NEWS FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Nǐ hǎo and tena koutou Parents/Caregivers,
Welcome to the final newsletter of Term 3 2020. Perhaps we need to reword the old adage ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ to ‘time flies when COVID interrupts your year!’
Parish News Under Level 2
It was wonderful to read Fr John’s latest email declaring that Sunday Mass is back this weekend following the usual timetable (Saturday 6.30 pm, Sunday 8.00 am, 9.30 am and 5.30 pm). With a request to email the office to indicate your preferred Mass time [email protected] and signing in with the QR code at the door as part of the attendance procedure. The resumption of Sunday Mass is a key way that we engage with our Faith as community.
I know you will join us in prayer for those children in our community awaiting the chance to make their Confirmation and First Holy Communion which has had to be rescheduled twice due to lockdown levels. We pray for them as they prepare for these two special Sacraments of Initiation which will now take place on the weekend of 16, 17 and 18th October. Bishop Michael Gielen will celebrate Confirmation on Friday 16th October at 7.00 pm with First Holy Communion celebrations across the Sunday Masses that weekend.
This Sunday is the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time. In Matthew’s Gospel, we hear the story of the father with two sons. One who, when asked to go to work in the vineyard says ‘no’ but thinks better of it and goes to do the work and the other who says ‘yes’ but doesn’t go. We can reflect on which son responded to the call of their father and in turn reflect on our response to the call to be followers of Jesus. We are challenged to ask ourselves whether our faith response is in word but not action, or visa versa. Either way, the message is clear; we are called on to respond to the call of our Father in both word and deed. Click here for this Sunday’s readings.
On Tuesday we celebrated Mercy Day with prayer liturgies held in class or with buddy classes and lots of great fun activities designed to reinforce the key messages of the Mercy Charism which forms part of the fabric of our school. Mercy Day is the day each year we remember the Mercy Sisters who worked in Our Lady Star of the Sea School and Orphanage as teachers and caregivers between 1925 and 1980. It is through their special Charism that we learn the importance of interacting with others with truth, justice and compassion in our hearts. The giving of hospitality in order to have others’ feel welcome, connected, and strong in relationship is the legacy that the Mercy Sisters left here at OLSOS, which can still be felt in our school today.
Chinese Language Week
This week we celebrated Chinese Language Week. You may have seen many children leaving school over the week clutching lanterns they have created as part of the celebration of the Chinses culture. Children have been learning how to make the sign of the cross in Mandarin this week as well as investigating and sharing elements of the Chinese culture.
Maori Language Week Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori
Last week we joined the nationwide celebration of Maori Language Week. Maori Language Week has been celebrated each year in New Zealand since 1975. The chosen theme for 2020 is again ‘Kia Kaha te Reo Māori’. ‘Kia Kaha’ is well understood in New Zealand English with its meaning of ‘be strong’. We often talk about languages as if they are people – talking about language health, strength, and revitalisation. So when we say ‘Kia Kaha te Reo Māori’ we’re saying – ‘Let’s make the Māori language strong’. It was great to hear the use of Te Reo in the classrooms with prayer and waiata shared widely throughout the school.
The Kahui Ako Principals were blessed to be able to visit Te Whare o Matarkiki in Uxbridge Rd on Friday of last week where we were privileged to have our local Whaea, Taini Drummond, share with us the journey of the Tainui Waka approximately 800 years ago. It left Tahiti, landing first in the Bay of Plenty then it traveled up the Coromandel Peninsula, into the Firth of Thames, and then entered the Waitemata Harbour, stopping at Cockle Bay before moving on and being dragged through the Portage at Otahuhu and out through the Manukau Heads to travel south along the West coast of the North Island and eventually settling in the Kawhia Harbour. Listening to the stories, where the waka landed and left behind ballast and anchor stones which are still in evidence today, planting and harvesting at the places they stopped across seasons filled us all with an understanding of the skill and resourcefulness of our Maori forebears. Our six Kahui Ako schools are looking forward to the prospect of further engaging with Taini so that our children can come to know the stories of the Tainui Waka and the important role of Maori in our local history. I was thrilled to observe our Kapa Haka group practicing together as they prepare to perform at our Kahui Ako Kapa Haka Festival which is coming up on October 22nd at 6.00 pm in the Sancta Maria College auditorium. Our Kapa Haka group is looking so good, it will be a wonderful celebration and honouring of Maori culture, so I encourage you all to pick up a ticket from our school office and enjoy a great night.
Sir Peter Blake Award Recipient 2020
At this time each year we present the Sir Peter Blake Award students who have been selected from the applications submitted. This year Leona Yao was presented with the award at our virtual assembly today. The award identifies her leadership qualities in action, particularly the way she supports and assists others. She is a forward-thinking problem solver as one of our technology leaders. When faced with a challenge she remains calm and cool. Leona notices moments when she can be helpful and is always willing to lend a hand in class and around the school. She is polite and well mannered and presents herself with pride. She managers both her time and her own behaviours and actions. She lives out our school vision of living, learning and serving with Jesus as our guide and is a great example of our values in action. Congratulations Leona!
Information Centre Stick Puppet Challenge
Congratulations to those children who were picked out of the hat as winners in the Stick Puppet Challenge at today’s virtual assembly. Millie Berry, Leona Yao, Gabriella Clifford, Phoenix Lubich, and Gianna Corderio. Read more and see photos in the Information Centre section of this newsletter.
Mid Year Reporting Process Parent Survey Outcomes
Thank you to the 141 families who contributed to the survey we sent out seeking your feedback on our mid year reporting process this year. Pleasingly, overall, 87% of respondents found the reporting cycle valuable. See the full results here. Mid Year Reporting – Parent Voice summary
Your voice has been heard, and we will continue building on the strengths of this reporting cycle as we move into end of year reporting and into our next year’s reporting cycle. Thank you once again for your feedback.
As we move into our school holiday period, I wish you all of Gods blessings for a well deserved rest. Our children (and families) have had a challenging year so far with Covid and they all deserve some R & R, as do our wonderful staff who continue to impress with their energy, commitment, and desire for the best outcomes, spiritually, academically, and emotionally for our learners. I know you will join me in thanking them all sincerely for all of their hard work.
Rest well and we look forward to the possibility of a further shift in lockdown levels which may occur over the holiday break.
Ngā mihi nui and cǐ zhì jìng lǐ,
FROM THE DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES
Due to the interruptions from COVID 19 many things we usually do have had to be cancelled or postponed. The students involved in the Sacramental Programme this year are still awaiting the opportunity to gather, celebrate and receive the sacraments. The new programme which would generally be open for enrolments at this time, has been pushed back to 2021. This is the same for the Baptism programme and Altar Server training. With so much disruption in our lives, the constancy of God’s presence in our lives is a true blessing.
Me mahi tahi te rangimarie me te aroha
Try to meet all with peace and love
Each year we celebrate Mercy Day, making links to our Mercy Charism. We remember how Catherine McAuley opened the House of Mercy in Ireland and dedicated it to Our Lady of Mercy. The Mercy Sisters in New Zealand continue to devote their time in service of those in need within our community and the care of our common home.
Next term, we hope to gather as a school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the month of October to share a decade of the Rosary together. Children are encouraged to bring their own set of Rosary beads to use during prayer time. If your child does not have their own set of Rosary beads, towards the end of the newsletter you will see a note from one of our parishioners who is currently selling them.
The Rosary is a simple prayer, a prayer we say together with Our Lady.
It tells the story of Jesus’ life in four parts:
The Joyful Mysteries focus on Jesus’ birth and early life;
The Sorrowful Mysteries focus on His suffering and death;
The Glorious Mysteries focus on Jesus’ resurrection;
The Luminous Mysteries focus on His ministry here on earth.
Many Catholics have memories of saying the Rosary as a family during their childhood. Gifting children with memories of family prayer time is a beautiful thing. Encourage your child to lead your family prayer time at home.
Prayer Intention: We pray for the strength to guide our children in faith and hope through these challenging times.
Deputy Principal / Director of Religious Studies
A MESSAGE FROM THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF AUCKLAND
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE DUES COVID-19
Financial assistance is available to assist families who may need financial support as a result of the Covid-19 Virus with the payment of 2020 Attendance Dues for students attending Catholic schools in Auckland Diocese, both primary and secondary.
Families facing financial difficulties can contact their school office, their Parish Priest or the Revenue Manager on 09-360-3069 at the Catholic Diocese of Auckland for further information.
Application forms for this assistance are available from school and parish offices, or can be down-loaded from the Catholic Diocese of Auckland Website: https://www.aucklandcatholic.org.nz/catholic-schools/covid-19-attendance-dues-assistance/
NEWS FROM THE CLASSROOM
Art by Room 20 inspired by Japanese artist Hokusai. These prints were created without seeing his work but listening to a description of his famous work ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’.
This week, Room 12 worked hard on decorating Koru art to celebrate Maori Language Week. Because Koru symbolises growth and peace, we also prayed for all children’s growth and peace.
NEWS FROM OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
South East Christian Kāhui Ako Kapa Haka Festival
Our school is very fortunate to be part of the South East Christian Kāhui Ako Kapa Haka Festival, which will be held on Thursday 22nd October at Sancta Maria College.
NEWS FROM THE INFORMATION CENTRE
It has been such a pleasure to finish the term with a fun competition. Lots of children took up the challenge of transforming a stick puppet into a book character and we are amazed at their amazing art and craft skills. The creator of every entry went into the draw to win a prize and these were given out at assembly today.
Well done to everyone who entered!
All children are to be in full summer uniform by Week 3 Term 4. Over the holidays this would be a good time to see whether your child needs to replace items of their uniform and if so order through our website link https://www.starofthesea.school.nz/school-uniform/
During Level 2 we are doing online uniform orders only however when returning to Level 1 the uniform shop will be open to community on Thursdays as normal. If you are requiring uniform please fill out the form on our website https://www.starofthesea.school.nz/school-uniform/ to request specific uniform items. Payment enclosed must be cash or cheque. Eftpos is available at the office. Payments online can be made to ASB: 12-3132-0058312-00. Please clearly reference “uniform” and “student name”. Your order will be delivered to your child’s class on Thursday afternoon’s.
HEADS HELD HIGH (programme held during school hours Term 4)
We are continuing to run our Heads Held High Programme at the school in Term 4. This is held during school hours and if you wish your child to be involved please visit the website https://www.headheldhigh.co.nz/enrol-for-head-held-high/
AFTER SCHOOL TUTOR CLASSES TERM 4 2020
COMMUNITY NEWS (click flyers to enlarge)
JUNIOR NETBALL – HOWICK PAKURANGA NETBALL CENTRE (Lloyd Elsmore)
If you are looking for an opportunity to get into some sport after the short winter seasons, boys and girls get yourselves together in a team, choose a name, decide on a teeshirt colour and register your team. https://www.sporty.co.nz/viewform/136878
Junior Summer League Registrations – Teams (2020)
ALONE AGAIN? Widowed, Separated or Divorced? The Beginning Experience is a non-profit organization with the motto a “Weekend Away for a Lifetime of Change” for adults. The retreat will help you work through your painful loss. The participants find new hope, increased emotional health and renewed energy. Date Friday evening to Sunday afternoon 6 – 8 November. Cost $350 or early bird price of $325 if paid by 25 Sept. Includes accommodation, meals and materials. Contact Kelly 027-686-4416 or Bev (09)298-9943 & 027-248-1631 www.beginningexperience.org.nz