Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Principal's News Week 10 Term 4 2019

A short newsblog this week to wish you all a very Happy and Holy Christmas and wonderful holiday.

We would love all our families to join us tonight for our community thanksgiving mass incorporating, the junior Nativity production, prize-giving and year 8 leaving celebration.  The practices were well underway this morning:

Start date for term 1 2020 is Tuesday 4th February.

God Bless and Aroha
Lorraine Frances-Rees

Thursday, 12 December 2019

1. Principal's News Week 9 Term 4 2019

Lucky to be alive
I think the news has travelled and I know the children know about it.  I was in a head on collision on the highway the other night.  Miraculously I am OK and recuperating from whiplash at home for a few days.  I feel very blessed to have walked away from the accident and I thank the people who have sent messages of concern and I am OK and should be back at school on Monday.   Prayers are always helpful though and gratefully received.

Heritage Photo Competition 2019
Please vote for our students in the Heritage Photo Competition 2019.  They have submitted some very mature and perceptive photographs.

Student Achievement
Our students are achieving very well across the school with most classes on the whole showing more than a year's progress in reading, writing and maths.  Most of our children are working at the expected curriculum level or above = 97% in reading, and 96% in maths and writing.  This year we had targets to raise reading achievement in particular areas of higher need in year 5, 6 and 8 and we reached these targets.  We had targets to raise maths achievement in year 6 and 8 and also met those targets.  19% of our children are above expectations in maths and 16% above in reading with 23% of writers at year 7 being above expectation.  Thank you to our teaching staff and very experienced teacher aides for your work in ensuring our students attain the highest levels of achievement as well as having all the fun and broad curriculum that we enjoy so much at St Joseph's.

Pet Day
Yesterday our school councillors ran pet day.  They have been wanting to do this all year.  I have been part of their team preparing for this and due to my accident the night before, they had to go ahead and manage it themselves, supported of course by our staff and their peers but essentially, they had to make it happen.  And they did.  What great children - we are very proud of them.  Well done to our council leaders: Adriana W and Cassidy R, councillors: Michael Mc, Mia C-G, Indeg J-H, King M, Jasmine Mc, and William P.  Also our head students Liam and Henry and particularly Bridie and Hana who had a passion for this project.  Thank you to Samsu Ramon for bringing in the river stones.  And thank you to the Vet Centre at the Big Blue Cross for sponsorship of prizes and Bridie and Hana for organising that.  Nice work team!

Sports Equipment Sponsorship
A huge thank you to Alps to Ocean who have funded us with $3222 for sports equipment.  Also to our Home and School Association for funding sets of basketballs.

Reports will be going home on Wednesday or Thursday next week - we have been held up with proof-reading due to the Internet being out in Timaru last weekend due to the storms and now by my accident - but they are coming.

Junior Disco
Thank you to the Home and School for hosting our junior disco last Friday.

End of Year Date Reminders
this is a change from the previously notified start date of Monday 3rd February.  We wholeheartedly apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.  Our staff have been given the opportunity for a staff professional development day on Monday 3rd which will have a long term benefit for our school and is too good an opportunity for us to pass by.  The outcomes are all about the children.   Parents have all been emailed this information.

Start date 2020 = Tuesday 4th February
Last day of year 2020 = Thursday 17th December
School will be closed for teacher only days on
Monday 4th May
Monday 20th July
Friday 11th September
Monday 12th October

End of Year Activities
Friday 13 December - Year 7 & 8 formal
Monday 15 December - Christmas themed mufti day
Tuesday 16 December - water play, bring togs and a towel and water guns (no balloons)
Wednesday 17 December - Junior school nativity production, final mass, prize-giving, 6pm in the Basilica, meet at 5.45pm in playground in full uniform.  We would love for all our families to attend.
Thursday 18 December - final assembly 11.45pm, school finishes 12.30pm

God Bless and Aroha
Lorraine Frances-Rees

2. Special Character Week 9 Term 4 2019

                                                 Kiaora, Greetings and Malo e Lelei

Special Character Focus: 
Last Sunday we light the second candle on our Advent wreaths at Mass, in our homes and at school. The second candle- Peace. Christmas is entering our world and Advent is the expectant waiting, hopeful anticipation and cheerful preparation of God breaking into our lives in all moments, all places, all times...PAST, FUTURE, PRESENT. Commemorating the birth of Jesus. Preparing for Christ return and Welcoming God into our lives everyday. 

This week is the third week of Advent- Joy. Here is an updated display of our foyer with the messages about Advent: "Third Sunday of Advent:Good News for the poor, Christ Our Light is among Us: Change Our Lives".

Special Dates: 
9th Immaculate Conception of Mary
12th Our Lady of Guadalupe
13th St Lucy

Faith Facts: 2nd Week of Advent – Peace
Two Advent prayers for your home:
Image result for christmas jesusJesus you entered our world on Christmas as the Prince of Peace. This Advent, as we strive to become the best version of ourselves, fill us with a deep and abiding peace. Help us share that peace with everyone we encounter, especially those who need it most.  Amen. 

Heavenly Father, your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us, a great sign of your love. Guide us as we strive to walk in that love together as a family this Advent. As we prepare our hearts for Christmas, bring us closer to each other and to your son. Give us the grace and strength we need every day. Help us to always trust in you. Come, Lord Jesus, lead all people closer to you. Come and dispel the darkness of our world with the light of your love.
Lautado Si
MAKING ADVENT A CLIMATE PILGRIMAGE – Ways to ‘green’ our Christmas :  Gift giving and wrapping
Consumer choice is one of our commitments to a more healthy climate and earth. Producing consumer goods requires enormous energy and resources- consider buying one less gift this year. Or instead, gift your time or donate to a cause that serves the most vulnerable; buy with 'cradle to grave' consideration of your purchase-what is it's story .i.e....Material resources: what are they? Production: how much energy/water/fair wages?; End of life: what happens when no longer useful-is it truly biodegradable-can it be returned to the earth... in one year?/1000 years). Gift wrapping: *Avoid foil ribbons and wrapping (fabric ribbons can be time and time again) ; *Save wrapping and ribbons for next year. "Our relationship with God's plan (for the whole of creation) finds its fulfilment in Jesus, who affirms creation by choosing to become a part of that creation..." (Source: L is for Lifestyle- Ruth Valerio). Together in God's Spirit we make the difference.
Spiritual Reading
'Much more is accomplished by a single word of the Our Father said, now and then, from our heart, than by the whole prayer repeated many times in haste and without attention.'

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

3. School Notices - Week 9, Term 4 2019

Altar Servers
Saturday 14th December - Annalise & David Kilgour and Cooper Jones
Sunday 15th December - Lisiate Hausia, Ivy-Belle & Molly-May Mestrom

Saturday 21st December - Luse & Sami Asi, Joseph & Paddy Spillane
Sunday 22nd December - Alexie Phillips, Indeg & Nye Jones-Hogan

Christmas Vigil - Tuesday 24th December - Annalise & David Kilgour, Cooper Jones and Mariah Cunningham
Christmas Day - Wednesday 25th December - Indeg & Nye Jones-Hogan, Lilly Kelcher and Lisiate Hausia

Saturday 28th December - Serah Staju, Annalise & David Kilgour and Mariah Cunningham
Sunday 29th December - Lisiate Hausia, Lilly Kelcher and Hana Davies

Saturday 4th January - Mariah Cunningham and Lachlan Criddle
Sunday 5th January - Ivy-Belle & Molly-May Mestrom

Saturday 11th January - Luse & Sami Asi and Lilly Kelcher
Sunday 12th January - The Jorgensen Family (Parish community)

Saturday 18th January - Mariah Cunningham and Serah Staju
Sunday 19th January - Ivy-Belle & Molly-May Mestrom and Lisiate Hausia

Saturday 25th January - Paddy Spillane, Annalise & David Kilgour
Sunday 26th January - Alexie Phillips and Hana Davies

Saturday 1st February - Cooper Jones and Lachlan Criddle
Sunday 2nd February - Lisiate Hausia, Indeg & Nye Jones-Hogan

Birthday Greetings for December and January 
Sami Asi, Lachlan Criddle, Lucas Kofoed, Xanthe Clarke, Georgia Moore, Mia Cant, Evie Phillips, Chelsea & Ricky Koay, Jimmy Zeng, Mia Ridgway, Benjamin Jonathan, Blake Meek, Willow Bartlett, Hila'atu Leo, Ivy-Belle & Theo Mestrom and Eli Herbst.

Athletics Results
Congratulations to the following students who received athletic trophies at assembly recently:
8 years - Chelsea Koay and Aki Tahitu'a
9 years - Eva Fatafehi and Daniel Woodhouse
10 years - Mya Robinson and Kenton Tokai
11 years - Libby Seddon and Michael Woodhouse
12 years - Atlanta Williams-McDowell and Levi Heffernan
13 years - Summer Moriarty and Paolo Mordeno

Absent from the photo was Daniel and Michael Woodhouse


North Otago Athletic Results
Our school had 23 children who qualified for the North Otago Athletics on Monday 25th November.  All the children showed great sportsmanship and were a credit to themselves, their family and the school as they competed against the top children from other schools. Congratulations go to these students who got top 3 placings:

8 year boys
- Aki Tahitu'a - 2nd in 60 metre sprints
9 year girls
- Milly Campbell - 2nd in discus
10 year girls
- Mya Robinson had a great day in her events with 1st in 100 metre sprints and long jump and 2nd in high jump.
11 year boys 
Michael Woodhouse also had a very good day with 1st in long jump, high jump and discus and 3rd in long distance.
12 year boys 
- Levi Heffernan performed exceptionally well as he got 1st place in all his events - 100 metre sprints, high jump, discus and shot put.
- Maddox Lough - 3rd in discus
-  Lisiate Hausia - 3rd in long distance         
12 year girls
- Ofa Tokai - 2nd in shot put
13 year boys 
- Siaosi Asi - 2nd in shot put
- Johan Gulinao - 3rd in high jump
8 & 9 year relay
- 2nd place - Daniel Woodhouse,Vilivea Tahitu'a and Eva Fatafehi with Yvonne Grey from Oamaru North.

There is no town bus operating from Monday 16th December onwards.  The country buses are still running all next week but they will pick up the children straight after school so they will be arriving home earlier than usual

Christmas Mass Timetable 
 Tuesday 24th December - St Patrick's Basilica - 7.30 pm Carols and Vigil Mass at 8.00 pm
                                         - Kurow - 5.40 pm - Carols and Christmas Eve Mass at 6.00 pm
Wednesday 25th December - St Patrick's Basilica - 9.00 am Carols and Christmas Day Mass at 9.30 am

Contact Details
If you are moving addresses in the holidays or your contact details change including emergency contacts, please email the office at

Cricket Skills Day
Last Tuesday, Angus and Hamish from North Otago Cricket came and took some cricket skills sessions with our children throughout the day.  Some of the skills involved throwing the balls at the stumps, tip and run with the bat etc.

End of Year Breakup
Christmas nativity performance and prize-giving will happen in our End of Year Mass at 6.00 pm on Wednesday 18 December and our Head boy and girl will give their speeches in our final assembly Thursday 19 December at 11.45 am.

Farewell the following Families
We farewell the following Yr 8 families who leave St Joseph's for high school.  We thank them for their contribution to our school and wish them all the best.
- Asi, Cameron, Cant, Chen, Chikowore, Davies, Heaphy, Jones, Keno, Lough, McGeown, Marshall, Moriarty, Robinson, Shaw and Williams.

Found Purse
The recipients of the lost purse wish to thank the person who dropped the purse into the school office last week.  They were very thankful as the purse contained cash and some of it was from the Tooth Fairy!! We both would like to thank the person for their honesty.

Home and School
Hungry Horse Cafe
A big thank you to Rycole Joinery who donated the price board for the cafe. These are the February dates for the horse race meets and it would be much appreciated if you could help out with one of these dates:
February - Saturday 15th, Saturday 23rd and Tuesday 25th.  Please let Rebecca Heffernan or the office know if you can help.

Disco - there was a great turn out of children last Friday at the disco and it was fantastic to see so many of them on the dance floor.  Thanks to Victoria Forrest who was the DJ mover and groover for the evening.

Junior School Nativity
A hard copy of this notice has also gone home to families as well.

Dear Parents/Caregivers
Our Nativity Presentation is on Wednesday 18th December at 6.00 pm in the church.  Our presentation is part of the End of Year Mass and all students are expected to participate.

Your child/children will need to be dressed in their traditional or cultural clothings for this (any questions about this, please email or speak to your child's teacher).

Our first dress rehearsal is on Monday 16th December and we ask all children to have their costumes at school by tomorrow (Friday 13th December) in a named supermarket bag.  We will keep the bags at school until after the prize giving Mass on Wednesday evening.

On Wednesday, all children must be at school by 5.30 pm in their classrooms to get dressed and ready to go to Mass with their teachers.  If you are able to stay and help the children get changed, we would be very appreciative.
Thank you Junior School Teachers

Lost Glasses
Milly Campbell has lost her dark blue and speckled arms reading glasses.  If anyone finds them, can you please hand them into the office.

Lost Property
All lost property and clothing will be disposed off by the end of school.  Please come and check to see if your child's clothing is there.

Mufti Day
We are having a Christmas themed mufti day on Monday so please come dressed up in your Christmas attire.

Passion Projects
The Hoiho Yr 5/6 class has been working on their Passion Projects for 4 weeks.  The children got to choose what project they wanted to work on and research.  They presented their projects to other classes who asked them lots of questions about their projects.

Pet Day

Yesterday there was oohs and aahs at the sight of the pets that the children brought to school.  There were 2 day baby chicks, rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, dogs and a small horse. All the school got a chance to get up close to the animals and give them a pat and later on in the morning they saw them go through an agility course.  Thanks to the Yr 8 students who helped organise the day.  More photos of the pets are on our Facebook page.

Piano Lessons

There are a couple of places next year for piano lessons tutored by Peter McMullan.  Please ring Peter on 027 421 1216 for any enquiries.

School Stationery
All class stationery lists will be handed out next week with your reports and will be on the website for 2020 next week. If you purchased your child's stationery from OfficeMax online at: you will be able to purchase at their very low Back to School Discount prices which are available until the end of February.
Alternatively you can purchase packs online from or in store at Paper Plus.  If you already have certain parts of the stationery list, contact Paper Plus Oamaru who will organise a custom made pack for you.

Both companies enable parents to purchase their children's stationery at lower prices and both companies will make a donation to St Joseph's.

Swimming Dates
We received confirmation of our senior swimming lessons for term 1 next year. There will be six sessions and they are on these days:
Week 1 - Wednesday 5th and Friday 7th February
Week 2 - Monday 10th, Tuesday 11th, Wednesday 12th February
Week 3 - Tuesday 18th February

Our senior swimming sports day will be in March and we are just confirming the date due to Technology now being on a Friday next year.

The junior swimming lessons will be held at the end of February and the first week in March and I will let you know the days once they are confirmed.

Parent Helpers - we will be asking for parent helpers/caregivers to help walk the children down to the pool with their lessons.

A notice will be emailed out regarding times, class groups and helpers in January.

Touch Rugby
Finished on Tuesday and a big thank you to our wonderful coaches who gave up their time and coached these teams. Congratulations to our Year 7/8 mixed team, the Turbos who won their section.

Subway lunches
Tomorrow is the last day for Subway lunches this year.  They will resume again next term.

Uniform Shop
The Uniform Shop will open on Friday 31st January from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm and again on Tuesday 4th February from 8.15 to 9.15 am.

Unrequired Uniforms
The Uniform Shop would love donations of any school and PE uniforms that are not required anymore.  Please drop them off to the office.

Water Fight
On Tuesday next week, the children are having a water fight after lunch.  Children are asked to bring togs, towel, water gun or a named bucket.  Sorry no water balloons allowed.

Community Notices
  • OSCAR Holiday Programme - 18th to 20th December and 6th to 31st January - come and join us for fun filled days of swimming, water sliding, water fights, games, crafts, cooking and outings.  For more information call Jenny on 021 156 5871 or email

4. Diary Dates - Week 9, Term 4 2019

* Means new entry or date

Friday 13

Monday 16

Tuesday 17

Wednesday 18
Thursday 19

Tuesday 4
Wednesday 5
Thursday 6
Friday 7
Monday 10
Tuesday 11
Wednesday 12
Tuesday 18

Thursday 9
Friday 10
Saturday 11
Sunday 12
Monday 13
Monday 27
Tuesday 28

Friday 3
Monday 20

Friday 25

Monday 12        

Yr 7 & 8 formal 
Junior school dress rehearsal *
Celebration assembly at 2.30 pm
Junior school dress rehearsal *
Christmas Mufti Day *
Junior school dress rehearsal in morning *
Water Fight after lunch *
End of Year Mass at 6.00 pm
End of Year assembly at 11.45 pm
School finishes for the year at 12.30 pm

Start date for term 1 – new start date *
Senior Swimming lessons *
Waitangi Day – school closed
Senior Swimming lessons *
Senior Swimming lessons *
Senior Swimming lessons *
Senior Swimming lessons *
Senior Swimming lessons *

Holy Thursday – last day of school  for term 1
Good Friday
Holy Saturday
Easter Sunday
Easter Monday
ANZAC Day observed – school closed
Term 2 starts

Last day of school for term 2
School starts for term 3

Last day of school for term 3

School starts for term 4

Thursday, 5 December 2019

1. Principal's News Week 8 Term 4 2019

Draft Charter Goals
Having consulted with the community, cultural groups, staff, and taken student input our Board has come up with three over-arching charter goals for the next three years.  These are very broad goals which we will unpack and put detail into each year.  I am very open to your feedback on these goals and you can have a word with me when you see me around the school or email me at

Pet Day
Pet Day is next Wednesday 11th December.  A hard copy letter is coming home today, please check children's bags.

Multicultural Day
Thank you to our wonderful community for sharing workshops and preparing food and performances for our annual multicultural day last week.  Thank you to Mrs Plieger who once again organised the day for us and all the wonderful children who participated so enthusiastically.  There are a lot more photos on our school notice page and our school Facebook page.

Learning Around the School
In our environmental focus, Ruma Tui have been learning about extracting minerals from the earth and how hard it is to put the land back to rights after it has been excavated.  The point was made clear by "mining" chocolate chips out of cookies and trying to put the cookies back together again.

Jack is using his imagination in JH1

David and his class have taken a step into action after their science learning on energy and they have made solar ovens - which work!

Aroha and God Bless
Lorraine Frances-Rees

2..Special Character Week 8 Term 4 2019

                                   Kiaora, Greetings & Malo e Lelei

Special Character Focus
We began the season of Advent last Sunday! We light the first candle on our advent wreaths at Mass and in our homes and workplaces. On most wreaths, this candle is purple, which symbolizes prayer, penance and sacrifice. 
Advent is a period of waiting, like Lent. We are called to obtain the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to pray and fast, as we await the arrival of our savior. We work to greet Him with a soul free from the stain of mortal sin, and with joyous feasting.

Image result for advent candlesThis week is the second week of Advent- Peace.  Mrs Brookes has updated our foyer display with the messages about Advent. Advent is a time of waiting and getting ready for Christmas. It is a time when we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus coming into our lives, our families and our world. 
Let us begin our period of preparation now. 

 An Advent Blessing
1st Week of Advent – Hope
Faith Facts
On the first Sunday of Advent, the first purple candle (symbolising hope) on the advent wreath is lit. This candle is typically called the "Prophecy Candle" in remembrance of the prophets, primarily Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ.

Pope Francis Prayer - That every country determines to take the necessary measures to make the future of the very young, especially those who suffer, a priority. Let’s pray this week in the first week of Advent for those children who have nothing and suffer in slavery. Yes there are an estimated 152 million children in forced labour throughout the world today. Millions of those children are slaves.

Image result for child slavery 2019

O God, when we hear of children and adults being deceived and taken to unknown places for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour, and organ ‘harvesting’, our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are ignored through threats, lies, and force. We cry out against the evil practice of this modern slavery and pray for it to end. Give us wisdom and courage to reach out and stand up for those whose bodies, hearts and spirits who have been so wounded, so that together we may make real your promises to fill these sisters and brothers with a love that is tender and good. Give them hope. Send the exploiters away empty-handed to be converted from this wickedness and help us all to claim the freedom that is your gift to your children. Amen

Lautado Si
Ways to 'green our Christmas: Buying gifts.

Pope Francis: "Since the market tends to promote extreme consumerism in an effort to sell its products, people can easily get caught up in a whirlwind of needless buying and spending"

Keeping Christmas simple, affordable and sustainable.

  • A Caritas gift: (as a little extra, or for those who have everything ($10 to $1000)
  • For a couple, give one gift
  • A family, Secret Santa
  • Family photo montage-mounted in second-hand picture frame
  • A family-buy a second-hand basket for a hamper of home-made produce-shortbread, mince pies, truffles, sweets, jam, chutney etc, with Christmassy labels
  • Re-gifting: a present you do not need
  • Compile a book of your favourite recipes (for flatting children?);
  • Pre-loved products
  • Gift a plant or a garden voucher
  • Garden cuttings planted up with a Christmas label- (children's holidays activity?)
  • Herbal teas with a recycled teapot
  • Handmade vouchers promising gardening, housework, shopping, meals etc (great for children to give).

  • Together in God's Spirit we make the difference.

Spiritual Reading
'Without prayer we have neither light nor strength to advance in the way which leads to God'
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

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