Saint Joseph’s School's vision is to provide a caring Catholic environment where tamariki (children) encounter Christ and have a worldview that is underpinned by Ngā Ākoranga Pāpori Katorika (Catholic Social Teaching).


We follow the teaching foundations of Saint Mary MacKillop: inclusion, nurture and growth.

"Never see a need without doing something about it." - Mary MackKillop.


At Saint Joseph's School, children are enabled to develop a positive relationship with God and to be living witnesses to the Gospel values of Jesus Christ.

  • Daily Karakia (Prayer): Each day tamariki (children) participate in a spiritual encounter with Christ through karakia. There are times when tamariki will say spontaneous karakia that come from the heart, participate in traditional prayers, reflect on gospel readings, and, engage through creative karakia (visual art, mindfulness, meditation, creativity, STEM challenges etc).

  • Liturgy: Once a week the whole kura (school) get together to participate in a liturgy. Each week there is a focus such as developing an understanding of a Liturgical event; breaking down our CARE values and making clear links to the bible; exploring Catholic Social Teaching; or, welcoming new members into our kura community.

  • Religious Education Programme: Throughout the year, we explore different strands for Religious Education. These are: God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Church, Communion of Saints, and Sacraments. Each kaiako (teacher) assesses ākonga (student) knowledge of the strand and will teach theological knowledge based on ākonga needs. It is important to us for our ākonga to connect this learning to their lives and cultures of today.

  • Wednesday Mass: Approximately every three weeks, classes take turns at attending mass at St Brigids Church to pray with the parish community. Classes attend with their buddy class and take turns at leading this together. Please feel free to come and join us for any Wednesday mass service.

  • Sunday Community Mass: Twice a year, we host a Community Mass at St Brigid's Parish. It is our hope that everyone in our kura community will attend this mass as come together as one to rejoice in our love of God.

We hope that by providing these experiences along their faith journey, tamariki will develop a lifelong positive relationship with Christ and live a life of serving the Catholic Church's mission.


Providing a caring environment and welcoming space is an essential focus for our kura (school) to ensure the hauora (wellbeing) in our community. We foster a community of support for our ākonga (students) to grow and develop socially, morally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, intellectually from a Catholic perspective. Our kura bases its health programme on Te Whare Tapa Wha health Model: Taha Wairua (Spiritual Health), Taha Hinengaro (Mental and Emotional Health), Taha Tinana (Physical health), Taha Whānau (Family and Social Health), all while connecting to our land and roots (whenua).

Physical Education is a core part of ensuring the hauora of tamariki. Every year we hold swimming lessons (PTFA sponsor the seniors to attend swimming lessons at the Makino with highly skilled instructors; both juniors and seniors have access to the kura pool daily); athletics; cross country; and, explore large and small ball skills, which progress into full sport games. We also alternate years between gymnastics and dance.

We are very lucky to have our own swimming pool, large turf, as well as a fitness track around our field.

We provide many opportunities for ākonga to particpate in a variety of sports: basketball, softball, netball, basketball and hockey. Cricket, rugby and soccer are run by local Feilding clubs.

We are also very lucky to have a close relationship with the St Vincent de Paul Society. They support our kura in many ways, including providing food parcels to our community, running a daily Breakfast Club in the hall, providing supplies to our community in need, such as food parcels, stationery, uniforms, and so much more. They have inspired our tamariki to create a Young Vinnies who fundraise for those in need; and, help prepare and deliver food parcels to the wider community. This has instilled a wonderful sense of service to others.

Take care of our children.

Take care of what they hear.

Take care of what they see.

Take care of what they feel.

For how the children grow,

so will be the shape of Aotearoa.

Dame Whina Cooper


Te Tiriti o Waitangi influences our decisions and actions. We endeavour to provide an environment which is culturally responsive to the needs of our community, having high aspirations for learners, and ensure ākonga (students) have success in their learning and achieve excellent educational outcomes. We are a kura (school) that places a high emphasis on building positive relationships, so whānau (families) have a strong sense of belonging.

We celebrate and commemorate important dates in Aotearoa New Zealand history, such as Waitangi Day, Matariki, Parihaka, Te Wiki o te Reo Māori; and, through our Kāhui Ako are making connections to our local iwi, learning our local history.


We use the Science of Reading to guide our literacy teaching. As a result, we implement a Structured Literacy approach to systematically teach the skills of reading and writing, leaving nothing to chance. This approach follows scientific evidence based research to enable our ākonga (students) to be successful literacy learners to the best of their abilities, building on what they already know.

  • Phonological Awareness: When tamariki (children) first start, time and attention is placed on developing their phonological awareness and understanding of how oral language works - a fundamental step before 'formal' reading instruction takes place.

  • Alphabetic Code: Kaiako (teachers) explicitly teach the Alphabetic Code (read and write sounds, blending sounds together to make words, decoding words into individual sounds) to enhance their knowledge of both reading and writing together. As tamariki get older, they look into the origins of words and how this impacts their meaning. All while being taught the traditional skills of spacing, directionality, punctuation, paragraphing, interest words etc.

  • Fluency: Time is provided for ākonga to explore reading with fluency through phrasing, expression and speed/pace; as well as, writing with fluency through increasing pace with accuracy.

  • Vocabulary: Ākonga learn the meaning of most words indirectly, through everyday experiences with oral and written language. Other words are learned through carefully designed instruction from our kaiako to raise a greater knowledge and understanding of words. These words are selected and explicitly taught.

  • Comprehension: Good readers have the skills to absorb what they read, analyse it, make sense of it, and make it their own. Ultimately the purpose of reading. Our kaiako are very skilled at helping ākonga get to this level of reading and writing.

Saint Joseph's School has a well resourced library that everyone enjoys visiting at least once a week to renew books to take home with them or to read in class.

We also have many opportunities for the ākonga to read with others, such as Tuakana/Teina buddy class relationships, Parishioner Pals (junior classes read with the people from our parish), and wonderful Teacher Aides.


This is an important area of learning, where tamariki (children) develop the ability to thing creatively, critically, strategically and logically. We believe it is important for our ākonga (students) to apply their number knowledge and strategies into other strand areas (geometry, measurement, statistics) within real life contexts.

  • Contextual Learning: Learning is most effective when there is a purpose and obvious reason for the task. We endeavour to provide a range of contexts for rich learning to take place through authentic real life contexts.

  • Problem Solving: Opportunities are provided for ākonga to think creatively and solve interesting problems through many different strategies. This enables everyone to have success at their own level, yet participate in whole class tasks.

  • Mathematical Conversations: The most effective way to enhance learning is to take the time and talk through all the strategies used in a task, allowing tamariki to share their thought processes. By doing this, everyone is exposed to multiple ways of solving the same problem, potentially being exposed to a more effective strategy from their peers. Kaiako (teachers) lead this through careful questioning.

  • Workshops: Kaiako hold workshops to support and teach ākonga in small groups to ensure all learning needs are met.

  • Basic Facts: We believe it is important for regular ongoing practice of basic facts is essential to increase the efficiency and speed of problem solving.


Akonga will be encouraged to explore, challenge, affirm and celebrate unique artistic expressions of self, community and culture.

Learning in, through and about The Arts stimulate creative action and response by engaging and connecting thinking, imagination, senses and feelings.

Children will learn to work both independently and collaboratively to construct meanings, produce works and respond to and value other’s contributions.

One of our highlights is our triennial Wearable Arts tradition. We have some very talented ākonga whose creative talents really shine at this event.


Each term, an interesting concept that engages and motivates ākonga (student) learning is implemented through the area of inquiry. This concept could focus on one curriculum learning area (Science, Social Sciences, Technology, including S.T.E.M) or link across multiple of these areas. Ākonga are 'hooked in' to the concept through a carefully crafted experience by the kaiako (teacher). Through robust discussions, ākonga are encouraged to ask questions and to follow an inquiry cycle in an area of specific interest.

The overall theme for 2022 is understanding OUR history, starting from creation of our Earth (Term 1 - focusing on Science and Religious Education), Māori History (Term 2 - focusing on Māori, Languages, and Social Sciences), Feilding (Term 3 - focusing on sustainability, the science, social science curriculums and Catholic Social Teachings) and in Term 4 we will look at how we can use the knowledge we have gained to improve our future (technology).