Week 2 - Term 4 Newsletter 2021
Dear Parents & Caregivers,
Welcome back to what will hopefully be a more settled term, particularly after the disruption of lockdown and blended learning. It is great to be back, and I definitely feel refreshed after having Term 3 on leave. A big thank you to Mrs Bailey, who stepped into the role of Acting Principal in my absence and did a wonderful job despite very extenuating circumstances.
The current NSW Government Roadmap for easing COVID-19 Restrictions indicated that schools will remain under Level 3 restrictions until at least Wednesday, 1 December. This is dependent upon vaccination rates and the review by the new State Leadership. As it stands now, this means there can be NO excursions or events outside school. The information about whole school events, visitors & parents on site, staff attending any professional learning outside school and many other things will be updated as soon as Catholic Schools NSW informs us. We will continue to plan some end of year events for school with the hope they can be held when the time comes.
From this week, staff are required to provide proof of vaccination to meet the Public Health Orders now in place for Educational facilities. It is important to note that the next step will be requiring any visitor to our site to provide proof of vaccination. As you may be aware, from Monday 8 November ANY person coming to our school must have received two doses of vaccination and provide proof of that.
Local Cases - Grafton
As you may be aware, there have been cases impacting Grafton. If you do receive notification that you are a close contact*, we ask that you get your children tested at the same time as yourself to ensure the safety of the school community, as they may be considered casual contacts.
NSW Health has changed the self-isolation and testing requirements for close contacts dependent
upon their vaccination status.
• Close contacts who are fully vaccinated will be required to self-isolate for at least 7 days. If they produce a negative COVID test result on days 1 and 6 of the isolation period, they will be released from self-isolation on day 7.
• Close contacts who are not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated will be required to self-isolate for at least 14 days. If they produce a negative COVID test result on days 1, 6 and 13 of the isolation period, they will be released from self-isolation on day 14.
Pleasingly, despite an adjustment to the timing of our Transition Program and some additional restrictions, our Little Joey's Program returned today to school. The children had a wonderful day with Miss Bec, Miss Juana and Mrs Bailey in their future kindergarten room, and we look forward to seeing their beautiful little personalities for the remainder of the term.
Currently, we only have a couple of places remaining in our 2022 Kindergarten cohort, so if there are any potential families you feel would benefit from having a school tour with me, please encourage them to contact either the Front Office or me. We are still finalising staffing and class arrangements for 2021. We would be more than happy to talk to any interested families, even if it is to have an opportunity to walk through our classrooms and school grounds and seeing the engagement of our students and the safe & supportive environment we provide.
Leaders of Learning
Learning in the Early Years - Maths
This week in Maths, Kindergarten are learning about Addition and Subtraction. They are learning:
- combine two or more groups of objects to model addition
- to take part of a group away to model subtraction
- to compare two groups to determine 'how many more'
- to record addition and subtraction informally
In Kindy, addition and subtraction problems relate to real-life experiences that involve the manipulation of objects. We teach addition and subtraction in conjunction with each other as the foundation for understanding their inverse relationship.
Rich Tasks in Kindy consolidate students a foundational understanding of 'friends to ten' and encourage them to use these friendly numbers (easy to add) to solve problems. Students make, say, draw and write their responses to ensure they develop a thorough understanding of these critical concepts. Some of the tasks Kindy had include:
I added two numbers together to get 10. What could these numbers be?
A basketballer scored 9 points in two games. How many might she have scored in each game? I have two groups of teddies. How many are in each group? Which group has more teddies? How do you know? Can you prove it?
This week in Maths, Stage 1 are learning about Patterns and Algebra. They are learning:
- to recognise, copy, continue, create and describe increasing and decreasing number patterns
- t0 recognise, copy, create, continue and describe repeating patterns of objects or symbols
- to model and describe odd and even numbers
The strand of Patterns and Algebra provides students with an understanding of mathematical relationships, which is a basis for understanding algebra, analysing data, and solving complex mathematical problems.
Students start building their understanding of patterns for individual numbers and begin to list all possible combinations. Knowledge of number combinations is the foundation for seeing numbers as flexible. This understanding has strong links to addition and subtraction and can be applied to develop strategies such as; counting on and off the decade, bridging to ten, using related number facts, jump and split strategies.
Some Rich Tasks students had this week was:
Write two number sentences to match this word problem. Use different operations.
Jack and Caide were playing soccer. They scored 67 goals altogether. If Jack scored 28, how many goals did Caide score?
Learning in Primary - Maths
This week in Maths, Stage 2 are learning about Area. They are learning:
- to estimate, measure and compare the area of regular and irregular shapes in square centimetres
- to measure and record areas of shapes in square metres
An important understanding in Stage 2 is that an area of one square metre need not be a square. It could, for example, be a rectangle two metres long and half a metre wide.
Students participated in rich tasks solving a variety of area problems and were given various materials to measure area; cm cubes, rulers, and transparent grids. A common misconception in 'area' is confusion with 'perimeter', so a strong connection is made with arrays and multiplication, leading to the development of the formula to calculate area in Stage 3; Length x Width = Area.
The students were highly engaged and demonstrated persistence during their maths lessons this week.
This week in Maths Stage 3 are learning about Data. The students are learning:
- that data is information that can be represented in a variety of ways and is used to draw conclusions and make predictions.
- to critically evaluate data representations found in digital media.
Understanding and interpreting data is a critical skill for our students in today's digital age where they are bombarded with information and have access to a massive amount of data. Looking at data with a critical eye helps students identify bias in representations in the media and understand the possible influences on data collection and representation, eg who created or paid for the data collection, whether the representation is part of an advertisement.
This week the students have also composed their own survey questions, conducted surveys and represented their findings in a variety of data representations, for example, column graphs, dot plots and pie graphs in both digital and hard copy formats. Here we have some photos of the students during these lessons this week.
Mission & Values
Mercy in Action - Service
This week I noticed two students lending a helping hand to help keep our school looking tidy and welcoming. Thank you to Ethan and Beau for helping Miss Juana rake up the many leaves that are in our grounds. Through their actions, the boys are WITNESSING the Mercy Value of Service - doing something for others. Service is a value that is highly regarded in our Catholic School and it is wonderful to see our students demonstrating this value in their actions.
OCTOBER - World Mission Month
Catholic Mission contributes funding and provides project support to church-run initiatives in Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America, and remote dioceses within Australia. Catholic Mission creates opportunities for people to respond through prayer, fundraising and action, inspiring them to reach out and give life—within Australia and around the world. All of us engage in mission when we proclaim our faith through our words, actions and lives.
Today we held Socktober, an initiative of the Catholic Mission to encourage students across Australia to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children in Thailand and around the world. Thank you to Mrs Mead and the SRC for organising this important event.
Class News - Kindy
We have had a great start to the term in Kindergarten. The students have really enjoyed being back in the classroom together. They have been very settled in their learning showing that they have matured throughout their first year at St Joey's. We have also mixed in fun activities, such as our junk art session where the children created animals from old materials. They may have secretly decorated our room in the meantime as well. It is just so good to see their smiling faces again, and I am excited to be sharing another great term with them.
Congratulations to the following students recognised at this fortnight's Awards Assembly:
Principal Awards: Cooper Want, Huon McLennan, Emma Senz, Kahiah Cook
Stage 1 (Year 1 & 2)
Stage 2 (Year 3 & 4)
Stage 3 (Year 5 & 6)
Pastoral Care - School Counsellor
Exploring Character Strengths – BRAVERY
What is BRAVERY?
Bravery is doing the right thing even when it is difficult or scary. If you are growing bravery, you may stand up for others even if no one else agrees. You can ask for help even if you aren’t sure that you will get it.
What does it look like in practice?
- We feel nervous to speak in front of our classmates, but we remind ourselves that we can do hard things and we stand up and do it - despite being afraid!
- We seek help from the teacher when we know something is unfair or wrong
- Standing up for ourselves or others even when we are scared
- Asking to join in a game
How can we encourage bravery in our children?
To help children develop bravery this is a great resource.
To learn more about character strengths and to access the resource that these “Exploring Character Strengths” Newsletter articles have come from visit https://growyourmind.life/
Kate Naylor – School Counsellor & Art Therapist
Pastoral Care - School Chaplain
Crazy Sock Day- bright colours, long, short, fluffy and crazy were the assortment of socks that were sighted today. Thank you to all our students, families and staff who participated and donated to this crazy day. Your efforts and donations are appreciated. All money raised will go to Catholic Mission to help children living in poverty in Thailand and worldwide.
Thursday Ice block day- every Thursday lunchtime, the SRC will be selling refreshing fruit ice blocks to students to raise money for the St Vinnies Christmas Appeal. The ice blocks will be $1 each. Thursday ice block day will run for all of term 4.
St Vincent De Paul's Christmas Appeal rebuild strength in the men and women experiencing disadvantage this ChristmasChristmas. St Joseph's School Community has a proud tradition of supporting the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal each year and will continue this in 2021.
Your family is invited to participate in the Christmas Appeal through donations of non-perishable food, new toys or money. Hampers will be located in classrooms for students to place items. These hampers are given to families within Clarence to help make their Christmas a special one.
World Teachers Day- World Teachers' Day will be celebrated across Australia on Friday 29th October 2021. It's a chance to celebrate teaching and for communities to thank teachers. St Joseph's will be celebrating our incredible teachers and showing them how much they are appreciated.
St Vincent de Paul- St Vincent de Paul are looking for people in the Maclean area who are interested in joining the Society as a Conference Member. If you are interested please see Community Information for futher details.
Juana Mead – School Chaplain
Library -Book Week Celebrations
We are looking forward to FINALLY celebrating Book Week next week! Book Week is a great time to celebrate the importance of books and reading, and the Scholastic Book Fair will be in the library from Monday to Friday. Each student will have an opportunity to explore the books on offer, and they'll be given a 'wish list' form to complete and take home. To purchase books from the Book Fair, students can pay with cash at school or go online and make their payment, then return the form with the titles listed, and your child will bring them home to enjoy.
Reading for fun is important. The Book Fair gives kids the opportunity to find and choose the books they want to read, and when children choose their books, they're more likely to finish them. This, of course, results in more reading practice which leads to improved reading skills. Good reading skills expands vocabulary, a better knowledge of the world, and stronger thinking skills.
We will also have activities planned in the library throughout the week and our annual Book Parade on Friday the 22nd October. Students dress up as their favourite book character, which is always a lot of fun! Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, we are not allowed to have parents on site, but the parade will be live-streamed on Facebook for families to enjoy from home, and we'll share lots of pics of the fun and festivities!
Every time you open a book- a little bit of magic falls out.
Mrs Waghorn - Librarian
Due to our current COVID situation School Banking will be suspended until further notice.
Thank you for your understanding.
Kathy Johnson - School Banking Coordinator
Notes Sent Home
St Vincent de Paul Conference Members | Maclean
We are looking for people in the Maclean area who are interested in joining the Society as a Conference Member
- Join like-minded people who share your desire to help the lives of the marginalised and disadvantaged.
- Give a hand up to those facing financial difficulty
- Provide help by way of short-term financial assistance for food and family expenses.
- Raise your voice for Social Justice.
The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is committed to being a Child Safe Organisation.
If you would like to find out more contact Joe Feeney: -
Phone: 0427 415 577 (please leave a message)