Pasifika Fono Evening held in Staffroom 6pm
We held a Fono for Pacific Island whanau at our school led by Tua Misiloi and assisted by Lena Klenner and Jennifer Herbst. The intention of the Fono was to touch base with our families and to provide information on how they as caregivers can engage in learning with their children.
We had around 35 people including students at the evening. We started with a karakia led by a new father into our school. And went around and briefly introduced ourselves.
From there we introduced 4 key questions which we invited responses from both care givers and students. We used sticky notes and some caregivers wrote responses in Tongan which Tua translated. The questions were:
Student response
Caregivers Response
How can I involve myself in my child’s learning?
·       Listen to the teacher
·       Put your hand up instead of shouting out
·       Take or make time to spend with my kids doing their homework & reading
·       Listen to them
·       By receiving all the newsletters and reading them
·       Ask teachers if there are any areas where my child needs help
·       Set some time after school to bridge school learning with homework.
·       Communicating with the teacher
·       Discuss with my kids how their school day was.
What can I do to support my child with reading & maths?
·       Paying attention in class
·       Practise reading & maths
·       Do times tables and read more books
·       Check her homework
·       Read to them every day or let them see you reading
·       Bring reading/maths skills to everyday tasks/activities with rewards
·       Follow through with homework
·       Puzzles, questions, role play
·       Talking to them about what they are learning
·       Be more involved and encourage areas they may be weak in.
Why is it important for my child to come to school every day?
·       I would learn more
·       I would have heaps of friends and be smart
·       You fall behind in learning
·       Show that daily routine is all part of the education process
·       Actively keep routine with learning
·       To learn to work alongside others and to challenge themselves
·       To socialise with others
·       Learn new things
·       To become part of the school community
·       Show respect and reverence to others
Why does my child need to come to school every day?
·       Otherwise you’ll be dumb
·       I’d would be uneducated and won’t know anything about what to do in my learning
·       They will lose confidence
·       Meet friends and keep up with school work
·       I need him for a better future
·       Fall behind
·       Its law
·       Keep fit- brain training

 Our thoughts/questions
·      Head lice: A parent voiced concern that we need to get on top of this as parents, school has sent notes etc. but continuing problem. We talked about how we can get help from the Public Health nurse if contact is made with the school office.
·      Newsletters: Be aware of language barriers. May need some Tongan to English or vice versa so we are informed and understand what it all means.
·      Blog: not really reaching whanau- access to computers and where to find the information is an issue, keep blogs up to date as a parent has been on each week and nothing new for ages, rather have a physical piece of paper.
·      Reporting: Teacher/student interviews- teachers don’t hold back we want to know facts not just nice stuff.
·      Homework: if it’s not given from school we don’t do it.
·      Power Up Plus: Suzie as parent rep talked about the plan to have it up and running. Tua elaborated on what it would involve and stressed it is in the planning phase, but hopefully we will get permission to establish it in term 3.
·      Pacific culture practise for cultural day after mass July 1 and
·      Term 3 Fie Fia night. Parents asked about afternoon tea as pupils are hungry after school. Times for practise: 3-4pm every Friday in Tua’s room, we will provide a light, healthy snack on these nights.
Where To Next?
·      Keeping up to date with planning for Power Plus – a very positive vibe about this as it will enable caregivers to be actively involved in what and how students learn as well as providing skills in helping our children with school work.
·      We handed out brochures from the Ministry of Education written in Tongan about what happens at each level of the primary school years and also information on how you can help your child with reading and math at home.
·      A collection of 6 books per family were distributed written in Tongan- free resources provided and much appreciation was shown for this.
·      We concluded with a shared supper.


QUESTION regarding international visitors.  We have tentatively agreed (and had approval from the Ministry) to host a group of about 5 Chinese students for a week in February next year.  This is just as guests so they can experience education in New Zealand, no more than two per class.  Tourism Waitaki thinks this could be a regular thing and we should consider a suitable donation.  Schools who take in international students charge about $3250 per term.  We are not proposing to enrol international students, just to have occasional small groups as visitors.  We're looking at it in terms of a cultural exchange.  There are many issues to consider and this is just in the beginning stages.  What thoughts / concerns / opportunities do we see in this?

Multicultural Sub-committee Report - October
The Filipino Class   (Report written by Marisol Rollan)  
 I started teaching Filipino class September of 2016. There are 9 kids currently attending Filipino class. Thanks to Mrs. Jones-Hogan for allowing us to use her room (though sometimes we are so loud.   Since 2016 we have discussed different cultures, history, values and traditions which are all important to every Filipinos.It is of great significance for the kids to have a better understanding of how unique their heritage is, and how colourful their traditions and cultures are.To appreciate the Filipino values and history that will give a great impact on their views and ethics to be a better human being. Also, we have discussed some of the basic Filipino language that is useful for everyday conversation. Last Mother's Day celebration, kids made a beautiful handcrafted paper flower and on the celebration of Philippine Independence Day, kids watched movie about Filipino heroes.     
           Right now, we are busy practicing Filipino dance for the up coming Multi-Cultural Day celebration. And lastly, we are thinking of having a small Christmas party showcasing Filipino traditional foods for Christmas, hopefully                                                                              
            Thank you so much Mrs.Plieger for being so supportive to us and please. extend your gratitude to the Principal and the Board of Trustees for giving us this great opportunity to study, cultivate and embrace the Filipino cultures, history and traditions even though we are not in our mother land. 

Marisol Rollan (Class Teacher)

St Joseph’s International Food Fair:  A number of our parents are busily preparing for our food fair. This is both a fundraiser and a chance for us all to come together, enjoying the tasty food on offer and each other’s company.
Our thanks go to our families who are preparing for food stalls, Rebecca Heffernan for co-ordinating the Fair and the Home and School for their support.

Multicultural Day:  Our multicultural Day will be held on November 14th. This is a chance for our St Joseph’s students to take a pride in their different cultures and to share parts of their cultures with each other. During the morning the children will rotate around a number of different activities led by community members, teachers and Senior students. We will all share a lunch and the day will conclude with a multicultural concert.

September 2017
BOT Multicultural Sub-committee Report – September

 Filipino and Tongan classes progressing well.
 The Tongan community attended the North Otago fiefia evening where our children gave a
well - rehearsed item. Two children from each attending school were presented with
Excellence Certificates, including pupils from St Joseph’s School.
 Our children from St Joseph’s School were represented at the Oamaru Public Library with an
item during Tongan Language Week.
 The Tongan community met to hear about the KOS programme which has recently been
taught to all classes in the school.
 The Food Fair was discussed and stall holder groups are well underway with their planning.
Questions were raised about how much pre-preparation/cooking could be done off-site.
 It was noted that the timing of the school’s Multicultural Day comes at a busy time for some

of our parents.

August 2017
Multi-Cultural Sub-committee Report
August 2017
  • The Sub-committee met in two sessions so that all people were able to be involved in the meeting
  • Agenda/Discussion:

  • The role of the Multi-cultural committee to represent their communities and other ELL parents at BOT level. Please note that this happens within the framework of school policies.
  • As we have had some difficulty getting this sub-committee together because of members’ work commitments, it was decided that evening meetings were best and that we should be able to set these meetings a month in advance.
  • Upcoming dates were discussed and will be followed up by an email – Multi-cultural Parent’s Meeting (Filipino Pagsasama, Tongan Fono and Chinese Meeting), Food Fair, Term 4 Multi-cultural Parent’s Meeting and Multi-cultural Day - so that the Sub-committee representatives can inform their communities.
  • KOS was discussed as this can be a sensitive programme affected by cultural ideas about what is, and what is not, talked about publicly. The Tongan community will have a meeting so that the programme can be discussed in Tongan to better inform the parents about the content of KOS and the reasons for offering this programme.

June 2017
Multicultural Sub–committee Report Term 2
Both the Tongan and the Filipino after school groups are now up and running at St Joseph’s School. We are very lucky to have two qualified Primary teachers to run these groups, with Tua Misilioi, aided by Talanoa Palu, teaching the Tongan group and Marisol Rollan teaching the Filipino group. Both groups meet for an hour each week and it’s great to see the positive attitudes of the students. Through these classes the children are able to keep their language and culture alive. Building strong competency in a child’s home language has been shown to improve knowledge and fluency in subsequent languages which leads to strengthening the child’s ability to speak English.
The Tongan Homework Group: ( Report supplied by Tua Misiloi)
  • Once a week – every Tuesday.
  • At the start the group discussed about what they want to do at the homework day.
  • They came up with three main key ideas. – Aim
  •                                                                -How to achieve the aim
  •                                                                -Anything else need to cover.
Aim: To learn about the Tongan language, proverbs and vocabulary.
        To have a deeper knowledge of using the Tongan language in either sentence structure, or asking and answering questions.
       To learn about Tongan songs and dances/performances.

Ways to achieve the aim:
-To learn about it
-Listen to the teacher/parents
-Participate in group discussions and add ideas to the activities given. Give it a go (challenge themselves)
-Attend the homework day at all the available times.

Ideas Added
-Maths- in Tongan/English
-Tongan Fakafe’iloaki/Mihi

-Reading books in Tongan

March 2017

The Tongan Fono, Filipino Pagsasama and Chinese cultural group all met on the same evening this term.  They all met in separate areas and conversed in their own language.  Jan, Lorraine and Tua then met them for feedback.  Then all groups joined in the staffroom for a shared presentation, discussion and then a shared supper.

No concerns arising.

Lot is going to talk to Marisol about the FIlipino class.  We may advertise for a teacher.
Filipino cup has been found.  We will present it at the end of year prize-giving - Feely will present it.  It has been entered on the cup record with the conditions recorded.

Jane will write a short explanation in Chinese and in English to explain the Chinese wall hanging donated by the Chinese community.

Multicultural Day:  Term 4 - booked Tuesday 14th November.  Jan will send a notice about it and it will be translated if needed.

Tongan homework club has not been attended.  We will talk in next Multicultural hui about the reasons and the homework club to see if we can get a better commitment for next term.

Jane asked about communication with teachers.  Want to know what the teachers are thinking of their children - how well they are doing.  Jan and Jane to talk further.  Parents would come if the children invited them in.  The children can translate.  Open classroom with a specific invitation.

February 2017
Cultural Sub Committee
Present: Lorraine Frances-Rees, Talanoa Palu, Jan Plieger
Matters Discussed:

  • Role of committee as liaison between different cultural groups.
  • Are resources working correctly?
  • Look at celebration within cultural groups and what we need to happen for success.
  • Jan to approach members of Chinese and Filipino communities with a view to bringing in cultural representation to this committee.
  • White Sunday important to Tongan Community(1st Sunday in May)
  • Beginning of year Tongan community gets together to bless children at beginning of school year – each congregation has one high school speaker or older students at this, speaking in Tongan about the importance of learning.
  • Discussion about keeping Tongan language alive. Peta to give notices in English
  • Bringing the different cultural groups together under leadership of senior students/ Tongan language. This could be picked up with other groups.
  • Meet the Teacher. Tua welcome in Tongan – also other cultural welcomes.
  • Note in Tongan re meet the teacher groups. Other languages?
  • Parents need to be encouraged to bring concerns forward.
  • Pasifika after school classes to start up shortly. Jan to contact Filipino group re Filipino classes.


November 2016
New Cultural subcomittee - Talanoa Palu, Jan Plieger and Lorraine Frances-Rees.  Determination of scope.

Term 4: Pasifika Fono - discussion, LFR introduced  - they said how lucky we are having Tua as a teacher, their spokesperson and liaison.  Homework group is continuing for 2017.  They wanted to focus on year 7 & 8 next time to see what help as parents they could give to their children to prepare for year 8 and high school. Also about a Pasifika educationist to talk to the group.

Filipino Pagsasama: Lualhti Mordeno agreed to be the liaison between school and the Filipino community regarding pagsasamas.  A notice about forthcoming meetings would be sent home through Marisol Filipino Facebook group and through the children.

They wanted to have their own meeting before meeting with us and we would come in after half an hour.  We will suggest this as a format for other groups.

Chinese meeting - some discussion around some areas of concern for the Chinese community and these concerns were resolved.

A cultural day is planned for week 9 with workshops, performances and a shared lunch.

Teaching and learning - we would like to budget for a Tongan-speaking teacher aide next year.

Term 3 2016
Talanoa Palu coopted to Board as Pasifika representative.

Pasifika Fonos and Filipino Pagsasamas have been planned for 2016. All cultural groups will contribute to the Home & School Food Fair.

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