St Joseph's School Upper Hutt - Faith in the future. Love of learning. Love of life.

Home Learning at St Joseph's School

Kia ora te Whānau

From Thursday 26 March, New Zealand will move to Level 4 on the COVID-19 Alert Level  where the majority of New Zealanders will remain isolated at home. As a result, our staff has now completed their last day on site. No one will be able to access the school site, including the school playgrounds, from this point forwards.

Thank you to those parents who dropped into school to collect hard copies of learning materials and/or to loan a school device for their children during this period of self-isolation. Teachers have been emailing parents and/or students with information regarding the learning from home resources that they can access over the coming weeks. 

In addition, we have added additional learning challenges to our school website at This site also has a link to some wonderful websites that your children can access to support their ongoing learning.

Teachers will endeavor to answer emails from parents or students during the hours of 9.00 am - 5.00 pm. They will also provide feedback on any learning tasks that are submitted electronically within 24 hours of the work being submitted or shared with the teacher. Whilst being awesome, please remember that our teachers are humans who have their own families and children to support during this unknown time. They are not available for contact 24 hours a day.

Whilst our Admin team and I have vacated the premises, we are still here for you. If you need our help or support over the coming weeks please email us.

He waka eke noa. We are all in this together.

Kind Regards

Andrew Herrick             Principal

Chris Steffensen                Deputy Principal

Selina Ede                       Assistant Principal 

Remember our tips to help out with learning over the coming weeks

Make schedules that can be broken 

Routines and schedules provide children with a sense of stability, security, and structure that can help keep boredom and frustration to a minimum. An important way to maintain some sense of routine is to keep sleep schedules relatively consistent. While children may appreciate sleeping later than they are able to on school days, it benefits them to get up at a reasonable time and stick to their usual schedule of naps and bedtime.


One recommendation is creating a daily schedule that works for you and your family. It should include scheduled meals, some quiet time activities such as reading, time to complete any schoolwork (possibly provided by your child’s teachers), time for creative play such as arts and crafts, and time for outdoor or active play.   

Keeping children active and able to burn off their energy may be particularly challenging, but even with social distancing, unless you or your child is actually ill, you should still have some options, such as going for walks, creating an obstacle course around your house for children to follow, or playing music and dance videos for kids.  

Keep children busy

Giving children tasks to keep them busy and active is also a good way to ease fear and anxiety. Household chores such as folding laundry, doing dishes, learning to help prepare meals, taking a pet for a walk, or organizing and tidying an area of the house can redirect children's focus and help them feel productive, as well as helping them master new skills.


Maintain regular health habits 

Keep reminding your children on the steps they can take to remain healthy. These include washing their hands well with soap and water, using a tissue to catch their coughs and sneezes, and avoiding getting too close to other people who are not immediate family. Parents can also reassure kids that adults are working hard to take care of sick people and to keep everyone else as safe and healthy as possible. 


Manage your anxiety in front of your children

Depending on how much knowledge they have of the situation at hand, an illness disrupting their daily lives can certainly cause fear or anxiety for children. Remember that children tend to take their cues from their parents about how scary a situation is. Please be mindful of what adult conversations children are hearing. 


Children may show anxiety or fear in different ways depending on their age and their usual styles of coping with stress. Some children may show anxiety by asking a lot of questions and seeking reassurance, or just being clingier to their parents than usual. Others might be more irritable than usual, or not want to talk about their fears about illness at all. Older children and teens might make jokes and use dark humour to try to cope, as do some adults.   

Talking to kids about COVID-19:

NPR: Just For Kids – A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

• Child Mind Institute: Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus