Thursday, 17 February 2022

1. Principal's News - week 3, term 1 2022

 Living the Word of God

This week our understand-know-do for our whole school prayers was based on Gospel readings for resilience and we have been specifically looking for children who are practising resilience.

Last week our principal's award recipients for reverence were David K and Rheanna C.  David and Rheanna are our Special Character Head Students and have started the year leading our school prayers over Zoom.  They also presented the gifts at Sunday's parish Mass.

It was lovely to find this prayer table.  It has been set up by an anonymous student, a little bit off the beaten track in an area of our intermediate department.  What care they have gone to and what a lovely find!

Year 8 Leadership Camp

Last week our Year 8 leaders engaged in a two day retreat where they learnt about managing their emotions, flipping their mood, assertive communication and peer mediation.  On the second day, they formally welcomed the year 7s to our intermediate department.  

Connect with us

Even though we have to be careful about mixing too many people in the building, if you have a problem or a worry, please come in and see us before or after school or give us a phone call.  We know that if we sit on a worry it can grow and really get to bother us.  I repeat what we said last week - we want your feedback both good and bad.  

Our Building Update

As some families know, we have moved one of our senior classes to the junior area in anticipation for the rebuild of our senior school which we believe will be happening towards the end of the year.  Our Board is excited about meeting with our architect next week.  In the meantime, painting work and some replacement of interior decor took place during the summer break.  

St Joseph's Board of Trustees

I would like to introduce St Joseph's Board of Trustees who do an amazing job behind the scenes with great dedication and integrity.  We are very lucky to have an experienced Board of Trustees who understand our school and our school history really well.  This leaves them well poised to make good decisions for our future.  We are very keen as a Board to hear lots from our community this year as we plan for exciting developments.  We will want to know what you love about St Joseph's and what you want to change, as well as your dreams for the future for your family, our school and our wider community.  We will be taking steps in the next few weeks to bring us together somehow so that we can meet as a community and share ideas for now and the future.  We want to look at how we can feel like we are a close community despite the restrictions which are getting in our way.

This year there are Board elections and we will be looking for one more parent to join the Board team.  Have a think about whether this role could be for you and talk with me or one of our Board members about it.

Here's our Board:


Sharni Cunningham (Presiding Member), Mother of MacKenzie and Indya

Andy Bradley - father of Jac

Victoria Forrest - mother of Hunter and Carter

Samara Tamati - mother of William and James


Fr Wayne Healey

Rebecca Laming (mother of James, Luke, Mark and Clare)

Jan Plieger


Leigh Thomas

Lorraine Frances-Rees

Student Achievement

Our student achievement summary for the end of 2021 can be seen here.  We have specific learning plans for any student who is not meeting their expectation.

Our specific achievement targets for 2022 are for writing and for overall engagement in an authentic curriculum.  They can be seen on pages 5 to 12 of our charter.

Farewell to Sr Mary Horn

Sr Mary Horn is the last of our Dominican Sisters living in Oamaru and this weekend we had a parish mass and celebration morning tea in the Brydone to farewell Sr Mary.  The Dominican Sisters founded St Joseph's school and have been a strong force in Oamaru for the last 140 years.  We were sad to farewell Sr Mary but we are very mindful of the richness of tradition and purpose our Dominican Sisters have given us.  We hope to bring all of that forward into our future, together with YOU, our community.

Educa and Parent-Student-Teacher Meetings

Please note my email sent to all parents to follow up on the link given to you for the Educa App and to get it on your phone so you can have notifications.  We need you to fill in the "About Me" section, please.  Also please book today for your personal meeting with your child's teacher next Tuesday or Thursday afternoon/evening.

To book:

Go to:

Login with the code: uacvx

Goal Setting

Your child and their teacher will set their first learning goal AFTER the parent-student-teacher meeting.  This will be a learner capability goal which will help them to be a better learner in all learning areas and they will be able to find evidence of meeting their goal in lots of different ways, as they progress through the term.  You will be able to see updates on Educa.

Learner Capabilities (these can also be seen on our curriculum website):

Positive Covid Cases

I hope all of our families remain well.  However, if your child has a positive test for Covid please let me know immediately.  If it is in school hours please ring the office.  If it is out of hours, I pick up my emails on my phone so I will pick it up quickly.  I have to notify all close contacts within 8 hours so I need to know as soon as you know please.  Hopefully it won't happen.


Swimming is well underway and thank you to the parents who have stepped forward as parent helps.  There are lots of restrictions but Paula has done an amazing job of organising things with the pool and the pool staff have complimented St Joseph's on our organisation and the way the children have presented.  

Mermaids in the sandpit

God Bless and Aroha


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