St Joseph's Newsletter T4 Wk 9

15 December 2021

Principal’s Piece

Kia Ora Koutou

Meri Kirihimete

Merry Christmas

As the year draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday. It is important to take time out this Advent and remember the reason for the season. Pope Francis reminds us to “prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus like we joyfully prepare our homes for a visit from a family member or friend during Advent”.

I invite you to participate in the Christmas Celebrations at the Church.

The times are as follows:

- Christmas Eve Vigil Mass 4.30pm 24th December

- Christmas Day Mass 9.00am 25 December

For other Mass times around the Diocese please go to:

2022 has been a challenging year for our staff and students. We all thought that 2021 was a year like no other but this year Covid 19 has disrupted the second half of the year with teaching and learning being online for a large portion. The students have been great at changing from the classroom into an online space. Despite all the disruptions we know that our students have made progress. It might be moving up a reading level, using fullstops consistently in their writing or solving math equations using long division. We can be proud of all our achievements this year.

At Prizegiving we recognised the achievements of our students in cultural, sporting and academic pursuits. Congratulations to those who received awards. It’s a great reward for all the hard work that has gone on over the year.

As a community we can be proud of all our students and the progress they have made in this, another challenging year. We know that Student achievement in the areas of Reading, Writing and Mathematics will reflect the disruptions that we have had. The school has strong support programmes in place next year to help all our students work towards the expected curriculum levels.

My thanks to the hard working team of teachers and teachers aides for their efforts to provide top quality education for all our students. This year you went beyond what is expected and I want to acknowledge that publicly. I especially want to mention the ability of our team to transition into online learning with less than 24 hours notice.

A special mention to Anna Crawford and Maria Cameron who leave us at the end of 2021. Both ladies have done an amazing job in helping our students reach their potential. I wish you well on your adventures.

A big thank you to the Board of Trustees for the commitment they invest in our school and for all their support throughout the year working alongside us to develop wonderful learning facilities, opportunities and possibilities – their work enables us to create rich learning experiences for your children.

A special thanks to our hard working parents on the PTFA for their many contributions which we value immensely – their support helps create many learning opportunities for our learners like Kapa Haka, Swimming Lessons and Camps.

Next year we head into the unknown with the Covid Protection Framework, also referred to as the traffic light system. As a school we will be busy planning to ensure that we can keep your children safe. We will also focus on accelerated learning so that we can make up for the interruptions that we have had this year.

Just around the corner is Christmas and the season of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. I encourage you to take up the opportunity to find Hope, Peace, Joy and Love in the different Christmas services throughout the country.

I hope that you have a Holy Christmas and a restful holiday and feel ready to face the challenges of 2022.

Kia manaaki te Atua koutou katoa

Grant Stuart


Gospel Reflection

Third Sunday of Advent, Cycle C

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Gospel Reading

Luke 3:10-18

John the Baptist teaches the path of repentance and announces Christ.

Background on the Gospel Reading

This Sunday's Gospel continues last week's focus on John the Baptist and his role in preparing the way for Christ. Recall that last week's reading described John's appearance in the desert and established his connection with the prophetic tradition of Israel. If we were to read Luke's Gospel continuously, we would learn about John the Baptist challenging the crowds who came to him and calling upon them to show evidence of their repentance. John tells his listeners that they cannot rely on their lineage as Israelites because children of Abraham can be raised up from stones. Repentance, rather, must be observable in one's actions. Here, Luke is continuing to set up two important themes of his Gospel message: the Christian faith is expressed in one's actions, and the call to salvation is extended to everyone, Jews and Gentiles.

In today's Gospel reading, the crowds ask John the Baptist for specifics. What evidence of repentance is required? John replies by naming concrete actions: crowds should share their food and cloaks; tax collectors should be just; soldiers should act fairly. The concern for justice is a hallmark of Luke's Gospel.

When the crowd begins to wonder if John the Baptist might be the Messiah, John interprets his baptism and makes it clear that his ministry is in preparation for the Messiah. John the Baptist knows his place and role in God's plan of salvation. By encouraging the crowd to act similarly in accordance with their stations in life, John's teaching suggests that each person has a role to play in God's salvation. It is the great mystery of our salvation that God permits and even asks for human cooperation in his divine plans.

The third Sunday of Advent is also called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word that means “rejoice.” This name is taken from the entrance antiphon for Sunday's Mass, which is also echoed in today's second reading from the Paul's letter to the Philippians. Some people mark this Sunday by lighting a pink candle instead of a purple one on their Advent wreath. It is a reminder that the Advent season is a season of joy because our salvation is already at hand.

Value Focus

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The Advent season is our special countdown to Christmas where we are invited to take time from what can be a frenzied period of functions, shopping and cooking to include spiritual preparation for the birth of Jesus to keep Christ at the centre of Christmas.

One way to keep Advent alive in our homes is with an Advent Wreath. A great family activity, something that can be created together and shared in each week as the candles, for Hope, Love, Joy and Peace are lit.

However we choose to observe this season let’s take time to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

How to light your Advent Wreath:

In the first week, light one purple candle.

In the second week, light two purple candles.

In the third week, light two purple candles and the rose candle.

In the fourth week, light all four candles.

St Joseph's Christmas Masses

Due to Covid 19 Restrictions you need to book-in to attend Masses over the Christmas period.

If you wish to attend a service here at St Joseph's please follow the link below to book in.

Kohuri Nativity Movie

Kohuri Nativity Movie


Prizegiving 2021

SJF Prizegiving 2021

Year 8 Leavers Mass

Log in or sign up to view

Final Blessing for our Year 8's

St Josephs Fairfield - Hamilton on Facebook Watch

Celebrating Success

Congratulations to Noah Pritchard who has won a Sports Scholarship to attend St John's College next year. This is a great reward for all Noah's hard work and reflects his love of sport. Noah is a talented gymnast on the rise and we look forward to hear about his ongoing success.

Well done Noah!

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.


This week we say farewell to two key members of our teaching staff along with our Year 8 students. We wish them well on their new adventures and thank them for all they have done to help make St Joseph's a great place.

Mrs Anna Crawford

Anna has done so much for the school over her time here at St Joseph's. She was instrumental in the formation of the cultural committee and has worked hard to create a cultural responsiveness plan for our school. Anna has been the teacher in charge of Kapa Haka working closely with the Senior Kapa Haka group and developing a junior Kapa Haka programme.

In the classroom Anna has worked closely with our students that have needed an extra hand with their learning. The difference that she has made for these students has been amazing. Her classes have benefitted from her ICT skills and created many different online quizzes and movies.

I wish Anna and her family all the best as they start a new chapter of their lives over in Thames.

Miss Maria Cameron

Maria came to our school as a beginning teacher fresh out of University. Maria took up the opportunity and challenge of working at the Year 2/3 level in an open plan classroom space. Maria has worked tirelessly to help her learners make progress through what has been a challenging year.

Maria has been a great member of the junior team and has added real value in that space. Her passion for PE has made sure that the students of Kohuri have been able to develop their skills especially in soccer.

I wish Maria all the best as she takes up her new position at Otorohanga South school.

Year 8's

On Wednesday we farewelled our wonderful Year 8 Leavers. Our red carpet Leavers Event was held at school; it involved photoshoots, yummy food and a ceremony to celebrate the end of their primary school years. Here are a few photos to give you a glimpse of this special event. Parents of Year 8 children have been emailed a link through Hero to access more photos and video. We wish our incredible "Class of 2021" every success, their futures are bright! God bless you on your journey.

Class Structure for 2022

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Before and After School Care 2022

Next year the school will take over the after school care. We are looking at running a before school care option. In order for us to plan effectively we need some information from you. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.

After School Survey

School Uniform

Our current school uniform contract ends in June next year. We are currently asking a number of providers to submit their proposals. Early in 2022 we will ask for some voice from both parents and students so that we can make the right choice moving forward.

At the end of the year we are looking to collect in any surplus uniform, these can be handed into the school office. We anticipating holding a second hand uniform sale towards the end of January, watch out for more information via the school Facabook page!

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


Thank you to the PTFA from all the students!

A huge thank you to our wonderful PTFA who provided ice blocks and chocolates for our Year 0-6 students today. They were definitely a highlight of the day! We look forward to being able to complete some more exciting projects with our PTFA next year.

The photo is Matatipu-iti, our New Entrants, enjoying their treats!

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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)