Pastoral Care - School Counselor


Breathing exercises are a coping tool to support relaxation and regulation.


Diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing, are breathing exercises for reducing stress and anxiety and increasing positive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Diaphragmatic breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to engage and respond. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for calming you down. It opposes the “fight, flight or freeze” response of the sympathetic nervous system. 

How to use diaphragmatic breathing

  • Start by taking a deep breath in through your nose and try to fill your lower belly with air. Think of pushing the belly button out. 
  • The diaphragm muscle contracts when you breathe, but when you purposefully use your belly on your inhalation, the air can move deeper into the body. This increases the length of the diaphragm and the efficiency of respiration. 
  • More carbon dioxide is released into the bloodstream, which is great for all parts of the body that thrive on CO2. 
  • Full, deep breaths turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, which tells many parts of the body to calm down. 
  • Because of its effects on the parasympathetic nervous system, diaphragmatic breathing stabilizes body temperature, heartbeat and blood pressure, and relaxes tense muscles.
  • Now that you are calm, you are more able to regulate your emotions, attend to difficult tasks, and be more present.

Visit to find the above exercise and many more stress and anxiety reduction techniques.

Kate Naylor – School Counsellor & Art Therapist

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Parent Forum

Parent Forum News

The Parent Forum met on the 10th of May in the school library. It was lovely to have some new faces along and special guest Skye Pullen attend. Skye is the Family Connect Worker and is a valuable resource to have at our school. Skye can connect families with a wide range of services in the broader community. Skye has a wealth of knowledge regarding parenting skills and strategies and the Parent Forum will be working with Skye to provide opportunities for workshops later in the year.

Due to the Chairperson role of the Parent Forum becoming vacant nominations for the Chairperson were sought at the meeting. Lauren Kirkland was nominated and accepted the role of Chairperson. Lauren had previously been Secretary and Rebecca Upston was nominated and accepted the role of Secretary.

The Parish Representative and Parent Assembly roles are still vacant on the committee, if you are interested or would like more information about these roles please contact Dale.

The Parent Forum aims to provide a social event to get parents in our school together once per term. We hope that everyone enjoyed the Silent Disco last term! 

We are looking to host a Paint and Sip evening in Term two. The children will be involved in an Art Show at the end of the term and we figure that they shouldn't get to have all the fun! 

We are seeking Expressions of Interest for this event so that we can gauge how many parents would like to attend. There will be a survey sent out via compass next Monday, so please register your interest if you think you would like to attend.

Lastly, please don't hesitate to get in touch with your year level representative if you would like anything raised at the next meeting. Perhaps you have some amazing ideas for us but can't attend the meetings. You can contact Lauren Kirkland, Chairperson, via email on 

The next Parent Forum meeting will be held on Tuesday 2nd August at 5pm in the library- all parents are welcome to attend.

The Parent Forum Team

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Class Awards

Our Principal's Award winners this week are:

  • Kindy - Kingston Thoms
  • Stage 1 -  Blake Hausler
  • Stage 2 - Lily Hancock
  • Year 5 -  Dayla Chapman
  • Year 6 - Ethan McLean

Our Class Award winners this week are: 


Erin Murtha-Clough

Alexander Trethowan

William Ceissman

Elyse Upston

Stage 1

Noa Chapman

Sophia Wright

Oliver Want

Isaak Bailey

Stage 2

Meesha Ellis

Jack Kirkland

Avah Anderson

Reece Bennett

Year 5

Tate Anderson

Huon Mclennan

Olive Ardrey

Harry Cook

Year 6

Ryley Bultitude

Emma Senz

Josie Chapman

Emily Upston

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School Sport

NSW Schools Cup and Netball Gala Day

Stage 2 and Stage 3 ventured down to the Maclean netball courts on Thursday 12th May to participate in the Lower Clarence Netball Gala Day (Stage 2) and NSW Schools Cup (Stage 3). The focus of the day was on participation and even the Stage 3 teams were in a competitive draw, students continued to play throughout the day regardless of results. The teams were split into pools and they played a round robin format with a switch over game with the corresponding team from the other pool at the end of the day. This ensured all students were on court throughout the whole day. 

It was great to see all of the students getting in there and doing their best regardless if they had played before or not. It was obvious that as the day went on students were developing their passing, communicating and team work skills. 

In the School State Cup we had two teams progress to the semi finals with one progressing to play Maclean Public School in the Final. Mr Randall reported, “We were in front for much of the game, until they scored a goal in the final seconds to pip us on the hooter.” Despite going down in the dying stages in the final, our team has progressed to the next level which will see them travel to Casino on 10th August to compete in the Far North Coast Regional Final Day. I would like to congratulate all students and staff for making this such a successful and enjoyable day for all. I would also like to wish our team good luck as they progress in the competition.

School Sport

Last Friday was the last day of our school basketball program and are now moving into our football (soccer) program for the rest of the term. A development officer from Football Australia will be attending the school to implement the program that will develop their skills and promote engagement in physical activity. Football has been very popular in the past and I am sure students will have a blast.

Mr Hitchings

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Class News - Stage 1

In Stage 1 this term, we have been working hard!

In English, we have been exploring different types of texts and how they are written for certain purposes. We have been looking at the similarities and differences between fiction and non-fiction texts. We think it’s amazing how authors can hide facts in fiction texts! We have also been writing some amazing sentences, making sure we include all the essential parts of a sentence.

In Maths, we have been doing a lot of work on addition and subtraction and exploring different strategies. We have found our favourite strategies and are looking at quick and efficient ways to solve problems. We are realising that even though sometimes problems can look tricky, different strategies can help us solve them easily.

Miss Moore

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Library News

Next week we will celebrate National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) in the library. This is an Australia-wide group reading and literacy event where schools, libraries and other institutions gather school-aged children together to read the same chosen picture book at the same time. Now in its 22nd year, the NSS promotes Australian authors and publishers. This year's book is The Family Tree by Josh Pike and Ronojoy Ghosh, and students are invited to eat their lunch in the library on Wednesday to partake in this year's event. We’ll also have a bag of popcorn each for the kids to enjoy. 

Issue 4 Book Club was sent home with students this afternoon. Scholastic Book Club operates twice a term and ordering is easy via the LOOP platform for parents or the LOOP app. I would like to say a big thanks to families purchasing books through Book Club, as each order helps earn free books and teaching materials for our library and classrooms, however there is never any obligation to order. 

If you don’t like to read, you haven't found the right book. J.K Rowling 

Mrs Waghorn

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Community Notices

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Mission & Values

Sacramental Program

Over the next few weeks, Caide Schylder will complete his first sacrament of Baptism. We wish Caide all the best and pray for him as he prepares for this Sacrament.

I would also like to wish Caide together with Marlie Cook, Jack Kirkland, Jacob McIntrye and Olivia McIntrye all the best as they prepare for their second sacrament of Confirmation. The candidates will be confirmed by Bishop Greg on Thursday, 30th June at St Mary’s Church, Maclean.


The Year 6 Incitare retreat has been rescheduled for Week 6, Wednesday 1st June at McAuley Catholic College in Grafton. Students will need to bring lunch, snacks, water and wear their sports uniform or Year 6 shirt, hat and joggers.  Miss Zietsch will be supervising the students on the day. Students will travel by bus with students from St James, Yamba.

Mercy Value - Courage

To act with courage takes strength, resilience and often the right words. (Institute Mercy Ethos Office – Forming a Mercy Culture for the sake of God’s Mission)

Upstanders/Bystanders (Definition) - a person who speaks or acts in support of an individual or cause, particularly someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied.

Last week, Stage 2 was learning about being an ‘Upstander’.  The students viewed some videos with tips and information and then they role-played what to do. They were sensational actors and have a clear understanding of what to do and say in 4 simple steps;

  1. Be a buddy
  2. Interrupt
  3. Speak out
  4. Tell an adult

Being an upstander definitely calls upon our Mercy Value of Courage and is recognised as one of the gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit.

Mrs Mullins

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Leaders of Learning

Learning in the Early Years

Each year, staff use student data to choose a focus for Professional Learning to improve student outcomes. In 2022, spelling is at the heart of our school improvement. All classes are using a commercial program called Sound Waves Spelling.  This is a whole-school systematic word study program that supports teachers in their whole-class spelling lessons. A significant portion of the instruction is dedicated to systematic synthetic phonics. So what is synthetic phonics? Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching where words are broken up into the smallest units of sound (phonemes). In the early years, we focus heavily on phonemic awareness (the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken word) and gradually build in work on morphology (the study of words and their parts. Morphemes, like prefixes, suffixes and base words, are defined as the smallest meaningful units of meaning) and etymology (the study of the origin of words). 

What does this look like in class?

Kindergarten learn to identify sounds through the use of chants and actions. They begin to blend individual sounds together to create simple words. eg. bat, sam. They practise writing (encoding) and reading (decoding) sounds and words. Their understanding of how words work is developed through the reading of rich texts and this week they learnt that the word ‘fearless’, is made up of the base word ‘fear’ and the suffix -less, meaning without, meaning fearless means without fear.

Stage 1 - learn about vowel diagraphs, blends, plurals, compound words and homophones, just to mention a few! This week  Year 1 learnt that adding the suffix -ed to a word makes the word past tense, e.g. look, looked. Year 2 learnt that contractions are two words turned into one and that an apostrophe shows where the letter or letters have been left out, e.g. it and is = it’s, she and is = she’s, who has = who’s.

Mrs Bailey

Spelling in Primary

This year we are using Sound Waves Spelling resources to support our teaching of spelling across the whole school. Sound Waves Spelling covers the Australian Curriculum and aligns with current scientific evidence on how children best learn to spell and read.
In Sound Waves Spelling, children are gradually taught a range of skills and strategies that promote a deeper understanding of words and how they work. At the core of Sound Waves Spelling, children learn about speech sounds (phonemes) and the different letters (graphemes) that represent these sounds in writing. For example, children learn that the same sound is used at the start of the words cat, king and chemist, but that the sound can be represented in different ways (c, k or ch). As part of this learning, children are also taught to break words into individual sounds (a prerequisite for spelling) and blend sounds together to form words (a prerequisite for reading).
In addition, Sound Waves Spelling helps children understand the meaningful parts of words, such as prefixes, suffixes and roots. For example, they learn that the prefix re: means again in words such as replay, reheat and recycle.
Upper primary students also learn about where words come from to help them understand and remember unusual or complex words. For example, they learn that the words architect and orchestra originate from Greek. This layered and comprehensive approach sets students up for spelling success.
Each week your child will focus on one or two of the 43 sounds of Australian English known as ‘focus sounds’.  This week we have a photo of Kayla who managed to solve the spelling puzzle which proved to be quite a challenge for many students, but with great persistance, Kayla completed the task.

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Principal's Message

Dear Parents, 

Thankyou for another week of learning, whilst the current weather conditions continue to place implications on our outdoor options, I do need to commend our students and staff for their resilience and tolerance during this constant period of wet weather. Next week Year 5 & 6 head off for their Stage 3 Camp at Tyalgum Ridge & no doubt will be eager to explore and being active regardless of the weather forecast.

Principal Appraisal - rescheduled

Please be advised that unfortunately due to the impact of the recent floods, my Principals Appraisal which was originally scheduled in Term 1 was postponed.  This appraisal conducted by a panel from the Catholic Schools Office will now occur on Wednesday 8th June (Week 7).

This process which is part of my professional development and my contract of employment, is an important part of my leadership and I encourage as many families as possible to fill in the surveys that should have been re-shared last week as the feedback ascertained allows me to continue growing and developing as a school leader.

The panel would also like to interview a number of parents if possible on this date. If you are interested in being involved in this process please contact Mrs Bailey who is organising the schedule of the day on my behalf.


I just wanted to acknowledge and thank our Year 3 and 5 students for their diligent approach last week as they completed their NAPLAN assessments. I, and their classroom teachers, made it clear to the students that these tests were merely an opportunity to showcase what they know and can demonstrate and what they can improve on. All students gave their best effort, which is all we ask, and handled the online format with ease. Due to being online we now seem to receive their results in a much more timely fashion and to use this data to further inform our teaching & learning in the classrooms.

Staffing Announcement

Please be advised that Mrs Kylie Johnson, who has been on leave this semester has decided to continue on leave for Term 3 & 4, with the intent to retire at the conclusion of the school year. Kylie has been a valuable and long serving staff member at St Joseph's and to say that she will be sorely missed is a massive understatement.

She has always put our students, staff and the whole school community first and her departure will leave a massive hole in our community. Towards the end of the year we will formally acknowledge Kylie for her service, passion and dedication to our school.

Mrs Amelia Bell who has being covering this position more recently, will continue at the Front Desk for the remainder of the School Year & I welcome her inclusion onto our school staff in a more permanent capacity.

NCCD - What is this?

Each year our school takes part in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD). At the moment our school and classroom teachers are currently moderating and collaboratively working together to clarify what adjustments are being provided for our students. The NCCD is a collection that counts:

  • the number of school students receiving an adjustment or ‘help’ due to disability
  • the level of adjustment they are receiving to access education on the same basis as other students.

Students are counted in the NCCD if they receive ongoing adjustments at school due to disability. This ‘help’ allows them to access education on the same basis as a child without disability. The NCCD uses the definition of disability in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.  In early August this information is provided to both the Catholic Schools Office and Catholic Schools NSW.  Please find attached below a Fact Sheet that explains this process in more detail. 

Have a lovely weekend.


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Pastoral Care - School Counselor

Character Strengths: LEADERSHIP


Leadership means you can encourage a group to get things done in a way that is peaceful and everyone feels included. It means you do a good job of organising activities. If you are growing leadership, you might try and inspire others by being respectful and confident in a group situation.

What does it look like in our school?
• We listen to other people’s points of view while ensuring things get done
• A teacher needs everyone’s attention, and we are able to get students to listen in a calm way
• We are fair when we are deciding what to do as a group, always listening to each person
• We come up with a game and can organise others to play it in a respectful way
• Even though people are drawn to you, you don’t have to always be the boss and controller of the games that are played. Instead, you lead with fairness, making sure everyone has their say

To learn more about character strengths and to access the resource that these “Exploring Character Strengths” Newsletter articles have come from visit:

Kate Naylor – School Counsellor & Art Therapist

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Pastoral Care - School Chaplain

Mother’s Day High Tea

Today we celebrated the significant women in our lives by hosting a high tea. This was a special time for our school community to thank the wonderful women in our lives and show them how much they are loved. 

It was lovely to see all our mums being waited on. The Parent Forum proudly and generously funded the high tea. Botero generously funded coffee. Thank you to our incredible community/SRC and Bobbie for helping on the day. You are truly amazing!

Breakfast Club 

St Vinnie's Breakfast Club is up and running again in term 2. Every Friday, wholemeal toast with cheese, honey or avocado is available. Yoghurt and milk are also available. This is a free breakfast for all our students to enjoy.

 Breaky club is generously funded by St Vincent De Paul Maclean. 

Community Connect

Each Friday afternoon from 3:00 pm-3.15 pm, our Community and SRC leaders will be serving tea/coffee and juice to our parents at parent pick up. We hope to build community connections and provide our leaders with responsibility and leadership.

We would love our families to join us by having a cuppa. Thank you to Parent Forum for funding this activity.

Ms Mead

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Parent Forum

Just a reminder that our Term 2 Parent Forum meeting will be held next Tuesday, 10th May at 5:00 pm in the school library.

All parents are welcome to attend and share ideas; no ongoing commitment is required. 

Please get in touch with your Parent Rep if you would like something raised at the meeting but cannot attend.

  • Kindergarten: Rebecca Upston
  • Year 1: Michelle Firth
  • Year 2: Belinda Davis
  • Year 3: Steve Kirkland
  • Year 4: Bec Bennett
  • Year 5: Sarah Hourigan
  • Year 6: Amelia Bell

Hope to see you there.

The Parent Forum Team

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Class Awards

Our Principal's Award winners this week are:

  • Kindy - Roxy Bailey
  • Stage 1 -  Isaak Bailey
  • Stage 2 - Jack Kirkland
  • Year 5 -  Hudson Ardrey
  • Year 6 - Olivia McIntyre 

Our Class Award winners this week are: 


Gemma Buckley

Rose McLennan

Claire George

Marco Quarello

Stage 1

Alexia Dawes

Sam Kirkland

Max Anderson

Sophie Green

Stage 2

Penny Chapman

Caide Schlyder

Jessika Dalton

Georgia Salter

Year 5

Dayla Chapman

Bronx Hickling

Seth Hausler

Thomas Hourigan

Year 6

Hugh Bell

Beau Green

Emma Senz

Matias Ward

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School Sport

Clarence Cross Country Carnival

23 students from St Joseph’s travelled to Grafton's Clarence River Jockey Club to compete in the Clarence Zone Cross Country Carnival on Wednesday, the 4th of May. We were greeted with clear skies and sun, which may have been a welcome change to our recent weather patterns for some. For those running 2 or 3 kilometres, things may have been a little different. The hotter conditions definitely made it hard going, but our students battled valiantly and put in some courageous performances.

Congratulations to Roo Coulson, who finished 6th in the 10yrs Boys and will move on to the Lismore Diocesan Cross Country which will be held at the same location on Tuesday 24th May. Josie Chapman also needs to be commended for her near miss, falling 1 spot short by finishing in 9th in the 12/13 yrs Girls. I would also like to thank all of the students who attended the carnival and represented our school and gave it their all. 

Polding Winter Sports Trials

Last week Olivia McIntyre (Hockey) and Ryley Bultitude (Rugby League) travelled to Bathurst for the Polding Winter Sports Trials. The event was held over four days where they played against teams from the Diocese north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge up to the border. Both students returned to school saying it was a great experience, but most importantly, they had fun.

I am sure both students will take a lot away from the event, which will help them in their future sporting endeavours. Olivia’s efforts earned her a spot in the Polding team which will now travel to Tamworth to compete in the PSSA NSW Winter Sports Trials. Well done on your achievements, Ryley and Olivia, for representing your families and our school at such an elite level. We are all very proud of you.

Mr Hitchings

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Class News - Kinder

Welcome back for another great term! 

We are all very excited to be back at school and eager to learn!

Term 2 in Kindergarten began with us learning all about Anzac day and making Anzac biscuits. Many of the students described their biscuits as delicious, crunchy or sweet! 

We have started to explore different types of texts in English and why we like them. This has included reading imaginative stories, information texts and learning songs. We are already enjoying the variety of books and, of course, sharing our opinion on them! In Maths, we have been working with numbers up to 30 or more by writing, drawing, reading and making the number with different manipulatives. We enjoy the hands-on approach when problem-solving in our Maths lessons.

We have discussed how AMAZING our Mum’s are and why they are so special to us, ready to celebrate Mother’s Day. They have been busy creating cards and portraits and cannot wait to share them with you!

It's looking like Term 2 will be a great term for lots of learning and fun in Kindy!

Miss Lovegrove

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Library News

This week we introduced Primary year students to the St Joseph's Library Interface - known as Oliver. This enables students to search our school library database, place reservations for both hard copies and ebooks, and view details of their loans. Furthermore, our school Oliver homepage has information on clubs operating in the library, new books which have just hit the shelves, and links to websites such as the Premiers Reading Challenge, where students can log their books electronically and search for their next PRC book, as well as author websites where students can find out more information about their favourite storytellers, and much more! 

We welcome parents and students to look at the Joeys Oliver Library site by following this link

Kids lose themselves in books., they find themselves there too. Lewis Keegan

Mrs Waghorn

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Community Notices

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Mission & Values

Mothers Day Celebration

I would like to start by thanking our Year 6 leaders; Emily, Hugh, Josie, Matias, Makayla, Sonny and Luca for doing a wonderful job in leading the celebration today for Mother’s Day. As always, it is one of our most special events at school and today was no exception. The students gifted portraits of their mums hand-drawn with love, together with a school photo of themselves, a choccie and a teabag to enjoy a cuppa and a treat.

Our Joey’s mums are SIMPLY THE BEST and we wish you all a lovely day on Sunday.

Sacramental Program

Year 3 - Confirmation Thursday 30th June (Week 10)  

This term, any baptised students are able to make their Sacrament of Confirmation.  The students will participate in preparation lessons in Religious Education Classes at school and will also attend a Retreat prior to the sacrament. At present, Confirmation is scheduled for 5:30 pm, Thursday 30 June, 2022 with Bishop Greg Homeing. 

If you wish your child to be Confirmed, please email me if you have not done so already.

Mercy Value - Service

Who can quantify the value of mothers? It’s actually impossible to do so. To put into words how valuable mothers are in the world is beyond anyone. Mothers help shape history as they develop and shape the lives that are entrusted to them in their children.

Mothers and Grandmothers are some of the most valuable and powerful influences of this world. I want to congratulate you for the love and devotion and service you provide for your children. Be encouraged that all those hard times, sleepless nights, football games, trips to the doctors, school functions, teacher interviews, cleaning up after them, running them around to all their activities, a house full of hungry friends and arguments with strong willed children. When you invest in your children’s lives, be confident that you are a World Developer and World Changer, even when it doesn’t feel like you are because you are a mother. One day, all your years of service will be completely worth it when your children have grown into adults that are adding richness and value to the society in which they live because they had a great mum.

Mrs Mullins

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Leaders of Learning

Rich Tasks in Maths: What are they?

The Rich Task in the Maths Block is a challenging problem requiring students to apply what they know and try different strategies. Mistakes are common where students do most of the learning. Mistakes should be recognised as opportunities for learning and self-growth. Here are three tips to help your child move forward the next time they make a mistake.

1. Face the challenge with an ‘I can!’ attitude

When students see answers marked wrong, their first reaction is often, ‘I can’t do it.’It is vital to encourage a shift away from a fixed mindset – where students easily give up – towards a growth mindset – where they try again. As they persevere with problem-solving, celebrate their successes and encourage them to believe, ‘I can do it!’

2. Rethink the strategy

Encourage students to ask themselves, ‘Why didn’t the strategy work for this problem? Is there a better strategy I could try?’ While there is no right or wrong way to solve a problem, it’s helpful to discuss different strategies used for a problem-solving task to see if one was more efficient than another. 

  1. Work it out together

We all make mistakes from time to time. It’s what we do with them that counts. With a positive attitude and a supportive environment, students can view their mistakes as learning opportunities and not as learning failures. 

‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10 000 ways that won’t work.’ (Thomas Edison)

Mrs Bailey & Mrs Mullins

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