Thursday, 25 February 2021

1. Principal's News Term 1 Week 4 2020

Our Learning Inquiry - The Future Can be Determined By Exploring the Past

Our year 7s are tying in their learning inquiry at St Joseph's with their technology learning at St Kevin's.  They are going to be making a digital resource for storing history.  This will show historical events from our school and parish.  To prepare for this the year 7s are needing to do some social studies research.  They spent the morning at the parish centre researching in the parish archives.  They were fascinated by the information and pictures they found there.

Goal Setting - Parent/Teacher Interviews
Most of our families were able to make it to the goal setting interviews this week and the teachers really appreciated the opportunity to connect with you about your child's learning.  

Investigating Oamaru's History
We have two trips planned, one for the senior school on Wednesday 3rd March and the other for the junior school - date to be confirmed.

The trip will be divided into three groups doing each of the three parts of the trip - the Waitaki Museum - the Forrester Gallery - and the old precinct walking tour.  We need parent helps to come with us.  Please let your child's teacher know if you can help.  The trip will be a full day.

Swimming Sports
Our swimming sports are next Friday 5th March in the morning.  Please let Paula Brien know if you are available to be a parent help as we need lots of adults to help on the day please.

Touch Rugby
The touch season has started up again.  We are really pleased to have an intermediate team.  Well done to St Joseph's teams - you have had a strong start to the season and every child I've spoken to has been positive and excited about their games.

Congratulations Year 8s
Congratulations to the Year 8s who received their leadership badges at assembly last week.  We thank them for sharing their role plays about peer mediation and how they propose to help children positively sort out playground disputes.

From left to right: Sandrene (Guzman House Captain & Cultural Leader), Lilly (Technology Leader), Dorothy (Lima Cultural Leader & Librarian), Jack (Head Boy), Freya (Librarian), Stephanie (Librarian), Ivy-Belle (Head Girl Special Character), Mazvita (Siena House Captain), Kacymea (Head Girl & Siena Cultural Leader), Lachlan (Physical Activity Leader), Kenton (Siena House Captain , Tommy (Guzman House Captain & Physical Activity Leader).
Absent: Isaiah (Head Boy Special Character & Lima House Captain), Willow (Lima House Captain)

Please note: for the sake of the privacy and protection of children,

Our school policy states that we should only use first names in public media.   The media agreement on enrolment refers to first names only.  The newspaper likes to print surnames and I always run this by parents before publication.

We use the WITS system which means:
Walk away
Seek help

This is a way to help children on the playground or in the classroom deal with everyday issues or other children's actions or words which annoy them.  Some of our children are very good at walking away and ignoring things which means those things then usually don't blow into big things.  Most annoying behaviour stops when it's ignored.  If that doesn't happen then the Talk option means speaking to the person and saying you don't know like what they are doing and how it is affecting you and that you would like them to stop.  If none of that works then it's time to seek help from an adult.

A Message from the Diocesan Attendance Dues Office
‘Dear Whanau – You will receive in the mail this week your first invoice from the Attendance Dues Service. Along with this invoice is a letter explaining the new payment methods. The two options for payment in 2021 are either to set up a regular payment plan as per the amounts on the payments table included or to pay the full amount before the end of March. If you could please see to this in a timely manner that would be much appreciated. For families, that are having difficulty in meeting the ongoing costs, we would encourage you to make contact with either your school principal or Parish Priest, and not the Attendance Dues office directly.  – Kind Regards The Attendance Dues Service.

A Learning Provocation
Here is an example of one of the "learning provocations" we are using to start children questioning about our history and how we find out about, record and make sense of history.  It shows an old school tunic and a newspaper article about National Catholic Education Day from the 1996 newspaper.

Charlie is enjoying Hoiho's before school knitting class.

God Bless and Aroha
Lorraine Frances-Rees

2. Special Character Week 4 Term 1 2021

Special Character Focus

Commitment Mass: This Sunday 28th is Commitment Mass for our St Joseph and Parishioners children who will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. The Mass will be at the Basilica at 9:30am. We will reserve the seats up the front of the Church for the families. The children will make their commitment pledge during Mass. There will be a morning tea after Mass and Adrienne and I will introduce the children to their prayer partners.

Parents Meeting is Monday 1st and Monday 8th of March at 7:00pm at St Joseph's staffroom. We are looking forward to meeting you this Sunday and on the Mondays.

School Thursday Mass: Thank you to Year 4/5 Mrs Streat's class for the presentation of the gospel this week. 

Next week Mass will be presenting by Year 3 Miss Sollano's class.  

Faith Insights 

WEEK 4 22nd – 26th February (Violet)
1st Week of Lent
22nd Chair of St Peter
1st Week of Lent
22nd Chair of St Peter

Fiordland National Park - This week 117 years ago the first steps were taken to set aside nearly 1 million hectares of far western Southland and Otago as a national reserve and became New Zealand’s largest national park in 1952.

Let us take the time in Lent to thank God for our beautiful country and the foresight and courage of those who had the vision to preserve this land for all. Lets also pray for those who corrupt our land. Help them to see the error of their ways. Help us all to cherish this gift of God.

Pope Francis
We are to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.

Thank you/Malo 'Aupito
God Bless
Tua Misiloi Co DRS

3. School Notices - Week 4, Term 1 2021


Altar Servers

Saturday 27th February - no one from school    
Sunday 28th February - Lilly Kelcher

Birthday Greetings to:
Reynaldo Marasigan, Manaia Darling, Sephrin Staju, Annabel Gillan, Nehusita & Sesilia Hausia

We would love to know if your child has been involved in any sporting, cultural or musical events so we can celebrate their success.

Last weekend, Elias, Jasmine, Stirling and Willow competed at the South Island National Swimming competitions where they swam against the best in the South Island in their respective age groups.  Although they did not get any podium placings, they all achieved personal best times in all their events which is huge in an event like this. Well done to you all.

Football Sessions
Last week two members from Football Waitaki took skills sessions with each class for half an hour where they showed them the correct way to kick and control a ball using fun game techniques.

Home and School
We are urgently looking for more people to join our Home and School as a lot of active families moved on last year and have left a void. They are holding a meeting at 7.00 pm on Thursday 4th March at the Northstar for old and new members and if you wish to help out but cannot attend meetings, please contact Rebecca Heffernan on 027 432 4056 or leave your name at the office.  It is a great way to meet new families and help out the school at the same time with a social group of ladies. The whole school benefits from everyone helping out.

Hungry Horse
We still require helpers to help out at the cafe on Wednesday 10th and Sunday 28th March.  Please return the form that was sent out last week or contact the office.

Friday 26     - Yr 8 HPV forms due back to the office
                     - assembly at 2.30 pm
Sunday 28    - Hungry Horse Cafe
Monday 1     -  Parent Reconciliation meeting at 7.00 pm
Tuesday 2     -  last swimming lesson for Yr 4-8
Wednesday 3 - museum trip for the senior school
Friday 4        -  Senior school swimming sports

Lessons - next Tuesday is the last day for our swimming lessons in the afternoon and it is amazing to see the improvement in some of our children who were not so confident and are now displaying good water skills confidence. All children need to bring their swimming togs and towel.  A very big thank you to Noreen O'Neill, Gemma Presnall and Moana Ahotaeiloa who walked with classes to and from the pool.

Sports  for Yrs 4-8 - these are on next Friday 5th March at the Waitaki Aquatic Centre from 9.00 to 12.00 pm. A big thank you to the parents and St Kevin's students who have offered to help but we are still looking for another 4 adults to ensure the sports run smoothly.  A notice will be sent home early next week regarding the sports.

Please ensure the children have to be at school by 8.50 am sharp as they are walking down to the pool at that time.  Children cannot be dropped off at the pool beforehand as the teachers have to do their rolls and there is no-one to supervise them at the pool.

All children have been assessed at the pool by the instructors and put into races they are capable of doing.  Every child who is swimming in the big pool will have at least 2 races whether it is a demonstration, non-competitive or competitive race and all races will earn house points.  All children should have goggles.

A draft copy of the swimming programme will be put on the noticeboard and sent out to all families by Monday.

The draw will come out next Monday and it sounded like everyone has a good first game. Please pay your touch fees of $25.00 as soon as possible.

We welcome Joanna who will be teaching Mandarin this year each Wednesday from Years 3-8.  We are looking forward to learning Mandarin with Joanna.

Winter Sports Enrolments
An online winter sports enrolment form will be emailed to you either tomorrow or Monday if your child wishes to play a winter sport for St Joseph's.  A reminder that winter sports fees have to be paid up front before the children can be put into a team so it would be a good chance to set up an automatic payment to pay for the sports before the season starts.

Again we rely on the generosity of parents/older siblings to help coach our teams as we cannot enter teams into the different sports codes without coaches.

Some of our sports teams may be combined with another school if we are low in our numbers.  If you are wishing to coach a team, please put your name down on the form.

If you would like a hard copy of the winter sports enrolment form, please email Paula Brien on

Below please find a message from North Otago Junior Rugby regarding feedback in a survey. This survey is open to all people as to why they play or not play rugby.

We are after some feedback in regards to Junior Rugby in North Otago.

Please see below a brief survey with some basic questions.

We are wanting to make our game more accessible and easier to play for all kids.

If we could please get the link below put in your weekly newsletters for kids and parents to fill out that would be very much appreciated. Thank you North Otago Rugby

North Otago Junior Rugby Survey

The purpose of this survey is to look at what we can do as a Union to make Junior Rugby better in North Otago. We would also like to establish why there is a drop off in numbers between Rippa Rugby to Tackle Rugby and Primary School to High School.

4. Diary Dates - Week 4, Term 1 2021



Friday 26

Sunday 28


Monday 1

Tuesday 2

Wednesday 3

Thursday 4

Friday 5

Monday 8

Wednesday 10

Thursday 11

Friday 12

Sunday 14

Thursday 18

Friday 19

Monday 22

Tuesday 23

Wednesday 24

Thursday 25

Friday 26

Sunday 28

Tuesday 30


Thursday 1

Friday 2

Saturday 3

Sunday 4

Monday 5

Tuesday 6

Thursday 8

Friday 9

Saturday 10

Thursday 15

Friday 16


Monday 3

Yr 8 - HPV forms due back to the office 

Celebration Assembly at 2.30 pm 

Hungry Horse Cafe 

Parent Reconciliation Meeting 1 at 7.00 pm 

Senior Swimming Lessons from 1.00 pm 

Museum and Forrester Gallery trip for the senior school *

Home and School meeting at 7.00 pm *

School Parish Mass at 9.15 am

Senior School Swimming Sports in the morning 

Parent Reconciliation Meeting 2 at 7.00 pm 

Museum and Forrester Gallery trip for the junior school *

Hungry Horse Cafe 

Parish School Mass at 9.15 am 

Technology for Yr 7 & 8 at St Kevin’s College 

Reconciliation Mass at 9.30 am 

School Parish Mass at 9.15 am 

St Joseph’s Day 

Technology for Yr 7 & 8 at St Kevin’s College 

Otago Anniversary Day - school closed *

Board of Trustee meeting 

North Otago Swimming Sports 

Parish School Mass at 9.15 am 

Technology for Yr 7 & 8 at St Kevin’s College 

Hungry Horse Cafe 

Marae visit 

Parish School Mass at 9.15 am 

Good Friday - school closed 

Holy Saturday 

Easter Sunday 

Easter Monday - school closed 

Easter Tuesday - school closed 

Parish School Mass at 9.15 am 

Technology for Yr 7 & 8 at St Kevin’s College 

Otago Primary Schools swimming sports 

Parish School Mass at 9.15 am 

Technology for Yr 7 & 8 at St Kevin’s College 

Last day of term 1

First day of term 2 

Thursday, 18 February 2021

1. Principal's News Term 1 Week 3 2021


Yesterday we entered the season of Lent by celebrating Ash Wednesday.  The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are from the palms handed out on Palm Sunday of the previous year.  We were in Level 2 on Wednesday and so the ashes could not be put as crosses on our foreheads as they normally are.  

Last year on Palm Sunday we were in lockdown and instead of the usual palms we get at church, we had to make our own.  Many people put palm crosses on their letterboxes to indicate our remembrance of Palm Sunday and I remember feeling particularly satisfied I had managed to fashion crosses out of flax.  

Here are the children singing at the Ash Wednesday liturgy.

The next 40 days mark the season of Lent where we prepare to remember the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Traditionally in this period we do more prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  That means we turn our minds more to God, we maybe give something up or refrain from doing something and for almsgiving we give a little more to those who need a little more.  The children will be thinking of these things during Lent and it would be great if they could continue their conversations at home.

Goal Setting

Please remember to book your goal setting interview:

To book your time go to:
and use event code: cwrq7

You should receive a post from your child in the See Saw app before the end of the weekend.  This is how we are going to report to parents this year and the post will be the starting point in your conversation in goal setting interviews next week.

You will also be receiving a quick questionnaire about your child's learning to give us some background information to help us understand and help your child grow as an active learner.

Year 8 Leadership Camp

The year 8 leadership camp last week was a great success.  The year 8s were amazing - they were responsible, kind to each other and trustworthy.  We had some really in depth talks about things and they also had a lot of fun and enjoyed each other's company.  We did a special powhiri for the year 7s on Friday where the year 8s specifically requested how the year 7s could help them in their leadership roles.  Here is a clip from this ceremony.

This Friday's assembly starts at 2pm and is a special leadership assembly during which the year 8s receive their leadership badges.

Parish/School Community Mass and Get Together

We were blessed with good weather last Sunday for our parish/school community mass and get together.  There was a great turnout at mass and the church was full.  We enjoyed tea/coffee, muffins and a sausage sizzle back at school and many of the children took advantage of the water slide.  It was a laid-back and friendly occasion.  We really enjoyed it.  Thank you to Alliance at Smithfield in Timaru who supplied the sausages at a discount.

We look forward to catching up with you next week at goal setting interviews.

Aroha and God Bless,

Lorraine Frances-Rees

2. Special Character Week 3 Term 1 2021

Special Character Focus:

Religious Education: Our children will be learning about Communion of Saints in the next 4 weeks. Thank you to our Director for Religious Studies- Mrs Brookes for the guidance, providing resources and the collaborative discussion amongst teachers on the Theological Focus of teaching Communion of Saints to all levels.   

School and Family Mass- 
Thursday Mass
We thank you to our parishioners and parents who are continually supporting and praying for our children.
Celebrating mass is an opportunity for each child to serve and preach the word of God. Our children are proud of themselves every week either through singing, videoing and acting the gospel.
You are welcome to join us for mass at 9:15 am on Thursday in the Basilica. 

Thank you to Year 5/6 Mrs Thomas's class for the presentation of the gospel last week.
Next week Mass will be  presenting by Year 4/5 Mrs Streat's class.

Ash Wednesday Liturgy-Our children and staff celebrated Ash Wednesday Liturgy yesterday in the Hall. Thank you Fr Wayne. 

Faith Insights

WEEK 3 15th – 19th February (Green)
17th Ash Wednesday (Violet)

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent in preparation for Easter. It is also the start of the Caritas Lenten Program. The theme for Lent 2021 is “A New Way Forward” – taken from Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’. This theme reminds us that God provides everything we need to overcome obstacles and push through the walls of fear and uncertainty throughout our life’s journey.

Message from Pope Francis  - Lent: a time for renewing Faith, Hope and Love 
'Dear brothers and sisters, every moment of our lives is a time for believing, hoping and loving. The call to experience Lent as a journey of conversion, prayer and sharing of our goods, helps us – as communities and as individuals – to revive the faith that comes from the living Christ, the hope inspired by the breath of the Holy Spirit and the love flowing from the merciful heart of the Father.' 

Thank you/Malo 'Aupito
God Bless
Tua Misiloi Co DRS