News and Events

14 Jun

Junior Premier Debating

Congratulations to the Junior Premier debating team on their win in Round 5 of the Wellington Speaking Union Intercollegiate Debating Competition.  

Catherine Ramoo (Yr 9), Simone Lenora (Yr 9) and Samantha Samaniego (Yr 10) successfully negated the moot “That prime-time sports on television should give equal time to women’s and men’s sports”.  Affirming the moot was St Catherine’s College. Special thanks to Simone for stepping into the team at very short notice when we were one debater short.

The team has now completed the five preliminary round debates, winning 4 of the 5 debates.

Mrs Genevieve Herder

14 Jun

Rowing Success

Congratulations to Taylor Smith who won the Wellington Rowing Club’s most promising Novice school girl award.  This is in recognition of her outstanding season. She received her award from Joe Wight – a member of the club and a current member of the NZ rowing eight going to Rio.


Picture (Device Independent Bitmap) 1


Other nominations from SMC on the night were:

Most promising novice school girl:
Taylor Smith – winner
Claudia Pettett

Best school crew:
U16 Four (Taylor Smith, Lucy Golding, Jessie Drake, Meg Thompson, Rosie K (cox) who came 3rd in the B Final at Maadi

Most dedicated school rower:
Meg Thompson

Outstanding Devotion to rowing:
Miriam Lindsay


2 Jun

Cross Country

The College Sport Wellington Cross Country Championships were held at Trentham Memorial Park on Wednesday 1st June.

St Mary’s College was represented by a 6 person team in the Junior girls event which was 3km long. All competitors start together and try and gain the best finishing place possible.  The Year 9 team: Jess Jenkins, Lucy Ross, Kelsey Wilkinson, Georgia Ballentyne, Amelia Burley, Ella Faulkner.  Hannah Gordon ran in the Intermediate Girls’ 3km event  and Bayley ran the Senior Girls’s event which was 4km long and gained 6th place.

We are still awaiting the official results for our Year 9  six person team and the girl’s individual placings.

Bayley on the finish line

Bayley on the finish line

2 Jun

Board of Trustees

St Mary’s College had 4 nominations for the 5 elected Parent Representatives on the Board of Trustees,  therefore it is not necessary for an election to take place.

The new Board of Trustees will decide whether to co-opt any further members.

There was only one nomination for the Staff Representative on the Board of Trustees, so Mrs Genevieve Herder remains the Staff Representative for the next year.

The members of the new Board of Trustees are:

Stephen Corkill                 Parent Representative
Luana Penese                  Parent Representative
Mark Ross                        Parent Representative
Joyce Scanlan                  Parent Representative

Sister Natalie Murphy       Proprietor Representative
Kathy Sharpe                   Proprietor Representative

Mrs Catherine Ryan         Principal

Mrs Genevieve Herder     Staff Representative

Justine Lim-Ranola          Student Representative, until later in the year when the students have a vote on this position.

2 Jun

Year 9 & Year 10 Speech Competition

In the last week of term one, the English Department held both the Year 9 and Year 10 Speech Competitions. Two representatives from each form class were selected to perform their speeches in front of their peers in the school hall. The speakers were entertaining, enlightening and persuasive; the topic choices were carefully considered by the presenters and thoroughly engaged the appreciative audience.

The topics were original and varied ranging from gender roles and stereotypes to why chocolate is better than a boyfriend.

All the students who performed on the day should be extremely proud of themselves.

Congratulations to the winners for 2016:

Year 10

  1. Jessica Reiher (10CI)
  2. Samantha Samaniego (10MH)
  3. Melissa Ready (10KA)
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Melissa Ready, Jessica Reiher and Samantha Samaniego

Year 9

  1. Catherine Ramoo (9MY)
  2. Tukasi Paongo (9GB)
  3. Valini Vaka (9HG)

Alice Tinawi (Year 13 adjudicator), Valini Vaka, Catherine Ramoo, Tukasi Paongo and Kristen Fernandez (Year 13 MC)

31 May

World Triathlon Championships

Congratulations to Bayley Van de Coolwijk who has been selected as the number one qualifier in the girls 16-19 age group to represent New Zealand at the World Triathlon Championships in Cozumel, Mexico in September.  This is a very exciting and wonderful opportunity and we wish Bayley all the very best!


Bayley winning the qualifying race for the World Championships in Kinloch



31 May

Senior A Netball

Congratulations to the Senior A Netball team who won the College Sport Wellington Premier Netball Competition for the second year running.  They beat Wellington East Girls’ College 24-11 in the final.

SMC Netball

9 Jun
30 May

The Big Sing

Our two choirs, Schola and Prima have been working very hard this year in the lead up to the Big Sing. We are now in the final weeks of preparation, and it is exciting hearing the songs taking shape and the singers becoming more confident in their parts.

We will be performing in two sessions at the Big Sing, which is held at the Michael Fowler Centre, on Thursday June 9th.  Our first session is the recital session at 10.30am where each choir performs three songs.  The choir then performs one songs at the evening Gala concert with the schools from both the day time sessions.  It is a great celebration of choral music!  Tickets are available via the Ticketek website.


24 May

The Gift of O’Shea

What an amazing time we had at the recent O’Shea Shield competition, in the beautiful setting of Sacred Heart Girls’ College, New Plymouth, and its surrounds. This annual Catholic school competition brings together 17 secondary schools from the Wellington and Palmerston North dioceses and focuses on skills of Religious Questions, Debating, Public Speaking, Oratory and Scripture Reading, both in English and in Te Reo Māori. While I am delighted that St Mary’s gained a very creditable fourth place, with only a point separating each of the Colleges in the first band of place getters, my greatest delight was in witnessing the dignified, supportive team behaviour of our girls. Their delight in making new friends and appreciating the skills of the other competitors was such a credit to them. With these students also heavily committed to almost daily Stage Challenge practices, Sporting events and Debating rounds, their participation in the O’Shea is very commendable. Thanks must go to the dedicated teachers and to Sister de Porres  for their wonderful support and wisdom shared with the team. Roll on next year at St Bernard’s College in Wellington!

19 May

Language Option Survey

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

To ensure that we are meeting the diverse needs of our school community, we are reviewing the languages taught at St Mary’s College and would welcome some input from you and your daughters.  St Mary’s is a school which values languages and offers full year courses in Te Reo Māori, French, German and Japanese in Years 9 and 10.

At St Mary’s we currently teach Te Reo Māori.  This is because it is our indigenous language and one of the official languages of New Zealand.

French is spoken by over 200 million people and is fast-growing, particularly in Africa.  It is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.  Our exchange programme with the le Lycée Guez de Balzac in Angoulême has been running for eleven years.

Japanese is now a well-established subject.  Student numbers in junior Japanese classes have been increasing over the past three years and our students have the opportunity to participate in a biennial trip to our sister school in Matsuyama.

Our senior students of German have the opportunity to participate in exchanges and German is valuable in the fields of Science and Tourism.

We would like to be able to offer another language but we need to be realistic about this in terms of our roll and staffing allowance.  If there were sufficient demand for a particular language not already taught, there is a possibility that it could be considered for the 2017 year.  This would impact on an existing language.

To have an indication of our community’s opinions, we invite you to participate in our brief Language Survey through this link:  by FRIDAY 27 MAY 2016.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this Survey.

Susan Kano
HOD Languages