Our Values


For God, ourselves, other people, and our environment.


In our friendships with God, the things we do, the words we speak, and what we think.


With God, our friends, our classmates, our teachers, and our families.

Our Purpose

St Joseph’s school is a full primary Catholic integrated school that caters for children from Year 1 through to Year 8. 

Catholic schools exist to assist parents to pass on the faith to their children. Their purpose is to provide an environment where children will see, experience, share and come to understand a Catholic way of life and learn what being Catholic means through the Religious Education programme.

Five suggestions for ways Family-Whanau can support the Catholic Character of the School:

  • Become involved in school and parish, parent and community activities.
  • Attend school functions, especially liturgies your children are involved in.
  • Share your gifts to assist the school in practical ways.
  • Pray regularly with your family-whanau.
  • Spend time working together with your child/children on their Religious Education homework.

When children go to school they bring the faith they have inherited from their family-whanau to be expanded through the school’s Catholic environment. The most important part of any school is the people who belong to it – it is through the people that children are most able to learn and experience what being Catholic means.

Principal Geraldine Sumner

“My name is Geraldine Sumner, I’m the Principal of St. Joseph’s School Hawera. I am married to Richard for 33 years and have two grown up daughters. I love dogs, arts and crafts. I specialise in Science and Technology.  I joined the school in 2019 after spending 4 years in Thames, 5 years in Hastings and 3 years in Auckland. St Joseph’s has a rich history and dates from 1875.  The school has gone through periods of evolution over time, but one thing remains that it has been a highly effective school right from the beginning, with innovation and passion to teach and sculpt young people ready to take their place in the world.

The school has always been evolving and changing to meet the needs of the children to ensure they are equipped academically, emotionally and spiritually to move to their next milestone in life. However, more importantly that they have the tools to be confident and strong when times are challenging. We teach in partnership with the whanau and parish community.

We have always had an open and inclusive environment rich in the love of Christ. The children come to know God and walk in His footsteps to be better people ready to serve others. We encourage children to work very hard and to make the best of themselves. We are a team, supporting, loving and caring for one another and that is our recipe of success.

Our success story has only been possible thanks to a high-performing and motivated team, and the commitment of each family and parishioner. We have a strong heart that beats for all the children, whanau and parish community of Hawera. We are also very proud of our social partnership with other South Taranaki schools, working together for the good of all the children and family of Hawera.  

Together we are strong, united and ready to serve and share God’s love with everyone we meet.”

Geraldine Sumner
Kia wairua tapu ki runga ki a koutou katoa. ~ May the Holy Spirit be upon you all.

Parents Can Help

There are many different ways that parents can help support their children and their school. So that we can compile a list of people we could call upon should we need to, we ask all families to think about where you could help in the following areas:

  • Reading Groups
  • Writing Groups
  • Reading Book Mending
  • Swimming Assistance
  • Sport Coaching
  • Joining and Assisting PTA
  • Standing for BOT
  • And much more…