Thursday 26 November 2015

1. Principal News - Week 7 Term 5

What are you doing this year to prepare for Christmas? Shopping for presents? Wrapping gifts? Baking cookies? Decorating the tree? Do something life-changing—rediscover God’s mercy.
Advent (the 4 weeks leading to the birth of Jesus) begins on Sunday. Join the Best Advent Ever, a free email program from Dynamic Catholic. Based on Pope Francis’ call for the Year of Mercy and Dynamic Catholic’s new book Beautiful Mercy, Best Advent Ever will help you rediscover God’s great mercy and show that mercy to others. Participants will receive daily inspirational emails with a short video, words of encouragement, or spiritual coaching from Matthew Kelly and other influential Catholic voices of our time. This program will transform your life, relationships, work, and ability to embrace and experience all of life.
The program is free! All you have to do is sign up at Best Advent
Let’s all rediscover God’s incredible mercy as we prepare for Christmas. 

Parish School Christmas Float
Thanks to all of the children who have expressed interest in joining this float in the Christmas Parade. You can still join us. Meet us in the school hall as we are leaving at 9:30 am on Saturday morning. Come dressed as shepherds and angels and join in the fun as we share the joy of the birth of Jesus with our North Otago community. 

Strategic Plan consultation for 2016
Are your interested in contributing to our plans for 2016? Go to this link to learn more.

New Year 8 trophy from the Kunnethedan family
Thanks to Jasmin and Jose for this special award. Here is their letter to explain more. Year 8's will be able to apply for this award. It is called the "Star Award" to recognise academic, cultural, sporting and service in and out of school.

Dear Mrs Jackson and team,

We can scarcely believe that our kids time at St Joseph’s has come to an end. It truly seems like just yesterday that we were getting ready to send Joel to school for his first day at school.
In the past few years our kids Jibi, Jino and Joel have grown into honest, considerate, hardworking young men and we know that we have St Joseph School to thank for that. The one to one attention that they received from your teachers has made them confident in their abilities and sparked their interests in various fields. Playing on soccer teams, being part of Choir, drama as well as in leadership roles all taught them the value of discipline and team work. They also made friends with whom they remain close to this day.
More than anything else we would like to thank you for your leadership and all the teachers along with the board of trustees for the fun that they have had during their time at St Josephs.
As a token of our appreciation for the School we would like to donate a cup to be presented at the end of year celebration as we have discussed earlier.

Warmest wishes

Jasmin and Jose

Home and School News 
Here is a message from Rachel Fowler who works tirelessly with other members of the Home and School to help raise necessary funds for our school. We appreciate the work that this team do and value your positive support for these hardworking parents.

Dear Parents,  

As the year is coming to a close, I wanted to update parents on Home and School news and events.
Thank you to all those parents who have supported the home and school this year, we have nearly reached the target of $11,000 which our board asks of us each year.  This donation contributes to the annual budgeted wish list which includes: PE gear, engraving of trophies, library books, art and craft materials, Young Leaders Day costs, school council and leadership badges and bibles for New Entrants.  An outline of the wish list has been put into the blog/newsletter each year for families to see where the money is going. It’s important to understand that the funds raised benefit all of our children.  

 We are currently working on upgrading the kitchen in the hall.  An application for a grant has been put in to support us with this upgrade.    We are hoping to have this completed early in the New Year. 

If anyone has any suggestions of how we can improve the way we work, please email me on I am a very busy working mum of 4.  I have not chaired a home and school committee before and have been following on from past procedures.  I am open to any suggestions, especially fundraising ideas. 
We always need more supportive parents to help on the home and school committee.  We meet once a month usually on a Tuesday night.  We are all working mums and are very busy, so having more parents on the committee will help to lighten the load.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t attend every meeting.

We are looking at 2 small fundraising ideas before the end of the year, however they will only be for families who want to get involved in them.  They are Jamberry nails, and toilet paper.  More details will follow.

Lastly, we have started making plans for the Food Fair 2016,  this will be held on Sunday March 6th 2016.  If anyone would like to help with this, please email me on the above email.  

Once again, thanks to all those who support the home and school with our fundraising, remember the money goes to support all our children.  

Rachel Fowler 
On Behalf of the Home and School Committee

Pasifika Fono news
Thanks to our families who joined the fono on Tuesday night. It was lovely to welcome guest speaker Hotili Asi in his new role as North Otago Fale Pasifika Coordinator. Mrs Plieger shared information about her Christchurch presentation with Mrs Bell as leaders of the North Otago Pasifika Cluster. We also discussed progress in learning and how the homework club will work in 2016.

Family Learning Hui (FLH) news
Thanks to the families and staff who attended our final FLH for the year. Here are some of the things we shared:
Mr Cartlidge gave a preview of the site that we are developing to capture the attitudes and values we want children to leave us with by Year 8. We are gathering this information to contribute to a purposely designed flyer to inform parents more about learning at St Joseph's. Here is the link.

Children from Year 6 & 7 shared their passion projects. Thanks to Molly, Peta, Rhea and Sebastian.
Molly's presentation about Hawaii

Peta's presentation about Tonga

                                                   Rhea's presentation about India
                                                 Sebastian's career presentation
Mr Cartlidge shared the Linewise video. This helped parents to understand the changes we are making for 2016 around cybersafety. Linewise provides reports for the teachers, blacklists programmes and games so that they can't be used and gives control over how we use the internet. It provides peace of mind for parents, staff and students.
We also shared the two samples for school jerseys. Community consultation has led to an option that is less expensive than the existing jersey. We have a polar fleece and a merino sample to get feedback on from parents and students. They will be on display in the office over the next few weeks. 
Our Year 8 students were available to answer questions about preparing for high school. It was pleasing to hear that they feel the hub arrangements this year have helped them to prepare for the change. You can learn more by watching their video.
We finished with a special icebreaker game with a focus on left and right and having fun.
Special blessings for our children preparing to make the Sacrament of Reconciliation this weekend. Thanks to everyone who is continually working hard to ensure our children Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith.

2. Special Character - Term 4 Week 7 2015

Image result for Jesse Tree
The Jesse Tree
On Sunday 29th November, 20 of our children will receive the 'Sacrament of Reconciliation' for the first time. This is the next step on their 'Faith Journey'. In Term 2 next year the children will prepare for and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and in Term 3 they will prepare for and receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.. We thank Mr and Mrs Wylie for preparing and supporting the parents and the Prayer Partners for supporting the children. Parish, Home and School, we are all in this together.

First Sunday of Advent/Sunday 29th November 2015

A Jesse tree represents the family tree of Jesus Christ. Each ornament represents a story from the Bible that tells about God's people before Jesus was born. 
The tradition of the Jesse tree dates back to the middle ages. the name 'Jesse tree' comes from Isaiah 11:1, "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse and a branch from the roots will bear fruit. Jesse is the father of King David. The Saviour was to come from David's family line.
Each day at Koutuitui the Special Character leaders will share some of these stories with the school. The Jesse Tree will also be part of the children's Religious Education over the next few weeks.
Take Care and God Bless
Ann Dooley/CO.DRS

3. School Notices - Week 7, Term 4 2015

Altar Servers
Saturday 28th November - Elenoa & Halalova Asi, Elizabeth Plieger, Lachlan Brookes and  Seth Sinclair
Sunday 29th November - Michael Misiloi and Tess McAtamney 

Birthday Greetings to:
Tessa Souness, Cassidy Rawson and Annalise Kilgour

Pastoral Care
Please note that the pastoral care food is for this term and not just November.

Home and School Raffle Results
The Christmas Raffle has been drawn and the winners have been notified.  Thank you for donating the prizes and selling your raffle tickets. The results are as follows:
  1. $400 Money Tree - Mary Doyle
  2. Toy Garage and Matchbox cars - Leanne Tuffley
  3. Christmas Hamper of Goodies - Black Family
  4. Hair Pamper Pack - Tendai Chikowore
  5. Body Pamper Pack - Bartley Family
  6. Girls Watch - Cant Family
  7. Boys Watch - D Robertson
  8. Warehouse Voucher - Heather
JR McKenzie Youth Education Fund
This fund has a proud tradition of supporting families in need of financial assistance with the purchasing of a school uniform (basic school clothing and footwear excluding roadshoes/runners). They are pleased to once again invite Grant applications from suitable candidates sponsored by our school.  The closing date for applications is Friday 4th December.  The criteria for applications is for students who are entering High School for the first time.  Applications will only be considered for families requiring financial assistance and in this regard, it must be signed by an independent sponsor (school principal) before an application is returned to them.  Applications are available from the school office.

Lost Property
Mrs Marsh has emptied the lost property bin as it was overflowing and returned any named items to their owners but this clothing is all unnamed and will go to the Salvation Army next week if not claimed.
  •  School shoes - 2 pair
  •  Helmets - 1 x pink with RF on it and 1 x black/red racing type
  • Jerseys - 97 cm with Shyla Cooper name on it and another jersey
  • Black shorts - size 6
  • Grey shirt - yr 12
  • Blue track pants - Contact 8
  • Ski gloves - x 2 odd ones
  • Merino girls top - snowbear pink
  • 3 caps
  • School jacket - 6 yrs xs
  • Polar fleece x 1
  • Black shoe - with orange laces
  • lunch boxes galore
North Otago Athletics
Congratulations to our students who participated at the North Otago Athletics on Monday in hot conditions.  The certificates will be handed out on Monday at Kotuitui and the results will be in next week's blog.

Parking Outside School
We have been made aware that people are parking in the bus stops and the Drop n Drive zone which causes frustration for the people who use it correctly.  Please make sure that if you need to park your car, you use our car-park or another designated area.  Thanks.

Our caretaker is wanting some chicken or sheep netting which will be used to fill the gaps in our hedges.  If you have any spare wire netting around your place, please bring it to school which will be much appreciated.

Warehouse Stationery Cashback - Support Your School
Every time you make a purchase at Warehouse Stationery, please nominate St Joseph's School, Oamaru at the check out and our school can earn cashback rewards.

Summer Sports Draw 
Cricket - Saturday 28th November

4th Grade - St Joseph's v Valley 'A' at SKC 1
5th Grade - St Joseph's v Albion Black Ferns at SKC Artificial 1

Touch Rugby - Tuesday 1st December
The draw was unavailable at the time the news blog went to print.  Please check the notice board or the North Otago Touch Rugby Facebook page for the draw.

4. What has Been Happening Last Week

Year 7 Camp 
Last week the Yr 7 students along with Miss Tangney and parent helpers went to their annual camp at IONA.  They had a fantastic time last week on camp and they did a wide range of activities including making shelters, bush walks, swimming, kayaking, sailing, archery and mountain biking to name a few. They got closer as a class and learnt a lot about themselves and their classmates. The concert on Wednesday night was one of the highlights of the camp and it was great to see lots of parents who made the trip down to watch it. Many thanks to all the parent helpers and anyone else who helped make this camp a success. Below are some photos of them in action:  The Yr 7 blog will have more photos available for you to look at.

Made with Slideshow Embed Tool

Yr 5/6 Cricket Tournament
On Monday some of our Yr 5/6 boys entered the North Otago Primary schools cricket tournament where they had a couple of wins and a couple of losses.  Some of the boys had never played cricket before so they did very well.  Well done.
From Collages

Yr 6 Education Outside the Classroom
This week the Yr 6 students have been doing their learning outside the classroom with different activities. On Monday they had a junior Master Chef cooking competition where they made yummy foods and they competed against other teams and they finished the day with a first aid course. Tuesday saw them go to Orana Park and do team building activities in which they learnt different skills by working in teams and at the Waitaki Recreation Centre they had to overcome their fear of heights and scale the rock climbing wall and the manner in which they helped out their fellow class mates and the encouragement shown to others to scale the rock wall bought tears to Miss Huls eyes. She said she was very proud of them. Talking about being very proud, Miss Huls said her class was the first Yr 6 class at St Joseph's in which everybody abseiled down a rock wall held out at Devils Bridge Road yesterday. Today they have gone to the swimming pool to learn life skills and gone to Steam Punk. Tomorrow the class will finish off their indoor activities at school after spending some hot days outside. Many thanks to the parent helpers who have helped make this week a great week. More photos will be available on the Yr 6 blog.
From Collages

5. Diary Dates - Week 7, Term 4 2015

Friday 27                 -  Technology for Yr 7 & 8 at St Kevin’s College
                                    -  Yr 6 EOTC
                                    -  All library books due back today

Sunday 29                -  Sacrament of Reconciliation
Monday 30                  -  North Otago Athletic Certificates handed out at Kotuitui *

Wednesday 2          -  Yr 7 Leadership applications due
Thursday 3              -  Technology for Yr 7 & 8 at St Kevin’s College
                                    -  Last day for school gardening
Friday 4                    -  Technology for Yr 7 & 8 at St Kevin’s College
                                    -  Yr 7 & 8 social  

Monday 7                 -  Yr 8 leadership interviews
Tuesday 8                -  Board of Trustees meeting
Wednesday 9          -  Giant Leaps Concert from 7.00 to 9.00 pm in the St Kevin’s Auditorium
Thursday 10            -  Junior school carols and nativity play at Mass
                                     -  Transition afternoon for 2016 from 2.00 to 3.00 pm
Friday 11                  -  House colour and sports day

Tuesday 15              -  Yr 8 Leavers Mass from 11.00 am to 12.00 pm
Wednesday 16        -  Junior School picnic from 12.00 to 1.00 pm *
                                    -  End of Year Mass at 6.00 pm
Thursday 17            -  Term 4 ends at 12.30 pm
                                    -  Thank you to Parent Helpers from 11.00 to 11.30 am
                                    -  Announce 2016 Leaders from 11.30 to 11.45 am
                                    -  Final Assembly and Carols from 11.45 am to 12.35 pm 

Thursday 19 November 2015

1. Principal News Week 6 Term 4 2015

Snippets from our recent Catholic Education Review
"No other school, in the experience of this review team, has prepared for the review with such detail and focus. The school presented a full report covering all the actions taken as a result of the last review and the steps they were planning to take as recommendations going forward. The detailed document would a be a model for all schools but also shows the value the school placed on fully engaging in adding value to the current practice in the school."
We are proud of our hardworking staff and board who are role models for your children as they continually Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith.
We take the needs of your children seriously and apply the same "detail and focus" into all that we do.
What does our vision statement mean ? Here is a break down of what we mean when we say Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith. 
Student Blogger of the Week
This week's student blogger is Tegan Souness from Year 7. You can watch an RE video about peace and learn about Tegan's passion to become an olympic rower. You can go to this link to learn more.
Year 7 & 8 Camps
During the fourth term every year, the children in Senior Hub 2 experience the outdoors in a range of ways.
Last week our Year 8's attended the camp and tramp at Mt Somers. A huge thanks to Mr Moore, Mr Cartlidge, Dennis Brown and all of the parent helpers who made this camp a huge success. This week the Year 7's are at Camp Iona in Herbert. The children are experiencing abseiling, kayaking, sailing, making bivouacs, mountain biking, archery, doing a stream study and performing. I was fortunate to spend the day at this camp yesterday and enjoyed  the bivouac making and stream study as well as the evening performances to families last night. Thanks to Miss Tangney and the parent helpers who have helped to make this camp another great week of education outside the classroom. Next week the Year 6's will have an opportunity to experience abseiling, water survival skills, first aid skills, cooking and art activities to help prepare them for the Year 7 and 8 camps. Thanks Miss Huls and the parent helpers for ensuring the Year 6's will have a valuable outdoor learning experience next week.

                            Year 7 boys sing during the camp performances for family and friends
Family Learning Hui
Our final Family Learning Hui for 2015 will take place next Wednesday at 6 pm in the hall. This is an ideal opportunity to come along and hear from our students who will be proudly sharing their learning. There will also be a chance to learn more about preparing your children for 2016.

Before School Care
Mrs Brien is our Before School Care Teacher Aide available to care for children between 8:00-8:30 am. Please be aware, any children dropped off and waiting at the front entrance of the school remain parent's responsibility until 8:30 am. If you have to drop your children off early, then they can join Mrs Brien and the country bus children for a $2 donation and know that your children are being safely supervised. The $2 covers the cost for arrival anytime from 8:00-8:30 am. Please collect further information from our office.

Transition afternoon for 2016
On Thursday 10th December, all of the children will have a chance to spend some time with their teachers for 2016. We will also invite all of our new families to join us for the afternoon from 1:45 -3:00 pm.

2. Special Character Term 4 Week 6 2015

A TRADITIONAL PRAYER TO PRAY FOR THE SOULS IN PURGATORY especially remembered during the month of November
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace. 

Children Preparing To Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation 
on Sunday 29th November 2015
This week the children will be focusing on Theme 2/Making Choices
Each lesson has a theme.
Theme One/Belonging
Theme Two/Making Choices
Theme Three/Reconciliation
Theme Four/The Sacrament of Penance

Last week the children brought home a booklet covering the four  themes.  
Theme One/Belonging
Theme Two/Making Choices
Theme Three/Reconciliation
Theme Four/The Sacrament of Penance

The booklet will help you understand what we will be discussing during our lessons. The booklet gives you some suggestions to talk together, do together and pray together with your child. We are all in this together so if I can help you in any other way to support your child please come and see me or send me an email (

Take Care and God Bless

3. School Notices - Week 6, Term 4 2015

Altar Servers
Saturday 21st November - Elizabeth, Samuel & Nicolas Plieger, Matthew Gough and Isabella McNaught
Sunday 22nd November - Ellie Jorgensen, Stephanie & Sylvia Lavrijsen and Joel Kunnethedan

Birthday Greetings to:
Cody Marshall, Luse Asi and Matthew Gough

Christmas Float
St Patrick's Parish are entering a float in this years Christmas Parade held on Saturday 28th
November at 9.30 am.  Any student wishing to be involved in the parish float are asked to dress up as angels, shepherds, soldiers etc.  Please let the school office know if you are interested by tomorrow Friday 20th November. A notice has been attached to the email.

Home and School
Thanks everyone for your contributions with both helping and making the goodies for the cake stall. It was a great day despite it being a bit cold and everyone looked beautiful.  We raised $789.10 less expenses.  Thanks again for your help.

Library Books
We would like all library books to be returned to the box outside the office for our annual stocktaking purposes by Friday 27th November.  There will be no more library books issued for this term.

Aria O'Connell has lost her named school jacket from her classroom.  Can you please check your child's jacket to see if it is theirs.

Noel Leemings Christmas Offer
An offer is available from Noel Leemings to the friends and family of New Zealand Catholic Schools from Monday 30th November to Sunday 6th December where you get cost + 10% store wide excluding IT accessories, PC software, AV accessories and PC consumables.  Present the flyer which is attached to the email or present it on your smartphone or device in store.

Pastoral Care
During the year, some of our school families experience times of compassionate need; like the death of a close family member, severe illness/injury or hardship. About twice a year, all classrooms will have one month of the school year to contribute to the Parish Welfare Freezer.  The month of November has been assigned to Junior Hub 1 and families are asked to donate cooked food or non perishable items.  The items can be tinned, baking or a main meal e.g. casserole, lasagna, muffins or biscuits.  Please bring any food donations to the school office on Friday mornings.  Thank you.

Summer Sports

Cricket - Saturday 21st November
4th Grade - St Joseph's v Valley Blue at St Kevin's College 1
5th Grade - St Joseph's v Eastern Eagles at St Kevin's College Artificial 2

Touch Rugby - Tuesday 24th November
The draw was unavailable at the time the news blog went to print.  Please check the notice board or the North Otago Touch Rugby Facebook page for the draw.

Swimming Dates for 2016

Here are our school swimming lessons for 2016.  Our school swimming sports for the senior school will be held on Tuesday 9th March from 9.00 to 12.00 pm.

Friday 5th February - 1.00 to 2.30 pm
Tuesday 9th February - 1.00 to 2.30 pm
Wednesday 10th February - 1.00 to 2.30 pm
Thursday 11th February - 1.00 to 2.30 pm
Friday 12 February - 1.00 to 2.30 pm
Monday 15th February - 1.00 to 2.30 pm
Wednesday 17th February - 1.00 to 2.30 pm

Website Changes

We are looking at updating our website where all the information is available in one place.  If you have any suggestions of what you would like to see on there, please email the office at  Thank you.

Community Notices
  • The OSCAR Management Committee needs energetic and experienced people to commit to 1 to 2 hours per month to support the great work that the OSCAR programme is doing for the children in our community.  We would appreciate if if you would consider giving up some of your time.  Please email Jenny Gawn (Chair) at
  • Oamaru Multisport Club - attached to the email is a list of Fun Runs/Duathlons, Cycling and Swimming dates that the club is running.  See the list for further information.