Our School


St Joseph’s School began on 1st February 1926, in temporary premises while the school was being built and with a roll of 45.  It was staffed by the Sisters of St Joseph of Nazareth, who lived in the Convent next door to the school. The new school opened on 14th November 1926 and was also used as a Church on Sundays until the new St Joseph’s Church was completed in 1956. Tennis Courts were added in 1957, a 4th classroom in 1961 and the Swimming Pool in 1964. The 1970’s was the beginning of a new era for St Joseph’s, with the first lay teacher employed in 1972, the first lay principal in 1974 and State Aid meant lay staff were paid by the Government.

The Parish Hall, which is used by the school, was completed in 1976 and an extension to the hall has now become the school library. In 1982 St Joseph’s became integrated into the State System, retaining its Special Catholic Character. 1989 saw the introduction of Tomorrow’s Schools, when schools became self governed.  At this time the old brick building was deemed unsafe and work began designing and building the present school which opened in November 1990. Potential roll growth saw a 5th classroom commissioned in February 1997.

As no funding was available at the time, the B.O.T, after community consultation, decided to build the classroom at their cost.  In 1999 the roll enabled the fifth teacher to be employed. The same year a small remodel was done to the administration area and the school was cabled so that computers could be networked. Another new era began at the end of 2002 with the closure of St Columba’s School in Waipawa.  St Joseph’s became the Catholic School for the Holy Trinity Parish, Central Hawke’s Bay.  A sixth classroom was built in 2004 to accommodate the increased roll growth.  Further building in 2006 saw a new administration building added to the school and the remodel of the staffroom area. St Joseph’s School remains a vital link with the Parish and continues to flourish, and is the school of choice for a growing number of parents.


“Catholic School’s provide a community environment, which permeated by the spirit of the Gospel, develops the personalities of children and adolescents and brings to maturity the grace of Faith they receive at their Baptism.”

Experience has proved beyond doubt that no matter how hard a Catholic School works to form Christian children, little success is achieved unless parents share and practise the same values and standards as the school.  Therefore, at St Joseph’s the staff work to complement the religious formation begun and now continued at home by parents – by working with them in a spirit of co-operation and sharing.

Enrolment at a Catholic School is in itself an open commitment to:

– Attending Sunday Mass or Services with your Faith Community

– Teaching and joining in family prayer

– Assisting in Faith development through support and involvement in

  the R.E. Programme and helping children with homework when required.

– Payment of Attendance Dues

Twice a year we focus on Mission projects as our commitment to our brothers and sisters in Christ and this usually involves a monetary donation.

“Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring.  Hence parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children.”

                                           Vatican Council


The Gospel Values are the foundation of our school. We do, however, in response to the New Zealand Curriculum, have four others: SPIRITUALITY, RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY AND COMMUNITY.  These deeply held beliefs are the cornerstone of our Positive Behaviour for Learning Programme.


The Religious Education Programme taught at St Joseph’s is the “Religious Education Programme for Catholic Primary Schools in Aotearoa New Zealand.” The Bishop’s Conference from time to time set down guidelines in terms of time commitment to the programme.  

The programme itself is very much a package containing: The Curriculum Statement – this sets out the Philosophy, Principles, Aims, Structure and Content of the Religious Education Curriculum. The Teacher’s Books –  a set of six books for each year, one for each Learning Strand, which include lessons on the focus for year. The Music and Prayer Resource – a resource for each year of the programme which includes a cassette tape and word charts for the songs and prayers used each year. Children’s Digital Resource Material –  a resource for children to use to reinforce key learning throughout the year at school and at home once completed. The Family-Whanau Book –  This on-line resource is available to assist parents and caregivers in their role in the Religious Education of their children.  It aims to provide a brief, clear overview of the Religious Education Programme to assist parents and caregivers in their role as “first educators in faith.” The website is go to: Faith Alive – Families – Family Whanau Book. Further information about the content of the programme can be found in the Curriculum Statement which all schools have. The Scripture Picture and Sacrament Photograph Resource –  these resources have 16 large images in each and are designed to be used as part of the lessons throughout the programme.


Each term we have a school mas to celebrate as a community. It is an expectation that all families participate in this. The school mass is held the second Sunday of the school term and is advertised in our school newsletter and a reminders sent out via our school app. The school mass is an integral part of creating an authentic Catholic community to promote and support the students and families being an active witness in Gods teachings and to strengthen and grow our school and parish community.

Throughout the year, classes, groups of classes and on special occasions the whole school, celebrate the Eucharist. These celebrations are open to all and we look forward to seeing family and friends at our Masses and Liturgies. Masses are attended at other times during the school week. Senior pupils are rostered as weekly Altar Servers at Sunday Mass. Times for the Liturgies and Masses are included in the School Newsletter, so that parents are able to plan to join us.


8.15am         Doors open to children

8.55am         School Begins

11.00am       Morning Tea

11.25am       School Resumes

1.00 pm        Lunchtime

1.45pm        School Resumes

2.55pm        School Finishes

Children are supervised between 8.25am and 3.20pm.

Teachers cannot normally come to the phone during class time.  The best time to contact teachers is before 8.45am or after 3.20pm or at lunchtime.

In case of emergencies please contact the office.

The telephone is not generally for pupil’s use but can be used after permission is sought.

Students are not allowed cell phone / digital devices in class, they must hand them into the office in the morning and collect after school.


Our school uniform is a statement of belonging to a St Joseph’s Catholic School, Waipukurau. All pupils are required to wear the correct uniform.

Summer Uniform (Worn Term 1 and 4)


●      Navy Short Sleeved Polo Shirt with Logo

●      Culottes (Blue check)

●      Brown, Navy or Black Sandals

●      Navy Polar Fleece Jacket with Logo


●      Navy Short Sleeved Polo Shirt with Logo

●      Grey Drill Shorts

●      Brown or Black Sandals

●      Navy Polar Fleece Jacket with Logo

Winter Uniform: (Worn Term 2 and 3)


●      Culottes (Blue Check)

●      Navy Long Sleeved Polo Shirt with Logo

●      Navy Polar Fleece Jacket with Logo

●      Navy/Black tights or Navy Knee High socks

●      Black Shoes 


●      Grey Winter Weight Shorts

●      Navy Long Sleeved Polo Shirt with Logo

●      Navy Polar Fleece Jacket with Logo   

●      Black Shoes with Grey Knee High Socks

*A change of clothes/shorts is preferable during winter for children playing on the field. This protects good clothes and stops children from sitting in cold, wet, and muddy clothes in class.

*An old shirt is an ideal way to protect clothes from paint etc during art time.

●      All pupils are required to have Navy Blue P.E. Shorts and a School Uniform House Coloured T-Shirt


Watch – Worn on the wrist

Earrings: Studs/Sleepers only

Necklaces/Taonga: Worn inside clothing

Hair ties: Blue, black or white only (school colours)

Hair longer than shoulder length needs to be tied back.


* A lost property box welcomes your inspection if you are missing any articles.  If something is brought home by mistake, please return it immediately and inform the teacher.

The school has a supply of different sports uniforms and these are given out when needed. It is the parent or a caregiver’s responsibility to ensure they are washed before returning to school.

If there is a medical reason as to why your child is unable to wear the correct uniform you need to have a discussion with the Principal and you may be granted an exemption. 

Uniform Clothing is available from Mainlands Uniform or Personalise It.

Second-hand uniform donated by parents and is available from the School Office.


TRANSPORT – To and from school

It is the parent’s/caregivers responsibility to see your children to and from school safely. Extreme care must be taken when parking outside the school.

Parents are encouraged to use the Church car park. Buses operate in conjunction with the other schools for outlying areas. Biking is at parent/caregivers discretion.  Helmets are compulsory. Bikes should not be ridden on the school grounds. Rollerblading to and from school is not encouraged. All pedestrians are asked to use the school crossing at all times.



Students who live further than 3.2 km from school are eligible to catch the bus. All bus students need to complete a bus form and a code of conduct before being allowed on the bus. Please see the office if there are any changes to your child taking the bus, you must notify the school office before 2.30 pm.



In the interests of our children and their successful school life, all parents/caregivers have a commitment to make to the school community.  We welcome your interest and involvement in many aspects of school life and hope to see you at our various functions held throughout the year.



Parents are welcome to visit the school to talk to teachers and/or the Principal.  Appointments can be arranged if required, and generally, the best time to see a classroom teacher is after 3.20 pm.



This Assembly is held fortnightly at 2.30 pm Fridays, on even weeks of the term. Classes/Houses are rostered to organise the assembly which is a good opportunity for children to organise an assembly to celebrate success and share learning.  All parents, friends and whanau are welcome to attend. On alternate Fridays, we have house singing and then come together to finish as a whole school with prayer and certificates to celebrate the students learning.



St Joseph’s School encourages parents to help in the support of school programmes.  We recognise the expertise of many parents and from time to time teachers will request assistance in areas such as Music, Art, Maori Cultural activities and Sports Coaching.  We do have regular Parental Assistance in our Junior Rooms.

Teachers may also request help within the classroom taking individuals or small groups for reading, maths, Maori language or a special activity associated with, for example, a Science Unit.  Teachers will reserve the right to choose when parent help within the classroom is welcome.  They are, after all, responsible for the learning of all children in their classes and must make appropriate decisions about having other people in their rooms.  Parental help is essential for school trips and school camps.

If you would like to become involved in some aspect of the school programme please see your child’s classroom teacher.


At mid-year and December, the school provides written reports to parents about their child’s progress for Years 2 – 8. New Entrant to Year 1 Reports is written to coincide with their anniversary of starting school. (i.e. after 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 year etc.)  These reports are written by the class teacher after reviewing individual progress in all curriculum areas.  Teacher judgement against expected achievement focuses only on Reading, Writing and Mathematics. 


The staff and Board of Trustees have an open door policy where parents are encouraged to discuss with school staff any matters concerning the education of pupils. Staff are always available at school after 3.20 pm to talk to parents.  Other times can of course be arranged and an appointment would be appreciated.


The first person to contact is the class teacher or the teacher responsible.  The next level of communication is obviously the Principal. Our Principal is always willing to talk to parents who have either exhausted the options above or have concerns of a serious or sensitive nature.  Sarah can also call upon the expertise of other people who may be able to help, for example, the B.O.T. Chairperson. Other people would include Shane Gregory from M.O.E. Special Education, the Resource Teacher of Maori, Louise Keepa, ResourceTeachers Learning and Behaviour, Robyn James, Lynn Marsh and Sally Biss and our Resource Teacher Literacy, Barry Kerr, the P.F.G. Chairperson or even Government Agencies.



We have a House Group system that encourages healthy rivalry between the four House Groups.  Each House is named after a Saint.  St Christopher, St Joseph, St John and St Peter Chanel.

The House Groups compete in the classroom as well as on the sports field.  House Points are earned for effort, winning and reward.

The House Colours are:

St Columba –  Royal Blue

St Mary MacKillop –  Red

Bl Suzanne Aubert –  Gold

St Peter Chanel –  Bottle Green

On enrolment, children are put into a House which they generally stay in for the duration of their schooling at St Joseph’s.  Siblings are put in the same House as their oldest brother or sister.



Every year we have a Hui to consult with our Maori Community. Maori Achievement is a focus of the consult and issues that affect the group are discussed and actions are taken.  A Maori Consultation Group comes out of the Hui who can consult directly with other parties, e.g. with the B.O.T.



If your child is absent from school for any reason, please notify us either with a phone call or by our School App.

It is most important that parents and staff know of children’s whereabouts at all times.  Each morning and afternoon the roll is taken and absences noted.  If a child is absent without explanation the school will endeavour to contact caregivers to ensure child safety.

Students may not leave the school during school hours except by special arrangements. Students must be signed out by an adult and signed in when returned to school. Students are no longer allowed to leave school grounds on their own, even if they have parents permission. For example; if a child has a dentist or doctor’s appointment they must be collected from the school office by the parent, caregiver or an authorised adult to take them to their appointments.



Children with allergies and/or conditions such as asthma MUST have them brought to the teacher’s attention.  Any medication must be clearly labelled and will be held with the Medical supplies. A “Parent Request to Administer Medication” form must be completed at the school office. Emergencies will be dealt with as they occur and parents will be contacted when practicable and as soon as possible.  It is also vital that daytime contact phone numbers for parents/caregivers are current in case of emergency.



The school has introduced recycling procedures in line with Council guidelines, which pupils are encouraged to follow.  Any food wrapping/containers brought to school in lunch boxes are required to be taken home.  Food scraps can be recycled at school.



At various times children are visited by or visit these people. If children are requested to visit the Dental Nurse, they attend Waipukurau School. The Dental Therapist communicates directly with you. On occasions, the Public Health Nurse visits as does the Hearing and Vision Clinic. At certain ages, these Health Professionals come in contact with your child, i.e. Year 7 colour vision test and Year 7 immunisation.   These visits are usually timetabled and if you have a concern, contact with the school is suggested.



All pupils should have nutritious and sufficient food to meet their needs at school. Throughout the year school groups organize lunches on a limited basis.  Under no circumstances will children be allowed to leave the grounds to purchase lunch, unless they have a teacher’s approval. Healthy Food Options are part of the Learning & Teaching through the Health/P.E. Curriculum.



All Year 7 and Year 8 pupils attend the Waipawa Technology Centre for a variety of Technology Lessons. These lessons are timetabled as a block course each term. Shoes are essential footwear for working with machinery.   We seek your co-operation in this safety measure.  Children are charged a fee that is paid with their stationery account at the beginning of the year.



The school office hours are as follows:

Monday       –  8.15 – 3.15pm

Tuesday      –  8.15 – 3.15pm

Wednesday –  8.15 – 3.15 pm

Thursday    –  8.15 – 3.15 pm (Newsletter day)

Friday         –  8.15 – 3.15pm