Friday, 26 August 2022

1. Principal's News Week 5 Term 3 2022

Parent-Teacher-Student Meetings

It was great to see so many families joining us to discuss your children's learning this week.  Most classes had 100% of families come to the meetings.  Meeting and talking with you really helps us to help to know our learners better.

If you have any concerns or queries at any time please do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher.  Continue looking out for Educa posts.  This term we are posting on Health and Physical Education, Writing and RE.

Cross Country
We have been looking forward to our Cross Country event today.  Thank you to the many parents who have offered their help - this is very much appreciated.  I will post pictures of the event next week.  In the meantime here are some of our senior students (Jac, Marc and Emily) in training.

Newsblog next week

Please note as both Mrs Brien and myself are on camp with the year 7 & 8s next week and there is very limited wifi, there will be no newsblog next week.

Principal's Hui

This week we welcomed other North Otago principals who are part of the Maori Achievement Collaboration initiative of which I am a part.  The children welcomed them to school with our welcome waiata (song) - E Te Ariki and the children were interested to see the principals rise to sing back to them.  After this everyone had a bite to eat for morning tea.

We are busy practicing performances for the Fiefia Pasifika celebration evening on Tuesday 6 September at 6pm at the Rec Centre.  

Also for the North Otago Matariki Hui Ako (kapa haka) festival at the opera house on Thursday 8th September.  We are performing in the morning and I've just had the timetable and we are mid morning so if you want to watch 10.45 would be a safe bet I think.  We would love for parents to come and watch either of these events.

We are also going to Polyfest in Dunedin in the week of 12th September but we don't know the day yet.

I will email you if your child has chosen to participate in this.

Ma te Atua e manaaki a aroha,

(God bless, and love)

2. Special Character Week 5 Term 3 2022

2. Special Character


One of our special character focus is Prayer: Our children have an understanding of how to create a prayer space and display image or symbols that connect them to God, or remind them of our school values and charism. Prayer is about being in a relationship with God.

  • We glorify and worship our Creator
  • We speak to him about what is on our hearts
  • We hear from Him in different ways through prayer.
You/We would create a prayer space with your child at home and be in the present moment and recognising God in our midst through praying together.

Sacrament-Hakarameta Strand:
Key Ideas that you would like to talk about with your child at home of what they understand about:
  • There are 7 sacraments-Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick.

  • Sacraments relate to your life journey (te wa). 

School and Family Mass 

Thank you to Ruma Kiwi- Year 2/3 for presenting Mass last week.

This week's Mass was presented by Ruma Takahe- Year 7/8.

Next week Mass will be led by JH1- Ruma Pukeko and Kereru.

Thank you kaiako/teachers and tamariki/children for the amazing work that you all done. Thank you parents, we are looking forward to seeing you at our family school weekly mass next week.

Faith Facts:
Week 5: August 22-26 (Green)










The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary



St Bartholomew,




St Monica

The feast of the Queenship of Mary was started in 1954 by Pope Pius XII, but the tradition of celebrating Mary as queen of heaven goes back much earlier. The Church leaders often referred to Mary as “lady” and “queen” as early as the fourth century. The basic concept is that if Jesus is “king,” then it is fitting that Mary, his mother, would share in his reign as queen. Many older Catholics will know the beautiful hymn “Hail Queen of Heaven”. Worth a wee listen.

St Bartholomew was one of the twelve apostles. He taught all about Jesus in India and Western Asia in the very early years of Christianity. He was a great missionary for Jesus who travelled far and wide.

God Bless
Tua Misiloi

3. School Notices - Week 5, Term 3 2022


Birthday Greetings to:

Emily M, Gavin P, Malachi L, Zaylee C and Jayda M

On Monday 5th September, all families will receive a box of chocolates to sell as a fundraiser for the school.  Information about the fundraiser will be handed out with the chocolates.

Cross Country

What a beautiful day to hold a cross country in which all the children gave it their best shot.  There was some great competition between the students of both schools and it brought out the best in them.  
A massive thank you to our wonderful parent and sibling helpers today because without you we could not have organised this day and ran it the way we wanted too.  Thank you to the parents who came and supported your children.

Trophies and Certificates will be presented at assembly on Friday 9th September for all year groups.

North Otago cross country place getters will receive a notice to go home on Monday and it needs to be returned on Tuesday as Mrs Brien is away from Wednesday for the rest of the week.  North Otago Cross Country is on Monday 5th September.

Thank you to Mr and Mrs Whiston for taking photos today and these will be shown in the next newsletter.

Good Luck
To our Yr 7 & 8 students who are going on their winter camp next Wednesday at Mt Cook where they will experience walking part of the Hook Valley track, skiing and ice tubing.  Have fun and good luck.

Summer Sports
A reminder to return your sports permission slips for touch rugby and futsal to the office by Tuesday 13th September.

Winter Sports
The winter sports season is finished and we would like to thank all of our amazing coaches for coaching our sports teams which is very much appreciated.  Can we please have all winter sports uniforms returned to the office.

Friday, 19 August 2022

1. Principal's News Term 3 Week 4 2022

School Interviews

Parent-teacher-student interviews are on 

Tuesday 23rd August.  School will be closing at 12.30pm in order to have the interviews. 

 Please arrange for your children to be picked up at 12.30pm from their classroom.  It is important we make the time to meet together with parents, teachers and students to discuss learning progress.   Children who travel on the rural buses will be provided with supervision until the buses arrive.   

To book your interview go to:

Use code: 3c85s

Parent Consultation

Thank you to the many parents who came to our movie screenings and who shared their thoughts on the future of St Joseph's School.  Our Board of Trustees will consider what you have shared and be inviting a group of parents to dig deeper into these ideas in order to help us form our vision for the future and our strategic plan for the next few years.

Things we can address immediately


One family let us know that their child would like to have their rice heated up.  Thank you for letting us know that.  Can that family, or others who feel the same way please contact me by phone, email or drop in?  Also, anyone else who needs rice heated up.  Depending on how many people, and the ages of the children, we can work something out so that hot rice is possible.  If there are a few people, maybe we could get a rice cooker and provide fresh rice but we'd need to know what sort of rice.  Please contact me.


Another family asked for us to understand their culture by understanding why their children would not eat.  Could that family please contact me so that we can get some further understanding on that and what we need to do to be helpful.


For anything that is something you need in your culture or just within your family, that we may not understand or have not provided for, please contact me and we will try to find a way to provide it.

Please do not feel worried about telling us something that is needed.

I come from England and even though we speak the same language as New Zealanders and have many similar customs, there are some which are different.   You might feel that it should be obvious but it is sometimes not.  I have many examples of things which I didn't understand when I came to New Zealand.

For instance, if people were talking about formalwear, e.g. for a wedding they would talk about men wearing a vest which in New Zealand means what I would call a waistcoat like this man is wearing:

But where I come from a vest is a piece of underwear like this:

I have other examples.  So the point I'm making is if you are in a different country there are many things taken for granted that are actually not obvious.  If there is something that we don't know about your culture, or what you need, please tell us, otherwise we might not know.  

Upcoming Events

We have some exciting events planned for this term:

  • School Cross Country day at Oamaru Racecourse next Friday 26th August
  • Year 7 & 8 camp - 31 August - 2 September - this year a snow and ice camp based at Mt Cook
  • We are entering some lovely artwork in the Burns Memorial Art Exhibition
  • A group of children will be performing at Feifia night on Tuesday 6th September
  • Matariki Hui Ako - Our kapa haka group will be performing at the opera house on the morning of Thursday 8th September.
  • Kaka haka group performing at our local library, 11am Thursday 13th of September
  • Polyfest - in week 8 - a group of year 3+ children (all who want to) are going to Polyfest in Dunedin one day this week.
  • The house groups are preparing for the house football tournament at the end of term and also for the house choirs competition on the last day of term.
  • Our senior students are engaging in extension classes through St Kevin's.
  • There is a lot going on and we are very committed to the children getting every opportunity they can have to expand their learning horizons.
Our kapa haka and Pasifika group practising:

Please remember school is closing at 12.30pm next Tuesday 23rd August.

Ma te Atua e manaaki a aroha,

(God bless, and love)

2. Special Character Week 4 Term 3 2022

Special Character:

Religious Education: Sacraments/Hakarameta Strand

Here are some of the Key Ideas of our Sacrament/Hakarameta Strand that you would like to talk about with your child at home of what they understand about:

  • Each Sacrament has its own symbols and rituals

  • Sacraments are a sign of God's grace in the world and in us. 

School and Family Mass 

Thank you to Ruma Kakapo- Year 4/5 for presenting Mass last week.

This week's Mass was presented by Ruma Kiwi -Year 2/3.

Next week Mass will be presented by Ruma Takahe- Year 7/8.

Thank you to the parents for your ongoing support. We are looking forward to seeing you all at our family school weekly.

Faith Facts

Week 4 - August 15 - 19 (Green)











Feast Day for New Zealand





St Bernard

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 
This day celebrates the mystery that the Virgin Mary was taken into heaven body and soul. Mary’s assumption into heaven is also the patronal feast of the Catholic people in New Zealand. In other words, she is the Patron saint of New Zealand and this week is her feast day.

Thank you and have a happy weekend.
God Bless
Tua Misiloi (Co DRS)

3. School Notices - Week 4, Term 3 2022


Birthday Greetings to:
No birthdays this week

Cross Country
A reminder notice about next week's cross country is on another page on the blog.  A paper copy will be sent home next week.

Tuesday 23rd -  school finishes at 12.30 pm for parent-teacher interviews
                       -  miniball 3 x 3 competition finishes
Wednesday 24th - basketball finishes
Friday 26th - school cross country
                    - there is no technology today

Please check our newsblog ( It comes out every Friday and a link is emailed to families. If you need it in the meantime it is linked on the front page of our webpage: (which you can find by searching "St Joseph's Oamaru"). The newsblog contains all the news and information you need to know about what is going on. If you are not getting it, check your spam folders and if it is not there please contact the office.

Sports Draw
Basketball and Miniball 
The draws for the final games of the season were not available at the time the newsletter was typed.  These will be sent to you next week.

Football - last games for the season.  All games played at Awamoa Park.

Student News
Recently I went to a gymnastics competition.  It was one of the biggest competitions I have been too.  Here is my experience.
"I arrive in Timaru and I see my teammates warming up and then we get to our first event.  I was pretty proud of myself in that routine.  Vault is next to my worst but I just had to go for it.  It was okay I guess.  My favourite is the bar because I have been working on it really well.  I am swinging up and down! Finally, my last event is the beam.  Beam so far has not been my best but we will see.  I made a couple of wobbles but that's alright.

Now it is prize-giving time, the most exciting part or for others they dislike.  'Chelsea Koay'!! Claps come pouring in, it seems like I got first place!  After the competition, I look back at the scores and I beat 2nd place from only 0.1.  I competed in Dunedin, Timaru, Queenstown and Christchurch.  I thank my family, friends and coaches for getting me this far."  Chelsea Koay - year 7

Subway lunches
There will be NO subway lunches on the day of our cross country as we are away from school.

Summer Sports
A notice regarding futsal and touch rugby is on another page in the blog. A paper copy will be given to each family next week.

Touch Rugby Coaching Clinic

We have a coaching course coming up that we really want to encourage all coaches/potential coaches/interested parents/interested teachers to attend. Naomi and Jarrod from Otago Touch are coming up to run it so it will definitely be worthwhile and we would love to get good numbers.
It is for absolutely all skill levels, and will be really useful for coaches to learn what they should be doing throughout all ages and stages. 
Could you please share the details amongst your school communities?

Coaching Clinic (all levels)
14th September
6pm @ Excelsior Clubrooms
Being run by Otago Touch
Contact Shannon for more info

Winter Sports Uniforms
Can you please return your child's winter sports uniform to the office.

4. School Cross Country Reminder

 REMINDER NOTICE - 2022 Cross Country

Event: Combined School Cross Country with Te Pakihi o Maru School

Date: Friday 26th August 2022

Where:  Oamaru Racecourse

Time: 11.00 am starting with Yr 0/1/ children

Last Race: 11.48 am for Yr 7/8 boys

Helpers Needed: yes please.  Contact Mrs Brien if you can help

Can we start the races if there are not enough helpers? - no because of safety requirements.  We will wait until we get the required number of helpers.

Animals:- Definitely NO DOGS or animals allowed at the racecourse

Parking:  all cars are to park in the designated parking area, not on the race track

Participation: The course is the same as last year.  All children are to participate whether walking or running unless a medical reason is given by a parent.

Cancellation - the postponement date is Tuesday 30th August.  If it is cancelled on Friday, we will let you know in the morning and a message will be sent to all the parents.

Venue - the cross country is held at the Oamaru Racecourse on the left-hand side of the racing track and the entrance for parents will be through the main southern entrance and you walk along the southern side of the track to start the course.

Spectators: are warmly welcomed 

What do the Children wear and bring?  

  • they wear their PE gear to school

  • 1-2 pr warm trousers (in case they fall over) and school jacket

  • A spare pair of socks and shoes and a hand towel to wipe themselves if they get dirty or wet

  • A plastic bag to put dirty socks and shoes in it

  • Extra food and drink for the day as they will take their school bags with them to the event.

  • Named medications e.g. inhalers and give them to the class teacher

Subway Lunches - there will be NO subway lunches on this day.

Tarpaulins – we require tarpaulins for the children to sit on.  Please name them and give them to your class teacher.

Grounds – will be quite damp, muddy,  animal droppings around and maybe some water to go through so the children will need another pair of shoes to wear afterwards e.g. school shoes. (Yr 1 & 2 children will not be going through water).

Course – a copy of the course is on the noticeboard for all year levels.  This year the children are going through and over jumps and we will have a marshall at each of these jumps. The Yr 1 & 2 children will go past the jumps.  

The children from Yrs 3-8 go through a very shallow creek and walk on a wooden bridge.. (This will depend on how much rain has fallen recently).

Buses – leave school at 10.15 am. The children will go to the toilet beforehand. The buses will drop the children off at the carpark and they will walk along the fence to the cross-country paddock.  

The buses will be taking the year 1 & 2 children back to school at approximately 12.00 pm.  The other year levels will go back at the end of the morning at approximately 12.30 pm.

Year Levels – the children will be running in gender year levels e.g. Yr 1 girls first then Yr 1 boys, Yr 2 girls then Yr 2 boys etc. 

Timetable – approximate 3-5 minutes between each race and some races may start earlier than stated. (Parents/caregivers please come out earlier to watch your children, otherwise you may miss seeing them race).  Girls race first then the boys.  

This could change depending on the number of parents we get to help as marshalls and if we have to wait for parents to go to marshall stations.  Note these times are approximate.

Time Year Level No In Race

11.00 am Yr 0 & 1 girls (19) 

11.03 am Yr 0 & 1 boys (19)

11.06 am   Yr 2 girls         (12)

11.09 am          Yr 2 boys     (13)

11.14 am Yr 3 girls      (22) 

11.17 am Yr 3 boys  (16)  

11.20 am Yr 4 girls       (15)  

11.23 am          Yr 4 boys (23)

11.28 am Yr 5 girls         (9) 

11.31 am Yr 5 boys       (13)  

11.34 am Yr 6 girls          (17)  

11.37 am          Yr 6 boys      (15)

11.44 am Yr 7 & 8 girls                  (7)

11.47 am Yr 7 & 8 boys         (14)

Marshall Stations –  All marshalls and the starter will be wearing high viz vests. Marshalls are to meet at the track by 10.40 am for a debriefing.  Information will be emailed home to you in the next couple of days.

Photos – if you take photos we would love to see some for our records. 

North Otago Cross Country - the top 6 children from either St Joseph’s or Te Pakihi o Maru school in years 4-8 will qualify for the North Otago Cross Country on Monday 5th September at 4.00 pm and will be given a note home.

Please contact me if you have any queries/questions about the cross country.

Thank you, Paula Brien, Sports Coordinator