St Joseph's Newsletter T2 Wk 8

23rd June 2021

Week 8 Term 2

Principal’s Piece

Kia Ora Koutou

Whakaahuahia, Whakahoutia, Kia Ora

Reimagine, Renew, Rejoice

This was the theme of the New Zealand Catholic Principal Conference last week in Wellington.

Reimagine: Taking time to reinterpret what we do in Catholic Schools

Renew: Looking at creating a new pathway forward in these changing times

Rejoice: Celebrate the achievements and have some fun and a good laugh along the way

The conference was a great opportunity for the Catholic Primary School Principals throughout New Zealand to come together, share ideas and look forward. One of the speakers was Dr Kevin Shore, CEO of the Catholic School Office. Dr Kevin spoke about the special role that Catholic Schools have in Education for our tamariki in the faith. We were also lucky to have Cardinal John Dew address the principals he spoke well about how we can Reimagine, Renew and Rejoice in our Faith to help deepen our understanding of God’s love.

Next week we have our Learning Conversation, the conversations are around the learning over the last last two terms. This is an opportunity to come together in unison to share and talk about your child’s learning. For students to be successful learners it is important that we work together, school and home sharing what each knows about the child and their learning. This is reinforced by “Parents and whanau play a critical role in supporting their children’s learning right from the start. Evidence shows that learning outcomes are enhanced when parental involvement in school is sustained and focused on learning activities.” (Ka Hikitia, p.28) Ka Hikitia is a well respected Ministry of Education New Zealand document.

Please make sure that you book an appointment, details are below. Next Wednesday the school will close for instruction so that the Learning Conversations can take place. The school will provide supervision for those parents who can not make arrangements for their children. Please complete the form by following the link.

Kia manaaki te Atua koutou katoa

Grant Stuart


Gospel Reflection

The Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Gospel Reading

Mark 4:26–34
The reign of God is like a mustard seed.

Background on the Gospel Reading

After Lent, the Easter season, and three Sundays of feast days—Pentecost, Most Holy Trinity, and Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ—the Church returns to Ordinary Time. This Sunday’s Gospel from Mark carries a significant message regarding faith and the Kingdom of God.

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus appears reluctant to reveal his identity as the Son of God. After performing miracles of healing, he warns those cured to tell no one (see Mark 1:44, 3:12, 5:43, 7:36, and 8:26). Also, when preaching, Jesus chooses to speak to the crowds in parables, leaving them to discern his message. Only to his disciples does he explain the parable’s meaning, and he does this in private at a later time.

Today’s Gospel Reading consists of two parables about seeds. In the first, Jesus tells those gathered that this is “how it is with the kingdom of God.” A man scatters seed which over time sprouts and develops. Then when the grain is ripe, the man harvests his crop. The emphasis in the parable is on the seed, which seemingly has the power to grow on its own. In this it is like the Kingdom of God. While on earth, Jesus planted the seeds of the kingdom by his life, miracles, teaching, and suffering. However, the kingdom is not yet fully established. Although already present in Jesus and his group of twelve, it has yet to come to fruition; just as the seed in the parable needs time to grow, so does God’s kingdom.

The second parable focuses on the tiny mustard seed. Though not the smallest of all seeds, it is most likely the smallest that a first-century farmer in Jesus’ part of the world would have sown. Small as the mustard seed is, it develops into a tree. Though the mustard tree generally averages only nine to twelve feet in height, it has a wide expanse and provides a nesting place for birds. Just as the tree welcomes the birds, so is God’s kingdom welcoming and open to many.

These parables help us discern something about the kingdom of God and our own faith. In God we live and move and have our being, but God is a mystery and his kingdom, though present, has not yet come into its fullness. Today, the Kingdom of God is present in the Church. The mission of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom given to the Apostles is now given to us. But just as seeds need time to come to fruition, so does the Kingdom of God. That is why in the Lord’s Prayer, we pray, “thy kingdom come.” We know that it will come in its fullness at the end of time. All we need is faith.

Value Focus

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June is the Month of The Sacred Heart of Jesus

The month of June is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.


Learning Conversations Term 2 2021

Mid-year assessment information for your child will be available on Hero, our digital platform, at the end of Week 8 on Friday 25 June. We will advise you when this is ready to be viewed through your Hero parent account. This will be followed by Learning Conversations held over 3 days in the last two weeks of term. We see these conversations with parents as a very important part of the learning relationship between home and school, and we strongly encourage you to make an appointment to discuss your child’s progress.

Teachers will be available for appointments at the following times:

Tuesday 29 June: 2.15 - 6.00pm

  • School does not finish early on this day, the children will be in the Church having singing practice until 2.45pm

Wednesday 30 June: 1.30 - 6.00pm

  • The Learning Conversations will run from 1.30 pm on Wednesday. Children are to be picked up at 12.30 pm on that day.

  • Supervision will be provided for those who can not pick up their children until 2.45pm.

Tuesday 6 July: 3.00 - 5.00pm

  • Normal school day

Please make an appointment for a Learning Conversation online:

St Joseph's Fairfield Learning Conversations Term 2 2021 Booking Link

Or go to

Event Code: zgb6e

Please note that your child’s class teacher/Kaitiaki teacher will have an understanding of your child’s progress in all subjects, even if your child goes to a different teacher for reading or maths. We do not have enough appointment slots for you to book an appointment with each subject teacher on these days.

To log in to your HERO parent account for the first time:

  • Use the email address that the school has for you

  • Select New User to set up a password

Celebrating Cultures in Weeks 9&10

We are looking forward to an exciting end of term!

Week 9: Monday 28 June - Friday 2 July - Matariki Learning:

In Week 9, our whole school will be learning more about Matariki, the Māori New Year. In June/July, Matariki will reappear in the dawn sky. It is a time to celebrate new life, to remember those who’ve passed and to plan for the future. And it’s a time to spend with whānau and friends, to enjoy kai (food), waiata (song), tākaro (games) and haka. During this week at school there will be:

  • tuakana-teina Matariki learning activities during the week, where the older children will work alongside the younger ones. This will include the whole school creating a “Wishing Wall” based around Hiwa-i-te-rangi, one of the 9 stars in the Matariki star cluster. It is known as the 'wishing star'. This star has a connection to our hopes, dreams and aspirations for the year ahead.

  • Kapa Haka performing at a local Rest Home on Tuesday 29 June

  • some lunchtime entertainment

  • a mufti day on Thursday 1 July held by our Student Council. To fit with Matariki, the theme is “Come as the Star You Are - Stars for Starship!” to raise funds for Starship Hospital. Dress to showcase your talents, or just be the wonderful unique YOU! Gold coin donation please.

Week 10: Monday 5 July - Friday 9 July - Celebrating Cultures:

Our school is made up of many diverse nationalities, and this week is about understanding more about some of the customs, traditions and celebrations that are important in our students' homes too.

We would love to have some of our parents (or grandparents, aunts or uncles!) come into classrooms to tell us about some of the unique things about your culture. For example:

  • What do you celebrate? How do you celebrate it?

  • What special customs or traditions do you have?

  • What traditional food do you have?

  • How is life in your country different to life in New Zealand?

If you can volunteer to come in, please fill in this google form, and we will get back to you to confirm details and times. Or contact your classroom teacher directly. Volunteers for CulturalCelebration Week - Google Form

As well as having visitors to our classrooms, we will be:

  • Having a “shared kai” lunch on Thursday 8 July. This is to celebrate Matariki, and Celebrating Cultures week, and the end of Term 2! This will be an opportunity for children to bring along some food from their culture to share, or just a yummy treat! Children will share with their syndicate. More information to come - and remember no nuts!

  • Welcoming performance groups from St John’s College and Sacred Heart College (Pasifika and Kapa Haka)

  • Wearing mufti on Thursday 8 July with a theme of International Dress. Do you have a traditional dress from your country? Eg a sari from India, or a green top to represent your Irish heritage? We will have a parade on the turf to show our pride in the heritage of our diverse families. Wear anything to show where your family is from!


Term 2 Policy Review

Reporting to Parents on Student Progress and Achievement

This term parents are invited to contribute to our scheduled policy review via the School Docs platform where our policies are hosted. You can do this directly from our St Joseph’s website, by going to the Parents tab and clicking on the link to School Docs under Policies:

  1. Enter the username (stjosephs) and password (joseph).

  2. Follow the link to the relevant policy as listed (Reporting to Parents on Student Progress and Achievement)

  3. Read the policy.

  4. Click the Policy Review button at the top right-hand corner of the page.

  5. Select the reviewer type "Parent".

  6. Enter your name (optional).

  7. Submit your ratings and comments.

Alternatively, you can collect a hard copy of the policy and a review form from the school office. Thank you, we appreciate your input to our policy reviews.

Hero Digital Reports Information Session

There will be a Parent Information Session about HERO on Thursday 24 June at 3pm in Matatipu (the Year 1 classroom), in preparation for Mid Year Digital Reports “going live” the following day.

This session is for:

  • Parents who are new to our school, to understand our HERO reporting system. We will go over the curriculum levels and how progress information is shown on HERO.

  • Those who want a refresher on how to understand the progress information in the report.

If you are having any technical issues accessing your parent HERO account; bring your device and we will try to get it sorted for you! If you can’t make the meeting and have a technical issue eg unable to log in, please contact Ms Svendsen:

If you want to discuss the progress of your individual child, please remember to make an appointment for a Learning Conversation with your child’s classroom teacher.

When in doubt, keep them out!

With winter and colder weather approaching, there have been a number of illnesses coming through the school. Just a reminder that if your child(ren) are showing signs of potential infectious disease, we ask that you keep them at home to stop the spread to other students or staff members.

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

Driving Around the School

We’ve recently had a number of traffic and parking violations near the school in the past couple of weeks, including a collision among two vehicles. We are reminding drivers to be vigilant when driving in the area and to adhere to parking rules, especially during drop off and pick up times. The residents in Strowan Ave and Clarkin Road get frustrated when parents park over their driveways.

The school is actively working with the Hamilton CIty Council and the Police to ensure that we can keep our students safe.

The Police have advised us to supply registration numbers and details of any offence and they will send a written notice. If you happen to see an incident, we ask that you report it to the school office by calling (07) 855 5434 or email

Let’s keep the community safe for our whānau! Thank you!

Drop Off and Pick Up Reminder

There are currently a number of students arriving very early and being picked up very late. Just a reminder:

Drop Off - Students are not allowed on site before 8am as there is no supervision available.

Pick Up - Students are to be picked up by 3.15pm as the teachers have meetings after school and can not provide supervision.

Students that are still at school after 3.15pm will be booked in to SKIDS and charges will apply.

Young Vinnies

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Student News

Rippa Rugby Competition

Well done to the Year 4-8 students that competed at the Rippa Rugby Competition at Swarbrick Park. All four teams played well and everyone enjoyed themselves. It was great to see everyone playing with fairness and inclusivity. A huge thank-you to the parents that were able to manage a team on the day.
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Good Luck St. Joseph's Gymnasts!

Congratulations to the following students from St. Joseph's who will be members of the 2021 Waikato Nationals Team!

Ashleigh Van Eyk - Women's Artistic Gymnastics

Finn McCabe - Men's Artistic Gymnastics

Paxton Polaczuk - Men's Artistic Gymnastics

Noah Pritchard - Men's Artistic Gymnastics

Samantha Alderton- Women's Aerobics Individual and Trio

Adonis Polaczuk - Individual Trampoline, Double Mini tramp & Synchro Trampoline

Samuel McCarthy- Individual Trampoline, Double Mini tramp & Synchro Trampoline

The New Zealand Gymnastics Championships will be held July 21st - 24th in Auckland at Trust Arena.

Water Polo

St Joseph’s Orcas Flippaball team finished the season on a high coming in 8th in DIV 1 comp which was amazing since they are re-building the whole team with only 2 players from last year. They showed some great swimming and ball skills and definitely had grit and determination. They did the school proud with how they played this season!

Well done, Orcas!

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Author Visit

Term 2 Author Visit

Des Hunt

On Friday 4 June we had the pleasure of hosting NZ author Des Hunt at St Joseph’s. Des used science demonstrations and images to tell background stories about some of his books. Along the way he passed on ideas of how to structure writing to retain the interest of readers. He also covered the importance of review and editing once the writing is finished. His presentation was enjoyed by all.


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PTFA Friday Pizza Lunch

The price is $2 per slice!

Cheese, Hawaiian & Pepperoni - Gluten free also available.

Order in the school library or via mykindo:

Community Notices

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St Patrick's Catholic School, Te Awamutu

22nd and 23rd October

Powhiri, school tours, archives, mix and mingle, dinner and dance.

Come and share in the memories!

Register online at or phone the school office (07) 8714669

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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 - Thursday 16th December

The Teacher Only Days are:

Term 2: Tuesday 8 June (Week 5)

Term 3: Monday 30 August (Week 6)

Term 4: Tuesday 26 October (Week 2)