A Message From The Principal

Kia ora, Malo e Lelei, Talofa Lava, Kia Orana, Bula, Ni sabula, Mauri, Suosday, Sat Sri Akaal, Tajba Filghodu, Xin Chao, Ni Hao, Guten Tag, Mabuhay, Sawadee, Kumusta, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Maith, Sawubona, warm greetings to you all.


A special welcome to our new students and their families to St Mark’s.  Alexander Armstrong, Abigail Wu who have recently started at our school.


Please be advised that if you do unsubscribe from our newsletters, you will not receive any notifications if ever there was an emergency, ie. lockdown at the school. If you do unsubscribe accidently please resubscribe.

Swimming Rm 1,6,7,9,10,11Thursday 5th December – last day
Weetbix TryathalonWednesday 4th December
Junior LiturgyFriday 6th December – 11:15 – please be seated by 11:05am
Prize GivingMonday 9th December 7pm in the Parish Church
Junior Beach TripThursday 12th December
Last Day of Term & Leavers MassFriday 13th December 11:15 line up, Mass to start at 11:30 promptly.  Following Mass you make take your child/ren home at 12:30pm.  School will close at 1pm and the van will run at this time and there will be no bus running for bus children so please make alternative arrangements for them to be picked up at 12:30 or 1pm.
First Day of Term 1Thursday 30th January 2020 – full day
Uniform Shop OpeningThursday 30th January (9:15-10am)
Waitangi DayThursday 6th February
Teacher only dayFriday 7th February – School will be CLOSED
Beginning of School MassFriday 21st or 28th February – TBC
BOT MeetingTuesday 25th February


Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent.  You will have noticed a wreath at the front of the church that signifies the four Sundays leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ.  It is a period of joyful preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas (the Incarnation) and for his second coming.


Father God, We thank You and praise You for the miracle of Your Son’s birth.  Thank You for bringing great JOY to the whole world!  Thank You for giving us the assurance that because You came to us in the form of a human, we who believe in Jesus can know with absolute certainty that we’ll spend eternity with You.

We thank You, Lord, for our lives and we rejoice for each blessing we have received.  New life.  New love.  A home.  A job.  New opportunities.  Second chances.  And more.

We know, Lord, that You bring the sun and the moon and set the stars in motion.  You tell the ocean where to stop and the snow when to start.  And we thank You for the mighty gift of Your creation.

Thank You, Father, for our leaders of church faith (https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/) and our family who keep encouraging us when we are close to giving up.


Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the eternal life we can find in Him.  As we approach the holiday season, we are faced with yet another opportunity to pause in the midst of all the excitement, decorations, and commercialization, to consider again the origin of Christmas – the One whose birth we celebrate.  Let’s not forget the true meaning of why we celebrate during this time of year.  Celebrate the baby Jesus and trust Him as Savior today.


Please keep Latai Liuanga in your prayers.  Also prayers for Lucas Del Rosario’s family who have recently had a grandparent pass away.


A big thank you to everyone who attended my farewell Mass and or afternoon tea.  The Mass was beautifully planned by Beverley Dias with the RE team and others staff in support.   The children were very reverent and  took part in the Mass, either singing, reading and welcoming.  I was very proud to be the Principal of such a wonderful school.   I was humbled by the presentations, award and Papal blessing I received.  I was especially moved by the cloak that the children and staff made pieces of, and Victoria Fisher, (sewed the art pieces all together to make a beautiful Korowai/cloak).  It will take pride of place as an artwork in my lounge room and will be very treasured.   It was most memorable and was lovely to catch up with many of you, past and present pupils, families and parishioners who I have had the pleasure of being involved with over my 17 years.  As I reiterated in my speech, I am leaving our school (St Mark’s) in good stead.  I am passing the honour and responsibility of leading of a great school to Mrs Tracey Kopua and I hope she enjoys the teachers, support staff, students, Fr Sherwin/Fr Jude, parents and community as much as I have.

If anyone happened to take home any leftover food from the afternoon tea, I am missing a couple of sandwich plates, (including some antique ones) if they could please return them to the school office.


A big thank you to all staff, parents and families, PTFA, Board of Trustees and their respective leaders over 17 years who have supported me on my journey as the leader of St Mark’s School.  It has been an honour and a journey and I have certainly learnt something every day from a staff member or child.  It has been my privilege to lead such a wonderful school with the support of dedicated AP’s including:  Jenny McKenzie, Ngarita Leonard,  Cheryl Beattie and Trish Hodgson.  A big thank you to all the teachers and support staff whose hard work and dedication help keep our school at the cutting edge of education and running smoothly.  Also to the staff at SKIDS and to the Jubilee committee for all their hard work and support.

Thank you again to all those who have supported our school by mending and shelving books in the library, putting journals away and reading to and with children.  To those who have supported us by supervising groups or transported ie on camp, on trips and on sports days.  To those who have coached or managed sports teams over the years;  (this includes both teachers, staff and parents) and to all those who have supported us with prayer or kind words over the last 17 years.


The Government has recently introduced a new donations scheme which offered $150 per child to Decile 1-7 schools if a range of conditions are met.  However, the conditions included restrictions on many of the donations we currently ask the parents, eg your Board Family Donation and Development Goal.  After a detailed review of all effected income, it was clear the current donations we receive compared to the offer on the table from the government would not cover the gap in the budget.  As the government may change in the next term and there are still some areas that are unclear and, therefore, we have decided as a Board of Trustees that we will undertake a fresh review at this time next year after the initial uptake has shown whether in the long run it would be viable.   We thank you for your appreciation and understanding of the financial implications to the school.


Congratulations to our Basketball Team, St Mark’s Angels who are doing so well this term and winning many of their games.  Thank you to Cherry and Rummel Enricoso and to Dale Babaran for coaching and managing the team.



Mikhayla Townsend – 3rd = 9 and under girls 400m

Afa Taoa – 2nd – 11 year old boys 100m sprint

Age Races

Alvin Chiem – 1st – 8 year old boys 60m & 1st – 8 year old boys 100m

Ivan Stowers – 3rd – 8 year old boys 100m

Noah Hamilton – 3rd – 11 year old boys 60m

Akeshi Jayawardana – 2nd – 11 year old girls 60m & 2nd – 11 year old girls 100m


Please note that our prizegiving will be in our Parish Church this year.  All children will receive notification about what time to arrive as we would like everybody seated by 6:45pm.  Kapa Haka and Pasifika will need to come to school earlier and they will receive further instructions from their teachers.


If your child is going to be absent, please inform the office first thing in the morning either by texting us on 027 9630 100, giving your child’s name and reason for absence, filling in the absentee form on our website or phoning us on 576 5296.  If your child is taking extended leave, please fill in the ‘Extended Leave Application Form’.  This is available from the office or from our website.


This is a reminder that our overarching statement for our Values and expectations are that: We follow Jesus through our ABC’s and 3 R’s.

Attitude – we have an expectation that children will have a positive attitude and always try their best. Children will come to understand that a positive attitude will guarantee better performance and achievement in life.

Behaviour – that we like to see at St Mark’s self-management and includes self-discipline, good manners, displaying belief in God and belief in self.

Care – showing kindness and helpfulness and being compassionate towards others.

Respect for Self – wearing the uniform with pride, keeping themselves clean and tidy, setting goals and taking time to reflect against goals or feedback and feed forward.

Respect for Others – listening effectively to others points of view or ideas. Showing tolerance of those of different Religions or of different cultures and ways of being.

Respect for the Environment – Looking after you own and others property. Helping to keep their classes and school grounds and their homes clean and tidy. Being careful not to litter, damage trees or your surroundings.


If you have a child who will turn five in 2020 please come to the office and get an enrolment pack or let us know and we can send it home with their older sibling.  It is very helpful to know numbers for our class planning for 2020 so we would really appreciate to know if you have another children starting at St Mark’s in 2020.

If you have a student (not year 6 this year) who you know will be leaving St Mark’s at the end of the year, please let us know as this helps us to plan our classes for next year.  Thank you.


On Thursday 12th of December, the juniors will go to the beach for the day.  Please if you have not already, please return your child’s permission slip and their $4 towards the bus.  Thank you to those who have offered to help on the day.  We need all money and permission slips in by Friday 6th December.


It is your last chance to order a school magazine.  This year is a bigger edition as it is our Jubilee year, Art Exhibition and Mrs Rivers’ last year as Principal.  It has many other interesting events recorded over the year.  The cost is $25 per copy.  Please send money to the office by Tuesday 10th December.


Please remember to STOP at the new judder bar installed on the exit road and to also STOP at the exit onto Fortunes Road.  Please only TURN LEFT onto Fortunes Road.

A reminder: Please ensure that you collect your children promptly at the end of the school day. School finishes at 2:50pm. Any children still remaining at school at 3:10 will be sent to SKIDS. SKIDS will charge for their services for anyone who is there for more than 7 minutes.

Please be a considerate driver and STOP at the STOP sign at the village turn off to their main admin department.  Also remember that parking on the yellow lines is an offence and disrupts traffic flow.

GOOD NEWS/PB4L (Positive Behaviour for Learning)

We follow Jesus through showing a positive Attitude, Behaviour and Care and our 3 R’s.

We would like to congratulate the following students who have been recognised at assembly for respect of Self, Others or the Environment:

Our recent focus has been:  Keep classrooms, corridors and cloak bays tidy.

Respect for Others:   Videlle King, Beatrice Agudo, Jeffrey Gulanes, Maia Agudo, Sam Pienaar, Joshua Ernstzen, Those who joined the Children Special Mass, Leo Ryan, Fletcher Strevens, Ethan Tigley, Jiayi Chen, Valentina Wells, Sherene Rolle, Eva Gemmell, Makee Enricoso, Gaby Fernandes, Noah Hamilton, Justin Read, Angel Pallewatte, Jakob Yang, Amelia Tan, Ryan Massey, Camryn Davis, Siennah Andrews-Harvey, Ellay Peters, Edward Hicban, Mikhayla Townsend, Georgia Wilson

Respect for Self:  Gaby Fernandes, Cherise Didier’Serre, Fletcher O’Brien, Cooper Fisi’iahi, Sean Oliphant, Akeshi Jayawardana, Tyrell Schuster, Samantha Ubaldo, Lauren Anthony, Sophia Neems, Dinuk Jayatilaka, Shawn Santoso

Respect for the Environment:   Georgia Wilson, Lilly Massey, Cooper Fisi’iahi


Please note that EZ Lunch will not be starting back up with deliveries in 2020 until the 5th of February.

Please send your child to school with a healthy packed morning tea and lunch each day.  Create good healthy eating habits in your child.  Carrot sticks, yoghurt, sandwiches, wraps, sushi, dried fruit, hard boiled eggs, home savoury baking like bacon scrolls, cheese and vegemite scrolls, chopped up fruit, rice,  etc.  Please avoid packaging as we are a waste wise school.  Please also send only bottles of water to school.  No juice or soft drinks.


Get together with your child/ren and:

  • Take them to the beach, have fun in the water or go fishing or collect shells etc
  • Go to the park, swing, climb, jump, slide, play with a ball etc
  • On a wet day play board games, card games or do jigsaws
  • Grow seeds or sprouts and measure the growth each week
  • Go on a treasure hunt/make a map with clues and see who can get to the treasure first
  • Dance to music, sing and clap to favourite songs, make up dance sequences (can you copy each other?)
  • Take turns closing your eyes and describing how to get from the front gate to the kitchen, kitchen to the bedroom, from home to school.
  • Play memory games ie remembering things on a tray or a bench, card games such as ‘memory’, etc
  • Get them to recite their address and telephone numbers including your mobile number (this is great for health and safety – being lost in the mall or knowing how to contact you from school)
  • Do timed activities.  You can hold the watch and they can count how many times they can bounce a ball in one minute
  • Play guess and check games (use different shaped jars) – how many beans, buttons, pegs in the container?  This is great to help with estimation.
  • Making the biggest number you can using the licence on the car in front of you.  When travelling.
  • Make your own advertising pamphlet/cut out and source images to go on it.
  • Give a pretend amount of money to spend and get them to make the shopping list

Here’s a tip.  Talk and laugh with your child while you are doing these things together.  Use the language that works best for you ie use your home language if you are more comfortable with it, as at school we will teach them English.

Have a Happy and Holy Christmas and once again a big thank you to all of you who have been so supportive of our school and myself during the year.

Ka pai rawa!

Catherine Rivers – on behalf of all staff at St Mark’s Catholic School



A reminder to be considerate of other drivers and stick to the one way system in the carpark to ensure the safety of your child/our children. Please be considerate as others back into carparks or take their time to be careful in the way they are pulling in or out of parks. Displays of stress or anger does not help anyone. Please keep calm and exercise understanding.


Please pray for all sick people.  We also require a Pastoral Care parents group who are able to help out cooking meals, doing some errands etc when parents or children are very sick.  Please see our DRS Mrs Beverley Dias or the office if you are able to help in any way in times of need.


School starts at 8:50am every morning and finishes at 2:50pm each afternoon. The office will be open from 8:30am to 3:30pm each day. Children should arrive from 8:30 onwards and be ready in class by 8:50am. Please ensure your children are at school on time and collected on time. Also please ensure your child remembers to pack their lunchbox in their school bag. Thank you for your support.


G.I.F.T. Christmas Mass – Sunday 8th December 4pm at good Shepherd Church, Balmoral.  An invitation to all Catholics with disabilities, their families and support workers.  A light meal is provided after Mass in the G.I.F.T. Centre.  Everyone is most welcome. ph 629 0445

Vacancies:  Executive Assistant – General Manager.  The General Manager is looking for a highly capable and motivated Executive Assistant.  This is a part time position (32 hours per week) and we are seeking a talented person to provide a high level pro-active, quality and comprehensive executive assistant support to the General Manager and to provide support to key members of the Leadership Team.  The successful applicant will need to have proven executive assistant experience (3-4 years), have excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills, superior organisation, administration and time management skills and a high level of integrity, professionalism and confidentiality.  Please visit the Diocesan website www.aucklandcatholic.org.nz to view the full advert, position description and to apply for the role.

Advent Parish Rite II Reconciliation – For St Mark’s & Our Lady Star of the Sea.  At St Mark’s on Tuesday 10th December 7pm, at St Luke’s on Thursday 12th December 7pm

Altar Ministry and Singing – Christmas Carols and Midnight Mass.  St Mark’s Choir is looking for additional voices to take part in our Christmas Carols and Midnight Mass.  There will be three practices – 7:30pm on 3 & 10 December and 8pm on 17 December.  Please contact either Liz Bauld – 530 8523 or Neil Grant – 570 1713


We now have some new school ties available from the onsite school uniform shop or from the school office. They are $13 each.

New school uniform can be purchased from NZ Uniforms, Bishop Dunn Place, Botany South.

TERM DATES 2019/2020

Term 4 ends Friday 13th December

Term 1 for 2020 will start on Thursday 30th January at the usual time

Term 1 ends Thursday 9th April (Waitangi Day Thursday 6th February, Teacher only day Friday 7th February)

Term 2 – Tuesday 28th April – Friday 3rd July (ANZAC day observed Monday 27th April, Queens Birthday Monday 1st June)

Term 3 – Monday 20th July – Friday 25th September

Term 4 – Monday 12 October – Wednesday 16th December (Labour Day Monday 26th October)


A 3 bedroom home is required for rent by one of our families at St Mark’s in the price range of $450 to $550 per week.  If you are able to help or know of a place available please phone 027 341 9863.   A home in the vicinity of the school is needed.  Thank you.

Supporting Success in your School $500.00  –
If you’re a parent, staff member or a member of the school community and draw down a new ASB home loan of $250,000 or more, ASB will donate $500 to your chosen participating school.

Click here for information on supporting your school

“The Marian Centre, CATHOLIC KINDERGARTEN” – This Kindy is situated in the heart of the Eastern Region of the Diocese of Auckland. It opened in 1999, on St. Luke’s Day and it was blessed by our Bishop Patrick Dunn D.D. in the year 2000. The Marian Early Childhood Centre is an Apostolate of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland and it is located in Panmure beside St. Patrick’s Church. We cater to children from 2 to 5 years of age. The Centre operates Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

The Kindy was created for and has been faithfully serving, the young children in the Catholic parishes of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland in the East.. We are a Catholic Early Childhood Centre and we follow the Catholic Early Childhood Religious Education Curriculum Statement. Our programme is guided by the Catholic Liturgical Calendar and focuses on Catholic values and virtues. Please phone: 5705690 or visit Cyril at 19A Sunset View Road, Panmure.


Piano/Keyboard lessons are available after school. They are held in the Music Room by Mrs Ruth Leafberg on Mondays and Wednesdays. Lessons are from 2:50-3:20. Small classes of up to 6 students. Price is $8.50 per lesson. Phone Ruth on 576 7406 to enrol.

GUITAR LESSONS AFTER SCHOOL: Suitable for 6 years and older only. Would you like lessons with a music tutor with many years of teaching experience? You can enroll your child in guitar or ukulele lessons at St Mark’s School!

We deliver a fun varied and structured curriculum. Students learn songs in styles ranging from traditional to contemporary. For more information please contact Jordan Morrison on 021 132 7024 or at jordan.morrison@musiqhub.co.nz

Ezy Lunch – copy link below to view their menu – https://shop.tgcl.co.nz/shop/pdf/school/st_marks_catholic_school_pakuranga/Menu.pdf




Realistic Drawing Skills for Kids – Term 1 classes also now open for booking.  In St Mark’s Catholic School.  Enroll now for Wed or Thu classes.   Venue: St Marks Catholic School,  Point View School, Eastview Baptist Church.  Contact Lillibet 021 08349988,  www.artacademy.co.nz 





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