Thursday, 30 October 2014

1. Principal News Week 3 Term 4

National Anthem
We were very proud of Kelsey, Trish, Joel and Seth who sang the National Anthem live on Sky TV for the North Otago rugby final on Sunday. Thanks to Mrs Brookes for coordinating this and to the children's families for supporting them to be there during the long weekend. I have had many positive comments about their singing including one from the Principal of Balclutha school - Paddy Ford. He said that he was very impressed with the children singing and that they were a credit to the school. You can access a video of them singing on the school Facebook page or go to this YouTube link.

Junior Funky Day out
The junior school classes had an exciting day out last Friday. They visited the Waitaki Resource Centre and the Community Gardens as part of their learning inquiry for this term, then they returned to play outdoor games. Thanks to Miss Huls and Mrs Souness for coordinating this day out and thanks also to all of the parent helpers who helped to make the day a huge success. You can see more photos further down on our news blog.

Year 8 Camp
I'm looking forward to joining our Year 8's on their tramp at Mt Somers next week. Thank you Mr Moore for all your camp preparation and to the helpers who will be joining us. Mr Paul Cartlidge will be coming with us as well. Mrs Bridget Mackenzie will be in Pohutukawa class on Monday and then Mrs Asi will be with the Year 5's for the rest of the week while Mr Cartlidge is away. Our Deputy Principal Mrs Frances- Rees will be your point of contact while I am away for the week. You can contact her via email

Myross Bush School
Last Thursday I visited Myross Bush school and found it so worthwhile that some of our staff members will be visiting the school tomorrow. If you are interested in learning about my visit, you can read about it on my blog at this link.

Board News
We would like to officially welcome Claire Cameron to our St Joseph's Board of Trustees. Claire will join the Strategy sub committee and help contribute towards planning the future direction of our school.
We would also like to thank Sharni Cunningham for offering to be the Deputy Board Chairperson. Sharni will be available to support our Chairperson Tua Misiloi and to officiate when Tua is unavailable.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to our wonderful Board of Trustees who help me to feel supported in my role as Principal. We are fortunate to have such an inspiring and committed team of trustees who show us how to 'Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith'.

2. Special Character News Week 3 Term 4

The Feasts Of All Saints and All Souls

Saturday 1st November is All Saints Day and Sunday 2nd November is the Feast of All Souls.  Many of our saints are recognised for their acts of holiness but there are many other people who have died and gone to heaven whose deeds are not publically known.  A saint is someone in life who is so close to God and so completely doing God’s will that when they die they are completely ready to be in God’s presence, a state we call heaven.  On the feast of All Saints, we celebrate the lives of all of those saints that we do and do not know about.  On the Feast of All Souls the next day we recognise the souls in purgatory - those are the departed and who are still on their journey to heaven. 

from: www/
The stories of the saints are stories of remarkable lives and very good for children to read and discuss.  In particular, children love to hear the story of their namesake saint.  If they do not have a saint name they could read about their confirmation saint, or another saint that has a special significance for the family.
Mary is our foremost saint because she was the one who said “yes” to God without any hesitation and because she exemplified submission to God’s will in every aspect of her life as well as being the person who nurtured and cared for God on earth in the humanity of Jesus.  She was also a strong and deep-thinking woman of her own time and there’s lots of evidence of this in the Bible.  She is a remarkable role model to any young girl.  A remarkable male saint is St Joseph, our own school patron, who also nurtured the young Jesus and completely submitted to God’s will.

3. School Notices - Week 3, Term 4

(a)  Altar Servers
Saturday 1st November - Ben Cullimore, Lachlan Brookes, Elizabeth and Nicholas Plieger
Sunday 2nd November - Abbey Mabon, Emily Hayman, Tia Hunter and Tess McAtamney

(b)  Birthday Greetings to:
Tristan Serrano, Riley McKeown, Mekeisha Hurley, Paolo Mordeno, John Orillo and Aedrick Perez

(c)  School Photos
The school photos were sent home yesterday and if you would like to order a photo, please hand in your order form and money to the school office by next Friday 7th November.

(d)  Home & School Reminders
  • The raffles are selling well - please remember that they are due back to the school office by Monday 10th November.
  • We still need helpers to sell the raffle tickets - please sign up on the roster at the office.
  • Cake Stall - we will be sending trays home on Monday 10th November.  Information will come home with the tray.  We hope that you all support the stall.
(e)  Children's Liturgy
We are looking for leaders to support our Children's Liturgy ministry within the parish.  If you would like to be involved in any way, please contact Jocelyn Marsh on 027 552 2756.

(f)  Parish Welcome
It was with great joy that our parish family along with his Tongan whanau, welcomed Manu Hausia (dad to Eleni and Lisiate) into the catholic faith on Monday.

(g)  Community Notices - please check the notice board for full details
  • Kakanui Garden Tour - Sunday 9th November from 1.00 to 5.00 pm.  Visit 6 gardens around Kakanui and the cost is $15.00 per person which includes afternoon tea.  Tickets available from Kakanui School.
  • Free Classes in the Park - every Monday night in November at Orana Park for fun and fitness to music.  Starts at 6.00 pm and goes for an hour and everyone of all ages is welcome.  Starts Monday 3rd November.
  • Oamaru Victorian Fete - Sunday 16th November - young stall holders (school age) wanted to sell wares amongst the crowd with a basket.  Email for further information.
  • Worried about your child's reading and spelling?  accelerate their reading age by up to 12 months within 7 weeks.  See massive improvement from daily 15 minute lessons.  Proven results with dyslexia.  Call for a free trial on 0800 777 225 or email

4. Welcome - Week

We warmly welcome Shakyla Meikle who started school this week to Ruma Koru.

5. Junior School Funky Junky Day

Last week the junior school went on a Funky Junky day to the Waitaki Resource Centre and Community Gardens.  Here is a glimpse of what they got up too.

6. Summer Sports Draw - Week 4

Cricket - Friday 31st October
Kiwi Cricket - starts tomorrow at Centennial Park at 4.00 pm.  This is for anyone that has signed up for the 'Have a Go' and any other 4-8 yrs wishing to take part.

Cricket - Saturday 1st November
4th Grade - St Joseph's v Albion Black at St Kevin's 1

Hockey - Monday 3rd November
St Joseph's v Mighty Mixes at 4.30 pm

Touch Rugby - Tuesday 4th November
The draw was unavailable at the time the 'Pulse' was printed.  Please check the notice board or go to the North Otago Touch Rugby website on (click the link) for the draw.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

1. Principal News - Week 2, Term 2

Bee Presentation
Last Friday I attended a well researched and professional presentation in our Year 5 Pohutukawa class. The children had written to the mayor (who joined us) about their concerns for the plight of bees across the world, in particular in North Otago. You can learn more about their bee inquiry by going to their class blog. Well done and thank you to Mr Cartlidge and all of the Year 5's for sharing your deep bee learning with us all on Friday.

Pasifika Fono
Last night we held our termly Pasifika meeting and had excellent attendance from our families. Tua Misiloi led the meeting and thanked everyone for their support and contribution to the performances of the cultural group and to learning for their children.
During the school holidays, Tua, Mrs Plieger and I were interviewed by a researcher from Canterbury University about the way we work together at St Joseph's and said that we need to share our model of working with other schools.
Tua and I have been invited to give a presentation at Canterbury University and we are looking forward to sharing our learning with others.
Mrs Plieger is the hardworking secretary of our Pasifika cluster group across North Otago. We meet once a term with representatives from a range of schools across North Otago including: Fenwick, Pembroke, Oamaru Intermediate, Waitaki Boys, Waitaki Girls, St Kevin's, Oamaru North School and St Joseph's. Thanks Mrs Plieger for all of your hard work.

Camp Meetings
This is the time of the year when our senior students are preparing for camps and outdoor activities. I am joining the Year 8 camp this year and have been tramping around Oamaru with Mr Moore and the Year 8's. We are fortunate to have the support of experienced trampers like Dennis Brown and Paul Macaulay who help and support these camps. Paul was at a parent helper meeting last night and Dennis was at a parent meeting last week. I am looking forward to this camp as much as the Year 8's and thank Mr Moore for the time and preparation he is putting in to prepare for this camp.

Myross Bush School and Catholic Principal's meeting
I am travelling to visit Myross Bush school down south today to meet with the Principal Tim Lovelock. Myross Bush school is recognised for their innovative, engaging learning ways that take place in a traditional school building. As we begin to make plans for deeper learning across our school for 2015, I will be seeing what I can take back to St Joseph's from my visit to Myross Bush school.
On Friday, I will be meeting with all of the Catholic Principals from the Dunedin Diocese to learn and share more about education as leaders of Catholic schools.

Family Learning Hui
Mrs Frances-Rees and our team have got an excellent evening of deep learning planned for later today. Come with your family, bring your food and your devices or just yourselves and learn how we can support our children to be confident, connected learners.
Learning is Fun
The best part of a Principal's job is listening to the excitement and enthusiasm that children have when they share their learning with me and with others. All children want their learning to be fun and I thank our dedicated staff for the time you invest in actioning and engaging exciting learning opportunities for our children. You are all showing us how to 'Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith'.

2. Special Character Term 4 Week 2

The Communion of Saints

In our recent staff meeting (taonga) to prepare for teaching the Communion of Saints strand we looked at church theology and the requirements of the curriculum and agreed on three key concepts of church teaching we want children to develop as they move through the school:
1. Mary is our first and most important saint because of her special relationship with Jesus.
2. The Communion of Saints means all the members of the Church - living now, in purgatory and in heaven.
3. The choices we make on earth affect what happens when we die, we will be judged on our choices.

A SOLO rubric for the Communion of Saints Strand

3. School Notices - Week 2, Term 4

(a)  Altar Servers
Saturday 25th October - Mackenzie Cunningham, Halalova Asi, Antonio Frances-Rees and Joseph Spillane
Sunday 26th October - Antonia & Francesca Black and Laura & Cameron Mather

(b)  Birthday Greetings to:
Ngaire McDougall, Taine Stewart-Cooper and Tristan Serrano

(c)  Lost Property
This week there have been a couple of lost items so please check your child's clothing and if found please return them to the office. 
-  A purple watch at the long jump
-  2 school jackets with the name Bridges written on them
-  A school jersey and a hat with the name Jayla on them.

(d)  Pastoral Care
Ruma Rimu is on Pastoral Care for November.  This means they can bring in food for contribution to the parish freezer.  Please bring any food donations to the office on Friday mornings.  Thank you.

(e)  Scholastic Book Club
The book club orders are due back in by Wednesday 29th October.

(f)  Junior Touch Rugby Website
The junior touch rugby organisation have set up a website that you can access to find out the draw.  Go to (click the link) to find out the teams draw.  We will still put the times in the newsletter if we have the information on time.

(g)  Home and School
This is a reminder to send your completed raffle cards back asap and they are still looking for helpers to sell raffles at the supermarkets.  A volunteer list is in the school office.

(h)  Community Noticeboard - please check the noticeboard for full details.
  • Weston School Fireworks - Friday 7th November at the Weston Domain from 7.00 pm.  Tickets available from Brackens Print, TK Hire and the Weston school office.
  • Youthtown Dance Party for Yrs 7 & 8 on Friday 31st October from 7.00 to 9.00 pm at the Galleon Function Room.  Theme is Halloween and tickets cost $2.00.  Enquiries to Mike or Gina on 434 6473 or

4. Congratulations - Week 2, Term 4

Principals Award
Congratulations to Mackenzie Cunningham, Daniel Frances-Rees, Samuel Bridges and Cody Haynes for receiving the Principal's Award last week.  They received it for volunteering their help with the school photos recently.

We warmly welcome Lincoln Davison who started school this week to Ruma Koru.

To five of our students who were selected in the North Otago rep Touch Teams for this season.

U11 - Toby Lewis
U13 - Antonia Black, Tegan Souness, Kaleb Cant and Seth Sinclair
Good luck to them as they participate in their first tournament on Sunday 2nd November in Mosgiel.

5. Senior School Athletics

The St Joseph’s Senior School will be holding their Athletics Day on Tuesday 4th November for the whole day.  (Children who are 8 or older on the 1st October are involved).  Unfortunately due to a very busy term the year 8’s will be away on school camp so they will be doing their athletics one afternoon once they return. In order to run this event safely and adequately, we would really appreciate some help with the rotations.  There is no need to be an expert and it will be a good chance to watch the children in action.  If you can help, please either email Mrs Souness at or phone the office on 434 8856.

Please note that this year the 8 year olds will not be doing the high jump so their last rotation will be at 1.00 pm.

Tuesday 4th November - The programme for the day is as follows:

  • 9:10            Assemble
  • 9.20            Rotation 1
  • 10:00          Rotation 2
  • 10:40          Break – Drink and Morning tea – then straight to next rotation
  • 11:00          Rotation 3
  • 11:40          Rotation 4
  • 12:20          LUNCH (Note later time)
  • 1:00            Rotation 5
  • 1:40            Rotation 6   
  • 2:20            Afternoon Break  
A bell will indicate change of events and the children need to come to school in sports gear and have a warm jersey, longs, sunhat, sunscreen on and a water bottle.
Thank you

Tina Souness
Sports Co-ordinator

Thursday, 16 October 2014

1. Principal News Week 1 Term 4

Welcome to Term 4. Thank you to everyone who supported and helped us last term in so many ways .This Friday at 2:30 pm we will present certificates and the Veritas Award and Parish Cup from the end of last term.

Career's Expo
At the end of last term the Year 8's invited us to their Career Expo. They had spent quite some time with Mr Moore researching future career opportunities and then creating informative displays of their findings. Some students had even made special business cards sharing links of interest. This is the first time the Year 8's have held a career's expo and we congratulate them on the quality of their displays.

Family Learning Hui
Last night, Mrs Frances Rees led a 7.00 pm learning hui in the library. Thanks to the families that joined us. We began with a healthy discussion about concerns and expectations. You can read the notes that I took during this discussion on the parent section of my blog by clicking here. We learnt how the SOLO taxonomy is used to deepen our thinking skills and knowledge and linked this to making sense of Digital Citizenship. The next session will be on Thursday 23rd October at 5:30 pm and will be another Fish and Chip (or BYO food) session in the hall.

Staffing News
Last term we farewelled Mrs Patterson who is enjoying her new Principal job. Here is a photo of Siobhan and Ava with the gift from the board presented to her at the final farewell assembly last term.

We welcome the experienced Miss Nicky Clouston to the junior teaching team and are pleased to have her join our St Joseph's school family.

We congratulate Miss Chantelle Jackson on her recent appointment to teach at Holy Family school in Melbourne for 2015. Chantelle has been in a fixed term position with us for the past two years. We will make the most of her before we say farewell at the end of the year!

We are in the process of making staffing and classroom plans for 2015 and will keep you up to date with our progress.

Special Congratulations
Congratulations to Mrs Paula Brien who is always busy taking photos of our students for our newsblog. This week we took a photo of her!!  Mrs Souness nominated Paula for a volunteer coach award for coaching our Year 4 netball team, St Kevin's coaching and her work for the Athletic Netball Club as well. Well done Mrs Brien and thanks for all of your hard work in the community as you 'Reach for the Stars as a Lifelong Learner in the Catholic Faith.'

2. Special Character - Term 4, Week 1

October is the month of the Rosary and we will be saying part of the Rosary each day at kotuitui.  The Rosary was initiated by St Dominic (the founder of the Dominican Order which founded our school).  In St Dominic's time in 12th century Europe most people didn't know how to read and the Bible was written in Latin or Greek.  Mass was celebrated in Latin and the average person had no way of following the stories of our faith.  So the Rosary was a way to contemplate the key turning points in the life of Jesus and his mother Mary.

The Rosary beads are divided into five sets of ten beads and one bead which are used to help count the one Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and one Glory Be which make up a mystery of the Rosary.  There are five mysteries on a set of beads and there are 20 mysteries overall separated into five Joyful, five Luminous, five Sorrowful and five Glorious mysteries.

3. School Notices - Week 1, Term 4

(a)  Altar Servers
Saturday 18th October - Nicholas Plieger, Lachlan Brookes, Antonio Frances-Rees and Seth Sinclair
Sunday 19th October - Joel Kunnethedan, Michael & Jerome Misiloi and Rhea Ratgali
(b)  Birthday Greetings to:
Mariah Cunningham, Corbin Fraser, Lavina Ma, Patrick Spillane, Chloe Bartley, Levi Crowder, Samuel Plieger and Seth Sinclair.
(c)  Lost Property
Sunny Tian has lost his named school jersey at the end of last term and Alexie Phillips has lost her named school jacket.  Please check your child's jersey and jackets and if found, please return them to the school office.  

(d)  Chrome Books
Here is the Harvey Norman website with details for St Joseph's families for the discounted devices.
What the parents need to do....

Click (follow the on screen instructions)

-  Register on the site, preferable from a school email account so they can be identified as our students.  If not, when they register they can type in the 'Billing Address>Company' section "St Joseph's School (Oamaru)".

-  Request to be added to the 'St Joseph's School (Oamaru)' user group

-  After they are approved, they will now be able to see the approved products and prices and order online.

-  0800 Number is setup if they need help.  0800 222 699

-  Please note this is a different website from their normal online retail store.

(e)  Home & School
Due to the lack of teams entered in the Quiz night, we have made the decision to cancel the Quiz evening.  We will be using the prizes and putting them towards a Christmas raffle.  Each family will be asked to sell one raffle card with 20 tickets on it.  These cards will be sent home on Monday 20th October and are due back on Monday 10th November.  We will be asking for parents to help sell tickets at Countdown and New World supermarkets.  We will also be having a cake stall at the Victorian Fete (Sunday 16th November) in which we will be asking families to donate.

(f)  Summer Sports Draw
Please look on the sports notice board for the game times for cricket, hockey and touch rugby.

(g)  Community Notices - Please check the notice board for full information
  • Waitaki Community Gardens is offering Arts in the Gardens every Wednesday in Term 4 from 3.15 to 5.00 pm for children aged 8 to 12 years.  Cost is $50 for 10 sessions.  Enquiries to
  • Rainbow Fun Run - Saturday 18th October - 11.00 am start, $10 per person or $30 for a family pass of 2 adults and 2 children.
  • Amazing Race - entries for the Waitaki Boys High School Amazing Race close on Monday 20th October and are available online at or at their school office or Oamaru Sports and Outdoors.
  • Raising Bullying Awareness March - Monday 27th October (Labour Day).  The march starts at 10.00 am outside KFC and ends at the Oamaru Gardens.  Wear pink to show your support.  At the gardens, there will be entertainment, performances and enjoying time with family and the wider community.
  • Pamper Yourself this Spring at Aoraki Polytechnic on Wednesday 29 October from 9.00 am to 2.30 pm.
  • Blue Cross Veterinary Centre Poem competition - win a scenic flight over North Otago and you get to take a friend or family member with you plus $250 cheque for your school.  Drop your hand written poem before Friday 31st October to Oamaru Veterinary, 311 Thames Street, Oamaru.
  • Christian Life Centre Halloween Alternative - Friday 31st October from 6.15 pm to 7.45 pm at 17 College Street, Oamaru.  The theme this year is Lego Characters and phone 437 2666 for any enquiries.

4. Congratulations - Week 1, Term 4

Principals Award
Congratulations to our Tia Hunter, Ryan Hardy and Antonio Frances-Rees (Special Character Cultural leaders) who received the Principals Award for the last week of term 3.  They received it for the diligent way they presented themselves with the Singing Cup.


We warmly welcome Aedrick Perez to Ruma Totara, Paige Geypen and David Kilgour to Ruma Koru who started at school this week.

Yr 5/6 Rippa Rugby Team who competed on Saturday 27th September at the Forsythe Barr Stadium as a curtain raiser to the Hearthland Rugby Game.  They played against Weston, Pembroke and Fenwick and won all 3 of their games.  Thanks to Josh Lewis and Steffan Souness for coaching, to Farmlands for supplying bags and drink bottles and to our supporters.

Congratulations to Cushla Bridges for gaining a Merit in her Grade One Ballet exam and to Elenoa Asi for gaining 8 first place rosettes and one special award at the recent Oamaru Tap Dancing Association competitions.

At the weekend, 4 St Joseph's students attended a rowing training session at Lake Ruataniwha - Abbey Mabon, Ben Sew Hoy, Riley McKeown and Antonio Frances-Rees.  They rowed with St Kevin's students and was the first time they had rowed in an 'eight' combination.

5. St Joseph's School Sacramental Programme

The St Patricks Parish and St Joseph's School Sacramental Programme for 2014/2015  will begin in Term 4.  In keeping with the guidelines of the Catholic Diocese of Dunedin and the philosophy of St Joseph's School, 'Reaching for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith', there will be a change in the way the Sacramental Programme is delivered.  This has been approved by our Parish Priest Father Wayne Healey and the Board of Trustees of our school.

You as parents and the first educators of your children in their faith will now have a greater opportunity to participate in this process.  In order to help and support you to achieve this, there will be 2 parent meetings prior the reception of each Sacrament.  You will also be provided with the resources to help you work with your child at home. 

Before the children may receive the Sacraments, it is a requirement that parents attend and participate fully in the programme.  You will be asked to make a commitment to this programme if you want your child to participate in the next Sacramental Programme.  If for some reason you are unable to fully participate at this stage, there will be an opportunity for you to enrol your child another year.

The programme is as follows:

Enrolment Mass - Sunday 2nd November at 9.30 am in St Patrick's Basilica
Parent Meeting 1 - Monday 3rd November at 7.00 pm at St Joseph's School
Parent Meeting 2 - Monday 17th November at 7,00 pm in the Dean O'Reilly Lounge
1st Reconciliation - Sunday 30th November straight after the 9.30 am Mass

Sunday 31st May 2015 in Term 2.  The dates for the 2 parent meetings will be set nearer the time.

First Holy Communion
Sunday 16th August 2015 in Term 3.  The dates for the 2 parent meetings will be set nearer the time.

There has been a letter sent home to children who will be involved in the Sacramental Programme.  If you have any queries about the programme, please contact Adrienne Wylie on 434 8436 after the 24th October 2014. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Links to help with finding information on digital citizenship
contains clear and practical tips from some of the internet’s most popular digital platforms
protecting privacy
Netsafe information and interactives for children aged 2-9
Cybersmarts at Tamaki College


·       The internet is like a big classroom.  The rules of the classroom apply to the internet.

·       If you’d be happy for your teacher or parent to read what you’ve written its probably OK.  What you put out there is for ever.

·       Remember there’s no body language so be careful how you communicate because people might not get the right idea – they might think humour is serious.

·       Use only your first name – don’t give your second name, address or phone numbers.

·       If you see something wrong close the screen and tell a trusted adult immediately.