Newsletter #13

To Love/AROHA To Learn/ĀKO To Lead/ĀRAHI To Be Loyal/PIRIPONO For Life/ORA
St Joseph’s Catholic School
“Excellent Education befitting our Catholic Character”

94 Seddon St Pukekohe 2120

Term 3 Week 6                                    26 August 2021                                        Newsletter#13

Principal’s Message

Tena Koutou Katoa    Talofa Lava    Kamusta    Malo el lelei    Mauri    Hello Everyone

I think we had all anticipated a further extension of Alert Level 4, and the Prime Minister has confirmed this. Alert Level 4 will remain in place in Auckland until 11:59pm Tuesday 31 August, and possibly beyond.

I have been so proud of my staff and their efforts to provide home-learning for all of our tamariki. Distributing the learning packs to those who needed it on Monday was not an easy task but it was done in a contactless way and with everyone’s safety in mind. We were very aware that some of our families had older members with connections to Pukekohe High School. 

One thing it did highlight was that when parents/whānau move houses or change phone numbers during the year, it is important that you let the school know.

So our distance learning programmes will continue! You will have all heard from your child’s teacher by now and you should know how to contact them if you need to. Just remember, they have families too so I hope for their wellbeing, that they get some time for themselves each day. They are not expected to communicate with you outside of their normal working day. 

So the message from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health encourage our whānau and community to protect themselves from COVID-19 including:

  • Everyone must continue to stay home in their bubble
  • Do not mix with other household bubbles – if they have COVID-19, it can easily spread to your household, and every other household they and you are connecting with
  • As new cases are identified, new locations of interest are added to the Ministry of Health website – please keep checking this. 
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially when you have been out in public
  • Stay home if you are feeling unwell and seek advice about whether you need to get a test
  • Wear a face covering when out and about, and you MUST wear a face covering in any businesses or services which are open at Alert Level 4 (unless you have specifically been exempted from doing so, which includes anyone aged under 12)
  • Keep a two-metre distance from people outside your household bubble
  • Check in using the NZ COVID Tracer App wherever you go or keep a manual record 

You can go to the website if you would like more information on Alert Level 4 requirements.

Finally, we know some whānau in our community may be finding it difficult to access food and essential items such as medicine.  This information about how to access to food or essential items summarises the supports that are available, including financial help to buy food.

Encourage your children to write everyday: make lists, keep a diary, write instructions or directions, try poetry! Please do take care and let us know how we can best support you and your whānau.

Keep well and God bless you and your families. Kia kaha!

Ursula Hall
Principal – Tumuaki

Our Lady of Lourdes

Awe Maria

E ki ana koe, e te keretia,
kia koe e te Ariki,
kia whakapainga koe.
I roto i nga wahine ae whakapainga hoki.
A Hehu te hua o tou kopu.

Hata Maria te Matua wahine o te Atua 
inoi koe mo matou mo te hunga
e hara ana aianei a te hoara o toku matenga rawa.



Term 3 Key Dates  – Subject to Covid Levels

Wed 1 Sep    Year 7&8 Tech @ Pukekohe Intermediate 8.40 – 11.30am 
                     Steam Club 3pm – 4pm

Thu 2 Sep     Choir Rehearsal Day – Point Chevalier

Fri 3 Sep       Teacher Only Day 
                     No Mass for Ākonga 

Mon 6 Sep     Pasifika Week Activities

Tue 7 Sep      Pasifika Week Activities

Wed 8 Sep     Pasifika Week Activities
Steam Club 3pm – 4pm

Thu 9 Sep      Pasifika Week Activities
                     School Assembly – Arahi at 1.45pm

Fri 10 Sep      Mass – Arahi (Yr 7&8) & Aroha 1 (Mrs Wallace, Miss Farrell & Mrs Waru)
                     Pasifika Week Assembly
                     Chop Suey Lunch
                     Mufti day

Mon 13 Sep   Social Justice Week

Tue 14 Sep    Orienteering Yr 3&4

Wed 15 Sep   Mathex – Pukekohe Town Hall 5.30pm – 8.30pm
                    Steam Club 3pm – 4pm

Fri 17 Sept     No Mass for Ākonga
                     Proclaiming the Word competition 11.30am @ St Patrick’s Church

Fri  1 Oct      No Mass for Ākonga
                     END OF TERM 3

Please note these dates are subject to change For further dates  see calendars on the Skool Loop app or at:

Special Catholic Character

School-Assisted Mass & Baptism

Our School-Assisted Mass on August 15, The Feast of the Assumption, was indeed a Mass celebration to remember. The Feast of the Assumption assures us that Mary, mother of God, is glorified in heaven. This Assumption Mass was particularly special because we, the Catholic Church in Aotearoa, were re-dedicating ourselves to Mary, our country’s patron Saint. 

We began Mass with our entrance procession, where tamariki crowned the Mary statue to the song As I Kneel Before You. Our Aroha students lead the psalm with an action song to Mary by Andrew Chinn: We Walk with Mary.

 It was Bishop Francois Pompallier who declared Mary to be New Zealand’s Patron Saint in 1838. He also wrote the hymn Mō Maria, and on that Sunday in parishes around New Zealand, Mō Maria was sung as a Catholic anthem in the style of ngā iwi in Hokianga, from where it came. This version was sung by our School choir during communion. Following that Rupert Archer played Schubert’s Ave Maria beautifully on the cello, and our communion reflection was Let it Be by the Beatles. Our final hymn was Hail Holy Queen. 

Parish and School community members commented on the lovely variety of Mary music during the Mass. We were also very proud of our excellent readers, altar servers, greeters, those who carried Mary art work to the altar and all students who turned up looking so smart in their School uniforms. Thank you all for representing our school so well and to your whanau for bringing you to Mass on this special feast day.                                                                                                                                   

During the Mass we also experienced the joy of witnessing the
baptism of two of our ākonga – David and Daniel Waru. We wish
them many blessings and pray that their baptismal promises will
be fulfilled through their faith journey with God.



Prayer Opportunities for your Whanau at Home

Our Level 4 lockdown is a good opportunity
to reconnect with God – Te Atua as a family. 
Here are some ideas:

Click this link for Online Daily Mass St Mark’s Pakuranga

Prayer Song 
Aotearoa/New Zealand Churches join together to sing “The Blessing”

Inspired by the many other “The Blessing” virtual choir videos that have gone before us, we – The Church of Aotearoa/New Zealand – have added our voices to the “voice” of the global Church to sing God’s words of His blessing over our nation and all people everywhere.

Listen to this beautiful blessing song using this link

For More Suggestions around Family Prayer visit:   


Click this link to enjoy a free digital copy of this recent edition of NZ Catholic.


Helpful information from the Ministry of Education

Learning from Home resources

The Learning from Home website has print-friendly, online resources that can be used at home: online.

Information hub for Pasifika parents and families

Kia orana, Noa’ia, Talofa lava, Mauri, Mālō e lelei, Tālofa, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa lahi atua and Mālō ni, we’ve created an online info hub for Pasifika parents, families and communities to support learning during Alert Level 4. You can find the information hub here.

 There are helpful updates on how COVID-19 impacts education and links to learning resources including:

We’d encourage you to check the info hub page regularly – we’ll be updating it daily.

More places to get help

Helplines that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • Mental Health Crisis: 0800 800 717
  • Lifeline for counselling and support: 0800 543 354 or 0800 LIFELINE
  • Samaritans for confidential support for anyone who is lonely or in emotional distress: 0800 726 666
  • Depression Helpline to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions: 0800 111 757 or free text 4206
  • Healthline for advice from trained registered nurses: 0800 611 116
  • Suicide Prevention Helpline: 0508 828 865
  • Counselling Free Call or Text 1737.

Also available:

  • Family Services 211 Helpline for help finding and direct transfer to community-based health and social support services in your area: 0800 211 211
  • Family Services Directory online

Te Whare Tapa Whā

As you are aware, this year our school overarching concept is Te Whare Tapa Whā. Te whare tapa whā is a model of the four  dimensions of wellbeing developed by Sir Mason Durie (1984) to provide a Māori perspective on health. The 4 dimensions are:
taha whānau (family wellbeing)
taha hinengaro (mental wellbeing)
taha tinana (physical wellbeing)
taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing)

Each term this year we have been focusing on one of the dimensions. This term we are focusing on taha tinana (physical wellbeing). Our wellbeing is at its best when each dimension is met on a daily basis. So, we challenge you to do at least one thing from each dimension each day.


(TuiOra, 2021)

School Notices


FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: Financial assistance is available to assist families who may need financial support with the payment of Attendance Dues for preference students attending Catholic schools in Auckland Diocese, both primary and secondary. Families facing financial difficulties can contact their school office, their Parish Priest or the Revenue Manager on          09-360-3069 at the Catholic Diocese of Auckland for further information. Application forms for this assistance are available from school and parish offices, or can be down-loaded from the Catholic Diocese of Auckland Website:

A huge THANK YOU to both Ryan and Raphaelle from Ray White, and Paul from Vantage Point Photography for organising and donating new drone images and videos to be taken of the new school layout. Your time and the use of your expertise and equipment is greatly appreciated. We love having a new rolling banner to show on our school website!

School Events 

Due to the lockdown the following events have been postponed of cancelled:

  • All cross country events have been cancelled.
  • School photos have been postponed until Term 4 – date to be confirmed
  • Epro-8 Challenge for years 5-8 has been postponed until a later date
  • ICAS Maths has been rescheduled until late October – date to be confirmed
    We will keep you posted as we are updated throughout the Lockdown levels.

Snow Camp 2021 – The Best Sleepover Ever
Well, I don’t think we were anticipating this to happen during our camp. After less than 12 hours on our adventure we were notified, along with the rest of the country, by the Prime Minister that we were about to go into a Level 4 lockdown. We made the decision not to tell the students that we were going to have to come home until breakfast the next morning. The children were so excited to be on camp, they had set up their cabins, explored the campgrounds and were enjoying a delicious feast of BBQ chicken, potatoes and salads. If we were going to have to pack up and leave, we wanted to give the tamariki the best sleepover party they could ever imagine. Mrs Hartland organised a quiz night (which was supposed to be the next night). This was such a hit. The parents competed against groups of students and achieved a respectable 3rd place. I can say that Pop culture was not their category! After the quiz night the children participated in a beautiful liturgy. We had one hundred tea lights set up, which really set the tone. As the children entered the hall they each found a quiet space and got into their mindful bodies. During the Liturgy they were each asked to write a letter to God for him to keep us safe during the week and to watch over us. It was getting late and by the end of the Liturgy most were ready for bed. At this point, the reality of the lockdown began to set it. The children were in their cabins and desperately wanted to ensure they were ready for the next day’s activities with their day packs ready to go. We settled the children, who were warm and snuggled in bed. The next morning, after breakfast we surprised Isobel and Toby with a birthday cake for a very early dessert. It was at this stage that I broke the news of the lockdown and having to return home. At first, many of the children thought I was pranking, but the look on my face said otherwise. I must admit, the children were incredibly resilient and pragmatic. After a few tears, they knew this was the right decision, got themselves ready and we headed back to school. The first half of the bus trip was very quiet and solemn as the reality kicked in and possibly being tired from a very late night. By about half way, spirits picked up and we had great sing-alongs and laughter for the remainder of the trip. We may not have gotten to go trout-fishing, white water rafting, skiing and to the hot pools, but we definitely bonded and created amazing memories that I don’t think anyone will ever forget. After all, isn’t that what camp is all about?

I would like to thank the parents who helped support the children and myself during this memorable trip. Nia, Heather, Amy, Darren, Aaron, Brendan, Mike and Herman, you were such amazing helpers in loading, unloading, loading and unloading the bus and trailer multiple times. You all stayed calm even though you would have also been thinking about your own families and businesses. Thank you!

I would also like to thank everyone who worked hard fundraising and supported our efforts to get to camp. Although we only had one night away, as you can see, even that one day was well worth it and hopefully we will be able to organise something else when we return to school. What that looks like at this stage I am not sure, however, we will be in touch regarding payments that have been made.


Community Notices

The Liturgy Conference, Weaving Together Liturgy and Life
Te raranga ngātahi i ngā ritenga me te oranga

Dear Parents,                                                                                              
Being a parent is perhaps the most challenging of our life’s works. As parents we seek to provide as well as we possibly can for our children; health, education, sport, social responsibility, to name just a few facets of the work of care. 
As Catholic parents, we hope also to offer our children something of the rich life of faith. We are grateful to our Catholic Schools for the richness of opportunities they provide.

This letter is an invitation to you, to consider taking a little time to focus on your own faith journey. The Liturgy Conference, cancelled last year due to Covid-19, is going ahead this year. It promises to be a wonderful moment in the life of the Diocese of Auckland, bringing together people from across the Diocese and beyond.

The Liturgy of the Church and especially the Mass is a sacrament we as Catholics come together to celebrate each week. It is also a mystery, ever ancient and ever new, a mystery that we are called to grow ever deeper in our understanding of. This Conference provides a wonderful and rare opportunity to do just that.

As an event, it will offer something for everyone. It is an opportunity for all Catholics to gather, be enriched in our understanding of the Mass, ponder the wisdom of guest speakers, enjoy great company and build new friendships. It will refresh and renew. I invite you to come and let the deep spirituality of the Catholic Church surround, saturate, inspire and fill you.

To explore the program, guest speakers and the breakout options, please visit

Date – 4.00pm 7th October – 5pm Mass (celebrated by Bishop Dunn), 9th  October                             
Venue – Baradene College of the Sacred Heart, 237 Victoria Ave Remuera                                             
Cost –$120pp for registrations before 18th September                                                                                   
           $150pp for registrations after 18th September                                                                                         
90 for a day registration          

Food included: Thursday night – drinks and nibbles                                                                                                           
Friday – morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea                                                                                                
Saturday – morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea

Ngā mihi nui – Warm Regards                                                                                                           
Judith Courtney – Liturgy Coordinator, Adviser and Music Support,                                                 
Te Kawe Ritenga Tapu – The Liturgy Centre                                                                                 
Catholic Diocese of Auckland NZ                                                                                                         
(09) 360 3042


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