At St Mary’s Catholic School the New Zealand Curriculum (2007) sets the direction for teaching and learning in our school and guides the design of our own school curriculum. St Mary’s Catholic School provides an engaging learning programme informed by student need and interest and supported by a rigorous grounding in Literacy and Numeracy. 


Teaching and Learning

Teachers are continually involved in professional learning and there is a strong commitment to provide quality Catholic education for our tamariki. 

Teachers are willing to discuss a child’s progress, talk about any aspect of the programme or school organisational details at any point during the year. There also set talanoa (parent - teacher - student discussions) twice a year. Because teachers are fully occupied preparing for the teaching and learning for the day, we ask that parents contact teachers prior to 8.20 am, after 3pm or by making an appointment.

Learning programmes are based on The Key Competencies (Thinking – Managing Self – Relating to Others – Understanding Texts and Symbols – Participating and Contributing) and the Essential Learning Areas:

Digital Technology

Each classroom has a TV and several devices (chromebooks and i-pads). Senior classes have at least one device between 2.  The school has a Digital Technology Safety policy and all children and staff sign a digital citizenship agreement annually. Parents and children are asked to sign the Digital Technology Safety Agreement when the children start at our school.

Education Outside the Classroom

This is an important dimension which enhances our in-class programmes. Experiences outside the classrooms include such activities  as a biannual Year 7 - 8 Camp, sporting and musical trips, local walks and visits, education programmes at the museum, Art Gallery, Stardome, beach, zoo and farms. Wherever possible, all school excursions are directly related to current classroom programmes and, as such, arranged visits are not optional for children. Usually, the children travel by bus on these trips.

Mental Health Education
We are proud to be a Mitey school.  Mitey is an evidence based, school wide approach to teaching mental health education which is built around the NZ Curriculum and aligned to the Mental Health Education GuidelinesMitey targets NZ children from Years 1-8 to help them build the necessary and age appropriate skills, knowledge and understanding they need to nurture their own emotional wellbeing and those of others.  For further information visit 

Learning Support

We are proud of our robust assessment schedule and formative practices which inform us of progress and development of each and every child. Students requiring assistance are given it at the appropriate time and for as long as it is deemed necessary. We have many intervention programmes we use to meet the needs of our students, e.g. Quick 60, Lego Group, Making Words, Reading Recovery, Spring into Maths.