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Special Catholic Character

School Vision

Our School Vision - 'Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith'

The boy and girl standing in front of the cross with the Holy Spirit represent our children at St Joseph's on their faith journey.  This is our JJ symbol.  In the Junior School we say that JJ means to be 'Just like Jesus'.  In the Senior School we say 'Journey with Jesus'.  The JJ symbol depicts children as they live out our school vision to 'Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith'.  To help understand what our vision means, we have divided it into three parts:

  • Reach for the Stars
  • Lifelong Learners
  • Catholic Faith

We have examples of these three parts in detail on our vision statement.  This is displayed throughout the school and a copy is available from the office.

School Values

Our School Values - 'The 4 R's are modelled on Jesus Christ and his Gospel of Good News

  • Respect for others and oneself - John13:34-35; Ephesians 6:1-3.
  • Reverence in school, church, home and the community - Hebrews 12:88; Colossians 3:12.
  • Resilience Courage to take risks, accept challenges (Tiki/Pono) and stand strong (Kia Kaha) for what is just and right - Joshua 1:9; Luke 11:9.
  • Relationships with ourselves, each other and God - Matthew 7:12, John 4:19, Proverbs 17:17.

School Motto

The Motto of our School is: Veritas - Truth

It takes its origin from St Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order in the year 1215.  He encouraged his followers to:

  • Preach the Truth
  • Live the Truth
  • Be the Truth

The Truth being Christ and His Gospel of Good News.  For over the past 100 years the Dominican Sisters have been associated with St Joseph's School.  They endeavoured to live this motto and encouraged their pupils to do the same.  Our unique Dominican Choir was established in 2008 and when we hear the choir sing at mass, assembly or out in the community, we are reminded of our 'Dominican' charism as we keep it alive and remain true to the scriptures in all that we do.

Our School Name

It is very fitting that St Joseph is our patron.  At a time when educators and parents are increasingly aware of the role of parents as first teachers, we can relate to Joseph's role in caring for and teaching Jesus.  Joseph is a fine example to us all that we reflect on his endeavours to help Jesus learn, in his world.  We pray that Joseph the carpenter, the teacher and the caregiver will continue to provide inspiration to all involved in St Joseph's School.

Our Parish

Dear Parents and Friends

Greetings and welcome to our website.  I'm, sure you are looking to see what makes our school tick and what makes a Catholic school different from any other.  In brief, we pride ourselves in the following:

  • St Joseph's is a Parish School and is part of the St Patrick's Parish family
  • We are very family orientated and a welcoming and inclusive school
  • We endeavour to show by example and teach the values of Christ namely a sense of justice harmony and reverence towards all from both teachers and students which is paramount.
  • Our school values are Respect, Reverence, Resilience and Relationships and these we revisit from time to time to see that we can raise the cross bar even higher.
  • Our last ERO report was outstanding.  This doesn't mean we can become complacent but we endeavour to raise the standard in class and out of class.

We have school and family Masses with the parishioners.  The students and teachers arrange the music and their participation and arrangement of the celebration throughout these Masses is of great importance.

Finally our goal is for all students to grow in a culture of true belonging, respect for one another and also have a dignity and pride in themselves and walk in the true spirit of Christ Jesus.

Mass Times at St Patrick's Parish, Reed Street, Oamaru

  • Saturday at 5.00 pm
  • Sunday at 9.30 am

Every blessing
Fr Wayne Healey

Parish Support Person

We are fortunate to have a dedicated teacher aide who also works for the Parish.  Jocelyn Marsh is always available to meet and greet new families and help them to settle into school.  She coordinates a Parish & School Mother's Group as well as help parents to learn more about 'Things Catholic'.  Jocelyn supports the school Sacramental Programme and regularly makes home visits.

Catholic Character Review

Summary Page 2015

St Joseph's Oamaru is a highly successful Catholic school. It has constantly sought to refine and improve its systems and practices. It welcomes external review as a way of assuring its community of the work being done from self review.

It has sought to create a synthesis of faith and life by developing a strong and authentic partnership between the parish and the school and with the local Catholic College. The Parish Priest promotes and encourages the school in its work and welcomes students and parents to participate in various ministries and liturgies within the parish. Teachers are generally involved with the parish. All tagged staff have authentic roles in the church and open place staff are also known to be part of parish liturgy. Children see a community of Catholic practice that welcomes them and encourages them. Senior Parishioners readily stand aside from ministries to encourage the students to lead and share.

Leadership of the school is at a high level. The school has a strong Board who understand their role in keeping Special Character at the centre of the mission and who genuinely look to contribute to the school's governance.

The Parish Priest plays a key role in sustaining the relationship with the staff and students. He welcomes students in their liturgies, he is visible in the school and he encourages parents to reconnect with their faith as they journey with their children.

The Principal models good practice and encourages and supports young staff to participate. Her focus on continuous improvement and enthusiasm for review and reflection is appreciated by her local community and in the wider Education community, where she has been recognized as a leader. She has ensured that the mission, charism and focus of the school are central to all activity.

Senior management and staff work as a unit. Support staff are enthusiastic about the mission of the school. Both teaching and support staff provide high quality pastoral care. The school is inclusive and welcoming. Staff, parents and students greet guests with respect. A feature of this school is the culture within. It has boundaries and expectations but these are not overtly enforced but rather referenced to the school codes of conduct and values. Students understand why they are asked to live the school values. It is quite common to hear and see students leading others and reminding them of what the community values.

Students are very well presented in the school. There are many opportunities for student leadership and student voice. The school has encouraged them to have a pride in their appearance.

Religious Education classes are well planned and led by the Director of Religious Studies and the Assistant Principal, Special Character. Together they ensure that what is taught is highly focused. St Joseph's has led the Diocese in finding ways to track and record student progress, use data to help direct programme changes and use data to adapt content according to the needs of the students. It understands this is new work that will have several iterations but it leads other schools in this work.

A key feature of the success of the school and development of the school culture has been the focus on supporting staff in their formation. The Board and Principal support staff through the allocation of resources and a time allowance which helps make study achievable.

Recommendations in the body of the report relate to incremental growth in Special Character and continue to encourage the school retain its focus and mission. The Proprietor can be assured that Special Character is at the heart of the success of this school.