St Joseph's Newsletter T4 Wk 5

18 November 2021

Principal’s Piece

Kia Ora Koutou

Me mahi tahi tatou mo te oranga o te katoa

We must work together for the wellbeing of all

Welcome to Term 4. This term is usually a busy term for schools with a lot of events going on as we head towards the end of the school year. The recent Covid Level 3 restrictions have meant that the end of the term will look very different to last year. With so much uncertainty around Alert Level or Traffic Light system we have had to make plans with the information we know from the Ministry of Education. Like many we share the frustration of the last 6 weeks.

What is important is that “we must work together for the wellbeing of all”. That is why we have taken the step like many local schools with the decision to create a “school bubble”. This means that we will not be having any parents or visitors onsite, as we do not yet have the means to check their vaccination status. We are doing this to ensure that we can keep our tamariki as safe as possible on our school site. Parents are still welcome to contact teachers via email or phone. The lines of communication are still open even though the gates are closed.

It’s fantastic to have all our students back and we will keep you updated with any changes that come our way. Thanks for your ongoing support and help as we navigate this period through to Christmas.

Kia manaaki te Atua koutou katoa

Grant Stuart


Gospel Reflection

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Gospel Reading
Mark 13:24-32
Jesus teaches about the signs of the coming of the Son of Man.

Background on the Gospel Reading

This Sunday is the second to last Sunday of our liturgical year. As we approach the end of the Church year, our Gospel invites us to consider Jesus’ predictions and teaching about the end of the world. In the context of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus’ words about this are spoken to his disciples as he prepares them for his passion and death.

Before we consider Jesus’ words, it is important to note the political backdrop against which many think Mark’s Gospel was written. Most scholars concur that Mark wrote his Gospel for Christians living in or near Rome about 30 to 40 years after the death of Jesus. This was a time of political turmoil in Rome. Some Christians experienced persecution by the Romans during the reign of the emperor Nero (about 64 A.D.). Jewish revolutionaries rebelled against the Romans, which led the Romans to destroy the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. In this time of political turmoil and persecution, many in Mark’s community might have wondered if the end times predicted by Jesus were in fact quite near.

Last Sunday we heard Jesus’ observation about the contributions being made to the temple treasury and the example of sacrificial giving that he saw in the poor widow’s offering. If we had been reading Mark’s Gospel continuously, we would have heard Jesus predict the destruction of the Temple, his teaching about the costs of discipleship, and the woes that will accompany the end times. Finally, we would have heard Jesus instruct his disciples about the need for watchfulness so that they will not be caught unprepared for this final day of judgment.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus continues this teaching by offering his disciples signs to look for that will indicate that the coming of the Son of Man is near. His words and images draw upon Old Testament imagery, especially images found in the Book of Daniel. Next, Jesus offers the lesson of the fig tree, a parable that teaches that if one knows how to read the signs, one can be prepared for the end times. Jesus also teaches, however, that no one knows when the end time will come, except the Father. In the verses that follow this reading in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus continues to warn his disciples to be on watch for this end time.

Jesus’ words are not spoken to frighten his disciples, nor should they frighten us. Rather, they are offered to prepare us for the changes we will experience during our lifetimes and at the end times. Our consolation and hope is found in the lasting nature of Jesus’ words and God’s never-ending love for us.

Value Focus

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Alert Level 2

Even though we are in Alert Level 2, we have a number of Covid-19 cases still in Hamilton, and several locations of interest in our community. Therefore we have made the decision to create a “school bubble” which means that we will not be having any parents or visitors onsite, as we do not yet have the means to check their vaccination status. We are doing this to ensure that we can keep our tamariki as safe as possible on our school site.

Alert Level 2 at St Joseph’s means:

  • Hygiene measures will be in place - regular hand washing/sanitising.

  • Keeping spaces well-ventilated.

  • There is no requirement to keep groups of children separated.

  • Breaktimes will be normal - all children are allowed to mix as usual.

  • There is no requirement for mask wearing by children or staff unless interacting with the public.

  • We will be avoiding large school gatherings such as assemblies for now.

  • We will return to our optional staggered end of day to allow social distancing by our parents at our school exits. If you want your child released to go home independently at 2.25pm, email your class teacher. All other children will be released at 2.45pm. If you turn up at the school gates from 2.25pm, we will send a runner to collect your child.

End of the school year 2021

Over the past weeks, with the Alert Levels and public health restrictions changing so often, I’m sure you will appreciate that we have repeatedly been through the process of making plans and then needing to change them. With the students back onsite, we are now able to finally settle on a plan for the end of our school year which will allow us to farewell our wonderful Year 8 leavers in the way they deserve, whilst also ensuring that we meet any public health requirements that are likely to be in place at the time.

We have decided that in these uncertain times, all our end of year events will take place with students and staff onsite only. We will make videos and photos available wherever possible, and we can’t wait until our whole community can safely be involved in school events again.

Our final week of school:

Monday 13 December:

  • Prizegiving. This will take place across the day with groups of students, not a whole school gathering.

Tuesday 14 December:

  • This will be the last school day for Year 0-7 students for 2021. School will finish at the normal time, 2.45pm.

  • Mufti day - please bring a food bank item or Christmas item for St Vincent de Paul.

  • A special liturgy involving Year 7&8 students only will be held.

Wednesday 15 December:

  • Year 8 students only. On this day, our whole staff will focus on farewelling our amazing Year 8’s. More information will be made available for Year 8’s soon. This event will be for Year 8 students only, they will arrive at 9.30am and finish their time at St Joseph’s Fairfield at 12.00.

End of year Digital Reports

Since the 18th of August, students have spent nearly 8 weeks of school time learning at home. We appreciate everything that families did to look after their children’s wellbeing and keep them learning over this time. Usually at the end of the year, families are given information about curriculum sublevel progress in core subjects. This is not possible this year, as we have not had students onsite to do the required assessments in order for teachers to make accurate judgements. Our focus in the time remaining this year is to keep teaching, not testing, and making sure that our students' wellbeing is at the forefront.

On Friday 10 December, at the end of Week 8, there will be a General Comment from the class teacher posted on Hero to summarise your child’s learning and achievements for 2021.

2022 New Entry Enrolment

We are in the middle of planning for next years classes and need to know about enrolments for 2022 as places are filling up quickly.

This is a call out for all

current St. Joseph's families with children already enrolled who have siblings that will be starting in the New Entrant class (Year 0) next year-

it is time to send in those new student applications, if you haven't already!

All enrolment information can be found online:

- Enrolments can be done online and documents can be emailed to

or paper copies can be picked up and dropped off in the office during school hours.

- We will not be processing applications until all documents are received.

- Photocopies and pictures of original documents will be accepted, except for the Catholic Preference Card which needs to be the original copy.

- While we greatly appreciate referrals to friends, neighbours and colleagues- priority of school placement will go to siblings first. Our waiting list is growing quite rapidly and we cannot guarantee spots to others at this moment in time.

Students not returning in 2022

If your child is not returning to St Joseph’s for 2022 could you please inform us now to assist with our planning.

Please email

2022 Term Dates

Term dates for 2022 are:

Term 1: Wednesday 2nd February - Thursday 15th April

Term 2: Monday 2nd May - Friday 8th July

Term 3: Monday 25th July - Friday 30th September

Term 4: Monday 17th October - Friday 16th December

The Teacher Only Days are:

Term 1: Monday 7 March

Term 2: Friday 3 June

Term 2: Monday 29 August

Term 4: Friday 11 November

When in doubt, keep them out!

There have been a number of students away with illnesses the last two days. Thank you for keeping your child(ren) home when they are showing signs of potential infectious disease. It has been beneficial in stopping the spread to other students or staff members. Remember- "Just a headache" or "just a tummy ache" could turn into germs being spread during an initial contagious period.

*Please note that New Zealand is under advisory for RSV (Respiratory Syncitial Virus). If your child is demonstrating symptoms we advise following Ministry of Health guidelines for diagnosis and treatment and please keep them at home in the meantime.*

Here is a handy chart from the Health Ed with helpful information on infectious disease:

StepsWeb - Free Licenses extended until 20 December

We are enormously grateful to the Canterbury-based company, StepsWeb, for the free licences they provided NZ school to support learning at home during Alert Level 4. They have generously extended these licences for the remainder of the school year, so you can continue to use this valuable resource at home. Your child’s log in details remain the same as during lockdown.

Access to Free Period Products

St Joseph’s Fairfield has opted into the 2021 government initiative to provide period products for students. Parents of Year 5-8 girls have been emailed this information and it is available on our website.


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Community Notices

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2021 Term Dates

Term dates for 2021 are:

Term 1: Tuesday 2nd February - Friday 16th April

Term 2: Monday 3rd May - Friday 9th July

Term 3: Monday 26th July - Friday 1st October

Term 4: Monday 18th October - Wednesday 15th December

The Teacher Only Days are:

Term 2: Tuesday 8 June (Week 5)

Term 4: Tuesday 26 October (Week 2)