Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Tornadoes, power cuts and more....but the best art unveiling ever!

 Kia Ora Koutou!

What a heading to start off term 1 2023, but this is just what we have been navigating as a kura.  Delays and interuptions due to the weather patterns.  Our poor kura received damage to our walkway roof areas, our garden shed doors were ripped off and our playground shadesail had torn.  Thankfully no-one has been hurt and we keep all whanau in our prayers as they navigate through the damage, slips and power cuts with this weather pattern.

Anyhow, we are back in to the term with loads of fabulous learning going on.

The highlight has to be our whanau breakfast for our local curriculum artwork.

The stories and richness behind this mural makes my heart warm.  A summary as follows:

He waka eke noa - we are all in this together. We began early in the morning and gathered for our art unveiling prior to the sun rise. A massive thanks to our staff, tamariki, whanau, parish, board and community for supporting this project. Sylvie Currin our artist that designed and co-ordinated the stunning student art, Father Larry for karakia and blessing, and Bill Pomare for his mihi and board representation. We are so proud of this mahi. A summary of the art:
Part 1: Bishop Pompallier and his journey to Aotearoa NZ and sharing our Catholic Faith with the first Mass being held at Totara Point.
The four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The Mass and communion with the bread and wine.
Part 2: Catherine McAuley and the establishment of our Mercy charism school in 1958 with the key elements of sharing a cup of tea, walking in Jesus shoes and showing aroha to all.
Part 3: Aotearoa NZ with Motuti, and koru patterns. Kaitaia with the mountains, fish, ocean and links to plentiful kai. The Southern Cross stars.
Mary sitting proudly with Jesus.
At the top is our Mercy cross with the five main iwi within it.
So many rich elements to this piece of art.
Thank you for this special journey where we gathered such rich historical facts about how we were formed as a Catholic School and parish.
After the blessing our staff pulled together a delicious breakfast for us to finish our celebration together.
Very blessed 😇🙏

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Tight rope

Kia ora koutou

We have made it through to the end of term three!!  I am so proud of our staff and students.  Amongst ongoing illness and absenteeism, limited relievers, we have done it!  Our students continue to give me warm fluffies.

The highlight was Tai Media visiting our kura to promote school attendance.  We are sitting as one of the highest levels of attendance with average rates of 90-95% each day.  In this link you can hear what our tamariki say about school.  They simply love it, see the importance of learning and appreciate their interactions with us as a whanau together.  Whakawhanaungatanga in action!  It made me so happy to hear them speak without any prompting, it was simply from their hearts!

Check it out

Within the term we had cross country with many of our tamariki reaching the finals as top ten runners.  Again, a great chance to mix with other schools in Te Hiku.  Congratulations to them all.

Go and see the newsletter for snippets of our seniors sharing their local curriculum learning with their musuem feature too.

We are looking forward to refuelling our tanks this term break.  The heading of my spiel is tight rope.  The kura functions so well and relies on everyone covering each other in times of need.  When the rope is slack, we have resources and energy.  When the rope is tight, everyone is drawn to their maximum.  Yet again it is a village approach that makes such gains.  I thank our staff, students and you our whanau for the ongoing support.

Nga mihi nui

Kathryn Carey

Friday, July 8, 2022

 End of term two 2022

It is the last day of the term.  We have all of our staff at school for the first time in almost three weeks.  We have been hit with illness with staff and students and it has been a "trying" final four weeks to ensure we have an adult in front of every class.  Similar to climbing of a mountain, when you see the peak and struggle to the final crest, to then see another wave of hills in the midst and the peak is in fact further on.  I liken the analogy of climbing a mountain, to my role as Principal.  Hugely challenging yet so rewarding.  The hours of work at home and school to ensure that systems are in place for safety, opportunities are there for staff and students to feel a sense of struggle, accomplishment and reward, and to provide a space for top line education drives me forward.  I am surrounded by a wonderful team that excite me and encourage me to be the best that I can.

This week has been celebrating Tumuaki like myself in NZ.  There is a real push to bring attention to the role that Principal's are doing in our schools.  The hours are huge.  The stress can be overwhelming.  But I thrive on the challenge that my role provides and I love it!

When I look back over my 8 years of leading our school as Principal I feel a real sense of accomplishment.  The students faces, smiles, pride, joy, struggles and trials are all part of our day-to-day life.  Trying to ensure whanau feel a welcome part of our journey, strategically planning with the board and our key stakeholders while attempting to keep a balance in the work load for my staff is part of the juggle.  I appreciate being in a Catholic school, embraced by the prayers of our parish.  The partnership is an important part of who we are.

I am looking forward to the term break to rest and replenish.  I usually work right through, but I am exhausted.  The added pressure that covid has put on myself, my staff, our students, whanau and community is huge.  I know we will be OK, but right now rest is required.

I wish our entire community a fabulous term break.  I pray that we come back full of health, excitement and energy to continue with the great learning at PCS.  Thank you to those that continously provide support, awhi and care.  It is much appreciated.

God bless


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

 Term Two, 2022

It is already week three of the term and I have the privilege of being part of a learning group of Principals around NZ doing a book study of "Limitless mind" by Jo Boaler.  The first chapter unpacks the idea of having a fixed mindset and brain pathways.  My favourite term in the first chapter is "LIMITLESS POTENTIAL".  I love this!  Every student we have in our kura is one that has limitless potential.  We are all on a growth journey as part of our existence in life.  I am so excited to be part of this group to "fire up" our thinking to cause great positive change for our students.

Kathryn Carey

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Term One, 2022

 As we are nearing the end of the term it has been timely to reflect on how we are going at Pompallier Catholic School.  Term one has been full of challenges as we navigate through health and safety requirements of covid.  Constant changes to formalities and limiting adult interaction with our students.  To say it has been challenging is an understatement!

We have worn masks in our senior school the entire 11 weeks which has seen relatively low illness rates transfering between our students, which was our goal.  The last six weeks has seen us juggling staff isolation requirements, trying to keep everything ticking along for our learners!

I am so proud of our team.  We have had our Catholic Schools Office Review that was done remotely.  Check out our video to show the whanaungatanga at PCS.

This review consisted of sharing our planning, learning and documentation remotely.  Interviews were undertaken with staff, board, students, whanau and parish.  The passion from our community, awhi, aroha and whanaungatanga seeped from every area.

We have worked hard to promote the local curriculum learning so that our tamariki are able to recognise who we are, we we came from and be proud to be Catholic.

Since the review, as a school team we have worked together to support our tamariki and each other.  That is really what being Catholic is all about.

We soon head to the term break.  As a Principal, I cannot wait.  I am exhausted!  My team are exhausted.  However, we are looking forward to moving ahead to get into the deep learning that our tamariki thrive on at PCS.

God bless


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Beginning of the School Year 2022

 Kia Ora!

Well we are now in week 3 of term 1, 2022.  Our new "normal" is students and teachers wearing face masks in year 4 to 8.  Teachers wear masks with other adults who are only coming on site if it is essential due to "red" settings that we are working in with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.  My role as Principal is now attending to numerous updates and emails.  We have established safety systems throughout the school and the paperwork is hugely demanding.

I am so proud of our staff and students.  They work together to make it work for all of us.  As the covid cases are reaching near 1000 per day, it is now in the Far North and we brace ourselves.  We keep praying for the safety of all.  For peace.  For unity.  We pray for those on the front lines who are working hard to keep our hospitals and services open.  We pray for the essential workers that are cleaning, restocking, delivering and working hard in these times.

The learning that is happening in week 3 already is exciting in our kura.  Our focus of the 4 C's (communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking) is flowing throughout the classrooms.  Our tamariki are learning about our school charism of Mercy.  This is what we base our learning on, as a Catholic School we are proud to be there for others.  We are learning about manners being important, respect and helping those less fortunate.  Our new students are learning a variety of ways to pray.

Next week we have our Catholic Review and we are excited to share our kura with the Auckland Catholic Diocese.  It is a chance to review, celebrate and set new goals moving forward.  

Our roll is the highest it has been and our students are welcoming those who are new to our kura with aroha and manaakitanga.  This is what being a Principal is all about!  Diversity, challenge and aroha.  Looking forward to a year brimming with all of those things.

Below is a photo of our whakatau....we could only have essential is so different for all of us, but we made it work.  So great to welcome Whaea Cherie and our new tamariki to our kura.

Nga mihi nui

Kathryn Carey


Sunday, September 5, 2021

Pompallier Catholic School visuals

 I am so excited to share our visual connection.

Piper Harrison our talented student created this after gathering knowledge, inspiration, guidance and future focus from

- Staff, board members, students, whanau, parish and community.

Our Mercy Cross is the centre of the image, representing our school charism of Mercy.

Our values are depicted within.

The Maori design covers the iwi that are represented in our kura.

Care for God's creation is our focus as a kura.