St Joseph's Newsletter T4 Wk 8

7 December 2022

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

The times are as follows:

- Christmas Eve Vigil Mass 4.00pm (Carols from 3.30pm) Saturday 24th December

- Christmas Day Mass 7.30 and 10.30 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary

For other Mass times around the Diocese please go to:

The school year is fast approaching its end.

The first half of the year has been filled with disruption and cancellations due to Covid 19. The second half of the year has been busy trying to fit in all the events that were cancelled and trying to help students with their learning. I think the year is best summed up with the whakatauki:

He moana pukepuke e ekengia e te waka

A choppy sea can be navigated

It certainly has been a choppy sea to navigate this year and we are close to reaching the end. My thanks to the staff and students for the way they have gone about their mahi this year. The can do attitude has been present throughout and we have been able to achieve so much. We were able to have a swimming sports in June, cross country in August, Aims Games in September, a production in October, AMP show trip in November and a Raglan Camp in December. My thanks also to the parents and members of our community who have also helped out greatly to ensure these events have gone smoothly. I know the students have enjoyed taking part in these activities.

The summer holidays will provide an opportunity for everyone to rest and relax. Preparations for 2023 are well under way and it is hoped that we are returning to a more normal year next year.

Over the next few days we have a number of end of year activities and events. Please see below for more information and important dates.

I wish you a merry Christmas and a safe holiday break.

Kia manaaki te Atua koutou katoa

Grant Stuart

Tumuaki / Principal

Gospel Reflection

Second Sunday of Advent, Cycle A Sunday, December 4, 2022

Gospel Reading

Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptist appears in Judea preaching a message of repentance.

Background on the Gospel Reading

In this week's Gospel Reading and next week's, our Advent preparation for Christmas invites us to consider John the Baptist and his relationship to Jesus. In this week's Gospel, Matthew describes the work and preaching of John the Baptist.

John the Baptist appears in the tradition of the great prophets of Israel, preaching repentance and reform to the people of Israel. In fact, the description of John found in this reading is reminiscent of the description of the prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1:8). In this reading, John directs a particularly pointed call to repentance to the Pharisees and Sadducees, parties within the Jewish community of the first century.

John marks the conversion of those who seek him out with a baptism of repentance. Other groups in this period are thought to have practiced ritual washings for similar purposes, and John's baptism may have been related to the practices of the Essenes, a Jewish sect of the first century. John's baptism can be understood as an anticipation of Christian baptism. In this passage, John himself alludes to the difference between his baptism and the one yet to come: “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance . . . He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11).

In this reading, John makes very clear that his relationship to the Messiah yet to come (Jesus) is one of service and subservience: “. . . the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals” (Matthew 3:11). In the context of Matthew's Gospel, today's passage is followed by Jesus' baptism by John, an event that is attested to in all four of the Gospels and appears to have been the start of Jesus' public ministry.

John's preaching of the coming of the Lord is a key theme of the Advent season. As John's message prepared the way for Jesus in the first century, we, too, are called to prepare ourselves for Jesus' coming. We respond to John's message by our repentance and reform of our lives. We are also called to be prophets of Christ, who announce by our lives, as John did, the coming of the Lord.

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Christmas Mass Times: Parish of the Holy Cross

Saturday 24 December

St Joseph’s 4.00pm

St Paul’s 6.00pm

St Peter Chanel 8.00pm

Sunday 25 December

St Anthony’s 9.00am


End of Year Events

Wednesday 14 December

1.30 pm: Prizegiving

5.00 pm: PTFA Family Picnic

Thursday 15 December

1.30 pm: Final Mass

Last day for Year 0-7 students

Friday 16 December

9.30 am: Year 8 Leavers Function

Trees at the Meteor

Room 8 has made a tree for 'Trees at the Meteor' called Mrs Redback's Kiwiana Christmas.

It is spectacular! Visit and see it!

Trees at the Meteor starts this Wednesday.

Week nights December 7 -11 and 14-17 6-9pm.

Weekends 3-9 pm.

For more information

ICAS Achievements

Congratulations to the following students for their achievements in the ICAS Mathematics Exams:


Emilia Shyra

Ciaran Whaley


Theo Johnston

Enzo Lunas

Lucia McLauchlan-Hillary

Aodhan O'Toole


Bella McLauchlan-Hillary

Mrs Fitzwater’s Term 4 class 2022 - No Stationery required for the children in 2023

Dear Parents

This is just a reminder that when you see notices about buying stationery requirements for your child’s class in 2023, please ignore, as you have bought enough stationery for the end of 2022 and 2023

Many thanks

Donna Fitzwater

Students Arriving Early

We have a number of students arriving at school prior to 8.00 am. As we do not have staff on duty at this time, students arriving before 8.00 am will be sent to Before School Care and parents will be charged.

Parking on Strowan Avenune and Clarkin Ave

When collecting or dropping students off at school, please do not park in the no parking zones or on or across our neighbours driveways.

Message from the Hamilton City Council:

“Now the weather is improving can we please make more of an effort to park appropriately around our school, please do not park on yellow lines and in the bus stop on Clarkin Road. Make a plan with your students to walk a bit further and meet you at safe and appropriate area”.


Intermediate Waterpolo Competiton

The St Joseph’s Stingrays year 5/6 water polo team played off in the intermediate water polo competition for 3rd place in Division 3 and won! This team showed some amazing defence and awesome attack which resulted in a very close game against Berkley with St Joseph’s coming away with the win. Hats off to these players having no fear against some pretty tough and physical year 7/8s.
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The year 7 Seahorses played with determination in last Sunday's final vs Saint Peter's Cambridge, unfortunately resulting in a 4-1 loss, coming second place overall in Division 2. A fantastic effort from a team who only came together this term, and with some players new to the game. Special thanks to coach Kirsty Parker for her commitment to developing each player's skills with a focus on great teamwork. Thank you also to Glenda McLeod for managing and to all the parents who dropped kids back to school after morning practice each Wednesday. Congratulations Seahorses!
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Last Sunday saw the finals for St Joseph’s Sea Dragons Water Polo team against Berkley Bluefins in division 1. A nail biter of a final which resulted in St Joseph’s taking home the trophy for a 4-2 win in division 1!

This team had huge commitment and passion throughout the term which resulted in this awesome win today which they thoroughly deserved. Some of these players have started right from Flippa ball and to see them excel in water polo (a game which can be pretty tough both mental and physical) was very special. They out did themselves today and gave the crowd a fantastic final!

Special mention to Angus McDiarmid and Tessa Scott who got MVP’s in the intermediate competition and played exceptionally not only today but throughout the term resulting in them giving always.

St Joseph’s should be very proud of their water polo teams with all 3 teams placing in all 3 divisions, something which our little school should be very proud of. Was a fantastic afternoon and congratulations to the Sea Dragons, Sea Horses and Stingrays, you guys rock! We are all proud of you!

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BYOD & Devices

Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD)

At St Joseph's we are a BYOD school. This means we allow students to bring their own device (Chromebook, Netbook or laptop) to school. It is a tool to assist them with their learning. It allows them to access the internet.

There are a number of different devices that students use but if they decide to bring a device to school then there are certain requirements to be aware of. St Joseph's School’s minimum requirements for a device to assist with learning at school are:

  • At least enough battery power for 5 hours learning;
  • Internet capable;
  • Ability to create and edit documents using Google tools;
  • Suitable, durable bag/protective cover.

Please remember that ALL classrooms will have a minimum of one device/every two students so there is no real reason to feel that students will need to provide their own device. It is our strong belief that we have sufficient devices to allow students in every class to have access to devices when and if they are required for their learning.

The School Board continues to support us by providing sufficient devices for our classrooms.

School work carried out on a school device can still be accessed at home through the student's account and worked on. With the up coming sales over the next period you will be able to pick up devices at very good pricing if you would like your child to have their own device. The Online Safety Use Agreement will govern the use and access of all devices at/from the school.

Credit Union School Banking

The Credit Union have advised that the School Banking Team will have their last school banking pick up for 2022 the week of 5th December!

School banking will resume the week beginning 6th February 2023.

School Uniform

All items of the uniform can now be purchased via the school. We are no longer selling any uniform items at NZ Uniforms in Hamilton.

Please use the Kindo app to purchase items and these will then be sent to your child's classroom. If you need to try on items, please come to the school office after 9am and we can help you with this or you can call on 855 5434 to arrange a time.

Please be aware that there may be limited sizes of certain items.

School Uniform Items and Prices

Uniform Returns Policy

Period Products

St Joseph’s Fairfield has opted into the government initiative to provide period products for students. This initiative aims to provide free period products to children and young people in all schools across New Zealand. Periods are a fact of life for half the population. Despite this, young people don’t always have access to the products they need to feel comfortable at school, engage in their learning, and manage what should be a normal and healthy part of life. If you want to know more, click here for a link to the Ministry of Education information.

At St Joseph’s, we have put in place a discreet delivery system so that girls can take home a monthly allocation of period products (two boxes per month). We know that some girls at this age might feel too shy to openly discuss period products with their peers or a staff member, so we want to make access easy and remove any embarrassment for them.

Click here for more information.

Each girl can fill in this Google Form which lets them select from various products.

COVID 19 - Update

New long-term strategy for COVID-19

You’ll be aware that New Zealand will move to a new, long-term approach to COVID-19. These changes have been made based on public health advice and reflect high levels of immunity and declining case numbers across New Zealand.

This new approach will only result in minor changes to the way we operate.

The very positive news is that household contacts of a person with COVID-19 do not need to isolate, but instead are asked to complete a RAT test each day, for five days. Therefore, ākonga who are household contacts but test negative and do not have COVID-19 symptoms, should continue to attend. It is the best place for them to be so they can be engaged in their learning, and connected with their teachers, classmates and friends.

Information on how to get RAT kits can be found here: Request a RAT– Ministry of Health

Mask wearing is no longer required.

All the other recommended public health measures will stay in place as we know they reduce the spread of infectious illnesses including COVID-19. These include ensuring our indoor spaces are well-ventilated, maintaining good hand hygiene, encouraging everyone to cough or sneeze into elbows and, most importantly, staying home and getting tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Thank you for your ongoing support in protecting our community.

Past Student Sporting Achievements

We are keen to build a database of former students who have gone on to do great things in their sporting endeavours - they may represent New Zealand or play sport professionally. If you know of former students doing great things, please let us know.


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Entertainment App

Your support for our fundraising at St Joseph's Catholic School Fairfield PTFA can now save you money everywhere you travel in the next 12 months.
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Use this link to get this limited-time offer:

Community Notices

The Parish of the Holy Cross Sacramental Programme 2023

This programme is for children who are baptised and are aged 8 years and above. Classes will run for 5 weeks at St Joseph's Church, Fairfield commencing mid February 2023. Registration is online at: under Sacramental Preparation.

The link will be live from 1 November to 9 December. Please note you will be required to supply a

copy of the child’s baptism certificate before your registration is complete.

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Science and Technology Online classes

Brain Play teaches online after-school science & technology classes to Kiwi kids aged 5 - 13, from right across the country! Online topics this term include 3D printing, coding, animation, STEM experiments, LEGO & more. Free trials available for new students. Check out our timetable on our website and use the form to get in touch -
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Register now for free Access until 20 January.

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Holiday Programmes

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Use this link for all venues, bookings and a copy of the timetable:

Parish Mass Times

St Peter Chanel

Tuesday 9am

Thursday 9am - Liturgy with Communion

Saturday Vigil 5pm

St Joseph's

Wednesday 9am - Liturgy with Communion

Friday 9am

Sunday 9am

Term Dates

2022 Term Dates

Term 4: Mon 17th October – Fri 16th December

2023 Term Dates

Term 1: Tues 31 January - Thurs 6 April

Term 2: Mon 24 April - Fri 30 June

Term 3: Mon 17 July - Friday 22 September

Term 4: Mon 9 October - Fri 15 December