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“All children start their school careers with sparkling imaginations, fertile minds, and a willingness

to take risks with what they think.” – Sir Ken Robinson. 

Welcome back to another exciting year of learning. My first week at St Mark’s, Pakuranga has been simply amazing and I have been made to feel most welcome – thank you!.

I would like to formally acknowledge Mrs Beverley Dias-McAllum and Fr Sherwin for preparing our staff only retreat day on Tuesday 28th January when we learned more about St Mark and the rich history of our Parish school. This was a wonderful start to the school year and a gentle introduction to the staff team. Thank you Beverley and Sherwin!

I would also like to acknowledge the beautiful children of our school. My first day nerves were dispelled the moment I saw their gorgeous smiling faces and heard their exciting chatter as they reconnected with friends and school staff after the summer holidays.  I am very impressed by the way in which everyone at St Mark’s shows care and respect for one another. Good manners are certainly not extinct at our school and I sense our school is a safe and happy place to learn and grow. 

I feel especially blessed to be working alongside a dedicated and caring team of teachers and support staff who are being very gracious and patient with me as I transition to this new and exciting role.

Special thanks to all the amazing parents, friends and families of our school community. Your on-going loyalty and support of our school is greatly appreciated and I look forward to meeting more of you over the next few weeks. 

Being our school’s leader is indeed a privilege that commands great responsibility and care. My commitment to you all is to serve with love in the spirit of St Mark and Euphrasie Barbier. I look most forward to working in close partnership with you all to build upon and strengthen the strong foundations already firmly established. Together we will ‘seek to find’ thus ensuring our school continues to ‘provide the very best education within a Catholic environment’. 

Your companion in Christ



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EventDate & Time
Waitangi DayThursday 6th February
Teacher Only DayFriday 7th February SCHOOL IS CLOSED
PTFA MeetingThursday 13th February 7pm in staffroom ALL WELCOME
Michael Mangan ConcertFriday 14th February – all classes
Beginning of School MassFriday 21st February
Inter School Softball – Senior SchoolTuesday 25th February
Butterfly Creek Trip – Junior SchoolTuesday 25th February
Ash WednesdayWednesday 26th February – Service times TBC
Parent Teacher InterviewsWednesday 4th March 3:30-5:30pm
Parent Teacher InterviewsThursday 5th March 1:30 – 7pm


St Mark the Evangelist was a wonderful storyteller and is often depicted carrying his book of Gospels. As an evangelist, St Mark shared the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ through word and deed and he encouraged others to turn away from sin.

Being members of a Catholic faith community we are called to ‘evangelise’. At St Mark’s Catholic School we do this by remembering our ‘ABCs and 3Rs as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus’.


During the first few weeks of the new school term learners at St Mark’s School will be considering what RESPECT looks like, feels like and sounds like in different situations. We are immensely proud of the way our learners show care and respect for themselves, others and the environment. 

This week, our PB4L focus is:  

Show respect during prayer-time. 

Always use kind words and actions.

Show good manners.


Also prayers for Phoenix Naidu, Krishav Naidu and Grant Dumlao and their families who have recently had a grandparent pass away.



An especially warm St Mark’s Catholic School welcome to the families of our newest learners:  Alex, Ekueni, Keshiya, Estelle, Johan, Paige, George, Ava and Jaden.

We hope your children settle quickly to ‘BIG school’ and feel safe, happy and supported by our staff, students and wider school community.


We are pleased to introduce Ms Joselyn Laird. Joselyn is the new teacher of Room 2 this year. With extensive junior school experience in a number of different Catholic schools in the Auckland Diocese, we are blessed to have Joselyn join our team.


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.


Congratulations Bridie, Brooklyn and George for modelling the values of CARE and RESPECT by assisting new learners settle to school. Thank you for following in the footsteps of Jesus by being friendly and kind!


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.


We do have a few copies of the 2019 school magazine if you missed out last year.  2019 celebrated 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.  Magazines are available at the office.


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.


This term’s inquiry/topic focus is MINIBEASTS for the Year 1-3 learners and ADAPTABILITY for the Year 4-6 learners. We will be encouraging our learners to ask lots of curious questions about God’s wonderful creation.

Some of our BIG IDEAS questions are:

  • What features does a minibeast have to survive?
  • Why are minibeasts important?
  • How do people, animals and plants adapt to survive and thrive? 

In what ways do people adapt to life in the 21st century with the affordances of new and developing technologies?


The PTFA will be meeting on Thursday 13th February in the staffroom at 7pm. We encourage old and new members to come along to find out more and to meet informally with our new Principal, Tracey Kopua. The PTFA is more than a fundraising/ event planning group – the PTFA is a ‘family of faith’, connecting to support our school community in the spirit of fun and friendship. The PTFA needs you!


Partnership between school and home is important for learning success. The school has an open door policy and you are encouraged to make contact with your child’s classroom teacher in the first instance if you have any concerns and/or queries about any aspects of your child’s learning, safety or wellbeing at school. 

During Week 6, on Wednesday 4th March and Thursday 5th of March, we will have our first School/Whanau Interview sessions. We hope these initial meeting times will provide an opportunity for introductions and time to set some goals for the new school year together.

Booking information, through the SCHOOL INTERVIEWS portal, will be circulated next week.

Gentle ‘Back to School’ reminders

  • Water is the ONLY drink to be brought to school
  • Please ensure a nutritious lunch and snack for morning tea is packed – busy bodies need fuel!
  • No Hat – No Play – children without hats are to stay under the large shade canopy
  • Be on time for school every day – our learning starts with prayer at 8.45am
  • Please drive slowly and safely around the Parish grounds


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.


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


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)


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

Ezy Lunch – copy link below to view their menu –


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, 

BARADENE COLLEGE – OPEN EVENING will be held on Thursday 5 March, 2020 at 6.30 p.m.  We welcome all prospective parents and students to visit the College.  Entry at Gate 2 to the Auditorium.  Enrolments for Year 7, 2021 are presently being accepted and will close on Friday 13 March 2020 at 3.00pm.  A limited number of places in Year 9 will be available and applications will close on Friday 13 March 2020 at 3.00 pm.

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