Newsletter Week 2 Term 1 2023

St Joseph's Catholic School Morrinsville - February 8th

Principal's Message

Nau mai haere mai e te whanau! Me te Atua koutou e manaaki! Greetings everyone and God Bless you all! Isn't it lovely to see some sunshine?!

We hope you all enjoyed the long weekend, and managed to 'unplug' somewhere special, whether that be home or away.

As we reflect on 183 years since the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi), we pray for true partnership living together in peaceful relationships:

May there be a true desire among all in Aotearoa to grow more culturally aware and inclusive communities, schools and workplaces through inclusion of the Māori language, tikanga and understanding of a shared spirituality of our Christian tradition.

E te Ariki Whakarongo mai rā ki a mātou.

On that note, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the entire St Joseph's School community for the warm and wonderful welcome extended to me, highlighted with a very special pōwhiri last Thursday. A humbling experience for sure! The wonderful efforts of everyone involved are sincerely appreciated. Kapa haka were amazing, especially given this was 'day one' back at school! Thanks to Rawiri and Jemma for your mahi in this regard. To the rest of the staff, you all played your part, and even the weather did a superb job at 'playing ball'. To everyone else who came along, thank you! It was also a lovely way to welcome our other new staff members; Rochelle Taylor, who has been teaching at David Street School, and Jess Phayer, in her first year of teaching, though familiar with St Joes having completed her final practicum here in 2022. We wish both Rochelle and Jess the best in their new adventures. Watch out for a spotlight on these two new staff members next newsletter.

New Students in 2023:

A very warm welcome to our newest students to St Joseph's who also were welcomed into the fold during the pōwhiri.

Welcome to St Josephs... Floris Van Zyl, Casandra Van Zyl, Zakariya Lee, Liam Lantieri

and Emma Lantieri Benitez.

Success for our former students in 2022:

It is always a proud moment when we hear of the successes of former students. Special congratulations to the following students who excelled at their respective schools:

Monty Carter (Year 10) receiving the Saint John's College Cup for Service to the Junior School. Well done!

Sophie Brown (Year 13) receiving the Sacred Heart Girls College's Memorial Cup for outstanding contribution to the Arts and the prestigious Age Quod Agis award for leadership, an example of Faith, Hope and Justice. Sophie has also had a song released "Call My Name" under her song name Sophie Mae... worth Spotifying! A huge congratulations to Sophie!! Please note Sophie is running workshops for youth interested in theatre. See the flyer further in the newsletter.

Auckland Floods: We continue to pray for those significantly affected and acknowledge the challenging road ahead. A reminder that the The Diocese of Auckland is running an appeal for those impacted by the Auckland floods through the Catholic Care Foundation. You can make a contribution through their website:

Kahui Ako Teacher Only Day last Wednesday:

What a wonderful occasion it was to meet with all our Waikato Catholic Schools (including Secondary, Primary and Early Childhood Sectors) where we began our new journey focusing on 'Relationship Based Pedagogy'. In essence, this is a model for teaching and learning that begins with building family-like relationships with all children. Done well, this provides the optimum conditions to enable a child to truly achieve their personal best. In a nutshell, the model is about:

  • Creating a family-like context for learning and a well-managed learning environment
  • Teachers holding and voicing high expectations for all their students
  • Student knowing what they need to know and learn
  • Ensuring that all new learning draws on prior knowledge and learning
  • Embedding Assessment for learning across all lessons so that students know where they are at in their learning, what is working well and where they need to go next
  • Including opportunities for co-construction and power-sharing
  • Co-operative learning activities
  • Utilising student-generated questions as a powerful means for deepening and extending the learning
  • Utilising a narrative curriculum (using stories as a way for students to make sense of the world and to prompt new learning)

There is clear evidence that there are lots of fantastic things going on for the learners at St Joseph's, and with a highly committed and skilled teaching staff, you can be confident that the professional learning we have embarked on will only enhance what is already being delivered for your child/ren. There is always room to improve! We all came away from this Teacher Only Day empowered, and we look forward to working together with open-minds as we challenge the way we have done things in the past, making small tweaks where needed, and building our confidence to know that we really are meeting the needs of 'all' our tamariki. We will keep you updated as the year progresses.

Class Newsletters: By the end of this week you will have all received your child's class newsletters outlining the learning programme for the term ahead. Get involved in your child's learning journey, engage in the updates via Seesaw or the communication platform that has been shared with you. Remember, learning is lifelong ... and parenting your child during their education plays a huge role in the partnership we as teachers share with you. Your input is hugely valued. Show your support, enthusiasm and model a love of learning with your child, and they will prosper.

As we all look to settling into the day-to-day routines of a new year ahead, you may be feeling anxious or a little daunted. Take a breath, trust in God, and rest assured, you're not alone... parenting is the toughest job! It takes a village to raise a child, and we are all here to support each other in that journey. If there is ever a question or concern, reach out! And, if you are in the vicinity, pop in and say hi. I would love to meet you all over the course of the term.

There is going to be a slight change with our weekly newsletter. This will now become fortnightly. You will still be able to keep up with happenings through the school via your classroom Seesaw, Facebook and the fortnightly newsletter. As always should you have any queries please just drop a line to your child/s teacher, school office or give the office a call on 889 5306.

God willing, may the sun continue to shine this week, and the 'shakes of late' wane! We especially pray for those affected in Syria and Turkey by the devastating earthquake.

Check out the beautiful sunflowers picture adorning our staffroom during our staff gospel hui on Tuesday morning to accompany the launch of our 2023 theme: God's Work, Our Hands.

Te Mahi a te Atua, to tatou ringa ringa. These sunflowers are a reminder to us to appreciate the smallest things. Have a wonderful week!

Ngā mihi nui

Andrea Devane


MLA for St Joseph's School - we are excited to have the involvement of a Mandarin Language Assistant, Miss Gou, at our school for 2023 who has recently arrived into Morrinsville. We look forward to having her work with our akonga (learners) every Tuesday and Thursday.

School-wide Testing - a range of testing is taking place from now and over the next couple of weeks. Please keep in mind, this testing is to inform next steps for student's learning and should not be viewed as anything to stress over.

Enrichment Hour - We are excited to begin this next week where students will work in house-based groups on a range of exciting opportunities. These include: Music, Science Experiments, Digital story-telling/Photography, STEM challenges (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness), Garden to Table, Dance, Sport, Spirituality/Cultural. If you have a talent to share and would be willing to volunteer an hour of your time on a Wednesday between 1.45pm - 2.45pm, to work with a small group e.g. flax weaving, knitting or craft, cardmaking, indoor bowls etc, etc, we would love to hear from you.

Swimming -

For the first half of the term, swimming is the Health and PE focus. Year 4 - 8 will be travelling by bus to Swimzone Morrinsville, twice a week. Our teachers will be working on building aquatic skills and confidence. Year 1 - 3 will be using our school pool each day. It is expected that all students take part in swimming. If your child is unable to for any reason, please contact the class teacher. Our School Swimming Sports for 7yrs - 13yrs (those who are capable swimmers) is on Tuesday 7th March. More details to follow.

Big picture
Big picture

Reflection shared by Jemma Van Eijk, DRS

Big picture

Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday's and Thursday's : 1.30-2.30pm : Yr 4-8 Olympic Pool
  • Wednesday, Feb 8th - Opening Mass for 2023 10AM
  • Representatives to Commissioning Mass Hamilton 6.00pm
  • Wednesday, Feb 15th - Spirit Enrichment
  • Wednesday, Feb 22nd - Ash Wednesday / Spirit Enrichment
  • Wednesday, Feb 22nd - BOT Meeting - 5.30pm
  • Tuesday, March 7th - School Swimming Sports Yr 4-8
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Waipa Fun Run information will be sent via Seesaw for those interested in entering for 2023

Big picture
Big picture

Proudly Sponsored by

Big picture