If your child is not attending school on a particular day, due to sickness or for any other reason, please advise the school office before 8.50 a.m. either by our school app, telephone or email. If your child is going to be absent from school for any length of time, please forward a note to the school office in advance. In the event that we have not been advised of an absence, the school office will contact the emergency caregiver. These procedures are necessary in keeping your children safe, and so the school can reassure the St Joseph's Board that we are complying with Ministry Attendance requirements.  A daily check is kept on absences and punctuality. If a child arrives late to school they must call to the office first before going into their classroom.


Assemblies are held during each term on dates to be advised. These are run by the Yr 8 Leaders. Terms 1 & 4 assemblies are held in our school grounds. Terms 2 & 3 are held at the Sinclair Centre on Park Street. Assemblies always begin with Prayer. Certificates are awarded to recognise student achievements and individual children are celebrated for showing the virtues. Other reports and items of interest are presented. We encourage and welcome any parents and friends of the school to attend these assemblies.


The aim of the school is to encourage self-discipline and children are encouraged at every opportunity to develop forethought with regard to their actions and the possible outcomes.

We encourage the School's Virtues to be part of the playground and classroom actions. Students are expected to be able to respond to questions regarding their behaviour and how this relates to the virtues of Honesty, Respect, Forgiveness, Perseverance, Compassion, Justice, Generosity and Hope.

St. Joseph’s School uses the Restorative Practice Model both in the classroom and playground. Restorative Practice encourages children to think about their actions and how they affect others. They are encouraged to develop suitable consequences for their actions which include “making things right” with those who have been affected. Teachers are always available to speak with parents about concerns. We encourage close communication when behaviour needs to be monitored. The school is currently involved in PB4L ( positive behaviour for learning ) professional development. We know that this will strengthen our school environment as we journey through this PD over the next 5 years. 


Our school has a policy on the use of cell phones. Students are permitted to bring their cellphone to school however, they are not permitted to be used during school hours. These rules also apply when students attend MCTC.


There are occasions where parents find it necessary to approach staff members for information about their children’s progress or to air a concern. It is helpful to phone and make an appointment to ensure the teacher is available. The Principal is also available to parents and again it is helpful to phone in advance and make an appointment.


The school would appreciate being notified if your child develops a contagious disease or has an outbreak of head lice. If we are informed, we are able to take action that may protect other students.


If you are parking across the road from the school entrance we ask that all children use the pedestrian crossing before and after school until 3:10 p.m. We remind parents they may find it more convenient to park on Cameron or Park Street, near our school gates. Parents are free to park in the carpark beside the Church to pick up their children after school. A gap in the fence allows for easy access to the pedestrian crossing. By law children over the age of 8 are allowed to ride bikes to school. Helmets are compulsory. A teacher will ‘man’ the crossing at 3 p.m. – 3.10 p.m. each afternoon to ensure children get safely across the road.


Our school is enrolled under the local Dental Mobile Unit. Nurses come to school and check children’s teeth in the mobile unit. If treatment is necessary the parents are informed and they arrange with the Dental Nurses to take the child to the Dental Clinic, Elizabeth Street, at a time suitable to them. If you have an emergency you can phone the Dental Clinic direct on 307 6932.


Over the period of 2 years our Year 7 & 8 students and Year 5 & 6 students will participate in outdoor education activities. These activities will be outdoor based and may include sailing, ice skating, skiing, etc. They will also include camps. Often fundraising is undertaken to help offset costs of the camps. Parent volunteers are requested to help with the camps.


In all emergency situations our first priority is to the safety of your child and our staff.  If the school has to be closed because of some extraordinary circumstances, we will do our best to inform you as soon as practical via our local radio station Classic Hits, our Website, Face book page or our school app.  In the event of a civil emergency, children will only be released to their parents/caregivers, family member or the person listed as the emergency contact on your enrolment form.  All children will be supervised until they can be released to an appropriate adult.  The school has a full crisis management and emergency plan.


Once a term, emergency drills are carried out throughout the school. These include Fire and Earth-quake Evacuations. Students are taken to a central location in the school grounds where the class rolls are marked. A report is then sent to New Zealand Fire Service for record


Children may take part in a wide range of activities, often inside school hours. Children are encouraged to participate in such events so they may gain different experiences which will aid their growth and development. Some of these activities are as follows:

Chess Tournament: Annually Senior students take part in interschool Chess competition with the winning teams from Mid Canterbury competing in Christchurch at the Canterbury Chess Schools Tournament.

Enviro Team: Children in Years 4-8 are invited to belong to the Enviro Team. The St. Joseph’s Enviro Team is responsible for the school environment and takes on projects that will either enhance the school or help build on children’s awareness in relation to environmental issues. 

Dance Champs - Children are able to be involved in either the Senior or Junior dance champs . 

E pro 8 - This is a competition for senior students which tests both their team work skills and problem solving abilities. 

Kapa Haka- Our Kapa Haka group participates in the yearly Hakatere cultural Festival. 

Pasifika and Filipino dance group - Our cultural groups also participate in the yearly Hakatere Cultural festival. We welcome the support of whānau to help us prepare the children for this festival. 

Mindplus - All students have access to the Mindplus programme. The programme runs weekly and students from around Mid Canterbury are able to participate in this enrichment programme designed for Gifted Students.


Yr 5–8 are offered the opportunity to participate in these competitions. This is a parent cost.

Hip Hop/Dance:

This is offered to all students during lunch breaks with the assistance of Ms Middleton


Leadership Opportunities:

Year 7 & 8 students are offered a variety of Leadership opportunities dur-ing each year.


These may include

Family Group Leaders

Yr 8 Leadership Day in Christchurch

School leaders and deputies

Involvement with Ashburton District Council Forum.

Senior Honour Programme  Student Council

House Co-ordinators

Primary Schools Music Festival:

This is an annual event taking place during Term 2. The teacher in charge of music will audition and prepare those Y6 – 8 students interested in belonging to the School Choir. Most schools from the Mid Canterbury area participate in this Music Festival. There may be other times during the year when the School Choir has the opportunity to perform. Representative Choir - In conjunction with the Music Festival a Representative Choir of approximately 50 students is selected from all participating schools. This choir and orchestra perform each evening of the Music Festival.


Rotary Speech Competition:

Students selected from Yr 4 – 8 participate annually in this public speak-ing competition.


Spelling Quiz:

Years 5 to 8 students take part in the Newspaper in Education programme annually, or-ganised through the Otago Daily Times. Teams of students travel to Timaru to participate in quiz eve-nings and gain from this experience.


Young Vinnies Group:

Children are encouraged to join the Young Vinnies group which is a branch of St Vincent de Paul. They are involved in visiting the elderly in Rest Homes, helping out with Meals on Wheels and doing good deeds for those more needy than ourselves. Their meetings can be held during school time with some activities undertaken after school hours.


From time to time accidents do occur in spite of careful supervision by the staff. Most problems are minor and are remedied by a quick visit with a staff member to the first aid cabinet. However, in the case of a more serious accident immediate first aid treatment will be given and the parents/caregivers will be contacted at once.

For this reason it is important to keep your contact details up to date with the school office. Should the parents/caregivers not be available the school will continue with the necessary steps in “loco parentis”. Continuing efforts to contact parents/caregivers will remain a priority while the other steps are being taken.

Transport if practicable to the child’s family doctor (or another if family doctor is not known) or hospital. Staff will then take further steps (if necessary) on the advice of the doctor.


Medication:  Please advise the school if pupils need to take any form of medical prescription during the school day (i.e. Inhalers etc). If your child is on medication a written authority form must be completed from the school office. All medication must be named and will be kept in a locked cabinet in the sick bay. The office staff will be responsible for administering medication. A list is kept of allergy sufferers so please notify the school of any allergies from which your child suffers.

Hair – We require that shoulder length and longer hair be tied back. This is for health and safety reasons.


Homework is given to reinforce work that has been taught in class or to practise skills. Homework takes many forms and is an opportunity for you to share in your child’s education in a really positive way. Please refer to the home learning policy.


There is the opportunity to purchase a ‘Subway’ lunch on a Wednesday. This needs to be done through the subway lunches online. Barbecued sausages are available each Friday. Orders and money - $2.00, are collected  on a Friday morning outside Kiwi 4.


Property found around the school will be placed in the cupboard located in the cloakroom beside Kiwi 4. Having well named clothing and property reduces the risk of it being lost


School newsletters contain important information and will be emailed home fortnightly. Newsletters are also available to read on our school website. Other notices will be sent via our school app.


A full list of policies is available for your information on school docs via the school website or from the school office.


This is a special programme aimed at helping children who may be at risk with their reading in the early years of school. Children are tested at the age of six and entered into the programme if this is thought necessary. In a one to-one situation with a specially trained teacher, daily reading and writing instruction is given until the child has achieved the set goals. Reading Recovery programmes enjoy a very high success rate throughout New Zealand schools.


It is the duty of the school to report to the parents on their children’s progress and achievement in relation to the NZ Curriculum, on two occasions during the year.

In reality, this happens more frequently and teachers are always willing to discuss aspects of a child’s progress at any time during the year. Parents will receive regular updates /posts throughout the year showing the progress their child is making in relation to the goals they are working towards. 

We encourage whānau to engage with these posts on Hero and Seesaw, and make the most of the opportunity to talk with their child about the learning that is taking place.


The reporting timetable is as follows:

Parents of New Entrant children will be invited to an interview with the classroom teacher 6 weeks after starting school.

All students will receive a Mid Year report/progress graph followed by a student led conference towards the end of Term 2. You will also receive an End of Year report/progress graph which is sent out in the last week of school.

While this is the official reporting sequence, parents are urged to contact the class teacher or Principal should they have any concerns.

Early in Term 1 parents and students will meet with teachers to discuss expectations for the coming year. This is a ten minute interview which you are able to book online or at the school office.


Ashburton College is responsible for the Mid Canterbury School Bus service. Bus travel is available to students living the following distance from the school: 3.2km for a child up to 10 years of age and 4.8km for a child over 10 years.


If you wish to have your child travel to and from school on the bus, please notify the school office and

also inform the Bus Controller at Ashburton College on (ph 308 4193). You can register your child for

this travel on their website and find out which bus stop and bus route would be


Children traveling by school bus to and from school will line up inside our school grounds on Park Street. This bus travels to Ashburton College where the children then get on their home bus.

There will be a teacher on duty at all times and children will be marked off the roll. Please encourage children to inform the bus duty teacher if they are not traveling by bus on any particular day.


Pupils will bring brochures home at various intervals during the year. The books advertised in these brochures may be purchased, but parents are not in any way obliged to buy books.

Orders must be placed into the school office in a sealed envelope with the order form and correct

money enclosed. Cheques are to be made out to “Scholastic NZ”. There is usually a 3/4 week period between ordering and receiving of books.


All trips and outings must meet safety requirements. To assist with safety and supervision, parental involvement is sometimes required.


Athletic Sports:

The school Athletic Sports takes place in Term 4 of each year at the Domain Oval. Students are then selected to compete in the County Schools Athletic Sports. Those chosen then participate in the Canterbury Athletic day. Our Athletic Sports is a combined event with Wakanui School.


Cross Country:

All students also participate in the Schools Cross Country in Term 1/2 and if chosen take part in the County Cross Country. Our Cross Country is a combined event with Wakanui School.


In Term 1 the whole school participates in a duathlon that involves biking and running.



St Joseph’s students attend swimming lessons twice a year at the EA Networks Sports Centre. Lessons are taken by qualified instructors.

Thursday Sports:

Qualified instructors take classes each week for sport/skill development.

Winter Sports Tournament:

Years 5-8 participate in our local school sports tournament held each year


All books, pencils etc are to be purchased by parents. A list of requirements for the following year will be sent out at the end of the current year. This list is also available on the school website. New Entrants will receive a stationery pack with all their requirements on arrival to school . This will be charged to parents on their school account.


The school uses the EA Networks Centre for small group instruction given by qualified coaches. The children are grouped and taught according to Swim Safe standards. We request a donation towards the swimming pool entry fee. This will be added to your school account. The tuition cost is normally covered by a grant.

The School Swimming Sports are held annually during Term 1 at the EA Networks Centre Pool. These sports are combined with Wakanui School.


Parents are required to provide telephone contact numbers including an emergency contact at the time of enrolment and notify the school office immediately of any changes that occur. The school also requires an email address for sending out our school newsletter etc.