagley      1st Place

10 years & over Girls  (800m)     :     Tayla Kay    1st Place


11 year old Girls  (70m)        :      Kiarna Makoare     2nd Place

11 year old Girls  (100m)     :      Kiarna Makoare     1st Place

High Jump

Boys 9 yrs & under   :      Drew Smal  –  1st Place

Boys 11 yrs   :       Cole Tomkies –  2nd Place

Softball Throw

Girls 8 yrs & under    :    Samantha Bongiovanni   –   1st Place

Boys 8 yrs & under    :    Varun Koripa   –   3rd Place

Boys 9 yrs & under    :   Zion Bidois  –  3rd Place

Girls 10 yrs  :  Alicia Cao  –  1st Place



Congratulations to Amelia McKenzie who trialled and was selected for the North Island Trans-Tasman Challenge team (managed by Athletics Auckland). The challenge is against the New South Wales team and it is being held at Mt Smart in January.  The challenge is open to all 10 and 11 year old athletes who are members of affiliated athletics clubs in the North Island. The top 25 triallists in each age group (10B, 10G, 11B, 11G) are selected for the team. It is a international representative team.  Amelia is not yet aware of the events she will be competing in but she trialled for long jump, high jump, shot put, 100m and 200m. She may also be in a relay/s.

Amelia, Paige Beagley and Kiarna Makoare have also been selected by Pakuranga Athletics Club to represent the club at the Counties-Manukau Relay Championship on Sunday week. Amelia has been selected for the 10G 4 x 100, 10G 4 x 200, 10G field (long jump) and mixed age 600m sprint relay. Paige the same except for 10G field (shot put) and mixed age 1000m sprint relay. Kiarna has been selected for the 11 Mixed Gender 4 x 100 and 11G field relay (shot put). Selection is based solely on performance (times, distances) at club nights. The main aim is to qualify the teams for the Auckland Relay Championships on 14/12 so we look forward to seeing how they go.



We are starting our end of year preparations in the Information Centre. 

Please ensure all books issued to your children are returned as soon as possible.

Overdue letters detailing replacement costs will be issued in the next few weeks for any outstanding books.



Instead of Summer Reading bags this year, our big summer promotion is the Super Smash Reading Challenge.

It is fantastic to see so many of our students have already signed up for this challenge and are even on the top 10 leaderboard of readers for the Auckland Aces and Auckland Hearts!!

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura (formerly NZ Book Council) has joined forces with New Zealand Cricket’s T20 summer tournament to get kids reading more books over the holidays.

The Super Smash Reading Challenge is a new interactive website. Primary and intermediate-aged children are invited to register for free and choose their local cricket team to ‘play’ for.

Players log the books they read over the summer, along with a star rating and short review. A leader board keeps track of the Super Smash teams as they move up and down the rankings accordingly.

Paper Plus gift cards are up for grabs every day of the T20 tournament. There are lots of other spot prizes on offer, including books and signed sports gear from NZC, along with double passes to games.




CASH BACK FOR THE YEAR   –   MONDAY 2 DECEMBER 2019  –  2 – 5 p.m.

You will receive the following: $15 for shirts, $15 for shorts/culottes, $15 for jumpers, $5 for P.E. shorts, $5 for P.E. shirts.

We are unable to accept any ‘old style’ uniforms or hats and socks for hygiene reasons.  As usual the clothes must be in good condition, washed and unstained.

The Uniform Shop will be open as usual FROM 8:15 – 8:45 am and 2:30 – 3:00 pm on THURSDAY 5 DECEMBER 2019.

 Kerri Hunt   –   Uniform Shop



Emergency Mobile Alerts are messages about emergencies sent by authorised emergency agencies to capable mobile phones. The alerts are designed to keep people safe and are broadcast to all capable phones from targeted cell towers. They can be targeted to areas affected by serious hazards and will only be sent when there is a serious threat to life, health or property, and, in some cases, for test purposes.

Since the system was launched in November 2017, a test has been held annually to ensure the Emergency Mobile Alert system works well.  The test allowS us to evaluate the system, cell towers and your phone’s ability to receive the alert.

The date for the test this year is Sunday 24 November, between 6pm and 7pm.

BUYING A HOUSE??     If you are organising a home loan with ASB Bank, please let them know you are a friend of Our Lady Star of the Sea School.  For each home loan over $250,000, ASB will donate $500 to our school.


KELLY SPORTS Christmas and Holiday Programmes

Book NOW for Christmas and Holiday Programmes   ….   Check our website for further information ….

PARENT HELP is a non-profit organisation that supports parents in New Zealand by operating a free parenting helpline for parents and caregivers. The helpline which has been running for  30 years provides personalised, practical support and strategies to parents and caregivers on a diverse range of parenting issues and challenges.   For more very help information visit